Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

The Record of a Quaker Conscience, Cyrus Pringle's Diary With an Introduction by Rufus M. Jones   By: (1838-1911)

Book cover

First Page:

THE RECORD OF A QUAKER CONSCIENCE

[Illustration: Macmillan Logo]

THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

NEW YORK · BOSTON · CHICAGO · DALLAS ATLANTA · SAN FRANCISCO

MACMILLAN & CO., Limited

LONDON · BOMBAY · CALCUTTA MELBOURNE

THE MACMILLAN CO. OF CANADA, Ltd. TORONTO

THE RECORD OF A QUAKER CONSCIENCE

CYRUS PRINGLE'S DIARY

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY RUFUS M. JONES

New York

THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

1918

All rights reserved

Copyright, 1913 BY THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY COMPANY

Copyright, 1918 By THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

Set up and printed. Published, February, 1918

[Transcriber's Note:

Several unusual spellings have been kept as in the original, including: northermost ("Fairhope meeting house is in the northermost country") and comformable ("yet probably in a manner comformable to").

In some cases, variant spellings of the same word are used, as in the case of "enrolment" and "enrollment", "therefor" and "therefore", "well meant" and "well meant". These have been comfirmed with the original.

In referring to God, there is also inconsistency in the use of "His" versus "his" and "Him" versus "him".]

INTRODUCTION

The body of this little book consists of the personal diary of a young Quaker named Cyrus Guernsey Pringle of Charlotte, Vermont. He was drafted for service in the Union Army, July 13th, 1863. Under the existing draft law a person who had religious scruples against engaging in war was given the privilege of paying a commutation fine of three hundred dollars. This commutation money Pringle's conscience would not allow him to pay. A prosperous uncle proposed to pay it surreptitiously for him, but the honest minded youth discovered the plan and refused to accept the well meant kindness, since he believed, no doubt rightly, that this money would be used to pay for an army substitute in his place. The Diary relates in simple, naïve style the experiences which befell the narrator as he followed his hard path of duty, and incidentally it reveals a fine and sensitive type of character, not unlike that which comes so beautifully to light in the Journal of John Woolman.

This is plainly not the psychological moment to study the highly complex and delicate problem of conscience. The strain and tension of world issues disturb our judgment. We cannot if we would turn away from the events and movements that affect the destiny of nations to dwell calmly and securely upon our own inner, private actions. It is never easy, even when the world is most normal and peaceful, to mark off with sharp lines the area of individual freedom. No person ever lives unto himself or is sufficient to himself. He is inextricably woven into the tissue of the social group. His privileges, his responsibilities, his obligations are forever over individual and come from beyond his narrow isolated life. If he is to be a rational being at all he must relate his life to others and share in some measure their triumphs and their tragedies.

But at the same time the most precious thing in the universe is that mysterious thing we call individual liberty and which even God himself guards and respects. Up to some point, difficult certainly to delimit, a man must be captain of his soul. He cannot be a person if he does not have a sphere of power over his own act. To treat him as a puppet of external forces, or a mere cog in a vast social mechanism, is to wipe out the unique distinction between person and thing. Somewhere the free spirit must take its stand and claim its God given distinction. If life is to be at all worth while there must be some boundary within which the soul holds its own august and ultimate tribunal. That Sanctuary domain within the soul the Quakers, ever since their origin in the period of the English Commonwealth, have always guarded as the most sacred possession a man can have.

No grave difficulty, at least in the modern world, is involved in this faith, until it suddenly comes into conflict with the urgent requirements of social efficiency... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books