Robert Smith.

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

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periences ; and by it I find, as well as by her
conversation, together with my own know-
ledge, that she has |)assed through some deep
trials ; so that I think it may be said of
her, she ' has been refined, but not with sil-
ver, and chosen in the furnace of affliction :'
and when the few remaining sands are fully
run, there is, I believe, a well-grounded hope,
that she will join the general assembly and
church of the first-born, whose names are
written in heaven."

In her old age, though accustomed faces
became strange to her, and well-beloved
voices were no longer familiar, yet He who
had been her stay from her youth up, was the
comfort of her declining day. Anchored in
humble confidence upon the Rock of Ages, she
had nothing to do with this world, but to wait
for her release from it.

As long as memory retained its tenacity,
she manifested a deep interest in the affairs
of Society ; and rejoiced when the feet of the
messengers were directed to their secluded

She occasionally expressed her feelings in

metre ; and though her verses had no preten-
sions to poetical merit, they were always in-
nocent and instructive. The following is a
favourable specimen :

" 'Tis all in vain, e'er to complain,
To those who cause our trouble;
Tile Jews of old did so — behold

Pharoah their tasks did doulile ;

Andjmade a law fbrbiddiog straw,

But made tliem gather stubble.

" When Ihey did cry to the Most High,

He took compassion on lliem ;
And every groan did reach his throne —

There they had justice done them !
" Their wheels did fly,— and heavily

They marched through that dark night;
But a bright lamp in Israel's camp,

Did give the people light 1

" The hand of God, with Moses's rod

Did the Red Sea divide ;
And all went well with Israel,

For God was on their side '."

On the 27th day of the Seventh month,
1839, she was gently released from her frail
tabernacle, and entered into that rest prepar-
ed for the people of God ; being in the ninty.
seventh year of her age ; a minister forty-
two years.

Some of her intimate acquaintances have
prepared the following just tribute to her me-
mory :

" It hath been on the minds of some Friends,
to write a few liues respecting our beloved
Friend Elizabeth Kiteley. She removed to
Muncy 'with her husband, about the year
1789, near which time some of us who are
now living became personally acquainted with
her, and had indeed a very affectionate regard
for her, for we soon perceived the sweetness,
the meekness and patience of her spirit, pro-
duced through a thorough submission to the
blessed Master's holy cross. She was truly a

nursing mother in our borders, of every plant
of our heavenly Father's j
ful in warning the erring.


It was, perhaps, a year or two before she
came, that we had the privilege of holding a
ineeting on First-days, which was granted by
Exeter Monthly Meeting, and her labours of
love therein were truly comforting. She was
an exemplary and diligent attender of those,
as long as she was enabled to do so ; and
while in her eightieth year has rode on horse-
back to meeting. Her ministry was sound
and edifying.

" Through the length of years that were
meted out to her, her memory failed, and there
were but a few of her friends that she remem-
bered ever to have seen before. She died in
the ninety-seventh year of her age, and was
gathered as a shock of corn fully ripe ; and,
we humbly trust, is enjoying a place ainong
the redeemed followers of a crucified Saviour."

Such is the language of those who knew
her well for many years. And how interest-
ing to contemplate in this, as in manj- other
instances, of aged people who have given their
youth and strength to the Lord, the childlike
confidence with which they confide on Him,
and remember his promises, when every thing
else is forgotlon ! In their age they receive
the petition of their youth, " when I am old
and grey-headed, O God, forsake me not !"


For " The Friend."

This place, celebrated as the residence of
Robert Barclay, the " Apologist," is situate
near the German ocean, adjacent to Stone-
haven, a town on the eastern coast of Scot-
land, about fifteen miles south of Aberdeen.

The estate of Dry is said to contain about
2000 acres of land, which lies on both sides
of the rivulet Cowie, and to extend from
Stonehaven, in a north-westerly direction for
nearly five miles. 'i"he mansion-house is about
a mile and a half from Stonehaven, on the
north bank of the Cowie, which runs for
above three miles through the lands of Ury,
and at the house is confined within natural
bulwarks of rock.

Ury was purchased by David Barclay in
1648. He joined the Society of Friends in
1666, when he resided at Edinburgh. His
son Robert became attached to the Society in
the same year, before he was 19 years of age.
At this time, Robert was sent by his father
to reside at Ury, where the latter soon after
settling with his family : meetings for worship
were established there, and continued from
that time to be regularly held in a building
close to the family mansion for about one hun-
dred and twenty years. Ury has remained in
possession of the Barclay family down to the
present day. On the decease of David Bar-
clay, in 1686, it passed to his eldest son Rob-
ert Barclay, the " apologist." He died in
1690, and his eldest son Robert Barclay suc-
ceeded to the estate ; at his death in 1747, it
descended to his son Robert Barclay, who died
in 1760 ; Ury was then inherited by his eld-
est son Robert Barclay, at whose death in
1797, the estate came into the possession of
his eldest son, the present proprietor, Robert

This estate has been greatly improved, par-
ticularly by the late proprietor, of whom, and
his labours, it has been said, " that, from a
rugged and barren surface, he produced the
most beautiful place in North Britain."

Friends travelling in religious service in
Scotland have often felt much interest for the
family at Ury, and have frequently visited the
place ; the descriptions given by some of them
in their published journals are subjoined.

