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For Friends' Intelligencer and Journal.
THE SIXTH QUERY.
Soo Query. Do Friends maintain a faithful testimony in favor of a free gospel ministry, resting upon divine qualification alone? At the rise of the Society of Friends, the Christian Church had become very formal, full of ceremony, creeds and confessions of faith, but there was not much of that pure and spiritual religion, taught by Jesus, as he went about, up and down in Jewry, teaching the lessons to the people as he had received them from his Father. I here quote (from the Baltimore Discipline, page 76), “Persuaded as we are that gospel ministry is not of man, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ, agreeably to that apostolic charge, “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same, one to another, as good stewards of the manifold Grace of God.’” In accordance with that idea, our early Friends claimed, there was no human power that could ordain men to preach the gospel, but that God alone could give the power and extend the call. Yet it was not long until they seemed to have lost faith in the Master, and followed the custom of other religious organizations, by establishing a human tribunal to ordain or appoint men to preach the Gospel to the people; and now there is not a minister among Friends, but holds his or her commission or authority to preach from the Eldership. If all the members of a monthly meeting wished to have a certain person a member of that meeting recommended as a minister, it could not be done, unless the Elders first sent the recommendation to the monthly meeting; so that the exclusive and absolute power of appointing preachers is with the Elders. In my opinion the exercise of that power has done more than any other single cause to injure our Society, prevent its increase in membership, and dwarf the spiritual growth of its members. It has helped to
establish and foster in the minds of our members,
the idea that before a person is qualified to speak in our meetings for worship, he or she must and will receive Some remarkable, supernatural demonstration of the permit of God, whereas the manifestation and power of the Spirit is undemonstrative, unseen and silent, like the dews of Heaven that fall unheard and unseen to nourish the vegetable kingdom. I am unable to find any argument in favor of continuing the appointment of our preachers by a human tribunal. It seems to me, to be contrary to, and in violation of our principles as a Society, and inconsistent with reason. During the past half century, there have been many of our best and ablest members, both men and women, (and among them that dear mother in Israel and apostle of liberty and truth, Lucretia Mott) who did not approve of our manner of “recommending ministers.” To maintain any organization it must he governed by laws and regulations, and to carry out those laws some persons must be clothed with certain power and authority; therefore the Eldership should be retained, but should not have the power of appointing preachers, (that being unnecessary and injurious to our Society). All persons who speak in our
meetings would then be under their care, the same as the recommended ministers are now. At present the Elders have no care, authority or control (officially) over persons who speak in our meetings for worship, who are not recommended. S. S. Union Bridge, Md., 8th mo. 8th.
For Friends' Intelligencer and Journal.
MEETINGS “IN THE POWER OF GOD.”
IN a recent number of the Intelligencer and Journal, “S. A.” asks the question whether the above injunction of our elder brother, George Fox, “to hold all your meetings in the power of God’” could not be carried out by gathering together an assemblage of worshippers of different views, sects, and creeds, to worship together? To which I would answer, from my experience, which has been of a varied character, from that of youthful dedication, in which the will of the creature was much centered in the Divine will, to that of a large degree of unfaithfulness, in which this Divine government was much lost sight of, and the will of the mere animal affection substituted; that in the collecting together of such a heterogeneous mass as an assemblage of the kind would generally embrace, “the power” that our “elder brother” speaks of, would be so much wanting that it could not be said to be under its governing influence, for there would be necessarily those who would conclude that no acceptable worship was offered where there was nothing said or done, (no matter whether the necessary qualification had been gotten into or not,) consequently calls would be made for vocal prayers, songs and exhortations, following each other in rapid succession, might we not say in the mere will of the creature, with the repetitions of requests and prayers unattended by that Divine unction which constitutes the power of the Good Father, and altho’ to them it might constitute Divine Worship, because done in the best light they had received, yet would they need the spirit of “our elder brother ” to teach them the way of spiritual life