William Evans.

The Friends' library: comprising journals, doctrinal treatieses, & other writings of members of the religious Society of Freinds online

. (page 69 of 104)
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mind." Yet I believe it to be consistent for
me to stand and plead for the precious privi-
leges we enjoy, as a religious Society, and to
testify against that disorganizing spirit, which
seeks to gain its ends by clamour and might,
rather than by consistency and justice. Nor
are the innovations in doctrine less afiecting
than those in practice; witness the endeavours
used to level the character of our Lord Jesus
Christ, the Messiah, with that of frail man,
and to make the cross of Christ of none ef-
fect ; as may be seen in the printed sermons
before alluded to, as well as repeated asser-
tions made in private as well as public dis-
courses ; and at times by persons, who per-
haps do not wish to derogate from the truths
of the Gospel ; but who catch at ideas uttered
by others, and do not consider or perceive the
unsoundness of them. I would therefore re-
commend a careful perusal of the epistles of
the apostles, and the historical account of the
birth, life, miracles, sufierings, death, resur-
rection and ascension of Jesus Christ, the Son
of God, and it will appear that the wisdom of

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mah is foolishness with God. If any reject
these writings, they are more inconsistent
than Mahometans; for no true Musselman
will reject the Koran, which, with all its in-
consistencies, they rely upon to prove that
Mahomet was a true prophet. It is far from
my intention to compare the religion of our
Lord Jesus Christ with that of Mahomet ; hut
merely to show the great inconsistency of the
professed Christian, who doubts the contents
of his Bible. The religion of Mahomet is
fraught with inconsistencies, and was designed
to advance man in worldly grandeur ; but the
religion taught by our blessed Saviour has a
contrary efllect; it teaches, that in deep humili-
ty, man may glorify his Creator, and become a
partaker of the mercy and goodness of a just
and merciful God, in and by his dear Son,
Jesus Christ ; for as the law came by Moses,
so grace and truth come by him ; whose suf-
ferings and death on the cross, not only dis-
annulled the hand writing of ordinances, but
was the bringing in of a better hope, whereby
we witness, that we now live under the new
covenant spoken of by the divinely inspired
prophet, under which we know that our Teach-
er is not removed into a corner; and that this
teacher is Jesus Christ, by his holy Spirit, has
always been and is the belief of all true
Friends. The true Christianas faith rests upon
the one great propitiatory sacrifice, ofllered
upon the cross; as Christ gave himself for
us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity,
and purify unto himself a peculiar people,
zealous of good works. And that this re-
demption is necessary, is evident to all, as we
become sensible that we are by nature prone
to evil and to wrath; for how else can we
keep the commandments of Christ, in doing
good for evil, loving our enemies, ^c. Such
as believe in him, and are baptized by him,
through the operation of his power, represent-
ed by John Baptist, as the Holy Ghost and
fire, witness redemption from the evil nature
which we inherit from Adam.

Sophistry and unbelief may argue against
plain Scripture proof; but is it candid or hon-
ourable, is there sincerity, in claiming the
name of Christians, whilst using means to
lessen the character, and denying the power
of Jesus Christ, who is acknowledged by all
true believers, to be him spoken of by the pro-
phet; upon whose shoulders the government
was to be, and whose name is called Wonder-
ful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting
Father and Prince of peace. Therefore, my
dear friends, believe not the allegorizingsr or
the sophistry of the unbeliever, lest you be
spoiled by that philosophy, which the apostle
and servant of Jesus Christ terms vain ; but
try yourselves, prove yourselves, know ye not

your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in
you, except ye be reprobates.

During a visit made in the year 1832, to
some of the meetings of Philadelphia Yearly
Mating, he writes as follows, viz :

