A Letter from Saml Fothergill to Ellen Evans — 

Dear Friend —              Philadelphia 18th 4th mo 1755

        Had Opportunity allowed I should long e’er this have acknowledged the Receit of Thy Affectionate Lines, a Favour Unmerited, and what I durst not hope for, but indeed inexpressible is that Uniting Virtue which cements the Family together and brings them into instant Acquaintance and nearness of Spirit that requires not the Ceremonies of the Worlds Friendship to introduce, or its Arts to maintain, I have often been Comforted in my low drooping Hours with this Mark of passing from Death to Life, that I have unfeigned Love for the Brotherhood, I feel its Prevalence at this Instant, and in it Salute Thee.  Thy dear Husband and Children, with Fervent Desires that he that hath been your Morning Light and Help hitherto, may be known your Staff.  Beloved Antients in Israel, in this your Decline of Natural Strength, to lean upon Day by Day to sustain, to fill up your Duty in the Church of Christ few alas, very few, are the Antients now left, for the Middle Aged, and rising Youth to look to with Advantage The Lord of Heaven and Earth hath gathered many to himself.  The World in its various Appearances hath slain many others, and some not yet dead have their Garment spotted with dust and defiling Things, they are not fit to be looked at, or their Footsteps enquired after.  But Happy is the State of those advanced to old Age, whose Conduct proclaims They have not followed cunningly devised Fables, but have been made living Witnesses of the Power and coming of Christ.  These have been the most Powerful Inducements to bow my Heart in holy Awe from my Childhood to this Day —— I mean with Respect to any outward Means, and I am Thankful to the great Preserver of Men, such there are, here, and there to be found, and although painful Baptisms for Zion’s sake may attend in the View of the Backsliding of many,, yet Ability is vouchsafed at Times to Appeal with reverent Confidence to the all seeing One.  Thou knows how I have walked before thee — I hope this will be your Crown of rejoicing, in an Approaching Hour, which when I view the State of the Church, I could wish very remote from you, but then I consider the Laws of Nature, cannot be very distant ——— The same Love and hearty Well-wishing attends your Offspring, that they may so Acquaint themselves with the God of their Parents as to stand in their Lots and be found worthy to have their names enrolled in the Register of the Lambs Army —— And beloved young Friends, Suffer the Advice of one who loves you, tho- outwardly a Stranger, to have some place in your Minds, a Course of not a few Years Experience hath taught me that Godliness is profitable to all Things, and that all real Happiness is known in Proportion to the Progress thereof in our Hearts, if you look round amongst your Contemporaries you will find it a Sealed Truth and Unspeakably comfortable to that Wise Number of them who have with True fervent Diligence sought the Kingdom of God and his Righteousness first-in Time, as first-in Value.  How Beautiful upon the Mountains have been the Feet of These and how strong that Voice with which their Conduct hath proclaimed good Tidings, inward and outward Salvation hath been their Portion, and holy Peace their safe Refuge, They have been qualified to maintain their Testimony with Strength, and earnestly to contend for the Faith once delivered to the Saints —— Where began these happy Souls? — In the immediate Operation of the leavening Virtue of Truth in their own Hearts, in an humble waiting and Resignation to the Divine Hand, not making haste from the refining Hand, but devoutly waiting in and upon the invisible living Virtue whereby Resurrection from Death is known to every obedient Soul in its own Order. — All who have ever known an advancement in true Godliness have begun upon this Foundation, on this seeming low Ground, but sure Foundation your worthy Parents begun and have built upon and now know the Preciousness thereof in advanced Life as the light of their Eyes and their enduring Substance —— The Dew of the Everlasting Hills and a Sufficient Share of the fatness of the Earth are the Portion of every Soul who above all other Considerations seeks the Lord in Truth and Sincerity.  O’therefore, Saith my Soul, that there may be such a Heart in you as to fear the Lord Almighty, and keep his Commandments always, that it may be well with you, and with your Children forever —— Thus my Spirit Salutes you dear youth, in the unexpected spreading of an holy Engagement for your Good, that you may through the alone Means of Heavenly help and Sufficiency be made truly happy in yourselves, Comfortable to your aged Parents and useful to your Brethren in the Church of Christ.  That when your worthy Parents are removed to their Rest among the Generations of the Just, instead of the Parents there may be the Children to perpetuate his Work to the end of Time here.  I have traveled with Diligence, I think, both of Body and Mind, according to the Measure of Ability given, and have had my Experience enlarged in Rejoicing and Suffering.  The Last often is my Lot but I dare not repine, to be what I ought is my utmost-aim, and best wisdom well knows the Method to make me more and more so, and in his Will I humbly Acquiesce — I propose to leave this Place to morrow, and to bend my Course towards Long Island, and thence to New England, if Life and Health be allowed me, I hope to return in the Fall of the Year, it would have given me great Pleasure to have seen thee, thy Husband & Family, but see no way for it, and therefore must Submit, any Mark of your Remembrance of, & care for one will be very Acceptable to me — I Salute you both and yours in the strong Sense of best Love, and am your Affectionate Friend —

