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William Evans.

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proceeded to Oadby, Drayton and Northamp-
ton ; was at their Quarterly Meeting, where
were Joseph Worcester and Thomas Ball,
from Buckinghamshire. Proceeded to Ack-
ley, and lodg^ at Thomas Buck's ; going af-
terwards to Buckingham, with Joseph Wor-
cester. Thence to Oxford, where I met with



George Boone, was at their meetings on first-
day, and the Quarterly Meeting on second-
day ; from hence with Thomas Hull and Ro-
bert Eells, I went to Thame, and on the 1st of
first month, 1771, was at the Quarterly Meet-
ing at Aylesbury; and that evening to High
Wycombe, very much wearied. I lodged at
Joseph Stevens', who had five daughtets and
two sons, all grown up; they were very
friendly, and such a family as we seldom see :
they and their parents live together. On fifth-
day was at Amersham, and returned to an
evening meeting at Wycombe. Thence with
Joseph Worcester to Uxbridge, to my kind
friend John Hull's ; and here my kind friend
Rebecca Stevens came. I attended their
meetings on first-day, and on the fourth, was
accompanied by Thomas Hull and his wife to
Staines, and remained several days with the
widow Finch, whose husband died suddenly a
few weeks ago.

On the 14th of first month came to London,
and lodged at Joseph Roe's. I staid in and
about London eight weeks, and was diligent
in attending meetings during that time; and
was at Tottenham, Plaistow and Bromley;
visited many famifies, and by endeavouring to
discharge my duty faithfully, peace was my
reward, and many hearts rejoiced at times
with mine in this my visit. My kind friends
Joseph Jloe and his wife accompanied me to
Colchester, finding liberty to pay my children
a visit ; my son Richard being settled at Nor-
wich, and my youngest an apprentice at Yar-
mouth, and in my way attended meetings at
Chelmsford, Colchester, and the Quarterly
Meeting at Ipswich ; thence to Needham,
from which place my beloved friend Martha
Alexander, accompanied me to Norwich and
Yarmouth. I was at the Quarterly Meeting
at Norwich, and my slay in this city was
longer than I intended, my children having
need of my assistance on account of the ill-
ness of my grand-daughter. I had also deep
travail, and very hard labour in many meet-
ings in this city, and many times at Yar-
mouth ; and although things are much out of
order in most places, yet we had many satis-
factory meetings, some of them silent. I
staid over the Yearly Meeting in Norwich,
which lasted three days, and then left for
Bury and Godmanchester ; and on the 24tb
to Northampton, at their Quarterly and Yearly
Meetings ; thence to Drayton and Oadby, and
on the 29th at Wigston, where my husband
met me, and we got safe home the 1st of se-
venth month.

In 1772 she was from home, of which we
have no other account but this letter written
at East Markham to her husband :



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" East Markham, Sixth month 18tb, 1772.

^^ Thou wilt admire at my long stay in and
about this city — it hath caused deep searching
of heart, and has been a time of humiliation
to me. The Lord alone knows for what
cause ; yet I am thankful that ho hath been
pleased to give me an evidence that I have
done according to his will, and therefore I en-
joy his peace, which I value more than all
cmtward enjoyments. Nevertheless, I am of-
ten thoughtful about thee and my dear chil-
dren, and when I feel strength, am engaged
to pray for thee as well as for myself, that pa-
tience may be granted. I hope thou art at
times engaged for me, who am as a wander-
ing pilgrim ; yet as it is according to the will
of God, I desire that we may submit. Though
oar love for each other doth, and I trust ever
will remain, we must yet know a being sepa-
rated outwardly. This seems to be a weaning
time, a time that I hope I may never forget ;
for although the Lord has been pleased to
prove me many times, as with bitter waters,
in order to keep me humble, yet blessed be
his holy name, he hath also caused the spring
of life to arise, and in the flowings thereof, 1
have had to praise his name in the congrega-
tions of his people.

" It seems as if my face will soon be set
homeward, but I pray for patience, that the
latter end of my journey may not lay waste
the forepart. Having hitherto been preserved
in the way of my duty, may it be so to the
end, and that we may meet with joy, is the
prayer of my soul."

