The Journal, Vol. 2 No. 1 (2nd Month 4th, 1874,) page 1; No. 2 (2nd
Month 11th, 1874,) pages 10-11; No. 4 (2nd Month 25th, 1874) page 26; No.
5 (3rd Month 4th, 1874,) page 34; No. 8 (3rd Month 25th, 1874,) page 59;
No. 11 (4th Month 15th, 1874,) page 82; No. 16 (5th Month 20th, 1874,) pages
121-122; No. 19 (6th Month 10th, 1874,) page 146; No. 21 (6th Month 24th,
1874,) page 162; No. 22 (7th Month 22nd, 1874,) page 194; No. 26 (7th Month
29th, 1874,) page 203; No. 28 (8th Month 12th, 1874,) page 222; No. 30 (8th
Month 26th, 1874,) page 235; No. 31 (9th Month 2nd, 1874,) pages 241-242;
No. 36 (10th Month 7th, 1874,) page 283; No. 41 (11th Month 11th, 1874,)
page 321; No. 45 (12th Month 9th, 1874.) page 354; No. 49 (1st Month 6th,
1875,) pages 386; No. 50 (1st Month 13th, 1875,) page 395, 398.
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In the preparation of Kersey's narrative, the journal of his visit to England was not published, as at that time it could not be found; but a Friend having kindly loaned it to me, I purpose copying the whole, or extracts therefrom, for publication, if acceptable.--J.M.T.(1)
5th day, 19th of 7th month, 1804. Sailed from Philadelphia in pursuance of a prospect which for a number of years had seriously engaged my attention, to visit some parts of Europe.
6th day, 20th. Arrived at New Castle. Went on shore and dined; after which parting with William Samsom, who kindly came to see me so far on my way.
7th day, 21st. Passed out of the bay into the sea. A view of the unfathomable ocean tended to excite new ideas of the majesty of that being before whom indeed all nations are but as the drop of the bucket.
1st day, 22nd. Sailing with a fair wind, and a mind composed, in hope that all things will work together for good. But truly different are the impressions of experience from those of theory. Some share of sea-sickness today--a kind of complaint which is not only the most irksome but also stupefying I ever knew.
2nd day, 23rd. The wind still fair; the sea favorable, but sea-sickness continues; the passengers nearly all affected with it.
3rd day 24th. Our wind not so favorable--the sea-sickness somewhat removed--but the faculties of my mind never less fit for the description of faith--even those that have made a very deep impression--they must therefore be reserved for a future time.
4th day 25th. Still some symptoms of the sickness. Our course not well fitted for writing, yet I may thankfully acknowledge that in the midst of the noise of many waters my soul has found a refuge under the calming influence of the Prince of Peace, and in the blessed confidence that not even the sparrow is permitted to fall to the ground without his sacred permission.
5th day 26th. The wind fair today, but during the preceding night there fell [an] abundance of rain--a circumstance which, when it occurs, generally proves very trying to the seamen.
6th day 27th. Spoke to the brig Friendship, which gave an opportunity to write a few lines, by way of New York, to my family. This vessel came for Bordeaux, and when met by us had been one hundred and six days from thence. She stood in need of provision, and was by us supplied. In this an instance was furnished to prove that human nature is not so depraved as many would imagine. Every one was evidently pleased to aid a fellow creature in distress, and all on board in degree partook of the happiness produced by seeing real want supplied.
7th day 28th. Spoke with the brig Rachel, thirty days from Cadiz, bound for Alexandria. Our sailing has been comfortable for the last twenty four hours, and my mind composed--yet it will both remember and feel its separate state from those precious connections and friends who are left at home.
1st day 29th. We have journeyed on with fair wind and a very agreeable day, yet I have not felt at liberty to propose a meeting. The captain and passengers I found were disposed that way. But when I consider the majesty, and penetration of that being who is professedly worshiped in those opportunities, it brings to my recollection the serious view, who inquired wherewith shall I come before the Lord and bow myself before my God. So little is man, and so feeble is qualifications that unless aided by a union of spirits embarked in the same concern, all his own efforts may end in lifeless formality. Yet in his own particular he may retire and hold a blessed communion with the fountain itself, from whence all spiritual blessings flow, and kin that communion feel the glow of gratitude which is worship in the sight and angels and the spirits of the just.
2nd day 30th. Fine sailing; thought by the sailors to exceed anything they ever knew.
3rd day 31st. Still agreeable sailing. Arrived this evening at a place called the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. it is commonly resorted to for fishing eight months in the year. The fog here is generally so thick that we can see but six to eight feet in the distance. Our seamen say the passage we have had thus far has been wholly unusual, and that there must be some good men on board.
5th day 2nd of Eighth month. Sailing on at a rate of nine miles an hour. Blest with tolerable health and a mind clothed with gratitude to the majesty on high, whose power is as well in the preservation of the sparrow as in the government of wind and waves of the great deep. In the evening felt encouraged to invite my fellow passengers to retire into silence, when my soul was animated in the precious sense of thanksgiving and praise for the blessing of preservation.
6th day 3rd. Time rolls on; we are now two hundred miles further on the way than we were this time yesterday. Pleasant sailing, and nothing to do but to wait until we are permitted to reach the desired port.
7th day 4th. Still blest with fair wind, and the prospect favorable. It seems as though we were to arrive without much disappointment or delay. But how is it possible for a man under my circumstances to pass the time without recurring, with the most feeling recollection, to those tender ties of nature and grace which are left in my native land. Gracious God keep them in every trying moment; let not the anchor of hope fail.
1st day 5th. This day complete the 36th year of may age. I am now reminded of an opinion which was with me when about 25 years old, and which is being fulfilled in the present journey. I then believed that if my attention was continued to the principle of light it would sometimes be my duty to go on a visit to Friends in Europe. After various exercised in the prospect of a meeting on board, it settled with weight to make the appointment, and I was truly encouraged by the light and energy felt in the opportunity, under which an address was made to my fellow passengers and the sailors, which tended to promote serious though, and was instrumental to produce conviction.
Second day 6th mo. 6th. The foregoing memorandums being taken at intervals may possible furnish a recollection of some of the feelings of each day while on the present passage, but had it not been equally convenient to have written on sea as by land, I might have stated a variety of ideas on the sublimity inspired by attending to the rolling of the waves of the deep--amongst these it has struck me that the eye of man may see a wide extent of surface seemingly without inhabitants, while we are at the same time sure that under this surface myriads of subjects enjoy that happiness which their varied capacities are equal to. They are secure in the watery deep; heaven has made that life to them, which we know is death to us; so it may be with spiritual elements. Some may be and are happy in habits which to others would be misery and death. We are sailing on with a fair wind and all harmoniously enjoying the pleasure of looking towards arriving soon in port.
Third-day, 7th. We have sailed the last twenty-four hours with a fair wind 198 miles, during which time my thoughts have frequently traveled to the circle of my friends, on the American shore. And it is singular, though I recollect many of their countenances, that my tender companion is almost wholly hid, but still I see the meekness of her soul and call to mind her kindly affectionate heart; to think we must be separated by distance and by time as is at present the case is sometimes more than I can bear. My eyes fill with tears, and my heart throbs within me, but thou, oh my God, hast been gracious and in confidence that thy blessing will rest upon her, my soul resigns the case; it has nothing on its own part to merit because its triumph is not completed; many are the dangers that continually await finite man and there is no way to become conqueror but by humble attention to the power of conviction. Every day this is necessary, and he who fails to watch with each change of situation will soon find that he will fall.
Fourth-day, 8th. This morning some struggling between the evidence of happiness and the desires incident to nature. I see the battle is between the latter and the former, and that if the conquest is gained in one thing, the attack in made in another; that it is a state of warfare in which I am placed, and that being clothed with the armor of light is not sufficient unless the will of the creature is so subdued at to be willing to wear this clothing.
Fifth-day, 9th. We have during the last twenty-four hours had a strong gale of wind, which gave an opportunity to notice the sea in its angry and monstrous form. With the majesty of the sight I should have been entertained, but my health would not permit, being again attacked with the sea sickness, and held so severe than not anything I eat would remain in my stomach.
Sixth-day, 10th. Somewhat recovered today, and gratified with strong hopes of seeing land tomorrow.
Seventh-day, 11th. We have now fulfilled the desired prospect, and are in sight of Ireland.
First-day, 12th. Some few intervals of quietude gained today, but not so much so as to permit my distinct persuasion that the Divine principle was felt. Such a separation from the mixture of conversation, and the unmeaning sentiments of irregular winds as it is necessary before we can have this divine enjoyment, I find very difficult, but through mercy my habitation has been in the quiet, and most of the time resigned to my lot.
