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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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And now, dear wife, let thy care be great
over my children ; and tell them, as they will
answer me, that they be obedient to thee, their
mother, in all things. And let my son Richard
know, that I desire him not to go abroad in
the night time, but keep at home, and be obe-
dient to thee, and loving, and a good example
to the rest of the children ; and if it please
God that I may return in safety, it will be my
care to reward according to their doings.

This being the most at present from thy ever
loving husband,

Christopher Story.



Bristol, the 30th of the 9th month, 1689.
Dear and loving Wife,

In that love and life which is stronger
than death, where the souls of a remnant as-
cend over all unto God, delighting themselves
in his presence, do I very dearly salute thee,
and recommend thee unto the Lord, in whom
our life and breathing is, whose presence is
everywhere, and always ready to do good unto
his, that truly and sincerely love and wait upon
him. I know unto such his mercies are as the
dew, and his kindness as the small rain, water-
ing every plantation that is his, that through
all that is here below, the mind may be centred
and wholly gathered into the weighty Seed,
which is sufficient to preserve us all unto the
kingdom of rest and peace with the Lord,
where all the holy ancients inhabit. And now
the day being come, wherein the Lord is
betrothing manj- unto himself, may we par-
take of this glory and holy habitation ; in be-
holding which many are made to bow down in
spirit, and say. Worthy, worthy art thou, O
God, who livest for ever, to rule, and reign,
and have dominion in the hearts of thy chil-
dren, for the Lamb that was slain is alive, and
we live by him. Because of this, my soul
rejoices at this time, and makes me say with
reverence and holy fear. Glory to God on high,
and to the Lamb who lives for ever. And dear
wife, press daily to gather our children unto a
sense of this ; and I entreat thee watch over
them for good, that the Lord our God, who
hath blessed us, may bless our children. And
though I am separated for a time, I am not
unmindful of you in my prayers; neither am
I doubtful, but the Lord will bless everv one
with a portion of his spirit as they are faithful.
Give the remembrance of my dear love to my
father and mother, and to all my dear children,
whom I pray God he may bless. Your care
concerning me 1 know will be great ; but by
this know I am very well every way, for which
I bless the Lord. We are now at Bristol, and



166



LIFE OP CHRISTOPHER STORY.



we purpose to go to London, to be there about
the time called Christmas ; I desire to hear
from you. We have had a sweet passage,
and things have been well upon our account.
It is our duty to give the Lord the praise, who
is the filler of our cups ; to whom be honour
and glory now and for ever, Amen. Give the
remembrance of my love to my dear brother
Christopher Taylor, Andrew Graham, both
the William Grahams and their wives; and all
other my faithful friends, and to my neigh-
bours and relations, as though named, who
desire to hear from me ; not forgetting once
more my duty to my father and mother, love
to thyself, and all our dear children. The
Lord be with you all, saith my soul, Amen.
Christopher Story.



Newcastle, the 11th of the 9th month, 1692.

Dear and loving Wife,

This comes to acquaint thee, I am very
well, blessed be the Lord ; and have had a
peaceable journey to my great satisfaction and
comfort, and I can say, though alone, I have
not wearied, for Friends' love hath been such,
that after the first day's journey, I have not
often wanted company, beyond my expecta-
tion. I had a drawing in my mind to Glas-
gow, to be there the first-day after I went from
home, and pressing forward, visited Friends
by the way ; when I came there I met with
Andrew Jaffray and John Hall of Aberdeen.
We had the greatest meeting of Friends, that
we have heard hath been in that place, and
had it peaceable, to our comfort, till near the
conclusion, and then one of the magistrates
with other officers, dispersed us, but they
offered little abuse, only mocked and scoffed
us; but it being the first-day would not stone
us. We stayed in Glasgow all night, and
without any disturbance left the town, and
several Friends being in company, took meet-
ings by the way, till we came to Edinburgh,
to" their Quarterly Meeting, where we had
some precious meetings to our great comfort ;
several Friends being there from divers parts
of the nation. I remained in Edinburgh till
the first-day was over, so set forward, visiting-
Friends' meeting at Kelso and Otterburn, and
yesternight came hither. I intend to visit most
of the meetings in Bishoprick, am likely to
come through some of the Dales in Yorkshire,
and so to Westmoreland. Dear wife, I would
not have thee be any otherwise concerned for
me, than that our only delight may be in the
Lord, for it is hither the righteous are gathered,
knowing assuredly that all other joys and com-
forts will fade away as in a moment. There-
fore let us be joined to the Lord, in the one
spirit, where the aboundings of love are known,