On the 18th of third month, 1773, I leA
home with the approbation and true unity of
my friends, with an intention to visit several
counties to the Land's-end, in Cornwall. My
dear husband went with me to our Quarterly
Meeting at Leicester, where we parted. I
proceeded to Coventry, thencd to Birmingham,
and attended their Quarterly Meeting. Here
I staid a week ; satisfied that I was in the
way of my duty so far, having had some
deep travail, but by faithful obedience sweet
peace. On the 29th, Samuel Baker went with
me to Dudley, where was a large meeting, the
people of the town coming in, and indeed, it
was a good opportunity. From thence I was
accompanied by James Payton to Stourbridge.
Was afterwards at seven other towns, having
meetings in each, and although deep travail is
generally my lot, yet being mercifully favoured
with Divine help to discharge my duty, my
soul enjoys much peace. At Sadbnry I at-
tended both their meetings on first-day ; then
proceeded to Bristol, where I staid several
weeks. Attended the Monthly Meeting at

Vol. IV.— No. 2.



Bath, where I met Sarah Morris and her com-
panion from America, of whose company I
was glad, and many comfortable opportunities
we had together in Bristol, both in meetings
and families. On the 13th of fiflh month I
accompanied them to King's Weston, where
was a large and satisfactory meeting, and
here we parted in much nearness of spirit.
On the 16th was at Clareham meeting, and
in the evening at Sidcot; thence to the Month-
ly Meeting at Bridgewater, and lodged at Jo-
seph Ball's; was afterwards at meetings at
Taunton and Bridgewater. We had several
satisfactory meetings in the foregoing journey;
though there is cause for painful labour, which
I have deeply felt; but was helped to dis-
charge my duty, and am brought near to such
as faithfully labour with me. Was next at
Minehead, Spisom and Uffcolme; and was ac-
companied by our worthy friend Ann Byrd,
to Wellington, whom having now for a com-
panion, we went to Collumpton on the 26th, *
and had a meeting the same day ; then pro-
ceeded to Exeter, where, although there are
many who have neither the form nor the pos-
session of the Truth, our good Lord caused
his power to be manifested amongst us.

Proceeding on our journey to Kingsbridge,
stopped and dined at Newton Bushel, at which
town live two or three of our name, but we
only saw one poor womflfn who met us in the
street and accompanied us to our inn, where
we had a satisfactory opportunity. We lodged
at John Morris's at Kingsbridge, and had a
meeting there ; afler which he went with us
to Plymouth. We crossed the passage at
Salt Ash, intending for Germains, where we
arrived on the 3d and had a meeting, and
were at Liskeard at their meeting on first-
day; thence we went by Castle Penryn to
Falmouth, where we staid and visited several
families, as we had done at some other places,
and found here and there a few who lived in
the Truth : but, oh I how few; as they are, for
the most part, so leavened with the spirit of
this world, that painful indeed was our labour
amongst them. But our great Master, who
sent us thus to visit his own and led us into
deep suffering with his seed, gave us a clear
sight of the state of thQ chureh. Some that
had ears, did hear what the Spirit said. And
as we were favoured with strength to dis-
charge our duty, our souls were filled with
sweet peace, which is the only reward we la-
bour for.

From Bradford she wrote to her husband :
'• Bradford, Sixth month 7th, 1773.

'^ I think I can salute thee in that love that
wisheth thy health and salvation, and I may
6



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MEMOIRS OF RUTH FOLLOWS.



inform thee of my welfare, with that of my
Dear and dear companion. We have got so
far in safety, and do not know but Friends
have true unity with us, and having true
peace in ourselves, we endeavour to be con<
tent. Though deep travail and very close ex-
ercise is our lot, yet we have at times had to
rejoice in the God of our salvation, feeling his
mighty power to be over all. We met with
our valuable friends William and Esther Tuke,
at Chesterfield; they intended being at Lough-
borough ; I should be glad to hear of thy see-
ing them. If ever I moved rightly in the work
I am engaged in, or h^d an undoubted evi-
dence of it, we have had it hitherto, in this
great and solemn undertaking. Having to
believe that poor M. W. moved right, and
that we are joined in such a bond as will not
easily be broken ; and as we are thus made
true helpmeets, I would not that any man in
his own wisdom should put us asunder. Yet
a close exercise having befallen us, many
tears have been shed by us on this occasion ;
but I hope it may not hinder our service, for
we still feel engaged to proceed, and have
been favoured again with the presence of the
living God, who alone can sweeten our bitter
cups; and I have also had encouragement
from such Friends as I think are able to judge
for us. I remember my former buffeting, and
He who knew, em^d now knows, the integrity
of my heart, was, is, and I hope will be, my
Helper and thy Helper. May thy spirit feel
and travail with ours, that so when we rejoice
thou mayest rejoice also."

