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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cern since landing to appear in testimony
among Friends here. Towards the close of
the meeting I mentioned my prospect of a
meeting with the inhabitants of Liverpool in
the evening, which was agreed to. The meet-
ing-house was nearly filled, and the people
behaved in a decent orderly manner ; and it
ended to our comfort ; praised be the Lord.

" Having appointed a meeting to be held the
30th, for young unmarried Friends above ten
years of age, it proved, through renewed con-
descension, a time of watering. At the close,
I proposed another meeting with the people of
other professions, at six in the evening, which
was larger than the first, and thought by
Friends to be a. time of favour : at the con-
clusion many of the people came to us, ac-
knowledging their thankfulness for the oppor-
timity. Samuel Emlen appointed another meet-
ing of the like kind, to be held on first-day
evening, which coincided with a prospect I
previously had.

" Seventh month 3d. The meeting in the
evening was very large ; it was said there
were two hundred in the yard, and we had
renewed occasion to say. Good is the Lord
and worthy to be served ; for he crowned us
with his presence, and made us joyful in the
house of prayer. It was to me an affecting
parting with the people for the present, my
mind now feeling easy to leave them.

" 7th. At Birmingham ; and feeling my
mind engaged to have a meeting with the peo-
ple of this place, I proposed it to Friends, who
readily made way for it, to be at six in the even-
ing. Notwithstanding the notice was short, it
was crowded ; several ministers of different
denominations were present, and there was an
open door to receive what was delivered.

" First-day, the 10th. In London. Went to
the meetings at Devonshire-house. They were
large, both in the fore and afternoon. I was
silent. A meeting being appointed by another
Friend to be held in the evening at Westmin-
ster, I went to it. It was large and thought
to be favoured : many of the people acknow-
ledged their thankfulness.

"11th. Attended an examination of the
boys' and girls' charity school at Clerkenwell,
a well-regulated school and boarding-house :
the children were all dressed alike.

" 1 4th. At Tottenham week-day meeting,
and silent as usual with me. At the close,
feeling my mind engaged to have a meeting
with the inhabitants at large, I proposed it,
and Nicholas Wain, Thomas Scattergood and

other Friends uniting with it, one was accord-
ingly appointed, to be at six in the evening.
Not many Friends came to it, being afraid of
taking the room of others; it was pretty large,
and through renewed mercy a solid time, my
mind feeling peaceful.

"First-day, 17th. Was at Devonshire morn-
ing meeting ; George Dillwyn and some others
had good service. I was silent, but appointed
a public meeting at six in the evening, in the
house where the men's Yearly Meeting is held;
which was very large and an open satisfactory
time, for which myself and friends were thank-
ful to the Author of every good.

" 19th. At Devonshire-house meeting, but
could not be easy, though trying to nature,
without appointing another meeting for other
professors, at six o'clock this evening, which
appeared to end well.

" 21st. Went with David Sands and Ben-
jamin Johnson to the American Ambassador
for a passport to the continent, which he
readily granted ; from thence we went to the
Duke of Portland's office, who is the Secre-
tary of State, and obtained a permit from

" 24th. At an appointed meeting in the
evening at Westminster, exceedingly crowd-
ed, yet thought to be a favoured season ;
thanks be to the God of all grace.

"25th. Went with several Friends on board
a vessel intended for Bremen, and agreed to
take passage in her.

"27th. Was at Greenwich Hospital, where
were above two thousand pensioners, old men
clothed in blue from head to foot, being an-
cient and disabled sailors ; they looked well
and were lodged comfortably, in places built
like large state rooms in a ship.

"First-day, 31st. Was at a large and good
public meeting at Clerkenwell, and in the
evening had a meeting at Horseley-down, over
the market-house, in a room supposed to hold
eighteen hundred people ; all could not get in
by some hundreds; and though very crowded
and warm, it was a quiet good time. There
being but one small stairway up to the room,
sufficient only to admit one person at a time,
it was more than half an hour before it was
empty ; and in the throng two or three wo-
men fainted.