« Maufield. Ninth month lit, 1832.
"Truly, I think an awful responsibility
rests upon some of the promoters of the
schism. They have come out in open viola*
tion of the commands of Him, whose king*
dom is not of this world, and whose senrants
cannot use violence, even to secure to them-
selves their civil rights. The humble faith-
ful followers of the Lamb, whose all^ianoe
to him is pure, are bound to observe the
command, * all things, whatsoever ye woald
that men should do to you, do ye even so to
them.' But Friends have been deprived of
their meeting-houses and other conveniences,
by those who have departed from the faith of
their ancestors. Their fruits manifest of
whom they are, and from whence their faith
comes. Many who are in their ranks have
been deceived, and are to be pitied, seeing
they are in danger of partaking with them of
the plagues of their self-will, undue liberties
and other hurtful things, the fruits of nnlielief.
If ever the tender minds, who are among
them, partake of the heavenly sap which
flows from the true vine, and bring forth good
fruit, they must come out and be separate
from them ; and that there are tender plants
among them, I have no doubt. Never before
now, whilst contending for the faith once de-
livei^ed to the saints, have I felt more grateful
for the privileges which are to be enjoyed in
our religious Society ; and I esteem it an in-
valuable favour to possess true faith in ' Jesus
of Nazareth, King of the Jews;* who su^red
under Pontius Pilate, who rose again from the
dead, and ever liveth to make intercession for
us, and who is the preserver and protector of
his people."

** Pl«afluit View, New J^ney, Ninth
mouth 15th, 1832.

" Reproof is sometimes administered by
favours unmerited; and whilst thinking of
past omissions and deviations, sufficient, as
Job said, to humble me and cause me to ' re-
pent and abhor myself in dust and ashes,' I
have thankfully to magnify and adore the
majesty of heaven, who fainteth not, nor
groweth weary; but whose hand, plentifully
supplied with blessings, is reached forth libe-
rally to distribute, in order to strengthen and
uphold the feeble, who have no might of their
own. During several successive nights past,
aAer considerable suflering from a pain in
my eye through the day, I have enjoyed re-

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freshiDg sleep, and waked with thankful feel-
ings of peace, flowing gently as a river in my
heart. And although sleep is nature's restor-
ing balm, yet I have at tinoes resisted its re-
newed ofiers, in order to enjoy the comfort of
revived promises to the faithful, recorded in
the Holy Scriptures ; revived, I say, because
they occur to my memory with an evidence,
that they flowed from a Divine, inexhaustible
source, not only to be read, but enjoyed also.
To acknowledge unmerited favours is proper;
but this should be accompanied with humble
resolutions to endeavour to remember them
with desires to give thanks even in tribula-
tion, rejoicing that our Redeemer liveth; a
joy unspeakable and full of glory ; ' for eye
hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it
entered into the heart of man to conceive, the
good things that the Lord hath in store for
them that love and serve him.' These things
are hid from the wise and prudent of this
world; from those who are not willing to
learn of Him, who is meek and low of heart.
Such, relying oo the honours or riches, or
pleasures of the world, are not the babes
to whom they are revealed, and who obtain
their nourisbment fron) the fountain of Divine

188d. The 24th of eleventh month, ac-
companied by John Qumey I set out to visit
Friends of Purchase Quarterly Meeting, and
next day being the first of the week, we weire at
the meeting at Poughkeepsie, and in the after-
noon attended the burial of a young woman,
the last child of a respectable family not
Friends, to which all. the ministers in the
town, without distinction as to profession,
were invited. A meeting was held, in which
several testimonies were borne to the pious
and exemplary life of the d^eased; and the
youth were afiectionately invited to walk in
the ways of religion. It was a solemn time,
in which the distinction of sectarian views
was absorbed in the desire for the religious
welfare of all, and much sympathy was felt
for the bereaved parents, who had followed
the remains of several of their beloved chil-
dren to the silent grave, within a short time.

Second-day morning, rode to Peekskill, and
met a kind reception at the house of James
Brown, where I had not been since the de-
cease of his valuable father, Stephen Brown,
who died a few BK«ths before. He leA borne
in usual health to attend their Quarterly Meet-
ing at Purchase, and was brought home a
eorpse. His removal was not only a sore
bereavement to his family, but also a great
loss to our Soci^y, to whose concerns he was
much devoted, and very liberal in bearing the
necessary expenses for the accommodation of