                                                        S. Fothergill



Letter from SF. To John & Ellen Evans —— 

Dear Friends ——        Philadelphia 22nd of 4th 5 mo 1756—

                I have repeatedly formed Intentions of coming up to North Wales to see you & your Families, and take my leave of you, but Unavoidable Disappointments have prevented, a Fit of the Cholick which I have had ever since fifth Day noon and which still continues, tho more easy, prevented my coming up yesterday, and as Some Service in Chester County is yet before me and my stay here seems very short, I must prefer Duty to Friendship, as the latter strong as it is and unfeigned seems the principal Motive to Draw me your Way —— You know dear Friends The Way to the ever living overflowing Fountain of real Virtue, and may it be carefully waited for to wash from every Particle of Dust and every unfitting Thing, and all will be well, if Probations be our Lot —— to sing of the Springing up of this Well of Salvation will be our Happy Lot in Mercy and refining Judgment.  Sometimes a Song in the Night will be raised when the gloomy Clouds overspread our tabernacle, and the Chearful Beams of the sun of Righteousness are withheld — O’ The profitable Searchings of Heart and Holy Jealousy those Times are productive of, and the Evidence yet continued, that the Lord dwells in the thick Darkness, by his own Presence the Light of Israel becomes a Fire, and his Holy one a Flame, may it be received, whether a Fire of Seraphick Love, or the Spirit of Judgement and Burning I humbly Trust you will be qualified in this your decline of Life to stand fast and have an Evening Rejoicing in that which was your Morning Light, and be sustained in Strength to go in and out to Battle before your Family and the Lords Household as in Younger Days, and I need not inform you, either where your Strength lies, or the great need of abiding with it that in the midst of an Apostalizing People you may bear a Faithful Testimony, and Strengthen that which is ready to perish, and encourage by living Example the upright to Vigilance and trust in the Name of the Almighty God —— The utmost Extent of our stay here seems to be to the second of next month, I expect Abraham Farrington will go with us M Peasley, C Payton and myself expect to be at Germantown to Morrow, and return to Town in the evening —— Inclosed I send a Copy of Part of a Letter I received a few Days ago from my Brother in London the Contents may be easily seen to concern Friends Deeply.  The same Letters and others from my dear Wife, gave me a very agreeable Account of Things at Home —— My Indisposition prevents my writing more at present than that I am with Dear Love to Yourselves and Children —— Your and Their Affectionate Friend —

