John Woolman (1720-1772)
In the spirit of universal love and of the pure wisdom given him by God, John Woolman, the New Jersey tailor, set himself against slavery and social wrong; and the simplicity and purity of his "Journal" have carried the message of his life to the generations since. The extract, which follows, shows his sensitiveness to Divine leadings and his responsiveness to Divine love.
The increase of business became my burden, for though my natural inclination was toward merchandise, yet I believed Truth required me to live more free from outward cumbers, and there was now a strife in my mind between the two; and in this exercise my prayers were put up to the Lord, who graciously heard me and gave me a heart resigned to his holy will. Then I lessened my outward business, and as I had opportunity told my customers of my intentions that they might consider what shop to turn to, and so in a while wholly laid down merchandise, following my trade as a tailor, myself only, having no apprentice. I also had a nursery of apple trees, in which I employed some of my time hoeing, grafting, trimming, and inoculating.
John Woolman: The journal and major essays, ed. Phillips P. Moulton, 1971, pp. 53-4 (entry for 1756).