Robert Smith.

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

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circumstances. Tlie hope of making a for-
tune, as it is termed, by some lucky hit, draws
them into measures which ruin not only them-
selves but many who confide in them. That
mere worldly men should act in this manner,
is not a matter of surprise ; but that men pro-
fessing to fear God should imitate them, — this
is a lamentation, and shall be for a lamen-
tation !"



For " The Friend."
EARTH IS BEAUTIFUL.

From the German.
Yes ! truly thou art beautiful !— 'twas love and power

unbounded.
In perfect wisdom fashioned thee, when thou in space

wert founded.
Home of my pilgrimage, O, Earth ! here as my being

'Twas fed at love's maternal breasl, — 'twas cradled to
repose.

Now thirty springs have crowned my path, with flow-
ers of blooming brightness,

And thirty winters round me spread their chrystal
flakes of whiteness:

Soon shall my dust, now full of life, breathed into it by
God,

Yield up the spirit back to Him, and sleep beneath thy

Yes ! beautiful, O Earth, thou art, now summer's robe

arr.iys tliec ; — ■
As joy stirs up my soul to song, I honour and I praise

thee !
Now graceful from the ripened corn, the yellow heads

depend ;
Benenlh the weight of golden fruit the orchard branches

The well-fed herd on pastures green in frolic mood are

leaping;
Through the high grass the glow-worm now from stalk

to stalk is creeping ;



hling in the wheat, and deep within



Now sullry grows the lifilcss air, — the heat all joy

invadeih;
Creation groans in feebleness, — the thirsty herbage

fadeth. *

God in his mercy wills a change, — the vapours gather

fast, —
And curtaining the South and West, a stormy black.

nets cast.
Bright lightnings flash, hoarse thunders roar, — earth at

each pealing shuketh.
Wild ocean ragef, — forest oaks the fiery storm-bolt

breakelh.
The song of birds is mute, — the steed flies frantic in

the gale,—
Fear trembles on the coward's Up, and turns the hero

pale.

Our Father smiles ! — The thunder-voice o'er distant

hills is dying;—
The lightning flashes fade away, — the breeze is softly

sighi,;g.
In silence now the heaving sea rolls on its ceaseless

tide;
Sublimely beautiful, O Earth, thy calms when storms

subside !
The thunder's threats were offered grace, — rebukes witlj

mercies blended, —
The heavy clouds, in warm kind showers, upon the

earth descended I
Now that which thirsted drinks its fill, — no longer faint

and sad.
The hill and valley, field and wood, and every flower is

glad!

The vapimrs fly, — the air is clear, — the setting sun's

soft beaming.
Gives to each ram-bejewelled plant, a bright and starry

gleaming!
The brook is sparkling in the rays; the rich robed

meadow too; —
Dark stands the deep green forest now, — tlie sky is soft

and blue.
The sun sinks down the burning West ; — the joyous

swain retires, —
The herd comes home, — and one by one fade day-lights

rosy fires.
O'er quiet village, field and grove, late glowing in the

light,
The dusky veil of evening now is darkening into

night.

Night comes, desired by weary ones, and hearts that

pine in sadness,
The sweel, sweet night ! and from her wings she shed-

deth joy and gladness.
She soothes the deeply wounded breast, it sinkcth to

repose.
And soft bright drearaings cheer the soul, as weeping

eye-lids close.
Through yonder narrow casement where the sick and

lone one lieth,
The moon looks in with gentle beams, and cheers him

OS he dieth.
The wakel'ul sage now meditates beneath the starry

On God, — the Grave, — Eternity, — the Spirit's future

Yes, truly, Mother Earth, thy scenes have beauty for

their dower.
Thou art a perfect master-piece of wisdom and of

Rich blessing through thy every change thou bringest
s.ill to me.

Then I will praise and honour give whils; I remain
with thee.

Yes, blessed is thy joy to me, and blessed is thy sor-
row;

Thrice blessed is thy last repose, which knows a
heavenly morrow.

When all that fell the pains of death lies buried by thy
sod,

And Ihc purged spirit thence hath fled In glory and lo
God!



THE FRIEXD.