Friends, having contributed the principal part
of the cost of two meeting«houses in Peeks*
kill ; the first being wrested from Friends by
the Separatists, he cheerfully assisted in erect-
ing the second. We remained at this place
until fourth-day, and were at two meetings,
one of them appointed for the town's-people*
On fourth-day allernoon we rode to the
residence of the late Robert Underbill, whose
widow was absent from home, but the children
entertained us kindly. The house seemed
solitary to me, having spant much time there,
in days past, when the urbanity, cheerfulness
and unfeigned love of dear Robert, rendered
the visits truly pleasant. He was indeed a
valuable Friend, and a firm believer in the
truths of the Gospel. Next day attended
Croton meeting, which, notwithstanding its
reduced numbers, was a good meeting: the
drifl of the ministerial labour, was to encour-
age the little company, from the simile of a
tree which had been divested of its withered
branches, on which new and vigorous shoots
were seen to put forth, that ^urished and
grew and brought forth fruit. AAer this fa-
voured season, we rode to the house of our
ancient friend Moses Sutton, who with his
valued wife, as a father and a mother in Is*
rael, with a few other Friends in this place,
remains firm, steadfast and imnaoveaUe in the
faith of the Gospel, abounding in love uni
feigned, and in dedication to the cause of
Truth. We had a satisfactory meeting next
day, it being held in their house, the meet*
ing-house being taken from them by the Se»

First-day, attended the meeting at Purchase,
and on third-day took our aged friend Samuel
Carpenter, in our carriage, and rode to Rich-
ard Mott's. This was the last visit Samuel
made ta his friends ; he was very feeble in
health, and died soon after, leaving a good
name behind him. On fourth-day we attended
the Monthly Meeting of Purchase held at Ma-
maroneck, on fiflh-day the Monthly Meeting
at Shappaqua, and on sixth-day that at Ama-
walk, and in the evening appointed a meeting
to be held at the house of Moses Smith at
Bedford, expecting to set out in the morning
for Oblong and New Milfbrd. But in the
night I felt my mind turned homewards, my
way seeming closed up from proceeding to-
ward the east, and in the morning we set out
accordingly. When we reached the moun-
tains, we found the snow several inches deep,
whilst below the highlands the ground was
scarcely covered— -the further we rode the
deeper we found it, and were informed that to
the eastward it was so deep, that the roads
would have been impassable with our carriage.
I was thankful for having attended to the im-

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pressioDs made on my mind, which turned me
homeward, fully believing it was the pointing
of the good Shepherd, who put me forth and
continued to guide me through the course of
the visit, and by whose power my mind was
made to sympathise with the few Friends left
to support the Lord's cause in these parts, and
to labour for their encouragement. Not hav-
ing been there since the separation, I found
that Friends were deprived of all the meeting-
houses except at Croton, and led compara-
tively few in number. An awful responsibility
rests upon the individuals who have caused
the devastation ; for many innocent and un-
suspecting minds have been darkened and de-
luded, through the false reasoning and pre-
tensions of those who have departed from the
true faith. Alas ! how deplorable will be
their situation when inquisition for blood shall
be made.

I continued through the winter mostly at
home, the severity of the weather having such
an effect upon my enfeebled frame as to pre-
vent my attending several of our meetings at
Stanford. In the fourth month, 1833, I set
out to attend the Yearly Meeting to be held in
Philadelphia, and taking passage with Philip
Hoag in the steam boats, we reached that city
in nineteen hours from Poughkeepsie. On first*
day was at Newtown meeting, in New Jersey,
where I was comforted in meeting with a
number of my dear wife's relations, among
whom were several young people, who were
commendable in their appearance, and whose
consistent conduct afllbrds hope of a succes-
sion of labourers in the church ; such as are
concerned to keep up their meetings, and sup-
port the testimonies given us as a people to
bear, in this day of great declension from
primitive purity, which is obvious among the
descendants of some of the worthies in our
Society, as well as too generally among other

The Yearly Meeting opened on the 23d,
and in several of the sittings I found strength
afforded, in feelings of much love to the bre-
thren, to labour for the encouragement of the
devoted; and also great freedom in Gospel
love to invite the dear youth to enlist in the
cause of Truth, that so they might be weaned
from the world, and strengthened to breathe
in humble petitions to God omnipotent, for
preservation from its customs and entangle-
ments; for where the power of religion is
submitted to, it prepares us to say respecting
all these, "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity."
The Lord hath no pleasure in the death of
him that dieth, and in great mercy he is
pleased to oflfer life and salvation, even unto
those who are treading the paths whiph lead
down to the chambers of death.

