Alla inlägg den 1 april 2011

Av schuhe lily - 1 april 2011 08:15

Some elderly Friends in Philadelphia, knowing the time of my intending to setoff, had conferred together, and thought good to inform me of these thingsbefore I left home, that I might consider them and proceed as I believed best.Going to bed again, I told not my wife till morning. My heart was turned to theLord for His heavenly instruction; and it was an humbling time to me. When Itold my dear wife, she appeared to be deeply concerned about it; but in a fewhours' time my mind became settled in a belief that it was my duty to proceedon my journey, and she bore it with a good degree of resignation. In thisconflict of spirit there were great searchings of heart and strong cries to theLord, that no motion might in the least degree be attended to but that of thepure spirit of truth.The subjects before mentioned, on which I had so lately spoken in public,were now fresh before me, and I was brought inwardly to commit myself to theLord, to be disposed of as He saw best. I took leave of my family andneighbours in much bowedness of spirit, and went to our Monthly Meeting atBurlington. After taking leave of Friends there, I crossed the river,accompanied by my friends Israel and John Pemberton; and parting the nextmorning with Israel, John bore me company to Samuel Foulk's, where I met thebefore-mentioned Indians; and we were glad to see each other.Here my friend Benjamin Parvin met me, and proposed joining me as acompanion, -- we had before exchanged some letters on the subject, -- and now Ihad a sharp trial on his account; for, as the journey appeared perilous, Ithought if he went chiefly to bear me company, and we should be taken captive,my having been the means of drawing him into these difficulties would add to myown afflictions; so I told him my mind freely, and let him know that I wasresigned to go alone; but after all, if he really believed it to be his duty togo on, I believed his company would be very comfortable to me. It was, indeed,a time of deep exercise, and Benjamin appeared to be so fastened to the visit that he could not be easy to leave me; so we went on, accompanied by ourfriends John Pemberton and William Lightfoot of Pikeland.We lodged at Bethlehem, and there parting with John, William and we wentforward on the 9th of the Sixth Month, and got lodging on the floor of a house,about five miles from Fort Allen. Here we parted with William, and at thisplace we met with an Indian trader lately come from Wyoming. In conversationwith him, I perceived that many white people often sell rum to the Indians,which I believe is a great evil. In the first place, they are thereby deprivedof the use of reason, and, their spirits being violently agitated, quarrelsoften arise which end in mischief, and the bitterness and resentment occasionedhereby are frequently of long continuance. Again, their skins and furs, gottenthrough much fatigue and hard travels in hunting, with which they intended tobuy clothing, they often sell at a low rate for more rum, when they becomeintoxicated; and afterward, when they suffer for want of the necessaries oflife, are angry with those who, for the sake of gain, took advantage of theirweakness.

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Being thus fully convinced, and feeling an increasing desire to live in thespirit of peace, I have often been sorrowfully affected with thinking on theunquiet spirit in which wars are generally carried on, and with the miseries ofmany of my fellow-creatures engaged therein; some suddenly destroyed; somewounded, and after much pain remaining cripples; some deprived of all theiroutward substance and reduced to want; and some carried into captivity.Thinking often on these things, the use of hats and garments dyed with a dyehurtful to them, and wearing more clothes in summer than are useful, grew moreuneasy to me, believing them to be customs which have not their foundation inpure wisdom. The apprehension of being singular from my beloved friends was astrait upon me, and thus I continued in the use of some things contrary to myjudgment.On the 31st of Fifth Month, 1761, I was taken ill of a fever, and after ithad continued near a week, I was in great distress of body. One day there was acry raised in me that I might understand the cause of my affliction, andimprove under it, and my conformity to some customs which I believed were notright was brought to my remembrance. In the continuance of this exercise I feltall the powers in me yield themselves up into the hands of Him who gave mebeing, and was made thankful that He had taken hold of me by His chastisements.Feeling the necessity of further purifying, there was now no desire in me forhealth until the design of my correction was answered. Thus I lay in abasementand brokenness of spirit, and as I felt a sinking down into a calm resignation,so I felt, as in an instant, an inward healing in my nature, and from that timeforward I grew better.hough my mind was thus settled in relation to hurtful dyes, I felt easy towear my garments heretofore made, and continued to do so about nine months.Then I thought of getting a hat the natural colour of the fur, but theapprehension of being looked upon as one affecting singularity felt uneasy tome. Here I had occasion to consider that things, though small in themselves,being clearly enjoined by divine authority, become great things to us; and Itrusted that the Lord would support me in the trials that might attendsingularity, so long as singularity was only for His sake. On this account Iwas under close exercise of mind in the time of our General Spring Meeting,1762, greatly desiring to be rightly directed; when, being deeply bowed in spirit before the Lord, I was made willing to submit to what I apprehended wasrequired of me, and when I returned home got a hat of the natural color of thefur.In attending meetings this singularity was a trial to me, and more especiallyat this time, as white hats were used by some who were fond of following thechangeable modes of dress, and as some Friends who knew not from what motives Iwore it grew shy of me, I felt my way for a time shut up in the exercise of theministry. In this condition, my mind being turned toward my Heavenly Fatherwith fervent cries that I might be preserved to walk before Him in the meeknessof wisdom, my heart was often tender in meetings, and I felt an inwardconsolation which to me was very precious under these difficulties.I had several dyed garments fit for use which I believed it best to wear tillI had occasion for new ones. Some Friends were apprehensive that my wearingsuch a hat savoured of an affected singularity; those who spoke with me in afriendly way I generally informed, in a few words, that I believed my wearingit was not in my own will. I had at times been sensible that a superficialfriendship had been dangerous to me; and many Friends being now uneasy with me,I had an inclination to acquaint some with the manner of my being led intothese things; yet upon a deeper thought I was for a time most easy to omit it,believing the present dispensation was profitable, and trusting that, if I keptmy place, the Lord in his own time would open the hearts of Friends towards me.I have since had cause to admire His goodness and loving-kindness in leadingabout and instructing me, and in opening and enlarging my heart in some of ourmeetings.

