William Evans.

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

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Lord will yet favour me with a more willing

mind, and sufifer nothing to prevent me from
obeying his holy commands ; for truly, I love
the ways of the Lord, better than I do the
ways of man. '* I had rather be a door-keeper
in the house of the Lord than to dwell in the
tents of wickedness."

19th. At our Quarterly Meeting, we had the
company of three young men, who evinced a
commendable zeal for the sacred cause of re*
ligion. They far outstrip me, at which I do
not murmur, but am glad to see the work
prosper, and rejoice to find that the Lord is
raising up standard-bearers in Zion. May I
take heed to my ways, and be faithful in my
allotment. So enable me, Oh Lord, that I
may stand in humility, with acceptance before
thee.— *I am grieved that so many of us are
found spending our time unprofitably.

At our first-day meeting I was cumbered
with many thoughts, until my dear father
stood up with a living testimony, expostulating
with the youth in a very pathetic manner.
His words sealed instruction upon my mind
which I desire never to forget.

About this time I was deprived of the so-
ciety of Stephen Hoag, a young man whom I
highly esteemed. He was received into our
Society by convincement, and had appeared
as a minister several times in our meetings ;
and being generally beloved, his death had an
awakening effect upon manv, and on me in a
particular manner. I saw that my day's work
was behind hand, and earnest were my de-
sires to have it accomplished. I had many
temporal blessings bestowed upon me, par-
ticularly a precious wife, with whom I was
now settled in a neat, though small house,
and we spent our time very pleasantly to-
gether. She was of a pious turn of mind,
and our enjoyments were increased by the
opportunity of reading religious books, the
tendency of which, was to animate us to follow
the footsteps of the righteous. Her father was
for many years a constant attender of meet-
ings for discipline, at Nine Partners, and we
often had his company ; and still more fre-
quently that of my father, who was a truly
valuable man, though naturally diffident and
backward in company. My business was
small, but I was contented. In the season of
fulling, I was employed in my shop, and in
the summer, in my garden; and with my
small slock, consisting of one cow, a pig and
some fowls, I envied not the rich nor the
great. I believe there were few happier men
than myself; but my happiness did not con-
tinue as it might have done, if I had not
launched out into greater business.

1790. O Lord Grod of heaven and earth, I
pray thee, in the riches of thy mercy, be
pleased to look upon me from heaven, thy

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holy habitation, for I am a poor unstable
man, tossed about with prospects pleasing to
my natural inclinatioD, and which keep me
from surrendering myself wholly unto Thee.
Cast me not off, I pray thee, O thou holy One,
but enable me to dedicate my all unto Thee
and thy service. Ck)ndescend to baptize me,
and re-baptize me, that I may be prepared to
serve thee acceptably, for thou art worthy —

Ninth month, 5th. '* Lord, what is man,
that thou art mindful of him, or the son of
man that thou visitest him !" I am not wor*
thy of the notice of the Most High, yet such
is his condescension, that I have a little confi-
dence given me to look up unto Him, and ask
for his help to enable me to persevere in the
way that is well pleasing unto Him, and not
to run in the ways of my own choosing. May
all that is in me be so humbled and reduced,
as that I can truly say, in addressing the holy
One, " Thy will, not mine, be done."

1791. Third month, 14th. My mind was
sensible of the goodness of God. They must
be unmindful of his manifold mercies, who
are not willing to acknowledge his goodness.
Such may go out into gainsaying, and thus be
in danger of losing themselves in a labyrinth
of reasonings. May I never forget the Lord's
goodness — truly, he will receive all that turn
unto Him.

Sixth month, 11th. Although t have oflen
testified of the goodness of God, yet I am also
bound to declare, that it is dangerous to tamper
with his mercies, by living in idleness, un-
mindful of how much we owe him. We have
need to watch daily and endeavour to keep
the fire kindled in our hearts, that we may
manifest a holy zeal for the Lord and his
cause ; and there is also a care to be main-
tained that we do not compass ourselves with
sparks of our own kindling. I had rather be
a poor but diligent waiter in the house of my
God, than attempt to advance by my own

22nd. O Thou, who regardest the poor
and the afflicted, be pleased to remember the
poor Africans, whom professing Christians
are holding in slavery.

