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Lao Tzu, James Legge (trans.)

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Lewis Carroll

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Hugh Lofting

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A. Conan Doyle

Memoir of Hannah Gibbons

by Hannah Pusey Gibbons


Hannah Gibbons was the daughter of Joshua and Mary Pusey, of London Grove, Chester Co., Penna., and was born there the 8th of 2nd month, 1771. A journal which she left, is thus introduced:—"As it may be interesting to my children when I am gone, to know something of my early religious exercises, I feel inclined to note some of them, now, at an advanced age; but as I kept no written account at the time, I cannot mention dates exactly.

"Being when young made sensible of the visitations of our Heavenly Father's love, which were very precious to me, I was led to desire a continuance of them; and a sense was given me, if I did not strive to be a good child, I should not be thus favored. As I advanced in age, my youthful mind was often tempted to deviate from the straight and narrow way, and as often as I did, I was brought under condemnation, when no one knew it but He who in mercy had administered it. Being thus favored with the convictions of Truth from season to season, kept me in fear and care lest I should do wrong.

"After I grew to womanhood, I met with disappointments and cross occurrences, which greatly humbled me, and tended to break down my strong will, so that I seemed as one chastened of the Lord: and the language of my heart at times was, 'Turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the Lord my God.' In this humiliating season it was given me to believe that my Heavenly Father had a work for me to do, and that it would be required of me to open my mouth in his cause among the people, which was very weighty to me, and gladly would I have felt excused from such a prospect."

The following letter, written about the year 1796, will show the tenderly visited, and thoroughly awakened state of Hannah Pusey's mind at that time: a state of sore conflict, and of being baptised into death, preparatory to that resurrection unto newness of life, which is in Christ Jesus, and whereby we are fitted for service in the Church and in the world. How precious is this season of espousal! Wherein not only the warfare which ' is with burning and fuel of fire,' is in measure experienced, but the penitent mind is brought to cry unto him in humility and contrition, under a lively sense of the Redeemer's power, and its need of help:

"Thou art kind, my endeared cousin, in remembering me from time to time. May our faith be increased, and our love to Christ and one unto another never give out while in this state of mutability. Although I have not written to thee for a long time, I have not ceased to love thee, except in seasons wherein it would be hard for me to say I loved any one. Such hath been the sealed state of my mind, that all the comforts and consolations hitherto attendant, were indeed a fountain sealed; a trying, proving state, wherein faith hath been almost ready to waver. But blessed is the Shepherd of Israel, his compassions fail not, I firmly believe, to those who are feebly looking toward his holy habitation, and are ready to adopt this language, 'To whom shall we go'.' Thou hast the words of eternal life.' Now I am sensible, my dear cousin, that I am a very poor creature, and herein have had to admire at the wonderful dealings and condescension of our Pleavenly Parent. Well may we exclaim with the Psalmist, 'What is man that thou art mindful of him, or the son of man that thou visitest him?' Ready indeed is He, when we an' thoroughly sensible of error, to seal our pardon with a plenteous shower of heavenly dew; that may we not say of a truth, ' He will abundantly pardon.' My heart expands at seasons in the joyful prospect of obtaining the crown at last, provided the good fight is fought, and the faith kept. Is not the hope encouraging, my dear cousin, that, after all the conflicts permitted to attend us in this state of probation, there is a blessed inheritance prepared in that city, none of whose inhabitants can say I am sick? I find upon looking over the past scenes of my life, that there has been a great unwillingness in me from season to season, to submit to the government of the cross: whereby chastisement hath been incurred. * * Oh that I was faithfully dedicated to the Lord's service! But the enemy fails not to cast in his baits and snares, whereby the conflict is renewed, and the warfare sometimes so great that I have feared being overwhelmed in the contest. However, after all, I believe nothing short of obedience to what appears to be the manifestations of Truth, will yield that peace, which my soul at seasons longs for. I think I am favored at this time with a degree of that love which tenderly salutes thee; and it is indeed a favor to feel our friends in the bonds of endeared affection. I have never been so sensible of this as of latter time, and that of ourselves we can do nothing. Therefore may we lean on Him who is strength in weakness, and a present help in the needful time. * * I cannot help feeling a wish for the improvement of others, though I am a poor creature myself. Now, my dear cousin, when it is well with thee, remember her who is often in a conflicting state, but who still remains to be thy affectionate cousin,

Hannah Pusey."

"When about the 26th or 27th year of my ajre, a Friend, Mary Swayne, from another Monthly Meeting, came to ours with a minute expressive of her concern to visit the families of it. l was one appointed to accompany her, and in the course of the visit, felt constrained, I trust by the power of Divine love, to bend the knee in this my first appearance, and vocally to supplicate the Father of mercies, for the blessing of preservation; and that He would be pleased to enable us of the younger class, to be faithful unto Him. After this, to me, awful season, I felt myself in a state of humiliation and fear; was more bound to my elder

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