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William Evans.

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

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our natural wills, and change the very nature
of the lion into that of the lamb ; and how
pleasant is our dwelling, when upon God's
holy mountain, where nothing can hurt or
destroy."

On third-day had a meeting at Baltiboys.
We reached Dublin, and were at the Quar-
terly Meeting for the province, and at the Na-
tional Half-year's Meeting ; during the course
of which we had some edifying seasons ; but,
alas! here, and almost every where else in
this country, things are very low, and truth
is trampled under foot. We were favoured
with the company of William Rathbone, of
Liverpool, and with that of many valuable
Friends of this nation, of whom we took a
long farewell. I had felt an engagement of
mind to attend the Quarterly Meeting at Moy-
allen — the trial was great, as tome Friends
were going to England : my companion, too,
was ill of a cold, and not able to move away
for a few days, so that we did not take alt the
meetings we had intended. I had, however,
one more opportunity of sitting with Friends
in Dublin, which was greatly to my satisfac-
tion, and I took a solemn and final farewell of
many. On the 15th of fifth month, we com-
menced our journey, having the company of
our worthy friend, James Christy, who had
waited for us. He has gone with us many
long journeys : — I think I had his company
six weeks, and he is nearly eighty years of age.
On sixth-day we reached his pleasant habita-
tion. We then attended meetings at Lurgan,
Grange, Ballyhagan and Moyallen ; the Se-
lect Meeting, on sixth-day, the Quarterly Meet-
ing on seventh, and a very large meeting for
worship on first-day, in all of which we were



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favoured with best help, and the conclusion
was satisfactory. We took a solemn leave of
many, and had some opportunities to edifica-
tion and comfort with our beloved friends.

On the 26th she arrived in Dublin, where
she wrote to her son.

" Dublin, FiiUi month, 1783.

" I was glad of thy letter, and to hear of
our solemn parting being had in remembrance
by thee ; and thou, my son, with many who
were there present, art also remembered by
roe. Oh! that pure cementing love may so
prevail in all our hearts, as to melt us down
again and again, until all the dross be done
away, and all the reprobate silver removed,
and we be as pure gold, not only in lustre, but
having the full weight ; then we shall not only
be of the called^ but the chosen of God, ser-
viceable in his church, as firm sta&es in our
Sion, useful vessels in the Lord's house ; and
our conduct will proclaim holiness to his
name.''

The next day several of our friends came,
and we were favoured together, and parted in
that true love and holy fellowship that will
never end.

On fifth-day, the 28th, we went on board
the packet, being accompanied by Joseph Wil-
liams, of Dublin, Richard Shackleton, and
John Russel, from Moate, who were on their
way to the Yearly Meeting of London. On
seventh-day we arrived safe at the head, and
immediately proceeded to Colebrook-dale. —
Here we had a meeting on third-day ; after-
wards attended meetings at Newdale, Brotley,
and Shrewsbury, all, I think, to much satis-
faction. Here my dear companion, Ann Byrd,
and I parted; she returning homeward, and I
to the Bank, with my kind friend, Rebecca
Reynolds. In our travel on first-day, the 8th,
though much shaken with the rough and un-
even road, we had a remarkably favoured op-
portunity, which in silence and testimony held
more than two hours ; and as such a season
in a stage coach is not common, I thought fit
to mention it. On the 13th of sixth month,
1783, I got safe home, and found my dear
husband and children all well ; for which fa-
vour, and for the blessing of preservation both
by sea and land, I am, and desire always to
be, humbly thankful unto the God and Father
of all our mercies, who is ever worthy of
thanksgiving and praise. Amen.

About this period we have this remembrance
of her beloved family.

•< Sheffield, Eighth month, 1784.
" I can truly salute you in a degree of our
heavenly Father's love, daily breathing unto
Him in secret for help for myself and for you,



that we may be strengthened, and may know
an increase of faith, and a decrease of unbe-
lief, whicn at times is ready to enter, and if
given way to, would lay waste all that ever
hath been dpne in us for the good cause of
Truth. Oh that nothing may be permitted to
hinder our perseverance therein 1 I find it as
needful now to be upon my watch as ever,
desiring that 1 may do no harm, as I seem
not capable of doing much good. Yet 1 feel
bound to duty, and sit as a sentinel not daring
to move out of the right course. Q, my dears,
think of me, for 1 am sorely buftetted and in
a continued warfare; and yet, at times, am
favoured with an unshaken hope of obtaining
the victory over death, hell, and the grave."

