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within our hearts. He chooses us to-day, just as he chose his disciples of old. He comes to us, he calls us to come and follow him. The impressions are made within the secret of our own hearts. He does not come as Jesus, and in his outward character, with the outward form, but he comes into the heart, and calls us to give our affections supremely to him. We must make the choice, and give up ; heed the call, and when we thus give up, and heed the call, we have made the change of heart and change of affections. We are no longer governed merely by earthly promptings, by the traditional teachings we have received, but have come into the immediate presence and communion of the divine spirit. This is what I understand by the experiencing of religion ; this is change of heart, or change of purpose, and when this has really become the experience of any individual, it will first manifest itself in its pureness, in the home life. I have no confidence in any profession of religion which is only manifested in public, and which cannot be, or is not carried into the home, for this reason;–there is a natural love in the mind of every individual to be thought well of in the circle in which he may move. That love will lead us to control the promptings of our own passions, lest we mar the reputation we are desirous of attaining. But when we enter the home life, close the door, and shut out from the world our actions, then we show just what being we really are. If we have really entered into that condition of change of heart, and change of affection, our love will be of that character towards the inmates of that home, whether the relation be that of husband, wife, father, mother, parent or child, in which we shall unselfishly seek the best interest of each member of the family; in which we will be willing to make self-sacrifices for the good of each, even where there may not be a corresponding return of self-sacrifice. No matter what may be the treatment we may receive, it is our duty to do that which is right, and to manifest that love we profess. For we may remember that when Jesus commanded his disciples to love one another even as he had loved them, he had borne with their follies, with their mistakes, their shortcomings, their often questioning and doubting, and had loved them still through all. And so this must be the experience in every christian home life. In a truly christian home, there will be no undue exaction in any form or manner, but there will be first the evidence of - pure love; a willingness to make those sacrifices although they may be contrary to the desire of the mind, in order that nothing may occur to mar this sweet, precious and holy influence which should govern in every christian home. In such a home there would ever be an influence, preservative in its character, over all its members. When mingling in the strifes and contentions of the world, in the busy cares that often oppress the mind, under the trials and sorrows that must necessarily come, in such a home there will be found that which will prove a true solace. Hence, it is important that those of us who are making professions of christianity, who have become disciples of Christ, that we see to it that we carry that profession into the home life. It is too often the case that we satisfy ourselves with the profession we make
in public assemblies, and with the soundness of the views we are entertaining, and fail to carry out, in these simple ways what is emphatically required of us in our profession. When we have thus carried out this love here, we are then prepared to go further and carry it with us into our intercourse with the world; in our business relations. Now a religion that cannot be carried into the business life, is of very little value to the human family. It is too often regarded by the professors of religion, as something to be used only on the first day of the week, or when we meet in religious assemblies, or perhaps around the family altar, reading the scriptures at home, in these outward devotions. But when in business life, we meet with business men, it is another matter. Now, I claim that the foundation upon which true christianity rests, is that our religion must be carried with us everywhere, and that profession that cannot be carried into the business life is of no real value to us. We must love our fellow-men unselfishly, not merely for our own aggrandisement, not merely seeking our own self interest, nor the mere gratification of our desire to become rich in the eyes of the world. (Not that we should withdraw ourselves from the common avocations of life, because it is necessary that we should provide for the Outward.) A true love for our fellow-men, as Jesus loved his disciples, and as Christ loves us, will require us to render to every man a proper equivalent for that we receive from him. We cannot take anything which properly belongs to another, without rendering a just equivalent for it. This would prevent men from entering into doubtful speculations, and thus jeopardising not only their means but that of their friends and their neighbors. It would keep them out of gambling speculations of a higher or lower nature, Speculating in stocks, grain, or gold, betting on elections or horse racing, they are all one in character. They come from a desire to get rich quickly, no matter how, and in this there is no real love for one another. There is no looking ahead at the consequences which result from taking from a man his property without giving him an equivalent; looking for our own interest and aggrandisement regardless of what may be the result to others. The condition of our country to-day arising from this evil, evidences the need for carrying out this injunction in our business life. We can hardly take up a newspaper without reading of defalcations or frauds of men who are trusted with other people's means; men who are holding responsible positions, and when the question comes, where has the means gone, it has been squandered in these speculations. They have squandered not only their own means, but that belonging to others, thus bringing suffering and sorrow to their own homes as well as others. This would not be the case, if there were a true and unselfish love for their fellow men. There would be no such desire for self aggrandisement. It would be kept out of the heart. There would be a recognition of the rights of others, and were business carried out upon such principles the world would be far better off than it now is. Recognizing this fact, we are called in the teachings of Jesus, in his memorable sermon on the mount and other teachings, all bearing the same
