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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made of malt, rye, &c., called whiskey, of
which an immense quantity is distilled in Ire-
land. Another source of misery is, the nu-
merous lottery offices in the city, which make
a splendid appearance after candle-light ; in
some streets there are many whose doors are
continually surrounded by poor, half naked
people, who lay out their little all, which per-
haps they have begged, in the hope of gaining
by their chance : but the keepers of these offi-
ces have made such nice calculations upon
chances, that they are sure to gain. This is
noted as being a great source of misery to
thousands of poor, even such as swarm about
the streets begging, who are induced to venture
their small pittances, in hopes of obtaining
more, in which they are often greatly de-
ceived ; and if one in a great many should
gain something, it serves to keep up the delu-
sion. In the present state of things, it does
not appear probable but that Dublin will con-
tinue to harbour from twenty to forty thousand
miserable beings as it now does, until some
employment can be found for them, and they
by some means be brought to labour for their
own support. Indeed, in all parts of the king-
dom, this class more or less abounds.

" 12th. Being the Monthly Meeting, we
produced our certificates ; and Friends think-
ing it would be a satisfaction to the women's
meeting to hear them, William Farrer and
myself with Thomas Fayle, went in, and
through renewed mercy had a tendering time
among them. On lying down to rest, it was
clear in my mind, that now it would be right
to leave Dublin.

" 1 3th. Arrived at Rathangan in the after-
noon, and found Joshua Wilson's carriage
waiting for us at the side of the canal ; we
went to his house, about a mile from Rathan-

" 14th. Breakfasted with our friend Jane
Watson, and went to their meeting, where a
number of people attended, and it was thought
to be a solid, good meeting ; Jane said it was
a comfort to her.

" 1.5th. Set off for Mountmellick, the wea-
ther being wet and stormy ; before we got
to Portarlington, a town of some note, princi-
pally inhabited by the descendants of the
French Hugenots, who were banished out of
the kingdom, one of the felloes of a wheel of
our chaise broke ; we walked into the town

and hired a post-chaise, but before we got a
mile from thence our post-chaise broke down
in a very dirty place, Jane Watson, William
Farrer and myself in it. It rained very fast,
and being invited, we went into a miserable
cabin with little fire, where lived two wretched
families with several children, to whom we
gave some money, and they poured forth a
profusion of blessings as usual. Most of the
poor being Roman Catholics, their benedictions
are often very singular. We had to stay a
considerable time before another chaise could
be procured, and were very cold, though well
clad ; yet most of the family were without
shoes or stockings: I thought we ought not to
complain, but be thankful. When we entered
our third chaise, it still raining hard and the
waters much raised, we were in some danger;
but by going one mile round we arrived safely
in the evening, and were kindly received by
J. Pim and wife. Mary Ridgway being there
waiting for us, we were mutually glad to see
each other.

" 16th. Visited the provincial school for
the province of Leinster, consisting of about
fifty scholars, healthy and very decent ; we
had a tendering time with them and their
tutors ; and also visited the boarding school
for girls, wherein they were much broken into
tears. The town of Mountmellick is not large,
consisting of only one street about half a mile

" First-day, the 17th. Attended their meet-
ing, consisting only of Friends ; had a few
words to say at the close, which being of a
very singular kind, I was glad that Mary
Ridgway and Jane Watson could acknow-
ledge their great satisfaction and unity with
it,* my mind having been much exercised du-
ring the meeting. The afternoon meeting was
also a trying, painful time to me, though quite
silent. Friends having heard of my general
line of service among other people, marvelled
that I did not appoint a meeting of that kind