Second-day, 13th. Today I am in view of parts of Wales, and see it to be a hilly county. It seems not unlike the lands that lie along the Brandywine creek, with this exception, that I have not seen a single tree--indeed the whole view had from the time we have come in sight of land has been without a single tree.
Third-day, 14th. Very little to remark of this day, more than I was disappointed, and kept one day longer on board the ship than was expected yesterday.
Fourth-day, 15th. I am now at Liverpool Hotel, after a passage of 26 days. There is nothing new strikes me here. After dining I went to Isaac Hadwin's; this place seems likely to be my home whilst in this place.
Very different have been my feelings, now that I am again permitted to enjoy the company of friends on land to what they were while in the ship, where it was always necessary to be on my guard. Here it seems as though there might be a little rest for my spirit in keeping to its proper ground, and yet I know that any dependence upon man is in vain.
Fifth-day, 16th. Attended Friends' meeting in this place; there were present a considerable number of females, more than those of my own sex. In this opportunity some impressions attended my mind concerning the nature of our standing as a religious Society in the world, and it was strongly before me to call the attention of those present to the soundness of the faith which was once delivered, and had been firmly maintained by those sons of the morning who stood forth in this land in the days of persecution; the meeting ended in a degree of that authority which was consolatory.
Dined at the widow Benson's, who is a kindly attentive Friend, and whose children (consisting of three daughters and one son) were evidently free from all embarrassment in my company, and pleasantly took a walk to show me the sight of the river and the city of Liverpool generally; their conduct towards me throughout gave full opportunity to call their attention to the ties of gratitude which they were evidently under for the blessing they enjoy beyond many of their fellow citizens, being stored as they are with much of the world's wealth.
Sixth-day, 17th of 8th month, 1804. Spent the day principally in writing letters to my friends at home. In the evening took a walk in company with the captain of our ship, who came to see me, but owing to the irregularity of the streets of Liverpool, found it difficult to make my way back.
7th day, 18th. This morning parted with Richard Routh after very seriously communicating to him my judgment, and endeavoring to impress him with a clear sense of the necessity for his attention to it.
1st day 19th. Attended two meetings in Liverpool, but no so relieved as could be desired. In the morning my concern was opened, but not without feeling it propelled--the cause I will leave. It may be that it was in myself.
2d day, 20th. Nothing particular to note this day. I have spent a part of it at James Cropper's, and felt my mind at liberty in their company. Several agreeable young friends were present, and it did not seem like time lost to be with them.
3rd day, 21st. Paid a visit at William Rathbun's in company with S. Benson. This friend has compiled a narrative representing the conduct of our Society, and that or the dissenters, in Ireland. He alleges, in defense of his work, that it was necessary in order to relive his own mind from impressions he had for some time on the subject. I did not think any benefit would be gained by going far into the case at this time, but I informed him I had read his book, and that it gave me some concern that so far as I had attended to the conduct of those dissenters, they were, in my opinion, wrong, and I hoped the time would come when this would be manifest. The opportunity was too limited to go generally through the subject, and on the whole, perhaps, it was as well to be for the present, omitted.
4th day, 22nd. Time is passing on, and I find the way in which I am to proceed has not yet very clearly opened. This day has been spent in very agreeably enjoying the company of several friends of this place, so that on the whole, although I have no wish to be an idler, there is a satisfactory hope that as my mind is attentive to its proper duty, some use will attend, being on the plan of a friendly visit to divers families in this city.
5th day, 23rd. Attended Hardshaw Monthly Meeting, and in the evening a large public meeting in Liverpool, both which were considerably to the relief of my own mind. In the former it was a particular satisfaction to feel that the all-sufficient helper was present, and graciously pleased to be, both mouth and wisdom, tongue and utterance. In the latter, a happy composure sealed the evidence of my labor by the reward of peace.
6th day, 24th. Not yet at liberty to depart from Liverpool, my feelings being deeply interested on the behalf of a man in much reflection, though I have thought of mistaken judgment. the day was spent in attending to a work of which he had been the compiler, and marking the parts which I deemed improper to have published under existing circumstances; my view in this was to be prepared for an interview with him tomorrow.
7th day, 25th. The contemplated interview has not taken place. In this the insufficiency of all human qualification was again powerfully excited, but through the patient exercise of submission to the restoring spirit of Gospel affection, my mind was permitted to enjoy much quiet in this arduous interview, and I firmly believe that if no other spirit was permitted to have the ascendancy in the exercise of church discipline, many would be gathered who it is to be feared, are now kept at a distance, and that in consequence of the will and wisdom of man vainly attempting the Lord's work, it is often retarded. It becomes, however, all those who have this faith, patiently to bear their own burdens and wait the Lord's time who has the government of all things, and of all conditions, at his own disposal. The depths of eternal truth, the powers of the human understanding, are not to enter at their own time, nor can the most profound intelligence extend to the knowledge of the times and seasons, so as to determine either when they shall change, or what that change shall be. This will always remain separately within the comprehension of the all-comprehensive God, to whom all things and their respective seasons are known.
First-day, 26th of 8th mo. The blessing of Gospel light has shone upon my understanding this day, and by it qualifying tendency opened the way to illustrated divers important truths in a degree of demonstration of the spirit and with power; the hope of future good to individuals, under the impressions that were made has tended to sweeten some of the butter cups of which I have secretly partaken, and which I have happily accepted without a murmur or the outward sign of inward grief.
Second-day, 27th. This morning meant to go on my way to Warrington; for the present I shall, of course, part with the kind family where my home has been ever since coming to England. It will also be that divers young friends whose very souls God has opened to me and made way for some of them to impart their secret trials, must, for the present, be parted with. May the blessing of preservation rest upon them, and in the day of storm their feet be established on that foundation which will stand every trial. The evening meeting having assembled, it was large, and I felt much affectionate concern for the people, many of whom appeared to me to pay but little attention to the power of conviction. After patiently waiting to see my way, it was opened in the communication of this direction: Let every one be fully persuaded in his own mind," in the progress of Gospel light; each successive sentence tended to solemnize the opportunity, and the prospect was gratefully in favor of a solemn issue; this become confirmed by a blessed silence before we parted.
Third-day, 28th. My entertainment in Warrington has been at the house of John Bludwick, who, together with his candid wife, took all necessary pains to accommodate me kindly. At a meeting here, composed principally of Friends, I felt again comforted by the revival of the love of the Gospel, under the influence whereof my mind was opened in a view and testimony upon the nature of the Divine Guide, the certainty of its manifestation, and the safety of retiring to it. My communication on this subject tended to inspire the assembly with confidence in the blessed government of him whose fatherly care sustains the faithful, and by whose providence this guide to man remains to be communicated. In the afternoon rose to Stockport and lodged at George Jones' who, together with his wife, are capable and willing to make their traveling guests comfortable.
Fourth-day, 29th. This being the time and place for holding Morely Monthly Meeting, I was present with Friends in that capacity. It has not been my business to say much about the difference evident between their practice and ours, especially in the meeting; but in private conversation I could call for their reasons why they were in particular forms; this I find has, in common, a better effect and where they were not able to show cause for such practice, new ideas were, of course, excited, and enquires raised what modes, in my opinion, would answer better. The meeting was, on the whole, comfortable, and ended in harmony. In looking forward, my mind has seen no way from here short of appointing a public meeting, and six o'clock tomorrow evening is now fixed upon for that purpose.
First-day, 30th. The time proposed, I went to the meeting-house, where, after a principle part of one hour, the people generally collected. My understanding was now opened in a view of that period when the Saviour personally appeared in the world. I observed on this head that great blindness and darkness had overspread the earth, that the Jews who had received the law by the disposition of angels, and were in possession of the traditions of the fathers, as well as the ancient prophecies, not considering that he who was born of the Virgin Mary absolutely came into the world for the blessed purpose of putting an end to sin, finishing transgression, and in the room thereof to bring in everlasting righteousness, but supposing vainly to themselves, that according to their ideas of the prophecies Christ was to appear a powerful prince for the special end of restoring them from under the Roman government, and establishing again their world consequence, were, therefore, opposed to his ministry and character, and though frequently put to silence by the energy of his mission, and the virtue of his unspotted life, yet could not admit that they might be mistaken in their opinions concerning the manner in which he was to deliver of this world; and that instead of establishing their outward intents and claims, divine wisdom had decreed, that by a change of their habits and the conquest of every vice, his power would be manifest for their preservation; being therefore as they were ignorant of the end in view, and blinded by the prejudice of long conceived ideas, they rejected the evidence of divine authority which attended the Saviour of the world and eventually, by violent resentment and malice, took away his precious life. Having thus described the error of this people, the ideas were extended to the gathering of his disciples, to the firmness of their testimonies, and to the prosperous communication of Gospel truth, showing that notwithstanding the spirit of persecution which had taken away their Lord, these few illiterate men in the course of a few years had succeeded in gathering a number of proselytes to the faith, and that, retaining their integrity, they were at length rendered famous in character, and were even patronized by the governments of the world; that Jews and Pagans were corrected in their opinions and manners, and eventually that the nature of salvation, as designed by divine wisdom, was now in a happy degree understood.
