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A BRIEF MEMOIR
WITH PORTIONS OF THE
LETTERS, AND OTHER REMAINS,
LATE OF BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND.
"For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."--PHIL. 1. 21.
The first edition of this volume appeared in England in 1855, where
it was printed for private circulation only. Many expressions of the
interest that has been felt in its perusal, and of the value that has
been attached to the record it contains, have reached the editor
and the family of the departed. Several applications to allow its
publication in America have also been received; and, after serious
consideration, the editor feels that he ought not to withhold his
In order that it may be more interesting and worthy of the
largely-extended circulation that it is now likely to obtain,
additions have been made, and particulars inserted, which a greater
lapse of time from the occurrence of the events narrated, seems now
to permit. A slight thread of biographical notice has also been
But it is not to this part, which merely serves to render the volume
more complete, by enabling the reader to understand the circumstances
by which the writer of the Diary was surrounded, but to the Diary
itself, that the editor desires to commend attention, believing that
those who enjoy to trace the operations and effects of Divine grace on
the heart will find much that is interesting and valuable therein,
and that the young may reap instruction and encouragement from the
spiritual history of one who early and earnestly sought the Lord.
WILLIAM SOUTHALL, JR.
EDGBASTON, BIRMINGHAM, 2d mo. 12th, 1861.
Eliza Southall, wife of William Southall, Jr., of Birmingham, England,
and daughter of John and Eliza Allen, was born at Liskeard, on the 9th
of 6th month, 1823.
As she felt a strong attachment to the scenes of her childhood, and
an interest in the people among whom she spent the greater part of her
short life,--an attachment which is evinced many times in the course
of her memoranda,--it may interest the American reader to know that
Liskeard is an ancient but small town in Cornwall. The country around
is broken up into hill and dale, sloping down to the sea a few miles
distant, the rocky shores of which are dotted with fishing-villages;
in an opposite direction it swells into granite hills, in which
are numerous mines of copper and lead. There is a good deal of
intelligence, and also of religious feeling, to be met with among both
the miners and fishermen, Cornwall having been the scene of a great
revival in religion in the time of John Wesley, the effects of which
have not been suffered to pass away. A meeting of Friends has been
held at Liskeard from an early period in the history of the Society;
but, as in many other country places in England, the numbers seem
gradually to diminish, various attractions drawing the members to the
larger towns. Launceston Castle, so well known in connection with the
sufferings of George Fox, is a few miles distant.
The family-circle, until broken a few years before her own marriage
by that of an elder sister, consisted, in addition to her parents, of
five daughters, two of whom were older and two younger than Eliza. Her
father was long known and deservedly esteemed by Friends in England,
and her mother is an approved minister. John Allen was a man of
sound judgment and of liberal and enlightened views, ever desirous
of upholding the truth, but at the same time ready to listen to the
arguments of those who might differ from him in opinion. Moderate and
cautious in counsel and conduct, firm, yet a peacemaker, he was truly
a father in the Church. For many years he took an active part in
the deliberations of the Yearly Meeting, and was often employed in
services connected with the Society. He was known to many Friends on
the American continent, from having visited that country in 1845 by
appointment of the London Yearly Meeting. He was the author of a work
entitled "State Churches and the Kingdom of Christ," and of several
pamphlets on religious subjects. He died in 1859.
John Allen retired from business at an early age; and a prominent
reason for his doing so was that he might devote himself more fully to
the education of his daughters, which was conducted almost entirely at
home. Having a decided taste for the ancient classics, he considered
that so good a foundation of a sound education ought not to be
neglected. The same might be said of the older history and literature
of his own country, including its poetry, in which he was well read;
but he fully encouraged his pupils to become acquainted also with
the better productions of the day, to the tone of which their younger
minds were more easily adapted. Nor was education confined to direct
instruction in the school-room. In a little memoir of John Allen,
published in the "Annual Monitor," we read, "In the domestic circle,
the tender, watchful care and sympathy of the parent were blended
with the constant stimulus to self-improvement of the teacher; and the
readiness to sacrifice personal ease and convenience, in order that
he might enter into the pursuits and amusements of his children, was
united with an unremitting endeavor to maintain a high standard of
moral and religious feeling. Thus by example as well as by precept did
he evince his deep concern for their best welfare. As years passed on,
his cordial sympathy with their interests, and his anxiety as far as
possible to share his own with them, gave an additional power to his
influence, not easily estimated." Such were the simple and natural
means of education employed. The aim was true enlargement of mind; and
the desire was carefully instilled that the knowledge acquired
should be valued for its own sake, not as a possession to be used for
display. At the same time, care was taken not to destroy the balance
between the intellect and the affections, so that, whilst the growth
of the mental powers was encouraged, domestic and social duties
should not suffer, and habits of self-reliance should be formed. From
earliest childhood the great principles of Christianity were instilled
into the opening minds of the children; and when the reflective powers
had come into operation, their reasonings were watched and guided into
safe paths. In this object, as in all the pursuits of her children,
was the loving influence of a watchful mother gently felt. Thus by
the united love and example of the parents were the affections of the
children directed to a risen Saviour; and it is the aim of this volume
to show, principally from records penned by her own hand, how one
beloved daughter grew in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord, until
it pleased Him to take her to Himself.
Eliza Southall possessed a mind of no common order; and hers was
a character in which simplicity and strength, originality and
refinement, were beautifully blended: diffident and retiring, she was
best appreciated where she was known most intimately.
In very early life she manifested an unusual degree of mental power.
When quite a little child, her earnest pursuit of knowledge was
remarkable: she delighted in her lessons, and chose for her own
reading a class of books far beyond the common taste of children.
Her ardent, impulsive nature was, to a beautiful degree, tempered and
softened by a depth of tenderness and intensity of feeling, together
with a warmth of affection, which bound her very closely in sympathy,
even as a child, with those around her.
These sweet traits of natural character were so early blended with the
unmistakable evidences of the fruit of divine grace in her heart, that
it would be difficult to point to any time in her earliest childhood
when there was not an earnest strife against evil, some sweet proof of
the power of overcoming grace, and some manifestation of love to her
Her own words sweetly describe her feelings in recalling this
period:--"When I look back to the years of my early childhood, I
cannot remember the time when the Lord did not strive with me; neither
can I remember any precise time of my first covenant. It was the
gentle drawing of the cords of his love; it was the sweet impress of
his hand; it was the breathing in silence of a wind that bloweth where
The following instances of the serious thoughtfulness of her early
childhood are fresh in her mother's recollection. On one of her
sisters first going to meeting, Eliza, who was younger, much wished
to accompany her; saying, "I know, mamma, that R---- and I can have
meetings at home; but I do want to go." Being told that her going must
depend upon her sister's behavior, Eliza ran to her, and putting her
arms round her neck, said, most earnestly, "Do, dear R----, be a good
girl and behave well." The dear child's desire to attend meeting was
soon gratified; and that morning she selected, to commit to memory,
Jane Taylor's appropriate hymn on attending public worship, especially
noticing the stanza--
"The triflers, too, His eye can see,
Who only _seem_ to take a part;
They move the lip, and bend the knee,
But do not seek Him with the heart,"--
saying, earnestly, "Oh, I hope I shall not be like those!"
At another time, whilst amusing herself with her toys, she asked,
"Mamma, what is it that makes me feel _so sorry_ when I have done
wrong? _Directly_, mamma: what is it?" On her mother's explaining that
it was the Holy Spirit put into her heart by her heavenly Father, she
replied, "But how very whispering it is, mamma! Nobody else can hear
it." "Yes, my dear," said her mother; "and thou mayst sometimes hear
it compared to a 'still small voice, and then thou wilt know what
is meant." She answered, "Yes, mamma," and then continued to amuse
herself as before.
The first remembrance of Eliza retained by one of her younger sisters
is that of sitting opposite to her in the nursery-window while she
endeavored, in a simple manner, to explain to her the source and
object of her being. To the same sister she afterwards addressed
some affectionate lines of infantile poetry urging the same subject,
"Look, precious child, to Jesus Christ."
The missionary spirit which filled her young heart was also evinced
by her desire to possess a donkey, that she might distribute Bibles in
the country places round about; and this was afterwards spoken of as
the ambition of her childhood.
Together with the cheerful sweetness of her disposition, there was
an unusual pensiveness, a tender care for others, which was most
endearing, and often touching to witness. One day, perceiving her
mother much affected on receiving intelligence of the decease of a
valued friend and minister at a distance from home, Eliza evinced her
sympathy by laying on the table before her some beautiful lines on
the death of Howard. On her mother asking if she thought the cases
similar, she said, "Not quite, mamma: J---- T---- was not without
So earnest was her anxiety for the good of herself and her sisters,
that, when any thing wrong had been done, her feelings of distress
seemed equally excited, whether for their sakes or her own. After
any little trouble of this sort, her mother often observed her
retire alone, and, when she returned to the family-group, a beaming
expression on her countenance would show where she had laid her
sorrows. Sometimes in her play-hours she would endeavor to prepare
her two younger sisters for the lessons which they would receive from
their father, and, when the time came for her to join in giving them
regular instruction, she entered into it with zest and interest.
Many hours were spent during the summer in the little plots of ground
allotted to herself and sisters out of a small plantation skirting
a meadow near the house, and many others in reading under the old
elm-trees which cast their shade over the garden-walk.
