Camden 8 Mo. 24. 1844Esteemed FriendI feel sorry that I was not able to speak so as to be understood. Superfluous ornamental work is the subject that I called on thee to mention- not knowing any thing respecting the situation of the Vessel in building only hearing one was to be built I consequently could not mention any thing in it on it or about it as an impingement of the testimony of Truth respecting plainness and simplicity as required under the Gospel and as professed by us to be maintained in a Christian body. I did not come to charge thee with any thing or to find fault with any thing that was no part of my business I merely aimed at doing what appeared to be required of me, thou wouldst not have seen my face could I have believed I should have been clear in the awful day of reckoning without endeavouring to unfold my exercise on account of a fear that arrested my mind that thy workmen might introduce something of this kind of work before thou wast aware of it such work now being a customary vanity. I know that in much less articles than Vessels and Houses Friends have to be very firm with Mechanics to keep clear of these vain appendages they are so common and we have example for them in some in Society of such high standing but this being the case does not make them any nearer right the Truth being unchangeable- we are not safe in following in the footsteps of any man or any woman only as they follow Christ however favoured they at times may have been- do not understand me to set light by outward helps far be it from me. I value them highly, but whenever any in whatever manner or degree preferred before ourselves become remiss or step aside from the path of rectitude in the support of the principles and the maintenance of any of Truth’s testimonies I see no safety in leaving the strait and narrow way on that account nor can I find
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