Some Account of The Last Expressions and Death of Mary Watson, who Departed this Life on the 29th of the 12th Month 1788 ———

Some Weeks before her Decease, Conversing one Evening, She spoke of the Necessity of Resignation, and said she had Experienced, in a Spiritual Sense, better Days since her Confinement, that ever she had done before. — In the Course of her Sickness, she was frequently much cast down, and Distressed in her Mind, being Subject to Weaknesses in some Respects peculiar to herself, which she Judged might in Part be the Cause thereof ———— She frequently lay awake many Hours in the Night, in close Meditation, and expressed great Comfort and Consolation therein, and toward the last mentioned to her Husband, that she saw the States of many of her Friends, and that there was too general a Want of Torie Zeal in the Education of their Children, and in Seeking for a right Qualification in the Management of the Discipline ——— A Few Days before her Decease, she told her Husband, that she had some Time past had a remarkable Dream — “She thought she was somewhere abroad, returning Home alone in the Night which was Uncommonly dark, with high High Wind and like for a Storm, at which she was much Troubled but looking up, the Sky all of a Sudden became Remarkably clear, The Stars, remarkably bright, and the Sun at the same Time shining clear, and to Appearance two or three Hours high.

She observed to him, she did not know, whether this was any thing more than a Dream – whether it signified an unexpected Change to a Recovery, - or that she should before her Departure, have a clear Evidence of Peace which was her great Desire, and appeared to be the Constant Prayer of her Soul; but said she had a sure Confidence that would be made Manifest to all who Attended her in her last Moments —— She gave an Affecting Charge to her Children respecting Their Conduct in Life, directing to a constant Watchfulness, and to Prayer to kind Providence, to guard and protect them which she had experienced to be her Preservation from many and various Temptations, and she signified that such had been her constant Practice, that she hade endeavoured to be faithful in what was Manifested to be her Duty, and that now all was no more than sufficient to support her in the present trying Season. ~ She warned them to guard against The Vain Fashions of Dress, and not to wear any Thing which they knew she had not allow’d them in, Advising them to be thankful to kind Providence for Things Necessary, and even for Coarse Clothes ~ To be kind and Obedient to their Father in all Things ~ to avoid, if they should live to such an Age, that sorrowful Practice of keeping private Company in the Night Season on Account of Courtship, and in general to guard against any Acquaintance with such as might be Unprofitable to them. ——    The Evening before she died, her Brother Oliver Hanton, was sitting by her Bedside, when taking him by the Hand in a very Affectionate Manner, she expressed herself as follows “My Brother! I can say but little --- I don’t yet feel that Assurance of Peace in my Mind I could wish – I don’t know the Cause – There is nothing to be faithful in what was Committed to my Trust, thought sensible of many Weaknesses” == About four O Clock next Morning, with an Audible Voice, she said “O Father Thy Blessed Will be done, and not mine.”  And some Time after – “Oh Lord Bless all my Friends and Relations” —

As she continued to grow weaker and weaker, with strong Symptoms of her End being very near, The Distressing Doubts of her Mind were, in Mercy Dissipated, and she spoke out intelligibly at different Times as her Strength would admit as follows – “Oh The Glory I have a Prospect of — “ I rejoice in my Sufferings — “Come sweet Jesus – come quickly —— “Take me to thy Arms — “ I long to be released — “Oh, if Death would but come and strike; Oh Lord shorten these Moments — Yet not my Will, but Thine be done”  She asked her Husband if he thought she could continue a Quarter of an Hour Longer ~ to which he did not quickly reply — but at length said, Nature was failing fast — She answered him “Don’t be afraid of discouraging me. I am wholly resigned” ———She spoke some time after in an Audible Voice, “O Friends be not discouraged at what you see — The Smallest Glimpse of that Light and Peace I have in view is more than a Recompence for all my Sufferings —— At Another Time she said, — “Tell my Friends I Trust in the Mercies of the Lord in Divine Faith. — having Assurance he will receive me to himself — “He looks at me” — She was frequently heard to express in a low Harmonious Voice these Words — “Sweet Jesus — Come quickly sweet Jesus”  She appeared evidently sensible to the last, and took a most Affectionate Leave of her Husband, so expressive of Unfeigned Love and Tenderness, as greatly to affect those who attended her in these Solemn Moments, soon after which she expired ——

