Robert Smith.

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

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ago, while in the very act of recommending
more care to a servant who had U[)set a salt-
sellar, he knocked a drinking-glass from the
table with his elbow, and broke it to pieces.



For ■• The Friend."

IChron. ch. xii., liii.
The sons of Issachar were men who understood Uie

They " knew whal Israel ought to do" when formed in

battle lines ; |

Brave Zebulon's adherents firm, kept runk and would j

not part.
For they were trusty mtn and true, and " not of double ,

heart." |

There mustered gallant warriors, with " ready hearts" i

regal name !

Before this gathered army, unbidden, I'zza laid i

His hand m>on the ark, and was a dcalh-slruck warning !

To all who in self-righteousness lay unprepared hand, ;

Upon -.he saered things of God, wiUiout his high coui-
maiid ; '*'

Oh, where are now the warriors, who with perception

In times of trouble can define whal Israel ought to do?

Oh, where are ihcy when danger's voice makes the un-
stable start.

Who boldly stand for Israel's king, nor show " a double
heart ?"

Are there now found no I'zzas, with forward zeal to lay

A hand upon the holy ark, :is he of sneiint d;iy ?

Are there now found no ministers who feed the vain

Who utter words from sinful lips untouched with holy

Ah, yes! but as in ancient time — the judgment all

may feel —
Death's impress marks the offerings of man's unbidden

The fire that lights our altars if not divinely given.
Can ne'er send up a sacrifice acceptable to heaven !

Then oh, that He who dwells on high, would condes-
cend to keep.
The priests and people in his charge, in every conflict

deep ;
Amid the waves of terror where high the billows toss.
Or in the noisome pestilence — and bring them to the

cross ;
Be with them in the lions' den — protect them in the

fire —
Shake earth from off their vestments — to Him raise

their desire^-
And when our present Israel shall tread the higher

The laws the parents battled for, may children then

support !

Then ve true hearted warriors, who have of Jordan

Be true to your ullcsiancc, and steadily keep rank ;
No Israelites within our lines be Ibond,
But all tiie trumpets in our camp send fortli " a certain

sound !"

For " The Friend."

(Concluded from page 94.)

And now I may give some account of what
I met with from a spirit of deceit and self-
rightoousness ; .=0 that in reading the text,
" When the Spirit of Truth doth come, it
shall convince the world of sin, of righteous-
ness, and of judgment," I have often said, I
have no righteousness to he convinced of, so
that part I siiould have nothing to do with :
but to my great sorrow I found it otherwise.
For having, as I thought, done and suffered
much for liie Truth, biding measurably pre-
served from liie evils I was formerly guilty
of, and having " a zeal for God, but not ac-

cording to true knowledge," I began to think
myself very righteous, even more than many |
brethren, from whence 1 took liberty to pass ■
many uncharitable judgments on those 1 am
now satisfied were much better than myself. I
1 thought tnvself good eilough to be a preach-
er, and many times when at meetings, I have
been under concern, which seemed to spring
from the Truth; such Scriptures opening to
my mind as I thought I was to preach. I
could pray in great zeal a long time ; and
could, 1 thought, sing the Hebrew song, but
found it afterwards a Babylottish hymn. When
alone, I had tine large openings, which con-
firmed tne that 1 must be a preacher, thinking
I had wit enough to do it belter than many ;
and had not the Lord preserved me. I had
appeared as a minister to my hurt. But He
who knew my sincerity, mercifully made man-
ifest, by degrees, the deceilfulness of this
spirit ; and, deepening my experience, He at
times led me to the place of true prayer, and
gave me to perceive the mystery of iniquity
working in my heart. The travail of my
soul was very great before the Lord^ that I
might know this nature in me, and be pre-
served from its evil workings. And He was
pleased to answer my cry ; which mercy,
amongst many others,! desire never to forget.
Oh! the many yearspf anguish and deep sorrow
of heart 1 had to eiidure before I got the better
of it ; and even W this day, if I watch not
diligently, it wil^ put up its evil head, and
take possession of my thoughts. Many were
the transformations — the subtle operations —
the cunning appearances of this pretended
angel of light, and various the bad fruits which
were procluced in me: — spiritual pride, zeal
without true knowledge, want of charity,
errors in judgment respecting the real states
of other vineyards, to the neglect of my own ;
whereby I was in frequent danger of fallinginto
those very temptations and snares concerning
which I so much and so readily condemned
others. If the Lord had not been on my side,
and worked wonders for me, I had been utterly
lost. But in his loving-kindness, I was shown
that these were the delusions of the imagina-
tion picturing a sort of likeness, and sitting as
Lord. They were sparks of my own kindling,
and my portion was to lie down in sorrow
many times. The Lord showed me there
was but one ^lediator between God and man,
and that was Christ Jesus; that without him
I could do nothing acceptable to God. No
concern, no zeal, no vows, no prayers, no per-
formance whatsoever, ovt of his Spirit, had
any acceptance with Him. Those who would
bring honour to God, must be subject to His
Holy Spirit in all things ; for other spirits
would honour Him in trords, but in icorks
deny Him, taking the glory to themselves. I
have found, by living experience, that the
workings of man's spirit are for the exaltation
of the creature ; and I know that saying of
Christ's to be everlastingly true, viz. " Ho
that speaketh of himself seeketh his own
glory ; but He that seeketh His glory that
sent him, the same is true, and no unright-
eousness is in him."

