restricted access Funeral of Mary Ann W. Johnson, Home of Oliver Johnson, New York City, June 10, 1872
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Funeral of Mary Ann W. Johnson, 1872 201 had brought forth fruit. If the Society of Friends kept firmly to that defense and advocacy of peace which had so distinguished it, it could not be long ere the principle would triumph in the world. Now, when the consummation of this labor was near at hand, they should use what aid the Divine Spirit should give them to bring it quickly about. VANITY OF VANITIES She closed her discourse by giving advice to young ladies on the subject of dress, the extravagance and showiness of which were evils of the time. The women’s gallery, with its array of ribbons and head gear, a la Shetland pony, fluttered its multitudinous fans very nervously. SILENCE Lucretia Mott sat down for a moment, and then, rising, proposed a time of perfect silence, that they might “draw near to the Father.” The stillness is at length broken by a stir through all the assemblage; the men and women on the “high seats” are shaking hands, the greeting passes all through the house, and then the meeting is over. PD “The Quakers’ Anniversary; Lucretia Mott Preaches on the Principles of Peace,” New York Herald, May 27, 1872 1. Samuel M. Janney (1801–80), a Quaker minister from Virginia, preached that “it was man who was to be reconciled to God, and not God to man” (New York Herald, May 27, 1872). This event likely preceded Yearly Meeting, which was held May 27–31. 2. LM disputed the New York Herald’s description of her placement of the bonnet and handkerchief as “not true” and “a thing I never do” (Palmer, 469). 3. John Tillotson (1630–94) was an influential Archbishop of Canterbury, whose sermons were widely read. He advocated reason, and expressed tolerance of non-conformists. Thomas à Kempis (ca. 1380–1471) was the author of The Imitation of Christ, a devotional text popular among Quakers. 4. The United States believed the British had aided the Confederacy by building ships like the CSS Alabama and demanded restitution for the damages the ship had wrought. 5. The Joint High Commission, composed of representatives from the United States and Britain, settled a number of disputes between the two countries. The resulting Treaty of Washington awarded monetary damages to the United States for its claims in the case of the Alabama (see also Palmer, 487–88). Funeral of Mary Ann W. Johnson, Home of Oliver Johnson,1 New York City, June 10, 1872 I think nothing more need be added. What the other speakers have said has been so true, so full, and so just, that to continue would only be to repeat. Cordially and emphatically do I approve the beautiful doctrine concerning death which has been enunciated here to-day—a view of this life and the other, of this 202 Funeral of Mary Ann W. Johnson, 1872 world and the next, which I know was held by our dear friend whose earthly career has just closed in peace.2 Too many of us indulge in heathenish views of death. The dissolution of the body, the passage of the spirit, the exchange of worlds—all this, which is in itself beautiful and sacred, and which is part of the benignant ordering of a kind Providence, and which we ought to look forward to with joy and not with fear; all this, I say, has been taken up by the old and severe theologies, and turned into a bugbear, and been held over the human soul like a rod of terror. But we have had no such inculcation in the remarks made to-day. Death is here, and we are met to celebrate it, and wherever there is death there is sorrow; but we sorrow not as they that have no hope; neither do we complain against God because of His chastisement. This event is no chastisement. It is the order of nature. It is natural and right. We look at it with solemnity and tenderness , but we do not shudder at it; nor do we think it a strange and ungentle thing. It is an occasion of much joyfulness—the inward peace of the soul. Our sister and friend at whose face we are now looking for the last time before the earth shall hide it, was a true and noble woman. Although I was never on terms of the most intimate friendship with her, yet I was no stranger to her devotion to the sick and afflicted...