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THE FIGHT, THE FAITH, AND CROWN

A DISCOURSE,

ON THE DEATH OF

  

 

STEPHEN GRELLET,

WITH

   

 

A SKETCH OF HIS LIFE AND LABOURS.

 

 

DELIVERED DECEMBER 16, 1855

 

 

IN THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, BURLINGTON, N. J.

 

 

BY

 

 

CORTLANDT VAN RENSSELAER, D.D.,

A MINISTER IN THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.

 

 

 

PHILADELPHIA:

HENRY LONGSTRETH,

347 MARKET STREET.

1856.

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The text of this and other superb works are available on-line from:

The Willison Politics and Philosophy Resource Center

http://willisoncenter.com/

Reprint and digital file March 16, 2002.

 

Cortlandt Van Rensselaer was the son of Stephen Van Rensselaer, who was an important political, military and  educational figure in New York state, as his founding of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute attests. Cortlandt, ( 1808-1860 ) graduated Princeton 1808, and Yale, 1827, and mirrored his father's interest in the development of formal education, serving as corresponding secretary and chief executive officer of the Presbyterian Board of Education .---Concise Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1977

 

Page numbers in the original appear in brackets at the top of each page as so : [ 2 ]

The following begins the original text:

 

 

THE departure of such a man as STEPHEN GRELLET from our community, seemed to demand some public commemoration of his labours and virtues. The writer felt moved,—he humbly trusts by his Divine Master,—to undertake, in connection with a Discourse, a brief Memorial. It is now published in furtherance of its original design, and in compliance with wishes expressed by persons of all denominations of Christians. May a blessing from the Lord attend this attempt to honour His grace and providence in their relations to this good man’s life.

It is proper to state that a considerable part of the Discourse was omitted, in the delivery, on account of its length and also that some additions have been since made to it.

C. V. R.

BURLINGTON, N. J.,

December 18th, 1855.

 

C. SHERMAN .& SON, PRINTERS,

19 St. James Street.

 

[ 3 ] DISCOURSE.

"I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course; I have kept

the Faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the LORD, the Righteous Judge, will give me at that day, and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing."—2 Tim. 4: 7, 8.

 

 

STANDING on the confines of eternity, the Apostle Paul possessed a sublimity of faith, inspired by the triumphs of the past, and nurtured by the glory of the future.

A fight, a course, the faith, a crown, are great themes of life—greater in the prospect of death, and greatest in the visions of immortality.

The fight, though an arduous one, is good and victorious.

To the toilsome course there is a termination of rest.

The faith, thanks be to God, may be kept, with its precious promises and doctrines of salvation.

A crown of righteousness, the reward of conflict, toil, and service, is laid up by the righteous Judge for all them that love his appearing at the great day.

Before the crown must come the end of the course, and before the end the fight!

 

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I. "I HAVE FOUGHT A GOOD FIGHT," exclaimed Paul, with the enthusiasm of grace. Every Apostle was a warrior; and every martyr, and every Christian, out of every nation, and in every age. STEPHEN GRELLET was a champion of the cross. Opposed to war, and abhorring arms, the Quaker fought the good fight. No plea for exemption from military service can be offered or admitted in the spiritual struggle. All must share in the strife, and "take the whole armour of God, that they may be able to stand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand." Eph. 6: 13.

Let us inquire what is implied in "fighting a good fight."

It means, in the first place, that the warfare is in a good cause. The cause of religion is the grandest, the holiest, the best, that can engage the thoughts, and heart, and strength of an immortal. Christ came to "seek and to save that which was lost." Prophecies foretold him, types prefigured him, history ushered his way, angels came down to witness him, stars shed their rays towards his manger, the opening heavens, and the voice of God and the alighting Spirit, all declared that Jesus is "the first born of every creature." The great purpose of his incarnation was to make a sacrifice for sin, and to "bring life and immortality to light." Every individual believer, in fighting against sin in his own heart, is engaged in the greatest undertaking that can enlist immortal energies. Bishop Hall piously exclaims: "0 Saviour, there is peace which thou disclaimest, and there is a sword which thou challengest to bring. Peace with

 

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our corruptions is war against thee; and that war in our bosoms, wherein the spirit fighteth against the flesh, is peace with thee. Oh, let thy good Spirit raise and foment this holy and intestine war more and more within me. And, as for my outward spiritual enemies, how can there be a victory without war? and how can I hope for a crown, without victory? Oh, do thou ever gird me with strength to the battle, enable me to resist unto blood, make me faithful to the death, that thou mayest give me the crown of life." The struggle for our own personal salvation, and for the conversion of others, causes the angels of heaven to come down and co-operate in the mighty work. "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?" Heb. 1: 14. The enterprises of men, the battles of nations, the toil of this life are transitory and vain. But the cause of God, which is a conquest of sin, achieves a victory that brings with it everlasting joy and glory. To war for such a victory is to "fight a good fight."

The expression further implies the existence of great opposition. Earthly temptations, in the form of honour, and power, and vanity, beset every one who aims at the rewards of a better life. The whole world is arrayed against the Christian, with all its schemes and pursuits. In his own heart, too, lurks the foe to grace. "The lusts of the flesh, and the lusts of the eye, and the pride of life," are three divisions of a battalion that has the power of "legion." Satan, also, confronts the believer with the malice and might of the "Prince of the air."

 

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We contend against "principalities and powers, and the rulers of the darkness of this world." Eph. 6 12. It is a "good fight" to fight against the world, the flesh, and the devil—to war against enemies so formidable without and within.

A "good fight" implies fervent zeal in conducting the warfare. It requires entire consecration to the service, implicit obedience to the great Captain of salvation, hardy endurance, and active exertion. Can an enterprise of so momentous interests be carried on without a spirit of corresponding intensity? The soldier of the cross must renew the conflict every day. He must be always ready to do, or to suffer, all things in his Master’s cause, and for His sake. Welcome trial, and welcome death, in such a conflict! "For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead; and that he died for all, that they which live should not live henceforth unto themselves, but unto him who died for them and rose again." 2 Cor. 5 14, 15. The work of personal holiness and consecration to God derives motives for its zealous prosecution from a Saviour’s bleeding love. Lukewarmness in such a cause is indifference to its object. As the struggle is a great one, so zeal in advancing it must be great. "What carefulness should be wrought in us; yea, what clearing of ourselves; yea, what indignation; yea, what fear; yea, what vehement desire; yea, what zeal; yea, what revenge!" 2 Cor. 7 11. To fight a good fight is to be earnest in conducting it well; it is to have burning love and zeal.

 

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The expression also implies success in the contest. "I have fought a good fight" is the language of exultation— of Christian exultation. The struggle has been a hard one, but not without victory. Grace reigns triumphant. The character has been disciplined by trial. The affections have been purified. Self-denial has been wrought into the soul, by the contact of temptation and care. The body has been kept under, and holiness prevails with the power of a new and progressive life. Feeling that he "can do all things, through Christ, which strengtheneth him," Phil. 4:13, the Christian warrior rejoices in the success which accompanies the arduous warfare. The work of the Spirit in his heart assures him that peace has been won in the Redeemer’s name, and that "all things are his, and he is Christ’s, and Christ is God’s." 1 Cor. 3 :23.

Such are, doubtless, some of the thoughts which entered the mind of the beloved Stephen Grellet, THE APOSTLE OF BURLINGTON, when, in his last public discourse, he unfolded the text to the enlightenment of listening Friends. "I have fought the good fight," said the aged warrior, with a meekness of joy that gave all the glory to God. As he surveyed, with an eye of faith and a memory of love, the grandeur of the cause for which he had been contending, the numerous enemies within and without, the zeal inspired by the holy Ghost, and the success which, through Divine grace, had blessed him with encouragement and hope, no one, better than he, could exclaim, not only "I have fought," but "I have fought a good fight !"

 

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II. "I HAVE FINISHED MY COURSE." The figure of a warfare is here dropped, and the Apostle Paul now likens himself to a victor in the Olympic games, who, having ended his race, stands breathless with victorious effort, awaiting his crown.

Human life is a course.

It is a course of labour. Hard work belongs to the Christian. Paul was not only a working man, but a hard-working man. "In labours more abundant," is his concise testimony. Who ever ran such a course of toil as the Apostle to the Gentiles? Whilst he was, in the wisdom of his utterance to the Pagans, the very Mercurius of their gods, Acts 14 :12, no Hercules could do the work, which, in the name of Christ, this cleanser of nations accomplished. Paul passed through the provinces and towns of Asia Minor, enduring labour of every kind for the spread of the Gospel. In answer to the cry for help, given to him at midnight by the beckoning Macedonian, he crossed over into Europe; and first preaching Christ in Philippi, he went from nation to nation under the pressure of cares and of work., which none but the elect of God can bear.

Every Christian has a course of labour. If not as severe as Paul’s, like his it is a course to be run. Few men, since the days of the Apostle, have travelled to and fro, for the propagation of religion, more extensively than our own Stephen Grellet. His active feet have trod Norwegian mountains and Sweden’s dales in promoting the religion of his blessed Master. The steppes of Russia, the Mohammedan capital, the hills of

 

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classic Greece, the monuments of Rome, Alpine summits, Germany in all its kingdoms, Holland, Belgium, France, Spain, England and Ireland, North America from Canada to the West Indies,—all have borne witness to the Christian labours of the Quaker Missionary. He was a true successor of the Apostles in that which shadows all pretension with its light, namely, godly zeal and self-denying work. Beyond the verge of fourscore, joyfully did he exclaim, "I have finished my course.

But human life is a course of suffering as well as of labour. Christ was both a labourer and a sufferer. It is sufficient for the servant that he be as his Master. Afflictions are the appointments of God’s people. "That no man should be moved by these afflictions; for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto." 1 Thess.. 3: 3. Paul, "in all things approved himself as the minister of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses; in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings." 2 Cor. 6: 4, 5. Nay, so numerous and severe were his trials, that he declared to the Colossians, "who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh, for his body’s sake, which is the Church." Col. 1: 24. Every Christian must expect trials, persecutions, sufferings, according to the measure of the dispensation of God. The beloved Grellet endured trials of body and of spirit, in the midst of exceedingly great labours. He was of so sensitive a nature that his very meekness added burdens to his soul. No scorching suns, or winter’s snows,

 

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deterred him from his work on either continent. If he escaped outward persecution, he was at times very near it. The police of France was once on his track to arrest bum, he went forth on his journeyings, not knowing what might befall. Faith in God sustained him in all his trials.

