Robert Smith.

The Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) online

. (page 109 of 154)
Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 109 of 154)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

disowned. Many who were then present
have been since testified against, having left the
Society. — Daniel Wheeler thus mentions this
circumstance in his Journal : —

" In a striking and awful manner Sarah
Grubb adverted to the permitted visitation of
the pestilence [cholera] in this country ; and
afterwards she had a very close and powerful
testimony to the meeting, on the present state
of our religious Society, by way of solemn
warning of the approaching judgments of the
Lord upon us for the neglect of those things,
which, in a peculiar manner, were given us to
bear in the early times of our Society, when
Friends were called out from the world to be
a separate people. Her concern was, that we
should return to first principles ; but her more
especial warning was, that if there was not a
coming down from the heights to which many

have climbed, there were those amongst us
who might be compared to the golden vessels
of the temple, such as had really stood the
fire, and had not only been rightly filled, but
employed of the Lord to communicate to the
people, who would be permitted to be carried
away captives to Babylon. That there was,
and is amongst us a Babel now building, whose
top is intended to reach unto heaven, which
must and will come down; that. there is,
(though not clearly seen by ourselves,) a peel-
ing and scattering amongst us, which is clearly
shown in the vision and light of the Lord ; and
that if we did not repent and return, we should
be left very few in number. But that the
Lord would not leave himself without a peo-
ple, &c. She spoke further, in reference to
some, who had been rightly gifted to speak
the word of the Lord, as from the mouth of
the Lord ; but who for want of dwelling low
and deep enough, had had their brightness
dimmed-, — adding, ' when Ephraim spake
trembling, he exalted himself in Israel, but
when he oflended in Baal, he died.' "

Daniel Wheeler subjoins the following re-
marks: — " It does seem as if what had hith-
erto been dispensed, had made but little im-
pression on the minds of the people in this
land ; and I fear this is the case in many
other places. What could have been done,
that hath not been done, to bring mankind to
the knowledge of Him, who is the author of
eternal salvation to all them that obey him ?
but if they will not hearken, how shall they
obey 1. How ready and willing most are, to
hearken to the teaching of poor finite man
but how reluctantly they will submit to heark
en to the voice of God ! Like the Israelites of
old, they would rather hear the voice of Mo-
ses than of Him ; and if we consider the hun-
dreds who are busily engaged in turning the
attention of the people to the letter, to the
traditions and ordinances of men, ' after the
rudiment.s of the world, and not after Christ,'
what must be the end thereof?"

The following account of her closing days,
is by a member of her family : —

" Third month 4th, 1842.— She is now
confined to her bed, and gets gradually
weaker ; but her sweet spirit seems as though
it was already on the confines of a blessed
eternity ; so calm and heavenly, like a child,
quite fit for the kingdom. We can hardly be
sufficiently thankful for many precious seasons
around her bed.

" Ninth. — My precious is still living.

The last time she spoke to me with clearness
her words were, ' It is for you I feel ; but
there is One who feels for you more than
I do.'

" She was one to whom many far and near
were accustomed to look for consolation and
sympathy; not only when the good cause has
seemed to be in danger, but in their private
and individual sorrow. She said, she thought
' the Great Head of the church would raise up
one here, and another there, to stand for the
testimonies of Truth.' Repeating, she ' did
not know who; but one here, and another
there.' She quoted the words of Amos : ' I
was no prophet, neither the son of a prophet.

but a gatherer of sycamore fruit, and the Lord
took me' — took me — this is what I want to

" Well, dear creature ! — She felt nothing
but love to all ; and now she is gone where
love is made perfect. Many sweet and in-
structive expressions dropped from her during
her illness; mostly bearing on the necessity
of total self-denial and child-like submission
and trust in the Lord. A few days before her
death, she repeated the words of the Apostle
Paul, ' I have fought the good fight, I have
finished my course ; henceforth there is laid up
for me a crown of righteousness which fadeth
not away.'

" Third month 16th. — In the afternoon of
yesterday she appeared to fall into a gentle
sleep, and continued, we believe, without any
suffering, to breathe shorter and shorter, 'till
about one to-day, when she quietly resigned
her pure spirit to God who gave it."

