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PHILADELPHIA, THIRD MONTH 14, 1857.
EDITED BY AN ASSOCIATION OF FRIENDS.
PUBLISHED BY WM. W. MOORE,
Every Seventh day at Two Dollars per annum, pay ahU in advanc*. Three copies sent to one address tor Five Dollars.
Communications mnst be addressed to the Publisher, free of expense, to whom all payments areto be made.
EXTRACT FROM MEMOIR OF PRISC1LLA OURNEY.
Letter to C. G.
[Continued from page 709.]
Nice, Second Month, 8th. Hidden and clouded as our prospect was on leaving home, I remember how it was the desire of my heart that unless the Lord's presence went with us, we might not be taken hence, and there have been times in which I have been ready to believe that his presence has been with us, and that it has hitherto guided, strengthened, and comforted us. This has been my feeling. Having been mercifully a little uplifted above my own poverty, weakness, and natural lowness, makes me shrink from my return to myself: but this will not do ;—I believe we must again and again be brought to the knowledge of ourselves, and, as thou sayest, of our own wretchedness, before we can understand the value, the necessity, and the importance of being brought to Christ, as our Helper and Redeemer. Every fresh experience of ourselves and of life makes us feel that this is our only sure and cflfectual refuge. I am sure it is necessary to our comfort and spiritual prosperity to be weaned from all human dependencies, to have every earthly tie shaken, aud especially those which our hearts are too apt to cleave to. I am ready to hope that, in some things, this has been a weaniug time to me, withdrawn, as I have been, not only from the nearest and dearest natural ties, but, also, from all outward religious dependencies; but I think I never felt the Christian bond which may (and which cannot too much) unite us together, stronger or more precious. Let us remember that we must not be too anxious to choose our own duties; 1 sometimes think the human heart is remarkably deceitful on this very point. Are we not too apt to shrink from denying ourselves and taking up our cross daily '( I am not brought fully to understand that the human heart is des
perately wicked; but I tu k I have quite discovered that it is prone t ml, and that it is deceitful. I truly desire encouragement in every good word and v little and great. Thou knowest that I wan» Mice more and more, my dearest C, to think it worth while to exercise the Christian principle in the least, as well as iu the greatest occurrences of life. I know that it ought to influence and to govern all our thoughts, words, and deeds; and I am sure if I wish it for thee, I wish for it and want it for myself. To S. @. she wrote at this time:— I fully agreed with thee jn what thou sayest of the Spirit and Inward, Teacher given to all. You may perhaps think that I have dwelt too much on the importance of spreading the Scriptures; the reason is that I have felt it the only thing we can do here. There appears to me, among the Catholics, so very little opening for any other means of communication; but I never felt more deeply convinced of the importance and efficacy of the work of the Spirit on the heart, than in the experience of this journey, and never more truly valued that principle which leads to an entire submission to its guidance, its teaching, and its baptism.
To William and Anna Forster.
Nice, Third Month 5th. I have had much satisfaction in being with dear Jane and Rachel, as well as the rest of our little circle; and we have been, to my feelings, very sweetly and comfortably united together. I believe it will now be a relief to my mind to resign my charge to my beloved uncle and aunt, and to return to my own post at home. I feel truly obliged to thee, dear William, for thy few lines of exhortation and encouragement to me: they have beeu particularly seasonable at this time. 1 hope to have your continued sympathy, and to be remembered by you; for, indeed, I often feel that I need, in a peculiar manner, the help spiritually of my friends; though I am sure I have no cause for complaint, but, indeed, very great occasion for thankfulness in the many and unmerited blessings which are granted me; and I have felt renewedly sensible of this in my situation here, and in the long and distant separation from my dear friends, and from my beloved family.
A prospect of visiting the Friends of Congenics, &c, though one not by any means clear as to how it will turn out, is one of considerable weight and seriousness to me; but 1 have not felt easy to leave France without visiting them. I am not inclined to be very anxious on the subject, believing that if the thing be right, the way will somehow be made for it. It seems almost in vain to look on the right hand, or on the left, or to expect the approbation of man on the one side or the other. I believe it would not be of so mucb consequence to us if our eye were really kept single towards our dear Lord and Master; at least 1 feel this much myself, and I well know that this is what I want very far more of.
