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

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the Comforter, which should guide them into
all Truth — to the grace of God which bring
eth salvation, and has appeared unto all men,



not err therein."

(To be c



THE miEND.



NINTH MONTH, 2, 1843.



By means of the kindness of a friend, we
have been enabled to place before our readers
in the present number, a copy of the General
Epistle issued by the late Yearly Meeting of
Friends in London.

Beyond what is indispensable in the de-
fence or exposition of our own religious prin-
ciples and testimonies, this journal has seldom
interfered in questions of controversy which
agitate other Christian denominations, espe-
cially those in the nature of family disputes.
But the discussions which have been going on
tor a long time in England, and latterly to a
considerable extent in this country also, under
the general head of Puseyism, has now as-
sumed a character so portentous — seemingly
pregnant with consequences so important, as
to have become a subject of intensest interest
to every class of Christian professors. We
have therefore for some time thought it desi-
rable that the topic might be brought forward
in a condensed, but yet clear, consecutive, and
comprehensive manner in the pages of "The
Friend," so that our readers, more fully than
they have heretofore been able to attain,
might be put in possession of a correct and
distinct knowledge of the whole matter, and
its bearings. This desideratum, we think, is
now likely to be amply realized in the essay
or series of essays of which our present num-
ber contains the first portion.

The truly interesting document issued by
our late Yearly iMeeting, on the rise and pro-
gress of the testimony of the Society against
slavery and the slave-trade, having been pub-
lished in pamphlet form, by direction of said
meeting, and generally distributed among its
members, we have, in the belief that its wider
diffusion would essentially promote the cause



of abolition, commenced with the present
number its republication in " The Friend."
At the same time, we take the liberty to sug-
gest, that after the family reading of the
pamphlet has been completed, some member
of each family in possession of a copy, assume
the charge of circulating it among their seri-
ous neighbours for their perusal — a much bet-
ter disposal of it than to be laid aside and for-
gotten upon their shelves.

■\VniTELAKD BOARDING SCHOOL,

For Girls.

The winter term of this school will com-
mence on Second-day, the 30th of 'i'enth mo.
next. The number of scholars is limited to
eleven ; it is therefore requested that those
intending to send, make application before the
last of Ninth mo. As the principal is en-
deavouring to conduct the education of those
placed under his care, in accordance with the
principles of the Society of Friends, he will
expect the pupils to conform to the testimony
of the Society, with regard to plainness of
speech, behaviour, and apparel.

The essential and usual branches of English
education, including arithmetic, algebra, ge-
ometry, with its application to plain trigono-
metry, &c., astronomy, natural philosophy,
chemistry, and physiology, are taught, with
lectures, on the three latter subjects; also the
Latin language. Terms §60 per session of
twenty-three weeks. Applications may be
made to

Y'ardley Warner, Warren Tav. P. O.
Chester county. Pa.

John C. Allen, 180 south Second street,
Philadelphia.

MEST TOWN SCHOOL.

A special meeting of the committee to su-
perintend the Boarding School at West Town,
will be held in Philadelphia on Sixth-day, the
15th instant, at 7 o'clock in the evening.

Thomas Kimber, Clerk.

Philad., jTinth mo. 2d, 1843.



A coloured lad, about fourteen years of
age, and of good habits, wants a place with a
farmer, or mechanic, in the country, where he
may be taken care of, and carefully brought
up. Apply at the office of " The Friend."



DiKD, on tlie 7lli of Seventh montli last, after a pro-
traclud illness, at ll.e rcsidcnrc of lier son, John M.
Haines, in Gloucester crunly, N. J., Elizabeth, h idow
of John Huines, in the 77lii year of her age; a niemlxT
of Cropwell particular and Upper Evesham Monthly
Meeting. Having early tome uiidpf the operation of
the powtr of Truth, she became qualified ior uselulness
in tiie church, and stood acceptably in ^he^tulir'n of an
elder for aboul forty-five years. During her illness, it
appeared evident tiiat the tendency of her mind wa3
heavenward, she being Irtquently engaged in supplica-
tion, and having her faith and hope fixed upcn Him,
who is able to save to the uttermost alt those who put
their trust in him. Near her close, she expressed a be-
lief, that she should be snfily landed in heaven before
morning; soon alter which she quietly departed; and,
we trust, has enltred her everlasting test.