Although the Lord has passed by errors of
the kind above named, when I committed them

in iguorance, yet, when I was better tlught,
I suffered much more because of my careless-
ness ; but through all, the Lord preserved
that sincerity he had begotten in my heart.
By degrees 1 learned to fast and to pray, that
1 might be enabled to starve that spirit of self
in me ; and to accept none of the serpent's
food, which was but dust ; but to feed on that
Bread only which cometh down from God out
of heaven. And 1 was given to see, that this
spirit was of that nature which the disciples
could not cast out, when they asked Christ
the reason, and received for answer, — "This
sort goeth not out but by prayer and fasting."

U hen there was great enjovmeiit in meet-
ings, I was made to be content to fast, and
feel thankful for the least crumb I could gather
from the Holy Table, learning to stand still
till the Lord had gained me the victory over
all my carnal willings, runnings, and impa-
tience. When I sat down in a meeting, I
was brought in stillness to see the conquering
arm of the Lord: and even then I durst not
stir in any exercise till His power went before
me, and co-operated witli my spirit. Many
times I had only the office, as it were, of ^
door-keeper, which, when 1 was careful to
discharge with faithfulness, I had the sweet
reward of peace. Here I was taught in the
school of Christ to know, that tlie only work
we should perform, is that in which the Lord
employs us ; that His is the best and the only
accepted time ; and it is always our business
to mind the present work and time, and not
to be curious in seeking after more than is
meet for us, nor covetous of gifts beyond our
measure, or in our own wills; but our covet-
ing should be in His will, opened in the Light.
I also saw that "The life is more than meat,
and the Body, (which is Christ) than raiment ;"
and that we ought to covet faith and hope, but
most of all charity.

But, turning back a little in my narrative;
after times of great trial, I had seasons of
much comfort, when my soul was more en-
larged : and love to God increased in my
heart : then I would be entering into covenant
with Him to keep His statutes and His judg-
ments ; and promising, if He would be with
me, and be my God, 1 would, in His time,
follow Him in all His requirings. I often
retired alone into the countr)-, where the
Lord was pleased to open several things to
my understanding respecting my state, and to a cry in my heart, to carry on His own
work in me; 1 being willing, as I thought,
that the Lord should do it in His own time,
and in His own way ; and that, with His as-
sistance, I should be faithful. But when my
request came to be granted, I found that I
neither liked the time nor the way prescribed,
for the root of the tree of iniquity was not
yet plucked up, but remained and grew in my
heart; and 1 had plumed myself into false
confidence, from having, as I believed, had
times of encouragement, and that my moun-
tain was strong, though it lasted only for a
season. Being sincere, a cry was raised in
me for entire delircrance from the ihruldom
of sin, that without reserve there might not
be any thing left alive which was offensive in
the Divine sight ; and that all my afiec-

