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William Evans.

The Friends' library : comprising journals, doctrinal treatises, and other writings of members of the religious Society of Friends (Volume 1) online

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for your testimony to the Truth in all things,
and especially against the antichristian yoke
of tithes, for which many have not only suf-
fered great spoiling of their goods, but im-
prisonment unto death, and received the crown
of life. O ! if all who have been called to
this testimony had stood firm and true therein,
God would have wrought for his people more
abundantly — but unbelief makes a long wil-
derness, and it is well if some die not in it,
and never see the promised land."

About two days before her decease, she
gave much good advice to her grandchildren
and servants, and thus addressed her husband ;
" My dear, thou hast spent much time and
strength in serving the cause of Truth and thy
friends ; thy reward with God is sure. I never
grudged thy absence in that good service; and
if it now be the time of our parting, as I think
it will, I desire thee to free thyself from the
things of the world as much as may be, that
thou mayest, with the more freedom, pursue
thy honourable service for Truth to the end of
thy days. I trust the Lord will give thee
strength to travel again, and warn all, but es-
pecially the rich, to keep low, and not be high
minded ; for humility and holiness are the
badge of our profession. God Almighty keep
us all, low and humble — it is a safe and bless-
ed state. One thing I beg of thee — give me
up freely to the Lord. The Lord joined us
and gave us to each other, let us bless his
name if he now take us from each other, as



to the outward — this is all ; for our joining in
spirit remains forever. O ! therefore, let me
go easy out of this world, where I have had a
great share of trouble many ways, as thou
knowest, and go to that haven of rest, where
I have a full assurance of entering."

A little before she died she was attacked
with fainting; and after reviving, observed, "I
was glad, thinking I was going to my eternal
rest, without disturbance." Again, she said,
" I have both a sight and sense of eternal rest
with God in the world to come ; and therefore,
I labour hard to be swallowed up in immortal
life, and to be made possessor of that rest,
which cannot be disturbed, where sorrow will
cease forever. O ! my soul, this is thy glo-
rious portion, therefore bless thou the Lord
and wait patiently his appointed season."

Soon after she desired to be raised up in the
bed, and her pains increasing, she grew very
weak and faint, and observed, " Methinks I
grow weak and cold — my hands and feet are
very cold, but my heart is strong, and before
it yields I must meet with sharper pains than
I have yet felt. My God has hitherto laid a
gentle hand upon me."

A while after her sufferings being great, she
said " This pain is hard to flesh and blood,
but must be endured a little time ; ease and
eternal rest are at hand — I am glad death is
so near. Remember me to all my dear babes
and grandchildren — I shall behold them no
more with these eyes-— God Almighty bless
them all, and make them his children, that I
may enjoy them forever in the heavens above.
Neither shall I see my sons and daughter —
Ah ! my prodigal son, what shall I do for
him ! I have prayed and longed for his return —
the time may come ; God grant it may, but I
shall not see it in my time. He is my son,
the son of a godly father, [her former hus-
band,] and therefore I cannot but love him.
Tell him, it is his immortal soul's well-being
for which I am concerned — not so much for
his outward state here ; for that, however
miserable, will quickly end ; but the misery
of the soul, separated from God, will never
end. And, my dear, though our counsel has
not had the desired effect, yet I do entreat
thee to remain a father to him, and counsel
him again and again — leave him not to run
on in the way of misery, but labour and pray
for his return. My love is to his wife; I desire
she may mind heavenly things ; and I pray
God to bless their offspring, that they may
walk in the footsteps of their grandfather, who
is gone to his eternal rest."

The day of her death being that of the
Monthly Meeting, many Friends came to visit
her, to whom she expressed, with much fer-
vency, her joy and comfort in the salvation of



MEMOIR OF THOMAS CAMM.



479



God, his peace and perfect redemption. Ob-
serving some of them to weep, she said, " Be
not concerned for me; all is well — I have only
death to encounter, and the sting of it is wholly
taken away — the grave has no victory, and
my soul is ascending above all sorrow and
pain. Let me go freely to my heavenly man-
sion — disturb me not in my passage."