* It is cause of admiration and humbling acknow-
ledgment, that Divine influence, the only real
qualification for Gospel ministry, should thus pre-
serve and guide the messengers of the Lord's
love and mercy to the people, as that they should
in their labours be led in the same line, and give
them to feel and expose defection, however secretly
held or glossed over with very plausible pretences,
even in some of the foremost rank. Our friend
Nicholas Wain, when on a visit to this nation, in
the year 1795, without any previous information,
opened in the Province Meeting at this place, an
intimation which had impressed his mind with
great exercise and painful concern; showing, that
however disguised and hidden, there was a spirit
at work that would divide and scatter, and draw
off many that were then in high stations, into self-
sufiiciency and disbelief of the trutlis of the Gos-



for the evening; but all seemed closed, and I
could not attempt it. After tea, finding a free-
dom to propose a meeting of the scholars of
both the schools, and the children of Friends
in town, in which my two friends Mary Ridg-
way and Jane Watson united, we met with
them in the provincial school — about one hun-
dred children in all, their master, mistresses,
and thirty or forty other Friends. My mind,
which had been so exercised all day, presently
after sitting down, felt sweetly opened to them ;
they were soon broken into tears, and a more
precious opportunity I never remember with
children. They took leave of us in tears, and
I felt much refreshed and comforted, and have
reason daily to acknowledge, that it is the Lord
who opens and none can shut, and shuts and
none can open.

" 20th. Being at Limerick, I appointed a
meeting this evening ; the house was filled —
three priests of different congregations sat
with us, and it was thought to be an open,
satisfactory time.

" The new part of this town is regular and
well built ; it is on the Shannon, fifty miles
from the sea. Pork here is bought at twenty-
two shillings per one hundred and twelve
pounds, but much inferior to American; — beef
excellent, and much of both are salted and
shipped. Some of the poor in this neighbour-
hood give six guineas, and some more a year,
for an acre of potatoe ground, when manured
by the landlord. To earn this six guineas
takes a great deal of the year in labour for
their landlord, at six pence or eight pence per
day and food ; so that the state of the poor, is
indeed a very hopeless one in this country.
It takes them considerable time to cut and dry
their turf, and in some places they now pay
high for the privilege of getting it from the
bogs, and many of the poor have no way of
getting it home, but as the women carry it a
long distance on their backs.

" 22nd. Went to their week-day meeting,
where many other professors came, also two

pel. This was such a surprise to some, that they
were for passing a censure upon him ; but a few
deeply experienced minds fully united with and
encouraged him. Now, when our friend William
Savery was here, this rending, disorganizing spirit
was again impressively felt and detected ; soon
afterwards it showed itself by a false profession of
more enlightened and liberal views of the Chris-
tian character, setting little value on the Holy
Scriptures, and endeavouring to destroy the faith
in the eternal divinity of our Lord and Saviour
Jesus Christ ; treating his atonement and propitia-
tion as a fabulous scheme, invented to impose upon
the credulous, and not worthy of the enlarged ideas
of philosophic minds, which caused great distress,
and almost broke up the meetings in several parts
of the nation.

ministers of the church of England ; and
through the merciful condescension of our
heavenly Father, it appeared to be a good
meeting; after which William Farrer and my-
self went off in a post-chaise for Cork. Passed
thi'ough a fine country of rich land. It being
near the time called Christmas, the people
everywhere seemed preparing for it ; most of
the poor get some meat or poultry, and were
bringing home on their backs plenty of broom,
furze, turf, &c., to keep better fires than usual:
most of the women and children were without
stockings or shoes, and also many of the men,
at this cold season of the year, the air being
very chilling and wet. The verdure of the fields
and meadows, and their prolific appearance is
such as I have never seen in any country. The
lands in the counties of Limerick, Cork and
Tipperary, are so rich naturally, that much of
it wants but little manure. Got to Cork this
evening, the cost of the carriage, turnpike, &c.
for sixty-three English miles, was about four

" First-day, 24th. The meeting held in
silence ; but near the close I believed it right
to propose an evening meeting with other pro-
fessors. Dined in company with Mary Dud-
ley, &c. The meeting in the evening was
very crowded — David Sands, who had been
confined here with indisposition for several
weeks, attended; also Mary Dudley — the peo-
ple were quiet and attentive, and the oppor-
tunity ended in solemn prayer. Appointed
another for third-day evening.

