William Evans.

The Friends' library: comprising journals, doctrinal treatieses, & other writings of members of the religious Society of Freinds online

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I had the iBense of full acceptance with the
Father, in my endeavours to obey.

At Carlisle, I felt an engagement to suppli-
cate God on behalf of the people : I felt love
for them, and some of the elders and ministers
were near my best life. Indeed I had never
found more openness to plead with them, than
in the select opportunity for ministers and el-
ders, and bad great peace in so doing. In
the time of supplication, which was at the
close of the last meeting, I thought I found
near access to the Almighty; if I had not,
I durst not have called vocally upon his
ever blessed and worthy name. During the
awful and solemn season, (it was so to me,) I
supported myself on one knee, my other hav-
ing no strength in it, which hindered my con-
tinuing so long in intercession, as might have
tended to my solid comfort. But the Almighty
heard the little, who accepts the "Abba Fa-
ther." I believe my effort was accepted ; and
if I had but bent my knees and called upon
his ever worthy name, he being the author,
would in return for this humiliating dedica-
tion, have given the answer of peace. Blessed
be the name of the Lord for ever.

28th of twelfth month, 1798— Much proved.

In age assist me, dearest Lord !

In fiiith my spirit stay;
And if Fve err'd through slavish fear,

Forgive me Lord ! I pn^y.

No other fees assail me now.

Or prey upon my peace,
But false alarms and slavish fears;

Oh cause these fears to cease !

Uplifted hands and downcast eyes,

Bespeak my griefs, O Lord !
To trembling knees and broken sighs,

Thy succour now afibrd.

Desert not Lord, this feeble frame,

Thou know*st what I can bear,
And when I cry in agony,

Oh ! be not slow to hear !

My head is clad with silver hairs ;

My limbs their power resign. —
Remembering my departed strength,

Let me receive of thine.

Thv presence is unsullied joy;

It nils the heavens above.
My earnest cry is, Lord ! to feel

A portion of thy love ;

My trust in thee was early fixed ;

I felt it in my youth;
My age, as then, relies on thee,

£iTB&NAii God of Truth !

Thou hast commanded us to ask.

In order to receive ;
Admit me to thy holy rest,

When all below I leave.

The mansion thou preparest there

Will fully satis^,
Thou*st rais'd thy numble handmaid here; —

Receive me when I die.

Yet once again, oh ! let me come,

Bearing the widow^s prayer;
That I and mine, through endless life,

May of thy mercy share.

I have no other claim to make, —

Enough fer me and mine ;
Tho* smallest of the lights in heaven.

If there our lamps may shine.

Fourth month, 1800 — I have been confined
of late, through bodily indisposition, daring
the forepart of which, my sickness was ex-
treme. It appeared to me that I was making
quick advances towards the grave ; although
as I apprehended, the first Divine impression
was, that I should not die at that time. But
as I knew a recent instance of a minister of
my acquaintance, and with whom I had tra-
velled, whose dissolution was entirely hid from
her, this made me sometimes rather hesitate.

I had much bodily illness, but not much
conflict of mind. I was preserved still and
quiet, which was not my nature; it was God's
mercy : to his praise be it inscribed upon my
heart as long as I live. I was favoured with
a fixed, steady, comfortable hope, that if I
then died, it would be well with me. I seek
no more evidence, when I shall really surren-
der life ; for it seemed as if my dear Redeem-
er's arms enfolded me very safely ; so that the
wicked one, by whom I had often been dis-
tressed on a sick bed, touched me not, neither
had any power over me.

First-day, 10th of fiflh month, 1801 — ^I was
at meeting at Whitehaven, and had a precious
opening, with which I was nearly ready to
stand up ; but I am too much like the impo-
tent man at the pool, waiting for the moving
of the waters, and while I am making ready,
another steps in. It was so this day, and
though but a few words were spoken, and
they not distinctly heard by me, yet it left
unspeakable anguish and bitterness of spirit,
so that the daughter of Judah, fer the remain-
der of the day, ** was trodden as in a wine

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Ninth month, 1801. — As in roe there has
been a singular instance of God's mercy and
power ; his mercy in forgiving, and power in
upholding me, I can therefore do no less than
praise Him here and eternally. And who-
ever reads this, let them be humbled in the
dust before Him ; for truly He is glorious in
holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders.

