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

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unreasonable to suppose that we can become
interested in the principles and practices of a
religious Society, and feel our attachment to
it increase, while we stand aloof from its
assemblies, and avoid the very means which
would tend to make us acquainted with, and
partakers of the benefits which it confers.
Meetings for Discipline, properly conducted,
are among the most profitable and interesting
schools of religious instruction. They are
calculated to inform us respecting the princi-
ples and practices of Friends; to give us a
knowledge of the rules which the Society has
adopted tor the government of its niembers,
and incite us to adopt and maintain a course
of conduct consistent with their requirements.

It is often the case when persons are visited
for a breach of discipline, that they plead, as
an excuse, their slight acquaintance with the
regulations of the Society, scarcely knowing,
or at least professing so, that their conduct
was in contravention of them. If we trace
this ignorance back to its source, we shall
find that they seldom, if ever, attended a
Monthly Meeting; having little or no interest
in the concerns of the Society of whicli they
were nominally members, and suffering busi-
ness, or pleasure, or some trifling employment
to engross that time which ought to be de-
voted to higher objects. Is it any wonder if
such persons feel no attachment to the Soci-
ety or its principles, and are ready to find fault
with it on any occasion which presents? Could
any other result be anticipated from the course
they pursue ? Surely not. What little they do
learn of its Christian doctrines and testimo-
nies goes to condemn the careless and worldly
life which they are leading; and, therefore,
as Locke says, respecting the antipathy of
freethinkers to the Bible, " the Scriptures
being against them, they are against the
Scriptures." 'i'o this is to be attributed
much of the dislike which a certain class
among us evince to the strict requirements of
our high profession ; choosing a path which
allows greater indulgence to the pride and
inclinations of our fallen nature, they seek to
justify themselves by condemning the princi-
ples which they have neither the self-denial,
nor the magnanimity, fearlessly and firmly to
maintain before the world.

We are powerfully influenced by associ-
ations. A young person who loves and seeks
the company of Friends, who diligently at-
tends all his meetings for worship and discip-

line, and endeavours to do it in a proper frame
of mind, will scarcely fail to feel a growing
interest in the Society, as well as an increas-
ing attachment to it. The converse is equally
true. We sometimes hear our young Friends
say, in a tone of complaint, or censure, that
their elder Friends do not notice them, or
treat them with that affectionate kindness
which is calculated to win them to the Soci-
ety. I will not say that there may not be in
some instances an appearance at least of foun-
dation for such a remark ; but, generally, I
apprehend the real cause is, that the young
are so shy of their older and consistent Friends,
and so little inclined to be in their company,
that the latter seldom have the opportunity of
evincing how deep and tender is the paternal
interest which they feel in the welfare of the

My object is not to scold, but to place mat-
ters in their true light ; and affectionately to
encourage the young to cultivate the society
of their elder Friends ; to put themselves in
the way of being noticed ; and to give their
steady and diligent attendance upon all our
meetings for discipline, as well as those held
more immediately for Divine worship. It
has been my lot to mingle much in society of
different kinds ; and alter some years obser-
vation, I feel myself justified in saying, that
there is no people among whom there is a
larger share of solid domestic enjoyment, and
improving, cheerful converse, than among the
consistent members of the Society of Friends.
The social circles made up of such individuals,
are delightful indeed ; and the nearer we live
up to our principles, the more fully shall we
perceive, that the faithful maintenance of them
does not deprive us of any of those pleasures
which a kind and merciful Father designs for
us, but enlarges our capacity, and purifies our
taste, for a more full and rational enjoyment
of them.

Our likes and dislikes are, for the most part,
voluntary. There are few objects which we
cannot bring ourselves to think well of, if we
heartily desire to do so ; and, on the other
hand, there are as few which we shall not dis-
like, if we cherish an aversion to them. If
we really wish to love the Society of Friends
and the company of its faithful and consistent
members, we shall not be long in acquiring
that affection ; and, on the other hand, if the
secret leaimig of our minds is from them, we
shall soon find our interest in them to grow
cool, and become very ready in discovering,
what we imagine to be faults and objec-
tions, in order to justify ourselves in our aver-

I would therefore entreat my young Friends
to cherish with care their attachment for the
Society ; to be diligent in the use of every
means which will tend to strengthen it, and
scrupulously to avoid vv'hatever, either in their
associations or their practice, would tend to
weaken it. I am fully persuaded that the
regular attendance of Meetings for Discip-
line, as it is an obligatory duty, so it is an
important means for keeping us bound to and
interested in the Society, and the diligent
performance of it, with a mind desirous of



bain;; instructed and benefitted, cannot fail ness, and the need we have of daily watchful-
to be productive of many advantages. i ness unto prayer.

