William Evans.

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

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this meeting, that our dear friend Henry Hull,
now on a religious visit to this country, and
who was acceptably with us during the former
sittings of this meeting, has this morning re-
ceived an account of the decease of his be-
loved wife and one of his sons, of a conta-
gious disease, in the beginning of last month.
This meeting feels near sympathy with him
. in .this heavy afRiction, and desires that he
may continue to be supported under it, by the
presence of Him who was, and is touched
with a feeling of our infirmities, even our
holy Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The clerk, in company with our Friend
Stephen Grellet, who is also on a religious
visit to this land, is requested to give to Henry
Hull a copy of this minute.

A Friend, who knew nothing of what had
transpired, going into the meeting while the
clerk was making the minute, said he was
much struck, as he took his seat, with the
awful silence which prevailed, as well as with
the tenderness of spirit which Friends in all
parts of the house seemed to be under, and
was at a loss to know the cause, until the
clerk read the minute.

The meeting of ministers and elders was
to convene in the evening, when my returning
certificate was to be issued ; and as I was not
equal to the exertion of attending it, I requested
P. H. Gurney to give my dear love to Friends,
and state the cause of my absence, and to
say, that although I had parted with my dear
family as though I was never to see them
again, yet from the pleasing hope I had in-
dulged of meeting them ere long, I found the
present stroke to be a very severe trial. Feel-
, ings of tender sympathy were awakened in
the meeting, to which allusion was made in
the certificate, in which also was an expres-
sion of unity with my labours among them.

Many dear Friends came to see me, whose
company was cheering; but my more con-
stant companions in this season of affliction,
were my dear friends Elizabeth Fry, and her
sister P. Gurney, who loving the Truth, and
having been made willing to part with much
to purchase it, had been prepared to mourn
with those who mourn, and to soothe the sor-
rows of the afflicted. The kindness of the
whole family to me is remembered with
thankfulness to the Author of all good : " In-
asmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of
these my brethren, ye did it unto me:" here.

truly, is encouragement to visit the sick and
afflicted, and to administer to their needs.

The first meeting I attended after these
mournful tidings reached me, was at Plaistow,
which was a solemn time ; and however my
afflictions seemed to be above the afflictions of
others, yet I was brought into near sympathy
with some present, who were under similar
trials, and awful solemn prayer was made to
the God of all comfort, who was graciously
pleased to help our infirmities, and enable us
to cast our care upon him, in the humble con-
fidence, that he will never leave nor forsake
those who trust in him — blessed and forever
adored be his holy name.

About five' days aAer, other letters from
my family arrived, informing me that the dis-
order had subsided, which was a great satis-
faction, though my parental feelings were
quickened on account of my dear children
bereaved of the care of their tender mother.

thou who regardest the sparrows, keep us,

1 pray thee, from murmuring, and enable us
to meet the trials which yet remain, with be-
coming patience, that we may know all things
to work together for our good.

These letters were written about twenty
days alter the others, and I considered it a
favour that they caqie to hand so early after
the receipt of the first, as they relieved me
from an afflicting anxiety, which sometimes
beset my mind respecting my remaining chil-
dren, lest these also should he added to the
list of the departed. O poor Stanford, may
thy inhabitants learn righteousness by the
dispensation ! My mind was now left at lib-
erty to dwell more singly on the remembrance
of the dear deceased partner of my life, and
the period and circumstances of our union,
and I drew up an address to the youth in
England and Ireland, giving a little account
of our setting out in life, being desirous of
encouraging them to trust in the power of that
God whom we had endeavoured to serve. It
was submitted to the morning meeting, and
approved and directed to be printed, with the
addition of extracts from some letters, giving
an account of the last hours of my l)eloved.*

The following testimony respecting his wife
will doubtless be acceptable to the reader :

Tke Testimony of Stanford Monthly Meeting,
concerning Sakah Hull.

She was daughter of Edward and Phebe
Hallock, of Marlborough, Ulster county, in
the State of New York, who instructed her
in the principles of the Christian religion as
held by the Society of Friends; which, to-
gether with the example of Friends who put

* See the close of the memoirs.