more perfectly; for before such he tells us that he frequently “stood or sat a half hour or more.” As to such he says he felt commissioned to call them away from words, etc. And to me it appears no better plan can be devised to get into true heartfelt worship, than to get into true spiritual silence, with God alone as the teacher; and without this guarded, care there is great danger of spiritual laborers running into the extreme mentioned by the spiritually minded Jacob Ritter, of going into the harvest field, and slashing away at the grain before it is matured or ripened. It is always proper to wait the direction of the great husbandman, not that we suppose it is the appointment of all to follow in the same line of duty. It would have been much out of place for Samuel M. Janney in Virginia to have followed in the steps of Lucretia Mott of Philadelphia on the Slavery question, or for George Fox to have preached on the same question in Jamaica, as she did in Pennsylvania, or on his mission in Pennsylvania to recommend the taking out their partition walls, and women and
men doing their business jointly, as Genesee Yearly Meeting has lately done. And the movement is now a right one. All will certainly be led in the truth if they patiently and directly follow the Divine guide, which is sure to lead onward and upward; but this cannot be done until the ground is prepared for the seed; neither can two walk together until they become agreed—any attempt to force will only lead into disorder and confusion. But were all rightly gathered under the one uniting influence, as witnessed in the first gathering of our Illinois Yearly Meeting from different States and localities, all would move smoothly along as they did, without any
THE following letter was written by Theodore Par
ker to a young man who was starting out upon his first sea voyage. It was placed in Our hands a few days since; and as it has never been in print, we have asked permission to publish it. It reveals one side of Theodore Parker's character, which is not familiar to those who think of him. Only as an ardent controversialist. It is a letter filled with golden advice for a young man entering a vocation exposed to great temptations. The letter had a lasting influence upon the life of this young man, who rose to be a captain, and who always felt grateful for the advice he had given him. There are few young men starting out in life, whatever their vocation, who might not
profit by his counsel: BosTON, July, 7th 1851.
My DEAR FRIEND,-Your mother told me that you are soon to leave her and all the tender ties of home, and go out to seek your fortune in the world. She wished me to say a word of counsel to you at this time. I am glad to do so, as I remember well the time when I first left my father's house, to find a home elsewhere. I was younger than you are, and went to teach a little village school. Let me say a few words to you, which my own experience suggests. I suppose you wish to be rich. Most young men have a longing for riches; and most old men, too. I don’t think riches desirable. I should be Sorry to have inherited wealth. But a competence is very desirable, is indispensable. Well, the way to get it is by forethought to plan, industry to execute, and prudence to keep the earnings of your work. I should always wish to get what I earned, but never to take more than I had honestly, fairly, really earned. I am sure that with forethought, industry, and prudence you cannot fail to get a competence. All that you get more than a sufficient fortune is commonly a misfortune. A Competence is not hard to get. But the best thing which you can get in life is not money, nor what money brings along with it. A great estate is not worth so much as a good man, You are here in this world to become a good man,—a wise man, a just man, an affectionate man, a religious man. This is the one thing you will carry out of this world into the next. Money will make you acceptable to man : manhood—I mean wisdom, justice, affec
tionateness, and religion—will make you welcome to God, and blessed by Him forever. Your business is one help to obtain that manhood, but business alone will not give it to you. You must work for your manhood as much as for your money, and take as much pains to get it, and to keep it, too, The first thing, then, is to keep clear of certain vices. As yet you hardly know the temptations which will come upon you. But there are three things which you must set your face against at once and forever, intemperance, gambling, and licentiousness. These three vices ruin thousands of young men every year. To Some persons, perhaps to most young men, the temptation to some one of these is very powerful. Resist these three, and you will do pretty well in this period Of life. Now, I would not recommend you to the gloomy and sour and stiff. I hope you will be cheerful, lively, even gay and mirthful, all that belongs to your period of life. But you can be all this, without sin: you need not put a sting in your heart to torment you forever. Trust me, there is little real pleasure in anything which your conscience forbids. Then