"Fifth-day, the 4th of eighth month. After
a solid parting with my friends, Joseph Sa-
vory and family of London, George Dillwyn
and myself went to Joseph Smith's, where the
Friends intending for Germany were, viz.
David Sands, William Farrer and Benjamin
Johnson, and a number of our kind brethren
and sisters, who were desirous to take leave
of us. "^Ve had a time of comfortable retire-
ment, under a feeling of the strengthening



influence of the love of Christ ; after which,
accompanied by Joseph Savory and wife, Da-
vid Bacon, George Stacey and wife, and Jo-
seph Smith and wife, we rode to Blaclcwall,
and went on board the ship Victoria, Johann
Borgis, master, for Bremen. Took an affec-
tionate leave of our friends and immediately
weighed anchor.

" 5th. With a fair wind we sailed by a
pleasant country, interspersed with handsome
villages and farms; a large number of vessels
were in sight all day, and we passed by many
of the large ships of war at the Nore, one of
which, called the Ville de Paris, of one hun-
dred and twenty guns, was like an enormous
castle. At dusk our pilot left us.

" 6th. A smart breeze and fair, with short
seas ; and the passengers nearly all sick : our
captain and seamen behave respectfully ; the
accommodations are none of the best ; yet we
feel contented and easy, believing all is right.

" 7th. The latter part of this day we were
in sight of land, being the coast of Oldenburg.
At night slacked sail- and stood off until day-
light, then entered the river Weser, and the
tide being rapid, we lay seven hours at anchor,
during which we went on shore in Oldenburg,
which is governed by the Prince Etienne,
whose secretary was kind and courteous, in-
viting us to some refreshment. As he could
speak French, he commenced his conversation
in that language, but finding I could speak
German, he seemed pleased, and was commu-
nicative. We took a friendly leave of him,
and walking towards the ship, were sent for
by the secretary's mother, a woman of good
countenance, with whom we walked in the
garden, and found her to be a pious person,
towards whom we felt much love. Parting in
much tenderness, we returned to the ship with
her good wishes.

" 9th. Sailed along between the countries
of Hanover and Oldenburg to Bruck, twenty-
four English miles from Bremen, and dropped
anchor ; hei'e the vessels unload and send their
cargoes to Bremen. Bruck is a small village,
and not very pleasant : we lodged on board,
and had a solid religious opportunity in the
evening with the sailors.

" 10th. In the morning, having hired a
lighter to take us and our baggage to Fraisack,
half-way to Bremen, we went on board, taking
with us five poor passengers, without expense
to them. The tide leaving us, we went ashore
at a village, where poverty, the effect of arbi-
trary power, appeared in a striking point of
view to Americans — the people, with their
horses and cows living under the same roof,
and all very meanly ; the land poor, and the
people very laborious, especially the women.
Arrived at Negesak in the evening, and went

on shore to a large and good inn, where, after
undergoing what we must expect to meet with
in this journey, the gaze and observations of
many, who doubtless look upon us as a strange,
outlandish people, we had a good supper and
retired to rest; but pi'eviously had some agree-
able and religious conversation with our placid-
looking landlady, and gave her some books.

" 11th. After breakfast took passage in a
lighter for Bremen, about twelve miles up the
river, against the current, for which we paid
fourteen shillings sterling. Reached Bremen'
in four hours, and took quarters at a public
house at Walfish, outside the gates, where we
were received kindly and furnished with toler-
able lodgings, &c. A man coming in, told us
there were in the town some who were called
Quakers, and who met at each other's houses
for religious purposes.

12th. George Dillwyn, William Farrer and
myself, visited Mooj^er & Topkin, merchants
in the town, to whom we were recommended.
Topkin having been some time in London,
spoke English, and gave us information re-
specting the money, mode of travelling, &c.,
in Germany. We then went to Cassell &
Trobis, and found that Cassell had just return-
ed from Pyrmont : he speaks some English,
and lives in high style. An agreeable young
man who was employed in their counting-
house, and understood the English language
pretty well, walked with us round the town,
shov/ed us the public buildings and wine-cel-
lar, which contained a vast quantity of wine,
chiefly Rhenish, the trade in which is carried
on for the public benefit. In this cellar there
are many large tuns, containing from forty to
one hundred hogsheads each, with the date of
the vintage on them — some upwards of one
hundred years old ; this they pride themselves
in, and they can only be tapped by consent of
the magistrates. We returned to our lodgings
with heaviness of heart, observing no openness
for religious service ; we however gave books
to several persons. George Dillwyn, William
Farrer and myself took a walk and went into
two houses, where we were kindly received,
had some conversation and gave them a few
books, for which they thanked us. In the
evening, hearing of a religious woman who
kept a school and was a kind of separatist,
Benjamin Johnson and William Farrer went
to see her. She received them gladly, and
said there were about twenty or thirty of them
who met together to edify each other, being
all people seeking God. This revived our
drooping minds, that have been much exer-
cised, feeling something towards the people,
but not knowing which way to proceed to ob-
tain relief: hoping the Lord was working for
us, we rejoiced and retired to rest.



