Page images

From Flushing I went with my old friend and schoolfellow, Joseph Latham, to his house. Our conversation was pleasant and comfortable to each other, wherein we remembered our walking to and from school, in the suburbs of that great and populous city, London; when we were beaten, stoned, and abused, only for being the children of those called quakers: the priests, who had money for preaching, had preached and printed so many lies against our friends, that the common people were almost ready to make a sacrifice of us; they telling us (when we pleaded our innocency, by telling them, we went quietiy along the streets to school) that “ It was no more sin to kill us, than to kill a dog :" but now, through the grace and favour of the Almighty, we enjoy the exercise of our religion, according to our consciences, free from jails and prisons, in which our primitive friends suffered much; for which we ought to be truly thankful to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

From Joseph Latham's we went to Westbury and Matinicock (after a meeting at Cowneck) and afterward to New York, where I had also religious service and a meeting ; and from New York I took my passage in Robert Bowne's sloop for Newport, on Rhode Island, was two days and nights on the water, and on my arrival at Rhode Island, the brethren lovingly received me, and we were joyful to see each other.

After having had divers good meetings on RhodeIsland, I went to Dartmouth, where we had a large, serviceable meeting at a place called Ponyganset, many hundreds being added to the church since I first visited those parts. From this place I went to Holder Slo. cum's, and he lent us his shallop to go over to Nantucket; but the wind not favouring, we had a satisfactory meeting at a large farm of his on an island bearing his own name, and after meeting set sail for Nantucket, had several large meetings there, and I rejoiced to see the growth and increase of friends on this island ; where God hath greatly multiplied his people, and made them honourable ; glory to his name forever.

The priests, who have money for preaching; the law. yers, who have it for pleading; and the physicians, who have money for giving receipts for health ; are poor trades on this island,

At Nantucket I had been about thirty-nine years before, at which time there were only two men and one woman who joined with our friends in profession, and now it was computed there were above a thousand who went to our meetings, they being a sober, religious peo ple; and there is a great increase of friends in divers other places in New England ; and whereas formerly we were greatly persecuted for our religion, now we are treated with more civility and respect in those parts.

From Nantucket, Nathaniel Starbuck and Elijah Collins went with me, with several other friends, to the yearly meeting at Rhode Island; which was so very large, that it was difficult to speak so as to be heard all over the meeting; but the last day of the meeting, our friend John Fothergill, who had a high voice, being attended with the divine power, gave good satisfaction to the meeting, and it ended well. After this meeting was over, I went with Benjamin. Bagnal, to Boston, and from thence to Lynn and Salem, had several satisfactory meetings, which tended to the uniting our hearts together in the love of Christ, and the fellowship of his gospel. From Salem I went with Zaccheus Collins and his wife to their house, and lodged there three nights, and was lovingly entertained, as I was also at many other friends houses. From Lynn, Zaccheus Collins accompanied me to Boston, where we had a meeting on a fourth day of the week, and the next day there was a very large meet. ing, (the greatest gathering of people which had been seen there at friends' meeting-house for a long time), occasioned by the marriage of John Mifflin, of Philadel phia, to Benjamin Bagnal's eldest daughter.

From Boston I returned to Rhode Island, and had divers meetings at Newport and Portsmouth, wherein our hearts were made glad in Christ, and we were strengthened in our faith in him; blessed be his holy name for


From Rhode Island, I went to Conanicut, and from thence over to Kingston, in the Narraganset country, and had meetings, and then back to Rhode Island again, and thence by water in company with divers friends to Greenwich, where I was at two large meetings : at this place they shewed me the trees under which about forty years since I had a meeting; but now they have a pleasant meeting-house.

The next first day, I was at a large, solid, edifying meeting, in a new meeting-house at Tiverton. From thence I went to visit Joseph Wanton's wife, who had been long sick ; and in her chamber (with several of her friends and relations) I had divers religious seasons, with which she expressed much satisfaction: she died of this sickness, and I was at her burial, which was large, she being well known, and well beloved; the next day I was at an appointed meeting at Portsmouth, which was large, and to satisfaction, for which we blessed the holy name of God. I had divers good opportunities at Rhode Island in private families, and was at several meetings over the Beach at John Easton's who was about ninety years of age; he had formerly travelled with me, when I was a young man; we took leave of each other, never expect. ing to meet more in this world.

