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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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soon as the wind came fair. So we parted,
only telling him we intended to go for the
judge's house. It was late in the evening
when we got there, and the judge was gone
to bed ; but his wife was up, who lifted up her
hands with more than ordinary surprise, and
much joy, and said she was always glad to
see me, but never more than now: I said,
why sol She then began to tell, that since I
went away, there had been a man with the
judge, who had incensed him against me all
that he could, and said he knew me in Eng-
land, and that I was broken, and came into
those parts to preach for a living. I asked
what her husband said to all that ? She said
his answer to the man was, that he believed
I was no such person, but an honest man;
yet the accuser seemed very positive. I said
it would be well if this man could be brought
with me to the judge's face, that he might be
convinced, not only of the man's ignorance
of us as a people, but of me in particular, and
his envy against me be made known. I opened
to her the nature of such journeys and servi*
oes, how we proceeded, and how the meetings
were constituted in which we did so proceed,
and from whence we had certificates, viz:
from Monthly and Quarterly Meetings, or
meetingi of ministers to which we belonged,
and from Friends in the several provinces and
islands where we travelled, if we desired them,
many of which I could show the judge, if time
would admit* She said, lest we should be
called away in haste, she craved to see some
of those certificates. I showed her them, be-
ginning at the first, wherein Friends of Kelk,
now Bridlington, Monthly Meeting in York-
shire, to Friends in America, declared not
only their full unity with my present journey,
but also with my service for the Truth, and
conversation in the same, where I had lived
and travelled ; and that I had settled my out-
ward afilairs to Friends' satisfaction, under
many hands variously written.

When this great and wise woman saw this.

Vol. IV.вАФ No. 8.



she said it was enough: but I showed her
other certificates from divers places, wherein
Friends had signified sufficiently their unity
and satisfaction with me. I likewise informed
her, that in case any man, not approved by
us as a minister, attempted to impose his
preaching upon any who were strangers to
him^ such as knew him, took care to acquaint
the churches therewith, if his intentions could
be known, that no impostor might do any
hurt. All which she admired, and said she
had never heard so much before, neither did
she think there had been such excellent order
amongst any people.

Having thus acquainted her with our order
and discipline, and aflerwards informed her of
the cause of our unexpected return, I renewed
my proposal of having my accuser before the
judge. She told me, she had good place with
her husband, and would endeavour to obtain
it; and accordingly, afler talking with him,
she let me know, that the judge expressed his
readiness to do me any service which lay in
his. power, and was of opinion my accuser
durst not face either him or me in that afiair.
If the wind continued against us, he would
try to find him out, and bring him, which
might be of service ; but if the wind favoured,
she thought I might be easy to go ; as indeed
I was, and the more so, considering that our
captain, Salter, who lived near the judge on
the same island, had showed a great deal of
patience and good disposition to us, for about
two weeks, yet would gladly be gone. About
midnight we were called to go on board the
ship, &r the wind was fair, if we were ready.
I replied, we come quickly : and so we did,
and took leave of all we saw of the family,
and temembered our dear love, with grateful
acknowledgments, to the judge, for all his
civility and kindnesses to us, with reasons
why we could not see him, for he had been
afflicted some time with the gout, and was
now fallen into sonie rest, and we going away
very early, were not at our own disposal.

I admired the Lord's good providence in all
this, and there was something from the sanne
watchful Providence, to order that to be put
into my certificate which did so fully remove
the slur this enemy would have fastened upon
me, i. e. That I had broken in England, and
could not pay my debts, and therefore had
come into these remote parts of the world,
where I was unknown, to preach for a liveli-
hood. But it fully appeared, that I was known,
and well beloved too, and had efi'ects to dis-
charge any just demand upon me, blessed be
the worthy name of the Lord now and for
ever.

I Now I may say something of our afiairs
upon the sea in this voyage. Wheii Captain
14



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LIFE OF JOHN RICHARDSON.



