William Evans.

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

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Home having a prospect of a religious meet-
ing for the benefit of the servants in Friends'
families, and my mind being under a similar
engagement, the afternoon meeting was put
off until six o'clock, and Friends requested to
set their domestics at liberty to attend, with
which they cheerfully complied ; many stay-
ing at home, where it was neoessary, to let
them attend. The meeting was targe and
solid, and many minds were bowed under a
sense of the renewed favour of our heavenly

26th. I was at the Monthly Meeting at this
place, which many Friends from the country

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atiendedy afibrdiog me an opportunity of ac-
quaintance with some from the several meet-
ings constituting this large Monthly Meeting.
Friends appeared to be well engaged in the
management of the business. Meetings were
arranged for me to attend during the follow-
ing week, and notice of them sent forward.
The dear Friends about to embark for Ameri-
ca, being still detained, were with us at the
meeting for worship, but did not stay to that
for business, having notice to be on board the
ship shortly. AAer dining I went on board
with them, being rowed four or five miles in
a small boat. On the way the wind increased,
and a shower of rain overtook us, and many
Friends of the place being in company, some
apprehensions for our safety were felt by
those on shore, as the thickness of the wea-
ther and rain hid us from their view. We,
however, got safely on board, and parted from
oar dear friends with mutual desires for the
continuance of the protecting care of Israel's

On first-day evening at six o'clock, I had a
large public meeting at Liverpool, in which,
through holy help, Truth was exalted to my
humble admiration and gratitude. On third-
day following, in company with Isaac Had-
win, I rode to Ashton, where we had a very
solid, and I trust, encouraging meeting ; the
uniting inftueoce of Divine love being wit-
nessed among us. The number of Friends
here is greatly reduced, from what it once
was, by removals to Liverpool.

Eighth month, 1st. I was at a small meet-
ing at Loogtree, and in the evening had a
very large and crowded one at the town of
Wigton. The people were very quiet and at-
tentive to the doctrines of Truth, which flowed
freely amongst them, and the meeting con-
cluded in humble thankfulness to the Master
of our assemblies for his renewed favours. I
bad to believe, that if the few Friends in this
town keep their places in the Truth, there
will be a gathering hereaway. We lodged at
our friend James Nevill's, where our feelings
were very comfortable, under the belief that
they were desirous to do what they could for
the cause of Truth.

FiAh-day, 2nd. Was at West Houghton,
and had a precious meeting with a few poor
Friends, a considerable part of whom were
not members, but were drawn to meet together
from an inward conviction of the propriety of
the engagen^nt. It was a reviving opportu-
nity, in which our spirits were dipped into
near sympathy one with another, with much
tenderness. May the Shepherd of Israel
preserve them in meekness, that through the
light of their example, others may be drawn
into the same serious concern. Too many of

Vol. IV.— No. 7.

their neighbours spend a part of their small
earnings foolishly, in idle pastimes and for
strong drink. I believe these Friends are
called to be examples of sobriety and godli-
ness, and may be a great blessing to the
neighbourhood, if they retain their integrity.
We dined at one of their cottages, in" prefer-
ence to going where we might have been more
sumptuously entertained, and were well satis-
fied in (Joing so. From this place we rode
through Bolton to Edgeworth, and had a com-
fortable meeting — returned to Bolton and -had
a meeting in the evening, but to little satis-
faction', as they appeared in a low weak state.
Next day we went to Manchester, and put
up with Richard Routh, where we enjoyed the
company of his valuable wife. Attended their
itieeting on first-day morning, and a large
public one held in the evening, and had seve-
ral family sittings, all to good satisfaction.
We had the company of several worthy
Friends belonging to this place, and I was
favoured to feel comfortable in the retrospect
of my endeavours to promote a revival of an-
cient zeal and simplicity in this place. We
led on second-day morning, and called to*see
Qeorge Jones, who accompanied us to Low-
layton, where there is but one family of
Friends. They occupy an estate left to the
Society by William Beard, as an evidence of
his love to the cause of Truth. Near this
place lived that faithful servant of Christ, John
G ration ; but little evidence of his pious la-
bours for the good of mankind, is now visible
hereaway. Many of the neighbours came to
the meeting we had here, and the power of
Truth rose measurably into dominion, spread-
ing an humbling solemnity over us, and many
interesting truths were delivered, endeavour-
ing to bring the people oflTfrom their idle cus-
toms and pastimes, to which many of the poor
manufacturers are addicted, and by which
much of their small earnings is foolishly spent,
to their own injury and that <bf their families.
The following day we sat with Friends of
Stockport to good satisfaction, and in the
evening had a large public meeting in the
upper story of a building erected for the ac-
commodation of a first-day school for poor
children. Next day we had a precious meet-
ing with Friends of Macdesgeld, and a full
one in the evening with the town's-people,
which was satisfactory. At this place Truth
seemed to be in dominion, and the meeting is
much increased within a few years, being
formerly kept up by only two or three per-
sons. Several of the Methodists have been
brought off from a dependence on creaturely
activity, to sit under their own vine and fig-
tree, where none can make afraid, and where
Christ Jesus is known to teach his people