The latter part of this year, I have had a
time of confinement, through sickness; and
have not been so favoured in this season of
weakness, with that soul-sustaining evidence
of Divine regard, as at some former times.
It may be that I had too frequent recourse to
the redundancy of favour, then mercifully
vouchsafed : not doubting, that if I was simi-
larly tried, I might be equally supported ; and
so was in danger of being like Gideon, who,
aAer his great achievement made an Ephod,
and idolizing it, the same became a snare unto

Sixth month 30th, 1802.— I was at our
week-day meeting, and was favoured with a
solemn silence, resembling that in heaven,
where angels and archangels adore in pro-
found silence. Oh ! I saw into the joys there-
of ; a place where sorrow cannot come : none
of the inhabitants have any affliction. I was
this day favoured to partake of Divine good,
in the greatest degree that perhaps I ever ex-
perienced ; the heavenly bread was handed to
my soul, in no sparing portion, with, **Take,
eat, this is my body."

Towards the latter end of last year, 1801,1
had an apprehension that I must visit some of
the southern counties, or the south-eastern.
It came, I thought, with considerable clear-
Dess. I endeavoured to keep as near to good
as possible, and rarely, when awake, was
without some sense of the Divine requirings.
The latter end of the fiflh month, 1802, seem-
ed the right time for me to move in it. I did
not stagger at my own weak state, for I was
really given up; nor at the extreme weak-
ness of my only surviving child ; so that it
appeared like Abraham's trial, in stretching
out his hand to offer his only son.

My poor grand-children, who indeed were
orphans, I wholly resigned, not daring to let
the affectionate part take hold; but gave up
my own life and theirs, and all that I had
into the hands of the Almighty ; not daring
to draw back one jot, or even to wish that the
service had not been required of me.

I dared no more dispute the voice, than
Abraham did, when he was called to go to
the land of Moriah ; my nature perhaps re-
coiled, as his might do, without the hope that
he had ; **My son, the Lord will provide him-
self an offering." Let the unbelievers step
forward and question these and other sacred

truths ; it matters not ; their unbelief will per-
ish with them, and cease to be propagated
when they are no more.

When the time arrived in which I was to
prepare for the journey, the prospect entirely
closed, and I was fully released. I bowed in
humility, and accepted my discharge, with
this caution, to eye the great Leader, and not
hastily to re-enter into my family affiiirs ; but
to be still and wait, without rejoicing at my
liberation ; since which time I have continued
to feel at liberty.

Fourth month 12th, 1803.— This morning
before I rose, I was pondering in my mind,
that divers in our Society, are rich and full,
as may be seen by their way of living and
their clothing ; and that though their garb is
plain, yet it is costly ; and various are their
suits of apparel. I then recurred to my own
low estate, not regretting that it was so ; for
it became a redeemed people to be exemplary
in eating, drinking, and apparel : in which re-
volvings, my mind was satisfied by this lan-
guage ; " I will clothe thee with salvation, and
crown thy end with peace.''

Could I ask more for myself? Surely nay !
and being favoured and broken under it, and
very near the throne of grace, I was allowed,
in humility, to petition for my daughter, that
she might have a place in the kingdom o(^ hea-
ven, and accompany my spirit in the mansion
seen meet for me to inherit, when I was un-
clothed of mortality. After this, I prayed for
my grand-children.

Twelfth month 23d, 1804.— First-day, I
was at our meeting, in which I had an open
time, much to my own satisfaction : and I hope
to that of others. Indeed, Truth rose into do-
minion, and the opposite power sunk into in-
significance. Such instances have been rare
with me. In leaving the meeting, a sense of
acceptance was given me; measurably receiv-
ing the sentence of weir done in my own par-
ticular ; with a secret hope, that if I continued
to steer my course carefully, eyeing my guide;
and in simplicity and godly sincerity dealing
out to the people as immediately given ; pur-
suing the thread of my testimony in the power,
and depending wholly upon the Lord, he would
be mouth and wisdom, tongue and utterance.
Thus Satan for a while, became bruised under

Fourth month 7th, 1806. — I have this day
experienced deep baptism of soul. I thought
it would hasten my dissolution. Oh I merciful
Lord, my times are in thy hand ; thou know-
est what I can bear ; lighten my load I pray
thee, or add to my strength, for I am tried to
the very life ; crucified with Christ, neverthe-
less I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.
Oh I grant me patience to bear these suffer-

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iog seasons; surely thou carest that I serve

In the latter end of 1805, or the beginning
of 1806, I had a sickness, in which I was
confined for some time ; and one night as I
lay in bed, between the hours of nine and ten
o'clock, being in a solid, weighty frame of
spirit, breathing towards the Fountain of all
good, I beheld with my spiritual eye, as clearly
as ever my outward eye beheld any object,
that the Ancient of Days descended; bis dread
majesty enveloped as in a cloud ; and being
emboldened through his unmerited condescen-
sion, I begged for a place in his glorious king-
dom, when unclothed of my mortal robes. I
write in awful fear. I thought it was granted,
and that I was allowed to proceed, if I had
any thing further. I then craved for my
only daughter the same favour. I thought
that too was granted.