tenor, to carry this religion into those practical duties which belong to every day life. When we have arrived at such love, in these first duties in the home, and in the business world, we may then properly enter the religious organizations which are formed for mutual benefit, and in them carry out the unselfish love for one another so as to promote the highest good of all. No man has any rights in such organizations because of his position, or the amount of talent he may possess, to demand any sacrifice of his associates that he is not willing to also give to them. There is nothing in this condition as members of a religious organization, no matter by what name it may be called, that gives one man any privileges over another, because of these talents or the possession of more means than others. We all stand upon an equality before our heavenly father. All are responsible to Him, and they are only kept in safety who are faithful to what He requires. No one of us has a right to assume because of any superiority of mind or talent, or ability to express one's self more clearly, to think that others must do as we say. We have no right because of these things, to press our views upon our associates in a religious organization. We have a right to express our views clearly and forcibly, as the Lord has given them to us, and we are then to leave them to make their way into other hearts, by the evidence they bear. If we keep our proper places in such associations, if we love one another, if we are willing to make these sacrifices for the good of others, we can afford to patiently wait for the Lord to work out his own work. It is because of our failure to recognize this that there have come strifes and contentions into the religious organizations, which should have been bound in one common brotherhood. It is not love that prompts us to force our views upon others. It is purely selfishness on our part. If there were no other principle carried out than the law of “Love one another,” we would never hear of divisions, nor of placing upon each other of undue burdens, because each heart, turning to the Lord for its direction, would do its own work in the way God points, although there may be those of the five talents, and those of the one. The strong man with the five talents and the babe with the one receive their power and their wisdom from the same divine source, and would bear with one another under these circumstances. It was never intended that men should see eye to eye in all things. It is not in the nature of things that this should be so with the different characters of their minds and their different endowments. The strong man of the five talents should not ask of the babe with the one to see as he sees. If we work together in this spirit of love, we will become mutual helpers one of another. Then again, there is still a larger field in which to exercise this principle. There has long been too much lack of this in the feeling which should flow out from one religious denomination to another. Assuming the fact that the Lord has special need of our fold, we have no right to form a judgment as to the way and manner of worshipping of others. While differing in the way and manner of worship, kindred spirits associate together and form all the different sects which
we find everywhere. But one sect has no right to assume a judgment over another, saying, we are nearer God than they. We believe from our standpoint, that we have for ourselves the views that evidently are the nearest right, but that may not appear So from the standpoint from which others view the same thing. It has so long been the manner of the different churches to contend with one another about the soundness of their doctrines instead of looking at the purity of their lives. This ought not to be so. It does not recognize the fact I spoke of a few moments ago that God does not require that all men should see eye to eye. Go out into the works of nature, the handiwork of God, yes, untouched by the hand of man, and we do not find monotony essential to harmony. Look at the variety of trees growing in the forest, and in that variety no two trees alike ; no two leaves precisely alike, and yet these trees are entwining their roots in the same mother earth, drawing from the same air the sustenance to support their life; and yet, when we look upon this variety, we see there is harmony. Were everything of just one color, were there not this variety, the eye would soon tire. It is in this very variety that there is beauty and harmony. It is in the wisdom of God that it should be so. Were we all of one mind, should we look upon beliefs from the same standpoint, there would be no advancement in that knowledge that comes from abrasion of thought. There would be nothing that would induce us to look further than the present. Progress would cease. We should look at these things and in love compare views, and not allow difference of sentiment to make a difference in feeling. When in this spirit, we try to view the same subject from the same standpoint, we may find there is much for us yet to learn and as a result of this influence of love, there will be a real advancement in the knowledge of Divine law and Divine love. God has never yet revealed to one man or any body of men all that there is yet for man to know of His love, kindness and wisdom. From the contact of minds of individuals we learn almost every day of our lives, things of importance. Even children can teach us at times. And so in our advancement in religious knowledge. None have lived, or will live so long that we may not learn something from the experience of God’s teachings. So in carrying out this love in this particular sense, we want to be careful how we assail our brothers when it is evident that they are loving one another and God. They are thus under the direct guidance and influence of God, and they will recognize us as brothers working for one common interest. The evidence of such a life is found in the doctrine “Love one another as I have loved you, by which all men shall know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” It is not, If ye believe so and so, if ye believe this doctrine or that doctrine to be so, if ye use just such language, or trust in just such form, or worship in just such a manner, but the evidence is, DO ye love one another ? It matters not in what form man worships God, if it produces in his heart love to God, and love to his fellow-men, it is sufficient. The world has been looking