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himself. The oext meetings were Morley,
FraDley, and one in the evening at Newton
near the Forest, where no meeting of Friends
IS now held, although there is a meeting-house,
and formerly a large meeting was held in it.
Now, only two members live near ; there is,
however, some convincement among the neigh-
bours, and I felt a hope, that the meeting would
again revive.

First-day, attended the meeting at Nampt-
wich, where I had a close opportunity with
Frimds, under feelings of brotherly sympathy
with them in their reduced state, both as re-
gards numbers and the life of religion. A
few of the dear children appeared hopeful.
In the evening had a very full meeting with
the inhabitants, in which the doctrines of
Truth were freely declared, and humbtis
thanksgivings and praises offered unto Is-
raePs Shepherd, who is worthy forever and
ever. Amen.

At Leek, I had to open to the few Friends,
the necessity of receiving daily supplies of
heavenly bread, in order to sustain the spirit-
ual life in the soul, and to be enabled to follow
the* example of our worthy predecessors in the
Truth; and that without this, we should dwin-
dle into formality and become useless. In the
evening we had a meeting with the town's-
people, and next day rode to Uttoxeter and
had a meeting that evening. The usual meet-
ing occurring in course next day, we sat with
the few Friends who compose it ; and under
the feeling of near sympathy, was drawn to
encourage them to a faithful dedication of
time and talents to the work of the Lord,
in their day ; setting forth the great duty of
diligently attending all our religious meetings,
thus evincing our love to the holy Helper of
his people, and our dependence upon him for
ability to be useful to the people where we
live, which would not fail to be vouchsafed, if
rightly sought after — our endeavours proceed-
ing from pure love to the holy Head.

On our way to Ridgley, Samuel Bolton and
•Isaac Hadwin, riding in a gig before mine,
their horse suddenly fell to kicking violently ;
and Isaac, to avoid being struck by his feet,
attempted to escape at the back of the gig,
but fell upon his head, by which he was much
bruised and hurt ; regardless, however, of his
own injuries, and anxious for his friend's safe-
ty, he caught the horse by the head and stop-
ped him, just as Samuel had (alien between
the wheel and the fence, and thereby saved
him probably from being torn to pieces. Their
gig was 80 broken, that they could not pro-
ceed in it ; and after binding up their bruises,
we all set forward in one chaise, and rode
some distance. We reached Ridgley in time
for the meeting, which was a very satisfactory

one, held for the first time in the town-ball; a
spirit of opposition haying heretofore prevented
Friends from obtaining it. Truth reigned to
the astonishment of some, who seemed to look
upon us with contempt when they first came
in ; it was a solemn season, in which the
proud spirits were chained down, the humble
comforted, and the praise ascribed to Him
who is forever worthy.

