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love to her fellow-creatures, and she travelled in the work of the ministry, into various places among her friends.
In the year 1791, her particular friends, Peter and Hannah Yarnall, who had been her agreeable neighbours, and her near sympathizers in times of trial, removed from York to the neighbourhood of Horsham, in Montgomery county. The following letter, having reference to this circumstance, as also to the decease of her husband, and the state of her own mind, is worthy of preservation: more especially, as from her limited opportunity of school learning, writing must have been a very laborious way of communicating the lively feelings of her mind.
The 13th of the 8th month, 1791. Dear friends, Peter and Hannah Yarnall, -I feel not able to communicate any thing worth your notice; though feel desires to send a token of my love. I am not able to make you sensible how much I miss your company; but find it necessary to be contented with what is allotted me. I trust you feel comfortable at your new home. I know you have sensible, feeling friends near, which is a great favour. I may tell
you, York never looked so desolate to me, as it did at my last return. I never missed my dear husband more. He is taken, and I am left.Oh! may
I be content! I may inform, I have been favoured to get thro’ the families of Bradford to the relief of my own mind. I much desire to hear from you every opportunity. I wish my kind love to be given to James Simpson and wife,-Samuel Shoemaker and wife, and honest Samuel Gummere and wife. Accept a large share yourselves, with the dear children, in which sister Lydia joins. From your poor, but sure friend,
Ruth KIRK. The following Epistle to Friends in Baltimore, breathes such a genuine spirit of religious concern, tender sympathy and gospel love, that it is entitled to preservation in these memoirs, as characteristic of the mind of the writer:
To the monthly meeting of men and women Friends
to be held at Baltimore, the 26th of ist mo. 1793. DEAR FRIENDS,
I often have you in remembrance, with desires that you may be preserved on the sure and immoveable Rock, Christ Jesus; and be enabled to keep your meetings in the power and authority of Truth; looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of the saints' faith; remembering the Lord's promise, that " where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them;" and that they who wait on him, shall renew their strength. May you, dear friends, when met and assembled together, be favoured to feel newness of life, your spirits seasoned with the savour of Truth;—and humbled as at the feet of Jesus, waiting in awful silence to hear the still small voice of him who speaks as never man spoke; and who speaks peace to his children and people. For, indeed, his ways are ways of pleasantness, and all his paths are paths of peace.
Many of you have been living witnesses of these things, and can acknowledge that one hour in his presence is worth a thousand elsewhere. Your souls
have yearned after him, as the hart panteth after the water brooks:—you have hungered and thirsted after righteousness; and have been favoured with a remembrance of the encouraging promise, that such “shall be filled.” “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” our dear Lord expressly declares, "for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God. Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God."
Of all these, I trust there is a remnant amongst you, dear friends; and may the injunction which our dear Lord left with his disciples, when his hour was nearly come, and he about to drink the cup of his affliction,--be sealed with a lasting efficacy upon your minds: “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another, as I have loved you; that ye also love one another; for by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples.” And my desire is for you, dear friends, that you may become more and more united in the bond of peace; and be favoured to live in that love, which becomes the followers of Christ. Then, truth will prosper in your hands; and you will be favoured to transact the affairs of the church in love and condescension.
You have in your little meeting, met with things which have been trying; and I feel a near sympathy with all who have been in any way engaged therein. And now, dear friends, the desire of my heart for you on that account, is, that every one may labour to have no will of their own; but desire the will of the Lord may be done, be it whatsoever it may. Then, and then only, you will be favoured, in sincerity of heart, to adopt the language of him who was the pattern of holiness: “Not my will, but thine, O Father, be done."
In the year 1794, she was married to Thomas Walmsley, a member of Byberry meeting; whither she removed, with her only remaining daughter, and settled with her husband, on his farm. Her amiable, benevolent, and active mind, soon obtained place in the affections and esteem of Friends, at Byberry, and its vicinity. Her gift in the ministry was lively and edifying, and in vocal supplication to the throne of grace, she was solid, weighty, reverent and baptizing
She had been but a few months in this new settlement, before she found a field of religious labour, open to her view. Her dedicated mind, as if conscious that industry was needful in illing up her measure of duty, became enganca!, with the unity of her friends, in a visit to the families of the particular meeting, where her?et was now cast.
Improvement seemed to be her object, or the advancement of the cause of Truth, and the welfare of her fellow-creatures. She therefore felt a deep interest in the right education of the rising generation, and thus preparing the way of the Lord in their tender minds. School instruction, in this concern, claimed her lively interest, and se saw and suggested a plan for improving the female character, by employing teachers of their own sex to cultivate the minds and manners of female youth. A girl's school was, in consequence, established in the neighbourhood-and with few intervals, has, during the summer season, been continued to the present time with
some beneficial results, and an improving, meliorating influence on society.
In the 7th month, 1795, Ruth Walmsley opened a concern to visit the monthly meetings, and some of the families of Friends in Philadelphia. And a few months after, she had the unity of the monthly meeting, in making a religious visit to the families of Middletown, in Bucks county-in which service Hannah Thornton accompanied her. The same friends, as companions nearly united in spirit, also visited the families of Darby meeting, in the 6th month, 1795. In the 9th month, a minute of concurrence was furnished Ruth Walmsley, to pay a visit to the southward, in which she was accompanied, part of the time, by her husband, Thomas Walmsley. Of this journey the following account was kept;-and though it does not abound with many striking observations and remarks interesting to strangers; yet, viewed with reference to the dedicated mind, and benevolent feelings of her that was engaged in the arduous, disinterested labour for the good of others, it may be the means of exciting instructive reflections, even in the minds of those who can dwell at home, as in "ceiled houses;" while to her surviving friends and relations, it may recal the remembrance of her devotedness to the cause of Truth and righteousness.
Ruth Walmsley's Narrative of a religious visit
to some parts of the Yearly Meetings of Philadelphia and Baltimore.
The 21st of the 9th month, 1796, feeling a concern and exercise, which hath attended my mind