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

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even so to them," while, at the same lime, we
ourselves are shamelessly violating it ?

From a speech made by A. Buflum, that
large assembly received the impression that
the discipline of the Society of Friends in
America was unfavourable to the reception of
coloured persons into membership. At the
subsequent sitting he tried to shift the charge
from the Society in general, to the Society in
Philadelphia; and declared that a coloured
person, whom he named, had been refused
admission among Friends in this city, be-
cause she iras black. We are informed that
he further stated the applications for mem-
bership from coloured persons to be nv-
merovs, and that there was no instance of any
being received.



Considerable pains have been taken to ascer-
tain the fact, whether the person he alluded to in
this city made application for membership, and
it does not appear that she ever did. The
officers of the meeting, to whom such applica-
tion must have been made, if made at all,
have no knowledge of any such thing ; con-
sequently she could not have been refused on
the ground of colour, or any other ground.

As to applications by coloured persons for
membership in the Society of Friends, the fact
is notorious that they have ever been extremely
few — and especially so since the blacks have
organized religious societies among them-
selves ; — but of those who have applied, by far
the larger number have been admitted as
members. During a period of more than
forty years, it does not appear that more than
one such applicant in Philadelphia has been
rejected, and that was on the ground, that he
was not convinced of the principles held by
the Society, without reference to his colour.
The discipline, so far from countenancing
Buffum's accusation, is expressly the reverse
of it; for it provides that where Monthly
Meetings are satisfied that applicants are con-
vinced of our religious principles, and in a
good degree subject to the divine Witness in
their own hearts, manifested by a circumspect
life and conduct, they are to receive them,
" without respect to nation or colour."

It is also a well known fact, that within the
limits of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting there
have been a numlser of coloured people who
were respectable members of the Society of
Friends, and valued and esteemed as such.

Another charge which has been brought
against Friends, and extensively circulated, is,
that in our religious meetings the blacks are
not suffered to sit with white people, but are
put into a corner, or on a seat by themselves.
This is equally untrue, with the other accu-
sations. There is no seat in any of our meet-
ings appropriated to coloured persons — they
sit on the same benches that the whites occupy,
and often side by side. But the fact is, that
very few of them incline to attend our meet-
ings. Friends' mode of worship does not suit
their dispositions : they are fond of music and
excitement, and hence they prefer their own
meetings, where they regularly hear singing
and preaching.

It is also asserted that the Society of Friends
are doing nothing for the black people — that
they are supinely resting in the labours of
their ancestors; nay, that they have even
become " a pro-slavery society," and taken
rank in defence of the slave-holder.

If we did not know something of the way-
wardness and corruption of the human heart,
we should be ready to wonder how such un-
founded statements could ever have obtained
currency ; but it is too true, with regard to
Bome pretended advocates even of a good
cause, that they conceive the end justifies the
means. There are others again who cannot
think any good is effected, unless it is done
just ill their way, and who are unsparing in
their condemnation of those, who, honestly
exercising their right of private judgment,
happen not to think exactly like themselves.
A company of men may be convinced of the

desirableness and importance of a certain ob-
ject, but yet honestly differ in opinion as to
the mode of attaining it — may pursue with
equally upright intentions their different
methods, and with an equal desire to arrive
at the same end; and it is one of the weak-
nesses of human nature, to deny to all but
those who happen to chime with our notions
and follow our plans, either integrity or use-

The Society of Friends is diligently labour-
ing in the cause in which its members were
the first pioneers; but it thinks it best to labour
in its own way ; in the way which was pursued
by Woolman and Benezet, and a host of other
worthies, who were eminently successful in
their effjrts to counteract this crying evil — a
way which it has pleased Divine Providence
to bless and own, and which experience has
abundantly proved to be the most effectual for
attaining the great object it has in view.
There are sound and sufficient reasons for
inducing it to believe, that it is unsafe that
either itself or its members should be identi-
fied with the extraneous and conflicting princi-
ples which are mixed up with slavery in most
of the associations of the day ; and while it
leaves these to pursue the means they think
proper for accomplishing their ends, it claims
the same privilege for itself and its mem-

It has never been the practice of Friends to
make a parade before the public of their efforts
in the cause of humanity. Silently and steadily
to persevere in the path of duty, unawed by
the frowns of the world, and regardless of its
praise, is consonant with its principles; and
hence its works of benevolence are but little
known to the world, save as their influence is
seen and felt.

