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MEMOIRS AND LETTERS Of Samuel Emlen, of Philadelphia, Samuel Emlen, son of Samuet Emlen, was born in Philadelphia on the 15th of the 1st month, then called March, 1780. His parents were considered religious persons, and extended a pious care over their children. By means of this and the restraining power of Divine grace which early operates in the minds of children, the subject of this memoir was preserved from those evils and vices that are considered of a low or gross character. During his youthful days, he, in common with others, had frequent temptations to wander from the paths of rectitude and virtuous conduct; but, submitting to the cross of Christ, he was enabled to deny those selfish propensities of his animal nature, which he perceived to be at variance with the law of Truth written in his heart. As he thus wisely chose the narrow way
that leads to life, the love of God expanded his heart in love to his fellow probationers, especially those who he considered were walking in the same path, and gave evidence by their example of the regulating and redeeming power of Truth. Under this influence, while quite a young man, he went as companion to Michael Lightfoot of Philadelphia, a valuable minister, in his religious visit to Virginia and North Carolina, in the year 1753. .
On the 6th of the 6th month, 1756, he embarked for Ireland in company with Abraham Farrington of New Jersey, who was going on a religious visit to Europe, and Catherine Payton and Mary Peisly who were returning from a like visit here. They
landed in Dublin, after what was then called a short, though boisterous passage of thirty-four days. Samuel Emlen travelled in Ireland as companion to Abraham Farrington for some time. During this journey he first appeared in public, vocal ministry at Carlow, to the satisfaction of Friends.
About the beginning of the 4th month, 1757, he attended a Quarterly meeting at Stafford in England. Here he met with his friend and shipmate, Catherine Payton; and being in a weak, low state of mind, her sympathy and maternal care was manifested by taking him with her in a family-visit to some Friends in that part of the country, as also at a place called Utoxeter. This was probably a season of much profit to Samuel, as a young minister; and Catherine says on parting with him, “we were favoured with a blessed opportunity in a friend's family, and committed each other to the protection of Providence.”
His friend and relative, Abraham Farrington, died at London in the 1st month, 1758, finishing his day's work in a foreign land, but with a firm assurance that the gates of heaven were opened to him. Samuel Emlen was with him in his last illness, and rendered him all the kind offices in his power.
In the Book of Memorials, published in Philadelphia in the year 1787, is a testimony from Burlington monthly meeting concerning Abraham Farrington, containing some interesting extracts from “a manuscript left by him for the use of his children.” From the character of these extracts, it is probable the whole of the manuscript might be useful to others, as well as his descendants. The following letter to his friend John Churchman, with whom his daughter resided, being descriptive of some of his movements and feelings, appears worthy of preservation: it is dated,
London, 28th of 5th month, 1757. JOHN CHURCHMAN,
My dear friend,—This informs thee I am here, in five days from Warrington, after a long and tedious journey in the north, through the six northern counties; that is, Lancashire, Westmoreland, Cumberland, Northumberland, Bishopric and Cheshire. I had a high and humbling time, like the country. I am now at another eminent high place—what will be found here I know not yet. I have received three letters from thee, and one from my dear child; all very acceptable and comfortable, at a time when I stood in need. Thy information of my poor daughter's being with thee, and that she is mending, with thy hope she will get quite well, humbles my heart while I am writing, with thankfulness to the God of all our mercies, who makes the hearts of his people like Lydia's, to do good and communicate. Indeed it must be so, and cannot be otherwise with · those who receive him in whom all fulness dwells. I am interrupted by company coming in.
6th mo. 6th. I have now by candle-light resumed my pen, after a laborious week. When Samuel Fothergill returned from London the first time after his arrival, I asked how he fared? His answer was, “ Not a dog did move his tongue, nor a friend opposed.” I have now been near two weeks in the city, and seven or eight months in the nation, and , have not heard a word in opposition to what we did respecting the epistle. The treaty we had with the Indians, I believe, has opened the eyes of thousands, and stopped the mouths of as many.
Respecting the state of Friends here, though they keep off from visiting families, women's meetings, elders, &c. yet, in the words of a great man, the power of God is over all; Truth gains ground. Here is a visitation to the needy; the high are humbled, and the Lord's holy name is praised. The gospel is preached, and the affairs of the church are carried on in condescension and good harmony. We had a glorious meeting at parting, and in great unity we separated one from another at the close of the Yearly Meeting. There is a tender young people in this city: but I am straitened for time, the vessel being near going off.
My dearest and best love salutes all the suffering seed, who sigh and groan, waiting for the Deliverer to be more and more manifest amongst his people; who in his arising will turn the shadow of death into morning. Happy those who with holy patience wait for him: they will have this answer, “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I will keep thee in the hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world to try them who dwell on the earth.”
With love to William Brown, thyself and your families, from thy brother and fellow servant in the fellowship of the gospel, poor old
ABRAHAM FARRINGTON. Samuel Fothergill, in a letter dated a few months after the decease of Abraham Farrington, says, “Samuel Emlen is with Mordecai Yarnall, who has good service in his visit to Friends, and thinks he may return the ensuing fall. Samuel grows in the Truth, and in his gift, and intends to accompany Mordecai.' Hence, it is probable he returned with Mordecai Yarnall in the latter end of that year.
In the 9th month, 1760, Susanna Hatton (formerly Hudson) arrived from Ireland on her second visit to America. The following is extracted from a letter addressed to her by Samuel Emlen, during her visit to the southern provinces.
Philadelphia, 22nd of 2nd mo. 1761. It was cause of real gladness to find myself so much the object of thy affectionate remembrance, as that after many days of bodily fatigue and distress of mind, I received thy letter informing me of your getting well to Charleston, and being there in the Divine will. It is in this that true christians can rejoice with reverence, according to the counsel of an eminent apostle who had been exercised in heights and depths, but was kept through holy help in a meetness for receiving an assurance that for him was laid up a crown of righteousness; and not for him only, but (let adoring gratitude cover us in the consideration of it) for all those who, like him, walk by the same rule and mind the same important thing, to seek through faith and patience to inherit the promises. Does not thine own experience testify, that in wondrous condescension some foretastes of this are at times encouragingly vouchsafed? Oh! therefore, dear friend, let the evidences of Divine care over us in past seasons of extremity, excite us to . continued confidence in him who has called us to glory and to virtue; that so we may join those in former ages who with innocent boldness declared, • We are not of them that draw back to perdition, but of those that believe to the saving of the soul.”
Thy frequent suffering in deep silence may possibly bring into contempt with such who in past ages had the righteous in derision, and to whom they were