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views of our friends, that I think there are but few who fully practice simple obedience to the manifested will of our Heavenly Father, which is of more importance to us than every
“I now think it right to mention to thee some of my past experience. When
dear mother lay very helpless, and I had been nursing her some time, I believed it was my duty to leave her, and attend to other duties, which were very clearly pointed out to me; but my best friends could not see and feel with me; they thought it improper, and I believe, irrational, for me to leave my helpless mother and my family at that time. It was very trying to my natural will, but I believed my peace of mind depended thereon, and in that belief, I was strengthened to leave all and
go. I believe it was more in the cross than I ever left home before. I met with many outward trials, and my stay from home was prolonged, because I could not appoint any meetings; therefore I was obliged to wait until meeting-day, to attend the meetings I thought it right to visit. I think the performance of that journey, and the devotedness to what I believed was right, added more to my spiritual life than any one visit I ever performed; and I can now recur to it with peace of mind."
The day before her death, it was the privilege of the writer of this to be with her, who can testify, that in her case the words of the poet were fully realized, when he says:
"The chamber where the good man meets his fate, Is privileged, beyond the common walks
Of virtuous life, quite in the verge of Heaven." To be with her was like being in the borders of the spirit-land, and holding sweet converse with its celestial inhabitants; while the world, with all its allurements, receded like the phantom of a dream. She did not appear to have any sense of her approaching dissolution, although her weakness was extreme, and every symptom indicated that it was at hand. Indeed, so strong was the spirit of life in her, that death, in every sense of the word, might be said to be swallowed up therein. The breathing of her soul was one continuous strain of love, thanksgiving and praise, though in broken accents. Light, too, beamed on her understanding, at that solemn crisis, on the most interesting of all subjects, as will appear from her own expressions, which were committed to writing at the time.
She said to one of her particular friends, in reference to the subjects which had divided the Society of Friends : “ We have quarreled about the blood, we have quarreled about the man, we have quarreled about the miraculous conception of Jesus Christ, but what have we to do with these things ? Let us consider the man as the mere garment clothing the Divinity, that fulness of the Godhead that dwelt in him. It was the Father's purpose, his eternal purpose, to send him to the world of mankind, clothed with all the feelings of a man, that overcoming these,
he might be a perfect example to mankind; that, by following him, by the aid of his spirit, they might also overcome even the world, with all its temptations, its riches, its glories, and its grandeur ; the flesh, with all its inordinate propensities; the devil, or deceiver of man's peace and happiness, which I conceive to be the carnal mind, with all its twistings and entwinings, its insinuations and false pretensions of things, delusive reasonings, doubting and questionings why these things should be so.
After a short pause, in which the breathing of her spirit, which was partly audible, though in very low and faltering accents, was thanksgiving and praise, she added, 6. How I would like my friends at Buckingham to know this, this day, it being meeting day;) but I must wait in patience; he that opened it to me, can open it to them.”
A friend called to see her, on his way to meeting, and when about to take leave of her, on being told where he was going, she said, “ Go, and be faithful, and don't fear the face of man. She then desired reading, when several chapters of the New Testament were read to her, in which she evinced a lively interest, making short remarks, as—"How plain !” “How wonderful !" She manifested a concern that those in attendance on her should be spared all unnecessary labor, and observed that she made a great deal of work. On being told that no one thought so, she replied, “ We are often under a great mistake about this; we have a testimony to bear
against oppression, and we have no more right to oppress ourselves than others. These bodies are designed to be temples of the living God, given to us for a glorious purpose, to work out the salvation of the immortal part.”
Some friends of the other division of our Society, coming to see her, she manifested much affection for them, and said she knew no difference, and never had, between their friends and ours ; said those she could approach, and who could sympathise with her, felt equally near to her. . One
of the friends observing she believed Martha had many friends, she replied, "I do not think I have a personal enemy on earth.”
The reading was continued, by her request, at intervals during the day. Towards evening, two of her brothers came to her bedside. She told them she was very weak in body, adding, “but O, how strong in spirit! O, what a glorious day this has been to me! What joy of heart ! Wonderful ! wonderful!"
In the early part of the evening, a friend of the Orthodox part of the Society called to see her. She appeared very glad to see him, and observed to him, “We are all one in Christ;" and spoke of the necessity of the reduction of the human will, and of the free-agency of man, in that he had the power to choose his own course. She spoke to him of one at whose hands she had received what some deemed harsh treatment, saying, "He had been to me as a tender father ; he took me by the hand, and led me along,
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