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$5000 TO INVEST AT 4: AND 5 PER
cent., in sums from $1000 upwards. City or
Country first incumbrances only.
HANCOCK & LEVICK,
For SALE –ONE OF THE FINEST FIVE.
IADIES * FINE SHOES, HAND-SEWED. ORders taken and executed with promptness. S. DUTCHER, 915 Spring Garden St., Phila.
M ONTGOMERY COUNTY MILK.—CONSHO- hocken Dairies. Special Attention given to serving families. Office, 603 N. 8th Street, Philadelphia, Pa. *...* JOSEPH L. JONES.
FRIENDS' SELECT BOARDING AND DAY SCHOOL,
NEWTOWN SQUARE, PA.,
UNDER THE JOINT CARE OF NEWTOWN SQUARE
Arrangements are being made to open a Boarding-School in connection with the Day-School now held at Newtown Square, Delaware county, Pa. The new building is approaching compleion, and is well adapted for the purpose. It is situated adjoining the meeting-house, in a healthy neighborhood, and will accommodate from fifteen to twenty boys and girls. The charges will be moderate, and care taken that the children shall have the advantages of a Friendly home care and oversight while obtaining a thorough education. Pupils will be prepared for either Swarthmore College, or Friends' School at Fifteenth and Race streets, Philadelphia, if desired. Circulars containing further information can be obtained from
The Friends' journal.
INTELLIGENCER. l Vol. XLII. No. 46. j
HOUGH, since that morning centuries ago, That dawned upon the advent of a King, Have countless millions lived and loved to sing His praises; yet all human joy and woe Is ever blest; for Christ is born again Anew each year within the hearts of men. —The Current.
SERMON BY J. W. PLUMMER.1
THE Scriptures present to us the statement that “there is a Spirit in man and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth him understanding.”—Job 32; 8. This declaration is borne out by many statements in various portions of the Scriptures, not only in Genesis but through the Old and New Testaments, none bearing testimony more pointedly to this truth than Jesus of Nazareth. Something more than two and a third centuries ago the Society of Friends arose to bear testimony to this truth, to bring it to the attention of the world at large, and to proclaim it as vital to all Christian life and growth. It is well for us as a society as well as individuals to frequently adopt the custom of the ancients in the East, when they were traveling through the trackless desert, who each morning as they rose and prepared for their journey “oriented themselves,” that is turned towards the East, or the light of the rising sun, to get their bearings and see whether they were going in the right direction; so with us as a religious denomination, it seems right that we should frequently question our condition and position to see whether we are holding to the truth that we profess, or whether we are departing from the straight path that leads to the truth. Returning to you from a visit of ministerial service in the sister meetings of our Yearly Meeting, and among isolated groups of Friends who hold this faith of an indwelling Spirit to which the inspiration of God gives understanding, I wish to present some thoughts that seem to be fitting for a body like ours, organized for the purpose of bearing testimony to this truth and giving it effect in the earth. Everywhere during the visit I met old faces anew, receiving greetings of hearty fellowship and Christian brotherhood, and yet in returning to you my friends, it is as to those whose hearts have throbbed in harmony with mine, to those among whom my purpose
1At Central Meeting of Friends, Chicago, on First-day, Sixth month 28, 1885.
PHILADELPHIA, TWELFTH MONTH 26, 1885.
JOURNAL. Vol. XIII. No. 674.
has been strengthened, and to the spot where my faith has grown firm and fixed; it is therefore with confidence that I present a brief outline of one phase of my experience in the visit, and ask your consideration for the thoughts occasioned by it and your fellowship in whatever work may result from the consideration.
