William Evans.

The Friends' library : comprising journals, doctrinal treatises, and other writings of members of the religious Society of Friends (Volume 1) online

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ed in visions and revelations. I retired to rest
with deep inquiry on my mind, ' Lord what
wouldst thou have me to do in my present
situation?' not yet seeing with clearness the
ship to return in. Affecting accounts are re-
ceived from Ireland of the ruin and devasta-
tion there, so that it is said many Protestants
have abjured their religion to save their lives.
Friends have also been required to embrace
the Romish religion in some instances, as the
insurgents have said there should be but one
religion in the country, yet no violence was
offered to any member on that account.
Two young men who had latterly appeared
under convincement and attended Friends
meetings at times, declaring they could nei-
ther take an oath nor deny their faith, suffered
death. One who was a member having de-
parted from the testimony of Truth and asso-
ciated with others to oppose the insurgents,
was killed with all his party, about twenty in
number. One innocent young man was shot
at behind his master's counter in mistake,
being taken for another person. The Quar-
terly Meeting being held at Enniscorthy the
next day but one after the great slaughter and
burning of that town, Friends had to remove
the dead bodies out of the way of the carriage
wheels. The meeting: was small but solid, and

Friends met with no interruption, which was
a great favour from the good hand of Provi-
dence, worthy of grateful thanksgiving.

" 13th. Attended the week-day meeting at
Bristol, which I hope was an instructive one :
the expectations of both Friends and others
being for a public meeting in the evening, they
requested to know if one should be appointed,
but I felt nothing suflicient to authorise it. In
company with several Friends, I had another
opportunity with the man mentioned before,
who thinks his call is to all people — refuses to
work at his trade, &c. : much tender advice
was given to him, but it had little or no effect
upon him. Such is the state of those who
are so unhappy as to exalt their own imagi-
nations into the seat of revelation, be they ever
so inconsistent with Scripture and reason, con-
cluding they are the command of God to them.
On this score our Society and others, have
suffered much.

" 14th. Set off to reach London if possible
to night, and with great diligence arrived there
about nine o'clock in the evening, said to be
on this route one hundred and eighteen or one
hundred and twenty miles.

" First-day, 15th. Attended Gracechurch
street meeting, and at the close believed it my
place to appoint an evening meeting, which
was much crowded, the people remarkably
still, and it was satisfactory; our gracious and
heavenly Shepherd, notwithstanding our un-
worthiness and manifold infirmities, continues
to be a present help to those who call upon

" 20th. Concluded to take passage in a
vessel I had before been on board of at Bris-
tol, though she was not likely to afford such
comfortable accommodation as some others
which had guns for defence. The kind ex-
pressions of care and love for me from my
friends, humbled me into tears of gratitude
before the Author of every mercy, who had
graciously preserved me in unity with my

" First-day, 22nd. Had an appointed meet-
ing at the Peel, the house became so crowded
that the young people were desired to give way
to strangers, which they generally did, yet it
was said that some hundreds went away for
want of room. My mind was much humbled,
the people though greatly crowded were still,
and a solemnity prevailed that made us joyful
in the house of prayer and praise, with which
the meeting ended, and Friends said they did
not remember so orderly a public meeting in
that house."

After this he had several religious opportu-
nities both at meetings and in families, there
being much unity and attachment manifested
by Friends towards him. He took coach on



the 26th for Bristol, being accompanied by
several of his particular friends, but did not
get there until half past eleven o'clock at

" First-day, 29th. My kind friends have
manifested great attention and benevolence to-
wards me in several respects. Attended their
meeting this forenoon, where I was favoured
te relieve my mind comfortably and the meet-
ing appeared to end well. Was at an ap-
pointed meeting in the evening which was
very large, and I felt my mind strengthened
under an apprehension of duty, to show that
as God is love, there was an obligation on us
as Christians, to endeavour to live in Him, that
we might also manifest a living in love with
each other. The meeting ended in prayer and
praises to the Author of every mercy, for this
renewed favour. I was comforted in spirit for
the Lord's goodness in granting relief to my
mind, as ever since leaving Bristol last, I be-
lieved it would be my duty to attempt another
meeting of this kind : no doubt with me the
Lord hath many sheep in this city, not yet
nominally of our fold.

