« AnteriorContinuar »
and the way opened for using freedom among them, which afforded me peace.
17th. Was at a meeting at Saratoga. I feel poor ia spirit, yet am contented in my allotment. If I have but bread and water, and am favoured to move along safely, I hope all will be well. I believe it safest, at least for a minister of the gospel, to stand loose from the world, and to refrain from cumbering business. A cottage and spare diet, with peace of mind and leisure to run on the Lord's errands, are better than large business and much dealings. Oh! that ministers may be content in a low estate, eat rather sparingly, and clothe frugally.
20th. After attending their monthly meeting, I was at a meeting at Greenfield, a new settled place, about fifteen miles west of the North river. We then had meetings at Galway, Ballstown and Newtown: the last was held in a barn, but a favoured season. I believe it is good for gospel ministers to experience poverty of spirit, that they may not confide in the arm of flesh. Thence we travelled by way of Saratoga and Queensbury to a place called the Patent, twenty miles back of Lake George, being the utmost settlement that way. Here the people fare hard, the houses being mean, and the land rough. We had four meetings among them, mostly in private houses; at the last of which, I was easy to have my certificate read, on which a solemn pause ensued. It was a time of deep instruction to many, and I felt near affection for the people. On taking leave of them, many, in their way, sincerely gave me their blessing. Only four families of Friends reside in this settlement.
On the 30th, we had a meeting in the barn of Valentine Brown, to satisfaction. In those places, many
came who were strangers to our way of worship, but their orderly behaviour was very commendable. Hence we returned to Queensbury, and were at their meeting on first-day. The gathering was so large that the meeting house held only the women; the men having seats prepared out doors. After a time of exercise, Truth arose, and the rough spirits seemed to be chained down, and the meeting ended well. Had also an opportunity with Friends by themselves. We then had a meeting at Kingsbury for those not of our society, held in a school-house. In these remote places, many appear to unite with what I have to deliver, and receive me affectionately. May I be sufficiently thankful to him who opens the way, and goes before his dedicated servants.
6th month 3rd. We reached Vergennes, in Vermont, after a trying journey of near eighty miles, through a rough country, where the people fare hard; large families having but one room. Here I met with Thomas Robinson and wife,-kind friends who came from Rhode Island to settle here. On the 4th, I attended Friends' preparative meeting at Ferrisburg, and visited divers families, some of them to my comfort. On first-day, the 7th, I was at two meetings, one at Ferrisburg, the other at Vergennes, which is near Lake Champlain. They were large, and seasons of favour. At the last, nearly all the inhabitants attended, some of whom were priests, lawyers, doctors, judges of the court, &c. To those who were as leaders of the people, I had close doctrine to deliver, in a measure of the authority of Truth. Next day, we visited the priest, the doctors, lawyers and highest rank of these people, to our comfort and their satisfaction, as far as appeared; although this way of
visiting families was strange to them. I had to advise them to endeavour to be as good way-marks, by precept and example, to the youth who were coming up, as well as to the other inhabitants. Some of these great men were tendered.
While here, I visited some of the poor in their small cottages, to their comfort. And though the manner of such a visit was strange to them, they blessed me, and said they wished my journey might be prosperous. Some, I thought, were sincere and honest-hearted, though others might be formal. also visited a family of black people, where a number of French people, men, women and children, came in and seemed to behave solidly.
11th. Attended Ferrisburg monthly meeting to some satisfaction. A committee was appointed here to confer with us respecting our journey further on, and one of their members kindly gave up to be our pilot. Having concluded to go by water to St. Johns, we waited at Vergennes for a boat. While here, a person inquired of me, how it would do for a Friend to accept a gift from government, in consequence of having served as a soldier in the last war, and whose service had entitled him to draw a tract of land in the back country, in addition to what pay he had received before. I told him, it was not consistent with our principles, to accept any gift or compensation for such services done. He queried whether the right might not be assigned to another person. I let him know, I should not account myself to have any right to land coming through such a channel. He then queried, how we reconciled paying duties which were laid on goods imported, towards defraying the expenses of war. When he heard my an
swer, embracing the reasons I have before related, and was told that I did not use such goods, at first it seemed strange to him, being a military man; yet he appeared to unite with my views, and we parted friendly.
Before leaving, we had two public meetings, one at Vergennes, in a school house, the other at the house of our friend Thomas Robinson, both large, and Truth had dominion over opposers; there being several in the place, with whom I had dealt plainly. On the 15th, we went on board a vessel, bound for St. Johns, with my horse and carriage; being well supplied with provisions for our voyage, supposed to be one hundred miles. The wind not favouring, we went slowly down the creek, and the captain not thinking best to go out into Lake Champlain that night, came to anchor near a place where a few inhabitants are settled. Feeling a draft in my mind to see them together, and a person on board being willing to give them notice, we had a favoured opportunity together that evening. It appeared they were ignorant of us, as a people, having never been at any of our meetings.
16th. We again went on board, and put out into the lake; but the wind being unfavourable, the men got weary of using the oars; and we on pondering the matter, believed ii best to leave the boat, and try to get on shore again. The captain manifested his regard for us and for our service, and assisted us in getting to land again with our horses-this was effected with difficulty, the wind being against us. But so it was, we had but one saddle for three of us, and near thirty miles to ride to reach a settlement of Friends. It was not long before we came to a place
where a few families reside, remote from other inhabitants. On proposing a meeting there, it appeared agreeable to the people, and we had a satisfactory opportunity with them. After which we rode about twenty miles to a place called Peru, in New York state, where about ten families of Friends are settled. We had a solid opportunity with them in the morning, and a public meeting afterwards, large and satisfactory. Remarkable was the kindness of my divine Master in furnishing me with matter suitable to the condition of the people: a sense of which was tenderly expressed by an elderly woman, after meeting. We took leave of them in near love, travelled about twenty-five miles, and crossed the lake about three miles wide to an island, called Grand Isle.
18th. It being concluded that my companion should take our horses to St. Johns, and I with our guide stay and visit the people near the shores of the lake,-we had two favoured meetings, one at Grand Isle, and the other at Plattsburg. This is a small town on the York side of the lake, about seven miles from Grand Isle. At first, some rawness appeared; and one man who appeared to be of some note, early in the meeting, said he believed the people were mostly come, and I might proceed. It was mentioned, that our manner was to endeavour after stillness. He seemed somewhat abashed, and went out a little while, but came in again and sat quiet till meeting ended.
After a solid conference with the sew Friends who lived here, we took leave in near affection; they expressing their satisfaction with the visit, as the tears trickled from their eyes. I earnestly crave that I may love and serve my Saviour faithfully, and that I