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

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following account of her : —

This aged Friend, in earlier life, had served
sixteen years as house-keeper in the family of
the late John Gurney, of Earlham Hall.
There she became convinced of the truth of
the principles of our religious Society, with
which she had no connection by birth ; and
was afterwards married to our late Friend
John Scarnell, who had undergone the same
change of sentiment, both having been previ-
ously received into membership.

She was steady in her attachment to the
Society ; and was, as well as her husband,
much esteemed for sterling integrity of cha-
racter. She was remarkable for her activity
in conducting her own department of the farm
which they occupied ; and after she became a
widow, her exertions for the support of her
family were peculiarly laudable. In the cold-
est and most inclement weather, as well as
under a milder sky, she never failed to be found
at her accustomed seat on the market-days, in
the large open market-place of the neighbour-
ing city, with her meat and other articles;
which, from their superior quality, and the
skill with which they were prepared for sale
generally fetched a higher price than those
of her neighbours.

Although attentive to her religious duties,
and strictly regular in the attendance of our
meetings, an anxious and almost restless indus-
try in her temporal pursuits, marked the
course of her life. But she did not labour for
herself and her children only. She was kind
and helpful to the poor, and long supported a
destitute sister.

About two years before her decease, she fell
down and broke her hip-bone, and was never
afterwards able to rise from a recumbent posi-
tion. This affliction, though painful and se-
vere, was peculiarly adapted to her spiritual
need. It was in vain for her any longer to
strive and busy herself in her temporal voca-
tion. Nothing remained for her but to lie
low under the holy hand of Divine discipline;
and to bear the humiliations and sufferings of
a life now wholly inactive. As she lay on her
couch from day to day, and from week to week,
she was much engaged in reading the Holy
Scriptures, and was gradually weaned from
the world and all its interests.

Within a few days of her death, the soft-
ened and purified state of her mind became



very apparent. It was evident that the truth
had arisen into full dominion in her soul ; and
in firm and undoubting reliance on an all-suffi-
cient Saviour, she died without a single pang,
as far as her friends and family could per-
ceive, either of mind or body.

The following anecdote respecting H. Scar-
nell has been communicated ; and we believe,
it is not only characteristic of the individual,
but contains a useful caution in regard to the
accepting of evidence, as to the identity of
persons.

On one occasion, when she was returning
from market, and was about to pass through
a gate on her way home, she was stopped by
a highwayman, who demanded her money. A
girl who was her companion, was so much
alarmed, that she fainted, lost the reins, and
fell back in the cart ; but H. Scarnell's self-
possession did not forsake her. She deliber-
ately put her hand into her pocket, and before
drawing out her purse, contrived to empty it
of part of its contents; afterwards remarking,
that she did not think there was any occasion
to give him the whole of what it contained.
When the robber had examined her baskets,
&c., she having no command of the horse,
thus addressed him : " Now, thou hast taken
my money, and agitated me ; I will thank thee
to open the gate." He complied with the
request, and she spoke to the horse, which
immediately pursued its way home.

Soon after this circumstance, a man was
apprehended on suspicion of having perpetra-
ted the robbery. H. Scarnell having a con-
scientious objection to capital punishments,
and to swearing, the girl was called upon to
give evidence, which she did, by taking an
oath that he was the identical person. The
magistrates were still anxious to have the con-
firmation of H. Scarnell's testimony, though
upon her simple declaration ; and this she
consented to give, on condition, that if the
man proved to be the guilty party, they would
use their utmost efforts to save his life. On
seeing him, she immediately declared that he
was not the person. The girl, in her agita-
tion, had lost the power of discrimination, and
had mistaken the man, who was immediately
discharged on H. Scarnell's assertion.

Some time after this, she discovered the
actual robber standing very near to her stall
in the market-place. She immediately, and in
an audible voice began to relate the circum-
stances of the robbery, and the investigation,
to an individual who was by her ; and how
nearly an innocent man had suffered ; " but,"
said she, casting a penetrating glance upon
the guilty one, " 1 know well who it was that
robbed me ; but I never will tell any one, be-
cause I know it would cost him his life."



For " Tlie Friflid."
EXAMPLE IN PROFESSOKS.

