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meetings, and some of them pretty long, and some also much favored with the sweet flow of the heavenly Father's love, tendering the hearts of divers. Under this divine favor, I have had a strong desire on the behalf of our children, that the great Author of pure goodness would incline their hearts more and more to their principal interest, and clothe their minds with the heavenly sense of his love, and with the humility becoming depending creatures, and enamor them with the beauty of truth, which will never wax old ; that through its power, they might freely sacrifice to Him what he calls for; and not look after the temptations and vanities of the world; but have the eye single to things infinitely more important, that therein they may be blessed of the Lord, with his favor, which is better than all things else.”
“Ninth Month 16th, 1780. “This hath been a day of favor to me and
Friends employed in the family visit; a tender visitation from the Father of mercies hath been extended to divers families: particularly one young man, and his wife who was not educated in our Society, but this day was reduced to tenderness, both she and her husband. I wish they may retain it, and come in at the right door to be useful and exemplary. We have followed the work with great diligence, from early in the morning till late in the evening, having in the course of this week visited above fifty families, and two hundred and twenty persons."
In his next letter, and the last he wrote, he gives an account of a disorder, viz: the dysentery, with which many had been seized, and that it had followed him very closely for several days. It seems that partly from re
serve, but chiefly from a desire to accomplish the remaining part of the service before him, so as to get through it in time to return home against the ensuing half-year's meeting, he suffered this disorder to gather strength before he let it be known, to a degree of obstinacy beyond the power
of medicine to remove; for although no care of attendance, or suitable applications under the direction of skilful physicians were wanting, yet these proving ineffectual, he departed out of this transitory state of existence in much tranquillity of mind, at the house of his kind friend, Joseph Garratt, in Cork, on the 6th day of the Tenth Month, 1780, and was buried in Friends' buryingground, in the suburbs of that city, the 9th of the same month, his funeral being largely attended by Friends and many others, as I am informed by some Friends from thence, one of whom writes: “We had a solemn opportunity, the wing of ancient Goodness being over the assembly, in the performance of the last office due to the worthy deceased."
Thus it pleased the divine Being, in whose hands our lives are, to release him from further labor in the church militant, and remove him from works to rewards, leaving among his surviving friends a good savor: his removal being generally regretted and his memory greatly and extensively respected by most or all that knew him; being a man of meekness, humility and universal benevolence; kindly disposed and affectionate to his friends and mankind in general, he in return possessed their affectionate regard and esteem in a general way.
In his spirit, he was preserved bright and living, through his concluding labors, and to the last period of his life, by the accounts I received from some of those who were sharers and witnesses thereof. My respected friend,
Samuel Neale, in sympathy with our sorrow for the loss of a near and justly beloved relation, obliged me with an affecting epistle of condolence, in which he expresseth: “ It is needless to say he is a great loss; in a Society capacity he was fervent and devoted; his lamp was replenished with oil and it shined as bright as ever in my judgment; he finished his course as a faithful soldier—he finished it, making war in righteousness. I was with him at Limerick, at our province meeting, and accompanied him to the families there pretty generally; he was like an overflowing spring, and freely diffused what he was made partaker of amongst his friends and brethren, and all who came in his way. After which he came to our city, and the same strength, zeal and authority attended him here in the public meeting and more select opportunities I was at with him. He was at the labor early and late, until forced to submit to the increasing infirmity of body. I think he had finished all to five families, when the great Orderer of all things gave him a release from further labor in his militant church. He was calm and composed in his mind, said he was resigned to the divine will, and was prepared for the event, relying on the mercy of God. He was certainly much favored by a divine qualification, and as the evening approached his sun went down bright, which is the crown of all.”
And although he had his close trials and discouraging prospects in various seasons of his life, as we may gather from the preceding pages, yet being through all, enabled to stay his mind on the Lord, he was preserved in peaceful resignation, and safely brought through them; and was favored to enjoy the evening of his day, as to secular engagements, in serenity and calm repose, in a state of liberty to devote himself more fully to the service of Truth,
and to fulfil his ministry to the edification of the churches in this nation. He lived to see his children well settled in marriage, to his full satisfaction, or in a way to support themselves reputably, if favored with the Divine blessing upon their labors, and preserved in the fear of the Lord, which he desired for them more than outward riches. Incited through the gracious visitation of divine goodness to him in his youth, in the first place, to seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness, he found the promise verified, that sufficiency of other things were added. And having been spared to his family till his immediate assistance became less necessary for their support, and to the church till his day's work was, in a good degree, well accomplished; he came to his grave in full age, as a shock of corn cometh in his season, experiencing the work of righteousness to be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever. From hence those who may be tried with the like probations, as this is a world of vicissitude, may receive encouragement in the cloudy season, in faith and patience, to cast their care on that divine Being who careth for his own, and will bring them safely through all difficulties and discouragements, provided their hearts are sincere toward Him; and all things will work together for good to those that love God.
The end of these publications is not to extol the man, but to recommend righteousness to mankind, by pointing out the beneficial and happy effects thereof, in real life; and, as the desire of happiness, planted deep in our nature, is a universal affection of the human mind, although often sought in things that cannot give it, or at best but the shadowy and deceptive appearance thereof, to incite them, in imitation of the just, to seek it where only it is to be found, in pure religion and virtue, walking in all
the commandments of the Lord blameless. If we have regarded the deceased with affectionate esteem, and honored them for their works' sake, let our regard for their memory prompt us to the imitation of their good examples. If we regret their loss, and the
of their places, let us consider that a measure of the same divine Spirit which wrought powerfully in them for their redemption, and enlivened them to every good word and work, is also given to us individually, for the effecting of the same happy experience in us, whereby, through faithful obedience on our parts, we may receive a qualification to fill up some of the vacant seats, be serviceable in our respective allotments, exemplary in our lives, and blessed in our end
EPISTLE OF JAMES GOUGH TO FRIENDS IN IRELAND.
DEARLY BELOVED FRIENDS:
Under a concern for the welfare of our religious Society, yet left in Ireland, I think it my duty" to stir up the pure mind by way of remembrance.”
1. In the first place, I desire that none under our name may
be raw and ignorant, at a loss, if asked what we profess, or what is our fundamental principle; but having the heartfelt experience thereof, "be ready always,” as a good apostle advises, “ to give an answer,” or
reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.”
We profess to be a people called out of the corrupt spirit and customs of the world, out of all evil words and