« AnteriorContinuar »
“Oh! for diligence in business, fervour in spirit, serving the Lord, feeling the subserviency to Him. Should any unforeseen cause check the stream of life and health, let me leave it as my last legacy, that my friends everywhere should care for the poor, and seek to do them good in every possible way; and not them only, but the rich and the middle ranks, who call for our care and thought, and feel1ng. “3rd mo. 9th, 1817. Time flies. Reading this morning some of the religious lessons for Sunday schools, my heart united with those who write such lessons, in the disposition in which they are evidently written—a disposition that earnestly strives “to seek and to save that which is lost.’ “ 17th. On looking back, I feel convinced, as I have often done before, that had I no ground for final salvation and acceptance, but the correctness of my own doings, I should despair. “21st. Yesterday, accompanied by a friend, I visited a number of very poor families, some in the extreme of poverty. We looked with pity on their various situations, almost destitute, as some of them appeared, of any consolation, either from within or from without. Alas! there is too much of that “squalid poverty' in which the main support of life is a source of continual and almost fretful anxiety, from day to-day. We were in one habitation which I scarcely ever saw exceeded for the appearance of poverty, and almost divestment of all that can be called comfort. In the inmates of these poor dwellings there is evident such an alienation of mind from the only source of true consolation, that we could not but deeply pity their situation, and earnestly wish that their hearts might be turned to seek for hope and consolation in Him who was called the ‘Friend of sinners. Oh! that we might, by affectionate conversations with them, and by lending them books in which are examples of piety, and the counsels of the pious, be happily instrumental in leading them to a state, in which the prospect of a happy futurity, and the consciousness of heavenly favour, could make even the wilderness to bloom and become beautiful, and the lowliest habitations to be cheered and enlivened by the beams of an unfading sun. Oh! how are those who have been favoured to see and to feel where their best interest lies, called upon to direct the attention of others to the pursuit of the same blessings. It is in the influence of religious feeling only, that a balm can be found for the sorrows of the present world, and a corrector of all its disorders. It is this which can introduce happiness into every department of life, and even bring order and harmony into dwellings, which have been the scene of discord and confusion, and can teach the heart to rejoice in God, even when the trees, which have borne fruit to us, shall sorbear to blossom, and a bereavement of the nearest and dearest of our natural enjoyments is to be endured. Oh! then, that the hearts of people might be more and more weaned from the dependence on an unstable world, and directed to that which is enduring and eternal. Expressions of truly devotional feeling, committed to writing, would I think be good subjects for the meditation of our children; though we would not recommend the adoption of them, as expressions of devotion, unfelt. Let them always know that the heart must pray; the lips alone cannot, whatever words are used. When I was a very little girl, I was pleased with finding a book of my dear mother's, called the Duties of the Closet; but do not recollect any expressions it contained, except that in the exercises for the evening preceding the Sabbath; I do not know whether they were called prayers or meditations, but in them were these words, which I sometimes uttered, and my heart felt gratefully conscious of the goodness of that infinite, yet mysterious Power, to whom they were addressed: ‘O ! Thou overflowing Fountain of endless love.” The renewal of this remembrance this morning feels sweet and precious. Ah! what interest is there in the whole world, and all that it can give, in comparison with that which is connected with the acknowledgment of Him, whose power created the heavens and the earth, the seas, and the fountains of water, who teaches us the lessons of His love, in the silence of retirement, with a power and a sweetness no language can express. Oh that, when thus favoured, watchfulness may be maintained, and the mind preserved in a state, to worship Him in the beauty of holiness. “8th mo. 5th. I could not easily trace all the interesting views which have presented themselves during the last few weeks. One is a delightful hope, originating in my mind at the general school meeting at Ackworth, that that school may become more eminently useful, and the religious instruction now given there, (I trust from true Christian sympathy,) may be crowned with the blessing of Him who is the beginner and finisher of all that is good. A great reduction in my own feelings while at Ackworth, seemed to prepare the way for listening, with renewed delight, on the following day, to good tidings of great joy, given to all people, in the mission of the Redeemer, which was feelingly proclaimed at the meeting of the Bible Society. At that meeting was an African missionary; and then, and before, but especially after, my hopes were kindled into expectation, that school missions and religious missions from among Friends, and partly in conjunction with what they can unite with in others, would, some time hence, be freely encouraged and promoted; but, let us begin well at home, and not press things beyond the right time:—good will increase. Ah! may we be true to our proper business. Let religious instruction be given in schools and families at home, and from true Christian duty. Let this be our first social duty, in conjunction with the general care of our dear families; for dear they will be, if our hearts are right with our Father which is in heaven. Secondly, let us provide for the necessities, temporal and spiritual, as well as we may be enabled to do, of those about home, by promoting schools, Bible societies, tract libraries, and bettering societies. Then, in the third place, let our love and our care be shown to those of every land, to whom we may be favoured with the power of doing good. “24th. I sought society this evening, but not attaining it, took up to read some missionary papers, which have lately been presented to me; and, before the first was finished, essayed the following query for insertion in the Iris.
“To the Friends of Missions. ‘What would be the most easy and efficient method of arranging and reducing to letters an unwritten language Any considerations which can throw light on this interesting point, would essentially oblige, ‘A Correspond ENT.’
“Prospects wide and interesting open before my view; and I fully believe that the day will come when Friends will more largely engage in missionary work than they have ever yet done, and without violating any of their principles. “At our monthly meeting lately, both in and out of meeting, when some arduous concerns were before me, which I believed to be duties, a precious feeling of consolation was conveyed, as my mind was directed to Him who is the source of all that is good, and could guide and support through all, this language emphatically and affectingly came to my mind, ‘Is He not Almighty P" “9th mo. 20th. If I have an evidence of duty in any one point, I believe it is given in imparting religious instruction to children; and this not only from my own Scripture selections, but from other books. I shall never, I think, forget the first attempt, made in the year 1813, to convey instruction in this way to the children of my own family. The tenderness which overspread their spirits, and the consciousness that filled my own, of the continuance of that heavenly regard which once induced the injunction, “Suffer little children to come to me, were very striking and memorable. “23rd. Yesterday completed the outlines of a little elementary grammar, very short and easy, designed for the children of the most uninstructed class, such as the subjects of missionary care at Sierra-Leone. How grateful I should be for such a degree of leisure as I now enjoy, for pursuing interesting concerns. All my family act towards me with unremitting kindness and attention, which is a great blessing, and tends to keep the mind in quiet; for to be happy at home is indeed always to