Robert Smith.

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

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was impending, and near to fall on some there;
and after meeting, w hen a low Friends, among
whom were Samuel Maude and myself, were



sitiing together, after some time of silence he
intimated that the concern he had in meeting
was renewed upon his spirit, and that it be-
longed to one then in the company. He said
that a great weight and an unusual burden
loaded and oppressed him, in sympathy with
the very grievous sufferings and afflictions
that approached some then present ; but that
he was comforted in feeling the mercy of God
covering his judgment seat, and its being con-
firmed to him, that the Lord would preserve
alive through all, and bring them at last to
rejoice in his salvation, and to triumph over
all tribulations and temptations, through the
arisings of his holy Seed and eternal power
into dominion. 'J'his I was very feelingly
touched with, and deeply was it imprinted,
and often did it revolve over and over again, in
my mind ; but I still hoped it would not be
my lot, but expected it might belong to some
other, and perhaps to Samuel Maude, who
was then under suffering on account of his
brother. But now it is clear to me that 1 was
the person, for it was spoken of some to come,
and not of what was present ; and feeling the
Lord's mercy near, I am made patiently to
wait and quietly to hope for that salvation
promised, as I have borne the chastisement
predicted. To the Lord God, merciful and
just, be glory, honour and praise through all
his dispensations, but to me shame, abased-
ness and self-abhorrence, who am but as vile
dust and ashes, before his everlasting, glori-
ous and resplendent Majesty !

" How often has his Word been as a flame of
fire in my bosom, and through the awe and
dread thereof, every joint has been niade to
tremble, and though his message was upon the
tip of my tongue, yet it was stifled in the
birth, through my too great modesty and deli-
cacy, doubting 1 should not deliver it sutFi-
ciently methodical and elegant; but alas, this
was my weakness and sin, lor had I dwelt low
and empty enough, he would have been as an
overflowing fountain ; and had I kept close to
an inward, waiting, depending frame of mind
upon the Lord, he that brought to the birth,
would have animated with wisdom, strength
and courage to bring forth.

" But an aspiring mind, the cares of the
world, poring on dead letters and cobweb
learning, instead of reading and exercising
myself in the book of life, choaked the good
seed, that it brought not forth fruit to perfec-
tion. But I hope the good Husbandman is
plowing up the fallow ground, and removing
the briars, thorns, and weeds out of the way,
that so the fallow ground of" my heart being
meliorated, his blessed seed may spring up
and bring forth fruit to his praise. I beseech
him to forgive my transgressions, and grant
me patience and resignation under his re-
fining hand, that so I may be thoroughly
purged, and come forth more pure than gold !

" I pray God to sanctify this bitter cup he has
given me to drink of, and teach me obedience
by the things which I suffer; and if my poor
immortal soul be but saved in the day of the
Lord, no matter what is lost in this momen-
tary life. O ! eternity, eternity I that it may
henceforth be all my cure and concern to be
provided for thee ! Oh, how tremendous are

the thoughts of thy never ending existence, to
those who are launching oiit of time, I know
not but into miseries that will run parallel
with thy boundless duration, and be endless as
thyself! O gracious God! whatever I sufTer
here, spare me hereafter. Oh grant me re-
conciliation through the death of thy beloved
Son, and save me by his life, and take me to
thy infinite mercy !

" Dear Sister, — I salute thee in that endear-
ed and indelible love, which no reverses or
mutations of time can ever extinguish, nor
distance of sea or land divide, and remain thy
very afl"ectionate brother,

" Edward Browne."

He survived the date of this letter only
about four months, and must have died in the
prime of life, probably about his forty-second
year ; the following record being made in one
of the books belonging to Cork Monthly Meet-
ing, viz. : —

" Edward Browne, son of James Browne,
of Corke, (who lived in the north of England,)
died in Corke, at the house of Joseph Hoare,
Eighth month 27th, 1730."

