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So through the chambers of our life we pass, And leave them one by one, and never stay,
Not knowing how much pleasantness there was In each, until the closing of the door
Has Sounded through the house, and died away, And in our hearts we sigh, “Forevermore.”
For Friends' Intelligencer and Journal. CHAPPAQUA CENTENNIAL PAPERS.—III.
[At the Centennial Commemoration at Chappaqua, on Eighth month 8th, essays suitable to the occasion had been prepared and were read by three young Friends, Jennie Washburn, Jonathan C. Pierce, and Mary Ella Weeks. Two of these are given in full below, and the third, for which space could not conveniently be found this week, will appear hereafter.—EDs.]
T the conclusion of the reading of the essays, Aaron M. Powell gave a very interesting address on the “Lessons of the Century,” contrasting one hundred years ago with the present, in the great march of improvement, and expressing the hope that as the last century had witnessed the enfranchisement of the slave the coming one might witness a still greater deliverance and emancipation from the bondage of intemperance. A series of five minute speeches concluded the exercises, in which the following Friends addressed the meeting: Aaron Sutton, of Nine Partners, who acquired a membership in this monthly meeting by birthright over 92 years ago; Thomas Foulke, John L. Griffen, Richard Lawrence, and Samuel B. Haines, of New York City, and Edward Ryder, of Quaker Hill. After a brief period of silence the meeting adjourned. One of the pleasant features of the occasion was the presence of so large a company of aged Friends,
a number having celebrated their golden weddings, and one couple, Daniel and Mary Tripp, of Purchase, had passed the 62d anniversary of their marriage. Altogether the occasion was a very pleasant and we trust profitable one. It was inaugurated and carried forward by Chappaqua Monthly Meeting, which appointed a committee to take charge of the same and report to the next monthly meeting. R. S. HAVILAND.
F by a magic art we could lift the veil which so effectually shuts out the scenes of the past from our mortal eyes, how glad would we be to avail ourselves of the privilege. Through such a medium, we would see a novel sight were we to be taken back one hundred and ten years and set down on this identical spot. With difficulty we convince our incredulous minds that this is really the same place where we have so frequently met our Friends on Fifth and First-day mornings. Everything appears so strange | Not a familiar house do we see, but instead, in Some instances, a humble dwelling occupies the same site. In the midst of a grove of trees stands the plain little unpainted meeting-house. It is a meeting morning, and we see a queer procession wending its way toward this one point of interest. Some of the people walking, some mounted on horses, with occasionally a second person on the lintel of the saddle behind. They all look very sedate as they assemble; the men dressed in their plain-cut homespun suits and broad-brimmed beavers; the Women, and even the little girls wearing caps and the plain Scoop bonnets. As it is cold weather they soon gather about the cheery fire in the spacious fire-places to limber their benumbed fingers and toes. This being the only means of warming the house, they burn their faces while they freeze their backs. While the people are gathering we hear friendly greetings passed from one to another, and much talk of a new house as this has become entirely too small to accommodate the concourse of people which comes together on First-days. We also hear of new meetings being established in different places, and great rejoicing over the continued spread of “Quakerism.” Meeting time approaching, we will sit
down with these ancient Friends and see if we can divine the reason of their power over the minds of those who come in contact with them. We do not
sit long in silence before an aged Friend arises, trem
bling with emotion, and gives utterance to a few simple words, not grammatically formed, but having such force as to carry conviction with them. Others follow, seated in all parts of the house, and of different ages, from the bashful young man and maiden to the octogenarian. All have a message from the Fatherto give to the assembly, and these are received with such eagerness as to leave no room for doubt in our minds of the sincerity of the profession of these people that they are led by the Spirit of God. Thus the vision ended. The time to which I have alluded, a little over a hundred years ago, was a prosperous time with Friends. The meetings were then being set up that have since been laid down. A larger meeting-house was built at Chappaqua, in order that all might find seats within doors. . The old one was removed two miles to the southeast, where it still stands, being now used as a barn. The new building was nearly finished when the Battle of White Plains was fought, in 1778. While the roof was being shingled, the heavy cannon were distinctly heard by those at work. In the retreat the American army passed near this place and left some of its wounded soldiers to be cared for by the Friends of this vicinity, who consented to turn their new meeting-house into a hospital. When horse sheds were first built it was with the idea to furnish shelter for horses only ; when wagons came, they must stand without cover. Those first wagons ! how uncomfortable they must have been They were called bolster wagons, not from any resemblance in ease to a feather bolster, but because they were entirely without Springs. The inconveniences to which our grandfathers submitted can now scarcely be imagined. Think of taking a ride of forty miles or more in a lumber wagon, or on horseback, with no umbrella or goSSamer waterproof for protection against a driving rain, or even walking, as we have heard of one woman doing, going from this neighborhood to Oblong to attend a quarterly meeting. Such experiences must have thoroughly prepared them to enjoy the good monthly and quarterly meeting dinners which they had even then ; for Friends have always been noted for their hospitality. Those were the days of spinning wheels, when people raised flax and spun it into cloth. Homespun was worn altogether by the men. The women, also, were compelled to practice selfreliance, and were equal to emergencies. My greatgrandmother, who was a member of this peaceful Society, twice crossed the American line with a female companion, both on horseback, while the British had possession of New York city. This expedition was undertaken to procure necessaries for her family, and was successfully accomplished. Getting an education was another almost unsurmountable difficulty in those days of hard work and
