William Evans.

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

. (page 103 of 105)
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 103 of 105)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

surely in vain the net is spread in the sight
of any bird.

In the year 1714, our worthy Friends
Thomas Wilson and James Dickinson, came
into this province, on a religious visit to the
churches. I was present at a meeting they
had at Plymouth, which on account of the
great gathering of people, was held under the
trees. Thomas, in the exercise of his gift,
was led to treat on several subjects, which
making a great impression on my mind, at
that time, and tending to confirm me in the
faith I made open profession of, I still remem-
ber. He was led to speak of David's bringing
the ark of the Lord from the house of Obed-
edom ; also the festival, a sacrifice he offered
to the Lord, and his dispensing the bread, flesh,
and wine to the multitude, to the women as
well as the men; which Thomas repeated two
or three times, from thence inferring the Lord's
influencing females, as well as males, with Di-
vine authority, to preach the Gospel to the

He spake largely on the passage of the
captive maid, and her service to her lord and
master ; and in a powerful manner set forth
the privileges which the true members of the
church of Christ enjoy under his peaceable go-
vernment. He also spake prophetically con-
cerning the work of sanctification which some
were under; saying, the Lord would bring the
faithful through all to his glory, and the solid
comfort of the afflicted, though some might be
like David, in the horrible pit, &c. These
and divers other subjects which he mentioned,
greatly affected me, and reached me in such a
manner, that I was much broken, and said in
my heart, surely all here will be not only con-
vinced, but converted by the eternal Word of
God, unto the true faith of Christ our Lord,
who came to seek and to save all who should
believe in his pure name. I thought none
could withstand the doctrine preached, it being
with great power and Divine authority, not as
that of the scribes or hireling pi'iests. What
made it farther remarkable to me was, that
the Friend where they dined, insisted on my
going with them, and it being in my way
home, with fear and trembling I complied,
and being sat down in the house, Thomas
Wilson fixed his eyes upon me, which made
me conclude he saw something in me that
was wrong. I arose and went out, being
much affected, but heard him say, "What
young woman is that ? — She is like the little
captive maid I have been speaking of this
day. — May the God of my life strengthen
her ; she will meet with sore trials, but if she
is faithful, the Lord will fit her for his service."
He further remarked, that he saw the Lord

was at work in me for good, and would in his
time brinjj me through all.

These hints have since been of service to
me, when almost overwhelmed in trouble, and
I think should never be forgotten. I do not
mention them in ostentation, but bow in awful
reverence, as with my mouth in the dust, ren-
derina; to the great Author of all our mercies,
adoration and praise ; may it now be given
unto Him, and forever. Amen.

It was in the year 1710, I came to David
Lloyd's, but did not travel far abroad until the
year 1722, when having the consent of Friends,
and their certificate for that purpose, between
that time and the year 1725, I accompanied
my before-mentioned friend Elizabeth Levis,
on a religious visit to Friends in Maryland,
Virginia, and North Carolina. Returning
home, we afterwards went to Barbadoes,* and

* In looking toward this extensive and arduous
journey, they met with some discouragementa
which were trying to their feelings, and the fol-
lowing letter was addressed to them by Thomas
Chalkley, an eminent and experienced minister of
Christ. It should be observed, that Jane Hoskens'
maiden name, was Fenn. He says ; —

"In this year two soberyoung women, Elizabeth
Levis and Jane Fenn, were concerned to visit
Friends in the island of Barbadoes, and they meet- '
ing with some discouragement, in Christian love I
wrote them the following letter, to encourage them
in the work of Christ, viz :

" Franliford, \st of twelfth month, 1724-5.