Salter had laken us io passengers at Philadel-
pbia for Barbadoes, it being a time of war,
and people somewhat afraid of shipping goods,
he said, he was to have two honest Quakers
passengers, and he did not fear being taken
by privateers, or pirates. I was troubled at
his confidence in us, and told him so, and that
it was much if the Lord did not suffer us to
be taken, that he might see men were not to
be depended upon, but that we ought to depend
upon the Lord alone for protection and deliv-
erance ; however, in much less time than we
expect^, goods came, and we were loaded
and gone. We had rough weather before we
came toBarbadoes; especially about the tropic
of Cancer we had very high winds, and I was
extremely sea-sick, and so was my compan-
ion, and I could eat little, but was treated with
remarkable civilities by the captain. About
that latitude there are fiish not unlike herring,
which fly from wave to wave, and by dipping
their fins or wings in the water, they will fly
a great way, especially when they are chased
by fishes of prey, and almost every morning
there were some of those fish on the ship's
deck. The captain oflen said, as his manner
was, Mr. Richardson, these are sent for you,
or for your breakfast, and seeing it is so, I
will dress them myself, for I know my cook
is so greasy you can hardly eat of his Cook-
ery. This was very true, and therefore he
would wash his hands, and lay a clean napkin
on his arm, and tell me he would dress me
my breakfast in the best fashion he could. I
asked him why he would put himself to so
much trouble ; he said he never waited on a
man in all his life with so much pleasure, and
if I were going into any country where he
was going, I should not pay any thing for my
passage ; so much respect he showed me.

It happened in the course of this voyage,
when we were within a few leagues of Bar-
badoes, one morning early, as soon as day
appeared, he that was aloft, upon the watch
to look out, as the manner of mariners is, es-
pecially in the time of wars and danger, espied
A ship, which he and the rest of our most
knowing men supposed to be a Turkish frigate,
of considerable strength ; however, it was a
great vessel, and appeared to have many guns;
and when we first saw her, she seemed to be
within gun shot. But oh, what a surprise and
fright our ship's crew were in ! I had not often
seen the like. Our vessel being deeply loaded,
although a good sailer, was less than that
which chased ^us, and to run for it appeared
the only way for us to escape, hauling as close
to the wind as we could, to keep the sails full.
The vessel being stiff with its great burthen,
endured sail well, and they crowded so much,
that I told them I feared they would bring the



rigging by the board. Thus we laboured un-
til noon, and then our captain having lost all
his confidence in the Quakers, said, we shall
be taken, for the ship has gained upon us for
several hours; we have done what we can,
and are all spent. I walked upon the main
deck under no small concern of mind, and
Truth rose, and I found it open in the Truth,
that we should not be taken; the captain said,
binding it with some asseverations, We shall
certainly be taken. I said. No, we shall not,
unless by our mismanagement. Alas, said
he, you are such a man as I never met with.
Do you not see the frigate, or Salleeman, for
so he called her, is just going to fire a broad-
side at us, opening the gun-ports, and laying
the ship broadside upon us, and levelling at
her as well as they can 1 Although our captain
was a stout man, he appeared very ghostly
and dead hearted, and said to me in a tone
which bespoke both affliction and trouble. Go
into my cabin, or somewhere under the deck,
for they will fire immediately ; and where I
walked I could hardly escape either the shot
or the rigging falling upon me. I said, they
will not fire ; and desired him to be easy, for
we should come to no damage by that ship.
Well then, he asked, what they should do, for
the enemy was just upon us. I said I would
fetch them a bottle or two, or more of my best
brandy, and they should take as much as
might do them good, but have a care of more,
and ply away awhile, and you will see they
will fall back and we shall leave them. The
captain said, although there was no human
probability of escaping, yet, for my sake, they
would try ; and to work they went. I think
I never saw men on board of any ship work
like them for some hours, and we soon per-
ceived that we outsailed them, and by the time
it began to be dark, we had lefl them con-
siderably.

Now all fire and light was forbidden, ex-
cept what could not be avoided, and all noise,
and a council was held, to consult what way
to steer, whether the nearest or most oonmion
way for the island, or about ; for it was rea-
sonable to conclude the adversary would way-
lay us, if he could, before we came to the is-
land. The captain said, what I said in the
case should bo done ; after some deliberation,
I told him, I was most easy in steering the
nearest course, which we did, and saw our
adversary no more.

