M. E Smith.

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Farewell Address

to , , .


o/. . .


Jg M M


by Direction o/

^he Meeting for Sufferings
of Ohio Yearly Meeting

5th Mo. 31st, 1904











. . TO


IN . .



Press of the

Republican, Barnesville, O

19 4


Dear Friends,

BEING about to return to my native land, I believe it will
contribute to my peace, if I salute you in this way, and express
a little of those feelings with which I have been often seriously
impressed during m}^ sojourning amongst you. Although I
have traveled about five thousand miles, and attended a great
many meetings in America, there are many settlements of
friends, and probably thousands who are members of our re-
ligious society, where it has not been within the limits of my
concern to go, and whose faces, of course, I have never seen.
Notwithstanding these circumstances, I have known no bounds
to my solicitude and frequent, earnest desire, that, however my
dear Brethren may be outwardly scattered over this vast con-
tinent, they may be all built on the one only true foundation,
and inwardly gathered to the one Shepherd, and into the one
only true sheepfold; that so, as a people, we may continue to be
one indiscipline, in faith, and doctrine; harmoniously labouring
together, that the pure testimonies of truth maintained by our
worthy predecessors, may be handed down unsullied to poster-
ity; that so, ages to come and generations yet unborn, may be
encouraged to build on the same sure foundation, Christ Jesus,
the eternal rock of ages; who b}^ the inward revelation of his
power, can and will, as we are obedient, and as far as is need-
ful for us in the way and work of salvation, unfold, from time
to time, the mysterious operation of his redeeming love and
power. My mind hath been often deeply tried while my lot
hath been cast in this land, under the painful consideration,
that there are many in our day^ who are soaring with airj^ no-
tions far above the simplicity of the truth as it is in Jesus, and
who are endeavouring to climb up some other way than that
in which the way-faring men though fools (as to this world's
wisdom) shall not err. But it remains a truth, "that he that
entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up

— 2-


some other way, the same is a thief and a robber." There is
no way to the Father but by the Son, nor is there any know-
ledge of the Father but through the Son, agreeably to our
lyord's declaration — "I am the w^ay, and the truth, and the life,
no man conieth unto the Father but by me. ' ' This can never
be comprehended by the carnal mind, which is enmity against
God: and no marvel that those who are in this state are enquir-
ing with one formerly "how can these things be?"

The longer I live the more I am confirmed in my belief, that
if we are ever favoured to understand the mystery of the redeem-
ing love of God in Christ Jesus, we must cease from our own
works, and be brought into a teachable state, by the inward
operation of the power of the Lord, and there learn the first
rudiments of christian experience. These appear to me to be
very simple, and it only wants simplicity on our parts to be-
come proficients in this school. If we attend to the inwardly
revealed power of him, who came to save us from the dominion
of sin here, and from the guilt and punishment due to sin in an
hereafter state, we shall have no need to go to man for instruc-
tion herein. If the sincere prayer of our souls be, "Lord, that
our eyes may be opened," he who is full of compassion will un-
fold to our understanding what our state by nature is, and how
we may be delivered from the hand of our souls' enemy. Here
we shall be favoured to see that our "Redeemer is strong, the
Lord of hosts is his name. ' ' He shall thoroughly plead our
cause that he may "give rest to the land, and disquiet the in-
habitants of Babylon." And for want of our coming under
this awakening work, which a religion of tradition and educa-
tion can never accomplish, many I fear are great strangers to
themselves, and to the principles of pure religion; and although
they may have known enough of the anointing to enable them
to see "men as trees walking," yet for want of a due submis-
sion of their wills to the divine will, they have taken up a rest
short of the true rest, and so become dwarfs in religious exper-
ience, and are endeavoring to seek an easier way to the king-
dom than by the cross; hence often arises vain jangling about
words to no profit, and a propensity to dispute about, more
than to obey, the precepts of the everlasting gospel of our Lord
and Saviour Jesus Christ. Those who have been truly awaken-

