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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mind especially turned to this place, I feel at
home for the present, and desirous of bearing
my part of the burden while we stay.

" 19th. Anthony Shonning, a sensible old
man, who was separated, brought a paper he
had drawn up, containing a large sheet closely
written, which he said he could not be easy to
omit. We made such remarks as occurred to
us, and afterwards David Sands and myself
visited him and Henry Munthang at their
home ; they were loving and evidenced a
strong desire to be reconciled upon a right
ground. We proposed a meeting at six
o'clock with all that had gone off, and Friends
together, and desired them to seek for a pre-
paration of love and charity, that they might
meet each other in a state that the Lord
would condescend to bless. Most of the men
Friends and three women met in the meeting-
room. Henry Munthang, Herman Shutamire,
Henry Land, his son, and Margaret Wint,
being the heads of the families of those who
had gone out from Friends, came also. After
a season of silence, David Sands was drawn
to prayer ; then we, the visitants, expressed
our minds to them fully ; setting forth the op-
portunity it gave the enemies of Truth to tri-
umph, seeing them at variance, and the im-
portance of their mutually laying down their
prejudices against each other, and seeking
after a spirit that would bring about a recon-
ciliation without many words. The three
principal separatists then expressed them-
selves in great brokenness and humility, and
in a spirit of forgiveness of those who they
thought had dealt hardly with them, and
caused the separation. I marvelled at the
clearness with which they expressed them-

selves. The Lord graciously condescending
to favour, in a remarkable manner, with his
blessed presence — all hearts were humbled,
the high untoward will of man was brought
down, and the spirit that loves contention,
and delights to have the superiority was cast
out, and through mercy, the meek, teachable
state of little children appeared to predomi-
nate in most present. Our minds being deep-
ly baptized with an undoubted feeling of the
Lord's goodness, we were opened with clear-
ness to set before them the nature of our holy
profession, the love of Christ, the good Shep-
herd to us all, and the necessity of dwelling
in that charity, which instead of magnify-
ing each others' weakness, and entertaining
groundless jealousies and surmises of each
other, would cast a mantle of love over them,
remembering that we also were weak and lia-
ble to be tempted. A truly contriting and
heart-tendering time it was, and most of the
company were melted into tears, under an ex-
traordinary sense of the Lord's compassion to us.
" It was then proposed, as it appeared that
in a time of weakness many things had been
said and done on both sides, that did not sa-
vour of that Divine love and charity in which
all the children of our heavenly Father ought
to dwell, that all present should now, under
the humbling visitation of God's power, without
bringing up the occasion of offence, or going
into many words, forgive one another, and cast
all that they had counted otfences, as into the
depths of the sea, never more to be brought up
again. Both sides freely, and in great tender-
ness, confessing their readiness so to do, and to
begin again under the direction of the heaven-
ly Master-builder, in an united labour for the
edification and building one another up in the
most holy faith. They rose, embraced and
saluted each other with manifest tokens of
unfeigned love and thankfulness to the great
Searcher and softener of hearts, who, in an
unexpected time and manner had revealed his
power to the uniting of brethren, who had
been seven months in a state of separation,
after having for some years walked in har-
mony and suffei'ed together for his name's
sake. — The meeting then concluded in heart-
felt praise and supplications to the Fountain
of love and mercy, who had in so remarka-
ble a manner blessed the labour and exercise
of the evening, and crowned us with gladness,
when we parted at almost eleven o'clock.
For my own part, I thought myself amply
paid for all my exercise, the long journey
and voyage, and the trying separation from
my dearest natural ties, by being made a wit-
ness to the love of God poured forth, I thought,
as in the beginning among Friends. We went
to rest, sweetly refreshed in spirit, and I did



not marvel that my mind had been so remark-
ably turned to this place before I left home.

" 20th. Made several visits to the different
classes; many told us in brokenness of spirit,
that they had never before witnessed so much
of the love of God shed abroad, as was mani-
fested last evening. It appears that these peo-
ple, in a time of weakness, have been scatter-
ed through the influence of one Brown, with
whom John Pemberton had laboured because of
his erroneous opinions.