We came to the island next day in much
joy, that we had escaped so imminent a dan-
ger, but I was very ill of a fever when I
landed, which had been growing upon me for
several days, this being the sixth day of the
week, and 18th of the tenth month. I was
so poorly; that several thought I must die;



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LIFE OP JOHN RICHARDSON.



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but I stood resigned in the will of God, whe-
ther to die or live. The first-day being come,
I went to the meeting, though with great diffi-
culty, being very weak, where I sat under
more than usual exercise, reasonings, and
conflict of spirit for some time, about my pre-
sent condition, which was weak and low, and
in my own apprehension, unlikely to be of
any service. Notwithstanding all the trou-
bles and hazards of the sea, and robbers, and
other jeopardies in coming here, I was now
disabled and laid by as useless. These things
occasioned me to consider, whether I had not
missed my way in something, or other. Many
particulars were brought to my mind, whether
I had discharged myself faithfully where I had
been. When I looked back, and took a view
of my travels and services in the work of the
ministry and discipline of the church, my con-
duct and whole conversation, I saw nothing
but that I was clear of the blood of all men ;
as also clear and well satisfied both as to the
time and my coming to this island. There
appeared yet two things in my way ; first, if
this place should be my grave, such as might
not watch over me with the best eye may say,
if he had gone at the Lord's command, no
doubt he would have brought him back again ;
and secondly, as I had two little children in
England, if I finished my course here, they
would be led fatherless and motherless. And
I said before the Lord, let not my end bring
dishonour to thy great name, nor any blemish
to the Truth which I have loved and laboured
for the promotion of, from my childhood.

When I had thus appealed to the Lord, I
felt great quietness and resignation of mind.
As I sat, a Friend well thought of by several,
began to speak in the meeting, and it opened
in my mind, that he was not wholly redeemed
from having some thoughts that elementary
water had not yet ended its service ; I mean
in point of dipping. I would have shut it out,
for the man appeared a wise, zealous m^n ;
and being altogether a stranger, I could not
remember that I had heard his name, yet the
matter continued, and I thought, for my own
satisfection, I might ask him the question. If
he was a riffht spirited Friend, he would not
be hurt; if ne was not, he stood in need of
help, or at least it was high time for Friends
to have a more perfect knowledge of him.

During my sitting, as before, under much
weakness of body, yet quiet in mind, the liv-
ing virtue or heavenly power of Christ sprung
up in my inward man like healing oil, which
so eflectually helped me every way, that I
could say fe^ingly and experimentally, mira-
cles are not ceased. I was raised beyond my
own expectation, and all others who knew my
weak state, to give testimony to the glorious



coming and manifestation of Christ in power,
and spirit, for the help and salvation of all the
children of men who receive, believe in, and
obey his spiritual reproofs and heavenly calls
in the soul, without any lessening to his hu-
manity. Great cause have I, with all the living,
to love, honour, and reverence the great and
mighty name of Him who hath helped and
healed, by sending his eternal word of living
power into our hearts.

Returning with other Friends to my quar-
ters from this good meeting, not to be forgot*
ten by me, the before-mentioned Friend came
to see me. Having, as I told him, a desire to
speak privately with him, he replied, there
were none there but his good friends, and I
might speak my mind, f told him, what I
had to say related chiefly to himself, and in
such a matter as he might not be willing to
have exposed ; but he would not hear, and
said I might speak it there. I desired he
would not take ofllence at what I had to say,
for I did suppose it to be a secret to all there
but himself. Then I said, the matter is, when
thou wast speaking in the meeting, it sounded
in the ear of my soul as if one had said, this
man, meanins thee, is not wholly redeemed
out of a belief in John's ministration of water,
as not having done its work. Now the mat-
ter is before thee, thou knowest whether what
I received be true or false : in the first place
I inquire for my own satisfaction. His an-
swer, if it may be called one, was as follows :
he said. The disciples of Christ, when they
baptized with water, knew that it was the
mind of their great Master that they should
so baptize. I said, I know not that any of
the apostles did ever say so much as thou
wouldest insinuate ; for both by what iPeter
and Paul say, it appears very natural to be
the mind of Christ, only to condescend to so
much as was done by the apostles in that of
water, because of the people s weakness ; and
no question but the Jews were very much set^
tied in the belief of John the Baptist's dispen-
sation of water to repentance, and also of the
circumcision, and purifying, and many other
things used amongst that people. When the
converts were grown stronger in the faith and
in the grace of God, Peter told them, ** It is
not the putting away the filth of the flesh, but
the answer of a good conscience towards God,
by the resurrection of Jesus Christ;" and Paul,
although he did once in condescension circum-
cise Timothy, yet told the people at another
time, that "Neither circumcision nor uncilr-
cumcision availeth any thing, but a new crea-
ture;" and that if they were circumcised,
Christ would profit them nothing. He also
thaiiks God, he baptized no more than Crispus
and Gaius, and the household of Stephanas ;