The following day we had a meeting in the
court-house at Stafford^ which was well at-
tended and satisfactory. The mayor of the
town sent an officer to keep order at the door,
and showed other marks of his esteem (or
Friends and good will to pronrate the meeting.
Very different was the reception we met with,
from that which our worthy ancients experi-
enced in their day, at this place, where they
were sorely persecuted ; the remembraoce of
which humbled my mind, and produced thank-
fulness to Him, whose power had opened the
way for his people to worship him unmolested
by man. From this place we rode to Cole-
brookdale, the residence of that truly devoted
and humble servant of Jesus Christ, Deborah
Darby, who deceased a few months past, and
has left a sweet memorial behind her, sur-
passed by few. As I sat in the meeting here,
I sensibly felt the loss which the church has
sustained by her removal, having known her
in America, and shed tears of endearing sym-
pathy for her in the sufierings she underwent,
and which were inseparable from travelling
in a wilderness land. But she bore them all
cheerfully, setting an example of devotedness,
not common among those in affluent circum-
stances; and though wanting for nothing which
the riches of this world could command, she
freely surrendered all her domestic comforts,
and gave up to spend and be spent for the
Gospel's sake, both in her own country and
in foreign lands. Her great exertions in tra-
velling, as well as in the exercise of her gift,
were believed to be a means of short^iing
her days, as she herself expressed ; but the
precious evidence of Divine approbation was
her support. May we who survive her press
after this same experience, and submissively
acquiesce in our bereavement, under the con-
soling evidence, that our dear sister is enjoy-
ing the reward of a well spent life. Many
servants and handmaidens have done valiant-
ly, and dear Deborah was not behind many
of them. Blessed be the nanoe of Israel's
God, who has taken her to himself.

On first-day I was at the morning and
evening meeting at this place, and rested the
day following. On third-day, had a meeting
at the Newdale, and one in the evening with
Friends of Colebrookdale, in which the uniting
love of the Grospel was preciously witnessed

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among ua; and under its influence, advice
was delivered in plain language, to rich and
poor, which was well received, and we parted
in much good will, and with mutual desires
for each other^s pretervation. On fourth-day
had a meeting with the few Friends at Shrews-
bury, and in the evening one with the town's-
people, which was small ; yet few meetings
that I have attended have been more evidently
owned by Him who promised, ** where two or
three are met together in my name, there am
I in the midst of them."

The following morning we were joined by
Barnard Dickinson, and set out for Wales,
and next day reached Dolegelly to dinner.
In the aAernoon we walked to the meeting-
house at Tydnygarreg, in which Lowry Jones
lived, from whom we learned, that they had
not heard of our intention of having a meet-
ing- with them; and as the day was far spent,
we concluded to return and meet with them
next first-day. Lowry Jones showed us a
small cottage in a grove of trees, lately the
habitation of a valued Friend, named Dorothy
Owen. As I stood looking round, my mind
was comforted, in considering how happy
many of the worthies have i)een who were
strangers to affluence. Wales has been the
birth-place of many, who lived and died in
the Truth; but now the number of such seems
small indeed, compared with what it was in
the first breaking forth of Truth. Many of
these valiants removed to Pennsylvania, and
others were gathered from works to rewards,
and the few who remain, love their friends
and should not be neglected, though much fa-
tigue is to be endured by those who visit them.
We passed a very dangerous piece of road,
about three quarters of a mile in length, which
is dug out of the side of a hill, at the foot of
which and directly below us the sea was
dashing. As it was considered dangerous to
pass, we dismounted from our carriage to
walk; and being told that the nearest way
was under the hill on the sea shore, I set out
to go, while the Friends led the horses. When
I had got a part of the way, I found the tide
was so high, that I could not pass a point of
rocks against which it was dashing, and the
distance being considerable to return the way
I came, I attempted to climb the rocks, but
found them so loose as to endanger their roll-
ing upon me. The dilemma I was in afiected
my nerves with an unusual trembling, and I
became alarmed. I now set out to walk back,
fearing that the rising tide would enclose me
and prevent my escape*; and seeing a path
slanting up the hill, where the sheep passed, I
clambered up it upon my hands and feet — my
trembling increased so, that I thought I should
lose my foothold; but recollecting that delibe-

