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

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friend was so overcome by the Lord's power
that he could not avoid trembling to a degree
that drew many eyes upnn him ; and in noting
the circumstance, he s.iys, " Oh ! the Divine
love and awful fear with which my mind was
filled. My desire was now fully answered ;
I had no doubt left as to what the Lord re-
quired of me."

About the fifteenth year of his age, his
obedience was put to the test by, to use his
own expressions, " an evidence as clear as
noonday what I should have said, yet I gave
way to reasoning and improper fear, and did
not obey the Divine requiring." For this dis-
obedience he was much deserted, and the
enemy was suffered to buffet him so, that he
was for some years in sore affliction, to such
a degree, that, he says, " I apprehended my
destruction was nigh at hand, and the horror
I had to pass through was indescribable ;" bu
as under a deep sense of, and contrition foi
his disobedience, he endeavoured patiently to
submit to the Lord's judgments. He, in
own way and time, permitted his light again
to shine upon his afflicted one, who by faith-
fulness to its manifestations was, in redeeminc
love and mercy, favoured to witness an in
crease and more sensible enjoyment of the
Divine presence, and was again called upon to
speak in a meeting for worship: he did not
hesitate, hut obeyed the impression, which
brought him the reward of peace : this was
about the age of eighteen.

Speaking of this interesting period, he says:
" Having thus been as in the depths of the sea,
in great distress and anguish, with the weeds
wrapped about my head, and shut out from
the Divine presence for a very long season, as
a chastisement for my disobedience, a short
time before the decease of my valued master,
I began to experience a renewed evidence of
Divine favour ; he said but little to me respect-
ing my situation, and knew but little from any
outward information ; yet I have cause to be-
lieve, from his conversation and feeling man-
ner towards me, that he was secretly engaged



say, ' Come, let us sit a little quietly, and try
to feel what is the Divine will.'"

Our dear friend attended the Yearly Meet-
ing the first time in HbG, being his twenty-
first year, performing the journey on foot : he
returned with a valuable member of Stock-
port JMeeting, by whose recommendation he
commenced business in Stockport in the same
year.

He began with a small borrowed capital of
thirty pounds, and was so iearful of not being
able to pay his debts, and of thereby bringing
repriacli in the cause f>f Truth, which was
very dear to him, that he kept a dailv account
of his incorrie and expendilure ; but whilst his
business was so small, that he and a woman
servant, a member of the Society, were the
only attendants in the shop, he believed it
right not to allow his business to interfere
with the attendance of week-day meetings;
and to set them both at liberty, be closed his
shop during meeting-lime, and this when trade
was depressed. He continued this practice in
after life, when he had several young men
employed in his business, for whose religious
welfare he evinced a paramount solicitude.

His friends who knew him after his busi-
ness became larger and profitable, can testify-
that it was his especial care to seek, first, the
kingdom of God and his righteousness ; and
when he was favoured to experience the
promise fulfilled, in the addition thereto of all
things needful, he was contented with a moder-
ate competence, and set his brethren a good
example, by giving up business to those who
had occasion for it, instead of keeping it fi.T
the accumulation of riches. With tins com-
petence he was liberal in relieving the neces-
sities of the indigent, and in promoting the
cause of Truth.

He was married three times; to his In^t
wife, Ann Burgess, who survives him, in
1«I5.

He was acknowledged a minister by Moi-.
ley Monthly Meeting, in Seventh month,
ISOl, having appeared acceptably as such in
our meetings for worship, lor a number of
years previous rhereto. Of our dear friend,
as a minister, we can bear record, that his
upright life and conversation were consistent
therewith; that the prosperity of the cause of
truth and righteousness on the earth was his
great concern, faillifnlly occupying with tl.e
talent committed to him, according to the abi-
lity received ; his ministry was plain, sound,
and edifying ; tending to draw from a depen-
dence on the understanding and wisdom of
man, to the teachings of the (iiace of God,
which bringelh salvation, and which hath
appeared to all men.

He was exceedingly jealous, with a godly
jealousy, of any thing among his brethren
that appeared io him like a departure from



i



THE FRIEND.



75



the good old way of our forefathers in reli-
gious profession, which they had proved to be
the right way of the Lord, and in which they
were concerned and strengthened to walk, at
the cost of every thing to human nature dear.
And he did not omit early and earnestly to
admonish where he apprehended danger.

