A Copy Of Robert Barclays first Letter to the Person who was afterwards his Wife

Dear Friend                           My 8th mo 28th, 1669

                                Having for some time past, had it upon My Mind to have Saluted Thee in This manner of writing and to enter into a Literary Correspondence with thee in so far as thy Freedom could allow, I am glad that this small occasion hath made way for the beginning of it.  The Love of thy Converse, the Desire of thy Friendship, and the Sympathy of thy way and Humour, with my Spirit, has often (as thou might have observed) Occasioned me to take frequent Opportunities to have the Benefit of Thy Company, in which I can truly say I have often been refreshed, and the Life in me touched with a Secret Unity, which hath flowed from the same in Thee, Tender Flames of pure Love have been kindled in my Bosom towards thee, and Praises have sprung up in me to the God of our salvation for what he hath done for Thee, Many things in the Natural Will concur to Strengthen and Encourage my Affections towards Thee, and make thee acceptable unto me, but that which is before all, and above all, is, that I can say, in the Fear of the Lord, that I have received a charge from him to love thee.  For I know his Love is towards thee, and his Blessing and good Will is, and shall be unto thee, as long as thou abide in a true Sense of it, I write not these things to draw out thy Mind, but as being with me so to do, that thou may rather be the more humbled, and may love the more to abide in the lowly, meek, quiet, satisfied, peaceable, contented Habitation, in which there is safety that cannot be hurt, and a Peace which cannot be broken, a place of rest and Quietness where the Children of Light and Babes of the Houshold of Faith have Fellowship together, and embrace one another in the Pure Love which is Mysterious and hid from such as are led away by the foolish Loves and fond affections of this World, which when any that bears the Name of Truth, or has any time tasted of the good thereunto belonging are entangled, they cannot but receive much Hurt, and Damage, to the Spiritual Kingdom in them against which it is my Study to Watch, and my earnest Desire to be enabled so to do, my Friendship & Respect for thee doth engage me to offer thee the same Advice because thee and I are those amongst the small handful in this place whose private Conditions puts in a Capacity to be obvious to Temptations of that kind, thru yielding to which, I fear it will be found some have received Hurt That such of us as are behind may be preserved from the like Danger, is the Cry of my Soul, I am sure it will be our great Gain, so to be kept that all of us may abide in the pure Love of God in the Sense and drawings whereof we can only learn to know how to love one another.  In the present flowings thereof I have truly Saluted Thee, desiring and expecting that, in the same thou may Judge and feel ———

                                        Robert Barclay




Samuel Spavolds Prayer at the Scholars Meeting, the 10th Day of the 11th month 1758

God Almighty, thou in thy Power, as thou made us, hast made some of us Sensible that thou knows us altogether, and that there is no hiding from Thy all seeing Eye, we acknowledge that Thou, oh, Father art infinite, Lord bless us, and we shall be blessed, keep us and we shall be kept, and be pleased to keep us little and low.  Bless Thou the Fathers and Mothers, and in thy wonted Goodness be graciously pleased to bless the Youth and Striplings here amongst us, be pleased by thy holy Spirit to move more and more upon their Minds, O,’ Father and God of Mercy, who by thy Power hast made the Seas and Earth, we beseech thee be pleased to give an increase of Thy Virtuous Spirit to us who have but a few Days before we must be dissolved, and O’ Lord in Thy infinite Mercy and Goodness be pleased not only to bless us who are about the decline of Life but also Bless the little Ones who have as it were but yesterday entered on the Stage; and O’ Father, after this Manner we entreat thee to Bless us all together, and Cause us renewedly to Witness thy all sufficient Power, I beseech thou wilt be pleased to Bless the Young and rising Generation, soften their Hearts, cause thy Divine goodness to spread in their Minds, That They may have renewed Cause to Worship and Adore thee.  I Bless thy Name, I feel Thy Mercy and bounty, I have abundant cause to extol Thy Kindness and Favours to me when Young, and O’ Lord as thou hast done for me, so do thou for all the rest of Mankind, and in a particular Manner I Pray Thee to Bless the Young and rising Generation, and fill their Hearts with thy pure Word, Cause thy Spirit to move upon their Understandings, that they may glorify thy Name, and that forever — O’ Lord purge away that wicked Spirit, and lead them aright, purify their Minds, and mine with thy Word, and Power, and as thou hast led us who are advanced in Age, so lead and wean and take care of them, O’ Lord, for in thee is Strength, and of ourselves we have no Power, and, Father, we entreat Thee, on the bended Knees of our Minds, to bless them with that Blessing that makes truly Rich and adds no Sorrow Thou hast made us.  May thou be pleased to Bless us, Who art a God hearing Prayer —— We Pray thee O’ Lord, to keep us little, humble, and low before thee, Loving Goodness, and Father of Mercies, as thou hast never forsaken us, so now, O’Lord, we Pray thee to Bless us, with thy life giving Presence that thereby we may be enabled to run the Race thou hast set before us with Faithfulness —— which that we may perform, My Heart with others will Pray till the Day of our Dissolution —— That when Time to us here, is no more we may be Admitted into thy Holy Kingdom, where we may live to Praise, Worship, and Adore Thy great and Glorious Name forever and ever