From Falmouth we went to Penzance and
lodged at William Prideaux's, where we staid
till the 28th; thence came to Redruth and
lodfled at William Phillip's, whose wife and I
had formerly been acquainted, and before
we parted we were favoured with a renewal
of that love that changeth not ; and, oh ! did
we but keep near enough unto it what useful
vessels should we be.

On the 30th came to Edward Fox's at
Wade's bridge; had a meeting next day at
Port Isaac; were at Liskeard on first-day,
and had a very large and satisfactory meet-
ing. In the evening were at Looe, and at the
Quarterly Meeting, which lasted two days —
some things were very trying, but the Truth
was over all, and we were well satisfied with
being there. Thence to Plymouth to their
Quarterly Meeting, which ended on sixth-day:
a very satisfactory time. We were comforted
in the parting meeting, and in much love and
nearness of spirit took leave of the few who
are alive in the Truth; then proceeding to
Kingsbridge, attended their meetings on first-
day, which were very dull and painful; but



we found a little liberty by visiting some
Friends, and Were helped to do our duty and
came away with peace. We were at Exeter
on the 12th, and staid their fiAh-day meet-
ing, which was a very comfortable opportu-
nity to such as are truly waiting for the
consolation of Israel. Thence we came to
Uficolme, and were at their meeting on first-
day. On second-day accompanied by seve-
ral Friends, we went a very long journey
to Whitsby, near Torrington, and lodged at
Thomas Millard's ; the next day were at Litt-
land, and had a meeting in the house of a
Friend, whose family was large but very dis-
agreeable ; and although I was an entire stran-
ger, yet He who reveals his secrets to his
children, gave me a sense of these unhappy
people, and by his help we testified against all
uncleanness; and I desired Friends not .to
hold their meetings in that place, for it was
not reputable. There were a few present who
did not profess with us, which I was glad of,
that they might bear witness to the truth of
what was declared in that meeting. We went
back to Thomas Millard's, and had a meeting
in his family, he having nine children ; we had
also the company of Nathaniel Williams and
Ann Dymond of Exeter, with others ; and I
believe the Truth was declared, and we had a
sweet reward for our labour and long travel,
it being the hardest journey I have had since
leaving home.

We returned to Uficolme, and on the 25th
were at the meeting at Spison; thence to Wel-
lington and Milverton, lodging at Thomas
Pole's, and were at their meetmg — but, oh!
what a cloudy time it was : several Friends,
however, dined at our lodgings, when we had
a satisfactory and comfortable season, and re-
turned in great peace to Spison, being at their
meeting on fifth-day. Thence to llminster,
and were at their meeting to satisfaction.
Then to Chard, a large meeting, but very few
Friends in the place. Next to Cloakham to the
widow Canaway's, where we dined, and had
a very good and satisfactory season with three
widows, one of whom was above eighty years
of age, but alive in the Truth. Thence to
Bridport, and had a satisfactory meeting on
third-day evening, though I was very unwell.
On sixth-day had a satisfactory meeting at
Poole ; thence by Ashmore and Shaflsbury to
Sherborne, and had a laborious time ; indeed,
we had painful labour in most places, because
of the prevalence of a worldly spirit. Next
to Compton, to our worthy .friend Jonah
Thompson's; thence to Yeovil and Puddimore,
where in an evening meeting we were much
comforted, being owned of our heavenly Fa-
ther, whose glory shone forth amongst us, and
his power was over all the worldly spirits.



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On fifth-day we had a meeting at Long
Sutton ; thence to Sumnierton and Street ; at
the latter place, attended the faneral of Mary
the wife of James Cloather, where was our
worthy aged friend Jonah Thompson. Here
I parted with my near and dear friend and
companion, Ann Byrd, and went to Glaston-
bury ; I lodged at William Metford's, and had
a satisfactory meeting at that town on seventh-
day ; thence with John Thomas to his house.
On first-day were at their meetings at Sidcot,
where we were again refreshed together,
though amongst a poor company. I then
went to Yatton and lodged at Lydia Hare-
wood's, a very kind Friend. We paid an
agreeable visit to John Hipsley's, and had a
profitable opportunity. On the 1 8th I had a
meeting at Clareham. I was now in great
distress, not having heard of my dear husband
for many weeks, so that 1 sunk exceedingly
low and had great conflict of soul ; yet as my
heavenly Father knew that my heart was sin-
cere, he, in his wonted goodness and tender
mercy arose for my help, and enabled me to
rejoice with the few who truly feared him.
From the meeting I went to dine with several
Friends at the widow Wilmett's, a young wo-
man left with seven children ; then returned
to Tatton, and on the 19th had a meeting at
Hollowtree ; thence to Pensford, and was ac-
companied by Robert Peters to his house in
Bristol.