" 31st. While in meeting a messenger came
in and beckoned me to come out, informing
that my passport was come from the duke of
Portland, and desired I would immediately go
with him to the custom-house, as the controller
was waiting beyond his usual hour to grant me
liberty to sail for America. My mind not being
quite relieved of the meeting, I desired of him
a little delay, and returned to the women's
meeting, where I had an open, tender parting.
Then went to the custom-house and was soon
cleared. Many Friends came to my lodgings
in the evening, and it pleased our good Master
to grant us his presence.

" Eighth month 1st. A number of Friends
accompanying, we went to a place about two
miles from where the vessel lay, and in an
upper room of the inn had a comfortable, reli-
gious opportunity. I had in much brokenness
to express my thankfulness to my blessed and
good Shepherd, who had carried me through
a great journey and voyage, and notwithstand-
ing my many infirmities, had granted me now
in the close a portion of sweet peace, which
was not of merit but of his own mere mercy;
and it closed in prayer and praises to Him
who is ever worthy : we then parted with
many tears.

" Getting on board we soon set sail, but our
captain not liking to go to sea that night, we
dropped anchor under the shore of Wales.

" 6th. After a rough passage got into the
cove of Cork and dropped anchor ; I took
boat and went on shore, then in a post-chaise
to Cork, and next day attended their usual
week-day meeting.

" 8th. Returned to the vessel. Cove is a
poor, dirty town, and may contain three hun-
dred houses, the greater part of which are
very mean ; the inhabitants depend upon the
shipping for a livelihood, and provisions are
very low, except when the fleet comes in ;
butcher's meat from three to four pence per
pound ; poultry, fish, potatoes, &c., in like

" 12th. Went to Passage in our boat, then
took horse and got to Cork to their meeting,
which was pretty large and I hope a profitable

" 14th. Was at their usual meeting, and
after dinner took boat for the vessel, it not
being prudent to stay long on shore, as the
sailing of the fleet was daily expected. In
our passage in the boat it rained much, and
night coming on it was very dark and bois-
terous ; we searched long from one vessel
to another but could not find ours, and being
as wet as we could be, determined to go to
land, as it was dangerous staying on the water
much longer. This was a miserable alterna-
tive to go to a town with so little hope of get-
ting a lodging, but we providentially landed
safely, though not without danger, and the lads
belonging to the boat, after much inquiry found
me a bed, the people lent me a few dry clothes
while mine were put to dry, and with a little
refreshment I went to sleep, and on the 15th
got on board the ship again.

"First-day, 19th. Went on shore again and
attended their afternoon meeting, and also a
burial, at which was a great concourse of peo-
ple, and I had some religious service, which
appeared to be a time of favour and comfort to
the relatives of the deceased.

" First-day, the 26th. Went to Cork, at-
tended their meeting and appointed a public
meeting for the evening, it having been on my
mind since my first landing; it was large, and
several Friends with myself thought the Lord
favoured us with his presence.

" 27th. Was very desirous to get to the
ship, and procured a horse and proceeded to
Cove, but no boatman would go to the vessel,
as the wind was high and it rained very hard,
I was therefore obliged to stay at an uncom-
fortable house that night.

" Eighth month 30th. Very uneasy at our
detention; went to Cork, and attended the meet-
ing, which was chiefly in silence, but a time of

" 31st. The ship of war fired a gun about
six o'clock in the morning to put to sea. Our
captain being on shore we were among the
hindermost in getting off"; and coming on board
in great haste, brought no fresh provisions ex-
cept a few pounds of beef. About ten o'clock
all the ships were under sail, said to be ninety-



six. Several Friends came off in a boat and
brought us a number of fine vegetables, &c.
We had a religious sitting together and parted
most affectionately, not expecting to meet
again on these shores. The wind becoming
unfavourable we had to return, which damped
our spirits much, but there seemed no other
ahernative than to anchor again at Cove, yet
under this great disappointment we endea-
voured to encourage each other in resignation.

" First-day, ninth month 2nd. Held a meet-
ing in the cabin, the captain and passengers
were present, and we were favoured with a
solid, comforting season.

