« PreviousContinue »
sea-side the nearest way to Philadelphia ; and afterwards I had a meeting at George Truit's brother's, and on the first-day, another near the court-house, and went to Thomas Everden's, and so to Leven Denwood's and thence to Nanticoke river, and visited friends up the bay until I came to the river Choptank, about which there is a pretty many friends. So I went on, and took the meetings till I came to Philadelphia, in and about which place, and in other parts of the province of Pennsylvania, I had many large and precious meetings, the power of the eternal Son of God being wonderful ; in which power we many times blessed his name together. It was much in my heart to exhort friends to love God, and to unity one with another, without which there is no fulfilling the law or gospel. There are many friends in that province, and many sober young people, vhich greatly rejoiced my spirit, so that for their encouragement, the Lord opened my mouth in a prophetic manner to declare unto them the blessings which he had in store for them, on condition of their walking in the truth. Glory to God on high! untruth decays, and the branches of it mightily wither; the darkness is much past, and the true light shineth gloriously in many souls. Oh! powerful praises be given to God, who is light for ever.
From Philadelphia I went to Burlington, and so on to Crosswicks, where we had a large meeting under the trees, where some were convinced of the truth. From hence I went to Shrewsbury, and had meetings there : from Shrewsbury we went (mostly by water) to Woodbridge and Staten Island, from thence to Long-Island, being accompanied by several friends. On Long Island we had several large and good meetings, wherein Christ was preached freely; and after we had been twoweekşthere, we went on board a sloop bound for Rhode Island, and by the way we touched at Fisher's and Block - Islands, and on the first-day morning we set sail from Block-Island to Rhode-Island, the yearly-meeting being just over when we got there. That evening we sailed over to Connanicut-Island. On the third day of the week had a meeting there, and from thence we went over to Narraganset, and had a meeting, and so over to Rhode-Işland again, (where Ruth Fry, a sober young woman, was convinced, and remained a friend till her death). Here I met with sev. eral travelling friends. From this island we went over to the main, and had a large meeting on first-day, at a place called Greenwich. It was thought there were about five hundred people, and many of them were tender. We went over the same night to the island ; and after several open times with friends and others on Rhode Island, about twelve friends of that island went with me to Warwick and Providence yearly-meetings, in our friend Borden's boat. We set sail about noon, and having but little wind, it was late in the night before we got there, and very dark, insomuch that we could neither see nor know one another, but only by our speech, and the darkness occasioned us to run our vessel against the rocks; but at last we got ashore (with our horses) and after going over a very dirty slough, we entered a dismal wilderness ; so that these difficulties occasioned our not getting to the friend's house till the next day, which being the last day in the week, we had a meeting; and on the firstday we had a very large and satisfactory meeting. Many of us were so united in the love of God, that it was hard for us to part one from another.
From Providence I went to Boston and Salem, where I had meetings, and from thence to Hampton. In those parts God Almighty hath shortened the
persecutors, and hath brought his righteous judgments upon them for their unrighteousness. Oh! that New-Eng. land's professors might live in the sense of the same, and repent. I being a stranger and traveller, could not but observe the barbarous and unchristian-like welcome I had in Boston, the metropolis of New England. Oh! what pity (said one) it was, that all of your society were not hanged with the other four !* In the eastern part of New-England, God hath a seed left of his people.
• Marmaduke Stevenson, William Robinson, Mary Dyer, and William Lodra, who were put to death in 1659 and 1660.
From thence I returned in order to get a passage to the isle of Nantucket; and from a place called Cushnet, we sailed over to the said island in about ten hours, where we tarried several days, and had five meetings. The people did generally acknowledge to the truth, and many of them were tender-hearted. Some of the ancient people said, that it was never known that so many people were together on the island at once. After the first meeting was over, one asked the minister, (so called) whether we might have a meeting at his house? he said, with a good will, we might. This minister had some discourse with me, and asked, What induced me to come hither, being such a young man ? I told him that I had no other view in coming there, than the good of souls, and that I could say with the apostle that a ne. cessity was laid upon me, and wo would be to me if I did not preach the gospel. Then, said he, I wish you would preach at my house in God's name. So next day we had a meeting at his house; and on first-day we had the largest meeting that we had on the island. It was thought that there were above two hundred people. The Lord in his power did make his truth known to the praise of his name, Oh! how was my soul concerned for that people! The Lord Jesus did open my heart to them, and theirs to him. They were also loving and kind to
The chief magistrate of the island desired that I would have a meeting at his house, there being no settled meeting of friends before I came; and after meeting he disputed about religion with me. I thought we were both but poor disputants; and cann
and cannot remember all that passed between us, but that in the close of our dispute, he said, I disputed with your friends in Barbadoes, and they told me, that we must eat the spiritual flesh, and drink the spiritual blood of Christ : And, said the governor, did ever any one hear of such flesh and blood; for is it not a contradiction in nature, that flesh and blood should be spiritual ? Oh! surely, said I, the governor has forgot himself; for what Aesh and blood was that which Christ said, except ye eat my flesh, and drink my blood, ye have no life in you.
