Robert Smith.

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

. (page 71 of 154)
Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 71 of 154)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

religious principles, he was decided against



all innovations upon them; and when a part
of the Society seceded on accounl of a diller-
ence in doctrine, he stood tram in defence of
the faith of the jrospel ; and bore his share of
the trials brought upon us, in supporting our
testimonies, and maintaining the rights of

For many years he was afflicted with asth-
ma and consumption, from which he suflered
much, particularly the last two years of his
life; notwithstanding which he made great
efforts to attend our meetings, when his
strength was much reduced, and respiration
laborious. To many who regarded him as a
father in the Truth, his company, and solid,
cheerful example, under much debility, were
animating, and his removal has been felt as a jwith ministers
great loss amongst us. He had apprehended others. Having her dependance placed upon
for some time that his dissolution would be her Divine Master, she gave proof of the spi-

the thirtieth year of her age, was appointed
an elder.

In her thirty-third year, she was united in
marriage to our friend Josiah Reeve, and
became a member of this meeting. Posses-
sing a discriminating mind, regulated by the
power of Divine Grace, she was qualified for
the exercise of the discipline. IJeing also
ffifted for the station of an elder, to which she
was appointed by this meeting, her reliance
for sound judgment was placed upon the sense
which Truth gives. She entered feelingly
into the trials which attend those engaged in
the work of the ministry, travailing in spirit
with them; and was a true helper both at her
own meeting, and when abroad as a companion
their religious visits to

sudden, of which he gave intimations to some
of his friends. A few days before the event,
being about as well as usual, he remarked,
that " his day's work was done ; he was qui-
etly waiting." And at the solemn close, his
mind was preserved in calmness, trusting in
the mercy and goodness of God, extended to
man through our Lord Jesus Christ, which he
frequently referred to, as the only hope of his
acceptance. He retired to his bed at the
usual hour, and in the morning found himself
more unwell, so as not to be able to rise ; and
his wife and children being present, in the
prospect that the awful period had nearly ar-
rived, wlicn he must be removed from works
to rewards, he said, that he had nothing to
plume himself with, but he saw nothing in his
^vay, — that he felt peaceful ; and taking leave
of his family, expired without a struggle, on
the tenth day of the Eleventh month, 1840, in
the 79th year of his age.

Elizabeth Reeve was the daughter of Wil-
liam and Elizabeth R.ichardson of Bucks coun-
ty, Pennsylvania, and was born the 31st of the
First month, 1770.

Being naturally of a lively disposition, she
was an agreeable and interesting companion
to her associates, but though fond of indul-
gence in dress, and the enjoyments usually
attractive to the youthful mind, she was very
early in life favoured with serious impressions,
which checked her in the pursuit of gratifica-
tions incompatible with the cross of Christ.
When nearly twenty-two years of age, she
was brought under renewed convictions
time of tlie death of two of her sisters, which
occurred within about a week. Two years
afterwards, her mother being taken extremely
ill, she covenanted with her Heavenly Father,
that she would freely submit to his Divine re-
quisitions, whatever they might be; and was
soon brought to evince her fidelity, by making
a change in her dress, greatly in the cross to
her natural inclination. From this period,
she continued stedfast in her allegiance to her
Lord and Master ; and through submission to
the baptism of his Holy Spirit, she experien-
ced the old man with his deeds to be put ofl',
and the new man, which after God is created
in righteousness, and true holiness to be put
on. Thus being baptized into Christ, she was
made a living member of his church, and an
example of circumspect walking ; and about

it of discernment which he bestows, and
thereby qualified to distinguish between that [ ness in
which comes from the living Spiiiig, and the | " *
workings of the natural mind, which minister
death and not life.