THE



and the refreshing streams of his kindness are
plentifully drunk of: for though wife may be
near unto husband, and husband near unto
wife, yet the Lord is all in all to his people ;
he is known to be more than all to a remnant.
It is in the Lord only, that we can rightly
enjoy one another, and bless his name when
we are together, and when we are separated
one from another ; for the Lord is opening the
understandings of his people, to see that they
that marry are to be as though they married
not, and they that possess, as though they
possessed not. He is at work in the hearts of
his people, to wean them from having their
chief delight in that which is fading and visi-
ble, and to set it on that which is invisible,
where the just shine as the firmament, and the
faithful are as the angels of God, married to
the Lamb, for ever and ever. All that are
rightly come to the dawning of this day in
their own particulars, [are arrived] where a
taste of this glory is enjoyed, which will make
all the upright in heart say. One day with the
Lord, is as a thousand years, and a thousand
years as one day. It is the sense of these
things, which as unspeakable joys are set be-
fore the eyes of the faithful, makes many deny
themselves of the enjoyment of other things
which may be dear unto them, and as the
apple of their eye. Therefore the mark being
before, O that we may ever keep here, where
we are more and more sensible of the glorious
presence of the Lord, to shine upon our taber-
nacles, then shall we witness the morning
stars to sing together, and the sons of God to
shout for joy. Here the smiles of his counte-
nance are known, where many are saying in
their hearts, " I am my beloved's and my be-
loved is mine." It is hither the Lord hath
brought and is bringing his lambs to rest,
where he is feeding his flocks in the pleasant
vallies, beside the still waters, where the voice
of the turtle is heard, and the rose of Sharon
blossoms and casts a sweet smell. The Lord
preserve thee, my dear wife, with all my dear
children here, then will you be an honour to
the Lord, and a joy and comfort one unto an-
other ; so shall your peace spring as a river,
and your righteousness be as the waves of the
sea. It is my daily travail, that Sion may
arise and shine in her ancient beauty, and
Jerusalem may be the praise of the whole
earth, and that the knowledge of the Lord
may cover the earth as the waters cover the
seas, that God over all may be exalted, who is
worthy, now and for ever. I am in great
haste, but desire to have my very dear love
remembered to my father and mother, and all
my dear children as if named, and love to all
Friends that may inquire after me. I rest thy
ever loving husband, CiiRisTorHER Story.



A BRIEF NARRATIVE



LIFE OF GILBERT LATEY,



COMPRISING SOME ACCOUNT OF THE FIRST SETTLEMENT OF FRIENDs' MEETINGS IN LONDON.



PREFACE.

To render lines harmonious to every ear, is
hardly possible ; yet since no part of history
is more instructive and pleasing than the lives
of good men ; though the present treatise may
not entertain the reader with a great variety,
it is hoped it will afford some things accepta-
ble, which deserve imitation, and may be a
means to persuade him to religion and virtue.
Such memorials are fit to be delivered to pos-
terity as carry with them evident tokens of
the Divine goodness and protection ; yet not
to procure glory to man, to set up his wisdom,
or natural or acquii'ed parts, but to exalt the
Lord Jesus Christ alone. Time here is short,
in comparison with eternity ; it glides away
apace : and possibly it may not be long ere
thy forehead, reader, begin to wrinkle, and
thy hair change gray, thy eyes become dim,
and knees tremble, and thou perhaps to all
enjoyments here, be as though thou hadst
never been. As the following passages of the
life of my beloved uncle came chiefly from
himself, as to what relates to the first break-
ing forth of the blessed truth in this city ; and
much of the latter part of his time was within
the compass of my own knowledge, (we hav-
ing lived together above forty-two years,) I
shall set them forth in that plainness which in
those early times attended the Lord's servants.

