The Journal


Sunderland P. Gardner, Part Eight

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18th. - After deep suffering in meeting to-day, light sprang up in a view of the importance of using means adequate to the accomplishment of the end in view. This we always find necessary in temporal things, in the gaining of wealth, power or pleasure, but do we not know it is equally so in respect to spiritual things? If we would be at peace with God, if we would be safe, if we would be blest by the light of His love, we must certainly use the means adequate to the desired result.

Peter wished to come to his Lord upon the water, but while he had not the required strength of his own, nor yet sufficient faith in Christ, he failed of accomplishing his desire until Jesus came to his help. So neither our own power nor that of other men can save us, or buoy us above the unstable elements or evils of the world; we must look unto Him who has said, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." It was an instructive season to me and I trust to others also.

23d. - Attended the funeral of a child of Albert _____ (not Friends), which was held in the Methodist meeting-house. The funeral had been appointed for yesterday, but apprehending I would wish to be at our monthly meeting they changed the time. It was a season of suffering with me - my soul was truly made sorrowful, and it seemed my allotment to visit the spirits in prison and to be baptized into their state. O most holy Father, show them clearly their states and incline their hearts to seek after Thee.

Eleventh month 5th. - Attended the funeral of John Langdon, of Galen. The meeting was large, and it was a time of favor. The subject which opened to my mind was, "Work while it is day, for the night cometh wherein no man can work." The doctrines of truth were largely opened, and the people appeared to be tendered and edified.

15th. - First-day; attended the funeral of Charles Nichols at our meeting-house, a remarkably favored season. I was led to commence with, "blessed are they that are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb." Many appeared to be reached and tendered, but I fear by some the visitation will too soon be forgotten.

19th. - Attended the funeral of Nicholas Howland at his late dwelling-house in the town of Manchester. I went to this funeral in my usual stripped state of mind, and sat a long time in silent prayer for spiritual strength - nothing presenting which had the savor of life in it. At length the Lord in His own time opened to my understanding that "Love is the most powerful principle awakened in the soul of man." And with these words I arose and informed the meeting that this had been revealed to me, and as it had thus been immediately revealed, it was a matter of certainty to me, and not depending upon hearsay or tradition. The subject finally opened into the declaration of many gospel truths, some of which were as new to me as any present. May the Lord alone have the undivided adoration of my soul. Amen.

24th. - Attended the funeral of the wife of Thomas Cox at Friends' meeting-house at Macedon. The power of Divine life did not appear to rise very high in dominion, though to some comfort and relief.

25th. - Attended the funeral of Thomas ________ (not a Friend), about three miles north of Palmyra village. He was much respected by his neighbors, and the suddenness of his death produced the whole bitterness of grief to his family. He started for his barn a little after noon, and in about half an hour afterward his son went out and found him lifeless upon the ground. It was not satisfactorily known whether he had died in a fit or was killed by a fall upon the frozen ground.

First month 20th, 1858. - Attended the funeral of Robert Briggs at Farmington, which was a highly-favored meeting: the truth was declared in gospel authority.

25th. - Attended the funeral of a daughter of Thomas Cox, a favored season.

Second month 23d. - Attended the funeral of Jonah Odell at Macedon, aged ninety-two years. He was remarkable for his innocence and simplicity of manners, and in the latter part of his life for zeal in the cause of truth, frequently going from house to house and imparting pertinent counsel, which seemed always to reach the visited. May a double portion of his spirit rest upon some who are left behind. It was a highly-favored meeting.

27th. - Attended the funeral of Nathaniel Russell, at Mendon, who died after an illness of but two days. He will be greatly missed in that meeting, having been consistent in all the relations of life, and hence much loved and respected, which feeling was manifested by the large attendance at his funeral. It was a season of great favor; the Lord enlarged my heart and I ran at his command; the people were very attentive, and some of them I believe were brought to see clearly the beauty of holiness and the simplicity of the Gospel of Christ.

Third month 27th. - Funeral of Asa Smith (not a member among Friends). It was a very large and solemn meeting; the service of the ministry fell upon me in a very close and searching testimony, divesting truth of the clouds of mystery with which it had been clothed, and contrasting the fruits of the prevailing opinions of the day with the religion of Jesus Christ.

Fourth month. - Funeral of Mercy Herendeen, widow of Welcome Herendeen, and cousin to my father, in the eighty-seventh year of her age. I was led to speak upon the nature and necessity of the new birth. A favored meeting.

22d. - Our Monthly Meeting at Macedon to-day - a good meeting. I felt a concern to communicate a little in public, but soon after I took my seat a minister arose and expressed disapprobation with what I had said, and appeared to be laboring under excitement. After he closed I spake again to a state that appeared clearly before me without making any allusion to the remarks of the Friend; I felt somewhat grieved on his account that after so long a profession of our principles he should remain so ignorant of their substance.

23d. - In company with William Clark attended Rochester Monthly Meeting held at Mendon, in which William had good service; I also had something to say in the forepart of the meeting, to my satisfaction. The meeting for discipline was long and tedious - hours taken up in debating upon a subject of no particular importance. How much of the benefit we might realize in our meetings is lost to us in consequence of not keeping our minds centered on that which can still the tempest and preserve in the life.

25th. - A large and interesting meeting in the southwest part of the town.

28th. - Funeral of Hannah, daughter of David Shelden - a large and solemn meeting. I was concerned to speak from these words: "I am persuaded that Jesus Christ takes his kingdom by entreaty and not by force." It was a highly-favored season, and I felt merely as an instrument or vessel through which the gospel was poured forth. I felt the good effects myself, and was strengthened, which help I very much needed at this time.

Sixth month 23d. - An appointed meeting in the Union School-house, Plamyra.

30th. - Another at Lapham's school-house in the southwest part of this town; both large, and satisfactory to me.

Afterwards attended several funerals: sometimes the work was hard, and then again it seemed that truth went forth without any effort of my own.

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