Having thus held up to view the marvelous progress of Christianity, and instances that its success was evidently owing to the dedication of its early advocates, and the prevalence of divine wisdom accompanying their labours, it was now opened to treat the necessity of believing, that the same end must still be promoted by the like means. That as virtue and holiness had been the practice of those worthy advocates in that day, and as they, in consequence were made successful in promoting the cause, so we in the present time should believe we are under like obligation, and should be bound to like practice. Here I saw in degree in the perfection of the wisdom of God, in sending his beloved son in the likeness of simple flesh, and for sin, and condemning sin in the flesh, thereby taking away all possible excuse for man, for his transgression, and as said the son of God, "If I had not done among them, the works which none other man did, they had not had sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and the father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, they hated me without a cause."
Thus the heavenly messenger, having set the example of perfection, and while clothed with all the dispositions incident to human nature, clearly in his own person demonstrated that they were under all trials and temptation to be entirely governed. The excuse of that day for continuing in a way were therefore taken way, and the people were plainly told so, when he informed them that now ye have no cloak for your sin.
While my attention, however, was directed to general application of those comparisons, it was very clear that this was not acceptable and I believed that some in the assembly were not willing to admit a necessity for either looking towards a conquest over sin or expecting they were to gain it in this life. My way, therefore, became closed up and I left the meeting under a burthen, yet not without a satisfactory persuasion that I had done what I could.
The situation of religion in this country, and the general indifference which appears to the subject, and particularly the effects produced by example, all tend to make the work difficult to the rightly concerned ministers in the labors in this land. It is, however, satisfactory to believe there are preserved in different parts of the kingdom such as are seeking to maintain by precept and example their testimony to the design of the gospel plan.
Sixth-day, 31st. I am now looking toward Manchester, and shall of course part with G. Jones and wife, who are friends to the cause, and who have kindly entertained me at their hospitable house while I have been in this place.
In the evening arrived at Robert Barnhard's, who is one of the brothers to our dear friend Deborah Darby. He and his valuable Hannah, who is sister to Isaac Hadwin's wife, gave me a very welcome reception to their agreeable habitation in Manchester.
1804. 7th day, 9th mo. 1st. Spent the day without much exercise or company. In the course, however, of part of it was entertained by the visit of John Thorp. This is a man of strong natural parts, and very capable in many respects, to be useful in the Society, but it appeared to me has a peculiar fixedness of opinions or judgment, and that any disagreement with him might be in common better reserved than expressed. Yet he is on many accounts an amiable and valuable man,
I now believe that on many serious subjects of thought, which have attended my own mind, there would not be a safety in altogether opening them--that under the government of an infinitely wise God, man is left to think, to judge, and determine independent of all other, by that degree of conviction which he is furnished with on the subject of religious truth; that he is not obligated to embrace any creed from the hands of man, and that there should be no disposition entertained, that would enforce a conformity of opinions. Should mankind ever come to this state and learn to permit the free exercise of thought, not suffering a difference of opinion to be a cause of difference of friendship, I shall then not doubt but that the time is near in which much agreement of judgment will be manifested--but while we are fettered by the fear of innovation and suppose it to be the natural consequence of this liberty, there will continue great hidden diversity of sentiment about important points in the Christian system.
1st day 2nd. I have been at two meetings in Manchester today. That held in the morning was a time in which my attention was drawn to the multiplied testimony in the Holy Scriptures concerning the coming of Christ, and I felt engaged to open this subject, showing from the testimony of the Messiah, in the first, that Abraham saw his day and rejoiced--that in the sacred writings, there was ample evidence that inspired men of God believe that Christ should come. The patriarch Jacob saw and confessed thereto when he says, "the sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet until Shiloh come, and unto him the gathering of the people should be." Moses also saw that Christ would come when he told the Israelites that a prophet would the Lord their God raise up unto them, &c. The Psalmist knew that the Messiah would come when he said, "why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing, the kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against his anointed."
Having been favored with clearness on the subject and a persuasion that some present were measurably awakened; I was relieved, and the meeting ended to good satisfaction generally.
In the afternoon a large number both of Friends and others came together and while we were silently musing, my understanding was opened on the nature and tendency of resignation to the Divine will. It was comfortable to be persuaded that many in this opportunity were tenderly reached, as well as encouraged in the idea that the way in which we should go was by no means gloomy, but altogether a path of pleasure and of peace.
As my home is directly on the north side of one of the Episcopal burial grounds, my attention was taken when standing at the window and noticing the burial of their corpse. The graves were about the distance 12 perches one from the other, and in such direction as to permit the clergyman to stand with two on his right hand, and one on his left; in this way he took his station; the people who were at the graves of course were 12 perches from him, or nearly so. In this distinct capacity, standing with his clerk only by him, he goes through the ceremony, and it was evident the people had no idea of hearing him. I shall omit any particular observation on this subject, further than that the case seemed singular and not reconcilable, in my view, to the dictates of common sense.
Second-day, 3rd. No much due to the feelings of this day, having spent it in a kind of blindness, but to my astonishment, without a single anxious thought, except those that sometimes struck me on the recollection of my family. These continue to go along from place to place, and perhaps the indulgence of tender thought on their account may be rather a weakness than a virtue. I trust, however, that if it be such, it is one of a kind for which I shall be pardoned, provided my attention is not so much arrested on their account as to continue that blindness before mentioned. My situation will at times strike me in a very feeling manner, and has without seeking been so impressed as to awaken every possible tender thought. The service before me presents with views that are sufficient to impress with almost continual enquiry, "who is sufficient for these things?" I see the power of deception ever near, it enters every avenue of the human heart, nor it is always possible to escape a jealousy that by its influence some feelings are solicited which are credited as proceeding from a higher source.
Third-day, 4th. My feelings have been deeply impressed on a view of the weakness of man. He appears to me to be an object of compassion. Let his wishes at one moment be ever so sincere, he is liable the next to be beaten from his plan. Continual action is his province either in thought, word or deed, and every motion of body or mind has its exciting cause. From without he has all to fear, and from within he has little to hope, but must often toil as with every passion, ever liable to be ensnared by each. How he is to escape remains at times a subject of doubt. If he is single he has less to engage him; if he is not, he has more to torment him and more to sooth him. If he is poor he has much to wish for. If he is rich he has little to rest upon; the mind in either case finds its doubts and cannot by any act have them removed. Gracious God! until thou becomes our all in all we are like the dove from Noah's ark, no other resting place remains for the soles of our feet, the floods are everywhere and all things float with the continued tide of time.
May I then understand this lesson, acquaint myself with God and be at peace.
Fourth-day, 5th. I seems as though this day had finished my labors at Manchester, especially amongst Friends, and that unless it be hereafter impressed as my duty to engage in the cause on a more extended plan, my feelings would now bid every sincere soul good speed in the Lamb's warfare, and hope the seed may take root downward, entering the fertile soil of eternal truth and from thence spring upward so as to bear the fruits which divine wisdom will ever admit into his sacred garner.
In the afternoon rode to Stockport and now expect to attend their meeting tomorrow.
Fifth-day, 6th. My feeling this morning are by no means either comfortable or lively, possibly it many be in consequence of riding a rough going horse, or if not chargeable to that cause, it may be that a cold under which I have been oppressed has not quite gone off.
The duties of my station appear daily more important, and the danger of becoming clouded in judgment by self-indulgence is ever at hand. My eyes, however, remain open. I still discover every snare, and have still this comfort, that my separation from the principle cannot be without my own consent.
In the meeting I attended yesterday at Manchester, the possibility of many being deceived and led into mistaken opinions was a subject which particularly engaged my thoughts. I saw that the modern idea of liberality was full of deception, that the sentiment of this kind, so much a favorite among those who would be willing to be thought wise and discerning, did not proceed from that spirit which guided the example of the blessed Savior of the world. The contrary practice of indulgence ever tends to enlarge the sources of oppression and grind the face of the poor. On this subject the testimony offered in that meeting was particularly founded, and a firm persuasion measurably impressed that there was no greater indulgence proper for us, if we wished to be children of the light, than what would be supported by the example of Christ.
The meeting of Friends at this place assembled, and it was my lot to sit in it under painful suffering, but as I remained in the patience, way was opened to relieve my mind by a testimony expressive of the cause of this suffering.
Sixth-day, 7th. A meeting is appointed at a place called Loleighton, to be held at 3 o'clock this afternoon.
