« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
a little wine and water, he replied no, he was waiting for that which was without-mixture. His weakness increasing, that ha could hardly speak to be understood, he said, he hoped the Lord would take the will for the deed, for he had not strength to express what was upon his mind —and quietly resigned his breath to him who gave it, on the 5th of the Tenth month, 1799, aged about GG years; and wc doubt not but he rests from his labors, and his works they follow him.
EXTRACTED FROM JANNEY'S LIFE OF GEORGE FOX.
"On his (George Fox's) return from Ireland, he landed at Liverpool, and passing through Lancashire, he had 'many precious meetings,' and proceeded to Bristol, where ho met with Margaret Fell, then on a visit to one of her daughters. It had now been about a year since she was, by the King's order, liberated from Lancaster Castle, where she had suffered four years imprisonment, under sentence of premunire. She and George Fox had long been intimately acquainted, and it had been a considerable time since he had informed her that he believed it would bo right for them to take each other in marriage, to which she assented j but, in their apprehension the proper time was not then come. 'Wherefore,' he says, 'I let the thing rest, and went on in the work and service of the Lord, according as he led me ; travelling in this nation and through Ireland. But now being at Bristol, and finding Margaret Fell there, it opened in me from the Lord that the thing should be accomplished. After we had discoursed the matter together, I told her, ■ If she also was satisfied with the accomplishing of it now, she should first send for her children;' which she did. When the rest of her daughters were come, I asked both them and her sons-in-law, if they had anything against it or for it? and they all severally expressed their satisfaction therewith. Then I asked Margaret, 'If she had fulfilled her husband's will to her children?' she replied 'the children knew she had.' Whereupon I asked them, whether if their mother married, they should not lose by it? I asked Margaret, 'Whether she had done anything in lieu of it, which might answer it to the children V The children said, 1 she had answered it to them,' and desired me to speak no more of it. I told them 'I was plain, and would have all things done plainly: for I sought not any outward advantage to myself.' So our intention of marriage was laid before Friends, both privately and publicly, to their full satisfaction, many of whom gave testimony that it was of God. Afterwards, a meeting being appointed on purpose for the accomplishing thereof, in the public meeting house at Broad-Mead, in Bristol, we took each other in marriage, the Lord joining us together in the
honorable marriage, in the everlasting covenant and immortal seed of life. In the sense whereof, living and weighty testimonies were borne thereunto by Friends in the movings of the heavenly power which united us together."
At the time of their marriage, George Foi was forty-five years of age, and his wife fifty-five, she having been a widow eleven years.
"We staid," he says, " about a week in Bristol, and then went together to Oldstone: where taking leave of each other in the Lord we parted, betaking ourselves each to our several service; Margaret returning homewards to the north, and I passing on in the work of the Lord as before."
"Near the close of the year 1669, George Fox, while in London, issued an address to Friends throughout the nation ; advising that in all their Quarterly and Monthly Meetings, inquiry should be made for such children of widows, and other poor Friends, as were suitable for apprenticeship, in order that places might be found for them among the members of their own society. Hui object was to secure for them suitable homes, where they would receive a guarded religious education, and would thus become qualified to promote the maintenance and comfort of their mothers in the decline of life.
Leaving London, he visited some meetings in the country, and intending to go into Leicestershire, he wrote to his wife that " if she found it convenient she might meet him there." But when he arrived in that county, he heard that she had been again arrested in her own house, and taken to Lancaster prison, on account of the old sentence of premunire, from the penalty of which she had been released by an order of the king and council, the year before. After visiting a few more meetings he returned to London, where he despatched Mary liower and Sarah Fell, two of his wife's daughters, to wait on the king, in order to obtain from him a full discharge. After diligent attention, they at length obtained an order to the sheriff for her release, which Sarah Fell carried to Lancaster without delay. She was also the bearer of the following letter from George Fox to his wife.
"My dear heart in the truth and life that changeth not—
"It was upon me that Mary Lower and Sarah should go to the king concerning thy imprisonment; and to Kirby, that the power of the Lord might appear over them all in thy deliverance. They went; and then thought to have come down; but it was upon me to stay them a little longer, that they might follow the business till it was effected; which it now is, and is here sent. The late declaration of mine hath been very serviceable, people being generally satisfied with it. So no more but my love in the holy seed,
The "declaration" was written on the occasion of a fresh persecution which followed the renewal of the Conventicle Act, in 1670."
