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Delaware river to Penn's-neck, where I had a meeting, at which were several that had never been at any of our meetings before, who went away well satisfied. From thence I went to Salem monthly meeting, which was very large, and thence to Cohansey to the third day meeting, and stayed till next first day meeting, which, though small, by reason of rainy, stormy weather, was a very precious meeting. After I negotiated some affairs at Cohansey, I returned to Salem, where I met with my fellow traveller, Elijah Collins, of Boston, with whom I went on to Philadelphia, and from thence home; having much satisfaction in this journey, in which I had nine meet. ings, and travelled about one hundred and fifty miles. I cannot be clear in my mind without saying, that I did not, nor do I study what to preach to the people. Nor did I, nor do I receive any pay, or natural consideration for preaching, it being, as I really believe, contrary to the doctrine of Christ, and his apostles and disciples.
This fall I visited several of the meetings of friends in Bucks county, and the meetings at and about home, as at Frankfort, Philadelphia, Abington, Bybury, and Germantown. In the ninth month I was appointed, with several other friends, by our monthly meeting, to visit the families of friends in Philadelphia. My lot was to visit the upper part of the city, in company with Phebe Morris, Hannah Parrock, and Daniel Stanton; in which service we were of one heart and mind, and we performed said service in pure self denial, and in the cross of our holy Lord Jesus Christ, And wonderful it was, how the presence and goodness of God went with us from house to house, and opened the states and conditions of the families to us, to the tendering of many hearts, both of parents, and of their children. We visited about forty families of friends, when the winter setting in, and I being but weakly, having had a sharp spell of the fever, we, by consent, were willing to defer the conclusion of this work, until longer days, and warmer weather.
In this month I was sent to, in order to be at the burial of the wife of Richard Smith, Jun. She was a virtuous woman, and well beloved, at whose funeral were
many of her neighbours and friends. It was a very sol. emn time, in which meeting, it was desired that those who had lost their parents, would live so that they might not be a dishonour to them; for it was observed of some children, after their parents were dead, they grew worse than when they were alive, taking undue liberties, which their fathers and mothers could not have allowed of, which was a sore grief and trouble to their friends, and such as wished them well. Therefore they were exhorted not to do that now, when their parents were dead, which they would not have done if they were living; which would be heavy on them, and tend to bring a blast on them in this world: and they were desired to consider how they would answer it in the world to come.
It was also observed, that sometimes the death of parents had a good effect on divers sober young people, they being thereby led more seriously to think on their own mortality, and to consider the great loss of their careful and religious fathers and mothers, and the good example and counsel they gave them. This meeting concluded with a solid, weighty frame of mind in many. From Burlington I went to Mount-Holly, had a large 'meeting at the meeting-house, and another in the evening at Mount-Holly town, at the house of Thomas Shinn; both of which were open meetings, and divers people, not of our profession, were there, who were well satisfied therewith. From Mount-Holly I went to Evesham and Chester, as also to Haddonfield, at all which places I had large meetings, and then I went back to Burlington, and was at their fifth day meeting. From Burlington I went with Richard Smith, Caleb Raper, and Jonathan Wright, to visit a friend who was sick, after which the said friends accompanied me to the ferry; after I was over the ferry I rode home, where I found my family well, for which I was thankful.
In the fore part of the tenth month, our worthy friend, John Fothergill sailed in the brigantine Joseph, Ralph Loftus, master, for Barbadoes, he having made a third visit to America from Europe, on a religious ac
His visit was acceptable and serviceable, and
we parted in great love and tenderness. The night be. fore, about the eleventh hour, was an earthquake, which was the greatest known in this province, the whole city of Philadelphia being shaken, and most part of the adjacent provinces, though little or no damage was done thereby, which shews the abundant mercy of a merciful God; as also, if it were the pleasure of his will, how soon he can lay cities and countries waste and desolate, and bury thousands in a moment. But, notwithstanding the mighty power of the eternal Jehovah, Oh ! how hard are the people's hearts, and how they hate to be reformed, and how unconcerned are the inhabitants of the land about their eternal peace and well-being! This is really lamentable. Oh! how do earthly mindedness, pride, covetousness, and drunkenness abound, with many other evils, which were scarcely known amongst the first settlers of this peaceful, and now plentiful land of Pennsylvania.