SECTION vni.

Her visit to Bristol, Wellington, Exeter, ^c.

On the 6th of ninth month, 1784, 1 had a
few lines from our Monthly Meeting, having
the weight of a journey upon me, but could
not see clearly any farther than Shipston; yet
did not believe that I should return home soon ;
so took a very humbling farewell of my near
and dear connexions, and was accompanied
by my husband to Leicester. On the 9th, our
friend, Daniel Woodland, went with me to
Hinckley; thence to Coventry, Warwick, and
Shipston ; where were many Friends whom I
was glad to see, among others, my dear com-
panion, Ann Byrd. The meetings were very
large, both of Friends and others; many public
Friends were there from divers parts, and Pa-
tience Brayton from America. The conclud-
ing meeting was much to the satisfaction of
many.

My way seemed now open towards Bristol,
and having Ann Byrd for my companion, I
went on pretty cheerfully. We were at seve-
ral meetings on our way to Bristol ; and were
at theirs on first and third-days, and at the
Select and Quarterly Meetings on fourth-day.
Hence we proceeded to Sidcot, and had a fa-
voured opportunity; thence to Bridge water,
Wellington, Uffcolme, and, on first-day, to
the Monthly Meeting at Collumpton; in the
evening got to Exeter.

Here she wrote the following to her hus-
band and children.

" Exeter, Tenth month, 1784.

" I do not remember ever going out with so
little sight ; nor can I express what I felt be-
fore I led home, but think my exercise was in
pa<t felt, and also seen by thee, my dear hus-
band, and that thou, with myself, dost believe
I moved at the right time. A way has indeed
been opened, and help administered in a won-
derful manner, very unexpectedly to me ; my



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deep sufJ^ings at home have brought me into
«ttch a degree of willingness, that I endeavour
to follow my Lord whithersoever he leads me,
and to dischai^ my duty faithfully in every
place where my lot is cast. I was glad of the
company of M. L., and A. C, at Shipston.
There I also met my dear companion A. B.,
and we are very nearly united in true Gospel
labour; we attended their week-day meeting
at Cirencester, which was to our friends' satis-
faction ; and at several places in our passing
along, we were favoured with the manifesta-
tion of our heavenly Father's love and regard,
both to us and to those we called upon. We
staid over their Quarterly Meeting at Bristol,
and I saw many Friends who remembered my
being in the west before, and we were truly
glad to see each other; but at most of the
meetings I was shut up, hearing a voice within
me saying, thou must come here again, and
80 I believe I must. I felt drawn towards
Kingsbridge, where the Quarterly Meeting for
Devonshire was held on the fourth-day fol-
lowing that at Bristol. I had never more
cause to be thankful than I now have, it being
such a time of favour as will by some be thank-
fully remembered. Oh ! my dears, all of you,
feel and rejoice with me; for sweet is the peace
that dwells in my soul. Strong are my desires
for you, as for my poor self, that a steady
perseverance and preservation from all evil
may be witnessed by us. You are all oAen
in my thoughts, and in the best love I dearly
salute thee my dear husband, with my chil-
dren and children's children."

On second-day, reached Kingsbridge, a
very long journey, which, I believe, would
have been too hard for me, had not our dear
friend Mary Ware, of Wellington, taken me
in her carriage. Indeed, the kindness of
Friends to me is very great. On third-day
was a large meeting, and on fourth-day the
Quarteriy Meeting — both very favoured and
comfortable seasons, more so to me than at
any place where I have been since leaving
home, so that I was thankful I was there;
many Friends too, who remembered my for-
mer visit to them, rejoiced to see me once
more ; and in a renewal of that love that is
unchangeable, we took a final farewell of each
other. On the 30th we came back to Exeter,
and staid over first-day. On second-day to
Uficolme, where I staid until seventh-day, only
visiting one worthy Friend, Robert Pry, who
has b^n in great af&iction many years.

On first-day at meeting at Milverton. The
next day went to Minehead, to visit Robert
Davis, he being very ill and not likely to re-
cover; he has a wife and several hopeful chil-
dren, with whom we had a comfortable oppor-



tunity. On fourth-day morning, afler a very
agreeable and heart-melting season, we left
Milverton for Wellington; where we visited
several families, and were at meetings on first-
day ; it was a trying time to me, but I was
helped to discharge my duty, part in testimony,
but most in silence. On second-day returned
to Uficolme, where I again made some stay,
it being my dear companion's habitation. On
fifth and first-days were at meetings at Spice-
land, about a mile from Ufi^colme ; the latter
was very large, many Friends from other
meetings being there. The next first-day I
was at meeting at Wellington and so much
favoured in the forenoon, that I think I may
say, as was said formerly, the Truth was
over all. I staid more than a week in this
place, and was for a time in so very danger-
ous a way, that I was ready to conclude my
time in this world was nearly over; but
through Divine mercy I recovered.

