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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us ; who, while they are honestly striving to
find the new and living way, are very various
in their opinions, but all appear glad of an in-
terview with us, and open their minds with
great freedom. Some have separated them-
selves from all outward ceremonies and modes
of worship and walk alone. Our being with
them brings them into acquaintance with each
other, and we do not yet find ourselves easy
to go av/ay. Towards evening we proposed
another meeting to be at six o'clock ; the no-
tice was short, but about one hundred and
twenty came. Our minds were engaged to
enlarge upon most of our fundamental doc-
trines, which they received with great still-
ness and attention ; some staying a little afler
the meeting, professed their full unity with
the doctrines, and I believe received the word
with gladness, as it corresponded with what
they had secretly felt for years. They took
a solemn leave of us in tears, recommending

us to the heavenly Shepherd, and requested
our prayers when we were separated from
each other. One young woman of noble
countenance was much broken, and seemed
to part with great reluctance. Dear David
Sands and myself, on comparing our sense
and feelings at different times, were united in
belief, that we never were among people to
whom the love of God more richly flowed,
than to many in this place, nor any that were
made more near to us in the love and life
of Christ. Our whole company (the travel-
lers) were frequently much broken among
them, and led to marvel at the goodness of
our heavenly Father, who had thus unexpect-
edly been with us in this distant and strange
place ; and more especially so, as we were
sensible that the priests and worldly-wise pro-
fessors were much alarmed, and there was
every reason to suppose they would interrupt
and probably persecute us. Yet we were
strengthened to hold our meetings and dis-
tribute our books openly ; and though clouds
seemed to gather about us at times, the Lord
was graciously pleased to dispel them all, and
great freedom we had in our labours among
them, to our encouragement and holy confi-
dence in Him that puts forth and goes before.
Though many in this great city are very dis-
solute, and have proceeded to great lengths in
pride and vanity, the Lord hath many sheep
and lambs, whom if they keep steadfast, he
will doubtless bring home to his fold of rest in
his own way and time, and to him we com-
mend them at present. Our friend Lewis See-
bohm being so devoted to the cause we are en-
gaged in, and clear in our testimonies, is able
to unite with us in our services, and to deliver
what we offer to the people, with so much
energy and quickness, that nothing seems to
be lost by his interpretation ; and though we
cannot but feel for him in long meetings, his
frame not being strong, yet it is cause of thank-
fulness that he is enabled to go through it with
great cheerfulness.

" 20th. Several came to take leave of us,
and a tender parting it was. Our kind land-
lord and all his family, children, servants, &c.
embraced us, and with many tears manifested
the place we had in their minds : they have
been very kind and attentive to us all the time
of our stay, have forwarded our meetings with
cheerfulness, preparing seats, showing up the
people, &c., so that we believe there was a
Divine hand in sending us to this house.

" Lefl Berlin at ten o'clock, after visitino-
the mayor, and leaving with him a note and
a copy of Barclay's Apology for the kin or,
whom we had a desire to visit ; but he being
only a short time in the city, we could not
obtain an interview, and were easy to go on




for Brandenburg. We were obliged, in con-
sequence of the road being very sandy, to put
up nine miles short of this place, at a poor
inn, where we found several Jews, who look-
ed like pitiable objects, dressed little better
than the American Indians, and little, if any
more polished in their manners. We were
informed that great numbers of the poor Po-
landers were driven through this place, like
cattle, having very little clothing, and some
clad with skins of beasts ,• their living onlj^
the coarsest rye bread and water ; and in this
condition they were taking them to the army.
O the miseries of war !