Why, said he, I do not think
they were to gnaw it from his arms and shoulders. Í then told hini, he had answered himself. Thus our dispute ended. And from that time forward they have continued a meeting, and there is now a meeting-house, and a yearly meeting for worship ; it is a growing meeting to this day, and several public friends are raised up amongst them, who preach the gospel of Christ freely.
At this time a friend was convinced, whose name was Starbuck, who became very serviceable, and livedand died an eminent minister of Christ on that island. Sey. eral scores of them came and accompanied us to the water-side ; and when we embarked on board our sloop, they desired that I would come and visit them again. So I recommended them to the grace of our Lord Jesus, and we parted in great love and tenderness. In the evening of the next day we got to the main land, where we were gladly received. Now it was in my heart again to visit the eastern parts of New-England before I left America; therefore I went to Boston yearly-meeting, thence to Lynn and Salem, where we had a sweet comfortable time ; likewise to the yearly-meetings, at Dover, and so to Piscataway, where we had several meetings, which were profitable opportunities to many. From Piscataway, James Goodbridge and I went over to the Isle of Shoals; we had with us a church-member of the Presby. terians, whose brother invited her over with us to the said island, to the meeting which was at his house ; and while he was talking with her in the yard or garden, I saw a bible, and took it, and read therein. When she came into the house, she asked me, What I did with that book ? I told her, if she was offended I would say it down. No, no, said she, don't think to come off so, for you disown or deny that book. I told her she was mistaken; and asked who told her so. Why, said she, our minister in his pulpit. I replied, that it was a great abuse upon us, for I had been trained up from my child. hood in the reading and belief of the scriptures, and my father and mother were friends, (that is Quakers.) She willing to try nie further, said, Did your father and mother suffer you to read the bible when you were a little boy? Yes said I, and gave me correction when I was not so willing to read therein as they would have me. Then, said she, our minister has belied you ; and since you say so, if it please God, I will go and hear you. She went with us to meeting; and after it was over (going home) one asked her, how she would answer it to their minis. ter for going to meetings. She replied, it was truth she had heard, and she would stand by it through the grace of Christ, and need not be ashamed of it, though we are of ourselves but poor weak creatures. This woman was sober and religious, and one of good report. By the foregoing we may see how slanders flow from some pulpits: the more is the shame and pity. We went on, and preached the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, in that ability he gave us, with which the people were affected. and would have had us tarry longer, but we could not, although they much importuned us, because we had appointed a meeeting at Oyster river. After we had had several meetings, about Piscataway and Dover, we went to Hampton, where we had meetings; and at Salisbury we had a large open meeting, as it was supposed, of about three hundred people, which was at this time aca counted a great concourse of people thereabouts ; also at Jamaica and Haverhill we had meetings, and from thence went to Salem and Lynn again, where we had good ser vice for truth; and then to Boston, and had a meeting at the meeting house, and another at a friend's house in the evening, at which there were many people. From Boston I went to visit friends about Cape Cod, till I came again to Rhode Island. By the way I met with Aaron Atkinson, who was on a visit to friends in New-England. I had several good opportunities, and powerful meetings, in those parts, and truth wrought a tenderness in divers at Rhode Island. The presence of him, who said, Where two or three are met in my name, there am I in the midst of them, being sensibly witnessed by many; for he was with us of a truth. From thence I went round the Narraganset country, and had meetings at sev. eral places, and was accompanied by John Rodman and William Beackley, through Connecticut to Long,