tions might be weaned from the things of

And now the axe was laid to the root of the
ungodly tree, sin revived divers temptations
within me to many old evils ; and provoca-
tions of various sorts were raised up against
me — in short, the old nature was all in a fer-
ment in my soul. These were seasons of
deep sorrow, hunjiliation, and trial ; and I
w^s made to witness the stale spoken of by
Ine apostle, when he says, " I see another law
in my members, warring against the law of
my mind." For I did many things to which
my mind consented not; \nd yet, under this
great trouble, the Lord's power lified me up.
Many and fervent were my cries for deliver-
ance from tliis body of sin and death ; but I
could not get from under it in my own way
and time, because that in me which had joined
issue against the Lord, must partake of the
plagues He was now pouring on that spirit
that would rule in my heart, and by which the
holy name of the Lord was blasphemed. I
saw that iniquity only endured for a season,
but that Truth endureth forever ; that if Satan
did his worst, still the Lord would get himself
honour; and that I should trust in the Lord,
wait His time, and keep the word of His pa-
tience. Thus was I brought to be resigned
to the will of God; and to say in my heart,
' The Lord is wiser than man, it is His quar-
rel, and on Him will I wait until He has gain-
ed the victory for me.' In my heart the bat-
tle was carried on, which was no small pain
to the flesh, the Lord kindling the fire of His
judgments against Satan, who used all his
power to keep his habitation. The Lord, by
the sword of His eternal word, cut off many
things my soul had been, as it were, glued to.
The famine began in the land, for starving
that frothy wisdom I so much gloried in. 'l"he
pestilence of His fury was poured on the first
nature in me ; and many were the slain of
the Lord in that day. I loved His judgments,
and was willing He should cut open my heart,
and let out all the blood which had given life
to those things that otlended Him. This was
heart work indeed ; it was deep searching of
heart, and my body was affected by it. Many
times I wished for death rather than life. My
countenance grew pale, and I often laid my
hands on my loins, being in great pain from
days of sorrow and nights of trouble, in con-
sequence of the separation the Lord made be-
tween ray soul and that wicked spirit to which
it had been joined. Thus He led me on ;
and in due time he healed my wounds, and
bid me be valiant and follow Him, promising
that I should gain the victory at last.

And now 1 can say, " a man's enemies are
those of his own house ;" for, notwithstanding
the many provocations and temptations which
attended me, had not the evil root remained,
the trouble would have been very little, be-
cause there would have been no inclination to
them; the Lord at times perrtiilting me to
see, that where He had taken away the incli-
nation, there the temptation had no force.
Fearful and unbelieving thoughts were often
my companions, and many were my complaints
of my troubles to the Lord, I being quite
weary of this great burden ; but I learned that


it was the spirit that would save itself which
worked those things, and that I must suffer it
to be brought forth to the slaughter. I saw
therein the justice of the Holy One ; that body
and spirit should be made partakers of the
sufferings, by reasou they had been par-
takers of the sins. From several causes and
persons, I met with many provoking circum-
stances, which sometimes made me complain ;
but then I remembered what 1 had formerly
done to others, (times and places being brought
to mind,) so the measure I had meted out, was
now meted to me in return. Thus was I quiet-
ed, and made to submit, though long under
such kind of errors, by reason of divers roots,
which were deep in the earth. Many were
my exercises, until the Lord measurably gave
the victory ; and as my enemies grew weaker,
my faith grew stronger. Amidst this trouble,
[ was not without my intermitting seasons of
peace and comfort, enjoying freedom of spiiit ;
and' often enlarged in my heart to cry unto
the Lord, that his work might be carried on
in others; but more especially those who were
under the profession of Truth, of whom the
faithful were near and dear unto me. Thus
all things worked together for good ; hope in-
creased in my mind, and I became more in
love with the Lord and his ways; and many
opportunities I had of doing some small ser-
vices, in which I was willinjr, but found some-
thing in myself to oppose when I saw the line
of my duty to be in the cross. So I felt I had
need of strength from God to perform the
smallest matter relating to services; my chief
desire being to set forth the love of God to
mankind. *