few privileges. To supply this want, about eighty |
years ago, a school was established on First-days in this house. Here children who had no other opportunity of learning, were taught the rudiments of an education. - 3r This meeting-house originally stood in a grove. Now, but two or three remain of those old trees which stood as sentinels for a hundred years or more. One by one we have seen them cut down, and felt each time as if parting from a dear friend of our childhood. Those which are left we cherish with a feeling of veneration and look upon them as relics of those good old times of which we have heard our grandfather's talk. Let them be to us living emblems of the storms through which our beloved society has passed. These walks have witnessed very striking scenes. Devoted at first to the care of the sick and wounded many Souls may from here have taken their flight. In accordance with the old-time custom, to how many marriage vows has this place given solemnity. What a host of bereaved hearts have come here to say farewell to the lifeless remains of dear ones. What Soul-stirring sermons have come from the occupants Of these upper seats, many of whom have long been silent. The incidents of the past century would furnish material for a poem. May the sequel be worthy of those who laid the corner-stones of our monthly meeting one hundred years ago;
“And cast in some diviner mould, Let the new cycle shame the old.”
A FEW SCATTERED THOUGHTS CONCERNING THE SOCIETY OF FRIENDS,
BY MARY ELLA WEEKs.
CENTURIES had rolled away; man had endeavored to grasp the sublime in theology, but to find it slip from beneath his touch ; hosts of spiritually-minded reformers had striven to draw the people from the corrupt rut of the past; but not till the seventeenth century did that simple faith dawn upon the minds of the children of men; that simple faith that has like a fragrant rose infused its odor in every Christian church. As air differs from atmosphere, so religion differs from theology. If man were to bear in mind this nice discrimination there would doubtless be less bigotry creeping in among the purer and higher thoughts. This narrow-mindedness destroys the enlivening influence of Society as the worm destroys the leaf which fertilizes the flower. No Society has more work to accomplish and a broader field in which to do that work than the Society of Friends. Every individual member should be willing to do his or her part in this elevated field of spiritual labor, that thus each effort united as a whole may lay the firm foundation of so grand an edifice that every eye beholding it shall say, It is truly well built. The influence of Friends has been more widespread than the Society itself has ever realized. In localities where this spiritually-minded people have predominated, and years after their ascendency has fallen, will be found a Friendly element existing unconsciously among the people; an element that has tended to mould the minds of the frivolous and gay into deeper channels of thought. Woman was once but a toy, a doll to be fondled, to-day she is a helpmate, equal if not superior in her sphere of action to the man. This great development is largely due to the influence of Friends. They have pleaded not only for the equality of the sister, but they labored long and well for the freedom of our colored brethren. At the present day the temperance reform claims their attention, so from the foundation of the Society we notice their united efforts with others in every great and important work. When we lift the veil of the past and make thorough research into the writings and teachings of the ancients, we discover in the written word of Socrates that great effulgence of spiritual light which fully accords with the life-giving power of our Society. Cicero said that “the philosophy of Socrates came from Heaven down to earth and introduced it into the cities and houses of men, compelling men to inquire concerning life and morals and things good and eyil.” In all the great churches of the world there will undoubtedly be found a failure in many respects, of attaining their highest standard. If in the religious body of Friends one error is more manifest than another, it is doubtless their remissness in clearly setting forth their principles before their children and those unacquainted with the testimonies of Friends. We are accused of locking our religion up and keeping the key ourselves. As the botanist loves his flowers the more dearly beeause of a thorough knowledge of their little intricate parts, so we with a clear understanding of our principles are brought more deeply to feel their intrinsic value. If any religious faith fails to bear such an analysis it is not worth the maintaining. “Mind the Light.” How many times has this injunction been re-echoed from these galleries, how many times have we, as children, listened to it with inquiring minds and to our inquiries ever found the following explanation—as the light of the outward sun illumines the day, so the light of this inward sun, which is Christ, illumines the Soul of man. The message which was received by this religious body, who call themselves Friends, is the same given to the apostles, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. Their great fundamental principle to which they bear testimony is that God has endowed every man who has come into the world with a portion of this divine light which, if obeyed, is sufficient to lead him into paths of glory. Looking back over the past history of this Society, it is gratifying to every human Soul interested in the welfare of the little band, to note its advancement. The facilities are now open to us for work in a broader field, and these opportunities must not slip from us unsecured for want of charity. “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three, but the greatest of these is charity.” Bigotry may happily be counted as a thing of the past. The pendulum, I trust, has ceased to sway in
either extreme, and is now vibrating with a regularity never before known.