Everwhere, it may be said, there was found something akin to hungering and thirsting after righteousness; even in neighborhoods where the first salutation was in substance that while personally glad to receive me yet with reference to society interests it was a hopeless visit, in effect saying, “We have dwindled away until there is no hope, our meeting cannot rally.” In some meetings perhaps four-fifths or more of the recorded membership were non-attenders and practically forgotten as members, while the few that gather at the meetings week by week in discouragement and hopelessness, seemed to constitute the society. In visiting here and there, as families and individuals came together face to face to consider the question that lay nearest our best interests, there invariably seemed to be a feeling of hope springing up, a feeling of renewed interest. After two or three days labor there would be a call to a meeting perhaps in some one's house. As the hour approached there would be, in the minds of some of those who constituted the regular attendance of the local meeting, the thought that “but few will be there and our friend will be discouraged,” yet not one room nor two, if in a private house, would hold those that came, and it seemed as though there was a gathering together with a new hope, a feeling springing up of cheer. Often when meetings were held with reference to sections of a neighborhood, expecting each to have its own meeting and attendance we would find almost the whole of the attendance at the earlier meetings added to those held later, and the interest growing, until, as the hour of leaving the neighborhood came, it seemed as though there was but one sentiment, and that of joy and gladness mingled with regret, as if saying “O that we could have a few more of these meetings such as we had to-day or last night, etc.; ” thus I became thoroughly convinced there was not a lack of interest in religious matters, there was not a lack of acceptance of the doctrines and principles of this society, there was not a lack of well grounded affection for the Society and its past history or wish for its future, and yet something was lacking after all.
These same people have resided within their respective neighborhood for years. Meetings have been held week after week, and still they have felt as described in the beginning of my remarks, discouraged, hopeless and waiting for a few years to close their meetings.
Ours and the other branch of the Society of Friends stand alone as the organized standard-bearers of this doctrine of a spiritual nature in man, to which the inspiration of God giveth understanding. Outside our Society, among the thinkers in the different churches and in the scientific world, there is a growing recognition of the truth of this principle, consequently there is growing need for an earnest, active presentation of it among men, because of the awakening of the Spirit of inquiry and religious interest, the evident desire to shun that which is simply superstition, false or wrong, and to find that which is true and will bear fruit in daily life, leading to the happiness and peace that our hearts desire. Standing, as I have, before those of other denominations, presenting as clearly as I could the distinctive principles of this religious body, my faith has been strengthened and hope increased by the evidence that the ministry and thoughtful membership of other denominations can perceive the truth as we see it and accept it, A's We gathered in Some of these meetings for joint labor and unsectarian worship, the responses to our presentations of religious truth, from those of differing profession from ourselves, gave comforting evidence that there is a ready acceptance for the vital truth in this fundamental principle, in most minds. As we look back for fifty years over the record of our denomination, and see the condition of its meetings during these years and realize that the fruitage has been small, that there has been no numerical growth, and we may say in many respects a comparatively small influence upon the work of communities, the query naturally arises: Are we mistaken in the power or value of our faith, or are we mistaken in our methods of presenting or manifesting that faith ? Why has it not produced that fruitage which the truth should produce, and which if properly held and obeyed, it always does produce? The experiences of the last few months, as well as what I believe to be the revelations of the spirit to my mind, have led me to the conclusion that this condition of affairs has been largely due to the fact that our faith has been only an intellectual faith, a something in which we have been educated by the hearing of the ear, and whose foundation has been the traditions of our fathers, it has not been, with the mass of the Society, a spiritual and experimental knowledge of our own as individuals; we have assented to it, but have not turned into our hearts to receive this divine inspiration and understanding; we have not properly thought to apply our faith to our daily lives, in its fulness carrying us beyond the lines of man's measure of justice, purity and love. We have not thought of the world at large as needing our help as professors of this vital truth. We have been satisfied to fulfil the round of our daily duties under the moral law, in an honorable and upright manner, and in church association have been
