Page images
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

the true Life. And that-if it were only that | SELECTIONS FROM THE WRITINGS OF JOHN -would make bim essentially different from

BARCLAY. other men, even when he mixes with them,

(Continued from page 131.) and seems to catch their tone,-among them, To one of another profession 'und a zealous but not one of them. And that Lile within

Minister. him is Christ's pledge that he shall be yet what

26th of First Month, 1838. he longs to be a something severing hin, My Dear Friend.-It is time I acknowledged separating him, consecrating him. For him, thy favor of the 21st ult., which has not been and for such as bim, the consecration prayer lost upod me. I accept thy kind and sincere of Christ was made. They are not of the notice of me, and also of my books, with, I trust, world, even as I am not of the world : Sanctify the like genuine Christian feeling. That we them through thy Truth: Thy word is Truth.” have been made somewhat acquaivted one with

These views of F. W. Robertson are in ac. another has been cheering to me, as one of those cordance with those expressed by many of the many providential marks of favor shed upon us early Friends. Thus Wm. Peno says, “ Jesus through our wbole lives by the author of cuerChrist, in life, doctrine and death, fulfilled his cies. It has seened to me sometimes as though Father's will and offered up a most satisfactory our dear Lord and Saviour, in condescevsion to sacrifice; but not to pay God or help Him (as our frequent breathings to him, the Head of otherwise being unable) to save men." "He his own church, for the spread of his blessed came to his owo, but his own received him not. gospel of peace, truth, aod righteousness in the But as many as received him, to then he gave earth, and our jealousy for his honor, (accordpower to become the sons of God, even to them ing to our measure of light and discernment,) that believe on his name: which were born, had caused us to come across each other's patb; not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor that he might renewedly show us, that he bas of the will of man, but of God."

other sheep who are not of this fold, where we That glorious change which is wrought in have been accustomed with joy and comfort to

That we should find, on the dedicated soul by the operation of the Holy feed and lie down. Spirit, through which man becomes a child of near inspection of each other's views on sacred God, is the only true reconciliation. It was things, mauy and important shades of difference, formerly expressed by the compound word At- will pot assuredly either stumble or surprise us. one-ment, which is thus defined by Johnson,

The ways of God in his works of creation are "to be in concord.” When this concord pre- higher than our highest thoughts of them, as vails, Heaven, or the reign of God, is already

are also the acts of Providence; how much more begun, and the regenerate soul at the prospect

then must we expect them to be so in his deal. of death can say with the blessed Jesus, "Not ings and dispensations with the soul of man inmy will but thise be done."

dividually, and with his church collectively.

Truly the workings of his grace and power in (To be continued.)

and towards us are infinitely diversified. But COMMUNION WITH GOD.

through all, what he looks for in us all, however

variously situated, dealt with, and gifted, is,Religion, or the devotional part of it, is that our hearts being quickened and renewed hy pothing but the communion of the soul with Him, should be turned towards Him, apd koit God; and therefore by its necessary condition to Him in faithfuloers, in true uprightness, to is seclusive. There is no piety of a multitude. serve and to trust in Him, with a perfect heart, The worship of a congregation is the worship and a willing mind. Ah! how he touches, solt. of so many hearts, each rendered a degree more ens, bumbles these proud, hard hearts of ours, fervent than otherwise by the power of sym- these fallen, but aspiring natures, these froward, pathy. But if the elements of worship have wayward tendencies; and woos us not been brought together from the depths of indeed, by learning of Him how to be simple as individual spirits, they exist not at all. In all little children,---submitting, bearing, and taking

, true worship, whether the scene be the place of his yoke upon our spirits. How prone we still public convocation or the closet, the soul brings are, to take back the government into our own its immortal substance, and its personal destiny, hands, by leaning to our own understanding, by and its particular interests—its recollections, its covsulting with flesh and blood; -while we prohopes and its fears-yes, itself, as if it were the fess to be asking counsel of God and of Christ; only created existence, or in oblivion of all and thus practically we shrink back, and shun others, before the throne of God. How vivid to offer up our all, as a whole burnt offering; soever may be the emotions that spring from but even keep back the best part of that, the heart in its sympathy with others, they can which is often called for unequivocally at our never come into comparison with those that be- hands. Alas! in reference to divine things, who is long to its own ultimate welfare.

there that follows the Lamb whitherso, ver be ISAAC TAYLOR. leads or looks to the puttings forth of the Ship.

herd's hand, and waits to hear his voice? Who is To Gracechurch Street Monthly Meeting of there, that, in all bis proceedings and his specu.