[ would recommend the following extracts] The uncertainty of life, and the certainty
to the serious perusal of those who do, and of that death awaits us all, — and we know not how
such as do not steadily attend these meetings, soon, — seem to make but too little permanent
viz.: — j impression upon our hearts. Oh, let us

" As it hath pleased the Lord in these lat-' awaken to the vital importance of loosening
ter days, by his Spirit and power, to gather a ourselves from the trammels that are binding
people to himself, and releasing them from us to this world. Time is passing rapidly
the impositions and teachings of men, to in- away, and each succeeding year finds too
spire them with degrees of the same universal many of us, in the earlier walks of life, con-
love and good will, by which the dispensation vinced by the silent, yet powerful monitions
of the gospel was ushered in ; these have been of Divine grace of our duly, yet still putting
engaged to meet together for the worship of from us the day of repentance — still denying
God in spirit, according to the direction of to our Holy Redeemer a full surrender of our
ti»e holy lawgiver ; as also for the exercise hearts. Light and knowledge are not want-
of a ten.ler care over each other, that all may ing. Simple obedience to his Divine requisi-
be preserved in unitv of faith and practice, lions clearly made known to us, — a willing-
answerable to the description which He, the ness on our part to co-operate with his Holy
ever blessed Shepherd, gave of his flock, " By Spirit, in the work of salvation, — would eflict
this shall all men know that ye are my disci- a change in our whole life and character, pro-
pies, if ye have love one to another." ductive of infinite peace and happiness in this

"These meetings have all distinct allot- life, (a peace which, in our unregenerate na-
ments of service; and as experience shows, ture, we can know nothing of,) and, finally,
that when this service is attended to in up- would give to us the blessed assurance, " that
Tightness and dedication of heart, with a | if our earthly house of this tabernacle were
single eye to the honour of our Holy Head, dissolved, we have a building of God, an house
and the help and edification of one another, in : not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
the love wherewith he has loved us; our E. S.

assemblies are often favoured with his aid and Tenth mo. 30, 1842.
direction ; Friends are alfjctionately desired —

and exhorted to be diligent in the attendance For " The Friend."

of them; and when met humbly seek to be ^^^^ pkosFECT FROM BEDELL IllLL,
clothed with the Spirit of wisdom and chanty.

This will divest the mind of a dependence on I coeyman, green county, new yoek.
our own strength and abilities, endue us with [ [Extracted from a MS. poem on the Diilies of Life.]
pitience and condescension toward each other; True pleasure from the proper action flows,
and bein'T preserved in fellowship, agreeably ! Of every sense and function, God bestows.
to our Lord's declaration, " One is your Mas- ' He wl,o in wisdom formed the eye for siKht,

„, . . J 11 u „,i ,„" „! Bids the heart gladden as the rays of light

ler, even Christ, and all ye are brethren, a ; p_^„ ^^^j^ ^^ .f^ ^^^.^^.^^ i^ ^^J ^^^^

qualification will be experienced in our several j'r|,g pig^p ,„\\^ shining of the morning star,—

stations and movements, to build up one an- j The rosy red of dawn, the kindhng rays,

other in that faith which works by love to VVhen green fields brighten in the nooi.iide blaze ;—

the purifying of the hearU So may we ^'^^^:Z::-::Xl^^-'^:;:^l;-':il^

living msmhers of the church militant on j -j,,,-^. ^^^ ^(^ „,^„„i^i„-5 huge majestic pile,—

earth ; and inhabitants of that city which hath The fiir bright flowers that sweeily round us smile :

foundations, whose maker and builder the

Lord is ; knowing, indeeij, that great is He

the Holy One of Israel, in the midst of her.'

For " The Friend."