Eighth month, 18th and 19th. Attended
our Quarterly Meeting, and was comforted in
the belief, that there is a revival of ancient
zeal for the maintenance of our Christian dis-
cipline. Near the close of this meeting, David
Sands expressed that the impressions made on
his mind were such, that he believed it right
to declare, as the word of the Lord, " The
people, are too many — I will thin them — I will
thin them — I will thin them."

2Sd. O that I may be mofe redeemed from
the world and its spirit, and be enabled to look

up unto Grod with greater confidence in times
of difficulty. I am now tried with the loss of
property, yet not so much, I think, for this, as
from the apprehension that I have not done as
I should. O Lord, be pleased to pass by my
ofi!ences, and receive me into thy favour again.

24th. "As with a sword in my bones, my
enemies reproach me, while they say daily
unio me, Where is thy God? Why art thou
cast down, O my soull and why art thou dis-
quieted within me 1 Hope thou in God, for I
shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my
countenance and my God."

29th. O Lord, I pray thee, leave me not
in this pinching time, when trials assail me,
which not only put my patience to the test,
but my faith also. — I desire in humble dedica*
tion of heart to serve thee.

Ninth month, 1st. At our mid*week meet-
ing, I felt it to be cause of thankfulness that
so poor a creature as I am, should be favoured
with Divine light, illuminating my mind to see
the nature of prayer, and how it is to be ac-
ceptably put up to the God of my life.

7th. Attended our I^reparative Meeting,
where there was a united labour to encourage
all to «guard against a lethargic and drowsy
disposition in meetings for Divine worship.

8th. Much enga^ in my temporal con-
cerns, and with too little sense of my heavenly
Master's presence.

9th. Felt renewed encouragement to trust
in God, with a hope that I shall be careful not
to sufifer my temporal concerns to engross too
much of my attention.

12th. Notwithstanding I have so often
been forgiven my sins and partaken of the
Lord's mercies, yet to-day I suflfered my na-
tural temper to rise into aneer, and this with-
out any real cause. O that I may find a place
of repentance for my folly. *

ISth. Too little sensible of my folly yes-
terday, being almost wholly engrossed in at-
tention to my worldly concerns. When Ba-
laam went forth to curse the Lord's people,
and the angel met bim with a rebuke, be said
if his going ofiended the Lord, he would re-
turn. But, alas ! he loved a reward and went
forward. I fear it is thus with me: the riches
of this world look desirable and I keep press-
ing on.

14th. Felt a humble hope that the Lord
will again pass by my offences. O may I be
found worthy to receive his continued mercies.

18th. At our first-day meeting we were
favoured by Him who is in the midst of those
that are gathered in his name.

22nd. Worldly mlndedness prevailed over
me, in our meeting to-day, and I was very
dull and heavy. O how enchanting m the
world, and how its profits load ns as vHh

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thick clay. What adheres to me may not
prove a hindrance to another, but it greatly
retards my progress heavenward.

Tenth month, 2nd. O, thou who knowest
the hearts of all men, be pleased to look down
upon roe, and if my heart is not right before
thee, cleanse thou it. Let not thine eye pity
nor thy hand spare-— I long to stand approved
before thee, and to be preserved from disgrac*
ing thy holy cause.

12th. At meeting there appeared a living
engagement among Zion's children, but I had
scarcely strength even to rejoice thereat. In
returning home I stopped to see a poor wi-
dow^s son, who was badly wounded, and leA
them all the money I had with me, and though
but little, yet it afforded me satisfaction.

14th. Blessed and adored for ever be the
great God, the everlasting Father, who in
great condescension was pleased to appear to
my soul, while engaged in my workshop, and
assure me that if I live in his fear and serve
him, I shall not want for a provider.

15th. Received affecting intelligence of
great mortality in the city of New York, and
of an insurrection of the coloured people in
one of the West India Isladds, where several
members of our Society are detained to assist
in the defence of the town. I feel for them
and their families ; but have they not contri-
buted to the calamity by encouraging the trade
to those islands, which has been the induce-
ment to the whites to increase the number of
their slaves. Lord, have mercy upon blacks
and whites ! — How great are the, cruelties
practised amongst mankind, and to what a
pitch have they reached ! I long to have my
mind more and more redeemed from the world,
that I may leave it cheerfully if called away
therefrom ; yet I think I am also willing to
live and suffer, if thereby I may be useful to
my fellow-mortals*

19th. Poor indeed, and almost insensible
of good, yet a hope revives, while I am writ-
ing, that I am not wholly cast off— I will
therefore endeavour to trust in the Lord, and
walk in true humility before him.