Now, after divers meetings on Rhode Island, I took my passage for Long-Island, in my return homeward; and after a boisterous passage, and being four nights on the water, I got well again to my loving friend Joseph Latham's, were I had left my horse, and on fifth day had a meeting at Cowneck, where I met with Elijah Collins, Rose Tibbets, and Patience Barker, we rejoicing to see each other, after their long journey by land, and mine by water, they being likewise going for Pennsylvania. These friends went to Flushing first day meeting, and I went to Westbury, where was a large meeting, in which there was a drunken schoolmaster, who disturbed the meeting, though at last it ended quietly, and I hope well also. The next fourth day I was at the monthly meeting at Westbury, where many friends met from divers quarters, and it was a solid good time. We had a meeting at Thomas

M m

Rodman's, who was unwell, and had not been at a meet. ing for some months; he took our visit kividly, expressing his love to us; we had also a meeting at Jeremiah Williams', to good satisfaction. Fifth day we had a large gathering at Matinicock, and in the evening a tender broken meeting at Samuel Underhill's, and sixth day a good meeting at Newtown, wherein primitive christianity was opened, and experimentally declared to the people; and in the evening we had a good opportunity to de. clare the truth of Christ at the house of Richard Hallet, among several of his sober neighbours. Next morning, being the seventh of the week, we went to West Chester, to a yearly meeting, which was much crowded, and the people very unsettled, so that it was not so satisfactory as could have been desired. After meeting we went over again to Long-Island, and then to New-York, where we had a large quiet meeting in the evening. At NewYork, third day in the morning, divers dear and loving friends accompanied us to the water side, where we sol

. emnly took leave of one anothe_in the love of Christ, and in the fellowship of his gospel ; some of us not expecting to see each other any more ; and from thence, siassing over Long and Staten Islands, to Elizabeth-town, we travelled to Rahway, and had a meeting at friend Shotwell's, on a fourth day in the evening, where many neighbours came in, and after meeting a certain person was dissatisfied about women's public speaking in relig, ious meetings ; (Rose Tibbets having publicly exhorted them in this meeting to be religious, and to fear God, and having prayed to God for us all, and praised his holy name), which said person desired we would endeavour to satisfy him about it

, inasmuch as the apostle Paul forbade it, as he apprehended. To which it was answered, that the apostle Paul only forbade, or did not permit forward or over busy women, to speak or ask questions in the church; but advised them to ask their husbands at home, and that doubtless he never intended to debar such godly women, who had a real necessity laid on them, and were concerned, by the Almighty, to speak unto, or pray for the people, else he would not have shewed them, how they ought to behave themselves in their speaking unto, or praying for the people or church ; for if he had any design to hinder such, whom the Almighty should concern, then he must have contradicted himself, (where he shews how they must behave themselves in their duty of speaking or praying), and he would likewise thereby have opposed the apostle Peter, who said, “ Now is fulfilled the prophecy of the prophet Joel, that in the latter days sons and daughters should prophecy.” So that it is clear and plain, they who would limit or silence those, who have a gift from God to preach or pray in public, from the words of the apostle Paul, oppose him to himself, and to the apostle Peter, and also to the prophet Joel.

From Rahway we went to Woodbridge, where we had a meeting, and there I parted with my fellow travellers, having a concern, (though much in the cross to my own will), to go back in the woods, to a meeting about eight or nine miles off; which meeting was much to my own satisfaction, as well as of those present, as divers of them expressed. From this place I went to Stony-brook, had a pretty large meeting, considering it was rainy, in the time of the meeting's gathering. At this place, my sonin-law, Isaac Brown, with several friends, came to meet me, whom I was glad to see, and after meeting went with them to Trenton, and next day to Bristol, it being their third day meeting, which was large, and after meeting went home to Frankfort, and there was lovingly received by my wife and family. In this journey I was from home three months and nine days, had fifty-five meetings, and travelled by land and water above a thousand miles." And I may truly say, that therein I was favoured with the divine presence and grace of God by Christ in a good degree, and also with the fellowship of many sincere believers in him, which in my return caused my soul to bless his holy name, who lives forever.

In the sixth month, after having had divers meetings at and about home, I went to Darby, Chester, and Newcastle, having meetings in each place, which were to the tendering of some mournful souls, and to the comforting and strengthening them. From Newcastle I ferried over

« PreviousContinue »