Thoi/glUs on the Present and Future.
When we contemplate our condition in this
life, the manifold mercies which have been
showered down upon us, even from the ear-
li'!st recollections of childhood ; when we
lake a retrospect of the past, and trace our
nilhway through its devious wanderings, and

perceive how wonderfully we 4iave been pre- ^

served amid temptations that have surrounded i fkyond the "lake of Chryslal walers"t I

us, — amid trials that have awaited us, — with 1 Tliough winter's snow upon each height renriains

All these in imaged glory as we win.
The outward beauties quicken joys withi

I stood,

Thus glad of heart on Coeyman's mo
Where, far below me, Hudson poured his flood :
I saw the cities planted by his side; —
Northward fair Albany's bright domes of pride;
C'oxackie here, just clustering down below ;
There, Kinderhook beyond the river's flow ;
Athens which nestling, and half hidden lies,
Where crowned with cedars swelling heights arise;
Tiiere Hudson stretching from the stream away,
Sits on the plain above in bright array;
Around the green earth in rich glory spread.
Whilst vision reached to many a mountain head.

1 Vermont's high range* dim towering up to view,
liy distance clothed in veil of misty blue.

1 brows to the sunin '"

pplied, even when least deserved — how
ought our hearts to glow with gratitude and
praise to the Giver of all good for his unmer-
ited favours I When we remember that we
arc but dust, that even in our best estate, we
can of ourselves do no good thing ; but that
all that we are, all that we possess, is of his
abundant mercy ; how ought our hearts to be
humbled under a sense of our own unworthi-

Yel when iu gentle streams the frost-work

A fresher greenness on the mountain lies.

Eastward o'er cultured plain, and hills of green,

Taghkannue's granite range is dimly seen.

Old .Massachusetts' watch-towers, whence they trace

Far spreading seenes of grandeur and ol grace.

• Green mountains.

+ Lake of St. George. The Indian name for this
body pf water, signifies the Lake of the Chryslal

Though cloudless now her lengthened bulwarks rise,
Along the farthest verge ol eastern skits.
Whilst e'en the onward flow of reslltss airs
Shakes not the light grey robe of smoke she wears, —
Yet oft with stormy ve^tnlenls round her cast.
Whose changeful folds wave wildly in the blast, —
She looks o'er lovely vales in solemn pride.
And gaihering windy tempests to her side.
She wakes their jarring voices to a roar.
Loud as the ocean surge on rocky shore ; —
Whilst burns a beacon brightness on her crest.
Star of the tumult raging round her breast.*
As all admiring slow I turned my view.
Came up Connecticut thy peaks of blue,—
Beside them lakes lie laughing in the sun,
And Housatonie's sparkling waters run.
There spread the Highland ranget belbrc my eye,
■ ' int drawn outline on the southern sky.
The hills of Duchess smiled in beauty there,
With nicuiilain lieight and rolling surface fair;
There, nature scatters charms to cheer ihe si^ht,
There friendship lingers long with fi-nd dclighi !
From the bright river to the hill-screened wes,.
With threatening vapours culling o'er his breatt,
The mighty Catskill rears his gianl form,
With clouds about him gathering lor the storm.
Upon the breeze his while-winged vapours go,
And carry tempests to the plain below,
Wilh thunder-voice on mountnin echoes call.
Whilst earth-refreshing showers in soilness tall.

I gazed upon the prospect spread around, —
On every hand wilh distant mountains crowned ;
The plains, the swelling heights, the scooped-om vales.
The shining river, and its snow-white sails,
The cultured liirins, the forest strips betwien,
The varied tints of nature's living green, —
And felt, whilst viiwing it in every part,
Joy through the eye came bounding to the heart ;
While deep the inward feeling was impressed,
' Our God is glorious, and his earth is blessed '.'