Here let the reader pause and solidly con-
sider the lesson of instruction which the case
of this young man conveys. Had he abode in
the littleness and humility which Truth be-
gets, and been contented with a moderate
business, and simple, plain manner of living,
walking in the Divine fear, and under the
daily cross, what deep sufTerings and grievous
loss might he have been saved. He might
have continued a useful and valued member
of religious Society, honoured and respected
by his neighbours for his consistent walking,
and after a life spent in the service of his
Creator, his sun would have set in unclouded
brightness, and his memorial have been sweet
and precious. Let his harms be our warning
— and may none of us despise the narrow
way of the cross, or think we can direct our
own steps through the vicissitudes and trials
of time, but daily seek for the guidance of his
Spirit, who is both able and willing to show
himself wonderful in counsel to all those who
ask of him.


Selections from Thomas Story's Journal.

(Concluded from page 134.)

The first thing he said, was, in a calm man-
ner, to admonish me to be very cautious how
I espoused the errors of the Quakers; for he
had heard, of late, and with concern, that I
had been among them, or seemed to incline
that way. I answered, that I had not been
much among them ; nor seen any of their
books, but those I had sent him ; and knew
not of any errors they held. Yes, said he,
they deny the ordinances of Christ, the two
sacraments, baptism, and the Lord's Supper;
and then opened his book, at one of his down-
folded leaves, where he read thus : —

" Unto the church of God which is at
Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ
Jesus, called to be saints." 1 Cor. i. 2.

And, at another folded down part he read
thus: " For I have received of the Lord, that
which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord

Jesus, the same night in which he was be-
trayed, took bread : and, when he had given
thanks, he brake it, and said, take, eat ; this
is my body, which is broken for you: this
do in remembrance of me. After the same
manner also he took the cup, when he had
supped, saying, This cup is the New Testa-
ment in my blood ; this do ye, as oft as you
drink it, in remembrance of me. For as
often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup,
ye do show the Lord's death till he come."

Upon these Scriptures he raised this argu-
ment, that though the Corinthians, at that
time, were sanctified in Christ, and called to
be saints, yet they still needed this ordinance,
and were to continue in it, according to the
apostle's doctrine, till the coming of Christ,
at the end of the world : and he did not think
the Quakers more holy or perfect Christians,
than the Corinthians at that time; and, con-
sequently, that no state in this life can ren-
der that ordinance needless to them, or over-
grow it.

To this 1 replied. That though some of
those Corinthians had obeyed the call of God,
and were, at that time, sanctified by faith in
Christ ; yet others of them had not obeyed
the call, but were remaining in gross sins and
pollutions : but as they had been heathens,
and convinced by the ministry of that apostle,
as appears by the beginning of the second and
fifteenth chapters of that Epistle, he had first
of all preached to them Christ's coming in the
flesh among the Jews ; his life, miracles, doc-
trine, death for our sins, and resurrection
from the dead, as saving truths; but does
not so much as mention this supposed ordi-
nance among them.

But, considering their weak and carnal
state, and incapacity then to reach the know-
ledge of Divine mysteries, the apostle had, in
their initiation into the Christian religion,
related to them the sayings of Christ on that
subject ; and they had been in the practice, or
rather abuse of it, till the time of the writing
of that Epistle. Yet, if the words of that
Epistle, in that place, be carefully and impar-
tially observed, without prepossession or pre-
judice, and compared with other Scriptures,
it will appear, that there is not any positive
command for it at all, much less is it made a
standing ordinance ; but left to the option and
discretion of his disciples ; to whom it was
first mentioned how often they should do it,
and, consequently, also how long they should
continue it ; as appears by the same text now
adduced, viz. : — " This do, as often as ye do
it, in remembrance of me."

But, to set this matter in a clearer light, it
is well known, that, at the lime of the redemp-
tion of the Jews from their Egyptian slavery,
the Passover, with the Paschal Lamb, was
instituted as a standing ordinance, in com-
memoration of it, until Christ, the Lamb of
God, and antitype of that figure, should come:
but as Israel, oflending the Lord, was after-
wards sent into captivity, under the Babylo-
nians, they could not, in that state, and under
that government, celebrate it in form ; and
therefore, they invented another way, to keep
that great deliverance in memory, which was
this: —


The laihcr, or chief of the family, at the
proper time of the Paschal Supper, touU bread,
and blessed it, saying, " Blessed be thou, O
Lord our God, who gives us the fruit of the
earth ;" then dividing it among the company,
in like manner also he took the cup, and,
blessing it, said, " Blessed be thou, O Lord,
who gives us the fruit of the vine." 'J'histhey
did in a solemn manner, remembering their
Egyptian slavery and deliverance; lamenting
their present state ; acknowledging their sins,
and the justice of God in their punishment ;
and hopes of his mercy, from his former kind
dealings, and gracious promises.

