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and friends were exhorted with a great deal of tenderness to keep that mark.
In this journey I travelled about ninety miles, and was at four meetings, being from home four days, and was much satisfied in my journey; but met with some exercise when I came home, hearing of some losses and damage to my estate ; so that I found after I had (according to my best endeavours) done the will of God, I had need of patience, that I might receive the promise. I was sensible of the messenger of Satan, the thorn in the flesh, which the apostle speaks of.
About this time a loving friend of mine informed me, that one whom I very well knew in Barbadoes, a minister of our society, had gone into an open separation, so as to keep meetings separate from his brethren, and contrary to their advice : I was concerned in love to write a few lines to him, to remind him of the unhappy state and end of such, who, notwithstanding the brotherly love and kind treatment of friends, had separated from us, and losing the sense of truth, which had made them serviceable in the church, were actuated by a rending, dividing spirit, by which the enemy of our happiness had so far obtained his end, as to make some disturbance for a time ; but few, if any, of these separatists, have had further power than to promote and maintain their separate meetings during their own lives; such meetings having, in every instance I have known (except one, and that lasted not long) dropped on the death of the founders. And though we think it our duty to testify against, and disown all such ; yet this disowning is only until the persons offending from a real sense of, and sorrow for their faults, acknowledge and condemn the same; then the arms of Christ and of his church, are open to receive and embrace them : I therefore earnestly besought him to consider the danger of offending any who love and believe in Christ (though never so little in their own or other men's esteem) for we cannot have true peace in departing from the pure love of God, his truth, and people; to which I added the following sentences out of the New Testament:
1. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John xii. 35.Do not lose this mark.
2. “ We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother, abideth in death.” I John iii. 14.
3. “ He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love." John iv. 8.
4. “ He that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him." John iv. 16.
About the latter end of the fourth month I was at a meeting at Abington, occasioned by a burial ; and in the beginning of the fifth month, I was at a marriage in Phil. adelphia ; and was soon after on the first day at two meetings at Germantown, where I went to visit a friend who had not for some months been at meeting, being in a disconsolate condition; I invited her to meeting, where the love and goodness of Christ to the poor in spirit was largely manifested, and the friend after meeting said, she was better, and afterwards recovered, and kept to meetings. I was frequently at the week-day meetings at Philadelphia ; for I thought that week not well spent, in which I could not get to week-day meetings, if I was in health.
In this month I was at the burial of George Calvert, who was one of a sober life, and just conversation, and being well beloved by his neighbours, he left a good report behind him. Soon after which I was at Merion meeting, which was large and solid : the people were tenderly exhorted, that neither outward favours, nor spiritual blessings, might make them grow forgetful of God; but that in the sense of the increase and enjoyment thereof, they might be the more humble ; and forasmuch as the christian church in former ages was corrupted by temporal riches and power, it was intimated, that as we had favour shewn us from the government, and increase of outward things, we should be very careful not to abuse those privileges, by growing proud, and wanton, or envious, and quarrelsome ; but “to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.”
In this month I was at Middletown, in Bucks county, at the burial of my dear and intimate friend John Rut. ledge (who died very suddenly) at which burial there were above one thousand people: he was well-beloved among his neighbours, and was a serviceable man where he lived: I admired to see such a number of people upon so short notice, he dying one day in the afternoon, and being buried the day following : divers testimonies were borne concerning the wonderful works and ways of God. It was a solid bowing time, wherein many hearts were bra. ken, and melted into tenderness. After meeting a young man came to me trembling, and begged that I would pray for him, for he had spent too much of his time in vanity, and had strong convictions on him for it, and had been greatly affected and wrought upon that day. I exhorted him to deny himself, and to take up his cross, and to follow Christ, who hath said, he would in no wise cast off those who came to him in true faith. He went from me very tender and loving, being broken in his spirit.
