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book sealed with seven seals, and for more than thirty years I never felt freedom to disclose them to any person until within some few years, in which time they have grown like a burden to my mind.
As it is said in soripture that " all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God," so I found, by sorrowful experience, it happened with me. I don't know that I ever wronged or injuaedany of my fellow-beings, but my transgressions were of most hurt to myself; so I believe those visitations were, until now, intended for my own improvement; and if this account should be seen by any, I hope tbey will have charity towards me for unfolding these things now in my latter days. Some of those visitations were in dreams, several of which were remarkable.
As these dreams and many other visitations took fast bold of my mind with condemnation for evil, I went very frequently to Friends' meetings, believing that was the right way for me to go.
Several years after this, I met with another remarkable visitation which was after this manner. I had a brother living in Chester, Pennsylvania, and being there on a visit, I accompanied him to Frieuds' meeting on -First-day. Roger Dick was there and preached in a powerful manner; it seemed as though it was all for me. It was to me a solemn time. I was humbled to that degree that I could not contain myself, but burst into a flood of tears. I strove as much as I could to hide my condition, but was not able. I did not, as some of whom I have heard when they met with something that humbled them, fall down and cry out, but endeavored to hide my face, for I could have washed it with my tears. After a time, the meeting broke up, and I got away as soon as I could; for I was ashamed to be seen. Such were the tendering sensations that penetrated jpy raind, that I could not get over them. 1 went back with my brother to his house; but the feelings which I had experienced, and which were powerful beyond expression, so continued with me that I was forced to yield and give up to their operation. I was so overcome that I could not eat any dinner, but lay down on a bed. I felt as if I was now sunk below all hope. "Oh," thought I, "if I had but the wings of a mighty eagle that I could flee into the wilderness, or some solitary place; that I might be hid from the sight of all mortals, and that I might pour out my soul before God." For I did believe that he remained to be a God of mercy and forbearance, waiting for sinners to return, repent, and live. In this condition I remained until the next morning; but when night came on, I retired to bed alone. Oh, what a night I had! I thought I felt like a man condemned to die. I do not remember that I slept any; but it is said, "Sorrow may continue for a night, yet joy cometh in the morning." I
got up early, and walked out some distance to a green common where were cattle feeding, it being summer time; and as I walked along among the boasts of the field, my mind seemed to be swallowed up in something that I am not able to describe. Whether I stood still, or continued to walk, I cannot tell; but in this heavenly frame of mind (as I believe I may venture to call it) it was clearly opened to my understanding that all things which God had created were good, and remained so; but that man fell and became sinful, wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked, destitute of the love of God, his Maker; and in this condition he must remain until he come to know a state of redemption from his sinful fall, and to be restored by the sensible operation of Grace and Truth in his own heart. I was included with the rest of sinners. Now this seemed a very great sight for me to see—a poor, ignorant Gentile, just come, as it were, out of the ditch, and from under the hedge. I felt now quite like another person. I am not able to make any one sensible of that which operated within me, and which continued with me mostly through the day. It seemed like a Sabbath day to me, although it was the second day of the week. As I was now in a strange place, I walked back to the house, and took breakfast with my brother, but kept my mind sealed up ; for I felt it best so to do. After breakfast, my brother went to his business, and I walked in the woods; for I felt best when alone. Next day, I returned home, but this solemn frame of mind was going off. I went to my work and felt as poor land wretched as ever—as bad, I thought, as Peter did when he denied his Lord and Master; for condemnation followed me for sin, but I endeavored after this to live more soberly, and to be more watchful over my conduct and conversation. I went steadily to Friends' meetings, and felt a very great desire that I might not offend the merciful God any more.