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LIFE OF JOHN RICHARDSON.



besides these, he knew not that he had bap-
tized any other, for Christ sent him not to
baptize, but to preach the Gospel. I said to
the Friend, I am of the prophet's mind, when
he said. The elements should melt as with
fervent heat ; if the Gospel power be not this
fervent heat, I know not what is, nor what is
able to melt away the elements. But I fur-
ther said, if he was a Baptist, he should deal
plainly and honestly with Friends, and tell
them what he was, and not preach one thing,
and keep such reserves to himself.

Friends admired, and said, they had not the
least^thought of any such thing respecting him ;
so he said he would not fall out with me. I told
him, I was as much for peace as he was, but
at the same time I would have us to mind that
we were sound in the faith, and preachers
of the Gospel, and not go back again to the
beggarly elements, for what is all in compari-
son of the love of God in Christ Jesus?

I had good service and great satisfaction
upon this island, although I found Truth so
low, that it might then be truly said as for-
merly, By whom shall Jacob, or the true seed,
arise, which is in our apprehension but small,
and much pressed down with many things
that are hurtful, especially by the love of mo
ney, pride, and forgetfulncss of God ?

I was invited on board a great transport
ship, whereof one Reed was master, who re-
membered me when 1 was but young, and
was travelling to or near Scarborough; he
was loving lo me, and several Friends who
were with me, and I had good service on
board.

There was also on board a French Protest-
ant, now a captain of the English transport
soldiers, bound for Jamaica. He lodged at
John Groves', and was a very civil man, and
said, if I would go with Captain Reed, who
ofiered, if I was going, to carry me to Jamaica
free, he would wait on me if I was sick, or
ailed any thing ; and would gladly have had
my company. I acknowledged both their
generosity and civility to me, and took leave
of them, and of the noble Captain Salter, who
I have had occasion both to mention and to
love. He took his solid leave of me, wept like
a child, and said openly in the hearing of many,
that he never loved a man so well l^fore, and
though he did not want business, yet, for my
sake, he would serve my friends what lay in
his power ; or nearly those words.

I find, as we live and walk in the Truth,
there is an inward witness which God hath
placed in the hearts of men that is reachable,
except in such who have arrived to a great
degree of hardness and insensibility, and so
have little sense or peroej^tion of good, either
in themselves or in others, which is a deplor-



able state. Oh, what grief of heart it hath
been to me, to hear and see the wickedness of
some! If such wickedness was as great a
trouble to them who acted it, as it was to me,
I have thought they would soon grow weary
of it.

I embarked on board a ship, John Griffith
master, bound for Bristol, in Old England, and
went to sea with some East India ships that
had put in at Barbadoes, having a ship of war
or two for their convoy. After we were got
to sea, they had so much drinking and ca-
rousing that we grew weary of staying with
them, and after some consideration, the cap-
tain, who was a Friend, left them, and came
safe to England.