" Whose faith follow considering the end of their con-
versation ?"

Putting this language of the apostle's in the
forin of a quere, is calculated to arouse the
open ear, and the willing and obedient heart
to put the plummet to their souls, each one
for themselves, whether so far as all their



302



THE FRIENU.



influence extends, they are living up bj' exam-
ple, as well as by precept, to the injunctions
and requisitions of the saving gospel of Jesus.
And while the critical and discriminating
eyes of the young, with the simple, tender and
contrited spirits of the newly-convinced and
quickened, meet with many things in the
world calculated to beset and deter them in
their heavenly way; much, "to disturb the
bias of the purpose," if not to wholly overturn
their incipient faith, perhaps there is nothing
more operative and instrumental to this end
than the palpable and lamentable deficiency,
— the stumbling, halting gait of those who are
set over them, m respect to their conversation
and intercourse in the world. 'I'hose to whom
they are commended, and should look for ex-
amples and opinions in every good word and
work. Oh ! how often hath the heart wept in
bitterness of soul over this sad state of things.
And when company hath been sought in ten-
der and precious states, wherein it was thouglit
and hoped strength would be derived to assure
and calm the troubled heart, to fortify the
wavering resolution, to soothe and aid the tried
and anxious soul's indescribable solicitude after
the things of God; feeling, it may be, like a
desolate dove in an unknown land, with a heart
half willing, half unwilling to yield obedience
to conviction ; how hath it turned away unsat-
isfied, if not with disgust : and thus still more
exposed to the insinuations and assaults of the
spiritual and subtle enemy of our peace ; who
would then persuade the innocent, quickened
and susceptible mind, that the monitions of the
Holy Spirit, the tender drawings of the Hea-
venly Father's love after peace, purity and
holiness, felt within, are not of the Truth, and
without foundation ; because others, those who
are older and accounted wise in experiences
of the way to the kingdom, evidence not these
scruples; and walk not in the narrow way,
which such newly-contrited ones, while their
first love is warm, and the dew of youthful
zeal and attaching tenderness is upon them,
feel called into. Thus this mysteriously trans-
forming and beguiling angel of darkness as-
saults, and warps, or overturns the faith of
the heavenly awakened penitent: and in the
closely besetting siege, with artful tempta-
tion, as wave follows wave, and billow billow,
almost sinks him in the deep. Far other
would be the effect, if, instead of resistance,
every wave was an onward-propelling, and
helpful one. While it is admitted, that e
this may have its uses, in tending to detach
and withdraw us from all dependence upon in
struments, or upon others, it nevertheless
even in this view, is but doing evil that good
may come ; and can never justify departures
in those, who may thus offend one of Christ's
little ones, or stumble a weak brother for
whom he died. Much more important does
this s«em, when, on the other hand, by walk-
ing in the Spirit unto the kingdom of heaven,
having their conversation already there, say-
ing in the expressive, most inviting, encour-
aging, and unsophisticated langu:ige of con-
duct, follow us as we follow Christ, such might
so n)uch help forward the good work, as far
as practical and living examples would do it,
in the narrow and " fear and trembling" way



of our Lord Jesus Christ : which should be
held paramount to every worldly considera-

n, and dearer to us than our natural lives.

The following paragraph from our Disci-
|)line, on this subject, may with profit be fre-
quently revived.

Frequent waiting in stillness on the Lord
for the renewal of strength, keeps the mind at
home in its proper place and duty, and out of
all unprofitable association and converse, whe-
ther amongst those of our own, or other pro-
fessions. Much hurt may accrue to the reli-
ious mind, by long and frequent conversation
on temporal matters ; especially by interest-
ing ourselves unnecessarily in them ; for there
is a leaven in that propensity, which being
suffered to prevail, indisposes and benumbs
the soul, and prevents its frequent ascendings
in living aspirations towards the Fountain of
eternal life." — Discipline, page 37-8.