In this city I remained several weeks, and
duly attended meetings ; there being three on
first-day, and three on other days of the week ;
and I think I only appeared twice in testimo-
ny, and three or four times in supplication ;
yet haying done all that was required, my
soul had peace. But the deep travail I passed
through no' tongue can express. Oh ! the
deep baptisms and many bitter cups that are
handed to the living children— and doubtless,
they are good for them. If we do not suffer
with Christ, we shall never reign with him.
And as he, who indeed was and is the Son of
Grod, was made a gazing-stock and called by
some Beelzebub, why should any of his ser-
vants be unwilling to bear reproach, or to sit
like fools in silence? O, how do I beg to be

f reserved from ever moving in my own will ;
had rather bear the name of a dumb pro-
pheU I am sensible that these stripping sea-
sons have been very teaching to me; and
when we look like fools to those who are
foolish indeed, we learn true wisdom ; for in
true silence we have the best teaching, even
the Lord himself is our instructor. O that
we, as a people, beloved of God, were but
truly obedient to his law ; then we should be
far from being weary of true silence, but
should rejoice to be favoured with it; for



when our minds are thus gathered to God,
in pure stillness and nothingness of self, the
tempter hath no place; he hates quietude,
and I am glad that I have been helped to
starve that restless spirit, and been made an
example of silence. I was engaged to sit si-
lent eleven or twelve meetings one after an-
other, in and near Bristol, and can look back
with satisfaction.

I left Bristol on the 18th of ninth month,
and came with many Friends to Gloucester,
where was held the circular meeting — a very
large gathering of Friends and great numbers
of other people, who behaved very soberly.
The meetings were well conducted and greatly
favoured ; and many were made thankful to
Him who is the Author of all good ; for his
great name was glorified, who is alone wor-
thy. Amen.

I now proceeded to Colebrook-dale, and
lodged at the house of Richard Reynolds ; his
wife being my former acquaintance, I felt
drawn to pay her a visit, and we were glad of
each other's company. I was engaged to stay
longer than I intended, and having been so
long from home, it was indeed very trying —
but my dear friend Rebecca Reynolds, was
as a nursing mother unto me, and I was glad
that I gave up to stay their Monthly Meeting,
which was held at New Dale, 28th of ninth
month ; and though few are willing to attend
such meetings, yet those who are were encou- ,
raged, the power of God was manifested, and
the living, faithful children were comforted.
I parted in true love with my friend, and
came with John Young to Birmingham; thence
to Coventry where I was very kindly received,
but it was a cloudy suffering time at both
meetings. I was very unwell and exceedingly
low, but got safe to Leicester the 4th of tenth
month, where, contrary to my own inclination,
I felt engaged to stay over their Monthly Meet-
ing ; but, oh I such dullness and indifference
appeared that I cannot express the feelings of
my distressed mind, so that I went home in
much fear, where I arrived safely on the 6th
of tenth month, and found my husband and
son well, for which I was thankful.

I have been much at home from the twelfth
month, 1773, to the fourth month, 1774. My
husband and I were at the Quarterly and gene-
ral meetings at Nottingham ; also at Breach,
and at Ruddington the 1st of fifth month ;
was at our IMbnthly Meeting, and visited
one who had married out of the Society,
and had brought to herself shame and con-
fusion. Our visit was, I believe, very satis-
factory ; and I was well pleased that I had
attended these several meetings. I was also
at Womswold, and in the sixth month at
our Quarterly Meeting ; thence to Coventry,



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Oakham, Liocolo, Blyth, Cbesterdeld, York
and Sheffield, so to Mansfield, Nottingham, &c.
and had many satisfactory meetings. In the
seventh month I was at Loughborough, Ath-
erstone and Leamington, and at the general
meeting at Moayash. In the ninth month
at our Quarterly Meeting at Leicester, where
was Sarah Gurney from Norwich, who had a
good opportunity, and a very satisfactory meet-
ing it was.

