« PreviousContinue »
number of these I have by me, but, to avoid (wele ling these memoirs, I omit them here, as also a great part of the minutes and memorandums which I made of my exercises, watchings, strivings, and trials in those days. In the time of waiting on the Lord in silent retirement alone, which was mostly my daily practice, it sometimes pleased hiin to vail his holy presence from me, in order to prove my patience and steadfast reliance upon him ; and sometimes to command a solemn awful silence in me, wherein he often stood revealed in majestic all-sufficiency before me, in a manner which I have no words to convey a clear idea of to any who have not experienced the same in themselves. But I am assured that all, who rightly wait upon him in their own minds, will find him a God nigh at hand, and graciously disposed to replenish and satisfy the hungry
soul.' I do not believe a man can go aside, and fit down alone, to make the experiment, merely to see what the consequence of fitting in silence will be, without a real hunger and heart-felt travail; and therein be favoured with the flowings of the holy oil. But none ever wait rightly and perseveringly upon God in vain. The incomes of his love afford more true joy, than all earth's richest enjoyments.
A feast of fat things, of wines on the lees well refined,'t is the comfortable portion of his chosen.
In these awful approaches I beheld at times with clearness the kind hand of the Lord in leading ine through many deep probations. I viewed his overturning influence among men, in these outwardly troublesome times; and now and then my prospects were livingly extended in great good-will, and rolling of bowels, towards the church in general, and some places in particular, with a living evidence sealed on my heart, that, if I abode faithful, I must
devote + Ifai. 25. 6.
devote considerable time in the service of the gospel in my day and generation. My soul, under the animating influence of these openings and prospects, at seasons, bowed in reverent proftration before Emmanuel, God with us.
On taxes for war. Visit to some families in Dart
mouth, and to Mofes Farnum in his last sickness. His marriage. Visit on Rhode-Ifand. Concerning spirituous liquors. On procuring this world's goods. Thanksgiving, a Poem. Family visit in his own monthly meeting.
Tour yearly meeting this year, 1779, the
subject of Friends paying taxes for war came under folid- consideration. Friends were unanimous, that the testimony of truth, and of our fo. ciety, was clearly against our paying such taxes as were wholly for war; and many folid Friends manifested a lively testimony against the payment of those in the mixture ; which testimony appeared evidently to me to be on substantial grounds, arising and spreading in the authority of truth. It was a time of refreshment to an exercised number, whose spirits I trust were feelingly relieved, in a joyful sense of the light which then sprung up among us.
On the whole, I am renewedly confirmed, that however the burden-bearers of the present generation among us may hold on their way, or fall short and give back, the Lord will raise up a band of faithful followers, who, prefering Jerusalem's welfare to their chiefest joy, will press through the crowd of reasonings, and follow the Lamb whithersoever he leadeth them.
In those days I passed through many trials and exercises, unknown except to God and my own foul; but he knew my heart, and all my tribulations, and how to carry me through them; and blessed be his holy name! he supported and bore up my drooping mind through every probation and besetment. At times I clearly saw he was refining me in the furnace of affliction: then why
should I murmur or repine? Or why dost thou murmur, Oh! afflicted soul, whoever thou art? for unless thou endure chastisement of the Lord, thou art a bastard and not a son. By his fatherly chastisements he brings into the obedience and filial attachment of sons--he enables to sing of mercy and of judgment; and confirms his children in a steadfast reliance upon himself, through every ftorm and tempeft. O! bless his holy name for everexalt and praise him, even for the turning of his hand in probation ; for the exercise of his rod in chastisement. It is all for good, and will surely work good to all who rightly abide the trial. Indeed every trial ought to be received with thankfulness, as intended and working for our good. And seeing afflictions are oft the moft substantial blessings to a true christian traveller, let us in true resignation of heart, under each painful stroke, afcribe goodness to our God, and, in the pathetic language of Young, render him the tribute of thankfgiving,
• For all I bless thee, most for the severe.'
In the twelfth month this year, in company with my dear friend Elisha Thornton, I visited several families of Friends at Dartmouth. It was a time of great trial: I was shut up in silence, pain, and poverty of spirit, in divers fainilies. I felt like a wanderer through a trackless desert; yet, not being easy to quit the service, I went on, but still for some time found no relief, more than a conscious. ness of integrity to my God; but, magnified be his name for ever, in depth of distress he heard my cry, and arose with healing in his wings; and was gracioufly pleafed to command deliverance. My tongue again was loosed; and, with tenderness and contrition, I declared of his dealings; with gratitude, I sang of his salvation. He clothed me with the fpirit of supplication : I drew near him with
renewed confidence, and, after several seasons of relieving communication, returned home, saying in my heart, it is enough.'
The 31st of the 3d month 1780. I went to see my much beloved friend Mofes Farnum, at Uxbridge, in his last sickness. His disorder was paralytick. He could not speak so as to communicate much of his mind by words; but the lively fenfibility of his mind, and the tenderness and brokenness of his spirit, were refreshing to my soul. Divers Friends were present, and nearly all were melted into tears and heart-felt tenderness. He was just able to make us sensible of his great peace of mind in his late religious travels ; and that the seal and evidence of divine approbation therein was now impressed on his mind. Light and life appeared to triumph over all in him. He seemed resigned to every trial; he also manifested great gladness that in health he had settled and disposed of his outward affairs to satisfaction. On the 11th of the 5th month he was decently buried, having gradually declined, until death removed him from works to rewards., I trust he now enjoys a mansion of undisturbed repose in the paradise of God. He was in the latter part of his life a pillar in the Lord's house': a faithful watchman on the walls of Sion. And his memory is precious.
On the ist day of the 7th month this year, 1780, at our meeting in Providence, I was married to Eunice. Anthony, daughter of Daniel and Mary Anthony.--The following I wrote her just after my
firft addresses to her on account of marriage, viz.
North-Providence, 22d of ist month, 1780, Mof affectionately beloved, • After reading over several memorandums of the