Those who are acquainted with the pro-
ceedings of the Society know, that by far the
greater portion of the time of the Meeting for
Sufferings is occupied with the subjects of sla-
very and the slave-trade, — and that it is al-
most constantly engaged in endeavouring to
counteract the evils of slavery, and to spread
before the public a knowledge of the enormi-
ties of that system of cruelty and the abomi-
nable traffic which it sustains. Scarcely a
year passes in which it does not issue some
publication for this end ; and its appeals to the
government in behalf of the negro, are by no
means unfrequent. The last of these was pre-
sented to the Legislature of Pennsylvania
during the present year.

Committees from the Meeting for Sufferings
have repeatedly attended at Washington and
Harrisburg, endeavouring to influence the
minds of the rulers in favour of granting the
negro his just rights ; and, in short, the great
bulk of its business relates to this subject.
Many thousands of pamphlets have been pub-
lished and circulated through our country
within the last ten years, — and another issue
of several thousands has just taken place.

Meanwhile, the mcnihers of the Society
are not idle in their individual character,
though, for good reasons, they do not join the
abolition societies. There is an ample field
of labour, without this, and in which their
efforts may be quite as availing, if not more

so. There are at least five schools in the city
of Philadelphia, supported and conducted by
members of the Society of Friends, where
instruction is given throughout the year to
some hundreds of coloured children, and seve-
ral others of similar character, which are kept
open only part of the year. Besides these,
much is done by Friends to alleviate and
improve the condition of the free blacks, and
to aid slaves in purchasing their liberty ; the
contributions to which object alone, amount to
a large sum in this city.

It would be well if those abolitionists who
so freely asperse the character of the Society
of Friends, would be at the trouble to find out
what is done, before they accuse them of doing
nothing; or of being a pro-slavery society,
because they exercise their liberty in thinking
for themselves, and not implicitly following
their accusers wherever they choose to lead.
But it is made a serious charge that we do
not join the abolition societies as they are now
constituted and conducted; and let us do what
else we will against slavery, this is to settle
the question that we are its advocates. True
— we do not join them — and if a reason is
asked, we need only point to these very
charges themselves, and to the unchristian
and exclusive spirit which they breathe ;
though there are many others which alone
would decide the question.

We heartily wish success to the cause of
universal emancipation, and desire to see it
spread and prevail, until the oppressed of
every colour, and of every clime, shall enjoy
that liberty and those rights which a benefi-
cent Creator designs for them. But we be-
lieve that the only means which can secure
this wished-for end, is the prevalence of the
gospel. It is by that only, as it is received
and obeyed, that the human heart can be
changed — and those dispositions and passions
mortified and subdued, which make man the
enemy and the oppressor of his fellow. The
closer our conduct conforms to the high and
holy standard which its blessed Author holds
up for the government of his followers, and
the more fully we submit ourselves to the
control of his Spirit in our hearts, so as to
show forth the fruits of justice, meekness and
truth, in our daily intercourse with men, the
greater probability will there be that our en-
deavours to induce others to comply with its
sacred requisitions will be availing, and that
our labours will receive the approbation and
the blessing of Him who cannot be deceived
by the most specious or lofty profession, — and
who will never accept the homage of the lips
instead of the obedience of the heart.

P. R.

For " Tlie Friend."

