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day following, we had two meetings among them, one of which was for Friends selected. They were measurably satisfactory; much openness appearing to hear the word preached. After this we visited some families at Muncy, and had a very large meeting there; also one with Friends by themselves. I had much labour, my shirt being wet with sweat.
29th. We travelled hard to reach a meeting at Fishing creek. It was large and solid, being the first held in their new house. Next day we had a meeting in the court house chamber at Berwick, a village on the north east branch of Susquehanna.The people appeared well satisfied. A few Friends reside here, but have no meeting settled.
31st. We went fifteen miles down the river in a boat, which had in it thirty people, to a meeting at Catawissa town, where Friends of Berwick belong. They frequently attend their meeting in this way, and have to push back up stream on their return. I mention this to encourage others, that they may not let small matters prevent them from attending their religious meetings. Next day had a meeting with Friends by themselves. It was an humbling season to many, tending to unite us nearly in love to each other. After meeting, visited some sick, aged and infirm people to satisfaction. Next day, had a solid, favoured meeting at Roaring creek, and an opportunity with Friends by themselves. It was a time not soon to be forgotten, I hope. After visiting some aged, and some tender little ones, I returned to Catawissa, and attended their week-day meeting, which was a solid season.
From Catawissa I travelled two days over the mountains, a rough road, to Maiden creek; where I
attended meeting on first-day, the 7th of 8th month. It was a humbling season to many, especially the youth. I mention this to the Lord's praise. I know that nothing is due to mortal man.
It is often my lot to enter the meeting houses as an empty vessel, and with holy care, lest any thing through me should give occasion for the Lord's cause to be lightly spoken of. Let not his faithful servants or handmaids fail of being watchful and dependant on him, even in the most stripping seasons; so shall they know an establishment on the sure foundation.
9th. Had a meeting in the town of Reading, in Berks county. It was large, and I may say solid. Here were some who came from curiosity to see and to hear a man who wears his heard. This circumstance has given me large opportunities to see the people whom I should not otherwise have seen. — This meeting ended well. Let the praise be given to him who is our holy helper. Next day I was at Robeson meeting-a favoured season. The day following at Exeter, a small meeting, and long in gathering. I thought I was sensible of a dry lukewarm state, which is too common amongst us, a highly favoured people. Oh! how the customs, the love, and the spirit of the world, have caused dimness in some places!
12th. I had a small meeting at Pottstown. Divers gay people attended and sat quietly. I had close labour which was well received, and more tenderness appeared among the women than men. Hence I travelled to Richland in Bucks county, in an exercised low state of mind, and next day being firstday, was at two large meetings, in which I thought Truth was not permitted to rise into much dominion.
15th. Had a pretty large meeting at Plumstead, but I felt poor and low; had less opinion of preaching, and felt desirous the people might have time to think of their conditions, and to seek for the renewing of strength. Are not many under our name in a state of self-security, and seem to need nothing?
I went next to Buckingham meeting; where, being sunk low in mind, I began to think I was worse off than in remote parts, or among the Indians. It seemed as though I had almost done with preaching, Oh! ease, lukewarmness, and a worldly spirit! what havoc have these made! I had a select opportunity with the inembers here, which ended well. In it I was helped to labour in the Lord's cause, with weapons of his own preparing: the arrows came so sharp against wrong things, that at length there was a yielding and confessing, until hidden things were laid open, and Truth reigned. Glory to his great name now and forever.
I then attended a monthly meeting at Richland; where, observing the state of their business, and the management of it, I thought there was cause for lamentation. When life and power are wanting, but little can be done to the honour of Truth, in affairs which relate to the discipline of the church. I was also at a general meeting there, and thought I saw clearly that there was a danger in being too free with the use of a liberal flow of words in ministry. Unless ministers are guarded, and careful to speak only under the influence of the Spirit, they may be in danger of uttering words in public communications, resembling common talk; and of gratifying itching ears, instead of raising the witness of life in the souls of the lukewarm and disobedient.
21st. Being first-day, I was at Wrightstown meeting. Preaching seems to be looked for by many people; and that of a smooth kind pleases best. This makes hard labour for those who are singly engaged to serve the divine Master faithfully. I have not been more sensible of this than since I came nearer home. These are large meetings, but I think I have been at some much smaller, which have been more favoured with the Divine presence; the minds of the people being truly turned to seek the fountain of life in themselves.
Next day, had a very comfortable meeting at Makefield. My mind has not been favoured with such sweet enjoyment of Divine goodness, since I came into Bucks county. Blessed be the great Shepherd of Israel. If the tender-hearted little ones hold on their way, I believe some will know a growth in the Truth, in this meeting.
23d. Had a large meeting at Middletown, which ended well, Truth being in dominion to the tendering of many, both old and young. I had a pleasing prospect of some being brought forward into usefulness; and, if they keep their places, they may become pillars in the church that shall go no more out. Next day, I attended the select meeting held at the Falls, for Bucks Quarter. It appeared to be a lively time, and I thought their business was well conducted. The impropriety of Friends making too great provision at Quarterly meetings, was opened and spoken to, as also the preparing of many sorts of dishes, often changing plates, and causing needless work. The necessity of ministers and elders and those of the foremost rank preparing and leading the way towards greater moderation and temperance, was also mentioned, and that their example would be likely to have a powerful influence.
I likewise attended the Quarterly meeting for business, and the youth's meeting. In the latter there was no lack of preaching; yet I did believe a weighty silence might have done more good-but I leave these things to the Judge of all the earth.That evening, I crossed the Delaware to my son-inlaw's, and the next day came home, and found my family in health; for which and the many favours I have witnessed in my absence from them, I desire to be thankful to the God and father of all our mercies. The next day, being 28th of 8th month, 1796, I attended our meeting, in silence, with my friends, . Mutual joy and sympathy were felt together, after an absence of more than three months.
31st. Having visited several friends, and had serious thoughts concerning a reformation, I have believed that those who engage in the work to real profit, must pass through great exercise. Self must become of no reputation, before we can rightly bear the cross and despise the shame for Christ's sake. It will then be with us as with our worthy forefathers; great trading and many worldly concerns will be a great burden, fine houses and rich furniture, an eye sore; with sumptuous living, rich tables, many dishes, great attendance, and a lordly way of getting through the world.
In much sympathy with my fellow-members, my spirit hath, for some years, been deeply exercised on account of the state of things in our society. I have sometimes feared that wrong things, of late, have grown fast among Friends, in a time of peace, plenty and ease. Surely, if we let hurtful weeds