" 8th. A signal being given for the fleet to
get under way, all the harbour seemed to re-
sound with acclamations of joy, and by the
middle of the afternoon we were in the centre
of the fleet off the old head of Kinsale, and
next mornins: out sight of land.

" 12th. The sea and wind having for two
days been very high, the waves frequently
dashing over the vessel and pouring down the
cabin stairs, our dead lights were put in, the
cabin doors closed, and our situation became
truly gloomy — a great part of our live stock
was destroyed. Our captain and mate are
very vigilant and proved themselves masters
in the science of navigation. The helm being
lashed we lay to for some hours, and such an
awful scene I had never before been in at sea ;
the fleet was so scattered we could see but
eight or ten ships. I kept in my berth the
greater part of the day — our situation called
for resignation and confidence in Him whom
the winds and sea obey, and I was thankful
for the portion that was mercifully granted
me, yet was desirous, if consistent with his
will, to see my beloved connexions and friends
at home.

" 13th. The storm had considerably abated,
the sea gradually subsided, and the wind
though light was fair ; we passed the day
in some degree of ease and went to bed in
thankful acknowledgment, that ' the winds
which blew at heaven's command, at hea-
ven's command were still.' Found we had
for two or three days been off the bay of Bis-
cay, a place of much danger with respect to
the French.

" 15th. Saw no vessels and supposed we
were separated from the fleet, but in the after-
noon some of them came in sight. I was only
desirous of having company on account of our
vessel being leaky, and by no means fit to put
to sea alone, and also an apprehension that we
should be short of provisions and water if the
passage proved tedious. I never wished to
have any other protection from an enemy
than the arm of a gracious Providence.

"First-day, 16th. The weather being fine.
Vol. I.— No. 12.

the captain, all the passengers and some of
the crew, sat down with us at meeting in the
cabin, which proved a time of profitable re-
flection on the Lord's goodness in preserving
us through the late storm. We were for some
time made uneasy by an apprehension that
our captain had an intention of leaving the
fleet, and considering the state of our vessel
were obliged to remonstrate with him, and
though he assured us he would find the fleet,
yet we were not without suspicions that he did
not desire to join it.

"22nd. Had entirely lost sight of it. After
seeking it for two days past, a general dissat-
isfaction appeared both among the seamen and
passengers, several of the former having been
prisoners with the French ; for my own part,
the only desire I had of continuing with the
fleet, ai'ose from an apprehension of more
safety as respected our continual leaking.

" First-day, 23d. Held our meeting as
usual, and had cause to believe we were
owned by the holy Head of the church.

" 27th. Early in the morning the captain
came to my room and infoi'med me there was
a ship in sight, but could not yet discover
whether it was an enemy or not : as she was
bearing towards us the passengers and seamen
were in alarm, some securing their most val-
uable things, putting on their best clothes, &c. :
the captain also endeavouring to appear to the
best advantage. I sat down quietly waiting
the issue, the prevalent opinion among our
people was, that she was a Frenchman, and
our seamen seemed confident that she was.
This suspense and fear lasted more than an
hour, I was preserved from fear or disturb-
ance, and said I was under no great appre-
hension of danger. When they came up they
ordered us to lay to till they came on board,
which they did, being armed, no hats but hand-
kerchiefs tied round their heads, with strong
appearances of being neither Americans nor
Englishmen ; all our people seemed in conster-
nation and dismay, but when their captain
boarded us and shook hands with ours, all
countenances brightened again, yet with a
mixture of fear and doubt. The captain of
the stranger said he knew me, had seen me in
France, and was pleased to meet me again as
a friend — they spent an hour with us in a so-
cial manner, informed us that the ship was the
Camilla, a letter of marq_ue from Boston for
Malaga, had fourteen guns and thirty-five
men ; and ordering his men into the shrouds,
they gave us three cheers, fired a gun and
parted from us. By the papers they left us, I
found that the yellow fever was prevailing in
several towns and cities, and that the deaths
in my dear native city had amounted to be-
tween thirty and forty per day, for three days



the week previous, which depressed my spirits
much. O Philadelphia ! Philadelphia ! thou
whom the Lord has known and favoured
above all the cities I have ever seen, is there
not a cause why thou shouldst so repeatedly
be made to read the roll written within and
without, with mourning, lamentation and woe?
Doubtless there is, or tliy God M'ould still have
preserved the walls of salvation around thee,
and thy gates would have resounded with an-
thems of praise.