" My dear friends,

"Elizabeth Levis, and Jane Fenn,

" Understanding by our friend, Grace
Lloyd, that you have proposed your intention of
visiting the few Friends in the island of Barba-
does, and that you meet witli some discouragement
inwardly and outwardly, it is in my mind to comfort
and strengthen you in so great and good an under-
taking, and honourable work, as is the cause of
Christ, who, for our sakes, crossed himself abun-
dantly beyond expression, more than is possible for
us to do for his sake, or the sake of his people,
whom we may so entirely love, as to lay down our
lives for his and their sakes. But wliat are our
lives to the life of the only begotten Son of God ?
And truly, we must give them up often, if we have
the cause of souls at heart ; and then he often
gives them to us again, glory to his holy name for
ever ! As Christ said. He that will save his life,
shall lose it, and ha that will lay down Ins life for
my sake and the Gospel, shall find it ; which
reacheth your case in this undertaking. And, in-
deed, some of our lives, in our own sense, are
hardly worth mentioning, considering the cause of

"And, dear children of our heavenly Father, I
may, through some good experience, truly inform
you, that there is much openness in many people
on that island, and good encouragement I have had,
from above, in my visiting the people there ;
though, true it is, the inhabitants, too generally,
are luxurious, and much given to vanity : yet I



from thence took shipping and landed on
Rhode Island, and visited that place, Nan-
tucket, New England, Long Island, the Jer-
sies, our own province, the counties of New
Castle, Kent, and Sussex on Delaware, the
eastern shore of Maryland, and again into

It was in the year 1725, that we visited
Barbadoes, in all which journeys and voyages
we were true yoke- fellows; sympathizing with
each other under the various exercises whe-
ther of body or mind, which we had to pass

Elizabeth was sound in the ministry, and
wherever we were led, she was of great and
good service. I always preferred her for the
woi'k's sake; her conduct out of meetings was
exemplary, and preached aloud. I must add,
she was no busy-body; we meddled not with
other people's concerns, whether in or out of
meeting. She was of great service to me, and
I hope the love which subsisted between us
when young, will remain to each other for-
ever ; mine is now as strong to her as then, for

have this seal in my heart, that the Lord hath a
seed in that place who desire to serve him, and
that seed will surely join with you in your exer-
cise, and you will be comforted one in anothei", and
in the Lord. And that there are differences among-
them, is also true ; but they have the more need
of being visited by such, who are, through their
wise conduct and restoring disposition, likely to
heal those breaches which are, or may be among
them. Some, indeed, have gone among them and
have done hurt, by a rash and turbulent manage-
ment, and by so doing, have rather made the
breaches wider, than by a meek and loving, as
well as lowly disposition, lessened their differences
and healed them.

" And, tender friends, though it may seem hard
for you in several considerations, to give up to go
to sea, and also to divers who love you and are
nearly related to you, know ye, and such so con-
cerned, that the Lord is stronger than the noise of
many waters, and than the mighty waves of the
sea. And I really believe that you, as well as my
soul, with all the servants of Christ, will experi-
ence it to be so, as David did, whose words they

" I remember the words of our great Lord and
Master, Jesus Christ, when he sent forth his ser-
vants to preach his Gospel ; " I send you forth as
lambs among wolves." No question but you, like
imiocent lambs, before your return, if it please
God to give you to us again, may meet with the
wolfs spirit, or the spirit of the beast, in some
among whom you may travel ; then will the coun-
sel of Clirist, added to his commission, be good for
you to keep close to : 'Be ye wise as serpents, but
innocent or harmless as doves.'

" And, dear maidens, as your cross is great, you
being two innocent young women, in giving up
your names to cross the sea, which I know is a
great trial, the seamen, too generally being rude,
dissolute people ; so your crown will be great also.

which I am truly thankful to the Author of all

In the year 1726, I travelled with Abigail
Bowles, from Ireland, through the lower coun-
ties on Delaware, the eastern shore of Mary-
land, Virginia, Cape May, the Egg Harbours,
and other parts of New Jersey, and through
this province ; in which journeys we travelled
about one thousand seven hundred miles. Hav-
ing had a concern in the love of Christ, for
a considerable time, to visit the churches
in Great Britain, Ireland, &c., I acquainted
Friends in our parts with it, and had their
concurrence and certificate for that purpose.
On the 13th day of the third month, 1727,
in company with our dear Friend Abigail
Bowles aforesaid, and several others, I went on
board the ship Dorothy, John Bedford, com-
mander, bound for Bristol; there being but little
wind, we did not leave the capes of Delaware till
the 20th, and on the 27th of the fourth month
landed safe at Bristol. We held our meetings
in the great cabin, during the voyage, when
the weather permitted, which the Lord was

I have known that by keeping near to Christ and
his truth and power, there hath been a wonderful
reformation sometimes in several of those rude
seamen ; and some have been so far convinced, as
to be exceedingly kind, and to speak well of
Friends and their conversation, when it has been
coupled with the fear and wisdom of God. When
I have gone to sea, I always found a relig-ious and
Christian concern upon me, for the poor sailors,
the good eftects of which have been much more
than I may speak of; but give this little hint for
your encouragement and information.