THE FRIEND.



389



THE EPISTLE

From the Yearly Meeting held in London, by
adjournments, from the 24th of the Fifth
vtonth, to the 2d of the Sixth month, inclu
sive, 1843.

To the Quarterly and Monthly Aleetings of Friends in
Great brituiii, Ireland, and elsewhere.

Dear Friends, — We have again been per
mitted to meet, and in harmony, to deliberate
upon many subjects wliicli immediately relate
to the welfare of our religious Society ; but
which, at the same lime, we believe to have a
close bearing upon the interests of the church
universal. Whilst, as a Christian body, we
have much cause for humiliation, we are
reverently thankful for the evidence now
afforded us, that the Lord is near to do us
good. Our faith is confirmed in the reality of
that foundation on which, as a church, we
have been concerned to rest ; and we invite
our brethren and sisters every where to build
on this unchangeable foundation — " Jesus
Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, and
forever." (Heb. xiii. 8.)

Beloved Friends, come unto Him in faith.
Wait from time to time for the renewings of
the Holy Ghost. Then will you see in the
light of Truth that you are called to separate
yourselves from the world and all its defile-
ments ; and constantly to remember, that ex-
alted as the standard is which is set before us,
Christ hath left us an example that we should
follow his steps. Truly our calling as Chris-
tians is a high and holy calling ; but it is that
at which we are to aim. What close search-
ings of heart, what humiliations, and what
baptisms are needed, before we are brought
to the blessed experience of those who are
whoUj' given up to live unto Him who died for
them; but great are their joy and peace:
feeling themselves as strangers and pilgrims
upon earth, walking in the tear of the Lord,
and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, it is at
times given them to feel the consolation of
the words of the apostle, " Truly our fellow-
ship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus
Christ." (I John, i. 3.)

Let us, dear Friends, be encouraged to press
after this blessed experience. In so doing we
shall be greatly helped by minding the gent-
lest intimations of the Spirit of Truth. Let
us seek to know our Lord's will, even in the
regulation of our outward concerns. May our
wants be few, and may we set a high value on
true contentment; taking heed that we live
above the world, and are not buried in its
cares. If through the Divine blessing upon
our honest industry, riches increase, we should
be very watcht'ul not to set our hearts upon
them ; and, whilst exercising due economy,
should be lil)eral to the poor and distressed.
(Psalm Ixii. 10.) In the discharge of our pa-
rental duties, it should be our concern that
our beloved offspring do not acquire habits
and notions which are at variance with true
Christian simplicity, and which may prove a
burthen to them. Then, if adversity come
upon us, how much bitterness and self-con-
demnation shall we be spared, and how will
our nearest connections in life escape that suf-
fering which has been experienced in many



families, in which a contrary course has been
pursued !

As the mind is alive to the value of a re
newal of spiritual strength, the duly is strongly
felt of withdrawing from the lawful pursuits of
business to wait upon God in our week-day
meetings. Many amongst us can bear testi
mony tw the comfort and strength which they
have derived from thiwierformance of this
vice. We entreat ^1, whether members of
large or of small meetings, to assemble regu-
larly and punctually to partake of this privi-
lege, — the united worship of the Father of all
our mercies, in spirit and in truth. He is still
nigh unto all that call upon Him ; and as an
exercise of spirit is maintained, He causes his
living presence at times to be felt to the re-
freshment of the hungry soul, and renewed
ability is received to perform the duties of life
to his honour. As the heads of families are
thus concerned for the good of their own souls,
their care extends to all who are connected
with them, whether their children or ser-
vants, their clerks or other assistants, that
they also may partake of the benefit of attend-
ing our religious meetings in the course of the
week. Some difficulties may present them-
selves in making the needful arrangements for
this purpose ; but as there is a steady perse-
verance to accomplish the object, we believe
that these difliculties will often be found to
lessen, and even to disappear.

