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been of service to him." Thus ended this affair, and Isaac said, " he could not think hard of his brethren in doing what they did, though he could not then see that he had missed his way, in delivering that prophesy:" thus shewing forth a lively instance of a warm zeal, tempered with a due regard to the sense and advice of his brethren and elders, and the unity of the church, which doubtless tended to his own comfort and preservation.
When I heard of it, I took it so much to heart, that it was almost too much for me, and a concern came upon me to go to London with the like message, but with this caution; first, to advise with some faithful brethren before I delivered it. And I wrote to Isaac to let him know it, which gave him great ease. Accordingly I went to London, and got sundry brethren together, viz. James Dickinson, J. Bowstead, Peter Fearon, B. Bangs, Robert Haydock, and some others, and gave them a plain and honest account how it came upon me, which was not till after I heard how my dear companion was returned home from Bristol; adding, that I had acquainted Isaac how it was with me, that he might know my sympathy with him. The Friends seeing what he had wrote, found there was a strong sympathy between us, and very justly supposed that to be tha, moving if not only, cause of the concern I was under, and very tenderly advised me to keep it in my own breast, till I found how the Lord would order it; for if he was the author I should find more of it; if not, it would die of course : but if I found it grew upon me, I should let any of them know it, and they would consider what steps to take in a matter of so great consequence, as going forth in a prophesy of that nature. And the fatherly kindness they shewed me was very effecting to me, one or other of them making it their business to visit me every day; and, as they said, I found the concern went off, and I became easy without publishing it.
After this I had divers very acceptable opportunities in London, during the time of the YearlyMeeting, and afterwards visited Friends towards Leeds in Yorkshire, and in my way thither had very agreeable service in both the counties of Leicester and Nottingham, and at sundry other places.
From Leeds I went to the Yearly-Meeting at York, which was very large, and many public Friends; but I was hid as it were, and made very little appearance at that meeting.
■ From thence I travelled homewards, visiting Friends as I went, and was gladly received by them. And I found my ministry very acceptable; as it increased upon me, I was very humble and low in mind, knowing therein my strength consisted, and safety from temptation.
(To be continued.)
It sometimes seems to us a poor thing to walk in the common paths allotted to mankind. Yet
these common paths are the paths in which blessings travel; they are the ways in which God is met. Welcoming and fulfilling the lowest duties which meet us there, we shall often be surprised to find that we have unawares been welcoming and entertaining angels.
ACCOUNT OF WILLIAM HUNT.
A view of the religious exercises and labors of faithful Friends, has sometimes had a good effect in stimulating others to diligence in attending to the same divine rule, and minding the unfoldings of the same heavenly light, which enabled those worthies to run the race that was set before them with acceptance, and to close their pilgrimage with the brightest prospects of immortal felicity. That divine grace which appears unto all men, teaching us to deny ungodliness and the world's lusts, and that we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, will do little for us, unless we take heed to it, and strive to conform to its instructions; but when our attention is fixed on it, and our obedience to it keeps pace with its illuminations, we increase in the experimental knowledge of truth,—and advance from a state of weakness to a state of strength and establishment, from whence we are not easily moved. When this attention begins in the early, stages of life,—before we have been led astray by the captivating influence of worldly allurements,—of evil habits and injurious customs,—much difficulty is thereby avoided; and the mind is prepared to move forward in that highway to holiness which is opened before us, unshackled by the trammels of passions "wild and strong."
In tho life and character of William Hunt, of Carolina, we have a remarkable instance of the beneficial effects of early dedication to the impressions of divine grace. His parents were emigrants from New Jersey, and were connected in relationship with the Hunt, Harvey, and Woolman families, of Burlington county. They settled at Manoquacy, in Maryland, where William was born about the year 1733. It is related, that in his very early childhood he was sensible of the Lord's tender dealings with him, and when about the age of eleven years, he had remarkable openings in viewing the wonderful harmony of the works of creation. He appears to have been diligently attentive to these early illuminations; and when a little turned of fourteen years of age, he received a gift in the ministry.
