William Evans.

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

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might be applied, ' Blessed are the dead that
die in the Lord; yea, saith the Spirit, for they
rest from their labours, and their works do
follow them !' "

His affectionate and kind companion, in a
letter to his widow, afler reciting the several
religious visits in which he had accompanied
him, says ; " But the last proved the most in-
teresting of all. Previous to his illness, he
several times signified to me, that this would

* See the conclusion of these Meiooira.

be his last distant visit ; and his solemn com-
munications, beside his services in the meet-
ings for business, tended to confirm the im-
pression thus made on his mind, that his day's
work was nearly done."

After the close of the Yearly Meeting, bis
disease, which was a diarrhoea, being some-
what better, he felt* his mind attracted to Still
Water meeting ; and although so weak, that
some of his friends doubted his ability to bear
the ride, yet with his usual perseverance Id
the path of duty, he set out and reached
the house of our esteemed friend Benjamin
Hoyle, with less fatigue than was anticipated.
In the evening, several Friends coming in, and
it being proposed to send word on for some
further meetings, he declined having notice
given of any but that at Still Water. In the
night his sickness returned with increased
violence; and although medical aid was
promptly obtained, and every attention ren-
dered him which his kind and sympathizing
friends thought would relieve the force of the
malady, yet his strength gradually sunk under
its wasting efiects.

Having *^ served his generation, according
to the will of God," and endeavoured, in the
time of health, faithfully to fill up the allotted
portion of sufiering and of service, he was fa-
voured at this solemn season, with a holy
quietude and composure of mind ; feeling
that the foundation on which he bad been
concerned to build, even Christ Jesus, the
Rock of ages, did not fail him at this trying
moment. In the prospect of being taken
away, while at such a distance from his be-
loved wife and children, he appeared to teel
deeply fbr them ; observing, " If I am taken
here, it will be a great trial' to my dear wife
and children." For himself, through adorable
mercy, be appeared to sufier no anxiety; but
in patient resignation to yield himself into the
hands of his heavenly Father, to he disposed
of, as in inscrutable wisdom, he should see
meet. On one occasion he said ; " I do not
despair of getting better — my trust is in Him
who said, ' I will not leave you comfortless.*
The foundation of Grod standeth sure — ^I have
not followed cunningly devised fables." Again,
he remarked ; *M do not know how it will be
at the present; I feel no fear as to the future."

At times the disorder seemed partially ar-
rested, and on one occasion he observed, "I feel
so much better, that I do not know but I shall
have longer to struggle in time." He ap-
peared not to endure acute pain, but com-
plained much of weakness, often saying,
"what a poor creature I am.",

On one occasion he said, " I had no out-
ward motive in coming here, it was in obedi-
ence ; yet I do not trust to a life of dedica-

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tion, but in the Lord's mercies/' Allusion
being made to his .getting better, he replied,
** I do not know how that may be ; as to my-
self, I am resigned ; but it will be a great
trial to my dear wife and children." Again ;
" The hope of the hypocrite faileth ; but I can
say, mine does not. I feel at times, as though
I could lifl up my voice to praise the Lord,
although my strength faileth." At another
time; *'Let it prove as it will, I am glad I am
here — you have done all you could for me,
and I am thankful. If I die, I die in peace
with all mankind — living praises be unto the
Lord 1" On being asked how he ielt, he an-
swered, "Comfortable; I am comfortable in
body and mind; I feel comfortable in the
prospect of going." At another time he said
to those present, that he had felt resigned
during his illness ; but when at any time he
suffered his mind to look homeward, it pro-
duced a conflict.

Throughout the whole course of his illness,
the meekness and patience which adorned his
Christian character, shone conspicuously, and
he was preserved in much sweetness and in-
noceney, not an unguarded expression or im-
patient look escaping him. It was abundantly
evident, that He whom he had long loved and
served, was graciously with him in the last
conflicts of expiring nature, strengthening and
calming his departing spirit, and making all
his bed in sickness. The tranquil and re-
deemed frame of his mind, shed a sweet and
calming influence around his dying bed, and
render^ it a privilege to be with him, verify-
ing the truth of that Scripture testimony,
" Precious in the sight of the Lord, is the
death of his saints."