The spare moments during her domestic occupations which she was
anxious not to neglect were often beguiled by learning pieces of
poetry, a book being generally open at her side while thus employed.
Earnestness of purpose and unwearied energy were characteristics
of her mind. Whatever she undertook was done thoroughly and with
an untiring industry, which often claimed the watchful care of her
parents from the fear lest she should overtax her strength. It was
evidently difficult to her to avoid an unsuitable strain on her
physical powers, whatever might be the nature of her pursuit,--whether
her own private reading or other intellectual occupation. At one
period her time and energies were closely occupied for some months
in the formation of very elaborate charts, by which she endeavored to
impress historical and scientific subjects on her mind. The collection
and examination of objects illustrating the different branches
of natural history was also a very favorite pursuit, in which she
delighted to join her sisters. But the reader will best understand how
completely any pursuit in which she became deeply interested took hold
upon her, from her own account of her experiences respecting poetry.
While deeply feeling her responsibility for the right use of all
the talents intrusted to her care, and earnestly engaged in their
cultivation, she was equally conscious of the claims of social duty,
and as solicitous to fulfil them, seeking in every way to contribute
to the happiness of those around her, whether among the poor or among
the friends and relatives of her own circle.
Her journal, while it exhibits an intense earnestness in analyzing the
state of her own mind, and perhaps rather too much proneness to dwell
morbidly upon it, also evinces the tender joy and peace with which she
was often blessed by the manifested presence of her Lord. It unfolds
an advancement in Christian experience to which her conduct bore
living testimony, and proves that in humble reliance on the hope set
before her in the gospel, with growing distrust of herself, her faith
increased in God her Saviour, and through his grace she was enabled
to maintain the struggle with her soul's enemies, following on to know
Thus it was, as she sought preparation for a more enlarged sphere of
usefulness on earth, her spirit ripened for the perfect service of
heaven; and six weeks after she left her father's house a bride, the
summons was received to join that countless multitude who "have washed
their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb; therefore
are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his
The diary which was kept by the beloved object of this memoir, and
the extracts from which form the principal part of this volume, is
contained in several volumes of closely-written manuscript, and,
taken as a whole, is a most interesting record of mental and spiritual
growth. At times it was continued with almost daily regularity, but
at others, either from the pressure of occupations or from various
causes, considerable intervals occur in which nothing was written.
It has been the endeavor of the editor to make such selections as may
preserve a faithful picture of the whole. There is almost of necessity
a certain amount of repetition, as in seasons of depression, when
faith and hope seemed to be much obscured, or, on the other hand, when
cheerful thankfulness and joy of heart were her portion; and in such
places it did not seem right to curtail her words too much. Many
entries referred too closely to personal and family matters to be
suitable for publication, and the uneventful character of her life
does not leave room to supply in their stead much in the way of
narrative; but it will be remembered that it is the heavenward journey
that it is desired to trace, not simply _towards_ the land "very
far off," but that pilgrimage _during which_, though on earth, the
believer in Jesus is at times privileged to partake of the joys of
The first volume of the series is entitled, by its author, "Mementos
of Mercy to the Chief of Sinners." Some lines written on her
fourteenth birthday--about the period, of its commencement--may
appropriately introduce the extracts.
_6th Mo. 9th_, 1837.--
Can it be true that one more link
In that mysterious chain,
Which joins the two eternities,
I shall not see again?
Eternity! that awful thing
Thought tries in vain to scan;
How far beyond the loftiest powers
Of little, finite man!
E'en daring fancy's fearless flight
In vain would grasp the whole,
And then, "How short man's mortal life!"
Exclaims the wondering soul.
A bubble on the ocean's breast,
A glow-worm's feeble ray,
That loses all its brilliancy
Beneath the orb of day.
Can it be joyful, then, to find
That life is hastening fast?
Can it be joyful to reflect,
This year may be our last?
Look on the firmament above,
From south to northern pole:
Can we find there a resting-place
For the immortal soul?
* * * * *
Where can we search to find its home?
The still small voice in thee
Answers, as from the eternal throne,
"My own shall dwell with me."
And I have one year less to seek
An interest on high;
Am one year nearer to the time
When I myself must die!
And when that awful time will come,
No human tongue can say;
But, oh! how startling is the thought
That it may be to-day!
How shall my guilty spirit meet
The great, all-searching eye?
Conscious of my deficiencies,
As in the dust I lie.
How shall I join the ransom'd throng
Around the throne that stand,
And cast their crowns before thy feet,
Lord of the saintly band?
_12th Mo. 6th_, 1836. There are seasons in which
I am favored to feel a quiet resignation, to spend
and be spent in the service of Him who, even in
my youthful days, has been pleased to visit me with
the overshadowing of His mercy and love, and to require
me to give up all my dearest secret idols, and
every thing which exalts self against the government
of the Prince of Peace.
_4th Mo. 3d_, 1837. Almost in despair of ever
being what I ought to be. I feel so poor in every
good thing, and so amazingly rich in every bad thing.
Still this little spark of love that remains, seems to
hope in Him "who will not quench the smoking flax."
_6th Mo. 4th_. I have cause to be very watchful.
Satan is at hand: temptations abound, and it is no
easy matter to keep in the right way. To have my
affections crucified to the world is my desire. The
way to the celestial city, is not only through the
valley of humiliation, but also through the valley
of the shadow of death.
_6th Mo. 11th_. Many things have lately occurred
which have flattered my vanity. I have received
compliments and commendations: old Adam likes
these things, and persuades me that I am somebody,
and may well feel complacency. How needful is
watchfulness! may the true light discover to me the
snares that are set on every side.
_7th Mo. 2d_. May I be enabled to give myself up
as clay into the Potter's hand, without mixing up
any thing of my own contriving; and in the silence
of all flesh, wait to have the true seed watered and
nourished by heavenly dew.
_8th Mo. 2d_. I feel humbled at the sight of my
many backslidings and deficiencies. Oh, may He,
"who is touched with a feeling of our infirmities," in
just judgment, remember mercy. If He does not,
there can be no hope for me; but oh! I trust He
will. "Let not Thy hand spare, nor Thine eye pity,
till Thou hast made me what thou wouldst have me
_8th Mo. 20th_. Utterly unworthy! Oh, my
Father! if there be any right beginning, if there
be the least spark of good within me, carry it on:
oh, increase it, that I may become as a plant of thy
right hand planting, that I may become a sheep of
thy fold. Assist me to present myself before thee
in true silence, that I may wait upon thee in truth,
and worship thee in the silence of all flesh, and
know "all my treasure, all my springs, in Thee."
_10th Mo. 13th_. We have just been favored with
a visit from J.P., which has been to me a great
comfort. At our Monthly Meeting he addressed
the young; and it seemed as though he spoke the
very thoughts of my heart; and the sweet supplication
offered on their behalf that they might be
preserved from the snares of the delusive world,
may it be answered.
_4th Mo. 15th_, 1838. I want to give up every
thing, every thought, every affection, in short, my
whole self, to my offered Saviour. Then would His
kingdom come, and His will be done. Instead of
the thorn would come up the fir-tree, and instead
of the brier the myrtle-tree. How precious, how
holy, how peaceful, that kingdom! Oh! if I may
yet hope; if mercy is left, I beseech Thee, hear and
behold me, and bring me "out of the miry clay, and
set my feet upon the rock."
_5th Mo. 26th_, 1839. A beautiful First-day.
Every thing sweet and lovely; fulfilling the purpose
of its creation as far as man is not concerned. Birds
and insects formed for happiness, are now completely
happy. But ah! they were formed to give glory to
God, by testifying to man His goodness. Ten thousand
voices call upon me to employ the nobler
talents intrusted for the same purpose. Nearly
sixteen years have I been warned, and sweetly
called upon to awake out of sleep: "What meanest
thou, O sleeper? arise, and call upon thy God!"
How shall I account, in the last day, for these
things? It is often startling to think how time is
advancing, and how ill the day's work keeps pace
with the day. For even now, poor drowsy creature
that I am, it is but occasional sensibility, with the
intervals buried in vain dreams; and even at such
times, my poor warped affections, and busy imaginations,
crowded with a multitude of images, refuse to
yield to the command, "Be still, and know that I
am God." I have, indeed, found that in whatever
circumstances I may he placed, I can never be really
happy without the religion of the heart; without
making the Lord my habitation; and oh, may it be
mine, through Christ's humbling and sanctifying
operations, to know every corner of my heart made
fit for the dwelling-place of Him who is with the
meek and contrite ones. Then shall the remaining
days of my pilgrimage be occupied in the energetic
employment of those talents which must otherwise
rise up for my condemnation in the last day.
_6th Mo. 2d_. It is not for me to say any more
"thus far will I go, but no farther," either in the
narrow or the broad way. In the former, we cannot
refuse to proceed without receding; in the latter, if
we will take any steps, it is impossible to restrain
ourselves. Besetting sins, though apparently opposite
ones, sad stumbling-blocks in the way of the
cross, are unrestrained activity of thought and
indolence: the former proceeds from earthly-mindedness;
and the latter as a sure consequence from
the want of heavenly-mindedness. Oh that by
keeping very close to Jesus, my wandering heart
may receive the impression of His hand, that the
new creation may indeed be witnessed, wherein
Jerusalem is a rejoicing and her people a joy;
then may I find that quiet habitation which nothing
ever gave me out of the fold of Christ.