It is particularly grateful to feel my mind calm and measurably resigned to its lot, yet I cannot help frequently admitting serious discouragement respecting the possibility of doing service to the cause of righteousness. The combination of pernicious habits appears so vast in the nation, that every effort seems to have a bar of opposition against it.
Large factories employ the poorer orders of the people in great abundance; many of them have from five to six hundred people; these consist of men, women and children. They are crowded together in such manner that much opportunity is given for a base corruption of morals. Poverty impels these pitiable creatures to enter these departments, and when there, being dependent, they accommodate themselves to the greatest trials of their virtue, rather than lose their berths. A fair and unprejudiced history of England, in its present state, would, in my opinion, furnish a picture of serious discouragement to any advocate of the Christians religion. Here, it is not uncommon or solitary instance for 1,000 people to be turned out of employment in one day; they are then at the end of all their means to support themselves and families, and when they are in their best state, going on with their occupations, the result of their labors is only to concentrate a profusion of means which are devoted to the maintenance of a few luxuriant prodigals in habits of dissipation and folly.
How in the progress of the divine economy those irregular plans and circumstances are to be rendered more friendly to the benign purposes of the people, exceed human comprehension. Whether it will be by the efforts of reason and religion gradually rising above this system of corruption, or whether it will regulate itself by the final overthrow of the national policy, produced by the vigorous efforts of suffering humanity, is beyond the reach of my penetration to decide. At all events, I can readily admit, that by the operation of suitable means the day will come when, according to Woolman, "that arm that is mighty to oppress shall be broken."
At the time appointed the meetings generally met, and it was particularly grateful to find much apparent sobriety, as well as evidence of reasonable thought. The opportunity was a comfortable one, and ended with weight. The assembly, however, consisted almost wholly of persons who made no appearance of being members of our Society. I cannot but feel attached to those serious looking Englishmen. It seems to me as though they are, many of them, men of proper reflection.
Seventh day, 8th. This morning I am looking towards Worely, where a meeting is appointed. Here the people assembled, middling regularly, and I had the satisfaction to find a solid weight accompany before we parted. I was kindly entertained at the house of Thomas Cash, who has been for several months out on a visit to several parts of the nation. In the afternoon I rode back to Stockport, spent the evening at George Jones'. This Friend lives directly opposite to the market. My attention was feeling arrested on finding a number of poor laborers coming to buy provisions. They are paid for their week's work on Seventh-day evening and after receiving their money, the time to buy provisions is by candlelight. Under these circumstances, and in the shades of night, they assemble. Many of them remain together till after midnight. The street of course appears to be in confusion. Their noise, swearing, quarreling and tumult, to me, as a stranger, seemed almost terrifying. Men, women and children, all pursuing their own irregular and corrupting plans. Girls exposed to the most debasing habits. This scene, amongst various other that have come within my observations , has excited much concern. The suffering state of many of the rising generation is truly affecting, and the horrid root to much of this evil, is the ardent pursuit of the world's wealth, hence the laborers are kept until the evening of the day before they have an opportunity to be accommodated with money and time to procure the necessaries for themselves and children, and to this cause those night markets may be charged.
First-day, 9th. In the meeting this morning at Stockport, I felt engaged to call upon a numerous audience and excite their serious consideration of the consequences that must be expected to follow the habits of their town. I reminded them of their night-markets, of the exposure of unguarded and inconsiderate girls produced thereby and of the suffering which necessarily follow to the morals and health of the poorer order of the people; observing to them that Christianity is the religion professed by Englishmen, and that a main ingredient in this religion, was good will to men; urging that they were disposed to be sincere in their profession, they would manifest it in doing away with every species of oppression. In the afternoon I attended a large meeting at Manchester. This opportunity was weighty and the service before me appeared in the first instances to impress a belief that the true nature of Christianity could only be comprehended or enjoyed by becoming poor of spirit. In support of this idea a number of correspondent testimonies from the sacred scriptures were instanced, after which I felt concerned to impress a belief that this poorness of spirit being gained, the soul of man was, in consequence, enlarged in love to God and good will to men, that in this state every oppression was considered as necessary to be removed. It appeared to me, and was so expressed, that in the exercise of this good will there would be produced acts of humanity towards a suffering race of men, women and children, who were groaning under serious difficulty, and who stand in need of many of the necessaries of life. I hoped men of influence and talent would not delay to look around them, and consider the objects of care which are numerous in this city, firmly believing that such benevolence exercised would not fail to open the way to hundreds, if not thousands, to such improvement of morals and education as under the divine blessing might tend to furnish a belief that their posterity would long enjoy the blessing of peace and quietude.
Second-day, 10th. Many and various are the occurrences which in this land necessarily occur to the notion of a stranger. My thoughts this morning, and particularly impressed on hearing a person as he passed by the window where I sat, offering for sale, as he said, the last dying sayings of five men who were executed at Lancaster. The poor criminals had been guilty of forging notes on the Bank of England. They are now no more the inhabitants of time. The reflections had on this occasion, were such as might be expected to occur to a citizen of Pennsylvania, where a milder code of criminal law has checked those ravages upon human life, and where the virtue of reform, rather than punishment, has already reflected much light upon the true principle of governing human nature.
Third-day, 11th. Spent this day in writing letters to America. The following were completed, to wit: One to my wife, one to my brother Joshua, one to my children, one to George Massey, one to Phoebe Valentine, and one to Abraham Sharpless; after which I paid a visit to Caleb Butcher, who is an elder of good repute, and I think deservedly so. This evening my situation, not very comfortable, having to contend with a considerable share of pain in the small of my back; but the kindness of my friends is also to be contended with. They are anxious to do all that may be thought in any way useful. Their liberal treatment, if not carefully met, I see, might tend even to introduce into habits of supposed want, which in their effects would be worse than a small, or even a considerable, share of disease.
Fourth-day, 12th. Rode to Macclesfield, and attended the Quarterly Meeting of Ministers and Elders there. It was the smallest one of the kind I had yet seen. I could not help remembering that this is a very populous nation, and the true religion has enjoyments in it far surpassing all others, hence arose some very serious inquiries in my mind. What could be the possible reason why the number should be so few who stand in connection with Friends. If they really were the Bride, the Lamb's wife, they must cooperate with His spirit, and in this capacity the mutual voice being always come, would necessarily prevail in drawing many more into the same faith. Why this is not the case, I, however, at present, leave.
Fifth-day, 9th mo. 13th, 1804. I was present at the Quarterly Meeting for Discipline; it was conducted with a considerable share of harmony, and I have no doubt but there are a number of well concerned young people belonging to this meeting. In the evening I attended a large public meeting held in the Methodist Meeting-house; it was a time in which my way was very fully opened to treat of the true knowledge of God, impressing the necessity for Christian professors to experience this knowledge, and showing that it was the substance to which all forms pointed, and that while the formal idea of doctrine was within the comprehension of the natural man--the true knowledge of God was only possible of attainment by the immediate aid of Divine revelation. The meeting ended in a way much to my relief, and the solid, exemplary conduct of this large assembly, was truly encouraging.
Sixth-day, 14th. Attended a meeting at Leeds, where I was favored with a happy degree of Christian boldness to contend for the doctrine of immediate revelation. While it was very clear to my best feelings that this doctrine was not acceptable to many who were present, the opportunity closed to my satisfaction; although I believe not so to some when present there, and a few Friends here, that I value, and think they hold up a good light, but the blindness of formal profession, and their opposition to the life of religion I think equal to anything I have met in England. When in the course of Providence this cloud may be removed, must be left to the influence of time and consequences to determine.
Seventh-day, 15th. Rode to Darby, the place where our Society first obtained the name of "Quakers." There are now a few Friends here; they are such as have lately been convinced and joined Friends.
First-day, 16th. Attended a meeting in this place. It was a time in which the doctrine of the Messiah communicate to his disciples concerning the blessing of seeing and hearing was particularly opened, and the necessity of being on our guard that we might not lose the sight and hearing is urged. The meeting ended to good satisfaction. In the afternoon I was present at another meeting. The people came together regularly and soon filled the house. From their steady and exemplary manner of sitting, and the apparent weight of many of their countenance, I was of the opinion they, in some good degree, enjoyed the silent part of the opportunity, and it was not clear to me that much good was done by the communication offered in this meeting. After the opportunity closed, I had many serious thoughts on the nature of Gospel ministry, and although I have no doubt many are satisfied with a well connected discourse, yet unless the right authority is present and opens the doctrine, it cannot avail, or be in any way instrumental in promoting the case.
