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Friends, the writer exclaims: “Behold a people raised up, under very great sufferings,-through persecutions, wars, and scarcity sometimes of bread, yet thriving under opposition and great oppression! What great numbers of powerful ministers, men and women, and some even boys and girls were raised up in their youthful days, who were made instrumental to batter down the strong holds of sin and satan! Behold also, a pattern of the restoration of christian discipline to its primitive simplicity and purity! And after all, at last, the pernicious effects of ease and afluence, with respect to the prosperity of the church, may be here clearly perceived;—and that, at length, to be brought about in the days of outward liberty and ease, which all the storms of persecution were not able to effect;—with coolness of love to God, and one another. Too many
of the descendants of those men who maintained their integrity unviolated in times of suffering, now losing the primitive simplicity and moderation, are in imminent danger of being incorporated again with the world and its corruptions."
6th mo. 3rd. Went to the burial of my dear old friend, Joshua Lippincott, upwards of eighty years of age.
Between him and me there has been an upinterrupted unity between thirty and forty years. He was an elder of good and sound judgment, although of but few words. He was like a father to me, and we were always suited together with each other's company.
I was with him in a spell of illness above thirty years ago, when he expressed a willingness to die. On my saying it was a fine thing to be willing to die, he said, “yes: and to know for what too.” In several seasons of sickness since, he has expressed the same resignation. So now he is gone, and gathered like a shock of corn in its season; and I have no doubt, is gathered into the garner of rest and peace forever.
7th mo. 18th. An intelligent young man, lately returned from a tour to the western territories, Ohio, &c. informs that it is a very trying time with Friends there;—they being drafted, and fined, and distressed by the military men of martial spirits, who are very bitter and malicious against Friends, because of their refusing to assist in the wars. Many families, especially women and children, are in great fears of the Indians,-being sometimes frightened and alarmed with false alarms in the night season-so that many are afraid to stay at their houses, and want to move away-yet, he says, their country, as to improvements, is vastly altered and appears prosperous, and their land being very fertile, they abound in great plenty. About twenty years ago, I was first there, and they had no monthly meeting over the mountains: their young people had then to come over to Fairfax monthly meeting, in Virginia, to pass meeting: and now, within that length of time, it is said they have five Quarterly meetings, and this fall they are to hold a Yearly Meeting, at Short Creek, Ohio. Seldom, if ever, was there known a more rapid settlement, far and wide through that western country for several hundreds of miles; and a vast number of Friends are settled there. Many large towns and numerous villages are built, where, but a few years ago, the country was inhabited by the Indians, or was a vast howling wilderness, inhabited by wolves, bears, wild beasts and birds.
8th mo. 5th. Was at our monthly meeting, which I thought lively; but not keeping enough in the humility and watchfulness, it was a mortifying time to
Ann Edwards laid before Friends a concern to visit some meetings in Maryland, Virginia, and Ohio; which was united with.
8th. About the year 1656, Truth was much spread, and meetings settled at several places in Ireland: many being convinced, and brought to the knowledge of God, were added to Friends. William Edmundson gives this account of the state of society at that time: “In those days, the world and the things of it were not near our hearts; but the love of God, his truth and testimony, lived in our hearts. We were glad of one another's company; tho’sometimes our outward fare was very mean, and our lodging on straw. We did not mind high things, but were glad of one another's welfare in the Lord, and his love dwelt in us." But how is it with us now, in our days? Can we say we do not mind high things,' when we abound in such costly, painted, curious carriages;our lodging, not on straw, but on curious, costly, soft beds of feathers, in ceiled rooms, &c. Can we say the love of God dwells in our hearts, as it ought? Or rather, are we not advancing toward the state of the people which the prophet described when he said, " Their land is full of silver and gold, and there is no end of their treasures: their land also is full of horses; there is no end of their chariots: their land is full of idols; they worship the works of their own hands,--that which their own fingers have made.”
The following expressions, being part of a sermon preached by John Webster, in 1654, are worthy of attention: “It is not holding forth the highest pro
fession of Christ in the letter, that makes us free, except Christ come into the heart, and make us free indeed. The chief thing every soul is to mind, in reading and hearing, is, to examine whether the same thing be wrought in them. Whatever we find in the letter, if it be not made good in us, what are the words to us? We must see how Christ is crucified and buried in us, and how he is risen, and raised from death in us. The chief thing, I say, is to look into our own breasts. All generally that hold forth a profession of Christ, they say in words, that Christ is the deliverer: but that is not the thing. Is he a deliverer to thee? Is that glorious Messiah promised as the deliverer, with power come into thy soul? Hath he exalted himself there? Hath he made bare his arn, and been a glorious conqueror in thee? Hath he taken to himself his great power to reign in thee? Is he King of kings, and Lord of lords in thee? Whatever thou talkest of Christ and his miracles, if thou hast no witness, -no evidence of the truth of them in thy own heart,-what is all that ever he did, and what is all that ever he suffered, 10 thee? It may be, thou hast, or mayst have a notion or opinion of the things of God; or thou hast them by history and by relation, or education, or example, or custom, or by tradition, or because most men have received them for truth: but if thou hast not the evidence of his mighty miracles, and god-like power in thy own soul, how canst thou be a witness that they are the things which thou hast seen or heard? For all those outward things are but shadows and representatives, figures and patterns of the heavenly things themselves. Thou mayst have a strong opinion, but no experience of them, viz. that Christ hath freed and delivered thy soul. Men
may talk of Christ, and make a great profession of him, but they cannot love him, till he become Immanuel, and Saviour in them. Forms and ordinances cannot be the rest of a christian; because they may be used and lived in, and admired, and prized, whilst those that use them may be carried away with divers lusts."
18th of 1st mo. 1814. Thomas Hawkshurst and companion from New York had a meeting at Moorestown. He was large, lively, and savoury in his communication. Surely mercy and goodness follow us. How are we wooed and invited, and laboured with! Is it not to be feared that the turning of the Lord's hand is not enough considered in these things? “Behold I send a famine among you; not of bread or water, but a famine of hearing the word.” We are, however, yet favoured with line upon line, and precept upon precept; though it is to be feared we too little consider how we are blessed with a free, lively, gospel ministry, beyond many other nations.
In the 3d month, I had many serious thoughts and reflections on the great devastations, confusion and destruction amongst mankind, that have been produced for want of attention to the inward Teacher, that righteous principle in all, which would, if attended to, preserve all in right order, harmony and peace. The apostle foresaw and foretold a time of great falling away from primitive purity; which came to pass, even until great darkness covered the earth, and gross darkness the people. Yet in this miserable, dark, benighted state, it pleased the Lord to visit poor mankind, enlightening the minds of one and another to see the darkness, idolatry, and superstition which they had fallen into, for want of taking