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Many years ago, a case was tried in Philadelphia court, in which a boy of about ten or twelve years old, was brought forward to give in his evidence. His testimony was important, as he had been an eye witness of the transactions of the contending parties. When the oath was about to be administered to him, he said he could not swear. The person who brought him as a witness, was then asked whether he was a Quaker, or whether his parents were Quakers? The answer was, they were Presbyterians, and they had told him never to swear. The boy scrupulously adhered to his parents commands, and therefore refused to take an oath. At this simple relation, embracing the principles of strict obedience to parents, the court was at a stand what course to take. - But it immediately occurred to the mind of the discerning judge, that where so much integrity and sincerity appeared, an oath was unnecessary; and, waiving the forms of law, he ordered the boy's testimony to be taken, without oath or affirmation. The weight of his evidence, in the minds of the jury, appeared such that they gave a verdict on his testimony.
What a noble instance of filial obedience ! and what a powerful testimony to the force of Truth, superior to the supposed sanction of oaths and imprecations! What dignity in the presiding judge, to respect parental instructions, and filial integrity; and to dispense with the ceremonies of custom, or law, for the sake of obtaining simple truth, unstudied, and unaffected by the terrors of perjury!
How greatly it would add to the mutual confidence and happiness of society, if such instances of the care of parents, and the obedience of youth, were multiplied, till they became general! “Yea,” would then “be yea," and truth would need no addition to make it more true-assertions and relations of witnesses might be received with confidence, as matters of fact, that needed not the confirmation of oaths, affirmations, or any other imprecations whatever. The doctrine of our Divine Law-giver would be better understood; and that when he enjoined on his followers to speak the truth, it was the "whole truth, and nothing but the truth;” for “whatsoever is more
an this,” or added to it, in order to make it more true, "cometh of evil”—and ought to be avoided, as being among those "idle words," for which an account must be rendered in the day of judgment.
EDUCATION. To promote the objects of a good education, it is necessary to guard the youthful mind from the influence of pernicious company; it is also needful to restrain children from reading improper publications : but, as children are social beings, they should have associates; as their minds are expanding and craving mental food, channels should be opened for their acquiring that which is wholesome, that which is profitable, that which is rational and substantial. Hence, it is obviously necessary that the care and riper judgment of parents and tutors should be exercised in the choice of books suitable for their
age and capacity, and calculated to promote the objects of a good education. When we add to this the importance of having their first impressions of the right stamp, because they are generally lasting, it adds to the weight of obligation on our part.
TO A FRIEND.
And ventilate the rising thought,
The matter with which mind is fraught.
Of worldly wisdom and applause,
To nullify God's righteous laws!
Learns patience,-leaning on his breast,
And in this confidence is rest.
The heartfelt sigh assails his ear;
And sees the pensive, falling tear
And with its suff'ring, suffer too,
Sweet streams of comfort will renew.
With flowers and blossoms, rich and gay,
To cheer the tray'ller on his way :
The autumn soon approaches fast,
And stormy clouds, and frost, is seen ;
There's here and there an evergreen.
Retain a greenness to the end ;
Whose arms of mercy wide extend. 12th mo. 1833.
And he can them supply.
And on this Power rely.
Said Jesus Christ, our blessed Lord;
While our faith is in his word.
Dearest Lord, my soul adores thee,
The praise is short, that I can give,
And by which I daily live.
But I receive much good from thee;
And ev'ry day, more thankful be.
TWELFTH MONTH, 1834.
SOME ACCOUNT Of the Life and Travels of Phebe Speakman.
Phebe Speakman was the daughter of John and Ann Scholfield, and was born in Bucks county the 16th of the 7th month, 1739, old style. At about the age of twenty-two years, she removed to Chester county, being furnished with a certificate from Buckingham monthly meeting, to that at Concord. She afterwards was married to Nathan Yarnall, and the 5th of 3d month, 1775, was recommended as a minister by Concord monthly meeting ;-having appeared in that capacity some considerable time. The next year she made a religious visit to New Jersey, Long Island, and New England. In 1779, her husband died; and in 1781, she married a second time, to Micajah Speakman, of Concord. In 1796, she embarked on a religious visit to Great Britain and Ireland:-in which engagement she was from home upwards of four years. After her return, she made a visit into Connecticut in 1801. A few
years before her decease, she was a member of the monthly meeting at Uwchlan, and resided in West Nantmel township, Chester county. Her bodily and mental powers became much impaired towards the last of her time. Having reached the ninetieth year of her age, she departed this life on the 16th of the 11th month, 1828; and was buried at Uwchlan.