" Well, dear souls, if you go, I believe the Lord
will go with you ; and sure I am, that my spirit
will also go along with you, which will not hurt
you, if it do you no good. And although my ex-
ercises and tribulations of late have been very
great, both spiritual and natural, yet my very
heart within me affects the cause of Christ, ac-
cording to the best of my understanding ; and I
heartily wish well to all my fellow lahourers, who
are faithful, painful servants of Christ, and disin-
terested, except as to the interest which they de-
sire in Christ and his kingdom, for the sake of
which, they love not their lives unto death.

" I must now take leave, after putting you in
mind to remember your poor friend and brother,
when before the throne you are supplicating the
Father of mercies in secret, even as my heart is
tenderly bowed and broken into tears on your be-
half at this time. The Lord be with you, and
sanctify the present exercise and concern that is
upon you, and you to himself, with all the faithful
lovers and followers of the Lamb, 'through his
word, whose word is truth.' I am your friend and
brother, in the fellowship of the Gospel of Christ
Jesus, our great Lord and good Master ; and
blessed are all tliose, who, by their fearing to
offend him, manifest him to be tlieir Master, and
by their honouring him manifest him to be their
T.ord. Thomas Chalkley."



graciously pleased to own with his life-giving
presence to our comfort and satisfaction ; for
which and all his tender mercies and preser-
vations he shall have the praise, who alone is
worthy. We were kindly received by Friends
at Bristol, and lodged at Richard Champion's.

Twenty-ninth being first-day, I was at their
Quarterly Meeting of worship for young peo-
ple; and the first of the fifth month I parted
with my dear friend Abigail Bowles, she going
homeward in a ship bound for Cork, in Ireland,
and I staid at Bristol. The 31st of the fifth
month I got to London, having meetings al-
most every day after my landing, and gene-
rally to satisfaction. I staid in and about
London, visiting meetings and Friends, till the
6th of the seventh month, when I left that
place, and travelled through divei's parts of
the nation, visiting meetings as my way was
opened, in which services the good hand of
my great Lord and Master was near, and
supported under many close trials and deep
baptisms. Indeed, I may say, he was pleased
at times to furnish his minister with suitable
doctrine to the states and conditions of the
people, so that many were reached and con-
fessed to the Truth, the mouths of gainsayers
were stopped, and the upright hearted encou-
raged to persevere in the way of Truth and
righteousness. It was a gathering day in
many places : May the great Lord of the
harvest so operate on the minds of the peo-
ple, by his eternal power and spirit, that many
may be rightly qualified for his work and ser-
vice, to the glory of his holy name !

On the 14th of the second month, 1728, I
came to Whitehaven, and on the 16th went on
board the ship Reserve, John Nicholson, mas-
ter, bound for Dublin, in Ii'eland, where we
arrived safely on the 18th. I was at most of
the meetings in that king-dom, had meeting-s in
many places where no Friends lived, and
visited Friends in their families, within the
city of Dublin. In many opportunities which
I had, both among Friends and others, it
evidently appeared that Divine counsel was
unfolded to the people. The doctrine of
Truth descended as the small rain upon the
tender grass, whereby many were refreshed,
and a living greenness appeared. Many of
other societies were tender, and well satisfied
with the visits, and some among them appeared
ripe for information respecting Friends' princi-
ples ; so that the faithful had frequently cause
to rejoice in the wonderful condescension and
loving kindness of the merciful Creator of
heaven and earth, from whom all good comes.

On the 19th of the seventh month, 1728, I
embarked from Dublin, and on the 20th landed
safe at Grange, in Lancashire. After I had
visited many places in this nation, and spent a

considerable time in travelling therein to good
satisfaction ; finding myself clear of the ser-
vice in this part of the world, I embarked
again for America, where I arrived the 13th
of the twelfth month, 1730, and was affection-
ately received by my kind friends and bene-
factors, David and Grace Lloyd, and other
Friends here away.