Having led a Virtuous innocent Life, and laid it down under such sweet clear Prospects of the Exalted Felicity prepared for her, we are comforted with the well grounded Assurance, that she is now in the Fruition of the Hold Evangelists Divine Benediction— Blessed are the Dead that die in the Lord from henceforth, Yea, saith the Spirit that they may rest from their Labours, and their Works do follow them — x About 4 O Clock in the Afternoon — Rev XIV-13—



Testimony of Reading Monthly Meeting Concerning William Penn 1719 ——

Our Friend William Penn departed this Life at His House at Ruscomb in the County of Berks the 30th of the 5th month, 1718, and his Body was convey’d thence the 7th of the 6th month following to Friends Burying Ground at Jordans in the County of Bucks, where he was honourably Interred, being Accompanied by many Friends, and others from divers Parts, and being a Member of our Monthly Meeting at the Time of his Decease, and some years before, we can do no less but in giving the foregoing Account, say something respecting the Character of so Worth a Man, & not only refer to other Meetings, where his Residence was in former Time, who are Witnesses of the great Self Denial he Underwent in the Prime of his Youth, and the Patience with which he bore many a heavy Cross, but also think it our Duty to cast in our Mite to set forth his deserved Commendation — he was a Man of great Abilities, of an excellent Sweetness of Disposition, quick of Thought, and of a ready utterance, full of the Qualification of true Discipleship, even Love without Dissimulation — As extensive in Charity as comprehensive in Knowledge and to whom Malice, or Ingratitude were utter Strangers  So ready to forgive Enemies that the Ungrateful were not Excepted —— Had not the Management of his Temporal Affairs been attended with some Deficiences, Envy itself would have been to seek for Matter of Accusation, and yet in Charity even that Part of his Conduct may be Ascribed to a peculiar Sublimity of Mind — Notwithstanding which he may, without straining his Character be ranked among the Learned, Good & Great, whose Abilities are Sufficiently Manifested throughout his Elaborate Writings which are so many lasting Monuments of His admired Qualifications & are in the Esteem of learned and judicious Men among all Persuasions —— And tho’ in Old Age by Reason of some Shocks of a Violent Distemper, his Intellects were much impaired, yet his Sweetness and loving Disposition surmounted its utmost Efforts when Reason almost failed; ——— In fine he was learned without Vanity, apt without Forwardness, facetious in Conversation, yet weighty and Serious, of an extraordinary Greatness of Mind, Yet void of the Stain of Ambition, as free from rigid Gravity as he was clear of Unseemly Levity —— A Man, A Scholar, A Friend, A Minister, surpassing in Speculative Endowments, whose Memorial will be valued by the Wise, and Blessed with the Just ~~

Signed on Behalf, and by the Appointment of the Monthly Meeting held at Reading aforesaid the 31st of the 1st Month 1719

                        William Lamboth Junr 

The foregoing Testimony being presented to us at our Quarterly Meeting held at Reading the 20th & 21st of the 2d month 1719, was there read and weightily consider’d of, and in respect of the Unfeigned Love we bore, to so Eminent a Friend could do no less than agree and Join with our aforesaid Friends Therein. ~

Signed on Behalf, and by the Appointment of The Aforesaid Quarterly Meeting by

                                                       John Bay

A True Copy from our Quarterly Meeting Record Examin’d by

                                  S. Kirton


The Words of a Prisoner left at his Liberty by the Governor and Council to Speak in his own Defence — Supposed by Law to be guilty of Death ——