With the view of guarding his fellow-mem-
bers from declension and innovation, and of
informing others, he spent much of what
might be termed his leisure time, until nearly
the close of life, in extracting, mostly from
our ancient and most approved doctrinal
writers, such parts as appeared to him clearly
to set forth our principles, and had them
widely circulated in the form of tracts.

His travels in the ministry were consider-
able in Ireland, Scotland, and England.

From 1826 to '30, in company with his
wife, he paid an extensive religious visit to
Friends in parts of North America. This
was rendered a peculiarly arduous and pain-
ful service, owing to the then unsettled state
of our Society in that land. By testimonials
received from the Yearly Meetings which he
attended, it appears that his religious service
was to the comfort and encouragement of
Friends there.

These with many oilier religions engage-
m'3nts and labours of love, a;nong Friends aiid
others in his own and neighbouring counties,
with the regular attendance of his own meet-
ings, when in health, at home, and his almost
constant attendance of the Yearly Meeting,
occupied a great portion of his time.

In the beginning of 1839, in his seventy-
fourth year, our dear friend had a long and
serious illness: he was reduced so low, that
several Friends of Slockp irt, and of a neigh-
bouring meeting, came to take, as they
thought, a final leave of him.

During this illness, he desired an intimate
acquaintance to write as followeth, from his
dictation, to be seen after his close : " See
how the wise puzzle themselves about the
unsearchable mystery, scarcely knowing what
conclusion to come to; (instead of being es-
tablished in Christ the true Rock, which they
so much profess in words, and of beooniing
learned in his school ;) a situation referred to
by Peter, when he said, The unstable and
unlearned wrest the Scriptures to their own
destruction. How are they to be prepared
even for paradise, if they receive not Christ,
and are not taught of Him, not yielding to
his regenerating and purifying power, so that
they might be taught of Him, and enabled
through his strengthening them to do the
Divine will. In whatever other way we seek
to know the way to the kingdom, it will be in
vain, for He it is who is declared to be our
Saviour and our Lord ; whom if we do not
know whilst here to save us from our sins, as
Hi has declared, ' Where I go, thither ye
cannot come.' What a lamentable state of
mini to be in, is that of depending upon this
man's wisdom, or the other man's wisdom ;
saying, Lo, here is Christ, or, Lo, he is there;
whilst it is recorded in the Scriptures, that
the kingdom of Christ is within, and it belongs
to Him to rule and reign there, who is called
Wonderful, Councellor, the Mighty God, the



Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace, and
of whose kingdom and government there shall
never be an end."

From this illness, during which he was
deeply exercised on account of the state of
the Society, to the surprise of most who had
seen him, he gradually recovered, and attend-
ed the interment of four individuals who had
visited him as before mentioned, all of whom
were younger than himself. And in the fol-
lowing year, 1840, he attended the Yearly
Meeting for the last time.

In 1841, accompanied by his wife, he paid
a visit of love to several of the neighbouring
meetings and families of Friends ; and thence
proceeded into Essex, on what proved to be
a last visit to his friends there.

After this journey, his strength declined
more perceptibly : he would frequently be re-
counting the goodness and mercy of the Hand
that had led him, and fed him, kept and sus-
tained him, from childhood through a long
series of years, and provided for him in many
ways, far beyond his expectation or desert.

In the Ninth month, 1841, he attended our
Quarterly Meeting the last time at Nantuich,
and went thence to Liverpool, (acconipanied
by his wife,) where he attended the Laiica-
siiire Quarterly Meeting, and remained a few
J;iys afterwards with his friends.

In the Eleventh month he attended our
Monthly Meeting the last time; and in that
meeting he manifested an unabated desire for
the growth of his Friends in the everlasting-
Truth. He obtained leave from it to present
a tract, which he had formed of passages se-
lected from an " Epistle of Stephen Crisp to
those who have believed the Truth," to each
member above twelve years of age : — this was
like a last legacy to his Friends.

On First-day, the 19th of Twelfth month,
1841, our dear friend attended both the fore-
noon and afternoon meetings for worship, and
the preparative meeting at Stockport. In the
night he was feverish and restless : this was
increasingly the case at times in the succeed-
ing stages of his illness. On some of these
occasions he was much tried, mourning that
he was not able lo stay his mind as he desir-
ed ; but at intervals he was relieved, and
sweetly composed. In the course of his ill-
ness, when feeling low and depressed in spirit,
he said, " I have nothing of my own — no
righteousness of ray own to depend upon or
to trust in ; but there is a blessing for the poor
in spirit." And at one time, under a feeling
of great restlessness and suffering, he said,
" What a favour it would be, if I might go to
my mansion in heaven !"