" 21st. A large meeting, most of the Friends
and professors, with the families of those who
had not been at meeting for more than six
months, attended ; it was a solemn tendering
time, and we were favoured to relieve our
minds in loving counsel, caution and encour-
agement, to hold fast the profession of their
faith in a good conscience and love unfeigned.
It was like completing the bonds of union ; we
rejoiced together and gave thanks to the Au-
thor of every mei'cy. In a conference with
all those who were accounted members, we
were made acquainted with the business of
their Monthly Meeting, in Avhich they had
hitherto kept no minutes, but had visited and
received some as members, and in a book for
the purpose, had recorded their births and
burials, and raised a small stock for the uses
of society. We recommended several mat-
ters to their attention and care, and the ne-
cessity of promoting the school education of
their children, for which purpose our dear
friend John Pemberton had left them thirty
pounds sterling, and another Friend had given
them five pounds. Our advice was received
kindly, as they had long felt the necessity of
a regular established discipline. The meeting
concluded in much harmony. Thus we are
favoured, through Divine help, to get along
step by step to our comfort.

" Fifth-day, 22nd. Visited a family, con-
sisting of a man, his wife and four children ;
they appeared to be the lowest in the world
of any we have visited. A number of per-
sons who were near the house at their work,
both men and women, hearing our voices,
drew near, and it proved a time of distin-
guished mercy and encouragement, both to
the family and those that came in, who were
not Friends. The man is a day labourer,
about the Factory, and has to maintain his
family with about one shilling a day, Penn-
sylvania currency.

" 23d. Visited Henry Munthang and fami-
ly ; consisting of his wife, Anthony Shon-
ning, an old Friend removed from Rinteln,
and six children ; we hoped it was a uniting
time, both to visitors and visited. In the
afternoon called upon Klapp, the governor of
the town, who received us kindly.

24th. Friends sat down quietly together,
and apprehending we were nearly clear of
Pyrmont, I expressed my prospect of going
to Berlin.

" 25th. The morning meeting was the
largest we have had, though there were but
three or four who did not profess with us,
yet, with the addition of the families lately
re-united, they made a respectable appear-
ance : three Friends from near Minden, and
two from Boetter were present. It proved,
through mercy, a solid favoured meeting.
Afternoon had a meeting at Leibsen, a vil-
lage one mile and a quarter from Pyrmont,
in the same valley as the Factory ; most of
the Friends and a pretty large company of
others attended ; we were considerably exer-
cised, and it was thought to be a season of

" 26th. Sat down together to seek for best
counsel. I mentioned my prospect of Ber-
lin, which still continued with me. David
Sands expressed his unity with it, and thought
we should go together. George Dillwyn
thought he was not yet clear of Pyrmont.
The governor having sent an invitation, I
went with some of our company, and had
much conversation with him ,• he spoke well
of Friends, and I hope he is a friend to
them. The people who saw us with him
with our hats on, appeared astonished, for
the great men in Germany are approached
with much servility. In the evening being
quietly together, Lewis Seebohm thought it
his duty to offer himself as a companion to
David Sands and myself to Berlin, which
was a trial to George Dillwyn. Christopher
Reckefus, and the Friends who had been here
some days from Minden, came to see us, as
we expected soon to leave. He has passed
through many trials for his testimony, and
lately had a child taken up out of its grave,
in his garden, by the priest, after it had been
buried nearly six months. The priest had it in-_
terred in their burying-ground, and then seized
upon Christopher's propei'ty for his dues.

" A number of our friends having come to
see us, the house was so full that all could
not sit down ; a solemn covering prevailing,
Friends were made near to each other in the
love of Christ. It is a special day of renew-
ed visitation to many, both youth and others :
indeed, we are bound to them and kept here
in a singular manner. After the opportunity,
some young women had a conference with a
kw of us, as to the means of giving them
employment in spinning, weaving, &c., that
would afford them a more decent living and
less exposure in the fields. Women in this
country are obliged to labour very hard, both
in and out of doors, for about one shilling a



day, Pennsylvania currency, and about three
shillings if they find themselves. The men
get about two shilUngs and six pence per
week, and their diet and lodging, both which
in a general way are very poor, and do not
probably cost more than half a dollar.