Av schuhe lily - 1 april 2011 08:12

By the breaking in of enraged merciless armies, flourishing countries havebeen laid waste, great numbers of people have perished in a short time, andmany more have been pressed with poverty and grief. By the pestilence, peoplehave died so fast in a city, that, through fear, grief, and confusion, those inhealth have found great difficulty in burying the dead, even without coffins.By famine, great numbers of people in some places have been brought to theutmost distress, and have pined away from want of the necessaries of life.Thus, when the kind invitations and gentle chastisements of a gracious God havenot been attended to, his sore judgments have at times been poured out uponpeople.While some rules approved in civil society and conformable to human policy,so called, are distinguishable from the purity of truth and righteousness, -while many professing the truth are declining from that ardent love andheavenly-mindedness which was amongst the primitive followers of Jesus Christ,it is time for us to attend diligently to the intent of every chastisement, andto consider the most deep and inward design of them.The Most High doth not often speak with an outward voice to our outward ears,but, if we humbly meditate on His perfections, consider that He is perfectwisdom and goodness, and that to afflict His creatures to no purpose would beutterly averse to His nature, we shall hear and understand His language both inHis gentle and more heavy chastisements, and shall take heed that we do not, inthe wisdom of this world, endeavour to escape His hand by means too powerfulfor us.Had he endowed men with understanding to prevent this disease (the smallpox)by means which had never proved hurtful nor mortal, such a discovery might beconsidered as the period of chastisement by this distemper, where thatknowledge extended.(1) But as life and health are His gifts, and are not to be disposed of in our own wills, to take upon us by inoculation when in h