After First-day, the 2fith, his strength sunk
rapidly ; but in allusion to his own state and
feeling, he, with great sweetness and heavenly
composure, said, " Enter into life, to live with
them that live forever."

On Fourth-day, the 29th, a particular friend
came to see him ; and taking a seat near his
bed, his wife and another female member of
his family being also present, he requested
there might be quietness ; and after a short
pause he said : " It is very pleasant to have
the company of those with whom we have
travailed in the cause of Truth. Oh that



none may be pushed back from that to which
they have attained ! We are but poor crea-
tures at the best, and all we have is of the
Lord's mercy."

Fourth-day night was a very suffering one.

On Fifth-day morning he appeared some-
what easier, and several times attempted to
repeat the passage of Scripture, " Come unto
me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest ;" repeating, " Come
unto me, ye shall find rest." And awhile af-
ter, he said, " They that seek the Lord, will
be accepted."

During the last few hours of his life he
maintained a solemn silence ; but lay perfect-
ly tranquil, collected, and sensible, and from
the precious evidence to those around him of
overshadowing good, and the heavenly seren-
ity of his countenance, he appeared as one
who, having finished his work, was only
awaiting the mandate to depart : and about
four o'clock in the afternoon of the 30th of
the Twelfth month, 1841, this dedicated ser-
vant of the Lord passed away from his labours,
as one falling sweetly asleep ; and we doubt
not has realized his blissful anticipation — that
he has gone to his mansion in heaven.

He was about seventy -six years of age ; and
had been a minister more than fifty years.

His remains were interred in Friends' bu-
rial ground, in Stockport, on the 6th of First
month, 1842, attended by many relations and
Friends. Several testimonies were borne to
the power, and thanksgiving was rendered to
the goodness, of the Everlasting Father, who
had sustained our beloved friend through a
useful and exemplary life, and enabled him to
finish his course with joy.

Given forth by the Monthly Meeting held
at Stockport, the 9th day of the Third month,
1842.



VEGETABLE OILS.

A large quantity of oil is now obtained on
the continent of Europe, from the seeds of
the Poppy. It was commonly supposed, when
this oil was first introduced into use, that it
must partake of the narcotic properties of the
plant ; but this was erroneous, for oil, like
starch, may often be separated from the pecu-
liar juices of the plant, without being influ-
enced in the slightest degree by their proper-
ties. Poppy oil is a very useful one in the
composition of varnishes, on account of its
freedom from colour, and its drying quality ;
in the northern parts of France it is much
used by soap-boilers. Oil is also obtained in
many parts of the Continent, especially Swit-
zerland, from walnuts and hazel-nuts ; it is
much esteemed by varnishers for the same
properties as poppy oil. The influence of
climate on the production of oil, is well shown
by the fact that, from these nuts, which in
England would scarcely yield enough to repay
the labour of extracting, half their weight of
oil may be extracted in the South of Europe.
Nearly the same may be said of the Beech,
from the kernels of which about twenty-seven
per cent, of oil is obtained in some parts of
France and Germany.



76



For '• The Friend.'
ME.noiR OF JOHN WIGHAM.



(Continued from page 70.)

1st of Fifth month, 1795.— Had a meeting
at Windham, where the Lord was pleased to
open counsel to several ditlerent states, and to
give ability to communicate it with a consid-
erable degree of clearness; through Divine
favour it was a satisfactory meeting. A meet-
ing at Durham was held in silence, except a
few words at the close, informing the people
that in accordance with the apostles' expe-
rience, we were sensible that of ourselves we
could do nolliiiig, but wore only required to
communicate what the Lord gives for that
purpose. I could discover in some of the peo-
ple dissalisfaclion at the want of words, but I
felt peace, and was satisfied with bearing my
testimony to silent worship, by example as
well as precept. Had a satisfactory meeting
at Bath, the people cliietty baptists; thence
to Broad Cuve, forty miles of bad road ; was
much tossed. I was kindly received by one
who had lately joined Friends, as well as by
his wife and family, who were not of our So-
ciety. Had a meeting next day at Cornelius
Roads's; the succeeding one, (Seventh-day,)
visited some families.