She fulfilled the duties of a wife and parent
th exemplary propriety, uniting with her
husband in the support of our Christian testi-
monies in bringing up their family ; and as a
atchwoman in the church, she was tenderly
concerned for the growth of the children in
he Truth, endeavouring to guard the flock
gainst the inroads of error; and though firm,
she was 'mild and affectionate, and sought to
draw her young friends into the love of true
religion, many of whom loved her as a
mother in Israel ; and as a friend to the poor
and afflicted, she will be long remembered by

She had been labouring under disease seve-
ral months previous to the death of her hus-
band ; and after his funeral, on taking leave of
some of her friends, she expressed to several
of them, that their parting would be final
here ; which was soon verified. In about six
weeks she was taken increasingly ill ; but with
much composure and sweetness, she commu-
nicated pertinent advice to those around hei,
particularly to her children, saying, it had
ever been her desire for them, that they
might have a possession in the Truth ; she
thought she might say " a thousand fold before
any earthly possession." She remarked,
" that nothing else would do, but the surren-
der of the whole heart ; devoting themselves
to the Lord ; giving up entirely to his ser-
vice, and making no reserve; that it might
not be said, ' what meaneth the lowing of the
oxen, und the bleating of the sheep that I hear
in my ear.' Every high and lofty imagina-
tion must be brought down, and self-prostrated
in the dust, lying low at the feet of Jesus."
Respecting hersell',she said, " that she might
have kept nearer to the pointings of the Holy
Spirit than she had done, yet believed from
early life she had loved the Truth, and en-
deavoured to follow it; desiring the pros-
perity of Zion more than any thing else, and
prefering Jerusalem above her chief joy."
"She did not know of any wilful disobedience
to charge herself with ; though she was a poor
creature, having nothing pertaining to herself
to depend upon ;" saying, " all her own right-

eousness felt to her but as the dust of the
balance." She ascribed it all lo Divine mercy
that she was accepted ; adding, " I feel no
condemnation ; nothing oppresses my mind."
" I believe I have not followed cunningly de-
vised fables ; and have faith to believe that I
shall be received into the everlasting arms."
At this time, she said, she felt no doubt of it;
and several months before, after a time of
great exercise of mind, it appeared to her,
that there was " a seat preparing for her in
heaven." Her sufferings were great, but she
expressed that she felt that support, which she
believed would carry her through, for the
sting of death was taken away.

At another time, she remarked, that she
had thought much of this meeting, and de-
sired the love of the world might not take the
place of better things in the hearts of any —
that baptism was needful to quality for useful-
the church, in order that the places
cant might be filled — that the same
Divine power which had raised up instruments
for the Lord's work, was still able to raise up
others ; and she believed the cause of Truth
would not be suflered to tall to the ground.
She continued to express much deeply inter-
esting matter during the intervals of ease ;
and in the extremity of pain, her ejaculation
was, " Oh, Heavenly Father, be pleased to
take me to thyself, but thy will be done."
After taking an affectionate leave of her ten-
derly beloved family and friends, who sur-
rounded her dying bed, the disease induced a
state of deliiium ; but notwithstanding her
mind was thus clouded about thirty-six hours,
its tendency heavenward was evident. On
beino- asked to take something, she replied,
" I have taken much medicine, and do, not
wish to take any more ; all I warj^^^ the
pure water of Shiloh, and the wini^oL
kingdom." '.-»^^

A short time previous to the solenitrdbse,
the irritability of the nervous system subsi-
ded, and in great sweetness her immortal spi-
rit took its flight, we doubt not to the man-
sions of eternal bliss, there to join the
innumerable company which surrounds the
throne, ascribing blessing, and honour, and
power to Him who sitteth upon the throne,
and to the Lamb, forever and ever.

She departed this life on the Fourth day of
the First month, 1841, in the 71st year of
her age.

In the removal of these dear Friends, we
feel our loss to be great, yet we believe that
the Lord is able to supply all the needs of his
church, and it is our sincere desire that the
young and rising generation may be brought
by submission to the gentle influences of
heavenly love, to take up the cross, and be
thereby prepared to serve and honour the
Lord in their day, and fill up the places made
vacant by the removal of the faithful servants
of Christ who have stood as standard bearers
in the church.

The duration of wrong, and the increase of
it by continuance, cannot convert it into right.

Consider, not what might have been done,
but what is now to be done.



For '• The Friend."

War, with some Preliminary Observations
from Barclay.