" My companions in the ship seemed un-
usually happy all day after our escape, but
the situation of my dear and tender connex-
ions and friends at home now in distress, lay
so near my heart, that I retired to my room
very heavy.

" First-day, 30th. Held meeting as usual,
and was sensible of the necessity of rendering
praise unto God for the favours received, and
endeavouring to walk more worthy of them,
lest he should withdraw them from us ; his
mercies are indeed new every morning.

" Tenth month 1st. High wind and rain,
the cabin close shut up, and the passengers in
the steerage were kept down all day.

" 4th. Being on the banks of Newfound-
land, we took plenty of fine fish to the joy of
the ship's company.

" First-day, 7th. The wind being high,
the ship rolling and tossing so much, and
several of the passengers not well, it did not
appear practicable to hold a meeting, but we
got the children and lads to read each a chap-
ter in the Bible.

" First-day, 14th. Held our meeting, and
being now in sight of land, the people on
board were not so settled as could be wished,
but it ended better than I expected. Our leak,
which was the cause of so much serious uneasi-
ness, was not so now, and the consideration of
again beholding my native land, frequently
filled my heart with gratitude, gladness and
thankfulness to the Author of every mercy.
But alas ! how short lived are our times of re-
joicing in this ever changing scene. A pilot
came on board and informed that the yellow
fever was raging in New York, and with still
greater violence in my endeared Philadelphia,
which struck me with sadness. It being al-
most a perfect calm, we made very little way
for several days — found that several vessels
of the fleet that sailed when we did, had
arrived at New York about a week since.

" 18th. Were near the desired port."

Note. — On p. 391, William Savery mentions, that
while he and his companions were at Berlin, they
were visited several times by a major Marconnay,
who had been an officer of some distinction under
the king of Prussia ; and appeared to be convinced
of the truths of the Gospel, promulgated by those

He landed at New York, soon proceeded
towards Philadelphia, and finding his wife and
family had retired a Cew miles out of the city,
on account of the awful prevalence of the pes-
tilential disease which then had become very
mortal, he got to them as early as practicable.

disinterested and faithful ministers of Christ. On
page 393, under date of tenth month 30th, 1796,
he alludes to a letter which they received at Pyr-
mont, written by this person, expressive of his sat-
isfaction with their visit to Berlin. Since the
Journal was in type the Editors have obtained a
copy of this letter, and apprehending it will he ac-
ceptable to their readers, they have inserted it
below. It furnishes evidence of a mind, in which
the work of regeneration was carrying on, strug-
gling under religious concern, and longing for a
more full participation of that glorious liberty which
is the privilege of the sons of God. It is delight-
fiil to observe how congenial minds, under the
forming power of Divine grace, harmonize with
each other in the unity of the one spirit wherever
they meet, or however previously unknown. Out-
ward distinctions, whether of station, country, or
profession, seem to melt away and become lost, in
the aboundings of that love which flows in their
hearts as children of one heavenly Father, and ob-
jects of the compassion and mercy of the same
Redeemer and Saviour. It is no less remarkable,
that in proportion as the heart-changing power of
the Spirit of Truth is submitted to, and the blessed
realities of religion experienced, the soul becomes
increasingly sensible of the emptiness and unsatis-
fying nature of outward forms and ceremonies,
and longs to partake more largely of the living
substance. The letter also serves to show the
feelings of affection and fellowship, excited in the
minds of some they met with, in the course of their
laborious and painful journey; and that though
their speech and their preaching was not in the
words which man's wisdom teacheth, yet under
the powerful influence of the Holy Spirit which
accompanied, it was instrumental in awakening
not a few to a serious consideration of the things
which belong to their soul's peace.

A translated copy of a letter from Major Marcon-
nay to William Savery, David Sands, df-c.