Afler speaking of attending another meet-
ing, he says,

It was not so satisfactory as I could have
desired, through the efforts of some, who
were zealous to press their own views beyond
the true unity, which ever preserves in hu-
mility and a due regard for the judgment of
exercised labourers in the church. I am
more and more confirmed in the belief, that
the wisdom of men is foolishness with God ;
and when relied upon in managing the con-
cerns of the church, frequently leads into
confusion, and as often wounds the unity,
which sweetens labour in the Lord's cause
and makes brethren near and dear unto one

In the eighth month, 1833, with the con-
currence of the Monthly and Quarterly Meet-
ings of Stanford, I left home to perform a visit
to some of the meetings in Pennsylvania and
New Jersey. My health being but poor, and
the cholera prevailing in the city of New York
and some other places, it appeared to my
friends as well as myself a serious engage-
ment ; but believing that the putting forth of
the great Shepherd of the sheep was to be re-
lied upon, I left my dear family and concerns,
without any dread of the consequences, and
proceeded to Poughkeepsie, where I met with
Smith Upton and his devoted wife, Sarah M.
Upton, and her companion, Matilda Coleman,
who had set out to visit Friends in some parts
of Ohio and Indiana. The consideration of
the toil and exposure to which they would be
subjected, in this long journey in the heat of
summer, undertaken from a belief of its being
of Divine requiring, caused me to view my
undertaking with cheerfulness. I arrived in
New York early next morning, and the city
exhibited the gloom of solitude, rather than the
hum of business, which was so observable
when I was here in the fifth month. I took
passage in the steam boat and reached Rail-
way, where I met Richard Hartshome, and
was greeted by him with the cordiality of true
Christian friendship, and in the fellowship of
the Gospel of peace. I entered on the service
which drew me from my home, by attending
their Monthly Meeting held at Plainfield, the
day following the Quarterly Meeting for busi-
ness, and afterward one for worship; in which
meetings the cementing influence of Gottpel
love was very precious, an endearing aflectioQ
engaging the minds of Friends toward each
other, in which they encouraged one another
to press toward the mark of the prize of their
high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

On seventh-day, accompanied by Nathan
Vail, I rode to Kingwood, where a few Friends
reside ; bat the meeting it discontinued — also

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that at Hardwick, and the one formerly held
at Randolph ; nearl^^all the memhers at these
places having led the Society. We had a
meeting at each place, to the encouragement
of the few Friends left. We returned and
had meetings at Plainfield and Rah way, and
then rode to Stony-brook, Trenton and Cross-
wicks, from whence we went to Burlington,
and attended the Quarterly Meeting. Here
Henry Warrington met me, and accompanied
me to all the meetings belonging to the Quar-
ter, except one ; also to the meetings on the
sea coast, belonging to Haddou field Quarter.
At Tuckerton, we lodged at David Mapps', a
coloured man, who with his wife manifested a
commendable zeal for the cause of Truth, and
appeared cheerfully to do what they could to
sustain and encourage their fellow- members,
in supporting the testimonies we have to bear
for the promotion of righteousness and peace;
being at all times ready to open their doors
for the accommodation of those who travel in
the work of the ministry — to me their house
was a quiet resting place. At Haddonfield I
was joined by my brother-in-law, Benjamin
Cooper, who accompanied roe to the meetings
of Haddonfield Quarter; after which we went
to those in Salem Quarter, where I had an
opportunity to sympathize with the dear
Friends who had been engaged to sustain the
doctrines of the Gospel, and to support their
meetings, whilst numbers of their former
friends and associates, who had separated
from Society, regardless of justice, were oc-
cupying their meeting-houses.

Of this journey he has left no further ac-

The diligence and zeal with which our be-
loved friend had laboured in the cause of re-
ligion and virtue, while in the vigor of life,
might have induced the expectation, that the
evening of his day would be passed in quiet
repose ; but as a faithful steward of the gift
committed to his trust by his Divine Master,
he cheerfully resigned himself to the call of
duty; and though in the seventieth year of
his age, set out in the summer of 1834, to
visit his brethren in religious profession, in
Ohio and Indiana ; a service in which he had
the unity and near sympathy of his friends at
home, expressed in the certificates of his
Monthly and Quarterly Meeting.