Seventh-day, 16th. Parted with this newly convinced company and went to Nottingham, where a meeting was appointed. In this opportunity way was made in the life to open the evidence of the Christian religion. The testimony was concise, and evidently awakened serious and valuable thought in the mind so many present. After this meeting closed I spend some time in company with my friends, and paid a visit to a very ancient building which had formerly been the habitation of monks and friars. It was particularly grateful to compare in idea this dreary mansion, with its former inhabitants, and to contrast its awkward form with the building of modern time. The train of reflection is materially heightened, too, when we admit that the human understanding has been in a similar degree improved with the lively and advantageous change of forms in building. I could scarcely fancy myself separate from those dull subjects of superstition while ascending the large stairway and seeing the apartments they led to; all seemed calculated to impress a belief that they had begun without plan and that when they had ended, it was, of course, without order. In the afternoon I rode to Mansfield and attended a small Quarterly Meeting of ministers and elders. My lodging here is at Richard Laver's. I desire to notice, however, before I leave Nottingham, that I was much pleased with the company of several friends there, particularly the relations of Benjamin Mason, William Harvey and wife, and John Bakewell and his wife Susanna.
Third-day, 17th. I have this day had my heart opened in the enjoyment of every tender thought. The Quarterly was a precious season, wherein the light and beauty of the spirit of truth was in a moving and convincing manner felt to be over all. And I have no doubt there are many precious young Friends here who will come forth in the principle and prove as way-marks to others. some of them on parting with me, as well as others of the elder class, were very tender. May they be kept each in their proper place so as to enjoy the blessing of preservation. It was impossible in the company of these Friends under the impression that I felt, to keep my thoughts from recurring to the friends in my native land; they reminded me of the manner in which I had parted with many of them. Towards the close of the meeting it appeared to me that I should appoint a public one to be held tomorrow evening, and after that proceed to Chesterfield and Sheffield.
Fourth-day, 18th. This evening, after some time taken in gathering, the meeting settled, and during the silent part it was pleasant to find there was a portion of sold weight attended. This preparation made the way easy to communicate the feelings of my mind among them, to which much attention was given, and the meeting closed to good satisfaction. Some reflection attended in the course of the day on the causes of deception which we are liable to, particularly from the more gentle, and if I may so call them, amiable dispositions f the human heart, the mild impressions of affection, and the continual partiality resulting therefrom, appears as very fertile sources of error in judgment. Perhaps in the indulgence of not other passion is there equal danger, because no other can so completely be acted upon so as to appear in the likens of an angel of light.
Fifth-day, 9th mo. 19th, 1804. Parted with this kind family, and was conveyed by the Friend to Chesterfield, where I was accommodated at the house of Joseph Stoors. This evening there was also a large public meeting here, which was a trying opportunity, but by patient attention to my feelings, they were at length relieved, and the meeting ended to good satisfaction. In the afternoon rode to Sheffield.
Sixth-day, 21st. Attended a large public meeting in this place, where the doctrine proposed was principally governed by that testimony of John the Divine, when he says, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock, if any man hear my voice and open unto me, I will come in and sup with him and he with me." In treating of this text I took notice that the apostle explained two important points; first, that Divine Providence had not left his creature man without the means of becoming untied to himself, but had in mercy condescended to offer the privilege of a sacred union manifested by the sentence, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock." In the second place, that it remained for us to choose whether we would become thus united, and that this is signified by that part of our text, "If any man hear my voice and open unto me," plainly implying that we were at liberty either to stand in this open capacity, or otherwise to close up every avenue against the admission of the heavenly visitor. The meeting ended to my satisfaction.
Seventh-day, 22d. This day has been spent in obtaining rest, which I find necessary for my health. My entertainment at this place has been at the house of the widow Fairbank, whose kindness has tended to lessen the trial of my separated state from the ties of affection in my native land.
First-day, 23rd. I have attended two meetings at Sheffield today. It was a time of instruction, particularly to myself, and I have a hope that the members of our Society are holding up a good light here. There are many promising young people who appear to possess a happy share of firmness, and who I trust will be examples to the virtue of a life of self-denial.
Second-day, 24th. I am this day at the great Ackworth school; and in the meeting with the large family here, my attention was drawn to the rise of our Society, and the admirable change they had experienced fro that of being a persecuted people, to the time of opening this important institution. I reminded the children of the difference between their case in our day, and those sons of the morning who in the propagation of the doctrine we hold, were often arrested and taken to confinement. Their attention appeared to me to be taken with the subject, and as they grew serious, way was made to impress some considerations o the manner in which they were to act in order to fill up the duties of their time. The meeting ended to my satisfaction.
The general average of children taught in this school, is 300; about three-fifths are boys and two fifths girls.
A competent number of teachers is three masters and four apprentices, five mistresses and three apprentices; the apprentices serve until they are 21 years of age and are generally bound at 14. They are taught Reading, English Grammar, Arithmetic and those principle of calculation that embrace Geography, Mensuration, Book Keeping, and a small show of Algebra. In addition to this the girls are taught the domestic arts, such as sewing, knitting, &c.
The number of servants in this general concern, amount to 50; they appear to be all well accommodated and the children happy. The form of government is dictated by a general committee, part of whom reside in London and the rest principally with the verge of York Quarterly Meeting.
Third-day, 25th. Attended York Quarterly Meeting of ministers and elders. I had but little to say in this department; it however felt pleasant to me, and the opportunity ended with a renewal of Gospel love.
Fourth-day, 26th. The Quarterly Meeting for business met. It was large and solid, and evidently a time in which renewed confidence was excited in the soundness of our faith. The subjects treated upon in the public part of the meeting appeared in much clearness, and I believe would not soon be forgotten.
Fifth-day, 27th. The public meeting today was large and solemn. I felt my way open to treat of the blessing which attend an early submission to the Divine government. The young class of the assembly were particularly invited to remember their Creator in the days of their youth before the evil days come and the years draw nigh wherein they should say, I have no pleasure in them.
The excellency of the yoke of Christ, his discipline over all nature, and the consequent rise of the soul immortal to the inheritance of a union with god was feelingly impressed. Truth reigned over all, and I retired, humbled in spirit, and thankful to the giver of every good and perfect gift.
My entertainment while at York has been at the house of Lindley Murray, who, together with his meek spirited wife, were instructive examples of almost unequaled composure and patience in their afflicted situation, his excellent mind appears as a mirror through which the harmony of the Gospel spirit is displayed, and though his body is confined by debility, his soul is often raised far beyond the limits of earthly ideas to the joys which are founded upon resignation to the will of God.
Sixth-day, 27th. Parted with this hospitable mansion and rode to Leeds. Here I am entertained at the house of Pim Nevin's. This Friend has met with many trials in his outward concerns, but they appear to me likely to operate as lessons of great value. I love him very much, and hope his days may be numbered among the days of wisdom, and his family feel the virtue of submission to a limited state. This afternoon I have for the first time met with David Sands. He appears to me to be much weakened in his health of body, and of course some in his strength of mind. I shall not judge for him, nor say whether his stay has been longer in this land than ought to have been the case, but his returning home appears very doubtful.
Seventh-day, 28th. Spent this day in seeing some Friends at Leeds, without anything particular to remark.
First-day, 29th. This morning much tried in meeting from a prospect that some of the young people, particularly of my own sex, had vainly opposed the power of conviction and reasoned against the principle until they had lost much of their confidence in the divine origin of the Christian religion. My way was, however, opened on the subject, and such illustration given as tended to my own relief; the meeting ended to good satisfaction. In the evening there was a large number of the inhabitants come together, and a solid interesting time it was, in which the nature of the fall of man and the mercy of God in providing a means for his restoration, was particularly spoken to; the people were very attentive, and appeared to feel interested. The opportunity closed to my relief.
Second-day, 30th. Came by stage to Liverpool, where I am again accommodated at my hospitable home in the family of Isaac Hadwin.
Third-day. Present again at Hardshaw Monthly meeting, thou not able to sit through the whole of it. In the foregoing part, my mind was impressed with strong prepossessions in favor of sitting silent, but after a lively communication offered by Deborah Darby, it appeared to me my duty to again advocate the cause. My testimony was short, and principally directed to the necessity which I saw for Friends to come home to the principle of our profession, that they might see in the true light what their callings were, and faithfully fulfill them. Necessity impelled me to leave the meeting, and, therefore, I have withdrawn.
Fourth-day, 3d. Attended Lancashire Quarterly Meeting. In the foregoing part whereof there was a satisfactory clearness enjoyed and much comfort generally felt in the opening of Gospel truth.
Sixth-day, 7th. A meeting is appointed at a place called Loleighton, to be held at 3 o'clock this afternoon.
It is particularly grateful to feel my mind calm and measurably resigned to its lot, yet I cannot help frequently admitting serious discouragement respecting the possibility of doing service to the cause of righteousness. The combination of pernicious habits appears so vast in the nation, that every effort seems to have a bar of opposition against it.
