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of Friends, especially of George Fox ; an ex-
tract from whose original letter, in the posses-
sion of the writer of these pages, may best
explain their wishes, while it will serve as a
standing testimonial of their love, and of the
sense which they had of Robert Barclay's
use in serving the cause he had espoused.

" Dear Friend, R. B. : — Now the occasion
of my writing unto thee at this time is, — that
Friends are very sensible of the great service
thou hadst concerning the Truth with the
king and at the court, and that thou hadst
their ears more than any Friend, when here,
and freedom and liberty on Friends' and
Truth's behalf. And now, dear Robert, we
understanding that the occasion of thy sudden
return [homeward was now passed,] I do de-
sire thee, and it is the desire of several other
Friends, that now, while the door is open, and
the way so plain, thou wouldst be pleased to
come to London with speed, or as soon as may
be, — for there is a great service in it, Ihou
having such free access; and when thou art
here. Friends may let thee know their minds



further. And so, dear Robert, there
great service in thy coming, upon several
accounts, more than I shall speak of at this
time ; — and so I hope the Lord will incline
thy heart to weigh and consider thy service
in it. And so, once more, with my love,
"G. F.
" Edmonton, 19th of the Fifth month, 1686."

The death of his worthy parent, David
Barclay, before recited, and that of a sister
soon after, with the various concerns that
would in consequence devolve upon him as
representative of the family, suliicientjy ac-
count for his apparent slackness iti acceding
to so urgent a request as the foregoing. VV hen
in the metropolis, he drew up and presented
to the king the sincere acknowledgments of
the Friends in Scotland, on account of his
proclamation in favour of liberty of con-
science; and there is little doubt, he attended
the Yearly Meeting of the Society, held in
London in the Third month, 1687. But it is
not clearly made out what special benefit re-
sulted to that body, from any exeitions of his
at this juncture on their behalf. Direct per-
secution had then, generally speaking, ceased ;
yet the legal incapacity of this people in con-
sequence of their refusing to swear; the ruin-
ous processes usually instituted against them
for tithes even of small amount ; together with
the little security which they felt, whilst the
penal laws were only suspended, and that by a
power which they knew to be incompetent ; —
such considerations would naturally induce
them to wish that all the degree of ease which
they now enjoyed, might rest on a more satis-
factory basis. Indeed, it is evident by the
address which went up to the king this year
from the Society at large, that they looked
for " such a concurrence from the Parliament,
as will," they say, " secure it to our posteri-
ty." Whatever might have been the princi-
ples of James the Second, (as the compiler of
the life of Robert Barclay justly observes,) the
latter, probably influenced by the personal
kindness he received from the king, seems to
have thought hiin sincere in his professions;
while it may be further suggested, whether a
fervent Christian desire and charitable hope
respecting him, might not have been the ori-
gin of that real regard which Barclay evi-
dently cherished towards the misguided and
imprudent monarch.

While in London, our Friend had an inter-
view with the seven bishops, then confined in
the tower. It will be recollected that they
refused to distribute, in their respective
dioceses, the king's declaration of indulgence,
and had represented to the king the grounds
of their objection to the measure. The popu-
lar opinion was in favour of the bishops ; yet
the former severities of some of that or-
der against dissenters, particularly against
Friends, occasioned some reflections on them;
which, coming to the knowledge of the im-
prisoned bishops, they declared that the
Quakers had belied them, by reporting that
they had been the death of some. Robert
Barclay being informed of this, went to the
tower, and gave the bishops a well substan-
tiated account of some, who had been detained

in prison till death, by order of bishops,
though they had been apprized of the impend-
ing danger by physicians who were not
" Quakers." He, however, told them, that
since they themselves, through change of cir-
cumstances, were now under oppression, it
was by no means the intention of the Friends
to give the king or their adversaries any ad-
vantage against them, by publishing such inci-

On his way home from London in the
Sixth month, Robert Barclay stopped two
days at Chester, where the king then was
upon a progress. There, in the Tennis Court,
he and William Penn had a " most large
meeting," as he calls it in his Diary ; the king
himself being present at one of the religious
opportunities, held in the Friends' meetmg-
house. Passing through Lancashire, Robert
Barclay visited Swarthmore, formerly the
house of Judge Fell, whose widow was mar-
ried to George Fo.\.

