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The holy scriptures next before you lay,
When you the gospel's holy laws peruse,
Instructed thus by grace and sacred writ,
Would you the favour of your Maker share,
Whatever course of life Heaven may allot, Be not your duty towards your God forgot. With this begin each morn before you rise, With this conclude, ere slumber close your eyes. Let mental pray’r and praise your hearts possess, By day and night, and you will often bless The hand that gives you raiment, meat, and bread, By whom the lily's cloth'd, and ravens fed. Be diligent in all religious dues, Be earnest and devout,--and let no views Of worldly honour, or of sordid gain, In error's paths your fettered minds detain. Be not lukewarm, nor yet too hot begin;A constant, steady pace the prize will win. Of all extremes assiduously beware, As zeal too forward mostly proves a snare. Some with an eager heat run on so fast, They get a sad, inglorious fall at last.
So have I seen a fire, with sudden blaze, High in the air its shining summit raise; But wanting substance to sustain the flame, Sink on a sudden to its base again: Where neither light nor heat were shortly found, But only dead’ning ashes strew'd the ground.
May you, ye tender youth, yourselves approve, By deeds of mercy, purity, and love, By acts of justice, with a steady heart, And never from the paths of virtue start. May you, in trials and temptations, find Calm patience, and true fortitude of mind. In times of sickness, may you feel that Pow'r, Which can give comfort in a dying hour. And when you change a future life for this, May you enjoy a pure, eternal bliss.
RACHEL LIGHTFOOT. Rachel Lightfoot wife of Thomas Lightfoot, being seized with weakness of body, from the early stages of it she was favoured with a sense of her approaching dissolution; yet thought it right to use some means to mitigate the disorder-although she did not think it was in the power of man to cure her. By taking medicine she was so relieved and strengthened, that she got to the Yearly Meeting in the 9th mo. 1789, and attended most of the sittings. After her return, she said, “I am thankful I was enabled to attend the Yearly Meeting—though some may think I had better have stayed at home and taken care of myself; but I am glad I was there; for I firmly believe it will be the last time.”
She continued to ride out at times, and attended meetings till the 11th month following, when the weather growing cold and her weakness increasing, she became necessarily confined at home; and in taking a serious view of her past life, she said, she could not charge herself with any gross evil; but had to magnify that hand that preserved her, and inclined her mind in youth, to seek the company of good friends, and those who were older, and, as she said, wiser than herself. Yet in some instances she had to regret her not keeping close enough to the true guide: for, being left in easy circumstances in the world, to do just as she pleased-she was often solicited to join in parties of pleasure, or what is called innocent pastime; and sometimes went contrary to the convictions of Truth in her own breast-having for several years, no care-taker so much as to say to her, Rachel, if thou art uneasy, dont go. And even after she had entered
their lists and become a party, could not be sociable with them,—and this some were ready to impute to her pride, when it was no less than the openings of divine light in her mind for her preservation. These remarks she repeated occasionally in the hearing of the young women who were so kind as to visit her in her sickness, that they might beware of spending their precious time unprofitably.
She often expressed a desire for the company good friends, which she was at times favoured to enjoy--though she thought these seasons too few. She continued in a humble, watchful state of mind, often desiring patience might be her portion amidst all her conflicts; at the same time confessing she believed few ever wasted away with less pain-which she esteemed a great favour to her, a poor creature.
One time as she was striving to recollect some transaction that was past, she said, “But I am afraid to look back, lest I should forget to look forward.” At another time, near her end, she said to her husband and Susan Judge, “Come and sit down by me, and let us have a little meeting by ourselves,”—and after a time of silence, in a broken manner, said, “Oh! the aboundings of divine love that I feel is beyond expression:—and Oh! how dearly I love you is beyond the power of my speech to declare.” She would sometimes near the close call her little chil. dren to her, and embrace them, recommending all to the great Care-taker.
She kept her bed but one day. In precious faith she quietly expired the 1st of the 5th mo. 1790.
END OF VOL. VI.