Large factories employ the poorer orders of the people in great abundance; many of them have from five to six hundred people; these consist of men, women and children. They are crowded together in such manner that much opportunity is given for a base corruption of morals. Poverty impels these pitiable creatures to enter these departments, and when there, being dependent, they accommodate themselves to the greatest trials of their virtue, rather than lose their berths. A fair and unprejudiced history of England, in its present state, would, in my opinion, furnish a picture of serious discouragement to any advocate of the Christians religion. Here, it is not uncommon or solitary instance for 1,000 people to be turned out of employment in one day; they are then at the end of all their means to support themselves and families, And when they are in their best state, going on with their occupations, the result of their labors is only to concentrate a profusion of means which are devoted to the maintenance of a few luxuriant prodigals in habits of dissipation and folly.
How in the progress of the divine economy those irregular plans and circumstance are to be rendered more friendly to the benign purposes of the people, exceed human comprehension. Whether it will be by the efforts of reason and religion gradually rising above this system of corruption, or whether it will regulate itself by the final overthrow of the national policy, produced by the vigorous efforts of suffering humanity, is beyond the reach of my penetration to decide. At all events, I can readily admit, that by the operation of suitable means the day will come when, according to Woolman, "that arm that is mighty to oppress shall be broken."
At the time appointed the meetings generally met, and is was particularly grateful to find much apparent sobriety, as well as evidence of reasonable thought. The opportunity was a comfortable one, and ended with weight. The assembly, however, consisted almost wholly of persons who made no appearance of being members of our Society. I cannot but feel attached to those serious looking Englishmen. It seems to me as though they are, many of them, men of proper reflection.
Seventh day, 8th. This morning I am looking towards Worely, where a meeting is appointed. Here the people assembled, middling regularly, and I had the satisfaction to find a solid weight accompany before we parted. I was kindly entertained at the house of Thomas Cash, who has been for several months out on a visit to several parts of the nation. In the afternoon I rode back to Stockport, spent the evening at George Jones'. This Friend lives directly opposite to the market. My attention was feeling arrested on finding a number of poor laborers coming to buy provisions. They are paid for their week's work on Seventh-day evening and after receiving their money, the time to buy provisions is by candlelight. Under these circumstances, and in the shades of night, they assemble. Many of them remain together till after midnight. The street of course appears to be in confusion. Their noise, swearing, quarreling and tumult, to me, as a stranger, seemed almost terrifying. Men, women and children, all pursuing their own irregular and corrupting plans. Girls exposed to the most debasing habits. This scene, amongst various other that have come within my observations, has excited much concern. The suffering state of many of the rising generation is truly affecting, and the horrid root to much of this evil, is the ardent pursuit of the world's wealth, hence the laborers are kept until the evening of the day before they have an opportunity to be accommodated with money and time to procure the necessaries for themselves and children, and to this cause those night markets may be charged.
First-day, 9th. In the meeting this morning at Stockport, I felt engaged to call upon a numerous audience and excite their serious consideration of the consequences that must be expected to follow the habits of their town. I reminded them of their night-markets, of the exposure of unguarded and inconsiderate girls produced thereby and of the suffering which necessarily follow to the morals and health of the poorer order of the people; observing to them that Christianity is the religion professed by Englishmen, and that a main ingredient in this religion, was good will to men; urging that they were disposed to be sincere in their profession, they would manifest it in doing away with every species of oppression,. In the afternoon I attended a large meeting at Manchester. This opportunity was weighty and the service before me appeared in the first instances to impress a belief that the true nature of Christianity could only be comprehended or enjoyed by becoming poor of spirit,. In support of this idea a number of correspondent testimonies fro the sacred scriptures, were instanced, after which I felt concerned to impress a belief that this poorness of spirit being gained, the soul of man was, in consequence, enlarged in love to God and good will to men, that in this state every oppression was considered as necessary to be removed. It appeared to me, and was so expressed, that in the exercise of this good will there would be produced acts of humanity towards a suffering race men, women and children, who were groaning under serious difficulty, and who stand in need of many of the necessaries of life. I hoped men of influence and talent would not delay to look around them ,and consider the objects of care which are numerous in this city, firmly believing that such benevolence exercised would not fail to open the way to hundreds, if not thousands, to such improvement of morals and education as under the divine blessing might tend to furnish a belief that their posterity would long enjoy the blessing of peace and quietude.
Second-day, 10th. Many and various are the occurrences which in this land necessarily occur to the notion of a stranger. My thoughts this morning, and particularly impressed on hearing a person as he passed by the window where I sat, offering for sale, as he said, the last dying sayings of five men who were executed at Lancaster. The poor criminals had been guilty of forging notes on the Bank of England. They are no more the inhabitants of time. The reflections had on this occasion, were such as might be expected to occur to a citizen of Pennsylvania, where a milder code of criminal law has checked those ravages upon human life, and where the virtue of reform, rather than punishment, has already reflected much light upon the true principle of governing human nature.
Third-day, 11th. Spent this day in writing letters to America. The following were completed, to wit: One to my wife, one to my brother Joshua, one to my children, one to George Massey, one to Phebe Valentine, an done to Abraham Shapless; after which I paid a visit to Caleb Butcher, who is an elder of god repute, and I think deservedly so. This evening my situation, not very comfortable, having to contend with a considerable share of pain in the small of my back; but the kindness of my friends is also to be contended with. They are anxious to do all that may be thought in any way useful. Their liberal treatment, if not carefully meant, I see, might tend even to introduce into habits of supposed want, which in their effects would be worse than a small, or even a considerable, share of disease.
Fourth-day, 12th. rode to Macclesfield, and attended the Quarterly Meeting of Ministers and Elders there. It was the smallest one of the kind I had yet seen. I could not help remembering that this is a very populous nation, and the true religion has enjoyments in it far surpassing all others, hence arose some very serious inquiries in my mind. What could be the possible reason why the number should be so few who stand in connection with Friends. If they really were the Bride, the Lamb's wife, they must cooperate with His spirit, and in this capacity the mutual voice being always come, would necessarily prevail in drawing many more into the same faith. Why this is not the case, I, however, at present, leave.
Fifth-day, 10th mo. 4th, 1804. Spent some of this day, in company with my valued friends Rebecca Bird and Deborah Darby, and in the evening attended a public meeting which they had appointed with the inhabitants of Liverpool. It was a solid, satisfactory time, and the power of conviction was felt upon many.
Sixth-day, 5th. This has been a day of outward rest, but my mind has felt heavy and sorrowful. It seems as though all things conspire to try my whole heart. In this separated state from the ties of nature, human support and manly resolutions are of but little account; they vanish and pass away as the morning dew, and the only defence left in the moment of bitter thought is resignation to the divine will. This I know is not always at my command and when left without it, all things are as a maze of difficulty; even the precious society of those I love only serves to raise each melancholy pang. Nor dare I with all those feeling submit to passionate grief, or desert the practice which my general creed requires--but I must through all remain the sign of composure and peace.
Seventh-day, 6th. I am spending the time in this place for the purpose of recruiting my health which at present appears to be necessary before going to Ireland, as my prospects are now directed that way. I find one consolation in thinking about it, and that is that I shall meet no impossibilities there--that every service will be opened in its proper time. Yet such is the weakness of some minds, that they seem ever impressed with thoughts of the necessity of giving me all the information they can. I humbly hope, however, that I shall be not be guided when there by any outward testimony,, but bear in my remembrance that the servant shall not judge by the sight of the eye, or the hearing of the ear.
First-day, 7th. Attended two meeting in Liverpool today. That held in the morning was a time of suffering, but ended to my satisfaction and that in the evening trying but not hopeless, as being favored before it closed with a solemn quiet. I have often had to feel for the foundation of my labors in this nation, and instruction has been conveyed from time to time of a nature adequate to the service which has occurred, that I have no reason to doubt the aid of the all sufficient helper, who sustains the character of a present help in every needful time.
Second-day, 8th. Rode in company with James Cropper and wife, 18 miles to his father, Thomas Cropper's. On the way we had many agreeable subjects to conversation, and in the evening I was lively and clear in my understanding on various passages of the Scripture of truth, explaining particular parts agreeable to this family, after which I retired to my lodgings and slept with unusual soundness.
Third-day, 9th. My feeling today not very comfortable, the reason of which I in part understood. It seems however to be principally owing to a want of resignation to separation from my dear family and home. If, however, the kindness of my friends could give me any consolation, that I enjoy beyond anything I had contemplated, or which I merit.
In the afternoon I had a pleasant time in walking over the farm, and particularly in paying a visit to an old woman who lives in a small house near this friend. She teaches two children for the small compensation of one penny per week, this and other similar resources are all she has to depend upon. The evening pleasant, and my thoughts much at rest, but not entirely free from a self disapprobation.
