William Evans.

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

. (page 28 of 104)
Online LibraryWilliam EvansThe Friends' library: comprising journals, doctrinal treatieses, & other writings of members of the religious Society of Freinds → online text (page 28 of 104)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

first visits of the aforesaid city, with the tes-
timony of light and salvation, and of the com-
ing of the power and kingdom of Christ, to
this age of the world; where his zeal and
godly conversation, greatly recommended him
to God's people. Bitt not contented to eat his
bread alone, being filled with love and a reli-
eious concern for the good of others, he found
himself engaged in the name and power of
God to visit the meetings of his people through-
out the land of his nativity; in which capacity
he continued a faithful labourer and minister
in the vineyard of Christ to his end. As many
were turned to righteousness by his travels

and labours, so divers were quickened in their
gifb for the ministry : for he was not one
that a^ected words or el^ancy of speech, or
leaned upon memory or former openings; but
one that waited for the feeling of Grod's living
and heavenly power, to carry him forth in his
ministerial exercises, whereby, as a right Gos*
pel minister, he often refreshed the family and
heritage of God. He was adorned with love
and zeal, meekness and aflTability, singular
uprightness and simplicity ; very compassion-
ate and helpful ; serious in his converse, and
inofilensive in his freedoms : fervent against
the troublers of Sion's peace, yet tender to the
mistaken and relenting. He was naturally of
a lively but kind and friendly temper, and
where he professed a friendship, very faithful
as well as afiectionate. As the Lord had been
with him from the beginning, and gave him
an honourable place in the hearts of his peo-
ple, that are Israelites indeed ; so he continued
his stren^hening and comforting presence with
him to his end. For visiting him with divers
Friends but a day or two before his departure,
as one filled with the love, life and power of
Christ, he prayed after a very earnest manner,
that the Lord would preserve his people, and
carry on his work among them, and exalt his
Truth ; and even as in an agony of spirit say-
ing. The eternal and everlasting God bless
and prosper thee and all his people, and stand
by you and carry you through all opposition:
The eternal Grod and Majesty on high be with
you; with much more in the same fervent
manner ; remembering his love to all his dear
Friends as opportunity offered.

Thus the Lord carried him through the la-
bours of his life, as well as weakness of his
body, when he took leave of us and it, to re-
ceive an eternal mansion in the kingdom of
glory. In this I write my knowledge of the
author of the following book, upon an ancient,
as well as very intimate acquaintance; his

Digitized by




friendship and society were always grateful
to me, for the sake of that love, peace and
piety that adorned his conversation; and I
beseech Almighty God, his following works
may be a seasonable and an efiectual memo-
rial of his personal labours, that were so
beneficial and acceptable among the Lord's

If the reader peruses them in seriousness,
they will demonstrate from what fountain they
sprang, even heavenly love and zeal, for the
stirring up of those that read them, to the fear,
love and service of the everlasting God, and
that Truth, unity, peace and concord may in-
crease and be multiplied among the Lord's
people where they come.

And I would add what I earnestly desire, viz:
That the friends of God would be diligent in
stirring up their children and family frequently
to read the Holy Scriptures, and the writings
of our ancient departed Friends, which are an
eminent vindication of the Divine authority of
that blessed book, upon the experience of those
faithful ministers and servants of Christ. And
that all who make profession of the holy and
blessed Truth in the inward parts, would make
the lives and labours of those worthies of the
Lord their lively and constant examples in
their known seriousness, retirement, silence,
self-denial, temperance, humility, meekness,
tenderness, brotherly kindness and sincerity
to God and his people ; that so there may be
a succession in sobriety, righteousness and
godliness, which is the very sum and sub-
stance of religion; and that one generation
may become heirs in holiness to another, till
days be no more, and time be swallowed up
in eternity.

William Penn.

George Whitehead's Testimony concerning '
Charles Marshall, deceased.