_6th Mo. 9th_. Alas! how shall I account for the
sixteen years which have, this day, completed
their course upon my head? What shall I render
unto the Lord for all his benefits? Shall I not,
from this time, cry unto Him, "My Father, thou
art the guide of my youth"? But, for the year that
is passed, what can I say? I will lay my hand on
my mouth and acknowledge that it has been squandered.
Yes, so far as it has not been employed about
my Father's business. But, alas! it has been
crammed with selfishness; though now and then
He, whom I trust I yet desire to serve, has made me
sensibly feel how precious is every small dedication
_6th Mo. 16th_. The consideration of the peculiar
doctrines of Friends having been lately rather
forced on my attention, let me record my increased
conviction of the privilege of an education within
the borders of the Society; of the great value and
importance of its spiritual profession, and the awful
responsibility of its members to walk so as to adorn
its doctrines, and shine as lights in the world.
Warmly as she was attached to these principles, she ever rejoiced in
the conviction that all the followers of Christ are one in Him, and
that, by whatever name designated, those who have attained to the
closest communion with Him are the nearest to one another; and when
differences in sentiment were the topic of conversation, she would
sometimes rejoin in an earnest tone, the "commandment is exceeding
_2d Mo. 2d_, 1840. Time passes on, and what progress
do I make, either in usefulness in the earth,
or preparation for heaven? Self-indulgence is the
bane of godliness, and is, alas! mine.' This world's
goods are snares, and are, alas! snares to me.
Coward that my heart is, when pride is piqued, I
have not resolution to conquer my own spirit.
Pride, indolence, and worldly-mindedness are bringing
me into closer and closer bondage: the first
keeps me from true worship by preventing me from
seeking the help and teaching of the one Spirit;
the second, by making me yield without effort or
resistance to the uncontrolled imaginations which
the third presents. And now do these lines witness
that, having been called to an everlasting salvation,
God, the chief good, having manifested His name
unto the least of His little ones, my soul and body
are for Him, _belong_ to Him, to be moulded and
fashioned according to His will; and that if I
frustrate His purpose, His glorious holiness and
free grace are unsullied and everlastingly worthy.
_7th Mo. 12th_. If I acknowledge my own state,
it is one cumbered with "many things." Alas!
amid them how little space is there for the love of
God! I have remembered the days when untold
and inexpressible experiences were mine; when a
child's tears and prayers were seen and heard before
the throne! The stragglings of grace and nature
have been great since then. I can look back to
years of struggles and deliverances, years of revoltings
and of mercies. It is like "threshing mountains"
to meddle with the strongholds of sin; but
mountains, I sometimes hope, will be made to "skip
_10th Mo. 5th_. How long have I been like the
"merchantman seeking goodly pearls"! Ever since
reason dawned I have longed for a goodly pearl;
though dazzled and deceived by many an empty
trifle, I cannot plead as an excuse that I could not
find the pearl. I have seen it at times, and felt how
untold was the price, and thought I was ready to
sell all and buy it, sometimes believed that all was
sold; but why, ah, why was my pledge so often
redeemed? I have been indeed like a simple one,
who, having found a "pearl of great price," cast it
from him for an empty, unsatisfying show.
_1st Mo. 17th_, 1841. Very precious as have been
the privileges vouchsafed the last two days, I can
this morning speak of nothing as my present condition,
but the extreme of weakness and poverty. On
6th day evening R.B. addressed us in such a way
as proved to me that the Divine word is a discerner
of the thoughts and intents of the heart. The
chief purport was the necessity of a willingness to
learn daily of the great Teacher meekness and
lowliness and faithfulness in the occupation of the
talents intrusted; "for where much is given, much
will be required." Yesterday his parting "salutation
of brotherly love" was such as cannot be effaced
from my memory; and oh, I pray that it may not
from my heart. And now my prayer, my desire,
must be for a renewed dedication. The separation,
as R.B. said, from the right hand and the right eye
must be made: the sacrifice which is acceptable will
always cost something.
_3d Mo. 8th_. Oh, may I become altogether a babe
and a fool before myself, and, if it must be, before
others! God has been very graciously dealing with
_3d Mo. 19th_. Words must be much more
guarded, as well as thoughts. This morning I am
comforted with a precious feeling: "I will take care
_3d Mo. 27th_. How does my heart long, this
evening, that the one Saviour may be made unto
me "wisdom and righteousness, sanctification and
redemption!" Teach me to keep silence, O God!
to mind my own business and be faithful to it; to
deny my own will and wisdom; give me the spirit
of true Christian love, that my whole life may be in
the atmosphere of love!
_3d Mo. 28th_. * * * To cease from my own
works, surely in a very small degree, I can experimentally
say, "this is the only true rest." This
blessed experience seems to me the height of enjoyment
to the truly redeemed. Oh, a little foretaste
of this sabbath has been granted, when I have
seemed to behold with my own eye, and to feel for
myself in moments too precious to be forgotten, the
waves of tumult hushed into a, more than earthly
calm by Him who alone can say, "Peace, be still."
My tossing spirit has never found such a calm in
any thing this world can give.
During her first attendance of the Yearly Meeting in London, in 1841,
she wrote the following affectionate lines in a letter to her sisters
The crowds that past me ceaseless rush
Stay not to glance at me,
As falling waters headlong gush
Into their native sea.
But hearts there are that brightly burn,
And light each kindling eye,
And home to them my thoughts return,
Swift as the sunbeams fly.
* * * * *
To home, to home my spirit hastes;
For why? my treasure's there;
'Tis there her native joys she tastes,
And breathes her native air.
Oh, sweetest of all precious things,
When this wide world we roam,
When meets us on its balmy wings
A messenger from home!
From home, where hearts are warm and true,
And love's lamp brightly burns,
And sparkles Hermon's pearly dew
On childhood's crystal urns.
Oh, sweet to mark the speaking lines
Traced by a sister's hand,
And feel the love that firmly twines
Around our household band!
To one of her sisters:--
LONDON, 6th Month, 1841.
* * * * I lay still half hour, and read over
thy tenderly interesting and affecting sheet, and poured
out my full heart; but what can I say? How I do long
to be with you, and see, if it might be, once more, our
beloved uncle! But perhaps before this the conflict may
be over, the victory won, the everlasting city gained,
none of whose inhabitants can say, "I am sick." And
if so, dare we murmur or wish to recall the loved one
from that home? Oh for that childlike and humble
submission which is befitting the children of a Father
of mercies, and the followers of Him who can and will
do all things well!
After the Yearly Meeting, she thus writes in her Journal:--
_6th Mo. 12th_. Many and great have been the
favors dispensed within the last five weeks. The
attendance of the Yearly Meeting has been the
occasion of many and solemn warnings and advices,
and, I trust, the reception of some real instruction.
But, truly, I have found that in every situation, the
great enemy can lay his snares; and if one more
than another has taken with me, it has been to lead
me to look outward for teaching, and to depend too
much upon it, neglecting that one inward adoration
for the want of which no outward ministry can atone.
But I hope the enemy has not gained more than
limited advantages of this kind, and perhaps even
the discovery of these has had the effect of making
me more distrustful of self. And, now, oh that the
everlasting covenant might be ordered in _all_ things
and sure, and He only, who is King of Kings and
Lord of Lords, be exalted over all, in my heart; and
the blessed experience thus described, be more fully
realized: "He that hath entered into his rest hath
ceased from his own works as God did from his."
_6th Mo. 21st_. Very early this morning the long
struggle with death terminated, and the spirit of our
beloved Uncle E. was released from its worn tenement.
The stony nature in my heart seems truly
wounded. May it not be as the wounded air, soon
to lose the trace. My heavenly Father's tender
regard I have, indeed, felt this evening; but I tremble
for the evil that remains in me. May I be blessed
with the continued care of the good Shepherd, that
I may be preserved as by the crook of His love.
And now, seeing that much is forgiven me, may I
love much. I feel that my Saviour's regard is of
far more value than any earthly thing; and oh
that my eye may be kept singly waiting for Him!
The decease of her uncle was soon followed by that of his youngest
son, Joseph E. In reference to his death, she remarks:--
_7th Mo. 22d_. He, in whose sight the death of
His saints is precious, has again visited with the
solemn call our family circle, and summoned away
the sweetest, purest, and most heavenly of the group.
Our dear cousin Joseph last night entered that
"rest which remains for the people of God;" rest
for which he had been panting the whole of the day,
and to which he was enabled to look forward as his
_7th Mo. 28th_. Yesterday was one long to be remembered.
The last sad offices were paid to him
whom we so much loved; and oh that the mantle
of the watchful, lowly disciple might descend abundantly
upon us! Yet it is only by keeping near to
the divine power, that I can receive any thing good;
and, though yet far away, oh, may I look towards His
holy habitation who is graciously offering me a home
where there is "bread enough and to spare."
