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wherein he pretended to prove the Quakers no Christians, out-of their own books; I had an answer thereto in print, which Friends were glad of, and I left with them several to spread where he had left his.
After we had dined, we took our leave, and a Friend, my guide, went with me, and brought me to a people called Labadeists, where we were civilly entertained in their way. When supper came in, it was placed upon a long table in a large room, where, when all things were ready, came in, at a call, about, twenty men or upwards, but no women. We all sat down, they placing me and my companion near the head of the table, and having paused a short space, one pulled off his hat, but not the rest till a short space after, and then one after another they pulled all their hats off, and in that uncovered posture sat silent (uttering no words that we could hear) near half a quarter of an hour; and as they did not uncover at once, so neither did they cover themselves again at once; but as they put on their hats fell to eating, not regarding those who were still uueovered, so that it might be about two minutes time or more, between the first and last putting on of their hats. I afterwards queried with my companion concerning the reason of their conduct, and he gave this for answer, That tbey held it unlawful to pray till tbey felt some inward motion for the same; and that secret prayer was more acceptable than to utter words; and that it was most proper for every one to pray, as moved thereto by the spirit in their own minds.
I likewise queried, if they had no women amongst them? He told me they had, but the women eat by themselves, and the rften by themselves, having all things in common, respecting their household affairs, so that none could claim any more right than another to any part of the stock, whether in trade or husbandry ; and if any had a mind to join with them, whether rich or poor, they must put what they had in the common stock, and if they afterwards had a mind to leave the society, they must likewise leave what they brought, and go out empty handed.
They frequently expounded the Scriptures among themselves, and being a very large family, in all upwards of a hundred men, women and children, carried on something of the manufactory of linen, and had a very large plantation of corn, tobacco, flax, and hemp, together with cattle of several kinds. [Hut at my last going there, these people were all scattered and gone, and nothing of them remaining of a religious community in that shape.]
I left this place and travelled through the country to Philadelphia, and was there seized with a fever and ague, which held me about thirteen weeks, and I staid there till the Yearly Meeting came on, which was very large, but my disorder of the ague would not admit my being
at one meeting; George Keith with his companions came, but the disturbance they gave was a considerable advantage to Friends, and the meeting ended to great satisfaction.
Being recovered and pretty strong, I left Pennsylvania, and travelled through the Jerseys east and west, and having given expectation to a Friend, one James Miller in Scotland, who had a sister married to one of the Barclay's family, that if I came near where she dwelt, 1 would visit her at his request. She wns a very zealous, honest Friend, but her husband joined Keith, and left Friends; and on enquiring about her, where she dwelt, I was told it would be very little out of my way. Then a young man offered to be my guide, to pay her a visit; and when we came to the house, there were sundry priests, with others, met to sprinkle an infant, the said Barclay's grandchild. The ceremony was over before we got there, we coming from Shrewsbury Yearly Meeting, where Keith also had been, but gave us no disturbance, nor did he come to our meeting at all, but held a meeting a small distance from us for two days, and then went off. Our meeting held three days, and was thought to be larger by much, in expectation that George Keith would be there. It ended well, and it was said some were convinced at that meeting.
Hut to return to my friend Barclay; she was in an apartment by herself, and gave me a fchort account of what they were or had been doing; saying, " they have sprinkled the babe my grandchild, and the ceremony is over, but they have not yet been to dinner ;" to which she added. "my husband will be earnest for thy company; if thou hast freedom to go, I shall lehrve thee at liberty, but if thou refusest to go, they will be ready to report that thou durst not face them;" adding," 1 would be pleased with your com pan v (meaning me and my companion) to dine witJi me, but it will be best, I think, for you to dine with them, and I hope, said she, the Lord will give you wisdom to conduct yourselves, that they may have no just cause to reproach the principle on your account." She had no sooner ended, than (as she had suggested) her husband came, and after some compliments, and enquiry about his brother-in-law James Miller, and relations at Ury, we were called to dinner, and by no means would he excuse me. We went in, and the mistress of the feast, the mother of the babe then sprinkled, would have me sit at her right hand, and set George Keith at her left. We eat all down, and after a short pause George Keith stood up with all the rest of the company, save me and my companion, we„kept our places, and hats on, while he repeated a long prayer for the Church and State, Bishops, and all the inferior clergy, the Queen, and Dutchess Dowager of Hanover, &c. The grace being ended, the mistress carved, and would serve me first; I would
have refused, and put it to George Keith, but he refused it likewise. When she had done helping us and herself, she began to catechise me in the following manner..