" 13th. Had an opportunit}^ of conversation
with the religious woman, who said she found
by the book our friends had given her yester-
day, that they were not quite the same in
opinion with us, for we went beyond them.
After sitting awhile with her, she sent a lad to
show us the house of Albert Hoyer, one of
their number, with whom we had much reli-
gious freedom, to our mutual satisfaction. We
parted with him and an ancient woman, who
appeared to be united with him in sentiment,
and with us in the general ; she making some
remarks, which showed her to be one earnest
for the right way. We then went to the house
of an ancient man who, with his wife, a wo-
man of a comely, meek appearance, received
us pleasantly, and spent a little time, opening
to each other our minds on religious subjects.
He said the people called them Quakers, and
sometimes pointed at them as they walked the
streets, but that ought not to move them, for
he knew there was nothing better to be ex-
pected from people while they continued under
the dominion of the world's spirit, as they did
not understand the things of God. We took
leave of them in tenderness. There is no doubt
these are an enlightened people, desirous of an
establishment on the right foundation; but they
have many outward discouragements to hinder
them, as I apprehend is the case throughout
Germany. They appear to have little or no
dependence on outward forms or ceremonies,
and confess freely, that none can be the chil-
dren of God, but those who are led by his
spirit ; and that it is not putting away the filth
of the flesh by any outward washings, but the
answer of a good conscience towards God,
through the regenerating power of his spirit,
that is the saving baptism : but they still com-
ply with the ceremony of water baptism with
respect to their children; and they also attend
the public worship. That which principally
distinguishes their little company from others,
is the circumspection of their lives and man-
ners, and their frequent meetings together to
strengthen and build one another up. I re-
turned to my lodgings comforted with the in-

" First-day, 14th. Friends sat down toge-
ther in our chamber, and through Divine mer-
cy were favoured with an uniting, strengthen-
ing season, which afresh animated our spirits
to pursue as ability may be given, our weighty
engagements in this land. The afternoon
proved distressing to us, on account of the
people making it a time of merriment ; drink-
ing, singing, playing at bowls, &c., which ap-
pears to be the general practice. They attend
their places of worship twice before two o'clock,
that the afternoon may be devoted to lightness
and foolish pastimes. I said in my heart,

what will become of the careless shepherds
of this people ; who do not seem addicted to
gross wickedness as in some other places, yet
are reconciled by custom to this abuse of the
first-day : and we are told the pastors do not
discourage it or tell them of its impropriety.
Our landlady and her children kept the house
as quiet as they could, on our account.

" 15th. George Dillwyn and myself visited
Albert Hoyer, two others of the same religious
people being present ; we spent an hour or
more with them to good satisfaction ; they did
not appear puffed up, but desirous of improve-
ment, and were open and loving. We gave
them some books, and recommended their
close attention to the further manifestation of
the true Light, which they had acknowledged
for their guide and teacher ; and to bear their
testimony faithfully : thus would the Lord
prosper them, and make them in his holy
hand, as eyes to the blind, and as a city set
upon a hill : all which they took kindly, and
hoped they should treasure up our observa-
tions and improve by them. Then embracing
us tenderly, they expressed their desires that
the Lord might preserve us and bless his work
in our hands. We left them, comforted in a
belief we had not been sent to Bremen for