_4th Mo. 3d_, 1842. He who has been for years
striving with me, has lately, I think I may say, manifested
to me the light of His countenance, and
enabled me at seasons to commit the toiling, roving
mind into His hand. This morning, however, I feel
as if I could find no safe centre. Oh that I were
gathered out of the false rest, and from all false
dependence, to God Himself, the only true helper,
and leader, and guide! How precious to recognize,
in the light that dawned yesterday and the day before,
the same glory, and power, and beauty, which
were once my chief joy! But oh, I desire not to be
satisfied with attaining again to former experience;
but to give all diligence in pressing forward to the
mark for the prize, even forgetting things that are
_10th Mo_. Mercies and favors of which I am totally
unworthy have been graciously bestowed this morning,
and, may I hope, a small capacity granted to
enter into the sanctuary and pray. This week I
have been unwatchful,--too much cumbered; yet,
oh, I hope and trust, at times, my chains are breaking,
and though I must believe the bitterness will
come in time, the gospel of salvation is beginning
to be tasted in its sweetness, completeness, and joy.
_1st Mo._ 1843. I desire that the privilege of this
day attending the Quarterly Meeting at Plymouth,
may be long held in grateful remembrance; that the
language, "I have heard of Thee by the hearing of
the ear, but now mine eye seeth Thee; wherefore I
abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes," may
be my increasing experience. Conscious that the
state of my heart, long wavering between two opinions,
has of late been fearfully in danger of fixing
to the wrong one of these, I would ask of Him who
seeth in secret, and who is, I trust, at this very moment
renewing a measure of the contrition, which,
amid all my desires for it, did but gleam upon me
this morning, to do in me a thorough work, to remain
henceforth and ever.
_2d Mo. 12th_. About four weeks since, we had
a precious visit from B.S., and it has been a sacrifice
to me to make no record of his striking communications;
but I have been fearful, lest in any measure
the weight and freshness of these things should
vanish in words; and I have never felt at liberty to
In this year, she wrote but little in her Journal, and it appears
to have been a time of spiritual proving; yet one in which she
experienced that it was good for her "to trust in the name of the
Lord, and to stay herself upon her God."
_6th Mo. 16th_, 1844. One week ago was the
twenty-first anniversary of my birthday. In some
sense, I can say,--
"The past is bright, like those dear hills,
So far behind my bark;
The future, like the gathering night,
Is ominous and dark.
"One gaze again--one long, last gaze;
Childhood, adieu to thee;
The breeze hath hurried me away,
On a dark, stormy sea."
Deeply and more deeply, day by day, does my understanding
find the deceitfulness of my heart. Well
do I remember the feelings of determination, with
which I resolved, two years since, that this period
should not find me halting between two opinions,--that
ere _this_ day I would be a Christian indeed.
And looking back upon my alternating feelings, ever
since reason was mine, upon the innumerable resolutions
to do good, which have been as staves of reed,
I must want common perception not to assent to the
truth, that "the heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately wicked: who can know it?" But,
oh, it is not this only, which my intellectual conscience
is burdened with: when I look at the visitations
of divine grace which have been my unmerited,
unasked-for, privilege, through which I can but feel
that in days past, a standing was placed in my power
to attain, which, probably, now I shall never approach,
the question does present with an awful importance,
"How much owest thou unto thy Lord?"
Seeing we know not, nor can know, the value of an
offer of salvation, till salvation is finally lost or won;
seeing that such an offer is purchased only by the
shedding of a Saviour's blood, how incomprehensibly
heavy, yet how true, the charge, "Ye have crucified
to yourselves the son of God afresh." I know well
that of many now pardoned, for sins far deeper in
the eyes of men than any I have committed, it might
be said that _little_ is forgiven them in comparison of
the load of debt that hangs over my head; and I
have sometimes thought, that the comparison of
_debtors_ was selected by the Saviour, purposely to
show that guilt in the sight of God is chiefly incurred
by the neglect of His own spiritual gifts, not
in proportion merely to the abstract morality of man's
conduct. It is certainly what we have received
that will be required at our hands: and oh, in the
sight of the Judge of all the earth, how much do I
owe unto my Lord! This day, though I was not in
darkness about it, seems almost to have overtaken me
unawares. I was not ready for it, though I knew so
well when it would come; and, oh, for that day which
I know not how near it may be, when the account
is to be finally made up--how, how shall I prepare?
With all the blessings, and invitations, and helps,
which the good God has given me, I am _deeply,
deeply_ involved. How, then, can I dream of clearing
off these debts, when there can be no doubt that
I shall daily incur more? Alas, I am too much disposed
to keep a _meum_ and _tuum_ with heaven itself
in more senses than one. * * * As to setting out
anew on a _carte blanche_, I cannot. There lies the
deeply-stained record against me: "_I_ called," and,
oh, how deep the meaning, "Ye did not answer."
Yes, my heart did: but to answer, "I go, sir," does
but add to the condemnation that "I went not."
_6th Mo. 23d._ This morning, I believe, the spirit
was, in measure, willing, though the "flesh was
weak." I have thought of the lines--
"When first thou didst thy all commit
To Him upon the mercy-seat,
He gave thee warrant from that hour
To trust his wisdom, love, and power."
My desire is to know that _my_ all is committed, and
then, I do believe, He _will_ be known to be faithful
that hath promised. The care of our salvation is
not ours; our weak understandings cannot even
fathom the means whereby it is effected; but this
we do know, that it indispensably requires to be
"wrought out with fear and trembling." The Saviour
will be _ours_, only on condition of our being
_his_. Religion must not be an acquirement, but a
transformation; and surely that spirit, which could
not make itself, and which, when made by God, has
but degraded itself, is unable to "create itself anew
in Christ Jesus unto good works." No, fear and
trembling are the only part, and that but negative,
which the spirit of man can have in working out its
own salvation; but when led by the good spirit into
this true fear, when given to wait, and held waiting
at the feet of Jesus, it is made able, gradually, to _receive_
the essential gospel of salvation; and so long
only is it in the way of salvation as it is sensible
of its constant dependence on the one Saviour of
May Friends, above all, while distinctly maintaining
the doctrine of the influence of the Spirit on
the heart, be deeply and _personally_ sensible that
there is but _one_ Saviour, even Jesus Christ, who
came into the world to save sinners, of whom, as we
are led to true repentance, I believe each one will be
ready to think "I am chief." The distinguishing
practices of Friends, as to dress, language, etc. are
in no manner valuable, but when they spring from
the _root_ of essential Christianity. This is certainly
the great thing. "Cleanse first the inside of the cup
I have been grieved to fear that some would resolve
the vast meaning of "a religious life and conversation
consistent with our Christian profession" into
little more than "plainness of speech, behavior,
and apparel:" then I do think it becomes a mere idol.
The tithe of "mint, anise, and cummin" is preferred
to the weightier matters of the law. But I am going
from the point of my own condition in the warmth
of my feelings, which have been deeply troubled at
these things of late.
_11th Mo. 18th_. I believe it is one and the same
fallen nature which, at one time, is holding me captive
to the world; at another, filling me with impatience
and anxiety about my spiritual progress; at
another, with self-confidence, and at another, with
despondency. Oh, the enemy knows my many weak
sides; but I do hope and trust the Lord will take
care of me. "Past, present, future, calmly leave to
Him who will do all things well." If the root be
but kept living and growing, then I need not be
anxious about the branches; but, above all, the root
must be the husbandman's exclusive care.
_11th Mo. 30th_. I believe I sincerely desire that
no spurious self-satisfaction may be mistaken for the
peace of God, that no activity in works of self-righteousness
may be mistaken for doing the day's work
in the day. Oh, who can tell the snares that surround
me? Yet I have been comforted this morning,
in thinking of the declaration, "His mercies are over-all
his works;" which I believe may be very especially
applied to the work of His Spirit in the soul of man.
Over this He does watch, and to this He does dispense,
day by day, His merciful protection from surrounding
dangers; "I the Lord do keep it, I will
water it every moment; lest any hurt it, I will keep
it night and day." Oh, the blessedness of a well-founded,
watchful, humble trust in this keeping!
_12th Mo. 27th_. The mean self-indulgence of sleeping
late has come over me again, though I found, a
week or two since, after a firm resolve, the difficulty
vanish. This morning I had no time for retirement
before breakfast; and, should circumstances ever become
less under my control, this habit may prevent
my having any morning oblation. The weakness and
sinfulness of my heart have been making me almost
tremble at the thought of another year: how shall I
meet its thousand dangers and not fall? In religious
communications in our house, I am apt to look for
any intimation that I could appropriate of a shortened
pilgrimage; but very little of the sort has occurred:
indeed, I expect my selfish wish will not be gratified,
of escaping early from this toilsome world; but how
rash and ungrateful are such thoughts! how much
better all these things are in my Father's hands! Oh,
if I may be there too in the form of passive clay,
and receive all His tutoring and refining, this will be
enough: and should my future way be full of sorrows,
heaven will bring me sweeter rest at last; when the
whole work is done, when the robes are quite washed,
when the fight is quite fought, and the death died;
when the eternal life, which shall blossom above, is
brought into actual health here, and real fellowship
is made with my last hour.
_1st Mo. 10th_, 1845. I am inclined to set down
the events of my little world for the past week; that
in days to come, should it prove that I have been
following "cunningly devised fables," I may beware
of such entanglements again; and that if they be
found a guidance from above, their contemptibleness
and seeming folly may be shown to be in wisdom. I
have, from my childhood, delighted in poetry: if
lonely, it was my companion; if sad, my comfort;
if glad, it gave a voice to my joy. Of late, I have
enjoyed writing pieces of a religious nature, though
I must confess the excitement, the possession which
the act of composition made of my mind, did not
always favor the experience of what I sought to express.