At this place she again wrote to her hus-
band and children.

<* Wellingloo, Ist of Eleventh month* 1784.

"How thankful shall I be to hear of the
welfare of you all both in things natural and
Divine ; and the way A>r tis to enjoy temporal
blessings with contentment is, that we be
chiefiy concerned to witness improvement in
things that are heavenly, an increase of such
riches as will never decay, and being clothed
with a garment which will not wax old. Yon
well understand what I say ; and as we are
blessed with a knowledge of these thin^, oar
happiness consists in doing them. I wish my
dear children may take good heed that their
conduct in every respect may be truly teach-
ing, and your conversation so savoury as to
season the tender minds of your dear o&pring,
and that you endeavour to keep them in sub-
jection, so that if I be favoured to see you
again, I may find you so comfortable as to
cause rejoicing, as was the case when I re-
turned from Ireland. I beg you will not
slacken your pace nor sufier any thing to
hinder you in your progr^s heavenward.
Oh I how doth my poor soul travail for you
even as for myself, and I can thankfully say
that the Lord hath been my helper hitherto,
and believing I am in the way of my duty, I
have the reward of peace."

Being again joined by my dear companion,
who had a concern, and the approbation of
her friends, to visit Bristol, we took leave of
my kind friends, to whom I was nearly united.
We were at meeting at Taunton ; thence to
Bridgewater, and lodged at oar worthy friend
Joseph Ball's, who accompanied us to S<An



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Hipsley's near dayerham ; we atlended their
meeting, and aAerwards had an opportunity
in our friend's family ; he bad been long con-
fined with illness, and we felt near sympathy
with him in his affliction^

On sizthoday were at Sidcot meeting ; then
to Bristol, and lodged with Mary Peters. Our
stay in this city was very long, full nine
weeks ; in which time like good soldiers, we
eDduted much hardship, being greatly afflicted
both in body and mind. When able, we duly
attended their meetings and visited many fami*
lies. We were favoured with many satisfac-
tory opportanities ; and though mostly silent
in meetings, yet can with humble confidence
say, that f was not guilty of any omission in
all this long travail. Oh ! saith my soul, that
there may be more life and fewer words
amongst us.

The lively interest which she felt for the
spiritual welfare of her son, is set forth in
this parental appeal ;

TO HES SON.

- Bristol. Twelfth month, 1784.

** I received thy welcome letter nearly two
weeks ago, and was glad to see thy hand-
writing, and the more thou feelest of my con-
tinued love and regard for thee, the more will
thine increase ; and thy obedience to us, thy
dear parents, will still be manifested, and thou
wilt feel strength renewed to maintain a holy
warfare against the unwearied enemy. Thou,
my dear child, well kiiowest that if there be
no warfare there will be no victory, and as
the flesh will war against the Spirit, so I hope
thou wilt be favoured with the pure Spirit of
Truth to enable thee to war against the flesh ,-
let not go thy hold, cease not to strive, and
no doubt is with me but thou wilt obtain the
victory. The love of Truth having seemed
to spread in my soul towards many of my
friends in this city, we have entered into the
arduous labour of visiting families. I do not
see at present that we shall visit all that pro-
fess with us, but have been to several with
whom I was before acquainted, and we have
had fresh visitations in most places. On ac-
count of the shortness of the days, and my
being unable to walk, we get on slowly ; but
as we step safely, we feel satisfied that we are
where we ought to be. I beg for patience,
remembering that the end will come when
all our labours will cease, and the prospect of
a happy conclusion is at times very comforta-
ble, and by roe rather desirable that it may
soon be experienced."

On the 17th of first month* 1785, We left
Bristol, having the blessed reward of pure
Vot.IV.— No.2.



peace for our labours. Lydia Hawksworth
accompanied us to Frencbay, where we had
a meeting j several Friends from the city were
there, and we were owned by our great Lord,
his name was magnified, and his own works
did praise him.

Barly on the following morning, accompa*
nied by Thomas Scantlebury, we went to
Painswick, and were at their meeting on the
19th ; and at Tewkesbury on the 21st.

