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vine love. How good it is, to be desirous to bring forth acceptable fruit to the Lord! Those who are thus engaged can sing, as Mary did; “My soul doth magnify the Lord! and my spirit hath rejoiced in God, my Saviour!”
Oh! what need there is for all, before it is too late, to know the good seed which is sown in their hearts to “take root downward, and bear fruit upwards," while their summer lasteth; lest their harvest be over, their summer ended, and they not saved: then it will be too late to labour; and great will be the disappointment,—great the fall of him who has been unfruitful!
Some may reason, that they never had much revealed to them. This they may expect, as long as they are unfaithful in the little. If a child will not be obedient to learn his letters, and many other little things, will he ever acquire much knowledge?
I believe there are diversities of gifts and administrations, but are they not all administered by the same Spirit:-revealing to each one what his gifts and callings are in the church of Christ? And all ought to be actuated by the movings of the same wisdom from above.
All the Lord's people are taught of him, and great are their peace and reward. They are led by his immediate Spirit, and not by the precepts and traditions of men. They do not depend on the teachings of instruments, nor rest on the forms of the righteous. For “it is the spirit that quickens," and makes alive; but “the letter kills,” and destroys that breathing of life which first made the soul alive. I hope this breathing will never forsake me, while I remain in this world. I trust in the promises of Christ, that
he never will leave nor forsake his followers to the end. I desire to be cleansed from all sin, that I may be prepared to join the “innumerable company of angels." Yet I have no right to depend on any works of salvation, but what are wrought in me. For, unless I know Christ come in my heart, and to overcome sin there, by putting down all evil under his feet,—to become my intercessor and mediator—to adopt me by free grace, that I may thereby become a son and heir of salvation by him; if I read and believe all the great favours which righteous men have known, yet I need not expect to be profited by any thing, more than what I experience in myself.
We find it was by Divine revelation, that the wise men and shepherds found Christ with his mother: they rejoiced and made obeisance to him, when the wicked hated him. It was by this inward operation, that others rejoiced in the coming of Christ; and that good old Simeon embraced the Messiah in his arms.
It was those only who were willing to receive the offers of salvation, that were benefited by them. But how can any ever expect to profit by any offer, as long as they reject it? for then, it cannot be their possession, or enjoyment; but the receivers only can possess and enjoy.
As, in former days, those who did receive salvation by Christ, came under the operation of his Holy Spirit, so it must be in every age of the world.
Soon after the Yearly Meeting at Wayne-oke, in the year 1789, he performed, in company with James Ladd, a religious visit to Friends of Rich Square, and
Jack Swamp meetings. On a review of this act of obedience to manifested duty, (which was not unattended with difficulties and discouragements to him,) he made the following acknowledgment: “Although it was not for me to stay at home to accumulate wealth, to lay up for the flesh to be attached to, yet I had peace
of mind. Heavenly treasure was given me, for leaving all to follow Christ: and I believe that my so giving up, never occasioned me to lack any of those outward things which were really necessary for the support of my family."
He also relates, that he felt drawings in the love of the gospel, to visit the meetings and families of Friends belonging to the Quarterly meeting, of which he was a member. And as it lay with increasing weight on his mind, he spread the concern before the monthly meeting for Friends' sympathy, and had the meeting's concurrence and encouragement in the undertaking
In the performance of this service, he was renewedly confirmed in his mind of the necessity of waiting for the clear discoveries of Truth; not only to direct, in entering into these arduous concerns, but in every subsequent movement, to the completion of them. And that this will not only show the most favourable time, and furnish with matter for communication, adapted to the various states of the visited; but will also point out those persons who may be the most suitable coadjutors in the work: as, by a proper or an improper selection of companions, the important objects in view may be much promoted or obstructed.
And he particularly cautioned Friends, to be careful how they joined with others in such services,
without feeling the right call, and having the unity of Friends in the engagement.
The death of Lemuel Jones, with whom he was nearly united in religious fellowship, was a loss to society which this friend in particular seemed deeply to feel; as appears by the following testimony which he left among his papers:
“ Many friends have desired to see some memorial drawn up concerning dear Lemuel; but as there never has been any produced, I am willing to leave my testimony as a memorial concerning him.
“ He had a cheerful countenance and was very sociable; his conversation was lively, and instructive, and his manners courteous and engaging; which made his company desirable, and he was held in esteem by different ranks and classes of people who knew him.
“He many times expressed to me his concern for his children; desiring they might be preserved from that ensnaring evil of going into the vain, changeable fashions of the world, and gaiety of dress; which / many of our unguarded youth by little and little go into, and so are gradually ensnared; having their minds drawn from the love and unity of Friends.This throws them out into corrupting company, that entices them into one evil after another, until they become reprobates. . He was eminently qualified for services in the exercise of the discipline."
When Moses and Elijah had done the work allotted them in their day, others were qualified to fill their places. So, I believe it would be in this age
of the world, if that which qualifies were thoroughly submitted to.
I wish for Friends rightly to consider the cause of the poor state of many of our meetings, and to be engaged to seek after the restoration of the ancient beauty of pure life and substance, while the day of visitation is still extended.
It has often been my lot to visit the meetings and families of Friends in the lower parts of our quarter; and after the death of Lemuel, I would feel the loss of his spirit, in going down with me in the baptizing feelings of the state of things among Friends. Oh! how great is the want of such elders in these days; getting down in their minds under a proper feeling sense of their burdens-bearing up the life, and advancing the testimony of Truth against all wrong spirits, which rise in opposition to the precious influence of Divine love.
Oh! how elders ought to keep under a feeling sense of that love which gives power over the world, and be willing to travail into deep judgments with the people, as into the very bottom of Jordan, that they may bring up stones of memorial out of the deep: whereby they may be enabled to teach their children of the Lord's wonderful works, when they sit in their houses, when they lie down, when they rise up, and when they walk by the way.
One day I felt a concern to visit a friend who was in the station of an elder; and went alone to the house in the evening. After the family had gone to bed and left us together, I felt engaged to query with him respecting his conduct, and was drawn to point out his sorrowful state,-falling from the life, and from