" The species of backsliding are various ;
some respect doctrines, others practice ; but
all are the operations of a heart departing
from the limtig God. In some, a backsliding
spirit appears by a relinquishment of evangeli-
cal doctrine. Where truth is treated merely
as a matter of speculation, or as an opinion
of no great moment, it is not held fast ; and

376 ^____

when this is the case, it is easily surrendered.
If a plausible book in favour of deism, or anj
of these vain systems which nearly approach
it, fall in their way, they are ready to yield ;
and by reading the performance a second time,
or conversing with a person who favours it,
they make shipwreck of their faith, and are
driven on the rocks of infidelity. Such was
the process in the days of the apostles ; those
who received not the love of the truth, were
given up to believe a lie. If these departures
from evangelical principles were closely ex-
amined, it would be found that they were pre-
ceded by a neglect of private ■prayer, watch-
fulness, self-diffidence, and walking humbly
with God; and every one may perceive that
they are followed with similar effects. It has
been acknowledged by some who have em-
braced the Socinian system, that since they
entertained these views, they had lost even the
gift of prayer. Perhaps they might drawvp
and read an address to the Deity ; but they
could not pray. Where the principles of the
gospel are abandoned, the spirit of prayer,
and of all close walking with God, will go
with them."

Where there is not a daily close walking
with God, there is a union with the spirit of
this world which lieth in wickedness. " Ye
cannot serve God and mammon. No man can
serve two masters; for either he will hate the
one, and love the other ; or else he will hold
to the one and despise the other." Many
have known the love of God shed abroad in
their hearts — have entered into covenant with
him under the heavenly influence of the spirit
of prayer — have heartily desired and resolved
to love and serve Him all their life long, and
under these blessed sensations, produced by
the immediate and powerful operations of the
Holy Spirit, they have taken up the cross, and
given open proof of their allegiance to Him.
But through the neglect of daily waiting upon
Him to renew their strength, they have fallen
into unwatchfulness, in which the enemy of
their soul has gained an advantage over them
in some thing which he persuaded them to
believe was of little moment. For a time
they pursue a sinning and repenting course,
until captivated by the love of other things,
they grow weary of the Christian warfare, and
abandoning the path of self-denial, take their
flight into the broad way, indulging their car-
nal desires, and call in question the truth, or
the need of the doctrine of the cross, and the
narrow way, at least as necessary for them.

Having lost the pearl of great price, and
turned their back upon their Lord and Sa-
viour, they grow envious at those who keep
the even tenor of their way in following the
Heavenly Guide; strive to find some error or
blemish in them; and often attribute their
actions to wrong motives, which originate in
a sincere desire to be found faithful to the law
of their God. Those who indulge in this
course, not only are refusing to enter into the
kingdom of Christ themselves, but may hinder
others from entering; at least are blocks in
the way of the devoted traveller, and add to
his burthens and his sufferings.

How many of this class are to be- found
among professing Christians, who neither


know their own real condition, nor the pain
they inflict upon others. To be the means of
driving one soul from the right way of the
Lord, or retarding the extension of his king-
dom, will, in a short period, be found an aw-
fully heavy burden ; and when the day is passed
over in which it was in their power to work,
and the night is at hand, fearful must be the
state of such unfaithful and rebellious ones.
All the wealth they may have accumulated,
all the applause or friendship which a vain and
deceitful world has bestowed upon them, will
then fail to afford the least comfort or support,
and cannot possibly command for them a ray
of hope that mercy will be extended at last.
They may be earned back to their early visi-
tations, shown the offers of Divine help then
made to them, and how they gradually fell
away from a good state — turned the grace of
God into wantonness — ridiculed and scorned
the scruples and the holy life which they once
owned, and treated the humble, self-denying
and faithful followers of Christ, and their pious
examples and labours, with derision and con-
tempt. The agonizing language may be soun-
ded in their mental ear, " Thou in thy life-
time receivedst thy good things, and likewise
Lazarus, the poor despised beggar, evil things ;
now he is comforted and thou art tormented."

Swallowing Coins. — Every newspaper read-
er is familiar with the recent case of

Brunei, the great Thames Tunnel engineer, of
London, whose life, of late, has been fearfully
jeopardized by accidentally allowing a piece
of gold coin to get into the larynx. He was
relieved thus — " He was placed on the appa-
ratus, the body inverted, and the back gently
struck ; after two or three coughs, he felt the
coin quit its place on the right side of the
chest, and in a few seconds it dropped from
his mouth."