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In the winter of this year, the smallpox being in our town, and many beinginoculated, of whom a few died, some things were opened in my mind, which Iwrote as follows: -The more fully our lives are conformable to the will of God, the better it isfor us; I have looked on the smallpox as a messenger from the Almighty, to bean assistant in the cause of virtue, and to incite us to consider whether weemploy our time only in such things as are consistent with perfect wisdom andgoodness. Building houses suitable to dwell in, for ourselves and ourcreatures; preparing clothing suitable for the climate and season, and foodconvenient, are all duties incumbent on us. And under these general heads aremany branches of business in which we may venture health and life, as necessitymay require.This disease being in a house, and my business calling me to go near it,incites me to consider whether this is a real indispensable duty; whether it isnot in conformity to some custom which would be better laid aside, or whetherit does not proceed from too eager a pursuit after some outward treasure. Ifthe business before me springs not from a clear understanding and a regard tothat use of things which perfect wisdom approves, to be brought to a sense ofit and stopped in my pursuit is a kindness, for when I proceed to businesswithout some evidence of duty, I have found by experience that it tends toweakness.If I am so situated that there appears no probability of missing theinfection, it tends to make me think whether my manner of life in thingsoutward has nothing in it which may unfit my body to receive this messenger ina way the most favourable to me. Do I use food and drink in no other sort andin no other degree than was designed by Him who gave these creatures for oursustenance? Do I never abuse my body by inordinate labour, striving toaccomplish some end which I have unwisely proposed? Do I use action enough insome useful employ, or do I sit too much idle while some persons who labour tosupport me have too great a share of it? If in any of these things I amdeficient, to be incited to consider it is a favour to me. Employment isnecessary in social life, and this infection, which often proves mortal,incites me to think whether these social acts of mine are real duties. If I goon a visit to the widows and fatherless, do I go purely on a principle ofcharity, free from any selfish views? If I go to a religious meeting it puts meon thinking whether I go in sincerity and in a clear sense of duty, or whetherit is not partly in conformity to custom, or partly from a sensible delightwhich my animal spirits feel in the company of other people, and whether tosupport my reputation as a religious man has no share in it.Do affairs relating to civil society call me near this infection? If I go, itis at the hazard of my health and life, and it becomes me to think seriouslywhether love to truth and righteousness is the motive of my attending; whetherthe mannner of proceeding is altogether equitable, or whether aught ofnarrowness, party interest, respect to outward dignities, names, ordistinctions among men, do not stain the beauty of those assemblies, and render it doubtful; in point of duty, whether a disciple of Christ ought to attend asa member united to the body or not. Whenever there are blemishes which for aseries of time remain such, that which is a means of stirring us up to lookattentively on these blemishes, and to labour according to our capacities tohave health and soundness restored in our country, we may justly account akindness from our gracious Father, who appointed that means.The care of a wise and good man for his only son is inferior to the regard ofthe great Parent of the universe for His creatures. He hath the command of allthe powers and operations in nature, and "doth not afflict willingly, norgrieve the children of men." Chastisement is intended for instruction, andinstruction being received by gentle chastisement, greater calamities areprevented. By an earthquake hundreds of houses are sometimes shaken down in afew minutes, multitudes of people perish suddenly, and many more, being crushedand bruised in the ruins of the buildings, pine away and die in great misery.

Av schuhe lily - 1 april 2011 08:09

In all our cares about worldly treasures, let us steadily bear in mind thatriches possessed by children who do not truly serve God, are likely to provesnares that may more grievously entangle them in that spirit of selfishness andexaltation which stands in opposition to real peace and happiness, and rendersthose who submit to the influence of it enemies to the cause of Christ.To keep a watchful eye towards real objects of charity, to visit the poorin their lonesome dwelling-places, to comfort those who, through thedispensations of divine Providence, are in strait and painful circumstances inthis life, and steadily to endeavour to honour God with our substance, from areal sense of the love of Christ influencing our minds, is more likely to bring a blessing to our children, and will afford more satisfaction to a Christianfavoured with plenty, than an earnest desire to collect much wealth to leavebehind us; for, "here we have no continuing city"; may we therefore diligently"seek one that is to come, whose builder and maker is God.""Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are just,whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things areof good report, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on thesethings, and do them, and the God of peace shall be with you."(Signed by appointment, and on behalf of said meeting.)Twenty-eighth of Eleventh Month. -- This day I attended the Quarterly Meetingin Bucks County. In the meeting of ministers and elders my heart was enlargedin the love of Jesus Christ, and the favour of the Most High was extended to usin that and the ensuing meeting.I had conversation at my lodging with my beloved friend Samuel Eastburn, whoexpressed a concern to join in a visit to some Friends in that county who hadnegroes, and as I had felt a drawing in my mind to the said work, I came homeand put things in order. On the 11th of Twelfth Month I went over the river,and on the next day was at Buckingham Meeting, where, through the descendingsof heavenly dew, my mind was comforted and drawn into a near unity with theflock of Jesus Christ.Entering upon this business appeared weighty, and before I left home my mindwas often sad, under which exercise I felt at times the Holy Spirit which helpsour infirmities, and through which my prayers were at times put up to God inprivate that He would be pleased to purge me from all selfishness, that I mightbe strengthened to discharge my duty faithfully, how hard soever to the naturalpart. We proceeded on the visit in a weighty frame of spirit, and went to thehouses of the most active members who had negroes throughout the county.Through the goodness of the Lord my mind was preserved in resignation in timesof trial, and though the work was hard to nature, yet, through the strength ofthat love which is stronger than death, tenderness of heart was often feltamongst us in our visits, and we parted from several families with greatersatisfaction than we expected.We visited Joseph White's family, he being in England; we had also a familysitting at the house of an elder who bore us company, and were at Makefield ona First-day: at all which times my heart was truly thankful to the Lord who wasgraciously pleased to renew His loving-kindness to us, His poor servants,uniting us together in His work.