"Nothing before, nothing behind;

The steps of faith

Fall on the seeming void, and find

The rock beneath."

God’s special providence watched over His servant, numbered every hair of his head, saw and directed every step of his way, counted every tear of his sorrows, and enabled him to come victorious out of every affliction. To the sufferings incident to his public office, were added, especially in his latter days, acute physical pain. "For we, that are in this tabernacle, do groan, being burdened" 2 Cor. 5: 4. To be near the end of our course of sufferings, is a prospect of joy.

More desirable even than to end wearisome labours and sufferings, is to finish a course of striving with sin. It is sin that turns labour into trial, and that makes suffering its companion. In heaven there is much service, but no toil. Holiness is the great purpose of redemption; "according as he hath chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy, and without blame before him in Love." Eph. 1: 4. The struggle with sin is the severest of all the temptations and difficulties in the Christian course. Our best services are imperfect. The purest offerings we can

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bring, are proved but dross by the scales of the sanctuary. Paul did not consider himself perfect; but forgetting what was behind, he "pressed toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Phil. 3: 13, 14. He exclaimed, "Oh, wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death ?" Rom. 7: 24. Oh, how sin interferes with our labours, and thwarts the object of our sufferings! A desire to be delivered from sin, was the earnest longing of the heart of Grellet. The glory of God in the perfection of his poor, weak creature, was the aim of his anxious life. The Christian "cannot run so as to obtain," unless he outstrips Satan in the race.

Life’s course of labour, of suffering, and of striving with sin, is such that in drawing near its close, the Christian may say with joy and hope, "1 have finished my course !"

III. "I HAVE KEPT THE FAITH." This is the utterance of an Apostle, who had cherished God’s truth to the end of his fighting, and to the finishing of his race. Truth is to the warrior and the runner, like a girdle about his loins. Eph. 6: 14.

The word "faith," means in this, as in other passages of Scripture, the system of doctrine revealed in the divine oracles. Paul had been brought up "a Hebrew of the Hebrews; touching the righteousness of the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the Church." Phil. 3: 6, 6. But when he became converted to the doctrine of Christ, he counted all his previous training, knowledge, and advantageous relations to Judaism, but

 

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"loss," for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, his Lord. From the time when he was struck down to the earth by the light of his Master’s appearing on the road to Damascus, to his dying hour in Rome, Paul preached "JESUS CHRIST, AND HIM CRUCIFIED." 1 Cor. 2 : 2. This is, indeed, the sum and substance of our faith. It includes the doctrine concerning the person of Christ and the doctrine concerning his sufferings. Jesus Christ, in his person, unites the human nature with the divine; and Jesus Christ, in his life and crucifixion, offered an atonement for the washing away of the guilt of sin, and of its pollution. "But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." 1 Cor. 6: 11. "What think ye of Christ?" is the test of every religious system. Matt. 22 : 42. If either the divinity of Christ, or the expiatory nature of his sufferings, be denied, the religious creed is of man, and not of God. The Quaker minister agreed with the Apostle of the Gentiles. He "kept the faith." In the midst of agitations which rent the Society asunder, he "proved all things; he held fast to that which was good." Thess. 5: 21. "Whilst some were bewitched" from obeying the truth of Christ, like the Galatians, Gal. 3: 1, and others made "shipwreck of the faith," like Hymenalus and Alexander, 1 Tim. 1: 19, he stood firm in his attachment to the mystery of godliness, and testified with heart and life to the doctrines of the Bible.

Every church is troubled at times with false teachers. "Of yourselves shall men arise, speaking perverse things,

 

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to draw away disciples after them." Acts 20: 30. "For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you." 1 Cor. 11: 19. "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lust shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables;" that is, unto fictions. 2 Tim. 4: 3, 4. How seductive is error; and downward are all its ways! Brethren, it is a great thing to "keep the faith," to preserve it from the wiles of heresy, and to hold it forth to the world, whether men will hear, or whether they will forbear. Especially in times of emergency must the faithful hold fast to the "form of sound words." 2 Tim. 1 : 13. It is as much our duty to maintain the truth as to practise it. Martyrs have died for it; Paul in prison gloried that he had borne witness to it; and Christians in every age are exhorted to "contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints." Jude, 3. The preservation of the truth in a world of ignorance and of darkness is, indeed, a privilege of triumphant joy.

The .Christian is prompted to "keep the faith" by an enlightened conviction that the Gospel system is of Divine origin. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God." 2 Tim. 3: 16. Its true knowledge, or understanding, is also through the illumination of the Holy Spirit. When our Saviour said to Peter, "But whom say ye that I am? Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And

 

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Jesus answered and said, "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven." Matt. 16: 16, 17. The conviction that the Gospel is of Divine origin makes its disciples bold in keeping the faith.

Furthermore, the experience of the precious power of truth in the heart impels to its defence. The practical reception of the Gospel is the attestation of its divinity. "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8: 32. "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit." 1 Pet. 1 : 22. "Chosen to salvation through belief in the truth." 2 Thess. 2 : 13. "And for their sakes, I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified through the truth." John 18: 17. "If any man do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God." John 7: 17. The practical influence of the Gospel as the instrument in the conversion and sanctification of the soul, animates its believers in holding fast to it. Truth, hidden in the heart, becomes a mighty power for its own preservation. And none are more devoted in maintaining it, than those, who, ready to take their departure, have a foretaste of the excellence of things invisible, amidst the realities of the truth and grace of the eternal world.

The disciple, who has "fought a good fight" and "finished his course," can add, with a mental and heartfelt conviction of its truth, "I have kept the faith !"

IV. Thus encouraged by a retrospect of life and by the promises of God in reference to another world, the believer

 

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takes a joyful survey of the future state, and exclaims, "Henceforth, there is laid up for me A CROWN of RIGHTEOUSNESS, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me in that day."

There is a crown for the believer in another world. His warfare being accomplished, and his race run, victory is celebrated with the honours of crowning. The highest earthly distinction is commonly represented by a crown. Whether a monarch’s, or the victorious conqueror’s, or the successful racer’s crown, the idea is victory, distinction, reward. So in heaven, the faithful Christian shall be honoured and rewarded for all his toils and sufferings. The brow, once clouded with care, shall shine with a crown, with the victor’s crown, with a crown of heavenly award.

But observe particularly, that it is a crown of righteousness; not of olive leaves, or of laurel, or a diadem of earthly jewels. It is a crown of righteousness. The saints, redeemed from all corruption of flesh and spirit, shall at last attain to full perfection in heavenly places. Adam had originally a crown of righteousness; being created in "righteousness and true holiness." But "the crown is fallen from our heads: wo unto us that we have sinned." Lam. 5: 16. In heaven it will be regained. The sighs, and tears, and groanings, and contrition of the saints, shall cease in that world, where holiness reigns in every heart and on every head. Redemption is completed there. Clothed in "fine linen, which is the righteousness of the saints," Rev. 19: 8, and with robes washed "white in the blood of the

 

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Lamb," Rev. 7 14, the redeemed shall enjoy to all eternity the perfect happiness of perfect holiness.

But the "crown of righteousness" has a higher meaning even than the honour which God bestows on holy men. It also means a crown righeously due through the merits and righteousness of Jesus Christ and thus refers not merely to the inward state, but to the status—the standing, or outward relations of the redeemed. In this sense, the righteousness of Christ is the peculiar brightness of every crown. Christ’s sacrifice and obedience are the only warrant of the presence of any of Adam' s race in heaven. It would be no heaven to the saints to possess anything with which Christ was not associated. Most of all, must their crowns have upon them the name of the Saviour, and be lighted up by the lustre of Redemption. The righteousness of the saints, derived from and dependent upon the righteousness of Christ, endures throughout eternity. The "crown of righteousness," which is theirs through grace, .may be said to consist of two parts, yet one; the simple gold to bind on the brow, being the righteousness of the saints, whilst the gems and jewels, that distinguish it from every other crown, represent its gift through the righteousness of Christ. The band and the gems form the crown of Redemption; but the gems are the peculiar glory of the crown.

"Henceforth—or, it remaineth that—there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me at that day." How full of meaning is this clause of the text !

 

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It assures us that there is a future state. Immortality is the region beyond the valley of the shadow of death.

The future state is one of retribution. Crowns are given to the righteous; but the sword of vengeance shall be arrayed against the wicked.

There is an interval between death and the judgment, waiting for the full consummations of retribution. The crown "is laid up," but not worn, till the last great day. "All those that love his appearing" shall, indeed, be with Christ at death; for "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord." 2 Cor. 5: 8. But it is only at the resurrection, when they that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth, John 5: 28, that the final distribution shall be fully accomplished.

There is a day of judgment. In that day, the race of Adam shall be judged for all the deeds done in the body. Day of judgment! Day of wonders.

Christ is the Judge and the King. His Calvary-wounded body shall be on the throne of His glory; and there shall He award immortal destiny, holding in his hand the sceptre of universal dominion.

The believer often casts a wishful eye to the great scenes beyond the Jordan. Having fought a good fight, and finished his course, and kept the faith, he waits in the patience of hope, until, after sleeping in Jesus, he shall awake with his crown.

The beloved saint in Christ, whose body rests beneath our familiar soil until the resurrection of the great day, realizes the meaning of the text with sweeter power in heaven, than when the words were upon his lips, as a

 

 

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preacher in the Friends’ Meeting House. We have endeavoured, from the text associated with his last public exhortation, to hold forth Christian doctrine appropriate to the occasion. Let us now attempt a sketch of the life and character of STEPHEN GRELLET. Such a biographical view may, with God’s blessing, be for edification, and it is a tribute due to the memory of a devoted and laborious servant of our Lord Jesus Christ.

STEPHEN GRELLET was born in the year 1773, in France, in the town of Limoges, which is situated in the old Province of Limosin, and in the modern Department of Haute Vienne, about one hundred miles northeast of Bordeaux, and the same distance southeast of La Rochelle. The district of Limosin is regarded by many travellers as the most beautiful in France.