After enquiring about her relations at Ury in Scotland, and her Uncle Miller, she then desired to know my business in Scotland, pretending to suppose me a merchant that dealt in linen to sell in England; but I saw her design was to lead me to some unwary answer, for Keith and the rest to find matter of objection to. This put me upon my guard, to make reply cautiously; I freely owned I had no concern in buying or selling of any sort of goods. Pray then, sir, what was your call there? I replied, that I thought it my place sometimes to advise my friends and others, to endeavor so to live, that death, when it comes, might not be a terror to them; and doubt not but thou wilt count this a good work, and needful to be done. She readily allowed, that it was very needful, and the more so, for that the age was now very wicked. Then she proceeded to query the reason of my coming into those parts, pretending to suppose it was on account of trade, as being a supercargo, with sundry trifling and impertinent questions, as when I was in such and such places? To all which 1 gave her answers to the same effect as before, that my designed business was the same in this country as in Scotland. Then she proceeded to more trifling questions, as when I landed? and where? and which way I was going? All the company at the table gave ear to our dialogae, which appeared to me very weak in such a learned company as they thought themselves to be, and none so much as put in a word between us. Dinner being ended, I desired to be excused, for that time called me away, and my friends would wait for me at the ferry, which we had to pass that evening. Thus Keith and I met and parted.
(To be continued.)
must water it, the earth must nourish it; they can command none of these.—Banyan.
WORKING WITn GOD.
"Work, for it is God that worketh in you." This beautiful union of holy fear, and yet holy courage, of entire dependence upon God, and yet unabated and jealous "diligence to make our calling and election sure.'' is attainable only, nay, I might say intelligible only, to a spiritual mind. Mot that there is any inexplicable mystery in their connection; men are continually acting in the affairs of life in the same way. They clear the ground, sow their crops, go through all the toils of husbandry with unremitting diligence, and show they can do no more; they watch for the increase, they think of it, they talk of it with the deepest interest, while yet it is undeniable that they cannot make a single blade of wheat to spring up, or bear produce. The sun must shine upon it; therein
For Friends' Intelligencer.
From an ancient manuscript we extract the following account of the last illness of Esther Lewis. Many of the Friends mentioned therein are associated with pleasant memories. They have long since been removed, but the light reflected from their faithfulness in the path of duty, shines with undiminished lustre, and we point to it as an encouragement for others to press forward in the same heavenward journey, that their days may also be marked with usefulness and their end crowned with peace.
SOME ACCOUNT OF ESTHER LEWIS, FORMERLY FISHER, THE ELDEST SISTER OF THOMAS, SAMUEL R. AND MIERS FISHER.
Esther Lewis's last illness commenced in the latter part of the year 1794, and continued for several months. She was sustained in exemplary patience and resignation, and evinced unshaken confidence in the mercy of her heavenly Father, and often exhorted her near relatives to be faithful to what they felt to be required of them. The following is the conclusion of a detailed account of the last two months of her life.