Two pieces of this kind I asked my father to
send to the _Friend_: he liked them, but proposed my
adding something to one. I had had a sweet little
season by myself just before: then, sliding from feeling
to composition, I thought of it all the rest of the
evening, and when I went to bed, stayed some time
writing four lines for the conclusion; after I was in
bed, my heart was full of it, and I composed four
lines more to precede them, with which I fell asleep.
In the morning I resolved not to think of them till
I had had my silent devotions; they came upon me
while I was dressing, and, having forgotten one line,
I stayed long making a substitute: then I retired to
read, and, if possible, to pray, but it was not possible
in that condition: I did but sit squaring and polishing
my lines; and having finished them to my heart's
content, I gave them to my father about the middle
of the day, conscious, I could not but be, that they
had "passed as a cloud between the mental eye of
faith and things unseen." Every time they passed
through my mind, they seemed to sound my condemnation.
My evening retirement was dark and
sad; I felt as if any thing but this I could give up
for my Saviour's love; "all things are lawful, but all
things are not expedient;" and yet the taste and the
power were given me, with all things else, by God.
I had used them too in a right cause, but then the
talent of grace is far better. Which should be sacrificed?
Why sacrifice either? I could not deny that
it seemed impossible to keep both. But it might be
made useful, if well employed. "To obey is better
than sacrifice." Now they _are_ written, they might
just as well be printed; but the printing will probably
be the most hazardous part. I shall be sure to write
more, and nourish vanity: or else the sight of them
will cause remorse rather than pleasure. If I should
lose my soul through poetry? For the life of self
seems bound up in it; and "whosoever loveth his
life shall lose it." But perhaps it would be a needless
piece of austerity; it would be a great struggle;
it would be like binding myself for the future, not
to enjoy my treasured pleasure. The sacrifice which
is acceptable will always cost something. So I prevailed
upon myself to write a note, and lay it before
my father, asking him not to send them, trembling
lest he should dislike my changeableness, or I should
change again and repent it. My father said nothing,
but gave me back the lines when we were all together,
which was a mountain got over. I thought to have
had more peace after; but till this First-day I have
been very desolate, though, I believe, daily desiring
to seek my God above all; and thinking, sometimes,
that that for which I had made a sacrifice became
After this striking and instructive account, which shows how zealously
she endeavored to guard against any too absorbing influence, however
good and allowable in itself the thing might be, it seems not amiss to
remark that Eliza's taste for poetry was keen and discriminating; and
that her love of external nature, and more especially her deeper and
holier feelings, found appropriate expression in verse. If some of
these effusions show a want of careful finish, it must be remembered
that they were not written for publication, but for the sake of
embodying the feeling of the occasion, in that form which naturally
The pieces alluded to in the foregoing extracts are the following:--
"WHAT I DO THOU KNOWEST NOT NOW."
Hast thou long thy Lord's abiding
Vainly sought 'mid shadows dim?
Lo! His purpose wisely hiding,
Thee He seeks to worship him.
Shades of night, thy strain'd eye scorning,
Have they; long enwrapp'd the skies?
He, whose word commands the morning,
Soon shall bid the day-spring rise!
Are ten thousand fears desiring
To engulf their helpless prey?
One faint hope, his grace inspiring,
Is a mightier thing than they.
Has the foe his dark dominion,
As upon thy Saviour, tried?--
As to Him with hastening pinion,
Lo! the angels at thy side.
Is thy spirit all unfeeling,
Save to sin that grieves thee there?
Thee He'll make, his face revealing,
Joyful in His house of prayer!
Hast thou seen thy building falter
Can thy God thy griefs despise?
'Mid the ruins dark, an altar
Fashion'd by His hands, shall rise.
Thee, to some lone mountain sending,
Only with the wood supplied;
He, thy God, thy worship tending,
Will Himself a lamb provide.
Has He made it vain thy toiling
Fine-spun raiment to prepare?
'Twas to give--thy labors spoiling--
Better robes than monarchs wear.
From thy barn and storehouse treasure
Did He take thy hoarded pelf?
Yes: to feed thee was His pleasure,
Like the winged fowls--_Himself_.
* * * * *
"WHAT PROFIT HATH A MAN OF ALL HIS LABOR
THAT HE TAKETH UNDER THE SUN?"
Must we forever train the vineyard sproutings,
And plough in hope of harvests yet to come,
Nor ever join the gladsome vintage shoutings,
And sing the happy song of harvest-home?
Must we forever the rough stones be heaping,
And building temple walls for evermore?
Comes there no blessed day for Sabbath-keeping,
No time within the temple to adore?
In faith's long contest have life's quenchless fountains
Bade calm defiance to the hostile sword?
But when, all beautiful upon the mountains,
Shall come the herald of our peace restored?
Must we forever urge the brain with learning,
And add to moral, intellectual woes?
Nor hold in peace the spoils we have been earning,
And find in wisdom's self the mind's repose?
Long have we watch'd, and risen late and early,
Rising to toil, and watching but to weep;
When will the blessing come like dewdrops pearly,
"On heaven's beloved ones even while they sleep?"
Since life began, our life has been beginning,
That ever-nascent future's treacherous vow;
When shall we find, the weary contest winning
A present treasure, an enduring _now_?
Ten thousand nameless earthly aims pursuing,
Hope we in vain the recompense to see,
And must our total life expire in _doing_,
And never find us leisure time _to be_?
Has not our life a germ of real perfection,
As holds the tiny seed the forest's pride?
And shall its ask'd and promised resurrection
In dreams of disappointed hope subside?
Yes, all is hopeless, man with vain endeavor,
May climb earth's rugged heights, but climb to fall;
Ever perfecting, yet imperfect ever,
Earth has no rest for man--if earth be all.
Yet oft there dwell, in temples frail and mortal,
Souls that partake immortal life the while;
Nor wait till death unbar heaven's pearly portal,
For heaven's own essence, their Redeemer's smile.
_--12th Month_, 1844.
* * * * *
From the Journal relating to daily affairs, at this time, kept
distinct from her spiritual diary, the following, and a few other
extracts, have been taken. Never suspecting that this would see the
light, she left it in an unfinished state. Had it been reconsidered,
portions of it would probably have been altered; but it sufficiently
shows her desire to understand the agencies of intellectual action,
and the philosophy of knowing and acquiring. She recognizes the
importance of systematic knowledge, questions the purpose and use
of every attainment, and manifests throughout a desire that all
the operations of the intelligence may subserve a nobler aim than
knowledge in itself possesses:--
_5th Mo. 16th_. That life is a real, earnest thing,
and to be employed for our own and others' real and
earnest good, is a fact which I desire may be more
deeply engraven on my heart. It is certainly a
matter of spiritual duty, to look well to the outward
state of our own house. There are already many
revolutions in my mental history, passed beyond the
reach of any thing but regrets. As a child, play
was not my chief pleasure, but a sort of mingled
play and constructiveness; then reading and learning;
I well remember the coming on of the desire
to _know_. In a tale, false or true, I had by no
means, the common share of pleasure--Smith's Key
to Reading was more to my taste. Poetry I have
ever loved. History I am very dull at; a chain of
events is far more difficult to follow, than a chain of
ideas--causality comes more to my aid than eventuality.
Well, the age of learning came: in it I
learned this, that, and the other; but, alas! order,
the faculty in which I am so deficient, was wanting,
I had not an appointed place for each fact or idea:
so they were lost as they fell into the confused mass.
I am full of dim apprehensions on almost all subjects,
but _know little_ of any. However, it may be
that this favors new combinations of things. I
would rather have all my ideas in a mass, than have
them in separate locked boxes, where they must each
remain isolated; but it were better they were on
open shelves, and that I had power to take them
down, and combine at will. The age of combining
has come; I feel sensibly the diminution of the
power of acquiring: I can do little in that, but
lament that I have acquired so little; but I seem
rebuked in myself at the incessant wish to gain--gain
for what? I must _do_ something with what, I
gain; for, as I said before, I have nowhere to put it
away. I love languages,--above all, the expressive
German; but I know too little to make it expressive
for myself. But my own mother-tongue, though
my tongue is so deficient to use thee, canst thou
afford no other outlet to the struggling ideas that are
within; may I not write? I did write poetry sometimes:
is it presumptuous to call it poetry? It was
certainly the poetry of my heart; the pieces entitled
"The Complaint," and "What profit hath a man,
etc." were certainly poetry to me. But the fate of
my poetry is written before. Perhaps it was a
groundless fear; but still it has given it the death-blow.
But may I write prose? I will tell that by-and-by.
This has brought down my history in this
respect till now:--
The constructive playing age,
The learning age,
The combining age,
So far the intellect.
* * * I am conscientious naturally, rather
than adhesive or benevolent. This natural conscientiousness,
independent of spirituals, has been like
a goad in my side all my life, and its demands, I
think, heighten. It is evidently independent of religion,
because it is independent of the love of God
and of man. For instance, I form to myself an
idea of my reasonable amount of service in visiting
the poor. Have I fallen short of this amount, I am
uneasy, and feel myself burdened; the thing is before
me, I must do it: why? Because I feel the
love of God constraining me? Sometimes far otherwise.
