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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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Third month 8tb, 1811.

On second-day, the 11th of third month, I
rode to Coolhill, accompanied by Thomas
Green, jr. ; and a fair being held there on the
day afler our arrival, we found it best to stay
one day longer, in order to be with Friends
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LIFE OF HENRY HULL.



of that place, as the confusioD occasioned by
the fair rendered it unsuitable to attempt hold-
ing a meeting that day. Afler the meeting
here, I rode to Edenderry, where I found a
few well engaged Friends, and had two meet-
ings with them; and then went to Rathangan,
Tullamore, Moat, Ballimury, and back to
Moat, where I spent the 23d. It being a fine
pleasant day, I passed most of it in the fields
and gardens, observing the beauties of the crea-
tion, as evidenced in the springing forth of the
buds and blossoms. My mind was clothed with
solemnity, and my dear connexions in America
were brought near to my mind, accompanied
by thoughts of my separation from them,
while tears of tender and parental afiection
stole silently from mine eyes. Thou knowest,
O Lord, that I led them in obedience to thy
holy command — be pleased to preserve us in
thy fear, walking in the way that is accepta-
ble unto thee, and keep us from falling mto
any of the ways which render unworthy of
thy favour, for thou art worthy to be served
by us, from whom we have received so many
blessings. May we never forget how much
we owe unto thee, but always be willing to
sacrifice whatever thou callest for. Amen.

Second-day morning, 25th, rode to Birr,
where we had a good meeting, notwithstand-
ing the rabble compassed the house, in order
to disturb us ; and the key being led in the
door they locked it, and made a noise at the
windows afier I stood up. But the calming
influence of the power of Truth stayed the
minds of the assembly, many of whom were
not Friends, so that little notice was taken of
the rude behaviour without. The meeting
ended with thanksgivings and praises unto
Israel's Shepherd, for the continuance of his
care over those who put their trust in him,
with humble prayers for the blessing of pre-
servation to those who were engaged to turn
from the wickedness of their ways. When
the meeting was over and we got into the
street, we found the attention of the rabble
turned away from us by a desperate fight, in
which several were engaged, with a fury com-
parable to that of ferocious beasits, knocking
each other down with whatever they could
lay hold of for the purpose. Thus the days
they call holy are spent in some parts of Ire-
land, the people being kept in ignorance by
selfish priests, who teach them to refrain from
labour on these days, that they may thus have
a pretext for receiving money from them, as
a compensation for unavailing ceremonies and
services. These popish holidays, instead of
promoting morality or religion among the
people, make them worse, and expose them
to many evils ; encouraging ^ idleness and
causing the holy name to be blasphemed, and



the way of Truth to be evilly spoken of. No
marvel that the priests endeavour to keep the
people in ignorance, for if they had the privi-
lege to see and judge for themselves, they
would find that their teachers were too gene-
rally promoters of the kingdom of antichrist,
even whilst they are professing to advance
the cause of Christ Jesus our Lord. These
pretended holy days are an ofiTence to the
holy God, to whom vengeance belongeth, and
who will render righteous recompense upon
the heads of these deceivers of the people.

On the day following I had a meeting at
Roscrea, and one in the evening appointed for
the inhabitants of the . town to good satisfac-
tion, and next day one at Knock, where I met
my dear friends and fellow labourers in the
Gospel, Martha Brewster and Susannah Hill.
We had very solid meetings at Moantratb,
one for Friends and one for the town's-people,
in which the power of Truth arose over all
opposition, and all spirits seemed brought into
reverence — blessed be the name of our holy
Helper.

The 30th of third month, the Select Quar-
terly Meeting for Leinster province was held;
and on the following day, being the first of
the week, a large number of Friends being as-
sembled from the difi^rent constituents branch-
es, meetings for Divine worship were held in
the morning and evening. The appearance
of Friends was commendably plain and con-
sistent with our religious profession, and the
meetings were edifying seasons ; the presence
of Him who promised to be in the midst of
the two or three who are gathered in hb
name, being evidently witnessed to stay the
minds of the people, and still the spirits of
the true worshippers. This solemn covering
spreading generally over the meeting, there
seemed to be an uncommon degree of the ce-
menting influence of heavenly love over the
minds of Friends, which had a profitable
eflect in preparing them for the business of
the church. This was transacted on the fol-
lowing day in a spirit and manner, which
evinced the prcvalency of desire, that the
church might arise and shake herself from
the dust of the earth, and put on her beautiful
garments. The parting meeting was also a
good time, in which humble petitions were
put up for preservation from the contaminat-
ing things of this life, and that when sepa-
rated from each other, we might witness the
extension of his help, who had condescended
to be with us while together, that so we might
be enabled to advance the Lord's cause in our
respective allotments in life, and in the little
meetings where we belonged. On fourth-day
we attended the week-day meeting at Mount-
Doclick, and in the evening had a crowded