His parents were of high rank and quite wealthy. His father was a member of the household of Louis XVI, and was an intimate friend and counsellor of the King, attending service with him in his private chapel. During the Revolution which overthrew the monarchy and resulted in the execution of Louis XVI, in 1793, both parents were made prisoners, and were both ordered to be guillotined. They were actually taken out of prison for execution, when it was discovered that the father possessed such knowledge of financial and state affairs, that they were remanded to prison, where they remained until after the execution of Louis XVI, and were then spared. Their estates were confiscated; but the government

 

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allowed Mr. Grellet one of his houses in Limoges, where he resided in comparative obscurity and poverty. One of the sisters of Stephen Grellet married a Baron, and was living in 1844, as was also a brother.*

Stephen Grellet was born at an eventful period. The profligate Louis XV was yet living; and social and public corruption reigned in the person of the monarch. The faithful Bishop of Senez, being called to preach before the king, during Lent of the year 1774, chose for his text the words of the prophet: "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown !" God so ordered his providence that, when the forty days were past, Louis XV was lying dead in the royal abbey of Saint Denis. At that time a little child was living at Limoges, who out of a nation of corruption, was to arise, a worthy successor of the Bishop of Senez, and who, in his day, was likewise to preach the great truths of God before kings and rulers of the earth.

Stephen Grellet was educated in the Roman Catholic faith. He received the anointing oil, the sign of the cross, the benediction of priest, and the training of Mother Church; but God designed better things for the

* "At Brives," writes Joseph John Gurney, "lives la Baronne le Clerc, the sister of Stephen Grellet, a lady-like, elderly widow, surrounded by children and grandchildren. She is a Roman Catholic, much devoted and yet liberal; very refined and pleasing." "Limoges is the birth-place of Stephen Grellet; and his elder brother, Joseph, also a Friend, who once lived at Nottingham, now resides here with his Roman Catholic wife. We felt much sympathy with this quiet, worthy man, who is, I trust (in the midst of darkness and superstition), preserved steady to his principles."—Life of J. J. Gurney, ii, 427.

 

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babe than were represented by earthly ceremonies and false doctrines.

In the meanwhile, he received a good secular education, at the large Military College at Lyons. Here there were several hundred students under the strictest discipline. At this institution, young Grellet attained several prizes for proficiency in Latin, and laid the foundation for the mental discipline and general knowledge which belonged to his future character. At the age of seventeen, he became one of the body guards of the unfortunate monarch, Louis XVI.* He had not yet learned to fight the good fight of faith, but trusted to the carnal weapons and vain glories of the military profession.

His family being attached to the Bourbons, it was concluded that S. G. and two of his brothers should repair under the standard of the French Princes who united with other continental powers in endeavouring to replace Louis XVI on the throne of France. They passed through Normandy to Coblentz, which was the rendezvous of the princes and the nobility. After a winter and spring of preparation, they entered France in the summer of 1792 with the Austrians. Being in a

* Eleazer ‘Williams, the so-called Dauphin, or lost Prince, visited Stephen Grellet in Burlington, with a view to obtain the benefit of his personal testimony and reminiscences. Mr. Grellet discovered, as others had done, a resemblance to the royal family, and was much interested in his character and statements. S. Grellet had, on one occasion, seen the young Dauphin kneel at the mass. On parting with Eleazer Williams, S. G. affectionately exhorted him to attend faithfully to things of higher interest than earthly genealogies and crowns.

 

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reserve corps, Stephen Grellet was never present in an actual engagement, and his line was never called upon to fire. This, in after years, afforded him much satisfaction. Owing to political changes in France, and to private alienations in the Princes’ army, caused in part by the ambition of the Count de Provence, afterwards Louis XVIII, the Princes’ army was ultimately disbanded, after a weak and ineffective campaign.

In the exciting times of the French Revolution, Stephen Grellet and his brother, who was also a soldier, were taken prisoners while on horseback, and expected every moment to be shot. S. G. (then in an unconverted state, to which he always looked back with horror), sat upon his horse with as much composure as ever he felt in his life, each hand on a pistol, intending to cause death to others before lie himself should die. Some unexpected circumstance caused a commotion and excitement among their captors, of which the prisoners took advantage and escaped to Brussels, and thence to Amsterdam. A republican general, a friend of the family, favoured their escape in a ship bound to the West Indies. In passing on their way to the ship, they brushed against soldiers who were fiercely swearing what they would do to the Grellets, if they could find them. The present writer has heard the good old man relate, with great satisfaction and gratitude, that he had never fired a weapon for the destruction of human life.

The destination of the young Grellets was Demarara. Here they remained for two years, engaged on a plantation, and in commercial transactions. Hearing that

 

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some French vessels had unexpectedly appeared off Demarara, which proved however to be an English fleet, the Grellets became apprehensive of being again taken prisoners, and secretly embarked on board of a vessel just about to sail to New York. They embarked in such haste that they left behind a considerable part of their property. They landed in New York in the spring of 1795; but left the city for the sake of retirement, and took lodgings at Newtown on Long Island, until they should receive tidings from their parents in France.

Stephen Grellet, at the time of his emigration to America, seems to have been an unbeliever, after the example of many of the Roman Catholics of France. The transition from Popery to infidelity—from believing everything to believing nothing—is easily accomplished over that bridge of temptation, whose architecture was perfected in the middle ages, and has well stood the test of time. While in France he had occasionally attended the confessional.

On his arrival in the United States, in 1795, the young French unbeliever, now 22 years of age, went, as we have said, on Long Island. It was here that God had sent him to learn the first truths of religion. "God’s ways are not as our ways, nor His thoughts as our thoughts." The circumstances of his conversion were striking. At times, his mind had been directed to the subject of religion with greater or less distinctness, when one day, whilst walking alone in an orchard, he seemed to hear a voice sounding in his ear "Eternity ! Eternity !" This was repeated so solemnly and impressively

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that he began to realize that there was, in truth, an eternal world { Bold Italics added, Willison Ed.} . The argument to his mind and conscience was, "If so, what will become of my soul ?" Convictions of the error of his ways were startled into existence, and these convictions were deep and pungent. For about two years, his mind was agitated by thoughts of "eternity," and the apprehensions of guilt. Being in a Bible land, and having access to God’s precious truth, he studied the sacred Scriptures for the first time; and through their perusal, and the instructions of Friends, by Divine grace, he experienced peace and joy in believing.

While on Long island, he went into a Friends’ meeting, and was deeply affected by the words of a female preacher. His impressions in favour of Friends were strengthened by social intercourse, and by an investigation of their principles and practices. One of his earliest personal friends in the Society was the beloved and venerated RICHARD MOTT, now of Burlington, who then resided in New York.

He refused various most attractive offers of lucrative business, feeling a check in his mind. Soon after his arrival, he was invited to return to France, by his parents, who had received back much of their estate. Although he had every reason to expect riches in such return, he did not feel free to accept the invitation, and in this the Divine hand may be distinctly seen. This paternal estate was soon lost again by confiscation; but in the path of providential appointment he was both to receive and to dispense the true riches.

In December, 1795, he moved to the city of Philadelphia,

 

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then emphatically a Quaker city. Here he turned his attention to the useful and honourable vocation of Teacher, and gave instruction in the French language.

His Christian character had been maturing in the riches of a deep personal experience; and the first exercise of his public gifts occurred whilst on an excursion near the sea-shore, in Egg Harbour, Burlington County, for the purpose of distributing religious books and tracts. He was, after this, frequently led, in fervent simplicity and childlike faith, to advocate the cause of his divine Master; and discerning Friends perceived that the Lord was with him. Stephen Grellet was regularly recorded as a minister by Friends of the North Meeting, Philadelphia, in 1798, when he was about 25 years old.

In 1798, the yellow fever raged with great violence in the city of Philadelphia. Stephen Grellet was indefatigable in his efforts to minister to the temporal and spiritual wants of the sufferers. He went about doing good, in the name of the Lord; and the rich and the poor welcomed him as the minister of consolation. In the midst of his labours of love, he was himself stricken down by the disease, and at one time—to use his own expression—he turned to the wall to die. While in this state, he felt that he might be called to publish the Gospel in the North, the South, the East, and the West; and being discouraged at the thought of returning to life, whilst in the enjoyment of a flowing peace, and glorious prospects of eternity, he nevertheless entered into a covenant to go whithersoever God might send him, implicitly believing that, at the close of life, his Heavenly Father

 

[ 25 ]

would bless him with his presence. His life was thus spared in great mercy, no doubt that he might make known the riches of Divine grace to many immortal souls on both continents. God unfolds his purposes by a providence which preserves the lives of His saints, and directs their steps through all their pilgrimage.[ Bold italics added, Willison Ed.}

Stephen Grellet moved back to New York about the middle of 1799, and engaged in mercantile business for a livelihood. One of the peculiarities of the Society of Friends is that their ministers have no pecuniary compensation, and hence a resort to secular occupations is needful.

In the year 1800, Stephen .Grellet made an extensive tour through the Southern States, as far as Georgia, then the limit of our confederacy. At that time, an expedition into those regions was difficult and dangerous. He rode on horseback, and often slept out at night, and was sometimes for days without convenient food. He and his companion adopted the Indian habit of tightening the waist with a belt, in order to relieve the gnawings of hunger. Some person having presented to Stephen Grellet some dried rattlesnakes, as a curiosity, he gave them to his companion, who was glad to eat them. Many interesting adventures are said to have occurred on this journey; but as no account was published, the writer is unable to give any particulars.

In the year 1804, Stephen Grellet travelled quite extensively through New England, doing the work of an Evangelist, and preaching the Gospel of the kingdom. He thus surveyed our whole country from north

 

[ 26 ]

to south, at the beginning of his ministry, and his large soul received impressions of the greatness of its destiny, which grew with his years, and which he ever loved to contemplate in connection with the spread of pure religion throughout our borders and the world.

It is impossible, in a discourse like this, to give a connected narrative of all the labours of this good man s life. That, indeed, is the work of a biographer. All that can be attempted on an occasion like the present, is to take a general glance at some of the prominent incidents in our departed friend’s labours.

While residing in New York, he attended the meeting held in Pearl Street, where his ministry was acceptable and edifying. He was married, in 1804, to Rebecca Collins, a sister of our respected townsman, Thomas Collins. *[ See note on Mr. Collins, pg. 66., Willison Ed. ]

In 1807, he embarked for Marseilles, on a religious visit to Friends and others in the southern part of France. An interesting incident occurred on the passage. After the ship had entered the Mediterranean, a craft of Algerine pirates was discovered bearing down upon them. The captain and crew were greatly excited and alarmed; but Stephen Grellet retained the utmost composure of mind and trust in God, having a secret feeling that the Lord’s name would be magnified. The pirates drew near and boarded the vessel, overpowering the feeble crew without resistance. Just as they were about to transfer them in chains to the other vessel, and to seize upon the cargo and valuables of the passengers, the sun went down below the horizon, and a British man-of-war, which had hitherto been hid in the sun' s

 

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rays, was seen in the distance. The pirates immediately hurried aboard of their own vessel, and the American ship was thus saved. Stephen Grellet often alluded to this remarkable providence, and at a private opportunity he once made a forcible application of it to some veteran Friends, whose minds seemed to need encouragement.