* " In the journey of this day I met with a pheno-
menon, which to me was a novelty, in the morning,
the wind blew with moderate strength from the south-
east ; and continued to do so till we came to the neigh-
bourhood of Taghkannuc. When we arrived within
lour or five miles of the ridge of that mountain, we
heard a loud and most majeslic sound, rescuibling the
noise of Ihe ocean, coming irom the higher regions of
the mountain. The noise seemed vast, and expansive,
as if caused at once througliout a wide tract of ihe at-
mosphere; and loud, as if produced by evident agila-
lion. Above a height, at five or six hundred teel Irora
the common surface of the neighbouring country, the
mountain was enveloped in a thick cloud. When we
arrived at the foot of the lower acclivities, we found an
uncomfortable and furious blast, which continued during
the whole time of our ascent; the distance being about
a mile and a half or two miles. After we had gone over
this distance, the violence of the blast ceased, and was
perceived by us no more, either on ihe sides or on the
ridge. Slill the noise was undiminished, and seemed to
fill the heavens with a slorniy, tumultuous grandeur.
The wind evidently was confined to a very narrow ic-
gion, including only the summits and sides of the
mountain. Alter we had crossed the ridge, we saw, a
litile eastward of one of the loftiest summits, a bright
spot. It continued fixed in its relative position to the
summit mentioned, for several hours, notwithstanding
the violence of the wind, and the rapid movcnienl of
the clouds; nor did it disappear till it was gradually
lost in twilight. It was continually bright, and at times
so bright, that we thought the sun shone for a few mo-
ments in each instance through the aperture." —
Duiigkl's Travels.

t Fishkill mountain.

To Tale Grease out of SilK-.—K a little
powdered magnesia be applied on the wrong
side of the silk as soon as the spot is discover-
ed, it's a never-failing remedj-, the stain dis-
appearing as if by magic.

Seventh and Carpenter Streets.



vox., zvx.


NO. 7.



Price two dollars per annum, payable in advance.

Subscriptions and Payments received by




The Impropriety of

(Report of Committee continued from page 42.)

Then, ihe community not being in danger,
the question occurs, stripped of every consid-
ratiou which might trammel or warp the
judgmeDt, on what arguments does C. C.
Cuyler support the affirmative of the proposi-
tion, that we are commanded to put the mur-
derer to death. He relies upon his text in
Genesis ix. 5, 6. He assumes that this law
" is a law of nature, originally written on the
heart of man," and as such, was binding upon
the Antediluvians. This may be so, but the
committee do not think that the law in Gene-
sis, as C. C. Cuyler understands it, ever
formed a part of the simple, primitive, uncor-
rupted law of nature — that it ever was a law
of any but savage and ferocious nature, to
take life because death had been inflicted.
The only reason which he adduces in favour
of such a presumption, is the language of
Cain — " every one who findeth me siiall slay
me." As well might it be said that the act
of the atrocious fratricide, was in obedience to
the law of nature, as that his language was a
recognition of its behests. Cain having vio-
lated all Ihe principles of that law, in the mur-
der of his brother, the light of that law must
have been extinguished in his bosom, and he
would prove a poor expositor of its requisi-
tions. Our nature at the present day revolts
at it. Nor could the law of nature at any
period of human society, have required the
slaying of tke murderer by the hand of any
man who met him in his path. This is the
doctrine of revenge, the teaching of savages,
not the code of nature. It is akin to the Ro-
man law which permitted the murderer to
remain on the gibbet after execution, as a
comfortable sight to the friends and relations
of the deceased. On the other hand, the lan-
guage and the act of the Deity on this occa-
sion, both repudiate such a deduction from the
text. " The voice of thy brother's blood cri-
eth unto me from the ground," was the utter-
ance of Jehovah, announcing his knowledge
of the horrible deed. The sentence pio-
nounced was equally remarkable and signifi-
cant. If the laws of nature required the first
person to kill the murderer, would the Deity

in the first murder on record, the murder of a
brother, under circumstances too of the deep-
est turpitude and strongest aggravation, op-
pose, in such a case, the law of nature? On
the contrary, would he not in the infancy of
the world, when a permanent example to all
mankind was to be looked for, be likely to
abandon him to the most terrible denuncia-
tions of that law whose dictates he was the
first to infringe ? But we find him denouncing
the severest punishment against the murderer
of Cain, the retribution of a seven fold ven-
geance, and banishing him from society, w hose
happiness he had marred, to roam " a fugitive
and a vagabond upon the earth." The com-
mittee think there is nothing in the reason
assigned by C. C. Cuyler, to justify the idea
that the natural law of humanity teaches re-
taliation or bloodshed, whatever may be the
evil tendencies of man since the period of his
fall. They believe that such a doctrine de-
grades us to the condition of beasts of prey,
and that the sacred law of our nature " that
which is written in the heart," is more ele-
vating, kind and charitable.

