« AnteriorContinuar »
CHAP. XI. 1739_1741. At several Meet-
ings in West Jersey, &c.—Visit to Friends
THE TESTIMONY of the Monthly Meeting of
Friends in Philadelphia, concerning our ancient worthy Friend, Thomas CHALKLEY, deceased.
THE Christian experiences of the faithful being useful to direct such as are desirous of following them in the paths of true religion and virtue, and their good examples shining with the greatest clearness, when they have, with the flesh, put off all human infirmities; justice to their memory, and a concern for the benefit of their survivors, demand our grateful remembrance of them, and the contributing our endeavours to render their labours useful to posterity.
These considerations engage us to preface the writings of this our esteemed friend and elder in the truth, with this testimony concerning him.
He was a member of our monthly meeting above forty years, so that some of us had opportunities of being intimately acquainted with him, and of knowing his fidelity and diligence in promoting the cause of truth, and the edification of the church of Christ; this having been the principal engagement and concern of his mind, and which he preferred to any other consideration; as will evidently appear to those, who, with an honest and unprejudiced intention, peruse his Journal of his Life and Travels.
By this it will appean that he was, in the early part of his life, sepsibly affected with the visitation of divine life and grace, and, by adhering thereunto, was preserved from the vanities and follies, which often divert and alienate the minds of youth from the due remembrance and awful regard of their Creator; so that he was enabled to bear a testimony of Christian patience and selfdenial in his youthful days, and, by keeping under that exercise, as he advanced in years, attained to further knowledge and experience in the work of religion, in which he had a sight of the necessity of keeping in a state of humility, and of bearing the cross of Christ, which mortified him to the world; so that the loss many sustain by the anxious pursuit of the lawful things thereof appearing to him, he was concerned to avoid it, and in obedience to the precept of Christ, to “ seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness," having faith in his promise, that "all these things,” necessary for him, “ should be added."
Thus the love of God influencing his mind, and opening bis understanding, he became concerned for the general good of mankind, and received a gift of the ministry of the gospel of Christ, before he had attained the age of twenty-one years; in the public exercise of which, he soon after tra. velled through many parts of England, and into Scotland, and the next year, being 1697, he came to visit Friends in this and the adjacent provinces
of America, where his ministry and conversation were to the comfort and edification of the faithful; (as some of us can with satisfaction declare, from our knowledge and remembrance of him at that time ;) and the near fellowship and union he then had with Friends here, we believe, contributed to his more speedy determination of settling among us, which he afterwards thought it his duty to do, though the leaving his parents and relations (as he afterwards expressed) was no small cross to him; being of a dutiful and affectionate disposition.
After fixing his residence amongst us, he persevered in his concern and labour for the edification of the churches, and gathering people to faith and dependence on the inward teachings of Christ, and for that purpose only he travelled many long journies and voyages through the se veral English colonies on this continent, and most of the islands in the West Indies, and in Europe, through England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Holland, Friesland, and several parts of Germany, and the adjacent Northern kingdoms; and in many of these places his ministry and religious labours were blessed with the desired success, of which there are yet some witnesses living, and others who were convinced of the principles of truth by his means, became serviceable members of the church, and continued therein to the end of their lives,
But as the wise king Solomon formerly observed, that “ One event cometh to the righteous, and to the wicked," so it happened to this good man, who met with various losses and disappointments in his temporal estate; after which, the circumstances of his affairs engaged him to undertake some business, in the management of which he was obliged to cross the seas frequently : this, however, did not abate his zeal and religious care to make use of all opportunities of visiting the meetings of Friends when among them, and of calling at other times, to such who might be accounted as the outcast of Israel, and the dispersed of Judah, or as sheep not yet of the fold of Christ; and his services of that kind are worthy to be commemorated, having been often productive of good effects.
His patience was remarkable in disappointments and afflictions, of which he had a large share; and his meekness, humility, and circumspection, in the general course of his life and conversation, were conspicuous and exemplary; and as he frequently exhorted and admonished others to the observation and practice of the many excellent precepts and rules of Christ, our Lord and lawgiver; and more especially those expressed in his Sermon on the Mount, (which contains the sum of our moral and religious duties,) so he manifested himself to be one of that number, whom Christ compared to the wise builder, who laid a sure foundation; so that his building stood un