" On the 25th, after dinner, observing a
large gate near the house with an inscription,
informing that the walls enclosed a foundhng
hospital, I felt an inclination to go over and
see the children. The masters and mistresses
soon collected the children, about two hundred
and twenty boys and girls, from five to foui'-
teen years old, tolerably clothed, though mostly
without shoes or stockings. After a little time
in silence, David Sands, Mary Dudley and my-
self, had something to offer to the company :
many of the children were attentive and some
in tears : the masters and superintendants ex-
pressed their satisfaction. The institution is
principally supported by a tax on coals, and
the children, when about the age of fourteen,
are bound out apprentices to such business as
they incline to. The city of Cork is large,
and many streets wide, handsome, and well
built ; yet a more dirty, disagreeable city to
walk in, I have scarcely seen ; it is built on
both sides of the river Lee, and may contain
one hundred thousand inhabitants.

" Third-day. The common meeting was
pretty well attended ; Mary Dudley was large
and instructive in her testimony, and it ended
in prayer. Went to the appointed meeting in



the evening, and found the house well filled :
the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ his
Son, was shown to be of more value than all
other science. Many people of the first rank
were present, some priests, &c. David Sands
had a good testimony and closed the meeting
in prayer. I believe that through mercy the
Truth was in dominion ; the people were very
quiet and attentive, said to be the most so ever
remembered in Cork at those promiscuous
meetings. I felt my mind much relieved, and
though greatly unexpected, concluded to leave
Cork in the morning.

" 27th. Took leave of several Friends who
were very affectionately attached, and I do not
remember ever having left a city with so gene-
ral an expression against my hasty depai'tui'e;
but I believe all is right. Passed through a
pretty village where Samuel Neale formerly
lived, and got to Youghall in the evening.

" 28th. Attended their week-day meeting,
which was silent; and proposed a public meet-
ing for six o'clock in the evening. The house
was nearly filled — several officers and soldiers
attended : it seemed for some time to be labo-
rious, but the people being still, and towards
the latter part tender, we separated in much

" 29th. Accompanied by several Friends,
we proceeded on our journey ; but having
taken a cold, so that I could neither stoop nor
draw my breath without pain and difficulty,
and the road being rough, I rode in great pain.
The country is more beautifully green at this
season than any I know of in America in any
season. Got to Robert and Mary Dudley's,
at Clonmel, in the evening.

" First-day, 31st. Was at their forenoon
meeting, after which I mentioned my prospect
of having an opportunity with other professors
at six o'clock in the evening : the meeting-
house, which was large, was soon filled, and
it was said that several hundreds were out of
doors. The crowded situation of the people
kept them uneasy for a little time, but after-
wards it became more quiet: the people outside
being very desirous of seeing and hearing, they
talked much; but were at length induced to be
still, and we had a solid favoured conclu-
sion, through condescending mercy, in solemn
prayer and praises. The officers and soldiers
behaved well, and my mind was filled with

"Second-day, 1st of first month, 1798.
Attended an appointed meeting in the fore-
noon, which was not so large as last evening.
It was not my judgment to have it at this time
of day, but it seemed necessary to condescend
to the sentiments of some Friends, who after-
wards believed that the evening Avould have
been better ; I however was enabled to get

through to my own satisfaction, in exposing
the pernicious doctrine of Deism ; and the op-
portunity was owned by the Divine presence
and power; and it afterwards appeared that
there were three professed Deists present.

" Friends in Ireland seem to five like princes
of the earth, more than in any country I have
seen — their gardens, horses, carriages and va-
rious conveniences, with the abundance of their
tables, appeared to me to call for much more
gratitude and humility, than in some instances,
it is to be feared, is the case. The easy situa-
tion of some has been an injury to them and
their families : many have been much shaken,
seriously tried and afl^icted; and may all work
together for their good. This town of Clon-
mel, is larger and better built than Youghall ;
it may contain twenty thousand inhabitants,
is situated on the banks of a little river called
Suir, on which they carry their produce in flat
boats to Waterford. I had some serious con-
versation with dear Mary Dudley, on divers
matters that had taken my attention in Ireland.
In the evening it being the usual time when
the scholars at the school, instituted by Sarah
Grubb, sit down in the manner of a meeting,
we had the children of Friends of the town
added to them, and it was a comfortable op-
portunity; about eighty children being present,
Mary Dudley was favoured in her testimony
and the children much affected.