12th mo. 28,1794.—This evening in the presence of her friend Cad walader Jones and her sister Lydia Gilpin, she requested her brother Samuel to take down from her own mouth a few lines relative to her steppings along through life, for the information and benefit of her near connections. She began as follows:
"I was visited at an early period of my life, about the twelfth or thirteenth year, with the dayspring from on high. Its powerful operation at that time often drew me to retirement, at which seasons I was frequently favored with a degree of the spirit of prayer, and was contrited, having the mantle of love as my covering—and this language often prevailed: 'Oh that thou would be mercifully pleased to suffer neither heights nor depths, principalities nor powers, things present or to come, to separate me from thy love and heart-tendering goodness. In this happy, innocent, tender state of mind, I continued, and used to long for meeting day to come, that I might go, and there be favored with the enjoyment of the divine presence with His people. And oh! then the bedewing seasons of heavenly regard were such that my spirit was often humbled under the consideration of his merciful condescension in thus visiting me. In this state, I was like a child dandled on the knees, having the breast of consolation frequently offered to me. This continued for several years, till I grew up to be a young woman. My disposition was volatile, and my company was much courted, and believing that the work was measurably done, and that I might indulge myself in freely going into companies, with my associates, (which though accounted inDocent, was a snare to roe,) those precious tender impressions were much dissipated. Many precious seasons of heavenly visitations are frequently revived in my remembrance, and under a clear retrospective view of my stoppings, I have a thankful and firm persuasion that I have been mercifully followed and cared for in a very singular and unmerited manner, through the tried and varied allotments of my life, even to this day. This often appears marvellous indeed, and has been a support and comfort in my low, stripped seasons."
Here some of her friends coming into the room prevented further expression at that time.
The following was taken down by S. Osborne, who attended her in her sickness—being spoken while she was confined to her bed.
"Oh Lord, do thou strengthen me to look at no other object but thee, and grant that I may bear my sufferings with patience."
She appeared several times to be in supplication, but her voice was so low, I could not understand her. At one time she said, " Oh how sweet it is to feel some little suspension of pain, but all we suffer here is nothing, if we do but find a resting place for that part that never dies. How necessary it is to improve our time, that we may find an admittance where there is joy for evermore." She very frequently addressed me in a very affectionate manner, and hoped that her sufferings might be a lesson of instruction to me.
1st mo. 20.—She was engaged in prayer nearly in the following words. "Oh most gracious and heavenly Father, do thou support and strengthen me through all my weakness, for weak I am, unless thou art pleased at times to bless me with thy life-giving presence; and ena^ ble me, Oh Lord, to offer at this time, as a sacrifice, a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Accept, most gracious Father, this my small offering, and sanctify it, if it be but as a turtle dove or a young pigeon.
"Oh Lord I offer the tribute of praise unto thee and thee only. Grant that 1 may be sometimes with thy servants, who are visiting from house to house the precious seed of life, and Oh Father, enable them to render honor, praise and thanksgiving unto thee. And, Father, I thank thee that thou art pleased to visit me sometimes with thy presence, and to enable rne to offer at this time the tribute of glory, honor and praise unto thee, who art worthy to be praised, worshipped and obeyed."
1st mo. 22nd.—About 4 o'clock this afternoon her brother Samuel called to see her, she having just passed through a hard spell of coughing, which left her very low. All present being silent, she broke forth in sweet supplication nearly in these words: "Oh that all my dross and everything that stands in opposition, or as a
strong barrier against the arising and spreading of perfect peace, may be done away, that the tribulated path, which in divine wisdom has been allotted for my refinement, may bring me into a state of full union with Thee, who hast often thus broke in upon me, a poor unworthy creature, after I have been much tossed, stripped and deserted, without any power or strength in hands or even fingers remaining, to fight this warfare of the soul."
In the evening she addressed one of her young connections by name, and spoke to her as follows:
"I have often by day and by night been engaged in earnest solicitude that thou might make choice of, and prefer above all things for thy counsellor and director, the God of thy father, grandfather and predecessors in the truth. Oh the beauty and the excellency there is in a religious course of life, and I have now to acknowledge in myown experience the tender mercies and goodness of my heavenly Father in every time of deep conflict. I have often lamented over the prodigal state, seeking to feed upon husks, when there was bread enough and to spare in the Father's house. Life is very uncertain—youth is the time, the most acceptable time to dedicate thy talents so liberally bestowed, even when prosperity smiles upon thee and the world courts thy friendship. This surrender would yield thee the peaceable fruits of a well spent life, and would be a treasure laid up in store against a day of trial, similar to what I now experience. It would make thee a shining example, singularly useful 1 in the family, and render thee dear to thy connections and cotemporaries, when the customs, fashious and maxims of the world will prove as a treacherous, yea, a very treacherous lover."