From thence I went to Gwynnedd (or North-Wales) where on the first day of the week we had a very large meeting; in the morning of the day a voice awoke me, which cried aloud, saying, “ Rewards and punishments for well and evil doings are sealed as an eternal decree in heaven,” which confirmed me that mankind were happy or unhappy in that world which is to come, according to their deeds in this life, if their deeds bę good (as Christ said) their sentence will be, “Come, ye blessed ;” if their deeds be evil, “ Depart from me all ye that work iniquity,” and “ Go, ye cursed,” &c. And, * If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted ? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door." “ I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way, and live.” These, with many more texts of the same nature, contained in the holy scriptures, are contrary to the doctrine of personal election and reprobation, as some hold it. We had a meeting also in the afternoon of the same day, which was satisfactory to many; our hearts being filled with the love of God, for
which we thankfully praised him. The next day we had a meeting of ministers, in which they were exhorted to wait for the gift of the Holy Ghost without which there can be no true minister nor ministry. I was concerned to put them in mind to keep close to Christ, their holy, sure guide, and bishop ; to be cautious of going before, lest they should miss their way, and of staying too far behind, for fear we should lose our guide ; and to be careful to keep a conscience void of offence towards God, and also towards' man; that we might say to the people truly, fol. low us, as we follow Christ; that our conversation might confirm and not contradict our doctrine, for our Saviour says, “ By their fruits ye shall know them; men do not gather grapes of thorns,” &c. and of such as say and do not, he charged his followers not to be like them, Mat. xxii. 3. The next day we had another very large meeting there, in which many things were opened and declared, tending to establish and build us up in our faith in Christ. After this meeting, parting with my
friend John Cadwallader, who accompanied me, I came home. ward, lodging that night at Morris Morris's, (whose wife was very weakly) with whom we had a tender time.
The 9th of the fifth month, I was at the general meeting at Germantown, which was a large and good meeting; going home I went to see Richard Busby, who was not well; he said the company of his friends revived him. Next day I went to visit Jane Breintnall, who was seized with the dead-palsy on one side, and the Lord was pleased to comfort us together, as she expressed, to our mutual satisfaction.
On the 30th of the said month, was our quarterly meeting of ministers at Philadelphia, where humble walking with God was recommended and prayed for, and it was desired that ministers might be exemplary therein, having Christ for their pattern.
On the 1st of the sixth month, I was at our meeting at Frankfort, which was a dull meeting to me and divers others, a lively exercise of spirit being too much wanting among many, and close walking with God in conversation. If we would really enjoy the love and presence
Christ in our religious meetings; we ought to keep near to him in our daily conversation, which that we might do, was humbly desired in supplication and prayer to God.
The young man who came to me under great concern of mind after the funeral of John Rutledge, wrote to me, that he was followed with the judgments of God for his manifold transgressions, desiring that I would pray for him. In answer to his letter, I wrote him to the fol
Frankfort, 7th of 6th Month, 1725. “ Thine from Burlington of the 26th of fifth month, I received, by which I perceive the hand of the Almighty hath been upon thee for thy vanity and folly ; and I desire that thou may be very careful to keep close to that hand, and do not go from under it, but mind the light of Christ that hath discovered God to be great and good, and his dear Son to be thy saviour, and sin and Šatan to be evil, which evil (if thou follows it) will certainly bring thee to destruction and eternal wo; but if thou follows Christ, and walks according to that light by which he hath manifested sin to be exceeding sinful, in his time ; as thou waits in patience, he will bring thee through his righteous judgments unto victory.
Wait, Oh! wait in patience upon God, if it be all thy days! “I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against him," said the prophet Micah. Again, “ All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come,” says Job.
Thou art young in years, and young in experience in the works of grace, wherefore advise with solid, good men, if thou meets with inward or outward straits and difficulties, for the enemy will not easily let go his hold, which he hath had of thee; therefore walk circumspect. ly, and shun evil company. As to praying in a form of words (without the spirit helps, in order to open them according to thy state and condition) that will not avail :