It was not long before I met with another visitation, which was after this manner. As I was sitting ,in meeting one First-day at Newtown in a solid thoughtful frame of mind, Joshua Evans preached, and in his testimony spoke to some individual in particular, and I was very sure that I was the person whose condition he addressed : he said, " the everlasting welfare of some poor soul who is now present seems to be at stake," with some other words that I do not remember, and then sat down. After a while he stood up again, and added, " there are terms offered to thee which are these, 'Cease to do evil and learn to do well,' and if thou obey these terms, thy transgressions shall not be as much as remembered against thee in the day of account; thy penitent heart is the very key that opens to thee the treasures of heaven; thy condition is known only to God, and thy own soul." This I well knew to be true; for I did not feel the least freedom to tell any one how it was with me. I received the joyful terms with such gladness that my feelings, as near as I am able to describe them, were like those of Elizabeth when Mary saluted her: the babe leaped for joy."—Oh, how the tears rolled down my face! After some time the meeting broke up, and I got home as soon as I could. I did not seem to want for any outward food, there were such lively feelings and tender sensations at work in my mind; but I thought that if I did not sit down with the rest of the family, they would inquire what was the matter, and I should not be able to answer the question, seeing that I was then in good health. I accordingly sat down with them; but as I partook of the outward blessings, the inward blessings seemed to depart from me. I endeavored to watch and be sober, and continued to attend meetings, but it was very much in the cross that I went to those held on week days, and that I used the plain language. It seemed to be my duty to give up these things, and I endeavored, as my understanding was opened, to be faithful according to my small capacity, for I thought that I had but one talent, but believed that it might be improved if there was faithfulness on my part. I ofteu felt discouraged, but was convinced that if there was no cross there would be no crown. I continued in this exercise of mind for several years longer before I felt a freedom to request to become a member among Friends. Although I had a desire to do so, I felt that I had something more to pass through before I was to be admitted into the Society; and in this time the tire burned as an oven, and all pride, and all that was inclined to do wickedly seemed to be as a stubble before it. 'Now we kuow that an oven burns inwardly ; so it was in my experience; for I had many inward exercises, and many combats with the enemy of my soul's peace. One thing which I have often thought of happened during this time of my struggles: a youug woman lived in the same family with me; she was a member of Friends' Society, but an uuguarded creature, or she would not have made so light of her right to offer to give it away. She would say, "John, why don't thee or you," (she would use one word as frequently as the other,) "get taken into meeting r" telling me that I might have her right. She afterwards lost her right, and I never heard that she regained it. I have many times thought that I could have said to this young woman and to all who are members of this Society : "hold fast that which you have, let no man take your crown; give not away your right in society for any man, for you know not what tribulation it may bring to you." I have no doubt that many would be glad to return, but are not favored with that Divine ability which would be their strength to carry them through the undertaking; sol think that persons of both sexes should take beed how they trample their
privileges as under their feet. I went sometimes to Friends' Quarterly meeting held at Haddonfield, where I saw that which made me feel sorrowful. When the time came for Friends to proceed to their business and it was right for me to leave the house, I observed a number of young people, and some farther advanced in life, mem bers of the Society, stand out of doors in con versation, while others walked away. I have turned away with this language in my mind: "how glad I would be to enjoy what some of you trample as under your feet— the privilege of sitting in these meetings." As I passed along through this probationary scene, I sometimes met with encouraging seasons, one or- two of which it seems on my mind to relate. At one time, James Thornton visited Newtown meeting, and preached in so powerful a manner that it tendered the hearts of many as well as my own: I it seemed to be a watering time with most. ) Having sat down, he rose again, after a little 1 while, with these words : " when the garden is j watered is the right time to pluck up the weeds;
they are pulled up easily when the ground is wet," ; which words have often been in my memory; ! for I had a strong desire that all the evil weeds j might be taken away from my heart. Another circumstance that happened to me was as follows: We lived about six miles from a grist mill, and it was mostly my business to go thither. One day Joshua Evans was there, and took the opportunity to speak to me ; he said that he thought I must be under some discouragement of mind which was the reason that I did not request to become a member of the Society, seeing I was so diligent in attending Friends' meetings, or words to the same effect. I was so full that I was not able to make him much reply. He left me, and after my grist was ground, I started for i home. I had not gone, perhaps, more than one I mile, when, marvellous to relate ! the power of the Lord broke into my heart in so powerful a i manner that it humbled me as in the dust; my tears flowed so fast that I could have washed my face in them. In this tender frame of mind, I j felt the dispensation of condemnation, which was glorious in its time, pass away; for while I was j under that dispensation, I experienced a repentance never to be repented of. I now felt more j freedom and peace of mind than I ever knew ] before. I believe that I had now attained in a | good degree, that peace which I begged for in the | beforementioned dream. I now felt a freedom I to apply to Friends to be received into membership with them, and this I did with groat care I lest I should be too fast. The Friend with whom 'I lived was an overseer of the meeting, and I ! spoke to him two or three weeks before Preparative meeting, that if I should feel uneasy with what I had done, I might have time to withdraw my request; but I felt easy to let it go forward, and so it did, and I was received with readiness. The tenderness which I have mentioned lasted till I got near home ; there was some snow on the ground, and it was melting away. This I thought I resembled; for it seemed as though I would almost melt away like the snow before the warm sun. Now all this, and much more, happened,to me between the age of 21 and 31 years, and before I became a member of the Society of Friends ; and if, during this time, all the saints of earth had been on my side pleading for me, it would have been in vain, till the Lord was pleased to speak peace to my poor, distressed mind, and to open the way for my deliverance; for wheu he shuts, none can open, and when he is pleased to open, none can shut.
