The Memoirs of

Sunderland P. Gardner,

(Journal, Part 2)

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Fifth month, 7th. - First-day meeting comfortable, though an exercising time to me. It seems to me that my exercises increase upon me so much that in my waking hours there is but little intermission, and when I take my seat in meeting, poverty of feeling is my covering, accompanied by a desire that I may be in my allotted place, gathered into silent worship and be still.  But during a year or two past my labors in the gospel have been very frequent; I desire to do my duty while it is day, and nothing more. My mind was brought into exercise upon the nature of the kingdom of Christ, and it led to a communication from these words, " My kingdom is not of this world, else would my servants fight." Bringing into view that so far as men become the subject of his kingdom they cease to be carnal warriors; but that kingdoms and governments established upon no other foundation than man's own unregenerate nature will ever be fluctuating, and frequently unjust and cruel; instancing prominent nations of antiquity who were thus governed, with their failure and dissolution as the result; that the most civilized and enlightened nations of the present day are selfish and oppressive, and except a reformation take place both in Church and State, the reward of evil doing will be theirs.

8th. - Received notice of the death of the wife of Stephen Hatfield ( a member among Orthodox), requesting members of both Societies to meet on the occasion of her burial as one people, without distinction and with equal privileges. His wife attended our own meeting of late when she attended any, though not a member; their son Peter became a member of our Society a short time since by request. Stephen has been in a position for some time so that, like Joseph, "his branches extend over the wall." May his worthy example prove like leaven, leavening the whole lump.

9th.- Attended the funeral of the above-mentioned person at the meeting-house of the Orthodox Friends in Macedon. It was soon discovered that they did not mean that equal privileges should have a very signification; there were but three that occupied the high seat, yet they directed our Friends to lower seats. I do not notice it as holding one seat to be better than another, but it appears at least friendly on such occasions to invite elderly people, especially strangers, to take an upper seat.

After the meeting became still, ______ ______, a minister among the Orthodox, arose and had something to say concerning God as being no respecter of persons.  He was soon followed by _______ _______, a minister on the same side, in supplication; and the fixed form I had often heard used amongst them led me to reflect upon the difference between asking in the name of Jesus Christ, and always using a set form of words till there seemed to be no life in them. "Not all that say unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but they that do the will of my Father which is in heaven." After she concluded I supposed the meeting would soon close, but my mind was exercised in such a manner that I felt it to be necessary to leave in that meeting what seemed to be required of me, so I arose and informed them that a view of the nature of the gospel and its blessed effects upon the children of men had been so opened in my mind, that I did not feel easy to let the occasion pass without opening it to the people from the words, "When I am weak then am I strong," showing the difference between a regenerate and unregenerate state. Paul in an unregenerate state could persecute the humble Christians by the authority of the priests, - he was then the strong man in his own will; but when it pleased God to reveal his son in him, he conferred not with flesh and blood, but became obedient to the heavenly vision; it led him to the cross - that is, to the subjection of self. After this, instead of depending on himself or on the authority of the priests, he depended upon the revelation of Jesus Christ: hence he found it true in his own experience that when he ceased to trust his own strength and will as a man, he became strong in the Lord. This was the effect of obedience to the gospel as shown to him by the master, and the same effect would be produced in all, if they would be equally humble and faithful.

Such an obedience would disarm the warrior by correcting every desire of wrong, and would bring men from under the bondage of corrupt and perverted practices into the glorious liberty of the Truth. It reached the heart of Zaccheus in such a manner that he was constrained to declare that if he had taken any thing from any man by false accusation, he would restore fourfold.

None are set at liberty while they are unjust.

I felt it right to address the mourners in a particular manner, reminding them that the principal source from which they could derive comfort is their trust in God; in him they would find safety, for "a Father to the fatherless and a Judge to the widow is God in his holy habitation."

It was a tendering season; may it be remembered for good.  There being no further work apparent, the meeting closed, I believe to the satisfaction of most present.

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