In the history of Friends, divers instances of such early appearances in the ministry are noticed ; most of them, however, have been considered as rather premature. James Parnell, soon after the rise of Friends in England, was an extraordinary instance, in which the vigor of manhood was exhibited at the age of sixteen or eighteen, that was astonishing. He is represented as powerful in his preaching, and his writings are standing monuments of intellectual strength and intelligence. William Hunt was evidently in possession of an uncommon mind— and showed in early life much of the mental vigor of riper age. A friend who knew him well, says, "he appeared in the ministry when a youth, and his labors therein were of good savour." His qualifications were considered extraordinary—his wisdom was equivalent to long experience, and his unspotted character placed him on that eminence usually assigned to the experience of age. His preaching is described to have been "powerful and impressive," and he is reported to have said, when engaged in a religious visit, "that his concern was to be devoted to the service of Christ, so fully, that he might not spend one minute in pleasing himself"—and that his example was correspondent therewith. So careful was he to wait for the clear manifestations of the Divine will, and to move in accordance with it, that his ministry had a baptizing effect upon his hearers generally; and such was the interesting nature of his communications, that the audience listened with unwearied attention for two, three, and even four hours.
A few memorandums were preserved of parts of his public testimonies, which may furnish some idea of his manner of preaching.
Henry Post, of Long Island, states—" At a monthly meeting held at Flushing, in 2nd month, I 1768, William Hunt, toward the last of his testimony, when about to take leave of us, appeared to bo zealously concerned for his friends and brethren that kept men and women in bondage, signifying his mind travailed for their redemption—and expressed the following words: 'I verily believe the jubilee year is near at hand; and [ desire those that have them may not put it off for their children to set them at liberty; for we know not what our children may prove to be. Therefore I earnestly desire that none may put it off beyond the appointed time : for if they do, I am firmly of the mind t hey will be phigued, as sure as ever Egypt was for retaining Israel."
Robert Uratlin relates—"The 18th of 2nd month, 1770, at a meeting at Centre, in North Carolina, William Hunt in his testimony, which was extensive at that time, after earnestly exhorting us individually to examine our foundation whereon we had built, or were building, and in urging the necessity of such an examination, had the following predictive expressions: 'For,' saith he, 'the Lord will visit this land with his judgments, and then it will be known who hath built upon the sure foundation, and who hath not. For, in that time of deep trial, the hypocrites, formalists, and nominal Quakers will not only suffer, but many will perish and come to nought: whilst those who have built |
upon the sure Rock of ages will be preserved by him in the midst of those trials, as it were in the hollow of his hand. And there are many grown, and now within the audience of my voice, that shall see these times come to pass.'"
John Hunt, of New Jersey, mentions, at the Quarterly meeting at Haddonfield, 22nd of 3rd month, 1770, "William Hunt spoke in a most wonderful and powerful manner a long time.— His first words were—' There is a voice extends itself from the east to the west—to the north and to the south, and it proclaims the marriage of the King's son, and of the Lamb's war.' At a meeting at Evesham, the 31st of same month, William Hunt signified he was sensible of a greatanddark cloud that covered the people. 'He that loveth the world, the love of the Father is not in him,'—was part of the subject of his discourse. He also mentioned a belief that the time drew near in which the Truth would spread, and shine more gloriously; though there might be a time of probation and trial first—and he thought the man was grown that would live to see it." The 12th of 4th month, at Upper Springfield, he charged us to note it down, that he said he had but little hope of this present generation ; but it was his belief, the next generation would make a better progress in the Truth; and that he thought there were gome present who would live to see it. At a monthly meeting in Philadelphia, 26th of the same month, he told them that the man's part, or creaturely part, had no right to meddle wilh the business of the monthly meeting ; neither could it do any good. He said there was an appearance more like lawyers in a court of judicature, than a solemn assembly in a meeting of discipline.
The 1st of 5th month, 1771, William Hunt embarked at Philadelphia, with his intimate friend Thomas Thornburgh, as his companion, on a religious visit to Old England. His labors in that and the adjacent countries were satisfactory to Friends. In the 9th month, 1772, he died with the small pox, at Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
BENEFIT OF AFFLICTION.
The surest way to know our gold, is to look upon it and examine it in God's furnace, where He tries it for.that end, that wo may see what it is. If we have a mind to know whether a building stands strong or no, we must look upon it when the wind blows. If we would know whether that which appears in the form of wheat has the real substance of wheat, or be only chaff, we must observe it when it is winnowed. If we would know whether a staff be strong, or a rotten broken reed, we must observe it when it is leaned on, and weight is borne upon it. If wo would weigh ourselves justly, we must weigh ourselves in God's scales, that He makes use of to weigh us.—Pre$. Edwards. For Friends' Intelligencer.
