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Nevertheless it is our desire that they may, by regarding the dictates of Truth in their hearts, come to unfeigned repentance; and, by a conduct consistent with our holy profession, and all other means in their power, condemn their transgression so as to be fit to be reinstated members of our society.
A MEMORIAL Concerning my beloved wife, HANNAH SMITH.
Besides the motive of preserving some sketches of the life and death of a dear companion, for the benefit of our offspring,—I am induced to attempt a description of her character for the instruction of others who were not acquainted with the living pattern; while those few that were intimately so, will, I apprehend, acknowledge that it is short of what might have been justly said on the subject.
She was the daughter of James and Sarah Logan, and was born at Philadelphia on the 21st of the 12th month, 1719–20. By the care of her parents, she was in a great measure preserved from the common levities, incident to early youth; and by the opportunities of improvement afterward, she acquired such qualifications as gained her much respect and esteem. And though the affluent situation in which her parents were placed, furnished flattering prospects of the ease and gayety of the world, yet the durable riches of true religion appeared to her a treasure of much more consequence; and as such, of too great value to be relinquished for the pride of shadows, and delights that die in the enjoyment. Thus, at a period of life when the slippery paths of vanity, in a succession of increasing allurements, are apt to ensnare the youthful mind, it pleased the Divine Being to bless her endeavours to withstand the temptations of vain and unprofitable company (though of the politer sort) and to strengthen her love of inward retirement and recollection. Having tasted the visitations of Divine love to her soul, she saw it was the pearl of great price, and that her all must go to purchase the field in which it lay: and from this time forward, I have reason to think that this purchase became the principal business of her life; and also that she endeavoured to stick to the terms with great sincerity and ardour; carefully avoiding occasions of interruption, and studying to have all those disquieting passions and affections silenced, which arise from temporal objects and are too apt to mingle with, and sometimes mislead good intentions. As she was mercifully enabled to keep here, she at times knew the breathings of her heart to be answered, and was favoured to partake of the bread of life which satisfied her soul with the joys of salvation. This increased her care over her words and deportment, that nothing might cancel or weaken her interest in the great object of her love and her hope, or incapacitate her from rendering back in some degree the fruits of his own right-hand planting.
Such was the situation in which I found her when our nearer acquaintance commenced.
She was uncommonly scrupulous respecting any proposals which might be likely to engage her in the hurries of a family, lest she should be led into a neglect of her inward pursuits and spiritual concerns. She therefore paused with a religious solicitude, and waited for clearness in her own mind, as to a marriage engagement, until her doubts were removed. We were happily married at Germantown meeting on the 7th of the 10th month, 1748. From that time she always continued to take suitable opportunities of retirement, and to read the holy scriptures; but without lessening the proper concern about family affairs (in the prudent direction of which, few could exceed her) or the duties of friendship and good neighbourhood.
In the relations of a child, wife and mother, she was tenderly and anxiously careful to fill up her place: and having herself had the benefit of an excellent mother's example, she tried to follow her, as well in her general conduct as in the more private endearments of family order and harmony. She was a candid interpreter of the conduct of her acquaintance. She did not indulge a curiosity to know, much less to meddle with other people's concerns; and possessed a painful sensibility at any conversation, introduced at the expense of the reputation of absent persons; and she often wished that the ingenuities sometimes bestowed that way, might be employed on the improvements rather than the faults of mankind.
In the beginning of the year 1756, she became apprehensive that it was required of her to speak in our public meetings. This occasioned much inward conflict; having been always fearful of discrediting religion by appearing to be more in show than in substance. At length, however, she gave up to what she believed to be her duty: and I am well assured: that both her engaging and continuing in that service, was in much simplicity of heart, and in godly sincerity. Her first appearance in that way was at Burlington; and while we lived there, she joined
with other Friends in visiting families in several parts of that monthly meeting; and divers times accompanied some of her own sex, of greater experience in the ministry, in visiting several of the Yearly Meetings in the adjacent provinces. After our return to reside in Philadelphia, which was about half a year before her decease, she continued to attend religious meetings with as much diligence as the weakness of her constitution would admit; and when there, to clear herself of what she thought required of her.
During the time of her last illness, she told me several times that she believed she should not re
And though her bodily pain was at times very sharp, she was favoured with entire confidence in the mercy of God, which she found to be a refuge from storms, and a sure defence in the day of distress. Once, acquainting me, in great sweetness of spirit, with the state of her mind, she said, “Notwithstanding the close trials I undergo, my foundation remains sure; and I have a hope, yea, an unshaken hope that there is a place of rest prepared for me.” At another time, she mentioned that the prospect of her change being near continued; and begged me to strive for resignation to the Divine will respecting her, “ for,” said she, “ I am easy;-I feel no guilt.” A few evenings before her departure, as I sat by her bed-side, she desired that our children and all that were about her, might keep as still as possible when she expired: then mentioned several other things relative thereto, and told me that all anxiety concerning the nearest enjoyments of this. life, was removed from her;—that she felt pardon and forgiveness for all omissions of duty; and con
cluded this very affecting conversation with these words: “Oh! the infinite loving kindness of a merciful God, who has made such a poor creature as I am, so rich in faith and a firm hope that I shall be accepted of him."
She departed this life on the 18th, and was decently interred on the 23rd of the 12th month, 1761.And as it was the chief desire of her heart to live in the name and power of Christ, and did confess him by a humble, meek and pious conduct, I have a reverent confidence that she now enjoys his blessed promise of being owned by him before his Father and the holy angels.
John SMITH. Philadelphia, 1st mo. 15th, 1762.
A BRIEF ACCOUNT Of the regular movements of the Carolina Friends who went to settle over the Ohio river, in the year 1800: to which is prefixed a copy of Borden Stanton's letter to Friends of Wrightsborough monthly meeting, in Georgia, on the proposal of their also removing to settle in what was then called, The Northwestern Territory; dated the 25th of the 5th month, 1802, being as follows:
Dear friends,-Having understood by William Patten and William Hogan from your parts, that a number among you have had some thoughts and turnings of mind respecting a removal to this country; and, as I make no doubt, you have had much struggling and many reasonings about the propriety of it; and also, considering the undertaking as a very arduous one, that you have been almost ready at times .