In 1811, Stephen Grellet felt moved by the Spirit to undertake a religious journey to Europe, and he sailed for England. Among his other schemes, a meeting was held, at his request, for the poor of Spitalfields. An immense audience thronged the house, and many persons were compelled to stand. William Allen says, in his diary, "Dear Stephen, though at first interrupted by the noise, was favoured to deliver a very impressive address, and stood about an hour and a half." He afterwards engaged in supplication. William Forster and Elizabeth Fry also addressed the meeting. The large concourse appeared interested and grateful, and separated in a remarkably quiet manner, contrary to the apprehensions of some, who doubted the expediency of assembling a crowd of persons of that description.

In January, 1813, Stephen Grellet was favoured with the privilege of visiting the famous Newgate prison. In company with William Forster, Wm. Allen, and J. Smith, he was allowed to visit four prisoners who were to be executed early in the following week. This visit was the occasion of turning the attention of Elizabeth Fry to the work of ameliorating the condition of prisoners. Stephen Grellet endeavoured to impress upon her mind, in a tender, personal address, this noble work of philanthropy.

 

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After a remarkable visit to the women in Newgate, where they witnessed wretchedness and degradation not to be described (many almost devoid of clothing, and children born in prison, who had never worn a garment), Stephen Grellet being under appointment to dine with Elizabeth Fry, laid their case before her, and told her that something must be immediately done. This was a help in turning her attention to that peculiar channel of great usefulness. She took immediate measures for the present relief of the prisoners, and although for some years she was deterred by circumstances from a full dedication to the great work, she gave herself heartily up to it when the right time arrived, and the results are before the world.

Stephen Grellet afterwards preached to the prisoners of Newgate, in an atmosphere of dreadful odor, truly symbolical of moral corruption. But it was his custom to go cheerfully wherever God called him.

Whilst in England, Stephen Grellet visited the Danish and Norwegian prisoners of war, who were confined in a convict ship. A religious meeting was held on the quarter-deck, which the officers attended; and a precious opportunity of preaching and prayer was here enjoyed. Some of these convicts, already favourable to the principles of Friends, were led, on their return to Norway, to establish a meeting of the Society.

From England, Stephen Grellet passed over to the Continent, and made a missionary excursion into Germany. At Munich, in Bavaria, he reported that "some thousands of pious persons in the neighbourhood of

 

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Munich were awakened to a sense of the importance of vital religion, and the inefficacy of mere forms," and "had the circulation of the Holy Scriptures much at heart."* On this tour, he went as far as Geneva, where he held Christian intercourse with Professor Pictet and other brethren in the Lord.

An exceedingly interesting incident is related of Stephen Grellet on returning from his mission. Whilst travelling through Germany in an open wagon, with a loose board seat, over roads which had been cut deeply by the heavy artillery wagons, and then frozen over so as to be almost impassably rough, he arrived at Pyrmont, where he thought it best to stop and to hold a religious meeting. Wishing an interpreter, he was directed to a little lad, who modestly undertook to do the best he could, and who proved on this, and many subsequent occasions, remarkably fitted for the task. This German boy became, by the grace of God, a Christian, and is now one of the most eminent ministers among the Friends. In 1846, thirty-two years after the incident above related, the German minister came to America on a Christian mission, and hastened to Burlington, to visit one whom he loved as an Apostle and father. He went with Stephen Grellet to his mid-week meeting, where, in the course of a sermon, he paid to his aged friend the following tribute: "I came to this place without any expectation of meeting you on such an occasion as the present, having simply come to make a visit of Christian and grateful affection. to a beloved friend and

* Allen’s Memoirs, i, 155, 163.

 

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Father in the Truth, who, many years ago, when in the constraining power of the Gospel on a visit to my native land, was made instrumental in finding me out, a poor wanderer, as a lost sheep from the fold, and in turning me from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan, I humbly trust, unto my God."

Stephen Grellet returned from the Continent to England in April, 1814. His journey had been undertaken in one of the most trying years, for a traveller, that could have been selected. In 1813, the Allied powers of Europe had combined against Napoleon, and war was raging on a frightful scale. The great battles of Dresden and Leipsic had been fought; and the Allies were now advancing upon Paris. But in doing his Master’s work, Stephen Grellet shrank not from self-denial or danger of any kind.

The Emperor of Russia and the King of Prussia arrived in England from Paris, on June 6th, 1814; and the Friends determined to present to them in person respectful addresses. The King of Prussia was very much hurried, and the only opportunity the deputation of Friends had to see him was in the passage through which he was to pass to his carriage. "Stephen Grellet had only time to say a few words in French, and on adverting to some of the Society in his dominions and to the Society’s testimony against war, the King observed that they were excellent people, but without waiting for the conclusion of the sentence, said, ‘war was necessary to procure peace.’ "

* Wm. Allen, i, 144.

 

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The interview with the Emperor of Russia, Alexander I, was more leisurely and satisfactory. The interview lasted about an hour, during which a great many subjects were adverted to. The Emperor stood the whole time. He conversed with Stephen Grellet in French, about his own personal temptations as emperor; and then, as William Allen relates, "Our dear friend, S. Grellet, under the pressure of Gospel love, addressed a few sentences to him in French. The Emperor, pressing S. Grellet’s hands with both of his, was much contrited, and, with tears in his eyes, said, ‘These, your words, are a sweet cordial to my soul; they will long be engraved upon my heart;’ indeed, several times during the opportunity, he took one or the other of us by the hand."* Stephen Grellet returned to the United States in November, 1814.

In 1816, Stephen Grellet again left his home, and visited Hayti, on which island he spent four months. He endeavoured to set into operation a system of schools, and met with some success. A Bible society was also established there. The Emperor Petion received him with great cordiality. On one occasion, he preached from Petion’s palace to the Haytian army, comprising about 6000 men, who were arranged in solid, compact masses, within hearing of his voice. Some persons, who heard him in Hayti, declared, that in his own language he was a man of truly fascinating eloquence. His labours of love in preaching the Gospel, visiting the

* For a long account of this interesting interview, see Life of Wm. Allen, i, 147—151.

 

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prisoners and poor, and performing acts of philanthropy among the people, caused him to be held in such high esteem that, even after the lapse of years, he was still spoken of as "Saint Stephen." Going to Demarara, where the physician died, Stephen Grellet discharged the duties of a physician to the sick, in addition to his other benevolent work.

In 1818, Stephen Grellet projected a long, interesting, and laborious religious visit on the Continent of Europe. He was instrumental in securing, as his fellow-labourer and companion, the excellent and eminent William Allen.* These two devoted brethren of the Lord set sail from England for Norway on the 15th of August, 1818, and landed at Stavauger, one of the principal towns on the Atlantic coast of Norway, on the 25th. Here they established a system of discipline adapted to the circumstances of those professing with Friends; they visited as extensively as possible, and were quite successful in exciting an interest in the circulation of the Scriptures.

On the 1st of September, the Quaker missionaries set sail for Christiansand, at the southern extremity of Norway, where they devoted themselves to the state of education and the poor, for ten or twelve days. They then travelled a difficult route, by land, to Christiana, a large

* This tour, of which Wm. Allen gives an account, through Norway, Russia, &c., and which was undertaken by him in the capacity of a companion to Stephen Grellet, was planned by the latter, ‘who came to England with that object in view. See Allen’s Memoirs, i, 254, 268, &c.

 

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town, situated at the head of the Skager Rack. "Norway," says the Diary of William Allen, "seems to be made of rocks, which rise from 300 to 500 feet, and follow each other in uninterrupted succession, like waves of the sea, in the whole course, from Stavenger to Christiana." They had an interview with the Governor, held meetings, visited prisons, and called the attention of many to religious concerns. Their impressions of Norway. were highly favourable to the people; and, no doubt, the remembrances of the people were rich in the sympathies and deeds of these men of God.

Crossing by land from Christiana to Stockholm, the missionaries reached the latter place on the 5th of October, after a journey of a week. At Stockholm, they had intercourse with the principal persons of the city, and laid their plans of usefulness before them; they dined in company with the English, Russian, Austrian, and Danish ambassadors; and enjoyed the favour of two interviews with the King of Sweden. The king took an affectionate leave of Stephen Grellet and William Allen, presenting to each of them his cheek to kiss.

From Stockholm, the Friends crossed the Baltic Sea, passing near the Aland Islands to Abo, in Finland, and thence by the celebrated fortress of Sweaborg to Petersburg. At Sweaborg, they were introduced as two priests. William Allen says, in his Diary "I soon undeceived him; and Stephen explained to them, that I was an elder. Hence, taking occasion to describe what we consider the qualifications of minister and elder among us, which gave him a pretty good scope, and he managed it

 

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extremely well." They also dined at Sweaborg with the commandant of the fortress, "Where," says William Allen, "we met a large company, many of whom were young officers. On Stephen remarking, pleasantly, to Colonel Taraschoff; ‘That we were men of peace,’ he, smiling, took off his sword, and put it in the corner of the room, and his example was followed by the officers around him. The freedom, openness, and hospitality we experienced, were remarkable."

