Imágenes de páginas

little or nothing. Next day, attended a large and favoured monthly meeting at Smithfield, where I thought the business was pretty well managed, for these times; the cause of Truth being but in a low state in these parts. The day following we were at Uxbridge monthly meeting, which was large.

8th month 2nd. We had a meeting at Gloucester, and another about nine miles farther, at E. Steer's; it was held under a tree, as the weather was warm: both these were favoured seasons. After one of them, a man who had not been at Friends' meeting before, said the doctrine was such as he had never heard; but it was the truth, and could not be denied: he also much approved of the plain appearance I made. Next day I had meetings at Lower Smithfield, and again at Providence, so large that the houses could not contain the people. 4th. We were at Greenwich monthly meeting, which was large and laborious. Then, after having a large and favoured meeting at Updike's, Newtown, we took passage by water to Rhode Island again, in order to be at their Quarterly meeting. On the 6th, their select meeting was held at Portsmouth; and next day, the meeting for business. The day following, the ministers and elders met again, and I had a favoured time at parting.

After having a favoured meeting on a small island, called Prudence, where a few Friends reside, we returned to Newport. Here on the 9th, with parents and heads of families, apart from others, we had a solid and favoured season, not to be forgotten; and in the afternoon, a like opportunity with the young people. The way was opened for much solid counsel to be communicated, which appeared to be

well taken. Next day, we attended the meeting at Newport; and taking leave of my kind friends there, we went in the afternoon to Updike's, Newtown. My way seemed to open to visit the families in this little town, of such as are not members of any religious society; and three perons, besides my companion, being willing to bear me company,-in about two days we visited upwards of twenty families. I thought their situation appeared to be as sheep without a shepherd; and some of them, I hope, were sincere seekers of the ways of Zion.

12th. In the evening, we had an opportunity with all those tender people who chose to come together. This was such a time of favour as will not easily be forgotten by some of them. The following is the substance of a few lines, given me concerning the visit to those families, signed by those who accompanied:

“The encouraging counsel and advice of our esteemed friend, Joshua Evans, were very kindly received; which were exhortations to us, not to seek the law from the priest's lips, but to turn the mind inward to the teaching of free grace, which is given to all. Through the several sittings, the owning of Divine favour was, in a good degree, evidenced, we believe, to the edification and comfort of many honest inquirers: and having so freely united with him in spirit, according to our measure, we desire to give testimony thereof. Signed by Benjamin Reynold, Daniel Wall, Arnold Weedon."

13th. After another meeting at Updike's, Newtown, we had one in the afternoon at East Greenwich, in the court house. Next day a very large and solid meeting at Warwick, and returned again

to Providence; where, the day following, I had a meeting with the members of our society only. In the evening I visited three men who were in the station of public ministers in the town. My concern was, that while dissipation and libertinism abound, the leaders of the people might be engaged to promote reformation. They appeared to receive me kindly; but my concern did not seem to be answered in the disposition of these men. Next morning, I went to see three other ministers in the place, on the same account; and they treated me with civility. In the afternoon, I visited the governor, also the first judge, and one of the senators of Rhode Island, on account of the folly and wanton dissipation, now prevailing in this place. I admonished them to try to begin to make a stand, and to discourage those things; as those of upper rank might have much influence among the people by good example as well as by precept, if they kept their own conduct clear of encouraging dissipation and lightness. I was of the mind their hands were weak; though some of them acknowledged a reformation was wanting; and told me they were in hopes my labour would not all be lost.

17th. I was at Smithfield meeting again, on firstday; and that afternoon, had a large and solid meeting in a Baptist meeting house, at their request, at a place called Cumberland. Next day, I had a meeting at Mendum, and another at Centre, hard and laborious. The people seemed unacquainted with silent waiting, and were long in gathering. 19th. I had a large and favoured meeting at Douglass, in a new meeting house, not finished. Their houses, in general, are not large enough to hold the people that

are willing to come. Next day I was again at Gloucester, where I thought there was a little solid remnant. We had a conference on the subject of reformation, to good satisfaction. I then had a meeting the most unpleasant of any since I left home, at a place where the people seemed unmannerly and wicked.

22d. Had a favoured season at Leicester meeting, which was large by reason of a number of scholars attending, who came from an academy, and seemed sober and attentive. Next day I was at a large and laborious meeting at Bolton; and the day following rode to Boston. It was to me a day of darkness and inward poverty. The town was noisy; but we had

small, dull meeting there the next day. In the evening, we had an opportunity with the members of our society, about twenty in number; which was a favoured season.

27th. Had a large and laborious meeting at Lynn. In the afternoon, at my request, we had a meeting with Friends, select from others; which was satisfactory. Next day, at Salem we had a large meeting; but many of the people not having a sense of the benefit of stillness, it was a time of exercise to me. Afterwards, I had two solid opportunities with Friends, selected from others, which were comfortable seasons. Next day, visited a sick family, and rode to Newbury, about twenty-three miles. On the 30th, had a meeting there, and lodged at the house of one professing with us, who had submitted to water-baptism. He said, that to his great disappointment, instead of ministering life, it ministered death. We then had meetings at Almsbury, Seabrook, Newton, Epping, and Lee; here I thought

there were some solid Friends. Most of these meet. ings were seasons of favour.

On the 3rd of 9th month, we had a meeting at Dover, in New Hampshire. It was large, and a time wherein Divine favour was extended; but I feel cautious in expressing it, having witnessed so many favoured seasons. But my soul renders the praise to the Lord alone, for all these mercies; I know there is nothing due to me. As I have passed from meeting to meeting, I have often felt so much stripped, that I have thought never any one could be more so: yet I believe it is all permitted in wisdom. Next day we attended two meetings at Kittery, and some ability was given me to labour among the people for their benefit. 5th. At Berwick, we had a meeting, wherein favour was extended which I hope will not soon be forgotten. Many people were present, and much respect shown by them; divers, in their way, wishing me good success in my labours. Thence we rode about sixty-eight miles to Durham, in Maine. But I felt deep poverty of spirit; not knowing how my heavenly Master would dispose of me next.

7th. Being first-day, we had a large meeting at Durham. My spirit was so baptized under a sense of some wrong things hercaway, that I slept little on first-day night. My cry was to the Lord for wisdom to direct; for I saw that my own was not sufficient in a time of trial. Next day, had a small, but favoured meeting at Lewistown. A few members reside here. Next, we had a small, poor meeting at Greene; at the close of which, I informed the people I was willing to meet them again at three o'clock in the afternoon; at which time, we had another meet

« AnteriorContinuar »