" Soon after the commencement of the next
year, 1688, he took his last journey to Lon-
don, where he stayed the whole summer, visit-
ing and serving his friends to the utmost of
his power." His eldest son, Robert, who dis-
covered a heart, " devoted to religion from his
infancy," was with him, being then but six-
teen years of age. The father, judicious and
discriminating, as he is described to have
been in his care over his children, did not
object to introduce him to the court of King
James at Windsor, where he remained some
considerable time, being much caressed, it is
said, on account of his father's interest, which
occasioned numerous dependents.

" Though this fact is probably calculated,
at first sight, to startle most minds; such
feeling may be measurably allayed by consi-
derations like the following. It cannot with
reason be said, that in every supposable case,
this line of conduct in a parent would be alto-
gether unwarrantable or inexpedient. Yet, it
is freely admitted, the present instance should
form by no means a warrant or precedent for
any to venture upon, unless under circumstan-
ces that may equally bear the weight of the
risk and responsibility. It may be safely
concluded, that Robert Barclay had duly re-
flected on the subject ; — that he was fully ac-
quainted with the ciiaracter and propensities
of his child,— that he had thoroughly before
his view the degree of exposure, which, under
his own firm and prudent control, was likely
to be incurred. And further we are assured,
that he himself was no novice, with regard
either to the allurements of this present evil
world, the weakness of the creature, or the
wiles of the destroyer. On the other hand,
few had more occasion to trust in Divine pro-
tection and grace, wherever duty called or
Providence might lead him. It is an inter-
esting appurtenance to the foregoing state-
ment, and gives some force to the remarks
hich follow it, — that when this youth grew
\ip, had run his course, and had done with
time, his Friends could, in their expressive
, testify of him, thiTt even throughout this
critical time to which we are precisely refer-
ring, " bis conversation was clean and void of
ofl'ence :" — and how is this accounted for?

They add, in the same sentence, that which is
the best explanation. " He may be truly said
to have remembered his Creator in the days
of his youth."

(To be continued.)

For " The Friend."

The following epistle was written in the
forepart of the year 17.50, and was probably
addressed to John Griffith, Jonah Thompson,
and some other Friends, who about that tin.e
came on gospel missions to America. In re-
ference to this letter, Mary Smith says: —
" There being several Friends going in the
same vessel, upon the same errand to the
churches abroad, I wrote the following fare-
well, to be opened when upon the water." To
the poor servants who go forth heavy laden,
any evidence that those who tarry by the
stuff can say, ' our spirits went forth with
them,' must be peculiarly strengthening in
those seasons of poverty and stripping, which
every gospel minister must feel, who is rightly
engaged in the work of visiting the seed in
prison ;and doubtless often proves as a " brook
by the way." The unity of the brethren is a
stay in all cloudy seasons; and the belief that
prayer is made in the churches for them, must
be as encouraging to the ambassadors in bonds
now, as in the apostles' days.

" Dear Friends, beloved of the Lord, and
chosen of the Lamb !

" I greet you well on the watery element ;
and although I have not much intimacy in the
outward, yet methought, as being present at
your embarking, I could do no other than
take this solemn and serious farewell ; feeling
such gospel fellowship and sweet unity with
your undertaking. Precious indeed are the
sensations thereof that have flowed into my
mind, both before and since I came into this
city. Faithfully believing the God of ages,
and of the worthies before, will appear on your
side, and own you in the tribes of his Israel ;
and magnify the chosen seed you bear in the
American churches, with which my spirit
goes, though the poor tabernacle is left be-

" Oh ! brethren, cast down your crowns as
at the foot of the Lamb, and in His own exal-
tation and glory shall you arise and stand, as
upon Mount Sion, with the living harps, ut-
tering the blessed excellency and life of the
immortal nature and covenant.

"To God, and the protecting guardian of
his holy and divine presence, the safe keeping
and guidance of his own power, I tenderly
leave you, with the salutation of holy love ;
and am your poor, yet true friend,

" Maky Smith."