"My last words to you, dear brethren, were
" God be with you" — words that came from the
fulness of my heart. I love you with my soul. I
was never so soon inclined to unite with any men
as I was to unite with you ; and never felt so soon
a constraint to open my mind to any as I did to
you. I have opened this heart of mine into your
loving souls; but yet you are not wholly acquainted
with my tried situation ; for there are feelings
which cannot be expressed in words — I seem as if
I was forsaken of God, and yet I abhor this thought.
I have no desire to live or to die — for the pleasures
of the world, let them be what they may, I have
neither taste, sense, nor feeling ; but who wdl be-
lieve, that notwithstanding this disgust of the
world, my heart remains shut up from higher and
heavenly enjoyments. The precious sense of the
sonship with God ; the assurance of faith, and the
consolations of the word ; of all that I formerly
enjoyed, tasted and felt of these gracious gifts, I



When the sickness and mortality had subsided
he returned to Philadelphia, and as usual was
industriously engaged in his mechanical busi-
ness, as well as in visiting the sick and infirm,
and in the diligent attendance of religious
meetings. His tender, sympathising mind, not
being easy without endeavouring as far as in
his power, to alleviate the afflictions of his
fellow citizens, occasioned him to be fre-
quently in the abodes of suffering and misery.
As the yellow fever had for several years
visited the city, and he was much within the

have now scarcely a remembrance. — My prayers
are weak and powerless, as if I cried unto God
from afar, so that he cannot hear me. This is also
a thought I abhor. Such, my dear brethren, is
nearly the circumstances of my soul : let your
hearts now feel with painful compassion, how it is
with me ; and fall down on your faces before the
throne of the great and merciful Being, and pray
for your poor weak and wounded brother, that Jesus
Christ may again be formed in my lieart, and that
I may again rightly fix my eyes upon him ; — then
shall I be able to stand in this heavy exercise. — I
shall then take from his hand the bitter cup and
not murmur, but wait for his help — then I shall be
enabled in the end to exclaim, ' Lord, Lord God,
gracious and mercifid, thou art great in thy kind-
ness and faithfulness ; — who was ever confounded
that put his trust and hope in thee V

" Yesterday, the minister, Howick, sent for me,
and said he had just received a letter from the
king, who was very willing and ready to give you
an audience; and oh! how gladly could I have
called you back, as I wished most heartily an in-
terview between you and our good king. I told
the minister, it was possible you might have staid
over yesterday, the 21st, at Potsdam; on which he
immediately despatched a chasseur to the General
Bishosswerd, notifying him that you might proba-
bly still be there ; whether the chasseur has met
with you, I know not; but if it be according to my
wishes, you will have an audience with the king-
to-morrow morning at nine o'clock. And in this
case, I desire you to give me as soon as possible, a
circumstantial information of your conference ; for
be persuaded, I shall not make any bad use of what
you may intrust me with. Your letter to the king,
the minister sent to him yesterday ; but the books,
which the messenger could not take, were sent to
the monarch to-day.

" Now for the conclusion : ' God be with you' —
his light be your guide ; his love and grace, in and
through Jesus Christ, your protection and defence
in all danger : be of good comfort, and filled with
joyful hope. — He tliat is with you, is stronger than
he that is against you.

" Never shall your memory be effaced from my
soul, I shall not cease to love you; it will be a
comfort to my weary soul, if sometimes you will
make me joyful by imparting a few lines of love,
and nothing but death will be able to prevent my
answering your letters. In love I embrace you in
my heart, as your ever loving brother,


" Berlin, 22nd October, 1796."

sphere of its virulence, he thought it most
prudent to be very sparing in the use of ani-
mal food, and almost totally abstained from it,
which some of his friends believed tended to
weaken his frame, and I'endered the system
more accessible to other disorders.

From an apprehension of religious duty, he
attended the Yearly Meeting of New York in
the year 1800, having the full concurrence of
his Monthly Meeting in the service, and on his
return home produced a minute expressive of
the satisfaction of Friends with his company
and Gospel services among them. In the
ninth month, 1801, under similar feelings and
with the unity of his brethren, he attended the
Yearly Meeting in Baltimore, where his labours
of love appear to have been cordial and en-
couraging to Friends.

Excepting these engagements, it does not
appear that he ti-avelled much after his re-
turn from Europe, but was diligent in the
discharge of his weighty trust as a minister
of the Gospel of Christ.

His constitution having become much im-

Online LibraryWilliam EvansThe Friends' library : comprising journals, doctrinal treatises, and other writings of members of the religious Society of Friends (Volume 1) → online text (page 100 of 105)