At Petersburg, the travellers remained four months. It is impossible to enter into details. They were received with great cordiality by all classes. They had interviews with the dignitaries of the city and of the empire, with princes and princesses, with bishops and archbishops, with ambassadors, with the emperor s ministers, with counts, barons, generals, physicians, and senators, with the Emperor’s mother, the Empress, and the Emperor himself, Alexander I. They visited schools, monasteries, prisons, deaf and dumb institutions, orphan asylums, hospitals, poor houses, and everything that deserved the attention of the Christian philanthropist, or called for enterprise in relieving the wants or sufferings of mankind. In their interview with the Emperor, they endeavoured to increase his interest in schools, in prisons, and in schemes of general philanthropy. They were with him for two hours. " The Emperor," says William Allen, "desired that we might have a little pause, for mental retirement and inward prayer, and we had a short but solemn time of silence. Dear Stephen at length kneeled down, and was sweetly engaged in supplication;

 

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the Emperor also knelt, and I thought Divine goodness was near us. Soon after this, we took our leave, and he shook hands with us most affectionately." A second interview with the Emperor was held on religious subjects, and was full of interest. The character of this great man appears in an interesting light, viewed in the representations of our Quaker brethren. It is not at all unlikely that a deep impression was made upon him, at these interviews, in regard to personal religion, of which he seems to have had some experience; and when, a few years after, the Emperor died, at Taganrog, on the Sea of Azoff, the peace which he enjoyed, in his last hours, may have been nurtured, under God, by the serious exhortations, earnest prayers, and Christian example of Stephen Grellet and William Allen. The principal object, accomplished by the travellers at St. Petersburg, was the establishment of schools for the poor, with the introduction of lessons from the Scriptures. These lessons were compiled at St. Petersburg, by a committee composed of Stephen Grellet, William Allen, and four others. "They literally worked at it night and day, so that, in rather more than two weeks, we had it all ready to lay before the Emperor, who was so, delighted with it, that he ordered eight thousand roublee (about $6000) to be paid for the cost of one edition." William Allen says: "We have sweetly felt, while employed in this work, that we were performing a great duty—the consequences of it here are quite incalculable. The school plan will go through Russia, and upon our system."

At Moscow, the missionary friends pursued their

 

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philanthropic and religious plans, and they were personally objects of no common curiosity. Education, hospitals, and the poor occupied much of their attention, as at other places.

From Moscow, the travellers set out for the Crimea, for the purpose of visiting a sect of pious people who had emigrated from Germany to that district of country, and who were supposed to be descendants of the followers of John Huss. Two days out from Moscow, they visited a General of distinction. When they came to his extensive premises, they saw a beautiful house in the distance, with a white flag flying above the dome in honour of the Quaker guests; and, as they drew near, the band of music struck up! These vanities made our travellers "sick at heart," but did not prevent them from circulating tracts among the company. Stephen Grellet added a word of Christian explanation and exhortation, which the General received with favour.

Having letters from Galitzin to the governors of the provinces, our brethren called upon the Governor of Tula, who was at the tribunal of the city. As they kept their hats on, some of the clerks began to hiss; and when the chief underling asked them why they did not pull off their hats, they explained that it was not from want of respect, but a matter of religious principle. Stephen Grellet said that they had kept their hats on, in presence of the Emperor, who had made no objections; and when one of them said that he did not believe it, the meek Stephen made no reply. This was the only place where the travellers met with uncivil treatment.

 

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They proceeded on their journey, doing all the good they could, visiting public officers and institutions, and encouraging a pious heart wherever such was found. In their interviews with others, Stephen Grellet was the chief speaker, or, as Wm. Allen records it., the Mercurius.* After passing some of those great plains, called steppes, they crossed the Dneiper, and a short distance beyond it, they reached their long-desired point, Ekaterinoslav. Here dwelt a colony of the followers of John Huss, called Duhobortsi; another colony was established at Simpheropol; and several others round about. These disciples appeared to hold the great doctrines of Scripture, and to agree with the Friends in regard to baptism, the ministry, and war. Various other colonies of Lutherans, Roman Catholics, &c., had been induced to emigrate to the southern part of Russia in view of privileges offered by the Emperor, who was desirous of settling the country. The Mennonites had eight colonies between Ekaterinoslav and Perekop, all whom were visited by the two missionaries. The Mennonites, like the Duhobortsi, were regarded by them as being nearly allied to the Friends. Stephen Grellet preached in most of these settlements, and lifted up his voice on the steppes of Russia and the banks of the Dneiper in behalf of the religion of Christ.

Our travellers arrived at Perekop on the 3d of June, 1819, and there being no inn in the town, they were kindly received at a private house, whose owner refused to accept any remuneration. On their way to Simpheropol,

* See Acts 14: 12.

 

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they observed mountains in the distant horizon, a sight they had not seen, since they left Abo, in Finland, a distance of nearly 2000 miles. At Simpheropol they found a company of the disciples already referred to, who were much affected at finding that the religious sentiments of the travellers so exactly coincided with their own.

On their way to Sebastopol, the Friends stopped at Batchisarai, where is an establishment of the Jews, of the sect called Caraites, or Scripturists. Their abode is on the top of high rocks. Stephen Grellet was drawn up in a sort of basket, where he had an interesting interview with the high priest. From this eminence, he had the first, and a splendid view of the Black Sea.

In going to Sebastopol, the travellers left their carriage on the north side, and crossed over the now celebrated harbour in a boat. They had a most cordial reception from the military and civil officers, some of whom seemed to be very tenderly affected on the subject of religion. Our Quaker friends made two remarks about Sebastopol, which show their shrewdness of observation, viz.: " Sebastopol is an excellent port, and is very advantageously situated on a high hill" No military engineer could have described the advantages of that stronghold more concisely or accurately. The men of peace, after visiting the schools, hospitals, and other public institutions, returned to Simpheropol and visited Theodosia, or Kaffa, from whence they made their way back to Perekop. They stopped at Cherson a short time, and saw the monument of the great philanthropist, John Howard, who died a few miles from the city.

 

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From Cherson, our friends went to Nicolaief and Odessa, from whence they took ship to Constantinople. They remained at the Turkish capital ten days; and, after stopping at Smyrna, they visited Scio, and a number of islands in the Archipelago, where they promoted the printing and circulation of the Scriptures, and performed various offices of Christian love. At Scio, they hired a vessel to take them to Athens. On the voyage, they had a narrow escape from the pirates who infested those seas. It is interesting for us to know that Stephen Grellet visited scenes familiar to the Apostle .Paul, and that, at Athens, he stood on Mars’ Hill, in the true spirit of a minister of Jesus Christ. His soul, no doubt, sympathized with the associations of thrilling Christian interest, and worshipped there, in silent awe, him, whom Paul declared to the curious Athenians.

Separating, for a time, from his companion, William Allen, who stopped at the Island of Malta, Stephen Grellet proceeded, in the latter part of 1819, to the Continent. His first destination was Italy. He very providentially obtained such letters to one of the principal Cardinals at Rome, that he enjoyed extraordinary opportunities for the objects of his visit, He was treated with great courtesy and condescension, and was admitted to places where few, if any, strangers had ever been before. On one occasion, in going through a convent, he administered a gentle rebuke to some of the nuns, who, while at their devotions, looked round upon him and laughed ,—perhaps at his Quaker garb. He was also allowed access to the Palace of the Inquisition, where he saw the

 

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"Curiosities of Literature," proscribed by the Index Expurgatorius, and the records of many a dark deed of the Inquisition, which were shut out from the light. These volumes of records he saw in the vaults of the building. But the most remarkable incident, at Rome, was the interview which the man of God had with the Pope.

Before Pope Pius VII, stood Stephen Grellet, meek with Gospel innocence, but strong in the purpose of an uncorrupted conscience, and a faith that rested on God. The Quaker was courteously received by the Pope; and, after friendly salutations, spoke freely and temperately, as his custom was, about evils that needed correction. This he did in compliance with the Pope’s wishes. He referred to the convents, the general state of education in the country, the restraints upon civil liberty and the rights of conscience, and the condition of prisoners and the poor. After much conversation on these subjects, during which the Pope, who appeared to much personal advantage in the eyes of the discerning stranger, mentioned various extenuating circumstances, Stephen Grellet arose to depart; but, before going, he felt moved to address the Pope, on the great doctrines and duties of religion. He meekly but faithfully preached "Jesus Christ and Him crucified," unfolding the truths of the Reformation in the palace of the Vatican. The Pope listened attentively to the strange Quaker minister, with solemn face and eyes turned to the ground; and, when the address was concluded, rising from his seat, in a kind, respectful manner, he expressed the desire that the Lord might bless and protect Stephen Grellet, wherever

41

he might go. Thus ended a solemn and interesting interview between Pio SETTIMO, the Head of the Roman Hierarchy, and STEPHEN GRELLET, the Apostle of Burlington, the records of which will only be unfolded at the great day.[Bold italics added, Willison Ed.]

From Italy, Friend Grellet proceeded to Germany, and visited Munich, Stuttgard, and other places. lie had an interview with the King of Wurtemberg, whose wife, the sister of the Emperor of Russia, had lately deceased. From Germany, he journeyed to Geneva, where he rejoined his friend, William Allen, and where both were refreshed at private meetings with some of the pastors and brethren. Returning to England, he went, with his old fellow-traveller, to Ireland, to attend the Yearly Meeting in Dublin; after which, he set sail for America, and reached home in August, 1820, having been absent more than two years.

This was a remarkable excursion. It was, certainly, among the longest missionary tours ever taken by a minister of Christ. Its incidents were of a remarkable character; its opportunities of usefulness were unusually favoured by Providence; and the impressions made by personal intercourse, and the good done by personal labour, will make it memorable to the end of time.

In the spring of 1831, Stephen Grellet felt that duty required him to make another excursion on the continent of Europe, for the welfare of his fellow-men, and the glory of his Master. After remaining in England about a year, he again set out with his faithful friend, Win. Allen, for the. Continent. Their route was from Rotterdam,

 

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through Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, Hanover, Brunswick, Magdeburg, Berlin, Wittemburg, Leipsic, Hemhutt, Prague, Vienna, Augsburg, Stuttgard, at which latter place the travellers separated. Stephen Grellet proceeded through Strasburgh and Geneva, to visit the WALDENSES. The Quaker missionary was gladly received by these witnesses of the truth. Hemmed in by mountain ramparts, and protected by an hereditary name of faith, virtue, and suffering, the Waldenses were enjoying, at this time, a season of outward repose. They needed, however, the sympathy of Christians to assist in promoting improvements of education and of social life; and the kind personal interest of Stephen Grellet, as well as his influence in calling the attention of other Friends to their condition, had an encouraging effect upon this isolated Christian community.

Passing from Turin to Bayonne, in France, Stephen Grellet and Wm. Allen again met, and travelled together into Spain. They reached Madrid in February, 1833, and were received with burdensome attentions. The King had sent messages before them to prevent their being molested, and the populace came in throngs from villages to see the persons thus honoured. At Madrid, they visited all the public institutions, and sent to the King a report, calling his attention to the great amount of mendicity in Spain, the condition of the peasants, the state of the prisons, and the existence of slavery in the colonies. They were admitted to an audience with the King and Queen, which lasted about half an hour, when they took a respectful leave, "under a precious feeling

 

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of the support of their Divine Master." From Madrid they went to Valencia and Barcelona, to visit the prisons and other public institutions of those cities; and, having finished their labours of love, they returned through Madrid, Bayonne, and Paris, to England, in April, 1834.