" 27th. Sat with the company of Friends in
the capacity of a Monthly Meeting, which
held four hours, was a solid time, and I hope
our being with them was of some use.

" 28th. Attended their week-day meeting,
which was large, and through renewed mercy
a tendering parting season.

" 29th. Almost all the Friends came to
take leave of us. We sat down with them
about an hour, and it proved a favoured con-
triting season ; having been nearly united to
them, it was one of the most affectionate part-
ings I ever experienced ; many of the dear
young people held us by the hand, and would
scarcely let us go, and testified their affection
by many tears. We reached Mela about
dusk and had entertainment at a good inn ;
this is in the territory of the bishop of Hildes-
heim, mostly Roman Catholics.

" 30th. Got to Hildesheim to breakfast ;
gave to the landlady and her son (Protest-
ants) some books. Hildesheim is a consider-
able city, surrounded by ramparts, is the resi-
dence and capital of the bishop's dominions,
in which the Lutherans are tolerated and
have one place of worship : the city may
contain fifteen thousand inhabitants. Rode
to Brunswick, forty-two miles, and lodged at
an inn where we had good accommodations.
The country we passed through is thickly set
with villages, the land excellent and the roads
good, with many crosses and crucifixes on
the sides of them.

" Tenth month 1st. The Duke has built a
noble orphan-house here; the city may con-
tain thirty thousand inhabitants, and abun-
dance of trade is carried on during the fairs.
The Duke not being at home, we had a desire
to see the Dutchess. The palace is large, in
the form of a square, with one side open.
After waiting some time, we were ushered
into a large room ; — she seemed pleased to
see us, conversed freely on various subjects,
told us our people were as much attached to
her brother, the king of England, as any of
his subjects ; and if all were like us, there
would be no tr'oubles or wars in the world.
We told her our business in Germany, and she
asked if we found people of our profession
there 1 We mentioned our friends at Pyr-
mont, and that we found religious and awak-
ened people in almost every place. As we
were going to Berlin, we asked if it were
probable we could have an interview with the
king; (of Prussia,) whether he was a man easy

of access ? She said yes ; but he was oppo-
sed to them on political principles. We told
her our religious concern for the people was,
that they might come unto Christ, and find
I'est in him. Presented her with Penn's No
Cross, No Crown, in French, which she re-
ceived kindly, and wanted to know the mean-
ing of the title, as she supposed no person
could pass through life without their crosses.
We told her the saying of Christ, 'If any
man will be my disciple,' &c., and that the
cross here spoken of was not anything out-
ward, or the common disappointments of
life, neither such as were made of wood,
stone or costly metals, but an inward and
daily cross to our corrupt inclinations ; a
being crucified to sin and worldly vanities.
She said she now understood the title of the
book, and would read it with pleasure. Be-
fore we parted, I mentioned the words of
our Saviour to a beloved female, ' Mary hath
chosen the good part,' &c., that crowns and
dignities were perishing and transitory things;
but if those who wore them were concerned
to rule well and fill up their duty as good
stewards, they would receive a crown of un-
fading glory in the world to come. She
thanked me, wished us a good journey and
we parted with satisfaction of mind. After-
wards we visited some religious people, and
gave them some books : they appeared to
be measurably enlightened men. Passing
through a fine country, a city called Kings-
Lutter, several villages, &c. we arrived at

" First-day, tenth month 2nd. Walked
i-ound the town, — the people gazed much at
us; and when we asked what place of wor-
ship they were flocking to in such numbers,
they told us the Lutheran ; but supposing us
to be Catholics, said our church was outside
the gates. Some asked if we were Braban-
ters : when we told them we were not, nor
Frenchmen, nor Catholics, nor Lutherans,
but of a different religion, and came from
America, they looked surprized, and said it
was very far off. Waited on professor Beireis,
who is esteemed a very learned man. We
gave him Barclay's Apology in Latin, which
he received respectfully, said he read every
thing, and was visited by kings and princes,
whom he should now have an opportunity
of informing of our principles. He re-
marked, that he was glad to have the com-
pany of religious people, and willing to do us
any service in his power; but said there were
no separatists in Helmstead. Finding this to
be the case, we took an early dinner, lefl
some books at the inn, and went off for Mag-
deburg, thirty-six miles. Passed through a
very fine country and many villages, three-



