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PHILADELPHIA, TENTO MONTH 24, 1857.
EXTRACTS FROM THE LIFE OF MARY DUDLEY. (Continued from page 453.)
"The usual Meeting, on first day morning, was attended by many others besides Friends, though no notice had been circulated, and proved a season of divine favor. I believe there were several feeling and awakened minds present, who, if they are but willing to centre deeply enough into quietness, will experience a state of true settlement. 13ut alas! many, who are at times enlightened to behold the path which 1 the vulture's eye hath not seen,' are unwilling to part with those things which are for a prey, and therefore know not an establishment in the peace and rest that attend the submissive soul.
"Not feeling relieved by this Meeting, we had another appointed for the afternoon, which was largely attended by persons of various denominations, and proved a season of much gospel liberty; one wherein we were renewedly taught, that those who trust in the extension of holy help need not be dismayed; for let their endeavors be ever sn feeble to promote His blessed cause, the Lord is able to supply all deficiencies, as well as graciously willing to forgive all transgressions. At the close, i?riends were desired to keep their scats, which gave us an opportunity of imparting what we apprehended was their due: there are but few in membership, and perhaps not all of these really initiated into the fold by spiritual baptism.
"A hopeful man, who attends Meetings, resides about three miles from Kelso, at a place called Itoxborough, whither I found my mind attracted before I knew it was a village, or that he lived in that direction. We went there on second day morning, and having hinted our feelings to J. C. the preceding evening, he had prepared a school room, near his own house, where, in a short time, a considerable number
collected; and we were favored with a solemn relieving Meeting, and after a little visit to J. C.'s family returned peaceably to Kelso.
"In the evening we had a time of religious retirement with dear Margaret Anderson and her children, wherein we were afresh owned by the overshadowing of divine goodness, and she solemnly returned the sacrifice of praise. This kind Friend concluded to proceed on her journey the next morning, as we did on ours, and we parted under feelings of near sympathy and love: she had, at the time we met her, left home with a certificate to visit a few Meetings in Cumberland: and had we known this, I believe we should hardly have been willing for her to return, though being a little together proved mutually pleasant.
Arrived at Edinburgh on fourth dtj.
"5th day 25th. We sat their usual Meeting, and afterwards an adjournment of the Monthly Meeting; there were appointments to visit two, who had applied for membership, in both of which we united, and in the subsequent conference :—here, as in other places, the language may truly arise, 'the /others, where are they?' So few, almost every where, being qualified to administer help or consolation to enquiring visited minds, for want of seeking themselves to be renewedly supplied with heavenly virtue.
"Since being in this city I trust we have endeavored honestly to move in the line of apprehended duty, though our lot has been in a peculiar manner exercising. The Meetings on first day were low, but little verbal communication: several not in profession with Friends were there; and at our lodgings, in the eveniug, we had the company of most of our society residing here, besides several students from the college.
"On third day we held a public Meeting, which was very largely attended by persons of various descriptions; and through gracious unmerited regard it was, I trust, a satisfactory season, owned by the influence of divine love, and terminating under a precious sense of inward peace. We took tea with a family not in profession with us, who were desirous of our company, and were afterwards favored with a solemn season, wherein, I hope, we partook together of a little 'of tliat bread which cometh down from heaven,' and when this is obtained how do the barriers of names and distinctions fall under the
prevalence of that feeling which breathes ' Good will towards all men."
The usual Meeting at Edinburgh on fifth day proved one of moro relief to my mind than any former sitting of the same sort; and in the evening a public Meeting was held in the new town, for which, after considerable exertion, the Circus was obtained: it was largely attended by the genteel inhabitants, and I hope proved satisfactory.
"First day, my dear companion and I were unable to attend either Meeting, having both suffered considerable indisposition for many days; yet we had religious sittings in several families, times of conference, &c, and on second day, the 5th of 11 mo. left Edinburgh, which had been a place of peculiarly laborious exercise, and one wherein the necessity of obeying the sacred injunction to 'watch,' was renewedly and deeply impressed, under the feeling that, although good seed may be sown in the field of the heart, yet, while men sleep, the enemy industriously improves the unguarded season, and sows his tares, endeavoring to defeat the Lord's gracious design and prevent intended produce.