Tlie subjects of wars and fighting, and the
rights of self-defence, as they are called, are
considered of great importance by mankind.
They cost vast suras of money, and the mise-
ries consequent upon their prosecution cannot
be fully portrayed. It becomes the profes-
sors of the Christian religion to ponder and
reflect deeply on the matter, that they may
keep themselves clear, and promote the
coming of the day when war shall cease upon
the earth.

The Fifteenth Proposition in Barclay's Apo-
logy, " Concerning Salutations and Recre-
ations," &c., embraces the subject of war.
It commences by slating, that " Seeing the
chief end of all religion is to redeem men
from the spirit and vain conversation of this
world, and to lead into inward communion
with God, before whom, if we fear always, we
are accounted happy ; therefore, all the vain
customs and habits thereof, both in word and
deed, are to be rejected and forsaken by those
who come to this fear; such as," &c. — des-
cribing particularly the matters. After making
some introductory remarks, the author exhi-
bits the subjects more largely in six proposi-
tions. The first is on lialtering titles; the
second, on taking off the hat, and bowing the
knee ; the third, on apparel ; 4th, on gaming,
sporting, &c. ; .'jth, on swearing; the 6th is
in these words, " That it is not lawful for
Chrij^ans to resist evil, or to war or fight in

! remarks, in order that
les of Christianity, held by the
in communion with him,
may \SW better understood ; which remaining
unaltered, are worthy of attentive perusal and
consideration at the present day ; they are as
follows : —

" Before I enter upon a particular disquisi-
tion of these things, I shall first premise some
general considerations, to prevent all mis-
takes; and next add some general consider-
ations, which equally respect all of them. I
would not have any judge, that hereby we
intend to destroy the mutual relation that
either is betwixt prince and people, master
and servants, parents and children, nay, not at
all; we shall evidence, that our principle in
these things hath no such tendency, and that
these natural relations are rather better es-
tablished, than any ways hurt by it. Next,
let not any judge, that from our opinion in
these things, any necessity of levelling will
follow, or that all men must have things in
common. Our principle leaves every man to
enjoy that peaceably, which either his own
industry, or his parents, have purchased to
him ; only he is thereby instructed to usi
aright, both for his own good and that of his
brethren; and all to the glory of God: in
which also his acts are to be voluntary, and
no ways constrained. And further, we say
not hereby, that no man may use the creation
more or less than another ; for we know, that
as it hath pleased God to dispense it diversely,
giving to some more, and some less, so they


may use it accordingly. The several condi-
tions under which men are diversely stated,
together with their educations answering
thereunto, do sufiiciently show this: the ser-
vant is not the same way educated as the mas-
ter; nor the tenant as the landlord; nor the
rich as the poor ; nor the prince as the pea-
sant. Now, though it be not lawful for any,
however great abundance they may have, or
whatever their education may be, to use that
which is merely superfluous, yet seeing their
education has accustomed thecn thereunto, and
their capacity enables them so to do, without
being profuse or extravagant, they may use
things better in their kind, than such whose
education hath neither accustomed them to
such things, nor their capacity will reach to
compass them. For it is beyond question,
that whatever thing the creation affords is for
the use of man, and the moderate use of them
is lawful ; yet, per accidens, they may be un-
lawful to some, and not to others. As for
instance, he that by reason of his estate and
education hath been used to eat flesh and
drink wine, and to be clothed with the finest
wool, if his estate will bear it, and he use it
neither in superfluity, nor immoderately, he
may do it ; and, perhaps, if he should apply
himself to feed, or be clothed as are the pea-
sants, it might prejudice the health of his body,
and nothing advance his soul. But if a man,
whose estate and education had accustomed
him to both coarser food and raiment, should
stretch himself beyond what he had, or were
used to, to the manifest prejudice of his family
and children, no doubt it would be unlawful to
him, even so to eat or be clothed as another,
in whom it is lawful ; for that the other may
be as much mortified, and have denied him-
self as much in coming down to that, which
this aspires to, as he, in willing to be like
him, aspires beyond what he is either able, or
hath accustomed to do. The safe place then
is, for such as have fulness, to watch over
themselves, that they may use it moderately,
and rescind all superfluities ; being willing, as
far as they can, to help the need of those to
whom Providence hath allotted a smaller
allowance. Let the brother of high degree
rejoice, in that he is abased ; and such as
God calls in a low degree, be content with
their condition, not envying those brethren
who have greater abundance, knowing they
have received abundance as to the inward
man, which is chiefly to be regarded. And
therefore beware of such a temptation, as to
use their calling as an engine to be richer,
knowing they have this advantage beyond the
rich and noble that are called, the truth doth
not any ways abase them, nay, not in the
esteem of the world, as it doth in the other ;
but that they are rather exalted thereby, in
that as to the inward and spiritual fellowship
of the saints, they become the brethren and
companions of the greatest and richest ; and in
this respect, let him that is of low degree re-
joice that he is exalted.

