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also Ann Smith and Joseph Douglass from New England, and many others. It may be well for us to enquire, where are the fruits?
In the 9th and 10th months, much sickness prevailed in our neighbourhood, and in many other places. Raging fevers and numerous accidents carried off many of our fellow.creatures. When I look back over my life, I reflect with awfulness on the many narrow escapes I seemed to have of being suddenly killed; yet my life is mercifully prolonged, while many others are removed from works to rewards.
12th mo. 18th. This morning on reading in Thomas Chalkley's Journal, a remark made by David Bacon, a worthy elder, occurred to my mind. He said he thought there was not such another society in the world as ours; alluding to the discipline, order and harmony among Friends. And I once heard John Simpson say, he did not believe that any people would ever rise up and testify against us and our principles, as our first Friends did against others.But, he said, there might a people rise up and walk more consistent with our principles and profession, than we in the present day, in too general a way, do. There is undoubtedly great room for improvement among us; although we are blessed with many worthy elders, faithful standard-bearers, and a succession of powerful gospel ministers, both men and women,-a blessing that many people are not favoured with,—yet I have feared it is too little seen and considered by us, with proper gratitude for the favour.
3d mo. 1st, 1811. We had a precious, uniting, healing time at our select meeting at Moorestown. Several of our meetings latterly have been attended
with something owning and solemn.
Oh! that we would walk worthy of the favour. Nothing is a proper subject of solid joy, but our hopes of the favour of God: all other delights are but a dream, as Fenelon said. But as for me, my strength and bodily powers seem on the decline, my health and flesh wasting away, so that I seem like the grass withering and flower fading, so feeble I can scarcely get to meeting, and my outward prospects often so gloomy that I think of and adopt David's petition, that the Lord will not leave me in old age, and when my strength faileth.
In the 4th month, I heard of the death of two worthy ministers, James Simpson, at Frankford, and Rebekah Wright wife of Nathan Wright of Burlington county; both advanced in age, upwards of seventy, about the same as myself; but I am yet left, tho' feeble in body and mind. At times, however, light again breaks forth, so that I feel its healing, strengthening virtue; and as if I wanted to go and see all my friends and neighbours. Such seasons are animating and stimulating, still to labour and patiently endure. Oh! what a mercy yet continued to me, in the seventy-first year of my age!
In the 8th month, I was at a monthly meeting, which I thought a poor low time, especially in the exercise of the discipline. Weakness appeared, and a great want of honest, skilful labourers; yet I had satisfaction in being favoured with strength to lend a hand of help, and renewedly experienced this truth: “There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth.” I waked about twelve o'clock the night following, and in looking over the day past, I felt pleasant and calm; yet on close examination, I saw where I might
have done better in a family where I was in the afternoon. What diligent watchfulness it requires to do as well as we might do, on all occasions, and to conduct agreeable to our profession, in all things!
How many, for want of rightly using their time, with due care to improve it and their gifts or talents, have fallen into a low, degraded state and condition, and suffered irreparable loss! To quicken us to diligence, the following lines of Hawkesworth may be useful to think of: “ The hour is hastening, says he, in which, whatever praise or censure I have acquired will be remembered with equal indifferency. Time, that is impatient to date my last paper, will shortly moulder in the dust the hand that is now writing, and still the breast that now throbs at the recollection. But let not this be read as something that relates only to another; for a few years, at most, can divide the eye that is reading, from the hand that has written.”
Having had my mind drawn toward the people who live near a hundred miles up the river Delaware; and William Blakey, a minister, with Oliver Paxson, a worthy elder, of Bucks county, being concerned to travel the same way in the service of Truth, I concluded to join them in the journey.' So, with the unity of Friends, I left home on the 19th of 9th month, 1911; and taking Westfield meeting in the way, my kind cousin Henry Warrington jun. took me to my niece, Hannah Yarnall's, at Byberry, where I visited a girls' school, and had a precious opportunity with her son and his wife, newly married. Thence to Middletown, and William Blakey took me to Daniel Carlile's at Plumstead, where
Oliver met us. Next day, we attended Richland meeting; where, although there were many goodly Friends in appearance, yet life and zeal seemed to be wanting. Lodged at Jacob Ritter's, the night following; he is a Dutchman, and an acceptable minister among Friends. Thence thro’ Bethlehem and Nazareth, towns settled by the Moravians, we travelled over the Blue mountain, along a rough, difficult road, about forty-five miles, to Daniel Stroud's, at Stroudsburg; where we were kindly received and hospitably entertained.
Next morning we proceeded to visit the families of that little newly begun meeting, called Stroudsburg, with their school; about fourteen families were visited by us in two days. Then, on sixth-day, Daniel Stroud conducted us over the mountains, and thro' a place called the Water-gap, along a narrow, dangerous road about nine miles to the river Delaware; where we crossed over to a little settlement of Friends, belonging to Hardwich meeting, about fourteen miles distant. We had a meeting with them and some of their neighbours, which I thought was an owning, open time. Thence, went on to King. wood, and lodged at our very kind friend, Henry Cliffton's. On first-day, 22d, attended Kingwood meeting, where our labours appeared to be well received, though not of the smoothest sort of work. In the afternoon, we reached Oliver Paxson's, in Solebury, Bucks county, where we lodged, after a satisfactory family opportunity of retirement. Next morning, parted with our kind friend Oliver, who is a wise, steady and exemplary elder and father in our Israel, and came to William Blakey's; on the way we visited several families of aged or infirm people to satisfaction.
On third-day, William brought me to Byberry, where we attended their monthly meeting. But Divine life and power, which constitutes the excellency of the true church, seemed much wanting, altho' a great appearance of innocent goodly people. Next day, with my cousin Hannah Yarnall, widow of Peter, I visited the school, and went to see John Simpson's daughter Ruth, and her husband, Amos Hillborn, and had an opportunity with them and their children. After which she gave me an account of the death of her dear father, John Simpson, a well esteemed, worthy minister, who spent much of his time travelling in Truth's service. I had been intimately acquainted with him, between thirty and forty years, and often travelled with him when he came into Jersey, which was frequently. We always seemed well suited when together, at meetings and elsewhere, and in private families had many strengthening opportunities together. He died in Ohio, near the Miami, on his return from that country, whither he went to settle about two years ago.
In this journey, I was from home two weeks, and was enabled to bear the ride over rough, stony, mountainous roads, with my dear companions, each of us upwards of seventy years of age; and I may thankfully say, that in religious opportunities in families and places where we visited, there was frequently something reaching and tendering to be felt, to our mutual satisfaction.
11th mo. It has been said, That society or people which does not frequently recar to its first principles, will go to decay. But I think I have seen that