I am glad of Liberty to speak in my own Defence, before the Governor and his Council, I hope you are Moderate considerate Men, and will hear me Patiently while I speak forth the Words of Truth and Soberness. — We live when at Home in Pennsylvania, Berks County.  I have been looked upon as a Minister of the Gospel among the People called Quakers from about the 22d Year of my Age, and under the Exercise Thereof have Travelled much in America, and Visited the Meetings of Friends generally from Nova-scotia to Georgia, and many of them several Times over, and in this great Work I have ever Observed the Good Rules of Discipline used among us.  When I felt my Mind drawn in Love towards my Brethren in any Part of America, I have endeavoured first to get fully satisfied within myself whether it was the Lords Will or not, and then after being Confirmed by turning the Fleece, that it was His Requiring: I have Always laid it before my Brethren at the Monthly Meeting for their Approbation, and in like Manner so at this Time, but never met with so much Trouble upon the like Occasion before, for after I was fully satisfied that it was the Lords Requiring by looking at the Difficulties & Dangers I should be exposed to, in Crossing the Lines of Contending Parties, I became weak and fearful, I thought I would Mention my Concern to the Elders in a private way, which I did but received no Encouragement from them, so I spake of it to the Monthly Meeting, I then Concluded to take no more thought about it fearing that it was a Delusion, but was followed with the Judgements of God for Disobedience, insomuch that the Nearest Connections in Life, became withered to my View, and in this sad Condition I concluded that I would do my Endeavour to Obey the Lords Requiring, altho’ I might lose my Natural Life in the Pursuit thereof ~~ I spoke of it to the Monthly Meeting, and after a solid Consideration they gave me a Certificate Signed by the Elders and Heads of the Meeting, which I have in my Pocket ——— We then proceeded on our Journey and Crossed Delaware at Carrols Ferry, & Visited the Meetings generally until we came to the North River, we crossed the same about four Miles below Poughkeepsy and rode thro’ the Town some Miles Eastward to a Meeting, & so visited the Meetings generally in the Government without any Interruption Until we came to the White Plains, where we were Stopped by the Guards, we told the Lieutenant we were going to Maraneck Meeting, he gave us leave to go but afterwards sent a Horseman after us that brought us back, & informed us we must have a few lines from the Colonel before we should go, we rode back four or five Miles to the Colonel’s & he gave us a Pass, to go to Maraneck Meeting, & from thence we went to Westchester, after Meeting we went to the Water Side to go over to Long Island, but here being no Boat, we made a Smoak, as a Signal to the Ferryman on the other side to come for us, which he soon did, but informed us, he was under an Obligation to send all Strangers that he brought over to the Colonel at Flushing, which he did under Guard — We informed the Colonel of our Business on the Island, and his Answer to us was, if that was our Business, it was a Pity to hinder us.  He readily gave us a Pass to travel thro’ the Island, where we Visited eight Meetings.  I Think we were at a Meeting every Day we staid there, and when our Service was over, crossed the Sound to New York where we had two Meetings, & when we were Clear of that Place, we with the Assistance of our Friends got a Pass from the Commanding Officer to cross the North River at Powlas Hook, when we were over I gave that Pass to the Colonel, who went up Stairs in a private Chamber, while I stood at the Door, there came an Officer (as I thought by his Dress) to me & asked me, if I was not afraid of the Rebels. ~ I told him I was not afraid (as I was innocent) to go among my Country People — The Colonel sent for me to come to him, he gave me our Pass with an Indorsement on it to pass the picket Guards, and Offered me a News Paper, told me I might divert myself as I rode on in reading it — I told him I had Nothing to do with Politicks, neither did I incline to read News Papers, he told me I was at my Liberty and so we parted— We had not gone far from the Door until a Soldier Commanded us to Stop, who began to untie our Coats and searched our Bags — When we were at New York our Friends told us of a Judge whose name was Fell, who had been a Prisoner thirteen Months, when he was first taken he was put into the Provost, and he being a tender Man in close Confinement was not likely to Continue long, we were informed ten of our Friends joined & did their utmost Endeavours by treating with the Officers for his Liberty, at Length by being bound in the Sum of One Thousand Pounds for his good Behaviour.  