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CHAP. V.

ON

His removal to Gloucester. His Sifer Sarah's death. On silent waiting in families. Visit 10 the quarterly and monthly meetings, On Aria plainness and simplicity of living. Visits, families at Richmond. The true light, sun, moon, and stars, alluded to. 'On the six and seven days. On tbe feven feals. N the 5th of the 4th month 1782, I moved

with my family to Gloucester, within the limits of the ineeting of Uxbridge, a branch of our monthly meeting, having for some time before believed, under divers considerations, and of different kinds, that it inight be best for me to spend a portion of my time in that neighbourhood, about eighteen miles from my home in North-Providence. I fully expected to return again some time or other, but did not know when it might be. I remembered the movements of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and in the recollection, thereof, a degree of solid satisfaction was afforded me. I had come outward prospects, in removing, but, I not only did not aim at wealth, nor expect an increase of outward substance, but I had other, and I trust higher motives in it than related to my own temporal con.

And, foon after I became settled there, I found a field of service opening before me in a religious line, a sense whereof I had for some time had upon my mind previous to this removal. There were a few precious souls here deeply and well engaged in the cause of truth, and with whose spirits I was often livingly united in travail for the welfare of Sion, and building of her walls. We had times of deep probation; and, through holy help, many seasong of rejoicing together in the Lord. On the whole, I had frequent confirmations that my being here was promotive at least of my own growth in H 2

the

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cerns.

the everlasting truth. Lord God! of all the holy ancients, be with me I pray thee, and guide me in the way wherein thou wouldit have me to go, no matter where or when, so that thy never failing presence goes with me in all my travels through the wilderness of this world, to a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Amen.

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Very foon after my removal, my dear fifter Sarah Hazard died at her home in South-Kingston. She was a religious woman. She improved much in true christian resignation, and died in a fresh and living sense of heavenly joy. I attended her burial, enjoying, in the midst of my mourning, a satisfaction, in a full , belief that her removal from a world of anxieties and cares,

, was a removal to an inheritance in the mansions of bliss.

of bliss I have been renewedly confirmed in the great advantage to families, and even to small children, that results from fitting down in folemn filence, and therein waiting upon God. I have seen the children much broken and tendered in such seasons, so that, even when there has not been a word fpoken, the tears have rolled down their cheeks, and their looks have been evidently expreffive of heartfelt fenfations. This practice also learns them filence and subjection; it curbs their wills, and habituates them to reftraint, and a patient waiting, for their parents permiffion, to engage in their little diversions. The habits of filence, subjection, and patient waiting for permission, are very useful to children from infancy to mature age, and many suffer much for want of it. I have also seen much advantage to children, and indeed to whole families, from the practice of a folemn pause at meals; it learns children ftiliness, decency, and reverence; and, where it is done in a feeling manner, with minds rightly furned to feel after God and experience his blefling,

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ind is 'not practifed in a light' formal manner, it tends to season and folemnize the minds of young and old. I have seen it done in a very careless lifelefs manner, with scarce any reverence; divers of the family conversing not far from the table ; and scarce any sense of the divine presence prevalent in the minds of those around it; and perhaps the pause scarce long enough to allow of much solid fenfi: bility, or reverential acknowledgment of the favours received from the bounty of a gracious God, in the ample provisions of his providential care for our bodies; or his continued extenfion of fatherly re. gard to our immortal souls. I think such an una devout appearance can be very little to the divine acceptarice; but where á proper pause is observed, and the Lord is therein seriously sought to, the mind being feelingly impreffed with a sense of his aid and affistance, and all branches of the family are reverently filent; it'is an oblation well-pleasing in the fight of God, and very useful to such families. I am morally certain, that I have many a day gone through the cares and concerns of life with much more composure, stability, fatisfaction, and propriety for the strength and affiftance I have found, in drawing near to God in solemn silence in my family; and I wish the practice of reverently adoring him in this way, máy increase more and more.

Our yearly meeting this year was a favoured sea'fon: divers weighty matters were transacted in love and christian condescenfion through the qualifying influence of the matter of our assemblies, who graciously owned this our 'annual 'folemnity by the overshadowing of his love and life-giving presence. Some Tuitable advices were fent down to the inferior meetings, upon fundry important subjects. • After this meeting, in company with divers other Friends, who with myself were under the yearly

meeting's

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meeting's appointment to visit the quarterly, and monthly meetings, I visited Acoakset, Dartmouth, Nantucket, Sandwich, and Swanzey monthly meet ings, Sandwich quarterly meeting held at Nantucket, and our own at Smithfield. We found a want of charity in some few, very strict in outward plainness, who, from a misguided zeal, held others too much at a distance on account of their not apr pearing equally plain with themselves in dress, &g. which was cause of grief to me, yet I am a hearty well-wisher to plainness: I grieve to see the sorrow ful departure from it into pride and superfluity : I never saw an instance of any very considerable de parture of this kind, but what I had reason to be convinced, that a real loss was sustained by the individuals, or their best advancement prevented. But I have fuffered much deep distress of foul under a painful and depressing sensibility, of that contracted, illibcral, and harth Spirit, which in some instances has the ascendancy, leading them into extremes without the life. I know the truth leads into great regularity and circumspection of life, and I abhor that light chaffy spirit that makes, ridicule of it, and lightly esteems the exemplary appearance and true religious zeal of the faithful. I doubt not many libertine minds may lay hold of such remarks as the above to justify their own deviations from the plain path of truth, the narrow way that leads to life ; and think thereby to screen themselves from the just judgment of truth through the brethren ;, but this will not avail them; the way remains, of old, a narrow way, a way of self-denial, and the daily profs. But: Oh unhappy and deluded people, whoever they are, that in their zeal for externals, lose charity. They depart from the life, and lay hold on formality ; for all outward things in religion dwindle unavoidably into formality, in proportion as charity is departed from, and zeal takes place in things pertaining to the outside of the gup and playter, without a living sense of the inward Spring of life which can never be experienced without living, fervent charity.'s Therefore let us ever keep steadily to our plain way of living, in the life of truth; for I am assured, fo far as it is rightly kept to, truth owns and supports it; and its influence on the mind is very beneficial. But Oh, that we may ever be preserved from a narrow, rash, censorious {pirit ; i and from over-rating any outward regularity, or exact living; left, as we grow in the form, we dwindle as to the life. Although these remarks may not have a very extensive influence in rightly guarding others; yet I must write what I have to write and leave it hoping divine providence will yet build up Sion and fortify Jerusalem, directing the course of the fincere-hearted between all the extremes, in the sure and safe path of virtue, where a lively active zeal is tempered with liberality of heart and sentiment, in the flowings of true charity. * We laboured in the monthly meetings as ability was afforded, and I trust to some solid fatisfaction! I got home to my dear wife and family the 8th of the 7th-month, and finding them tolerably well, I Jeft home next day to attend our own quarterly meeting. Here I was rather too active in discipline, I have found it my business sometimes of late to be morelinward in travail, and less active in the 'exercife of the wholefome rules of fociety than I orice was, and believe, when I have obeyed the call into this inward, still abode, and there felt my, loins rightly girded, it has contributed much more to the right exercise of the difcipline, than when, through a desire for its proper adminiftration, I have, by over-acting, seemed to do a good deal for its execution.html 1794) Find wie Suicio de

ter,

In the night, the gth of the 8th month, there

was

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