Copy of a Letter that was wrote to Catharine Payton concerning the Death of that dear and Faithful Servant of God, Mary Peasly ———

Dear Friend ——— Ballytore 3rd of 4th moth 1757

        It is laid on one, by a Friend of ours, to send this Messenger of Sorrowful Tydings unto Thee, A Scene has opened little expected by us, which as I know it will nearly Affect Thee, as it has us, I am at a loss how to begin to relate it.  Surely, many are the instances of the Fallacy of our Prospects, and Uncertainty of our Enjoyments here, Repeated are the Shocks we get, to loosen us from this Earth, that finding no firm footing for our Wearied Spirits thereon, we may, with more earnest longing, seek a City that hath Foundations, a House Eternal in the Heavens.  May this be the Happy Effect of our Affliction, and Disappointments here, and then we shall experience such Dispensations of Providence to be Salutary Portions, tho for a Time they may be bitter Cups, —— But to begin, Thou wert acquainted with the Intentions of our dear Friend Samuel Neale, and Mary Peasly to Marry —— They Accordingly took each other in Marriage on 5th day ye 17th ult at Montrath in a Meeting which, tho Crowded with various Sorts of People and many of the Neighbouring Gentry, yet was a Solemn good Opportunity, and to speak my own opinion as one present, to the Honour of the Cause of Truth, Samuel Neale Married as tho he Married not, appearing towards the beginning of the Meeting in a lively Testimony, and at the Conclusion of the Meeting With a heart tendering Supplication I remarked that after the Meeting Molly seemed quite pleasant and easy in her Spirit, but loth to part with some of us who were taking leave of her in order to return Home.  The Evening before the Day of their Marriage Samuel requested an Opportunity in her Mothers Family, wherein he had to speak of the Benefit of taking hold of every such like Opportunity of Renewing our Strength, and that it was the Way to lay up Treasure against the Day of Trouble and Disappointment, which was certainly to be met with in this uncertain Stage.  And on the Evening of the Marriage Day, in a like Opportunity, Molly spoke sweetly how the Almighty perform’d the great Work of the Creation gradually in Six Days, which having finished he appointed a Sabbath Day, a Day of Rest and Sanctified the same, and that there was present who would in a little time enjoy that Sabbath ——Thus remarkably they spoke, severally, to their own particular States little thinking, I believe that their own Testimonies would oft so speedily be fulfilled on themselves, they spent the two days following their Marriage in sweet Fellowship at her Mothers, and on 7th day Evening, Molly was remarkably chearful, and supped heartily, but between 12 and 1 o Clock that Night was seized in Bed most violently with her old Pain in her Stomach, which for some Time, affected her so strongly, that she cried out with the Pain, but after a while it abated, and she expressed her Thankfulness therefor, to her great Benefactor, desired one of her Sisters to hand her a Cup of Water and said they would see afterwards what a fine Sleep she would go into, after she drank the Water she seemed much pleased, and fell into a kind of Slumber, gradually drawing her breath weaker and Weaker, till she drew it no more, but expired without any seeming Pain, Sigh, or Groan, on first Day the 20th ult, about 3 o Clock in the Afternoon and went , no doubt, to enjoy that Sabbath, which she so sweetly spoke of a few days before ——— Her body was carried the fifth day following to the Meeting House at Montrath which was very full on the Occasion, several Friends bore Testimony in a lively Manner, to the Circumspect Life, Holy Zeal, Undaunted Courage, and Faithful Services of that eminent Instrument in the Lords Hand to publish his Truth amongst the Nations, and our dear Friend to my great surprise and Gladness at the Conclusion Kneeled down beside the Coffin, which contained the Remains of his most beloved Earthly Treasure and Prayed to God the Father in the Demonstration of the Spirit and Baptizing Power of his Son —— My Soul was penetrated in the deepest Reverence, and joined in strong cries with him, in whom only is our Sufficiency, that he would be near us, in this trying Day, and make up our recent loss, and I believe, many more present were greatly Affected at the same Time —— From thence we proceeded to the Grave Yard, where Samuel bore a lively Testimony to the People, and our Friend James Gough was concerned in Supplication after which her Body was decently interred —— Such was the End of our dear Friend, concerning whose many Excellencies I need not enlarge on to thee, who not only has been more a Witness, but art a better Judge of them, than I am, so shall only add, respecting her, that since her return from America, she was diligent in attending Meetings both particular and general, when Ability of Body was present, but seemed pretty much shut up, as to the Exercise of her Gift in the Ministry, tho she sometimes appeared in that Manner, always living, mostly Short, After the Publication of their Intentions of Marriage she found a Concern to join with other Friends, on a Family Visit, which was performed, very fully to the Families belonging to the Monthly Meeting that she was a Member of, she was remarkably favoured in this Service with clear openings, and deep Counsel, which it is to be hoped will be as Bread Blessed by her Master, and cast at his Command upon the Waters (the Unstable Minds of the People) that may be yet found, tho perhaps not till after many Days —— After the Accomplishment of this Service, she returned Home chearful  and easy in Mind, and a few Days after, was joined in Marriage to her beloved Husband, our dear Friend as there was a strong tie of Natural Affection between them drawn still more close, by a pure and Spiritual Love, this sudden Separation is doubtless, a severe Tryal to the Survivor, but that good Hand which brought him out of Egyptian Darkness, into the Marvellous Light and leads his approved Servants thro various States and Dispensations, I hope will still be Underneath, and support, and more and more refined for his further use, till he fits for that Heavenly Kingdom where may we all meet, never to part more when These few afflicting Days are over ———