Although the disease seemed to be arrested,
yet his enfeebled frame was too much ex-
hausted to rally again ; and after an illness of
ten days, on third-day, the 23d of ninth month,
1834, his redeemed spirit was liberated from
the trials of mortality, and we doubt not has
joined the glorified church triumphant in

His remains were interred in Friends' bury-
ing-ground at Still Water, on which occasion
a solemn meeting was held, and several testi-
monies were borne to the excellency and all-
Bufiiciency of that Divine power, which made
him what he was, and through submission to
which, he became eminently useful in the
church of Christ, and a pillar therein, that
should go no more out.

Such was the end of this humble and dedi-
cated disciple of the Lord Jesus. We have
traced his Christian course from the first
dawning of religious light upon his mind,
through various exercises and baptisms, by
which he was gradually redeemed from all

dependence upon self and its acquirements,
and prepared, as a purified vessel, to receive
the precious gifts which the adorable Head of
the church saw meet to confer upon him ; we
have seen his watchful care to mind the put-
ting forth and leading oT the heavenly Shep-
herd, and to keep to the fresh unfoldings of
the "anointing which teacheth all things,"
ministering in the ability which the Lord
gives, whereby he was preserved living and
weighty in bis Gospel labours; — we have
viewed him growing up under the baptizing
power of the holy Spirit, from the state of a
child, to that of a young man, and even at-
taining to the experience and stability of a
father and elder in Christ; and lastly, we
have seen also that those Christian principles
and practices, by which he endeavoured to
regulate his course through the painful vicis-
situdes and trials of this changeful life, did
not fail him in the solemn winding up of all
things here below, but proved a stay and so-
lace to his departing spirit — fixing his hopes
on a sure and solid foundation, even on the
mercy and goodness of that Almighty Sa-
viour and Redeemer, whom he had loved and
served ; and who died for man, not only that
he might make atonement for his sins, but
also purchase for him that effusion of the
Holy Spirit by which the heart is sanctified,
and guided and instructed in those things
which pertain to life and salvation.

The dying hours of our beloved friend,
prove that he had not followed cunningly de-
vised fables, but living and substantial truth ;
and though dead, the language of his example
speaks to us in the forcible exhortation, "that
every one should show the same diligence, to
the full assurance of hope unto the end ; that
we be not slothful, but followers of them, who,
through faith and patience, inherit the pro-

The Address which he wrote to the youth
of the Society of Friends in England, being
fraught with interest and instruction, and
containing some further information respect-
ing the illness and death of his wife, it is
thought well to insert it — being as follows, viz :

An Address to the youth of the Society of Friends^
in Cheat Britain and Ireland, especially those
who attended the Yearly Meeting in London,
in 1812.

Our friend Henry Hull, who has found his
mind engaged to write the following lines, re-
ceived, near the close of the Yearly Meeting
of 1812, which, in the course of his religious
service he was attending, the sad intelligence
of the decease of his wife, together with that

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of his second son, and his own aged mother,
by means of a contagious disease prevailing
in the parts of his residence, namely, Stan-
ford, in the State of New York. The afflict-
ing news excited a general sympathy among
his friends ; who were of course desirous to
he somewhat more acquainted with particulars
than they could be by report. To satisfy, in
some degree, this desire, aS well as to express
the tender feelings of his mind to the young
people of our Society, the following Address
was penned, whilst his mind was soQened
with some of his early emotions of grief, but
warmed with true love for the objects of this
his renewed concern, as well as for his be-
loved friends in general, who have shown him
much sympathy, and aflbrded him so much
comfort and support in his present religious
London, 1812.

Although the following address was penn-
ed by our friend Henry Hull, while in Eng-
land, and directed especially to the youth of
Great Britain and Ireland, which had recently
been the field of his religious labours, yet a
number of Friends who had an opportunity
of perusing it on his arrival at New York,
are of opinion that the republication and
diffusion of it in this country, would be use-
ful and acceptable. The afflictive dispensa-
tion which gave rise to it, is generally known
by Friends in his native land, among whom
there are many who have felt the emotions of
tender sympathy on account of it, and by
whom it is believed, these pages will be read
With interest and instruction.
Now York, Ninth month Tth, 1812.