For Friends' Intelligencer and Journal.
ISOLATED FRIENDS IN WESTERN ÁSTATES.
DURING a recent visit to meetings and isolated members of our society located in Nebraska and Kansas, I found several groups almost or quite large enough to sustain profitable meetings, yet feeling their weakness in numbers and lack of that self-confidence which leads to the acceptance of resonsibility beyond immediate personal duty. Scattered over these states are other families of Friends, desiring meeting privileges, but unable to have them except in connection with teaching, or services that do not satisfy their hearts. Many of these left their eastern homes to settle on the low priced but rich lands of the prairie states, either indifferent at the time to society interests or benefits, or in the expectation that others of like religious faith would soon settle around them, and aid in organizing meetings for worship. The object of this letter is to call attention to several of these little groups of members, who could, with slightly increased numbers and assistance, organize and sustain religious meetings under the authority of our society, and aid in turn the steps of others seeking western homes into these groups, rather than to points that will increase the number of isolated and religiously dissatisfied families that now dot these States. First comes Genoa, Nebraska, which, though organized as a monthly meeting, is yet small in its attendance and without a meeting house, except as they use the district school-house. At a meeting in the school-house during my visit there, I was told that 36 of the attenders were members of our Society though not all of Genoa meeting. Land here is apparently good, with plenty of room for more farmers; the town of Genoa seems thrifty and ought so far as I could judge, to be the centre of a thriving neighborhood of Friends and the source of a valuable influence throughout the State in behalf of our various testimonies. Isaiah Lightner, recently Indian Agent for the Santee Sioux, has erected a comfortable home on a farm near Genoa, and when free from his official duties and a working member of Genoa Monthly Meeting, will doubtless be a valued co-worker, with our friend Geo. S. Truman, who has so long borne the chief responsibility for this little meeting. May their labors bear rich fruitage. Correspondence regarding price of land, town lots, or lines of business, could be addressed to Geo. S. Truman or William Walton, Genoa, Nance Co., Nebraska. The next point on the route is Bennett, Nebraska, where I found nineteen members, fourteen being adults. There is also a still larger number of Friends of the various branches of the “Orthodox” faith, Some of whom sympathize quite strongly with us. Two meetings were held in this neighborhood to good Satisfaction, and an earnest interest in religious matters was manifest. At present the experiment of a union meeting every two weeks was being tried, but not with promise of full satisfaction, I thought. With prudence, a growing meeting might be formed here, and become another centre from which the simple, practical truths of the Gospel might spread, and to which home-seekers in the West could gather. Land is good, and so far as I could judge, the surrounding population was of good character for intelligence and thrift; the proximity to Lincoln, (eighteen miles distant), makes this a very desirable neighborhood. Correspondence could be had with Wm. L. Dorland or Eaton Shotwell, Bennett, Nebraska, regarding price of land, character of crops, markets, etc. The third point for notice is a small settlement of Friends in Jewell county, Kansas, near White Rock, Republic county. Here are four or five families of earnest young members located in as beautiful country as any we saw during the trip, and cheaper in cost per acre than in most sections visited. We saw much evidence of prosperity, and felt warmly drawn towards those visited, because of their earnest craving for “a Friends' meeting.” A few more families moving in would give them the needed strength, and they, our society and the community would feel the benefits. Address, Nathan, or Walker Vale, White Rock, Kansas, for any desired information regarding the neighborhood. The fourth, and last neighborhood to be mentioned at present, is Chanute, Neosha Co., Kansas, where we found twenty-three members, mostly adults, with sufficient experience and general qualifications, we thought, to open a meeting for worship. There seemed to be the same craving for meetings, and lack of that confidence which would lead them to organize without additional members or some one to lead, that we found elsewhere. A few more families settled in or near Chanute would give full warrant for a meeting, and bring cheer to the hearts of some of the craving ones now here, and strength perhaps to all. For especial information, address Wm. G. Smith, Chanute, Kansas, (being careful to use the “G.,” as three other Wm. Smith's get their mail at that postoffice.) J. W. P. Chicago, Eighth mo. 24
For Friends' Intelligencer and Journal.