Our Saviour says, " Where your treasure
is, there will your heart be also :" and " of
the abundance of the heart the mouth speak-
eth." Is it not natural, that that upon which
the affections are superlatively placed, should
antecedently be the subject of our thoughts,
words and actions ? " And the tree is known
by its fruits." 'J"he Apostle Paul, after con-
demning some who, he says, were enemies of
the cross of Christ, " who mind earthly
things," thus contrasts : " For our conversation
is in heaven ; from whence also we look for
the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ." The
Apostle Peter, in one of his Epistles, uses
this language : — " As he which hath called
you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of
conversation. Because it is written, be ye
holy ; for I am holy. And if ye call on the
Father, who, without respect of persons,
judgeth according to every man's work, pass
the time of your sojourning here in fear. For
as much as ye know that ye were not redeem-
ed with corruptible things, as silver and gold,
from your vain conversation received by tra-
dition from your fathers ; but with the pre-
cious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without
blemish and without spot." After which the
exhortation may be wisely subjoined — " If ye
know these things, happy are ye if ye do
them."



For " The Friend."
BARNABY NIXON.

(Concluded irom page 290.)

" When I have willingly partaken of the
bitter cup then I have known it to be sweet-
ened to me, and hard things made easy. So
that I have been made to sing of the Lord's
judgments, finding that they wrought for my
good. Christ said to his followers, ' a little
while they should seek him, and should not
find him.' My mind was bowed in travail to
pray for him, [J. Ladd.]

" The Lord in his wisdom hath ordered the
day to continue to succeed the night, and the
winter and suuimer seasons to succeed each
other. He causes the sun to be withdrawn
with its warmth from the earth; then the
power of coldness takes place, and congeals
the earth and waters into a hard, frozen state,
like a rock. Dut by this means the earth is



enriched, and made more fertile, after it is
softened again by the warmth of the sun. So
the Lord's children spiritually experience such
dispetisalions in the work of the new creation.

" How ought we then patiently to wait in the
winter season, and quietly hope for the com-
ing again of the Son of righteousness, to soften
our hearts, and make them penetrable ; and
capable of yielding greater increase of |)re-
cious fruits to the divine Owner. Oh ! let
patience have its perfect work, until the Lord
may be pleased to say to the north give up thy
frozen state, and come thou south wind and
blow upon my enclosed garden, and cause the
shut up spring to be opened, and the fountain
to be unsealed. My spirit travailed in faith
for my friend ; that if he would do his part,
the Lord would bring him to experience these
things.

" After being with him several days, I pro-
posed coming home on the morrow which was
the Seventh-day of the week. He paused for
some time and told me he thought that he
could not give me up willingly till Second-
day; for he wished me to have a sitting in his
family to-morrow, and next day attend their
meeting.

" He desired his sons to be collected. I sub-
mitted to have a sitting, and it was a favoured
time in his family ; the next day they had my
wife and me taken to their meeting and al-
though I thought I had taken leave of that
meeting before, was engaged to labour nearly
as long as my weak body could bear. Eliza-
beth Patterson, from Carolina, also attended
that meeting; and treated on the subject of the
vineyard which had much done in it and yet
it brought forth wild fruit. Oh ! how deplo-
rable must that state be: — -to have the Divine
hedge taken away, and that which is good to
be eaten up, the wall to be broken down, and
it to be trodden under foot ; and the clouds
to be commanded to rain no rain upon it.

" James Denson Ladd was to take us to
his house that afternoon ; and as ilie time
drew near for our last parting, I was brought
into sympathizing feeling with James ; and
was impressed with the considerations of the
Lord's dealings with his people, from one gen-
eration to another. That he would have a
people, which were proved by trying dispen-
sations: and that it had been his will that
their brethren should feel with them and pray
for them in the limes of their trials. So I
was impressed to kneel down by the bed side,
and cry unto Him whose ear is not grown
heavy, that it cannot hear, nor his hand short-
ened that it cannot save. I interceded for my
afflicted Friend and for those that were about
him, to be brought under a right concern to
feel with him. We had travailed much to-
gether in oneness of spirit and our parting was
trying to us both. He held me by the hand a
considerable time ; and said he was thankful
for the favours he had received.