On receiving the mournful tidings from
Stanford, respecting the events of the 4th
and dth of the fourth month, 1812, which oc-
curred in my family, I have been very sor-
rowful. I hope, however, I have not ofiended,
although the weakness of human nature may
have been shown. Indeed, when I consider
the example of our holy Head, who is touched
with a feeling of our infirmities, and was seen
to weep at the tomb of Lazarus, I am rather
disposed to think it was as much tenderness
of spirit that operated to the moistening of my
eyelids, as the weakness of human nature.
Oh, what occasion for reflection ! and in re-
flecting, is it possible to restrain the flowing
tear ! No : for me it is not. Time and the
remaining conflicts to be endured may in
measure divert me from the sad scene, the
awful event, but nothing will ever be able,
whilst I have my senses, to efface the remem-
brance of the dear object now lost to me.

When I recur to the time of our first ac-
quaintance, and the formation of our union in
the bands of marriage, I cannot but believe,
that as the servant of Abraham was directed
by the favour of Heaven when seeking a wife
for Isaac, so the goodness of Isaac^s God was
evidenced to me ; our union being formed un-
der the serious consideration of the expedi-
ency of seeking a blessing, as our prospects
of a settlement in the world were not flatter-
ing. There was no disposition on either side
to deceive: we knew, that although we had
reputable parents, the calamities occasioned
by the late war in America had been such,
that they could do but little for us. They
had taught us to look to Israel's God for a
blessing, by seeking to serve him in our day;
and what better endeavours for our advantage
could they have bestowed upon us, or what
could they have given us of greater value to
engage us to revere their memory, and to re-
flect upon their examples, so as to endeavour
to follow them as they had followed Christ?

My dear Sarah entered cheerfully as a help-
mate into the duties of a wife ; cross occur-
rences sometimes assailed us, which a^cted
her tender mind, but I do not remember that
she ever murmured ; if she did she was care-
ful to conceal it from me. I oAen admiied
the turn she would give to these occurrences,
and the pleasant way she had to keep me from
being discouraged, always manifesting a wil-
lingness to continue the necessary exertions;
saying, *' Let us not seek for great things ; if
we can live comfortably, and have it in our
power to entertain travelling Friends," privi-
leges which she enjoyed in her father's house,
" these are all the riches I crave ; and to ob-
tain so much, I am willing to labour early and
late in the management of my domestic con-
cerns, and more particularly, if it will be a
means of leaving the^ more at liberty to at-
tend to thy religious engagements." And
through the blessing of the Lord, we have
had it in our power to entertain in a plain
way, those to whom she alluded, when they
have called upon us; and I believe that no
one ever did it with more cheerfulness than
she did. We were so situated, that we oflen
had the company of Friends from a great
distance out of the new settlements, who
came to attend the Quarterly Meeting ; many
amongst these were poor, and if I observed
any partiality in her behaviour at such times,
it was in showing particular attention to these.
I have sometimes pleasantly remarked this to
her; when her reply would be, "I know
how to feel with these— the rich have many

In the twenty-seventh year of my ase, I
commenced travelling in the service of the

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ministry, being then in a small way of busi-
ness, which necessarily occupied my attention
closely when at home; and having several
little dependents, it was a trial of my faith, at
times, to leave her with the care that devolved
upon her in my absence. But she was so far
from holding me back, that she encouraged me
to attend to religious duties, saying, " if thou
neglect thy religious duties, we may not pros-
per in the world ; and however much I miss
thee when from home, I had rather thou
shouldst go than stay. I oflen feel a sweet
union with thee when thou art absent; and
sometimes partake with thee not only in suf-
fering, but in thy consolations also."

As a mother, she was prudent in the man-
agement and government of her children, ha-
bituating them early to industry, considering
it not only necessary to enable them to pro-
vide for their subsistence, but also conducive
to health ; yet tenderly careful to watch over
them, so as to contribute to their comfort;
saying, " Too much should not be required of
children ; I feel much for them in their tender
years, and would rather over-exert myself
than require too much of them." Her chil-
dren were particularly attached to her, and
she was comforted in them.

