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Oh I am Weary

February 1823 — Arch Street Meeting house, Philadelphia PA


Men who work hard all day for nothing, are truly to be pitied. My lips have been sealed in silence since I have been in this meeting, but not through the fear of man. I have been viewing as in the vision of Light, men digging a pit, and in making it large enough to contain the Lord’s servants that pass that way, I have seen that they have undermined their own habitations. Thus the snare they would have laid for the weary traveller’s feet, they have fallen into themselves. Over this pit I have seen spacious buildings, which being undermined must fall in the vortex of this destructive, horrible pit. You toil hard all day long, and instead of the sweet reward of peace for your labors, you lay down your heads at night in the anguish of spirit, a clear evidence how hard the master is you serve. You have forms, but deny the power of the Eternal Word, which was in the beginning., which was with God, and which was God. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. Like the persecuting Jews of old, after stripping the body of Jesus, you contend for the raiment, little heeding that when torn from that prepared body, healing virtue no longer remained in it. Still you contend for the very fragments of the garments, and cast lots for the vesture, to the utter neglect of the living eternal substance. That spiritual life you (Pharisee-like) persecute, and would even nail to the cross. But your power is limited; not a bone can you break. Oh, I am weary; The spirit within me is weary of high profession. For religion, is substituted opinion. Hence contentions, divisions and subdivisions; and in blind zeal and self-will the blessed Truth and its advocates are judged down, and the feet of the messengers are turned another way. I have seen the Gospel trumped laid down in this city. False alarms have been sounded here and believed. These things I brought not with me; you will judge of their correctness. Now beloveds, in that Gospel love which I feel flowing in me, and which embraces you all, and all the human family without distinction, here I have endeavored simply to lay before you these things, desiring  that none may take them to themselves but those to whom they may apply. For I believe there is a remnant who go on mourning on their way, and who; on the wings of redeeming Love, will be made to sour above all the devices of cruel man.



Source: Memoir of Priscilla Cadwallader, by Jane Johnson, (Philadelphia: The Book Association of Friends) 1862, pp. 17-18.