The Jews, being thus initiated into this

practice, upon s(

solemn an occasion as the

Lord's being pleased to remember them with
redemption a second time, the succeeding
generations continued it, as incident to the
Passover, until the Lord Christ, the antitype,
(as well as of the Paschal Lamb, as of the
bread and wine,) did come ; who, when he
appeared, was declared by John the Baptist,
to be the Lamb of God which taketh away the
sin of the world ; and he declared himself to
be the bread of life, the living bread which
came down from heaven : proclaiming also,
and that very emphatically, that his flesh is
meat indeed, and his blood is drink indeed ;
that except they ate his flesh, and drank his
blood, they had no life in them. And all this
was meant of the Spirit of Christ, and not of
his flesh ; it is the Spirit that quickeneth, the
flesh proflteth nothing.

The time drawing near, when the Lamb of
God was to be slain, and offered as a sacrifice,
declaring the mercy of God the Father, who
sent him in love to the whole world, he then
said to his disciples. With desire I have de-
sired to eat this Passover with you before I
sufler. And, at the time of it, as Father and
chief of his flock and family, he celebrated the
Passover in form, with this diflTercnce only,
that whereas the Jews, until that time, in the
celebration of it, had looked back to (he type,
and outward deliverance from Egypt, the Lord
now directs them to himstlf, as the antitype
of all figures ; and tells them, he would not
any more eat thereof, (the Passover,) until it
should be fulfilled in the kingdom of God ; nor
drink of the fruit of the vine, until that day
when he should drink it new with them in his
Father's kingdom.

Which eating and drinking, in the kingdom
of God, cannot relate to material bread and
wine ; which can only bo exhibited as sym-
bols of the outward body of Christ, and the
blood of that holy body ; which, to be eat and
drank in a natural sense, profitelh nothing:
but to the all-quickening virtue and power of
his lioly Spirit; which is all in all, and true
feeding to the commonwealth of the whole
Israel of God. And therefore this Passover,
or any part, or relative to it, whether bread,
wine, or any other matter in it, could be of no
further use or obligation to the disciples of
Christ, than till they should experience in
themselves his Divine and spiritual appearance
and coming in them; and to be the same to
their souls, or minds, which natural food and
drink is to the body ; its support, strength,
nourishment, and means of duration: which


Divine coming of Christ, as such, can mean
no other than his being made iijiinifest in a
spiritual administration : for, as he is thai
eternal Spirit of essential Truth, and Word,
wisdom, and power of God, it is not strictly
proper to say of him, (in that sense,) that he
shall come or go any where, but to be made
manifest ; for, as such, he ever was, is, and
will be. Omnipresent, and never absent from
any place or time.

His coming then must intend his powerful
manifestation where he already is, and not a
locomotive coming from where he is, to any
other place where he was not before : For tlie
heaven of heavens cannot contain him. 2
Chron. ii. 6.

Seeing then this was the only Passover,
and the terms of the application of it to him-
self not institutive of any new command or
ordinance, but a liberty to do, or not do it, at
discretion, this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in
remembrance of me, laid no obligation upon
them to do it any more at all ; it being ended
by the manifestation of its antitype ; and, in
the nature of the thing, could be of no further
obligation, or reasonable use, when Christ
himself was witnessed in them, to be that
eternal, everlasting, never failing Divine sub-

But the Apostle Paul, whose concern for the
Jews, and zeal for the conversion of the Gen-
tiles, to whom, in an especial manner, he was
sent, engaged him to become all things to all
men, that by all moans he might gain some, re-
commended to the Corinthians the practice of
the Passover, with the new application of it to
Christ, at the timeof their first believing in him
by that apostle's ministry ; that, being yet car-
nally minded, they might have an outward
communion, till the true communion should be
made known ; which their state, at that time,
could not bear : as, in point of prudence only,
he practised some other legal rites, at some
times; which, in his doctrine, he condemned
at other times, where the state of the people
were able to bear it.