satisfied to fulfil the obligations that the church
placed upon us. In the degree that we have come to a personal knowledge of the operation of this divine power upon Our Souls, in that degree have our lives grown in the past, as they will in the future, in conformity with the teachings of this indwelling spirit, and have been made useful in carrying this gospel of glad tidings to others, and releasing them from bondage to sin, and unessential or injurious creeds or church laws. There seems to be nothing wanting thoughout the borders of our Yearly Meetings to create a rapid growth in membership and produce rich fruitage in each community excepting the nucleus in each meetof a few persons who hold this faith of the divine spirit or nature in man, to which the inspiration of the Almighty gives understanding, as an experimental knowledge received through the new birth or spiritual regeneration, as this brings the spirit of God into government in our Souls guiding us hourly, freeing us from all bondage and leaving us to do those things which shall not only make for righteousness in our own lives, but which shall lead us to present these truths to inquiring minds everywhere, by voice, pen and example, as the glad tidings of great joy to the whole earth. Granting the existence of such meetings in this or that part of the country, “held in the power of God,” dwelling under this power, yielding to its influences,
obeying its impulses, and we have all that is essential
to produce all those results that our hearts have been longing for during the past two or three generations. These thoughts are presented believing that they will meet the witness for their truth in your hearts, and that you can feel fellowship with me in this yearning desire that our society shall renew its earnest seeking, until it receives the inspiration and
understanding promised, that will make us a united
band, and, with wisely governed zeal, a power for righteousness in this land. Many of you I doubt not, understand the operations of this indwelling spirit and recognize its impulses in your souls. As you turn to it with the query, Lord, what wouldst thou have me do? I believe you will have the answering witness, and be prepared to fellowship one with another in doing such work as lies before us. No good thing is accomplished by man in this world, no good
thing was ever gained for the common welfare, without self-denial and Sacrifice. As we make these sacrifices willingly, many times daily because of our affection and love for one another in the family circle and for the family happiness and peace, shall we not as patiently, steadfastly though quietly, make such sacrifices as are needed for the progress of the truth which shall redeem the world from its sin and misery? Search your hearts my friends, and see whether there is not a spirit stirring within you that responds to this appeal, whether there has not been, as with the two who walked to Emmaus, another walking with you, who causes your hearts to burn within you with a higher purpose and a renewed zeal? Ilet our faith be so founded upon this eternal rock of revelation upon which the church is built, that our hope for the future shall be strong under the belief that God's power is equal to all needs, that He can enable us, small as our little band is, to do as David of ancient times, go forth in simple armor to aid in the overthrow of the enemies of righteousness everywhere. This awakening, this craving to escape error and the false, and find whatever is true, is in nearly all denominations, hence the opportunity for the Society of Friends is great. There is but one way in which this opportunity can be rightfully used and the results seen, that will justify our faith, and that is through individual searching for and obedience to this inward spiritual power, revealing the fuller, broader duty in our daily lives. As there is a reaching out of the heart, a desire to that God’s law may rule in the earth, a willingness stand as one of the laborers in his vineyard, leaning on him through his Christ within, to determine what our proper labor is and how and when we shall serve him; as we awaken to this desire to carry the glad tidings in some way, he will call us one and all, each into his proper place. As we are there true to the convictions he makes upon our minds, fulfilling every duty “as unto God,” we shall be found standing united, heart to heart, doing our differing duties in different ways, but all aiding in gaining the one common purpose, the honor of “Our Father” through the perfection of his law as manifestin our work. I pray that this little body gathered here this morning, known