« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
and the Meeting seemed to conclude under the uniting evidence of Christian fellowship; many dear friends expressing near sympathy with us, poor pilgrims, in our going forth, and G. D. closing with solemn supplication for the continuance of gracious protection.
"As no packets leave Harwich regularly, but on fourth and seventh days, our proceeding thither seemed not desirable till near the time; we therefore rested at our comfortable lodgings fifth day, and on sixth went to Manningtree where a Meeting had been appointed for ten o'clock; the house is small, and few Friends reside here, but it was pretty well filled with a solid, quiet, company, and was to me the best meeting since my leaving home,a time of enlargement in true love and productive of peace. After dining at a friend's in the town wo went on to Harwich, and had a meeting there at six in the evening; the house (a new small one) was soon filled with fashionably dressed people, and a considerable number were in the yard; they seemed rather unsettled in time of silence, but quiet when any thing was offered: my beloved S. G. and G. D. were afresh anointed with gospel oil, and I was comforted in beholding good work well done.
"My poor mind is under discouragement from various causes; remarkable anxiety has attended me for severaf days about home, and faith is indeed low, though I thankfully remember having been enabled to surrender all I have to the disposal of unerring wisdom.
"Seventh day, 22nd.- The wind contrary, and no prospect of sailing. I feel very low, and almost in danger of casting away hope.
"First day. So ill that I could not get up till about noon. Our company went to meeting, where I think only about seven attended. In the evening a solemnity covered us, under which dear G. D. revived the query put to the disciples, 'when I sent you without purse and scrip lacked ye anything? And they said nothing:' again, they that have left all, 'shall receive an hundred fold now in this time and in the world to come eternal life.' This seemed so peculiarly applicablo to my tried state, that while my soul was as though it refused comfort, I could not but taste a little renewal of hope. We just broke up when a summons to go on board was sent us.
"There being but little wind, and that not ;ite fair, we had a tedious passage, but were ored to experience holy protection, and landed it eight o'clock on fourth day evening at Helvoetsiuys, where we got to a clean inn, kept by two English women. While in the boat going on shore, a sweet calm covered my mind, accompanied by the fresh application of that gracious promise 'I will be to thee mouth and wisdom; this, after the tossiugg I had been tried with, for many days, tended to renew
my confidence in divine sufficiency and goodness.
"Fifth day, 27th. Left Helvoet this morning in a carriage wagon, and travelled on a very deep road—often in danger of overturning, to the Briel, here we crossed a ferry about a mile over, went again by land to another ferry, and thence to Maasslandsluys. In this place we seemed as gazing stocks to the people, many following us, though all behaved civilly, and had they understood our speech would probably have helped us. I felt, what I think was the love of the gospel, my heart being so filled that I could have spoken to the people as I walked along the street, and while in the house where we stopt to get a little refreshment; but I felt what I was, and who I was with, and had not courage to query whether we might not as well remain awhile; therefore with the heaviest heart I ever remember feeling at leaving any place, we went on board a treckschuyt for Delft, whence we proceeded to Rotterdam, and there got to the house of an English woman that night.
(To be continued.)
EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS WRITTEN BT SAMUEL FOTHERGILL, 1756.
A time of deep poverty and leanness, in which it hath pleased the heavenly Father, I should be much exercised since my return, might plead my excuse were I silent. But I wish to assure thee of my very near regard, however poor and worthless I am; and indeed, I think, at times, I see a wisdom unutterable in the most stripping times which are allotted, when we sit alone and hold our peace, for our houses would never be so carefully swept and searched, if we had the ten pieces \ of silver in constant possession and view. I am, I however, humbly content; I dare not complain; | it is not lawful. There is a just occasion administered by the inadvertence of the past, or for the instruction of the future part of life.
It consists with His wisdom, who is perfect in knowledge, to balance our steps in righteousness; He wisely ascertains the bounds df day and night; the hilly, rugged path and painful steps, the smooth part also of our race, are all dispensed in a knowledge too great for our present comprehension. Here may we- reverently acknowledge our incapacity for choosing ought for ourselves, and commit our all into his hands, as into the hand of a faithful and good preserver. I In the midst of his attributes of glory and ma'jesty, there is to be read the excellent name of j most Merciful Father; but this only when he gives vision to the eye he has formed; until then, who is so poor and blind as his servant?