" Seventh-day, 22nd. Reached Magdeburg
before night ; the inn-keeper and servants re-
ceived us again with gladness. The reason
of our return to this city, was to show our-
selves to the school master, who had endeav-
oured to do us much harm in Berlin, by his
letter to Herman; and generally to defend our
principles if he had spread anything to our
prejudice. We therefore desired he might be
informed that we were returned, and ready to
answer for ourselves to him or any who were
willing to meet us with the Bible in their
hands; we also desired our being here again
might be spread among our religious brethren.
Two religious men came to see us, whom we
had not seen when here before ; one of them
was full of the necessity of the supper, but
yet in a loving frame of mind; and though he
endeavoured to defend his doctrine, he found
himself more deficient than he had contem-
plated; — the other appeared to be a solid man
and in good measure united with Friends in

"First-day, 23d. One of the men who was
with us yesterday, came with one of his friends,
and attended our little meeting; and something
being said to them by way of ministry, they
received it kindly. In the afternoon, one of
those men who had been deceived by the ma-
gician, came to see us, and was glad in being
released from the impositions of that person.
It appears that the poor Magdeburgers have
often been deceived by persons professing to
have the philosopher's stone. A meeting of a
company of serious persons, different from
those we had been with when here before, was
to be at four o'clock this afternoon; and though
they invited us, we felt some objection to going
among them in the time of their singing; they
therefore concluded that we should come near
five, when their service might be over. We
accordingly went, and found about fifty men
and women ; one of them asked if we would
be easy until he read two letters from some
religious people who lived near the Rhine, at
the seat of war ; they were very affecting ac-
counts of the sufferings of the people by the

French, particularly at their taking possession
of a city where one of the persons lived.
Being gathered into silence, the meeting open-
ed by prayer; after which considerable was
said in the ministry. The people were gexie-
rally quiet and several much tendered, though
it was evident by the conduct of some of their
principal men when we went in, that their
minds had been somewhat prejudiced, and
that they were not pleased with our keeping
on our hats ; yet through renewed mercy
Truth prevailed, and we parted in a tender
affectionate manner with their prayers and
good wishes for us.

" 24th. Left Magdeburg, and not finding a
convenient house for our accommodation in
the town where we stopped, were compelled
to proceed to Halberstadt, where we put up at
a poor inn. Our landlord's son, a sensible
agreeable young man, soon became acquaint-
ed with us, being bred up for a minister. He
said he was sorry that he was destined for
that station, and would rather do anything for
a living than to take orders, because he did
not think he was called to it.

" 25th. Two religious men came to see us,
who belonged to a little company that held
conferences on religious subjects with a view
to each others edification. We proposed see-
ing them together this evening, which they
gladly assented to; one of them, whose name
was Kein, took me to his house and was very

" Halberstadt is a very ancient town, and
the houses are built in a singular manner. It
appears to have but little trade, and few of
the inhabitants are rich ; it contains about two
thousand houses, has seven Roman Catholic
cloisters for Nuns and Friars, and the places
of worship are very ancient ; one is said to be
eight hundred years old. We went to Kein's
house, and found but about ten persons gath-
ered ; the service in general was close and
searching, and not so much openness felt as
at some other places; yet some were tender;
on the whole we were relieved by the oppor-
tunity, and believe it will be blessed to some
of them. We afterwards heard there was a
deist present, who appeared touched with the
doctrines, said he had never heard such be-
fore, and hoped he should improve by them.
Kein, and the young man educated for a
priest, coming to our inn, some suitable re-
marks were made to them, to which they as-
sented. The young man thought it an un-
happiness that he had not been brought up to
some other means of getting a living ; said
there was a great falling away from the pri-
mitive church; that the priests were very mer-
cenary, and that he could not bear the thought
of their exacting money from the poorest class



of the people, when they took the sacrament,
so called, which was the practice of most of
them. We gave him Barclay's Apology in
Latin, and are in hopes that our observations
will not be lost upon him.

" 26th. The young priest and a lad came
to take leave of us, and at parting embraced
us affectionately; the family also all manifest-
ed their love for us on parting. We passed
through a fine country, thickly set with vil-
lages and lara;e towns, amona; which was
Wolfenbuttle. The people tell some extraor-
dinary stories respecting what occurred to
Luther, while he was writing some of his
works there. We arrived before dark at
Brunswick, being forty miles. Doctor Nei-
mire and Simon Lobenstine came and spent
an hour with us, and mentioning to them our
thought of having a meeting before we left
the town, they cheerfully undertook to open
the way for it.