What the Lord our God promised by holy
prophets, of the pouring out of his spirit upon
ell flesh, and that sons and daughters should
prophesy and declare his name in the earth,
that when he gives his word, many become
the publishers thereof, he has renewed and is
fulfilling in our day. He hath been pleased
to raise up a great cloud of witnesses in these
latter days, and they have concurred in their
testimony for the convincing, converting and
confirming many in the faith of the everlast-
ing Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, wherein
this our well-beloved brother, Charles Marshall,
had a share and effectual service, through
great labour, travels and exercises. To whose
menaory, with many other faithful servants of
Chrbt Jesus, who are at rest in him, we owe

such tender and due respect, as truly to com-
memorate them for the name and power of
the Lord our God, and his dear Son Jesus
Christ, and to recommend the same to pos-
terity ; for the righteous shall be had in ever-
lasting remembrance. I knew our deceased
brother in his young years ; wherein as the
Lord was pleased to incline him to virtue, and
to the knowledge and love of the blessed Truth,
as it is in Christ Jesus, in spirit, life and power,
he received and retained it ; and his love was
sincere to Christ's ministers, who were instru-
mental for his information and good. The
Lord was pleased to make him instrumental,
as a minister of the Spirit and not of the let-
ter, to turn people from the flesh to the Spirit,
and from darkness, sin and satan, to Christ
the true light, and from the barren and empty
forms of religion, to the power of godliness.
He was truly tender and zealous for the glory
of God, and the honour of his holy name and
Truth; and retained unfeigned love to his bre-
thren in Christ, and regard to the lively and
comfortable fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
wherein we were oflen comforted toother : he
was not one that would turn aside from the
flocks of the Lord's companions, whom Christ
esteems as his own brethren. He often testi-
fied zealously against the spirit of division and
separation, and against treacherous apostates
and sowers of discord ; and endeavoured to
alarm and awaken the careless people out of
the sleep of sin, carnal security, fleshly liberty
and ease therein ; for which end he laboured
hard and took great pains, as one given up to
spend and be spent in the Lord's work and
service. I truly loved him as one who kept
the faith, and retained the unfeigned love to
all the faithful in Christ, even to his whole

As an ancient Friend declared at his fune-
ral of his being then in paradise, I believe he
is written in heaven, with, all the faithful in
Christ, the redeemed from the earth ; who
keep their integrity in the Truth to God, and
their faith in Christ, even unto death; for
whom the crown of lifb and glory is reserved
in heaven.

London, the 15th of the Ninth
month, I'TOa


With the foregoing testimony concerning
our dear brother, Charles Marshall, deceased,
his great labours and service in the Gospel of
Christ, and his zeal for God and the spread-
ing of the Truth, and his unfeigned love to -
his brethren, with his great regard for the
preservation of God's people in the unity of
the Spirit and bond of peace, we have true

Digitized by




Having known him many years, and been
witnesses of his labours, and laboured with
him in the same work, in Christian respect to
his memory, and in esteem for his faithful
testimony, we do testify that he was an evan-
gelical minister and faithful servant of Christ,
and hath left many seals of his ministry ; for
the Lord greatly blessed his labours, and filled
him with his Divine power, and attended him
with his glorious presence, even unto the end ;
for he enabled him through all his exercises,
to finish his course in peace: and we are fully
satisfied, the Lord hath given him the crown
of righteousness.

We doubt not that all who impartially read
his writings, will find he was what we testify
concerning him ; a sincere man, of a tender
spirit, full of love and zeal for God and his
Truth ; and laboured for the good of souls, in
the Grospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; to whom
be glory and dominion for ever.

Signed at our second-day's morning meeting the
22nd of the ninth month, 1703.

John Freame*8 Testimony concerning Charlbs

He had a sense of his sickness before it
came upon him; for a little before he was
taken ill, he signified to me that his departure
was at hand,

I was frequently with him, and observed
his patience and sweet composed frame of
spirit, resigned to the will of God. Although
be grew very weak, yet he had still a care
for the welfare of the church, and of the poor,
as appears by the following expressions, spo-
ken to some ministering Friends who came to
visit him; and being present, I committed them
to writing.

^' I have loved the brotherhood ; I have sought
the unity and peace of the church for these
forty years ; and to my great comfort, never
did any thing tending to the breach thereof.

*'I have two things that lie upon me to
Friends, which I desire may be communi-
cated to them. The first is, that they gather
down to the immortal Seed and word of life
in themselves, and be exercised in it before
the Lord ; and duly prize the many outward
and inward mercies, and blessings, and hea-
venly visitations, that the Lord has eminently
bestowed upon them, since the morning of the
day of his blessed visitation ; then shall they
grow, and be preserved in a living freshness
to him ; and the Lord will continue his mer-
cies to them, and they shall not want his Di-
vine refreshing presence in their meetings
before him.