Because I feel benevolence towards the poor?
No; for the thing itself is a task; but because it is
my duty; because I would justify myself; because
I would lighten my conscience. I have called this
feeling independent of religion; but perhaps it is
most intense when religion is faintest. This latter
supplies, evidently, the only true motive for benevolent
actions. Then they are a pleasure: then the
divergence of the impulse of duty from the impulse
of inclination is done away; and I believe the love of
God is the only thing, which, thus redeeming those
that were under the law, can place them under the law
of Christ. Though it is little I can do for the poor,
I ought to feel it both a duty and a pleasure to devote
some time to them most days. To see the aged,
whose poverty we have witnessed, whose declining
days we have tried to soothe, safely gathered home,
is a comfort and pleasure I would not forego; and,
though the real benefit we render to them must depend
on our own spiritual state, their cottages have
often been to me places of deep instruction.
The useful desire to learn, may be carried too far;
we may sacrifice the duties we owe to each other, by
an eagerness of this kind; nor, I believe, can we,
without culpable negligence, adhere tenaciously to
any plan of study. The moral self-training which
is exercised by giving up a book, to converse with
or help another, is of more value than the knowledge
which could have been acquired from it. Indeed,
I am convinced we are often in error about
_interruptions_. We have been interrupted; in what?--in
the fulfilment of our duty? That cannot be;
but in the prosecution of our favorite plan. If the
interruption was beyond our control, it _altered_ our
duty, but could not interrupt it. Duty is the right
course at a given time, and under given circumstances.
A subject, which has of late been very interesting
to me, is that of the Jews. I am convinced that
much, very much, is to be done for them by Christians,
and for Christians by them; but I think the
interest excited in their behalf, in the world at large,
is, in many cases, not according to knowledge. An
historical view of their points of contact with the
professing Christian world, has long been on my
mind; and I think it needs to be drawn by an independent
hand,--in short, by a Friend. That "He
that scattered Israel will gather him, and feed him
as a shepherd doth his flock," is confessed now on
all sides. The when, the where, and the how, are
variously viewed. But what will He gather them
to? is a question not enough thought of. One
wishes them to be gathered to the Church of England,
another to the Church of Scotland; but I am
persuaded their gathering must be to the primitive
Christian faith. I say not to Friends; although I
hold the principles of Friends to be the principles
of primitive Christianity. For I do think a vast
distinction is to be made between the principles of
truth professed by Friends, and the particular line
of action, as a body, into which they have been led,
(I doubt not by the truth,) under the circumstances
in which they were placed. My belief is, that the
Jews are to be gathered to none but a Church built
"on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, of
which Jesus Christ himself is the chief corner-stone;"
and that to such a Church they are to be
gathered immediately and instrumentally, by the
Spirit of God himself. A view of the manner in
which they have been regarded and treated by professing
Christians from the Christian era to the
present time, and of their own feelings towards
Christians and Christianity, if well drawn, would be
valuable and useful.
This interest in the Jews led Eliza to devote much, labor, during
several years, in collecting information relating to their history
since the Christian era. Had her life been spared, she would probably
have made some defined use of the large mass of material collected,
which, whilst valuable as an evidence of deep research, is not
sufficiently digested to be generally useful.
_7th Mo. 3d_. This evening I have finished copying
the foregoing scraps, previously on sheets, into this
book, that they may yet speak to me, in days to come,
of His manifold mercies, whose "candle has ofttimes
shone round about me," and "whose favor has made
_7th Mo. 5th_. I desire gratefully to acknowledge
the privilege of which we have this week partaken,
in the occurrence of our Quarterly Meeting, and a
most sweet visit from ----; full of love is ---- to
his Master, and full of love to the brethren,
and even to the little sisters in Christ. Most
kindly and tenderly he and his wife advised us,
and myself, when we happened to be alone, to wait
and watch at the feet of Jesus, from whom the message
will come in due time, "The Master calleth for
thee." Manifold has been the expression of sympathy
for us all this week, in the prospect of parting with
our dear father on the Indiana committee, in about
five weeks, and the comforting expectation expressed
that his absence will be a time of sweet refreshing
from the presence of the Lord. Oh, we have much
to be thankful for in the grace that has been bestowed.
_7th Mo. 9th_. I have been much blessed the last
few days; not with high enjoyments, but with a calm
sense of dependence and trust on my Saviour, and
assistance in watching over my own heart. This
morning I have been tried with want of settlement
and power to get to the throne of grace; but faith
must learn to trust through all changes in the unchangeable
truth and love of Jesus. I am sensible
that this has been a time of much renewed mercy to
my soul; and oh that if, as ---- told me, the Lord
has many things to say unto me, but I cannot bear
them now, I may but be kept in the right preparation,
both for hearing and obeying!
_7th Mo. 27th_. I am sometimes astonished at the
condescending kindness of my Saviour, that he should
so gently and mercifully "heal my backslidings and
love me freely." I think my chief desire is to be
preserved _alive_ in the truth, and _growing_ in the
truth; but sometimes, through unwatchfulness, such
a withering comes upon me, I lose all sense of good
for days together, and this nether world is all I seek
pleasure in. Then there is but a cold, cheerless,
condemning feeling, when I look towards my Father's
house; but when all life seems gone, and I am ready
to conclude that I have suffered so many things in
vain, how often does the gentle stirring of life bring
my soul into contrition, into stillness! and He, who
upbraideth not the returning sinner, reveals himself
as "the repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths
to dwell in."
The following lines describe her feelings at such a time as this:--
Then disconsolate I wander'd,
Where my path was lone and dim,
Till I thought that I was sunder'd
Evermore from heaven and Him.
Then it was my Shepherd found me,
Even as He had of old,
Threw His arms of mercy round me,
Placed me gently in His fold.
_7th Mo. 29th_. The expression, I think, of William
Penn, "Let the holy watch of Jesus be upon your
spirit," is a fitting watchword for me.
_7th Mo. 30th_. Oh, this must be the watchword still.
_8th Mo. 10th. First-day morning_. I was helped
to cast away some of the weight of worldly thoughts
last evening, and fervently to desire after the Lord.
It is a blessing to have his manifested presence and
love with us; but this is not at all times the needful
or the best thing for us. To have the heart right
with God, to commit my _all_ to him, to live in the
very spirit which breathes, "Thy will be done," in
and through me,--oh, this is to be alive in Christ;
this is indeed the work of the spirit; this is to lose
my life, that I may keep it unto life eternal.
At the Yearly Meeting of 1845 occurred the appointment previously
alluded to, under which John Allen became a member of the committee
which visited Indiana Yearly Meeting. As communication between Great
Britain and America was not so easy and frequent in those days as at
present, both he and his family very strongly felt the prospect of
separation. In allusion to the appointment, Eliza writes, "My father
allowed the business [of the Yearly Meeting] to proceed, but at length
said that he felt too much overwhelmed to speak sooner,--that the
subject touched his tenderest feelings, and that he felt very unfit
for such an engagement, but that the sense which had been and was,
while he was speaking, present with him, of that goodness and mercy
which had followed him all his life long and blessed him, was such
that he dared not refuse to do any little offices in his power for
those dear friends with whom he should be associated." She then gives
an account of the receipt at home of the unexpected intelligence of
this long journey, and of the calmness which eventually followed the
shock to the feelings which it occasioned. After he had set out, she
wrote an interesting account, too long to be given at full length,
of what had passed in the intervening time,--the hopes and fears, the
preparations, her father's parting with his friends and their words
of encouragement to him, with his own counsel and exhortations to his
children. A few words of his last address to them may not be out of
place:--"I earnestly desire for us all that when we shall meet again
we may all have made some progress in the heavenward journey and be
enabled to rejoice together in the sense of it. For you, my dear young
people, especially, I earnestly desire that you may be preferring
the best things, not setting your affections on trifling objects, but
valuing an inheritance in the truth above all those things that perish
with the using. * * * Be willing to be the Lord's on his own terms,
and prize above all things the sense that you are his; and you will
be his, if you are willing to walk in the narrow way--the way of
It does not pertain to this volume to give any further account of this
journey or of the mission in which he was engaged. The visit of the
deputation is probably fresh in the remembrance of many Friends in the
_8th Mo. 24th_. The great parting is over: the love
and mercy of our heavenly Father sustained my
dearest father and mother beyond expectation. On
this occasion, when I have been helped back from
a sad, lone wandering on barren mountains, I may
learn, more deeply than ever before, the safety, the
sweetness, of dwelling in the valley of humiliation.
Oh, let me dwell there long and low enough. I ask
not high enjoyments nor rapturous delights; but I
ask, I pray, when I can pray at all, for quiet, watchful,
trustful dependence upon my Saviour.
_8th Mo. 27th_. We have had a ride in the country
this afternoon, and during a solitary walk of a mile
and a half I had very sweet feelings. Jesus seemed
so near to me and so kind that I could hardly but
accept of him. But then there seemed some dark
misgivings at the same time; as if I had an account
to settle up first,--something I must do myself; the
free full grace seemed too easy and gratis to accept
of. But all this I found was a mistake. I thought
of the lines--
"He gives our sins a full discharge;
He crowns and saves us too,"
and of a remark I had seen somewhere, "Look at
Calvary, and wilt thou say that thy sins are _easily_
This evening in my _andachtzimmer_, I wished to
pray in spirit; but not a petition arose that I could
offer. I felt so blind, and yet so peaceful, that all
merged into the confiding language, Father, _Thy will_
[Footnote 1: Devotional retirement.]
