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in due time, He, who permitted this 'trial, would cause the cloud to be dispersed, and that he should be favoured to feel his supporting arm of power to be underneath, in the solemn hour which he felt was rapidly approaching. About this time, in reply to one of his daughters, who tenderly sympathised with him, and who queried as to his prospects, (and mentioned her fears that it would be a trying period with him) he stated, that he thought she need not feel anxious; that he knew not why it was so with him, but that it was no new thing to be proved in this way,-many others had been tried for a season in the same manner, and that even the blessed Master, in a trying hour, cried out, “Why hast thou forsaken me,”—and that he trusted all would yet be well with him.
About ten days before his decease, he was suddenly taken so much more unwell as to require the family to be called in the night. When he saw them enter the room, he remarked, “I am very sorry you should be disturbed, as I do not expect you can do any thing to relieve me.” On being told that they could not feel satisfied to be from him at such a time, with a sweet smile on his countenance, he remarked, that he hoped they would not be agitated or alarmed--that he was not in the least—that he felt peace and quietness in his own mind that every cloud was dispersed, and all was bright before him. On being told that it was a great consolation to hear
express himself so comfortably, he replied, that they might feel entirely satisfied with regard to him, that every doubt was removed, and there was nothing in the way. He said his heart was so filled with love, that he was ready to break forth in
singing Hallelujah, Hallelujah, but added, I suppose this is not the way for me to worship. Yet from the overflowings of his feelings he frequently repeated, 0 joy, joy, joy! with many similar expressions. From this time to the close of his existence, this bright prospect did not for a moment appear to be clouded, but much of his time was passed in instructive conversation with those around him, urging the necessity of their being prepared for such a season as this, often remarking that his work was done;and when exhibiting evidence of great sufferings, that it was only distress of body, that his mind was perfectly at ease.
In this happy state, he felt his love to flow to all, unrestrained by any sectarian views. He'expressed a desire to see some Friends with whom he had been formerly associated in exercise for the support of our religious testimonies in this city. Some of whom on being informed of it, called to see him;he appeared glad of the opportunity of taking them by the hand, evincing that his spirit was clothed with that love which seeks the good of all, embraces, and would gather all without distinction, who submit to its holy influence.
One of his legs which had for some time been very sore, becoming increasingly painful, it was examined, and he desired to know if there was any change in its appearance. On being informed that there were dark spots on it, he remarked, “I suppose it is mortification, and will probably terminate before many days.” Adding, “do not keep back, or conceal any thing from me; it is what I have looked for, and I now feel fully prepared for the event."
He remarked on one occasion, when in great pain, “My sufferings are very great-yet I cannot wish it otherwise, or wish for one pain less.” At the close of a day in which he had suffered much, such had been the serenity of his mind, that he was enabled to express, “Oh! what a pleasant day this has been to me; it seems like a sweet dream.” On another occasion, when his friends expressed their sympathy for him, he remarked, that his distress was very great; but although he suffered much, yet not so much as the blessed Master, whose agony was so great that he sweat as it were great drops of blood-adding, that it was only distress of body,his mind evidently being in perfect peace. And he frequently seemed to gather strength to bear up under his distress, by calling to mind and expressing the same circumstance. He was also, at times, favoured in a remarkable manner, to extend counsel and encouragement to those around him, so much so, that one present, on hearing him say, that like Jacob, of old, he had wrestled all night for the blessing, added, (and all felt the force of the observation) that he now, like Jacob, could rest upon his staff and confer a blessing upon his children.
On fifth-day evening, he stated, that on a previous day, whether awake or asleep he knew not, but he for a time thought his trials were over, and that he had entered into a mansion of peace and joy, and that he was invited to take his seat at a table spread with rich dainties, and he felt he could take his place there without producing jar or discord. He alluded to the state of trial that he had some time previously passed through, saying, that at that time, it seemed as if view of his whole life was spread before
him, in such a remarkable manner, as to cause him to acknowledge as the woman of Samaria formerly did, I have seen a man which told me all things that ever I did; is not this the Christ?" He recounted many little things done in his youth, that he had not considered really wrong, and that he had long since forgotten, but they were now brought clearly to his view, and he saw they were all vanity,—that he had had a hard struggle for the blessing, and it for some time seemed doubtful to him whether he should obtain the victory, but that he now felt that they were all blotted out, and that there was not a cloud in his way; and he could sing the triumphant song, “Oh! Death, where is thy sting, Oh! Grave, where is thy victory." He afterwards remarked, “I never, until within a few days past, have seen the time, when the thoughts of the message, 'Steward give up thy stewardship, for thou shalt be no longer steward,' has not brought rather a dread over my mind; but now, the prospect is so bright, that I sometimes fear I shall not wait with patience the appointed time.”
For two or three days before his departure, his mind was at times wandering; but on several occasions he was favoured to collect it, and to show that his prospects were not changed, but that he looked forward to the period of his release, with an unshaken confidence that all would be well with him.
On sixth-day, about noon, on awaking from a long sleep, his mind being perfectly collected, he addressed an exceedingly interesting communication to his dear wife and children, who were around him, enforcing on their minds the great importance of their living together in harmony and love, saying, "I commend you in the words of Christ to his disciples, “That ye love one another.' Remember, it is the last advice of a dying father. God is Love, and nothing but love will qualify for an inheritance in the kingdom of rest and peace.”
He then gave directions about his funeral, requesting to be put in a white pine coffin, and that all should be done in a plain way and without parade. After tenderly embracing and taking an affectionate leave of his dear companion, he requested, that if any called, to whom it was thought that his closing scene might be useful, that they might be admitted to witness it, as he feared not death, but felt that to him it would be a happy change. This was the last time his mind was collected. He afterwards lay much of the time in a sort of stupor, until the afternoon of the next day, the 26th of 10th month, 1833, in the seventy-sixth year of his age, when he fell into a deep sleep, and in the evening ceased breathing, without a sigh or struggle; and we doubt not, his sanctified spirit is gathered to that glorious state of rest and peace, to experience the fruition of that joy, of which he had been favoured to have such an abundant foretaste.
Brief Account of Friends in France. In the year 1786, Friends in England communicated to their brethren in Philadelphia the following particulars, relative to the breaking forth of Light in France, among about one hundred families, who professed themselves to be Quakers, and were in the practice of holding silent meetings for worship.