*' The second thing is, that those Friends to

whom the Lord hath given great estates,
ought to cast their bread upon the waters,
and do good therewith in their life time ; for
those that are enjoyers of such things, should
see that they are good stewards thereof. Oh I
the many poor ramilies that such persons
might be a help to I How easily might they
with a little, assist many a family to live in
the world I And what a comfort would it be
for such to see the fruits of their charity in
their life time I"

Afler which he grew daily weaker and
weaker, and departed in great stillness and
quietness of mind, to enjoy an incorruptible
inheritance that will never fade away.

London, the 25Ui of the Eighth
month, 1703.

John Whiting's Testimony concerning Ghabum

I KNEW him from his first coming into the
county of Somerset, I being then but a youth;
soon ailer he came forth in a public testimony
to the everlasting Truth, of which he was an
eminent minister and labourer in the Gospel
of Christ. It was in great dread and power
he came among us, and had ili^v large meet-
ings in our country, as at Portsnead, Naylsey,
Backwell and Clareham, at which last place,
in the tenth month, 1674, he was pulled down
while at prayer, by some justices; particularly
Francis Pawlet, of Wells, laid violent hands
on him, to pull him through the rail where
Friends used to stand, grasping him so by the
side, as caused him to spit blood, and haled
him out of the meeting; which hurt he felt
and complained of long afler. Several of
those persecuting justices soon afler died with
eating mushrooms in a drunken frolic, calling
it manna : and not one of them, that I know
of, has been remaining these many years.
The dread and power of the Lord was mani-
fest in the meetings he had hereaway; the
tremblings, melting into tears, and brokenness
I have seen, are fresh in my remembrance,
and can never be forgotten by me. Though
in his testimony he was dreadful to the rebel-
lious and the disobedient, yet to the faithful he
was a son of consolation, and his testimony
as the dew upon the tender herb, and was a
blessed instrument to many, and to roe in
particular, in my early days, when Truth
began first to open my understanding, and
dawn upon me as the light of the morning,
which still lives with me, and is my crown of
rejoicing; for which I greatly loved him, and
was glad of his company.

liondoD, the 9th of the Tendi
month, 1703.

Digitized by




Dear Fbibitdb,

It is a Christian obligation, as well as a
commendable practice, to transmit to posterity
something concerning such who have been
exemplary in their lives, and whose death
proves the church's loss, though their own
eternal gain, these being of that righteous
generation, whose memorial is never to be

Amongst these, my dear deceased husband
was one who yielded early obedience to the
visitation and call of God, persevered in his
fear, and finished in his love. The testimony
he bore for the Lord and his blessed Truth,
was in the authority of Divine life, which
reached the witness of God in many hearts :
he was ssealous for God, tender of the good
in all ; terrible against the works and work-
ers of iniquity; in the exercise of his gifl,
grave and reverent ; his testimony full of re-
proof and conviction, but in that meekness
which made the same truly edifying : his doc-
trine was sound, and sufiicieiU to stop the
mouths of gainsayers, flowing from that liv-
ing Fountain and Divine Spring of light, life
and heavenly wisdom^ which the wisdom of
this world can never comprehend.

In Efuch travels as these did he spend the
strength and prime of his years, whereby his
outward man has oAen been weakened, such
was his zeal for God and his love to mankind;
and the Lord was pleased many times to an-
swer the desire of his travelling soul, which
he always thought a good recompense for the
labours and sufierings he went through on
that account.

My dear husband was a sympathizer with
the afflicted, and with the mourners in spirit :
he was a lover of the brethren and of the peace
of the church, which he always preferred, and
whose tranquillity he sought ; and knew right
well the body could be edified in nothing but
love, often pressing the professors of Truth to
keep to the precious unity of the Spirit, as the
only bond of their peace. Nor did the ten-
derness with which he was wont to treat the
weak, lead him into foolish pity to the wilful ;
for no man was more zealously concerned,
when any went about to rend or divide ; and
few were more willing to reprove such; which
he often did with success, it being in the au-
thority given him of God over such spirits ;
continuing in that Christian temper that could
forgive upon their repentance and return, which
he oflen prayed for.