The marriage certificate being a document of some interest, is here subjoined :—
"These are to signify unto all whom this may concern, that on the eighteenth day of the eighth month, in the year one thousand six hundred and sixty nine, George Fox and Margaret Fell propounded their intentions of joining together in the honorable marriage, in the covenant of God, in men's meeting at Broad-Mead, within the city of Bristol, (having before made mention of such their intentions to several friends,) on the behalf of which there were several testimonies given, both by the children and relations of the said Margaret, then present, and several others, in the power of the Lord, both of men and women, declaring their satisfaction and approbation of their declared intention of marriage.
And likewise at another meeting both by men and women, at the place aforesaid, on the twentyfirst day of the month and year aforesaid, the said George Fox and Margaret Fell did again publish their intention of joining together in the honorable marriage in the covenant of God, unto which there were again many living testimonies borne by the relations aud friends then present, both of men and women. And the same intentions of marriage being again published by Dennis Hollister, at our public meeting place aforesaid, on the two aud twentieth day of the month and year aforesaid, and then again, a public testimony was given to the same, that it was of God who had brought it to a pass.
And for the full accomplishment of the aforesaid proposal, and approved intention, at a public meeting, both of men and women Friends appointed on purpose for the same thing, at the place aforesaid, according to the law aud ordinance of God, aud the example and good order of Ilis people, mentioned iu the Scriptures of truth, who took each other before witnesses and the elders of the people, as Laban appointed a meeting at the marriage of Jacob, and as a meeting was appointed on purpose when Boas and Ruth took each other, and also so it was in Canaan, when Christ and his disciples went to a marriage, &c. ;.the said George Fox did solemnly, in the presence of God, and us his people, declare that he took the said Margrret Fell in the everlasting power and covenant of God, which is from everlasting to everlasting, and in the honorable marriage, to be his bride and his wife. And likewise the said Margaret did, solemnly declare that in the everlasting power of the mighty God, and iu the unalterable word, and in the presence of God, His angels and his holy assembly, she took the said George Fox to be her husband, unto which marriage many living testimonies were borne in the sense of the power aud presence of the living God, manifested iu
the said assembly; of which we whose names are here subscribed are witnesses."
(Then follow the signatures of ninety-two Friends of both sexes.)
For Friends' Intelligencer.
In arranging some manuscripts recently, I found the subjoined outlines of an impressive sermon delivered by our beloved friend, John Comly, at Byberry meeting, nearly twenty-one years'since. Believing that some friends, to whom his memory is dear, would read them with interest, I have forwarded them for insertion in the Intelligencer, should you deem them worthy.
In our meeting on First day, the 14th of 2d month, 1830, J. C. delivered an impressive testimony on the nature of silent worship. He commenced by adverting to the state of enquiry common to children, as being a good and profitable state, where the mind is siucerely desirous to bo instructed. He then mentioned an enquiry that was perhaps generally felt, and sometimes expressed among the children of Friends, or such as attended Friends' silent meetings. What- do we go to meeting for? He said this was often fouud to be a difficult question for parents to answer, so as to satisfy the enquiring minds of children—and mentioned several answers that might be given, and probably were—but for want of a more experimental and practical knowledge of the nature of silent, spiritual worship, parents and the elder members of families were not qualified to lead the minds of children to an acquaintance with that state of mind in which this enquiry could be satisfied. He, however, concluded that one of the most simple and plain answers, and one which would be generally understood, especially as related to the outward condition, was, to learn to be still. Some instructive remarks were added on the inadequacy of this answer to satisfy even an infant mind— which seemed to open the wuy for introducing what he called a parable, as delivered by Daniel of old—" Walk about Zion, count the towers thereof; mark ye well her bulwarks; consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following."
In the application of this parable to the nature j of silent spiritual worship, ho first alluded to the historical account of the manner of building cities and towns in ancient times—that they were enclosed by a wall, on which there were towers erected for the watchmen, whose business it was to keep a look-out against the approach of enemies on every side, and when danger appeared, immediately to give the alarm to those within —there were also bulwarks erected on the walls for defence against their enemies; as well as palaces, for enjoyment in times of peace and prosperity, within the city. Zion was said to havo been built on a mountain, or top of a hill, in this manner, and included the temple or house of the Lord, where worship was performed.
