Memorial for George Smith



Short Title

Memorial for George Smith

Full Title

Testimony of Westland Monthly Meeting Concerning George Smith




Westland MM





Publication Information

Approved by Westland MM on 10/22/1862 and by Redstone QM on 1/31/1863.

Last Modified By

Chronicler 05/30/2011


The following is the entirety of the memorial:
Testimony of Westland Monthly Meeting Concerning George Smith
This our beloved friend was the son of Abraham & Sarah Smith, & he was born in the year 1775 & removed with his Parents from Fairfax Co. Virginia in 1779 who settled at Westland in Washington County, Pennsylvania. Soon after this a meeting for worship & a preparative meeting was established there, being the first meeting of Friends west of the Allegheny Mountains, & in 1785 a Monthly meeting was set up.
He was trained up in the regular attendance of meetings for worship & discipline & was very prompt in that important duty as long as bodily health permitted. In the 58th year of his age he attended the first Yearly Meeting of Friends held at Mountpleasant, Ohio; & was appointed a representative of that Body in its meeting for Sufferings; An appointment which he filled until within a few months of his decease. He was very constant in the discharge of the duties devolving upon him in this important trust.
Having submitted early in life to the operation of that Divine Power which alone can prepare & qualify for usefulness in the Church, he was about the meridian of life appointed an Elder. He was steadfast in the maintenance of our religious principles & testimonies when so many of the members of his monthly meeting were carried away with the specious yet delusive notions propagated by Elias Hicks.
Of him we trust it may be said "He held the beginning of his confidence" in all the offices of our Lord Jesus Christ "steadfast unto the end." And of more recent times he has often been heard to express his regret, & to lament at the appearance of any thing amongst us tending to invalidate or to bring into disesteem those precious testimonies for which our forefathers suffered so deeply in the maintenance of. He attended the Yearly Meeting in 1859 for the last time; soon after reaching home, he was taken ill, & suffered much bodily affliction, yet bore it with patience & resignation to the Divine will, saying "I have been blessed with long life of almost uninterrupted good health, & it is my duty now patiently to acquiesce in whatever my Heavenly Father may see meet to attend me," adding "I am no better than others, that I should be exempt from suffering, & do not desire to be released from one pain that may be designed for my purification!"
The condition of our religious Society caused him much concern of mind for many years, & very often through the course of his illness would say "if Friends would only rally to the standard or that Holy Principle that gathered us to be a People, they would be brought nearer together as in the beginning, not looking to this man or that woman, but to Him who can turn the heart of man as a man turneth the water course in the field," & "that if this were the case, there would be a gathering instead of dwindling." He further said that "since I have been laid on a bed of affliction, I have narrowly scrutinized the course I have taken in society, & feel peace in it, & that I could have done no other: that my feeble petitions have often been raised to the great Head of the Church, that He might be pleased to bring again Zion, & friends be enabled to see eye to eye," adding "I have been renewedly convinced that separations are not the way to purify the Church, but by an abiding in Christ the true & living vine, which affords nourishment to all its branches."
In speaking on occasion of the departures from plainness & simplicity that characterised Friends in the beginning, he said "there must be a returning to first principles or we should not prosper" & that "if there was an individual search for the cause with the inquiry, Lord is it I? each endeavouring to repair the breach over against his own house, the society would yet see better days." "But if those who had been plants of the Lord's right hand planting, were unfaithful they would be cast out & others called as from the highways & hedges, for I believe that the precious testimonies given us to bear & for which our forefathers suffer'd so deeply will never be permitted to fall to the ground."
He was often fervently engaged in prayer that he might be preserved in the faith & patience of the Lord's children; that in seasons of extreme suffering, he might not do or say anything that would bring a shade over the truth, saying "I have loved my Lord & Master from my youth & have great cause to praise Him, in that he has followed me & watched over me thro' the course of a long life," adding "I am a poor creature, no merits of my own to depend on, but all of the merits & mercy of my Crucified & risen Lord."
In reviving a little from an attack of very severe sickness, he supplicated to be enabled to bear with resignation all that might be permitted to attend him, adding "& when the awful solemn moment does come, Grant me, Oh! Lord an easy passage out of this world if consistent with thy Holy will."
In frequently expressing the hope that he might be preserved to the end he would say, "the nearer the shore the greater the danger but if I can be favored to pass thro' the shoals & rocks, so as to land safely it will be a great Mercy."
Amongst the last audible words which he uttered, were "Oh! Almighty Father, be pleased to look down on me with pity & enable me to bless thy Holy name." Shortly after "Come blessed Lord come come" & quietly passed away the 15th of 7th month 1861 in the 87th year of his age.
Thus we have reviewed to the closing moments a long & we trust a well-spent life, reminding us of the Prophetic declaration "Say ye to the righteous it shall be well with him for they shall eat the fruit of their doing."
Signed on behalf of the Meeting aforesaid held 22nd of 10th mo. 1862. William Blackburn and Catharine W. Darlington, Clerks.
At Redstone Quarterly Meeting held 31st of 1st mo. 1863.
Westland Monthly meeting produced to this meeting a testimony concerning our late friend George Smith which was read and approved and directed to be forwarded to the meeting for Sufferings of Ohio Yearly Meeting. The Clerk is directed to endorse the substance of this minute on the testimony and sign it on behalf of the meeting. Taken from the minutes, Joel Hutton and Lydia Gilbert, Clerks.