you want to cultivate your mind. This you can do in part by reading valuable books, as you have leisure and opportunity. I have always found a good deal of time for it at sea. Forethought, industry, and prudence will help you here as much as in getting money. I used to find it a profitable thing to keep a journal, in which I wrote down what I Saw that was remarkable, what I read, what I thought. I believe you will find this pleasant and profitable, too. Especially, if you visit foreign countries, where everything is remarkable to a stranger, you will find advantage in this. In regard to reading, I should wish to be familiar with the History of America, with the lives of its great men; then, with the History of England, and the lives of its great men; and, next, with the writings of the best authors in English and American literature. All this you can accomplish in the course of a few years, before you are thirty, and not encroach on your proper business or your proper pleasure, and not injure your health. One thing more I must say: I think there is no real and satisfactory happiness in life without religion. I am not a Sour, malignant man, wishing to cloud over the morning of life. But I wish to prolong its sunshine forever. I am not at all superstitious. For this very reason, I think more of the value of religion. It is a restraint from doing wrong, an encouragement to do right, and a great comfort at all times of life. I do not mean by religion a certain form of belief, nor a certain ritual, joining a church or anything of that sort. But I do mean a respect for your own nature, and obedience to its laws. I mean a love of truth, a love of justice, a love of man as yourself, and of God with all your mind and conscience and heart and soul. You can easily cultivate your religious nature; as early as your mind. One of the best helps that I know is this, to set apart a few minutes of every day to commune with yourself and with your God. Suppose it is at night before you sleep or in the morning before you go to work. Then it is well to review all the
actions of the day, the deeds, the words, even the thoughts, and feelings, and ask if they are such as God can approve. If not, then resolve to do Such things no more, and in your prayer to ask the help of God for the future. Trust me, this will be of great avail. No man can faithfully pursue this course without great growth in manly excellence. You will never repent the pains you take to be a great, a good, and a religious man.
The prayers of your father and mother will go with you in your new enterprise. Absent from their sight, you will still live in their heart of hearts; and their highest earthly wish will be that you may prove yourself a noble man.
Truly your friend,
For Friends' Intelligencer and Journal. THE FRENCH IN MADA GASCAR.
THE report from the Capital of France to-day, is, that the debate in the Chamber of Deputies on the appropriation for renewing the invasion of Madagascar, is renewed, and continued with much warmth. Ex-Premier Ferry said the colonial policy of France was justified, because it was the right and duty of superior races to civilize inferior races. Since all notions were now entering upon colonial movements, France must do likewise or forfeit her position. Since the big guns of France first resounded upon the shores of Madagascar several years ago, our sympathies have been with the latter, as knowledge of the situation, our sense of justice and humanity impelled. Christian philanthropy had rejoiced over the news of the efforts of the pure-spirited Queen of that quiet and unobtrusive Island to advance her people in all that goes to elevate the species. We had heard of her proclamation issued to her people in 1877, following the example of our Great Republic, whereby she abolished slavery and the slave trade within her dominions. We had heard of her edict against intoxicating liquors, the use of which, she said, was debasing her people. This edict was absolutely prohibitory against the manufacture and rendering of spirits for a beverage. In view of this picture let Christian nations hang their heads in shame. How much more becoming to aid them in the establishing of liberty, temperance and republicanism, of which the French people know something, and of the charms of a peaceful and enlightened life, of which Christianity happily has some knowledge. On the contrary, with a sword in one hand, in the other a bottle; destructive as the former is, the bottle is most invincible, for it conquers victor and vanquished as well. Better, if they be barbarians, as is claimed, that they remain so,
rather than that the flag of a Christian nation should
be stained with innocent blood. France cannot under any plea justify this assault upon a weak and unoffending people, and her enlightened neighbors of Europe would interfere if they were not themselves as guilty, with their great armies spoiling for a fight, to use a vulgar term, and bursting
the bounds of their own borders because they are too small to hold them. Oh blessed spirit of Peace! when will thy dawning come and when the happy day?