1st mo. 24.—After appearing in prayer, some of her relations being present, she requested them to put up their prayets with her and for her—and mentioning her poor weak state, she said, "I have often thought of what my dear father remarked, that when his weakness grew greater, his conflicts grew lighter."
This evening she asked for her two neices S. G. and H. L. F., and thus addressed them:
"I am glad to have you with me; I should rejoice in your coming up in greater obedience than I have done—then would you have great peace. My mind has been exercised on your account. May you consider a coming up in faithfulness as of greater consequence than any earthly enjoyment, and may every one of you I now present have a hope when you come to this j trying season, of a sure resting place."
She then requested her brother Samuel to write as follows:
"My mind is favored a little this evening with the incomes of heavenly love, which though often hidden from view, is, I humbly trust, at times near me. And when I am thus favored with a ray of that divine light, in which there is life, and witness that soul-sustaining comfort and consolation which the world can neither give nor take from me; then is my mind opened and expanded toward the dear younger branches of my family, for whom I have long been travailing, as with my hands on my loins, that it might please Infinite Mercy to visit them so effectually, that the visitation might be as a nail fastened in a sure place. Were my head waters, and mine eyes fountains of tears, then could I weep day and night for the younger branches of my own faintly, and for the descendants of believing, religious parents in general, whose minds I believe are often bowed before the throne of majesty and grace for the preservation of their children. May these come under the operation of the holy preparing Hand, which is about to work for them great things, provided they will make a full surrender, and be as clay in the hand of the potter, and be formed by him into whatever vessel he pleaseth. When all is thus left to Him, he will dignify and make them vessels of honor in his church and family, bearing the inscription of holiness.
Oh, the earnest supplication and prayer of my heart for those of my father's family, who are growing up or stepping forward into life, that they may be favored to see the beauty and excellency of true religion—that it is a treasure worthy of their endeavor to lay it up for themselves, and infinitely more desirable than an increase of corn, wine, or oil, in the outward. My mind is seriously impressed with deep anxiety for their preservation, under consideration of my own want of faithfulness in early life, whereby I might have ranked among the more exemplary, and been instrumental in leading the young in the right way. And though it seems, on account of my unfaithfulness, as if the crown had been taken off my head, I have at times been comforted under the hope, that it will be placed upon the heads of some of the children.
[To be continued ]
divine intention. If we fully follow him in all his leadings, the Lord's way would to many of us be a plainer path than we find it. Great is the advantage of faithful obedience; it sweetens every cup, and speaks peace to the soul. Unmixed sincerity towards God,is an excellent sweetener of all the cups we drink of, from the fountain of Marah ; but where the secret consciousness of want of true resignation and humble following on preys upon the mind, such cannot fly with boldness to the altars of God, where even the swallows have a place allotted. May best wisdom and fortitude be the clothing of thy mind, and peace, and the answer of "well done," be I thy portion forever.—Samuel Fothergill.
He in whose hands the winds are held, both the Southern gale and the Northern blast, hath caused the former to blow upon thee, iu the sight of the • many; and the northern gale of pinching and trial hath also blown upon thee, and demanded the sympathy of the few who, versed in the alternate revolutions of the Lord's year, praise Him for the summer's heat and winter's storms; for the stormy wind fulfilling his word was called upon, as well as the rolling stars of light, to declare his praise.
I have known times of sitting by the waters of Babylon, and weeping when I remembered Zion ; but when I have looked into the holy sanctuary, I have seen afflictions and sorrow are often more the result of our own conduct, than the
The security and happiness of the godly under the Divine protection.
He that dwelleth iu the secret place of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress ; my God; in him I will trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shall thou trust; his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night, nor for the arrow that flieth by day ; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noon-day. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand, but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked, because thou hast made the Lord which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation ; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling, for he shall give his angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt trencUipou the lion and adder; the young lion aud the dragon shalt thou trample under feet; because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me and I will answer him ; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and shew him my salvation.
Mistakes.—As one observes more and more, he accounts it of less importance to correct mere intellectual misapprehensions. Mistakes that do not involve pernicious errors of doctrine, and that have not energy enough to keep themselves alive, it is best to let die of neglect,
For Friends' Intelligencer.
A statement of the process through which his mind passed was given in his letters written in 1823.