                                        Saml Fothergill



A Letter from Saml Fothergill to Ellen Evans

Dear Friend           Warrington 2nd mo 4th 1757 

                That Affectionate Request which Truth itself raised Mutually in our Hearts is by no Means Impaired, often, very often since I left your Land has it been strongly revived, and more especially so upon my receiving the Sorrowful Tidings of the Removal of Thy Dear Husband.  A Circumstance in which the Affliction is like the Loss, very extensive, Thou Mourns the Loss of a Tender Husband, his Children That of an affectionate Father, the Church laments a Pillar removed from the Place it filled, at a Time when they are greatly wanted —— a Sorrow allowable, for the perfect Example of every Virtue, even Jesus wept for Lazarus,  This Nature demands when its connections are broken and the endearing Social Ties dissolved —— But thou well knows (and I hope it now stands thee instead) we are all Pilgrims and Strangers as our Fathers were, and each Journeying on Thro’ this Region of Distress Towards that City which hath Foundations — why should we Grieve too much if a Companion with whom we have traversed many dubious anxious Steps, have his Entrance into the Holy City a few Moments before us, and enjoy consummate Felicity whilst we stand at the Door and wait also for the same Fruition, of which at Times we receive the Earnest —— Upon all the Glory of the Earth, and all its Enjoyments, upon every Visible Thing, one Inscription is written, as the immediate Determination of him, whose Name is the Most High — “They shall Perish.”  Throughout all Nature and Natural Connections, however endearing, it has been and must be verified, equally fix’d is the subsequent Truth.  The Joy and Song of many Generations, “But Thou remains” on this Everlasting Husband, Father, Friend and Succour mayst thou and thine now lean, and know this Dispensation Sanctified, and Blessed to all your Help, in renewing diligent Care to live and move, that when the great Shepherd shall appear, and all his faithful with him, Your Portion may be among then forever ——— And now Methinks I cannot avoid Addressing myself to you the Descendants of my Honoured (because Honourable Friend, I am convinced the same Gracious Hand which was his Comfort, has been near to some of you for the like Glorious Purpose, even to establish you before him forever ——— I am also persuaded there is a Seed and Heritage that Mourns in secret because of its leanness, and honestly seeks relief whence it ever sprung.  May Stability and Patience be the Girdle of your Loins, and in the Lords Time, this poor, Suppliant, distressed Seed will delight itself in Fatness.  One general hint from my own Experience and the Parity of our State, would I suggest to you Young People, Let all your Conduct Demonstrate, you remember the Worthy Deceased with due Affection, and tho’ he being with respect to the Body dead, yet let him Speak —— I have found it my Duty and great advantage, to place in my View my Worthy Father, and in Cases of Importance, or dubious Cases, consult what would have pleased him, who was ripe in Experience and Judgement.  I believe this Reverence to the Memory of a Worthy Parent is an Oblation of sweet Incense before the Everlasting Father —— Farewell dear Ellen, may Israel’s Rock be Thy safe abode, and keep thee fresh in Spirit, green and fruitful in Old Age, and unite thee to him, and the Many Generations of the Just who are Stepped within the Pearl Gates ——— Farewell Ye Descendants of the Great and Good, imitate their Example. —— As they have followed Christ follow ye them, be Wise, for it is True Happiness, in Wisdom you shall fear to Offend, and this Fear is an excellent Defence ————— I am with Mine and Wife’s, and Samuel Emlen’s (who winters with me) dear love to all —