Considering Zion as the representation of the spiritual church, and its living members as being every one the house or temple of the Lord, inclosed within its walls—according to the declaration of the apostle, " Ye are the temples of the living God'—and " whose house ye are," it was easy to perceive the analogy. Now, as travellers, or persons desirous of correct iuformation and knowledge of subjects or places, are induced to examine thorn particularly, so as to become qualified to tell others, it was needful to walk about Zion—to consider well the state of mind in which silent spiritual worship could be acceptably performed. It must be obvious that the mind must become gathered, not only into outward but inward stillness, circumscribed as by a wall—and that in telling or counting " the towers thereof," it was easy to perceive the need of watchmen, or watchfulness on every side; for the enemies to this inwardly retired gathered state were many. On one baud, worldly thoughts, business cares of this life,-might approach to annoy or divert the mind; on another side, plans and schemes of amusement, pleasures, gratifications of animal appetites and passion might make an inroad, and a great variety of other wandering thoughts and presentations, as enemies to that state in which the temple of the Lord should be kept, in order to perform spiritual worship in. If the watchmen sleep, the towers become useless. But if the mind, in examining itself, its state and condition, counts the towers, it sees these and every enemy that approaches; it repairs to the bulwarks of defence—it marks these bulwarks well—it knows that early resistance to vaiu thoughts and intruding imaginations, through diriue grace (the armor in these bulwarks,) soon puts them to flight. In this warfare, the mind becomes victorious, and prepared for the enjoyment of those palaces of delight and safety that are known in the pavilion of divine preservation—in the inner temple of the Lord's house, where he is known to his children as a refuge. Thus the dedicated mind becomes experimentally and divinely qualified to " tell the generation following," to the rising generation, the enquiring youthful mind, what we go to mectiug for, and what good it does to go to meeting.
Where and when this state of preparation is known, divine goodness never fails to manifest himself in his temple, and to qualify the mind to worship him in spirit and in truth; to be the preacher and teacher of his people himself, and to renew their strength in him: but for want of this, and of being acquainted with this state of inward gathering into solemn, awful silence, for want of walking about Zion, counting the towers thereof, marking well the bulwarks, considering her palaces, the mind may be in a very superficial state—unqualified to answer the
enquiries either vocally or by the expressive language of conduct and example of the rising generation, or those inexperienced in this state.
In the course of this interesting communication, reference was had to the difference between the Society of Friends and other professors, in relation to the subject of worship. Friends profess to worship in silence, in spirit, in the mind. Hence outward or bodily stilluess is needful, so as to have the least interruption to this ingathering into mental silence. But as the natural or human mind, comparable to water, is easily agitated through the medium of the senses, it becomes needful to guard against those interruptions as much as may be. Hence the query amongst Friends—is the hour appointed for assembling observed? because the sooner outward stillness is witnessed, the less the mind is liable tobe divided through the medium of the eye or the ear.
But when punctuality is not observed, an unsettled state is often the consequence—add to this the use of bolls on the horses. If all could meet at one time, these might not so much divert the attention, especially of children and young or weak and unstable minds—but tbis not being the case, especially in the short inclement mornings of this season, it might be well to Codsider aud count the towers of watchfulness against unsettlement of mind, in those who endeavored to be punctual in observing the hour appointed for gathering.
The Pursuit or Riches. "Take heed and beware of covctousness; for * man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the thing! which he possosseth."—Luke xii. ID.
Many of the difficulties in life which men have to struggle with, arise from their sumptuous modes of living, and the excessive trading of a part of the community, to make themselves suddenly rich. They seek to acquire wealth by their wits, and refuse the slow process of manual labor, or moderate business, to obtain the necessary me-ms of subsistence. Business is followed on a large scale, not so much to provide for the natural wants of a family, as for the purpose of accumulating property, and securing the personal aggrandizement of the trader. The successes of the few are like the prizes of a' lottery, which serve to sharpen the appetites of the many, who often come out like those who draw the blanks. Others not only lose their own, but that which they had borrowed, or otherwise gotten possession of.
