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X A TESTIMONY, ETC.,
His first journey in the work of the ministry was in the year 1740, to the counties of Cumberland, Westmoreland, Lancashire, and part of Yorkshire. His next, to Leinster Province; and in the summer of 1743, he visited the meetings of Friends through the Principality of Wales, and many parts of England; in the course of which visit, he attended the Yearly Meeting of Wales, with those of Bristol and Lon- . don. Soon after his return he thought it his duty to remove into Leinster Province, and fixed his residence in Mountmelick, where his service became extensive, being in the centre of a large body of Friends. He almost constantly attended our Province, Quarterly and National Meetings, where he was often drawn forth in the pure streams of gospel love, to the refreshment and edification of Friends. In the year 1774, he settled in this city, where he was well received and well beloved, his innocent life and conversation adorning his gospel labors amongst us, being filled with love to mankind in general, and in particular to the flock and family with whom he was joined in religious fellowship.
He followed his occupation of schoolmaster for some time in this city, but, in his advanced years, not being sufficiently able to bear the fatigue and confinement attendant on that employment, and being desirous to be more at liberty for the exercise of his gift, he gave it up; and for the last three years of his being a member of this meeting, travelled much abroad in the different quarters of this nation, visiting the meetings, and in many places the families of Friends, to stir up the pure mind by way of remembrance, and to provoke to love and good works.
Being on a religious visit to Friends in the Province of Munster, and having proceeded to the city of Cork, where he was engaged in a visit to the families of Friends, and had with much diligence nearly finished the same, it pleased the Sovereign Ruler of the universe, in whose hands our lives are, there to put a period to his labors, and to remove him fror works to rewards. Being seized with indisposition, and following the service before him too closely, as was appre
JAMES GOU GII, DECEASED.
hended, it increased upon him to such a degree as brought on his dissolution, and he quietly departed this life, at the house of our Friend Joseph Garratt, in said city, where he was affectionately and tenderly attended and taken care of luring his illness, we believe in peace with the Lord, and much regretted by Friends here and elsewhere, amongst whom his zealous labors will be much missed.
We desire that the removal of faithful laborers may be so laid to heart by their survivors, as that they may be incited to copy their examples, tread the same steps to blessedness, and thereby be qualified to fill their vacant places with propriety. “Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright; for the end of that man is peace.”
He departed this life the 6th of the Tenth Month, 1780, and was buried in the burying-ground belonging to Friends of said city, the 9th of the same. Aged sixty-seven; a minister forty-one years.
Signed in and on behalf of our men's meeting, held in
John Dawson Coats,
Thomas Bewley, Jr.,
For my own future benefit, and for theirs too, into whose hands it may fall, I am induced to commit to writing the following review of my days, now in the sixtysixth year
of my age. Since we are launched on the ocean of life, our principal care ought to be to steer our course through it to the port of rest and unmixed felicity, though it be through hardship and self-denial; since, if we fail of this at last, it is then too late to amend it.
Could all the pleasures and advantages of this life be attained and enjoyed perfect and unmixed to its close, they would be no compensation for the loss of happiness in a future and immortal state. But those pleasures and advantages never can be so enjoyed by any one, unless his passions and inclinations are subject to the government of God, who alone ought to govern his creatures, and who discovers his will to the humble attentive mind.
The temporary enjoyers of the good things of this life, may show an appearance of pleasure to ignorant spectators, while they seem to float, without interruption, in the midst of gratifications and amusements; yet a secret worm is often felt by them, gnawing at the root of their exaltation and grandeur.
It is the universal regard of Omnipotence, which rebukes them for letting loose the reins of their lusts or eager inclinations, designing thereby their timely reformation for their everlasting good. He often opposes the ambitious and proud in their career with the unwelcome
discovery, that they are engaged in other pursuits than those that heaven designed for them; not applying their precious time and talents to the great and good purpose for which they were given. Sometimes He displays the beauties and benefits of rectitude, deserted by them; and sometimes the horror and sad consequence of persisting in the neglect or violation of duty thus discovered, on the one hand, and counteracted by them on the other.
Hence, too generally, disliking the check to present ease and pleasure, such as are intrusted with the means of doing good, and helping others on their way, turn their attention from this omnipresent monitor, this faithful bosom friend; they fly to tempting vanities, to soothing deceptions, to amusing recreations; they bear their heads aloft among the envying multitudes, and seek to drown his salutary admonitions in splendor, noise, intemperance and dissipation.
Many such I have known, who are now gone to their long homes, whom in my younger years I envied.
I have been so foolish as to transfer my envy from them, after they disappeared, to their vain and short-lived successors; many of whom are also gone, and so will it be with the rest ere long. And then what follows to those that have left their heaven behind them? who, assuming to themselves the direction that was due to God, have refused to reverence and obey his laws? Ah, then the enviers and the envied, like the blind led by the blind, fall into one abyss. Unfit for the regions of pure love to God and each other, of perfect peace, of joy unspeakable and full of glory, they are debarred from admission into them. Associated with rebellious spirits, their bitterness, envy, resentment, eager desires ungratified, unceasing vexation and anguish descend with them, in an unbodied state.