« VorigeDoorgaan »
ing to sell liquor on principle, 140; reaches bugh, 311; flood in the city, 319; destruc-
tion of Catherine Hoff, 321; calls on Prince
government, 381; Buffalo Indians, 383;
slave merchant, 401; also the President
of the United States, 403; returns to
407; narrative of E. Andrews, 411; visits
Yearly Meeting when a separation oc-
curred, 427; receives a minute from the
Shillitoe, 452; disturbance at Stillwater,
of slaves in Kentucky, 461; North Caro-
and death, 484.
THE LIFE, TRAVELS AND CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCES
A MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL IN THE SOCIETY OF FRIENDS.
Every unsanctified person who pretends to
preach the Gospel of Christ, should consider The following sheets exhibit a plain man's that unanswerable query of our blessed Saundisguised account of his own progress in viour to the Pharisees of old; “O generation religion: an artless narrative of his sincere of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good and hearty endeavours, as much as in him things? for out of the abundance of the heart lay, to promote the doctrine of the Gospel of the mouth speaketh." Christ in the earth.
A practice of this nature is condemned, even The motives inducing him to undertake the in the time of the Mosaic Law, by the royal office of a preacher, appear to have been per- psalmist, in these words: “Unto the wicked, fectly consonant to the precepts of Holy Writ, God saith, What hast thou to do to declare and to the practice of Christ and his apostles, my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my viz:
covenant in thy mouth ?” 1st. A clear, cogent, and convincing evi- But alas ! self-interest prompts men to turn dence of a Divine call, and heavenly impulse a deaf ear even to Divine expostulations, and thereunto.
unholy persons, in despite of the most express 2d. An indispensable sense of his duty ne- prohibitions, continue to intrude themselves cessarily obliging him to yield obedience to into holy things; and to be busying themselves that call. And
about external circumstances and ceremonies, 3rd. The sweet returns of inward peace while the life, spirit, and substance of true reand Divine consolation accompanying his obe- ligion is unattainable by them, until it shall dience therein, greatly conduced to his con- please God, in the exceeding riches of his firmation and perseverance in the way of his grace, to cleanse their hearts from all unduty.
righteousness; for which conversion we heartiTo the performance of this he found him- ly wish. self measurably prepared and qualified; for The author of the ensuing narrative was his own experience of the love of God, and another sort of preacher; a free giver of what of the operations of his holy Spirit, in gradu- himself had freely received, a liberal and openally purging out the corruptions of his own hearted communicator of his religious experiheart, did excite and augment in him a Chris- ences, without respect to persons. tian love to his fellow-creatures, attended with He directed the sheep of Christ to follow an ardent zeal, and an incessant desire for the voice of Christ himself, the good Shep. their conversion.
herd, whose omnipresence renders his voice An inward purgation from sin is a neces- audible to every one of his sheep, however sary and essential qualification of a Gospel separate or dispersed throughout the world. minister; and no man can be such without it; His conversation was free, generous and for God doth not send unclean messengers on affable ; neither did he shun the society of his errand:
those whom he was sent to convert; his misIt is the constant method of his Divine wis- sion being somewhat correspondent to that of dom, under this Gospel dispensation, through his Lord and Master, who declared concerning the purging of his holy Spirit, to cleanse and himself; “ I am not come to call the righteous, purify the inside of every vessel which he but sinners to repentance.” permits to be made use of in the service of He was of a grave deportment, and of a his sanctuary.
tall, comely and manly aspect. His public VOL. III.-No.1.
preaching was attended with Divine authority This testimony concerning him is true, and and innocence, which commanded the attention a man of his penetration and capacity could of the hearers; and his voice being clear, strong not but discern his own improvement in the and distinct, was capable of conveying his ex- gist he had received. He therefore stood upon hortations to the ears and understandings of a his guard, lest through self-love and conceit, very numerous auditory; of which a remark- he should depart from that humility, which is able instance appears in his preaching at Jed- the ornament of every Gospel minister. burg, in Scotland, mentioned in his account. This Christian virtue was generally his con
His literary accomplishments were but small, comitant, during the course of his pilgrimage; extending little further than to enable him to and is remarkable in this account, keeping it read the Scriptures in his mother tongue; yet clear from any tincture of self-applause. by constant use and application, he became In preaching, his declarations proceeded thoroughly versed therein, and was enabled by from his heart; and in writing, his relations of the force of their testimony, to confront and his services and his exhortations, spring from confute the gainsayers of his doctrine, which the same fountain. was in all points strictly agreeable to and con- Wherefore we recommend to thy serious sonant therewith.
consideration what he has written, as comIn the religious Society to which he was prehended in that excellent description of a joined, he conducted himself as a man of good man, given by Christ himself: “A good peace and prudence, choosing to walk in the man, out of the good treasure of his heart, plain and middle path, without declining to bringeth forth that which is good.” any extreme: so that he neither idolized forms, May the good brought forth out of this good nor contemned good order.
man's heart effectually reach unto thine, and His estimation and repute among his friends through the Divine blessing operate to thy and neighbours, will appear by the testimony spiritual benefit and improvement in that of the Monthly and Quarterly Meetings of which is good. Bridport, in Dorsetshire, to which he belonged, So shall the design of the deceased author, given forth since his decease, wherein they in leaving behind him this account of his life say, that “ It pleased the Lord to endue him and travels, be in some degree answered, and with a large gift in the ministry, in which he the writer of this preface shall have the end was a faithful labourer, and gave himself up he aims at; who with sincere desires for the for that service; that he had a gift of utterance saving health and welfare of all mankind, superior to many, sound in judgment and doc- takes his leave, and bids them heartily fare. trine, and very convincing to the understand well. ings of those who heard him.”