Now I don't relate these things as though I was made perfect at once ; for my life since that time has been a life of warfare; and such I believe every truly baptized Christian will find his to be; and that he is no longer safe than while he is ou the watch. It seems to me that if there be any water baptism under the gospel dispensation it must be when we are favored with those heart-melting, tendering, penetrating feelings which make the tears flow like little streams from our eyes, but as this is produced by the operation of the word or spirit, this baptism must be one with the spirit, as they operate together. I conclude, therefore, that under the gospel dispensation there is but ono essential Baptism really necessary to be known and felt. Some of these seasons have been sweeter to my soul than the honey of the honey-comb to the natural taste. I know what I say by some degree of experience. We read, in the first general epistle of John, 5th chapter, that Christ came by water and blood, as though water is connected with the blood in baptism : and Christ said to the Jews, " except ye eat the flesh of the son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you." Now this must mean spiritually partaking of his inward operations and sensations. It could not be his prepared body that he meant; for we have no account of his disciples or any one partaking of his flesh and blood, that is, his manhood. Therefore it must all have a spiritual meaning—the water, the flesh, and the blood; for he told the people, "it is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." This spiritual life must be, in some measure, known, or we shall remain insensible of what it is to partafe of the flesh and blood of Christ spiritually.
I do not remember that, in any of my lowest times, it ever came iuto my mind that the outward death and sufferings of Jesus Christ did any part of the work of my salvation, because he said positively to the Jews, " it is the spirit that quickeneth; the-flesh profiteth nothing;" it is the spirit that quickens and makes alive unto God. Christ went down into spiritual death
and suffering for the sins of the people; and all that experience the same kind of suffering that he did, experience, according to their measure, something of his baptism and sufferings. These must be spiritual, because we read he was "a lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Christ's outward sufferings were of great value, because herein he set a great example to his followers that if persecution should follow them in so severe a manner that they must either lose their lives for his sake, or deny and offend him, they would take him for their pattern and say, "Jesus Christ suffered, and why should not we, seeing he is our pattern." 9th mo., 1826. John Gill.
MEMOIR OP HANNAH GILL.
"They that know thy name will put their trust in thee, for thou Lord hast not forsaken them that seek thee." Thou " forgettest not the cry of the humble." "Thou shalt guide them with thy counsel, and afterwards receive them to glory."
The life of our departed friend Hannah Gil!, wife of John Gill, and an elder of Pilesgrove Monthly Meeting, N. J., was an illustration of the effect of divine grace in regulating the spirit so as to enable those under its influenoe " to go in and out" before their families in sucn a manner, that in after time "theirchildren shall arise and call them blessed."
Her meek and quiet deportment, is distinctly remembered as casting about her an air of sweetness which rendered her a desirable companion for the young, as well as for the old. Possessing a retiring disposition, it induced her to shrink from observation, but still she was a useful member of society, both in a religious and social point of view; and it may truly be said of her, " where she was best known, she was most beloved." Her disease being of a pulmonary character, she was for a long time feeble in health, but bore her sufferings with great patience and cheerful resignation. The daughter who waited upon and watched over her during the last few weeks of her life, "felt it right" to place upon paper some of the expressions that tell from her lips significant of the quiet trust with which she was inspired. From this brief record we gather the following particulars.
"Having been sent for to attend her in her last moments, and entering the room rather unexpectedly, she seemed nearly overcome for a short time," then in answer to a remark, she feelingly expressed her gratitude for the many favors by which she was surrounded. Upon one occasion observiag her daughter weeping, she said, " I want thee, my dear child, to be resigned, I have given up every thing, my precious children and all, and if you will endeavor to be resigned ; it will make it easier for us all. Let us go quietly along and do the best we can, and
no^ dwell upon the hour of death as some dread- requested her daughter E. not to leave her, who
ful thing, for let it come when it will, it has no terror for me; sit down, be still, be patient, be resigned, for I feel nothing in my way."