Frientis. lations, or opinions, says, "That which I know Z

Beloved Friends, Brethren, and Sisters not, teach thou nie; " " lead me in thy Truth Having now held a minute, granted me by the and teach me, for thou art the God of my sal- Monthly Meeting for above three months, setration, on thee do I wait all the day ?" Who ting me at liberty to visit the families of is there that takes up the daily cross in reli- Friends at Stoke Newington, it seems to be gious points,-casting down imaginations and upon me as a duty to communicate with you on selfish reasonings, despising the shame with the it. In the movement I made towards obtaining fear and favor of man ?- who is not conformed it, by an application rather unusually sudden, to this world even in little things, but trans. and in that respect unexpected by myself, I formed by the renewing of the miod, and in had, and up to the present time have had, this way proving what is the Divine will? sweet peace,—an ample reward, (however upThese effusions, which arise whilst responding worthy,) for a sacrifice which cost me no small to thy communication, I trust, will not be degree of resignation of my own will. I endeav. deemed obtrusive, if they are superfluous. ored to give up “in simplicity and godly sin

After all, my dear friend, how pear one to cerity,” to that which seemed to be manifested another are all those, who being once afar off, as present duty io the Divine sight; and dared are brought nigh by the blood of Christ; who not look outward in any sense or manner; and love him and his appearing, and who follow him therein I desired, if a spectacle, to be also an in the regeneration. They are brought near to ensample to the whole flock : for not one among each other in Him; they are baptized by one us can, in my apprehension, do better under

, Spirit into one body, and are given at times to any circumstances. On proceeding in the drink into one cup. Have these pot abun. weighty engagemeot before me, I may acknowdant occasion to forbear one another in love, if ledge, that, although no wonderful outpouring they do not wilfully transgress against kuow- of divine power was my portion, I was merci ledge and beyond faith ; for whatsoever is not fully favored, during the few days that I of faith is sin. Surely those that are zealous entered upon the work, with such a sense that for the fulfilment of what they understand to the Lord preserveth the simple and the upright, be the command of Christ and his apostles, have insomuch that it was as my meat and drink, to great need to see that they follow up all that is be thus among my friends: hard things were commanded-such as to resist not evil, to re- made very easy, and bitter things full of sweetspect not the persons of the rich, as in the epis- ness; a gentle flowing stream of beavenly goodtle of James ;—and many other precepts, that ness being extended in every hour of need, are very generally made of none effect by reli- though in a way humiliating to the creature, gious professors, and reasoned away.

so that nothing in the flesh could glory. Ab! to be able to say with the apostle, “I Endeavoring to look closely to my stepam crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; pings and to my Master's pointings as to them, yet not I, but Christ liveth io me; and the life I did not see it my place to join any brother or that I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith sister fellow-laborers in the ministry, similarly of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Him. exercised; yet truly rejoicing, that the Lord of self for me,” &c.; how full,-how supremely the vineyard should be pleased to lay his hand desirable ! Then the wisdom of man becomes upon any, and open their way before them. fully subjugated, where the gospel, the power with regard to myself, the burden seemed of God, bas free course.

greatly withdrawn, and removed from me, even Farewell! the Lord be between us, and with before I was wholly laid by with indisposition ; us, henceforth and forever. With Christian and ever since, my mind has been altogether love to thee and thy wife and sister,

released from any further obligatiou to pursue I reinain thy friend,

J. B. the visit, and now at length in a way that [In the Eleventh month, 1837, he laid be- makes me believe it safest for me to inform the fore his Monthly Meeting a religious concern, meeting to this effect, and to return the minute which had rested a considerable time on his to your hands. I cannot place this conclusion mind, to pay a visit to the families of Friends to any outward account, though my health and of his own Particular Meeting at Stoke New constitution seem more than usually affected, ington : much sympathy and unity prevailed on so as for a long time entirely to prevent my getthis occasion, and he received the encourage- ting out to meetings; but in my best monients, ment of bis friends. Under his very infirm I have the comfortable persuasion and trust, bodily condition, he could proceed but slowly in that He, who is no bard" master, and lays no this service. In the Second Month following, more than is meet on any of his poor

exercised be believed it right to address his Monthly children, has an equal right to call in as to put Mecting: a copy of his communication will best forth ;-to bring out his own purposes in his explain bis views and feelings on this occasion.] l'owo ways, which are higher than ours; and

