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things of the glory of the house they had at Jerusalem, and would have had me go with them. And I understood that Solomon, with many thousands of carpenters and masons had built it; upon which I considered within myself, that if Solomon and the carpenters and masons had built it, carpenters and masons might at one time or other pull it down again. So I went not, but sought a city whose builder is God; and now I have found it; Hallelujah in the Highest; glory, honour, and renown to his worthy Name and power, throughout all ages and generations. Amen.
EXTRACTS From Anthony Benezet's Letters. My dear young friend, I have remembered the apostolic injunction, that christian women ought to be arrayed in modest apparel, not costly, but with sobriety. I have thought of the nature of the gospel, of the conduct, dress, and food of John the baptist, who was as great as any of the prophets; and I have considered the outward situation of our blessed Saviour, his humble appearance, and his coming in the form of a servant, not to be ministered unto, but to minister. “Behold,” says he, “I am among you as he that serveth.” Thus, leaving us an example that we should follow his steps. But, how different from the example of Jesus Christ, are the conduct and views of most of our young people! Notwithstanding, it is indispensably necessary that such as are desirous to follow him, should demean themselves in a manner to answer the sober ends of an industrious, frugal life,-a life of affection and care in their own families,—and as friends, spiritually and temporally, to those who may need their assistance.
Doctor Cave, in his account of the early christians, says, “they were careful to avoid fine and costly things,-choosing such as indicated lowliness and innocency.” That our ancient Friends understood the apostle's advice appears from William Penn's expressions: “If thou art clean and warm, it is sufficient: for more doth but rob the poor, and please the wanton." If every unnecessary expense is wasting that which properly belongs to the poor,-and every conformity to foolish fashions is to please a vain world,—what can be said in defence of the appearance of many of our young people, that is so contrary to that humble life, which, as followers of Christ, is required of them!
If our dear young people would take these things into serious consideration, it might, on a bed of sickness, prevent inexpressible pain of mind. A young woman, with whom I had repeatedly treated on these subjects, but in vain) when near the close of life, requested her mother not to admit into her chamber those who indulged in fashionable dress; because, she thought such could not afford her the comfort she wanted.
Philada, 31st of 3d mo. 1775. I have often, dear S., thought of thee with concern and sympathy, understanding how much thou hast been affected with the misconduct of that unhappy woman. I have often mentally queried, as though thou hadst been present, Why dost thou thus suffer thyself to be so much afflicted? Is there any thing in this world that deserves an anxious thought, but how to be fitted to leave it? Are not disappointments of this kind meant to drive us to seek comfort in God alone? But I must acknowledge, that to a tender, sympathizing mind, abuse and ingratitude, particularly where we have sincerely endeavoured to serve the party, is one of the hardest trials.
With persons in whom the selfish nature is unsubdued, the human heart is hard and bad, as the Indians express it, until radically changed by grace. This I have frequently, to my cost, found to be the case of such as went under the
and were ready to persuade themselves that they were persons of extraordinary piety. Nevertheless, every degree of selfishness indulged, particularly under a cloak of religion, is a torment to the party. That poor woman, by the prevalency of wrong propensities, is already herself, as well as the sorrowful family with whom she is connected, sufficiently miserable. We will draw a vail over what is past. Let us improve by the experience hereby gained, and learn to look to God alone, for strength and comfort. Where pride and want of candour, and of course ingratitude, are suffered to prevail in any, especially high professors, such are indeed sick of a bad distemper, and are objects of the greatest pity.
Thy resolution to seek for strength and comfort in retirement and silence, is very
my own. Nevertheless, in the way of our duty, or in the worship of God, where we meet with help from our fellow-men, it is matter of joy. There is, as it were, a repeated cry in the ear of my mind, Come away,—come away from any hope of true happiness
from the world, or expectation of any real comfort or strength, but from God alone.
“Lean not on earth,—'twill pierce thee to the heart,
A broken reed at best, if not a spear."— Young. With sincere affection, I remain thy friend,
EXTRACTS OF LETTERS
Fairfax, 12th mo. 11th, 1789. DEAR FRIEND,—About three days since, I received thy kind letter of 5th month last. I acknowledge my great obligations to thee for so kindly writing to my wife, to me, and otherwise. If thou art free to work without wages, (else than what results from the agreeable sensations, attendant on acts and dispositions of kindness) thou mayst cheerfully go on: here is more work for thee. But I never expect to be able to afford thee any better compensation, than a hearty thankfulness; in that, (though of small, if any use to thee) I hope I am not wanting.
I am now attending Quarterly meeting here. If I don't go to Redstone, may clear out by Spring meeting ;-if I go there, I don't see how I can get through quite so soon. Several have lately visited Friends there. Peter Yarnall is just returned. I have been asking a release; but it is not yet sealed—so I leave it. Home looks very pleasant,-both my own family, and dear New England; but I am still enabled just to say in sincerity, Thy will be done.
Mention, if thou pleasest, my love to my dear friend, Samuel Emlen. His kindness is heartily and thankfully acknowledged. I know he is a hearty lover of the blessed cause; and therein, his reward will not fail him. Except that, I know no probability of his getting any; but that being almost his whole delight, I conclude he wants no other.
Oh! how often I think what a blessing it is to have lived to an advanced age in the life of Truth:to have almost weathered out the storms, probations, and manifold temptations of life, and to be nearly arrived on that happy shore-that haven of eternal rest, where satan bimself can no more assault us; where the wicked (who oft in life molest us) must cease from troubling, and where the weary, tried, and often tribulated soul, forever finds its holy rest.
Ah me! what unknown conflicts, perils and snares, have I yet to encounter! Oh! my God, my only helper, keep, I pray thee, and preserve my soul, lest, after all I have known of thy love, thy aid, thy wonders in the deeps, and turnings of thy holy, mighty hand and arm, in many, yea, in mighty waters, I unhappily let go my hold on thee, and slide, as many have slidden before me, from the line of holy commandment. But whither, my dear friend, has this unexpected effusion of heart transported me? Forgive me, if I deviate from the common laws of letter writing. I have my ebbings and flowings, and may be too much influenced by them.-But what shall I do with such tender emotions as I sometimes feel, when looking at the faithful, who have almost run their race, and are, as lively hope represents it, nearly arrived at the fruition of endless enjoyment? My heart expands, at times, under