fourths of the ground was covered with wheat
and rye stubble, the roads good, and horses
excellent. It is the greatest grain country
which any of us have ever seen, and the peo-
ple raise great numbers of sheep and geese.
Arrived after dark at the gates of Magdeburg,
where we were examined, and all our trunks
and packages searched, A little further on,
an officer stopped us, took our names and
places of residence, and sent a soldier to con-
duct us to the inn ; here again the landlord
took our names and places of abode, in a
book kept for the purpose, where the names
of all strangers that have lodged here for
several years are to be seen. The landlord
and waiters were obliging, and the accommo-
dations good. <

"Tenth month 3d. Walked round the town,
which is handsome, cleaner and better built
than most we have passed through in Germa-
ny, and is well lighted with lamps. We ex-
cited the curiosity of the people, who looked
at us as far as they could see us, yet there
was nothing like scoffing or ridicule. We
were informed of a number of religious peo-
ple, who met in companies once a week, in dif-
ferent parts of the city, to sing, tell their reli-
gious experiences, &c.; and one of the compa-
nies being to meet this evening, we inquired
whether we could be admitted to sit with
them, which they agreed to, and appointed to
meet at six o'clock. We found about twenty-
five men, but no women. We kept our hats
on, giving them our reasons, with which they
appeared satisfied, — they had a short hymn at
this time on account of our being pi'esent,
after which the tutor made a prayer. David
Sands then spoke, and was enlarged on many
subjects ; during which, many coming in, the
room was crowded and in the entry there
were many women ; in the whole there were
about sixty or seventy persons. My mind
being drawn to prayer, they all kneeled, and
it appeared to be a solemn time ; they seemed
to be filled with love toward us, and expressed
their thankfulness. We mentioned our de-
sire to have a more general collection of the
seeking people in Magdeburg, both men and
women, as we felt inuch love in our hearts to
them. They said, their situation required
such a matter to be well considered, and to
be moved in with much caution and wisdom,
on account of the jealousy of the priests
and government. Poor creatures, they are
like so many Nicodemuses, and therefore
much sympathy is due to them, when all
things are considered. On parting with them,
they embraced us with many prayers for our
preservation, and thanks to the Author of all
good, who had sent us among them. They
do not appear to have any idea of our Society,
Vol. I.— No. 10.

and perhaps have never heard of the name of
Quaker ; indeed, we seem now to be beyond
where our religious Society is known, and on
this account I feel some hesitation in handing
them books which hold up a name given us
only in derision by our enemies, and not our
acknov/ledged title. The river Elbe atfords a
communication between this city and Ham-
burg by flat bottom boats : in the river are a
number of curious grist-mills, that float upon
large boats, and are worked by the stream.

An honest hearted simple friend, who was
with us yesterday, and who had a very high
conceit of a man that had made these people
believe he possessed extraordinary powers,
came to see us, reflected on what we said in
the meeting, and appears now to be much
changed. Some of us accompanied him home,
where this wonderfijl man was, and also an-
other person who had visited us yesterday.
The magician put on an air of consequence,
and with great rapidity went over a number
of incoherent expressions without any sense,
which his two disciples seemed to catch with
great eagerness, and thought he was very
deep, because they could not understand him.
After slipping in a few expressions, which
was hard to do, Lewis Seebohm told him we
were in much doubt about his schemes, and
that if he was possessed of the power he pre-
tended to, he would not have occasion to
live at the expense of other people for several
months, as he had done. Finall}^ we told the
people that the things he had promised them,
would never be brought to pass, they were
only deceiving themselves with a golden
dream. This touched him to the quick, and
he flew out of the door of the room instantly.
Lewis called to him, but he did not return ; so
the false prophet was manifested before seve-
ral witnesses, and they convinced of the de-
lusion ; — their hopes of receiving a quantity of
gold, which he had said the angels were to
bring him, and in which they were to be
sharers, were at an end. They thought it
was worth while for us to come to Magde-
burg, if it were only to break up this delu-
sion, for he had many disciples upon whom
he lived, and had so done for a long time. I
notice the occurrence, as an instance how far
the credulity of people is carried, especially
in Germany. Those two persons were sim-
ple, well meaning, religious men, and one of
them had separated from all outward forms of
worship, for several years.