On seventh-day we reached Worcester, and
lodged at our kmd friend Timothy Beving*
ton^ : were at their meetings on first-day,
where were also Patience Brayton and her
companion. On second-day, the 24th, my
dear companion led me, she being very de-
sirous to get home; but I was not easy to
leave Worcester so soon, and staid more than
a week longer, in which time I visited several
of my acquaintance, had several satisfactory
seasons, and was much favoured at some of
their public meetings, so that I came away
with sweet peace.

On fourth-day morning I took an afiection-
ate farewell of my dear friends, and was ac-
companied by George Beckett and Mary Bew-
ley to Alcester, where they left me, and I
lodged at the widow Stanley's, whence I was
favoured with the company of an agreeable
young woman, Mary Ford, to Jeflfery Beving-
ton*9, at Eddington. 1 was at their meeting
on fiflh-day ; and on sixth, at the meeting at
Ormscott; but the weather being severe, there
were few Friends present ; yet it was a time
of deep travail and bard labour for the honest
hearted. On fourth-day I was at the meeting
at Warwick, and on the following day reached
Coventry, where I was joined by my husband*
Attended their meeting on first-day, Timothy
Bevington of Worcester, being there also, and
we were owned by our Great Master, and
employed in his service. On the 15th of se-
cond month we got safe home, and found our
dear children well. I had been absent on
this occasion more than five months.



From her memorandums which come down
to the fifth month, 1801, this journey appears
to be the last which she performed with certi«
ficate from her Monthly Meeting, nevertheless
she was almost continually engaged in the
service of Truth, in attending meetings in
various places, and often through much lx>dily
infirmity, in the course of which her remarks
are frequently weighty and edifying, of which
the following are a few :

On the 17th of seventh month, 1785, I
being very infirm and now at home, and hav-
ing been often engaged in my good Master's
service, and having a sure evidence, even the
8



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Truth bearing roe witness that I am in the
way of my duty to my great Lord, my spirits
are borne up over all opposers and such as
say hard things of me, and I have peace.

In 1787, she writes from London to her
children, showing the unabated affectionate
concern for their everlasting welfare :

TO HEH CHILDKEN.

" London, Sixth month, 1787.

" O my dear children, endeavour to keep
near to that preserving Power, who is alone
able to help and strengthen you to persevere
in the way of life and salvation, and also to
teach you how to order your dear little ones.
Often doth my spirit breathe unto the God and
Father of all our mercies for your ^elp, that
nothing may draw you aside from that pure
path in which I know you have enjoyed true
peace. Friends seem glad to see us. The
meetings are very large, and graciously owned
by Him who is the crown and diadem of our
assemblies : happy should we be if all kept to
the proper standard, and never moved out of
the pure order of the Gospel."

On the 26th of eighth month, 1788, she
writes :

I leil my home, having for some time felt
an inclination to visit a few meetings in War-
wickshire, and Ann Byrd coming our way
and being very desirous of my company, and
she having a concern to visit the said meet-
ings, we went together in true unity, and were
indeed fellow labourers in the Gospel though
very deep was our travail, and^ great the ex-
ercise of our minds, because of the lukewarm-
ness and indifTerency which prevail amongst
a people who have been so favoured ; yea, a
people beloved of God and chosen of him be-
fore all the families of the earth, and if ther^
be not a reformation, them will he punish.
How are they visited, and how do some labour
for their restoration ; and though much tried,
we were at times much favoured and enabled
to discharge our duty, for which we enjoyed
peace; the faithful amongst us were com-
forted, and the Lord over all was magnified,
who alone is worthy.

I accompanied my friend as far as Worces-
ter, where we staid more than a week, and
visited several aged people much to our satis-
faction. At this place we parted, and I came
to Chadwick, where we had a large and sat-
isfactory meeting; after which, staying the
meetings at Dudley, Birmingham and Coven-
try, I returned home in peace the 21st of ninth
month, 1788.



At the latter end of the fourth month, 1789,
I attended our Quarterly Meeting at Netting*
ham. Several strangers were there, and I
had satisfaction in being with them, being fa-
voured with a sense of Divine life, whereby I
had access to the throne of grace, and wit-
nessed a renewal of strength in the inner man,
although I feel a great decay of bodily strength,
and was ill part of the time of being there.