They obtained The Liberty of the City.  This Judge behaved himself so well as to gain the Good Will of the Officers, so that they gave him Liberty to go Home to his Family upon Parole of Honour ———— Our Friends considering the Difficulties we might Meet with when out of the English Lines, thought it best for me to go to the Judge, my Friend Henry Haddock went with me, and after that Friend who had been long Acquainted with me, had recommended me to him, and made known to the Judge my Circumstances he said he was a Prisoner, and could do but little for me, but what he could, he would, he informed me he had a Son who was a Major, that lived about Hackinsack, if I could find him and tell him that I had seen his Father, he believed he would shew me kindness, and if he saw him before me, he would speak to him concerning me — I ask’d him if he durst Write a Line or two to him, which he thought not safe —— He gave me his Name on a small Piece of Paper, & told me his Son would know his Hand — I have it now in my Pocket — We went on our Journey from Powlas Hook for near Twenty Miles and were stopped by a Guard who searched our Bags.  We enquired for Major Fell, he told us he lived many miles from that Place, and inform’d us of a Major who lived four or five miles back, we went there without a Guide, after that Major examin’d us, searched our Pocket books, and had seen Judge Fells hand Writing which he knew, he gave us a Pass unto the highest Officer in Elizabeth Town which I have with me — we went forward thro Hackinsack, and came to Second River, then crossed the Ferry to a little Village, where we were stopped by a Guard, our Bags taken off and Searched Thoroughly, but nothing found that was Offensive, soon after there came along the Road, a Major in his Waggon who stopped, and came to us, in a very furious Manner, ask’d us where we had been.  I told him we had been to New York, he ask’d me if I did not know that there was a Strict Law against it, I told him I thought that Law was not made for such Men as we were, then he in a great rage ordered the Guard to bring us down to Newark, and we were taken before a Judge, Justice, and two Majors, and for further Examination were sent to the Guard House where we were closely Confined that Night,, the next Morning we were sent for to the Majors House where was a Justice who read to us the Law which we had not before heard, by which we Understood our Lives were Forfeited, we were then taken to the Judges House, where our Guards received Orders to take us to the Governors House — The Judge and his Officers blamed us very much that we did not go the Governors at Poughkeepsy to get a Pass to go to York or Long Island — We did not know that it was Death by the Law until we had rode between Thirty & forty Miles below Poughkeepsy, & then we did not know it was possible for Strangers to obtain a permit to go into the English Lines, and concerning deceiving the Colonel at the White Plains in not telling him we were going to New York, if he had ask’d the Question I believe we should have told him the Truth —— When I heard it was Death by the Law to go to Long Island & New York, I was struck with a Serious Sadness and did not know what to do, to go forward was Death by the Laws of the Land, and to go Homeward was Death by the Law of the Spirit of Life, but after Considering the Matter calmly within myself, I concluded it go forward with a strong Resolution to keep myself clear of those Crimes for which the Law was made, and in so doing I should be Innocent before God, and more excusable before my Countrymen at my Return — and I can assure the Governor and his Council that I have not said, or done any Thing knowingly or intendingly that would injure Particulars, or my Countrymen in general and let the Governor and his Council Judge whether I am guilty of Death or further Confinement, if Judged Guilty, I must endeavour patiently to suffer according to your Law, but if the Governor and Council should Judge me innocent, I desire a Pass to go Home, and Liberty in that Pass to go back to Plainfield, Rahway, Shrewsbury, Squan, Squangum, Barnegat, Egg Harbour, and Cape May, from whence I intend to go Home if the Lord permit ——— I have done ———