She then desired the Friends present to go
to meeting, adding, " Let me not hinder the
Lord's business, but let it be chief in your
minds, and faithfully done by you all, that at
the end you may receive your reward. Mine
is sure — I have not been negligent, and my
day's work is done."

Apprehending that the hand of death was
upon her, and finding her pain increased, she
earnestly besought the Lord to help her through
the last conflict; saying, " O my God — O my
God, thou hast not forsaken me — blessed be
thy name, forever. O my blessed Lord and
Saviour, who suffered for me and for all man-



kind, great pains in thy holy body upon the
cross, remember nae, thy poor handmaid, in
this my great bodily affliction. My trust is in
thee — my hope is in thee only, my dear Lord.
O come, come, dear Lord Jesus, come quickly
and receive my soul. To thee 1 yield it up —
help me now, in my bitter pangs."

Her husband now kneeled down by her and
prayed that the Lord would make her passage
easy, and their prayers were graciously heard
and answered. She had no more severe pain,
but gently drew her breath shorter and shorter.
She observed, that it was good to leave all to
the Lord ; and calling upon those present,
said, " O pray — pray — pray" — and so fell
asleep in Jesus, in a good old age, being in
her seventy-ninth year. She died the 30th
of the ninth month, 1705, and was honoura-
bly buried the 3d of the following month ; her
remains being accompanied to the ground by
many ancient Friends and others from thir-
teen of the adjacent meetings.



MEMOIR OF

, THOMAS CAMM,

A MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL, OP CAMSGILL, IN WESTMORELAND.



Thomas Camm, husband of Anne Camm,
was born at Camsgill, in Westmoreland, in
the year 1641. Both his parents were mem-
bers of the religious Society of Friends, dis-
tinguished for their piety, integrity and godly
concern for their children. Besides the ad-
vantage of their counsel and of being instructed
in the religious principles of his parents, the
circumspection of their example made a lasting
impression on his youthful mind. Through
these means, and the visitations of Divine
Grace, he was imbued with religious senti-
ments from childhood, and took delight in the
company of the most serious people, earnestly
seeking after heaven and heavenly things.
As he grew up, his understanding was di-
vinely enlightened to perceive, that great as
was the blessing of a guarded education in
sound religious principles, yet it would not be
availing without the heart was regenerated and
sanctified by the operations of the Holy Spirit.

Being thus mercifully visiied, he counted
nothing too dear to part with, but cheerfully
took up his cross, and followed his Divine
Master. He was often engaged in retirement



and reverent waiting on the Lord to know his
will ; and as he endured the necessary bap-
tisms, at length experienced that purification
of heart which his soul longed after.

Having witnessed the blessed fruits of obe-
dience to the Spirit of Christ, he was called to
testify to others what God had done for his
soul. The Lord who called him to the work
of the ministry, qualified him therefor; en-
duing him with heavenly wisdom and discern-
ment, to divide the word of life to the states
of those among whom he laboured. His doc-
trine was sound, not delivered in the enticing
words which man's wisdom teachcth, but in
the authority of heavenly power, by which he
was made instrumental to awaken and turn
many into the way of righteousness. He was
freely given up to serve the Lord — travelling
extensively to proclaim the glad tidings of sal-
vation, ajid to call people from a dependance
on external performances, to the heart-chang-
ing power of Christ's spirit in themselves. He
also had his share of sufferings, by imprison-
ments, spoiling of goods, mockings and scoff-
ings from the ungodly, and the unfaithfulness



480



MEMOIR OF THOMAS CAMM.



and reviling of false brethren, which he boi-e
with meekness and patience.

In the year 1674, he was sued for small
tithes and oblations, by John Ormrod, the
priest of Burton, and by a writ obtained for
the purpose, was imprisoned at Kendal. Here
he was detained in close confinement for nearly
three years; and afterwards was again thrown
into the county jail at Appleby, where he lay
for six years.

In 16T8, after the last conventicle act came
in force, a justice of the peace sent informers
to a meeting of Friends held at Ackonthwaite,
and upon their evidence convicted several
persons, without summoning them before him,
or examining into the case. He immediately
issued warrants of distraint against them, un-
seen and unheard, and sent the officers to levy
on their property. In virtue of this illegal
and unrighteous proceeding, nine head of
cattle, and fifty-five sheep were taken from
Thomas Camm, for preaching at the meeting.
When the officers complained to the justice
that they could not sell some of the cattle,
many persons being unwilling to buy what
was so dishonestly obtained, he charged them
to sell for any price they could obtain, and
seize more from Thomas to make up the de-
ficiency, telling them, that if they did not raise
all the fine from him, they should pay it out
of their own pockets.