too long to doctrines, and seeking to lead men into this form, and that form, and overlooking these plain and practical teachings that only are of real value to the human family, as found in this work of love, love in its highest sense; not mere adulation of one another, nor praise of one another's actions. Love in this connection, ever seeks the highest interest of the object of its care. It may be necessary, at times, to reprove, advise, counsel, even rebuke; but when this is done.it will be done with tenderness and care; with the evidence that we are seeking the highest good of those to whom we are speaking; showing nothing that would indicate that we regard ourselves better than they from the circumstances under which we are placed, the conditions by which we are surrounded. We want to get more and more into that condition where there is no other feeling influencing us but that which seeks the best good of all men; and the result of such a love is that it brings to us our best and highest good. No man seeks to benefit others without himself being benefited thereby. I have known something of this in my own experience. When in moments of sorrow, of deep trial and affliction, when I could get out from myself, and see around me those in deeper suffering than myself, when from love in my heart I could lay aside my own trouble and minister to them, I have found flowing to me a purer joy, a purer love, which lifted me out of this despondency under which I was laboring. Now, my friends, in laying before you this exercise, it is my desire to call you to a higher plane of action, rather than to impress any peculiar doctrines. I want to call your attention to the means by which this end is to be attained. It is important that each of us should come and bring our hearts as an offering unto God. We shall recognize the Divine Father as an ever present help, ever near. We shall recognize the great fact that we are living under a new covenant. The Lord said, “I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah : Not according to the covenant I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was a husband unto them, saith the Lord. But this shall be the covenant that I shall make with the house of Israel: After those days, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for they shall all know me from the least of them unto the greatest of them.” o We are claiming to be living under this dispensation to-day, as entered in by the coming of Jesus, calling the attention away from the outward law, to the importance of the work of his Divine power in the heart, which places there the law as it was written, and as each under the different circumstances in which we are placed in life comes to this, we shall each know by the law thus written in the heart, what work there is for us to do, and there is to-day no need for any, young or old, if they have arrived at an age when they can understand this teaching, to ask from one another what their individual duty is,
for they shall each know the law for themselves if they are faithful to the impressions that are made there, which teach what is right and what is wrong. And the test by which we may know that we are thus taught is in the love that covers our spirits and flows out to those around us. I have therefore nothing more to commend you to than this.
NEWS OF FRIENDS.
INDIANA YEARLY MEETING ! PROCEEDINGS IN THE WOMEN'S BRANCH.
[A Friend furnishes the following notes of the proceedings of women's branch of Indiana Yearly Meeting, from Ninth month 28th, to Tenth month, 1st, inclusive.]
HE business of the meeting opened on Secondday morning with messages of encouragement
from several sisters, one of whom had passed through great affliction, and from her own experience called those similarly situated to a dependence on the Divine Father, who never will forsake His dependent children. A dear aged sister was impressed with the necessity of beginning aright in the transaction and performance of the business. There is a preparation of heart needed on all such occasions, a deepening of thought, an indwelling of the spirit, and the prostration of self before the most high God, for preparation and dedication of heart, leaving off everything that will mar the harmony. It is an important occasion on which we have met, and we desire that the work shall be of the Lord's right hand. May He fill the heart of every individual with Divine love, that we may dwell in the spirit of love and charity, and forbearance, while we are together... We will then be qualified to attend to the work in which we are engaged.
The epistles from other yearly meetings were then read, to the spiritual edification of those present, A dear friend who has passed the 99th mile-stone on the journey of life, was exercised for the care of the children, and called the mothers to thoughtful, earnest, and prayerful efforts in their training. Much interest was evinced on this subject, also in the cause of temperance. The epistles called out much loving and earnest counsel, which a friend desired we should each take home with us, for it would be as bread cast upon the waters, to be found after many days. The young members were encouraged to speak and not leave the work to the older friends who have borne the burden and heat of the day. Their attention was called to the fact that the perpetuity of the organization depended upon their faithfulness in coming forward to fill up the places left vacant by the call to “come up higher.” A concern from men Friends to write an epistle of love and sympathy to the Western Yearly Meeting of Friends, held at Plainfield, Ind., was united with and a joint committee appointed to act as way opened.
Several friends expressed great sympathy with the condition of this meeting, and we were enjoined to remember that there are others outside our own society, who are just as near and dear to the Heavenly Father.