And as to bowing at the name of Jesus, I understand it to be in the nature of prediction, that in the fulness of time all powers in heaven and earth shall be subjected and brought under the power of Christ, as the next verse imports, which is explanatory of the former, viz: that every tongue shall confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. Agreeing also with what the Lord Jesus himself saith, all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (Matt, xviii. 18.) And therefore this bowing towards a cypher, of the words Jesus the Saviour, painted upon a wall, whilst the heart and spirit of a man is not subject to the power of his grace, is but a mocking of Christ, a relic of popery, nud hath some show of idolatry in it, from which I thought all protestanta had been thoroughly reformed.
This a little surprised my acquaintance at first, coming from one in whom so little of the work of religion appeared outwardly; but as I remained in the diversions of fencing, dancing, music, and other recreations of the like sort, little notice was further taken for a while.
After this I happened to be at a christening (as we called it) of a relation's child; on this occasion I found my mind agitated in an unusual manner, and a secret aversion to that ceremony, which I perceived was not according to the Holy Scriptures, for we have neither precept nor example there for that manner of practice; and when the priest came to say the prayer, which is a part of the service on that occasion, a great fear and surprise came over my mind; (as I gave a more close attention than ^ usual) so I could not' pay that regard to it as formerly: for by way of introduction and foundation to the work, the priest reads part of the tenth chapter of Mark's history of the gospel, where it is related, That the people brought young children to Christ, that he should touch them ; that his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it he was much displeased, and said unto them, suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of Cod as a little child, shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his bands upon them and blessed them. After this they prayed, that God would give his holy spirit to that infant, that she being born again, and made an heir of everlasting salvation, through our Lord Jesus Christ, might continue the servant of God, and attain his promises. And after some more ceremony the priest said, we receive this child into the congregation of Christ's flock, and do sign her with the sign of the cross, &c. Then the priest pretending to the company that the infant is, by that Rantism, regenerated and grafted into the body of Christ's
church, exhorts them to prayer; the substance whereof was this: They thanked God that it had pleased him to regenerate that infant with his holy spirit, to receive her for his own child by adoption, and to incorporate her into his holy church, &c.
Upon this I note that the scripture there hath no relation at all to baptism, for the people brought their children to the Lord Christ, not to be baptized, but that he might touch them, and he answered the faith of the people accordingly, he blessed them, and declared their innocence and aptitude for the kingdom of God, without such baptism, and did not baptize them, so that this scripture is inapplicable, and all the consequences drawn from it, in this sense, null and chimerical. But they first praying that God, in their own invented way, would give his holy • spirit to that child, and that being taken for granted, as already done by that ceremony and prayer, they then receive the child into the congregation of Christ's flock, (as they say,) acknowledging that, by that baptism, that child is regenerated, and grafted into the body of Christ's church; and accordingly they make their-address of thanks to God for doing it. After this ceremony was over, I privately asked the priest, whether he did believe that that ceremony, for which there is not any foundation in scripture, either for making little children the subjects of baptism, signing them with the sign of the cross, promising and vowing in their names, believing and confessiugin theirstead,sp'rinklingthem only with water, &c, did really then, or at any time to come, regenerate those children? at which he only smiled, and said no; but it being an established order in the church, the practice could not be omitted. Why then, said I, you do but mock God, in giving him thanks for that which you don't seriously believe he hath effected, and the sequel of things proves there is no such thing done by those means; for true baptism is justification and sanctification, effected by the holy spirit of Christ in the mind, and not by the application pf any outward element, or external performance of any person whatsoever, under any qualification.