" After dinner, Christian Bacher came to see
us, having just heard there were Friends come
to Bremen. He appeared to be a man of good
understanding, acquainted with the Divine
Light, and separated from the public worship,
with its forms and ordinances. He said there
were a number in Bremen that we have not
seen, who would be glad of our company, and
who are seeking the truth. Being acquainted
with many parts of Germany, he told us of
i-eligious people in Berlin and other places,
who, though weak in many of their opinions,
are honest-hearted. Some call them Mystics,
and other names ; and they appear to have
taken many of their opinions of the inward
life from Jacob Behmen, Lady Guion, and
other writers of like kind. This man is ac-
quainted with Friends at Pyrmont, and ac-
knowledges himself to be one with us ; but we
thought he was too talkative, and one of those
who think there is no need of uniting as a visi-
ble church, or establishing an order of disci-
pline, which appears to be the opinion of many
of the pious people in this country ; and this
makes them shy of Friends at first, as they
know us to be a gathered people : this contin-
ually adds to the weight of exercise which
Friends must experience in visiting Germany.
We gave him Barclay's Apology and several
other books, to lend or give to inquiring peo-
ple, which he seemed pleased with an o[)por-
tunity of doing. He gave us some directions



for finding a serious people in Hamburg and

" 16th. Set off in an uncomfortable extra
post- wagon for Hamburg, and dined at Otten-
burg, eighteen English miles, travelling about
three or three and a half miles an hour — and
there seems no inducing a German driver to
exceed that gait : the roads are very crooked,
the country level and clear, so that objects are
seen at a great distance. We proceeded to
Tastoss, and were completely jolted and fa-
tigued in their awkward, clumsy wagons.

" 17th. Rose early : the post-horses being
kept at an inn, they were in haste to have us
off before it grew very warm. We were all
loaded again in the same kind of wagon, which
is the best that can be procured for travellers in
this country, except they purchase one and
take post-horses from town to town. Indeed,
the best carriages we have seen hei'e are heavy
and inconvenient. Travelled over a very poor
countr)^ as yesterday, one-third of which is a
heath, where they keep boys and girls to tend
cattle and the miserable sheep we see every-
where, as we pass along. Some of the land
is sown with rye, barley, oats, buckwheat and
some wheat. Hundreds of the poor peasants
were employed in mowing and hauling in ;
the women bearing an equal share of the bur-
den with the men. The grain was poor, com-
pared with England or America. The villages
generally have a miserable appearance, being
composed of clay huts, without chimneys.
They use turf for fuel, and the people are very
laborious, living hard ; coarse, black rye bread,
milk, and some vegetables being their prin-
cipal diet. Their horses, cows, &c., live under
the same thatched roof with the family. There
are but few good houses between Bremen and
Harburg, sixty-six miles ; where we dined.
We are still in the Hanoverian dominions : the
people are shamefully fleeced both by the go-
vernment and the priests, beyond anything I
have ever heard of At our inn they were civil
and cleanly; a good house and tolerable beds.

" 18th. George Dillwyn and myself went
in a boat for Hamburg, about six miles across
the Elbe. There were about forty passengers,
several of whom were from the interior of Ger-
many, and intending for America. After pass-
ing by many small islands, we arrived in about
two hours, and landed in this great and popu-
lous city, entire strangers ; but knowing the lan-
guage, we soon found the London and Ameri-
can coflee-house ; breakfasted there, and then
waited on Roosen, a merchant, to whom we
had letters of introduction from London. He
appeared to be a high man, his countenance
bespeaking little kindness to us : however, he
sent his barber to conduct us in a search for
lodgings, but finding none we liked, we took

coach and went to Altona, having a letter to
Vandei'smissen & Sons, men of extensive
trade, who received us with much kindness,
and appear to be religious men. In Altona
we were also unsuccessful in finding suitable
lodgings for our whole company. Returned
to Hamburg and took three rooms at one dol-
lar and a half per day. Coming again into
this busy city, our minds were brought under
exercise, and abundant discouragement pre-
sented ; seeing few or none who appeared re-

" Having heard of a person in Altona called
a Quaker, I went with two of our company,
and after a great deal of walking in the heat,
found him : he was an old man, named Helt-
man, who had separated many years past from
the common forms, and met with some others
at times in Altona and Hamburg, of like reli-
gious opinions, and was a preacher among
them. With him and his wife we had an
hour's religious conversation. After I had
opened our principles a little to him, and told
him my motive for leaving my own country,
he embraced me, acknowledging he was one
with me in faith. He recommended us to two
sugar-refiners in Hamburg. Having walked
several miles in the dust and heat, we returned
to our lodgings fatigued, yet satisfied with our
visit. — ' Through many tribulations we must
enter the kingdom of God.'