                        Your Affectionate Friend

                                        Samuel Fothergill

A Letter from Saml Fothergill to E Evans

Dear Friend ——  Warrington 6th of the 4th mo 1760

                Neither Time or Distance have impaired in my Mind those Sentiments of Affection our Father who is in Heaven, filled my Mind with, towards thee and Thine when I was in your Land, tho’ I am not able to give those frequent Testimonies of it, which might be Mutually agreeable.  I am Debtor to thee for several Letters, the last was 10th mo 12th which was a refreshing Cordial to my Mind, and I am humbly Thankful I am retained in the Affectionate Remembrance of such with whom I wish my Lot may be cast forever.  This is at Times my Stay in Secret and Comfort in Times of great Stripping, which is oft my Lot, and as I believe it is necessary and in Wisdom and Mercy, I desire to Submit with Patience in humble Hope I shall again see the Lord in the Land of the Living —— I cannot express the Satisfaction Thine gives me in the Sense of Divine Virtue being thy tried Foundation and renewing the lively Ardour of Youth in Advanced Years.  I was lately favoured with the company of dear Grace Chambers, and Lydia Lancaster, I brought  I brought out Thy Letter and read to them as the best Treat I could give them, our Hearts were melted together in the Sense of the pure prevailing Union of the one Spirit, in which the Laws of Distance were Suppressed, and our Souls bound up as a Bundle of Spikenard, they desired the tender Salutation of endeared Love to thee, as to a well known Sister in the Spiritual Family, tho’ unknown in Person.  I consider with Sorrow the Decline of many amongst us from the Life and Power of Religion, and how great a Loss of Antient Beauty and Comeliness hath come upon us, but it is not our own Cause, but the Cause of God on Earth, and he knows better than we how to carry on his Work, Tho’ the Times are gloomy and dark, he Creates Light, and tho the Vineyard hath been impoverished, yet the Saying of the Holy Ghost by the Prophet, revives at Times in my Heart with the Comfort of Hope ——— Yet Gleaning Grapes shall be left in it & Isai 17th Ch 6th ver  And I humbly hope the Lord will visit the waste Places of Zion and do good to his People will make bare his Holy Arm as in Antient Days, and bring many Sons to Glory.  May we stand in our Lot, and abide in the Faith and Patience, and we shall not fail of Peace in our End.  I am through Mercy in as good a State of Health as for some years,, am not Prodigally wasteing my Stock and Strength, nor Idly loitering away my Time and Talents.  I am often employed either in Publick or private Labour, or in using my Pen, by one Means or other I hope I am in a good Degree clear of the Blood of all ——— I Salute thy Children with Distinguished Regard, may a suitable Care remain with them to become the Children of the Everlasting Father,, and therein Inherit the Blessing which from Age to Age rests upon those whose Hearts are upright towards God, and seek him above all, let their Conduct Demonstrate they thought their Father a truly Wise Man, for when Children deviate from the Path their Parents trod to Peace, it evidently proclaims they think their Fathers Fools or really are such themselves I hope other Things of thine and earnestly wish them every Happiness which the Expiration of a few fleeting Moments will assure them is in True Religion and in Nothing else ——— Farewel Dear Friend, whilst thou remains in the Tabernacle of Clay write to me often, I receive no Letters with greater Pleasure than thine, I shall make Returns when I can, but indeed the Labourers in the vineyard being very few the Weight rests heavy on a few Shoulders. —— My dear Wife desires to be most Affectionately Remembered to thee, and often saying, I would go a Great Way to see that Good Old Woman, you will hardly meet in this World, but I humbly hope we may meet in the General Assembly of the just ever to Praise and Worship the Glorious One of Time and Eternity  Amen  Amen  I am with dear Love Thy Faithful Friend

                                Samuel Fothergill




A Letter from S F to E E 

My dear Friend --     Warrington 6th of the 2nd mo 1761

                I am greatly indebted to thee, for two Tokens of thy Remembrance of me.  I have lately received thy renewed Encouragement to hope in a Warm Concern to seek after that Hand that makes fruitful in old Age, even covers with Verdure, and Plenty all the Trees of the Lords House in all their Degrees of Growth I am thankful to cultivate my Acquaintance with those signal Instances of the Mercy and Power of the Preserver of his People who have known him all along their Day, who was in their beginning, and in Advanced Years can commemorate his Kindness in Youth, his Strength in the Meridian of Life, and his Tender Regard when the Shadows of the Evening Approach I observe with great Pleasure thy happy knowledge of his Regard, and may it be thy covering through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and the Everlasting Arms be open to receive thee, when thy Race here is Accomplished ——— I have strong Hope the ties of Nature, the Example of Honourable Parents, Their Solicitude, the Importance of filial Duty, the Evidence of the Beauty and Usefulness of Religion, and the Importance of Divine Favour, will combine to excite thy Children for whose Welfare I am anxious in a Distinguished Degree, to renew Their Diligence and Care to walk in that Path, which all the Righteous Generations trod in to Glory and Peace; not all the Wisdom of the World, nor the fallacious Promises of its Favour are able to direct to this Path, the Wayfaring Man that is on his Pilgrimage, in Weakness, Besetments, and Poverty, shall not err in his Seeking, tho’ they may be thought Simple, but it is better to be a Fool for Christs Sake than wise in all the Wisdom of this World —— I am through Mercy preserved Thus far this Winter in a tolerable good State of Health, mostly about Home, and seldom idle Peace is my Reward, and That is better Than all the World —— Dear Joseph White spent last week with us, is well, and his Master eminently is with him, his Bow Abides in Strength, and his Hands are Strong, The State of the Church requires close Labour, and in that is the Reward of the Faithful as certain as they pour Water out of their buckets ——— Farewell dear Friend.  I love to hear from thee.  My Wife Joins in dear love to thee and Thine, with thy Affectionate Friend

                                                        Samuel Fothergill



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