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From this place, I set my face homeward, the 16th of the 1st month, having a satisfactory opportunity at parting with my beloved friends, many whom were present. It was coneluded with supplication and thanksgiving to Him, who is the giver of every good and perfect gift.
After taking our solemn leave of each other, we went on to a meeting, appointed near Susquehanna, accompanied by my cousin Timothy Kirk and divers other friends. At this place live a few Friends, who have a meeting indulged once a week. To this meeting came many of their neighbours, most of whom were Germans, and but few of them had ever been at a Friends' meeting before. I endeavoured in the ability received, to open before them the necessity there is for us to know and experience a spiritual worship. The people were attentive, and some of them tendered. We dined at our kind friend Andrew Moore's, who, with his wife and son, accompanied us over the river, which we crossed on the ice.
Next day, called to see my aged grandmother, who was yet living, and said she felt thankful that she had the opportunity of seeing us once more. With her and the rest of the family, we had a satisfactory season, by her bed side. On taking our leave of her, she said, “I am waiting for my final change. Remember me in your prayers, even when we are far separated." Went on, and lodged at Joshua Baldwin's;-had a religious opportunity in his family. My aged, and much esteemed friend, Joshua, had nearly lost his eye-sight, and was much confined at home.
Next morning left there, and reached home late in the evening of the 18th of 1st month, and found my dear husband and children, with the rest of the family, well; which I esteemed a great favour.
In performing this journey, rode about nine hundred miles, and was absent from home three months.
In the 2d month, 1797, Ruth Walmsley returned her minute to the monthly meeting, and, except a family visit to Friends at Germantown, she did not travel far from home afterward, -altho' in the 1st month, 1798, she opened å prospect of a religious engagement to travel into the Southern States. Her bodily health, however, had been on the decline for some time. Yet her mind being strong in the Lord, and in the feelings of love and good will to men—a certificate was granted her for the parpose, in the 4th month following.
John Hunt, of New Jersey, remarks, “It is no rare or uncommon thing, for sùch Friends to be released and taken away, under such prospects. A lesson of deep instruction and humility there is, in such instances”! In ́the case of Ruth Walmsley, an evidence is furnished, of the expanding nature of Divine Love, when it becomes the life of the soul. The current of strong desire for the welfare of the human family flowed in her soul-so that it outbalanced the consideration of regard for the ease, the health, and comfort of an afflicted tabernacle. But nature sunk under the pressure of disease-and, after giving this public evidence of her love to the cause and prosperity of Truth, she patiently endured the pains of mortality, until the powers of nature resigned their charge, and the immortal inhabitant ascended to its unchanging state of beatitude in the unclouded realms of Light and Love.
Yet she lives! she lives in the remembrance and in the unity of the one spirit, in kindred minds, that held sweet communion with her gentle, amiable, benevolent and sympathetic soul, while here below. The following Testimony of Friends of Horsham monthly meeting, of which she was a member, during the last four years of her life, show some of the views then had of her worth, and of the estimation in which she was held,
The Testimony of Horsham monthly meeting,
concerning Ruth Walmsley, late of Byberry, in the county of Philadelphia, deceased.
This our dear friend was born in Frederick county, Maryland, in the year 1752, being the daughter of Solomon and Sarah Miller. While young and under their care, she was dutiful to her parents, and having early embraced the visitations of Divine love, she was in a good measure preserved in a state of innocent circumspection. In the twenty-third year of her age, she was called to, and engaged in the work of the ministry.
In the year 1794, on her being married to our friend Thomas Walmsley, she came to reside among us, and produced a certificate of the near unity and regard of Friends at the monthly meeting of York in Pennsylvania, of which meeting she had been a member and minister well approved.
Since her settlement among us, she was diligent in the exercise of her gift, freely giving up to the Master's call to travel abroad to visit meetings and families, for the promotion of his cause and the welfare of her fellow mortals, which she had much at heart: and on her returns from those visits, she produced certificates of the near unity and satisfaction of Friends with her labours in the gospel.
She was truly an example of a meek and quiet spirit, a tender and sympathizing friend to those in affliction both of body and mind; such she was often engaged to visit, and to minister suitably to their respective states. She was a living minister; and in supplication, humble and fervent. Her doctrine dropped as the dew, to the consolation and encouragement of the sincere traveller Sion-wards. The young and rising generation were peculiarly the objects of her tender solicitude, that they might notonly be the called, but the chosen and sanctified, prepared for every good word and work. She was careful to maintain love and unity, saying at times, that she could not live without it; and being sensible of the preciousness thereof, was desirous to promote it in others.
She was not only diligent in attending religious meetings herself, but careful to encourage her family to their duty in that respect, and was an example of steady waiting upon the Lord in silence, when not called to public service. Out of meetings, her deportment was solid and exemplary, accompanied with an innocent sociability, which gained her the love and esteem of all who knew her.
Her last illness was long, in which time she suffered very great pain of body; but was mercifully
preserved in much resignation to the Divine will, saying at one time, “It dont look likely that I shall recover from this painful disorder, but it matters little what this poor body suffers, if it be a means to bring me nearer to the kingdom of heaven." At a time when some came into her room and dropped into silence with the family, she was raised up, and in an awful and lively manner, supplicated the Lord that her husband and family might be preserved in his fear, and be enabled to walk before him so as to experience a' growth in the ever blessed Truth; and, in a particular: manner besought the Lord that he would be mercifully pleased to visit and revisit the young and rising generation; that they might be brought off from the delusive enjoyments of this world, and their affections placed on heaven and heavenly things.-At a time when divers young and middle aged friends were present, she uttered to this import, “I expect you will be labouring in Truth's service when my head is laid in the grave, let none who have put their hands to the work look back, or be dismayed, altho', there may be many discouraging prospects, and some of you may compare yourselves to the Israelites of old, when the red sea was before them and the enemy behind, (which has been my situation) and I have this testimony to bear, that the Lord will open the way for you, as the eye is kept single unto him;" and added, “ I have no other to look to but the Lord, let him deal with me as he may, it certainly will be right. I am resigned to it.” At another time said to some about her, “the work of preparation for such a time as this, put not off; for the afflictions of the body are enough to struggle with.”