Before his return home, at the Yearly Meeting of Friends, in May, "Stephen Grellet had an opportunity fully to relieve his mind; his communication was very remarkable, rising brighter and brighter towards the close." William Allen also states that, "on the last day of the meeting, Stephen rose and delivered a parting exhortation, which was remarkably solemn and impressive; to some he addressed the language of warning, and he had sweet encouragement for the aged and for the tender-visited minds. In the silence at the close, there was a deep feeling of solemnity."* The next day, at a meeting of ministers and elders, "dear Stephen spoke in a remarkable manner—it was indeed a faithful communication. We felt the drawing of a father’s love, and after a time of silence, Stephen knelt in supplication. It was a favoured opportunity."* This was the last time that Stephen Grellet met his English brethren in public. He never visited England again. He sailed for Philadelphia in July, and reached home in August, 1834.

On his return from Europe, in 1834, he remained at home, with the exception of visits to neighbouring meetings, until 1837, when he visited Ohio and Indiana. In 1838, he went to New York and

Rhode Island, and again in 1842; in 1839, to Maryland and North Carolina;

* Vol. ii, 318.

 

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in 1843, to Maryland; and in 1846, to New York and Maryland. After this, his physical infirmities did not allow him to go far from home, and he spent the remaining years of his life in the midst of a community that revered his character and his works. Although not so much in public as in former years, he was not idle. He carried on an extensive correspondence on the Continent of Europe, and endeavoured to improve the singularly favoured opportunities which he had enjoyed of forming acquaintances in almost every European kingdom. During his four visits to Europe, he is believed to have visited every country on the Continent, except perhaps Portugal and Denmark. Such a man had a European fame; and a. Letter from Stephen Grelllet, was a passport even, to kings and dignitaries of kingdoms.

Innumerable persons have received spiritual benefit from him, as visitors at his house. "Thither the large hearted, the benevolent, and the truly good of every creed would go. They would be charmed and instructed by his Christian circumspection and wisdom. They would each hear some striking narrative fitted to their peculiar case. They would see a halo around him not to be assumed, or described. But, in addition, they would find themselves in an unexpected moment sitting in stillness, solemnized by a sense of the presence of the omnipresent Father of spirits; and then they would bear most apostolic preaching, singularly adapted to their time of need. Many a Christian minister, thus refreshed in the midst of a weary pilgrimage, has gone

 

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on his way with renewed faith and strength, thanking God, and taking courage.

"The most distinguished men of his own Society, when visiting America, evinced, as they entered his house, that they felt it to be no ordinary privilege. When JOSEPH JOHN GURNEY first stepped within his door, he was visibly impressed with something approaching to awe, and felt that he was indeed beneath the roof of Stephen Grellet."

The late revered CHARLES CHAUNCEY, who possessed much knowledge of human nature, and whose great heart could appreciate Stephen Grellet, highly valued the opportunities of Christian intercourse with this holy man. He cherished his friendship to the last, and loved him from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet.

Few men, indeed, ever received so universal homage. Stephen Grellet belonged to that eminent class of Christians—Wilberforce, Thornton, Simeon, Robert Hall, Jay, Chalmers, Gurney, Alexander—whose spirit and lives adorn the annals of Christianity, and who are regarded with reverence by all sects in the Church, and all parties in the world. Happy the man on whom the favour of God rested in so remarkable a manner, and who was commissioned to do so much good, in so many spheres, to so many persons, for so long a period! The fight fought, the course finished, the faith kept, his is the crown of righteousness, from the hands of the righteous Judge!

In bodily presence, Stephen Grellet, without having

 

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special advantages of nature, was a good specimen of man. He was about the medium height, erect in person, and rather slender. His bright eye, of a quick discerning glance, his large aquiline nose, his goodly forehead, and his firm tread, gave the impression of the presence of no ordinary person. A true Frenchman in politeness, he was quite a model of the courteous and affable, in his manners and general intercourse. There was a blessing in his smile, which made the heart glad. Instead of claiming deference from others, he anticipated it by his quiet, unaffected and universal condescension. His muscular strength was uncommon. No one could do harder work, or deal a harder blow; and his friends used to say pleasantly, that it was well he was a man of peace. His strength of constitution was tested by his numerous and trying journeyings in every clime; and his well-developed and hardy frame seemed, even at fourscore years, to resist with unusual tenacity, the encroachments of disease. He walked among us like a patriarch, whose very presence was a remembrancer of another world, and whose character reflected dignity and awe even upon his body of dust.

In attempting a general estimate of Stephen Grellet’s character, the writer feels his incompetency for the task.

As to INTELLECT, Stephen Grellet would not be called a remarkable man. His mind was not great, but it was endowed with excellent powers. His early education was of great advantage to him. In addition to a good

 

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knowledge of Latin, he possessed some acquaintance with the Greek; and could make himself understood in the German and Spanish. The French being his vernacular, and the English the language of his adopted country, he was more or less familiar with six tongues— which cannot be said of many people. He had a very inquisitive mind. He was interested about almost everything. Agriculture, horticulture, commerce, the general state of the world, the incidents of home affairs, especially religious, engaged his thoughts and conversation. His memory was a very retentive one, and never became impaired. His recollections of his youth and of his travels were vivid to the last. His mind was very well stored. He was fond of reading history, biography, travels, and books that enlarged the range of one’s thoughts. So that he was a man of great respectability as to intellectual power and cultivation.

His SOCIAL TRAITS were becoming to a minister and a Christian. He was rather retiring in his disposition, and, perhaps, even grave; but he was friendly to all, and easily accessible in social intercourse, when his company was sought. He was liberal in assisting those who were in need, particularly his relatives in France, whose property had been confiscated, and whom he largely helped with annual offerings. He was a faithful disciple in regard to the Mammon of unrighteousness; and none, who had a proper plea, called upon him in vain. He loved the poor, and sympathized with all in distress. He was much with the sick and the afflicted

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warm heart made him truly a minister of consolation. The writer remembers with gratitude the fresh and tender sympathies and words of love, expressed by Stephen Grellet on the occasion of a. severe domestic bereavement, some years ago. The excellent social traits of this good man made an impression on all who were privileged to know him. His interest in children showed the genial sympathies of his nature; and the little ones and youth were in return fond of his society. In his domestic relations, as husband and father, no man was ever more tender in his devotion. He loved his home and his kindred; and delighted in contributing to their happiness by constant and assiduous attentions in the most minute particulars.

His RELIGIOUS CHARACTER was unquestionably elevated and pure. There was an unction about him that indicated the man of God. It has been often said that a Frenchman is excellent stock on which to engraft religion; and the fruit-bearing Stephen Grellet verified the saying. Like the orange-tree, blossoms and buds and fruit were upon his branches; and his Leaf continued green in the winter of old age.

Entire consecration to God was visible in his whole deportment and life. Body, soul and spirit seemed all given up. He lived as though he belonged to God. This kind of self-renunciation is among the first and last fruits of piety. It is the result of faith. It is the work of the Spirit. It is the manifestation of the renewed nature. Christian self-denial does not consist in

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garment, in the use of plain language, in the control of the countenance, in the general demeanor of the person, or in staid forms of social intercourse. Rules for the outer man cannot change the heart. However innocent or laudable these may be, they do not constitute religion; nor are they necessarily its evidences. God requires self-denial of spirit, the humbling of pride, the putting off of lusts, the restraint of secret desires, the purification of motives, the inward development of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. Stephen Grellet was an eminent illustration of the reigning power of grace. It was the sanctity of his character that commended him to all denominations of Christians. He "walked with God." He was "a living sacrifice." His personal religion harmonized with his reputation and with his works of benevolence. Oh, for more self-denying, devoted Christians, in all our churches, like Stephen Grellet, whose lives are epistles, whose every action is a text!

A low estimate of himself/ was characteristic of his religion. He was much in the dust, bewailing his nature of depravity and body of death. This deep self-abasement in the midst of a life of much public prominence shows that grace had worked strongly in his heart, and that he was a man of prayer. He looked back in abhorrence to the time when he was in an unconverted state, and he adored the condescension of his heavenly Father in forgiving his sins and restoring him to his friendship and love.

His exaltation of Jesus Christ was a precious testimony

 

 

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to the genuineness of his religion. The writer was always struck, from his earliest intercourse with Stephen Grellet, with his tender magnifying of the Redeemer. His love to the Saviour partook of that personal intimacy and intense devotedness which characterized Paul. It is not often seen, in the same degree, among Christians of any name. He made everything of Christ. The blood of the Lamb of God was alone relied upon to take away sin. To him "to live was Christ." The teaching, priestly, reigning offices of the Redeemer were acknowledged in the spirit and power of daily religious experience. With Paul he earnestly felt: "I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Gal. 2 : 20. Of Stephen Grellet, it seemed indeed true, that "his life was hid with Christ in God." Col. 3 : 3.

Love for the Scriptures was another trait of Stephen Grellet’s religious character. "The Bible, as the only rule of faith and practice," is a distinctive part of the creed of Protestant evangelical churches. "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God; and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." 2 Tim. 3 16, 17. The class of orthodox Friends to whom Stephen Grellet belonged, are believed to entertain sentiments in regard to the Bible which are common to the churches of the Reformation. Without giving up their

 

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views of the "light within," they practically make it subordinate to the holy oracles. A distinguished Professor in one of our Theological Seminaries was lately engaged in conversation on this point with an old acquaintance, who is an eminent member of the Society of Friends. After exchanging thoughts on the subject with great Christian frankness, the decisive question was asked by the Professor, "Suppose your ‘inward light’ manifests itself in opposition to the Scriptures ?" The Quaker immediately replied, with grave emphasis, "Then it comes from the devil." Whilst too many among the Friends in this country either reject the Scriptures as not being of divine authority, and thus fall into heresy, or otherwise exalt the inward light above the Scriptures, and thus come short in the spirit and practice of true piety, the class to which Stephen Grellet, Joseph John Gurney, and their associates belong, take the Bible as an inspired record, whose doctrines and words are to be implicitly believed and obeyed. Stephen Grellet loved the Bible. It afforded matter of meditation day and night. Its statutes were his song in the house of his pilgrimage; Ps. 119: 54. Having given it honour and homage in his daily walk, the word increased in light to his understanding; and the Spirit of God blessed it to the edification, sanctification, comfort, and support of his soul.