Fourth-day, 10th. This morning better in my health and free from anxiety of thought, the time is passing away, and every day brings me nearer the end of present prospects; hard things are made easy and bitter things sweet. I am bound to be very thankful to the giver of every good and perfect gift. He has opened my way, he has helped in the needful time, and by the energy of Gospel qualification permitted me to be an instrument, turning the attention of many precious mind to the way of truth. They are as the sweet flowers of the garden, each yielding a blessed fragrance, though not all similar. I humbly trust they will remain and be the ensigns of virtue to succeeding times.
Fifth-day, 11th. Was at Ashton Meeting. It was small. I felt comfortable there, and also on coming away. In the afternoon left Thomas Cropper's and rode to Liverpool in company with Margaret Riley and Margaret Cropper. On the way had many conversations which were entertaining, and some of them instructive.
Sixth-day, 12th. Spent in going to see a few friends; in the evening felt very dull for much of the time, and not without rial to gain resignation. It has been some time past too heavy for me to think about anything but the object that have drawn me from home; as regard these, I have every reason to be satisfied.
Seventh-day, 13th. I have this day had the pleasure to see letters from my family, by which I am informed of their health as last as the 5th of 9th month. The resignation of my dear wife, as expressed in her letter, to her present situation, is beyond all that I could have thought possible. There is no doubt but that possesses a greater share of it than do I.
First-day, 14th. Have been at two meetings at Liverpool today, both of which were precious opportunities. After, was agreeably entertained, in the evening, with the company of a number of Friends at my lodgings.
Second-day, 15th. This day has been spent principally in writing the following letters, to wit: one to my wife, one to my father, one to Samuel E. Kersey, one to John Hunt, one to Jacob Lindley, one to Geo. Marsh, and one to Elizabeth Cropper.
Third-day, 16th. Parted with friends again and went to Chester. This journey was by water, with pleasant company. I was entertained by taking a view of this ancient town--its singularities differ from all others that I have seen. A strong and powerful wall, of from four to five feet thick, and between two and three miles long, enclosed the original town plot. It has some gates leading within its enclosure, and various places for ascending to the top of the wall out of different parts of the town, from whence a view was originally had of the adjacent country. The walk is very entertaining and handsome. There are many ancient building here, no doubt erected by the Romans in their time. The Cathedral, which carries many marks of superstition about it, is said to be twelve hundred years old, and is so large that when all its various apartments are filled it is supposed it will hold twenty thousand people. The corporation here retain a firm attachment to the original plan of the place; they therefore keep the buildings much upon the first plan.
Fourth-day, 17th. Left Chester and rode to Aberconway. Met with nothing very entertaining on the road, but could only admire the similarity which the country bore to that about the Brandywine hills.
Fifth-day, 17th. This day reached Holy-head, went on board the packet in the evening. It was much crowded with passengers; I think not less than thirty or forty. We had an almost alarming passage; the wind blew very heavy and our vessel tossed much. Nearly all the passengers were sick, and not a few of them in fears that we should all go to the bottom. Some were asking that the Almighty would help them safely on short again; some one thing, some another. But except the sickness which I had to a considerable degree, there was no other cause of trial, having every doubt at an end on my own part about the dangers of the passage. Accordingly, we arrived at Dublin about 8 o'clock in the morning.
Sixth-day, 18th. Came to the house of Jonas Stolls, and though much reduced by the journey, yet I found no cause of doubting or discouragement.
Seventh-day, 19th. Quietly rested at home to-day, and had but little to try or to amuse me. In the evening was furnished with the company of a few friends, who were agreeable and on retiring to my bed felt pleasant.
First-day, 20th. Attended Meath street meeting in the morning, and in the afternoon that held in Sycamore alley. In the morning my feeling were not comfortable, but on many accounts trying. It seemed to me impossible to have any other idea than this, that Dublin! O Dublin, the Lord will plead with three by terrible things in righteousness.
In the afternoon meeting I was early engaged in testimony, and blessed by the all-sufficient helper. The subjects presented to view were in much simplicity and clearness, and the assembly solemnized. Many tears were shed; yet I remained much tried. A consideration of the corruption of this city, the misery, poverty and distress the pre ails in it, and the sight of the poor who wander along the street, all tend to distress a feeling mind. In no part of my life have I even seen so many miserable objects. It cannot be possible but this state of human affairs will come to a crisis, and I believe it will be an awful one--a crisis that may make the hearts of men faint. No state intolerable to human nature to support will always remain, but in the progress of time each cause of corruption and misery will work its own remedy. Such is the consequence attached to the elements of nature, that in all instances where corrupt bodies come into contact, fermentation and putrefaction follow; and all those whose spirits are allied to fermentable matter, will, of course, ferment with such matter and finally work their own overthrow or purification.
Second-day, 21st. Spent this day in paying sundry visits, in most of which I had some satisfaction. In the evening when a number of persons were at my lodging, who no doubt came to have my company, I felt most comfortable in being silent; and while thus separated from the conversation of the company, my attention was occupied in considering the doctrine of Election and Reprobation. Some new ideas were opened as objections to this corrupt system, and after a considerable train of reflections, I ventured to mention that if it had been the Divine will to commit all doctrine to writing and thus close up the avenues of Revelation,, in might have been expected that Jesus Christ, in whom were all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, would have spent some part of his time in writing, but that it did not appear that he ever left a single sentence in that way.
A young man in the room immediately made a reply to the sentiment, and considerable conversation ensued. The subjects were followed with much coolness and deliberation, and in the end I believe left him as well as others, who were present, something to consider of concerning revelation, faith, and work, which they had not before attained to.
Third-day, 22d. My stay in Dublin is yet continued, but not without expectation that I may be permitted soon to leave it, which would be grateful, for it seems as though I had but little to expect here and one continual source of trial. The meeting today, was a time of trial and not much gained, more than a hope that ruth in some measure was uppermost.
Fourth-day, 23d. Paid some visit in the course of the day, but not much occurred that had a tendency to leave any agreeable impression. In the evening was surrounded as usual with company; one of the number was, by profession, a physician. With him some observations occurred on the different disputations of the faculty about the yellow fever in Philadelphia, but nothing that seemed any better than killing time.
Great are the mysteries that are witnessed by those souls who feel for and with the seed of God. Sometimes when they are in the presence of others, the Lord alone becomes their light, and as they are separated from the outward man, inhabiting the spiritual region, the inward is open, and they see all things as they really are; but that state of retirement, unhappily for the soul immortal, is often interrupted. The soul is so liable to be drawn out to familiarity in the outward courts, where it is always in danger of being mixed with the wisdom and evils of the creature, that few arrive at such a state of inward knowledge as they might experience if imparted to the soul itself.
It is also certain that whensoever the soul turns outward and connects itself with our outward man, it is tempted, tossed, and afflicted, and seldom can again separate itself and go to its spiritual home without having some wounds to heal and some spots to wash off. Great, there fore, and important is true inward retirement and total separation from our outward man to the preservation and health of the soul. Nor is it possible to understand the movings of the Divine Spirit upon it, and his will concerning it, until it becomes separated from every other thing. It must cease in its own desires. It must be in the Light and Spirit of God, knowing nothing but Him.
It is done with time, it is done with action, it is done with all confidence even it its own virtue, and in this true silence, God is all in all to it. There is an end of all forms, images, figures and ideas; nothing remains but the sweet, internal, solemn, silence savors of the Divine Spirit. Here all language is ended, and the soul has no need of that medium, either to make itself known to God or to be known of Him. Nor is there any cause why it should not use confessions either of sorrow or joy, of love or the want of it, all is perpetually clear, without image and without idea. Oh, the depth of the vision of God to the souls of them who enter its blessed silence and are gone from outward man!
Fifth-day, 10 mo, 25, 1804. Had the opportunity to see many of the poorer order of the people today, having dined at the house of William Harding, who lives under what they call the Corn Market. It is not within the limits of my capacity to describe the general idea which I entertain concerning this city, nor do I think it necessary to aim at it. The feelings that I have had will long remain amply sufficient to awaken every descriptive thought. In the continual din of company, with an almost perpetual train of outward interruptions, I find it very difficult to gain the retirement which is above all conditions desirable. Sometimes, however, when my head is laid upon my pillow ( a blessed retreat) there is a little silence gained from the interruptions that are outward.
Sixth-day, 26. Spend part of the day at Samuel Bewley's. He is a pleasant and strong minded man. We had considerable conversation concerning the conduct of society in many respects, all of which seemed more or less to edification. He appeared anxious that Friends might see their proper duties among men and not omit to comply with them. We were like-minded, and I cannot help but wish that for the relief of suffering humanity more were impressed in like manner with this Friend. Still some fears attended my mind respecting him, lest there might be too much activity.