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meeting with the town's-people. The next
meeting was at Ballintore, then Cooladine,
tbe Monthly Meeting at Enniscorthy, one at
Randall's mills, and at Forrest Ross, and then
to Waterfofd; where I attended meeting on
first-day morning, and then rode to Henry
Ridgway's, where I received a cordial wel-
come, and found their kind and sympathetic
attention truly grateful. During the few days
I rested there, a very respectable woman, who
is under convincement, came to see me. Her
father is a clergyman and her husband a ma-
gistrate, which occasion her some close trials
from their opposition to her coming among
Friends. Her husband is greatly mortified
at her declining to attend the established wor-
ship, and wholly refuses to permit her to at-
tend Friends' meetings, though in other re-
spects he is kind to her, and promises her
every indulgence she can desire, if she will
not become a Quaker. She lives some miles
distant from a meeting, and does not go to it ;
bat spends her time in retirement while Friends
are at meeting. Hearing I was in the neigh-
bourhood, she came to spend an hour or two
with me ; and we had a very tendering time
in solemn retirement before the Lord, with
vhich, at parting, she expressed great satis-
faction; her tears flowing freely in gratitude
to God for the favour. She ap))ears to be a
wise and discreet woman ; and although some
persons think she is not sufficiently persever-
ing in going to meeting, in opposition to the
will of her husband, yet I found nothing to
impress my mind on that account ; but think
she is well grounded in the principles of Truth,
and that by a prudent care she may make her
way more effectually with him, than by op-
posing him so as to irritate his disposition and
set him against Friends.

In being at Enniscorthy, Wexford and other
neighbouring places, the horrors recently pro-
duced by the rebellion seemed to be revived
in my mind, giving rise to serious and sorrow-
ful reflections, and leading me to contemplate
the mercy and strength of Omnipotence.
Great, indeed, was the Lord's kindness to
Friends, preserving them amidst the dreadful
carnage, as well as the sufferings which pthei^
passed through. When human blood flowed
in streams through the streets and multitudes
were piked and thrown into the rivers, burnt
in bams, houses, &c., and in many other
ways tortured and slain, not one Friend was
known to be killed,>save a young man, who
forsook his peaceable principles and took up
arms for his defence. If we forsake Omnipo-
tence, whither shall we flee for help 1 If he
is humbly relied upon, he will be unto his
people as a wall of defence, and make a way
when there appears to be no way. But too



many of those who saw these marvellous
works of the Lord, and how his delivering
power was vouchsafed, have forgotten these
his mercies, and gone their own ways into
the world. Alas! saith my soul, for these I
So evident were the favours shown to Friends,
that many other persons sheltered themselves
in their habitations, and those of the Society
who had deviated from the plain attire by
which Friends are generally known, now saw
their folly. In those calamitous times, fashr
ionable clothing, of an expensive kind, was
rather a passport to death than to honour;
and at all times it is more an evidence of a
weak understanding, than of a sound mind ;
for neither religion nor reason point it out as
a means to promote the usefulness of the
wearer. The great departure from plainness,
which is evident among many of our young
people, is rather a proof of their folly and
ignorance, than of wisdom; since it is be*
neath the dignity and nobility of a Christian
mind to be so much employed about, and
pleased with, the covering of the body. In
some it may be more the eflect of the parents'
pride, than that of the children ; but this tes-
timony of our Society to a simple, useful and
not expensive manner of dressing and living,
is grounded in the Truth, and innovations will
never be able to sap the foundation or over*
throw it. I would recommend fo my dear
young friends, to endeavour to see from
whence those desires arise which lead them
to follow and copy aAcr the fantastical dresses
and habits which are so continually changing.
Neatness and cleanliness are certainly com-
mendable, and if rusticity is oflensive, sim-
plicity is not ; and surely simplicity and self-
denial become a people called, as we are, to
bear a testimony to the purity of the religion
of Jesus Christ. I grant, that there is no re-
ligion in the cut or colour of a garment, but
the exterior appearance is oflen an index of
the mind ; and if the inside of the cup and
platter be made clean, the outside will be
clean also— men do not gather grapes of
thorns, nor flgs of thistles; and conformity
to the world in any of its corrupt ways and
fashions, is not a being transformed, as the
Scriptures of Truth exhort. Let us, therefore,
strive so to walk in all things, as the redeemed
of the Lord, who make no provision for the
flesh to fulfil the lusts thereof, but who are
concerned to live unto Him who died for them,
that the blessed and happy state of the re-
deemed ones may conspicuously appear in the
eyes of the world, that others may be induced
to seek a release from the bondage there is in
sin and corruption, and in all the world's evil
ways and fashions. Evil communications cor-
rupt good manners ; where the precious gives