"When a child I was delighted with military exercises and parade, and was chosen captain of a company of boys. For several years prior to the Revolution there was considerable talk of a war between Great Britain and this country. Before this I had heard of the Quaker opinion, and this was perhaps all I had ever heard against war. But when the prospects of a war with .. Britain became a topic of conversation, I had opportunity to hear the Quaker opinion not only expressed but vindicated by a neighbor who had beeu educated among Quakers, but was then a Baptist preacher. Though I listened to his arguments, I was little influenced by them, for my father and a multitude of others were on the other side of the question. During the two campaigns that I was in the army, I do not recollect that I had any scruples of conscience in regard to the lawfulness of the business in which I was engaged ; yet I was not pleased with the life of a soldier.
"Before the close of the war I was married and settled in Plymouth. Soon after this a minister was ordained in Thornton who was known as one who denied the lawfulness of war. In a short time after his settlement, I had a wish to remove to Thornton, but had some scruples in regard to sitting under the ministry of one who in relation to war held the Quaker principle to be correct. But as he was deemed a pious man, and was prudent in regard to urging his views on this subject, I concluded to become one of his parishioners. About the time the war closed, the minister put into my hands a book to read in which the principles of war were examined in respect to their agreement or disagreement with the precepts of the gospel. I have forgotten the name of the author if it was in the book. The work had a powerful influence on my mind, and though I did not feel convinced that defensive war was unlawful, my views and feelings on the subject became greatly changed, even in regard to trainings and every thing of a military character. I, however, still retained the idea that defensive war and preparations for war were necessary evils, and to be supported as means for preventing greater evils. I did not then understand tbat all wars are conducted in an offensive as well as defensive manner, nor that the spirit of all war is repugnant to the spirit required by the gospel, and exemplified by the Prince of Peace. My ideas on the subject were dark, perplexed and confused. After I became the minister of Thornton, I was regularly requested to pray with the military company when they met for training. This duty
I performed under the delusive impression, that being prepared for war was the surest means of preventing it; this was then the popular doetrine, in which I acquiesced. But in praying on such occasions I ever felt deeply that the business of war was horrible, and opposed to my own feelings as a Christian, and to the spirit which as a minister, I constantly inculcated. I used to pray that the business on which we met might be the means of preventing the necessity of oar ever again having occasion to resort to the use of military weapons. But long before I left Thornton I became fully convinced that* the military trainings and reviews were not merely useless, but exceedingly pernicious in regard to i the morals of the community; that they were in fact means of danger, and not of safety to the country. This opinion I freely expressed to the Colonel of the regiment, who was also a member of the State Legislature.
"The war of 1812 between Great Britain and the United States was the occasion of perfecting the revolution in my mind in regard to the lawfulness of war. 1 was residing in Salisbury when war was declared, and was for several months very attentive to the measures which i were pursued to exasperate the minds of the people, and prepare them for the horrid conflict. , I was well satisfied that our country had suffered j injuries from Great Britain, but I was also satis[ fied that these evils were exaggerated by the representations of our people ; and that the impressment of our seamen was not authorised by I the government of Great Britain. I regarded the war as having resulted from our own party contests, and the indulgence of vile passions ;— and on the whole as unnecessary and unjust. On the day appointed for national fasting, I delivered a discourse on the pacific conduct of Abraham and Lot to avoid hostilities between their herdsmen. The President had called on ministers of the gospel to pray for the success of our arms. This I could not do; and I deemed it a duty to assign my reasons for the neglect. This part of my duty I endeavored to perform in a manner both impressive and inoffensive. This discourse was published, but it gave offence to the advocates for the war.
"After removing to Thornton I had much opportunity to become acquainted with the baneful influence of the war spirit; and the more I observed and reflected, the more I was shocked with its barbarity and demoralizing influence, its contrariety to Christianity, and every benevolent feeling. In 1814 my mind became so impressed with the subject, that I resolved to make the inquiry whether the custom of war was not the effect of popular delusion. When I began to write, I aimed at nothing more than an article for the Christian Disciple of which I was then the Editor. But as I wrote, my mind became more and more interested, and instead of a short