" After getting to Denson's that evening,
my hoarsness increased so that I was brought
to whispering. The next day we were confined
to the house, it being an uncommon time of
I rain. I had such piercing pains in my back,
that I could scarcely move: it seemed like
I taking away my breath ; and had it not been



that I relied on the word offaitli, I believe that
I. should have despaired of getting home. But
I got a little relieved, and Joseph Ladd took us
the next day home. Tue weak state of my
body and the exercise of mind which I had to
pass through, with the cold also which 1 had
taken, confined me to my bed, much of my
time for several weeks.

" James Ladd lived a little more than two
weeks after I left him. I was informed that a
little before his death perceiving some person
looking earnestly on him he said, 'all men
must come to that,' and that he should make
a good end, which would crown all.

" That is a happy state, to die the death of
the righteous: Blessed are the dead, that die
in the Lord's favour, tliey rest from their la-
bour and their works follow them.

" Although I knew that I was not able to
get out to meetings, yet I felt my mind so
much drawn to our next monthly meeting
to be held at Burleigh, that I sometimes had
faith to believe that I should be recruited and
strengthened to attend it, and when the time
came, I was much revived. A Friend came
in the morning to see me, and took me in his
carriage to the meeting ; where I was strength-
ened to labour much to my relief. I was also
carried to meeting next day, and was favour-
ed to labour beyond what Friends or myself
could have expected. But when I thought to
stand up in the meeting as usual, my joints
were so full of pain that I did not feel able to
stand ; so I kept my seat and spoke as I had
strength given.

"After that, the weather was often cold
and wet ; and I was so much afflicted with
pains, that I needed help to turn myself in
bed, and to be raised up to put on my
clothes.

" When the monthly meeting in the Twelfth
month came, I had not been out to meetings
for two months ; the affliction of my eye and
head had affected my nerves through my body,
drawing many ways like the cramp ; which
occasioned great soreness and pain to lie in
bed. So that I was not able many times to
turn myself in bed, nor to get up without help.
In the evening after Friends came from meet-
ing I told them I thought it was not likely
that I should be able to go out to meetings
any more. But after going to bed, my mind
was weightily drawn to sit with Friends once
more. In the morning I communicated my
exercise, and queried whether it would do for
me to go to meeting, or whether I must ap-
point a time and request Friends to come and
sit with me in my house. They said that
after going to bed they were thinking about
my going out — believing that it would be no
disadvantage for me to go to meeting. So they
carried me; but the jolting of the carriage
seemed almost like taking away my breath.
Friends took me out of the carriage and I got
seated in the meeting: and He that promised to
be strength in weakness, strengthened me to
my admiration to continue my speech greatly
to the relief of my exercised mind. The meet-
ing held nearly three hours, and I rested much
better the night after.

" The painful afflicting state of my body in-
creases which is very trying to nature. I often



TUB FUIEND.

desire that patience may have its perfect work ;
remembering the apostle's declaration, (Rom.
v. 3, 4, &,c,) that tribulation worketh patience,
and patience experience, and experience hope,
which maketh not ashamed.

"'J'he First month is nearly run out in the
year 1607, and I am almost helpless, waiting
for my change."

This paragraph appears to have been the
last written by this dear Friend, and brings
his life down to about two weeks before his
close. His Friends remark, that " under the
sore afflictions which were permitted to attend
him, he was much favoured with tranquillity
of mind and resignation to the Divine will.
He continued to manifest a tender concern for
his Friends, and fervent attachment to the
cause of Truth, and frequently requested op-
portunities of silence with his family, and
Friends who came to see him. On these oc-
casions he was often enabled to administer
suitable admonition and counsel, and was sev-
eral limes engaged in vocal supplication in a
very remarkable manner. At one time, as
he was lying quietly composed, he said to
a Friend who was near him, 'I seem to
hear the harmonious sound of songs of lo

"Thus supported by an invisible hand,
and animated by the prospect before him,
he approached that awful period ; and de-
parted this life, the 13th day of Second month,
1807."



Account of Alexander Cruiclcsliank, of Edi

burs^h, who died 'Sd of Second month, 1842 ;

aged eighty four.