I then lifted up my eyes and heart, and
mentally poured forth my soul, saying: '^Ohl
Lord, the wickedness of man is great ;" my
mind being expanded, and bending in good
will towards all ; and the answer I received
was: '* My mercy is greater;" and the vision
closed. But oh I the contented calm it left.

It is now nearly fifteen months since this
display of God's mercy occurred ; and till this
time, I have not recorded it, lest any should
think of me above what I am ; or that from
such a discovery of unlimited mercy, any sin-
ner should presume to go on in their wicked-
ness, in hopes that God would show them
mercy at last. But at this time, it has been
again opened ; and after passing many deep
plungings, I am stript of all glorying, save in
the cross ; having no desire but that these lines
may preach when I am no more, and encour-
age some poor sinner, to lift up his head in
hope at what I have penned.

1806. — I am now grown old, and it is an-
nounced that my declining years are not to be
exempt from trials : they truly increase. My
only daughter is afflicted with a cancer in her
breast. The pain and dreadfulness of the com-
plaint are such, that we languish without hope
of her recovery. Afflictive is this dispensation
indeed ; no solace but from a comfortable hope,
that her troubles will end with the termination
of her life.

Twelfth month 3d, 1806.— In our week-
day meeting, I was engaged to set forth the
necessity of not only receiving the seed of
the kingdom, but, with all readiness, allowing
its growth ; as the work of Truth in the heart
of man is described by our Great Master, to
be progressive ; first the blade, then the ear,
then the full corn in the ear. I had peace in
returning to my habitation, and this language
presented to me ; '« Ever since thou wast born.

my love has been to thee." This melted me;
may I be worthy of such a favour.

Third month 14th, 1807.— On taking a re-
trospect of the path assigned me through this
vale of tears, and the sketches I have drawn
thereof, I have thought it may appear to
others, that I have been more marred than
my cotemporaries, in my deep early refin-
ings ; and since, in being singularly stripped
of my beloved outward connexions ; the tree
being wholly peeled. But let none of Zion's
travellers be discouraged thereat ; for, to the
praise of my heavenly Father, and of the
riches of his grace, be it remembered, that
sufficient strength for the day has been afford-
ed, or else I never could have stood to thii
time. My eldest and last daughter is now
released from all her trials, and a gracious
God, who never fails m time of need, visited
and upheld my mind in a marvellous roaoDer.

At the time of her interment, while I sat in
the meeting beside her coffin, oh ! the unspeak-
able peace I felt, with a consoling assuranoe
that all her tears were for ever wiped away.
They had flowed like rivers, under deep reli*
gious exercise; and at that time, the con-
descension of our heavenly Father was such
to me, a poor unworthy creature, that it seem-
ed as if her pure spirit descended and rested
upon her remains, during the opportunity.
Oh ! how can I sufficiently adore I

Fifth month 4th, 1807.— Fourth-day, I was
at meeting. Some of our Friends are set off
for London. A solemn time it was to nie; for
I was much engaged in mental breathings; the
Spirit helping my infirmities inwardly to pray.
A large portion of heavenly bread was handed
to me, without much wrestling, or having it to
set before others: and although our souls' ene-
mies may be numerous, a language livingly
opened ; <' The Lord shall fight for you, and
you shall hold your peace." It applied to my-
self, as I had no commission to divulge it.
Somewhat like the earnest of the Spirit of
adoption or holy promise, accompanied my
mind, and closed with, *' Lord, thou art good
to us, we will praise thee ; we will exalt thy
name." I had strong consolation in God,
only wise. Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Om-
nipresent. Always in his sight, naked and
bare before him, oh ! who dare do evil 1

Twelfth month 13th, 1807.— My family all
gone to meeting ; and I through indisposition,
left at home; but I must acknowledge the
kindness of a gracious God to me, who has
been near in this time of confinement, allow-
ing me to pour forth my soul, yea, I have
thought sometimes, to lean on his very bosom;
and the comforting watch- word is: "Fear not,
I am first and last.*^

First month 4th, 1808.— Rich favour ex-

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tended this morniDg to me, a poor worm ; and
given in these consoling characters ; ** My
love and care, yea, protecting care, have ever
heen towards thee; and I never will leave
thee nor forsake thee : although Satan has, in
days past, been permitted to roar and shoot
his malignant arrows, he shall now be still."