The heat of persecution did not hinder him
from making a general visit to the churches
through the nation, which he began in the
year 1670; which was richly blessed: and
the Lord so ordered it, that scarcely any
Friend suffered loss of goods upon that ac-

count ; and the meetings generally were quiet
where he came, as may he more particularly
seen in his following Journal. His work was
great, but his faith and the power of God in
which it stood, were greater than the power
of the enemies of Truth: he was freely given
up to expend substance, time and strength,
when concerned to visit the churches of

The Lord was pleased in the riches of his
love to make known his ancient way of Truth
unto him ; and he with many brethren, were
made able ministers of the Gospel of salva-
tion, and willing to run to and fro, that know-
ledge might be increased amongst the people,
ader a long night of error and apostacy,
wherein the ancient path of Truth and life
had been departed from, the world become as
a wilderness, and the glory of the church ob-
scured and eclipsed : many ran from one bar-
ren mountain of profession to another, seek-
ing the living amongst the dead, and their
bread in desolate places: and the Lord ap-
peared and engaged a remnant, whom he had
chosen and made vessels fit for his use, to
testify in his name, that the teachers of the
people had caused them to err ; and that they
were strangers to the true apostolical religion
and ministry, feeding themselves, and not the
flock, and seeking their gain from their quar-
ter, instead of seeking the lost sheep. Such
for conscience-sake could not pay for the sup-
port of such a ministry. For which testimony
my husband sufiered with cheerfulness, and
valiantly bore the imprisonment of his body,
the loss and spoil of goods, standing over the
power of the oppressor, in the authority of
Christ, whereby others were strengthened to
be faithful, in keeping up their testimony
against tithes. I pray God, the example of
him in that and all other branches of his tes-
timony, wherein he was kept faithful unto
death, may be a motive to all to follow the
Lord fully ; then will God have his honour,
and your souls the everlasting comfort.

He was a lover of the poor, and a friend to
the rich, oflen putting the latter at their well
furnished tables, in mind of the former, re-
commending self-denial and hospitality, in-
stead of high living : nor was he wanting in
example, oflen visiting poor families and in-
specting their situation, sympathizing with
them in tender compassion and true Christian
charity ; supplying the sick with advice and
physic, the hungry with bread,, and the naked
with clothes, according to his ability.

He was a man of a self-denying life ; not
moved by abuses or injuries when of!ered, im-
puting them to ill-nature or ignorance, which
he did not think worthy of possessing the
mind. He approved himself long-suffering,

Digitized by




patient, meek and humble, as became a min-
ister of Christ ; always trusting in the good-
ness of Grod, to whom he delighted to pour
out his supplications in full assurance of faith,
th^t he would have regard to the oppressed,
to the afflicted and bowed in spirit, and that
he would bring them into the Divine bosom,
where their souls should be filled with hea-
venly joy, to praise, magnify and bless his
holy name.

He was a loving husband to me, and a ten-
der father to his children, for whose welfare
he travelled in spirit night and day.

It pleased the Lord ailer his return from
visiting Friends of Bristol and the western
parts, to afflict him with a long sickness ; and
notwithstanding his physicians had hopes of
his recovery, yet he declared his distemper
would prove mortal ; which it did.

After about four months sickness he finished I
his course la sweetness and the enjoyment of 1

Divine life ; in which long sickness, although
attended with extreme pain, he had his senses
continued to the last, and some of his expres*
sions were very weighty. He said that he
had not handled the word of the Lord deceit-
fully, nor done his work negligently; earnestly
desiring that Friends might live in love, and
keep in the unity of the Spirit, as the only
bond of their peace. And signified, that
though some might put the trying day he had
seen and declared of, afar ofl^; yet it would
come, and on such as a. thief in the night.

As his last moments drew near, he closed
his eyes with his own hand, and with cheer-
fulness and composure, as one that had the
sting of death taken away, resigned his soul
to God, the 15th of the ninth month, 1698, in
the sixty-second year of his age.

Uavtxjlr Marshall.

