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for he hath nothing to work upon, when all flesh is silent. Then is the time for the good remembrancer to bring into our minds the most interesting and profitable subjects. Is not this silence of all flesh, the state of Israel abiding in their tents, where no enchantments could prevail against them? Is it not also the state David so earnestly desired when he said, “Oh! send out thy light and thy truth; let them lead me and bring me to thy holy hill, and to the place of thy tabernacles.” But this precious state may be a mystery hid from ages and nations in the creaturely activity, and even from many that frequently attend silent meetings. But those who attain to a state of true stillness, come to know their own wills subjected so as to feel the language, Thy will be done. That worthy minister, Joseph White, said he never found, when his own will predominated, that he ever stood in a right state of mind to receive Divine instruction. So it is to be feared that very many who repeat the words, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done;" still continue to do their own wills, and so do not come into a state of stillness, suitable to receive Divine instruction; or to reap the benefit of the scriptures. For it remains true, If any man will do the will of the Father, he shall know of the doctrines of Christ.
15th. Nathan A. Smith came to see us, and had very acceptable service at our meeting next day. I went with him to Mount Holly to see Aquilla Shinn, aged about seventy-three, who had been for some time in a low, discouraged, and disconsolate state of mind: but he went to meeting with us, and it was an open, owning, favoured time, in a distinguished manner. We stayed the afternoon meeting, to which came Elizabeth Kirk and Sarah Pope; both they and
Nathan had good service, and A quilla Shion seemed much better.
30th. Ann Edwards appeared in a lively testimony, and R. C. also, who has been shut up in meetings above two years.
10th of 8th mo. At Haddonfield monthly meeting. A fine, showery day both outwardly and spiritually. Richard Jordan had most excellent service, like a celestial shower; in a lively, powerful manner, he did pour it on us: but as one formerly prophesied, the time would come when there should be powerful preachers, and dull hearers: so it seems to be in our days. The minds of the people are too much like the inn of old, that was filled with other guests. It run thro'
mind thus: a want of concern, a want of a right, religious concern! Can any thing be done in religion, or the work of the soul's salvation, without a concern? The faithful servants of the Lord never laid up treasure in heaven, without experiencing a deep and weighty concern.
Richard Jordan mentioned something he had seen in his travels, of the scarcity of bread, and that they who never had seen it, could hardly conceive how grievous and dreadful a calamity it was! 16th. I find in a piece of a newspaper
this account: 6. Curracoa sunk. Captain Steven, lately arrived at Boston, says it was reported at St. Domingo that the whole Island of Curracoa and part of Bonair, were sunk by an earthquake on the 9th of February, with all the vessels in the harbour; amongst which was one from London with a cargo worth 200,000 dollars." Thus it is,
6 As one day goes, another comes,
How numerous are the instances that declare this truth! This week a man with his
between Haddonfield and the ferry, had his leg badly broken by a kick from his horse. A woman near Germantown, report says, was suddenly killed. For want of care, in meeting a wagon, the wheels struck; which frightened her horse, and he ran away with the chair and threw the woman out against a tree, which killed her instantly. People notice such accidents a little, but soon forget them.
It is now a time of great confusion and divisions among the people of America. The excellent, pertinent counsel contained in the Epistle from our last Yearly Meeting, never, perhaps, was more needed: " And when you see divisions and parties, and rendings in the bowels of nations, and rumours and tempests in the minds of the people, then take heed of being moved to this party or that party, or giving your strength to this or that;-or counselling this way, or that way; but stand single to the Truth of God, in which neither war, rent, nor division is.”
This party spirit has now got to a great height. It is said some lives have been lost in a tumult lately at Baltimore; where they destroyed a printing press: and all this in consequence of party spirit about the affairs of government. So that in some places father is opposed to son, and son to father; brother against brother, and neighbour against neighbour.
Some who a few years ago were as intimate as brothers, are now so divided that they can have no dealings together. And this party spirit has got in among Friends; even some who fill conspicuous stations. And after all, there never was any law, form of government, or discipline, contrived by men, so calculated for the safety, peace and happiness of mankind, as the christian religion; nor can any thing else restore things again to right order.
20th. Since the American revolution, great hath been the growth of pride and high-mindedness; manifest not only in superfluity of dress, but in buildings, furniture of houses, and especially in pleasurecarriages. As it was said formerly: “ Their land is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures: their land also is full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots: their land also is full of idols: they worship the works of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made:” so it is to be feared, that this is too generally the case with the people of America at the present day. And now see what is the fruit of such doings; why, all going into party spirit, wars and confusion. As it was formerly said, "they shall all go into confusion together, that are makers of idols. Hast thou not procured this unto thyself, in that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, when he led thee by the way? Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore, and see, that it is an evil thing, and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord of hosts."
23d. Deborah Stewart, H. Lippincott and myself had a meeting at Gloucester county poor-house. Upwards of fifty paupers there; many of them poor, distressed objects;—some blind,-some deaf—some dumb;—and many very lame, ancient, feeble, and very decrepit. Yet they behaved orderly, and divers were very tender, and expressed thankfulness for the visit. Some neighbours attended, and Deborah Stewart had very acceptable service.
9th mo. 5th. Heard of the death of Joshua Maule, a middle-aged man, and a minister in great esteem among Friends. He was visiting meetings in Bucks county; and was taken ill of a fever, of which he died, at the house of William Richardson, at Middletown. Heard also of the decease of Eli Yarnall;a great minister, in good esteem. He and his son both died of what the doctors call a typhus fever. Oh! the many solemn, awful calls, after divers ways and manners! They seem a little noticed by some, but are soon forgotten. So it was said,
" Death, at a distance, we but slightly fear;
He brings his terrors, as he draws more near.' But it is not so to the righteous. They can say, with Paul, “I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me, a crown of righteousness. as another said, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” A blessed, glorious state! worthy, above all other concerns, to be cared for. And yet so it is, though it seems strange,-the generality of people seem so unconcerned about it, till almost the last moment. Then indeed, many careless ones are alarmed; and divers have said in substance thus: 66 Ten thousand worlds would I now give, if I had them in my pow. er, for peace with God." Well may the benevolent heart breathe the wish, “Oh! that they were wise now, that they understood this, and that they would consider their latter end!