For some time previous, his health and
strength had obviously declined, and he was
subject to frequent attacks of a very painful
disease, which, with other circumstances, ren-
dered bis leaving home, to encounter the pri-
vations and exposure of so long and arduous
a journey, peculiarly trying. But his dedica-
tion to the cause of Truth and righteousness

silenced every objection and fear, when he
was favoured with the clear evidence of his
Lord's command. With all the discourage-
ments before him, he appears to have ex-
perienced something of that blessed state, in
which he could say with the apostle, " None
of these things move me, neither count I my
life dear unto myself, so that I might finish
my course with joy, and the ministry which I
have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the
Gospel of the grace of God." Alluding to
his prospect, in a letter to a beloved relative,
written shortly before leaving home, he re-
marks; "Nothing less forcibly impressive,
than an apprehension of religious duty, would
have induced me to give up to a visit so ex-
tensive. I have no other motive whatever.
My home was never more pleasant to me than
it now is ; and I had flattered myself that a
release from engagements of this kind,Vould
leave me at liberty to enjoy the comforts of
home, during the few days I may remain in
this mutable state. Reasonings of this kind
had nearly brought me to conclude that it
was improper for me, in my advanced stage
of life, to encounter the difficulties of so long
a journey; and my faith has been put to the
test, I think as much, if not more than at any
former period of my life." Then, as if he
had a presentiment that his enfeebled frame
would prove unequal to the fatigue and hard-
ships of the undertaking, he adds; "How-
ever, I stand resigned to make the attempt,
if way opens; and should health and strength
fail to carry me through this time, I think
I feel a humble confidence, that I have not
followed cunningly devised fables — a confi-
dence which is strengthened by the know-
ledge I have of my utter inability, without
Divine assistance, to advance the good cause,
which I early espoused, and have long consi-
dered pre-eminent."

He left home the latter end of the eighth
month; and after arriving at Philadelphia,
was joined by his kind friend and former
companion, Henry Warrington, who had
again obtained a minute to accompany him.
They set out on the 23d of that month, and
reached Mount Pleasant On sixth-day, the 5th
of ninth month. In a letter to his wife, writ-
ten soon after, he says, " I have according to
the measure of faith possessed, and the bodily
strength enjoyed, proceeded to this place."
And again, " My present home is a very com-
fortable one, and quietude of mind enhances its
worth." In another letter, written previously,
he says, " Thou mayest wish to know how I
feel, now I have set out on this fatiguing
journey: — I am as quiet in my mind, as to
the result, as though I did not possess sensi-

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bility sufficient to estimate the importance of
the undertaking. 1 hope this is not the case ;
but rather, that it is in consequence of having
at least been desirous of doing right."

He attended all the sittings of the Yearly
Meeting, except one sitting of the meeting of
ministers and elders on sixth-day, when he
was too unwell to go, and was frequently and
acceptably engaged in the exercise of his gift,
to the comfort and edification of his friends.
A Friend of that meeting, in writing re*
specting his services, says; ''My purpose
more particularly at present is, to bear my
testimony to the life and power which at-
tended his last Gospel labours : our Yearly
Meeting had the privilege of these. When I
remember the sweetness of the unity which
was felt with him, both in and out of meet-
ings, I have been reminded of the precious
ointment which was poured upon the feet of
our blessed Lord, preparatory to his burial.
An evidence of this fe3ling of unity was ma-
nifested by our Meeting for Sufferings, which,
at one of its sittings when he was not present,
ordered a large number of the Address, which
he wrote when in England, to be republished
for the use of our members."*

AAer mentioning, that he lodged at the
same house with Henry Hull, he remarks,
" it was an instructive and pleasant season ;
but above all, the ministerial labours of the
dear deceased, are recurred to as strikingly
iinpressive. He was largely engaged in all
our public meetings, and eminently favoured.
Many of us remember well, the humble and
solemn manner in which, on one of these oc-
casions, he expressed his thankfulness that
he had from early life endeavoured to pro-
mote the cause of his dear Redeemer; ob-
serving, at the same time, that he had nothing
to boast of."

Another Friend writes, " Many of our hearts
were made thankful that his lot was cast among
us, his ministry being sound and edifying, and
his conduct and conversation, such as becom-
eth the Gospel of Christ." " Though we la-
ment the loss of such a father in Israel, yet
we do not mourn as those who have no hope;
for we believe that the Scripture language

Online LibraryWilliam EvansThe Friends' library: comprising journals, doctrinal treatieses, & other writings of members of the religious Society of Freinds → online text (page 69 of 104)