Soon after my arrival David Lloyd was
taken ill with his last sickness, during which
I thought it my duty to attend on him as
usual. On the 6th of the second month,
1731, he departed this life; and in him I lost
a father, and a sure friend. In all the jour-
neys I went, whilst he Hved, he cheerfully
supplied me with the necessaries requisite.
He was exemplary in his family, treating
all about him with humanity, choosing rather
to be loved than feared. He was diligent in
attending meetings for worship, and those of
his servants who inclined to go to meetings,
he allowed to perform that necessary duty.
After my arrival I did not live as an hired
servant with David Lloyd, or with his widow,
though I remained with her, at her request,
till I married, which was in the year 1738.

In the year 1742-3, 1 went a second time to
Barbadoes, in company with Rebecca Min-
shall ; from Barbadoes we took shipping for
Rhode Island, and visited that place and New
England. In the year 1744, I had a certifi-
cate to go a second time to Maryland, Virginia
and Carolina, in company with Margaret
Churchman; concerning which visit I could
say much, but it may suffice to remark, that it
appeared to me to be a time of gathering, and
great openness among people of various ranks.
They followed us from meeting to meeting,
treating us with respect, and the marks of
real love and affection ; but knowing we had
nothing valuable of ourselves, I attribute all
to Divine Goodness, who opened the way for
us, and is alone worthy. Margaret sometimes
appeared in public, and I thought to good pur-
pose, and was to me a good companion.

In the year 1747, I performed a second
visit to the churches of Christ in England and
Ireland. I had hitherto undergone many close
trials and provings in my pilgrimage through
life, but this visit was attended with some "of
the heaviest and most painful exercises of any
I had ever before experienced. Yet I have to
believe the good hand, though often conceal-
ed, wa^ near under all, and the Lord enabled
me at times to speak to the conditions of the
people, so that the witness was reached, and
by his own Almighty power the seed raised
and brought into dominion. Of this, time hath
brought undeniable proofs, so that though this
was a painful journey both to body and mind,
yet as the infinitely wise Being was pleased to



bless it to some, to the honour of his own
great name, I dare not repine, but hope hum-
bly to submit to what he hath permitted, or
may permit to attend for the refining of my
faith, and making it more pure than gold.

In the year 1756, with the concurrence of
Friends, and their certificate, having my friend
Susannah Brown of Philadelphia, for my com-
panion, I performed a visit to Friends in New
England, &c., as far as I was enabled to tra-
vel, though we did not go further eastward
than to Salem. We had several satisfactory
meetings among Friends and others. We first
went to New York, and had a meeting there.
Friends being glad of our company, which
they manifested by their respectful conduct.
In company with several of them we went to
Long Island, and attended the Yearly Meeting
at Flushing, which was large and favoured
with Divine authority from day to day. The
people behaved with commendable stillness
and quiet, and many Friends remarked it to
be more so than usual, the Lord inanifesting
his power through poor weak instruments.
From thence we proceeded by water to Rhode
Island, several Friends of New York accom-
panying us, and arriving there about a week
before the time of their Yearly Meeting, we
had a seasonable opportunity of resting, being
received by Friends with great kindness.
Through Divine favour we were enabled to
go through our service at the said meeting to
great satisfaction, being comforted in spirit in
a sense of Divine goodness, and I hope bowed
in awful reverence unto Infinite mercy in a
suitable manner. After this meeting we went
to Tiverton, where we had three meetings,
which I think were large and satisfactory.