Nevertheless I continued in the national way of worship, though by the divine grace my understanding was still more and more cleared. About this time, (1688) the power of King James the Second was at the height, and all sects were indulged with great liberty; when John Scansfield," (a noted Quaker,) having by leave a meeting on a First day in the Town Hall, several young men, amongst whom I was one, went thither to hear what those Quakers had to say. There was a mixed multitude, and some of our sort, and company rude enough; but others and myself were resolved to give the best attention we could, in order to form a right judgment. Two Cumberland preachers spoke before John Scansfield, whom several of us knew, but their preaching had no other effect upon me than to confirm an opinion which I had conceived when I was a boy: that as a sort of people I had heard of, called Baptists, imitating John the Baptist, in washing or plunging their followers in water, who I believed, had not any authority from God for that practice; so the Quakers only imitated the Apostles, in going about preaching, as they did, but without that power which the Apostles were accompanied with and travelled in; and I thought it was great pity they were not so endued since I heard they took pains as if they were. One of these preachers (to me) had only a little dry empty talk, and the other was more lively, but straining his voice to be heard over the multitude he quickly grew hoarse, lost his voice, and so sat down. And then Scansfield, the stranger, from whom we had great expectations, stood up, and made a more manly appearance than either of the former. The first thing he did was to reprove the rudeness of some of the company ; and, in his preaching, falling upon baptism, amongst other things, and alleging there was no foundation for the practice of the Church of England, in all the scripture concerning that, he advanced this query: Suppose, said he, I were a Turk or a Jew, and should ask thee, what is the rule of thy practice in that point? aud thou shouldst say the scripture; and if I should desire to see that scripture, thou not being able to produce any, what could I conclude, other than that thou hadst no foundatidn for thy religion but thy owu imagination, and so go away offended, and prejudiced against the Christian religion? This agreed with my own former sentiments, and gave mo occasion to give further attention. But in the rest of his speech, he first run down the na-. tional church at a great rate, and then likewise the church of Rome, and there being many Irish, Popish, military officers present, and a couple of musketeers placed at the door, and the officers behaving so tamely, as no show of dislike appeared in any of them, many suspected Scansfield to be a Jesuit, and that his aim was to expose and run down the church, and what he said against the church of Rome was only the better to cloak his design; for the King and his friends and accomplices could support their religion by the power of the sword and other cruel aud forcible means; that being their usual method and practice: but there was nothing then to support the Church of England, but the truth of her own principles and the fortitude and stability of her members in the time of an impending danger and approaching trial.
Many of us left them when they went to prayer; yet I was apprehensive of a secret influence of a divine power and presence, in some degree among that people: but that impression did not remain long with me 'till renewed upon another occasion, which will be related hereafter.
The followiug are some of the many weighty expressions uttered by Ann Waring, towards the latter part of a long and tedious illness, which she bore with much patience and resignation, and which terminated her earthly existence on the 10th day of the 4th mouth, 1807, in the twenty-eighth year of her age.
Expressing herself to a friend one day, she says, "How iufinitely good the Lord is, how much he bears of us, and after our many offences will abundantly pardon and forgive, and in great condescension will take us to himself, and as he hath expressed," although our sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they be as crimson, they shall be as wool," saying, although mine have not been of the deepest dye, yet I have found much for me to do, and have got through ; my sins have gone to judgment before me; this 1 have a full assurance of, though it may look strange to a natural mind that lam so positive, yea; " though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil," for the Lord is good, he will wash us and make us clean, and will put away the evil of our doings from before his eyes. If the people generally knew what a rich rewardor the Lord is, they would be more engaged to do his will, for he is entreating them like a tender parent to leave every thing that will hinder their growth in the truth, aud to take up their cross and follow him, who is meek and low in spirit, whose ways are ways of pleasantness and all his paths are peace. But sorrowful it is to behold so many precious lambs stumbling at the cross, for if they would but willingly give up, hard things would be made easy, and bitter things sweet —where they thought there was no room for them, room would be made, and they invited in to partake of the good things of the kingdom, which are beyond description.
At another time she expressed the great satisfaction she had experienced in being a dutiful child, saying she never wilfully disobliged her parents to her knowledge, which now afforded her great consolation, her father assuring her that her conduct had ever met his approbation throughout her life, with many more comforting expressions. After he left her she said, I ever kept this great commandment as much as possible in my mind, ' Honor thy father and mother that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee,' and I found an attention to this injunction strengthened me in my endeavors to keep in readiness for the time when the messenger should say, 'Steward, give up thy stewardship, for thou must bo no longer steward.' She further said we must make a surrender of every thing that is near and dear to us, even though it should be as a right hand or eye, and dreadful indeed it was to reflect that any had so misspent their time as to be taken away in their sins,' for if the righteous are scarcely saved, where must the nicked and ungodly appear V Should mankind generally think more of thi» and give it its due weight, there would not he so much dissatisfaction as there is. One afternoon there came several young women to see her, who were much dressed, and light in their conversation, conversing on the various customs and fashions of the present day, which appeared very irksome to her at the time, and as soon as they took their leave, she in an humble posture clasped her hands together, saying, " I thank thee, oh Father, that thou hast been pleased to preserve me from the many snares and temptations which appear so prevalent, and that thou hast been pleased to be near and enable me to work out ray salvation, and that with fearand trembling ; and may it please thee, 0 Father of mercies, to continue with me to the end, well remembering that the battle is not to the strong nor the race to the swift, but to those who persevere in well doing
untotheend." Looking very expressively at
says,' I feel very thankful that I have the privilege of being so much retired, that I may commune with my God, and see whether I am thoroughly cleansed, and pray if there is iniquity in me that it may be done away, and that it may please Infinite Wisdom to strengthen me and enable me to press forward for the crown of glory, which is well worth our striving for."