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up at her father's house, was blessed to her,
tending to turn her mind, in early life, to the
internal monitor, by whose reproofs for light-
ness of conduct, she was favoured to see that
it was well with the righteous, and to dread
the displeasure of the Almighty.

In this state of mind, she frequently sought
places of retirement to pour forth her tears,
and pray to the Lord that she might be fa-
voured to witness his help to walk in a way
that would be acceptable to him.

In some of these seasons, when favoured
with a sense of the heavenly Father's love,
her tears were tears of joy ; and she willingly
entered into covenant, that if the Lord would
be with her and keep her from evil, she
would serve him all the days of her life : her
mind was also attended with a belief, that if
she was faithful, she would have to testify to
others of the goodness and mercy of the
Lord, and to invite them to come and partake

It was a pleasant duty to her to attend reli-
gious meetings, oflen riding a considerable
distance on horseback to those for church
discipline ; none being held near her father's
place of residence, whilst she lived with him.

In the year 1785, she was married to our
friend, Henry Hull, of Stanford, in Dutchess
county, and settled within the limits of this
meeting, then a branch of Creek Monthly
Meeting. She was soon noticed by Friends,
for her diligence in attending meetings, and
for her exemplary and pious conduct in other
respects. She was of a pleasant, cheerful
disposition, and disposed to be useful to her
fellow creatures, seeking occasions therefor
without ostentation. Her sympathetic mind
oflen led her to the habitations of the afflicted,
where she was frequently engaged in acts of
kindness, and in imparting salutary counsel,
which rendered her visits pleasant, and par-
ticularly useful to some who were under dis-
couragement from other causes besida bodily

She was frequently left alone with the care
of his family, when her husband was engaged
in travelling in the ministry, to which service
she cheerfully gave him up.

About the thirty-first year of her age, she
came forth herself in that important work,
with much diffidence. Her appearances in
the ministry for several years were not fre-
quent; but being careful to wait for the re-
newed evidence of Truth, her offerings were
very acceptable ; and by being faithful in the
little, she grew in her gift, and became a well
qualified instrument for the Lord's work. She
frequently performed religious visits to the
families of Friends, in this and the neigh-
bouring Monthly Meetings; and also travelled

within the limits of Pennsylvania, Rhode Is-
land, and this Yearly Meeting. The last of
these visits was in the year 1810, when part-
ing with her husband in the city of New
York, as he was about embarking on a reli-
gious visit to Great Britain and Ireland, she
recommended him with her own soul to the
care and protection of Israel's Shepherd, and
then returned home; and after a few days,
she left her children in much tenderness of
spirit, and set out for the Yearly Meeting on
Rhode Island, which she attended, and went
from thence as far as Nantucket ; and taking
meetings in the way, returned home. After
her return from this journey, she was several
times heard to say, that she believed it would
be her last visit to Friends in New England,
which proved to be the case : she, however,
performed several short journies, which kept
her from home a lew days at a time, return-
ing joyfully to her family, who were dear to
her, and to whom she was an example of
kindness and charity.

In the spring of the year 1812, a solemn
dispensation of sickness, which proved mortal
to many, spread a general alarm amongst the
inhabitants of this and some adjacent places ;
in the progress of which, she appeared to be
raised above the fear of danger, visiting the
sick, and attending meetings and burials; and
was much favoured in the exercise of her gift
in the ministry; the stream of Gospel love
which flowed through her, tending to console
the* hearts of many.

On the 19th of third month, after returning
from the funeral of a Friend, she complained
of severe pain in the head, and the prevailing
fever setting in, she was soon confined to her
bed ; where she evinced the fortitude of a
Christian, and could look back and reflect on
her endeavours to advance the cause of reli-
gion, with thankfulness. Her mind appeared
to be fllled with love to all mankind, and par-
ticularly to her friends around her, saying,
she believed all was done for her comfort that
was necessary to be done, and that she was
resigned to wait the termination of the disor-
der. To a Friend who came in, she said, " I
now know that 1 have not followed cunningly
devised fables, but living and substantial truth."
At another time, when her mind seemed fllled
with heavenly love, speaking of the happy
state of the righteous, she said, " I am raised
above all doubting, my good Master has shown
me that he has prepared a seat for me." At
another time, calling a young man to her, she
remarked, " This is a time to prove religion,
and I now find that the religion I have lived
in, will do to depend upon : leave all myste-
rious reasonings and doublings, seek the God
of thy father and of thy mother, and he will