The French people now recognize how small a measure of glory to the French name has arisen from their late warlike demonstrations on the borders of China, for the lives and treasure squandered. The settlement with the Chinese in the late Tonquin squabble, has tended to direct French attention afresh to Madagascar, where the question is still unsettled. In 1882 France began these hostile operations with a view to compelling the islanders to recognize the right of France to exercise a protectorate over a large district in the northwestern portion of the island, and to certain extent over the whole country. Owing to the natural difficulties which beset the invaders, the deadly nature of the climate to Europeans, and the serious opposition offered by the natives, the French arms have accomplished so far, next to nothing; while the little they have done, has amounted to a heavy bill. Tax-payers are asking to what purpose is this sacrifice of treasure. The representatives from the manufacturing districts answer, trade, trade.
When invasion was commenced, the French traders
believed that they could accomplish theirlpurpose by a short and inexpensive campaign. By the time they discovered their mistake, however, they had become too deeply involved, as they thought, to abandon their project with honor, and so they kept plunging deeper and deeper into the mire, with all the world looking askance at their operations, and rejoicing at their ill success.
Madagascar is larger, more populous and more impregnable than some of her assailants seem to realize. Great Britain once tried to take hold there, and had te let go. That aggressive nation never made a second attempt. The island is as large as England, Ireland and Scotland combined. The length of the island is 1030 miles; the greatest breadth 350 miles; with 225,000 square miles of capacity and five millions of people. It is a mountain island with peaks twelve thousand feet high.
My hope is that the facts here stated may admonish our own government, and draw out the wisdom, prudence and virtues of the representatives of our admirable sister republic, now while the opportunity offers.
Baltimore, 7mo. 29th.
NEWS OF FRIENDS.
HIS was held at Gwynedd, (Montgomery Co., Pa.), on the 6th instant. The day was very pleasant, and the attendance as large as usual. In the first meeting, Thomas Foulke, of New York, spoke at some length, and with much fervor of expression; he was followed by several men Friends, including Joel Lare, Dr. Henry T. Child, Nathaniel Richardson, T. Elwood Longshore, Watson Tomlinson, and David Newport, and by Hannah Linton, Margaretta Walton, Louisa J. Roberts and Catharine P. Foulke. The meeting
for worship closed about 12 o'clock.
In the meeting for business, in the men's branch, besides the ordinary routine, some time was occupied by the discussion of a proposition presented by Seth Lukens, to appoint a committee to assist within the limits of this quarter the Yearly Meeting's Committee on Temperance. Seth said that the latter needed and desired aid. The women's branch of this quarterly meeting had appointed, three years ago, members of a joint committee, and had since been waiting for the men's branch to act. (The report of the women, stating that they had made some exertion in the direction of their appointment, but had been somewhat detained, waiting for action by men's meeting, was subsequently sent in and read for information.) There were expressions of unity with the proposal, but it was objected to by several Friends on the ground of order, that the appointment of such a committee to “assist” or “co-operate” with the Yearly Meeting's committee would be in effect assuming the power to add to the latter. After some discussion, the form of the proposal before the meeting so changed as to suggest the appointment of a Quarterly Meeting's committee on Temperance, without any reference to that of the Yearly Meeting, and action upon this it was finally decided to lay over three months. In the women’s branch, the principal business transacted was the reading of the Report of the Temperance Committee, in which was expressed the desire for the co-operation of men's meeting, the committee believing that joint labor in the work would be more effective. The report was united with and full unity expressed with making the request to men's branch. Earnest words of counsel and encouragement were spoken by Margaretta Walton, Phebe W. Foulke and others. The report from men's branch that the subject of appointing a joint committee on Temperance had been before them, and was referred to the next quarterly meeting called forth earnest appeals to renewed diligence on the part of those engaged in the work.
FRIENDS AT BLOOMFIELD, CANADA.