'As a friend she was firm, slow to believe
a report to the disadvantage of anyone; truly
a peace maker ; much respected in the neigh-
bourhood where she was best known ; and I
believe every person who lived near her, and
was acquainted with her, would join me in
this testimony to her disposition to promote
peace and good-will. Although she had it
not in her power to manifest by great libe-
rality, her feeling for the poor, yet her acts of
charity were evident, by visiting them in their
sickness, as well as by the little she adminis-
tered to their wants; and when I consider
that the widow's mite was accepted, I trust
she was not deficient as a steward.

About the thirty-first year of her age she
first appeared in the ministry; and although
for several years she was not frequent or
large in public testimony, she was, I believe,
always acceptable to her friends ; and her ap-
pearances during the last six or eight years
of her life, when she laboured in the service
of the ministry, were more conspicuous. She
was almost destitute of human learning, the
extent of her education consisting in being
able to read in her mother tongue, and to
write very poorly ; being, as well as myself,
unacquainted with the rules of grammar ; yet
seeking early, she found the Beloved of souls,
and becoming subject to his power, knew his
authority to be lovingly exercised over his
people ; and submitting thereto, she could say,
with the apostle, in her religious services,
Vol.. IV.— No. 9.

" The love of Christ constraineth us." Thus,
in the school of Christ, she became instructed
as a good scribe, to bring forth out of his
treasury, "things both new and old;" that
some who did not know to the contrary,
thought she had all the advantages resulting
from a liberal education. She was, however,
sensible that she lay under great disadvan-
tages, particularly in maintaining an episto-
lary correspondence with her friends ; and in
one of her last letters to me, she said, she
was comforted in thinking that the rising
generation would not labour under the disad-
vantages which she did.

It would be well for those who have much
pains taken to accomplish them, if they would
early submit to the government of Jesus, that
so they might know his sanctifying power to
prepare them for services that exalt the stand-
ard of Truth in the earth. I oflen regret,
that those who are so tenderly cared for, as
many of our young Friends are in this day,
should forget their privileges, and stand aloof
from the humble path that leads to peace.
" Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me,
for I am meek and lowly in heart ; and ye
shall find rest unto your souls : for my yoke
is easy and my burthen is light." Oh ! were
the rising generation to accept this persuasive
invitation from the Messiah, how would they
come forth " as an army with banners," turn-
ing " to flight the armies of the aliens 1" For
have not many, even of the professors of
Christianity, become alienated from Christ and
his government, so that they are making <<the
cross of Christ of none effect?" which is,
nevertheless, the wisdom of God, that brings
" to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
Where is the wise? Where is the scribe?
Where is the disputer of this world ? hath not
God made foolish the wisdom of this world ?"
Is not this manifest, that "not many wise men
after the flesh ; not many mighty, not many
noble are called?" So that however useful
learning is when subservient to the power of
the Gospel, it should not be depended upon.

My heart has been oflen moved in tender-
ness towards the rising generation, whilst tra-
velling in this land, with desires that they may
consider and justly appreciate their privileges.
Many of you are in easy circumstances ; and
some of you are exposed to the dangers and
temptations of affluence. I have here pre-
sented to your view the example of one I
dearly loved ; and, as I believe, many of you
have tenderly sympathized with me, and have
manifested a love for roe whilst among you,
I trust you will excuse my freedom in pre-
senting you with this token of the continuance
of my dear love.

Whilst my mind has been cloaely beset

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with the discouragements that present, in the
prospect of returning to my once pleasant
home, where sorrow now reigns, perhaps
increasingly, from subsequent devastations,
caused by the raging pestilence, that has re-
cently deprived me not only of my chiefest
earthly joy, but likewise of our dear son, my
aged mother, and my brother-in-law; I have
looked carefully at the motives that induced
me to leave them. I have perused all their
letters written to me, which I had not de-
stroyed, and whilst silent meditation has ad-
mitted many occurrences to be reviewed, my
spirit has at times witnessed an awful si-
lence—a holy solemnity; and I dare not con-
clude that I have been out of my place in
leaving my family, notwithstanding I shall
never more see some of them in mutability.