ed to a sense of their need of a Saviour, those who have been
convinced of the necessity of repentance from dead works, be-
fore they can be brought into a capacity to serve the living
God, will be constrained to walk in deep humility before him,
and be enabled frequently to pray, Lord, increase my faith, and
the things I know not teach thou me: Here all high notions of
ourselves and of our attainments will be brought low, and laid
down at^ the feet of Jesus. When the mind is brought into this
prepared state, the mystery of redeeming love will be so clearly
understood, that the carnal enquiry, "Is not this the carpenter,
the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses and of Juda,
and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?" will be heard
no more; but in reverent abasement we shall be led to admire
the goodness of Him, who "so loved the world that he gave
his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should
not perish, but have everlasting life." We shall then feel and
know ' 'that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto him-
self, ' ' and that beautiful description given of him by the apos-
tle Paul in his epistle to the Philippians, will prove an unfail-
ing source of consolation, when the poor mind may be tossed
with tempest and not comforted, and is under the discouraging
prospect, that there are man}' in our day who are endeavouring
to invalidate the truths of the gospel, and who are denying the
Divinity of the son of God. The apostle speaking of him, says
— "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to
be equal with God. But made himself of no reputation and
took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the like-
ness of man, and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled
himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of
the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and
given him a name, which is above every name, that at the
name of Jesus, every knee should bow, of things in heaven
and things in earth, and things under the earth. And that
every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the
glory of God the Father. " Earnest indeed is the solicitude of
of my soul that we, in an especial manner as a religious society,
may remain unmoved in these ancient doctrines of the gospel,
and be enabled "to hold fast the profession of our faith with-
out wavering. ' '


I have been much exercised on account of those who are en-
gaged amongst us in the work of the ministry, that they all
may have the blessed experience of these things in themselves,
avoiding all ambiguous expressions in the exercise of their
gifts, "and holding fast the form of sound words," that so none
may attempt to appear wise above what is written. There have
been instances where individuals not abiding in the low valley
of humility have soared above the preserving principle, and
lost their gifts; and were these to minister from the rising of
the sun to the going down of the same, the church would not
be edified by their labours ; and however such may become vain
in their imaginations or high in their conceit of superior at-
tainments, however they may endeavour to explain the way of
man's redemption, and salvation, they will only be like such
who beat the air, and perhaps ultimately be found amongst
those who are stumbling blocks in the way of serious enquirers.
How forcible are the expressions of the apostle — First "no man
taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as
was Aaron." "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles
of God." If any minister let him do it as of the ability which
God giveth, that "God in all things may be glorified through
Jesus Christ." If we speak from the ability which God giveth,
we shall never contradict the outward testimony of the holy
scriptures in any of the fundamental doctrines they contain. —
We shall never reduce them to an allegory, so as to explain
away any of the benefits intended by the coming and death of
Christ Jesus, but we shall be enabled nobly to contend for the
"faith which was once delivered unto the saints," and which is
precious to all those who are rightly acquainted with its leaven-
ing operation. We shall not then be ashamed to acknowledge,
that it is "not by works of righteousness which we have done,
but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of re-
generation and by the renewing of the Holy Ghost." Then the
doctrine of a crucified Saviour will be precious to ourselves,
and in the overflowings of that divine love which is the spring
of all right gospel ministry, the ultimate end of all our labors
will be to invite others, to "behold the Lamb of God which
taketh away the sin of the world," to inculcate, as ability is mer-
cifully vouchsafed, that there is not salvation in any other; that


there is "none other name under heaven, given among men,
whereby we must be saved, bvit by the name of Jesus," which
remains to be as ointment poured forth, and for the savour
whereof the virgins love him. Thus would the ministry bright-
en amongst us; there would then be no divinations of our own
or any cause administered for the enemies of truth to triumph,
and charge us (as is now frequently the case) with holding
doctrines inconsistent with the plain truths of the gospel. I
would therefore tenderly recommend to all who are engaged
in the work of the ministry, to be frequent in the perusal of the
holy scriptures, not that they may become ministers of the let-
ter, but that they may be enabled to understand with clearness,
the many precious and corresponding testimonies in the old
and new testaments concerning the coming and office of Christ
Jesus our Lord; that so we may strengthen the hands one of
another, to maintain the ancient doctrines of our religious so-
cietv, and be firm in our testimony against the insidious inroads
of infidelity' in all its disguised forms — We have been often ac-
cused of allegorising away the offering of Christ; that he came
only to end the Jewish dispensation, and to become an example
of righteousness; when our Avorthy predecessors maintained,
and all who are living in the principle of truth, in the present
day maintain, that our blessed Lord offered himself up on Cal-
varv's mount, an holy propitiatory sacrifice for our sins and the
sins of the whole world, and that we have "redemption through
his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:" and this agrees not on-
ly with the ancient prophecies concerning him, but with the
testimonies of the apostles in the purest age of the christian
church. The prophet Isaiah in allusion to the offering of Christ,
says, "He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows, yet
we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But
he was wounded for our transgression, he was bruised for our
iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and
with his stripes arc we healed. All we, like sheep, have gone
astrav, we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord
hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and
he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he is brought as
a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is
dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison


