LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 241
No; God help me! I '11 fight to the last breath, before they shall take my wife and son. Can you blame me ? "
" Mortal man cannot blame thee, George. Flesh and blood could not do otherwise," said Simeon. " Woe unto the world because of offenses, but woe unto them through whom the offense cometh."
" Would not even you, sir, do the same, in my place ? '
" I pray that I be not tried," said Simeon ; " the flesh is weak."
" I think my flesh would be pretty tolerable strong, in such a case," said Phineas, stretching out a pair of arms like the sails of a windmill. " I an't sure, friend George, that I should n't hold a fellow for thee, if thee had any accounts to settle with him."
" If man should ever resist evil," said Simeon, " then George should feel free to do it now: but the leaders of our people taught a more excellent way; for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God ; but it goes sorely against the corrupt will of man, and none can receive it save they to whom it is given. Let us pray the Lord that we be not tempted."
" And so / do," said Phineas, " but if we are tempted too much, — why, let them look out, that's all."
" It's quite plain thee was n't born a Friend," said Simeon, smiling. " The old nature hath its way in thee pretty strong as yet."
To tell the truth, Phineas had been a hearty, two-fisted backwoodsman, a vigorous hunter, and a dead shot at a buck; but, having wrooed a pretty Quakeress, had been moved by the power of her charms to join the society in his neighborhood, and though he was an honest, sober, and efficient member, and nothing particular could be alleged against him, yet the more spiritual among them could not but discern an exceeding lack of savor in his developments.
" Friend Phineas will ever have ways of his own," said Rachel Halliday, smiling; " but we all think that his heart is in the right place, after all."