The privileges of the Christian. — How
great and honourable is the privilege of a true
believer! That he has neither wisdom nor
strength in him.self, is no disadvantage ; for
he is connected with infinite wisdom and Al-
lighty power, 'i'hough weak as a worm, his
rms are strengthened by the mighty God of
Jacob, and all things become possible, yea.


easy to him, that occur within tlie compass of
liis proper duty and calling. The Lord whom
he serves, engages to proportion his strength
to his day, whether it be a day of service or
of suffering; and, though he be falhble and
ehorl-sighted, exceedingly liable to mistake
and imposition, yet while he retains a sense
that he is so, and with the simplicity of a
child, asks counsel and direction of the Lord,
he seldom takes a wrong step, at least not in
matters of consequence — and even his inad-
vertencies are overruled for good. If he for-
gets his true state, and thinks himself to J)e
something, he presently finds he is indeed
nothing; but if he is content to be nothing,
and to have nothing, he is sure to find a
seasonable and abundant communication of all
that he wants. Thus he lives, like Israel in
the wilderness, upon mere bounty ; but then
it is a bounty unchangeable, unwearied, in-
exhaustible, and all-sufficient. — J. Newton.

For "The Frien(

In perusing the Letteii6 and Memorandums
of the late John Barclay, now reprinting in
the Friends' Library, I was impressed with
some remarks on the benefits which he had
derived in reading the journals of his fellow
members; and think them worthy of the con-
sideration of others. Those who are concern-
ed to guard their children from sentiments
and habits which are reverse to the precepts
and injunctions of the gospel, and to instruct
them in the principles of the religion which
thev profess, would find an advantage in mak-
ing them acquainted with the course of life,
and the faith by which their departed Friends
walked, and which led them to a happy and
triumphant end. In this book-making age,
80 fruitful of works of a light and fictitious
character, written for the purpose of money-
making, it is well to recur to those of older
date, and of substantial worth, to correct the
flippancy and pride of the day, and to give to
the rising generation a little more seriousness
and gravity of character, than they are likely
to derive from a familiarity with works of re-
ligious fiction. A little time daily abstracted
from the pursuits of business and pleasure,
and devoted to the religious culture of their
children, even at a very early age, would con-
fer inestimable benefits upon both parents and
children ; and this may in part be efi^jctcd by
reading to them the writings of their own
.Si)ciety, and proving to them by a consistent
life, that they most surely believe the truths
which they profess. This home education,
would also have a most relieving effect upon
the labours and anxiety of the teachers who
have charge of the tuition of our children.
'J'heir effirts to regulate and form their minds
and habits, seconded and enforced by the
parents at home, would be rewarded by the
most cheering results, and a timely and judi-
cious selection of suitable reading would, under
the divine blessir»g, contribute lo these ends.

John Barclay says: " I have been reading,
and have just finished, the journal of the life
and religious labours of Mary Alexander. I
have not read very many of the journals of