"First month 3d. At a Friend's house
about three miles from town, a very sumptu-
ous establishment indeed, which I did not omit
to tell him was quite too much so. On this
place is a large run of water, called St. Pat-
rick's Well, to which the poor Roman Catho-
lics resort on St. Patrick's day, and wade in
the water till they are very cold; and at other
times of the year many come from a distance,
some sent by the priests to do penance, who
thereby suppose they wash away their sins :
it is kept almost constantly muddy by the peo-
ple so frequently going into it. Three fourths
of the people in Dublin, and southward in Ire-
land, are supposed to be Roman Catholics ;
and some say seven eighths. They are an
oppressed people, and it is thought that two
out of three do not get meat six times in the
year. They have but little milk, and indeed
scarcely anything but potatoes and salt. At
present they are very uneasy, commit many
riots, robberies and murders ; refuse to pay
tithes of the few potatoes, &c., which they
raise, and seem to be almost lawless.

" I visited a public charity school, princi-
pally attended by Ann Grubb ; and if it was
not for the care and support given by Friends,
it is supposed it must have dropped; it is held
in the old meeting-house of Friends; one hun-
dred and fifty poor ragged children, boys and



girls, are taught reading, writing, knitting and
sewing — the boys nearly all without shoes or
stockings, and also the greater part of the

" 4th. Attended the Monthly Meeting, the
fore part of which was held in silence. I went
into the women's meeting, and through re-
newed favour it was a solid, satisfactory time.
Elizabeth Pim, a minister, was acceptably en-
gaged in prayer. Appointed a public meeting
to be at six o'clock this evening, which was
large, solid and relieving to me. Mary Dudley
was drawn forth in prayer and praises at the
close, to our refreshment and comfort.

" 5th. Went to the widow Grubb's, at
Anner Mills, and after breakfast proceeded to
Carrick, a considerable town, where almost
all the inhabitants are Roman Catholics. Our
dear friends Deborah Darby and Rebecca
Young having appointed a meeting here, we
attended it; about three hundred persons were
present, and Deborah Darby had an open time,
and it closed with solemnity; though the Catho-
lics are so walled round that it is hard to pene-
trate them. After dinner, being about to sep-
arate, I felt heavy, thinking it might be a final
parting between dear Deborah Darby, Rebecca
Young and myself: retiring into silence, some
few expressions were uttered, and Deborah
Darby was preciously drawn to supplicate
the Father of mercies for preservation, espe-
cially of us who had been united in his love
by sea and by land ; most of the Friends
present were much broken into tears ; and
thus we solemnly took leave of each other.
It was also a very tender parting between us,
who were going for Waterford, and our kind
hostess, Mary Dudley and her daughter. Wil-
liam Farrer and myself went with our friend
Ann Fayle, in her carriage to a Friend's house
about nine miles from Waterford, at which
place we arrived on the 6th.

" A great trade is carried on here in pro-
visions, as pork, beef, butter, &c. Notwith-
standing the great abundance of provisions
that appear everywhere, this place, like most
others in Ireland, abounds in poor and beg-
gars ; and all the suburbs for a great distance
are made up of poor thatched cabins.

" First-day, 7th. Attended their morning
meeting, which was large for this country : at
the close I proposed a meeting for the town's
people this evening, which was very large and
crowded ; it was thought there were one thou-
sand persons present, and yet many went
away. Great stillness prevailed, and the peo-
ple were very attentive; through renewed mer-
cy it broke up in a solid, tender frame, and I
appointed another for third-day evening.

" 8th. Went to see the place intended for a
boarding school, which is a fine, healthy spot ;

from thence we visited the widow Usher, a
valuable woman of excellent understanding,
who has been received among Friends within
a year past ; since which she has lost two ex-
cellent daughters in consumption, a thii'd is
now near her end, and a fourth evidently
going the same way. She has been supported
in her affliction marvellously, and her daugh-
ters have made a precious end, as the one
now going will also soon do. She was sensi-
ble, and looked on us with a sweet counte-
nance — all felt like peace around her bed, and
I was comforted in being with the family.