" We visited a few families to satisfaction ;
the people look upon us with very friendly
countenances in this city, and speak kind-
ly ; and there is something more courteous
and engaging in their manners, than any
other town we have been in. Our two friend-



ly visitors were with us this ^ evening, and
gave us a full opportunity of explaining our
principles and doctrines ; they heard us with
great attention, and appeared to be sensible
men, saying that the longer they were with
us, the more they loved us : we gave them
some books, and parted in much affection.

" 5th. At the best inns in Germany, the
charges are very high, but they are remark-
ably decent and quiet. We rode through a
beautiful country about three miles, when it
became more sandy and barren ; and arrived
at Brandenburg about nine o'clock at night.
The king of Prussia suflfers no smoking in
the streets of the cities or villages, under
a penalty of fifty dollars, or being sent for
some months to work at the fortifications ;
this is trying to the Germans. Here is a fine
river, about one hundred yards wide, which
runs into the Elbe and goes up to Berlin,
with a number of good mills upon it. There
are many people in this place who, though
not in strict communion with the Moravians,
seem much inclined to them. That society
have a town and large congregation in Saxo-
ny, perhaps fifteen miles off.

" 6th. Lewis Seebohm found a man of a
religious character who said there were up-
wards of forty men and women, who met at
times in his house to edify one another.
Lewis asked if we could have an oppoiiunity
with them before we left Brandenburg ; he
thought it would be acceptable, but would let
us know soon. A pious young man came to
our inn, and invited us to -the house where
they met at four o'clock, which, though some
of our company had gone out, I consented to.
At four o'clock we all went, and found seve-
ral religious people, who received us in a
very loving manner, said they were a people
seeking God, and were very willing to collect
at six o'clock in the evening, to give us an
opportunity of opening our minds to them.
They were rejoiced to find that we were come
to Germany on so important an occasion ;
said the love of God was great and unsearch-
able, that he should thus send us among them
at the risk of our lives, and enable us to leave
all for his sake ; and they shed tears of glad-
ness. At six we went, and found forty or
more gathered in an upper chamber — the
man of the house gave out a short hymn,
which they sung ; he then told them where
we came from, and our concern to visit this
land, and desired they might all retire in their
minds, and be attentive to what the Lord
might give us to say among them. After a
time of solemn silence, David Sands and my-
self were severally opened in testimony, and
the meeting ended in prayer. They were
very solid, and most of them much tendered,

seemed scarcely able to part with us, and ex-
pressed with many tears, their thankfulness
to the Father of mercies for sending us ; we
all thought it a favoured, contriting season.
Surely the Lord is preparing a people in this
land, who shall not be afraid to own him and
his testimonies, in his own time. We left
them a number of books.

" 7th. Just as we were setting off for Pots-
dam, a good looking woman came up, and
said in an affectionate manner, we must not
go until we had seen her father, who being
out of town last evening had not seen us, but
was not easy to let us go without requesting
our company. We went to see the old man,
who is about seventy years of age, he had
been the first promoter of the meetings of
these pious people, and appeared like an Is-
raelite indeed. Some religious communica-
tion being offered to him and the family, they
were much broken, and were made near to
us in the covenant of love and life. O ! the
simplicity of these dear people ! they parted
from us with regret, and said those who were
with us last evening at meeting, would not
forget us as long as they lived. The people
every where in Prussia are astonished when
we tell them we are from America, and en-
tertain us with the strange ideas they have
formed respecting the country. They sup-
pose our homes are quite on the other side of
the world — that when in our own country
our feet were toward theirs, and asked if the
sun rose and set as it does here : they lift up
their hands and are astonished that we should

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 84 of 105)