Governor Livingston and his Council having particularly heard Abel Thomas’s Narrative the Governor replied to this Purpose “as I believe you are Innocent Men, such as our Laws never intended to molest, I will indorse on your Monthly Meeting Certificate a Pass permitting you to go to the several Meetings you have mentioned, and safely thro’ this State” which he accordingly did, and they having Visited those Meetings returned Home in Safety ——Abel Thomas was at the Succeeding Yearly Meeting at Philadelphia 1778


To Friends of Exeter Monthly Meeting

(Berks County, Pennsylvania)

Dear Friends,

                        I believe it my Duty to give you a Short account of the Reason of my long stay from My Family and Friends, and why I did not return with my Companion, and the reason why my Companion left me, as also to give You to Understand that I am Afflicted, but not Forsaken; When we came to a Meeting on Pee, Dee, the South Part of North Carolina, a large American Army passed by us into South Carolina, and Encamped in the Road to a little Meeting not far from Cambden — I thought I saw clearly that it was best for us to Follow them, and after we had Overtaken them, we gave Ourselves up as Prisoners, unto the Captain of the Provost Guard; the Officers gathered round about us, our Horses were taken from us, Our Saddles and Saddle Bags which we had in our Confinement, Our Papers were soon demanded and read over, and we were closely examin’d — Some of our Papers were sent to the Head General — They gave us to expect we should soon have a Pass to go Home If we would Promise to go, but I could not make such a Promise being bound in Spirit to do my endeavour to Visit Friends in South Carolina if not in Georgia — In the time of our Confinement we had the Company of Several Officers, one at a Time, they behaved Civil, but full of Talk, and foolish imaginations concerning us, — Never let me forget my Masters kindness to me in a Time of Need — I had Talk enough for them all which They could not gainsay or Condemn — At Length they Concluded (as one of them told me) that I was a Crafty Fellow chosen by our Yearly Meeting in Pennsylvania to survey the Southern States to the Disadvantage of our Country, and the Advancement of the British Troops (or Words to that effect) we were often press’d to promise to go Home, which I as often punctually refused, giving Them such reasons for it, which they could not answer — We gave ourselves up to the Captain on Sixth Day in the Afternoon, and on First Day Morning following, about One or two before Day, there was a great stir in the Camp The Officers riding to and from, Ordering the Soldiers to make haste to Parade ready to March, when our Captain had got his Men in Order, with many Prisoners, he Honoured us so much as to Rank us next him, and so he Marched on with his drawn Sword in his Hand — We March’d near Twenty Miles, and then Encamped; When we first set out I was Thoughtful how we should get along for several reasons if they March’d far, First, that we had eaten Sparingly the Day before, and then had but little more than one Biscuit, and a little piece of Meat between us both, and had our Bags and Great Coats to carry And what made it seem more trying, the Sand was Deep and Slavish, and my Boots stiff and heavy, the Thoughts of these things for a Time seemed grievous — I began to enquire for my Master, and when I had found him I conversed with him as though he was Present, and told him as though he knew it not, that I had left, my dear Wife and all that I had that was near and dear to me, for the Love I had for him and did intreat that he would not leave me now in a Time of tryal — and He was pleased to hear me, and with encouraging Language convey’d to my Understanding as with these Words, “Fear not my Servant I will be with thee,” the Praise of all be given to Him, for He is Worthy.  He did fulfil his Promise to my Admiration — We March’d fast, and I eat but little more than half a Biscuit that Day, and yet could not perceive myself Hungry or weary — I found freedom to be Chearful in Conversation with the Captain, and with him Men, the Officers passing and repassing generally took Notice of Us, some of them asked us how we were, I answered as I felt with as much Chearfulness as I could, — We were Now Encamped in the Wilderness Under Guard, but had the Liberty of Walking out one at a Time, I went out that Afternoon from Tent to Tent amongst the Officers, making known to them our Circumstance, where we Desired to go, and what our Business was, One of them Promised to let us go in the Morning — I returned to my Companion, lay down by him, but could not Sleep, although I had not slept much for several Nights — Remarkable it appeared to me, that I should be well and hearty, and lively without much Food or Sleep, My Dear Friends search for reasons, I believe it to be the Lords doings, and it is Marvellous in my View —— Next Morning I went in search for that Officer who had promised to give us our Liberty, and after Some Time I found him and put him in mind of his Promise, he seem’d to Quibble and put it off.  I thought he intended to weary me out, that I would Promise to go Home — I went to the Head General and made my Complaint, and he in a Friendly way told me that we should soon be released — Soon after that Officer who had promised us a permit, called me to his Tent and Wrote a pass for us, and after we had Read it, my Spirit was raised with Zeal for my Master’s Honour, and so I assumed the Place of an Officer and told him “that I was not to fear or be frightened by Man in the Masters Cause, must we indeed go right Home without a Guard, Nay, send a Guard with us, for the Safety of our Country, Yes we have Concluded to go Homewards about one Hundred and Fifty Miles to a Settlement of Friends about New Garden and when we have visited them, if I find my Mind Easy to return Home to my Wife and Children, I shall be glad, but if I find my Master hath any more Service for me in this part of the Country, I desire to be enabled to return to South Carolina, if not to Georgia, Visiting my Friends, and if I should return thro’ this Army when Thou seeth me ride on then remember what I tell Thee now, “Officer” if you return here again you may expect Severity” — I answered I do not fear what your Army can do to me, for I know you can have no Power over this Body except you receive it from above for some good end” —— Then he look’d in my Face and perhaps saw the Tears begin to run down my Cheeks — he gave me his Hand, and wished me a good Journey, got on his Horse and rode off — Our Horses were given to us, and we parted with our Captain as with a Friend, and with a raised Voice bid his Men Farewell, and wished them a better way of living which they returned with gladness for our release.  We had about Sixty Miles to a Friends House at Pee || Dee from whense we came, I thought our being among them was no disgrace to our Society — O how good it is to live near the Truth, Walking in the Light we should be at no Loss to know what to do, or where to go, or how to Behave ourselves before Men for the Glory of God and for the Safety and Peace of our own Souls I have been much preserved in such a State since I left You, I am Unworthy of such great Kindness.  The thoughts of the many Days, Weeks, and Months which I have spent in time past in the Unnecessary Cares of this World doth at times grieve me, that and The Sense I have of the State of the Churches in the Greatest Affliction I meet with, I find hard Work Amongst Friends in these Southern Provinces, but Hath been helped by my kind Master to Proclaim His Great Name, altho’ in a Clumsy and Uncustomary Way, I generally felt relief to my Burthened Troubled Soul — I am in few Days intending to set out for South Carolina again, not knowing what may befall me there — My greatest Concern is that I may be Profitable to my Master — I cannot see the end of my Journey nor the Road Home clearly as Usual, it may be you may see my Face no more, and if it be so I intreat you in that Love which I feel for you that you shew kindness unto my dear Wife, and Watch over my Children for good —— The reason of my Beloved Companion leaving me, — I first proposed it to his Consideration for your Sakes, least you might be uneasy, and he after Considering, and looking at it found Freedom so to do — it was no small Cross for me to part with him we have traveled together in Love as Brethren in Tribulation