He was born at old Meldrum, Aberdeen-
shire, in 1757 ; removed thence to Edinburgh,
1787 ; and in the same year, was united in
marriage to Mary Christy, who died in 1803,
after a long and painful illness, borne with
true Christian resignation. In 1805, he mar-
ried Ann Christy, cousin of his former wife,
who died in 1836, and of whom there is a
short account in the Annual Monitor for 1838.
From about three years after her decease, his
health gradually declined till the close of his
life. He had been upwards of fifty-four years
in the station of an elder.

This beloved Friend, the few particulars of
whose simple, but honourable life, are here
recorded, was justly revered throughout the
Society, as one of its most consistent, exem-
plary, and useful members.

Though not endowed with any very large
measure of intellectual power, yet the one or
the two talents, which his Great Master had
entrusted to him, he strove with zeal and dili-
gence to improve. It was indeed striking to
observe how the deficiencies of his naturally
humble capacity and imperfect education
were, in all that is most important, gradually
supplied, as he advanced in his religious
course, by the higher illumination of that wis-
dom which is from above. Under this holy
influence, the mild lustre of his character, as it
became matured in piety towards God, shone
more and more before men ; producing, in a
very marked degree, the fruit of deep humili-
ty, and good-will towards man, which became



303

I the animating principle of a most active and
[comprehensive beneficence.
I In his relation towards his Creator and his
fellow-creatures, a strong inward earnestness
and fervour of spirit was finely blended with
the exterior quietude, reserve, and lowliness of
his demeanor ; and this pervaded even his
minor duties. Thus, whilst he did with all
his might, whatsoever his hand found to do,
he, at the same time, was studious lo be quiet,
and to mind his own business. During even
the busiest periods of his active life, he was
careful to secure from the claims of business,
at least one interval of close religious retire-
ment, in the morning and in the evening of
each day. On these and other occasions, the
exercise of his spirit for the welfare of his
family, his friends, and for the religious Soci-
ety of which he was a member, and to whose
principles he was deeply attached, was habit-
ual and fervent.

He was truly " given to hospitality." For
many years he kept almost an open house for
the accommodation of Friends, especially
for those in the station of ministers. To the
latter, his warm hospitality, and his Christian
sympathy and encouragement were given; and
so long as his bodily strength permitted, he
was ever willing to leave behind the cares of
his business and ordinary engagements, whilst
he accompanied them as companion and
guide, often on distant and toilsome journeys.

The circle of his benevolence was wide in-
deed. Rarely did the distress, even of the
unworthy, appeal to him in vain : and, in
several instances which could be mentioned, it
almost seemed as if the very evil which had
been practised against himself, was the cir-
cumstance that called forth the gentle offices
of kindness in this Christian man, whom reli-
gion had taught to pity the suffering, and for-
give the wrong. Nor was this the only mode
in which his benevolence showed itself as a
self-denying virtue. With a disposition natu-
rally diffident, and, perhaps, unduly fearful of
giving offence to the feelings of others, he was
yet open and bold in the reproof of sin. On
occasions, when the great principles of mo-
rality and religion were concerned, his native
timidity appeared at once to desert him ; and
whether in public places, or in private confer-
ence with the offender, he was wont to bear
his meek, but fearless testimony, to the sacred
cause of right and truth.

Of the many important philanthropic under-
takings which he zealously supported, it would
be unjust to his memory, lo omit all mention
of his public and private exertions, in striving
to reclaim his countrymen from the practices
of intemperance. He was almost the first
individual in Scotland to labour in this great
work. He continued to promote it by every
means in his power, and maintained to the
last, the same deep interest in its progress.

The end of his long and useful life was
eminently calm and peaceful. Submitting to
his growing infirmities with cheerful resigna-
tion, he was never heard to complain of his
sufferings; and seldom answered the affection-
ate inquiries of his friends, without remarking.
How much he had to be thankful for. The
depression of mind, which under deep religious



304



exercise on his own account, and on that ol"
others, had so often bowed down his spirit in
his days of health, appeared to give place, in
this final period of his life, to a tranquil and
full assurance of faith, and to an humble and
animating hope, that when the period of his
dismissal should come, an entrance would be
abundantly ministered into the everlasting
kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus
Christ.

The nature of the complaint which at last
occasioned his death, was such as greatly
overclouded his faculties, and enfeebled his
powers of expression : but, from the few words



Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 112 of 154)