And it is much more likely, considering the
nature and end of the gospel, and its excellen-
cy above the law, and all legal and typical
rites, as substances excel shadows, that the
apostle, observing how much some of the Co-
rinthians had abused the Passover in practice,
and their very carnnl state under it, was
rather, by that Epistle, ondpavourin^ to super-
cede it, and bring them ofT to the living Sub-
stance; where ho saith to such among them
as were already sanctified, and to whom he
inscribed his Epistle, I speak as to wi^e men,
judge ye what I say : The cup of blessing,
which we bless, is it not the Communion of
the Blood of Christ? The bread, which we
break, is it not the Communion of the Body of
Christ? For we, being many, are one bread
and one body ; for we are all partakers of that
one bread.

It is plain, therefore, that the communion
of the sanctified and wise in Corinth, stood
not in the bread which perisheth, nor in the
wine of the grape, which some of the Corin-
thians were carnally abusing, hut in the quick-
ening spirit and power of Christ, the true, liv-
ing, life-giving, and life-preserving Bread ;

which daily comes from heaven, into all the
sanctified and saved of the Lord.

This is that Spirit that quickens and pre-
serves, to life eternal ; the flesh profiteth no-
thing: and, since it is so, much less does any
symbol of the flesh profit; but the Divine
substance only.

The substance of this was what I observed
to the Doctor, though I have in this place
expatiated somewhat further upon the subject,
and generally applied the Scriptures ; to which
he made little other reply, than by telling me,
in a very calm and familiar manner, that as he
had always believed it to be an ordinance of
Christ, he had solemnly used it as such, and
found comfort in it.

To which I returned, That I did not doubt
but that he might have some satisfaction in it,
since he believed it a remaining ordinance,
and did it under that apprehension. VVhoso-
ever in his heart believes any thing to be a
standing duty in the church of Christ, which
ever had any countenance in it by practice,
and performs it faithfully, according to his
belief and understanding, may find a satisfac-
tion in it.

But since God, in mercy, is pleased to afford
the living Substance, without the use of those
means which are supposed to lead to an end
already attained, they can be no more a duty
to such ; and that is the real case among
the true Quakers, who love and fear the Lord

As to the other point, viz. Baptism, he said
but little about it ; for he knew very well, that,
in strictness, they were not so much as in the
form of Water IBaptism. And 1 only asked
him this question. Whether he did believe it
necessary to salvation ? He answered, That he
(lid not think it absolutely necessary. Then,
said I, we shall not need to say any more
about it ; and so the whole matter ended as to
these points.

Then he said something concerning (he
books I had sent him, speaking slighlly of
them; but thought that about prayer, written
(I think) by George Keith, the best : and
said, that seeing the Quakers pretended, that
they did not know, before they went to meet-
ings, whether they should preach or pray, or
what way in either, and yet travelled in strange
places, how could they speak to the states of
the people, or be joined with in prajer?

To this I answered. That such as went to
a meeting empty of all things, and waited
upon God, weie filled with his Holy S|)irit,
who knows all slates, at all limes antl places :
and if the preacher attend to him, as he
ought, and delivers those mailers opened to
him at the time, the Lord both gives the
word, and makes tt:e application to every
state, in every particular person ; which no
preacher or inslrunicnt, of himself, is able
to do.

And, as to joining in prayer, all right prayer
is by the aid of the Spirit of Chrisit, the Me-
diator between God and man; which, in that
respect, is called the spirit of prayer and of
supplications; and, as such, is promised of the
Father to the church, and received by her:
and her unity in prayer stands not so much
in the form of words, though sound and perti-



nent, as in the nature, virtue, and influ

the Holy Spirit of Christ, her Holy Head,

Life, Law-giver, and Comforter.

The Doctor did not oppose this ; but only
said, 1 had given him belter satisfaction, in
that point, than he had found in the book ; and,
afterwards, he was much more free and fa-
miliar with me than before, or than I expect-
ed ; and so we parted in friendship, and 1 re-
turned in peace and gladness.