Of the value of position, in such cases, we
have another evidence in a letter from a coun-
try gentleman to the editor of the London
Sun — which is as follows : — " Upwards of
twenty-five years since, the late Peter Dixon,
a most able and highly respected surgeon, was
in attendance on my father, who was then
curate and lecturer of St. Mary, Newington-
butts, Surrey, and in my presence he said to
him — ' Dixon, I have just had a most sin-
gular and curious case. A patient of mine,
who was ill in bed, was playing with a silver
coin to amuse his child, and he accidentally
swallowed it. I found it was useless to at-
tempt to remove it by means of instruments,
so I got persons to hold his legs, while I pulled
him over the side of the bed, hanging his
head to the floor ; coughing came on, when
the coin was almost instantly forced out with
considerable violence.' " — Med. 4" Sur. Juur.

Great Indian Council. — We learn from the
Van Buren (Ark.) Intelligencer, of the 1.5th,
that the great Indian council at Tah-le-quah,
in five Cherokee nation, closed its deliberations
on the 3d ult. Delegates from the Cherokee,
Creek, Chickasaw, Delaware, Shawnee, Pian-

kasha, Wea, Osage, Seneca, St(;ckbridge,
Ottawa, Chippewa, Peoria, Witcheth, Potto-
watoniie, and Seminole tribes were present.
The result of their deliberations was a com-
pact, binding upon each nation, party thereto,
enibiacing the following objects : To maintain
peace and friendship aniong each other. To
abstain from retaliation for offences committed
by individuals. To provide for the improve-
ment of their people m agriculture, and other
arts of peace. That no nation, party to this
compact, shall, without the consent of the
whole, sell, cede, or in any manner alienate to
the United States any part of their present
territory, 'i'o provide for the punishment of
crimes, committed by the citizens of one na-
tion, upon the citizens of another. To admit
the citizens of one nation to citizenship in
any other nation, party to the compact. To
endeavour to suppress the use of ardent spi-
rits within the limits of their respective na-
tions, and to prohibit its introduction by the
citizens of one nation into the territory of an-

Touching Incident. — It will be remembered
that a little boy named Clark disappeared on
the day of the launch, and much reason exist-
ed to believe that he was drowned. Alter
several daysof agonizing suspense, his parents
residing in Shippen street, near Ninth, were
confirmed in this belief, by intelligence which
seemed to place the matter beyond doubt.
None but parents can imagine their distress
and anguish. While they were plunged in the
deepest sorrow, a stranger, apparently a sea-
man, arrived at their house. He inquired if
they had not lost a son, and stated that he had
recovered the body, which he had picked up
while on his way to Burlington. He was the
captain of a sloop trading to that place. It
was some comfort to the poor people to obtain
even the dead body of their child, and they
accordingly expressed their gratitude to the
waterman. But a most joyous surprise await-
ed the father and mother. While the kind
and considerate captain was pondering on some
mode of communicating, by degrees, informa-
tion which he knew should be given cautious-
ly, the little son, who had been waiting with-
out, and could restrain himself no lot)ger,
rushed into his mother's arms. He had been
taken up alive by the captain of the sloop,
soon after the ca[)sizing of the boat in which
he had been stationed to see the launch. The
sudden transition from grief to boundless joy,
almost proved fatal to the poor woman. She
fainted on the spot ; and it was several hours
before she was prepared to realize her happi-
ness in the recovery of a child which she had
supposed lost to her forever. The lather was-
scarcely less affected. — Phil. Mct,


The school for Boys will open in the new
building on Cherry street, above Eighth, on
Second-day, the 28th of the present month.

The school for Girls will open at the same
time, in the building on James's street, above

Eighth month, 1843.



NO. 48.



Price two dollar t per annum, payable in advance.

Subscriptions and Payments received by




Horticulture and Hot-house Culture at Pe-

From Kohl's Russia and the Russians in 1842.

