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amongst us. John Simpson likewise was there and had good service. I believe few were present but what had a sense of its being a season like a renewed stretching forth of the Divine hand to gather us; and I could say, surely goodness and mercy follow us; and, as R. Jordan said, that notwithstanding the many frailties, weaknesses and failures among us, yet how abundantly we are favoured in our solemn assemblies!--and that he believed there was not in all the earth a people favoured in like degree; and that this people and principle would not be cast off.
2d mo. 4th, 1810. I went to our meeting under reasonings of mind whether I had better go or not. My mind was tossed as with a tempest, through the perplexing, cross occurrences which of late I have had to meet with. After I got there, I had reasonings about going to my usual seat, hardly feeling strength and fortitude to do so; but I went. Notwithstanding all this, the meeting was to me an open, strengthening, healing, restoring time. Oh! that I could walk worthy of the favour! It was like a brook by the way. May others be encouraged.
In a book I read lately, are these remarks:“There is something so honourable in the frank acknowledg. ment of a fault, and in deep humiliation for it, that all who see it must needs approve it. They pity an offender who is brought to such a disposition, and endeavour to comfort him." "Out of confession, said Tertullian, is born repentance; and with repentance God is pacified."
In the 3d month, Daniel Quinby and companion from York state were at our meeting, and had extensive and acceptable service. Lately we had strangers to visit us from the west, and now from the north: is
it not as was formerly said, “I will send fishers, and they shall fish them; and many hunters, and they shall hunt them?” See how ministers are raised up in our society, living, powerful ministers, and a free, sound, powerful gospel ministry;-a blessing which other great nations are not favoured with in a like degree. Even as John Rutty in his Diary observes, The prophecy of Jerome of Prague, one of the martyrs said, “A new people shall be raised up, which shall renounce the glory of this world, and seek af. ter the cultivation of the inward man.
They shall have ministers raised up among themselves, and elders and other officers in the church. They shall grow and flourish in the Truth; whilst those of human invention shall consume away like a moth.”. Doth not this prophecy appear to be, at least in part, come, and coming to pass? And yet, alas! is it not the case with too many according to another prophecy of C. Love, that a time would come when the people would be blessed with a mild government, and powerful preachers, but there would be dull hearers; and to these, good sermons should be as music to a sleepy man.
Ministers are indeed raised up as brilliant stars, or as the prophet says, as bright stars “in the firmament of God's power,” and “as polished shafts in his quiver:" but they are not raised at academies, schools or colleges. Even as the prophet formerly was raised up, so are they now:“morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. The Lord hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary.” But after all, is not this remark too true: People go to their places of Worship, and are pleased with their fine preaching; but go home and remain just the same, without being concerned to improve as they ought. And yet I believe light is rising and spreading in many minds; new meeting houses are built, and lively ministers both men and women, are raised up in divers places.
Thus, as John Woolman says, through the sufferings of the faithful, way hath been opened, through the tender mercies of God, for the exercise of the pure, free gospel ministry, without interruption from outward power;-a work, the like of which is rare and unknown in many parts of the world.” Oh! that we may rightly prize it!
At our Quarterly meeting, though there were divers other eminent ministers there, yet the public service fell to Sarah Cresson, a young woman, and she appeared famously and worthily. It hath been my prospect for years past, that as the professors of other societies generally do not allow of women's preaching, so, in best wisdom, it hath been ordered that the testimony of Truth should be raised into dominion amongst the women, in our society; and even young girls have been, and continue to be raised up and qualified to preach the gospel in the demonstration of the spirit, and with life and power. So that I have been ready to say, what can be more striking and convincing, that it is the work of Divine power and goodness!
4th mo: 1st. Having been confined to my room for some weeks past, I have had large opportunity for reflection, and sometimes reading and writing a little. Divers of my dear friends have also visited
me to my comfort and satisfaction. In a book called the Christian Remembrancer, I find these excellent remarks, “ The apostle, when encouraging the tribute of respect to the aged, exhorts thus: “Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father;' even when his conduct may be such as is not to be approved.If these have had grace and long experience, they have also increasing natural weakness, and numberless infirmities, by reason of which it will be no wonder, if in some instances they should be overborne. Could a young man, with a large portion of grace, change places with them for a day, it is to be doubted whether he would manage the case any better; though it is not to be doubted, that he would learn extraordinary commiseration in future." Let Divine charity, as well as patience, have its perfect work in us.
Among the sayings of Du Renty, who is mentioned by William Penn, are these expressions in one of his letters: “My soul being armed with the confidence and the love of God, fears neither the devils, nor hell, nor all the stratagems of men. I think only how to fulfil the law of God in every thing.” Is not this the sum and substance of all perfection?
Isaac Pennington says, “ The presence of God, the sweet power of life, makes
all our losses; so that we have no cause to complain. It is sweet, pleasant, and profitable, for us to be found sufferers for God.”
Another writer says, “ Poor were the expectations of the studious, the wise, the modest and the good, if the reward of their labours and virtues was to be terminated with this life. When tired and sick of all mortal vanities, the religious mind reposes itself
in the firm expectation of drinking at the fountain of life, and of bathing in rivers of immortal pleasures; even death (which to the guilty is the gloomy period of all their joys, and the entrance to a gulf of undying wretchedness) brightens into a smile, and, in an angel's form, invites the religious soul to endless rest from labour, and to endless scenes of joy.” Oh! that this may be my happy experience!
10th. In reflecting upon several instances of sudden, we might almost say, instantaneous death, that have occurred lately among my acquaintances, these considerations arose: It seems as if none know what breath would be their last! and how doth these instances of mortality loudly call, and utier this language, “Be ye also ready.” As it was said in days of old, the people were spoken to and called upon in divers ways and after divers manners, so it is now; and if the language of mortality is a most solemn call, how many hundreds of repeated calls have we had, in hearing of the deaths of our fellow-creatures! The great end of living, as one said, is to be prepared for dying. But Oh! how is this preparation too generally put off and neglected till the last; and it is to be feared, till too late.
5th mo. 27th. It is worthy of remark, what an unusual number of travelling Friends have been visiting about among us of latter time. We have not only line upon line, and precept upon precept; here a little and there a little--but a great deal of religious labour bestowed on us. Among those who have thus laboured may be named, John Simpson of Bucks county, John Sanders of Delaware, Sarah Cresson, Ann Edwards, Hannah Yarnall, Rebecca Hubbs, John Letchworth, and Elizabeth Kerlin;