Thus peaceably departed this dignified and
faithful servant of her Divine Lord. It had
often been her place to deal honestly and openly
with persons in high station, in and out of the
Society. Seeking no honour from men, and
withholding not the message that was given
her for fear of offending any, she appears
sometimes to have been as a " threshing in-
strument having teeth :" yet for the contrited
in spirit — the bruised and the buffeted — the
oil and the wine of the kingdom were given

It was her desire that no memorial should
he issued concerning her. In consequence of
which her Friends of Bury Monthly Meeting
forbore preparing one, but placed the follow-
ing testimony upon their minutes : —

" Sarah Grubb, of Sudbury, widow of the
late John Grubb, aged about sixty-nine years,
a minister fifty-two years, died the 16th of
Third month, 1842, and was interred in
Friends' burial-ground at Sudbury, the 23d of
the same. While we deeply feel the loss of
this long-devoted servant of her great Lord
and Master, we think it right, in accordance
with her own expressed desire, to refrain from
issuing any ' testimony' respecting her ; de-
siring we may be instructed by this evidence
of her deep humility, and unabated concern
that no honour might be given to the creature;
but that all the honour and the praise might
be ascribed to that Power by which alone she
was what she was." f.

Prayer. — " When thou prayest let thy
words be few, but thy thoughts and feelings
many, and deep. The less thou speakest, the
better thy prayers. Few words and much
thought 'is a Christian frame. Many words
and little thought is heathenish.

" The prayer that is external, and of the
body, is that mumbling of the lips, outward
babble, gone through without attention, and
heard and seen of men ; but prayer in spirit
and in truth is the inward desire, the mo-
tions and sighs that proceed from the depth of
the heart. The former is the prayer of hy-
pocrites, and of those who trust in themselves.
The latter is the prayer of God's children
who walk in his fear." — M. Luther.




From the Yearly Meeting held in London, by
adjournments, from the 18th of the Fifth
month, to the ilth of the same, tnclvsice,
To \he Quarterly and Monthly Meeting of Friends in
Great Britain, Ireland, and elsewhere.
Dear Friends,— We have, through the
favour of the Lord, been again permitted to
meet, and to examine into the state of our
religious Society- We acknowledge that un-
faithfulness to "the Divine law still exists
amongst us, and that hence many deficiencies
are found within our borders: we neverthe-
less rejoice in the belief that the Lord is still
carinc for us, and owning us by tokens of his
care.° Let us then be of good comfort, and
trust that, as we abide humble and stedfast
before Him, he will enable us increasingly to
show forth his praise. In a renewed sense of
his lovins-kindness, of which we have been

our beloved Friends, desi
peace may be multiplied unto yoi
the knowledse of God and of Jesus

us to the Divine image in which man wasori- Ld under the qualification already set forth,
finally created. O then that we all may ] „.ill be delivered in the humiliation of the
come in faith unto Him! he has declared ofj creature ; it may sometimes be only in a few
himself,"! am the way, the truth, and the Leniences ; but as a holy care prevails to move
life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by only under the leadings of the Spirit of Truth,
me." But if we would know him to raise us unexciled by the activity and aflection of the
up to spiritual life, we must be willing that natural man, it will contribute to the edifica-
He should lay the axe to the root of the cor- tion of the body in love. May we all, dear
rupt tree, baptize us with the Holy Ghost and Friends, when met to worship God, be found

^a no iV/^fn nil imnnntv ! '

lieve, feel your allotment to be very solitary
you have lost the companions of earlier days ;
thosB with whom you may have taken s\yeet
counsel. May your faith be strengthened as
you look towards the end of your pilgrimage.
May the love of Christ, our Saviour, cheer you
in your lonely moments, in the remembrance of
the mercy and faithfulness manifested towards
you through the whole course of your lives.
Be encouraged to lean upon the Lord your
Redeemer : cast all your care upon Him ; and
believe that as faith and patience are main-
tained, you will be finally admitted, clothed in
the robe of his righteousness, to the blessed
company in heaven who inherit the promises.
The 'circumstances of some of our small
meetinc-s for worship, have afresh awakened
our wa'rm and Christian interest for those
who are members of them. We affectionately
encourage you, dear Friends, to he diligent
and punctual in coming together ; and to pre-
sent yourselves in reverence of soul before the
Lord. Many of you

with fire, and cleanse us from all impurity ;j go bowed in spirit before Him, as to receive
crucifyinf us unto the world, and the world ! in simplicity and faith that which may be thus
unto us. °'l'he progress of ibis work is often j delivered, ever cherishing a tender feeling for
"Gradual ; many are the conflicts of flesh and those who are called to the ministry, and a
spirit, and repeated the assaults of the enemy .sympathy for the exercises which all such,
of our souls' happiness before deliverance j and especially those who are naturally of diffi-
from sin is wrought ; before we fully know all dent minds, may have to pass through,
things to become new, and all things of God. i jj ^^^^^ ^g believe, under a deep sense of
Great, however, is the blesse.lness of that life Lj^g righteousness of the law of Christ, that
which is hid with Christ in God. We there- 1 ^j. ^°^^y Friends were led to an open testi-
fore earnestly covet that every one may be , ^^_^^^ against all deceit and flattery, to truth-
willing patiently to submit to the turning of gpeaking in their language, to honesty and

sincerity in their dealings, and to that plain-
ness in speech, in behaviour, and in apparel,
for which they were conspicuous; knowing
that it was required of them, as a part of this
law, not to imitate the changing fashions of a
vain and inconstant world. And we believe
that the more our testimony in these respects
is thus received, the more it will be felt that
it is our duty as a Christian body faithfully to
uphold it.

