Robert Smith.

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

. (page 95 of 154)
Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 95 of 154)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


of Truth ; and beseeching of Him the blessing
of preservation when separated from each
other.



From the Tentli Part of Piety Promoted, a
few notices of deceased Friends have been
selected, which it is apprehi'nded may be pro-
fitably perused by the readers of " The
Friend." This work, though republished
many years since in this country, is probably
inaccessible to most of the readers of this
journal. B.

JOSHUA WHEELER,

Of Hitchin, in Hartfordshire, was the son
of Rudd and Fidelity Wheeler, of the same
place, and born about the year IT-'JC. His
childhood, according to his own account, par-
took of the wildness sometimes observable at



that age. Nevertheless, he early discovered
a disposition to sobriety, which paternal care
tended to cherish ; and it ripened at length
into a degree of stability which had its influ-
ence upon others. His mother was removed
by death when he was about fourteen, and
then a boy at school ; but he had learned to
estimate her worth, and his grief was propor-
tionably pungent ; and when he came home
to his father's family, and entered into his
employment in his trade, he still more sensi-
bly felt her loss, in the domestic circle in which
she now no longer occupied a place. It is be-
lieved that the serious impressions which
about this time he received were signally
blessed to him ; and that he became, by his
steady conduct, able to co-operate with the
religious exercise of his father's mind, for the
preservation of the younger part of the family.

He was used thankfully to call to mind, and
to mention the preservations he had witnessed
in early life, when he was sent on business to
distant maikets, and sometimes among very
rough and unprofitable company. He recount-
ed the care which he found necessary to keep
near to the principles of truth, and to act
according to its dictates: the comfort or the
grief which he had found on looking over the
transactions of the day, as his conduct had
been steady or deviating; and the consequent
encouragement or caution which it held out
to him for the future.

About the twenty-fifth year of his age, he
married Elizabeth, daughter of William
Brown, of Ampthill ; and they set out in life
with many pleasant prospects before them.
But in the course of one year, the health of
his wife became so much impaired, asto prove
a trying dispensation to both of them, during
the remaining years which they passed to-
gether. But it nevertheless appears to have
been a dispensation of mercy. It prepared
her for a better inheritance ; and proved to
him a season of refinement, and of detachment
from earthly gratifications ; still further fitting
him for usefulness to others. His wife died
in the Fifth month, 1793, after they had been
married about twelve years.

Soon after this event, about the thirty-
eighth year of his age, he gave up to an ap-
prehension of duty, which he had some time
entertained, and came forth publicly as a min-
ister. His testimony was acceptable to his
friends, and he was very solicitous to be pre-
served from moving without their unity. Once
in particular, in a religious meeting, with
great dftfidence, he expressed his desire to
stand open to the feelings of the least babe,
who was alive in the truth; and the belief
which his brethren entertained, that he was
generally careful, not only to begin, but to
close with the life, confirmed his testimony to
their minds and judgment. A paper, of which
the following is a copy, and dated in the Ninth
month, 1793, will show the reverence with
which his mind was clothed, when he entered
on this service. It is entitled, "The opening
of Isaiah's ministry."

" First, he was favoured with a sight of the
majesty and glory of God ; and heard the
seraphim declare the Lord's holiness, and
that the earth was full of glory ; and with



such power and authority, that the very posts
of the door moved, and the house was filled
with smoke. Then, as a natural consequence,
he was filled with a feeling sense of his own
unworthiness and sinful state, and under the
weight thereof breaks out, Wo is me, for I
am undone, because I am a man of unclean
lips, and dwell among a people of unclean lips,
for miiieeyes have seen the king, the Lord of
hosts ! In this humble state, was the seraph
sent unto him with the live coal, taken from
the altar, which having laid on his mouth, he
comforts him. Lo, this hath touched thy
lips, and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy
sin purged. Tlicn did he hear the voice of
the Lord, saying, ' Whom shall I send, and
who will go for us?' Being thus previously
prepared, in a grateful sense of the Lord's
mercy, and with a willing mind, he was
enabled to ofier himself. Here am I, send me.