ration and care were necessary in my present
situation, I became more collected, and was
favoured to ascend the mountain safely. I
did not entirely recover myself, however, un-
til I had passed the precipice. When I had
got part way up, I saw Barnard Dickinson
coming to look afler me, as they perceived the
tide had risen much higher than they were
before aware of. We were kindly received
"by Henry Owen, who had lost his wife a few
months before; she was a worthy daughter
of a Friend, who possessed the estate called
Llewyndee, where the meeting had been held
ever since il was set up in the time of Oliver
Cromwell; during all which period the pro-
perty had been held by an Owen. The num-
ber of Friends has for many years, and per-
haps always, been small, and now there are
only three, one of whom could not understand
English. Beside these, a woman has attended
meetings with them for several months past,
the only instance of the kind which has oc-
curred for forty years, though many of the
neighbours come in when notice is given that
a minister is to be with them. This was the
case in the meeting we had, and I thought a
renewed visitation was extended to those pre-
sent. Next morning we rode to Dolegelly, and
attended the meeting at Tydnygarreg, and
from thence proceeded to Machnylleth, which
we reached about five oVIock in the evening ;
and many of the inhabitants being in the
streets, we sought a place to hold a meeting
with them, but could not obtain any, except
the open space under the town-house, where
a large number assembled and stood, there
being no seats. I was drawn forth in testi-
mony amongst them ; and though the multi-
tude and bustle seemed at first to make against
the solemnity which it is precious to experi-
ence at such times, yet the power of Truth
brought them into great stillness. The day
following we rode to Landyloes, and had a
comfortable meeting, in an upper room at an
inn. Here Barnard Dickinson led us to re-
turn home — his compdny had been pleasant
and very useful on the journey. Ailer at-
tending meetings at Pales and Hay, we had a
large one in the town-hall at Hereford, which
was to good satisfaction. On the next first-
day, sat with Friends at Leominster, in the
morning; and in the evening had a very
crowded public meeting, not more than half
the people being able to get into the house.
A clergyman sat in the gallery with us, who,
a9 I aflerward learned, had a few days before
taken for his text the same passage of Scrip-
ture which I felt engaged to hold up to the
view of the people, in order to show the ne-
cessity of a quiet inward waiting, in order to
experience a preparation of heart from the

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Lord, to worship him aright; and that this
was equally as necessary for the minister as
for the hearer. I also showed, that all exter-
nal performances entered upon in the will and
wisdom of man, and without this preparation,
were no more acceptable in the Divine sight,
than the performances of the Jews, which the
Lord rejected. The aforesaid clergyman had
asserted in his discourse, thai the charge to
the disciples to " tarry at Jerusalem until they*
were endued with power from on high," was
not to be considered as applicable to any but
the apostles, and that in our day, no such
thing was to be looked for. As the doctrines
of the Gospel were opened to my mind with
great clearness, I had to assert a contrary
opinion, as indeed, I had abundant cause to
do from my own experience ; for I oAen find,
that as my mind is reverently bowed under
the baptizing influence of Divine power, doc-
trines are opened to me with a degree of
clearness that I had never before witnessed,
under a consideration of which I have oflen
been much humbled. Thus it was this even-
ing, words flowed like oil, and* the power of
Truth produced a great stillness and solemni-
ty, both in the house and among those who
stood around it, so that the priest's bearers,
many of whom were present, had an opportu-
nity of witnessing for themselves, that the
promise of Christ is fulfilled to us in this day,
'* Where two or three are gathered together
in my name, there am I in. the midst of them."
I was glad I had not heard of his reviling
Friends in his sermon, as I aflerward learned
he did ; and also, that I did not know who he
was — though had I known, my testimony
would have been the same.

I had meetings at Bromley, Dudley, Bir-
mingham, Worcester and Rossj in some of
which Truth rose into dominion, so that no
opposition was felt ; and where Truth seemed
to be under suffering, I was enabled to suffer
with it. At Worcester I sat with the elders
in their select meeting. They appeared sen-
sible of their low state, no minister being lefl
amongst them. We were comforted together
in a renewed belief, that although much strip-
ped, they were not forsaken. Here and at
Birmingham there are several hopeful young
people ; may they be preserved in humble de-
pendence upon Israel's Shepherd. From Ross
we went to Leominster, and attended their
meetings on first-day, and had a very full one
in the evening. We were also at the Monthly
and Quarterly Meeting held there, which were
small, and the accounts brought up to the lat-
ter were indicative of great weakness. In
one meeting there was but one Friend found
who was willing to receive the appointment of
overseer. Friends were induced to take into

consideration the propriety of uniting two of
the smaller Monthly Meetings, and a commit-
tee was accordingly appointed to visit them,
and report to next meeting.