In our passage we had some rough weather
near the tropic, which I mentioned before, and
the men and captain being much disordered
with watching and hard labour, as I remem-
ber, for eight and forty hours night and day,
a calm ensuing, the captain desired me to take
his place for his watch, and mind the helms-
man, and see that he made straight steerage ;
but he was so sleepy, that it was next to im-
possible to keep him awake. I walked on the
deck,' and had overmuch work to mind the
compass and the helmsman too, for a gne
breeze of wind came on, and all of a sudden
a very unusual fear fell 3n me ; I looked into
the sea, and beheld it appeared to turn blue,
and as far as I could discern to windward, I
saw white caps, or the water-freckle ; on see-
ing which, through fear, more than any great
skill, I stamped with my foot as though I
would have broke the deck. Out came the
captain, but what with fear and sleep he could
scarcely hit the door out of the cabin. When
he got upon the deck, he stamped, and called
out all his hands, and bid them lower and furl
the sails with speed, or else we were all dead
men, for here is a hurricane just upon us. No
sooner was all made snug as well as could be,
as the seamen phrase it, but the wind blew so,
that we thought it would have turned the bot-
tom of the ship upward : the like I never saw ;
and, as the captain said, we had not one min-
ute to spare of being cast away, according to
all human probability. As the seamen term
it, it was such hurry-durry thick weather, that
we could scarcely see any thing a hundred
yards. It held for about an hour, in which
time we drove by a vessel, and were so near
her, that I thought I could have flung a stone
aboard. Our ship's crew were sorely afraid,
and looked upon her to be a robber ,* hep> rud-
der was lashed or tied up, and the men were
all gone off the deck, but our mariners were
so affrighted, that they thought they would set
some sail and follow us. No sooner were we
past this ship but the weather grew better, and



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LIFE OF JOHN RICHARDSON.



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away we ran in hazard of bringing the masts
by the board ; but through the Divine Provi-
dence of him who is Lord over all, both sea
and land, we escaped, and came safe into
Cork in Ireland, where the master lived ; we
rode there some time, and then weighed for
Bristol, intending for the Yearly Meeting there.

We had rough weather in crossing the
channel, before we came into the Severn,
where our sailors, afraid of being pressed,
launched the boat, and ran away into Corn-
wall, leaving but four on board to bring the
ship up the river. We saw a pinnace, having
in it a lieutenant with a crew of pressed men,
intending to press more if they could find
them. Our master called on me, desired I
would put on my best clothes, and come to
bim, which I did, and he set me on his right
hand. By this time the lieutenant came up
and asked for my men, taking me for the
master. I told him, they had launched the
long-boat and were gone, and we could not
hinder them, they being the strongest party ;
at which he appeared very much enraged, and
seemed as though he would have struck at
me. I told him calmly, he had more need to
pity than be angry with us, for if there should
be a gale of wind, we were in great danger
of all perishing for want of hands. I showed
him what force we had, viz: James Bates,
whom I did not then call my companion, John
Griffith captain, the cabin-boy and myself,
who were all the men on board. He asked,
what for a man that was who sat beside me ?
I told him, he was a man sufficiently secured
against the press. Then the rough man fell,
and said, I looked like an honest man, and he
would take my word and not search for men.

I write not this as a thing I approved, but
disliked; but being taken at unawares, had
not time to shun it, unless I had exposed my
friend, the master of the ship; although I nei-
ther said nor did, that I know of, any thing
worse than what thou seest here written; I
told the captain, I thought he was a great
coward, and had expos^ me to danger to
save himself.

Wind and weather favoured us, and we came
in due time to Bristol Yearly Meeting, where
I met with William Edmundson, and was truly
glad to see him, with many more at that place.
My companion falling sick, I was made willing
to leave him, and travelled to London with
John Watson of Ireland, a sweet spirited man.
We got to London Yearly Meeting, where I
discharged myself of what I had upon my
mind, and came away in peace, and in the
feeling of the love of God.

John Haydock and I came from London
together, and had meetings in our way to
York Yearly Meeting, where I was glad to



see my home^friends, and to enjoy the love of
God once more with them. This is our prin-
cipal crown and kingdom, in this world, to
enjoy the favourable countenance of the Lord,
and one another in his living and internal
presence. When I looked back upon all the
mercies and deliverances I had received from
the mighty God of heaven and earth, seas,
and rivers of water, whose hand made all, and
whose eye and watchful providence attends
all, and is over all, my soul was filled with
thanks and praises to the great and most ex-
cellent name of Him who lives for ever, and
hath helped my soul to overcome many strong
temptations, and hath borne up my head un-
der many deep afflictions and tribulations;
renowned for ever be his holy name.

I came home the 16th of the fourth month,



Online LibraryWilliam EvansThe Friends' library: comprising journals, doctrinal treatieses, & other writings of members of the religious Society of Freinds → online text (page 24 of 104)