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Source global Wall Street Journal     time 2022-12-17 15:03:36
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  If we carefully consider the peaceable measures pursued in the firstsettlement of land, and that freedom from the desolations of wars which for along time we enjoyed, we shall find ourselves under strong obligations to theAlmighty, who, when the earth is so generally polluted with wickedness, givesus a being in a part so signally favoured with tranquillity and plenty, and inwhich the glad tidings of the gospel of Christ are so freely published, that wemay justly say with the Psalmist, "What shall we render unto the Lord for allHis benefits?"Our own real good and the good of our posterity in some measure depends onthe part we act, and it nearly concerns us to try our foundations impartially.

  We had five meetings in Narraganset, and went thence to Newport on RhodeIsland. Our gracious Father preserved us in an humble dependence on Him throughdeep exercises that were mortifying to the creaturely will. In several familiesin the country where we lodged, I felt an engagement on my mind to have aconference with them in private, concerning their slaves; and through divineaid I was favoured to give up thereto. Though in this concern I differ frommany whose service in travelling is, I believe, greater than mine, yet I do notthink hardly of them for omitting it; I do not repine at having so unpleasant atask assigned me, but look with awfulness to Him who appoints to His servantstheir respective employments, and is good to all who serve Him sincerely.

  Thus, for instance, among an imperious warlike people, supported by oppressedslaves, some of these masters, I suppose, are awakened to feel and to see theirerror, and through sincere repentance cease from oppression and become likefathers to their servants, showing by their example a pattern of humility inliving, and moderation in governing, for the instruction and admonition oftheir oppressing neighbours; these, without carrying the reformation further,have, I believe, found acceptance with the Lord. Such was the beginning; andthose who succeeded them, and who faithfully attended to the nature and spiritof the reformation, have seen the necessity of proceeding forward, and have notonly to instruct others by their own example in governing well, but have alsoto use means to prevent their successors from having so much power to oppressothers.

五 月十四日——这一天我参加了坎普湾月会,然后骑马到詹姆士河上游山上去,在某朋友家聚会。在上述两次会中我心里愁闷,在主面前眼泪迸流。主施恩赐我力量, 叫我在这一带地方知道怎样向朋友们说话。从这里又到仆克湾,然后又回到栖得河,在那边有了聚会。在这里我发现了忧伤悔改的种子,当我在真理面前谦卑自己的 时候,他们心中的同一真理和我心中的互相应和,我们在主面前彼此激励。获益良多。我寄宿在司丹利的家;他儿子威廉去年夏天曾因反对战争在文拆士特被处徒 刑,当时我曾和他谈论有关这事的问题,颇觉满意。

梦 中我正在海外作宗教访问,出门已经两个多月了;我所访问那国家的人民此时和某邻国人民正因海外利益的冲突而争斗起来,双方都在准备作全面战争。我心想这两 个国家间未为海洋所隔断,只有陆地界线,且邻国元首所住地方距此只有一日的路程。这时我心中既为这战争风声所困扰,因此盼望前往会见这邻国首领,劝他停止 争战,对两国间冲突的原因作更进一步的调查研究,力求妥协,避免流血惨局。这样决定后我立即动身,有一位向导和我同行。我们在林中走了一些时候,看见一些 人在劳作,都带着枪杆。我即上前走近他们,他们一发见我们从敌方地带过来,立即拿起枪干,准备向我们开火;这时我赶快上前,举起双手,表示我手中没有武 器。于是我和他们握手,说明我来此目的,他们听了似乎都很愉快。可是当我和他们谈话之时,我的向导忽然拿出一把小枪(我原不知道他有这枪),幸而他们已知 道了我们的来意,所以并未开火。这以后我再也没有看见那向导。这时他们当中有人表示愿意带我往见他们的首领,我们立即动身,经过东南部森林中的一条小径, 又涉过池沼;途中这新向导(他会说一些英语)告诉我当我见到他们首领之时,务须言无不尽,说出心中的话,并说他们在聚会中的敬礼乃是彼此交谈,而不是握 手。终于我们来到那首领的屋前,这人大概是统率本国军队和掌管政务的人,但非国王。他的屋子不和其他屋子杂在一起,屋前有一个美丽花园,种着绿色芸香;我 就在花园中站着,等待向导进去通报。我正独自站着思想这些事情,忽见向导出来,走近我身旁,告诉我他忘记了通知我首领要请我吃饭的事。不久首领也跟着出 来,他已知道我来见他的目的,对我表示友善的态度,我正待向他说话之时忽然醒了过来。

在 这次旅行,自觉卑微的心境中,这一带教会的情况在我眼前都呈现出来,我不禁要与先知同声说,我因听见而疼痛,因看见而惊惶。”在这样的一种感觉下,我参 加了根普地的季会。对于那些以压迫黑奴,剥削黑奴劳动力来维持自己生活的朋友们,我觉得应该把我心中所想的坦白向他们说出;这时那至高者所应许的话又在我 心中显明出来:我必将万民万族聚来,看见我的荣耀。”同时,基督的受难和祂为每一个人的罪死,以及使徒与初期信徒们为着向外邦人传福音所经历的跋涉,苦 难,以至于为道而殉的景象,又一一活现在我心中。我按照所领受的力量在爱的精神中工作,自己深为感动。我们之对待这些外邦人——黑奴——和初期基督徒之对 待外邦人适成明显对照,事情既说清楚,真理的能力克服了我们,在这种感觉下我与当地富有爱心的人同一心意。聚会结束,大家感谢主之以慈爱对待那些卑微而投 靠于祂的儿女。

  Eighth Month, 1758. -- Having had drawings in my mind to be at the QuarterlyMeeting in Chester County, and at some meetings in the county of Philadelphia,I went first to said Quarterly Meeting, which was large. Several weighty matters came under consideration and debate, and the Lord was pleased toqualify some of His servants with strength and firmness to bear the burden ofthe day. Though I said but little, my mind was deeply exercised, and, under asense of God's love, in the anointing and fitting of some young men for hiswork, I was comforted, and my heart was tendered before Him. From hence I wentto the Youth's Meeting at Darby, where my beloved friend and brother BenjaminJones met me by appointment before I left home, to join in the visit. We wereat Radnor, Merion, Richland, North Wales, Plymouth, and Abington meetings, andhad cause to bow in reverence before the Lord, our gracious God, by whose helpway was opened for us from day to day. I was out about two weeks, and rodeabout two hundred miles.

  A few days after writing these considerations, our dear friend in the courseof his religious visits came to the city of York, (2) and attended most of thesittings of the Quarterly Meeting there, but before it was over he was takenill of the smallpox. Our friend Thomas Priestman, and others who attended him,preserved the following minutes of his expressions in the time of hissickness:-First day the 27th of the Ninth Month, 1772. -- His disorder appeared to bethe smallpox. Being asked to have a doctor's advice, he signified he had notfreedom or liberty in his mind so to do, standing wholly resigned to His willwho gave him life, and whose power he had witnessed to raise and heal him insickness before, when he seemed nigh unto death; and if he was to wind up now,he was perfectly resigned, having no will either to live or die, and did notchoose any should be sent for to him; but a young man, an apothecary, coming ofhis own accord the next day and desiring to do something for him, he said hefound a freedom to confer with him and the other Friends about him, and ifanything should be proposed as to medicine that did not come through defiledchannels or oppressive hands, he should be willing to consider and take it, sofar as he found freedom.


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