" Thus, O Lord, be pleased to favour me
with a sense of thy Almighty goodness ; or
such a sense thereof as my feeble state may
be able to hear ; and that in thy light I may
see my sinful state, and, with one formerly,
abhor myself as in dust and ashes. And, oh,
when sutiiciently humbled under a sense there-
of, that I may witness the effects of the live
coal, and hear those gracious words, thine
iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged :
and under a deep sense thereof, that I may
surrender body, soul, and spirit into thy gra-
cious direction."

Towards the latter end of the year 1795,
he entered again into a married state with
Elizabeth, daughter of William Tuke, of
York. It did not appear to be his lot to
travel much from home in the exercise of his
gift ; yet with the consent of his Monthly
Meeting, he travelled in the year 1797 in
some neighbouring counties ; in 1798, he ex-
tended a western journey as far as Plymouth ;
and in the following year he went northward
as far as York. In all these journeys, though
not without an engagement of mind arising
from an apprehension of duly on his own ac-
count, he tiavelled generally in company with
others.

After his last journey, his life was almost
one continued series of bodily indisposition ;
yet he continued anxiously concerned for the
cause of Truth. As private opportunities
occurred, he still laboured for the good of
other individuals, in a spiritual sense ; and one
thing which frequently excited his fears was,
lest the gracious purpose of the Lord towards
his visited children, should, by one means or
other, be frustrated. For about three months
before his last illness, he enjoyed rather an
improved stale of health ; yet he did not form
great expectations of its continuance ; but
rather apprehended that his enfeebled frame
would yield to the rigours of the winter then
approaching. Accordingly, on the last day of
the year 1802, he was seized with an increase
of his distemper. In rather more than two
weeks he look to his chamber, and as his
disorder was attended with a distressing de-
gree of nervous irritability, it proved at times
a close trial to his faith. Once when thus
oppressed, he exclaimed, "Oh, this irritabili-
ty ! When I try to close my eyes," for after



256 „_._„_„-„

a disturbed night, he had been endeavouring
to procure a little repose, " I seem given up
to the powers of darkness and confusion ; but
I hope this is not the state my spirit will be
centered in." His wife saying that she be-
lieved not, he added, " No. I believe my
change will be an entrance into peace, through
that mercy in which I can conlide ; not in any
works of my own." Some further, consolatory
conversation passed between them. He was
then sitting up in his chamber ; but about nine
o'clock he was helped to bed by two assislauts,
and he had some refreshing sleep. Soon,
however, the cold sweat of death pervaded
him generally ; and on the appearance of this
alarming symptom, at his own desire, his
father was sent for. When Joshua was in-
formed that his father was arrived, he rather
hastily, and as if he feared his articulation
would fail him, uttered a few short, but sweet
sentences to some around him, concluding



,ilh "Farewell. May the Lord bless and 1 of our difficulties with Lnghind, which
reserve you all." This benediction was the } baffled the eflbrts of more than halt a



TUE JRIEIVD.

They contain an interesting variety of short
articles, calculated to promote the great and
good end which the publication has in view ;
some of which it is our intention to copy.
The last number states that on the eighth of
the Third month the American Peace Society
held, in the Hall of the Representatives, a
public meeting for the discussion of subjects
relative to the cause of peace, and that the
following resolutions, prepared by a committee
of arrangement, were presented : —

" 1. Resolved, 'I'hat war, as a method for
the settlement of national difficulties, is an
unchristian and inetlicient system, and ought
to be discontinued by all civilized communi-
ties.

" 2. Resolved, That preparations for war,
so far from checking this evil, occasion far
more wars than they prevent, and are the
chief means of continuing the custom.