At another time when she had fallen into a stupor, and it seemed as though she was about departing, upon being aroused she said, " don't hold me, but let me go; my dear daughter give
assured her gne wcuild remain with her as long as she needed her. Before going to tea E. bade her farewell, and her mother observing her tears, again said "Oh, my dear, be patient and resigned ! I do not think I shall go just yet, but farewell." Her daughter saying she had often grieved her in her younger days, and asking if
me up, never try to arouse me again, but let me | she could forgive her, she replied u freely freely,
j)ass away quietly in sleep." Once when her daughter E. expressed a fear of never beyig able to do any good, she replied "Oh yes, preachers of righteousness are all those who are endeavoring to do right."
Often while administering to her comfort she would say, "What a favor to have some one to do for us at such a time as this; now sit down and be still, it seems as if all I wanted was to be still." At one time the light being almost obscured by the curtain, she requested it to be raised, for said she " it is a part of my life, this precious light."
Several of her friends coming in and speaking of their comfortable feelings on sitting with her, she said "she was glad there was comfort to be felt;" and also remarked that her present situation was what she had long expected and been looking for, and all she desired was to be favored with patience to the end. A friend replied she had no doubt her request would be granted. Her dear friends Thomas and Esther Davis called to see her the day before her decease; she told them, although with much difficulty on account of her cough, that there was nothing in her way; she sometimes feared she had talked too much, but added " there is nothing in my way, it has not been given me to see whether I am to suffer longer or go shortly, but be that as it may, I feel entirely resigned."
Thomas remarked, he thought the language of a dear young man near his close with the same disease, was applicable in her case, which was, "Come, Lord, thy servant is ready;" and that wearisome days and tedious nights would not be appointed her. The interview between her and her friends was such as might be expected between those who had been long closely united in the bonds of Christian fellowship, and although it was looked upon as probably their last meeting on earth, the dear invalid calmly bade them farewell, expressing the hope that they might meet where sorrowings and partings are unknown. TJpon getting up for the last time she again said, " what a favor to have some one to wait upon us at such a time as this, while there are so many poor creatures in the world who have none to do for them." Upon lying down she sank into a deep sleep and remained so through the night till near day-light, when she aroused much oppressed. This continued through the day, with great debility, so that she could bear but few persons in the room. She frequently
I have long endeavored to love everybody and I love thee." When regrets were expressed that nothing could be done to relieve her, she said, "There must be something to take us all out of the world, and how much worse it would be, to be deprived of my senses, or suffer such severe pain as many have done who have gone before me." She continued, says her daughter, " talking sensibly to us, till about half past seven, when she inquired the time in the evening, and requested us to give her something to allay the great oppression. Then looking very affectionately at us as we were standing around her she said, " sit down and be still, I feel entirely well except this oppression which is a little trying." In a little while that passed off, and she quietly departed near eight o'clock in the evening. The sweet peace which pervaded the whole house after her close exceeded description, and was accepted as an evidence of the rest which she was made partakes of. Wilt thou 0 Lord bring us her children into the same path of meekness and self-denial where we may remain bowed before thee. Wilt thou raise up from among us those who may fill her place in righteousness, and thereby make our calling and election sure ere we are called hence and are seen of men no more." A. lltA of 2nd mo., 1838.
PHILADELPHIA, NINTH MONTH 19, 1857.
Dim, at her residence in Baltimore, on the 17th ult., Ann J., wife of Michael Lamb, in the 67th year of her age.
Another vacant seat in Lombard Street Meeting! Again has death been in our midst. May one who has long and with constantly increasing interest watched her daily path, venture to say a few words, hoping thereby to encourage some other timid " follower " to patient faithfulness like hers.
She was the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Jackson, of Quern Anne's Co., Md. Her father, a zealous and sincere minister in the Methodist society, was strict and conscientious in training his children in that persuasion; and it was not until after her marriage, that she ever attended a Friends meeting—then only from her sense of duty as a wife. The writer of this has more than once heard her revert to an afternoon meeting, where she was sitting wasting time, she thought, in a very light manner, instead of being at her own place of worship, listening to a good sermon, or joining in singing and prayer, when a dear friend arose, and expressed sympathy with just such
a case, describing her feelings with startling accuracy j then laid before them the scene with the woman of Samaria, with views new to her, repeating the sablime announcement, that " the hour cometh when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father," but that "He is a spirit; and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." Gradually she felt called upon to dispense with the outward forms and ceremonials, and after much suffering was enabled to make the sacrifice, which to her affectionate nature was like that of Abraham—turning from the pleasant associations of her childhood. In 1829 she became a member of the Society of Friends, from convictions that never wavered. At the time of her decease she filled the sta. tion of overseer at Lombard Street Meeting.