A Copy of Samuel Neale’s Testimony concerning his Wife Mary Neale, who departed this Life 26th of the 9th month 1757 ———

She was a Woman of excellent Natural Endowments, and had her understanding cleared and brightened by that Holy Principle, which taught her to love, and fear God, which, as she kept strictly to, made her an eminent Instrument in his Hand, in setting forth the happy Effects of his Visitations to the Souls of Mankind, and the glorious Reward that attends a well spent Life, in which Service she continued unto the End, was faithful unto Death, and I have no doubt at all, but has the Reward annexed thereto, which is a Crown of Life —— Having in Obedience to her Lords Requirings visited the Churches pretty generally throughout This Nation, England and America amongst us as a People, there’s many can bear Witness to her Ministry.  She taught as one having Authority, and not as the Scribes ——Her Dwelling was in the Deeps, and there she drew Deep counsels distilling it upon the Flock and Family, proportioning it with great clearness to the various States and Conditions she Ministered to, rightly dividing the Word, very careful not to exceed the due Limits of her Concerns, and jealous of her Masters Honour, which made her move in his Work with awful Fear, had her Eye first to him, in the Enlargement of his Light — upon her Understanding, and gradually arose in Declaration as its Virtue increased in her Heart, by which she kept much in the Purity of a true Ministry, and Nourished the Seed of Life in the Hearts of the Believers, to their Refreshment and advancement in the Riches of that Peace and Joy which is the Holy Ghost —— To the raw and Undisciplined to the Cross of Christ, the rebellious and Backsliders she was, in Obedience, to her Spiritual Guide taught to keep at a due Distance, yet sought their returning in Secret, with an ardent and importunate Solicitation, and I trust her Prayers, and Intreaties have been received as a sweet odour, and holy Incense, acceptable to the God of Mercy.  For the Discipline of the Church, she was peculiarly qualified, her Dwelling in those Meetings being in the Light, which she well knew was the best Qualification to act therein, to the Honour of her Master, & for the Church and Society she was a Member of, she Stood in great Singleness, no Relationship, either of Affinity or Consanquinity, bribed or stopped her giving her Judgment impartially, neither did the Favours or Frowns, the Riches or exalted Stations of any professing Membership with her, cramp or obstruct a steady Compliance with what she believed to be her Duty her loss is great, in this Respect, for she was a true and steady watcher on the Walls of Zion, had that Eye Opened, which discerned the Approaches of the Enemy in his various Transformations, and in his Mysterious Workings, and Tongue and Utterance to alarm the Camp —— During my Visits to her, on the Score of Marriage, she was often drawn to seek the Lord, being broken and Contrited, on Consideration of the Importance of the Charge and many were the precious Opportunities we had together, as well as in the Family, in which Heavenly dew distilled as from her Sins, and Divine Counsel flowed from her as a healing Balm —— And the Evening of the Day of her Marriage being the 17th of the 3rd month, in a retired Opportunity, with several Friends who favoured with Their Company, and which was the last Testimony in so publick a Manner, she had to declare she was opened to speak of the Excellency of the Sabbath of Rest, and that when Almighty God had finished his Six Days Work in Creation, he appointed a Sabbath, and Sanctified it, and she believed there was some there who would cease from Their Works and enjoy a Sabbath, in which they would have no Work to do.  She was clear and sweet in her Declaration of it and the Usual Seal of her Ministry attended it —— On the 20th about one o Clock in the Morning, she was visited with a return of her old Pain in the Stomach (which she termed a Cholick) with such Violence, as was hard for Nature to bear, in which Agony, several things were applied, that often relieved, but now proved Insufficient to repel its Force, after the first Shock of the Pain was over, which did not last above an Hour —— She lay pretty quiet and still, in a retired, awful Frame and would sometimes raise her Voice with a Melodious & Heavenly Sound, thro the Efficacy and Virtue of that Glorious Grace, which so often animated her, and enabled her to sound forth Praises to the King of Saints —— and tho she did not now express herself in Words, yet there was a Language in the Sound which richly & fully expressed the triumphed over her Bodily Pain, and over Death, Hell, and the Grave, for she longed to be Dissolved, which was fully Evidenced, by her entreating her Lord to give her a Release if it was Consistant with his Holy Will, which Request he was Graciously pleased to answer, and about half an Hour before her Departure, dismissed her Pain, she said, “I Praise thy Name, O’ my God, for this Favour.  Then called for some good Water and Toast, and said if she had it she would get a pleasant Sleep, and soon after she drank it, breathed Shorter and shorter, and quickly departed without Sigh or Groan, like one falling into a sweet Sleep, after about 14 Hours illness and is gone to enjoy that Sabbath of Rest she so ardently longed for, diligently Sought after, and so feelingly spoke of in her last Testimony —— I was constantly with her during her illness, was an Eye & Ear Witness, of what I have here assented, and have to bear my Testimony to her Noble and Christian Conduct, My Loss is great, and a Virtuous Example is removed, for she was a pattern to the Believers in many pious Excellencies, and may be justly rendered in the Holy Apostles Terms, Viz In Word, in Conversation, in Charity, in Spirit, in Faith, in Purity, and adorned the Doctrine of God her Saviour by a Wise, judicious Movement, in that Wisdom that is far beyond Riches, or length of Days —— which made her Face to shine, adorned her, and was her Delight, and Crown of rejoicing.  May we, who still survive, for a few Days, on this temporal Stage and Globe of Uncertainty, so own as to obtain, so fight, as to gain the Prize, that we may have to join the Spirits of our removed Worthies, in Heavenly Rejoicing, and Songs of Praise, to the Lord God and the Lamb, that lives and Reigns forevermore