CENTENARY OBSERVANCE AT WOODSTO WN. EVENTH-DAY, the 22d of Eighth month was observed as the centenary of Friends' meetinghouse at Woodstown, (Salem Co.), New Jersey. There was quite a large attendance from the surrounding country, and a few from Philadelphia, Chester and other localities. Asa Engle acted as clerk, and by his side sat Bartholomew W. Coles, now in his 101st year, who, excepting a slight dullness of hearing, seems to haye his faculties well preserved. Although he spoke of his sight beginning to fail, depriving him of the pleasure of reading, so excellent is his health that, to use his own words, he “had not missed a meal for five years.” After a season of silence the opening minute was read, followed by the reading of several poems and essays, together with an historical sketch of the meeting, which originated about 1719, and after various
stages as an indulged and preparative meeting was constituted a monthly meeting about 1795. This last change closely followed the proposal, which did not Seem satisfactory, of holding the monthly meeting alternately with Salem. The present meeting-house had been preceded by others and it also had been enlarged to accomodate the quarterly meeting. The establishment of the other meetings within its limits was likewise alluded to. An account of the early ministry of the meeting revived the memory of such worthies as Deborah Bassett and James Laurie, the weight of whose spirits seemed to have a solemnizing influence in the meetings they might attend. Extracts from the records showed the labors of Friends in the cause of liberating themselves from slavery and intemperance. In 1795 a quarterly meeting committee was directed to hold conferences on the latter subject in the various meeting-houses, which conferences were to be accounted in the place of their mid-week meetings, showing that Friends of that day were not so rigid in their ideas as to think that no deviation must take place from established order. Extracts from the ancient Discipline, copied from the records by direction of the Yearly Meeting, about 1761, for the use of the “Quarterly Meeting of Gloucester and Salem,” were compared with our present standard. The reading of the various productions during the two sittings was interspersed by brief appropriate remarks by Allen Flitcraft, of Chester, Pa.; John Parrish, Woodbury; Job S. Haines, Mickleton; T. E. Longshore, Philadelphia; Aaron Borton, Priscilla Lippincott, E. R. Holmes, and others. It was felt to be an interesting and profitable occasion. A letter from John G. Whittier, received by Lydia H. Norris, was read by Carrie G. Norris, as follows:
CENTRE HARBOR, N. H., 8th mo. 9, 1885. MY DEAR FRIEND:-Thy letter reached me here among . the hills where I am sojourning for a brief period. I can only say that I am glad that the 100th anniversary of your meeting-house finds it still occupied by Friends, faithful I hope to the vital principle of the Society—the Divine Immanuel—the voice of the Holy Spirit within. To this principle the thoughtful and devout of all sects are turning, and it would be sad to see professed Friends neglecting or ignoring it. Hoping that the meeting on your anniversary may prove a favored and profitable occasion, I am with love
and sympathy, Thy sincere friend,
JoBIN G. WHITTIER.
A letter was also received from the venerable Thomas Shourds, giving some statements concerning the families that constituted the monthly meeting at
its organization. J. M. T.
EARLY TEMPERANCE WORK OF FRIENDS.