" 20th. George Dillwyn and I went to see
the two men we heard of yesterday. Upon
entering into conversation, one of them showed
some surprise at our coming so far from home
on a religious account, and thought there was
enough for every child of God to do at home,
and that the Lord could make way for the in-
struction of the people in all places. Finding
him a well-inclined man, we endeavoured to
convince him of the possibility of a Divine
call to travel with the Gospel message now, as
well as in the apostles' days, which he did not
dispute ; but said, that some had travelled un-
der an apprehension they were called, who
had hurt themselves and did no good to others.
At length he appeared satisfied with our mo-
tives, and believed we were right in making
such a sacrifice. We spent two hours in con-
versation on religious subjects, in which he
appeared to be an enlightened man, but too
full of his own opinions, as having no need,
or not feeling any, of anything but what he
already knew. We gave them some books,
and they were kind and loving at parting, and
expressed a hope that we would not take it
amiss that they seemed backward at first
about our call.

" First-day, 21st. Four men came to see
us : one of them gave me a book he had writ-
ten, as an exposition of some of the predictions



of the prophets and of our Saviour, &c. This
man appeared too full of himself and of talk;
he had suffered imprisonment at Nuremburg,
on account of his not attending the public
worship and conforming to the ordinances.
On being brought before the magistrates and
priests, he was enabled to give such reasons
for his faith and practice, as silenced them,
and procured his discharge. The rest of
these men were more solid and humble, so
that we marvelled to find the clearness of
sight they were favoured with, and the readi-
ness with which they brought forth Scrip-
ture to confirm their and our sentiments :
on the whole, the interview was satisfac-
tory. Stillness and more of the child's state is
much wanting, but the sincerity of heart which
they appear to possess will, no doubt, draw
down the Divine blessing. After giving them
some books, we walked to Altona, and dined
with Henry and Jacob Vandersmissen. They
are Menonists, but having been nine months in
England, and boarded with Friends, they
retain a love for the Society. They sat in
silence, both before and after eating, in a
reverent posture. We had some instructive
religious conversation with them, and left
them in much love. J. F. Reichart came to
take us to his house, where we had appointed
to meet some of the separatists. Twelve per-
sons, besides ourselves, met ; we advised them
to get into silence, which, after some time,
they did. A comfortable feeling attending, I
ventured to preach Christ as the light of the
world and the life of men, the bread from
heaven, &c. and was more favoured with ex-
pression in the German, than I could have
expected. David Sands then requested me to
interpret for him, which I undertook in fear,
but hope nothing suffered. George Dillwyn
also desiring my assistance, I gave it as well
as I could, though I feel myself not compe-
tent to such a work, and less qualified to in-
terpret for others, than to speak my own feel-
ings. Our communications were received
and acknowledged as the truth, and Christ
Jesus as the only foundation. If these people
could see more clearly the necessity of si-
lence, and love to abide in it, they would be
made a shining light ; some of them, we
had no doubt, were drawing nearer and near-
er to the ' quiet habitation.' They embraced
and parted with us in great tenderness. The
space between Hamburg and Altona having
some shady walks, swarmed with people,
who, according to the inconsistent custom of
the country, were diverting themselves in a
variety of ways, with music, singing, dancing,
gaming and drinking ; we passed through
them without molestation.

" Second-day, 22nd. Two of the men who
Vol. I.— No. 10.

were at meeting yesterday, came to see us,
and in a tender frame of mind said, they felt
that God was with us, and had sent us thither;
were convinced of the necessity of inward si-
lent waiting upon God, who alone can open
and none can shut, and who shuts and none
can open ; and hoped our coming would not
be in vain to them : they were very loving,
and at parting expressed much desire for our
preservation, and their own improvement in
the true and living way. One of them, J.
Abenau, appears to be the most solid and
enlightened man that we have found among
them ; though both these men and some
others, we thought were not far from 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 82 of 105)