First-day, 10th. — Had two meetings, one
at Cornelius Roads's, and one at a widow's
house at the head of the bay. Several of the
people here seem tender and convinced of the
Truth, but stumble at the cross. I felt satis-
fied with visiting them, sympathizing much
with some of the young people, children of
parents who had been many years convinced,
but continued in weakness, having for want
of faithfulness, made little progress in reli-
gion, and, I fenr, proved rather a cause of
stumbling than of assistance to their children.
I felt very reluctant to leave them.

[First-day, 24th. — During the preceding
two weeks he appears to have travelled on
horseback, on foot, and by water, 189 miles,
had about fifteen meetings, besides attending
a Monthly jMeeting at Vassalborough.] His
narrative proceeds : —

At Been's Green we lodged with Cyrus and
Mary Dean, who entertained us kindly in a
little log-house ; though poor as to this world,
yet they are rich in love and good works,
which made llieir abode a sweet comfortable
lodging-place. They were convinced Friends,
and had been the means of convincing several
of their neighbours; and a lively little meet-
ing was settled there. Went next to Lewis-
town. The meetings have been small since
we left Vassalborough ; but the neighbours of
other religious societies seem inclined to
attend, and appear seeking after the right
way. The I^ord was pleased to give and
enable to communicale matter, which I be-
lieve was suitable to their states. At Stoney
and Green in particular, there are a few
newly convinced Friimds, of sweet spirits ;
through whom, the influence of Truth seemed
to me to be attractive to the people around
them.

Attended the Quarterly Meeting at Fal-
mouth on the 37th and 28th. The meetings
for worship and discipline held from eleven



THE FRIEND.

till half-past five o'clock, by which I was
much exhausted. Next day, I proceeded to
Berwick, where, and at several other places, I
had meetings ; I also attended the Quarterly
Meeting at Salem, held on the 3d and 4th of
Sixth month.

Seventh of Sixth month. — Reached New
Bedford, where to our mutual pleasure I met
my dear friends, Martha Routh, her compan-
ion Lydia Rotch, and Samuel Smith from
Philadelphia.

Eighth. — Accompanied by many Friends,
went to the Yearly Meeting on Rhode Island.
I attended its several sittings, and also a pub-
lic meeting held at Portsmouth. Here I met
mv beloved friends, Deborah Darby, and Re-
becca Young — strangers like myself. Through
Divine assistance we were sweetly united in |
gospel labour, by which we were endeared to
each other ; and when the time came for us
to be separated, each to our several allot-
ments of duly, our parting proved a solemn
one.

[Being joined by his friend, Samuel Smith,
as companion, they travelled together, and
held many meetings, through a rough coun-
try, where the roads were difficult; and the
weather being very hot, Samuel Smith finding
himself unequal to the exertion of proceeding
further, left John VVigham at Richmond, and
turned towards Rhode Island.]

Twelfth of Seventh month. — I set out tow-
ards the Cohons' country with a Friend named
Israel Saby, as guide. In two days, travel-
ling ninety miles, we reached a place called
Sharon.

Fifteenth. — Had a meeting in a Friend's
house at Strafford. Most of the people living
near are baptists, by some called Quaker-
baptists. They express a great desire to
associate with Friends, and claim a kind of
kindred with them, professing to hold the
same sentiments, except on the point of bap-
tism : but I thought there was among them
nmch of a creaturely activity, without suffi-
ciently seeking for that sanctifying influence,
under which spiritual worship is performed.
One of their preachers prayed in our meet-
ing, during which Friends kept their seats, at
which some of the people seemed dissatisfied;
one woman in particular, did not forbear to
express it. I spoke a few words, showing
the reason why we could not unite in prayers
oftered in the time and will of man. I like-
wise told her I was a stranger, and did not
know whether the person was a member of
our Society or not, but I felt an evident stop
in my mind, which prevented my standing up.
The people generally appeared satisfied with
my explanation, and some of them expressed
their satisfaction : the preacher said nothing.
I was glad that I was present, and had an
opportunity of bearing testimony against their
unauthorized activity. A Friend told me
afterwards, that he hoped it would be some
check to thoir speaking in Friends' meetings,
with which they had been much tried.