Shortly after this another distraint was
made upon his property, by warrant from the
same justice, professedly for the fines of a
preacher at one of their meetings, who was
declared in the warrant to have fled the
county and his residence to be unknown. So
far was this from being true, that Thomas
Dowcra, the preacher alluded to, went to the
justice's house after the meeting, and left his
name, with information that he lived at Swarth-
more, near Ulverstone, in Lancashire ; that
he was of ability to suffer for his own fine,
and therefore desired it might not be imposed
upon others. But Justice Wilson and his
aids, regardless of this, chose to seek their
gain from one nearer at hand, and from whom
they could more conveniently wrest their un-
just demands.

These sufferings, however oppressive and
illegal, Thomas Camm endured with fortitude
and patience. Instead of shrinking from the
discharge of duty in consequence of these
trials, he nobly maintained his ground, re-
joicing that he was counted worthy, not only
to believe in Christ, but also to suffer for his
name sake.

He was well qualified for administering the
Discipline of the church, being himself a good
example in conduct and conversation, and fer-
vent in his labours to promote among Friends, a



demeanour answerable to their high profession.
Actuated by a well tempered and godly zeal,
he steadfastly withstood that contentious spirit,
which sought to lay waste the tender care of
Friends over each other, and to foment discord
and divisions in the church. Yet with meek-
ness of wisdom, as a tender father, he en-
couraged the fearful, strengthened the weak,
and comforted the mourners, proving himself
a faithful steward of the manifold grace of
God. Being a man of peace, he laboured to
promote it among men of all ranks and classes ;
and his kind and gentle disposition won for
him the respect of the virtuous wherever he
was known.

When far advanced in years, and afflicted
with the infirmities consequent on old age, and
the sufferings and hardships he had endured,
his zeal for religion and his unfeigned love for
the brethren, abated not ; but he engaged in
repeated visits to different parts of the nation.

The last journey of this kind which he per-
formed, was into Lancashire, Yorkshire, and
through his native county of Westmoreland;
from which he returned on the 17th of the
eleventh month, 1707, O. S., to the residence
of his son-in-law, John Moore, at Eldworth.
Soon after reaching this place, he had a re-
turn of a disorder to which he had for years
been subject, and the pain being violent he
could take but little food, nor obtain natural
sleep, the want of which rapidly impaired his
strength. He was however favoured with re-
signation ; and in the prospect of a glorious
immortality could rejoicingly say, " to me to
live is Christ, and to die is gain."

He often remarked, " I neither desire to live
nor to die, but am well contented, however it
shall please the Lord to order it." " If the
Lord see meet, and has any further service for
me to do, it is easy for him to raise me up
again — but his will be done — I am very well
content, I bless the Lord." As he drew to-
wards the close of life, the retrospect of his
past labours and sufferings in the cause of his
Divine Master, afforded him comfort; "I have
great peace and satisfaction," said he on one
occasion, " in that I have done the will of God.
I do not know that I have much more to do —
the time of my departure seems to draw nigh,
and I am well satisfied. I bless the Lord that
I can say with the apostle, ' I have fought a
good fight; I have finished my course; I have
kept the faith — henceforth there is laid up for
me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord
the righteous Judge shall give me at that day,
and not to me only, but to them also that love
his appearing.' "

Sitting alone one day in his chamber, his
son-in-law came in and asked how he felt, to
which he replied, " I am weak in body, but



MEMOIR OF THOMAS CAMM.



481



strong in the inner man; blessed be the Lord,
who hath been my support and strength hith-
erto." Soon after he proceeded ; " I have
been pondering in my mind, and meditating
on the unspeakable mercies and loving kind-
nesses of God, extended to me all my life long,
even to this very day. — Wonderful, indeed,
that such a poor feeble creature as I, should
be enabled to hold out through the many trials,
travels and sufferings, both inward and out-
ward, which have fallen to my lot. It has in-
deed been the Lord's doings, who is, and has
all along been, my buckler and my shield.
He shall have the praise and glory of all, for
He alone is worthy of it, forever and forever
more."