DEAR FRIENDs: I have often thought, when reading in your interesting paper the news of Friends on the American side of the line, that if I held the pen of a ready writer, or had the ability of the strong man, I would more frequently report the condition or experience of some of our Canadian meetings and Schools. And although our Yearly Meeting was very favorably reported by our good friend L. J. R., yet space will perhaps be granted me for a brief expression of my feelings of gratitude for that, and subsequent reasons for encouragement among us. We all felt our annual gathering to be an especially favored season. The great Master who knows so well the necessities of His children commissioned just such servants and message-bearers from other parts of his vineyard, as were best suited to our condition, bearing messages of love and encouragement to those of us who were weary and heavy laden, that have been received by those to whom they were sent, and we have been thereby encouraged and strengthened in our allotted work. The special sessions for
Temperance and First-day School work were seasons of marked interest, and the increased life and interest in the latter is manifesting itself very encouragingly. We have an interesting school, and while some of our workers feel the necessity of something in the form of lesson leaves, we are willing to work on in the ability afforded, believing that all such wants will be Supplied. And I must acknowledge the encouragement found in the present number of your valuable paper, now lying before me, that steps are being taken in that direction, and we hope ere many weeks to have at our commencement such lessons as will better enable us to instruct the youth of our schools and Society in the doctrines and principles professed by our branch of the church.
The children of our First-day School, and members, to the number of one hundred, spent a very pleasant and enjoyable day on the 28th ultimo, going by private conveyances to one of our beautiful summer resorts, known as the Sand Banks, (and which Some of our American Friends have visited), where the ample provisions stored in baskets were spread before us, with which all were filled and satisfied, and many fragments to gather up; after which the afternoon was spent in different kinds of innocent recreation, making a day long to remembered.
Perhaps such a detailed account of our Canadian affairs may not be interesting to all, but these and other incidents in our experience, such as some increase of membership, (by request), and renewed interesting meetings following our First-day School all served to imbue the heart of the writer with feelings of gratitude, that seemed to demand an expression. Nor would I be unmindful or omit to mention our little mid-week meeting, which we felt best to change from 11 A. M., to 7 P. M. Although the trial is not of long standing, so far we feel it to be a good one, not interfering with domestic or agricultual affairs nearly as much, and we come in the cool of the day, when its duties have been performed, and the quiet reflections and meditations of the hour can be better enjoyed and retained than when the hands and mind must be hurriedly returned to their respective duties. Now, with our arrangement, (adopted of late), father and mother can come with the children, that heretofore were at school or otherwise engaged, and we feel that we are blessed in our efforts.
- I. W.
Bloomfield, Ontario, 8th mo. 3d.
MONTHLY MEETING OF FRIENDS OF PHILADELPHIA.
AT this monthly meeting, in the Seventh month, applications for membership for 10 persons,—mostly young, were placed in charge of committees. The committee appointed for that purpose had distributed 1083 copies of the “Extracts” to members, and those attending our meetings. A report concerning membership for the year 1884 was received, showing that there had been received by certificate, 10 men, 22 women, and 4 male and 5 female minors, making 41. There had also been received, on application, 3 men, 4 women, 9 boys, and 3 girls, making 19. The addition by birth were 6 males aud 2 females, making 8; and giving a total growth of 68. The withdrawals, on certificate, were 4 men, 1 Woman; disowned, 2 of each sex; died 12 men, 16 women, 2 boys, 5 girls; making altogether 54 losses; and leaving net gain of the year 14. The total membership of this monthly meeting is 619 men and 812 Women, 205 male minors, 221 female, making 1857. Of the deaths, during the year, 2 of each sex were under 3 years; 3 females between 8 and 20; 2 males and 1 female between 20 and 30; 1 male between 30 and 40, and 1 between 40 and 50; 1 of each sex between 50 and 60; 3 males and 1 female between 60 and 70; 2 males and 8 females between 70 and 80; 1 male and 5 females between 90 and 100; 1 male 92} years old. The average age of the 10 men over 30 years was 66.9; of the 15 women was over 76%, and of both together nearly 723 years. There were, during the year, 19 interments at Fair Hill, and 10 at other grounds in the country. There were 11 marriages under the care of the meeting; in 7 of them both were members, 1 belonged to the other (“Orthodox”), body, and in 3 cases 1 party was not a member. There were 22 cases of deviation from the Discipline considered, of which 16 were in relation to marriage, in 13 of which our testimony concerning a paid ministry was violated. 63 men Friends were named on various appointments, in 1884, 46 of whom were on five or less, 10 between five and ten, and 7 from ten to seventeen each. A committee was appointed to report as to the bearing on Friends' practice of the new (Pennsylvania) law on marriage. J. M. T.
