Quaker Women

Some Account of the Fore Part of the Life of Elizabeth Ashbridge [circa 1755]

[sent to live with a Quaker relative]

...This relation was one of the People called Quakers; his Conduct was so different from the Manner of my Education (which was in the way of the Church of England) that it proved very disagreeable to me for tho' (as I have said) I had a Religious Education, yet I was allowed to sing and dance, which my Cousin disallow'd of, & I having great Vivacity in my Natural Disposition, could not bear to give way to the Gloomy Sense of Sorrow & Convictions; therefore let it have the wrong effect, so gave up to be more Wild & Airy than ever, for which he often reproved me. But I then thought (as many do now of this Society), "Twas the Effect of Singularity, & therefore would not bear it, nor be controuled, & having a distant relation i the West of Ireland, left Dublin and went thither: And here I might take my Swing, for hat rendered me disagreeable to the former, was quite pleasing to the latter.

My Master would seem to be a Very Religious Man, taking the Sacrament (so called), & used to Pray every Night in his family, except when his Prayer Book was Lost, for he never Pray'd without it that I knew of. The Afforsaid Difference was of Such a kind that it made me Sick of his Religion: for tho' I had but little my Self yet I had an Idea what sort of People they should be that were so. - At Length the old Enemy by insinuations made me believe there was no such thing as Religion, & that the Convictions I had felt from my Infancy was no other than the prejudice of Education, which Convictions were at times so Strong tht I have gone alone & fallen with my face to the Ground crying for mercy: but now I began to be hardened, and for Some months I do not Remember that I felt any such thing, so was Ready to Conclude that there was no God;...

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