As he was walking over the floor of his
chamber one evening, leaning on his son-in-
law's arm, he perceived his limbs to tremble
under him, from increased weakness; on which
he remarked, "Dear John, when the pillars of
the house begin to tremble, there is feebleness
indeed ; — but, blessed are they who, when this
earthly tabernacle is ready to be dissolved, do
assuredly know that they have a habitation
eternal in the heavens, whose builder and
maker the Lord is — of which, for my part,
I bless the Lord, I am well satisfied."

About a week before his decease, several of
his grandchildren being in the room with him,
he said to them, " I think I must now leave
you. If the Lord had seen meet to spare me
a little longer, I might have been of service to
you in counsel and advice. But the Lord, the
great and wise Counsellor, will not be wanting
to you in counsel, as you have your eye to
Him above all things. I love you entirely,
and may the blessing of the Lord rest upon
you, if it be his will."

On another occasion he said, " Faith and
patience, hope and charity, are excellent vir-
tues ; may the Lord endue his children more
and more therewith." His weakness being so
great as to make it difficult to get his clothes
on or off, he remarked to those who were as-
sisting him, "Dear children, you have a great
deal of trouble about me, — may the Lord be
your reward. You will see that a little time
will put an end to all these troubles, and a
happy end it will be for me — I doubt it not
at all."

His eldest grand-daughter standing by him,
he took her hand and said, " Dear Anna, the
Lord will reward thee for thy care and pains
about me." Observing that she was much af-
fected at the prospect of losing so near and
dear a relative, he proceeded, "Death will not

Vol. I.— No. 12.



be said nay — but it will be well with me ; the
enemy cannot touch me. The Lord who hath
been with me, and borne up my spirit through
and over all the various exercises and trials of
my time, will be with me to the end — there is
no doubt of it."

The heavenly tranquillity and joy which he
was permitted to feel, occasioned him at times
to break forth in praises and thanksgivings to
the Most High, his heart appearing to be filled
with melody. On one occasion he said, " I
have served the Lord in sincerity with all my
heart, and with all my soul, and with all my
strength; hallelujah — hallelujah — hallelujah to
his name ;" — and so went on magnifying the
Lord, to the tendering of those present. Af-
terward he called on his son-in-law and some
others present, saying, " Bear me record, that
I die in perfect unity with the brethren. My
love is as firm and true as ever, in our Lord
Jesus Christ, the Author of our salvation."
On being asked how he was, he would reply,
" Weak of body, but strong in the Lord — in
Abraham's bosom there is sweet repose."

Two days before he died, appearing very
(flint, some wine was given him, as a cordial
to revive his declining strength ; but his sto-
mach would not retain it; on which he cheer-
fully said to his son-in-law, " Thou seest these
things will not do ; but one cup of new wine
in the heavenly kingdom v^ith my dear and
blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, will
make up all."

His end being now apparently very near,
he said, " I hope the Lord, who has been my
helper in many straits and difficulties, will also
help me now." Taking one of his little grand-
children upon his knees, he affectionately em-
braced and kissed her, saying, " God Almighty
bless thee — the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and
of Jacob, bless thee and make thee happy, if
it be his will." After this he laid down and
continued in a very calm and sweet frame of
mind, and gently drawing his breath shorter,
without any struggle or disturbance, his re-
deemed spirit departed to the mansions of
eternal glory and blessedness, on the 13th of
the first month, 1707-8. He was in the sixty-
seventh year of his age.

On the 16th of the same month, his remains
were interred in Friends' burial-ground at
Park-end, Preston Patrick, near Camsgill, ac-
companied by a large concourse of people
out of several adjoining counties, who assem-
bled on the occasion, with evident marks of
sorrow for the loss of so worthy and useful a
man.



61



THE END OF VOLUME FIRST.



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Online LibraryWilliam EvansThe Friends' library : comprising journals, doctrinal treatises, and other writings of members of the religious Society of Friends (Volume 1) → online text (page 105 of 105)