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

pone of us should demur against his good pleas- Farewell! onward-onward ;-the time is ure, or say,“ What doest thou ?” and the won short, my brother and my sister ;- we linger der and the mercy is, that any are made use of. for one another :- let us press forward ;-aod

In conclusion, it seems with me, my dear in due season we shall reap, if we faint pot. Friends, to express my belief, that we have from

J. B. time to timne ample encouragement, as a meeting,

(To be continued.) in patience to possess our souls, to hold on our way steadily, and to lift up the head in bope.

For Friends' Intelligencer. Although occasions of discouragement and deep

SEEK RELIGION NOW." conflict have attended, and may yet await the Thinking the following brief sketch might faithful and the honest hearted, these keeping prove of benefit, if republished in the lutellithe daily watch unto prayer, will be preserved gencer, I have copied it for insertion. It was and sustained, abiding in Christ, and being published several years ago in "Friends' Reunder bis peculiar notice : after they have suf view," where it was said to have been taken fered awhile, he will stablish, strengthen, and from an old book and well authenticated. The settle them more and more ; and will give them subject is one of deep and solemn iic portance to reap in due season the fruit of their often to all, and the closing words of the old man to hidden exercises, both on their own account, his children are truly affecting. S. B. F. and on account of others. Thus, those that “My children,” said an old man,“ the words hold the beginning of their confidence steadfast of your dying father will be few. I wish them unto the end, are made indeed partakers of to sink deep into your hearts." Then raising Chris ; and the remnant who escape the tempt- himself a little in bis bed with a degree of er's crooked Leviathan, again take root down- strength which he had not been able to comward, and bear fruit upward. Isaiah xxxvii. mand for several of the last weeks of his sick31.

ness, he proceeded : Desiring that we may truly cease from man, “When young, I enjoyed religious privileges, and lean wbolly on the Beloved of souls, with and was the subject of occasional serious refiecthe salutation of love in our Lord Jesus Christ, tion. When just enterin; my sixteenth year, I remain your friend,

J. B. religious impressions were made on my mind Second Month 19th, 1838.

with unusual force, and I seemed to hear a P. S.-Should this concern return upon me voice continually sayiog to me, 'Seek religion with weight and clearness, Friends may believe now;' I was unhappy; my former amusements I shall not hesitate to cast myself upon them lost their relish ; still I was not wiiling wholly again.

to relinguish them and obey the voice which To

urged me to seek religion immediately. One First or Second Month, 1838.- Ah! it is day, after much reflection, I deliberately prolittle we can do for one another; yet let us be mised to God that as soon as the season of willing to do that little which offers. I often youthful amusements was past, I would give think how short may be the season, wherein we myself to religious pursuits. My anxieties immay be permitted, or may have occasion for, mediately left me; I returned 10 my amusethe comfort, aid, and support, one of another. ments, and the whole subject was soon forgotMany opportunities for giving a hand of help ten. or a cup of cold water we do not embrace ; but "At twenty-five the monitory voice returned, we suffer them to go by unimproved, or fritter reminded me of my promise, and again pre-sed them away in our intercourse one with another, the importance of eternal things, though I had even with those nearest and dearest to us in an not thought of my promise for years. I acoutward or inward sense. Every thing indeed knowledged its obligations, but an immediate proves what puor creatures we are, and what a fulfilment seemed more impracticable than it low, mixed, imperfect state the present is ;-at did pine years before. I vowed, with increased times favored with a few drops of comfort, of solemnity, that when the cares of a rising family strength,-a little grain of faith, of hope, of should subside, I would certainly attend to the qualification to struggle on, administered in the concerns of religion. Again I applied my.elf to hour of peed, and in such a way as utterly to worldly avocations, and soon buried all thoughts hide pride, aud take away all occasion of boast of the admonition I had received. At filty, ing on the one band, or repining on the other ! when you, my children, were diminishing in-0! if we did enough cultivate our inter- stead of increasing my carere this beavenly course with heaven and heavenly ones and monitor returned. Fulfil your promise, —" Seek heavenly things, and avail of our privileges, religion now," was continually pressing upon remember our heirship and calling! Why my mind. I knew that I had made such a need we tarry here,—why should we grovel be promise, but felt dissatisfied that its fulfilment low? instead of lifting up the soul, and resting should be claimed so soon. I regretted that I in the beloved !