Thenceforth, patient, forbearing and self-denying from principle, she felt that this true and spiritual worship demanded constant watchfulness over every word and action, with regard to her influence on others. She felt it, too, a positive duty to wear a cheerful countenance in the daily routine of domestic life, and many felt its sunny influence.
Now her peace in death has shown she obeyed the voice of the true Shepherd. During an illness of five months, her firm and patient reliance seemed ever strengthening, conscious, as she was from the first, itwas the warning note of the last messenger.
About ten days before the close she assembled her family, and in a clear, calm voice took leave of each one, assuring them of her bright and peaceful prospects, and entreating them affectionately to serve and trust the Power that was then sustaining her. She told them how the reading of the Scriptures had been her comfort and solace through life; spoke of the Discipline of the Society which she had learned to love and regard as a safe hedge about " the straight and narrow path;" then so humbly and confidingly did she yield up the objects dearest to her woman's heart, to Him she had ever found faithful to His promises. Afterwards, with a radiant countenance, she said, that on looking back at her past life, she found that day to be the happiest and most peaceful of all. She repeated again and again the twenty-third Psalm, dwelling with peculiar gratefulness on the fourth verse—" Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 1 will fear no evil; for Thou art with me j Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me." Next morning she said to one who approached her, " well, I am still with you, though I thought to be in another world by this time; but it is for some wise purpose." And again, when asked how she felt, " All's well," she replied ; "just waiting the Master's call." To many absent friends she sent parting words of affectionate interest, her chief injunction to all being " Love one another." "Saviour ami Redeemer," she would murmur to herself, " names precious from my infancy, how full of meaning now I" After her speech seemed quite to have failed, she looked up sweetly to one who was weeping, and with difficulty articulated the one word—" submission."
This serenity remained, and the parting breath was in peaceful sleep—gentle as an infant on its mother's breast.
Sterne says : " The grand error of life is we look too far; we scale the heavens; we dig down to the centre of the earth for systems, and we forget ourselves. Truth lies before us; it is in the highway path, and the ploughman treads on it with clouted shoes."
Too much sensibility creates unhappiness ; too much insensibility creates crime.— Tallyrand:
For Friends' Intelligencer.
I could not, all this time, perceive the particular matter that thus affected me, (for I knew not of any thing I had done or said to bring it upon myself,) till that evening, being returned to my father's house, very solitary, silent and inward, there came in one Thomas Todd, an acquaintance of mine, who, after some compliments of civility, (for at that time I had not quite declined the common modes of salutation,) desired to speak with me apart; and then told me that he had a trial to come on next day, concerning certain houses of his in the town of Penrith, being the greatest part of all he had in the world; that one of his witnesses to his deed of conveyance was dead; another of them gone into Ireland, and could not be had; but I being the third, and having made the writings, he hoped through my evidence and credit , to gain his just point against his unfair adversary: and desired me to be in readiness in the morning; for the trial was like to come on very early.
As soon as he began this relation, the word of life began likewise to work in me, in a very powerful manner; and the holy hammer of the Lord I sensibly felt, and saw to be lifted up upon the hardness of heart, which, for some time (as above) had been my state: and it began to be broken, softened and dissolved; and the sense of the love of God in some ■degree to be renewed: and then I saw plainly that this was the hard thing I had to go through; and that now was the time "of trial, wherein I must take up the cross of Christ; acknowledge his doctrine fully in that point; and openly according to the understanding given me; and to despise the shame and reproach, and other sufferings, which I well knew would enBue quickly; or I must forsake the Lord forever: for denying his doctrine in the sense I had now plainly seen it, would be a denying of himself before men; and if I had then denied him, and left under that hardness of heart, and want of the enjoyment of' his divine presence, wherewith I had been favored before, and all the dreadful consequences of a beginning so woful.
But according to the advances of the word and work of the Lord in me at that time, my heart inclined to him: and, as my acquaintance was speaking, and by the time he had fully done, I was furnished with a full resolution to give him a plain and direct answer; which was on this manner : "I am concerned it should fall out so; (for I had a real respect for him, and saw his case to be very hard ;) I will appear, if it please God, and testify what I know in the matter, and do what I can for you that way; but I cannot swear."
This was so great a surprise to him, both from the nature of his case, and confidence he had of