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sembles extortion? What volumes of the superfluity of naughtiness, in different degrees, are exhibited with open face. What tokens and appendages thereof, do meet the eye of the serious, both in town and country! How abundantly does superfluity come, imported in different shapes, from distant climates! How many of those who are young and vigorous, are exampled and taught to decline and despise commendable, wholesome labour, in cultivating the soil for its valuable products! And instead of this, what hastening to reside in cities and populous places, for an easier life, and to increase their outward substance more rapidly;—while the poor soul may be starving for lack of proper food! And how are the inclinations of many turned, and turning from a more healthy and praise worthy exercise, to the setting up of stores and shops, in various places, for the sale and distribution of foreign articles; thereby hoping to increase in wealth more rapidly; while some poor pilgrims are painfully apprehensive that much of this bustle and exertion opens the way for supplies of those things which tend to gratify the lust of the eye, and to feed that pride and self-exaltation which reign among the children of disobedience! Under exercising thoughts of this kind, in relation to the harms and evils which abound in our favoured land, I have been led to doubt the real usefulness of that extensive traffic which is carried on in ships; and whether it will not prove to be a curse, rather than a blessing to our country. Were I fully to express what, at times, have been my feelings and reflections on the subject of crossing the seas in ships and vessels employed in trade, I suppose it would scarcely be
borne by numbers of my fellow professors of the christian name.
3rd month 19th, 1793. I had a prospect of that rest, where all troubles cease; and I felt love flow towards all mankind. Oh! that men would prize pure religion beyond bags of gold.
24th. I obtained relief at our select Quarterly meeting, by communicating some close hints respecting a worldly spirit, and against Friends running with the multitude into extortion. Some edi. fying conversation after meeting, concerning feasting at the times of our Quarterly meetings, as also on the subjects of rich furniture, gaudy apparel, &c.
4th month 1st. Met with other Friends to confer on reformation. It was proposed to visit some of our extravagant youth. I let them know, I thought that would be cutting the work too short; and that it would be proper to consider whether there were not stumbling blocks among the aged, or elder ranks; such as shining furniture, large looking glasses, rich and partly-coloured curtains, fine carriages, &c.
8th. With other Friends, I have visited the preparative and monthly meetings at Evesham, on the concern relative to discouraging the use of spirituous liquors. With Divine help, I feel willing to spend and be spent in the service of Truth, if it be the Lord's will. For some years past, I have given up and almost left all, to follow his requirings.
At Haddonfield and Woodbury monthly meetings, I also laboured against the use of distilled spirits in hay-time and harvest: and mentioned my experience herein for more than twenty years past. Having a minute of concurrence therein, I opened my prospect
of visiting families at Woodbury; which gained the approbation of Friends, and I proceeded in the work, in which I was careful not to daub with untempered mortar. At times, the Lord has renewed his bow in my hand; and some have been much tendered, when a worldly spirit was spoken to; others who appeared stout as the bulls of Bashan, have also been humbled. And though in these visits, I had some hard labour, yet I felt peace of mind; being concerned to caution against intemperance in meats and drinks, and luxurious living; also against grandeur in furniture and apparel. I had also to warn some who were lukewarm, and others who were rich and proud. Yet I found some sincere hearted Friends, and encouragement flowed towards those of tender spirits. So I returned home, thankful for the Lord's mercy and goodness, in assisting me to labour, where so many wrong things prevail.
Hear, O heavens! and be astonished, 0 earth! for great is the hurry and bustle among the children of men, to acquire worldly greatness. How are the poor oppressed, and extravagance promoted, while many are eagerly pursuing the ways, fashions and customs of the world! O ye parents, how will you answer, when inquisition is made concerning your conduct, your example, and your care in governing and educating your children! How do some let out their desires, and indulge in things connected with luxury and high living, and are not content with the products of our plentiful country! How many things do we see and hear of, that, in their origin and use, are calculated to please a vain mind! Oh! where will those appear who have balked the testimony of Truth by their indulgence in fleshly liberties!
4th mo. 24th. With the unity of my friends, I set out on a journey to the Eastern States.
After parting with my dear wife, I went to Burlington meeting, where I was favoured with a renewal of strength. Thence I proceeded to Rahway, and attended the Quarterly meeting there. After which, I went by way of New York to the monthly meeting held at Flushing, on Long Island. This was a season of deep searching of heart, but I felt inward support, and my mind was quiet.
5th mo. 4th. Being first-day, I was at Westbury meeting; it was large and highly favoured. Blessed be the Lord who bringeth the lofty from their seats, and exalteth them of low degree. I next had meetings at Cowneck, Matinicock, Oyster Bay and Jericho; mostly large and favoured, and the people behaved solidly. Thence to Jerusalem, Half-way-hollow and Bethpage; the last was an exercising season, so that I was almost ready to give out. On the 12th, had a large meeting at Jacob Smith's, mostly not of our society. The people sat solidly and it was a favoured opportunity. I have gone from meeting to meeting, as an empty vessel; and yet sometimes my heart is filled with life and power. God over all is worthy of blessing forever. Next day had a large meeting at Hempstead. The Lord was mouth and wisdom, tongue and utterance. After which I was desirous to return to the King's gate, like Mordecai.
I also attended the monthly meetings of Westbury and Jericho; and had a small meeting at John Serring's, long in gathering, but ended well. I next had a large and comfortable meeting at Rockaway, where only two members of our society were present. On first-day, the 18th, I was at Flushing; and,
with some others, thought there was need of great caution in making additions, when things are left well in a meeting,- lest from a desire to help the work, we may do harm. I leave this as a caution.
19th. Visited a school, and next day had a large instructive meeting at Newtown. A presbyterian preacher, near the close of it, said he was comforted in sitting with us, and fully united with the doctrine delivered; stating that it was the doctrine of Christ himself, and as old as the creation. The day following I was at Friends' preparative meeting in New York, and had close labour both with men and
After this I visited divers families in the city, to my comfort, and attended all the sittings of the Yearly Meeting held there. Much counsel was administered, and it was thought to be a favoured
31st. When the Yearly Meeting concluded, I retired to my quarters, to wait further directions what to do next, and where to go. The next day, feeling my way open, I went to Flushing meeting again : then crossed the sound to the main land, and had a large and laborious meeting at Westchester, but it ended well. Thence to Mamaroneck and Purchase meetings; the first large and favoured, in the latter I had close work. Life and zeal for the good cause, are not always found among those who are plain dressed.
6th mo. 5th. I set out for Rhode Island; and being unwell, it was a trying season to me. Having two hundred miles to go, and no houses of Friends on the way, it looked discouraging; but after riding near fifty miles, my strength and faith seemed renewed, and my love to God increased. Blessed be