A reverent, filial fear of God, in deep self-
abasement before Him, is a state of great
safety. This fear not only subjects the will,

he Lord's hand upon him. Then shall we be
t'ted%ensibly to partake, we salute you, 1 brought to feel in our own experience as we
pl.v.H Friends, desiring that grace and follow on to know the Lord, that Christ ,s
through indeed our light and ovr life, that, accordmg
ir Lord, to his own declaration, He is the bread which
''Ve"ZrhUovrand"s7nipth7to our dear came down from heaven, and that if a man
Fr end who are labouring under the infirmi- eat of this bread, he shall live forever :-
fie of declining years. Some of you, we be- words of consolation to the hungry soul.
llv.3 oi uh,uiiiijq .t ... _■'_ i:. . .pi,.., r„„J:„™ ^^ W,m tVip ivinir .miKstunce. we

Thus feeding on him the living substance,
shall clearly see that all the types and cere-
monies of a former dispensation were the
shadow of those good things which are already
come ; and we shall truly feel that " the

kingdomof Godisnotinword butin power; |^^^ prepares the way to bear the cross, but
" not meat and drink ; but righteousness, and i r^^^ ^ tenderness of conscience in which
peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. there is Treat caution not to violate the Divine

These are heavenly truths given forth byL^^^ and'k quickness of understanding to per-
our blessed Lord and his apostles ; but at a ^^.^^ ^^,^^^ ^j^j^ j^^^ j^^ ^^j ^^ distinguish that

very early period of the Christian church a
ffradual declension crept in, and the truth as
U is in Jesus was obscured by the corrupt
devices of men. Human wisdom and worldly __^
power grievously interfered in spiritual things ; j ^^
- long and dark night of apostacy ensued ; but '

doubt not,

ire at
nd enabled

times comforted by his presence,
to worship Him in spirit and in truth, "i ou
may have very few companions in religious
fellowship to hold up your hands in a true
Christian course of conduct; but let this be

in the mercy of God, light and truth

which, although it may have the semblance of
good, is at the same lime contrary to its pu-
rity. The conscientious follower of Christ,
specially careful in no way to compromise
principles. Whilst treated with respect
nd esteem by those around him, and in the

full enjoyment of his civil rights, he is anxious

broke forth, and we believe that He gave to ■ ^^ ^^ Vpared, if trials should come upon him,
our predecessors a further insight into '"e L g^^^yj,,^ ^^jginy a„d firmness. He is more


solicitous not to violate this law, than to es-

fession, and to strive from day to day to act
in uprightness and consistency in all things.
Then will you happily partake of heavenly
peace, and know the Lord through the riches
of his grace to supply all your need.

It is our earnest concern that we may every
one of us. be broucrht deeply to feci the sinful-
ness of sin ; and to see that as we are all, by
nature, fallen creatures, and prone to evil, so
we all need a thorough change of heart and
afliections, through the eflTectual working of
the power of God in us. The Lord Jesus

corruptions that had so long reigned among ^^^_^^^^^^ ^.^^^ ^^ ^_^,_^

the professors of the Christian name than had I ^^ ^^^^^ suffering. He knows that if he
been given to any who had gone before them . ^^^^^^ ^^.^^ ^^.^^ ^.j^^j^j^ ^^ ,^,^5^ ^^ ^^^^■^„„
in the great work of reformation. By 'he I ^ ^^^^^^^ ^-.^^ ^j_^^ . he feels that, if this should
inshining of this light, they saw that the min- ^^ ^^.^^ portion, he can take comfort in those

. . . .. 1 „f .»,.. nnH -l^«'>"nl^^.^^j^;;,-j^ggp^^„g ,, untoyouitisgivenin

the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on
him, but also to sufl'or for his sake."

We have each a duty to fulfil in the church ;
and we shall have each to give an account of
the risht occupation of the gifts entrusted to
us. ftlany, by shrinking from the use of these
gifts, have sutTered loss themselves, and de-
prived the church of their services. We there-
fore in love exhort our Friends to be watchful
in this respect ; all are not called to the same
office, but every living member has a place of
usefulness in the body ; and as he seeks for
renewed qualifications from on high, as he is
concerned to live not unto himself, but unto
Him who died for us and rose again, he will
experience that the service of Christ is bless-
ed ; and that in it there is a joy, and peace,

istry of the gospel of peace and salvat

Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 109 of 154)