« AnteriorContinuar »
cent boldness of thousands of martyrs, that the most cruel torments and kinds of death, have not moved them from their steadfastness in the Truth. Oh! for the favour of that Almighty, strengthening power that sustained them, and that enabled Paul and Silas to sing praises unto God, even when their feet were made fast in the stocks. This is a treasure far transcending all that this world can afford; and what a pity it is that so many are so little acquainted with it! How mournful also is the thought that so many should deprive themselves of the favour of the Almighty, by their inattention and disobedience, when we consider that it is offered to all who are so wise as to accept it! David said his favour was better than life; and his power and goodness can preserve and deliver to the uttermost. If people would submit to the leadings of his holy spirit, would it not prevent such dreadful judgments, misery and destruction, with which mankind have often been visited by means of earthquakes, fires, war, famine, pestilence, and in many other ways?
10th. Our monthly meeting; I ventured out, tho' hardly able. Sarah Cresson was there, and showed her zeal for the Lord. “Humility,” she said, “was the true christian's every-day dress;" and she had extensive and acceptable service among us. My mind was impressed, at the same time, with the substance of her concern, and I was viewing the vast importance of true, vital religion, and the blessed fruits and effects of it; as also on the other hand, the direful fruits and effects produced, where it is suffered to go to decay,-where people cast off all religious restraint, and pursue lying vanities, forsaking their own mercies. What grievous sorrow of heart and remorse of conscience, destruction and desolation, often overtake poor mortals of this description, and even whole nations! But Oh! how different the blessed, safe, happy and glorious state of the primitive christians, and the faithful in all ages! But did ever any individuals, or whole societies of people, come to experience the precious fruits and effects of true religion, without humility? It is the humble the Lord teaches of his ways, and he dwells in them that are meek and lowly. Oh! may humility more and more become our every-day clothing!
7th mo. 12th. At our late monthly meeting, we had the Extracts from our last Yearly Meeting read. Thus we have line upon line, line upon line; precept upon precept, precept upon precept; epistles, extracts, advices, addresses, and many religious tracts; all excellent: but we know it is possible to sit in a room where the clock strikes all day, and not be sensible of hearing it, the inind and attention being otherwise taken up and engaged. If we compare our present condition with that of the faithful martyrs, or our worthy predecessors, shall we not perceive a great decay of zeal? And may not this mournful language be applied to many in this day of ease and inattention; “Oh! that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments, then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.”
6th mo. 28th, 1824. Grass and grain look very promising, and there is a prospect of a plentiful season: well will it be if it has a humbling effect, as it should have; but if the contrary, we may be like the man we read of whose grounds brought forth plentifully, and he concluded he had goods laid up in store for many years, and would take his ease, eat, drink and be merry.
But God said to him. Thou fool, this night shall thy soul be required of thee; then whose shall those things be which thou hast provided? Oh! that the people, in this day of great plenty and prosperity, may remember that so shall it be with all those that lay up treasure for themselves, and are not rich towards God. But prosperity, ease, and plenty, have ever proved a great trial on virtue, or true religion. Thus we find in the accounts of the sufferings of the martyrs, and history of the church, that when they were tried with ease and prosperity, they soon began to differ among themselves about the meaning of a passage of scripture, creeds or ceremonies, or some other trifle. So after Friends were released from sufferings and persecutions, deficiencies and frailties appeared among them. Hence it has been said, Few ever bore prosperity unhurt, or without loss to the best life; and few ever were made better by great riches: yet men may be as rich as Job or Abraham, if they are as faithful, and are good stewards. But too many seem contented without witnessing the renewings of Divine life in their souls; and if they are only preserved from gross evils, appear to think all is well, and so sit down at ease in the sunshine of prosperity. But Oh! that they may be aroused before it is too late, and return to a state of humility, in which they may be grateful receivers of the good things committed to them.
8th mo. 4th. Our meetings are often small, and very different from those our first Friends spoke of when they said, The powerful overshadowings of the holy Spirit were frequently witnessed among them, and their hearts were tendered even to tears, in their silent meetings, so that sometimes there was 'scarce
ly a dry eye among them; and they sat trembling in such a solid manner that their very enemies were convinced, and the mouths of gainsayers stopped. — Religion is not a trilling thing, in which there is neither good nor harm; though many treat it as if it was not worth troubling themselves about, and so pay little or no regard to it till earthly comforts fail; and fail they must, sooner or later, It is said, the best of meats taint the soonest; and the best of things misused, may become the worst. So if we do not attend our meetings for the better, it will be likely to be for the worse, but the fault is our own. Our early Friends highly valued the privilege of meeting together; and they often attended their meetings at the hazard of their lives; so that their persecutors said they would keep up their meetings, if their corn dropped in the ground. They knew what they went to meeting for, and rejoiced in the reward of peace, which is the wages of the faithful. But how is it that we can sit down at ease, without feeling after the arising of life in our meetings! Are not many in an indolent, lukewarm state, as respects the renewings of Divine love and life in their minds, who yet are wise, diligent and careful in laying up, or grasping after earthly treasures? Yet we are not a forsaken people; for tho' our meetings are often poor and dull, yet there are seasons of the ownings of Truth, and stirrings of life, and divers young ministers appear with good savour, and in newness of life.
1st of 9th mo. The language of mortality sounds louder and louder; much sickness prevails, and we daily hear of burials. Yesterday I attended Burlington Quarterly meeting, which was large. William Forster, from England, and Richard Jordan were there. I had some close remarks to make on the state of society; for things seemed too dry and formal, tho’ several Friends appeared capable of transacting the business like lawyers, or as if casting up merchants' accounts. In reviewing the day's work after a refreshing sleep, I felt peace and satisfaction. Attended our week-day meeting on fifth-day following, in which I was evidently helped in my religious service, beyond my expectation.
9th. Was our monthly meeting,-a strengthening, favoured time to me, although in answering our queries, there was too much superficiality, and a want of life and savour. The fruits of the earth are abundant, particularly apples and peaches, more than can be used; but there is much sickness, and frequent deaths among the youth.
12th. First.day. We went to the burial of Ann Quicksall, who died of a fever with a few days illness. She was a very hopeful young minister, of an unblemished character. She, preached to us very acceptably at my son John's funeral about the last of the 6th month, and now she is gone, we hope, to a better world. Hinchman Haines and myself had something to say to the people at the house; after which we attended meeting; and the day ended to my satisfaction.
After writing thus far, the infirmities of age increased, so that no more was added by John Hunt to the Journal of his life. After about ten days of bod indisposition, during which he appeared sensible that his dissolution was near, and spoke of it with great composure, he quietly expired on the 23rd of 9th month, in the eighty-fifth year of his age, and was buried in Friends' grave-yard at Moorestown.
END OF VOL. X.