"We arrived at Perth on third day evening, and after trying at six inns to gain admittance, we obtained accommodations at a small one, where the people were very civil and gave us a dry bed; the town being thronged on account of some local circumstance, occasioned the difficulty in procuring lodging. A few persons who are thought to be in same measure convinced of our principles, residing in this place, we appointed ten o'clock next morning to meet with them at our inn; seven came, and 1 hope this opportunity was not void of instruction to them or us, nor what was communicated such as would do harm. There seems a work begun in their minds, though still in a state of infancy, but considering how they are situated, it is wonderful tbat even so much fruit of a divine visitation is to be traced as is really the case; and knowing that He who hath visited is able to complete the work, I trust something may in due season spring up to His praise.
"We felt nothing further to bind us at Perth, than the visit to this little plantation ; and having for some time past been sensible of somewhat like a cloud intercepting the remaining Meetings of Friends in this nation from my view, and now a ray of light shining on the way towards Portpatrick, I believed it safest to follow this.
Being detained the whole of seventh day for want of a carriage, (extremely heavy rain rendered it unfit to use our chaise,) we did not reach our place of destination till first day afternoon.
"We had heard of two persons who met together, before the Meeting House belonging to Friends at Glasgow was sold, and on enquiring
for these, discovered two more, with all of whom we had a season of religious retirement, which proved one of memorable instruction to my tried mind, and I hope of some profit to those present. Although in degree relieved, a weight remained on me which prevented my feeling at liberty to move forward; but on second day morning, those we had sat with all came to take leave of us, and I then understood the occasion of this pressure ; and after communicating what I considered to be my duty towards them, felt clear to proceed.
"Being informed that the packet was to sail at three o'clock on fifth day, we went forward about noon, but on arriving found no one was inclined to venture out, as the wind blew almost tempestuously, and the sea looked terrific. We got pretty well accommodated at this village, and the wind lowering, we were told in the morning that a vessel was about to sail that afternoon; we therefore got ready, feeling easy to embark, though with the prospect of a tossing passage; but going home rendered this less formidable, and hitherto every step towards Ireland has felt peaceful, which is indeed cause of humble admiration at the dealings of divine goodness. When this prospect opened some weeks ago, it was attended with such feelings as I still believe had not their origin in natural affection ; which, without something deeper, might prove fallacious, but were of that mercy, which beholding it enough, graciously released from this embassy, and permitted a return to different, though perhaps not less, exercise in the land of my residence.
The usual week day Meeting at Milecross was a season of solemnity and favor to myself; and, I hope, a time of profit to some others. So that there is cause still to trust in the Lord, and endeavor to do what little we can, the promise being from time to time graciously accomplished, 'verily thou shalt be fed,' with such a portion of peace as a wise Master sees meet to support the mind, and excite a willingness to endure further conflict.
"On fifth day, at eleven o'clock, the Meeting was held at Newtown, and attended by a large number who behaved in a remarkably solid manner; indeed such a solemnity prevailed as is seldom known in Meetings of this sort, so that it proved what may be denominated a fa\ vored season; tending to the relief of our minds, and I hope the instruction of others, and was a compensation for much previous suffering and exercise. This seems like another woe being past, for such prospects try my poor frame and mind, beyond what I could easily set forth; and the fear lest the holy, precious cause should suffer rather than be promoted, is awfully felt by one who has indeed occasion to marvel why so weak a creature should be thus led.
"Fifth day, 29th. We attended Meeting at
Lisburn, which proved a truly exercising season 1 I believe to every feeling mind; no voice was heard but that of dear S. Harrison, who expressed a few sentences in a close line near the conclusion.
"The Quarterly Select Meeting was held that afternoon; the usual one on first day morning was one of close exercise, and wholly silent: in the evening some liberty was experienced, and more of a consoling hope, that although so much death prevails, life is not entirely lost in our Israel, nor the prospect of its increase altogether withdrawn.