1 shall now return to give further account
of my friend, who came to London about six
or seven weeks after me. I accidentally met
him in the street, and his very outward ap-
pearance discovered his inward man. In short
he was the very reverse of any thing that
looked like good. Notwithstanding it was so
with him, I loved him, and am satisfied my
love proceeded from the love of God in my
heart ; so true it is, that Christ loved us when
we were yet sinners and enemies to him ; and
his love was extended towards my friend. But
I was concerned to see him so bad, and could
not part with him till we went to a house to-
gether. After being with each other awhile,
he gave nie an account of his proceedings
since we parted ; which brought inexpressible
sorrow on my spirit ; hut I had relief, in that
the Lord followed him with judgments, bring-
ing him to town against his inclination ; for
the terrors of the Lord so pursued him, that
he durst not stay any longer in the^country.
I used endeavours to persuade him to forsake
his companions, and to go to meeting, that he
might get strength — but in vain; he durst
not yet go to meetings, as his friends in town
were intent on diverting him from being a
Quaker ; so that all manner of instruments
and opportunities were devised for this pur-
pose ; and his'lting wholly at liberty, in full
|)ocket, &c., helped to keep him in bondage
to his old master, yet the Lord still mercifully
followed him. jr

When under judgments and terrors, he
would come and tell nie how things were,

^ 101

hence f was much concerned for him ; and
sometimes I took him out of the way into the
country ; sometimes got him to meeting,
where I was desirous that the Lord would
open something in his servants that might be
serviceable to him. I had my prayer an-
swered by a Friend speaking directly to his
state, so that it affected him, and he began to
thitdv about being obedient ; but then he would
run back again, and had many afiliclions, with
signs and wonders from the Lord upon Pha-
roah's nature in him ; still that hard task mas-
ter would not 4«if him go to serve his God.
He came and tolorf!»»^4(jat, if he did not give
up in obedience, he belie'ved the Lord would
cut him off; which so affected him, that he
began to go to meetings ; and the Lord was
pleased to afford him strength to come up in
obedience, and confess Christ before men —
causing him to grow in the Truth. But the
enemies did not fail to pursue, and many bat-
tles they had ; but the Lord hitherto in mercy
kept him, giving him more than ever he could
expect in this world — goods, and a wife to his
mind — as I am a witness, for God, of his great
kindness to him every way. And now I de-
sire for him, and all the visited of the Lord,
that we may be preserved in his fear, never
forgetting his mercy, and especially his loving
kindness, for I cannot but say our visitation
has been large. If we should serve idols of
our own making, and love any thing better
than Him, we deserve double punishment.
And I do believe it will be more tolerable in
the judgment for the worst of men than for
us, should we go back again into Egypt, and
thus miss of obtaining the good land.

For " Tbe Friend."

(Coiuimied from page 94.)
Philiidelphia, 4th of Fourth month, 1797.

To Ann Christy. — I feel unfit to stain much
paper with the pen, yet to thee I think I can
do a little, when I remember thy solicitude
about me, and expression of a hope of seeing
me at the Yearly Meeting [in London.]
These lines may let thee know that my views
are turned another way.

Yesterday, I took a passage in a vessel
bound to Charleston, South Carolina, and from
thence I have a prospect of proceeding to
Nova Scotia, if way open. It has been a
pretty close trial to turn my back on home,
after having entertained some hope of being
released from further labour in this land ; but
through favour I have been enabled to say,
" Thy will be done." Two Friends from this
continent, Charity Cook, and Mary Swett,
have a prospect of going over to England to
visit you, and expect to sail in a few weeks.
Martha Routh expects to leave this city in a
few days, to go to Long Island, and to New
York, and Rhode Island Yearly Meetings.

Thy attention I take kind: I believe it is
love in thy tender mind to the Great Master,
that makes thee willing to serve the servants,
how little worth soever they may be ; and
verily I often think, none can be more un-
wortiiy than myself :— however, I have no




disposition at present to complain ; I must
acknowledge that the Lord is good. May we
be enabled to keep our eye single unto Him,
and lean upon Him ; this will meet His ac-

Fourth month 6th, 1797.— Left Philadel-
phia, and embarked in the brig Maria, Captain
Strong, f T Charleston, South Carolina, with
my Connor companion, Ebenezer Cresson. It
was a disappointment to nie to have to turn
my back on home, after hoping that I siiould
have been released from further labour on
this continent; yet when the Lord ga
clear prospect. He also gave faith
forever be His holy name !

