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lions, and had the happiness to retain a decent competency, on which to retire with a quiet conscience, as he became advanced in life.
In charities, few men were more liberal. He rarely refused a demand on his time, his talents, or his purse, when required to assist the widow and orphan, or the helpless and uninformed. But of acts like these, it seems like sacrilege to speak, since he conscientiously observed the command, 'Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth.'
The same principles of action, the same jealous care over the rights of the human mind, made him also the firm and judicious defender of religious liberty.
When he united himself to the denominator! of Friends, lie remained free from superstition, and was incapable of the delusiveness of sectarian feehngs. For a long course of years, as far as a mind like his could be permitted to influence their councils, he was continually exerting that influence in the sphere of his action Before the society became agitated by the present struggle for religious freedom, his patient spirit, his knowledge of human nature, and the remarkable adaptation of his efforts to the ignorance and prejudices of other minds, enabled him, in some degree, to stand firm against superstitious encroachment, and he was chiefly instrumental in obtaining what few amendments were made iu their written laws.
His gentle influence had Uways for its object the advancement of the great principles of truth and justice, the liberation and expansion of the human intellect. And though little was effected by it at the time, it has outlived the hour in which it was put forth, and Mr Arnold may justly be called one of the Reformers of the age. Unfettered by creeds, and well qualified to disentangle and simplify doctrines, he was an advocate of Unitarian Christianity, and of the all-sufficiency of a conscientious walk in the presence of God.
As the right of private judgment in the society of Friends became more and more infringed, and oppression was variously shaped to bind the spirit which was struggling for the privileges given by God to man, he occasionally stood forth in calm and emphatic remonstrance. In discussions which betrayed a narrow minded, sectarian policy, the shrewdness of his well timed observations was remarkable, and his keen but tempered wit made its way to the very scat of tyranny ;—a tyranny more the effect of ignorance and superstition than of guilt. But it was not often in his latter days, that he took any part in the contest. He rather stood, as a pillar of religious freedom, in silent dignity, in calm forbearance, and in a prophetic conviction that these things must be so ' until conscience is set free and truth established.'
Yet amidst t..is retirement, he was not an indifferent spectator of the changes which were taking place around him. Impressed with the conviction that no veil is so impenetrable as that woven by Bigotry and Superstition, and no chains more insidiously imposed, and more difficult to sever, than those with which they propose to bind the conscience, he was not without apprehensions, that, even in our happy country, from a supine confidence in our free institutions, the artful or ignorant upholders of the supremacy of human creeds and dogmas, might find themselves enabled so to lord it over the consciences of their brethren, as to introduce some modification of a union of church and state; a union which the experience of other nations has shown to be fatal to the genuine spirit of Christianity in the one, and, to say the least, nearly as injurious to that of liberty in the other. Mr Arnold considered that we are safe from such designs, only whilst the cn
hghtened anions us, with christian temper expose, and with christian firmness, resist them.
In his private and social character he was peculiarly interesting. The strength and cultivation of his mind and his ready sympathy with the feelings of others, made him the useful and familiar companion of young people, whilst his quick perception of the various forms of human infirmity, enabled him to point a moral while contributing to the general amusement. Without the formality of professed instruction, or even the appearance of advising, he exerted a most beneficial influence over their minds, and they own its power as they .Irop the tear of affection on his grave.
Mr Arnold was a most affectionate husband, an unchanging friend. So variously intellectual was his conversation, so quickly could his mind seize the several parts of a subject and form a mature judgment, so dear was his society, that as a companion he had scarcely his equal. In the endearing character of a father, we are well aware he cannot be portrayed. His peculiar adaptation of himself to his children, the interest he took in all their pursuits and in leading them to the developemcnt of their own minds,—their own feelings of love and of reverence, uniting and producing the most delightful intimacy and filial confidence,—these, and more, arc deeply felt in the hearts of his children, but can never be described.
Notwithstanding the subject of this memoir was such as he is here delineated, his cup of life was not without its infusions of bitterness. That which once bore the name of friendship and affection has too often, by the strange processes of evil, been converted into hostility and injustice. But however these things may have borne down his mortal frame, his spirit reposed in itself—and, with a peace and serenity beyond the power of interruption, has returned to its Divine Original.
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