deceased Friends, but from those which I have
read, there has been impressed upon me many
an instructive lesson. It is in such accounts
that we gain that treasure of experience,
which, without books or writings, would be
only attainable by the aged. We see from
these narratives, at one comprehensive view,
the importance, the value, the object, and the
end of human life. The travellers whose pil-
grimages are described, seem to traverse their
course again under our inspection : we follow
them through their turnings and windings, —
through their difficulties, discouragements,
and dangers ; through the heights of rejoicing,
and depths of desolation, lo which in youth,
in age, in poverty, in riches, under all condi-
tions and circumstances, they have been sub-
ject. From these accounts, we learn the many
liabilities which surround us, and we may,
(unless through wilful blindness ) unequivo-
cally discover where the true rest and peace
is to be found ; and in what consists the only
security, strength, and sure standing. How
loudly do the lives and deaths of these wor-
thies preach to us ; they being dead, do indeed
yet speak, exhorting and entreating, that we
who still survive, may lay hold and keep hold
of those things, in which alone they could de-
rive any comfort in the end. I have accom-
panied this dear Friend, as it were, from place
to place, and from time to time ; I have seen
her as she passed through the changing cir-
cumstances and events of each revolving year ;
and cannot but observe, that while she follow-
ed the gentle leadings of Israel's Shepherd,
giving up her own to His will, she found such
peace, as encouraged and strengthened her
under every distress, perplexity and darkness.
It was an unwearied, unshaken belief, in the
being of an infinitely great and gracious Mas-
ter, that enabled her, as it ever has, and as it
does even now, enable all who rightly embrace
it, to encounter the bufTetings of the enemy,
the perils and pains of the body, the exercises
and conflicts of the soul, the uncertainties and
exigencies of time, with the same calm confi-
dence, and at seasons, even with triumphant
joy. Thou, dear fellow traveller, dear to me
in proportion as thou art near to Him who is
very tender to us all, I do affectionately salute
thee, whoever thou art that readest what is
here written, whether a relation or a stranger,
young or old, born in a higher or more hum-
ble station, — I afiectionalely entreat thee, that
thou wouldst weightily lay these things to
heart, whilst it is day unto thee, — whilst the
light which makes manifest what things are
reprovable and what commendable, shines in
thine heart, — whilst the Lord is in exceeding
mercy condescending to care for thee, and to
plead with thee, oh ! lay these things to heart.
I testify, as in the sight of Him who sees in
secret, who knows thy and my inmost thoughts,
that there is no other way to real rest amidst
the contingencies of time, nor to an unfading
reward, when this earthly tabernacle is dis-
solved, but in obeying Him, who said, ' I am
the way, ihe truth, and the life :'— be warned
— be prevailed upon, dear reader, by one, who
acknowledges to thee, that he himself has
been in great depths of wickedness, through
disobedience to the faithful, unflattering mon-

itor, and has found no peace, no deliverance,
but through the low portal of obedience to
the same. By this he has been from day to
day encouraged and strengthened to leave oft'
one evil practice and disposition after another,
and has been helped in some very small de-
gree to put on a better righteousness than his
own : and he assures thee, that thy repent-
ance and thy faith, are to be measured by thy
obedience to this appearance of Christ within,
' the hope of glory,' as he is received in his
secret visitations, and obeyed in his manifest-
ed requirings."

There seems to be many promising youth
up and down, many buds and blosson)s, but
there is not produced proportionable fruit.
The plants seem wholly of a right seed, and
of the great and good Husbandman's right
hand planting ; yet many of them miscarry
in their growth : they get out of the fertile,
penetrable, yielding soil, and strike their roots
in a stifle, hard clay : or the branches, for
want of pruning, grow too gross, and run into
limber; or perhaps they are sufit-red to bear
too much at once, while they are young, and
their strength is exhausted, and they wither
away. — Richard Shackclton.

False fres. — There is a spirit that is gone
forth into the camp, and is splendidly delusive ;
it delights in good words, but feeds upon them ;
it cries out help ! help ! but principally to the
servants, not the Master. This spirit leads
into notions ; it snufis up the wind, and lives
in commotions itself raises. All that are,led
by it are superficial, and know nothing, and
must lie down in sorrow. — S. Fothvrgill.

Singvlar discovery of a Shark. — Captain
Rowland, belonging to the brig Anglesea,
from l\io Janeiro for Antwerp, which arrived
off Dover on Wednesday last, reports that on
the •24th of last month, in lat. 5U° 47', long.
10° 10' W., he came up with the wreck of a
vessel, apparently about five hundred tons bur-
den, and of American build. The weather
being favourable, he, together with several of
the crew-, boarded her, for the purpose of as-
certaining her name. On reaching her deck,
they were startled by a loud splashing in the
hold ; when, on taking off" the hatchway, they
discovered an enormous shark entangled
amongst the beams of the ship's bottom, which
had been carried away. On seeing them it
made a desperate dart at one of the crew,
who luckily fell back upon the deck and es-
caped. After considerable difficulty they
managed to kill the monster, and haul it out
of the wreck on board their vessel. It
measured twenty feet in length, and was of a
very great weight. The name of the wreck
was not learned, on account of the stern being
gone. — Late -paper.

Seventh and Carpenter Streets.

mEM wmm^m





xro. 4.



Price two dollais per annum, payable in advance.

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For " The Friend."