95



had served my creditors, boldly told him,
" justice was a first lesson of piety ; that do-
ing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly
witl) (jod, was what no true Christian could
omit." At my freedom he seemed aslonislied,
but complied with my request, calling for wme
to make me drink, and professing his readi-
ness to serve me when occasion required.
Thus we parted.

Having a knowledge of the holiness and
purity in the Truth, 1 now became a great
disputant for it and for Friends, thinking all
professors thereof were saints; and when I
heard any telling of Friends' weaknesses, I
would defend them violently ; through which
I was wounded and full of sorrow, for having
acted more out of the heat of my own spirit,
than from a solid concern to be found acting
in the wisdom of Truth. But the Lord, who
knew the sincerity of my intentions, passed it
by, and healed my wounds, teaching me that
I was to stand still on such occasions, and
wait for counsel from HIeu. I found it safest
to avoid unnecessary disputes : to look well
to my own heart, and not meddle with what
was not called fir at my hands. In this quiet
waitincr on the Lord, 1 have found strength to
stand wisely for his Truth against opposers ;
and when in the fields and solitary places,
prayers have been raised in my heart tor my
natural relations, more especially on behalf of
my mother, whom I much desired to sei;.
My master having but little business, I had not
freedom to receive his money, my service be-
coming no more than what his apprentice
could do without me. I had no other way of
getting a penny for my support, yet in strict
justice to him I could not remain. Hence we
parted ; and it was nearly seven months before
I received a shilling; during which period I
went to see my mother, in whom I perceived
the Lord had begotten an honest concern lb
her soul's salvation. VVe had much unity in
spirit, though I met with some close exercise
in the town where she lived, and in which I
was born. I was concerned to visit the steeple-
house at the time of public worship, and to sit
down in the place in view of the priest and the
people ; and to become as a gazing stock unto
them. I stayed through their services, letting
the people pass and make their observations
upon me, which was a hard thing to endure,
and cost me much heart-work ; but the Lord
prevailed in making me willing, so that I had
peace therein. I met a kinsman there, who
had been bred at Oxford, towards whom I felt
a secret drawing in my mind. After solid
consideration, I had freedom to speak with
him on the all-imporlant subject of religion,
having a sense tliat the Lord was at work in
his spirit, and that he felt a secret love to me.
An epistolary correspondence shortly com-
menced between us; and he was so far con-
vinced of the Truth, as to refuse the order of
priesthood, which he intended to take. He
was often visited by the influence of the Holy
Spirit, and his understanding was in some de-
gree opened, yet he had not strength to give
up to the Lord fully, and to trust in the power
of his might. He wns taken ill in London of
the small pox, which held him about five days.
He suffered much both in mind and body, and



was, 1 believe, therein prepared for death, love, and my soul was gained upon, even un-
He acknowledged his unfaithfulness to convic- 1 der sorrow. I was concerned that the Lord
tion and manifest duly, and craved for mercy | might direct even my outward affairs, that I
and forgiveness of the Lord, and obtained that ^ might have regard to Him for wisdom and
assurance and hope which maketh not asham-j counsel, and fall into such business as would
ed. This was a great comfort to me, proving furnish opportunity to wait upon him, having
to my satisfaction, that my mental exercises seen that it was good to look to Him in out-
on his account had not been in vain. 'I'his, 'ward matters, for by this I should acknow-
and many other instances I haye known, plain- ledge his divine providence to overrule. My
ly show, that God answers the cries of his own reason, which He had given me to govern my
begetting in the hearts of those who love and outward afiairs, was thereby quickened and
desire to serve Him. cleared ; and 1 found, in rj;alters of moment,

