Eighteenth Century Education2021-05-28T15:03:06-04:00

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Eighteenth Century Education

These excerpts from Milcah Martha Moore’s textbook reveal the tenets of an eighteenth-century Quaker education.

Miscellanies, moral and instructive, in prose and verse, collected from various authors, for the use of schools, and improvement of young persons of both sexes

Milcah Martha Moore, Miscellanies, moral and instructive, in prose and verse, collected from various authors, for the use of schools, and improvement of young persons of both sexes (Philadelphia : Joseph James, 1787). New-York Historical Society Library.

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REPUTATIONS are of a subtle, insinuating nature— like water, derived from the clearest spring, when it chances to mix with a foul current, it runs undistinguished in one muddy stream; and they both partake of the same color and condition. If we keep bad company, however little we may be criminal in reality, we must expect the same censure that is due to the worst of our associates. Reputations, like water, are easily polluted. If you spend time with bad people, you will get a reputation for being a bad person, even if you’ve done nothing wrong.
HUMILITY is a virtue, which highly adorns the character in which it resides, and sets off every other virtue; it is an admirable ingredient of a contented mind, and an excellent security against many of those ills in life, which are most sensibly felt by people of a delicate nature. Being humble improves every other good quality you have. Being humble will also protect you from getting into trouble.
THAT man is most blessed, who receives his daily bread with gratitude and thankfulness from the hand of God; and he who does, experiences a pleasure that exceeds description. It is this that gives a relish to every repast; it is this that makes the coarsest morsel delicious to the taste; and it is the want of this that makes affluence a burthen, instead of a blessing to the rich. Having gratitude for the things in your life makes every day special. You can be poor and live happily if you are grateful for what you have. You can be rich and unhappy if you are not thankful for your blessings.
THE sleep of the laboring man is sweet; and if he toil hard for the bread that perishes, he has, in the midst of every want, if a follower of Christ, bread to eat that the world knows nothing of. It is not said, happy are they who possess abundance; but happy is the man who finds wisdom, which is Christ, the pearl of great price. In him are hid those durable riches and righteousness, the merchandize of which is better than that of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. Those who work hard get the best rewards. Even if they have nothing, God will bless them for their work, and God’s blessings are worth more than any riches.

Milcah Martha Moore, Miscellanies, moral and instructive, in prose and verse, collected from various authors, for the use of schools, and improvement of young persons of both sexes (Philadelphia : Joseph James, 1787). New-York Historical Society Library.

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