In the fourth month, 1792, was again at
our Quarterly Meeting, and in the several sit-
tings thereof we were favoured with a sense of
the love of our Lord, who still is with those
that are gathered together in his name.

Fourth month 29th, 1793. Attended our
Quarterly Meeting at Nottingham, and 1st of
fifth month our Monthly Meeting at Lough-
borough ; this little journey I was enabled to
perform beyond expectation, and felt my mind
under the covering of the Spirit of the Lord,
and returned in peace. My complaints too
not feeling so grievous as in months past, I
apprehended it my duty to attend some Quar-
terly Meetings, although being still in a very
weak state every way, the trial was great.
On the 15th of sixth month, I left home, ac-
companied by my son Joseph, reached Co-
ventry that evening, sat three meetings on
first-day, and the Quarterly Meeting on se-
cond. Went to Warwick on third-day, was
at their week-day meeting on fourth, and at
Eddington meeting on sixth-day, at Shipston
meeting on first-day, and to Banbury that
evening; was at three meetings on second-
day, and the Quarterly Meeting on third; went
same day to Buckingham, was at meeting in
the evening, and at the Quarterly Meeting on
fourth-day, which was large and satisfactory.
Thence to Northampton, on fifth-day was at
meeting in the evening and at the Quarterly
Meeting on sixth-day ; thence to Wellington
that evening, and lodged at our very kind and
honest friend Benjamin Middleton's; was at
Finedon on first-day, at their Monthly Meet-
ing on second and on third-day to Ridlington
Park ; thence to Oakham, at their meeting on
fifth-day, and on sixth, after having a solemn
opportunity with our dear friends there, re-
turned to the Park, and on seventh-day, in a
renewed sense of Divine love we took leave.
On first-day was at their meetings at Leices-
ter ; thence to Groby Lodge ; on fourth-day
returned to Leicester, it having rested on my
mind to be there the first-day following : was
taken very unwell at meeting ; lodged at John
Priest man's, whose wife took great care of
me; and getting better, I was able to sit
meetings on first-day, and was well satisfied
that I did right in staying. On second-day I
reached home in safety, with the richest re-



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ward, for which I beg to be truly thankful,
and that I may be carried sale through this
life of trouble into everlasting rest.

I have thus had one more opportunity,
though unexpectedly, to renew mine acquaint-
ance, and strengthen the bond of pure affec-
tion which we in years past had known, I
having at these four Quarterly Meetings, as
also at some others, fallen in and met with
many of my dear friends, whom I was truly
glad to see, and probably took a final farewell
of them, I being now in the seventy -sixth year
of my age, and infirm. The succeeding two
years 1 was engaged in attending many meet-
ings near home, to satisfaction.

In the year 1794, she writes to her family
from Leeds :

TO HBB HUSBAITD AND CHUtDBEN.

** Leeds, Ninth month, 1794.

*^My absence from you has been longer
than I had any sight of when I led you, yet
I have at times to believe, that as I did so in
pure obedience to the Divine command, so I
still continue bound to the law and the testi-
mony, yea, to that pure law that the Lord
writeth in our hearts ; but as I am led in a
way that I knew not of, so I could not inform
my friends thereof, nor have their approba-
tion ; yet I endeavour to tal^e heed that I make
no breach in good order, and I seem to have
a very kind welcome wherever I have yet
come. Nevertheless, great have been the
trials of my poor mind, and the exercise
thereof inexpressible ; and though I look upon
my thus moving as a friendly visit, yet if I
did not feel . a necessity, surely I should not
thus venture. I have with humble thankful-
ness to admire how way is made for me, so
poor and unworthy a creature as I am. I
feel an inclination to be at the Quarterly
Meeting at York, and am favoured with the
agreeable company of our dear friend M. S.
wife of William Smith, of Doncaster. I long
to hear of the welfare of you all ; and might
my prayers but avail, they are very frequent
on your account. Oh ! my dears, forget not
to be watchful ; you know how uncertain time
is, and what a sad thing to be unprepared ;
may I not say our happiness consists in doing
the will of God, and in living in obedience
accordiog to knowledge."



On the 8th of fifth month, 1796, attended
the Yearly Meeting in London, where I was
kindly received by my friends at my good old
quarters, the widow Roe's, which journey I
bore better than I expected, and was enabled
to attend most of the meetings, and like one
raised from death unto life, had to testify of



Online LibraryWilliam EvansThe Friends' library: comprising journals, doctrinal treatieses, & other writings of members of the religious Society of Freinds → online text (page 13 of 104)