She often expressed her desire that all her friends might be careful as to their conduct and conversation, fearing if they did not attend more closely thereto, they would find hard work when laid on a death bed, adding, "I have had some close conflicts, I have thought of the world and its many enjoyments, and almost felt a wish to recover, particularly when my endeared connections have been around me; then it was that I felt weak, wishing to enjoy their society longer, but when those eager thoughts have had a moment's rest in my bosom, and I neglected that inward Teacher which never errs, then I have known sorrow. I have had to go through nights of prayer on the occasion, but I am made willing to leave all, believing I shall go to a glorious place, whete there is no temptation, and where all tears are wiped away; as also my spirit is comforted in the love of God, well knowing he hath been good to me ; and it is a certainty that all men must be humbled and brought low one time or other; if they will not bow in mercy, they must in judgment;" adding," it is well for me that I have been afflicted, else 1 might not have known the things that belong to my peace, but now I cannot say I do not Know them, for I do, and rejoice in them, and my earnest solicitude is that all might come to live more in the fear of God, for ' the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.'
Atanother time she observed thatitwasagreat mercy that the Lord should visit us in our younger years and reveal his blessed truth, fur
ther saying," how good he hath been to me in my sickness; I have formerly felt much of his power and presence, but never was so favored therewith as since I have been visited with this sickness— that I can say, 1 Oh death, where is thy sting; Oh grave, where is thy victory?' there is no terror in death for me, I shall meet it rejoicing, and am almost afraid that I am too impatient for the hour—thy will, 0 Lord, and not mine be done."
One night after all were gone to bed, and she supposed all to be asleep, she addressed her heavenly Father nearly as follows: "Most righteous Father, if thou requirest my life this night, I freely give it to thee, and am willing to make a surrender of every thing; thou knowest,Oh Father, that the perishable things of this world are as drops to me when compared to the many good things which thou hast been pleased to reveal. Most adorable Father, if thou hast further work for me, I humbly supplicate thee to keep me where I am, for thou hast made my cup to run over, and 0 Father, thou hast taken away all my pains; I am as though I ailed nothing—thou in thine infinite mercies hath been a light to my feet, and a lanthorn to my path—how can I cease praising thee, thou God of power, who art worthy of adoration and praise forevermore." Then perceiving a beloved friend who was in her room not to be asleep, but weeping, she said "weep not for me, remember David and be comforted, for the tongue of men and angels cannot enough declare the wonderful greatness of God." Adding, " 0 Father, how sensible of thee, hast thou made me, thou hast strengthened me, otherwise I should not have been able to speak so much of thee; with thee, 0 Lord, is fulness of joy, and at thy right hand, are rivers of pleasure forevermore."
At another time, speaking of the parable of the ten virgius, she observed the necessity there was of keeping upon the watch tower, that whether the bridegroom should come at midnight, cockcrow, at the dawning of the day we might be ready, and expressed a sincere wish that her friends might dwell in love one with another, walking in the ways of true wisdom, that they might grow up as pleasant plants in the garden of the Lord—so would the dew of life more and more descend upon them, and when they should come to the period of their days their reward in him would be sure—much wishing for the encouragement of those who were settiug their faces Zionwurd, and for their perseverance in good things, often expressing that the Lord would not leave those who sought him in sincerity—observing that she thought the encouragement was very great to any hungry or thirsty soul—for if an hungered, the Lord of life and glory would feed them with the hidden manna, if thirsty, would give to drink of the pure waters of life, of which whomsoever drinketh shall thirst no more,