Perhaps there is no country where men hazard the property of others in business enterprizes more than in the United States. Many conduct their concerns iu a reckless manner, without proper regard to the risks to which they are exposing other men's estates and reputations; and often sell below what the cost of the goods and
their expenses demand, for the sake of appearing to do a large business. By this course, many honest and circumspect traders aro robbed of their dues, and of their proper share of business and profits, and are put to much difficulty in procuring a livelihood. Besides the loss of their own reputation, the character of the community suffers, by the insolvency of' such wanton speculators; and if they are members of religious society, its reputation also is reproached.
When creditors see that the prospect of recovering their own is hopeless, and therefore suffer the loss without openly charging the debtor with actual dishonesty, some seem to think that little or no disgrace attaches to a man who gets hold of all the money and all the goods he can belonging to others, and squanders them in his fruitless enterprises. The debtor appears to think that all ho has to do, is to compromise with his creditors upon the best terms ho can make, who are generally compelled to submit to his dictates. If he has not, in some unjust and clandestine manner, secured a living out of their reach, he goes on again trading on borrowed capital, if he can obtain it; and perhaps, in the course of a short life, he may become bankrupt several times. No one can believe that any man thus wrongs others of their property by his unjustifiable proceedings, without suffering the loss of sound moral principle, and cither involving himself in great unhappiness, or his feelings becoming extremely blunted. The cause of religion, and the importance of bringing no Blemish upon his profession, by failure to pay his just debts, must have had too little place in his mind, or he would have limited his business, and traded under such guards as not to hazard and squander the property of others.
The various panics, as they are termed, in the trading community, and the complaints of hard times and dull business, are mainly produced by excessive and unwarrantable extension of trade and credit, and the contracting; of expensive habits of living, founded upon temporary prosperity, as it is deemed; for extreme trading, with its profits, will be invariably followed by an opposite state of depression in business, and consequently the means to support a costly mode of life will be cut off.
If Christians were governed by the spirit and precepts of the Divine Lawgiver, all these extremes and their distressing consequences would be avoided. He directed his disciples to take no thought, saying, " W hat shall we eat or what shall we drink, and wherewithal shall we be olothed; neither be ye of doubtful mind, for after all these things do the gentiles seek, and your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of these things; but seek first the kingdom of God, and the righteousness thereof, and all these things shall be added unto you. Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and
rust corrupt and thieves break through and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven." If one of our Lord's Apostles were now to appear in the simple character that they did at the time of the Saviour's advent, and to preach this doctrine among the business community, most would conclude he was a man beside himself ;—they would despise his doctrine, and consider it unworthy of their reception, or even notice; so little practical influence have those commands of the New Testament over them generally. It is the hundreds, the thousands, and the tens of thousands, they earnestly covet after, whether the salvation of their souls is ever worked out or not; the money they will have, if it can possibly be obtained, even at the risk of that work being deferred to the last moment, or of its not being accomplished at all. Neither the doctrines of their Saviour, nor the powerful convictions and admonitions of his Spirit in their hearts, appear to have any restraining influence over the pursuit of the great proportion after filthy lucre,—so completely fascinating and absorbing are the attractions of the idols of silver and gold.
This insatiable thirst for wealth, not only creates its own evils in the trading community by the convulsions and disappointments which attend extremo trading, but the cause of religion —the spread of the Redeemer's kingdom in the hearts of men—is arrested by it. He is expelled or kept out of his rightful possession, the heart of man; and Mammon, the god of wealth and lust, takes his place—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, become the ruling passions. A great portion of mankind seem to have no time to spare for salvation— business, business—money, money—are the main objects of their desire. Where, then, are found among such professing Christians, the salt of the earth—the lights of the world? What light or example docs tbe devotee to this world afford to the rising generation'! Is there anything in his spirit, in his conduct, in his language, in his countenance, that draws and invites to Christ, and tells the youthful beholder that the salvation of his soul, and the glory of his Creator, are the great purposes to which the faculties of his mind and the strength of his body should be devoted, above every thing else? Is he leading him in the paths of righteousness, and contributing to make him, as he rises in life, a valuable citizen, a spiritual Christian, that he may become a leader and instructor of others in the same path? No such thing. His practice, his carnal doctrines, his slavery to the world, tend to drive others from religion, and to bring it into discredit.