This our dear friend was preserved through
all the powers and governments which were
in his time, keeping in the self-denial, bearing
the cross of our only Mediator and blessed
Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ ; by which
he became crucified to the world and its glory ;
not valuing the lofty yet empty titles of men,
high and great in the world, so as to be dis-



mayed or hindered thereby from approaching
any in authority. With great humility, in the
love of God, he attended them when the Lord's
servants were under sufferings, in order to get
the oppressed eased, and the imprisoned set at
liberty. By perusing his life, thou wilt find
how indefatigable he was, yet walking inoffen-
sively both to Jew and Gentile, and the church
of God. I conclude with desires both for my-
self, and all those who are quickened in the
Lord, that we may persevere in the way
wherein this servant walked, and not be like
those mentioned in Judges, who arose after
the death of Joshua and the elders, and "knew
not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had
done for Israel."

Wherefore, reader, my desire is, that we
who remain may follow the Lord faithfully ;
and that he may raise in us the same zeal,
diligence and valour, as he did in this our an-
cient Friend, and the rest of the elders that
received the truth in the morning of the day
of the Lord, is the sincere breathing of thy
friend,

Richard Hawkins.



The Testimony of George Whitehead, concern-
ing Gilbert Latey.

This our ancient Friend and brother learned
obedience through the cross of Christ, and by
His grace approved himself faithful in his place
and station, being made a living and useful
member in His church, and well approved in
his testimony and service in his day. He was
constant in his love to his brethren ; and hated
hypocrisy and dissimulation, divisions and
causing of schisms. He was for many years
my true companion in laborious solicitations



168



LIFE OF GILBERT LATEY.



in the reigns of the late three kings, viz.,
Charles II., James II., and William III. ; be-
before whom we clivers times appeared in be-
half of our suffering Friends. Our dear friend
was much given up in that service, and we
were often comforted together in the Lord's
presence with us, prevailing to tender their
hearts towards Friends ; though we obtained
relief from King Charles II. not always, but
in some particular cases, through diligent so-
licitation early and late. We suffered great
persecution in his I'eign ; and he left our
Friends under sufferings, about one thousand
five hundred being in prisons, and many hun-
dreds of families under severe prosecutions
upon the old laws made against popish recu-
sants, for twenty pounds a month and two-
thirds of their estates for not going to the par-
ish churches (so called), and great spoil made
upon many therefor. The informers swarm-
ing about our religious meetings also caused
great spoil upon Friends' goods ; whose cases
were made known to King James. In several
applications, and much labour and solicitation,
we obtained the release of many prisoners, the
prevention of the writs for the seizure of
Friends' estates, and stopping the informers.
In this sei'vice our Friend Gilbert Latey was
frequent in solicitation with me in true faith
and love ; and the Lord was with us, and his
hand was upon us, and he heard our prayei's.
Gilbert Latey was a sensible man, of a good
judgment ; and when the Lord opened to me
any petition, or proposal to make to any of
these three kings, respectively, I first im-
parted the same to him, and he would be pre-
sently sensible thereof, and given up to assist
in solicitation to king or parliament, or any
of the nobility.

In King William's reign, who manifested
great kindness and compassion towards us,
other Friends were stirred up in and about
this city to assist in soliciting for our religious
liberty, and also from the imposition of oaths,
wherein Gilbert Latey was truly industrious
and assisting ; and also ready to help us in
attending the government in Friends' behalf,
so long as he could, until by his age and weak-
ness he was disabled. It would be too volumi-
nous to repeat all our labours and exercises of
this kind, wherein we travelled together under
many burthens in great humility ; wherein the
Lord helped us, and many received ease and
benefit thereby, who knew little of the same,
or of our exercises for them, especially when
we had occasion to approach the presence of
King Charles and King James ; wherein the
Lord made way for us, and gave us faith and
special assistance ; blessed be his worthy name
for ever !

As the Lord endued him with a good degree



of faith and a sense of his Spirit, to enable
him in his service and testimony for his bless-
ed truth, he kept the faith in sincerity and true
love, wherein he ended his days in peace ; and
for the ease and liberty we do now enjoy, and
the merciful Providence we are under, we have
great cause to ascribe praise, honour, glory,
and dominion to our God, and to the Lamb on
the throne, for ever and ever.

G. W.
London, the 30th of 3d mo. 1707.



The Testimony of Richard Hawkins, concern-
ing his dear and well-beloved uncle, Gilbert
Latey.