From thence we took passage in a sloop for
the island of Nantucket, where we attended
the Yearly Meeting, which was large and to
good satisfaction. In going ashore from the
sloop I received a hurt, which proved very
painful, yet I attended the meetings every day,
and was qualified to go through the service
required, which I looked upon as a great
favour. We stayed two weeks at this island,
and then, with Sylvanus Hussey and his son,
embarked on board their sloop for Boston,
where we were detained eight or nine weeks,
on account of my lameness, being unable to
travel. Friends of the place were exceedingly
kind, and I must in justice remark, that people
of other societies were also, insomuch that I was
made to admire ; but it was the Lord's doing,
and not any merit of mine. When I got out
to meetings they were crowded, the people
continuing to carry with much respect towards
us ; and when we left that town, several ac-
companied us on the way, and some, not of
our community, went to Rhode Island, and

were at all the meetings with us, which were
large and crowded, and I have reason to con-
clude satisfactory ; when we took leave of
each other it was a time worthy to be kept in

We came to New York, and from thence
passed over to Long Island, visiting most of
the meetings thereon*, and after the last ap-
pointed for us, I was seized in a very un-
common manner, my understanding being so
clouded, I could not recollect where I was, yet
was blessed with quietude and peace, fully re-
signed to the Divine will. In this condition I
was taken to Flushing, where I lay some days ;
and although thus afflicted, in the intervals
when my reason returned, the peace I en-
joyed, and the sweet assurance of my being
right in going this journey, was such as I
never felt before, which bowed me in rever-
ence before the Divine Majesty, saying. Lord,
it is enough. It was the fourth visit I had
paid to New England, and likely to be my last;
and the mighty power of God was more con-
spicuously manifested to my soul, than I had
known after any other journey. Several
Friends from New York accompanied us to
Amboy, where we parted in much love ; we
came to Bordentown, where we stayed several
days and had a meeting which was satisfactory,
though attended with hard labour, before the
rubbish was removed ; I was favoured and
clear in my understanding. Friends accom-
panied us over the river to Pennsylvania, and
Ennion Williams meeting us there, I was con-
veyed in his carriage to Bristol. Stayed the
first-day meeting at that town, several Friends
from Burlington being at it, we were mutually
comforted in each other, in the immortal love
and life which our heavenly Father favoured
us with. Herein we parted, and that afternoon
came to Philadelphia, where we stayed a few
days. Here my companion and I parted in love,
as we had travelled together ; she being kind
and very affectionate to me, and was I believe
of service in the course of our religious visit.

I have thought how the wisdom of Divine
Goodness is eminently displayed through
Christ our Lord, in sending forth his servants
to preach the glad tidings of the Gospel of
life and salvation to the people freely. I am
persuaded, where companions in this solemn
service are firmly united in the true bond of
Christian fellowship, it must tend to confirm
the authority of their message, testifying their
joint consent to the doctrines they teach, to
comfort, strengthen, and support each other,
through the many trying dispensations, which
in the course of their travels they have to
wade through ; this being the real case, judge
how great must be the disappointment, when
it happens otherwise ! May the all-wise God



be pleased to visit those who have gone out of
the right path, which by virtue of his light
he had graciously led them into, and restore
them into his favour, that their latter end may
be rest and peace for ever ! The rest of my
time after my return home from this journey,
was principally spent in attending our meet-
ings, and although my infirmities and troubles
were not few, yet I have been helped wonder-
fully through, therefore must not repine.

In the fifth month, 1760, my worthy friend
Grace Lloyd, departed this life. She was one
who was favoured with excellent talents, and
in the early part of her days was reached to
by the almighty hand of God; and as she
yielded obedience to the dictates of his Holy
Spirit, became serviceable in the church of
Christ, had a good gift in discipline, and many
times spake in these meetings by Divine au-
thority, to the tendering of many heai'ts. She
was a woman of good understanding, sound
judgment, and quick apprehension ; and I hope
is reaping the peaceable fruits of righteousness.

Thus much I thought in gratitude I was obliged
to hint concerning her; and when I look back
and consider how the Lord was pleased to in-
fluence the hearts of his people in love towards
me, when absent from all my natural friends,
I can but admire his unmerited mercies, and
say he is worthy of worship and pure obedi-
ence ; for who is like to our God.

I might have added in the course of the
foregoing short narrative, that I attended seve-
ral Yearly Meetings at Philadelphia, and al-
though I was of little or no service, yet I al-
ways returned home better, having enjoyed
among my dear friends that consolation which
my soul thirsted after. Upon the whole, I
may say as did king David, Psalm xix. 2,
"Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto
night showeth knowledge ;" by sore afflictions
we learn experience, and if we make a proper
use thereof, all will in due time be sanctified
to us, so that we shall receive the word of in-
struction with joy.

J. H.



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 103 of 105)