as the Central Meeting of Friends, may hold its place in this advance which must come through us as a denomination or through the arising of other people to bear testimony to the truths we hold, for God’s purposes will not be stopped by the lukewarmness or disobedience of any person or sect. Let us then question our hearts carefully to see whether we have individually fulfilled our duty in purifying and strengthening our lives for our part in this grand work, the redemption of souls from sin and the bondage to sin. When this is done, as there comes before us as a body an opening for usefulness, we will be ready for the service and be qualified to sow the seed in waiting ground, and aid in reaping the harvest in its season. Let us turn our faces from all the traditions, customs and habits that have hindered us, changing nothing without cause, yet giving them no power over us, in opposition to the understanding which the first inspiration of God gives to us. Acknowledging no master except the “Christ within” bringing us directly into communion with “Our Father” that we may hear and obey his will. As we do this in all faithfulness we shall find that there is no custom, no habit that still has vitality in it that will not be retained, and that whatever changes come will be changes without a jar, changes that we scarcely realize, because there will be a fitness in all things as step by step is taken in obedience to and in fulfilment of the divine will concerning us. Having spoken of some of the discouragements among us in our various meetings, I may say that there are meetings in which there is a living recognition through personal experience of this indwelling power, bringing life and growth; the star of hope shines down upon these little bands, as they gather in, those who stand without the doors. Contrition
of hearts and dedication of lives has been witnessed in the future, when there is an awakening to the immediate revelation of God’s power in the soul. I pray for us all my friends, for the increase and development of our spiritual strength to enable us to follow up this work, that our members everywhere may turn to this spirit within, hold this faith through living experience, and so form their lives on it that they may be lives of grandeur and nobleness, lives worthy of God's children endued with his wisdom. §
There may be times when it seems as though we Were being asked to be fools for Christ's sake, yet as We are obedient to all his revelations we shall find that it has not been foolishness, but wisdom that excels man's wisdom; we shall find a fitness in all God's creation, we shall see the heaven of “our Father ” arise in our spiritual sight; we shall see more and more of it as we increase in the knowledge of God; we shall comprehend more and more of his truth and realize that it has been well with us that We have held this faith. Then we can look back to the days of our doubt, the days of our wavering, with thankfulness that we were turned in the right way with thankfulness that there was a power that led us into obedience, and brought rest and peace to all these inquiries, that had not contentment because they had not found the way to the peace that passeth all understanding. This unrest is felt throughout our own borders in a remarkable degree, and nowhere more than among those that seem to stand as indifferent to our religious Society, and who seem lost to it. In these hearts as much as elsewhere there is this craving for truth, peace, and spiritual rest, crying, “Oh, if there is a truth in any of these things, that my heart might know it, that I might come to the place of safety, to the place of purity and truth, that my life might be a life of content, a life that knows that which fully satisfies the heart.”
As we are faithful my friends, I believe the day is not far distant when there shall be an arising, a growth in members and power, a rallying to this central faith which shall aid in the redemption of our land. There is in this faith that which harmonizes Science with religion, that which satisfies the intellect and will not let us hunger and thirst in the future, as we have in the past, without being filled. May we be Constantly watchful and thoroughly obedient, helpful to one another in all good, and in no wise doubting to despair.
Should we turn aside, leaving our work for others to do, the old experience will be ours as a denomination, discouragement will cover us, the heart will not be satisfied, and we shall be scattered in the earth. Moreover we shall go down to the grave believing that life has been a failure, as it always is when not lived in obedience to the divine law. The world is not bettered for our having lived except in So far as we have done righteously, but if we live righteously, and thus fulfil the law of God, we glorify him in the evidence our lives give that human happiness is increased thereby, and that his law is perfect, converting the soul.”
IT is well to think well; it is divine to act well.
THOMAS ELL WOOD AND JOHN MILTON."