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LIFE OP HENRY HULL.



way to the vile, good is oppressed and evil is
advanced — thus by little and little the op-
pressor may gain the ascendency over the
redeemed, and bondage may increase, and
then suffering will be unavoidable. I much
desire that the children of Friends may not
be brought up in ignorance, so as not to know
the grounds of the religious principles they
profess, and why plainness is more commend-
able than imitating those who change because
fashion is changeable.

AAer attending the Quarterly Meeting for
Munster, held at Clonmel, I proceeded toward
Dublin, and on my way had a public meeting
at Kilkenny, where Friends had been much
opposed ; but it was largely attended and the
people behaved solidly. The Yearly Meeting
at Dublin was large, and the several sittings
were solid and edifying seasons. Many pre-
cious youth evinced by their deportment, that
they were sensible of the renewed extendings
of the heavenly Father's love ; Friends parted
under the sweet feeling of this love, and hum-
ble petitions were put up to the holy Helper
of his people, that he would be graciously
pleased to keep us when separated from each
other, reverently dependent upon him; that
so we might continue to experience the unity
of the one Spirit, and be strengthened to per-
form the service he had for us, in our several
allotments, through his holy help, which had
been with us while together, and thus be pre-
pared to ascribe thanksgiving, praise and glory
to his sacred name.

The Yearly Meeting to be held in London,
being near at hand, I felt my mind at liberty
to proceed thither as soon as I could find a
passage, but the wind being unfavourable, I
had to stay a few days in Dublin, in which
time I attended the meeting in Dublin, where
I found my mind so comfortable, under a
sense of being clear of Ireland for the present,
accompanied with a flow of good will to Friends
of (his city, that my spirit worshipped in silent
adoration and thankfulness, finding no occa-
sion to renew my ministerial labours. On
fiflh-day evening we went on board a vessel,
and had a fine run of eleven hours to Holy-
head, where we landed and proceeded through
Wales. The weather being very damp, and
I having taken a heavy cold before I led Dub-
lin, the ride was very painful to me. We
stopped at the aAernoon meeting at Shrews-
bury, which was a comfortable time, and the
following day I rested at Colebrookdale, and
then went to London, where I lodged at our
friend Joseph Fry's, who with his truly val-
uable wife, gave me a hearty welcome. Dur-
ing the forepart of the Yearly Meeting I was
much depressed ; for although many solid
Friends from dificrent parts of the kingdom



were present, yet Truth seemed to me to be
at a low ebb, and some who had been accus-
tomed to take an active part in the manage-
ment of the business of the church, seemed
to enter upon it very easily. I found but lit-
tle strength to do anything; and the few times
in which I stood forth, in obedience to Him
who I believed called me to labour, I (bund
but little satisfaction. Before the meeting
closed, we seemed to be more favoured with
the cementing and solemnizing power of Truth,
and the meeting ended comfortably. I con-
tinued in London a few days afler Friends
had generally returned toward their homes,
and on the 3d of sixth month, paid a visit to
several young men, the sons of Joseph Gib-
bins, a valuable Friend who had attended all
the sittings of the Yearly Meeting, except the
last ; while on his way to this, he was seized
with an apoplectic fit and expired in a few
hours. My mind was brought into near and
tender sympathy with these young men- and
their widowed mother, under the afflicting
event which had deprived her of an afiection-
ate husband, and them of a tender father.
Under this feeling I was enabled to minister
the word of comfort to them, from a precious
belief, that he had peacefully left the mortal
body ; and also to encourage them to follow
the example he had set them, of dedication to
the cause of religion.