TJiird Month 26th.—The arrival of my dear uncle and aunt and Emma was one of those very affecting events not soon to be forgotten. They came about ten. It was overwhelming to our natural feelings to meet them again. We are all cast down, and very low.
In reference to this deeply touching re-union of the bereaved family, the reader will scarcely need to be reminded of the solemn event that had occurred during their separation, which had removed from them the only surviving son and brother; or of the mournful anticipation that their beloved Rachel would soon follow to the grave the two dear youths whom they had been called to resign. But, most bitter as was their cup of life, during years of sorrow and anxiety, the power of Christian faith was remarkably exemplified in the meek submission with which there was a surrendering to Divine disposal the treasured objects most dear to their hearts. How animating and instructive is it to follow these afflicted individuals; to mark especially how, in the strength of his gracious Lord, the honored head of that circle was sustained, and under every circumstance enabled to dedicate himself and his all to the service of Christ. Priscilla's journal proceeds:—
Fifth-day, 27th.—My uncle said a few words after breakfast, expressing his thankfulness for the spiritual blessing bestowed in every situation.
We all met at meeting. My uncle spoke beautifully on the wells of water, of the sound to be heard at a distance when we could not always fully partake of them. I afterwards walked to the sea-shore.
First-day, 30th.—An interesting, but painful day to me; yet we passed through it as comfortably as we could expect, under our present circumstances.
On this day one of the Romish festivals was celebrated, and P. G. describes it:—
Numbers of people were carrying branches of palm, olives, and laurels, to be blessed by the bishop. This renders them, in the view of the people, sacred, and they are kept as precious possessions in their houses, to protect them against all evil and mischief. The ceremony and outward show in the Catholic church are, I must say, extraordinary to me. We had a comfortable
fast we came forward to this place (CoogeDies). ; My heart sank a little, feeling the weigh/ oft/uOf | visit in prospect. Louis Majolier met wi at h\a
door, and we received a very kind welcome. Trie i remainder of the day occupied by calls from the
Friends who came in to see me. A low night.
I felt in some degree dismayed, till I was again
permitted to partake of a little of that peace l which can quiet every storm. [ 4lh.—After breakfast we visited P. Benezet I and his wife, and several other families of the
Friends. I was enabled to express my desire J for them, in French, that they might acknow| ledge one Lord, be established in one faith, and
be baptized by one baptism. I felt some degree
of satisfaction in these visits; paid others in the
evening, seeing many Friends who flocked around
First-day 6th.—The meetings were, on the whole, comfortable; though I longed for more quiet, inwardly and outwardly. We walked after dinner to Louis Majolier's vineyard. I enjoyed the company of the Friends.
7th.—I walked with the two little boys to a mill upon the hill. After breakfast we visited several families, and a number of Friends from the neighboring villages came to see us.
8th.—Went to Fontana to visit an aged Friend and her family. I enjoyed my ride on the ass, and had some interesting conversation, Antoine Brun.
9th.—Two family visits, and afterward met all the Majolier family, which was interesting and relieving to me. Leave-taking and departure for " St." Giles, accompanied by Louis M. and one of his daughters. The meeting at Giles not soon to be forgotten. It was a time of deep feeling to me.
We may here introduce an extract from the notes of the journey, kept by her cousin A. R. B.
Congenies, Third Month 4th. At seven in the evening, the meeting took place in the large room adjoining Louis Majolier's house: Priscilla spoke with much sweetness in the French language, with little apparent dim
culty, and for some time, and I am told was generally understood. These poor Friends are engaged mostly in the hard and laborious employment of the culture of the vine. Their vineyards are dug with the hand, a spade resembling a bat being used for the purpose; so that hard labor from an early hour in the morning seems to be the order of the day.
bth.—During one of our visits this morning some few words were uttered in French, in supplication, by Priscilla Gurney, during which some of those present seemed to be much affected. After supper this evening at Louis Majolier's, some portion of the Scriptures were read to our party, which was increased in number by the presence of most of the Friends in the village, so that we were about thirty or forty in number. It was a pleasing and interesting sight to see them all thus assembled. Cheerful conversation followed till the party separated to retire to rest. It was a pretty sight to see dear Priscilla surrounded by the young and old of the party, who seemed delighted with her; her own lively countenance in the midst of the group, beaming with Christian affection and sweetness.