Clonivae 3rd mo 30th 1757           Samuel Neale




The Purport of a Dream of Samuel Fothergill’s which he related in a Solemn and Affecting Manner to near eighty Friends at the Crown Inn in Wostenundridge (during the time of the Circular Yearly Meeting) the 15th of 9th moth 1760, about nine at Night after he had appeared in a Publick Testimony near half an Hour. He said it had taken such hold of his Mind that it could never be Erased at Times, while Life and Memory remained, that he was pleased to see such Solemnity and Quietude in some present, so he found an Innocent Freedom to relate it to the Audience, and hoped it would prove interesting to the Minds of some present, without improperly revealing the Secrets of the Almighty ———— One Night after retiring to Rest, I was led to trace back the Transactions of my Life from my Cradle even to the present Day.  The Remembrances of which filled my Soul with humble Thankfulness and Serenity of Mind.  And with that Blessed Assurance of being Eternally Happy if I never opened my Eyes more in this World, with these Considerations and Deep Impressions of Mind, I dropped into a Natural Sleep.  When I thought the Dissolution of the World was come, and that I heard a Trumpet as with my Natural Ears, at which the Earth and Sea were to give up their Dead —— Afterwards they Ascended in Numbers before the Presence of the Most High, at the Tribunal Seat of Justice, many on the Right-Hand in White, and Multitudes on the left, whose cloathing was dark and gloomy,  But I thought I accompanied those on the Right, and we were borne away as upon the wings of Archangels to the Celestial Regions of Eternal Bliss from whence I returned to View Those Miserable Objects on the left, for whom, all that was within me was concerned  I also saw many of them that were cloathed in White, yet at a Distance (some of them were Individuals that are now in the Body) I said Lord what have these done that they are left behind.  Then instantly their White Garments fell off, and I beheld them bound with Shackles of Iron and fettered to the Earth ——— Here he ended but Afterwards Livingly branched forth in much excellent Advice and tender Admonitions pertinent to the State of Those Assembled, but in a more peculiar manner of Elders, who he signified were too much borne down with the Riches of this World, and earnestly pressed the Youth to devote the early part of their Days to the Service of Their Maker.  Then Communicated to them that tho he had been enabled to close with the visitations of Heaven which were long Continued to him, yet it then would have afforded him much Comfort if he had not rejected the Divine Law in his Tender Years, and intreated all to take care how they Neglected so great a Salvation, by putting the Evil Day afar off ———————


Table of Contents 1

Table of Contents 2

Table of Contents 3

Table of Contents 4

<Previous Page     Next Page>