28d. At meeting, was enabled to invite
the dear youth to come and partake of the
ricb dainties of the Lord's table.

27th. Felt the influence of a worldly spi-
rit at meeting ; and fear I shall lose ground
unless I give up some of my business.

28th. My morning prayer was, that nei-
ther riches nor any earthly enjoyment might
be able to separate me from the love of God.

Eleventh month, 10th* Greatly fatigued in
business, yet I humbly hope I was not without
a due regard for the concerns of religion. O
thou, who knowest all things, if I have this
day sufiered my mind to go too far in plan<

ning worldly matters, I pray thee, suffer me
not to accomplish my designs — leave me not
to grope in the dark, lest I stumble and fall.

TwelAh month, 31st. The affecting situa<-
tion of the enslaved and oppressed Africans,
has much occupied my attention, and my
hope is, that the great number of advocates
who have appeared in behalf of their cause,
will open the way for some relief.

The beginning of the year 1792, was to
me a good time. I had an opportunity of ac«
companying a Friend who was visiting fami-
lies in our part, and was also favoured with
the company of many other precious Friends
who were labouring in the Lord's vineyard.
I frequently attended the meeting held at Lit-
tle Nine Partners, where many who were not
members of our Society gave us their com*
pany, for whom I felt strong desires that they
might be wisely directed to choose the path
of pure and undefUed religion. Several of
them aAerward became useful members of
our Society.

In the year 1793, I travelled some short
journies within the compass of our Monthly
Meeting, which then included the members
living at Hudson, Klinakill, Coeymans, &c. ;
and also accompanied Hannah Barnard to
some of the adjacent towns in Connecticut.
She had passed through much exercise of
mind to prepare her for the work of the min-
istry, and evinced much love and zeal for the
cause of religion. Although she lived forty
miles distant from where our Monthly Meet-
ing was held, yet she oAen attended it, and
travelled some long journies in the work of
the Gospel.

But afler all her dedication to the Lord's
cause, she fell away and caused Friends much
trouble, imbibing and promulgating principles
inconsistent with what she had once so zeal-
ously propagated, denying the literal accuracy
of some parts of the Holy Scriptures, and re-
jecting the doctrines of the divinity and atone-
ment of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
for which she was disowned from society*

Being a woman of high mind, and her gill
procuring, her. much respect and attention
where she travelled, she was weak enough to
be carried away by vain imaginations and
carnal reasoning— slighting the advice of her
friends who loved her and saw the danger she
was in. Several years before she quite fell
away, I had fears on her account, having fre-
quently been in her company, and had oppor-
tunity of seeing the temptation to which she
was exposed. '*Let him that thinketh he
standeth, take heed lest he fall.''

Sixth month, 16th. A heavenly meeting,
the sweetness whereof remained upon my
, mind through the day.

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27th. At meetiog, a watchword was sweet-
ly sounded forth by a beloved sister, but drow-
siness beset me until almost the very close of
the meeting, when light and life prevailed.

26th. Near the close of this day, had a
sweet time in humble contrition before the
Father of mercies, and received strength to
ask for the greatest of blessings, viz: true

Seventh month, 5th. Took measures for a
gradual retreat from much business.

9th. At a meeting with a Friend at Phil-
ipstown, where are several professors of
Truth, who have greatly cumbered them-
selves by the love of the world, and the inor-
dinate pursuit of riches. The meeting was a
time of trial, but afterward we had a select
opportunity with some of them, in which a
degree of relief was obtained.

15th. Had the company of Richard Titus,
a minister from Long Island, whose awaken-
ing testimony brought me into serious reflec-
tion upon the present situation of mankind,-—
which, if duly considered, might operate to
arouse the careless professors to greater dili-
gence in the work of salvation. While pes-
tilence prevails in some places, famine and
the sufferings attendant on war afflict others,
the nations of Europe being generally en-
gaged in a destructive war, and confusion
and bloodshed prevailing in some of the is-
lands by fire and sword, in the hands of the

Eighth month, 3d. My health not good, but
I think relieved from much worldly minded-
ness, being made willing that the glory and
beauty of the world should be stained in my
view, and my mind more engaged in pursuing
heavenly treasure.