Third-day morning a special message of Divine love from a brother who felt constrained to visit our meeting, was received, and covered the meeting with a precious feeling in which the Father's presence was distinctly felt. The answer to the First Query, called forth loving counsel from a dear sister who Wanted Friends to be faithful to the high privileges accorded to women in our society, that the organization might be kept up. “Quakerism does not consist in plainness of dress or address, nor in peculiar customs.” She desired each to take home to our own heart, the question,-‘‘What more could I have done for my vineyard than I have done?” Friends were encouraged to make their remarks as brief as possible. Also mothers to take their little families with them, especially to the mid-week meetings. The answers to the Third and Fourth Queries, brought out the sentiment that simplicity, utility and economy should guide us in the matter of dress, and we should be careful to live within our 11163.11S, That a very wide door was left open which increased the personal responsibility of the individual, as to what were harmful amusements. We have a rule of right, within, to govern us. In this day of enlightenment it is right to rest the matter with each individual heart. Any amusement which unfits us for the right discharge of our daily duties, is harmful. The fact that there is no school under our care, was a matter of regret to some friends. The neglect, of the attendance of meetings, spoken of, called out much feeling, and a friend desired that this might not be the last of it. She had much sympathy for those who belonged to little meetings and for the faithful ones, (of which there were, no doubt, as many in proportion, as in the larger ones,) who were struggling to keep them up. She encouraged these to state the case plainly to all the members and see what could be done to bring about a better state of affairs. The suggestion was made from a desire to encourage them. A friend thought we should look well to what was brought before the Quarterly and Yearly Meetings, as many times the innocent suffered with the guilty. A mother in Israel spoke of the reward to be obtained from making an effort to attend meetings even when very small. She had long been a member of a very small one, and yet had been greatly blessed even when only two or three gathered together. On Fourth-day the meeting for worship was large and greatly favored. A joint session was held in the afternoon and the reports from the Indian and Representative committees claimed attention. There was great sympathy expressed with the memorial of Elizabeth Roberts, a minister well-beloved in the society. On Fifth-day morning the epistles to the other yearly meetings were read, and with a few slight additions were accepted, and referred to the corresponding committee to be corrected, copied and forwarded. Our dear aged friend before mentioned did not want it to be understood that they felt there would be none to take up their work when they should leave
it, for she believed that the Society would grow and be a shining light as it has been in the past. Faithfulness is all that is needed. A very loving and tender farewell message from the dear friend Who feels that she will not, in all probability, ever meet with us again, admonished us not to be ashamed of our blessed Savior lest he be ashamed of us before the angels of God. She spoke again, most earnestly, of the care over the dear children, and wanted mothers to take them to meeting that they may learn, in youth, to love our quiet manner of worship, wherein each soul may enjoy holy communion with its Maker, and she believed that when they grow old they will not depart from it. In closing, she bore this most beautiful testimony to our Heavenly Father's care, which is all the more precious, coming, as it did, from one who is almost one hundred years old. “I know that He will take care of all who put their trust in Him, for He has cared for me through all my life.” A resolution from the First-day School Annual Conference claimed attention, and it is a matter for great rejoicing among many that the Yearly Meeting will aid in encouraging and establishing Firstday Schools in all the monthly meetings. The report of the committee on humanitarian work, shows that the Society is alive to the needs of the day. A friend desired that we might strengthen One another's hands in every good work. There have always been good and evil in the world, and often the evil comes into our midst and makes us afraid. At such times remember the declarations of the master himself. On one occasion when addressed as “Good master,”—he said, “Why callest thou me good 7 There is none good but one, and that is God.” Again he said, “I will pray the Father and He will send you a Comforter, which will teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance.” The good seed has been preserved through all generations, by the faithfulness of the few. There is a day coming when this law of the spirit of life, that is written in the heart by the finger of God will under the influence of his love and his anointing power become a power that will lift the world to the highest plane of peace and of goodness which it has held, and may there be no failure, on our part, that when the time comes we may receive the message, “Well done, good and faithful servants.” A sister felt that she had been attending a feast which had refreshed her soul. She earnestly desired that we may own from whence we receive our strength and daily bow at the altar of Divine Grace, and be willing to do that which is required of us. God has promised to take care of His children himself. What more could we want 7 We feel that we have been greatly favored, having met in love and parted in love.