William Savery who travelled in Scotland
in the year 1797, records his visits at Ury in
the following terms : —

" Tenth month 11th. — Went to Urie, the
place of Robert Barclay's birth and death.
The present possessor is lately come to the
estate ; he is a young man of eighteen, named
Robert, and was out hunting. The likeness
of Friends seems quite extinguished ; the
father of this young man retained a regard
for our profession in the early part of his life;
but went otf, got to be a member of parlia-
ment, and died about two years past. The
young man's preceptor told us, he knew Mr.
Barclay would have been glad to see us ; and
asked us to slay until he returned from hunt-
ing, and to dine there about four o'clock,
which we declined, having determined to be
at Aberdeen in the evening. The library
room, which is small, is the place where

Robert Barclay is said to have written his
works. There are a great many ancient
Friends' books, all Robert Barclay's writings,
and nearly all the pieces in opposition to him,
and many other books of more modern date,
on different subjects. The meeting-house,
which has not been made use of for a number
of years, stands within a few yards of the
dwelling — the minister's gallery and some
other seats remaining ; but it now appears to
be a place for broken furniture and lumber.
The preceptor took us about half a mile
from the dwelling, to the top of a little mount,
the highest land in the neighbourhood, which
was the burying-place of Friends ; the family
are buried together, and now inclosed by a
house built over them, at the expense of Da-
vid Barclay of London ; they consist of seven
graves ; it is probable that several of the
family died in other places. We left the
former residence of the excellent apologist
and defender of our faith, with heaviness of
mind, and with reflections upon the impossi-
bility of the best of men conferring grace and
virtue upon their descendants. The country
from Urie to Aberdeen was very poor ; the
distance about fourteen miles."

Richard Jordan, a minister, travelled in
Scotland in the year 1800, he mentions his
visit at Ury as follows : —

"Fourth-day, twenty-seventh, [Eighth mo.]
we set our faces towards Edinburgh again,
and got as far as Stonehaven to lodge, and
next morning went to see Robert Barclay at
Ury ; he had three sisters with him, one
of whom had lately married ; her husband,
and a young clergyman, who had been tutor
to some of the children, were also present.
They received us very kindly ; we breakfast-
ed with them ; and after walking awhile in the
garden, which is beautifully situated on a
lively running stream of water, and cultivated
in great perfection, we returned to the house,
which is said to be the same that the apolo-
gist lived in. It is a large stone building, in
which still remains the study in which the
Apology was written, which is now a library.
After we had viewed various parts of that
ancient good man's relics, we proposed a reli-
gious opportunity with these young people,
who had neither father nor mother living,
which they acceded to ; it was much to the
relief of my mind, and I hope will be remem-
bered to profit by most, if not all of them.
Robert, and his brother-in-law, walked with
us near a mile, and seemed loth to part with
us, taking their leave in a very affectionate
manner. Oh, may the lives and testimonies
of those eminent instruments, and faithful ser-
vants of God, in their day, like ' the blood of
righteous Abel, though dead, yet continue to
speak' to after generations, and to their own
posterity, in particular, that they may be
stirred up to follow them as they followed

John Barclay visited the meetings in Scot-
land in 1826; he gives an account of his visit
at Ury in the following extract from a letter,

" Ury, near Stonehaven, Ninth month.
This place (Ury) has for some years been
surprisingly improved, especially of late; the

walks and woods planted by the father of the
present proprietor, are beautiful ; a bold rush-
ing stream winds not far from the house,
through a bed of rocks ; and the inequality
of the ground is pleasing indeed. It is a
sweet spot. The proprietor, Robert Barclay,
received me very kindly, and welcomed me.
I am made very comfortable here, but must
get through my business, and be gone ; ac-
cordingly, I have this morning examined the
library throughout, and found already several
interesting things ; but the correspondence is
what I want, and hope to see.

" On Second-day, I completed my business
here to my satisfaction, having brought with
me what was valuable."

For " The Friend."

How desirable it is to be brought into the
dispensation of the gospel of Jesus Christ our
Lord and Saviour. It does not consist merely
in living at a period of lime, and in a country,
where the Holy Scriptures are accessible, and
where the doctrines which they contain are
preached, and most surely believed, but it is
only really and truly known by experiencing
the heart-changing power of the Saviour. As
he is received in the heart, and is suffered to
bring the will of man, with his wayward pas-
sions and appetites, under his controlling, all-
regulating power, the gospel reign and king-
dom of the dear Son of God is known, and life
and immortality are brought to light. The
blessedness of this dispensation of life and
power, by which we are made sons of God, is
ielt and witnessed, and faith is given by which
the redeemed and sanctified are enabled to see
beyond this transitory existence, and at times
are favoured with a fulness of that hope which
entereth within the vail, where the joys that
are unspeakable and full of glory, are possess-
ed by the saints in light.

" The gospel state is a state of substance ; a
state of enjoying the life, and of feeling the
presence and power of the Lord in his pure
Holy Spirit ; a state of binding up ; of healing
and of knowing the Lord, and of walking with
him in the light of his own Spirit. It begins
in a sweet powerful touch of life, and there is
a growth in the power, virtue, rest, peace and
satisfaction of the soul in God, to be adminis-
tered and wailed for daily. Now, art thou
here, joined to the spring and drawing water
out of the well of life with joy ? Or art thou
dry, dead, sapless, or at best but unsatisfiedly
mourning after what thou wantest ? Oh,
wait for the quickening virtue, for the visita-
tions of the day-spring from on high, that ye
may be again quickened unto God, and find
his Spirit breathing upon you. Consider what
is the matter that ye have mourned so long,
and sought so long, and yet are at a distance
from the thing ye have mourned for and sought

" < Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way,
that leadeth unto life, and few there be that
find it.' The way of unbelief is broad ; yea,
tlie way of belief is broad also. It is easy for
a man so to believe concerning Christ, or in
Christ, as his heart may call it, as to miss of


the nature of the true faith, and of the sweet
and blessed effects which accompany it. It
is easy likewise to miss the yoi

Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 4 of 154)