A desire for the good of others was a manifest part of his religion. His piety was "full of mercy and good fruits." Stephen Grellet "went about doing good," striving to follow the example of his Master. An extra-

 

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ordinary course of labours filled the measure of his days. Though meek, he was enterprising. Standing ready for the call of duty, his time and his talents were devoted to any service which God seemed to designate as his. Religion requires its disciples by the very law of its life to seek the welfare of others. Its divine benevolence commands "the Gospel to be preached to every creature." Christians are under obligations to promulgate it as the hope of the world. Stephen Grellet’s earnest desire was to advance the cause of the Redeemer among men. This led him to renounce personal ease, and forego for many years, the endearments of home. This carried him to Norway, the Crimea, and Hayti, a great triangle of benevolent labour, whose sides include kingdoms and seas, and the demonstration of whose problem was love to God and man. Many an inquirer has been turned by his instrumentality into the path of righteousness. Many a sick one and prisoner have been visited. Many of the poor in different countries and nations have been comforted. Many a youth has been brought within the instruction of schools, where the Scriptures find admittance. Many a dignitary and crowned head have been impressed with the benignity of a Christian example, the power of Divine truth, and the duty of ministering to the wants of their subjects.

"Unlimited by creed or clime, thine was the Christian plan,

The motto thine—the world’s my home, my brother every man."

 

Stephen Grellet had a great soul of love, which went out in earnest longings and labours for the welfare of

 

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his fellow-creatures. His philanthropy did not degenerate into fanaticism, as is the case with too many. His general spirit and conduct inspired confidence, and thus he gained access to all, and was useful everywhere. Blessed is the man, who has the wisdom from above, "first pure, then peaceable, gentle and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy." James 3: 17.

His religion, like true charity, began at home, and showed its sweet manifestations there. "It is impossible to convey an adequate conception of the sanctity which reigned in his well-ordered dwelling. Daniel Wheeler writes, that to be there, reminded him of a nest of turtle-doves."

As A PREACHER, Stephen Grellet laboured under the disadvantage of not speaking in his vernacular tongue. His French accent diminished the effect of his discourses, especially upon those who were not accustomed to hear him. His preaching was plain, practical, direct; it was free from all flourishes of rhetoric and arts of this world. Truly simple-hearted and guileless in his own religious experience, he endeavoured to lead others in the same ways in which he himself had trod. His discourses were evangelical. He preached salvation by grace, and held up Jesus Christ as the sinner’s only hope. He quoted often and accurately from the Holy Scriptures, which he read diligently and with an appreciation which seemed to increase with years. He would sometimes elucidate the English version by referring to the Latin

 

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and French translations. The character of his addresses was various, being sometimes to Christians and sometimes to the unconverted, but perhaps oftener to the latter class. He was familiar with doctrine, and often gave expositions of it, according to the school of Friends to which he belonged, he early detected the heresies which were creeping into the Church, and foresaw the evils likely to arise from them. In the more recent trials among the Friends, his vision was clear and his faith unwavering. He "knew in whom he had believed," and gave place, "no not for an hour," to the spirit of opposition that assumed the office of the "accuser of the brethren."

Although firm in his attachment to his own views of doctrine, he was not a controversialist, strictly so called. He was a man of an inoffensive spirit. Christian moderation was the mould of his thoughts. He seemed to act upon the principle, "giving no offence in anything that the ministry be not blamed." 2 Cor. 6: 3. He endeavoured, as far as it was "possible, to live peaceably with all men." Rom. 12: 18. He was a truly Catholic Quaker, and loved Christians of every name, wherever he saw the image of Christ. But he never compromised his principles. During a ministry of fifty-seven years, he never wavered from the religious views he first entertained; and his influence in keeping the faith among Friends was strong and decisive. Whilst it is the clear conviction of the writer that Stephen Grellet believed and practised the great truths of the Gospel, there were undoubtedly some peculiarities of creed on minor points,

 

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which are not to be found in the Presbyterian Confession of Faith or in the Articles of the Church of England. The grave of such a man, however, is no place for the discussion of nice ecclesiastical diversities. Agreeing substantially as he did, in the doctrinal views of all evangelical Christians, I hail to him in his last resting-place, in their name, as a Father beloved, and a faithful Minister of our Lord Jesus Christ.

A short notice of his LAST SICKNESS AND DEATH, is proper to the occasion. For the last fifteen years, he had been subject to an acute disease, which often thrilled his body with agony. His pains at times seemed beyond the endurance of nature. But the good man had the help of his blessed Master in all his trials. With the utmost meekness and patience, he bowed his head before the chastisements of his Heavenly Father. He used to say to those around him, that it was "good to be afflicted," Ps. 119: 11; and that without chastening we were "bastards, and not sons," Heb. 12: 8. When the paroxysms of disease came upon him, he would lift up his heart to Heaven in ejaculatory prayer. The most endearing sonship seemed to be the relation he loved to contemplate as existing towards God. Murmuring was excluded by his habits of peaceful submission and praise. Thus his days passed on in the fear of the Lord, and in the nurture of a Christian character he was preparing for heaven.

On the last Sabbath but one of his life, he was privileged to be able to attend meeting. In the early part of

 

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a subsequent meeting, he arose with the grace of God apparently upon him, and with great solemnity and earnestness dwelt upon the words, "I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course; I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness." Shortly after, a paroxysm of pain compelled him to retire from the meeting—the only time in his life that such an emergency had occurred. It might have been an intimation to him that he was soon to withdraw from all sanctuary privileges on earth. In fact, he never entered the meeting-house again, until his frail body was brought there by sorrowing friends to hear what God would say before depositing it in the earth.

On retiring to his home, he felt that his end was drawing near. The words of Scripture on which he had preached, were much on his mind, and the loved ones around him began to realize their solemn application. On one occasion, he said, "There is not only peace, but peace and joy in believing—great joy." As his physical pains increased, every thrill of the body was answered in words of love by the soul. His constant exclamations were such as, "Dear Father !" " Oh, my Saviour !" "Lord, help me !" and when in the extremities of tried, but not tired, patience, he would pray that his sufferings might pass away, if it were God’s will ;. he invariably repeated, "not my will, but thine be done." On Thursday he no longer spoke, but feebly expressed a few desires by the motions of the hand. On Friday, the 16th of November, 1855, in the 83d year of his age, the aged Christian sweetly fell asleep in Jesus.

 

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A large concourse attended his funeral. Ministers, elders, and friends came from a distance in obedience to their hearts’ emotions. A deep awe prevailed as the body was taken from the dwelling to the house of God. Three women delivered their testimony at this solemn opportunity. No others spoke, although a number of male preachers were present. Thus it was ordered that, as the dear man, the first time he entered a meeting-house, was impressed with the truth of Friends’ principles under the exhortation of females, so they, too, felt called upon to minister the Word of Life on the occasion of his last appearance, in death, amidst the assembled people. It was experienced by many that the Divine presence was sweetly manifested in the house.[ Bold italics added, Willison Ed. ] The same solemnity was witnessed in the procession to the burying-ground, and at the ground itself. And weeping and sorrowing Friends were comforted at THE GRAVE OF STEPHEN GRELLET.

Well, well might they be!

Aged warrior, thou hast fought a good fight! The strife of the battle-field is exchanged for heavenly peace. The same Divine Spirit that rested upon the Saviour at the baptism of Jordan, and gave strength in the temptation, assisted the disciple against all the assaults of spiritual foes.

Death has terminated a life of great labour in the service of God,. and of much personal suffering. His weary feet shall no more tread the path of toil; or the body groan again with pain. Animated by a bright and joyful hope, which is now fruition, he ran with patienoe

 

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the race that was set before him, and has finished his course.

His steadfast maintenance of Christian doctrine was a noble testimony to God, the Church, and the world. Over his grave, let disciples learn to persevere in the good old way. In the heavenly habitation, undisturbed by error, the whole brotherhood of saints and angels live and serve amidst the visions of unchanging truth.

The Crown of Righteousness is laid up for that meek and pallid and corrupting brow. Venerated patriarch, thy God is the God of the living! When thy body of dust shall arise from the grave where thou sleepest, with the incorruption of the resurrection, the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give thee the prepared crown and the glory of an endless life !

Brethren, the GRACE and PROVIDENCE of God, signalized in his sainted servant, should receive from us some special and distinct appreciation, however imperfect. At the risk of a little repetition, which may he justly claimed and allowed, let us notice briefly the manifestations of Divine favour in these two particulars.

When Stephen Grellet passed from the sacraments, ceremonies, and confessional of the Roman hierarchy, to become an unbeliever, God did not desert the young man. His conversion, considered in its antecedents, its incidents, and its consequences, was a very remarkable one. There evidently appeared some great design in calling him from darkness into light. The mighty change wrought in the unbeliever’s heart was through

 

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grace. His conversion was by the grace of God, who hath "predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the Beloved; in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace." Eph. 1: 5, 6, 7. Grace anointed Stephen Grellet for his work. "When it pleased God, who separated him from his mother’s womb, and called him by his grace, to reveal his Son in him, that he might preach him among the heathen, immediately he conferred not with flesh and blood." Gal. 1: 15, 16. He obeyed the call. The young soldier was not only changed into a spiritual warrior, but he was raised up to the rank of an exemplar and captain of the host. Eminent piety is the mark of eminent favour. The way he was led was the everlasting way. He was kept from falling, for God’s "grace was sufficient" for him. 2 Cor. 12: 9. He received new supplies all along his pilgrimage, out of the Divine "fulness, and grace for grace." John 1: 16. He could say emphatically, "by the grace of God, I am what I am." 1 Cor. 15: 10. In all his labours for God, he had the testimony of Paul, "I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God that was in me; and his grace bestowed upon me was not in vain." 1 Cor. 15: 10. Stephen Grellet was the child of grace. Grace led him to holiness, to usefulness, to happiness. Grace cheered him in his earthly pilgrimage; grace ministered peace in his dying hour; grace crowns him with heavenly beatitude.

 

 

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Stephen Grellet was not less the child of PROVIDENCE. God, in designing him for a great service, took care of him from his birth at Limoges, to his death at Burlington. "Oh, how great is thy goodness, which thou bast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men !" Ps. 31: 19.