had not attended to the subject before, when I

“ Let every

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


could have done it with less difficulty; but such or beurevolence primarily, and to find our own were the extent and pressure of my business gratification incidentally. The way of the that to do it then seemed impossible. The world is quite the reverse of God's. God subject made me unhappy, and after much de- says, “ Look not every man on his own things, liberation I sought relief to my troubled feelings but every man also on the things of another.” by most solemnly renewing my promise to God. The world reverses it, and says, I said when the pressure of my business is past man take care of bimself, and then all the I will devote my whole attention to a prepara- world will be taken care of.” “Let every man tion for eternity

take care of Number One,” is the vulgar ex* No sooner had fixed

my mind on this ) pression, “and everybody will be well cared course than my anxieties left me—the strivings for." Since the world began the experiment of the Spirit ceased in my bosom, and ceased has been going on, and few have obeyed God, and forever. When sickness warned me of ap- few have really attempted to live with all their proaching death I sought to fix my feelings on life-forces concentrated to the good of society the subject, but in vain. There was a gloom and the well-being of their fellow-men. But and terror drawn around religion at which my these few have found inward and outward satissoul shudilered. I felt that I was forsaken of faction. They have found that joy and peace God, but it did not move me. I had no love which is without expression. Whereas, those to God, no repentance for sin, nor wish to for- men that have attempted to make themselves sake it. I felt nothing but the sullen gloom of happy by the law of self-seeking have invariadespair ; I knew I was in the hands of a justly bly all the way through been witnesses to the offended God, from whorn I expected no mercy, truth of God's law. " Thou shalt love the and could ask none; with these feelings I am. Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all about to enter the eternal world. To you, my thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with children, I can only say, profit by my example. all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself,” is Quench not the spirit; seek religion now, if the key-note of the universe. How shall any you would avoid a miserable eternity; put not man fall from the pitch, and yet be in harmony off the concerns of your soul till The io music? And if this be the structural idea sentence died upon his lips; his strength, of the human mind, how shall a man which had been all summoned to make this last against it and expect his mind to work in bareffort, suddenly failed; he fell back on his bed, mony? A machine will sooner run contrary to and with a groan that seemed to speak the ter- its nature and yet operate effectually, than this rors of futurity, the immortal spirit took its most delicate and complex machine of the fight from that body which it had inhabited mind will run contrary to the creative idea and Dearly fourscore years, to receive according to still bring happiness. See how men have that it bad done.

sought it in selfish ways. See how they have

sought it in power and influence. See how It is easier to make a complete sacrifice they have sought it in wealth. See bow they which will fully satisfy conscience, than a half have sought it in pampering their flesh. See sacrifice which falls short of it.- Select ilemoirs how they have sought it in giving to their of Port Royal.

appetites all that the heart could desire. And

what have been the results ? Are the men that TRUE HAPPINESS.

thus live for self the happy men ? Show me the Contrast the man who lives purely for pleas- men whose faces are serene. They are men of ure and the man that lives purely for duty, and faith. They are men of piety. They are the you will fiud that the pleasure-seeker reaps less men that live for others. Show me the men of pleasure than the man that does not seek it. that are forever seeking their own good. They In the case of the latter there may be fewer are the corrugated men. They are the electric sparks, there may be fewer blazes, men whose brows have been plowed, and there may be fewer bonfires; but there is an with a redbot share at that. I defy comeven pleasure, a steady flowing pleasure, a va-parison. Go where you will, and while men riety of pleasure, and a susceptibility to pleas are yet young, and unexpanded, and elastic, ure, which in the end overmasters and over they may show no signs of sorrow: but after measures the pleasures of those that live merely they are forty or fifty years old, look among for pleasure. And so it will be found in retro- those that live for this world only, and tell me spect that men who live merely to make them whether wealth, or influence, or pampering belves happy in this life are more burdened | makes men bappy. Tell me whether they are and less happy than men that take on the yoke not sad, sorrowful, restless, and complaining; of duty, and by the burden of duty find rest. saying to the last, even in the mutterings of