|BALTIMORE YEARLY MEETING. THE Select Meeting of this body assembled, as usual, on Seventh-day, 24th inst., and transacted the usual business with love and harmony in their council. A large and interesting meeting for worship was held at Lombard Street house, on First-day morning the 25th, at which many ministers were present, having messages of peace and joy to all people. Thomas Foulke, of New York, at the opening of the meeting, Spoke with reverent feeling on the reality and certainty of the immanence of the everlasting God in the human soul, guiding, guarding, and instructing the attentive, humble and obedient disciple—the pure in heart. It has been beautifully said that the earth by turning to the sun brings the dawn of day to the world, so the soul, turning to God, brings everlasting life. The Divine order is unchanging; no light of the sun is lost or wasted in the outward world; neither is the glorious and saving light of the Christ of God changed, or can be lost in the order of his spiritual universe. It is the universal and saving light, now, as fully as ever in any day and generation. If we work with our ever present God we shall see and know his revealed will, and shall be able to obey it, and know life and immortality brought to life, The gospel of Salvation stands not in the will and wisdom of man but in the power and love of God, as it has been to-day, yesterday and forever, without Variableness, or shadow of turning. Sanctification and redemption is the work of God in the soul, the work of his power and his love and this is the cardinal doctrine of all true Christianity in the world. The ; Sermon on the Mount is the confession of faith of the Friend. It is enough for us, but the same prin, ciple speaks immediately to the soul, to-day, as it did of old. Those who choose the indwelling God for their portion are his elect, and this the only ground of election. There is no other election, and the only reprobation is our turning from this guardian spirit, and rejecting the offerings of redeeming love and mercy. This religion has in it nothing of gloom, but joy and peace eternal. Our blessed assurance is that the faithful obedient soul will be enabled to overCOme the world. Darlington Hoopes next addressed the meeting. THe feared for us that we may perchance know what it is to be convinced but not converted to full obedience to the Divine will, in the needful business of life. We must be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Our heavenly Father so loves us, that he visits avery soul and gives us knowledge of his will. Gradually the wisdom of God is unfolded to the soul. Little by little we find ourselves able to conform to that measure of the truth which we have had revealed to us. We cannot sail forth safely into an unknown Sea. Only as our pilot shows us the true channel can we pass with glad assurance to the desired haven. God so loves us that he will give us his true light, which if we duly observe, we will become the elect of God. This is the good old way—it is also the new and living way. We can get learning from books and by yarious instructions, but God is the teacher of his people, himself. If we follow his voice and obey it with a full heart we become children of God—heirs of the Heavenly Father and joint heirs with Jesus Christ in his kingdom. There are many roads leading up to the Temple and some paths lead through great tribulation to the blessed peace of God. But there is room for all—the Heavenly Father rejects none who come humbly to him according to the
light which he has vouchsafed to his humble worshippers. Rebecca Price, while uniting with the testimonies that had been offered, felt it right to remind disciples that they must humbly bear the cross, if they seek to obtain the crown of acceptance and of peace. Not the lofty and vainglorious, but meek will he teach of his ways, and guide in the paths of true judgment. A. R. Paul appealed in tender sympathy to the young who to-day halt beteewn two opinions—not quite ready to choose the God of Jacob for the lot of your inheritance. Loving and gracious is the voice that speaks to the ear of the heart. But Something more is required than to give an intellectual assent to the voice spoken in the soul. We must no longer live after the flesh but after the spirit, Obey the monitors of the word of God—and work out the soul's Salvation in the secret of your own hearts. Another Friend added a few words in exhortation to a living faith in the divinity which dwells in the heart dedicated to the service of God. Thomas Foulke closed the vocal services of this meeting by the outpouring of fervent prayer. He offered the thanksgiving of the hearts of this people for the divine favor that has been felt at this time, and asked for the continuance of this presence and blessing in the days to come. The meeting then adjourned, having had a long and favored opportunity for divine worship to the refreshment of many hearts. A large and earnest meeting was held in the afternoon and again in the evening.
WESTERN QUARTERLY MEETING.
THE large and commodious meeting-house situated at London Grove, Chester county, Pa., was well filled on the occasion of the quarterly meeting held on the 20th inst. The house has been undergoing repairs, and the conveniences that have been added to the exterior with the immaculate purity of the walls inside, give evidence that here is one of the “old landmarks,” that will not soon fall into disuse and decay.
The spirit of revival seems to animate most of the monthly meetings of this quarter, and it needs only concession and mutual forbearance towards each other, on the part of those who do not see “eye to eye,” to insure permanent good to the body. There are in all of our quarterly meetings, those who are earnestly desiring to move forward in the line of progress that the wider culture, and the greater material advantages of our times indicate, and there is need of the charity that “never faileth” in the smaller and constituent branches, that this spirit be wisely directed into channels of usefulness, that the best in all may have the ascendency, and the growth and usefulness of the young life be not hindered.
This Quarterly Meeting has an abundance of fresh, vigorous, untrammeled thought to deal with. Its young life is receiving the training that the age offers in literature, art and science. The outcome of all this is the question that most claims attention here, as it is claiming it elsewhere: Is there breadth