May you, now in the bloom of your days,
think of the importance of a well-spent life !
and if you are not called into public service,
as some have been that are gone before you,
consider how you are spending your time : is
it to advance the cause of Truth and righte-
ousness; or is it merely to gratify yourselves?
When at your toilets, shrink not at the idea
of death, which, when reflected upon, some-
times preserves from pride. When poring
over light and trifling publications, with which
the present age abounds, or when using the
pencil or needle merely to amuse, think
whether your time might not be more profit-
ably spent in reading the Scriptures, with
other pious writings, or useful publications;
in working for the poor of your respective
neighbourhoods, visiting the sick, and admin-
istering to their wants. I believe that such
engagements, in a greater or less degree,
afford the sensible mind solid satisfaction,
promote reflections, which encourage to a
continuance in the way of well doing, and
may keep you from the dangers in which
those are involved, who seek to gratify them-
selves in vain and idle amusements.

By these laudable pursuits, the mind also
becomes prepared for usefulness, in the pro-
motion of the cause of religion, to the glory
of God, to the comforting of his people, and
to the acknowledgment that Christ's yoke is
easy and his burden light. I love you, and
am comforted in believing that many of you
love the Truth, and are yielding obedience to
its restraining power. Dear children, hold on
your way ; regard not the scorn of the scorn-
er, nor the supercilious brow of the wicked.
Sufier not the example of the libertine, nor of
the slothful, to draw you aside from following
Him, who leadeth in ways of pleasantness,
and in paths of peace. There are indeed
tribulations to be endured in time, but unto
those who live in the fear of the Lord, the

encouraging language still remains, " Be of
good cheer, I have overcome the world."
Thus it is that the humble follower of the
Lamb is encouraged to hope that the trials
he meets with may work together for good,
even to his further refinement and purificatioD.
O ! that this may be the case with you, and
with your real friend,

HsmiT Huix.

Plafihet, near London. 3d of Sixth
month» 1812.

The following narrative of the uffUcting (
stances which gave rise to the preceding Ad-
dress, is extracted, with very little variationj
from a letter from Ruth HaMock, to her friend
Henry HuUj dated Stafford, I6th of fourth
numth, 1812.

" I shall now endeavour to give thee the
best information of which I am capable, of a
very trying visitation that seems spreading
over our land, and to have fallen heavily on
the neighbourhood of Stanford. The physi-
cians call it a malignant pleurisy, or inflam-
mation on the lungs. The first that fell a
victim in our neighbourhood was Henry
Clapp, who was on a visit to his mother : he
died about the 20th of second month ; aAer
which it seemed to spread towards the neigh-
bourhood of Stanford, and up and about J.
Gifford's. His wife was very ill, and her re-
covery was quite despaired of for some time.
Thy precious Sarah was with her for several
days, until she gave hopes of recovery ; she
then returned home, visited the sick, and com-
forted the mourners, afler which she attended
the funeral of Obadiah Haight, about the 20th
of third month, where I understood she ap-
peared in the exercise of her gid to the com-
fort of many present. About this time thy
aged mother was taken ill ; she departed this
life the 25th of third month ; we attended her
funeral, which was very solemn, and things
appeared very alarming ; afler which we went
to see thy wife and her dear children. We
found her violently seized with the prevailinc
epidemic ; on going into the room she seemed
glad to see us, and said 'I am very sick,
never so sick before, but trust I am prepared
for it, I have expected it. If my dear Henry

was here .- . but what could he do

more ; every thing is done that can be done.
I have kind friends, kind, aflectionate chil-
dren. I am perfectly contented in my situa-
tion.' I said, if dear Henry could view the
situation we are in at Stanford, he would feel
very anxious : she paused a moment and said,
* It is very possible he may have some sense
of it.' I do not remember that she ever

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mentioned thy name in my hearing afler-
wardsy and although she had to endure much
pain and affliction of body, yet her mind ap«
peered perfectly calm, sweet and pleasant,

Online LibraryWilliam EvansThe Friends' library: comprising journals, doctrinal treatieses, & other writings of members of the religious Society of Freinds → online text (page 70 of 104)