_9th Mo. 2d_. On First-day, the twenty-first, I had
a great struggle on the old poetry-writing question.
I had written none since the great fight last winter;
but now to my dearest father I ventured to write,
thinking I had got over the danger of it. But when
all was written, I was forced to submit to the mortification
of not sending it. The relief I felt was indescribable,
and I hope to get thus entoiled no more.
My scruple is not against poetry, but _I_ cannot write
it without getting over-possessed by it. Therefore
it is no more than a reasonable peace-offering to
deny myself of it. * * * "And now, Lord,
what wait I for?" Enable me to say, "My hope is
in thee." It seems as if the path would be a narrow
one; but, oh, "make thy way straight before my
face;" and, having enabled me, I trust, to _give some_
things to "the moles and to the bats," leave me not
till I have learned "to count _all_ things but loss, for
the excellency of Christ Jesus my Lord."
The following is the unfinished piece just alluded to:--
TO HER FATHER IN AMERICA.
And thus it was, as drew the moments nearer
That stamp'd their record deep oil every heart;
As day by day thy presence grew yet dearer,
By how much sooner thou shouldst hence depart.
Love wept indeed, though she might seem a sleeper,
Long ere descending tears the signs betray'd;
And the heart's fountain was but so much deeper,
The longer was its overflow delay'd.
The page my unapt heart has learn'd so newly
In the dark lessons which afflictions teach--
Oh, it were vain to try to utter truly
In the cold language of unapter speech.
That hearts when thus their very depths are burning
Alone should know their bitterness, is well;
But, oh, my heart more joys than aches in learning
Another lesson, would that words could tell.
New depths of love in measure unsuspected,
Ties closer than I knew, were round my heart;
And half I thank the wrench that has detected
How thoroughly and deeply dear thou art.
And 'twas to tell thee this that I have taken
The tuneless lyre I thought to use no more,
Yet once at thy returning may it waken,
Then sleep forever, silent as before.
And not more narrow than the dome of ether
Beams heaven's unbounded, earth-embracing scroll;
Then be it thine and ours to read together
Of Him who loves not less than rules the whole.
And not more slow than was the bark that bore thee
To an untried and dimly-distant land--
Our hearts' affections thither flew before thee,
And now are ready waiting on the strand.
--_8th Month_, 1845.
_10th Mo. 1st_. Much struck with the suitability of
the expression, "under the yoke," truly _subjugated_.
not merely offering this or that, but _being offered_ "a
living sacrifice." Oh for a thorough work like this!
This is "when the yoke Is easy and the burden
light." I know almost nothing of it by experience,
but think it is "now nearer than when I first
believed." For a day or two I have been given to
desire it earnestly.
_10th Mo. 12th_. Evening. Many thoughts about
faith in Christ. But oh for the reality, the living
essence of it! We can be Christians, not because
we believe that the blood of Christ cleanses from
sin, but because we _know_ the blood of Christ to
cleanse us from sin.
About this date, in the diary of daily affairs, is the following:--
"A conviction has come upon me that, in all
respects, now is the time to reform, if ever, the
course I am now pursuing. Religion, the main
thing, may it ever more be the main object; and
then, as to moral, social, and other duty, oh, be my
whole course reformed. ... From this time
forth may I nightly ask myself these five questions.
1. Has my employment and economy of time been
right? 2. Has my aim been duty--not pleasure?
3. Have I been quiet and submissive? 4. Have
I looked on the things of others as my own? 5.
Have propensities or sentiments ruled? I wish to
give an answer, daily, to each; and now say for
yesterday. 1. Some wasted time before dinner.
2. Pretty clear, 3. No temptation. 4. Pretty well.
5. Pretty [well] except at meals."
In this concise and simple manner are these questions answered, almost
daily, throughout the year, until, "finding that daily records of
employment are of little use, and that the intellectual and spiritual
could not well be longer separated," she discontinued the practice,
and recorded in the same book "any thing in either line that seemed
fit to reserve from oblivion."
Alluding to a religious magazine, she writes:--
"It is always pulling down error--seldom building
up truth. Surely Antichrist comes to oppose Christ,
not Christ to oppose Antichrist. Is there, then, no
positive Christian duty? Are we never to rest in
principles and practices of actual faith and love? or
are we to be always on the offensive and negative
side, stigmatizing all who act contrary to our belief
of the truth as doers of the work of Antichrist?
Antichrist, I fear, cares little for orthodox doctrines,
but fights against the Christian spirit."
_9th Mo. 13th_. Conflicting thoughts again. I
long that there may be no building on any sandy
foundation. But oh, the fitness that appeared to me
this evening in the blessed Saviour to supply all my
need. The one sacrifice He has been, and the one
mediator and way to God He ever is,--His own
spirit the one leader, teacher, and sanctifier; whereby
He consummates in the heart the blessed work of
bringing all into subjection to the obedience of
Christ. Oh for a personal experience, a real participation
in all this, a knowledge that _He is my own
and that I am His_.
_16th_. Somewhat puzzled at myself. This has
not been a spiritually prosperous day--passed just to
my taste, much in reading, but not much, I fear, with
the Lord. Yet I have had very loving thoughts of
Christ this evening, and was ready to call Him _my
own dear Saviour_, though I trust on no other terms
than His terms, namely, that I should be wholly His.
Some misgivings are come up that I am tempted to
think Him mine when I am not in a state to be His;
some fears lest Satan has put on the winning smiles
of an angel of light; and yet where can I go but to
Thee, Saviour of sinners? Thou hast the words of
life and salvation; suffer me not to be deluded, but at
all hazards let me be Thine.
Thou who breakest not the bruised reed, oh, bring
forth in me judgment unto truth, and let me wait for
the _law of life and peace from Thee_.
_9th Mo. 18th_. Rode to Lodge to get ferns. Enjoyed
thoughts of the beauty of nature, imperfect
as it is, because one kind of beauty necessarily
excludes another. What, then, must be the essence
of that glory in which all perfection is beauty
united? Thus these things must be described to
mortal comprehension under contradictory images;
such as "pure gold, like unto transparent glass," &c.
_9th Mo. 19th_. I think harm is done by considering
a society such as "Friends," "a section of the
Christian Church," as societies are so often called.
It can be true only by considering the "Christian
Church" to mean _professing Christians_; but surely
its true meaning is the _children of God anywhere_.
Of this body, there are no _sections_ to be made by
man, or it would follow that to unite oneself to
either section, is to be united to the body, which
_10th Mo. 1st_. I fear I have so long been _childish_
and _thoughtless_, that I shall hardly ever be _childlike_
and _thoughtful_. Oh for a little more _care_ without
_10th Mo. 2d_. Much struck with Krummacher's
doctrine of "Once in grace, always in grace."
"After the covenant is made," he says, "I can do
nothing _condemnable_. I may do what is sinful or
weak, but my sins are all laid on my Surety." _True,_
if my will-spirit humbles itself to bear the reforming
judgment of the Lord--but I think his doctrine
utterly dangerous; his error is this, that "the
covenant cannot be broken." Now, suppose a
Christian, therefore, in the covenant; he sins, then
the Lord would put away his sin by cleansing him
from its pollution and power, by the blood of Christ,
who hath already borne the punishment thereof.
But he may refuse this cleansing, in other words,
this judgment, revealed within; not against _himself_,
as it must have been except for Christ's intercession,
but against the evil nature in him, and in love to
his soul. He may refuse this, because it cannot
but be painful, it cannot but include repentance for
his transgression, whereby he has admitted ground
to the enemy. And if he refuse it, persisting in
withdrawing his heart from that surrender, which
must have been made on his adoption into the covenant,
who shall say that the covenant is not at an
end? Who shall say that the way of the Lord is
not equal, in that, because he was once a righteous
man, made righteous by the righteousness of Christ,
"now, the righteousness that he hath had shall not
be mentioned unto him, but in his trespass he shall
die"? Far be it from me to say how long the Lord
shall bear with man; how long he may trespass ere
he dies forever; but I think it most presumptuous
to suppose that God _cannot in honor_ (for it does
come to this) disannul the covenant from which man
has already retracted all his share; though this,
truly, is but a passive one, a surrender of the will-spirit
to the faith of Jesus.
What good it does me to clear up my ideas on
prayer! but there is a limit beyond which intellect
cannot go. No one can fully explain the admission
of evil into the heart. We say "it is because I
listen to temptation;" but why do I listen, to temptation?
Because I did not watch unto prayer. The
Calvinist would say, perhaps, "Because I am without
the covenant;" but he allows that a person may sin
who is in it. Suppose I am one of these? The
origin of evil must ever be hidden, but not of evil
only; the _moral nature of man must ever be a mystery
to his intellectual nature, for it is above it._
There is a _natural testimony_ to the supremacy of the
_moral_ in man above the intellectual.
_10th Mo. 8th_. The charm of book and pen has
been beguiling me of my reward; but now my soul
craves to be offered a living sacrifice.
