Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

yet in being thus helped to be found faithful, I thought there was cause for thankfulness on my part.

I felt drawings in my mind to attend an indulged meeting at a place called Holland, where there is a small settlement of members of our religious Society, and made a call on an individual in our way, who is not in membership with any religious body of professing Christians : he had published a work, in which he sets forth the religious principles he holds, professing to be one in principle with Friends, especially so on the subject of war, he constantly attends our religious meetings, preaches in them, and holds public meetings up and down as Friends do ; but yet it appeared the solid part of the meeting were not satisfied with him, although his demeanour, dress and address in most respects were consistent with that which a member of our Society should manifest. On inquiry into the cause of Friends being divided in their sentiments respecting him, and the ground of dissatisfaction, I found that he had been a soldier in the late war, and was wounded in battle, in consequence of which the American government had settled a pension on him for life; this pension, notwithstanding he had published his avowed principles against war, it was pretty generally understood, he continued in the regular receipt of, but no Friend of the meeting was able to confirm it as a fact. I could not divest my mind of a fear,-in consequence of the active part some Friends had taken in the sale of his publication, and in attending on him at his public meetings,—-also his appearances and constant attendance of our meetings,-being allowed to preach, and the countenance he received from some members of the meeting to continue so to do, --if he really was continuing to receive his pension from the government for his services during the war, the reputation of the Society was in danger of suffering through his conduct. He received us very kindly: these subjects coming weightily before me, I had great strugglings of mind to endure, before I could be willing to yield to open my mind on them; but as my desires were earnestly put up to the Lord for strength to be enabled to divide the word aright, that so what I had to offer to him might be words that were fitly spoken, strength was given me to take the first step, by desiring his children might be requested to leave the room, which took place. As it appeared Friends were divided in their opinions relative to his receiving his pension, some professing to believe he did receive it, and others that he did not, but all was conjecture; I therefore at once put the question to him, Was not a pension settled upon him by the government of the United States, in consequence of wounds he received in the field of battle during the late war? To which he replied, it was the

I then queried with him, was he still in the practice of regularly receiving this pension? He frankly acknowledged, he

I'then endeavoured to lay before him the inconsistency of

case.

was.

such conduct, with his declared testimony against war in the book he had published and widely circulated : I also related some remarks to him of a captain in the American army respecting him; “ I have read -'s book and his outcry against war; but whilst he is exclaiming against war, he continues willing to drink the broth, which those who have the management of military matters, have to give away." The only attempt he made to justify his conduct for continuing to receive his pension, was by saying, a sum of money was raised at the close of the war for pensioners, and to keep up a naval establishment; and as the pensioners died off, their pension was to go into the naval fund, he continued to receive his pension, not so much forhis own use, but that the naval resources should not be increased by his refusing to receive his pension. As ability was afforded me, I endeavoured to lay before him the inconsistency of his conduct, with the doctrines and precepts of Christ, whose cause he was making such a high profession of and publicly espousing; by having people called together and holding meetings with them, professedly for the sole purpose of exalting the Redeemer's kingdom ; and imposing himself, as he had done, upon Friends, by presuming to preach in their meetings, whilst he was in so great a breach of one of their fundamental principles. I told him, were I in his situation, until I had strength given me to sacrifice gain received through such an impure channel, I should not dare to speak again in the Lord's name, but must keep silence, and especially so in the meetings of Friends; where his appearances, I was informed, were very frequent, and of considerable length : and I added, with respect to his holding meetings with those who do not profess to have a scruple against war, I believed the more thinking part of those who read his work, and heard him preach“ Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling

a block, to the wise Greeks foolishness; but, to them that believed on him, the power of God and the wisdom of God,” and who were acquainted with his conduct by continuing to be in the receipt of a reward for his services in the field of battle, I believed among such his labours would be made null and void. I told him, however some Friends may have carried themselves towards him, so as to encourage him to preach in their meetings, yet I believed in the end, it would be found by him that they had not been his best friends ; but that they would be the cause of his sitting down short of that experience in the work of righteousness, which by this time he might have attained to, had he been faithful to that very precious visitation, which I could not doubt he had been favoured with. He received what I had to communicate without any further attempt to palliate matters ; and yet it was evident, that, although he could not maintain his ground on Christian principles, upon

which he had been at ease, as a warrant for his continuing to receive his pension, the prospect of his being obliged

to sacrifice it brought him into a very great strait ; on which account I hope I was not deficient in a willingness to sympathise with him,-he having a sickly wife, a large family of children, and as I was informed, a poor farm to bring them up upon.

I hope I may say, I felt truly thankful to my great and good Master, in that he had not only given me utterance to the relief of my own mind, but had also opened a door of entrance into this person's mind so to receive what I had to offer; and I could not but hope, from the affectionate manner in which he took his leave of us at our parting, that what had been communicated would become as a nail fastened in a sure place.

On First-day morning we sat with the few Friends of Hollandmeeting, in a small new-built log meeting-house; part of a committee appointed by the monthly meeting to have the care of Friends here, also gave us their company. A cheering prospect accompanied my mind, if the few well-concerned Friends of this newsettled meeting are favoured to keep their places as faithful members of our Society, there will in time be a gathering as from the highways and hedges.

Third-day, (27th of 3rd mo.) we rode to Hamburgh, and attended the select meeting there.