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be found of thee : be faithful to a little light,
and it will be increased." Having, she said,
done her day's work while in health, she was
ready when it was the Divine will to receive
the reward thereof. A few minutes before
her departure, with great difficulty of utter-
ance, she said, " I want to go to bed ; as says
the prophet of the righteous, they shall enter
into peace, they shall rest in their beds :" and
then in a peaceful state of mind, departed this
life, on the 4th of the fourth month, 1812,
aged about forty-eight years, leaving the con-
soling evidence, that she had gone to the
abodes of rest and peace.

During my stay at Plashett, my mind was
at times clothed with the love of my heavenly
Father, although at otherlimes so borne down
with the consideration of my great loss, that
I could scarcely refrain from lamentation.
Many past occurrences of our married life
were called to my remembrance. I was how-
ever comforted in being sensible, that the
longer my dear wife and I lived together, the
greater, if possible, was our love for each
other ; and we had always been united in our
endeavours to train up our children in the fear
of the Lord, that they might find it to be a
fountain of life, preserving from the snares of
death. As we had endeavoured to render
each other happy, our parting was not so bit-
ter to me, as though I had been regardless of
my marriage covenant — for, Oh painful in
deed, and agonizing would it have been to
me, now to reflect that that had been the case ;
but, instead of this, the recollection of the
unity and harmony which we witnessed,
though it increased my mourning that I
should no more enjoy the precious society of
one I so dearly loved, yet it also revived the
Christian hope, that she had gone to a state of
unmixed felicity, forever to enjoy the reward
of a well spent life, through the mercy of
God in Christ Jesus.

On the llth of sixth month, I lefl Plashett,
afler an humbling season, in which many
tears were poured forth, without any noisy
tokens of sorrow. My dear friends, Joseph
and Elizabeth Fry, accompanied me to their
house in London, and next morning afler
breakfast we sat down together, and were
drawn into awful solemn silence, the prospect
of being about to part, afler having been so
long and nearly united, and the probability of
oar never seeing each other again, contributed
to humble and solemnize our spirits. Dear
Elizabeth was drawn forth in prayer, implor-
ing the continuance of heavenly goodness,
and that we might be preserved in that Divine
love, which had knit us together. We then
parted as children of our heavenly Father : —

forever blessed be his name for his love mani-
fested toward us.

I attended Huntington meeting on the fol-
lowing first-day morning, and in the evening
Friends from Ives met us ; these were solid
good seasons, although there was but little
ministerial labour. Next day we had a satis-
factory meeting with Friends of Wilburn, and
sat with the ministers and elders at Wading-
ton ; then rode to Lincoln, where the Quar-
terly Meeting for Lincolnshire is held. It was
an edifying season, with a comforting pros-
pect, that the Lord was preparing for useful-
ness in his church, some who will advocate
his blessed cause, if they are faithful. At
present there is but one minister, Jonathan
Hutchinson, a worthy ancient Friend.

From Lincoln we rode to Hull, and on the
22nd attended the morning and aflemoon
meetings there, to good satisfaction. I pro-
ceeded to York, and lodged at William Alex-
ander's, whose wife had been at my house,
when on a religious visit in America, and was
acquainted with my dear Sarah ; and meeting
me now in my bereaved situation, she was a
true sympathizer, having herself had to share
the vicissitudes incident to our tarrianoe in
this vale of tears. I attended the Quarterly
Meeting here, and had comfort in the society
of some dear Friends, particularly William
Tuke, father to Ann Alexander, and her bro-
ther Henry. I also visited Lindley Murray
and his wife, and had an humbling season of
waiting upon the Lord at their house. We
went on to Leeds, where I saw many dear
Friends with whom I was acquainted, and
our spirits were afresh united ; and with mu-
tual desires for each other's welfare we took
leave. From thence I proceeded to Lancas*
ter, to attend the Quarterly Meeting ; though
I had but little satisfection in it, as my mind
was turned homewards. I should probably
have felt better satisfied had I proceeded di-
rectly from Leeds to Liverpool ; but my kind
friends, John Sanderson and Wife, having ac-
companied me from London, and they being
desirous to attend the Quarterly Meeting, I
yielded : but when I arrived at Liverpool, I
was straitened for time to prepare for the voy-
age ; in addition to which, I did not feel inte-
rested in any meeting after Leeds. I was
therefore instructed, that when engaged in the
service of Him who putteth forth and goeth
before his own sheep, it is not safe to be turn-
ed aside by the persuasions, even of the near-
est and kindest friends.