My Love to You, all my Friends & Neighbours —

New Garden North Carolina     Abel Thomas

5th Moth 6th 1781



The following Letter was sent to Rebecca Collier after a Meeting in London, with a Paper of Sweetmeats, and another for her Companion Rachel Brachon. — The great John Locke was at the Meeting, and took particular Notice of them and it was said that King William the 3d was there Incognito


My sweet Friends                Grays Inn Novr 21st 1699

                                A Paper of Sweetmeats by the Bearer to attend your Journey come to testify the sweetness I found in your Society, I admire no Converse like that of the Christian Freedom, and fear no Bondage, like that of Pride and Prejudice, I now see that Acquaintance by Sight cannot reach the Height of enjoyment which Acquaintance by knowledge arrives unto, Outward hearing may Misguide us, but internal knowledge cannot err, — we have Something here of what we shall have hereafter, to know as we are known, and this we with our other Friends were, even at the first view mutual partakers of and the more There is of this in the Life, the less we need Inquire of what Nation, Country, Party, or Persuasion our Friends are, for our own knowledge is more I use than another is to us — Thus we know when we have Believed — Now the God of all Grace grant that you may hold fast that rare Grace of Love and Charity that unbiass’d and unbounded Love, which if it Decay not, will spring up Mightily as the Waters of the Sanctuary higher and higher till you with the Universal Church Swim together in the Ocean of Divine Love — Woman indeed had the Honour first to publish the Resurrection of the Spirit of Love, and let all the Disciples of Christ rejoice therein as doth your Partner