London, the 1st of the Nimh
вАҐ , 1703,


I was bom in the city of Bristol, in the
fourth month, 1637. My education and bring-
ing up was afler the strictest manner of reli-
gion, my parents being such as feared the
Lord. I was kept much from the company
of other children, and attained about the fiflh
and sixth years of my life to read the Scrip-
tares of Truth, in which in a little time I took
delight. In my very tender years I had an
abhorrence to swearing and lying, and such
like sins; and many times I felt desires
and breathings to know God. About the
eleventh and twelflh years of my life, I not
only longed to know the true and living God,
but also sought after him, and loved and es-
teemed sober honest people that feared the
Lord, and went with my mother to the Inde-
pendent meetings, in the days of those peo-
ples' tenderness and sincerity; and sometimes
I went to the Baptists* meeting, and to hear
those men esteemed most zealous in their day.
Among those people, and in those assemblies,
there were awakenings inwardly, through the
stirrings and strivings of the gift of God;
through which, living pantings and breathings
were raised in many of their souls, after the
true and spiritual knowledge of God, who is
a spirit ; but they went oot from that into a
profession of the saints' words, works and
enjoyments, and left this pure principle of
%ht, life and Truth behind.

As I grew in years, I grew more and more

dissatisfied with lifeless empty professions and
professors, feeling the burthen of the nature
of sin, which lay on my soul ; in the sense
whereof I became solitary and mourned like
a dove without a mate. And seeing I could
not find the living among the dead professions,
I spent much time alone in retirement in the
fields and woods. In those days strong were
my cries unto the Lord, and sometimes being
retired into places free from passengers^ to
ease my heart, I cried aloud, because of dis-
quietness of spirit. I had openings of the
miserable fall and inexpressible degeneracy
of mankind, and the bondage which my soul
lay in ; under the sense of which I cried out,
O that my soul might be eased from this
heavy burUien of death and darkness, that I
might be saved out of this state of gross
Egyptian darkness; and from the land of
drought, of anguish, and of horrible dark-
ness: O undeclarable fall 1 said my soul.
Oh ! inexpressible wall of partition and sepa-
ration ! a gulf unutterable 1 for the fallen and
undone state of the sons and daughters of
men was opened to me, beyond words to de-
monstrate. In those days, as I walked and
beheld the creation of God Almighty, every
thing testified against me; heaven and earth ;
the day and the night; the sun, moon and
stars ; yea, the water-courses and springs of
the great deep, keepiog in their respective
places; the grass and flowers of the field;

Digitized by




the fish of the sea and fowls of the air, keep-
ing their order ; hut man alone, the chief of
the works of God's hand, degenerated. Then
I cried out bitterly, man's state in the fall is
worse than the beast that perisheth ; for the
ox knows his owner, and the ass his master's
crib, but man, in this state, is ignorant of God
his Maker, and become a stranger to him,
walking in enmity and disobedience, serving
and obeying the devil, who neither made nor
created any thing, neither can preserve any
living thing. And from the beginning his ap-
pearance against God hath been enmity, alto-
gether evil ; a destroyer and a murderer.

Such is the inexpressible thick darkness
that is come over man, that he gives up him-
self in soul, body and spirit, to be led by the
devil ; whereby thick darkness is come over
the families of the earth ; and I could set my
seal to the truth of that Scripture, ** Darkness
covers the earth, and gross darkness the

In a deep sense of man's miserable state,
and particularly of my own captivity and
share in this darkness, misery and sorrow, I
fell on the ground, and cried unto God for
deliverance and redemption out of this state.
And although the witness of God thus stirred,
and was the discoverer of this miserable state,
yet I had not a clear knowledge of that which
thus discovered it.

In those times, which was about the year
1654, many were seeking after the Lord ; and
there were a few of u& that kept one day of
the week in fasting and prayer. When this
day came, we met together early in the morn-
ing, not tasting any thing, and sat down some
times in silence ; and as any found a concern
on their spiritis and inclination in their hearts,
they kneeled down and sought the Lord ; so
that sometimes before the day ended, there
might be twenty of us might pray, men and

Online LibraryWilliam EvansThe Friends' library: comprising journals, doctrinal treatieses, & other writings of members of the religious Society of Freinds → online text (page 28 of 104)