C. MOON, of Morrisville, Pa., sends to the Bucks • County Intelligencer some extracts from the early records of Falls Monthly Meeting. This was one of the first settlements of Friends in Pennsylvania, some of them having come there from the New Jer
sey side of the Delaware, before William Penn's ar
rival. The minutes below, as appears from their dates, were begun about five years after Penn's coming. The use of liquor was at that time common amongst Friends as well as others. One minute shows that William Biles, who appears to have been a storekeeper, and also the treasurer of the monthly meeting, was ordered to furnish rum to a poor Friend and charge it the meeting's account. But attention was soon drawn to the injury which liquor did to the Indians, and the Friends, as appears below, acted promptly in regard to the matter. The minutes referred to are as follows: Second month 6th, 1687.—“Whereas, it's offensive to see the great disorders that arise amongst the Indians by reason of the rum that’s sold to them, and that Friends may keep clear of selling them any, or to any that are Indian traders, it’s agreed that Thomas Janney and William Yardley do speak with William Biles and caution him thereof.” Third month 4th, 1687.-“Whereas, at last meeting two Friends were oppointed to speak to William Biles about selling rum to such as sell it to the Indians. His answer is that it is not against the law, neither doth he know that it is any evil to do it; but, however, if Friends desire him not to do it he will for the future forbear it. It is the unanimous judgment of this meeting that it is a wrong thing to sell rum to the Indians, directly or indirectly, or to sell rum to any person, that the person so selling it believest it is to be disposed of to the Indians, because we know and are satisfied that the Indians know not how to use it in moderation, but most commonly to the abuse of themselves and others. * * * Agreed that Loynell Brittam do speak to William Biles again and acquaint him that it is the desire of Friends that he would be very careful and wary how he doth dispose of rum to such as sell it to the Indians.” The following minute shows that the Yearly Meeting, a few months later, took cognizance of this same evil. and recommended the subject to the care of all its branches. , Eleventh month 4th, 1687.-‘A testimony from the Yearly Meeting, held at Philadelphia, the 7th of the Seventh month last past, against the sale of strong liquors to the Indians, was this day read, and the advice therein, for the subscribing thereof, approved of, and therefore it's ordered that the monthly meeting book be brought to the next meeting that the said paper may be accordingly entered and subscribed.” The next reform step in this matter that we find recorded in this book is the following minute: Third month 6th, 1724.—“It is the sense of this meeting that the bad practice of giving rum at vendues is of ill consequence and should be discouraged.”
THE CHARACTER OF PRESIDENT GRANT.
Editors INTELLIGENCER AND JOURNAL :
I regret there has been no recognition in the columns of the INTELLIGENCER AND Journal of the
life and services of Ulysses S. Grant, a man from whose
public and private career all sects and conditions
may draw faithful lessons. His was the name of a
warrior, but in his heart was “peace and good will
toward all men.” He drew the sword, not for conquest or power, but for peace, and the preservation of the unity of a divided nation. He hated war and its evils; he loved peace and its fruits. When the sword was sheathed, and peace secured, his policy as President was to perpetuate it, both in our foreign and home relations. At the close of the rebellion, when our country was ripe for war with England, over the famous “Alabama Claims,” this man, whose words “let us have peace” had gone forth to quiet the passions of war and sectional hatred, gave his whole influence as head of the nation, for a just arbitration. Later, to the “International Arbitration Union,” at Birmingham, he wrote: “Nothing would afford me greater happiness than to know, as I believe will be the case, that at some future day the nations of the earth will agree upon Some sort of congress, which shall take cognizance of international questions of difficulty, and whose decisions will be as binding as the decisions of our supreme court is binding on us.” It was Ulysses S. Grant who first recognized the efficacy of the peace principles of Friends in dealing with the Indians. His conduct towards them was the beginning of tardy justice, and during his last illness he received a formal letter from a body of Friends, praising the wisdom of his Indian policy, and testifying to the good it had done. For the reason that he was in character, public policy and in his influence in private life, a man of peace, Friends owe him highest praise, and can draw many lessons from so great and magnanimous a life. o He was a typical American, the product of our own institutions. Born in obscurity, by his transcendent worth he became “the first citizen of the Republic.” He possessed an indomitable perseverance, and faith in whatever he undertook. To these were added force, integrity, genius for action, and, to crown all, great simplicity of character. When honors were showered upon him, he accepted them with modesty; and in no way did the admiration of his countrymen and of the world make him less worthy of praise. As he bore the successes of life, so also did he bear its reverses. With a calm and unshaken faith in the goodness of God, he met loss and failure, pain and death. Yet the bitter hours of suffering were cheered and brightened by daily evidences of the esteem and gratitude of his countrymen of all parties and beliefs; and by the knowledge that his great magnanimity in victory had caused foe as well as friend to admire him and to extend the hands of sympathy and love. History will ever record on one of its brightest pages his generous treatment of our vanquished countrymen of the South. And have they forgotten it 2 The beautiful tributes from those who were once his enemies are more eloquent than words can tell. Have we not cause to be thankful to God for the life of one, who, above all other men, stood as mediator between the disrupted sections of the country; by the memory and influence of his great deeds, bringing harmony and love of country out of rebellion, discord and sectional strife 2 His patience and Christian fortitude, his courage and