9tJi.—We passed over a flat couutry to Giles. At the meeting, Priscilla spoke in exhortation and supplication; she was particularly earnest at almost every visit on the subject of reading the Scriptures in their families.
The travellers proceeded through Autun, Auxerre and Mclun, to Paris, where they arrived on the 18th.
On the 20th, they reached Calais in the evening, and, finding a vessel about to Bail for England, they hastened on board, "leaving the French shores, not without strong emotions and many touching recollections."
I felt, in reviewing the months that we had spent in that country, how much we had to be thankful for. I was in some measure made sensible that the Everlasting Arm had been underneath to sustain; and in examining the past, I was, I believe, humbled under the consideration that we had done but little to promote the cause of the Lord, and but little for the good of our fellow-creatures, who seem indeed to stand in need of help in these countries, both in spiritual and temporal things: but I felt a desire, as I have often done during my residence in that foreign land, that a blessing might attend our little services—even the blessing of Him who alone can give the increase. After a favorable passage, we landed at Dover. The change to our own country was exceedingly pleasant and very striking, almost as much so as our first impressions on landing in France. The people looked more solid, and everything seemed more comfortable. We travelled through the night to London: the atmosphere and influence of which were oppressive to my feelings. I went to Mildred Court,—very unexpectedly to them. We
were rejoiced to meet again. Next day to dear Louisa at Hampstead, where we spent an interesting time together. I stayed in and around London until after the Yearly Meeting, when we heard of an accident having befallen our brother Cunningham: Joseph and I went immediately to Pakefield, where I remained about a week assisting to nurse him: and reached my own dear home about the middle of the Sixth Month, after an absence of about nine months.
Thus was concluded the disinterested labor of this lengthened period of anxiety and change; throughout the whole of which Priscilla Gurney was devoted to the service of God, and to the help of the afflicted and the needy. Truly she manifested, under every dispensation, that her spirit was deeply imbued with the truth, " Ye are not your own." May every one who traces the circumstances of her life, short as it was and closely filled up in the performance of duty, be impressed by the admonition, "Go thou and do likewise." Varied aro the requirements and opportunities of service in the great harvest-field; yet each individual is called to " work while it is day."
Priscilla Gurney received, soon after her arrival in London, a rather poor account of her beloved cousin Rachel, who had been so long the object of her tenderest solicitude.
As the spring advanced her weakness and disease increased, and she, as well as her beloved parents and sisters, became fully aware of her very critical state; and early in the Fifth Month, symptoms of rapid decline indicated that the close was approaching : and her father wrote :—
Yesterday was a day of great conflict. In recalling the sentiment of speedy danger her mind (quite clear) seemed at liberty to address us individually, with a strong and clear voice. She was very emphatic in her advice, particularly I thought to E.; but, of herself, she spoke of being oppressed with the burden of disobedience; and yet not without a gleam of hope in mercy. In the afternoon she supplicated, "Cast me not off fr6m thy presence, &c. :" and craved that if, in the end, a clearer earnest of the future were not vouchsafed to her, no murmuring spirit might be suffered to arise. She sent her love and many particular messages to her relations and friends.
. . . . She felt grateful to for his
kindness, and for the help he had been made to her, and earnestly desired for him that he would follow what she was certain he knew to be right for him,—said that he would be subject to many temptations and allurements to draw him from it, but that if he kept firm it would lead him to eternal glory.
Three weeks after the above was written, this dear young friend was favored peacefully to pass away into the invisible world.
To be <
For Friends Intelligencer.
The deep spiritual visions of this ancient seer, which "I saw," said he, "when the heavens opened, as I sat with the captives by the river Cbeber," may seem somewhat mysterious until opened by the Divine Spirit. When their beauties and realities are thus disclosed, we find they apply to the Church, and to the various states of pilgrims journeying through time to a never ending eternity.
It was by figures and similitudes that the attention of the people was arrested and drawn to reflect upon the duties and obligations their position imposed, as descendants of Abraham, the "Father of the Faithful." Under these, the impressive word of exhortation and rebuke went forth through the Prophets, to awaken, arouse, and if possible reclaim and restore to favor with God, by obedience to his voice, and by walking in all the ordinances of the Law blameless.