" 27th. Finding that although the Doctor
had offered his house for the meeting, yet
from some cause had again declined it ; but
another person, a serious man, opening his
house cheerfully, we went there and found
a small room full of men and women, being
such as met at times privately for the im-
provement of each other. Our gracious Help-
er being near, it was an open satisfactory
meeting; they did not seem restless in the time
of silence, but were solid and attentive to
what was offered. Several were very tender,
and after being with them nearly three hours,
they seemed loath to part, and embraced us

" 28th. Our kind friend who had given up
his house for our meeting, came by sun-rise
with his wife to bid us farewell, remarking
they had wept together last night after we left
them, in considering how we had left all for
Christ's sake and were travelling at our own
expense, and they knew not how to adminis-
ter to us, though they felt willing according
to their little ability. This morning, however,
they thought they could not be easy without
bringing us some sausage of the woman's
own making, to the value of about half a dol-
lar, as a token of their good will; it was made
in such manner as to be eaten without warm-
ing, and was very agreeable to take in our
wagon. There was something so simple
hearted and full of love in these dear people,
that their little present was enhanced to us an
hundred fold, and we parted with them in
near unity and in the love of Christ, wishing
one another's welfare here and for ever. The
family at the inn parted with us again in
much affection, and passing through many
villages and a fine country, we dined at Hild-
esheim ; then thi'ough a rich country with

Vol. I.— No. 10.

many crosses on the road side, arrived at
Oelsen, a considerable town, but dirty and
irregular. Here we were taken to a large
inn, where there were nearly thirty guests
before us, mostly of a low class of people,
who had their music, card playing, &c., the
landlord an unpolished man, and the fare very
mean. David Sands being very poorly, we
procured a pretty good bed for him ; the rest
of us were but meanly accommodated.

" 29th. Got off early, and rode to Mila,
where, as there was a good inn, and David be-
ing unwell, we breakfasted. Finding we were
not likely to get to Pyrmont to night if we kept
the common post road, and our postillion not
being allowed to go out of it, we were so anx-
ious to be with our friends, that we discharged
him, though we had paid the whole sum for the
station he was to take us to. We then agreed
with our landlord for a certain sum to take us
over the mountains before night to Pyrmont.
Passed on a rough I'oad, over very high moun-
tains; the atmosphere being perfectly serene,
and descending from them we crossed the
Weser in sight of Hameln in a boat, a beau-
tiful sti'eam about one hundred yards wide.
Here we found a mean looking town, and
poor, dirty people — got very coarse fare, and
hastened on and arrived at Pyrmont, to the
joy of ourselves and our friends, before dark.
Here we found George Dilhvyn, who had
continued all the time of our absence, having
met with divei's matters among the little flock
which engaged his care and labour.

"First-day, 30th. At two meetings, which
were satisfactory. Before we arrived here,
a letter had been brought from major Mar-
connay of Berlin, expressing in a grateful
and thankful manner, the goodness of the
great Shepherd in sending us to Berlin ; that
he hoped he should never forsake the Truth
as it had now been discovered to him. He
had undertaken to open our way for an inter-
view with the king several days before we left
Berlin, being acquainted with the Prime Min-
ister. We waited as long as we thought ne-
cessary and then left the city, he having
received no answer from the Minister. The
next day after, he was informed by him that
the way was open and the king ready to
see us. Finding we were gone, the great
men expressed regret and despatched a cou-
rier after us to Potsdam; but we had left that
city also. Thus by their needless delay? their
curiosity and our concern for an audience
with the king, had been frustrated. On the
way back, we frequently looked at it as the
only thing we had left which caused us re-
gret; however, as there are many serious peo-
ple in many places in Prussia, we cannot
doubt but other instruments will, in the Lord's



time, be sent among them, who may have the
same concern laid upon them, and which he
may open a more effectual door to discharge.
We cannot charge ourselves with wilful omis-
sion, and therefore hope it will not be laid as
matter of accusation against us. The journey
into that country, and the Divine mercy so
evidently extended to them and us, must re-
main as cause of reverent admiration and
thankfulness as long as we live. In the tour
to and from Berlin, we travelled about six
hundred miles, and were out thirty-one days.