"These things premised, I would seriously
propose unto all such, as choose to be Chris-
tians indeed, and that in nature, and not in
name only, whether it were not desirable, and
would not greatly contribute to the commen-

dation of Christianity, and to the increase of
the life and virtue of Christ, if all superfluous
titles of honour, profuseness and prodigality in
meat and apparel, gaming, sporting, and play-
ing, were laid aside and forborne ? And
whether such as lay them aside, in so doing,
walk not more like the disciples of Christ and
his apostles, and are therein nearer their ex-
ample, than such as use them? Whether the
laying them aside would hinder any from be-
ing good Christians? Or, if Christians might
not be better without them than with them?
Certainly the sober and serious among all sorts
will say, yea. Then surely such as lay them
aside, as reckoning them unsuitable for Chris-
tians, are not to be blamed, but rather com-
mended for so doing : because, that in princi-
ple and practice they efiectually advance that,
which others acknowledge were desirable, but
can never make eftectual, so long as they
allow the use of them as lawful. And God
halh made it manifest in this age, that by dis-
covering the evil of such things, and leading
his witnesses out of them, and to testify
against them, he hath produced effectually in
many that mortification and abstraction from
the love and cares of this world, who daily are
conversing in the world (but inwardly redeem-
ed out of it) both in wedlock, and in their
lawful employments, which was judged could
only be obtained by such as were shut up in
cloisters and monasteries. Thus much in

The author then treats particularly of each
proposition, passing over the first five, we
come to the sixth, as follows : —

" Sixthly. The last thing to be considered,
is revenge and war, an evil as opposite and
contrary to the Spirit and doctrine of Christ,
as light to darkness. For, as is manifest by
what is said, through contempt of Christ's
law the whole world is filled with various
oaths, [enumerating many things,] so that it
is strange that men, made after the image of
God, should have so much degenerated, that
they rather bear the image and nature of roar-
ing lions, tearing tigers, devouring wolves,
and raging bears, than of rational creatures
endued with reason. And is it not yet much
more admirable, that this horrid monster
should find place, and be fomented among
those men that profess themselves disciples of
our peaceable Lord and IMaster Jesus Christ,
who, by excellency, is called the Prince of
Peace, and hath expressly prohibited his chil-
dren all violence; and on the contrary, com-
manded them, that, according to his example,
they should follow patience, charity, forbear-
ance, and other virtues worthy of a Chris-

" Hear then what this great prophet saith,
whom every soul is commanded to hear, un-
der the pain of being cut oft'. Matt. 5, from
verse 38 to the end of the chapter. For thus
he saith : ' Ye have heard that it hath been
said, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a
tooth : but I say unto you, that ye resist not
evil ; but whosoever shall smite thee on thy
right cheek, turn to him the other also. And
if anv man will sue thee at the law, and take
away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.
And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile.



go witli liim twain. Give to him that asiselh
thee; and from liim that would borrow of
thee, turn not thou away- Ye have heard
that it has been said, Thou shait love thy
neighbour, and hate ihine enemy ; but I say
unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that
curse you, do good to them that hate you, and
pray for them which despilefully use you, and
persecute you, that ye may be the children of
your Father which is in heaven. For he
maketh bis sun to rise on the evil and on the
good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the

on the waters" of unstable childhood is gath-llt is hoped that some competent I'riend will
ered after many days; and such, like the shortly compile an abridged history of the

prodigal son, often return to "The Fuiber's
house," and become valuable members uf so-
ciety. It is inexcusable for parents to delay
their duly to their tender ofTspring, until they
escape, or death interferes.