After returning from my visit to my mother I ought not to be hasly, but be sure to look
and friends in the country, I had much peace well that the proceeding be attended with
and satisfaction. I had not been long in Lou- freedom of spirit, sincerity of intention, and
don, however, before the consideration arose, not for self ends, ever maintaining a jealousy
of' What must I do to obtain a livelihood?' there. Thus, when the Lord had tried my
and this became my hourly concern, and great faith and patience, way was made for business
was my trouble respecting it. My friends and according to my desire: and although I have
acquaintance began to despise me; my wife had much exercise, temptations, and provoca-
grew uneasy at the prospect before her; and tions, I have received more than I could have
what added to my sorrow was, that a Friend asked. Notwithstanding many offers that
would be telling her, I was an idle, lazy fel-' seemed advantageous, and to which honest
low, and acted very unlike the Friends, who Friends advised me, yet I never had freedom
were industrious. He endeavoured to possess to move from my present settlement; and I
her mind with many things of this nature, do now believe the Lord, in his kindness has
forgetting, at the same time, that I could find kept me in it for a good end ; as my removing
no business to do. I used all means possible^ to a higher station might have hurt me; for
to obtain employment; and this usage from a | which mercy 1 desire to be humbly thankful.
Friend, was very hard to bear, and alniost'In this exercise I learned to get gain in the
caused me to stumble; but the Lord, who ^ liberty of the Truth, and to avoid unlawful
knew my heart, and to whom I could make 'gain, wherein is the curse. I saw the danger
the appeal, that 1 did neither eiit the bread of , many were in by setting their minds so much
idleness, nor was I burthensome toany, upheld ion the things of this life, as to lose their con-
and gave me patience under the trial. Althis cern for the hidden treasure that is everlast-
crisis, I may truly say, that I had no friend , ing ; and in the eager pursuit thereof, they
to flee to but God alone; to whom I often re- 1 are brought imder many temptations, by
tired in secret, pouring out my complaints be- 1 which they " pierce themselves through with
fore him in fields, and in solitary places : j many sorrows." It was here I saw that those
many times in those very fields, and in sight i who had most of this world's goods, had most
of that very house, where I had formerly com- care upon them to discharge themselves in
milted the greatest excesses, and wickedly .glorifying God ; and that that treasure left a
spent my time and my money in very vanity. : sting, bsing often sent for a trial of their fide-
Here I was made to mourn with great bitter- 1 lily, under which many fall from their simpli-
ness and lamentation for my past sinful life, {city : all which I was warned against, and
Oh ! how did I bewail my lost time ; and how j knew that God was not a hard master, — that
deep were my cries to the Lord for mercy He required of none more than he gave ability
and preservation, that I might hold on my , to perform, — that in what is lent to man there
way; for fearful and unbelieving thoughts | might be a lawful enjoyment of part in thank-
were often my companions ; and so great was ! fulness, fear, and freedom of spirit, which is a



y sorrow, that almost every road, field, and
street I walked in, were partakers of my
tears. Yet under this my soul heard the
voice of rejoicing over one sinner that repent-
eth : and under all, the Everlasting Arms up-
held me, so that I delighted in sorrow ; and
it was really pleasant, by reason of the hope
raised, that God would work by it for his
glory, and my good. Several months did I
so continue, often crying to the Lord for
strength to support me; and when I have
prayed Him to make way for me respecting
outward business, I have been answered, —
" Trust in me, and let patience have her per-
fect work:" and deep has been my travail
that I miaht be enabled so to trust. Oh !



great



3rcy and comfort.

(To be concluded.)



Life-Boats — A late number of the London
Globe has an account of the rescue of a ves-
sel's crew from death by shipwreck, which
shows in a clear light the utility of life-boats.
It says —

Huring the storm of the 25th, a ship was
wrecked at Eastbourne, Sussex. Soon after
four, a vessel was seen coming round Beachy-
head, very near to the land ; and it soon was
evident .that she would shortly be on shore.
In a few minutes she struck on a ledge of rocks
called the Bolder-ridge, very nearly opposite



he wants I have seen in myself, when the to the sea-houses : her name could be dis-
answer has been, '> Thy God shall supply jtinctly read as she reeled round, "Watt of
all thy wants." Thus the Lord was pleased i Plyinnutli." The most intense anxiety per-
to lead me along; and I might say, with onCivaded every class of the numerous spectators,
of old, " Thy rod and thy staff they have com- j No boat, except the life-boat, conld venture to
fortedme;" — but surely this was a time ofj put off, without a certainty of destruction. She



96



was carried on wheels about lialt' a mile west-
ward, and then launched. It was a beautiful
si



Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 36 of 154)