" 31st. We have received several letters
from Philadelphia, which were very accepta-
ble, though there was also some cause for ex-
ercise ; yet I must endeavour after resignation
in all things, which has been my prayer this
day. This world and the fashion of it passeth
away. O, may we secure an inheritance
through our Lord Jesus Christ in an ever
abiding mansion in the world to come. Da-
vid Sands and I walked to Conrad Galla's,
spent some time with the kind family and
Charlotte Laaer who had come to this place,
and was glad to see us. She was in a loving
frame of mind, and we hope the breach between
her and her friends will be healed ; she appears
to be an innocent sincere young woman, but
through the influence of Brown has imbibed
some opinions not congenial with the harmo-
ny and unity of ibis little body of professors.

"Eleventh month 1st. Spent much of the
day alone, my mind discouraged and much
exercised from a fear lest we had hastened
from Prussia too soon. In the evening my
friends perceiving my depression, endeavour-
ed to cheer me up, but I retired to my cham-
ber and obtained but little relief for body or

" Fourth-day the 2nd. The meeting was
large, nearly all the Friends residing here
were present, and some from Hanover, two
of whom were a father and son, who had a
strong desire to spend some time with us, and
came forty miles on foot : the son is a youth
of a sweet innocent countenance, and was
much broken in the meeting on first-d-ay and
to-day ; thus the Lord is at work to bring
sons from far, and daughters from the ends of
the earth. The meeting was a solid good
season ; both my beloved brethren were en-
gaged therein, but my mind was not in a state
to enjoy it as at other times. I took an op-
portunity when my dear friends George Dill-
wyn and David Sands were alone with me,
to mention what I thought was the principal
cause of my depression ; not waiting at Ber-
lin for an opportunity with the king lay heavy
upon my mind, and I thought I could do no
less than stand resigned to go back again,
if it was the Lord's requiring. They were

led into sympathy with me, and in a little
time George Dillvvyn said, what I had men-
tioned had taken so much hold upon his mind,
that he apprehended it was his duty to stand
resigned to the further openings of Truth
with respect to going to Berlin, if it should
be called for at our hands — and the concern
now resting on the minds of my friends, I
felt more at liberty.

" First-day, (Jth. The meetings in the fore
and afternoon were thought to be seasons of

" 7th. The Monthly Meeting held near six
hours : we were all engaged in labour for the
preservation of this little flock in love and
unity, and leading them into such order and
discipline as was suited to their circumstances.
Several new members who had made applica-
tion, were received into membership ; and on
the whole, it was thought to be a solid well
conducted meeting.

" Fourth-day, 9th. We had a tender in-
structive parting from this dear little flock,
who are made very near to us.

"Fifth-day we rose early, a number of the
Friends coming to see us ; after a season of
contrition we again took leave of them in
many tears, leaving George Dillwyn still at
Pyrmont, with a hope to meet at Hanover, if
the Lord will. Christopher Reckefus waiting
upon us with his four horses to take us for a
few days, we put on and arrived at Rinteln ;
the roads being very rough our wagon was al-
most broken down, and we had but poor ac-
commodation at the inn. Rinteln is in the
Landgrave of Hesse's dominions, where seve-
ral have been imprisoned for their religious
principles, and others banished. There ap-
pears much of the spirit of intolerance and
great darkness among them ; yet there are a
few awakened people, for whom we feel sym-
pathy. It contains, perhaps, five thousand
inhabitants ; is a poor dirty place, and gar-
risoned by many soldiers. Had a small meet-
ing at a house, the owner of which when near
his end, directed it should always be kept open
for religious meetings — there were but about
eight people met, yet through mercy it was
made a time of refi'eshment and comfort ;
most of them were acquainted with our prin-
ciples, but being afraid of the priests, had de-
clined meeting together since the decease of
the former owner of the house. We encour-
aged them to a revival and left them in much

" General Worms hearing we were from
America, offered us a visit ; he spoke some
English, and said he had seen David Sands
when on Long Island — inquired affectionately
after several Friends there — appeared glad to
see us, and wished us a safe return to our



families. All the officers and soldiers who
have been in America treat us with respect.