and from judguient; and who shall declare his generation? for
he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression
of my people was he stricken," The apostle Paul in his espis-
tle to the Galatians expresses himself in this feeling language,
"Grace be to 3^ou and peace from God the Father, and from our
Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins." The apostle
John declares, "He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for
ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." — "Who
his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree," said
Peter. I might multiply examples of this kind to a length that
would far exceed the limits I propose. The writings of our an-
cient friends are replete with similar testimonies, indeed there
is scarcely one to be selected in which it may not be found.
And I earnestly recommend my dear brethren and sisters of
every rank, and of every age, to be more conversant with the
writings of our worthy predecessors. We have many advan-
tages, and I wish it may be our concern to improve them to our
present and everlasting interest; that so the lamentation may
never be taken up concerning any of us — "My people are
destroyed for lack of knowledge. ' '

I have felt much concerned as I have passed along, for those
who are parents, that they may be brought into a capacity to
train up their children in the "nurture and admonition of the
Lord." Great indeed is the responsibility of those in this sta-
tion. And should any be more concerned for their children's
advancement in wordly things, than to see them attain to an es-
tablishment in the truth, what a fearful account will these have
to render in a day that is approaching. I have thought that
the careless manner in which part of the first day of the week
is spent by many, frequently in loitering about, and in unnec-
essary, and very unprofitable visiting; the very great neglect of
collecting families together at suitable opportunities for the
purpose of reading the holy scriptures, and other useful publi-
cations, and for the mutual help and edification of each other,
have had a strong tendency to produce increasing lukewarm-
ness to our religious testimonies, and have been an incalculable
injury to the rising generation; many of whom have lost the
mark, that in a great many instances which have come under
my notice since I have been among you, I had no apprehension

that they were under our name; and from what I have seen and
felt in many places, I have no doubt but it has proceeded from
the negligence of parents, in that wholesome and timely re-
straint of their children, that would have redounded to the
peace of their own minds, and to the present and everlasting
happiness of their tender offspring. Were we, who are par-
ents, enough concerned to instruct our children in the law of
the Lord, and do as they were commanded to do under a former
dispensation, viz. "Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy
soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes
have seen, and lest they depart from thine heart all the days of
thy life; but teach them thy sons, and thy son's sons," — were
we thus concerned for the everlasting salvation of our own
souls, and the souls of our offspring, I believe many parents
would be stirred up to greater diligence, and more would mourn
over the deviations from plainness of habit and manners so ob-
vious in their children. There may be instances of rebellious
children who will not take counsel, but I have no doubt, from
my own experience, that much may be done to "prepare the
way of the Lord," in the youthful mind; and by neglecting the
proper opportunity, parents are instrumental to prepare the
way of the enemy and the destroyer. What concern can those
parents have in these things, or what hope of exercising any
proper restraint upon their children in a future day, who deck
and adorn them even in infancy, with apparel wholly incon-
sistent with our profession of plainness and simplicity? If we
wish to train up our children in the way they should walk, it
must be done by early and diligent care, by timely subjecting
their will to prudent and christian restraint in divers respects.
I believe there hav^e been few more fruitful sources of the de-
viation of our youth, than that of parents suffering them to
associate with improper company, and to be too frequently
from under their notice. The propensity of many who are
the heads of families, to visiting, and being visited, very often
to the neglect and obstruction of their own domestic concerns,
and the scattering of their minds from all that is serious, has
produced similar habits in their children, and which I have no
doubt in many instances have been a fruitful source of pain to
both at a season when their habits have been so confirmed that


it was difficult to find a retreat. By this habit of what is called
visiting, much precious time is wasted, frequently many things
neglected at home, and an inducement excited to much nicety
and sometimes great extravagance in dress, &c. Hereby many
unprofitable acquaintances have been formed with persons ac-
cidently met with where they visit, and in some instances ruin
to families or to the unguarded youth has ensued. I have no
wish to prevent a profitable and friendly intercourse and inter-
change of sentiments one with another, but I do believe, that
were we living under the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, we
should be more willing to submit to its restraints, and our con-
duct and countenances would more evince that we had been
with him. Time at most is very short to us all, for the great
and important business of our day, and those who have large
families committed to their care, had need to husband their
time well to discharge their duty in all its branches, so that
they may feel clear of the blood of their tender offspring in the
awful day of account. I greatly long that our "sons may be as
plants grown up in their youth, and our daughters as corner
stones, polished after the similitude of a palace," that so there
may be a succession of standard bearers in our society, and that
the cause of truth may prosper in their day. As a father, and
as a friend, I affectionately intreat the youth to enter early into
covenant with God, to serve him all their days; the Lord loveth
an early sacrifice, and has graciously promised, that "those that
seek me early shall find me. ' ' I much desire that the minds of
our youth may be early imbued with the christian principles of
our religious society; that so they may become proof against
the antichristian doctrines so prevalent in the world. I remem-
ber the apostle's advice to the Colossians, and it may be very
suitable counsel for us in the present day; "Beware lest any
man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the
traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not af-
ter Christ: For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead
bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all
principality and power. ' ' And if the rising generation could
be encouraged to enlist under his holy banner, I have no doubt
but that judges would be raised up as at the first and counsel-
ors as at the beginning, and so the waist places in our borders