" 3. Resolved, That the recent adjustment
ih Enghind, which had
cen-
pul



preserve you — - . ...

last sentence which he attempted to utter ; tury, evmce a most auspicious change
ibout an hour afler-
that



though it was not uiit

wards, and at half an hour past

he breathed his last so quietly, that the exact

moment when he fully put off niortalily, was

scarcely to be ascertained. His departure

was on the 21st of the First month, ISOo.



Simplicity of Agricultural Operations i)i
the Weed Prairies of Texas.— In their
" weed prairies" the counties of Robertson
and Milam possess a characteristic of the
soil peculiar to themselves. These prairies,
unlike most of those in other localities, are
covered with a thick growth of weeds instead
of grass. These weeds are generally from
teu^to fifteen feet high, and so dense that they
are almost impenetrable to man or horse,
resembling, in some respects, the cane-brakes
of the alluvial region. 'J'he settlers highly
estimate the productive power of the weed
prairies. The soil is chiefly of a light mulatto
colour, and remarkably fertile. In order to
prepare it for cultivation, it is only necessary
to beat down and burn the weeds, after which
the soil is in a condition to receive the seed,
being almost as loose and friable as a bed of
ashes. In planting these prairies, the plough
is seldom used, but, instead of it, the settlers
apply a large spiked roller, usually formed of
a log, with harrow teeth placed at intervals,
so as to form holes when dragged over the
ground. Into those holes the Indian corn is
dropped, and then covered slightly with earth,
which is generally " kicked" over it. The
seed thus "rudely and carelessly planted soon
throws up vigorous blades, which require no
further attention until harvest, e.xcept light
hoeing. — Kennedifs Texas.



THE FRXX3ND.

FIFTH MONTH, 0, 1843.



We have received the first, second and
third numbers of the " Advocate of Peace,"
for the current year, published at Boston



ic opinion, and illustrates the possibility of
settling all national disputes by better means
than the sword.

" 4. Resolved, That the general peace of
Christendom for nearly thirty years, longer
than had been known before since the com-
mencement of the Christian era, is owing
mainly to the efforts and influences which
together constitute the cause of peace; and
such success from the small amount of means
hitherto used, calls for devout gratitude to the
God of peace, and strongly encourages a large
increase of exertions in behalf of this grcLit
philanthropic enterprise.

" 5. Resolved, That peace, as a pioneer or
auxiliary to all efforts for the good of mankind
deserves the support especially of those who
are embarked in other enterprises of benevo-
lence and reform.

" 6. Resolved, That, since the cause of
universal and permanent peace will require
concert among nations, we hail with salisfac
tion and hope the proposal for a Geneia
Conference on the subject in Loudon next
June.

"7. Resolved, That relying for ultimate
success mainly on the education of the youn
in the pacific principles of the gospel, we
believe it to be the duty of all preachers, of
all parents, and of teachers in all our
naries of learning, to combine their efforts in
training up such a generation of peace
makers as would spontaneously keep the peace
of the world."

The agent for the Advocate in this city is
A. Flint,°13 North Seventh Street.

Terms. — Single copies fifty cents a year-
five copies to one address, $2 ; fifteen co[)ies,
$.5; forty copies, $10; one hundred copies,
$20. At the same rate, any number for gene-
ral or gratuitous distribution; cheaper even
than tracts. Any person sending -Si, for two
new subscribers, shall receive a copy gratis,
for the year.

After the article headed " Yearly Meet-
ing," inserted last week, was partly in type,
wc received another communication on the



same subject. On reflection, we have con-
cluded to insert the latter in the present num-
ber, for though essentially concurrent with ihe
former, it will, we apprehend, be read with in-
terest as a sketch by another witness of a sea-
son of favour and refreshment that will Ion"
be memorable in the minds of many.

We should be glad to cultivate a further
acquaintance with the author of " Reflections
by my mother's bedside,"



Online LibraryRobert SmithThe Friend : a religious and literary journal (Volume 16) → online text (page 95 of 154)