The Providence of God was so directed as to give Stephen Grellet influence. His birth in high rank and wealth, his service among the body-guards of the unfortunate Louis XVI:, his entering the army of the confederate Princes at Coblentz, his associations with the Roman Catholic Church, all threw around the Quaker an air of the romantic and marvellous, that caused him to be regarded as no inconsiderable personage. These incidental peculiarities, of themselves of little account, gave much eclat when united with a genuine Christian character, and with arduous labours of philanthropy. His knowledge of the French, too, enabled him to fulfil his mission at the Courts of Europe, and to bold intercourse on the subjects of his inquiries wherever he went; whilst his hailing from free and distant America, as his adopted country, no doubt increased in the eyes of many, the influence arising from his self-denying work. In no country, it may be added, more than in America, was his great influence felt and appreciated. Stephen Grellet realized the promise, "He that followeth after righteousness and mercy, findeth life, righteousness, and honour." Prov. 21: 21.

In addition to the more adventitious circumstances of

 

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his early life, Providence provided for the training and discipline of his character. His early education in the Military School at Lyons, not only developed his intellect, but trained his body to hardy endurance. His service near the person of a king, enlarged his knowledge of the world, brought him in contact with life in some of its unusual forms, and cultivated his acquaintance with human nature more than if he had remained at Limoges. His marching into Germany, and his military experience in the camp, his escape through Holland, his voyage to Demarara and thence to New York, tended to stimulate enterprise, to give him world-wide views, to keep up his interest in Europe, and to prepare him to undertake the various protracted journeyings which God had in store for him. Like David, "he went on and grew great; and the Lord God of hosts was with him." 2 Sam.5:10.

The deliverances experienced show the watchful thoughts of Providence concerning him. The multitude of dangers in the path of Stephen Grellet could only be surmounted through the intervention of special Divine protection. Besides his deliverance from death in the army of the Princes—at the time he was taken prisoner, and about to be shot—during a terrific storm at sea—under the ravages of yellow fever—in the presence of the Algerine pirates, and in sight of pirates: in the Grecian Archipelago,—besides these escapes, there is in long record, undisclosed to men, throughout his tours in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Holland, France, Spain,

 

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Hayti, and other countries, of deliverance at the hand of God, on sea and on land, from robbery, sickness, accident, violence, the infections of prisons, the spies of police, the raging heat, and the manifold contingencies of death, seen and known only by the All-seeing. Surely, "the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord." Ps. 37: 23. "Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him. I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation." Ps. 91: 14, 15, 16.

The Providence of God opened to Stephen Grellet opportunities of extensive usefulness. Opportunities form the man; opportunities are formed for the man; opportunities make the great man. Opportunities come from God. Paul, in giving an account of his missionary tour, "rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles." Acts 14: 27. Thus also the Apostle determined to "tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost, for a great and effectual door was opened" unto him there. 1 Cor. 16: 8, 9. "Furthermore," says Paul, "when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s Gospel, a door was opened unto me of the Lord." 2 Cor. 2: 12. The experience of Stephen Grellet was of the same precious sort. Providence was his forerunner as a Missionary among the nations. God made ready the way for his preaching to the poor at Spitalfields, in the Norwegian convict ship, and among the benighted inquirers in Germany and in Russia. God opened a door for him to go into Newgate

 

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prison, and there originate schemes of benevolence, whose fame afterwards concentrated on sweet Elizabeth Fry. The same God, who has the hearts of all men and of kings in his hands, introduced the pious Quaker to dignitaries of the Church and of the State, and to the Pope who unites the two in one. Kings stood up in his presence, and received his messages of love with gratitude, and also knelt down with him in supplication to the King of kings. Greater opportunities of usefulness have been seldom enjoyed than by Stephen Grellet. Providence was on his side. "For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as a shield." Ps. 5: 12. Thou "hast brought him forth also into a large place." Ps. 18: 19. "Thou hast set him on high, because he hath known thy name." Ps. 91 14.

A dying Christian, in magnifying the ways of Providence towards himself once uttered the expression, "Write upon my tomb, the Providence of God was my inheritance." Providence is the inheritance of all the saints, for "all things are yours." 1 Cor. 3: 22. But its favours and its care are more signally manifested to some than to others. Of whom could it be said more emphatically than of Stephen Grellet, "the Providence of God was his inheritance ?"

Thus living, with the Spirit of God working ,within, and the Providence of God working without, in his behalf Stephen Grellet was revered and useful among men. The DIVINE FAVOUR gave him holiness, happiness, usefulness, and honour.

 

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The good and the wise are fast departing from us. Every denomination of Christians is losing, year by year, those whose places can never be supplied. Who, among the Friends, can ever be expected to occupy the position of him, whose face shall never more be seen among the living? On this occasion I call to mind some of the eminent Friends who have been removed from earth within the last few years. There was the worthy and the dignified SAMUEL EMLEN. I behold, walking to the meeting-house, the stately form of ABIGAIL BARKER, a Deborah in Israel, and a leader of the host. There is old NATHANIEL COLEMAN, an Israelite in whom there was no guile, and his wife ELIZABETH, the sweet, retiring Christian woman, and preacher. JOHN GUMMERE, the man of science, and the man of God, of high mental and moral discernment, of amiable sensibilities, and serene in the simplicity of Christian faith. WILLIAM ALLINSON was among the number, upright as a pillar in the house of God, and of incorrupt integrity with men. EDITH LAURIE, the lovely and the purified—my wife’s friend, and mine, adorned with every maiden grace, and fresh and sweet with the fragrance of every Christian virtue. The venerable JOHN Cox, a preacher of righteousness, and a true Christian gentleman of the good old school. JOHN GRISCOM, the man of learning, the teacher, and the philanthropist. The sociable and patient SUSANNA J. SMITH, blind herself, and giving light to others. SIBYL ALLINSON, meek, self-denying and accomplished, an ornament of her sex and of her sect. And, not least, though last, MARGARET M. SMITH, a Dorcas in Israel

 

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whose waking thoughts were on doing good, and whose very dreams were of charity and Heaven. My catalogue stops for want of time, not space. Conspicuous among them all, my eye rests once more upon STEPHEN GRELLET, the Christian missionary of two hemispheres, great in the service of God with childlike humility, and everywhere uttering angel’s words of "peace on earth and good will to man."

But they are all no more ! No more here. Graves! ye contain but the mortal part of immortality ! I seem to hear, breaking the silence of the sepulchre, glorious words from you all: "I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course; I have kept the faith. Henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me at that day, and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing !"

 

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NOTE.

THE following note, prepared for page 26, was reserved for the Appendix, on account of its length.

ISAAC COLLINS, the father of Mrs. Grellet, was a man of great usefulness, and of some eminence in his day. He was for a time "Printer to King George III, for the Province of New Jersey." In 1771, he commenced publishing an Almanac, which was continued for 26 years. He also published a newspaper, called the "New Jersey Gazette," which was continued until 1786, embracing the entire period of the American Revolution. Among the excellent works from his press about this time, was Baxter’s Everlasting Saint’s Rest. He also published, about 1790, the first Quarto Edition of the Bible, issued in America. This edition received the warm recommendation and patronage of the first General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, at its meeting in Philadelphia, in 1789. The General Assembly appointed a committee, of which Dr. Witherspoon was one, to assist Mr. Collins in revising proof sheets, &c.; and also appointed a committee of 16 to bring the matter before all the Presbyteries, who were directed to appoint persons in every congregation to obtain subscriptions to Mr. Collins’ Edition.—Minutes, p. 13.

During Mr. Collins’ residence in Trenton, he assisted in founding the Trenton Academy, where he educated ten of his fourteen children—thus giving to them, in connection with a religious training, the best inheritance of a father’s heart. Isaac Collins was a religious man, and for several years Clerk of the Chesterfield Monthly Meeting of Friends. From 1796 to 1808, he lived in New York, and in the latter year moved to Burlington, where he died in 1811. His first wife, the mother of his children, was RACHEL BUDD, daughter of Thomas and Rebecca Budd. His second wife was DEBORAH MORRIS, daughter of Margaret Morris, and the widow of Benjamin Smith.

REBECCA GRELLET was the oldest child of Isaac and Rachel Collins. She has an only daughter, RACHEL. May the richest blessing of Heaven rest upon mother and daughter in their affliction.

 

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[ The following beautiful lines were written by JOHN G. WHITTIER, One of our best American Poets, on the celebrated tour in Europe in 1819—20, made by the Christian philanthropists, STEPHEN GRELLET and WILLIAM ALLEN.]

 

THE CHRISTIAN TOURISTS.

No aimless wanderers, by the fiend Unrest

Goaded from shore to shore

No schoolmen, turning, in their classic quest,

The leaves of empire o'er.

Simple of faith, and bearing in their hearts

The love of man and God,

Isles of old song, the Moslem’s ancient marts,

And Scythia’s steppes, they trod.

Where the long shadows of the fir and pine

In the night sun are cast,

And the deep heart of many a Norland mine

Quakes at each dying blast;

Where, in barbaric grandeur, Moskwa stands,

A baptized Scythian queen,

With Europe’s arts and Asia’s jewelled hands,

The North and East between!

Where still, through vales of Grecian fable, stray

The classic forms of yore,

And Beauty smiles, new risen from the spray,

And Dian weeps once more;

Where every tongue in Smyrna’s mart resounds;

And Stamboul from the sea

Lifts her tall minarets over burial-grounds

Black with the cypress tree !

From Malta’s temples to the gates of Rome,

Following the track of Paul,

And where the Alps gird round the Switzer’s home

Their vast, eternal wall;

 

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They paused not by the ruins of old time,

They scanned no pictures rare,

Nor lingered where the snow-locked mountains climb

The cold abyss of air!

But unto prisons, where men lay in chains,

To haunts where hunger pined,

To kings and courts forgetful of the pains

And wants of human kind,

Scattering sweet words, and quiet deeds of good,

Along their way, like flowers,

Or, pleading as Christ’s freemen only could,

With princes and with powers;

Their single aim the purpose to fulfil

of Truth, from day to day,

Simply obedient to its guiding will,

They held their pilgrim way.

Yet dream not, hence, the beautiful and old

Were wasted on their sight,

Who in the school of Christ had learned to hold

All outward things aright.

Not less to them the breath of vineyards blown

From off the Cyprian shore,

Not less for them the Alps in sunset shone,

That man they valued more.

A life of beauty lends to all it sees

The beauty of its thought;

And fairest forms and sweetest harmonies

Make glad its way, unsought.

In sweet accordancy of praise and love,

The singing waters run;

And sunset mountains wear in light above

The smile of duty done;

Sure stands the promise—ever to the meek

A heritage is given;

Nor lose they Earth who,

single-hearted, seek

The righteousness of Heaven!