would be repaired: and however gloomy things may appear in
some places, I have no doubt in niy mind but that the Lord
^11 in his own time bless the dust of Sion and satisfy all her
poor with bread: That he will give his church, the heathen for
an inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for a pos-
session. I have sometimes believed that the Lord will raise up
from among the rising generation, those who may be gifted for
the promotion of this great and good work. I feel ver>' tender-
ly for the youth among us, and know that in many places there
are neither, "nursing fathers, " nor "nursing mothers," but if
they are in good earnest concerned to "seek the Lord and his
strength, he will supply all their need, and fulfil his promise,
"I will be a father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and my
daughters, saitli the Lord Almighty." Come then ye dear
young people, and enter into covenant with the God of our
fathers. Remember the advice David gave unto his son Solo-
mon — "Thou Solomon, my son, know thou the God of thy
father, and serve him with a perfect heart, and with a willing
mind; if thou seek him, he will be found of thee, but if thou
forsake him he will cast thee off forever, ' ' By your thus seek-
ing you will be favoured to find, for the gracious promise re-
mains in full force, "Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall
find: knock and it shall be opened unto you." The retrospect
of early dedication to the Lord's service will afford more conso-
lation in a dying hour, than all the possessions of the perishing
things of time. I have secretly mourned many times, and in
many places, since my lot hath been cast in this land, to see so
many lovely young people giving an unworthy preference to
the things of time, and so much carried away by the follies of a
deluded age, that thus the simplicity truth leads into in dress
and behavior is wholly departed from; and though, in many
instances, this is more chargeable to the negligent parent than
to the inexperienced youth, my desire is, that both parents and
children may let the time past suffice, and that all ranks and
ages among us may heartily enter into the work of individual
reformation, that so every man may be engaged to repair the
breach in the wall before his own house; and if we are thus en-
gaged, I have no doubt but that our society will again put on
her beautiful jrarments and become the admiration of surround-

iiig beholders. The principles we hold are the principles of
Truth, they have long stood the test of investigation: our wor-
ship and discipline are evidently not the product of the contriv-
ance of man, and there is nothing wanting but consistency on
our part, to enable us to hold up to others the inviting and en-
couraging language of the prophet Isaiah, "Look upon Zion,
the city of our solemnities; thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a
quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not
one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any
cords thereof be broken. But there the glorious Lord will be
unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no
galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby. For
the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our law-giver, the Lord is
our King, he will save us, ' ' And in order that these precious ex-
periences may be yours, I affectionately salute all ranks among
you, and in gospel love fervently desire that you mind your
calling, brethren; for as we are all engaged to mind our calling
and to be faithful to what is committed to our trust, we shall be
enabled to fill our ranks in righteousness, to the praise of his
grace who hath called us unto glory and virtue. A diligent at-
tendance of religious meetings, patient reverent waiting therein
for the renewal of strength, frequent retirement at home, and
frequent perusing the holy scriptures, are duties within our
reach; and as we are found in the exercise of them, I have no
doubt but that He who is rich in mercy to all that call upon
him, will in his own time (which no man can hasten) favour us
with a renewed evidence that we are not forsaken. And that
although we are weak, he remains to be strong, and as we are
obedient to the manifestations of his grace, we shall, through
his power, obtain the victory over the "world, the flesh and the
devil," and be bound together in the bundle of love, and be
thereby strengthened, "to keep the unity of the spirit in the
bond of peace;" till we all come in the unity of the faith, and
of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto
the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." "That we
henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried
about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and
cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive: but
speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things,

— II —

which is the head, even Christ."

Thus, my dear friends, if our eye be kept single in our holy
Head, we shall come to know an establishment on the ancient
foundation that standeth sure; be preserved amidst all the chang-


Online LibraryM. E SmithLove and liking : a novel (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 2)