The exainple of Cain, as it is applied in the
sermon before us, seeins to be a perversion of
the design intended by the Creator. We
consider the example as of paramount im-
portance in connection with this question. It
presents the first murder on record. It pre-
sents the treatment of the first offender,
whose brutal nature had no higher conception
of punishment, than the loss of his present
life. All this was of vast consequence to the
great family of mankind, through endless
tracts of time. As there was no lightning, to
use the eloquent phrase of Dr. Rush, to blast
the fratricide from the earth ; as his life was
spared; as men were forbidden to kill him;
and as he rested under the malediction of
heaven, an outcast from the society of his spe-
cies ; an impressive law seemed to be enact-
ed, a great example set, for our lasting observ-
ance. If we follow up the history of the Bible,
we find that Lamech's hands had been im-
brued in blood, but the sacred history does
not relate the details of the catastrophe.
Some have supposed that he had killed Cain,
but this is only the unsupported conjecture of
learned and ingenious scholiasts. But does
Lamech anticipate the punishment of man, or
the vengeance of God 1 His instinct points to
the example of Cain ; " If Cain should be
avenged seven fold," said he, " surely Lamech
seventy and seven-fold." This punishment,
he knew, had not been inflicted by man, but
came and was to come from his Maker. Cain
had not been killed by man, and he appre-
hended, it seems, no terrestrial vengeance.
These are pregnant examples, which, if they
fortify the construction contended for ia the

text, they bear upon it in a manner wholly
inscrutable to the eye of reason.

Now C. C. Cuyler mixes up with his argu-
ment upon the sacred passage, some episodi-
cal expressions, which, if they do not weaken
the force of what he does adduce, certainly
add to them neither point nor cogency. They
betray a feeling upon the subject which does
not properly dispose the mind for the investi-
gation or perception of truth. On page 20,
when in allusion to the idea that the law of
Moses was repealed, as well as that which
was given to Noah, he says, " This is root
and branch work with a vengeance." Again,
" We do beg that they who undertake to in-
terpret it (the Bible) will be careful that they
do not stultify its Divine Author." In page
"21, he observes with most singular indepen-
dence of his context, "These earth-born Phae-
tons will never succeed in driving the chariot
of the sun." It is a matter of surprise that
the pulpit should be selected for the utterance
of these and other personal reflections, espe-
cially as it does not appear to whom the
learned author refers. As poetical mytho-
logy makes Phaeton the son of Apollo, he can,
with little propriety, be styled " earth-born,"
how rash soever his enterprise. Who then
are these earth-born Phaetons whom C. C.
Cuyler's thunderbolt, in order to save all na-
ture from threatened conflagration, would
precipitate into the parched and arid, perhaps
burning channel of the Po7 Does he imagine
that the people of the present age, much less
his contemporaries and townsmen, are the
only persons who have maintained the opinion
that neither the law of his text, nor any other
text of Scripture, authorises the infliction of
death? If he thinks so, we are obliged to say,
he is much mistaken. Authoritative writers
have uttered their sentiments very strongly
on this subject, and against the doctrines in-
culcated in the sermon. The committee do
not mean to assert that in England affd on the
continent of Europe, a long array of names of
pious and learned men may not be produced
in his favour. But it must be remembered,
that the penal codes of those countries, until
within a few years, were sanguinary in the
extreme ; and that there would be an inevit-
able, however unconscious tendency, to sus-
tain by Biblical construction the bloody
features of their laws. But does he call the
erudite and pious Sir Thomas Moore, an
earth-born Phaeton ? He has expressed his
clear conviction against the right to take life,
by observing, " God has commanded us not
to kill— and shall we kill so easily for a little
money ?" Was Dr. Franklin a man so impetu-
ous and rash as to propose or undertake what
could not safely be accomplished? Is Dr. Ben-
jamin Rush thus to be denounced ? Is the



Rev. Mr. Turner, of JIanchestcr, whose
learned essay in the Philosophical and Lite-
rary Memoirs of that city, against the right
to take life on the ground of Scripture, to be
impeaclied with the imputation " that he
would stultify the Divine Author" of the faith
he preached ? It was by such denunciations
that Galileo was overborne. Columbus met
with as frivolous objections. Modern geology
was likewise attacked as savouring of infi-
delity, and even the principles of the temper-
ance societies were at first opposed by the
same everlasting cry. All the prejudices of
hoary error, array themselves to figlit against

Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 19 of 154)