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Source global Wall Street Journal     time 2022-01-14 22:00:49
Typefacelarge in Small
  Some time after this minute was made I remained uneasy with the manner of myspeaking to the ancient Friend, and could not see my way clear to conceal myuneasiness, though I was concerned that I might say nothing to weaken the causein which I had laboured. After some close exercise and hearty repentence fornot having attended closely to the safe guide, I stood up, and, reciting thepassage, acquainted Friends that though I durst not go from what I had said asto the matter, yet I was uneasy with the manner of my speaking, believingmilder language would have been better. As this was uttered in some degree ofcreaturely abasement after a warm debate, it appeared to have a good savouramongst us.

  The natural man loveth eloquence, and many love to hear eloquent orations,and if there be not a careful attention to the gift, men who have once labouredin the pure gospel ministry, growing weary of suffering, and ashamed ofappearing weak, may kindle a fire, compass themselves about with sparks, andwalk in the light, not of Christ, who is under suffering, but of that firewhich they in departing from the gift have kindled, in order that those hearerswho have left the meek, suffering state for worldly wisdom may be warmed withthis fire and speak highly of their labours. That which is of God gathers toGod, and that which is of the world is owned by the world.

  I may here mention a remarkable circumstance that occurred in my childhood.

  As some of their members have heretofore traded in negroes, as in othermerchandise, this query being admitted will be one step further than they havehitherto gone, and I did not see it my duty to press for an alteration, butfelt easy to leave it all to Him who alone is able to turn the hearts of themighty, and make way for the spreading of truth on the earth, by meansagreeable to his infinite wisdom. In regard to those they already had, I feltmy mind engaged to labour with them, and said that, as we believe theScriptures were given forth by holy men, as they were moved by the Holy Ghost,and many of us know by experience that they are often helpful and comfortable,and believe ourselves bound in duty to teach our children to read them; Ibelieved that if we were divested of all selfish views, the same good Spiritthat gave them forth would engage us to teach the negroes to read, that theymight have the benefit of them. Some present manifested a concern to take morecare in the education of their negroes.

  Washing our garments to keep them sweet is cleanly, but it is the opposite toreal cleanliness to hide dirt in them. Through giving way to hiding dirt in ourgarments a spirit which would conceal that which is disagreeable isstrengthened. Real cleanliness becometh a holy people; but hiding that which isnot clean by colouring our garments seems contrary to the sweetness ofsincerity. Through some sorts of dyes cloth is rendered less useful. And if thevalue of dye-stuffs, and expense of dyeing, and the damage done to cloth, wereall added together, and that cost applied to keeping all sweet and clean, howmuch more would real cleanliness prevail.

数年后雇主的太太亡故,他放弃了他的铺子,于是我们分开,我就经营我自己的业务。这时我经常参加崇拜及训练聚会,深觉上帝的爱在我心中与日俱增。在祂的爱中我盼望访问宾夕尼亚和维基尼阿某些地区的朋友,并希望能有一位旅伴。我把这事向好友安德鲁斯(Isaac Andrews) 提起,他告诉我他心中亦有这种意念,也想访问马利兰和北加罗来纳诸地。经过数次商议之后,我觉得如果机会许可的话就可以和他结伴同行。我把这件事在月会中 向朋友们提出,他们都同意让我出去,我们的团体分别发给我们证书,我们于一七四六年五月十二日出发,他从哈敦菲特来,我从柏林敦动身。

既 然相信全能者差遣祂儿子降世的目的是在乎补救不顺服所造成的损坏,终结罪和过犯,使祂的国降临,祂的旨意行在地上,如同行在天上,我们就认为我们的责任在 乎终止国与国间那产生悲惨结果和流血的战斗,把我们的问题交给那至高的主,祂对祂儿女的慈爱胜过肉身父母的爱,祂曾应许祂所有的儿女,如同应许一人, 说,我总不撇下你,也不丢弃你”(来13:5)。而我们由于主上帝的恩典,曾经经验过祂工作的推行并不是倚靠地上的能力,也不是倚靠势力,乃是倚靠我的灵;这是万军的耶和华说的”(参亚4:6)。 藉此属灵的国度建立了起来,它将克服并击碎一切反对它的国度,永远坚立。这道理和那属灵国度的稳定和平是我们所深刻感觉到的,所以我们盼望凡承认真道的人 都能够内在地与这属灵国度相联系,因此在生活的各方面都能符合我们的和平信仰。但愿人们代代相传,完全倚靠全能者的臂膀,好使这和平的国度逐渐伸展,从 这海管到那海,从大河管到地极”(亚9:10)。为着成全这已经开始得到应验的预言,这国不举刀攻击那国,他们也不再学习战事”(赛2:4)。

  About this time I wrote an epistle to Friends in the back settlements ofNorth Carolina, as follows: -TO FRIENDS AT THEIR MONTHLY MEETING AT NEW GARDEN AND CANE CREEK, IN NORTHCAROLINA: -DEAR FRIENDS, -- It having pleased the Lord to draw me forth on a visit tosome parts of Virginia and Carolina, you have often been in my mind; and thoughmy way is not clear to come in person to visit you, yet I feel it in my heartto communicate a few things, as they arise in the love of truth. First, my dearfriends, dwell in humility; and take heed that no views of outward gain get toodeep hold of you, that so, your eyes being single to the Lord, you may be preserved in the way of safety. Where people let loose their minds after thelove of outward things, and are more engaged in pursuing the profits andseeking the friendships of this world, than to be inwardly acquainted with theway of true peace, they walk in a vain shadow, while the true comfort of lifeis wanting. Their examples are often hurtful to others; and their treasuresthus collected do many times prove dangerous snares to their children.


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