May that Hand, which hath led and sustained thee hitherto, in slippery paths, from thy youth upwards, forsuch hath thy pilgrimage led through, be thy staff during the residue of thy passage; that by His help, thou may offer an evening sacrifice of praise, and say, Oh Lord' thou hast been with me from my youth to this hour.
1758. I received thy acceptable letter, and as I am often anxiously thoughtful about you, and solicitous for your establishment in the best things, the account thou gave me, of the gracious continuance of best help toward you in the last Yearly Meeting was truly acceptable. May the wisdom which is from above, with all its train of divine companions,—faith, meekness, stability and charity,—be more the clothing of our spirits; and then shall we know a right improvement of mercies past, and a meetness for those yet within the veil. And when I consider the extent of unmerited condescension toward our Society in general, and to many particulars in an especial manner, for their own help, and the substantial edification of the body, my heart almost dissolves within me, and fervently begs protection and preservation for all within the heavenly hierarchy, that they may bear, without a mixture, in their countenances, the resemblance of King's sons, waiting for the renewed discovery of their part in the universal tribute of obedience and piaise, and strength to yield it; that nothing may ever prevail, either in the latent source of our conduct, or be admitted at all to tincture it, that is not of the Lamb, or distort our features, with the emotions of passions repugnant to those of the heavenly family. I know we have great need often to have recourse to the pool, and to come under the turning of that hand, that hath distinguished us from many of our bretLren. Oh! let humility be our dwelling place, and the uniform rule of our conduct, so shall the slippery path through time be tr«d with safety, and our feet at last stand firmly within the gates of salvation.
In all cases where contrary sentiments occur, and where we are required earnestly to contend for the faith, the more the meekness of the Lamb is adopted and abode in, the more indisputably He is known to be the Lion of Judah's tribe, going forth conquering and to conquer. I sympathize nearly with such amongst you, who dare not turn aside from the directions of Heaven, but follow the ark into Jordan. May the holy covering of peace and meekness be upon them, and it will be, in the end a garment of praise. S. F.
A Memorial of Oswego Monthly Meeting, concerning our esteemed friend, Bethany BareMore.
We believe the example exhibited in the life and religious concern of this, our beloved friend, calculated' to prove the sufficiency of Divine grace in bringing peace to the soul—therefore, feel disposed to preserve the following account:
She was born in the town of Clinton, Dutchess County, and State of New York, the 10th of 3d mo., 1787. Her parents, Zeno and Lydia Car
penter, members of the Society of Friends, were concerned to imbue her mind with thb love of piety. And they had the satisfaction of finding their solicitude rewarded, by the clear percep. tions of .the importance of living the life of the ; righteous. And she often expressed the benefit it had been to her of having the counsel and exI ample of religiously concerned parents.
She was frequently heard to remark, that when young she loved to attend meetings in the middle of the week as well as those on first days.
In the 19th year of her age she united in marriage with our friend, Henry Baremore, to whom she proved an affectionate and faithful helpmate, both in spiritual and temporal concerns. The law of love and kindness appeared to be the governing principle of her mind, and shone conspicuously in her as a mother and a Christian.
She was the mother of thirteen children, eleven of whom survived her, anct though ever tender and sympathising toward them, yet she was careful in guarding them against improper indulgence. Having the important charge of so large a family, domestic concerns necessarily occupied much of her time; yet these were not allowed to prevent her from the diligent attendance of religious meetings, and she was careful to have her children with her, evincing by her solid deportment that she was sincerely engaged to gain an inheritance in that " City whose builder and maker the Lord alone is."
Her love to God was such as to produce love to man; and which she found, in times of trial and deep proving, to be " as an anchor to the soul, both sure and steadfast."
She was very useful in our meetings for discipline, and also as an overseer, in which capacity she had served most of the time for thirty years, much to the satisfaction of ber friends, and had filled the important station of an elder upwards of twenty years.
She was very useful in times of sickness, ever ready to impart the soothing balm of sympathy and extend the hand of relief to the afflicted. She was an example of piety and virtue to her neighbors, adorning her profession by her upright walk among them, by whom she was much respected, and her loss sensibly felt.
She was naturally cheerful, and in her conversation and remarks often edifying and instructive.