Fifth-day, my face was turned towards Clear-creek; the Indians in the Buffalo settlement came before my mind, accompanied by a belief I should not be able to leave these parts peacefully, unless I stood resigned to have a meeting with them on First-day next; I tried after quietness to be able to arrive at some conclusion before we proceeded on our journey, but this I was unable to do; a Friend who came into the family kept up such a continual conversation, sometimes addressing himself to me, and then again to others, I was obliged to leave the house. I then called upon a Friend, who I had understood was acquainted with some of those who resided in the settlement, to whom I felt it best to put some questions on the subject; and after being favoured to get a little into quiet, so as to be able to turn the fleece, I found it would be safest for me to have Friends called together; which being done, I opened my prospect of duty of having a meeting in the Buffalo settlement with the Indians next First-day; which being united with, Friends concluded to do the needful for its accomplishment.

Sixth-day morning, we proceeded to Clear-creek, attend the monthly meeting to be held there: the meeting was well attended by its members, and the business of it conducted in an agreeable manner.

The next day we proceeded to Hamburgh: on our arrival there we were informed, the Indians in the Buffalo settlement received, with expressions of satisfaction, the request to have a meeting with them.

[ocr errors]

First-day morning, 1st of 4th mo., 1827, accompanied by my kind friend Samuel Taylor, John Dunham and his family, and other Friends, we proceeded to the council-house of the Buffalo Indians, where the meeting was to be held ; here we found the head chief of this district and others of the Indians, who welcomed us with countenances that manifested they received us cheerfully: The Indians are very slow in their movements, whereby the meeting was not fully gathered until an hour after the time that had been proposed by themselves ; I was informed the person engaged as interpreter, was not in a fit state of mind to undertake such a service. An Indian man, who spoke the English language, was then proposed to me, and feeling willing to accept of his services, we took our seats, the men at the upper end of the house, the women at the lower end. The chief then stepped forward, and expressed the pleasure it had afforded him, that so many Friends had given them their company, and their readiness to hear what I had on my mind for them : after which he took his seat again and a pause took place. After I had delivered what was given me in commission for them, the chief then stepped forward again, and expressed the satisfaction my communication had afforded them. My mind feeling relieved; the head

. chief and his company appeared to part from us very affectionately. The company we had sat with, I understood, were denominated Pagans, because they had opposed a missionary coming amongst them. I returned to Hamburgh again, satisfied that I had given up to the service. We proceeded on our journey, and on Fourth-day reached Henrietta, and attended the meeting held there. The meeting was small, and it was a time of close exercise to me to come at a right settlement of mind : after meeting we rode to Rochester.

Fifth-day, we attended the mid-week meeting here : such hard things were required of me to deliver to the Friends of this meeting, that when I had taken my seat again, I was led to call in question all that I had offered amongst them; but when the meet

; ing closed, a Friend, whom I looked up to as one of pretty clear discernment, informed me there was great need for the remarks I had delivered in that meeting: (time also proved the necessity of them, for afterwards the members of this meeting, pretty gencrally, united themselves to the separatists in this Yearly Meeting.) Thus, in our times of proving, the Hand of help through instrumental means, is sometimes afforded to our relief, when we may be almost ready to faint and grow weary. After meeting we rode to Farmington

First-day, attended meeting at Galen, in consequence of there being a funeral, the house was much crowded, and I humbly hope it is not presuming to say, the truths of the gospel were largely declared to the people, and the necessity of diligence in

to many;

the great work of salvation, whilst the day of grace was lengthened out; the people manifested a solid, attentive disposition of mind: there was reason for believing it was a time of renewed visitation

Fourth-day, attended the select quarterly meeting at Scipio, which was small: the business was conducted with great unanimity, and proved a season of refreshment to my mind.

The next day, the quarterly meeting for the general concerns of the Society commenced with a meeting for Divine worship, which was largely attended; it proved a season in which encouragement was held out to the faithful. The business of the meeting for churchaffairs was conducted in much harmony and brotherly condescension; it closed under a grateful sense, that holy help had been near in transacting the various matters that came before the meeting.

Sixtlı-day, the public meeting was held, and we separated under feelings of gratitude to the Great Head of the church, in that He had been pleased once more to own us by His life-giving presence, to our comfort and consolation : in the afternoon we rode to Union-springs.

First-day morning, attended meeting at South Farmington ; it proved to me a time of deep inward labour and travail of spirit to reach the spring of Divine life; too many of those I was sitting amongst, there was reason to fear, were contenting themselves with having a name to live, yet at the same time were strangers to that practical part of true religion in which righteousness consists. The meeting, I understood, was small to what it would have been, had the members of the meeting been informed a stranger would have been there ; but I had no warrant for such information being given, wishing if I did sit with Friends of this meeting, to see them in their every-day clothes.

Third-day, (17th of 4th mo.) attended the select quarterly meeting, which was small; to me it felt a low, trying meeting.

Fourth-day, the quarterly meeting for church-affairs commenced with a meeting for worship; at the close of which Friends entered upon the concerns of the Society; after the meeting had gone a considerable way into its business, the meeting was greatly interrupted by the return of a number of lads and young men who had left the house when the meeting for worship closed, and who had remained out of the house thus unseasonably; but that spirit of insubordination, liberty and equality so pervades religious, as well as civil society in some places in this land, that all prospect of applying a remedy to this, as well as other evil practices amongst our youth, appears hopeless; and thus the hope of a succession of faithful standard-bearers being raised up amongst them, is feeble.

« VorigeDoorgaan »