The 26th of the twelfth month (being the first day of the week) was buried, at Merion, Edward Jones, aged about ninety-two years. He was one of the first settlers of Pennsylvania, and a man much given to hospitality; a lover of good and virtuous people, and was likewise beloved by them. There were many hundreds of people at his funeral. I had a concern to be at this meeting before I left my place at Frankfort, and before I heard of this friend's decease.
The beginning of the first month (being the fifth day of the week) I was sent to, in order to be at the burial of Hannah, the wife of John Mickle, at Newtown, in West-Jersey. My kinsman, Daniel Stanton, was with me at this burial. It was a solid, heart-melting time; my heart was broken into tenderness with many others. This deceased friend was much beloved by her friends and neighbours, and there was much mourning among her relations at the grave, among whom she will be greatly missed. The people were desired earnestly to prepare for their latter end, and final change; and that, as we had all reason to hope it was well with our deceased friend, we might likewise have a well grounded hope that it would be well with ourselves, when we came to put off our mortality, and put on immortality. The meeting ended with fervent supplication for our future well-doing and well-being, both here and hereafter, and praise to the Most High, who is alone worthy forever
As soon as I returned to Philadelphia, on the sixth day of the week, I heard of the death of Joseph Kirkbride, at Israel Pemberton's, who told me I was desired to be at his burial. He, his son, and William Logan, accompanied me as far as Samuel Bunting's that afternoon, with which journey I was exceedingly tired, so that I could hardly stand or go when I alighted off my horse, but being refreshed with a good night's rest, I went in the morning to the house of my deceased friend. There was a multitude of people at the burial, among whom we had a good opportunity to invite them to lay hold on truth and righteousness, and prepare for another world. They were reminded, that neither natural wisdom nor riches, youth nor strength, crowns nor sceptres, would nor could secure them from the stroke of death. Robert Jordan was at this meeting, and had good service therein; it concluded in supplication for the widow and fatherless, and for mankind universally. Fourth day, being the fourth of the first month, I was at Middletown meeting, in company with Thomas Brown, wherein the div- . inity of Christ, and his being made flesh, born of a vir. gin, crucified, dead and buried, and his being raised from the dead by the divine power, was largely opened to the people, and that the same power must be witnessed to reform our lives, and give us the true saving faith and knowledge of God the Father, and Christ the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
This month, at our general spring meeting, I acquainted friends, that I had a desire, once more to see my friends in Virginia, Maryland, and North-Carolina, if health and strength did permit
, and divine providence favoured, I not having yet fully recovered my former health and strength : the meeting consented to my request.
The latter end of the first month I was at the burial of Robert Evan, of North-Wales; he was upwards of fourscore years of age, and one of the first settlers there. A man who lived and died in the love of God and his neighbours, of whom, I believe it might be truly said, as our Saviour said of Nathaniel : “ Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile.” He was a minister of Christ, full of divine and religious matter.
In this month I was at Fairhill, at a meeting appointed for Ruth Courtley and Susannah Hudson, who were on a religious visit from Ireland, to friends in this and the adjacent provinces. It was a good meeting, the friends speaking to the state thereof.
The beginning of the second month, I went over Delaware, and so to Cohansey, intending home be. fore I set out for my journey to the southward ;
but my affairs not answering to come home, and afterward, to reach the yearly meeting of friends at West-River
, the which I proposed to our general meeting ; I now na wrote to my wife and family, that I intended to proceed i to West-River meeting, it saving me much time and my riding, and after having been at several meetings at Co hansey, and at the yearly meeting at Salem, and at a meeting at Piles-Grove; being accompanied by a friend of Salem, I proceeded, and went over Delaware river, and first had a meeting at George’s-creek, and from thence to the head of Sassafras river, where we had a meeting, but by reason of the wet weather it was but small : thence we travelled to Cecil meeting, and so on to Chester, where we had a meeting on first day ; then to Queen Ann's county, and back from thence to News town, on Chester river, at which town we had a large na satisfactory meeting; in which it was shewn that no Christian might or could break the moral part of the law, for it, said the apostle, is a school-master to bring to Christ, and that those who come to the gospel of Christ
, can in no wise break the least commandment of God. As for example, the law saith, Thou shalt not forswear thyself; but if a man (according to Christ's gospel