I craved the renewal of the Divine vision I
had been favoured with in a former illness; but
Infinite Wisdom saw meet to withhold any
thing further of that nature ; I adore and bless
his holy name. Oh I I pray God, with my
whole heart, that it may be thus with me in
my last moments ; and I humbly trust it will,
if I keep my place to the conclusion ; for truly
he has been a merciful God to me. May the
members of this meeting, more and more seek
aAer the power, which hath so eminently in-
terposed for the deliverance of my soul I May
not one of them be lost I for truly great pains
have been taken with this part of the vine-

Second month 7th, 1808. — For many
months, my mind has been preserved in a
state of tranquillity, exclusive of the things
in the outward, that were at times afflicting.
There was no evil inclination in myself, nor
any temptation thereto; and a merciful Fa-
ther not far away from me : that I began to
doubt my condition, lest I should ascribe this
serenity, which might become habitual, to a
growth in the Truth and favour with my God,
ere I had attained it ; so that I almost wished
to feel my wonted poverty of spirit again, and
his chastening ; believing myself far from per-
fect. And now he hath seen meet to change
the benign dispensation, into one more search-
ing and trying; often withdrawing his favour;
fio that I seemed neither '* borne on the side,
nor dandled on the knee.'* I will bear it; for
oh ! I dread being at ease in Zion, or trusting
to any thing short of what is really substan-
tial, that f^s and nourishes the soul unto
everlasting life.

Fifth month 7th, 1810. — I have now arrived
at my seventy-fiflh year ; and in perusing
again what hath long since been written of
the Lord's dealings with me in my child-
ish state, I feel the renewing of ancient pow-
er, which impressed my mind when I pen-
ned them ; so that I hope they are not words
which will fall to the ground, for they are
faithful and true sayings. Reader, if when
thou perusest them, a gentle summons should
be heard ; ^' The Master is come and calleth
for thee," rise up quickly, as Mary did ; let
others suspect what they may, respecting thy
haste. These are seasons when we are to sa-
lute no one by the way.

There are many publications in the world.
Some of them have a tendency to corrupt the

morals of those that read them; such as these
have never come much in my way, nor durst
I have spent ray time in reading them. But
there are many deemed more innocent ; and
such books as have been introduced into my
family, I have thought it right to view the na*
ture of, and to consider what tendency they
might have upon minds that seemed to take
delight in them ; and I have this to propose to
the serious consideration of all, especially the
youth, or even those more advanced in our
Society, to whom such books are pleasing ; to
such I say ; ^' Read the Scriptures and other
good books," and observe the tenour of your
minds while reading ; and you will feel which
of them draws nearer to God — ^these publica-
tions I have been hinting at, or those that have
been penned by the witnesses of our Saviour's
life and death.

In the records of his life, we shall perceive
where the Master's footsteps have trodden in
deep humility. Then view his wounded side,
and the print of the nails, in viewing which,
living virtue seems to be felt. Such authors,
we must believe, have been with Jesus. It
was reading his sufferings in my early youth,
that melted me, as heretofore acknowledged,
and bound me to his pure Spirit. Oh ! that
all mankind saw it as I now do 1 how fearful
they would be of laying out that money for
unprofitable publications, which might be bet-
ter employed ; neither dare they waste their
precious time in reading them.

