IT is in my mind to write something as a testimony concerning my dear and well-beloved friend Elizabeth Stirredge, deceased.
She was one who received the truth in the love of it, in her young years, as I have heard from her own mouth, and as in her following book is more fully related, wherefore I need say no more of that, but descend to write something concerning her, during the time of my acquaintance with her, which was about fifteen years.
She lived for that time about seven miles from us, and sometimes would come to visit our meeting at Watford, whom I, and many more were glad to see, she being one whom the Lord was pleased to bestow a talent and gift of ministry upon, which he is pleased to give unto both male and female they being one in Christ Jesus, that she might tell unto others, what God had done for her soul; for those, and those only are they, whose mouths the Lord openeth, that do and shall shew forth his praise. And indeed her testimony was reaching and affecting; my heart hath been well affected many times in meetings with her testimony' for she spoke as one having authority, almost to admiration, considering the weakness of body wherewithal she was pretty much afflicted; but the Lord was with her, who giveth strength to the weak, and his power was her support.
It was her lot many times, when she came to our meeting, to lodge at my house, my dear mother Hannah Neale and she being very intimate friends, and heartily loving each others company; and indeed her company I also loved, for it was pleasant and delightful to the honest-hearted; and I may say her discourse was edifying to me.
And I have been affected to hear her give an account of her sufferings, deep trial, and exercises of friends, which she, and many others went through in early days; how when they were going to a meeting, they went as it were in peril of their lives, by reason of wicked and ungodly people throwing stones, clods, and other things at them. And although many were they that rose up against them, yet how wonderfully did the Lord preserve his people in that day, through many tribulations; many of which various exercises and trials, that divers of our worthy ancients passed through, blessed be the Lord, we in this our day are freed from.
Much might be said concerning this our friend; but in short, she was a valiant woman for truth on earth, a mother in Israel, and a worthy faithful elder in the church of Christ in her time.
And now my desire is, that we who are of a younger generation, and are yet left behind, may in our measure be found treading in the steps of this, and many others of our ancients, who have served the Lord faithfully in their generation, and are removed from us.
Though our loss of such worthies be great, yet their gain is far greater; for doubtless they are entered into those mansions of eternal bliss, where joy unspeakable and full of glory is their portion, and that for evermore.JOHN NEALE.
To Next Section: JOHN NEALE'S Testimony
Concerning her Husband JAMES STIRREDGE, by the same Hand.
To Main Text: Strength in Weakness Manifest
TO all the Elect, Chosen and Faithful, who . . . are the Gold tried in the Fire. Who have been tried by Goods spoiling, by Bonds, by Whippings, by Mockings and Reproaches . . . and some have been tried unto Death; and ye have proved to be the pure Gold, that hath come out brighter and brighter. Who have not feared the Waves of the Sea, nor the Winds; who fears not the Storms nor the Weather; whose Anchor holds, which is the Hope, the Mystery, which anchors the Soul which is Immortal, to the Immortal God. . . ...
I am not Amish or Mennonite, but some people who come to my website are interested in knowing more about these groups. I can recommend these books as authoritative and relatively inexpensive sources of further information.