We take comfort in the persuasion that
many of you, beloved young Friends, are not
only permitted to see and to approve things
that are excellent, but that, by following the
leadings of Christ the good Shepherd, you
have been strengthened to take some steps in
the path of self-denial. In this awakened
state, you have, we believe, been brought to
see the value and the excellency of our Chris-
tian principles and practices. Warm are our
desires that you may be faithful to the requir-
ingsofyour Lord; endeavouring to walk before
Him in the path of individual duly. May you
be kept in a humble, contrite spirit ; it is with
such that the Lord graciously condescends to
dwell. In the exercise of continual watchful-
ness, be very careful, in the succeeding steps
of your Christian progress, that you enter
upon nothing which interferes with your bear-
ing the yoke of Christ, or which renders its
restraints irksome. Remember that ye are
not your own, that ye are bought with a price ;
and be concerned so lo occupy the time and
talents entrusted to you, that you may thereby
glorify God in your body and in your spirit,
which are God's. (I Cor. vi. 19, 20.) The
watchword of the day, not only to our younger
members, but to those more advanced in life,
is^Mind your calling, brethren !

We believe it to have been given to us to
uphold Christianity in its primitive purity.
The gospel is that mighty power which is
appointed to destroy the works of the devil by
setting up the kingdom of Christ in the heart
of man. Christ died for our sins, and rose
again for our justification — blessed and heart-
cheering truths I (Rom. iv. 2.5.) But the ap-
plication of that blood which sprinkles the
heart from an evil conscience is a spiritual
work, to be known only by those whom the



Lord hath quickened by his grace to see their
need of a Saviour, and to accept Him as their
deliverer from the chains of guilt and the pow-
er of sin.

The religion of Jesus, in its full develop-
ment, abrogates all the symbols and rituals of
the Jewish church, and destroys those works
of the carnal mind, by which, in the time of
the apostacy, the priesthood of man was sub-
stituted for that of Christ, and outward forms
took the place of the unchanging power and
holiness of tlie gospel. It is but too obvious
that there is a great tendency, in the present
day, to have recour.se to sensible objects and
outnard observances in the service and wor-
ship of God ; by which the mind is in immi-
nent danger of lesting in forms, rather than
coming to the substance of the gospel. \Varni
are our desires that our ancient teslimony to
the spiritual nature of the Christian religion,
and against all ceremonial usages, may be pre-
served inviolate; and we strongly recommend
our dear Friends to be very watchful, that
nothing be allowed to estrange them from a
full appreciation of its value and importance.
May we all be concerned, both in word and
deed, to exemplify before our fellow-profes-
sors of the Christian name, the great truth,
that " the kingdom of God is not meat and
drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy
in the Holy Ghost." (Rom. xiv. 17.) We have
need to be humbled under a sense of our un-
fruitfulness, in not showing forth unto others
more fully the excellency and the power of
these principles; but may ws never seek to
lower the standard of Divine truth lo suit cur
languor and cold-heartedness. If we have not
the Spirit of Christ we are none of his ; and if
Christ be in us, the body is dead because of
sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteous-
ness. (Rom. viii. 9, 10.) May we become dead
to sin, and alive unto righteousness, then we
believe would his gifts be more abundantly
showered down upon us, for our own conso-
lation and the edification of the church.

" Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is
liberty." (2 Cor. iii. 17.) The freedom of
gospel ministry, and the liberty of all the
living members of the Christian church, to
exercise the gifts bestowed upon them by its
Holy Head, have been among the most promi-
nent testimonies of our religious Society. In
the fear of God, our early Friends protested
against the exercise of authority over con-
science in matters between man and his Cre-
ator; and against the assumption, by any one
individual, lo act as the sole agent for the peo-
ple in their assemblies for Divine worship.
We believe that this arrangeinent, by which
the conducting of services in a Christian con-
gregation rests with the minister, and the
hearers are precluded from the exercise of spi-
ritual gifts in the public worship of God, is a
departure from primitive Christianit)'. In
regard to these things, beloved Friends, ac-
cept the word of earnest exhortation: — Stand

t in the liberty wherewith Christ hath
made us free. (Gal. v. 1.)