STAND FORD QUARTERLY MEETING.
THIS was held at Ghent, N. Y., the 7th of Eighth month. A beautiful day dawned upon us; and near eleven o'clock Friends and Friendly people were seen moving towards the meeting house, from the north, South, and west some among the aged, many in the middle walks of life, and a larger number than usual among the youth. There were but few in attendance from other meetings. Our friends Jacob Capron and wife, from New York, Henry Mosher and wife, from Saratoga, and Mary C. Blackburn, from Maryland, were in attendance. How grateful should we of this quarterly meeting feel for the company and labors of our friends that come among us! Although we feel the strippings of removal from works to reward of our well known friend George G. Macy, who usually sits at the head of our meeting, we were thankful for the presence of our ancient friend Henry J. Powell to be as one of the fathers over us at this time.
The meeting soon settled into a solemn silence, known perhaps to but few outside of the Society of Friends. Our friend Mary Hudson, from Chatham, broke the silence, and she was followed by James C. Stringham, from Crum Elbow, George T. Powell, of Ghent, Mary C. Blackburn, of Maryland, and Jacob Capron, of New York. It was precious to feel that the Divine Master was known and felt in our annual assembling together at this place, and to hear the many testimonies borne by our different members, each evincing a love for the cause of truth and righteousness in the earth.
The business meeting was conducted in much love and harmony. We were encouraged in the attendance of our religious meetings, by Jacob Capron, and some good advice upon the subject of Temperance was given by George T. Powell.
VISITING IN BUCKS QUARTER.
Further labor in Bucks Quarter was continued, in accordance with the arrangement made at Middletown, as stated in last week's issue. Anne S. Clothier left on Second-day to go home and attend Philadelphia Quarter. Watson Tomlinson went on Third-day to attend a funeral at Abington, and to attend Abington Quarter on Fourth and Fifth days. Their places were taken by Charles and Harriet E. Kirk, who with JOSeph B. Livezey, Elmira Twining and Barclay Knight attended the seven monthly meetings, commencing at Buckingham on Second-day. They also attended appointed meetings as follows: At Carversville, Second-day afternoon; Lambertville Third-day evening; Makefield, Fourth-day afternoon; Yardleyville, Fifthday evening; Edgewood, Seventh-day evening; and
Pennsbury, First-day afternoon, all of which meetings
were well attended and were interesting and satisfactory. The smallest meetings were those at Falls and Bristol, the largest was at Newtown. Joseph Powell joined the committee on Sixth-day at Middletown, and remained with it two days. Watson Tomlinson also rejoined it at that meeting, and continued in the labor until the close on First-day afternoon. It is acknowledged on all sides that the labors of the committee were commenced and pursued in the life, and we trust that the fruits will be good. On Second-day, the 10th, Joseph B. Livezey and Watson Tomlinson were engaged in visiting families in the limits of Middletown with the prospect of continuing that labor on Third-day, and they expected to be at Wrightstown mid-week meeting on Fourthday. Wrightstown is the mid-week meeting which has applied to the Quarter to be discontinued, but it is hoped that their labors, with those of other members of the committee, will be the means in the Divine
hand of averting that conclusion. IsAAC EYRE. Newtown, Pa., Eighth month 10th.
COMMITTEE VISIT AT STROUDSBURG.
Four of the sub-committee for Abington Quarter, (of the Visiting Committee for Philadelphia Yearly Meeting), visited Stroudsburg, Pa., on the 9th inst. The morning meeting was well attended, the spoken word received with marked attention, and the Occasion was felt to be a very impressive one. In the afternoon a conference was held with a diminution in numbers compared with the morning meeting, but much interest was manifested. If thought is but aroused regarding our religious and social duties as a Society, the efforts of the committee will not be in vain.
HOW beautiful is the rain |