Living for enjoyment first, and with benevo-death,“ Who will show meany good ? while the lence incidental or alternative, is one way. men that walk as if sweet flowers and fragrant God's way is to live under the royal law of lovel dews dropped upon them are the men that fol


low Christ, and like him give their lives furthe | 2091 were minors. From the same document worid. There is a generosity in their joy. we learn that there were then 3180 minors, There is an unfailingness in its supply. It springs from a source that never went dry, and sprung from parents, one of whom was a memnever will. And so long as God is God, and ber of our Society, which did not give the chil. continues to reproduce creation upon this great dren a right of membership. It will be oblaw that force is to go with benevolence, so served that this class was about eqral in numlong human society will be a witness to all that ber to the diminution that had taken place subself-seeking leads to sorrow and that benevo. lence is the true road to happiness. - Ecchange. sequent to the year 1829.

From these statistics we must conclude that FRIENDS INTELLIGENCER.

the Society within the limits of Philadelphia

Yearly Meeting is diminishing in numbers, and PHILADELPHIA, FIFTH MONTH 11, 1867. there is every reason to believe that a siuılar

result is taking place in all the Yearly Meetings We ask the attention of our readers to the with which we correspond. advertisement in another column of the forthcoming Iristory of the Religious Society of some weeks since in Friends' Review, that the

It appears from a communication published Friends, by SAMUEL M. JANNEY.

Yearly Meetings called Orthodox are also diTAE PROSPECT BEFORE US.—It has, of late, minishing in numbers in all the states on the become a subject of interesting inquiry in our Atlantio seaboard; but those in the Western Religious Society whether we are increasing in states, except Ohio, are probably on the innumbers, or on the decline,—whether, as a crease. church, we shall continue to live, or are des

It has been usual for some of our members to tined to extinction. The love of life is a con- account for our supposed stationary condition comitant of health, and this applies as truly to by remarking that we are not a proselyting bodies organized for associated action as to the society. This is very true, but not very conindividuals who compose them.

soling. The primitive Christian Church was a 16'Tis life whereof our nerves are scant;

proselyting society, and Friends in the days of More life and fuller, that we want;

George Fox were imbued with the same spirit. No heart in which was healthful breath, Has ever, truly, longed for death."

Their ministers travelled throughout Europe, To be indifferent about the perpetuation of a

and many of them visited the West Indies and society that we believe was raised up by Divine the North American Provinces. In nearly all

. Providence for the promotion of Christ's king. Protestant countries they made proselytes, and dom-the reign of Peace and Love—would in

established meetings. In Catholic countries dicate a want of religious vitality, wbich, if it

their efforts were not so successful, it seemed become general, must soon lead to decay and as though the ground was not prepared for the extinction.

seed they had to sow. In the year 1829, being two years after the

The fervent piety and zeal of those sons of Separation, there was a census taken of the the morning were sustained by a living faith, members of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, by and tempered by Christian charity. Their which it appeared that the number, in connect knowledge of the Scriptures was extensive and tion with us, designated as Friends, was 18,485, accurate, and in the education of their children the number of those called Orthodox Friends they were careful to make them acquainted was 7,314, and of neutrals, or undecided, 429, with those precious records. This duty of making an aggregate of 26,258. In this enu- parents has, for many years past, been too much meration the minors were classed with their neglected, although frequently and earnestly parents or guardians.

enjoined by the several Yearly Meetings. In the year 1863 another census was taken If we continue to rely upon birthright memof those in connection with us, belonging to bership for the continuation of the Society, we Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, and published in must make greater efforts to instruct the youth, the extracts from its minntes. From this it and to impress upon their minds the principles appears that the number was 14,992, of whom I of our profession. There is in associated ac

« PreviousContinue »