The reading most favourable for making
Friends of our children, is decidedly the Holy
Scriptures, and the pious and instructive wri-
tings of Friends. Before children acquire
prejudices to obstruct the good work ''

unjust. For if ye love them which love you, | easy for parents to delight them with those
what reward have ye ? Do not even the pub- i books. This favourable season should by all
licans the same ?" And if ye salute your I means be improved, before a relish for other
brethren only, what do ye more than others 1 books is acquired. 'J'here is little obstruction
Do not even the publicans so ? Be ye therefore in the minds of innocent readers to their

perfect, even as your Father which is in hea.
yen is perfect.'

" These words, with respect to revenge, as
the former in the case of swearing, do forbid
some things, which, in time past were lawful

taking of a degree of the same spirit which
influenced these writers; and these sweet and
tender impressions will be long remembered,
and in future life may go far in forming cha-
racter. Great loss as to the best interest of

to the Jesvs, considering their condition and , some children is, permitting them to have so

dispensation ; and command unto such as will
be the disciples of Christ, a more perfect,
eminent, and full signification of charily, as
also patience and sullering, than was required

many books, as to divert their early attention
Irom far the most salutary ones in the world,
and of course the best adapted to making
them what a sensible parent would desire.

of them in that time, slate, and dispensation' Besides, imbuing tender minds with the spirit
by the law of Moses. This is not only the j and sentiments of those invaluable records,
judgment of most, if not all, the ancient they become habituated to the use of the plain
fathers, so called, of the first three hundred i language, while other publications have the
years after Christ, but also of many others, | opposite effect, and in a considerable degree
and in 'general of all those who have rightly j counteract our Discipline,
understood and propagated the law of Chris't When parents, especially mothers, are very
concerning swearins, as appears from Justin I diligent in interesting and intructing their

to many authors and

^lartyr," &c. [refe

(To be concluded.)

The Education of the Children of Friends.
The cultivation of the intellect should not
be neglected nor underrated. To train up our
children, however, in the nurture and admoni-
tion of the Lord, is of far greater importance,
especially to a religious Society consisting
principally of educated members. The en-
joyment of life, and the future happiness of
both parent and child, depend essentially on
it, as well as the welfare of our religious So-

Two freat opposcrs of the good work are,
hurtful company and hurtful reading. Some
])arents, who have been very watchful in pro-
tecting their ofTspring from the influence of
the former evil, are known to have been
lamentably deficient as to the latter.

A late writer says, " There is always
through life a strong proneness to return to
habits' first formed — they are the deepest,
firmest, most natural, most unwilling, to leave
you." Consistent Friends, who have com-
menced the great work early, generally have
the satisfaction of seeing their children take
good courses, and become pious members of
society ; it often, however, proves otherwise.
Children piously educated, by not taking heed
to the secret whisperings of Wisdom, and the
counsel of parents, are often led astray by
temptation for a time ; yet the " bread cast

children, as our Discipline points out, in the
best of books, they will have great reason to
hope that a blessing will attend their pious
labours, while the negligent lament their un-
faithfulness when their children become a
grief of heart. The choice of reading has of
latter times become a matter of increasing
importance, in consequence of the great in-
crease of pleasing publications. It is not
supposed that children will be much exposed
to Novel reading. To practice it, is now
condemned by sensible people generally ; and
it is to be hoped, that an instance of indulg
ing in this contaminating and degrading prac
tice is very rare amongst our youth. But
there are other publications composed by
worthy and useful persons, and conlainint
valuable matter, with a sprinkling at va
riance with Friends. It has been reported
of an eminent Friend, that he was remark-
ably watchful in protecting his son from the
bewildering efTects of hurtful reading. On«
evidence of which was, his practice of exam
ining his new almanac, and cutting out what
was objectionable.

Will not general reading, without great care
of parents, unsettle and confuse the minds of
young Friends, and be likely to lead them to

Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 71 of 154)