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This afforded encouragement and strength to my tried mind:-for, at one time, it was a prevailing opinion with some, that I was led astray; and some said I should come to nothing. Nevertheless, I found there was a remnant who silently believed the Lord was on my side, and that he was able to carry me through, if I was faithful. Blessed be his name, he still pleads the cause of his little ones who have none in heaven, nor in earth, whom they love in comparison with him.
I feel an engagement of mind to leave some further hints to posterity, of things which I believe were opened to me in the true Light; being in wardly instructed to endeavour to square my life in a very different manner from what I had formerly done. I felt the spring of pure gospel love (if I was not mistaken) to flow through me, a poor instrument, at times to my admiration;-and, having been led in a way very uncommon in this age, it has had a tendency to keep me humble, so as to have a fellowfeeling with the tribulated seed every where. At seasons, my mind was enlarged in love to God and to my brethren, my neighbours and fellow creatures, throughout the world. My spirit was often bowed in awful reverence before the Most High, and covered with feelings of humility and tenderness; under which I had to believe that we ought to attend to Divine instruction, even in disposing of and governing the inferior part of his creation; that all our actions might be done, as much as may be, to the Lord's honour. I considered that life was sweet in all living creatures, and the taking it away became a very tender point with me. The creatures, or many of them, were given, or as I take it, rather
lent us to be governed in the great Creator's fear: and I feel free to refer my readers to his order and allowance in early times, while all the Lord's works were in harmony, and pronounced by him to be very good.
“And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. And God said, behold I have given you every herb, bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so." Gen. i. 26, 29, 30. The Creator of all, saw all he had made to be very good; and we must allow that then they were in the order of their creation. The devouring nature had not yet entered, but each partook of what was allowed them, and all harmonized to his honour. It was like the day spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, in which there was none to hurt or destroy in all God's holy mountain. I thought I saw, and had to believe, that life was intended to be at the disposal of him who gave it;—that as all creatures, even the least insects, have generally a sense of danger; therefore, as we cannot give life, I believed we ought to be cautious of destroying it.
It hath been the opinion of many pious men, that the adversary of souls hath been permitted to throw the world into confusion, and out of the order which
prevailed in the creation at first. Be that as it may, it was formerly expressed that “God looked upon the earth, and behold it was corrupt; for all Aesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.” Gen. vi. 12.I have observed that a number of persons who have endeavoured to live near the Truth, have been tender in this point; concluding that those who decline the taking away of animal life, or the use of animal food, can scarcely be deemed offensive to God: and is there sufficient cause for such to be censured or condemned by men ?
In all I have written, and the hints I have given, I have endeavoured to guard against being censorious; as I am led in a path much untrodden in these latter days. I believe my dear Master has been pleased to try my faith and obedience, by teaching me that I ought no longer to partake of any thing that had life. This was, indeed, greatly in the cross every way. My appetite seemed to crave flesh more than ever; and I seemed to be tried even to a hair'sbreadth. For a time, my chief friends stood aloof from
me, and those among the wise of this world seemed to despise me.
Yet, blessed and magnified be the name of the Lord, he owned me; he sweetened my bitter cups, and did not forsake me in my deepest troubles. He kept my head above the swelling of the waves, when I had to travel as in the deeps, by day and by night, and to partake of trials unknown to mortal man. At times, I almost despaired of keeping my ground; at other seasons, I enjoyed a quietude that nothing was able to interrupt, and was permitted to partake of that living water which fully satisfies the thirsty, panting soul.
In times of weakness, I sometimes, as it were, looked back to the garlic and onions of Egypt; having a hard fight of affliction, both with my own nature, and in feeling the opposition of those who would scarcely admit of others going into things further than they saw. But I was favoured with a staff to lean upon, superior to all the friendships of this world.
I find it to be a truth, that victory over our first nature is gradually to be obtained, by little and little; and that the growth of pure religion requires steady watchfulness, day by day. To depend today on yesterday's experience or exercise, will do no better than the manna wherewith Israel was fed in the wilderness, that when left until the morrow, stank and bred worms. So it is in trusting to former experience, in religion.
I did believe it was the Lord's requiring of me, for causes best known to himself, that I should be cautious of taking life, or eating any thing in which life had been. And although evil spoken of by many, I was osten somewhat like a lamb, dumb before his shearers,-having little to say, and sometimes not a word, even when bitter reflections were cast on me in plenty. I endeavoured to retire 10 the sure foundation, the Divine gift within, whilst those storms were passing over. Here I found safety, as my mind was humbly stayed, and I had faith to believe the very gates of hell could not prevail, while I kept in this situation. When I was favoured to feel the seasoning virtue of Truth, I could love them that loved not me, and wished well to those who reviled me. But I was often brought into a close examination of myself. To be singular from father, mother, and many experienced friends, re
quired great care in my stepping along. But he who went before Israel, and gave them a light to guide them in the way, remains to be unchangeable; and when he puts forth, he goes before and prepares the way. Let his excellent name be adored forever. It is the Lord who divideth the waters of the sea, and maketh a way through the deeps. All nations before him are but as the small dust of the balance. Oh! that my soul may ever be humble before hiin, for he hath sweetened all
Oh! that all would follow him, the safe leader, through the wilderness of this world; then would he conduct them safely, and bring them to join with the spirits of just men made perfect, through suffering, in praising and magnifying his holy name, who is worthy forever.
I found I must not look out at others, who perhaps may not have the same work to attend to, and yet may be in favour with our heavenly Father, attend. ing to their proper business in their own allotment. I believe those who are sincerely aiming to follow our holy pattern, should be careful not to judge or censure one another.
may, in wisdom, be so ordered for carrying on the Lord's work, that some may be called to one service, and some to another: therefore, to maintain love to him and towards one another is like the cap-stone, or the crown of our labours. "By this, (said our Saviour) shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
I have sometimes apprehended I felt that love which proceeds from the inexhaustible Fountain, to flow in my heart towards all people; and under these feelings I have craved that all, through christian