I now enjoyed a mental calm, attended by
an evidence that the Lord continues to be all
powerful, and that His power makes His peo-
ple willing.*

Fourth month 7th.— In the river opposite
New Castle. Lord! thou knowest what a
poor creature I am; — my trust is in 'I'hee ;
O ! keep me in thy pavilion. Thou art my
stay, gracious God! while floating on this
unstable element ; for which I humbly thank
Thee. O ! enable me faithfully to fulfil the
embassy on which thou hast sent me !

Fourteenth.— Passed Cape Hatteras with a
fair wind, all well, thou^^h we have had two
tossing days and nights, occasioned by a
strong south-west wind. I have been a good
deal tried by the apparent carelessness of the
captain ; not that I feel much anxiety about
my own life ; but I have been uneasy about
dear Ebenezer,— h
his takin:: this vo
last n

our captain is the most hardened and desper-
ate, thought civil and obliging to us.

Landed at Charleston on the morning of
the 20th; stayed there over First-day, and
had two meetings. Here are a few, who call
themselves, and arc called by others Friends;
but alas! the name is all; they seem com-
pletely united with the world.

Charleston, South Carolina,
:;ilsl of Fourth ino,.ili, 1"'J7.

To his Daughter Jane Cruickshank. —
Though we are far, very far separated, yet I
frequently t'eel a near sympathetic union w ith
thy spirit, and renewedly so at this time ; and
as there is an opportunity from this place, by
a ship expected to sail for London in a few
days, I thought I might tell thee what re-
vived in my remembrance, in my looking at
thee and feeling with thee; — even the pro-
phet's expressions respecting the blindness of
the Lord's servants, and how He leads the
in a way that they neither have heretofore
known, nor yet do know, — yet He make:
darkness light before them — smooths and
makes straight their rough and crooked path

things ; but the subject sonichow has stolen
my pen.

Now turn thy thoughts. — Though darkness
cover the earth, and gross darkness the peo-
ple, the Lord continues to be a light to those,
who know thiir dwelling to be in Jerusalem,
the quiet habitation : there is still light in
Goshen ; — the Lord is a sanctuary to his peo-
ple, and will be the preservation of all who
trust in Hun. V

I do not know that I have much more to
say, having written thee so lately; but 1 de-
sire my love may he communicated to F"riends,
leaving the particulars pretty much to thee.
Thou knowest I love them that love the
Truth, and I know thou dost so likewise. We
love one another, and in that reciprocal love,
may we experience a growth ; which no doubt
we shall do, as we continue to watch and
war against every thing, that would obstruct
the precious spiritual union with the Father

and the Son, in whom is the life..

Second-day. — Set out towards Wrights-
burgh, in Georgia ; reached a Friend's house
at a place called Eddiston, where we had a
meeting with a few Friends, who li\e in tUe

— and promises that all these things He will | neighbourhood. Hence proceeded without any

do for them, and not forsake them. | other meeting to Wrighlsburgh, a long weary

Various indeed are the dispensations, journey of about ninety miles. My horse be-

lhrou"h which the Lord sees it needful lo j came foundered, so that we were obliged to

bring"llis chosen servants, preparatory lo the leave him ; and not being able to procure an-

production of acceptable fruits unto Him ; yet other, my companion and I had only one horse

He is never wanting to sustain and help those j betwixt us, and we were consequently obliged

who put their trust and confidence in Him, I to walk by turns most of the way. — [During

been the cause of! and who give up the will to Him, excluding j this part of his travels, although John Wig-

I had little sleep self, and watching and warring against it in all ham has not left any record of it, a circum-

but feel peaceful and quiet this its varied appc^arances. My spirit salutes i stance of a very trying nature occurred,

I thee, and bids thee tear not ; — hold fast thy which he has frequently related to some of

conlidence, and keep on thy way in the litt e- 1 his friends ; the particulars of n hich, as near


Fifteenth.— Have had a roughish sea since . -, u .

Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 38 of 154)