I have always been outspoken. My belief in a singular and non-tripartite deity has been a major topic of disputation with other members of my Quaker fellowship in Darby, Pennsylvania. I am viewed as an heretical radical. As a result, in 1757, the meeting reached consensus that I should be released from my membership. Not wishing to have words other than my own placed in my cold dead lips, I choose to record my fundamental belief in stone. Hence, in 1770, I carved what is the closest thing to an epitaph any recidivist Quaker could place as testament to a life well-lived.
“I am in the prime of my senility…” Benjamin Franklin
Ben was looking directly at me when he uttered this now-familiar phrase. We are in a good company when we can recognize and name each other’s faults and failings. It is a very good thing when you reach a certain age: you can have total deniability in place of total recall. It’s a much better place in which to find yourself.
“[There is a] wonderful order and balance that is maintained between the vegetable and animal economy…” John Bartram, 1737
I am arguably the first man to put into words all of the thoughts I have on the inter-relationship between man and his world. We must consider all of our actions and how they impact this world in which we are allowed to live.