The testimony I have to bear concerning
my deceased dear uncle is, that he was a man
fearing God and hating iniquity ; fervent and
zealous against deceit and hypocrisy, and en-
dued with a Gospel testimony ; which accord-
ing to his ability he bore faithfully in his day ;
and the Lord was with him. He always had
a very honourable regard for those who were
his elders in the Lord, and a sincere love to-
wards such as the Lord had raised up more
lately in the ministry, as they kept to that
power which first brake forth in their elders
in the moi'ning of this day of the Lord. He
rejoiced in such, and would often say, they
were as marrow to his bones, and his love to
them was as firm and as true, as that of David
and Jonathan, in which he was still ready to
lend a hand of help to those that were young
or weak, having also a true regard for the
hindermost of the flock, and would often
strengthen and advise them. Those in whom
innocency and truth had place, he encouraged
to persist in the way of the Lord, having a
godly care upon him for the tender and sim-
ple-hearted ; and thus he loved the flock of the
Lord's pasture, and was well beloved among
them. His parts were quick, and his appre-
hension lively ; his memory good, and his
judgment sound and strong ; his example
shining in self-denial ; yet he was of a gener-
ous and free spirit ; an early plant in the
Lord's vineyard, which grew and prospered
to the praise and glory of God's grace, who
made him acceptable in and through his be-
loved Son, Christ Jesus, the true light, and by
the effectual operation of his power, whereby
he was made serviceable to many, and a good
savour to them that walk in the way of the
Lord, and also to many that were rich, high,
and great in the world. And I am well as-
sured the Lord hath crowned the labours of
this faithful witness, whose days in good old
age ended in peace ; and he hath his crown
that fadeth not away, an inheritance everlast-



LIFE OF GILBERT LATEY.



169



ing among the righteous in glory, in the king-
dom of our blessed Lord. He was continued
in the enjoyment of his sense and reason to
the last moment of his life, and died in the
Lord, and rests from his labours, whose works
follow him, and his memorial is blessed among
the righteous in the Lord's heritage, he having
been a worthy soldier and follower of the
Lamb, and kept his habitation in Christ Jesus.
I pray God, that both I, and all that remain,
may in life and conversation, as he hath done,
bear a faithful testimony for the blessed truth,
and in the same be preserved, to walk in the
footsteps of the Christian flock to the end of
our days, having the loins of our minds girded
up, and our eye single to the Lord, and to the
recompense he hath in store for the righteous,
which will remain and stand us in stead, when
we shall be called out of this fading perishing

^^^ вЦ† RiciiAED Hawkins.



A Testimony concerning my dear and zvell be-
loved husband, Gilbert Latey.

I can truly say he was a man given up to
serve God and his people, never sparing him-
self to do what good he could for all, but es-
pecially for the imprisoned, who were under
suffering for their testimony to the Lord, and
a good conscience. Those who were thus ex-
ercised were always near to him, and having
both an open hand and heart to them, it was
his delight to do good to all ; but in a more
especial manner to the household of faith.
He was a man desirous of love and unity
among the Lord's people, being for healing
of bi'eaches, and informing the judgments
and misunderstandings of some, and strength-
ening and advising others that were weak
and fainting in their minds ; by which means
he was often instrumental for peace, and
putting an end to differences. He loved peace,
and yet flinched not, but was given up in
perilous times of suffering ; a constant tes-
timony-bearer to the way of the Lord and to
his power, which was felt to attend his peo-
ple in their meetings; even when they were
kept without doors a considerable time in the
wet and cold, where he often stood with the
Lord's servants, " being made a gazing stock
both by reproaches and afflictions, &c." In
all which I never did persuade or dared desire
him either to go to this meeting, or not to go
to that, but always left him to his freedom to
go where the Lord did order him, in which I
had and still have great peace, and I am well
satisfied he hath a good reward. He was to
me a faithful loving husband, and a dear and
tender father to his children, often admonish-
ing, advising, and instructing them to low-

VoL. I. - N0. 5.