Although she was so tender and sympathetic to others in affliction, her own she bore with patience and resignation. Her last illness was short, so that she was favored to attend meetings until the last two previous to her death. And as she lived the " life of the righteous," we confidently believe she " died the death of the righteous," and, " as a shock of corn fully ripe," has been gathered into the heavenly garner prepared for all the Lord's sanctified and redeemed children.
She departed* this life the 5th of 4th mo., 1854, in the sixty-eight year of her age; and on 1
the 7th, after a religious meeting being held becoming the occasion, her remains were interred in Friends' burial ground at Oswego, Dutchess County.
Signed on behalf Oswego Monthly Meeting. Gideon W. Downing, ) n, , Eliza Skidmore, } UerJ£S'
1st mo. 17th, 1855.
PRAYING AND DOING.
"Bless the poor children who haven't got any beds to night," prayed the little boy, just before he lay down on his nice warm cot, on a cold, windy night.
As he rose from his knees, his mother said, "You have just asked God to bless the poor children—what will you do to bless them?"
The boy thought a moment. "Why, if I had a hundred cakes, enough for all the family, I'd give them some."
"But you have no cakes; what are you willing to do?"
"Why, when I get money enough to buy all the things that I want, and have some over, I'll give them some."
But you haven't half enough money to buy all you want, and perhaps never will have; what will you do to bless the poor now?"
"I'll give them some bread?"
"You have no bread ; the bread is mine."
"Then I could earn money and buy a loaf.
"Take things as they now are; you know what you have, that is your own; what are you willing to give to help the poor?"
The boy thought again. "I'll give them half my money; I have seven pennies, and I'll give them four. Would'nt that be right?"
For Friends' Intelligencer.
To the sufferers under the King of Babel, and his Ministers, his captains of thotisands, of ten of thousands, and of multitudes innumerable The Lord arose and gave battle to all nations; the Lord thresh'd, and the nations of the earth were turned into blood.
The strength of the earth was cut off at one blow; tho foundations thereof were shaken, and Princes brought to nought.
The blasphemer came into remembrance before the Lord, and was cut off by his all-conquering sword; the adulterer also was cut down from his lofty seat.
Then sang the saints high praises before the Lord, and every kindred blessed his holy name.
What power is to be praised like that of the Lord our God? or what love on all the earth like that of a bleeding Saviour?
Surely the power of the world is but vanity and a lie, and the love of the world, enmity against the Lord.
Now reigns the God of power (our God he is) alone; our God is all in all, and in him we are one.
"Oh! Lord, take pity on a perishing soul, borne down under a multitude of vile affections, trodden under foot by the insolence of the wicked one. I faint under the yoke, 0 thou most faithful and true! and have no hope but in thee."
"My heart is weary with sighing under troubles, and my pains increase as a woman in hard travail. When shall my day come, 0 Redemption of the just! and when shall I see the seal of my salvation?"
"O work in me the law of everlasting love, and fix my boundaries there forever and ever. 0 thou who saidst unto the worlds, be ye finished, and it was so, say unto my soul, Be thou perfect, and it shall be done."
"Purify me, 0 God, by the judgments of thy right hand, and let thy mercies ever be before me, that I may exalt thy name in the midst of the nations."
The humility of Jesus is the exaltation of the just; and the exalted in the earth are farthest from the Lord.
"Oh! Lord, do thou, who art the Creator and Disposer of all things, create me anew after thine own image, and dispose of me according to thy will; that I may set forth thy praise in the midst of the nations, and do good in thy power to many people. Raise thy standard, 0 Lord, over the height of the mountains, and let all nations flow thereunto; for thy children groan with daily oppressions, and the teeth of the wicked are made bare against them. The earth also groans with the burthen of the polluted, and the seas roar aloud with the cries of the wounded; the Heavens echo with the voice of destruction, and the air is darkened with smoke from the pit."
"Break in, O Lord, as an everlasting Redeemer to thine own seed, and as a fire to destroy the works of the wicked one."
"Prepare thine arm, make bare thy spear, smite home to the quick, thoa mighty one. Divide, 0 my God, between the good and the bad, and make an everlasting separation between the just and the unjust; so shall the nations praise thee, the most high God, and every kindred bless thy holy name: Amen."