After this I had Divine peace and consola-
tion in my mind for some time, and was mer-
cifully favoured with the living Bread from
abjve daily ; and I went constantly to meet-
ings of Friends, where in a slate of silence,
my heart was frequently tendered and broken,
by the Divine influence of tlie powerful Truth,
to my unspeakable satisfaction. A holy plea-
sure and enjoyment, which the world, or any
thing therein, can never afllird. And our
meetings in the North, in those days, were
frequently broken and melted in silence, as
well as under a powerful living ministry, by
the Word ; which gave me occasion sometimes
to remember another saying in my written
piece before-mentioned, " He gave me joy
which no tongue can express, and peace which
passeth understanding."

I clearly perceived the practice of the law,
and to be frequently in the suits and contests
of the world, would be inconsistent with Di-
vine peace in my own mind, expose me to
many temptations, and confine me so that I
could not follow the Lord in that way wherein
1 understood he was leading me, and purposed
to bring rae forward; that is, not only in sanc-
lificalion and justification, for my own salva-
tion, but also in a public ministry of that holy
and powerful Word of Life, by which the
Lord, of his own free will and grace, had
called me ; and to that end, I knew, v/as work-
ing in me qualifications suiting his own pur-
pose thereby : and therefore my secret con-
cern was, how to get rid of that great and
dangerous obstruction.

Duty to the Almighty, and the will and ter-
rene views of my natural parent, becoming
opposite, I remained not long in suspense
what to do : for as, through grace, I had
been enabled to take up the Cross of Christ,
in confessing his Holy Name, in the dispensa
tion of God to his people at that time ; so, by
the same grace, I was likewise enabled, to
undergo the displeasure of my father, to close
my eyes from all worldly views, and to stop
my ears, forever, from hearkening to any pre-
ferments there ; and, being furnished with a
full resolution in my mind to decline the prac-
tice of the law, though the only thing designed
as a means of life, accordingly the next per-
sons who came to employ me in business of
that kind, I refused in my father's presence;
and told them, in his hearing, that I should not
undertake business of that kind any more.

This occurred in the year 1691. During
the next three or four years, Thomas Story
was pretty much employed in travelling with
ministering Friends into many parts of the
kingdom. In the year 169.}, he for the first
time appeared in testimony, at a meeting in
his own neighbourhood, with the followinc'^re-

of markable expressions: — " It is a good day unto

all those who obey the voice of the Lord.''''

In about four years after the conversation
with his father, he fixed his residence for a
time in London, and employed himself as a
conveyancer, where, by " the blessing of God "
and the kindness of Friends, he soon found
more business to do than he could execute
with his own hands. Nevertheless, to use his
own expressions, he kept close to meetings
and to business in their proper vicissitudes ;
the countenance of the Lord was with him,
and his business increased daily to his satis-

In the year 1698, he accompanied William
Penn and John Everot, in a religious visi
Friends in Ireland, and in the same year he
embarked for America, believing it his duty
to pay a religious visit to his Friends in that
nation. He remained in America for the
space of fourteen years,* viz. : — from the
year 1699 to 1714, when he returned to
England. During his residence in America
he paid frequent religious visits to his friends
in different parts of the continent, and to the
West Indian Islands. In his passage from
Jamaica to Philadelphia, the vessel he was in
was taken by a French privateer and carried
into Martinico, where he and the ship's com-
pany (except in losing their goods and
clothes) were kindly and hospitably treated.
After some stay there, they got a passage to
Guadaloupe, and from thence in a flag of truce
to Antigua. In 1714 he passed again to Bar-
badoes, and from thence returned to England,
where he continued his gospel labours, in a
successive course of travelling in the various
quarters of the British Islands; and being
man of eminent qualifications, and those sa^
tified, his ministry was very convincing and
edifying, so that he was acknowledged, not
only by the Society, of which he was a mem-
ber, but by other people, as a truly evangeli-
cal minister. His last journey was in 1740;
and he departed this life at Carlisle, in the
Fourth month, 1742, and was buried in
Friends' burial-ground there, aged near 80;
a minister about fifty years. H\s funeral was
attended by a great number of Friends from
several parts of the country, and also by divers
people in the neighbourhood, who seemed
deeply affected with the loss of a man so valu-
able and useful to his country in several sta-
tions of life.

Take heed unto the doctrine, not only that
every part be according to the rule, but all
parts, in their several relations, so held and
exhibited as to be according to the proportion
of faith.

• Being importuned by William Penn, the Governor

Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 53 of 154)