« ZurückWeiter »
eth; out of the mouths of babes and sucklingsthou hast perfected praise, &c. We having great peace in our labours in this journey, and being edified therewith, returned to London, after about four months absence from home.
And after I had been two weeks at home, my dear mother departed this life, in a sweet frame of spirit, praising the Lord. She was one who lived the life of the righteous, and whose latter end was like theirs, and left a good report behind her, being well beloved (I think I may safely say) by all our neighbours ; not only by those of our own society, but others also, to whom she was often very helpful.
, So I went to my calling, and got a little money. (a little being enough), which I was made willing to spend freely, in the work and service of my great master, Christ Jesus. And about this time I was con. cerned to travel into the north of England, and part of Scotland, which I did in that ability God gave me ; and that dispensation which I had freely received, I freely handed förth to the people, devoting my strength and time to serve him (that had done so much for me); and I had the satisfaction to find divers confessing the truth, as it is in Jesus. In this journey I was from home about four months, being mostly alone as to any yoke-fellow in that work, travelling many hundreds of miles, being as far as Edinburgh, in Scotland, where our meeting was in the street, we being lucked out of our meeting-house by the then power, and great numbers of people were there. This news being carried to the provost of the city, he said, “ The quakers would do more hurt out of doors than within," and he ordered friends their key. Since which I have understood that friends in that city have enjoyed their meetings in the meeting-house; and sometimes when the rabble have disturbed friends, the magistrates have sent officers to disperse them.
Now, after I had visited the churches of Christ in divers parts of England, and had many sweet seasons of God's love, and many good opportunities with my friends arıd others in this nation ; (the word of life being declared in the simplicity of the gospel, in several places people were very open-hearted, and received the testimony of it with gladness). And after I had been at my father's, and at my calling, a little after this north-country journey, I found myself engaged in the love of the gospel to visit friends in America ; and having acquainted my friends and relations of my mind (they being willing to give me up) in order for the voyage, friends of the monthly-meeting gave me a certificate, and I had another from the meeting of the ministers in London.
My father, and several other friends with me, took boat from London, and accompanied me to Gravesend, on the 21st of the tenth month, 1697; and I went on board the ship Josiah, Thomas Lurting, master, and sailed that day from Gravesend, and got to the Downs the next day, where we tarried some days for a fair wind ; in which time several others, that were concerned in the same gospel-labour, came on board, viz. Thomas Turner, William Ellis, and Aaron Atkinson. In about four days time the wind was fair for us, and we set sail, and in a little time we got out of sight of the land ; soon after which the wind was contrary, and we proceeded but a small distance for several weeks; the weather was rough and the sea boisterous, so that with the motion thereof, most of the passengers were sick. In this time we lost a lad, that fell into the sea (as he was drawing a bucket of water) and was drowned ; the ship running swiftly, he could not be saved, although it was speedily endeav. oured. Several others died before we got over; but for the most part we were healthful. The Lord be praised, he was, is, and will be, with those that faithfully serve him to the end.
We were three ships in company, but by the distress of weather, soon after we came out, we parted. After we had been at sea about eight weeks (on the 25th of the 12th month) we saw two vessels astern of us. One of them came up with us, and the people hailed us, and told us they came from Bristol, and had been out ten weeks. The other came up with us next day. The people informed us they had been at sea seven weeks, and that they had a dreadful time of it. She had lost part of her topmast, and her spritsail topmast was gone. She was a new ship, and never at sea before, be. longing to London, and bound for Virginia, as near as we could understand : our ship lost none of her tackling, through the great merey of God to us, though the wind and sea was wonderful high at times; the mate told me, I might go to sea all my life, and not see the like; he said he had been at, or used to the sea, twenty years, and never saw it so rough and high before. We had meet. ings twice a week, several of which were comfortable and refreshing meetings, to which most of the passengers, being in all about sixty in number, sometimes came; and several of them were affected with the sense of truth, and the Lord strengthened our faith and hope in him.
Oh! for ever blessed be the living and eternal God, who kept my soul above the fear of death, hell, and the grave ; for my trust was in him, and he did bear up my spirit above the waves of the sea ; and, in the time of tossing with tempests, I was comforted and cheerful, prais, ing the Lord in my heart, both in the day time, and in the night season.
