Page images
PDF
EPUB

Yet when it suits, to worship can repair,
And by mere imitation join in prayer.
These are but burdens to the faithful few,
Augment their labours, and their grief renew:
While others, months or years can stay at home,
Or saunt’ring round among their neighbours roam.
All ill examples these to rising youth,
Untaught of Wisdom, unreform’d by Truth.
Others again, and of more hopeful sort,
Approach so far as to the outward court;
Whose looks and garb and gestures, all declare
They're on the wing, and soaring in the air.
These, young and flighty, wanting proper thought,
Not under right humiliation brought,
By prudent pious care from such who know,
And keep the right way, as their fruits do show,-
May yet in time be gather'd to the flock,
And know their stay, the everlasting Rock;-
Know the wild nature broke by power Divine,
And grafted in the everlasting Vine.

Some seem to rest secure and unconcern’d,
If they can feed on bread by others earn’d:
To dig too idle, and to beg, too proud,
Yet under name of Friends they fain would shroud.
If rules of Discipline escape their hate,
Are apt to think they're often made too strait.
Some too there are who do not stick to say,
"T were better all those rules were done

away.
And some again would still preserve a few,
Of what are old and good, but nothing new.
So one must judge of all, and take the best
Of what they like, and throw away the rest.
Another judges too, and thinks that these
Should be rejected, which some others please.

And thus, by then their culling rules is done,
The case in short will be,–We must have none.
Some, not ill-meaning, but too easy led,
Imbibe the taint, and the infection spread.

. As death among the hedges first begun,
In little spots, now here, now there, was one,
Still further spreading year by year, till last,
The whole reduc'd, and fields became a waste:
So in the early church declension rose,
One error these embrac'd, another those;
Darkness increasʼd and vices multiply'd,
Till purity and Truth were laid aside,
And a polluted whore was styl’d the bride.

But God forbid that now the glorious light
And candlestick, should be remov'd from sight.
And Oh! may kind protecting Heaven renew,
With strength and zeal, the yet remaining few;
To keep the hedge, and to repair the loss,
Save all the gold, but purge away the dross.
And may their number, as th' unnumber'd sand,
Or grains of loaded ears in harvest stand;
Or stars of night, or drops of morning dew,
Be number'd such who Life and Peace ensue.

A MEMORIAL Of Woodbury monthly meeting, New Jersey, con

cerning John TATUM. It is not with a view of eulogizing the dead, that we give forth the following memorial concerning our dear, deceased friend, John Tatum; but in order that the remembrance of his unblemished life and pious example may be perpetuated as a testimony to the efficacy of that Divine Power which wrought all good works in him.

He was the son of John and Sarah Tatum, members of Woodbury, particular meeting, and was born the 11th day of the 9th month, 1767, within the limits of said meeting, of which he continued to be a member to the time of his death. By his pious and exemplary father, he was carefully educated in the principles of the society of Friends, to which he remained firmly attached to the end of his days.But he was no sectarian; his charity extended to all, and his love, like that of his divine Master, was universal.

From early childhood, he was remarkable for his sobriety and stability. When he was about eleven years old, his mother died, leaving two children, one of whom was a daughter several years younger than the subject of this Memoir; and while he was yet a youth, he extended towards her a guardian care and solicitude as of an experienced parent; embracing every opportunity of instilling correct principles into her tender mind; which she often mentioned in after-life with feelings of gratitude and affection.

As it was difficult to procure suitable teachers for schools, when he was about seventeen years

of

age he entered into that useful employment; in which he continued, during the winter season, for several years; thereby rendering an essential service to the neighbourhood where he was thus engaged.

About the year 1792, he settled on the farm where he resided the remainder of his life; and soon after, married Hannah, the daughter of William Rogers, late of Evesham. As their minds were congenial, they lived together in much harmony, until the year 1819, when she was removed by death, leaving the care of several children devolving on him; which

cease.

trust he faithfully discharged, endeavouring, according to the ability received, to bring them up in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord:” for he had no greater joy than to see his children walking in the Truth. In the year 1822, he was united in marriage with Anne Biddle, of Philadelphia. He was a kind and affectionate husband,

,-a tender father, and a firm and steady friend, particularly to those in adversity. He was very useful in his neighbourhood, especially in acts of kindness and beneficence to the poor, without distinction of colour; in which he seemed unwearied; and few would be more missed on that account.

About the year 1804, he was appointed to the station of an elder in the church, in which he continued with much acceptance until the time of his de

During which period, as well as before, he was active in several other important duties and appointments in society, being deeply concerned for the advancement of Truth and righteousness. He was a diligent attender of all our religious meetings, and a bright example in reverently waiting on the Lord therein, being careful to take his family with him. He was of a tender spirit, and desirous above every other consideration to keep a conscience void of offence towards God and man. In the exercise of the discipline of the church, his object was, by mild and gentle means, to bring the transgressor to a sense of the evil of his ways, that so he might be restored to the unity of his friends: and the meekness and gentleness of his spirit qualified him for eminent usefulness in treating with offenders.

He was endued with a sound and discriminating judgment; and early in life obtained the full confi

year

dence of his father, who seldom, if ever, undertook any matter of importance without consulting with him. In his intercourse among men, he was courteous, kind and obliging to all, being an example of disinterestedness and humility.

The subject of the dissentions in our religious society was cause of deep exercise to the meek and peaceable spirit of this our dear friend; and his efforts to moderate our opposing friends, were fervent and sincere, though without the desired effect. When a separation took place in this meeting, he for some time attended the meetings of those who do not consider themselves as members with us; but in the 1828, he was visited with a severe illness, which greatly prostrated his bodily strength; and in this trying situation, being much humbled, his petitions were put up to his heavenly Father for right direction; when, after a time of deep probation, it was clearly manifested to him that his peaee consisted in firmly uniting himself with the Friends of this meeting. The conflict was severe, between affection for some of his nearest connexions in life, and duty to his heavenly Benefactor; so that his faith was closely tried. But he saw that it would no longer do to reason with flesh and blood, and gave up in obedience to the heavenly vision; often expressing the great peace he felt in this act of dedication. After thus fully surrendering his will to what he believed was Divinely required of him, his health and strength seemed renewed, and he again became active and useful among his friends.

In the course of his pilgrimage through life, he had to partake largely of the cup of affliction, which is more or less the lot of all; but he was enabled to

« PreviousContinue »