                                John Locke


A Prayer of the Emperor of Germany

              Joseph the 2d ——

O Thou Eternal, Incomprehensible Being, who art The Fountain of Mercy, and the Source of Love: Thy Sun lights equally the Christian, and the Atheist; Thy Showers equally nourish the Fields of the Unbelievers, and the Infidel; The Seed of Virtue is found even in the Heart of the Impious, and the Heretic —— From Thee I learn, Therefore, that Diversity of Opinion does not prevent Thee from being a Benificent Father to all Mankind, shall I then, Thy feeble Creature be less Indulgent?  Shall I not Permit my Subjects to Adore Thee in whatever Manner they please?  Shall I Persecute those who differ from me in Point of thinking, Shall I spread my Religion with the Point of my Sword?  O, thou, whose Mighty Power and Ineffable Love embrace the Universe, grant that such Erroneous Principles may never harbour in my Breast, I will try to be like Thee as far as human Efforts can Approach Infinite Perfection; I will be as Indulgent as Thou to all Men whose Tenets differ from mine, and nd all Unnatural Compulsions in Point of Conscience shall be banished forever from my Kingdom; Where is the Religion that does not instruct us to love Virtue, and to detest Vice?  Let all Religions therefore be tolerated, Let all Mankind pay their Worship to Thee, Thou Eternal Being; in the Manner they think best.  Does an Error in Judgment Deserve Expulsion from Society?  And is Force the proper Way to win the Heart, or bring the Swerving Mind to a true Sense of Religion?  Let the Shameful Chains of Religious Tyranny be parted Asunder, and the Sweet Bonds of Fraternal Amity Unite all my Subjects forever — I am sensible that many Difficulties will Occur to me in this bold Attempt; and that most of Them will be thrown in my Way by those very Persons who style themselves Thy Ministers; But may Thy Almighty Power never forsake me; O Thou Eternal and Incomprehensible Being, fortify my Holy Resolutions with Thy Love, that I may Surmount every Obstacle, and let that Law of our Divine Master, which inculcates Charity, and Patience, be always impressed upon my Heart ———


                                Universal Mag. For August 1787


True Religion and Virtue give a Chearful and Happy Turn to the Mind, admit of all True Pleasures, and even procure the truest —— The World —



                A Prayer ——

Yes, O Ineffable and Incomprehensible Being, who art Thoroughly Manifested in thy Works, I bow before Thee, truly resigned to thy Divine Decrees, and stedfastly Resolved however Severe are the Punishments Thy Wisdom shall inflict, to Acknowledge Thy Justice, and Extol that Mercy, which, at the same Instant, Thou Inflictest Punishments declares to me Thy readiness to Forgive my Crimes, for which I stand Self Condemned at the Tribunal of my own Conscience — But, Alas, how weak are poor Mortals, how wavering their Strongest Resolutions, how little can we perform of Ourselves, without Thy Assistance?  Let then the Ears of Thy Mercy be open to the humble Petitions of an offending Offending Wretch, and enable me to make Atonement for my Ingratitude to the Author of all the Good I have received from that Bountiful Hand which is never exhausted, or tired with Diffusing Blessings even on the most Unworthy ——


Christ was Born in an Inn, to teach Man to make the World but a thoroughfare, where if he takes his Rest, yet he must not set up his Rest —




Elizabeth Rowe to her Mother

Madam —

                I am now taking my final Adieu of this World, in certain hopes of Meeting You in the next.  I carry to my Grave my Affection and Gratitude to you.  I leave you with the Sincerest concern for your own Happiness, and the welfare of your Family.  May my Prayers be answered when I am Sleeping in the Dust, may the Angels of God conduct you in the Paths of Immortal pleasure ———

I would collect the powers of my Soul, and ask Blessings for you with all the Holy violence of Prayer.  God Almighty, the God of your Pious Ancestors, who has been your dwelling place for Many Generations, Bless you — it is but a short Space I have to Measure — My Shadows are Lengthening, and my Sun declining; That Goodness which has hitherto conducted me, will not fail me in the last concluding act of life.  That Name which I have made my glory and my boast, shall then be my Strength and my Salvation — To meet Death with a becoming fortitude, is a part above the powers of Nature, and which I can perform by no power or holiness of my own; for oh! in my best estate, I am altogether Vanity: a Wretched helpless Sinner; But in the Merits and perfect Righteousness of God my Saviour, I hope to appear Justified at The Supreme Tribunal, where I must Shortly Stand to be Judged —

(N.B.  This Letter was not to be sent to her Mother till she was Dead)



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