Of what little importance in society is the mere man of the world! He commences his routine in the morning, reads his newspaper, talks upon business and politics, goes the round in his daily track of laboring, bartering and selling, and inquiring what news, and pretty much fills up the balance of his time in eatiug, drinking, and sleeping. When old age overtakes him, having lived without God in the world, nothing appears to interest him but the long-cherished ideas of business, and the security of his property. He rejects the solemn subject of religion and salvatioD, looks upon its most conscientious prof ssors as governed by imagination; and if he does not orally deny the truths of the Bible, his life shows they have little influence upon him. If he has religious connections and friends, they secretly deplore his destitution of the oil of the kingdom, and the little real comfort his society affords. His emptiness of the "one thing needful" gives them many painful apprehensions; and when he goes down to the grave, they have no cheering evidence that he had any sustaining interest in the 'Lord Jesus, or any solid ground for hope of admission into his everlasting kingdom among the blessed. Such instances should be solemn warnings to survivors.
PHILADELPHIA SECOND MONTH 14, 1857.
The following article from the "National Zeitung," a liberal paper published in Berlin, was translated and forwarded to us by a young Philadelphian now in that city. It is interesting, as giving some idea of how the actions of our government are looked upon abroad, and as an answer to the assertion that Europeans only take side with the Republican party in hopes that its success would be the signal for a dissolution of the Union.
Berlin, 12lh mo. SUl, 1856.
TI1E NEW POSTULATE OF TUE AMERICAN
The party platform upon which James Buehanau has been elected, by a relative majority of the American people, President of the United States, lays particular emphasis upon "the equality of the States composing the Union." The discussions which preceded the election have left no doubt as to the signification of this expression. It means, "The servitude of laborers and their individual freedom are two things of perfectly equal standing. Wherever therefore the central power would have to decide between the two, it must refuse to do so, and leave the matter to chance, i. e. to the accidental inclinations of the first settlers who stream toward a new territory." Buchanan is elected as representative of this "Democratic" principle.
The Democratic party is, however, in its way a party of progress. It contents itself with no acquisition, no matter how arduously attained,
but regards it merely as a stepping-stone to further consequences. That it has given the ratification of an election victory to a doctrine which stands in diametrical opposition to its principles of ten years ago, is not enough; the thirst for further "saving deeds" leaves it no rest. Especially that fraction of the party which we would term in European language the extreme left (a fraction which, under its leader Calhoun, was contemptuously treated by a Democratic president twenty five years ago, but since then, pressing forward step by step, has obtained the control of the party,) is diligently employed in pushing to theextieme point " the consequences of the principle," and in pointing out to Buchanan the path of " Democratic progress" which he must follow. They have lately, by their party organs, brought out a new postulate, and press it into public discussion with that nervous zeal which characterizes their whole bearing. This postulate is the re-opening of the African slave trade which has been forbidden since the year 1808.
As long as the demand was discussed, with more or less violence, in journals only, we felt ourselves justified in regarding it merely as one of those extreme assertions to which the heat of a campaign enrried on with uncommon bitterness generally leads. But it has left this stage. In the me.-sage with which Gov. Adams, of South Carolina, on the 24th November, opened the legislative body of that State, he uttered the demand with even greater distinctness than it had been done by the Charleston Standard, and gave us clearly to understand, that at the proper time it would be forced upon the country with the usual threats of a dissolution of the Union. The subject appears, therefore, soon about to be taken from the field of theoretical discussion and become part of the politics of the United States. Under these circumstances it appears important enough to justify a closer examination of the argument of Gov. Adams. (Here follow copious extracts from the message, after which the writer proceeds as follows.)
Whatever we may find to censure in bis deductions they are at least logical. If we acknowledge the single little postulate that slavery is just, reasonable and beneficent, it follows as a matter of course that one only fulfils a duty of humanity in making as many negroes as possible partakers of the blessing. This postulate, however, is considered by the whole southern half of the Democratic party, (and this half forms at least two thirds if not three fourths of the party) as a firmly established truth which needs no further demonstration. And even if we confine ourselves to the point of the state and federal laws, as the election of Buchanan has interpreted them, the position of Mr. Adams cannot be assailed. His comparison between the European emigration to the Northern States of the Union