Dy carefully perusing the Prophecies of Ezekiel we perceive three important bearings, which with one more added comprise their fulness.— Ihe 1st establishes his mission as a prophet and watchman beyond all controversy. "Thou shalt speak my word to them, whether they will bear, or whether they will forbear." "Though briars and thorns be with thee, and thou dwell among scorpions," he was to warn against evil of every kind that came through disobedience; to admonish the careless and lukewarm, and to show them the calamities that would certainly follow a dereliction from duty, a verging from the path of rectitude. To encourage the honest-hearted, also stood included in the list of duties which the gift of prophecy imposed; and if he failed in any of these, or refrained when commanded, it was at his peril, "Their blood will I require at thy hand." But if faithful in declaring the messages given to hira without fear of their faces or their looks, then, though their end should be inglorious, the peualty rested with themselves; he was to he clear. These solemn truths stand unchanged in every age, and to all nations, touching those commissioned by the Father of mercies to watch over his flock, and to instruct them in his councils, to guide in, and direct to, the way everlasting, to entreat the return of the wanderer, to comfort the mourner, to speak a word in season to the weary, to follow after those that have strayed, and bear them home upon the shoulder to the fold, where they may share the protection and care of the good Shepherd, who "will feed them and lead them to fountains of living waters, and God himself will wipe away all tears from their eyes. 0, ye anointed of the Lord, watch at wisdom's gate, and wait at the ports of her doors; when she speaks listen to her voice and obey her instructions, for she is the handmaid of the Lord, pointing to each their service, and giving out their portions. She dwells in the secret places
of the Almighty, also in the habitable parts of the earth, aud her delight is with the sons of men. She holds out the cheering invitation, 1 Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine that I have mingled,' and thus renew your strength for new conflicts that await the poor servant at every turn, in accomplishing the purposes of the great Eternal. Let your place of safety be the house of prayer; this is a stronghold, an impregnable fortress, where the soul?= enemy has no access; "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation, pray always, or without ceasing, rejoice evermore, and in every thing give thanks." Armed with thy invincible armor of light, bend the course straight forward as did the living creatures the Prophet saw by the river Cheber; whithersoever their faces turned, thither they went; they came mil of the tcAt'rixcind, they were lifted up from the earth, and over them did the Cherubims spread out their wings and the glory of the Lord was round about. There was a "wheel within a wheel," implying the vast machinery employed in the woudrout work of executing the mind aud will of Jehovah, bringing everything into the blessed and beautiful order he establishes in the Church, and down to the smallest circles of household Edens, where his Holy Spirit presides and his love bears sway, i hach had four faces—the first like a cherub, re! presenting the angelic sweetness that encircles 1 those whom the Holy Spirit governs and when the Father's love bears rule. The second, tk | face of a man, presenting the beiug formed for a heavenly adorning, a crown of glory and unfading lustre, wrought by virtue's handi-work, and I rendered ever-enduring by the holy attributes oi 1 Deity which form the material of which it is composed. The third had the face of a lion, indicating the strength and might conferred by a anion of the human and the divine natures, when the carnal becomes subject to the spiritual, and the Creator is permitted to take unto himself his great power and reign. The fourth had the face of an eagle, showing the high elevation of mind, feeling and affections, where there is a conformity yielded to the regenerating prooess, th« spirit Yrting lifted up and poised iu a holy trust, the eye fixed upon the Sun of righteousness, clothed with his spirit, and the earth under the feet. Here we see what appeared hideous at first view rendered entirely lovely, and of the highest possible value.
[To be continued.]
TAKE CARE OF THE CASKET FOR THE SAKE Of THE JEWEL.