" At my lodgings in the evening came
Robert Greer and Abraham Shackleton, the
latter from Ballitore, who had come forty-two
miles in order to see me. He holds opinions
of a singular nature, objects ' to the five first
books of Moses in particular, but in general
to the accounts of the Jews in the Old Testa-
ment, and various parts of the New Testament;
professes to think there is little if any need of
books of any kind on religious subjects ; that
they only darken the mind and keep it from
turning itself wholly unto God, the fountain
of all light and life. But of all books of a
religious kind, he especially dislikes Friends'
Journals, and has but a slight opinion of min-
istry and discipline, and all secondary helps
in general ; but is for having all people turn-
ed to the Divine Light in themselves alone.
Christ, he says, was a good man, the leader
of the people, because he was wholly obedient
to this light, which he was in an especial man-
ner filled with. He thinks the Evangelists are
poor historians, that Paul brought much of his
epistles from the feet of Gamaliel, and many
parts of them are therefore rabbinical stuff, —
Christianity was the same to those who were
obedient to the anointing, before the coming of
Christ in the flesh, as since, &c.' I perceived
all this was accompanied with a pretended
looking towards a greater state of perfection
and redemption, than our Society has yet ar-
rived at. For my part, I could not see as he
did, nor unite with him in his erroneous ex-
pressions and opinions, and I feel a fear they
will produce much hurt, if he and others in
this nation are not brought into deep abase-
ment ; his talents and morality making error
in his hands more dangerous. We separa-
ted without much satisfaction, at least on my

" Afler retiring to rest, I could get but little
sleep for some hours — satan is indeed full of
subtleties — who can discover them, but he
who dwelleth in and covereth himself with

* We have here a further disclosure of some of
the deleterious principles of the deceitful, subtle
spirit, which worked under the specious garb of



unapproachable light ! I thought or dreamed,
that I saw a man in a field, who appeared to
be attempting to pluck a few tares that were
growing among choice wheat, but he pulled
up more wheat than tares, and trod down
abundance more with his feet ; and I thought
he had far better let them alone until the

" First month 9th. Attended the week-day
meeting : my mind was much exercised and
heavy, but near the close was drawn forth in
prayer, and afterwards felt peaceful. Went
with Abraham Shackleton to a Friend's house,
and opened to him more of my disapprobation
than I had befoi'e. Attended the public meet-
ing in the evening, which was large ; much
solemnity and quiet prevailed, and it ended in

" 10th. Stayed much at my lodgings, wri-
ting ; and received a letter from Abraham
Shackleton, in which he appem's lovingly dis-
posed towards me, but evidently wrong, so
far as I am able to judge, in many of his
opinions — took leave of him, and had much
concern on his account, and in that state went
to bed. Fifth-day, seeing ten miserable beg-
gars sitting round a Friend's door, I sent for
ten loaves of bread, but before they were dis-
tributed thirty others appeared, and each had
the same quantity. This is the way in Ire-
land, and there is no coming to an end of the
business. Another letter came from Abraham
Shackleton who has gone for his home, and I
am not sorry for his leaving us; he has given
me much exercise.

" 11th. Dined in company with several
Friends, one of whom belonging to Enniscor-
thy, appeared much concerned at the new
opinions that had been manifested in their
quarter. My mind was exercised with much
thought, whether it might not be proper for
me to go to Ross, about ten miles off, where
a person of some note had been convinced and
come amongst Friends, thousrh I cannot but

outside morality and great professions of universal
benevolence, and carriedaway many unsuspecting
souls into the vortex of Deism, and at length into
Atheism. It is very remarkable, that a great with-
ering and falling away overtook nearly all of tliem,
and upon some of the principal promulgators of
those unrighteous doctrines, an awful blast was
evidently brought. This same insidious spirit hav-
ing since got into America, lamentable desolation
of a considerable number of meetings of Friends
in different parts ensued ; and it is to be feared
that numerous individuals, who at first had no idea
of its destructive nature, have been plunged into
complete infidelity, and entire repugnance to the
doctrines of the Gospel, and the unspeakable ben-
efits conferred upon man, through the propitiatory
sacrifice of the Lord Jesus.
Vol. I.— No. 12.

desire, as a man, to get through my engage-
ments as soon as possible in this land. Lord!
strengthen me to say, ' thy will be done,' for
in this only there is peace.

"12th. Visited Elizabeth Usher, and found
her in much Christian resignation to the will
of the Lord, though her third lovely daughter
was to be buried to-day; having lost two others

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 96 of 105)