But, dear brethren, let your stedfastness in
these and in all other things, be in the meek-
1 of wisdom. The trulh leads into gentle-
ness as well as firmness. Let us remember,



390



THE FRIE^U.



that " the wrath of man workeih not the
righteousness of God." (James i. "JO.) The j
ways of the Lord are not our ways, nor his'
thoughts our thoughts : he is wonderful in
counsel and excellent in working : be patient, 1
therefore, brethren. (Uaiah Iv. 8.) There is
great power as well as safety in meekness and j
patience. Much of an agitated spirit prevails
in our beloved country. .May the Lord, who,
notwithstanding its manifold sins, has so emi- ^
nently blessed it, still extend his merciful care ,
over it. We have ever niaiolained that it is j
our duty to obey all the enactments of civil
government, except those by which our alle- 1
giance to God is interfered with. We owe ,
much to its blessings; through it we enjoy;
liberty and protection in connection with law
and order : and whilst bound by our sense of
religious conviction not to comply with those
requisitions which violate our Christian prin-
ciples, we desire ever to be found of those who
are quiet in the land : a condition favourable I
to true Christian patriotism, and in which,
services highly valuable and useful may be :
rendered to the community. i

Various objects of a popular nature engage
the public attention at the present time. U e !
believe that many amongst us have, from phi-
lanthropic motives, taken an active part in pro-
moting them. Some of these things are cal- ,
culated to bring with them great excitement. '
We tenderly invite our brethren to consider,
whether in any of the associations for these
objects, tliere is a tendency to lead away from
that patient exercise of spirit and that quiet
self-examination, which are not only conducive
but necessary to a growth in grace, which
constitutes the healthy state of the Christian ;
and to be on their guard, lest such associations
should gradually draw them into that assimi-
lation with the world which is unlawful to a
follower of Christ. I

Since we last met together, multitudes of
our fellow-countrymen have been in great dis- 1
tress. It affords us much satisfaction that
many of our members have, by pecuniary aid,
manifested their feeling for the sufferers, and [
others have also diligently visited the wretch- '
cd abodes of poverty and want. We encour-
age the continued active exercise of that sym-
pathy which searches out the sorrows and alle- '
viates the sufferings of the poor, the widow,
and the fatherless. May none of us deprive |
ourselves of the privilege of exercising this '
Christian duly, or withdraw from its judicious
performance.

The enormous sin and the wide-spread ex-
istence of the slave-trade and of slavery have
afresh come before us. Whilst no active
measure has been at this time adopted to has-
ten the termination of this system of iniqui- i
t\% we believe that there is still a part to be
taken by our religious Society collectively,'
and by its members individually, on behalf of
our oppressed and enslaved fellow-men. The \
character of this sin, so offensive in the sight
of our merciful Creator, and the miseries and
injustice which are inseparable from it, are i
now so well known and understood that we i
have no excuse for not yielding our minds to I
the subject. May the day be near when every



nation shall be free from participating in this



complicated guilt. AVe are glad to observe |
that our dear Friends in America, from whose !
several Yearly Meetings we have received |
acceptable Epistles, (as well as one from that !
of Ireland,) are alive to this cause, and that i
they do, from time to time, avail themselves |
of suitable opportunities to plead for the op- 1
pressed, before their rulers. The circum-
stances of the North American Indians are'
annually brought under our notice through ;
this correspondence. Our sympathy is afresh !
excited for these deeply-injured people : we ,
are glad to know that our dear brethren on
the other side of the Atlantic continue their i
endeavours to do them good. The injustice \
with which they have been treated, and the j
cruel and arbitrary way in which the power !
of conquest has been and is still exercised by I
those who call themselves Christians, in coun- j
tries where the religion of our holy Redeemer!
is not professed, is a reproach to the nations j
which bear his name. .May we all be so ini-!
bued with a sense of the benign, the peaceable, '
and the merciful character of his law, as to
maintain a just and true sense of the wrongs |
which have been thus inflicted. j

We are still subjected to suffering in the j
support of our conscientious scruple against j
the payment of ecclesiastical claims. The i
amount reported under that head, including'
the charges of distraint, is upwards of ten j
thousand three hundred pounds. We com- i
mend this our ancient testimony, to the close '■
consideration of all our members. We regard
the altered circumstances in which we are
placed by the recent change in the laws !
respecting tithe, and the tendencj', which is
but too obvious, to various acts of ecclesias-
tical domination, as calling upon us to ask
counsel of the Lord, and, by the help of his^
grace and the exercise of a lender conscience, '
to uphold our spiritual views of Christian;
truth with integrity and faithfulness.