Having the opportunity of sitting with
Friends oF London, in the Monthly Meetings
of Devonshire-house and Grace-church street,
I had to reflect upon the disposition there is
in men to adhere to old customs; as well from
the preference I had for the method of man-
aging the concerns of the Society in my na-
tive land, as from the attachment I discovered
in Friends here to their own mode ; and also,
the easy way in which they did their business,
in some cases, without waiting to feel their
minds impressed with religious concern, mani-
festing little more seriousness than if met to
consider any interesting matter relating to
the business of this life. Yet I found they
were no strangers to the baptizing power of
Truth, which, in considering the proposal to
recommend as a minister, a precious sweet-
spirited woman, seemed to prevail amongst
them, and she was acknowledged as such. I
thought I saw, that my recommending them
to wcighliness of spirit, was considered by
some as "stamping things too high;" they
seemed not to understand me, and I was
grieved at the want of a right understanding
among the knowing, who certainly had cor-
rect views of the letter of the discipline — ^but
where this alone is relied upon, it renders in-
sensible to the Divine life, so that a resurrec-
tion through the power of Christ Jesus, the



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LIFE OP HENRY HULL.



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blessed head of the church, is necessary, in
order to do his work. I am fully of the be-
lief, that it would be better for our Society, if
there was more generally a dependence upon
the Spirit that quickenelh — the humble and
sincere labourers would be more comforted,
by seeing an advancement in the work of re-
formation, and our meetings would be more
to edification than they now are.

On seventh-day, I set out with Joseph Fry
and his truly valuable wife, to attend the
Quarterly Meeting in Essex. On first-day
morning we sat with Friends at Chelmsford,
where was a large meeting, and it ended well ;
Elizabeth Fry being acceptably engaged in
solemn supplication to the Almighty Helper
of his people. In the aflcrnoon we had a
large and satisfactory meeting at Witham, and
the day following rode to Colchester, and put
up with our ancient and valuable Friend John
Kendall. The Quarterly- Meeting was large
and solemn, and my aforesaid dear friend,
Elizabeth Fry was, with divers others, ac-
ceptably engaged in the ministry.

We then attended a small meeting at Mai-
den, after which we had a sweet time of reli-
gious solemnity, and Elizabeth Fry left us;
but Joseph continued with me, his wife having
freely given him up to the service. Return-
ing to Kelvedon, we lodged with a widow wo-
man, who is left with a large family of chil-
dren ; and she has them in such very
commendable order, that the time we were
with them was truly pleasant. May the
blessings of heaven be showered down upon
them. We then had meetings at Cop(brd,
Coggeshall, Boxon, Halsted, Colne, and on
first-day at Colchester ; in the morning with
Friends, and in the evening, a public meeting
for the inhabitants, a large number of whom
attended. The following day I went to Ips-
wich, and attended the Quarterly Meeting
held there for the county of Suffolk, The
want of more devotedness to the Lord's cause,
occasioned the meeting to be dull and heavy ;
it held long, and I hope ended well at last,
through the continued mercy and forgiveness
of our heavenly Father. Next day I attended
the usual meeting at Ipswich, where the word
preached, was in declaring the controversy of
the Lord against negligent parents, who while
careful of their children, and anxiously seek-
ing to provide for them an abundance of the
good things of this life, neglect to cultivate
the mind and to train their ofiTspring up in a
religious life and conversation. The care ne-
cessary to provide comfortable accommoda-
tions in this life, certainly should not be omit-
ted — parents would undoubtedly fall under
condemnation for this ; but how much soever
this may be attended to, or whatever abun-



dance of riches parents may have to leave
their children, they neglect the highest and
truest interest of their offspring, who do not
endeavour to bring them up in the fear and
admonition of the Lord, and place themselves
in a situation, wherein they are not likely to
receive as much consolation from their chil-
dren, as if they were walking in the Truth.
Oh ! that those who have much wealth to leave,
would lay these things deeply to heart, and
improve by the renewed visitations which are
extended, in order to gather them from the
barren mountains of an empty profession, and
from the thorny wilderness of the world, into
the peaceful enclosure of the heavenly Jeru-
salem. In the evening we had a public meet-
ing, which was attended by many of the prin-
cipal inhabitants, and the doctrines of Truth
flowed with clearness and the force of Gospel
authority; praised be Israel's Helper, who
enabled a feeble instrument to labour.