Of all kinds of gardening, hot-house culti-
vation is carried to the greatest perfection, and
more is accomplished in that department here
than in any other capital in the world. Pe-
tersburg lies in a parallel of latitude which
favours only the growth of birches and stunted
thorn-bushes, and which furnishes naturally
nothing in the form of fruit, but miserable ber-
ries and fir-apples. Almost every kind of vege-
tation agreeable to the palate must be forced
up by the most refined art, and it is a specta-
cle of no slight interest to observe the wants
and the ingenuity of man, combating with the
nncreative powers of nature in approximation
to the arctic circle, out of which contest man,
however, comes off, if not with laurels, yet at
least with cherries, strawberries, and roses
for trophies.

It was in one of the most severe winters of
this frigid region that the Emperor Paul,
looking from the window of his well-warmed
winter palace, expressed surprise that not a
tree was to be seen standing within the grand
perspective of the finest street of his capital.
He instantly ordered an alley of limes to be
planted without delay, that his eyes might
rest upon a more agreeable prospect. The
authority to whom this order was addressed
transmitted it to the gardeners and labourers,
but they told him it was the depth of winter
when every thing lies torpid under the icy
winding-sheet; that nature had sunk into a
death-like sleep, from which no imperial order
could awake her, and she must have her sleep
out. Counsel was taken as to the means of
rousing languid nature from her death-like
trance, and restoring animation to her slum-
bering faculties. Only in this city, where
potentates issue orders which in no other part
of the world they would venture to give, and
where the people pride themselves on their
submission in a way of which there is else-
where no second example, that a task could
have been executed which to any other human
society would have been impossible, and which,
in the annals of gardening, is doubtless unpa-

ralleled. Young trees were taken out of the
nurseries, and carefully removed to covered
places prepared for their reception ; the frozen
earth with which they were surrounded was
thawed, and the roots were cleansed. The ice
in front of the palace was attacked with pick-
axes and spades, and capacious holes having
been dug were filled up with fresh and warm
earth. The trees intended for these holes
were carefully protected ; their boughs were
bound round, and when planted, they were
surrounded by a layer of straw. Stoves were
constructed over the roots of the trees, so
that the growth of each may be said to have
been forced by its own little hot-house. Thus
were the powers of slumbering nature with
inexpressible labour revived. The rising
plants were taught to germinate, and, after a
i'ew months, the potent autocrat could ride tri-
umphant, as the conqueror of nature, beneath
the branches of trees which his orders had
called into existence. Difficult would it have
been for any landscape-gardener to obtain for
himself the solemnization of such a triumph.
The trees of the avenue now flourish in luxu-
riance, to the great delight of the inhabitants ;
yet the same gratification might have been
obtained at one-twentieth of the expense, had
the planting of the trees been delayed only a
few weeks.

In the art of forcing fruit and vegetables,
the Russian gardeners excel those of every
other nation. Not only in the neighbourhood
of the Russian, Tatar, Finnish, and Polish
towns, but throughout all the Baltic provinces,
the Russians are the best and the exclusive
cultivators of vegetables. No sooner is a new
town added to the world-conquering empire,
than immediately a party of bearded garden-
ers settle in its suburbs, and its walls are spee-
dily surrounded by extensive kitchen-gardens.
The first plantations always consist of cab-
bages ; next follow onions ; then cucumbers,
gourds, pumpkins, and finally, peas and beans.
The usual method is, for a party of these gar-
deners to unite together in a company, to farm
a piece of about half a [German] square mile
in extent, and sow it with cabbage and onion
seed. For cucumbers, beans, &c., they pre-
pare little hot-beds, and, purchasing a few old
windows, they construct miniature green-
houses, in which the tender shoots are further
protected by mats of plaited straw. Thus
prepared, these Russian gardeners turn to
account every ray of Januarj' and February
sun, and counteract the effects of every spring
night frost, with an indefatigable watchfulness,
of which neither Germans nor Frenchmen are
capable, and the result is, that they always
bring the earliest asparagus and beans to mar-
ket. They are so earnestly intent on their

Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 139 of 154)