_10th Mo. 19th_. The world was fearfully my snare
yesterday,--I mean worldly objects, innocent, in
themselves. These things only show the depth of
unrenewed nature within. Though it slumbered, it
could not be dead. My "wilderness wanderings,"
oh, I fear they must be exceedingly protracted ere
the hosts that have come out of Egypt with me fall;
ere I can find _in myself_ that blessed possession of the
promised inheritance, which, I believe, _in this life_ is
the portion of the _thorough_ Christian: "they that
believe _do_ enter into rest." Why, then, do not I?
Oh, it is for want of believing; for want of faith; I
fear to trust the Lord to give me my inheritance and
conquer my foes, and will not "go up and possess
the land." Then, again, in self-confidence, I _will_ go
up, whether the Lord be with me or not; and so I
fall. But surely, surely it _need_ be so no longer. I
_might_ devote myself to Christ, and He would lead me
safely through all. The shining of the fire and the
shading of the cloud are yet in the ordering of the
Captain of Salvation.
_20th_. Exceeding poor; and yet I rejoice in what
I trust is somewhat of the poverty of spirit which is
"Nothing in my hand I bring;
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
To the cleansing fount I fly:
Wash me, Saviour, or I die."
_21st_. I feel myself in much danger of falling,--manifold
temptations all round to love the world, and
how little _stay_ within!
_22d._ Yet the Lord was kind, most kind, to me in
the evening, constraining me to say within my heart,
"Surely I am united to Christ my Saviour." Oh,
the joy of feeling that we are in any measure _His!_
May I by no means withdraw myself from His
hands, that He may do for me all that His mercy
designs, and which I am well assured is but _begun._
This morning a crumb of bread was given me, in the
shape of a sense that Christ is yet mine, but that He
will be _waited on_ in simplicity of heart to do His _own
work._ Oh, the comfort of having a fountain to flee
to _set open_ for sin! hourly have I need of it.
_11th Mo. 2d_. I have felt deeply the necessity of
the thorough subjugation of the _will_ to the Divine
will: if it were effected, all must work for good to
me. Little cross-occurrences, instead of exciting
ill tempers, would serve as occasions for strengthening
my faith in God. When He giveth quietness,
what should make trouble? 'Tis wonderful to think
what long-suffering kindness the Lord has shown
me! I can compare myself only to the prodigal
son saying, "Give me my portion of goods"--goods
spiritual; as if I thought once furnished, never
again to have recourse to a father's compassion. Oh,
often have I wasted this substance in a very short
time; but the Lord has reckoned better than I
in my self-confidence. He saw how I should have to
come back utterly destitute, and again and again has
had mercy. Oh that I might no more ask for a portion
to carry away, but seek to dwell among the servants
and the children of His house, to be fed
hourly by Him, learning in what sense He does say
to those who are willing to have nothing of their
own, "All that I have is thine."
_12th Mo. 6th_. Nice journey to Falmouth. Here
we have been since Second-day learning our own
manifold deficiencies; but this, under a genial atmosphere,
is, to me, never disheartening,--always an
exciting, encouraging lesson. ----'s kind words
on intellectual presence of mind, and his animating
example of it, have determined me to make a vigorous
effort over my own sloth and inanity. I believe
the first thing is to be always conscious of what I am
thinking of, and never to let my mind run at loose
ends in senseless reveries.
_12th Mo. 25th_. Seventh-day. I trust, now we
are all together for the winter, there will be an effort
on my part to help to keep up a higher tone of feeling,
aim, and conversation: not mere gossip, but
really to speak to each other for some good purpose,
is what I do wish. What an engine, for good or
evil, we neglect and almost despise! and if it is not
employed properly, when at home, how can it be
naturally and intelligently exercised when abroad?
_Fourth-day, 31st_. Called on a poor sick man,--he
quietly waiting, I hope, for a participation in perfect
peace, and penetrated with the sense that man can do
nothing of himself. Surely this must be a step towards
knowing what God can do. I hope he will be
able to see and say something more yet; but I would
not ask him for any sort of confession. It is a fearful
thing to interfere with one who seems evidently
in hands Divine.
Thus ended 1845. Oh that it had been better
used, more valued, more improved in naturals, intellectuals,
and spirituals! Oh that I had cultivated
kindness and dutiful affection in the meekness of
wisdom; and as an impetus seems to have been lately
received to industry in study, etc., oh, may God
give me grace to spend another year, so far as I
live through it, in industrious Christianity too!
_1st Mo. 7th_, 1846. I should gratefully acknowledge
the loving-kindness and tender mercy which,
after all my wanderings, has again been shown: "I
will prepare their heart, I will cause their ear to hear,"
was sweet to me this morning. Though sometimes
lamenting that I hear so little of the voice of pardon
and peace, I have felt this morning that I have ever
heard as much as was safe for me in the degree of
preparation yet known.
_1st Mo. 19th_. Some earnest desires last evening,
this morning, and in the night, to be set right in
spirit. Struck with the text, "His countenance doth
behold the upright,"--not that the upright always
behold His countenance: that is not the thing their
safety consists in. "Thou most upright dost weigh
the path of the just," that is, of the truly sincere
and devoted. Ah! how blessed that such an unerring
balance should apportion the way of a finite and
_3d Mo. 2d_. Little E.P. died last week, aged three
years,--a child whom God had taught. I ventured a
little poem for his mamma, I think without harm.
The poetry-contest, some time since, was doubtless
useful as a check, but I seem to have lost the prohibition,
and enjoy, I hope, innocently.
_Sixth-day_. School, more encouraged than sometimes:
got on well with geography-class; visited
various poor people,--feeling very useless, but some
satisfaction. Oh, it were a sweet thing to do good
from the right motive, as a _natural_ effect of love.
I fear I do my poor share more to satisfy conscientiousness;
and that is a dull thing.
_3d Mo. 17th_. Faith small, world strong; but this
evening something like grasping after "the childly
life beyond." A childly life I want. Oh for simplicity,
faith, quietness, self-renunciation!
Yesterday rode alone to Wheal, Sister's mine. Gave
W.B. tracts for the girls. Thence to Captain N.,
to get his daughters to collect for Bibles. His nice
wife seemed interested; said it was very needful.
Many families had not a Bible there; the place a
century behind the West. Rode home dripping, but
glad that I had not been turned back. Learned part
of the 42d Psalm in German.
_3d Mo. 27th_. What testimony of gratitude can I
record to that tender mercy which has drawn near to
me this evening? Oh that the "Anon with joy"
reception may not be united with the "no root in
myself"! I have thought of the Israelitish wanderings,
caused by faithless folly in refusing to "go up
and possess the land." Oh, that lack of living appropriating
faith may not thus protract the period
ere my own passage through the spiritual Jordan, the
river of self-renunciation, and death of the "old
man," into the Beulah of a thorough introduction to
the sheepfold! It is easy to say that it would be too
presumptuous to venture on the final, full, childlike
appropriation of Christ; but, oh, presumption, I do
deeply feel, is more concerned in the delay. It is
presumptuous to put off, till brighter evidences and
clearer offers of mercy, the acceptance of grace to-day.
_4th Mo. 14th._ The Lord has been kind to me
beyond expression. Not rapturous feeling, but calm
and peaceful confidence,--though sometimes almost
giving way to "the world, the flesh, and the devil,"
sometimes letting go faith; but, oh, He has been near
through all; then when His face has shone upon me,
how have I wondered that ever I loved the earth,
more than Himself!
_5th Mo. 3d. Bristol._ On the way to the Yearly
Meeting. _First-day._ Most interesting meeting. I
think the connection of evangelical doctrine with
Christian worship is often not enough considered.
The mere natural unsanctified dread or awe of the
Lord's presence is very different from that worship
of God which is through Christ our Lord, who has
made a way of access for us to the Father, who Himself
loveth us. If this be overlooked, there is little
essential distinction between Christian worship, and
Oriental gnosticism--the delusion of raising the soul
above the natural, by abstraction and contemplation
of the Divine. This is the distinguishing glory of
the gospel, that whereas the children of Israel said
to Moses, "Speak thou to us, but let not God speak
to us, lest we die," Christ, his antitype, hath broken
down for his people "the middle wall of partition,"
hath abolished the enmity, and speaketh to us Himself
as God, and yet as once in our flesh.
_5th Mo. 10th_. Letter from father, from _Niagara_.
Awful spectacle, and most edifying emblem of His
unchanging word of power whose voice is as the
sound of many waters.
This evening had a nice meeting; my soul longed
for light and life in the assembly.
Of our dear father's safe arrival in Liverpool we
heard on our way to the train in the morning, and
now we settled in to expect him we had so long lost!
And, after meeting him in London and alluding to conversation with
friends who called to see him, she says,--
"But with father the fact of presence, real
meeting, actual talk, seemed more engrossing than
the thing talked. Oh that I had a really grateful
heart to the Lord for these His mercies!"
_7th_. [Alluding to a meeting at Devonshire House.]
It is, indeed, "looking not at the things which are
seen," when we really accept with equal, nay, with
greater, joy, His will to speak by the little as by the
great, or by His Spirit only, when communion of
truth is preferred to communication of the true.
_5th Mo. 29th_. And now that my London experience
is over, as to meetings, preachings, prayers,
what, oh, what is the result on this immortal spirit