.\fter attending a meeting at Sharon, I set
out for Ferrisburg, reached Thomas Robin-
son's in Vermont, much exhausted by riding
seventy-five miles in the heat, through a rug-
ged country, over what is called the Graen



Mountain. We were four hours in going
eleven miles, being often obliged to alight
and lead our horses, the hills being so steep
and the woods so thick.

Nineteenth, First-day. — Attended meeting
at Ferrisburg : next to Moncton and the
Grand Island, as it is called, where a few
Friends are settled. In getting there, we rode
a mile in water so deep, as to be above the
tops of our boots ; and in this wet condition we
had to ride eight miles before we reached a
Friend's house. Next day had a meeting, —
then went ten miles in a canoe, and walked
seven to Peru.

Twenty-third. — After a meeting at Peru,
returned as before, by land and water, to
Grand isle.

Twenty-fourth. — Returned to Ferrisburg.
We have had hot weather, bad roads, and
poor acconmiodation in small log-houses ; in
some places very poor beds. The people in
these woods seem to have some sense of reli-
gion : but they live in a very rough slovenly
manner, many of them having settled here
when very poor, retain their slovenly habits,
even now when they have got plentiful estates.
Few of them, either men or women, wear
shoes in the summer. The men wear trow-
sers and shirts of coarse linen, often with their
collars open, and without neckcloth ; and be-
ing sooty from working among the burnt
wood, they form a singular ajipearance as
they come in groups from their work to their
little huts. I often think that their manner
of living, ill accords with my dear sister Mar-
tha Routh's system — of cleanliness and reli-
gion going together; but much allowance
must be made for the force of custom. The
Lord regards them in their low estate, and
there are some precious tender minds among
them.

Twenty-sixth. — Attended meeting at Fer-
risburg ; and one in the afternoon at Nicho-
las Holmes's, six miles (.ff.

Twenty-seventh. — Set out for Danby; next
day reached Stephen Rodgers's, a distance of
seventy miles. Here I stayed a day or two to
rest, being almost worn out by travelling in
the heat.

First of Eighth month. — Stephen Rodgers
accompanied me to a place called Mount Holly,
with an intention of holding a meeting; but,
on arrival, we found that most of the people
in the settlement being baptists, were gone to
one of their Quarterly Meetings. After son)e
satisfactory conversation with two of their
families, we returned to John Button's, where
we stayed over Seventh-day.

Third — First-day. — Had a meeting in the
forenoon in the court-house at Rutland ; and
one in the afternoon at the presbytorian meet-
ing-house. Their minister is a mulatto, a
liberal man, — he attended the meeting, and I
believe most of his flock ; it was a favoured
time, — the Lord aflbrded ability to declare
the Truth to the people, who wore very atten-
tive, and some of them affected. The nature
of a free gospel ministry was prett)' clearly
opened ; yet the minister was respectful, and
kindly invited us to lodge with him. We
acknowledged his hospitality, but took leave
and rode six miles farther to the house of a



THE FRIEND.



77



baptist, an acquaintance of Stephen Rodgcrs
who entertained us liindly.

Saratoga, Eighth month 9th, 1795.

To his Wife. — I received both my dear
Eliza's letters yesterday, which were truly
acceptable. My heart feels very thankful for
the favour of h(Blth conferred on thee and
our dear children: — you do indeed feel near
and dear to my life. How good is the Lord,
who supplieth all your wants; — thou sayest
you want for nothing, — save my company ;
and that thou knowest can do you no good, if
my proper place be elsewhere. I have been
favoured with health beyond my expectation;
although the extreme heat of this country is
exceedmgly trying to my constitution, and I
often feel much overcome by it : feeble and
faint; I am very thin in flesh; but on the
whole, seem renewed day by day, so as to be
able to keep on travelling, not having been
detained one day on account of illness. I
cannot da less than acknowledge with thank-
fulness, that the Lord hath hitherto helped
me, (unworthy as 1 am,) to get along to a
good degree of satisfaction.

The sun heats through the wooden houses,
so that they feel like being in a stove ; and
the flies are so numerous, they are exceed-
ingly troublesome, and as soon as day-light

appears, 1 can obtain no more rest. 1

have been as far North as Lake Champlain,
and over it at a place called Peru, adjoining
Canada. There are some settlements of
Friends here and there all over the woods. I
have had long rides and bad roads for some
weeks past ; but now have got where Friends



Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 29 of 154)