In Liverpool I received much kind attention
from many Friends, who sympathized with
me. Were I to attempt it, I should find my-
self at a loss for language to express the feel-
ings of gratitude and love which filled my

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heart, and humbled me before the Giver of
every good and perfect gift, for all his mer-
cies. May the unslumbering Shepherd of Is-
rael keep my dear friends, through alt the
trials of this probationary state, and finally
bless them with an admittance into unmixed

On the 12th of seventh month, I sailed in
the ship Orbit, and had a fine run toward Ho-
lyhead ; next day we had a gentle breeze, and
seemed likely soon to lose sight of England.
As I silently contemplated the many acquaint-
ances I had formed in that land, from whom

1 had now parted, probably never more to see
the faces of many of them, as death is fre-
quently arresting the youth, the middle aged
and the aged, I felt that I loved many of them
with true and tender love ; and desires were
raised, that the love of my heavenly Father
may abide with them. My mind felt solitary
in thinking of those I had left behind and in
looking toward home.

15th. Wind ahead and weather fine; —
passed Water ford harbour, and the sight of
the houses on the high lands in the vicinity
of the city, revived afresh in my mind the
visit I had recently made to Friends of that
place, with pleasant sensations. I believe there
are a number of precious Friends there ; may
the love of our heavenly Shepherd often re-
fresh their spirits.

The remainder of the voyage was attended
with variable winds and sometimes calms, and
there being twenty-four passengers, we were
apprehensive of being put on short allowance,
being out of several necessary articles before
we arrived at our port. On reaching the
coast of America, we received the unpleasant
tidings, that war had been declared against
Great Britain by the United States ; and on
coming in sight of Sandy-hook light-house,
we were boarded by a naval officer, who took
possession of the ship as a prize, for a viola-
tion' of the non-intercourse act. Other offi-
cers coming on board, all was confusion and
hurry ; but several of us succeeded in getting
on board a pilot boat, though not without dan-
ger from the roughness of the sea ; and about

2 o'clock in the morning of the 28th of eighth
month, we landed in New York. To be once
more in the land of my nativity and amongst
many kind frienda who gave me a hearty
welcome, was pleasant; but the thought of
returning to my bereaved habitation was pain-

On his return from Europe he delivered up
his certificates to the meetings from which he
had obtained them, and gave some account of
his travels and religious labours, producing
testimonials from the Yearly Meetings held in

London and Dublin, expressive of their satis-
faction with his visit, and that his company
and services had been acceptable and edify-
ing. His continued dedication to the cause
of his Divine Master was soon evinced, by
his yielding to an apprehension of religious
duty to attend the Yearly Meeting for New
England, held on Rhode Island, in 1813, and
some of the meetings composing it; which
service he performed to the peacQ and satis-
faction of his own mind, and the comfort of
Friends among whom he laboured.

The next memorandums which I find are
the following, viz :