Beloved Friends ! Short is the period of our;
mortal existence. May we all be established ;
in a living faith in Christ. May we be found |
diligenth' occupying the talent entrusted to;
us, with a single eye to the service of our i
Lord. And may we, every one, when we j
appear at the judgment-seat of Christ, be ;
counted worlhv to stand before the Son of
Man. (Luke xxi. .36.)

Signed, in and on behalf of the meeting, by
George Stagey,
Clerk to the meeting this year.



For " The Friend,
ANN 3IERCY BELL.

A pamphlet has come into my possession, ]
printed in London, in the year 1754, bearing]
the following title, " A Summary Account of i
an Extraordinary Visit to this >Ietropolis, in
the year 17.53, by the Ministry of Ann Mercy
Bell." The following passage from Luke xiv.
21, 22, is taken as a motto : " Go out quickly
into the streets and lanes of the city, and
bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and
the halt, and the blind. And the servant said.
Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and
yet there is room."
The narrative appeared to me calculated to



awaken interest in the readers of "The
Friend." I have therefore forwarded it for
insertion, prefi.xing an account of the Friend
who performed the visit, taken from the ninth
part of Piety Promoted. T.

Ann Mercy Bell, of York, was born in Lon-
don. She had her education in Friends'
School and Workhouse, being admitted soon
after its establishment, and she afterwards
continued there as a school-mistress for many
years. Being early favoured with Divine visi-
tations, she was not only preserved from the
gross pollutions of the world ; but was, in a
good degree, enabled to renounce vain and
youthful pleasures and amusements, which she
frequently confessed with humble thankfulness
and gratitude.

In the year 1731 she married Nathaniel
Bell, of York, and became a member of that
meeting; and, while in a private capacity,
was well esteemed as a Friend of circumspect
life and conversation, a pattern of plainness,
and therein, as well as in other respects, a
good example. At length, steadily adhering to
the Divine Teacher in her heart, and under
the influence of the Spirit of Truth, she had,
from a well-grounded experience, to declare
to others the way of lite and salvation. In
this service she faithfully laboured, according
to ability received, at home, and in adjacent
parts; and, in the course thereof, found draw-
ings, in the love of ihe gospel, to visit various
other parts of this nation : also, when engaged
in family visits, she found it her concern not
to overlook those, who, by misconduct, had
incurred the censure of Friends.

Her labours were not confined to those of
the Society of Friends; but, in the course of
her travels, she had compassionately to call
and direct people of other denominations, to
the unerring Teacher in themselves; and had
meetings among them in divers places where
no Friends were settled.

In the year 1753, she found a concern to
visit Friends in London; and during her stay
in that ciiy, under the intluence of love to
mankind, had to exhort the inhabitants thereof,
in the streets, markets, and many places in
and about London, Westminster, and South-
wark, calling them to repentance and amend-
ment of life. In this service she was signally
furnished with ability to labour, to the tender-
ing many of their minds, and acknowledgment
of her good-will to them ; and such was the
ardour of her mind, and the flowing forth of
love to them, that she frequently preached
three or four times a day, in different parts.
On her return home, she had to acknowledge
that she was favoured with the return of
peace ; which she esteemed a sutficient re-
ward for the various exercises which attended
that laborious service.

Towards the conclusion of her time, she
expressed her lervent desire, that He who had
been her morning light might be her evening
song ; which there is no doubt but she merci-
fully experienced ; for being suddenly seized
with an apoplclic fit, at the approach of the
stroke, she was heard to say, " Sweet Jesus,"
with some other expressions, which, through



THE FRIEND.



391



the hurry and surprise those about her were Ropewalks; where, stepping on a small rising was hastening by the crowd, which stood to
in, are not now remembered. bank, she stood a while ui silence, till the hear her, upon casting a look up to her her

She, in a few hours alter, departed, without people gathered more generally, which they j very countenance pierced him and the words
sigh or groan, the 30th of the Twelfth month, presently did, from several pans, to a great ] she was then expressing touched him to the
1775; and was interred in Friends' burial- 1 number. Here she had a fresh and open ' quick, conviction suddenly surprized and fixed
ground, in lork, the 4lh of the First month, time, for about the space of twenty-five j him ; and though he had, for a long series of



1776 ; aged about sixty-nine, and a minister



Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 144 of 154)