2dth. The cares of this life engaged my
attention this day, yet not so, but that through
marvellous condescension, I had a sweet time
in spiritual communion with Him, who is the
Alpha and the Omega — the praise is due to
him. In this time of heavenly favour, I asked
for strength to walk more uprightly than I had
heretofore done, that so I might enjoy these
favours more frequently.

Ninth month, 18th. Received the afiecting
intelligence of the death of that dear and emi-
nent servant of Christ, Daniel Offley„ who
died in Philadelphia, of the malignant fever
raging there. The remembrance of him is
precious to me, his ministry having been in-
strumental in turning me into the paths of

2l8t. Received accounts of the death of
two more ministers in Pennsylvania, and that
two hundred persons were buried in the city
in one day — my mind much affected under the
consideration. A merchant of that city writes

thus to his friend in New York, viz : *' Scenes
like the present, destroy our relish for earthly
enjoyments and the pursuit of wealth, in which
I fear we have both been too much engaged.
I feel very sensible of its having been the case
with me, and I do not look back with comfort
and satisfaction on my employment for some
years back. No earthly good is equivalent
to the loss or diminution of that peace and
calmness, which flows from a faithful and up-
right attention to religious duties."

27th. O Lord ! I have need of thy help to
bear up my soul and keep me from sinking,
the heaviness of my heart is so great. And
why it is so, I know not. If it be (or my
further refinement, good Is thy will, O Lord !
I am thankful that thou art mindfbl of me.
Have mercy upon me, I pray thee, and set
me in a place where I may praise thee* I am
willing to leave all, and follow thee in the way
of thy requirings. Although the cross has
been in my way, so that I have n^ at all
times given up, thou knowest I have not with-
held through wilful disobedience. T know
myself to be a poor weak creature, a mere
worm in comparison to many of thy servants,
whom thou sendest forth on thy errands. O be
pleased to forgive all my short comings, purify
me in what ever way thou, in thy wisdom,
seest fit, that I may be received into thy fa-
vour, and be qualified to serve thee, who art
forever worthy.

Eleventh month, 17th. A season of renewed
favour and help at meetins; and agreeable
news received from Philadelphia, that the
fever is abating. In this month I visited the
families of Friends, and others who attended
our meeting at Stanford, held in my fother's

In the first journey I took beyond the limits
of our own Quarterly Meeting, with a view of
having meetings with Friends and others, I
was accompanied by my friend Samuel Upton.
We rode to New Britain and had a comforta-
ble meeting ; from whence we proceeded to- .
ward Saratoga, to attend the Quarterly Meet-
ing held at Easton. The inn, where we
stopped to feed our horses, was much crowded,
but I kept pretty much by myself, and was
favoured to witness the goodness of the bea*
venly Shepherd to be great, his love filling
my heart in an extraordinary manner, ao as
to leave the remembrance thereof fresh to this
day. I felt encouraged to press forward, and
late in the evening we arrived. Afler attend-
ing the Quarterly Meeting, we visited Pitts-
town, Adams, White Creek, Saratoga,, Gal*
way. New-town, &c., and came to a new
settlement, on lands called Duane's Patent,
where a few friendly people lived, who had
sometimes sat toj^ther on first-days; but had

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not been visited by any Friend before. With
them and their neighbours, we had a precious
meeting in the evening. Thence we went to
Coey man's Patent, and the snow not being
beaten, we had nothing to direct us, for the
greater part of the way through the wilder-
ness, but some marked trees. From Coey-
man's we returned home.

In the sixth month, 1794, accompanied by
tbe same Friend, 1 set out on a visit to Friends
of New England. At the Yearly Meeting at
Newport, we met John Simpson and Daniel
Mifflin, from Pennsylvania, and Joshua Evans
of West Jersey. Harmonious labour in the
Lord's cause produced a love for each other,
and the meeting ended satisfactorily. Being
tbe youngest amongst them, I was mostly si-
lent, except at the public meeting on first-day,
which was largely attended ; and the Divine
help afforded to the humble labourers, was
known by me to my admiration. The meet-
ing was frequently spoken of aderward as a
precious one, and all the praise was and is
due to our holy Helper.

After the Yearly Meeting we proceeded
eastward, and took meetings at Portsmouth,
Tiverton, &c., to Lynn and Salem. At these
two places I was comforted, in finding several
promising youns Friends, some of whom I
believed to be under the preparing hand for the
work of the ministry ; — ^great was the encour-
agement I derived from meeting with them,
and the fervent prayer of my heart was, that
tbe Ancient of days would bless them and
keep them as in the hollow of his holy hand.