After all this, a deep consideration returned upon me, and entered into my mind, concerning the states of many persons in the national way of worship, as also among the dissenters from it, of divers denominations; some of whose preachers I had occasionally heard, particularly Dr. Richard Gilpin, of Scaleby Castle, an able physician, and ancient celebrated preacher among the Presbyterians-; and I had observed many others, who aeemed to have sincerity and good intentions, in their respective modes of worship; whence a question arose, whether it might not be through my own fault, for want of the true knowledge of God in myself heretofore, that I did not enjoy his presence among them as I had done, through his grace, since I had been visited by the Lord, and drawn into retirement by the comforts of his secret presence? Upon which I determined to go again and see, whether the good presence of the Lord would be manifested in me there, as alone in my retirements. And the place I went to was that called St. Cuthbert's, in the city of Carlisle; there being usually prayers and a sermon there on the afternoons of the First days; but not with that pomp, noise, and show, as at the Cathedral, and therefore I rather chose it. And being seated there, as I bad been often, and my mind retired inward to wait upon the Lord, as he himself had taught me, the Lord would not own that worship by his sensible presence, (though in himself omnipresent,) nor me in that place; but my mind became filled with darkness, and overwhelmed with trouble, to so great a degree, that I could hardly stay till the time was over; but lest I should do a thing which might be looked upon as indecent, I continued to the end, and returning to my chamber in trouble, I went not among any of them any more. But though I declined all outward worship, or that which was called so, determining to follow the Lord, wheresoever it might please him to lead me; yet I found a universal love, good will, and compassion in my mind, to all sorts of people, whether of Protestants of different denominations, Romans, Jews, Turks or Heathens. But I observed their several religions, or what they accounted so, every man for himself, to be mostly the effect of education, tradition or chance. For he who is born and educated among the Protestauts of any sect, respectively is such. He who is born and educated among the Romans, is a Roman; and so of all the rest, till by accident, or interest, they change from form to form; or sometimes, though more rarely, through the inward convictions of the Holy Spirit of God, they obtain a right understanding, and worship him in truth. Therefore I stood still, and waited for the further leadings of the Lord, and the evidence of his presence, what to do, or where to abide; though the Protestants in general, especially the national church, were still nearer me than any other sect.
Thus the world-, in general, appearing to me dead, with respect to the true knowledge of God, (notwithstanding the truth of some notions they held in relation to matters of fact and literal interpretation) and as walking statues, I did not then see that the Lord God had any collective body of people at that day, who, as such, truly worshipped him according to his own institutions; or that any one on earth knew some things
which the true and living God had been pleased' of his own free grace, and which I could neither ask or think of, to communicate unto me ; though I found in due time, I had been in this point mistaken, as the prophet of old, who thought he had been alone, and all Israel departed from the Lord.
As the life of the son of God prevailed in me, I became more and more innocent, humble, loving, and charitable to the poor; to whom I gave money according to my ability, and without ostentation, or expectation of reward: one instance of which I think proper to relate, it being attended with some particular circumstances.
At the time King William the third was subduinglreland, some persons and families, retiring from the inconveniences and hardships of the war, came into England, and, among others, an independent teacher, and with him a youth, his son; who being in want, requested chanty ; and coming to my father's house in Carlisle, where I then was, I gave him half a crown; which being more than he expected, or received (as he said) from any other person in town, he took occasion thence to enter into discourse concerning some points of religion, and civilly asked of me what form of worship I attended? I replied, I had formerly frequented the national worship, according to my education; but then, and for some time before, had declined it, as also all other outward forms, keeping retired in my chamber on the usual days appointed for that purpose. And when he heard this, he asked if his company, the next Lord's day (as he called it) might be acceptable; for the national worship was not agreeable to him. I gave liberty, and he and his son came accordingly to ray chamber, where I was sitting alone in silence, waiting upon the Lord.
After a civil reception, and short pause of silence, he began to magnify the great providence of God, in re-establishing and advancing that people, (meaning the Independents and Presbyterians,) who had been so much hated, persecuted and suppressed, now to be made the chief instruments of deliverance, restoration, and reformation to the right way of the Lord, and to his own glory.
(To be continued.)
At Genesee Yearly Meeting of Friends, held at Farmington, (by adjournments,) from the fifteenth of the Sixth month to the eighteenth of the same, inclusive, 1857.