In many cases in which Christians complain of the " hiding of God's countenance," of darkness and depression, the cause is solely physical dieease; produced not unfrequently by an obstinate disregard to the will of God as expressed in the human constitution, made up of soul and body; and by which a certain amount of repose, relax*
tion, and exercise are essential to the right working of both. Let rae earnestly press it upon young and ardent students, that it is a very mistaken manliness to despise the demands of the body; that it is no self-denial, but self-indulgence, to sacrifice health and life in the pursuit of knowledge. Let me remind them that God will make them responsible for every talent committed to them, and for shortening those days which might have been many; and for turning those hours into darkness and distress which might have been hours of sunshine and ponce. That must be no small sin in the eye of God, which he so often visits with an early death or premature old age; and which has deprived many a family of its most precious treasure, and the Church of its brightest hopes.—Macleod's Memuriah of Mackintosh.
Sume account of the wonderful operations of Redeeming Love and Merry, as manifested in the Life and Experience of John Davis.
I was born at Amesbury, near Salisbury, Wiltshire, about the year 1667, of honest parents, who gave me a moderate education, and I can remember, that so early as the eighth or ninth year of my age (being then more than commonly inclined to evils and follies incident to youth,) how the Lord followed me with His reproofs of that which I now know to be His .Spirit. In those days I was brought under such sorrow, that I often washed my couch with tears for my then offences against Ilim ; and more particularly about the fifteenth year of my age, when, being visited with a snre sickness of nine months' continuance, which brought me near death, I had the spirit of grace and supplication poured out upon me, though I was not sensible what it was that brought me under such sorrow and repentance for my sins. So great an impression did my illness, ami the visitation of Divine love, leave upon my spirit, that for some years after, I endeavored to live in the fear of God, and was often intent on matters of religion. I began to be very uneasy under the profession I then was in, (the Church of England, so called) thinking the professors of it too loose both in principle and practice ; and living, as 1 did, in a Roman Catholic family, I occasionally had some discourse with a priest of that community, who seemed to be more strict and religious than those of my own persuasion gouerally. I was willing to ask counsel of God in a matter of such moment as the salvation of my soul, for which I was, at that time, (according to my understanding) honestly concerned. Being in a strait in my mind in this matter, after reading some books of dispute, one night as I was going to bed, it came into my heart to pray to the Lord in the few following words with more than usual fervency of spirit—" 0 Lord God! be pleased to show the way in which I may worship thee ac
ceptably;" which was all I had to say. I took particular notice of this, and further conferred with the priest, whom I looked upon as a good man. I consented to go to confession with him, thinking the Lord had answered my short prayer before mentioned, and that now I wns right. He furnished me with books, and I soon became a zealous Papist, though their foolish stories and legends did not work much upon me, neither was I fond of many things which they did. Some of them seemed bigoted, and I grew a great disputant, thinkiug I was right and meritorious in gaining as many proselytes as I could.
But amidst all my zeal and performances, as I increased in years I increased in wickedness; for now I began to poison my mind with reading plays and romances, and otlier bad books, by which I was exposed to many temptations, and very often fell into them. Then was I disappointed in the very end for which I changed my religion, which was to get the victory over the many evils 1 found increasing in me; and though I was more than commonly zealous in going to confession, and receiving the sacrament, yet I still returned "like the dog to his vomit."
Finding all my praying, fasting, confessions, zealous performances, and whatsoever 1 could do, ineffectual to the gaining of the victory over the corruptions of my heart, I grew weary of them, and began to conclude it was impossible to attain it, and that I knew enough of religion to no purpose. I then hearkened to Satan, who told me secretly in my heart, that I might do something when I was old; but at this time of my life these things were impossible; and if I did but go to confession before I died, all would be well. I believed him, and gave myself liberty then to follow the devices and desires of my heart;—a willing servant I became to Satan, following him almost wherever he led me. I then began to see that some of the priests were knaves and cheats, and far from what I once thought them to be ; so I despised both them and their religion, and became a libertine. In this manner I took off my religion at once, reserving to myself the intention of going to confession before I died.
I served out my time, and soon after married a sober honest woman; but before I had been married two years, many troubles, disappointments, and losses were our portion: all this was but the bogiuuing of sorrows. Next we took a house, and entered into business. In a few years, through continual disappointments and losses, we were obliged to give it up, not having enough left to pay our creditors, by about forty pounds.* I was thus driven from my wife and children, and forced to seek my living in a foreign land, where I was reduced to live without bread for days to
* In the sequel it will be seen, he afterwards (lis charged this on the principle of strict justice.