I was born in Westmoreland, within the lings a year, with a dwelling for herself and compass of Great Strickland Monthly Meet- two children, at about thirteen years of age ing, about the year 1676, and was entered in I was put to learn the trade of a blacksmith, that register. My father died before I was with an uncle who used me unkindly. I was one month old; but I have been informed that afterwards placed apprentice to a very honest he was very honest and zealous for truth in Friend belonging to Brigflatts meeting, near his time, having been a considerable sufferer Sedberg in Yorkshire, whose name was Samfor the cause of religion, both in loss of goods uel Parrot. All this time I had no taste of and liberty, the meeting being kept in his house religion, but devoted myself to pleasure, as in some of the hottest times of persecution in much as my circumstances would permit, King Charles the second's reign. Being left though my mother had kept me very strictly so young, and my mother having but a scanty while I was under her care. She would fresubsistence of about four pounds and ten shil. quently in winter evenings take opportunities to tell me passages of my dear father's suffer- came to it, but art no better for thy coming; ings, admonishing me so to live, that I might what wilt thou do in the end ?" This was so be worthy to bear the name of so good a man's suited to my condition, that, like Saul, I was son, and not bring a reproach on myself and smitten to the ground, but turning my thoughts parents : also putting me in mind, that if she inward, in secret I cried, Lord, what shall I should be taken away, I should greatly miss do to help it? And a voice as it were spoke in her both for advice and otherways to assist my heart, saying, Look unto me, and I will me; and advised me to fear the Lord now in help thee; and I found much comfort, which my youth, that I might be favoured with his made me shed abundance of tears. Then I blessing. These admonitions at times brought remembered what my mother told me some me into great tenderness, being afraid that she years before, that when I grew up more to would die before I was capable to live in the man's estate, I should know ihe reason of that world; and she took me frequently to meet. tenderness and weeping, which I now did to ings with her, where she often had some words purpose. I went home with a heavy heart, in testimony. Persecution being still very hot, and could neither eat nor sleep as I used to and Friends locked out of their meeting-house do, but my work never succeeded better in my at Strickland, we met at the door, and I re- hands than it did at this time, nor was my member when I was a child, and went to meet- mind ever less in it. My conduct, as well as ing with my mother, the informers came twice; countenance, was much altered, so that sethe first time the meeting had been over about veral in the family were fearful that I should half an hour, the second time not quite so fall into a kind of melancholy; but I longed long, so that we escaped their hands both for the meeting day, and thought it a very times. Many Friends were in prison at Ap- long week. When the time of meeting came, pleby for attending that meeting, whom my my mind was soon fixed and staid upon God, dear mother went to visit, taking me along and I found an uncommon enjoyment that with her, and we had a meeting with the pri- gave me great satisfaction, my understanding soners, several Friends from other places being being opened, and all the faculties of my mind likewise there by appointment. I observed, so quick, that I seemed another man. A dithough very young, how tender and broken vine and spiritual sweetness abiding with me they were; and I was very inquisitive of my night and day, for some time, I began to see mother, why they cried so much, and thee and understand the Scriptures, and the nature too, said I, why did thee? She told me that of preaching the doctrine of the Gospel in the I could not understand the reason of it then, power and spirit, plainly seeing a difference but when I grew up more to man's estate I between a preacher of the letter and of the might.