1813, first month Ist. Contemplating on
the events of the last year, and my lonesome
situation, I felt desirous to resume my diary,
from a hope that it may have a tendency to
keep me from unprofitable thoughts and their
consequences; and have therefore commenced
this first day of the year. The fervent desire
of my heart is, that Israel's Shepherd may
look down upon me with wonted compassion,
pass by my sins and remember my iniquities
no more ; for although I am looked up to as
one of the better sort of men, yet I am very
sensible that I have need to watch continually
unto prayer, finding my disposition inclining
to the world and its ways, which if indulged,
leave the mind destitute of spiritual consola-
tion. Hitherto the Lord hath helped me. By
him I have passed through the fire, and es-
caped the perils of the briny deep ; after hav-
ing had to endure the heart-rending trial of a
separation from a beloved help-mate, a hope-
ful son, an aged mother, and other near rela-
tives. Shall I not therefore trust his holy
name and seek his favour, for his power is
undiminished, and his mercies are new every
morning. Sing, O my soul, a song of praise
and thanksgiving unto thy God 1 tell of his
marvellous doings, that others may come and
put their trust under the shadow of his wings.
Although he has chastened me, yet he has not
forsaken me ; as a father looketh on his chil-
dren, and hath compassion toward them, even
when they go astray from his wholesome
counsel, so hath he regarded me. His love
has been as a reviving cordial, and as healing
balm to my wounded and fainting spirit. May
the thousands who are calling upon his name,
witness this, and those who are delighting to
live without him, in the ways of their own
choosing, be turned unto him, that they may
find him to be to them, as he is indeed to all
his penitent children, indescribable in love and
mercy, a helper near at hand in every need-
ful time. Thus they also may testify of his
goodness, that he faileth not to uphold the
righteous, whilst the obstinately wicked can-

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not escape his wrath, though he has no plea-
sure in the death of the wicked, but delighteth
in showing mercy and kindness, even unto
those who are unmindful of him. He calleth
unto them that they may turn from the evil
of their ways, repent and live. Shall those
then, who are at times clad in sackcloth, and
go mourning on their way, forsake him and
seek other beloveds? Nay — let not this be
the case, lest they increase their sorrow, even
unto death. For where is true consolation to
be had, but from the inexhaustible Fountain,
where the true mourhers have ever been com-
forted, and their mourning been turned into
joy, because of the gladness of heart they
have received, enabling them to sing, " O
praise the Lord, all ye sons and daughters of
men, for his mercy endureth forever." Grant
thou, O Lord, the petition of thy servant;
seal instruction upon my heart, as with an
indelible impression, only to be effaced by
death ; that th^ counsel may remain in me,
to thy glory and the exaltation of thy own
cause, for why should I be as one that turn-
eth aside, when thou hast made my way plain
before me.

2nd. Spent most of the day in reading and
writing, though with but little edification, yet
not altogether destitute of the hope that I shall
yet witness further advancement in Christian
experience; my eyes have several times, in
the course of the day, been moistened with
tears, in the remembrance of my dear wife.

3d. First-day, advocated the cause of my
dear Master, from the words, " My kingdom
is not of this world ;" in which I found peace,
and was enabled to ofier up thanksgiving and
praise, with humble prayer for the continu-
ance of holy protection, that as we had en-
tered upon a new year, we might improve it
better than we had done that which is past,
to the glory of Him, who is forever worthy.
In the evening was sorrowful, in thinking of
my motherless children ; but a humble hope
revives, that He who is a Judge of the widow,
and a Father to the fatherless, will graciously
regard the motherless, and not suffer accumu-
lated trials to attend. I commend them and
myself unto him, in true contrition of heart.

5th. Have felt solitary yesterday and to-
day, but not desponding ; my trust is in the
ancient Helper of his people, even for wisdom
to direct me in my temporal concerns, about
which I have been very thoughtful of late,
though not from a desire to seek great things,
Dor yet from a fear of want; but from a de-
sire to be rightly directed, in order to avoid
the difficulties and embarrassments, which
hinder the progress of the soul in religion.
My situation is such, that thoughtfulness about
a comfortable subsistence is necessary; — hith

erto I have not spent my time in idleness, and
may my last days be spent usefully, is still
the desire of my heart.

8th. Temporal concerns have engaged
my attention this day; yet not so as wholly
to divest my mind of desires to stand approved
before Him, who is the great Controller of
events : whilst an inhabitant of this earth, I
hope to prefer the peace consequent upon
well doing, to any earthly engagement.

22nd. Returned from a visit to a few
newly convinced Friends in the mountains,
in the north-eastern part of Dutchess county,
and on the manor adjoining. The visit was
productive of encouragement to myself, and I
trust to the visited; being refreshed by the
effusions of heavenly love. We also had
meetings with the professors thereaway, to
good satisfaction.

24th. Attended the funeral of a child, on
which occasion we had a meeting among a

Online LibraryWilliam EvansThe Friends' library: comprising journals, doctrinal treatieses, & other writings of members of the religious Society of Freinds → online text (page 66 of 104)