Westerly Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
57 Elm Street, Westerly, RI 02891-2136
(401) 474-9635

For Conscience Sake towards God

Posted on by David Madden

“But at the first convincement, when Friends could not put off their hats to people nor say ‘you’ to a particular, but ‘thee’ and ‘thou’; and could not bow nor use the world’s salutations, nor fashions, nor customs, many Friends, being tradesmen of several sorts lost their custom at the first; for the people would not trade with them nor trust them, and for a time Friends that were tradesmen could hardly get enough money to buy bread. But afterwards people came to see Friends’ honesty and truthfulness and ‘yea’ and ‘nay’ at a word in their dealing, and their lives and conversations did preach and reach to the witness of God in all people, and they knew and saw that for conscience sake towards God, they would not cozen and cheat them, and at last that they might send any child and be as well used as themselves, at any of their shops.

So then things altered so that all the inquiry was, where was a draper or shopkeeper or tailor or shoemaker or any other tradesman that was a Quaker; insomuch that Friends had double the trade, beyond any of their neighbors. And if there was any trading they had it, insomuch that then the cry of all the professors and others was ‘If we let these people alone they will take the trading of the nation out of our hands.'”
George Fox July 1624 – January 13, 1691 founder of the Religious Society of Friends

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