« AnteriorContinuar »
goods. I was also particularly engaged to recommend the maintenance of a faithful testimony to the peaceable principle, and that Friends cherish a tender regard towards the natives of this land. I was likewise concerned to caution Friends against a disposition that leads to unsettlement, and to ramble farther out into remote places, from whence the poor Indians have been driven, or their lands obtained by measures inconsistent with the holy principle of Truth. I was further led to show the great impropriety of the professors of Truth, suffering their minds to be captivated with the love of a rambling, lazy life, or going to new settlements to seek a maintenance by hunting, &c.
A degree of the authority of Truth being felt, I believe my labour among Friends at this place, took hold of their minds. After a laborious meeting with them on first-day, I went to the Spring monthly meeting, held next day. This was a season of favour, though my labour was much of like nature with that at Cane creek, but it appeared to be well received. Things seem to me to be much out of order in divers places in this land, by reason of a worldly spirit having got in, and too much attachment to earthly objects. The work of reformation is much needed, and the faithful labourers are few; so that I was engaged in desire that the Lord would send forth more labourers into his harvest.
8th. I had a favoured little meeting at Eno; and the next day a large one at Rocky river. The houses often seem too small for the numbers of peo. ple who are willing to come to many meetings where I have been. Then, taking meetings at Tyson's Ridge, and Holly Spring, I went to Back
Creek, where the Western Quarterly meeting was held. I opened my concern among the select members, in a plain, close manner, respecting many wrong things that had crept, and were creeping into society, to the hindrance of the work of Truth.Several Friends expressed their unity with my remarks, and I believe the Truth sealed some things on the minds of ministers and elders present.
On first-day, the 14th, was at two large crowded meetings, at the same place, but neither of them lively to me. Next day at the Quarterly mecting, I had close labour both in the men's and women's apartments, being concerned to revive among them some ancient advices, and the testimony of William Edmondson and other worthies, in favour of simplicity of life: and also exhorted them to refrain from a delicate and costly way of table entertainments; likewise the free use of tobacco, spirituous liquors, and some foreign articles for common family use. I believe, if Friends are faithful, that a godly care for moderation and simplicity will be revived, and kept alive, by individuals whom the Lord will raise up and qualify for that purpose. Perhaps the opening of my concern may, in some measure, prove like bread cast upon the waters, and not be altogether lost.
16th. I had a large meeting at Heworry; and next day one at Marlborough; both satisfactory seasons. Another very large meeting was held the day following at the house of a Dutchman, where the people sat solidly and quietly to the end. I believe one cause of such large numbers coming to our meetings, is my different appearance from other men.
20th. I was at Centre monthly meeting, which was large, and I had much close labour on Truth's account, both among men and women, to my comfort and satisfaction. I was next at meetings at New Garden, Hopewell and Dover; large, solid and comfortable opportunities. My service seems to be acceptable to all classes of the people; and at times, sweet harmony is felt to flow, to the refreshing of my exercised soul.
27th. I attended New Garden monthly meeting, and thought the business was managed with a good degree of wisdom and weighty care, which was to my satisfaction. Next day being first-day, I was at their morning meeting, silent. In the afternoon, I attended a select meeting of ministers and elders, and thought I saw great danger of formality, for want of more strictly entering into an inquiry after their true state when reporting to a superior meeting. I endeavoured to relieve my mind by plain dealing among them.
On the 301h, we had a small, favoured meeting at Blue's Creek; and next day, attended Springfield preparative meeting, where I thought they had an easy, superficial way of answering the queries. The following day, were at Deep River preparative meeting. In the first sitting, it was a large gathering, and favoured; but when Friends went to the business of reading the queries, and forming a report of their state, or rather adopting such answers readily as were prepared before they came to meeting, I thought instead of life, this method of doing business rather ministered death. I believe, according to the doctrine of our worthy predecessors, that it requires a measure of the same qualification to prepare us to
speak rightly and judge wisely in our meetings for discipline, as it doth for ministers to preach the gospel.
6th mo. 2d. I was at a meeting at Piney Woods. After which, as I passed along I felt poor and low, and had some deep thoughts concerning the station of elders in our society, and that those who fill it with propriety, should be men and women fearing God and hating covetousness. May this be remembered, and a weighty attention given by such Friends as are chosen for elders, to the other qualifications mentioned by the apostle, 1 Tim. iii. that so they may be as bright and shining lights.
Next day, I was at Springfield monthly meeting. It was large, but exercising. I had close labour, as things opened to me; particularly on the subject of answering the queries too superficially. I gave them my sentiments concerning the practice of preparing answers before the meeting in a united manner considers its situation, and deeply ponders on what should be written, in reply to each query: believing it to be a weighty business, and that the most weighty manner of proceeding in it, will be most acceptable to him who seeth not as man seeth.
4th. Being first-day, I was at Springfield again,a favoured season. At the close, a meeting of ministers and elders was held. The queries were read, and the answers formed in the meeting, in a very solid manner: several Friends acknowledged it to be the most satisfactory conference they had ever held on the occasion. Next day, I was at another select meeting at Deep River; a very trying time to me: but he who never faileth his humble servants was near in the needful time, and gave me strength
to plead his holy cause; for which I felt humble thankfulness to the God and father of all our mercies.
6th. I had two favoured meetings among a people called Nicholites. The first was largely attended by others; but at the close I requested a meeting with them and their children by themselves. In about half an hour they came together, and a solid instructive season it was. They appear to be a plain, sober people,-are reputed honest in their dealings, and otherwise maintain a good character.
9th. The select Quarterly meeting was held at New Garden, and next day, that for business; in which I had much close labour among men and women; touching upon some customs which are inconsistent and hurtful. Although the meeting held late in a long day, it did not seem tedious to me, being engaged in the service of a good Master, who rewards with a peace of mind which the world cannot give nor deprive us of. Blessed be his glorious name forever.
11th. I was at New Garden meeting; being the first of the week, there was a large concourse of people; but I was nearly silent among them. In the afternoon I had a meeting appointed for the youth, select from the aged, parents and heads of families; the largest ever seen in the place. It was an humbling, favoured season to many of the youth, who sat solid and quiet, and it ended satisfactorily. A large number of young people came to take leave of me with tears in their eyes. Those favoured seasons are cause of humble thankfulness to the Lord. Next day, I had another satisfactory meeting with the Nicholites, held in a barn. I was also at New