spirit, which till then I was wholly ignorant To return to my apprenticeship; I had a of, not having before that, the least degree very kind loving master and mistress, but who that I could perceive of Divine understanding. had little consideration about religion, nor any But upon looking back and considering what taste thereof. On first-days I frequented meet. I had heard such and such Friends preach, ings, and the greater part of my time I slept, which at that time I did not understand, I now but took no account of preaching, nor received understood it clearly, which was a plain deany other benefit, than that being there kept monstration to me, that all saving knowledge me out of bad company, which indeed is a is from Divine light, which we cannot comvery great service to youth. I took much prehend, until we are assisted so to do by a liberty in discourse, and was taken notice of visitation from heaven. as a witty, sensible young man: but often on Now the Scriptures and ministry from the my bed I reflected on my way of life with openings of the Spirit, seemed so clear and sorrow, yet frequently fell into the same way plain to my understanding, that I wondered again. I never was given to swearing, nor lo any body remained unconvinced, supposing any very gross vice, but what I gave way to them to see the truths of the Gospel in the most, was jesting, and turns of wit to provoke same light that I did. 'That saying of the mirth, which gave me often, after it was over, apostle, wherein he asserts his knowledge of a heavy heart. Thus I went on for nearly the Son of God being come, to be by “ three years; but one first-day, being at meet- ceiving an understanding from him," ing, a young woman named Anne Wilson, clearly discovered to me, so that I plainly saw was there and preached. She was very zeal. a distinction between the children of light, and ous, and I fixing my eye upon her, she, with the children of this world—the spiritual and a great zeal, pointed her finger at me, uttering the natural man; and that the natural man these words with much power; “A traditional could not receive the things of the Spirit of Quaker, thou comest to meeting as thou went God, being foolishness to him ; he cannot from it the last time, and goest from it as thou know them, because they are known “only
by the Spirit,” as the apostle asserts; and I that I was much alone, and my countenance found myself much improved in Divine wis- so altered with weeping, that my master took dom and saving knowledge. As I was going occasion to inquire how it was with me. I to meeting, walking alone, it came very liv. gave him as plain an account as I was capa. ingly into my mind, that if I was but faithful ble of, with which he was much affected and and obedient to the heavenly vision, I should broken into tears. I feared that I had by dissoon be qualified to teach others, and more obedience so much offended, that I should be especially, as I saw by experience wherein my cast off forever : but, with exhortations from shortness had been, in being contented and Scripture and otherwise, he endeavoured to easy with a form of truth and religion, which pacify me, not doubting but that I should again I had only by education, being brought up in have the like offer made me, putting me in plainness of both habit and speech ; but all mind of Gideon's fleece, &c. Judges vi. When this, though very good in its place, did not next meeting day came, I went in great weakmake me a true Christian; I was but a tra- ness and fear, and would rather have gone ditional Quaker, and that by education only, elsewhere, than to meeting. Sometime after and not from the Scriptures, because they I was in the meeting, I felt the same concern were a book sealed to me. And I now saw as before, and sat under the weight of it until plainly, that education, though ever so care- the meeting was almost over, and then hardly fully administered, would not do the work; knew how I got upon my feet, but did, and although a pious education ought by no means broke out with a loud voice in these words, to be neglected, but all parents and guardians viz: “Fear not them which kill the body, but ought to be stirred up to their duty in that re- are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear spect; yet we must consider, that it is not in Him which is able to destroy both body and the power
of parents, or the most pious tutors, soul in hell. I say, fear you Him who will to confer grace, which is the gift of God alone; terribly shake the earth, that all which is nor can any come into the true fold but by moveable may be shaken and removed out of this door, as said our Saviour concerning him- the way, that that which is immovable may self. It plainly appeared to me, there was no stand.” This was all I had to say at that other way but this, viz: by the “Spirit of time. But oh! the joy and sweetness I felt Christ alone,” to attain to true faith, which afterward, I cannot express, and the pleasure works by love, and gives victory over our in- of my mind appeared in my countenance, so firmities and evil deeds, working such a change that my master took notice of it, and spoke so in us, that we can in truth, from experience, feelingly, as plainly demonstrated he was a say," we are born from above;” and by virtue partaker with me of the same rejoicing: this of that birth only, is the true knowledge of was about the year 1696, on that called Christ. the kingdom, and the things of God attained, mas day, it falling that year upon the first-day and by no other way or means, although ever of the week. so well contrived by human art. Being ex- Having as it may be said, thus broken the perimentally sensible of this change wrought ice, the next time was not quite so hard, but in my mind, it looked the more likely that l I said very little, and seldom appeared for a might, in time, be qualified to speak to others year or two, having about three years of my of my own experience of the operation of the apprenticeship to serve, which' I did with spirit in my mind, not thinking the time so fidelity and truth. The last year of my time, near at hand, as it appeared when I came to I found a concern in my mind to visit Scotthe meeting; for I had not sat long therein, land, being very rarely without some degree when a great weight fell upon me, with some of Divine virtue, either by night or day; words to speak; but I considered, being wil. therefore I thought, if it was so with me then, ling to be my own carver, that it was too soon it would be much more so when I had nothing to undertake such a task, being but an infant to mind but Divine things; but I found it in religion ; not remembering the small time otherwise, of which in its place. I may not between Paul's conversion and his preaching omit to mention that about two years after I the Gospel : Acts ix. 20. My former conduct first spoke in meeting, I opened the New Teswith my companions, many of whom were in tament at that passage spoken by our Saviour, the meeting at the same time, also stood much Mat. x. 28. to the same effect with what was in my way, for my reformation was but three first opened on my mind, as mentioned above, weeks old that very day, so that I concluded, which then I knew not to be the saying of so sudden a change would hardly be borne. Christ to warn them against the fear of men ; I did not at that time, for these reasons, give although no doubt I had read it, but had taken up, and the burthen was taken from me. But so little notice of what I read, that it was to after meeting it came upon me again with dou-me as if it had never been written. But it ble weight, and affected me so very greatly, I was a great comfort to me, that I was thus