The answers sufficiently indicate that but little improvement has been made during the past year in the attendance of our religious assemblies; and we have to record with sorrow, that notwithstanding our long continued profession upon such subjects, many yet seek salvation abroad, and out of the heart, instead of seeking it in retirement in the inward and deep recesses of their own thoughts! We believe these meetings are places for reflection, for purifying the spirit, and fitting it for a communion with Him from whom it had its origin. We know there have been long among our members, those who cry out against all forms of godliness; against meeting at set times, even on the first day of the week; but wo also know there have always been those, however few they may be, who seek these calm and silent gatherings that they may get beyond the bustle of outward appearances, to that that chastens aod amends the heart. To those who have no faith in our testimony for silent worship, who if they think, continue to pass along the public highways of thought, who never retire witniu these sacred enclosures; our silent meetings and thoughtful communings are irksome, sleepy, and tedious, because they are the captives of sense, instead of being the freemen of thought; but for those who seek for something more solemn than .the commotions and devices that Protestant and Romish Churches, alike, present to the mind, to keep men in the external and outward, the silence enjoined upon us, is a lasting and perennial enjoyment, because here they can converse with the undying spirit that is within them, can feel, cultivate, and develope its own capacities for happiness, and lift it up to the everlasting fountain and source of goodness from whence it came. It is in these communings we can maintain a successful warfare, against the temptations that beset our sensual and animal nature, and can give the victory to the better part; it is when thus gathered and withdrawn from the World that the quiet, spirit-searching character of the religion of Jesus, the power of the Gospel which no man sees or feels but in himself, is made manifest, bringing forth its fruits for eternity, its fruits and its objects surpassing the productions of nature, as immortality surpasses the duration of human life; and it is from this point of view, that
we have the brighest and clearest evidence of the ■ ......
divine character of our religious institutions, the
surest token that their silent and gentle operations are among the means and forms of instruction that came from the everlasting fountain of wisdom, goodness, and truth, and the surest evidence that these assemblies are in themselves manifestations of mercy and grace from another and a better world.
But we have had to acknowledge that all these manifestations of a pure and undented religion are lost upon us, unless we wear the badge of discipleship! If ye love me, ye love the brethren; and how can any man love God the Father, and not love or feel for his children; love is the fulfilling of the law; and sure we are no earthly enjoyment, no sensual pleasure can compare with the joys of a ransomed and redeemed spirit, con
scious of moving in harmony with his brother, in the sphere of divine love and divine approval! It is love that makes the truth instinct with a moral vitality, that lifts the mind above selfish appetites, that makes wisdom's ways, the ways of pleasantness, and all her paths the paths of peace. It is his love that leads us to contemplate the practical life of the Redeemer; when clothed with the frail form of humanity; and with the feeling of human infirmity to shew that we can also produce the results of boundless love and beneficence. It is in this view we love to contemplate our religion, to consider it, not the gloomy production of a diseased mind, but the healthy and active life of an immortal spirit operating upon the outward and visible man, and producing fruit like the dew and rain, educating the heart, and forming associations and friendships for eternity; perfecting our higher and nobler faculties; while lifting the load of anxiety from the heart of a desponding brother, that he may journey with us, in our onward path to immortality, and finally participate with us in the joys of a purified, glorified, disembodied spirit.
We have been deeply impressed during the past year, with the truth of our testimony, that minds properly qualified, keeping under the blessed influence of Gospel love, acting in the spirit of meekness and with singleness of mind, can realise the objects of our ninth query, and treat with their brethren in the peaceable spirit and wisdom of Jesus; and can reach the heart of the erring by forbearance and love! and we have convicting evidence that this is the only course pointed out by the Gospel to give authority or influence to the church, or to recover that which is lost. When men attempt to reclaim by any assumption of superior wisdom or virtue; by any authority delegated from meetings, without being clothed in this spirit, they not only fail in their object, but deeply impair the authority of the church, and are often chargeable with the loss of more than those whose safety was the object of their appointment. Formal visits for such purposes, never reach the inward or divine witness for God'in the soul; nor do meetings or overseers, unless clothed with this spirit, ever obtain a qualification to restore a penitent, to receive him into Christian fellowship, or to fill his mind with promise or with hope. Anxiously have we craved an increase of restoring love to those who are sometimes separated from our religious society—a spirit that rejoiceth more over one sinner that repenteth, than over ninety and nine just persons that need no repentance—and we would again bear our testimony to the value of that discipline, that, while securing perfect freedom of thought and utterance to those who are the objects of our care, waits in patience to be made partakers of divine authority, and when it testifies against offenders, assures us that we are confirmed and blameless before him.