I was much concerned in my mind for many of the -passengers, who, with the second mate, and several of the seamen, were very sick (by some it was thought near unto death) I cried to the Lord to heal them, in the name of his dear Son, and that it might be a means to convince them of the efficacy of love to, and faith in Christ Jesus, the physician of value ; and the Lord was pleased to heal them. The mate of the ship desired that I would come and pray by him. I went to him, and prayed in the power and name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Lord helped him, that he said he was fine and easy, and thanked me for my love; and in a little time he recovered. Several others of the seamen and passengers I was instrumental to help in their sickness. The Lord blessed my endeavours in supplicating him on their behalf, and administering what I had to them. One of the seamen said, he was bound to pray for me as long as he lived, and that the Lord would bless me.
Another of the passengers said, that I was the blessed doctor (for there was not a
surgeon, or doctor in the ship). I was very free to com. municate of what I had to any sick person in the ship, and several blessed the Lord on my behalf. Indeed I thought I could scarce do enough for any that were in distress. I write not thus, that I might seem popular, but with my mind bowed before the Lord. Many times in this voyage there were consultations in my mind, whether I had best write a memorandum hereof; but at last conceiving in my spirit that it might strengthen and excite love to God, and faith in his beloved Son, in true believers, I wrote as aforesaid ; and then I was satisfied, and gave the glory to God.
Before we came to the land, we saw a ketch, which had saved the lives of some that belonged to a ship that was a little before foundered in the sea ; who said also, that a fleet of New-England ships which had been upon that coast, by stormy weather were forced to Barbadoes; and within a few days after we saw the land of Virginia, and also a New-England ship, which sailed or came frorn England three weeks before us. We arrived within the Capes of Virginia the 31st of the 1st month 1698, and overtook the John and Margaret, a ship that came out of the English channel with us (the master, Thomas Salmon, being dead) and the next day we anchor. ed our ship at the mouth of Patuxent river, in Maryland, where our boats were hoisted out, and we were rowed up Patuxent river twelve miles, to Arthur Young's house, where we lodged that night; and for our preservation and safe arrival, we blessed the Lord our God, and my spirit praised him who lives for ever and ever.
Our voyage was above twelve weeks, it being then winter time, and for the most part the winds so high, that the ships could carry but little sail, which made our voyage the longer.
About four days after we landed, we had a meeting near Patuxent river; and a blessed one it was! when it was ended, we went (that night) to Daniel Rawling's, and from thence to the Clifts, to Richard John's, a friend, that came with us from England, at whose house we had a meeting, wherein God's presence was powerfully felt. We had several meetings on that side the bay, called the Western-shore, and then we sailed over to the east side of Chesapeak-bay, with Thos. Everden, in his sloop; went to his house, had a meeting, where many people came. Here we met with our friends Jonathan I'yler, Henry Payton, and Henry Payton's sister. While I was at this friend's house, there was one Robert Cathing, who being very ill, sent for Thomas Everden, and he(not being very well) de. sired me to visit the sick person. So I went, and the man was near to death. Howbeit, he said he was comforted much with the visit, and that he never had received so much benefit by the parish priest in his life ; although, said he, it cost me dear for what I had; and if ever I live to get over it, by the assistance of God, I shall have nothing to do with them more. But, he said, he should not live three days. And before the end of three days he expired. He desired (if I were not gone) that I would be at his funeral. On notice hereof, about ten friends went; and there was a great many people, among whom we had a good opportunity, and many weighty truths were opened to them in the love of God; and some of them were tender and wept; and the most, if not all (I think I may say) were solid and weighty.
From Thomas Everden's house we went to George Truit's, at whose house we had a meeting. This friend and I went to an Indian town not far from his house, because I had a desire to see these people, having never seen any of them before. When we came to the town they were kind to us, spoke well of friends, and said they would not cheat them, as some others did.
From George Truit's, in Maryland, we went down to Virginia; and in Accomack and Northampton counties we had large meetings, and I hope they were effectual to many; I think my hope is not without ground. In those parts we had several meetings, where we were in. formed friends had not had any before. And really I cannot but bless the Lord for the opportunities we had with the people ; for the goodness of God, through Christ our Lord, was great, both to us and them, and with tears they did acknowledge the truth. Now Thomas Turner, who had hitherto accompanied me, went by the