In this year she was again from home, as
appears by the following letter :

** Leicester, Twelfth month 16th, 1774
<*Dear Husband,
" I know thou wilt be pleased to hear well
of me : — ^indeed, very closely have I been tried
of late — bitter have been my conflicts, and
heavy mine exercise — unknown to most, and
in fear that I should become a castaway. Oh!
how long have I sought for Him whom my
soul loved — yea, I sought and found him not;
until at length He who is the Messenger of
the covenant did come again into his temple.
I went to meeting, where were honest William
Dodgson and his wife, sat by them, and Oh I
how was my poor soul humbled. The hard-
ness that I had long groaned under was re-
moved — *the mountains gave way and the
hills trembled ;' Jordan also was driven back
at the presence of the mighty God, whose
power filled his temple, and I again rejoiced
in his salvation ; beholding the glory of his
house, and admiring the attendance of his
servants, and the beauty of that work which
is carried on without the noise of a tool. All
this was in pure silence. It was indeed, a so-
lemn feast to me, and I believe that Divine
good overshadowed the whole; and during our
thus sitting as in a heavenly place, came in
George Boone, who, afler a time of continued
silence, had an acceptable opportunity, and the
meeting seemed to end well.''

SECTION VI.

Her visit to the Northern CountieM and Scotlandy

in cdmpany with her friend Martha Winter.

Having for some time had a concern to
visit meetings in the northern counties and
Scotland, and having the concurrence of my
friends and a certificate for the purpose, my
dear husband accompanied me to Nottingham,
on the 2Ist of fifih month, 1775 ; on the 22nd
we parted. My dear friend Martha Winter,
who had the like concern, accompanied me
on the 23d to Breack, where we had encou-
ragement to go forward. We then had meet-
ings at Furnace, Matlock and Chesterfield; on
the 27th, our worthy friend William Coning,



with many other Friends from Sheffield met
us at Dronfield, and afier a trying meeting we
accompanied them to the former place, and
were at their meeting on first-day to our sat-
isfaction.

On the day following we had a meeting
at Woodhouse, very laborious; yet we had
the reward of peace, and being true help-
meets and fellow-labourers in the Gospel, we
were a comfort to each other. On the 30th
had a meeting at Burton near Barnsley ; and
in the evening went to High Flats, having the
company of John Swanwick from Sheffield to
this place. Were at their meeting on the Slst,
which was very large and satisfactory, al-
though we had very close work, as indeed
hath been our lot hitherto ; yet when we wit-
ness the power of God to be over all, there is
cause for thanksgiving and praise. On the
1st of sixth month had a large and satisfactory
meeting at Wakefield ; then to Gildersome, to
a large and painful meeting. Then to Leeds
and staid over their meeting on first-day, and
very painful was our labour, but by a faithful
discharge of duty we obtained peace. At Raw-
don we again had close work, but were com-
forted with God's good presence, whereby the
right minded were strengthened. On the 6th
went to Underclifie, to Jehn Hustler's, and the
next day were at meeting at Bradford to satis-
faction. On the Sth to Brighouse and after-
wards to Halifax, where we had a laborious
time : — at this meeting we had the company
of our friend Phebe Marshall.

On the 10th to Todmorden, and lodged at
Samuel Fielden's, where I was taken very ill,
yet was enabled to be at meeting and labour
hard amongst a scattered people : we were fa-
voured with the company of George Howartb,
a very aged Friend, who had an acceptable
time in supplication, which was a help to us.
From this place we went to Marsden, and
on second-day were at meeting at Trawdon,
which though small, was a time of favour.
Next day had a meeting at Marsden, where
many people were assembled, but we were both
silent ; we had, however, a comfortable oppor-
tunity with several Friends at our quarters,
and parted in true love. At Crawshaw-booth
meeting on the 14th, through deep travail and
honest labour, we obtained peace. Here we
met James Brandwood from Edgeworth, and
accompanied him to his house. On the 15th
we had a very satisfactory meeting at Edge-
worth ; the next day at Oldham, where,
amongst a poor few, our strength was greatly
renewed, and we encouraged to hold on our
way.

At this place Jonathan Flounders of Man-
chester, met us, and with him and James
Brandwood we were several nights at John



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Routh's in that town. On the ISth were at
four meetings; in the two for worship had
some degree of satisfaction} being favoured
with the help of Him who remains to be the
true helper of his people. My old companion
and fellow-labourer, Sarah Taylor, also bore
a living testimony to the Truth. And oh!
saith my soul, that all we who at times have
to make mention of the great name, may
dwell near to it and know our abiding to be
in it, that so our worldly concerns may not
have too much room in our minds, and there-
by dim that glory and bring a cloud over that
brightness, in which we at times have appeared
in the congregations of God's people. On
second-day aflernoon we went to Warrington,



Online LibraryWilliam EvansThe Friends' library: comprising journals, doctrinal treatieses, & other writings of members of the religious Society of Freinds → online text (page 10 of 104)