Finding that Ann Burgess [now Ann Jones]
and Elizabeth Robson, had a prospect similar
to my own, of attending the meetings of
Friends in Suffolk and Norfolk, we concluded
to proceed in company. Ann proposing a

meeting with the town's-people at , it was

accordingly held in a building formerly used
as a theatre. A large company assembled,
who behaved solidly, and many interesting
Gospel Truths were delivered, which appeared
to afford satisfaction. The women Friends
having supplied themselves with a number of
religious tracts, they were distributed at the
close of the meeting, and were respectfully
received. The next day being the first of the
week, we sat with Friends of Yarmouth, and
in the evening had a meeting with the inhabit-
ants generally, who assembled in such num-
bers, that Friends' house was not near large
enough to hold them; several hundred stand-
ing about the house and in the yard. A very
solemn quiet prevailed over the meeting, both
during the time of silence and while the doc-
trines of the Gospel were preached to them.
Next day we rode to Norwich, and put up at
our friend Joseph Gurney's. We attended
the Quarterly Meeting here, and then had
meetings at Tasborough, Tivetshall, Diss, Har-
ley, Allleborough and Wymondham, when
we returned to Norwich. Public notice was
given of the different meetings, and many
persons not of our Society attended ; and
Truth was in dominion, enabling us to bear
testimony against the formal professor, under
whatever name he is found ; and also to ex-
tend a renewed invitation to the humble seek-
er, to come buy wine and milk, without money
and without price. At Tivetshall we lodged
at our ancient and valuable friend John
Holme's ; and I was instructed by his exam-



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LIFE OF HENRY HULL.



pie of patient resignation and sweetness of
disposition under affliction, he being much
troubled with a very painful disorder.

We attended the fore and aflernoon meet-
ings at Norwich on first-day ; at the latter of
which, so many of the town's-people came in,
that their large house was not sufficient to
hold them. On second-day we rested at the
house of our very kind friends, Joseph and
Jane Gurney, and were much pleased with
the company of their children, for whom we
unitedly felt desires, that they may be pre-
served from the too general effects of much
wealth, viz : a departure from the simplicity
which Truth leads into. At present they ap-
pear hopeful — one of them particularly, who
has yielded to the heavenly visitant, who re-
proves for the pride of life, has lefl her finery,
and become an example of simplicity and
plainness. We found many other young peo-
ple under Divine visitation as we passed along,
confirming us in the belief of the continuation
of the heavenly Father's love toward the chil-
dren of believing parents, for which we bless
his holy name. But, alas! other instances
are to be observed, which give occasion for
mourning and lamentation, as when the pro-
phet said, "Oh that my head were waters,
and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I
might weep day and night for the slain of the
daughter of my people !" Great, indeed, must
have been the prophet's bitterness of spirit,
Qs his expressions evince ; yet, in the Lord's
time his sorrows were mitigated. And the
baptisms of the servants of Christ in our day,
are known to be somewhat similar; yet at
seasons they are favoured as with a brook by
the way. From Norwich we proceeded and
had meetings at Lammas, North Walsingham
and Wells, which was formerly the residence
of Edmund Peckover ; now, but very few
Friends reside here, and some of these are
almost totally ignorant of what our religious
principles are. We visited them in their fami-
lies and lefl some books amongst them, and
also distributed a number among those who
were not of our Society. They received them
thankfully, and I had a secret belief that our
visit to this place would be blest to some of
them. One young man, a Friend, seemed to
be much tendered, and I trust will give up to
the renewed visitation mercifully extended to
him; but, O! the want of fathers and mo-
thers in Israel.

Afler leaving Wells, we had a large public
meeting in the house belonging to the Method-



Online LibraryWilliam EvansThe Friends' library: comprising journals, doctrinal treatieses, & other writings of members of the religious Society of Freinds → online text (page 62 of 104)