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Fourteenth of Sixth Month. -- Having felt drawings in my mind to visitFriends about Salem, and having the approbation of our Monthly Meeting, Iattended their Quarterly Meeting, and was out seven days, and attended sevenmeetings; in some of them I was chiefly silent; in others, through thebaptizing power of truth, my heart was enlarged in heavenly love, and I found anear fellowship with the brethren and sisters, in the manifold trials attendingtheir Christian progress through this world.Seventh Month. -- I have found an increasing concern on my mind to visit someactive members in our Society who have slaves, and having no opportunity of thecompany of such as were named in the minutes of the Yearly Meeting, I went alone to their houses, and, in the fear of the Lord, acquainted them with theexercise I was under; and thus, sometimes by a few words, I found myselfdischarged from a heavy burden. After this, our friend John Churchman cominginto our province with a view to be at some meetings, and to join again in thevisit to those who had slaves, I bore him company in the said visit to someactive members, and found inward satisfaction.At our Yearly Meeting this year, we had some weighty seasons, in which thepower of truth was largely extended, to the strengthening of the honest-minded.As the epistles which were to be sent to the Yearly Meetings on this continentwere read, I observed that in most of them, both this year and the last, it wasrecommended to Friends to labour against buying and keeping slaves, and in someof them the subject was closely treated upon. As this practice hath long been aheavy exercise to me, and I have often waded through mortifying labours on thataccount, and at times in some meetings have been almost alone therein, I washumbly bowed in thankfulness in observing the increasing concern in ourreligious society, and seeing how the Lord was raising up and qualifyingservants for His work, not only in this respect, but for promoting the cause oftruth in general.This meeting continued near a week. For several days, in the fore part of it,my mind was drawn into a deep inward stillness, and being at times covered withthe spirit of supplication, my heart was secretly poured out before the Lord.Near the conclusion of the meeting for business, way opened in the pureflowings of divine love for me to express what lay upon me, which, as it thenarose in my mind, was first to show how deep answers to deep in the hearts ofthe sincere and upright; though, in their different growths, they may not allhave attained to the same clearness in some points relating to our testimony.And I was then led to mention the integrity and constancy of many martyrs whogave their lives for the testimony of Jesus, and yet, in some points they helddoctrines distinguishable from some which we hold, that, in all ages, wherepeople were faithful to the light and understanding which the Most Highafforded them, they found acceptance with Him, and though there may bedifferent ways of thinking amongst us in some particulars, yet, if we mutuallykeep to that spirit and power which crucifies to the world, which teaches us tobe content with things really needful, and to avoid all superfluities, and giveup our hearts to fear and serve the Lord, true unity may still be preservedamongst us; that, if those who were at times under sufferings on account ofsome scruples of conscience kept low and humble, and in their conduct in lifemanifested a spirit of true charity, it would be more likely to reach thewitness in others, and be of more service in the Church, than if theirsufferings were attended with a contrary spirit and conduct. In this exercise Iwas drawn into a sympathizing tenderness with the sheep of Christ, howeverdistinguished one from another in this world, and the like disposition appeared to spread over others in the meeting. Great is the goodness of the Lord towardsHis poor creatures.

Av schuhe lily - 1 april 2011 08:02

That which hath so closely engaged my mind, in seeking to the Lord forinstruction, is, whether, after the full information I have had of theoppression which the slaves lie under who raise the West India produce, which Ihave gained by reading a caution and warning to Great Britain and her colonies,written by Anthony Benezet, it is right for me to take passage in a vesselemployed in the West India trade."To trade freely with oppressors without labouring to dissuade them from suchunkind treatment, and to seek for gain by such traffic, tends, I believe, tomake them more easy respecting their conduct than they would be, if the causeof universal righteousness was humbly and firmly attended to by those ingeneral with whom they have commerce; and that complaint of the Lord by hisprophet, "They have strengthened the hands of the wicked," hath very oftenrevived in my mind. I may here add some circumstances which occurred to mebefore I had any prospect of a visit there. David longed for some water in awell beyond an army of Philistines who were at war with Israel, and some of his men, to please him, ventured their lives in passing through this army, andbrought that water."It doth not appear that the Israelites were then scarce of water, but ratherthat David gave way to delicacy of taste; and having reflected on the danger towhich these men had been exposed, he considered this water as their blood, andhis heart smote him that he could not drink it, but he poured it out to theLord. The oppression of the slaves which I have seen in several journeyssouthward on this continent, and the report of their treatment in the WestIndies, have deeply affected me, and a care to live in the spirit of peace andminister no just cause of offence to my fellow-creatures having from time totime livingly revived in my mind, I have for some years past declined togratify my palate with those sugars."I do not censure my brethren in these things, but I believe the Father ofMercies, to whom all mankind by creation are equally related, hath heard thegroans of this oppressed people, and that He is preparing some to have a tenderfeeling of their condition. Trading in, or the frequent use of any produceknown to be raised by the labour of those who are under such lamentableoppression, hath appeared to be a subject which may hereafter require the moreserious consideration of the humble followers of Christ, the Prince of Peace."After long and mournful exercise I am now free to mention how things haveopened in my mind, with desires that, if it may please the Lord further to openHis will to any of His children in this matter, they may faithfully follow Himin such further manifestation.