" 12th. After paying an exorbitant bill for
very poor accommodations, we passed through
a fine country to Minden, where the inns being
much crowded on account of fair time, it was
difficult to get lodging; however, we at length
met with a tolerable inn, but were obliged to
eat at the Table D'Hote, which is not pleas-
ant, though the people behaved respectfully.

"First-day, 13th. Had a meeting this after-
noon about a mile out of town, where about
sixteen beside ourselves attended: it was ra-
ther a laborious time, but ended well. Some
years past, there were upwards of sixty who
used to meet on first-day, being mostly sepa-
rated from the public forms ; but Emmanuel
Brown and others have been the means of
scattering them, so that at present there ap-
pears to be but five or six families, who meet
once a week at this house, and hold their
meetings mostly in silence, acknowledge all
our doctrines, and we hope are honestly seek-
ing a right foundation.

" 14th. Yesterday we thought of .leaving
this place ; but feeling a stop in our minds, we
now became more acquainted with the state of
the little company professing with us, and
were enabled to account for the feelings we
had in the meeting. Three of the principal
members being at variance among themselves,
we requested to see them all in our room,
when with tenderness and caution we labour-
ed with them to search out the cause ; and
they being brought into a tender frame of
mind, opened things to us and to each other
with great freedom; the humbling power of
Divine Grace attending, they freely foi'gave
each other, and desired that every thing which
had caused uneasiness might now be buried ;
and we had the satisfaction of seeing them
embrace one another with much cordiality
and brotherly affection. After their reconci-
liation, we had a comfortable religious oppor-
tunity with them.

" iSth. We went to Frederick Smith's ;
breakfasted, and took leave of the family and
others who had come in, with much brotherly
love. Our dear Albinus was much broken at
parting, having travelled about four weeks,
and upwards of thi'ee hundred miles with us,
was very near to us in the love of Truth, and
it was a trial on both sides; he said he hoped
he was now, through mercy, favoured to know
the Truth, and had faith to believe it would
set him ft'ee. We proceeded on to Henford,
and in our way stopped to feed our horses
at an inn, where a number of the fami-
ly were sitting down to a meal of potatoes,
some salt and rye bread, which looked as
coarse as if it had been made of bran ;

yet they all had the appearance of health.
Thus vast numbers of the people of this coun-
try live ; their houses are very dirty, and pigs,
goats, cows, geese, &c. mingle together with
the family. A young lad being ill with the
cholera morbus, David Sands administered to
him, and the family appearing very thankful,
would have made him some pecuniary com-
pensation. Our friend Christopher Reckefus
still continued with us as our postillion ; and
the country being every where crowded with
Prussian soldiers, feed for horses was very
dear, so that we paid a Spanish dollar for a
bushel of oats.

" Fourth-day, 16th. We were much dis-
couraged, and doubted the propriety of stay-
ing to appoint a meeting; but as we waited in
patience, it appeared best that some inquiry
should be made after religious people ; and
meeting with some encouragement, we agreed
to stay, and appoint a meeting for this even-
ing, at the house of Bude, a town

officer, where our dear friend John Pemberton
had had a meeting ; a few religious seeking
people came to see us. This town, like many
others in this country, is dirty, the streets nar-
row and paved with pebble stones ; the houses
with the gable-ends towards the street, have
generally a mean appearance, the people
poor, and few of respectable mien, except
the officers of the army. It was crowded
with soldiers, billeted on the inhabitants,
which is the case with all the adjacent towns
and villages, there being thirty thousand sol-
diers quartered in the neighbourhood. This
place seems to be in a dead state as to reli-
gion. The meeting was small ; ability was
given us to hold up our principles, and the
spirituality of true religion, and it ended to

" 17th. We sat off for Kiepshagen, the
place of abode of our friend Christopher Reck-
efus ; the roads so bad that we travelled only
four and a half miles in two hours. A meet-
ing being appointed to be held at his house
this afternoon, about fifteen persons met us.
Christopher and his brother have thirty acres
of land, for which they pay about forty dol-
lars a year to a nobleman ; they value their
property in the whole at six hundred dollars ;
but the various demands upon them of a pub-
lic nature, for some of which they suffer dis-

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 86 of 105)