"In this Meeting I was satisfied at our detention, but know not whether others were; however, if a little peace be obtained it is enough, and I do desire to take this feeling home, with me, after an embassy which has, on various accounts, been peculiarly exercising.
"The Meetings for discipline occupied the whole of second day, and on third, one for worship was solemn and satisfactory. In the evening we were favored at our lodgings with being refreshed together in the fellowship of the gospel, and on the following morning set forward, accompanied by four Friends of Ulster province, besides five from Dublin, who had come to attend the Quarterly Meeting. Asweadvanced towards Dundalk, which was the place of our resting for the night, I felt a weight on my mind,' under the apprehended discovery that there was something here to be visited, and on entering the town believed it would be my lot to appoint a Meeting.
"I did not reveal this fresh and unexpected exercise to any one, until the morning; when after endeavoring in solitude to acquiesce in this unfolding, and desiring resignation to do the day's work in the day time, I mentioned the subject to my ten friends, and they encouraging me to faithfulness, a place was sought for; and the Sessions-house being procured, a considerable number assembled at eleven o'clock, and we were so favored with the overshadowing of the holy wing, that I trust the minds of many were gathered into a state fitted to receive the counsel given to impart; and for this renewed manifestation of unmerited love and mercy, my spirit was bowed in reverent gratitude to Out almighty and unfailing helper."
This being the last Meeting of which there is any account in connection with the present journey, it is presumed that she went on without further detention, reaching Dublin on seventh day the 8th of 12mo., where she met her husband, and returning with him to their own habitation obtained the rest and care which her exhausted frame was greatly in need of.—My dear mother travelled in this engagement about two thousands miles by land, and crossed the sea six times.
(To be continued.)
THE FEAR OP GOD.
"The fear of God is not a perplexing doubting, and distrust of his love; on the contrary, it is a fixed resting and trusting in his love. Many who have some truth and grace are, through weakness, filled with disquieting fears; but possibly, though they perceive it not, it may be in some a point of wilfulness, a little latent, undiscerned affectation of scrupling and doubting, placing much of religion in it. True, where the soul is really solicitous about its interests in God, that argues some grace; but being vcxingly anxious about it, argues that grace is weak and low. A spark there is discovered even by that smoke; but the great smoke still continuing, and nothing seen but it, argues there is little fire, little faith, little love; and then, as it is unpleasant to thyself, so it is to God as smoke to the eyes. What, if one should be always questioning with a friend, whether he loved him or not, and upon every little occasion were ready to think he doth not, how would they disrelish their society together, though truly loving each other? The far more excellent way, and more pleasing both to ourselves and God, were to resolve on humble trust, reverence and confidence, being most afraid to offend, delighting to walk in his way, loving him and his will in all; and then resting persuaded of his love, though he chastise us, and even though we offend him, and see our offenoe in our chastisements, yet he is good, plenteous in redemption, ready to forgive; therefore, let Israel hope and trust. Let my soul roll itself on him, and adventure there all its weight. He bears greater matters, upholding the frame of heaven and earth, and is not troubled nor burdened with it."—Leigh Richmond's Memoirs.
DEFINITION OF RELIGION.
BT E. SMITH.
It is declared in the Scriptures, that the natural man knoweth not the things of God, neither can he comprehend them; and I am convinced that this is true. God only requires the heart and its affections, and after these are wholly devoted to Him, He Himself worketh all things within it and for it. "My son, give Me thy heart;" and all the rest is conformity and obedience. This is the simple ground of all religion, which implies a re-union of the soul to a principle which it had lost in its corrupt and fallen state. Mankind have opposed this doctrine, because it has a direct tendency to lay very low the pride and elevation of the heart and the perverseness of the will, and prescribes a severe mortification to the passions; it will be found, notwithstanding, either in time or eternity, a most important truth.
In the Holy Scriptures, nothing appears to have a reference to the great work of salvation, but a rectitude of the heart, and subjection of the will; and it is clear to my understanding, that it should be so: for the mere operations of the head, the lucubrations of reason on Divine subjects, are as different as men. The natural powers of man may be sanctified by the influences of religion in the soul, and cease from opposition in matters wherein formerly they took supreme direction; but until they are in awful silence before God, the work of redemption is unfelt and unknown.