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TWELFTH of Third Month, 1769. -- Having for some years past dieted myself onaccount of illness and weakness of body, and not having ability to travel byland as heretofore, I was at times favoured to look with awfulness towards theLord, before whom are all my ways, who alone hath the power of life and death,and to feel thankfulness raised in me for this His fatherly chastisement,believing that if I was truly humbled under it all would work for good. Whileunder this bodily weakness, my mind was at times exercised for my fellow-creatures in the West Indies, and I grew jealous over myself lest thedisagreeableness of the prospect should hinder me from obediently attendingthereto; for, though I knew not that the Lord required me to go there, yet Ibelieved that resignation was now called for in that respect. Feeling a dangerof not being wholly devoted to Him, I was frequently engaged to watch untoprayer that I might be preserved; and upwards of a year having passed, as I oneday walked in a solitary wood, my mind being covered with awfulness, cries wereraised in me to my merciful Father, that He would graciously keep me infaithfulness; and it then settled on my mind, as a duty, to open my conditionto Friends at our Monthly Meeting, which I did soon after, as follows: -"An exercise hath attended me for some time past, and of late hath been moreweighty upon me, which is, that I believe it is required of me to be resignedto go on a visit to some parts of the West Indies."In the Quarterly and General Spring Meetings I found no clearness to expressanything further than that I believed resignation herein was required of me.Having obtained certificates from all the said meetings, I felt like asojourner at my outward habitation, and kept free from worldly encumbrances,and I was often bowed in spirit before the Lord, with inward breathings to Himthat I might be rightly directed. I may here note that the circumstance beforerelated of my having, when young, joined with another executor in selling anegro lad till he might attain the age of thirty years, was now the cause ofmuch sorrow to me; and, after having settled matters relating to this youth, Iprovided a sea-store and bed, and things for the voyage. Hearing of a vessellikely to sail from Philadelphia for Barbadoes, I spake with one of the ownersat Burlington, and soon after went to Philadelphia on purpose to speak to himagain. He told me there was a Friend in town who was part owner of the saidvessel. I felt no inclination to speak with the latter, but returned home.Awhile after I took leave of my family, and, going to Philadelphia, had someweighty conversation with the first-mentioned owner, and showed him a writing,as follows: -"On the 25th of Eleventh Month, 1769, as an exercise with respect to a visitto Barbadoes hath been weighty on my mind, I may express some of the trials which have attended me, under which I have at times rejoiced that I have feltmy own self-will subjected."Some years ago I retailed rum, sugar, and molasses, the fruits of the labourof slaves, but had not then much concern about them save only that the rummight be used in moderation; nor was this concern so weightily attended to as Inow believe it ought to have been. Having of late years been further informedrespecting the oppression too generally exercised in these islands, andthinking often on the dangers there are in connections of interest andfellowship with the works of darkness (Eph. v. 11), I have felt an increasingconcern to be wholly given up to the leadings of the Holy Spirit, and it hathseemed right that my small gain from this branch of trade should be applied inpromoting righteousness on the earth. This was the first motion towards a visitto Barbadoes. I believed also that part of my outward substance should beapplied in paying my passage, if I went, and providing things in a lowly wayfor my subsistence; but when the time drew near in which I believed it requiredof me to be in readiness, a difficulty arose which hath been a continual trialfor some months past, under which I have, with abasement of mind from day today, sought the Lord for instruction, having often had a feeling of thecondition of one formerly, who bewailed himself because the Lord hid His facefrom him. During these exercises my heart hath often been contrite, and I havehad a tender feeling of the temptations of my fellow-creatures, labouring underexpensive customs not agreeable to the simplicity that 'there is in Christ' (2Cor. ii. 3), and sometimes in the renewings of gospel love I have been helpedto minister to others.

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