Eighth month 6th, 1810. — I have been sur-
prised that the older and more infirm I grow,
the more I am enlarged in mind, and the more
illuminated in regard to Scripture sentences.
Oh! how the watch-word, when it comes,
brightens upon my mind, and inwardly gives
me to expatiate thereupon. It is the Lord's
doing, and marvellous indeed in my eyes.
LfOrd, what am I, that thou continuest thus to
acknowledge me, and that thou thus expandest
my heart in old age, when the keepers of the
frail building tremble exceedingly ; and I am
so humbled thereby, as to consider myself ab-
ject, mean, and unworthy of a place where
the Majesty of heaven resides? Ohl when
this mortal shall put on immortality, and every
seed its own body, mine must surely be as of
the lowest order of angels ! sown in weakness,
even if it be raised in power. But cease, my
soul, to pry into the secrets of eternity ! The
lowest mansion in the Father's house, will far,
very far, surpass my servioes. Oh, Lord, be
near at the winding up of time, is my sincere

Eleventh month 14th, 1810.— This day
we had a very confirming season, in our si-
lent week-day meeting. I thought I should
never more doubt being under the notice of

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heaven, the evidence was so strong, and my
love seemed perfect Godward ; so that it cast
out all fear. I neither feared death, hell, nor
the grave. The armies of the aliens, for the
present, were entirely put to flight. My faith
was strong respecting my own well being,
and even I had faith for those who that day
gathered with me. We seemed indeed come
to Zion, the city of the living God, and ga-
thered in spirit with an innumerable company
of angels.

Previous to this precious season, I had had
very great openings into Divine things, per-
taining to another life; things so sacred as not
to be meddled with ; which brought me to think
I should soon be gathered ; and in looking at
the ministry I had been gifled with, and how
I had moved under the openings I had been
favoured with, although I felt no condemna-
tion, my gift seemed as if it might be taken
from me, yet not in displeasure ; I had such
sidings in meetings, and was so empited, as
from vessel to vessel.

I thought the Lord would relieve me from
my laborious wadings, which I thought to
others had been of little service ; and that he
would bestow my gifl on some other. I hint-
ed at it in one of our meetings ; and although
it seemed to me almost unprecedented, to
withhold from fruitfulness ; yet my spirit was
preserved quiet under it. And in -this week-
day meeting 1 saw, as from the mount, that
such trying seasons as I have often been led
into in our meetings, were requisite, lest I
should be exalted through those sublime reve-
lations I have been favoured with. This ef-
fected for me what the thorn in the flesh
did for Paul : and I now seemed one of the
least, and viewed myself in a truly abject

Twelfth month, 1810. — I have transcribed
a piece out of Piety Promoted,* thinking per-
haps it may be, by me, experienced near my

" It is not always from the most conspicuous
on the scene of action, that we hear the most
triumphant expressions of hope and praise, at
the approach of death. The same baptisms
which are the means of qualifying for eminent
service, sometimes induce a fear, a depression,
a sense of unworthiness in the instrument,
which makes it slow in believing, that the
Lord vouchsafeth to regard it, and that he
will finally crown it with eternal blessings ;
though it may have often had to hold forth
his unfailing loving-kindness, for the encour-
agement of others.*' I am far from looking
upon myself as ever conspicuous; but my

* See the account of Mary Ludgater, part 10,
page 180.

unworthiness suggests a fear, that I may be
thus tried.

Twelfth month, 1810. — I was con6ned
through indisposition; and my wounded spi-
rit and bleeding heart, were in great need of
inward healing, from the God of all consola-
tion and comfort. Though one of the unwor-
thiest, I ventured to look towards his holy
habitation for help, and he graciously vouch-
safed to heal with these words; "no weapon
formed against thee shall prosper, and every
tongue that riseth in judgment against the
precious seed, the Lord will condemn.*^


Pardskaw HaU Monthly Meeting, ISll-^Diven
remarks in 1812-13— J7er concern reapecting
her grand'^onr^Several consoling seasons —
Clear evidence respecting her grand^-son —
Account of his decease — Her last remarks,
left in writing — Her dose — Testimony of
Pardshaw Monthly Meeting respecting her —

Monthly Meeting, Pardshaw Hall, 23d
of seventh month, 1811. — Being at Under-
wood, I attended this meeting, and thought it
a very favoured time : the glory of the Lord,
as it appeared to me, filled the house ; and,
sitting upon the mercy seat, each seemed to
have the gracious privilege of pardon. It
brought to my remembrance the apostle Paul,
when he was caught up into the third heaven,
and saw and heard what was not lawful for a
finite creature to utter; neither dared I to
utter, on the side of mercy, what I then felt.
I thought if I had continued thus under the
immediate sense of God's presence, I should
neither have felt hunger nor pain ; but it was
not a state to be continued in; for upon my
return, the gracious presence was withdrawn.

Online LibraryWilliam EvansThe Friends' library: comprising journals, doctrinal treatieses, & other writings of members of the religious Society of Freinds → online text (page 100 of 104)