Religion is a universal concern, the only important business of our lives. The learned and the ignorant are equally the object of it, and it is highly becoming the Father of Spirits, the Friend of man, that all the Spirits which He has made, should be equal candidates for His regard, that His mercy should operate upon a principle of which mankind are equal partakers. If the reason or understanding were alone capable of religious discernment, nine-tenths of the world would be excluded from His providence; but not so does His mercy operate. He influences by love, and the affections are the only objects of it.
Look into the opinions of men, contemplate their great diversity, their complete opposition to each other; and where shall the serious, the reflecting mind, find a peaceful station to rest upon? Where shall it find " the shadow of a mighty rock, in a weary land" of fluctuating devices and tempests of opinion 1 Not in human literature, not in the inventions of men; but in silence before the God of our lives, in pure devotion of the heart, and in prostration of the soul. The knee bends before the majesty of Omnipotence, and all the powers of the mind say, amen! Tn matters so important as pure religion, the salvation of the immortal soul, it is highly worthy of Divine Wisdom that He should take the supreme direction to Himself alone, and not leave any part of the work to the device of man; for it is evident to every candid enquirer, that whenever he interferes, he spoils it. Religion is of so pure and spotless a nature, that a touch will contaminate it. It is uniform, consistent, and of the same complexion and character in all nations. Languages and customs may greatly differ; but the language of pure devotion of the heart to its Maker-, is one and the same, over the face of the whole earth. It is acknowledged and felt "through the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." There is a harmony and consistency in the works of God, external and internal. The internal operations of nature are strictly typical of eternal things; the visible, of the invisible world.
I am convinced that the Author of our being has left nothing to man with respect to the formation of religion in the mind of a child, but the opening his path, and the clearing his road from the thorns and briers of contagious example. The influences of man consist in pure examples, dis
passionate persuasion, and an early subjection of the will, to what is written in the law of God. The enlightening the understanding, the purification of the heart, the accomplishing the course of rectitude to the invisible world, and qualifying the soul for beatitude amongst the spirits of the just, must be left to Supreme wisdom and marcy. The sciences are of a very partial concern, are in the hands of a few, and are the proper objects of human wisdom, and attainable by its powers alone; but their centre and their circumscription is in time. From high attainments in these, the mind of man is taught to wonder, but I much question whether he is often taught to adore. They are too apt to raise the mind, to engage a devoted idolatrous attention, and fix a supercilious disregard to the humble appearance 0f a meek and quiet spirit; and if it were possible that they should accompany the soul from time to eternity, they would prove a subject of humiliation before an Eye that is more extensively opened ; yet these may be sanctified by the influence of religion.
For Frienda' Intelligence!-.
Among the ministers at this place he found one of the same views with himself, who afterwards proved himself a faithful friend. This was I. J. Breithaupt, whom he had known at Kiel. They both preached with earnestness and plainness the necessity of an entire change of heart, and a union with the Lord Jesus Christ by faith, as the only ground of salvation. The people who could find nothing to satisfy the longing of their souls after holiness and happiness, iu the cold and merely moral sermons of the other ministers at Erfurt, flocked to the churches of Francke and Breithaupt, where the way of mercy was opened to their darkened minds, and it is said many were converted to the Lord. Besides their public preaching, Francke and Breithaupt held social meetings daily in their houses, in wliich they explained to the peeple more familiarly the sermons which they heard, and spoke with individuals on the state of their own hearts. Francke also delivered lectures daily upon the Bible to the students at this place. Another means of doing good which he employed, and which he believed to be important among a people so ignorant on the subject of religion, was the selling and gratuitous distribution of New Testaments and other books upon practical piety.
It was not to be expected that these labors would pass without frequent and severe censures. To most of the people of Erfurt the doctrines which he preached were entirely new. A few who compared them with the Scriptures acknowledged that they accorded with them; but the majority could give them no other name than