liness, humility, and the fear of the Lord.
He was a good example to them, being often
concerned in the fear of the Lord to excite
them to love God, his truth and people ; by
which they would feel the power of the Most
High to preserve them out of evil, as he
could truly say it had done for him, and pre-
served him to a good old age. Toward his
latter time he delighted to be retired out of
business ; and being pretty much out of the
city, and not having that frequent opportunity
of delivering his mind to his children, and his
concern for their welfare in the truth continu-
ing, while he had strength he would write to
them. Having thus persevered, he would
often say both to me and others, that he had
done the work of his day faithfully, and was
sat down in the will of God, and felt His peace
to abound in him. He often mentioned that
he waited the Lord's call and time of being
removed, and that there was no cloud in his
way, for the Lord was good to him. The
night before he departed, he gave good counsel
to them that were in the room, to fear the Lord,
and not do evil for evil, but to do good for evil,
for that there was no overcoming of evil but
in and by that which was good, for in so doing,
coals of fire would be heaped on their heads ;
exhorting very much to love and tenderness,
for the Lord would bless such as were found
therein. He was much opened in exhorta-
tion and counsel at this time, and uttered his
words with great vigour, as if he ailed little
and were in a meeting. Next day he kept his
chamber, being weak of body, but preserved
in the enjoyment of his reason to the last
moment ; and a very few hours before his
departure, spoke to some that were about him,
" That there was no condemnation to them
that were in Christ Jesus; for, said he. He is
the lifter up of my head. He is my strength
and great salvation ;" with more to the like
effect. I might add much, but must come to
a conclusion ; and therefore shall satisfy my-
self to say, that I believe no woman hath
parted with a better husband, nor children
with a more tender father, or sincerer man :
it is the Lord's will to remove him, and in
that I endeavour and desire to be content.

Mary Latey.



A BRIEF NARRATIVE, &c.

Gilbert Latey was born of honest pa-
rents, in the county of Cornwall, in the parish
called St. Issey, in the month called February,
in the year 1626. He was the j^oungest child
of his father, who was a yeoman, and dealt in
cattle, and kept malting, and a house of en-
tertainment both for travellers and others.
22



170



LIFE OF GILBERT LATEY.



His mother was of the best family then in the
parish ; her maiden name was Hocking, a
gentlewoman whose brother married Attorney-
General Noy's sister. Gilbert having three
brothers who were abroad and did very well,
was desirous to go to some trade ; and being
a very likely lad, a person, by trade a tailor,
had a desire to have him for his apprentice;
and his father and master having agreed on
the terms, he was bound accordingly, and faith-
fully served his apprenticeship, notwithstand-
ing he had a very wicked and severe master.
Being desirous to improve himself in his
business, he went to Plymouth, a sea-port
town in the west of England, where he was
employed by one of the chief of that trade,
who was a great professor, and afterwards
mayor of the place. He would gladly have
had him continue longer with him, and pro-
mised him, for his encouragement, the best
wages that were given to any man in the
town ; but in those days he had a fear towards,
and a desire after the Lord, and saw the empti-
ness of his master's profession. He not being
of a good life and conversation, Gilbert was
uneasy and resolved to go to London ; and ac-
cordingly, about the month called November,
in the year 1648, went there. He was of a
sober life and conversation, and having breath-
ings in his heart after the Lord, followed those
who were of the best repute, and esteemed to
be the most zealous pastors and preachers in
that time, often hearing four sermons in a day,
and being frequent in private prayer. The
Lord beholding the integrity of his heart,
prospered him in such a manner, that he grew
into great reputation in the world ; having
much business in his trade, and being employed
and respected by persons of the first rank in
the kingdom. But, through all these outward
enjoyments, his desires were still to find peace
with the Lord ; and in this seeking condition
he went to hear those who seemed the most
refined, and from one of them to the other,
seeking the living among the dead, yet among
them all he could not find his soul's beloved ;
they proving to him only as the watchmen of
the night. While thus breathing, and seeking
after the truth, it was made known to him
about the year 1654, that some men who were
come out of the north, were to have a meeting
at the house of Sarah Matthews, a widow, who
lived in Whitecross-street. He repaired thither,
and having heard the truth declared by that
eminent minister of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Edward Burrough, was so reached by the
power of the Lord, that he was convinced ;
and being directed to the light of Christ in
himself, and not consulting with flesh and
blood, he gave up to the leadings of the Holy
Spirit, greatly rejoicing that he had found his



soul's beloved, and resolving, thi'ough the



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 37 of 105)