Another volume, it appears, by this worthy
old Chiistian pliilosopher, and pleasant mora-
list, in addition to the two of which we have
already made pretty free use, has come to
lioht. Tlio former bore the London imprint
of 1839— the latter, nearly the same in size
and aitpearaiice, printed in 1841 ; with a tide
slightly varied, as indicated below. A friend
has obligingly consented to make selections
for our benefit from the only copy in this city
so far as we know. We present to our rea-
ders several favourable specimens to-day, by
which they will perceive that he has' lost
none of the spice, pith, and original vein of
thought, peculiar to him as a writer of e.ssays.

From Old (Iiimpbrey's " Tliouglits for the Thoughtful."

Did you ever, by any accident or misfor-
tune break a tooth, so that the part remaining
in the head was as tender as the apple of your
eye? If you are as old as 1 am, most likely
you know very well what I mean, without fur-
ther description. It is of no use being peevish
when a tooth gives way through age and in-
firmity : we should call to mind the service it
has rendered us in times gone by, and that
may reconcile us to put up with a little incon-
venience and pain. But did you ever so far
forget yourself, as to try to bite a hard crust
with your poor broken tooth >. I can see you
screw up your face at the very thought of it.
AV^hy the paia in such a case runs up to the
very brain like lightning. We are poor, im-
patient creatures ; and if it did not please
God in mercy to melt our hearts now and
then with a sense of his unspeakable goodness,
we should be more impatient than we are.

Did you ever, in walking along hastily, or
carelessly, tread with your foot on one side,
and sprain your ancle to such a degree that
the weight of an ounce upon it would have
made you shout aloud with agony ? This is
by no means an unlikely case, if you have
been a pilgrim for any length of time in the
rough and crooked pathways of this uneven
world. Well, then, biting a hard crust with
a broken tooth, and trusting your whole weight

on a sprained ancle, is just like putting confi-
dence in a faithless friend, when you stand in
need of his assistance. Yuu will find the words
in Prov. xxv. 19 : "Confidence in an unfaith-
ful man in time of trouble, is like a broken
tooth, and a foot out of joint ;" and you will
find the meaning of them in your own heart
and soul, if ever, in a season of calamity, you

of man ; the kindling skies call forth his
imagination ; the buds and flowers animate his
hopes, and the sere leaf and the soft shadows
of evening move him to salutary reflection.
When he feels at ease, the motionless mead,
the silent rural scene, and the still waters, are
as music to his emotions. And when he
walks abroad, at war with himself, fevered

ean for support on that pointed spear, an un-^lvith wrong, wounded by calumny, or stung

faithful friend. Then will you be ready to
estimate aright the injunction, " Cease ye from
man, whose breath is in his nostrils : for
wherein is he to be accounted of?" fsa
22 ; and to cry out, " He whom I trusted has
deceived me ! The be?t of men is but a briar,
and the most upright is sharper than a thorn
hedge." Micah, vii. 4.

Let us seek God's grace that we may never
play the part of an unfaithful friend ourselves:
and in order to prevent disappointments, let
us trust in that " Friend that sticketh closer
than a brother ;" who, among the changes of
the world, changes not ; but " is the same
yesterday, and to-day, and forever." Of Him
the poet beautifully says —

One there is above all others,

Well deserves the name of friend,

His is love beyond a brother's.
Costly, free, and knows no end.

They who once his kindness prove,

Find it everlusting love.


From the same.

A thought to a thoughtful man is somewhat
like a meal to a hungry man ; for the mind
requires food as well as the body. He who
can see nothing but wisdom, and power, and
beauty in the natural creation, knows not half
its value. Good it is to regard in the works
of God the power and wisdom of God, and to
gaze with delight on the transcendent beauty
that decorates earth and heaven ; but he who
would drink deeply of that spirit of thankful
delight which the true lover of nature enjoys,
must be keenly susceptible to the goodness
and love so universally mingled with the
visible creation.

A voice has gone forth that nature shall be
felt as well as seen by man ; that it shall har-
monize with his affections, be accommodated
to the moods of his mind, and blend with his
very being.

" To him who, in the love of nature, holds

Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
A various language ; for his gayer hoars

Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 10 of 154)