From Lyon we went to Newburyport, and
had a meeting with the few Friends who re-
sided in that vicinity. They Svere put in
mind of the peculiar situation of Israel, when
tbe Lord commissioned Gideon to go forth
and fight his battles ; and those in that meet-
ing, who like him, felt themselves small, were
encouraged to try the fleece both wet and
dry, to see if the Lord had not a work for
aonoe of them to be engaged in, and which
could only prosper as they were found obedi-
ent. Our next meeting was at Amesbury,
which was a precious season — several of the
youth were much tendered, and manifested a
love for me, as a messenger of glad tidings to
their souls. The day aHer, being the first of
the week, I was at the fore and afternoon
meetings at Seabrook. In the morning meet-
ing I had to controvert an opinion that was
spreading through these parts, that atonement
being made for the sins of mankind, through
the one great offering, viz : the sufllerings and
death of Christ on the cross, it was impossi-
ble for any to miss of heaven and happiness.
The danger of this doctrine, and the nature
of true faith in Christ, were clearly set forth,
Vol. IV.— No. 7.

and the people invited to submit to him in his
spiritual appearance, so as not only to believe
in his outward coming, in the pre|)ared body,
in which he came to do his Father's will, but
also to know him, as the apostles and primi-
tive believers did, to be " Christ in them the
hope of glory." Many not of our Society
being present, and feeling love to flow in my
heart toward them, at the close of the meet-
ing, I expressed my satisfaction in having
their company, and requested them to attend
in the aflemoon, and to invite their neigh-
bours. We accordingly had a very large
company, many of whom it was said had
never before been at a Friends' meeting ; and
although the subjects of ministerial coinmuni-
cation were doctrinal, there appeared no dis-
satisfaction, the meeting ending under a pre-
cious solemnity, an evidence of the love of
the heavenly Father, vouchsafed to us.

On second-day, we had a large meeting at
Newtown, then went to Lee, and accompanied
by Abigail Fulsom, who had a precious gid in
the ministry, we had meetings at Dover, Ketter-
ing and Meaderborough. We had also a large
meeting at the house of Richard Dame, where
we sat nearly an hour in silence; the expecta-
tions of the people were great, for word had
gone abroad that a boy was to preach, and I
was sensible my friends were looking too
much for my appearing, as very many not of
our Society were present. I was reminded of
the time when the host was encamped against
Israel; and tbere seemed an anxiety in the
minds of some of my friends, comparable to
what there was when David was about to en-
gage the champion of the Philistines, and Saul
clothed him with his own armour. I felt as
if this was put on me, but like David, I found
it would not do. My spirit was mercifully
brought into a holy calm, and I was willing
to be a spectacle to the people, and my mind
at length became invested with a concern,
which produced a willingness to appear as
David did, with the sling and the stone.
Forever blessed be the name of Israel's Help-
er, he was with us, and the spirits of the Go-
liahs were measurably humbled; and there
seemed a union of heart among the difllerent
professors, to ofler up praises and thanksgiv-
ings to the Lord Almighty, and to crave the
continuance of his regard toward us.

On our way from thence to Berwick, we
dined with two young women, who had nei-
ther father nor mother living. I was com-
forted in observing their commendable appear-
ance and conduct, and understood they were
very diligent in the attendance of meetings,
and in other respects were precious examples
to youth who have had greater privileges. I
love my young friends, but have been at times

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grieved at seeing the raw and uncouth behav-
iour of some, and the no less unseemly afiec-
tation of others^ while the graces and charms
of true religion were wanting. O, that the
youth might be persuaded to fear the Lord,
and thus escape the snares of death. From
Berwick we rode to Falmouth ; and although
in the seventh month, the frost was so severe,
that the effects of it were very apparent on
some of the vegetation.

On fourth-dtiy, attended the Monthly Meet-
ing at Falmouth, and the day following a sat-
isfactory appointed meeting in the new vil-
lage of Portland, a few Friends having settled

On sixth-day, had a large meeting at Wind-
ham, afler which we went to Durham, and

Online LibraryWilliam EvansThe Friends' library: comprising journals, doctrinal treatieses, & other writings of members of the religious Society of Freinds → online text (page 54 of 104)