- Project Runeberg -  America of the Fifties: Letters of Fredrika Bremer /
163

(1924) [MARC] Author: Fredrika Bremer
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New it is not; neither is it sufficient in the
one-sided view in which Quakers comprehend it. What
if that inner light illumines a dark desire in the
human soul? if the inward voice finds itself opposed
by a debased or evil impulse of the heart?
The Quakers have forgotten, or have not
regarded the old saying that “there is a drop of black
blood in every man’s heart.” And in order to
make it pure, neither light nor admonishing voice
avails anything, but only another drop of blood
of divine power and purity. The Quakers may,
in the mysteries of Quaker life, find proofs enough
of the existence of this black drop, even among
the children of the inner light; perhaps no bloody
proofs, no burning spot, but dark histories of
gloomy, silent, bitter quarrels among “the
Friends”; secret oppression, secret, long misery,
irreconcilable misunderstandings, and all those
dark fiends which, when I see them embittering
family or social life, remind me of the old Northern
hell, with its dark, poisonous rivers, cruel
witchcraft, rainy clouds, venomous serpents, and
so on. But Quakerism, in its first arisings, saw
nothing of this, and perhaps possessed nothing of
it. Enthusiasm for a beautiful idea changes the
soul to a spring morning with a clear heaven and
the purest air, full of the songs of birds amid
flowery meadows. Later in the day the clouds

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