From Leominster we proceeded to the Half^
year's Meeting for Wales, held at Breckon,
which was owned by the great and gracious
Caretaker of his people, and the business was
well conducted, except the want of more solid
weightiness of spirit in some, who it is to be
feared, are too ready in speaking to business,
and thus in some instances, there was a want
of that order, in which, one by one, all have
the opportunity of relieving their minds. Care
is necessary in speaking to- the business of
meetings, as well as when we arise to speak
in the ministry, that we wait to feel the mind
clothed with a right qualification, so as to
speak to the purpose and preserve the solem*
nity of the meeting. Friends are thinly dis-
persed over Wales ; and being now assembled
from various and distant parts, they appeared
to enjoy each other's company very pleasantly
at the inns, there being no Friend's house in
the town. From Breckon I proceeded and
had meetings at Pontypool and Neveton, and
then rode to the house of a person who had
recently become acquainted with Friends, and
united with them so far as to receive the mes-
sengers of the Gospel. We were strangers
to each other, but the cementing love of our
heavenly Father made our meeting mutually
pleasant, and we had a satisfactory opportu-
nity the same evening. Next morning Peter
Price met me here, and with hiro I rode to
Neath, and attended their week-day meeting,
and proceeded to Mil ford-haven, having meet-
ings on the way at Swanzey, Carmarthen
and Haverford-west. I had a passage of
about twelve hours to Waterford, in Ireland.
Soon afler my arrival I visited the family of
Richard Jacob, who were in deep affliction, in
consequence of the sudden removal of this
servant of Christ. The loss to the widow
and children is indeed great, but they have
not to sorrow as those who have no hope;
for although his removal was sudden and un-
expected, there is good reason to believe he
was prepared. He had been at meeting, and
was drawn forth in fervent prayer, to the
comfort of many minds present, and soon
afler he got home was seized with a fit, and
died before night. The church too has sus-
tained a great loss in his death; there are now
but two men Friends in the station of minis-
ters in Ireland. During the first week of my
stay in Waterford, I had three evening meet-
ings with the town's- people, the first and last
of which were to good satisfaction ; at the
other, the people were unsettled and Truth
did not arise into dominion as in the others.

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Ou seventh-day, the 20th of tenth month, the
select Quarterly Meeting for Munster province,
was held at Waterford, in which I was en-
abled to feel something of the cementing love
of our heavenly Father, and in the strength
thereof was led to set forth the necessity of
a. faithful individual engagement at our re-
spective posts, a want of which appeared evi-
dent ; yet, there is a precious remnant pre-
served amongst them, who have proved their
attachment to the cause of God, whilst the
shield of the mighty has been vilely cast
away, and many fallen ** as upon Mount Gil-
boa, where there is neither dew nor rain."

The meetings on the following day were
favoured seasons, in which a tender and af-
fectionate call was extended to the youth,
under « persuasion, that a renewed visitation
was afforded them from Him, whose mercies
sweeten all the toils of life. A cloud of wit-
nesses can still bear their testimony to the
love he has toward the children of believing
parents— ^may they be wholly given up to his
direction through time, that so a succession
of standard and testimony bearers may be
found in the militant church. In this town
there are many hopeful youth, for whom, in
the course of the time I spent amongst them,
I was frequently engaged, I trust under the
love of the Gospel, which drew me from my
dear kindred and friends in a distant land.
Often was my spirit bowed in reverent suppli-
cation for them, to the Father of mercies, that
he would be pleased to have them in his holy
keeping, that they might grow up in his fa-
vour, and come forward acceptably td the
help of his servants, in advancing that cause,
which is dignified with immortality and crown-
ed with eternal life. My health being aiiected
by a cold, I went to Henry Ridgway's for a
few days, and felt comfortable in the society
of his valued wife and exemplary children.
His wife had lately paid a visit to the inn-
keepers and keepers of tippling-houses, of
which there are many in several of the towns
of Ireland, to warn them in the name of the
Majesty of heaven, not to let the poor thought-
less persons who frequent their houses, have
strong drink, seeing so many families had

Online LibraryWilliam EvansThe Friends' library: comprising journals, doctrinal treatieses, & other writings of members of the religious Society of Freinds → online text (page 60 of 104)