66 WHEN I was a boy I had made Some good progress in learning, and lost it all again before I came to be a man; nor was I rightly sensible of my loss therein until I came among the Quakers. But then I both saw my loss and lamented it; and applied myself with the utmost diligence, at all leisure times to recover it; so false I found that charge to be which in those times was cast as a reproach upon the Quakers, that they despised and decried all human learning, because they denied it to be essentially necessary to a gospel ministry, which was one of the controversies of those times. But though I toiled hard, and spared no pains to regain what I had once been master of, yet I found it a matter of so great difficulty, that I was ready to say, as the noble eunuch to Philip in another case, “How can I unless I have some man to guide me?” This I had formerly complained of to my especial friend Isaac Pennington, but now more earnestly, which put him upon considering and contriving a means for my assistance. He had an intimate acquaintance with Dr. Paget, a physician of note in London, and he with John Milton, a gentleman of great note for learning throughout the learned world, for the accurate pieces he had written on various subjects and occasions. This person having filled a public station in the former times, lived now a private and retired life in London, and having wholly lost his sight, kept always a man to read to him, who usually was the son of some gentleman of his acquaintance, whom in kindness he took to improve in his learning. Thus, by the mediation of my friend Isaac Pennington with Dr. Paget, and Dr. Paget with John Milton, was I admitted to come to him, not as a ser
vant to him (which at that time he needed not) nor
to be in the house with him, but only to have the liberty of coming to his house at certain hours, when I would, and to read to him what books he should appoint me, which was all the favor I desired. But this being a matter which would require Some time to bring it about, I, in the meanwhile, returned to my father's house in Oxfordshire. I had before received directions by letter from my eldest sister, written by my father's command, to put off what cattle he had left about his house, and to discharge his servants; which I had done at the time called Michaelmas before. So that all the winter, when I was at home, I lived like a hermit all alone, having a pretty large house and nobody in it but myself, at night especially; but an elderly woman, whose father had been an old servant to the family, came every morning and made my bed and did what else I had occasion for her to do, till I fell ill of the small-pox,and then I had her with me and the nurse. But now understanding by letter from my sister that my father did not intend to settle there, I made off those provisions which were in the house, that they might not be spoiled when I was gone; and because they were what I should have spent if I had tarried there, I took the money made
1 An extract from Thomas Ellwood's autobiography.
of them to myself for my support at London, if the project succeeded for my going thither. This done I committed the care of the house to a tenant of my father's who lived in the town, and, taking my leave of Crowell, went up to my sure friend Isaac Pennington, again; where, understanding that the mediation used for my admittance to John Milton had succeeded so well that I might come when I would, I hastened to London, and in the first place went to wait upon him. He received me courteously, as well for the sake of Dr. Paget, who introduced me, as of Isaac Pennington who recommended me ; to both of whom he bore a good report. And having inquired divers things of me, with respect to my former progression in learning, he dismissed me, to provide myself such accommodations as might be most suitable for my future studies. I went therefore and took myself a lodging as near to his house, which was then in Jewin street, as conveniently I could; and from thence forward went every day except the first day of the week, and sitting by him in his dining-room read to him in such books in the Latin tongue as he pleased to hear me read. At my first sitting to read to him, observing that I used the English pronunciation, he told me if I would have the benefit of the Latin tongue, not only to read and understand Latin authors, but to converse with foreigners, either abroad or at home ; I must learn the foreign pronunciation. To this I consenting, he instructed me how to sound the words; so different from the common pronunciation used by the English that the Latin thus spoken seemed as different from that which was delivered, as the English generally speak it, as if it were another language. I had before, during my retired life at my father's, by unwearied diligence and industry so far recovered the rules of grammar, in which I had once been very ready, that I could both read a Latin author, and after a sort, hammer out his meaning. But this change of pronunciation proved a new difficulty to me. It was now harder for me to read than it was before to understand when read. But “Incessant pains the end obtains,” And so did I, which made my reading the more acceptable to my master. He, on the other hand, perceiving with what earnest desire I pursued learning, gave me not only all the encouragement, but all the help he could. For, having a curious ear, he understood by my tone when I understood what I read and when I did not; and accordingly would stop me, examine me, and open the most difficult passages to Ill 62. Thus I went on for about six weeks' time, reading to him in the afternoons; and exercising myself with my own books in my chamber in the forenoons, I was sensible of an improvement. But alas! I had fixed my studies in a wrong place. London and I could never agree for health ; my lungs I suppose were too tender to bear the sulphurous air of that city, so that I Soon began to droop ; and in less than two months' time I was fain to leave both my studies and the city and return to the country to preserve