First-day, 28. For the first time in Dublin I have felt the authority given to contend for the faith which embraces Jesus Christ as the Son. In the communication all clouds seemed to vanish and a striking illustration of that ruth was present with me, and I hoped all the people might have said amen; but by a letter sent ,e from an individual who was present, it appeared there remained some caviling and opposition. I shall, however, leave him to settle his opinions with the Judge of the quick and the dead.
Second-day, 29. Left Dublin and rode to Edenderry. On the way I was entertained with looking at the houses the poor people inhabit. They appear to be made of clay, straw, &c., mixed together. Many of them are without chimneys, and have the smoke coming out of the dome, which is an interruption to the only avenue they have left for the light. Lodged this evening at the house of William Hoome.
Third-day, 30. Was at Meeting at this place, which was small. The necessity for more dedication to the light seemed the principle subject of concern. In treating upon this my feelings were much tendered, and the opportunity closed much to my satisfaction. In the afternoon rode to Rathangin. This place was one of those where during the rebellion many lives were lost and great consternation prevailed. The number of Friends left here is few, and without much exception such as do not seem calculated to add much weight to the profession; yet poor and weak as they are it was admirable that they were preserved in that time of dreadful commotion.
Fourth-day, 31. Was at their meeting and not by any means pleasant in my feelings, having little else to contend with but a spirit of unbelief in the Christian system. When I consider the prevalence of this idea and combine it with the poverty of many of the inhabitants of Ireland, the prospect appears truly gloomy, and renders it a part of the globe which in my apprehension many one day ripen to some very unfeeling and desperate issue.
My lodging has been at Ruth Inman's, where I have had the company of Jane Watson, who I am glad to find on the right side of the cause.
Fifth-day, 11 mo. 1st. Rode to Mount Melick and took my lodging at Jonathan Pim's, where I feel comfortable, and it seems pretty clear that I ought to stay in this place and attend their meeting on First-day next.
Sixth-day, 2. Part of the day passed without anything occurring very particularly worth noting, except that the following letters were written to my friends at home, to wit, one to my wife and one to Isaac Coates.
Seventh-day, 3. I find myself happy in the company of this agreeable family, and in the course of the day wrote one letter to my friend George Williams, of Philadelphia, and another to my neighbour Nathan Sharpless, after which retired to my bed favored with a degree of composure and quiet, but not without knowing that continual dangers attend, and that unless great watchfulness is maintained I shall fail to gain that conquest which I believe is necessary for the freedom of the soul form under the bondage of fallen nature.
First-day, 4. Attended Mount Melick meeting forenoon and afternoon, in both which I felt much exercised, believing that a spirit of deception has involved the minds of some in this place and that by undertaking to fathom the propriety of the dispensations of an Allwise God by the limited powers of the human understanding, they have been in danger of admitting the infection of unbelief in the Divinity of Jesus Christ. My concern ripened to a degree of qualification for opening those subjects and in the issue I felt the reward of peace. There are, however, divers precious Friends here, particularly among the young people, with whom I feel much unity and a share of confidence that they will be preserved on the right foundation. But alas for poor Ireland! It has much to contend with; many who ought to have been as fathers in the church, and capable of weightily guarding the precious testimonies of Truth have deserted the standard and in a greater or lesser degree caused reproach to be thrown upon its profession, so that the dear children stand in a perilous state, and what in the course of Divine Providence these may have to meet, is among the mysteries of futurity; but all that are capable of feeling, can and do feel for them.
Second-day, 5. Attended meeting at Mount Rath, where after a time of inward suffering, truth rose and way was mercifully opened to visit the seed of God in the hearts of the people. It was a time to be remembered by individuals present, but this meeting, like many others, has undergone its trials.
Third-day, 11th mo. 6, 1804. Parted with our agreeable home at Mount Melick, rode to Tullemore and dined, then proceeded to Moat and lodged a the house of John Russel, where I am comfortably accommodated. On our way to this place I had the company of divers Friends fro whom I have felt much friendship; among the number was a Margaret Pim, who I hope will not depart in principle from the standard.
Fourth-day, 7th. Present at Meeting with Friends of this place, and had many trying impressions on my mind, tending much to lead to a belief that but little good could be done here, but, as I kept in the patience, light broke forth, and I felt the way in a plain testimony to divide between a formal profession of truth and that state of pure obedience to it which gave the inward evidence of peace. The meeting ended under a degree of the best life.
Fifth-day, 8th. Rode to Ballymurry and lodged at Robert Wigglesworth's.
Sixth-day, 9th. Attended a small meeting at this place, which is the only meeting of Friends in the Province of Connaught. The members, few in number, and it appears as though for some time to come to this quarter must be given up to its superstitious inhabitants. Indeed I have often had serious doubts whether it may not be a length of time before much good can be expected in many parts of this nation. The degraded situation of many of its inhabitants appears to me so vast, that nothing but a vigorous effort of suffering humanity or a bold and venturous propagation of truth will ever be sufficient to raise objects of wretchedness to their proper rank in the society of mankind.
Seventh-day, 10th. Remained at Moat, and not much occurred that was worth observation, except that I was entertained with paying visits to the acquaintances of my friend, Jonathan Pim.
First-day, 11th. Present at Moat Meeting. In this opportunity, I put Friends in mind of the rise of our Society, and took notice that in consequence of their attention to the light they professed to become regulated in their habits, expenses, &c., manifesting by positive experiment that godliness was profitable in all things, that they broke down the spirit of persecution and taught a bewildered world the rights of conscience, and, therefore, through their sufferings privileges were gained for us for which we are now accountable; and, if instead of perpetuating like means to posterity we become speculative in doctrine, rejecting a well-founded faith, thus darkening the path which had been made light to us, we might be assured we should have to answer for it; subject to that rule which says, "Where much is given, much will be required." In the afternoon meeting I sat silent, and passed the evening meeting comfortable, but not without some share of self-disapprobation.
Second-day, 12th. Rode to Burr and lodged at the house of Jeremiah Hanks, where my mind has partaken of a temporary rest.
Third-day, 13th. Attended Burr Meeting. It was very small, and the few that attended appeared to me to be but little acquainted with self denial. I had but little to day among them, and, indeed, can hope but little for them. The Society of Friends appears to me to have gone down into disrepute in this land, and for a time to come I have but little hope concerning them. When their wealth is exhausted and they are brought to feel with the mass of mankind, possible they may remember the former days and turn to the wisdom of the just. In the afternoon rode to Roserey and lodged at John Pim's. This town, like many others, has a considerable number of military men. In the evening their noise in the streets was awful to me; it drew the officer, who lodged in the same house with us, sword in hand, into the street to quell the noise. My feelings on the occasion will not be readily described.
Fourth-day, 14th. The meeting today not large, but the few who came together enjoyed a satisfactory time, and I parted with them agreeably.
Fifth-day, 15th. We traveled on our way to Limerick, and again met with many of the signs of poverty which seems attached to Ireland. The cabins, as heretofore, without widow or chimney, and the inhabitants consisting of men, women, children, and pigs--they all seem to make the same family, living wholly upon potatoes. The pig, however, has the advantage of being clothed by nature, while the other parts of the family being dependent upon art, are miserably naked or in rags, that no feeling mind can ride though this country without many disagreeable ideas, to see human nature so degraded and neglected.
Sixth-day, 16th. Arrived at the house of Joseph Massey Harvey, in the neighborhood of Limerick, where my feelings are comfortable. Here I have the satisfaction to receive a letter from my dear old friend, John Pemberton. To find I remain in the remembrance of ancient and honorable brethren who live in my native country, is no small comfort, and, in some degree, serves to cheer my mind while toiling in the gloomy circumstances that attend all my feelings in this land.
Seventh-day, 17th. This morning I awakened early, and my thoughts were turned to the important occasion of my absence from world engagements, and it appeared an awful undertaking. The profession of ministering to the seed of God being that claimed as the cause. How far I may be prepared at all times to fulfill it, is not to be ascertained by any outward consideration. The difficulties in my way are many, and so they will remain to all those who dare not do their own will or speak their own words.
Was at Limerick meeting, and, as has been my lot in almost every place, so the way appears much limited. My trials on the occasion and the bitterness of my soul, have at length led to some deep enquiries, into the cause; and, as with resignation, I have waited upon the heavenly guide, the mystery of sufferings has measurably opened, and the cause why the door is shut made its appearance, and to me it is an awful one. How the professors, who are high in their own ideas about the forms, creeds and confessions of faith, may endure its publication, I shall not pretend to say; but the day that is coming upon all forms shall declare it. I now see that the all-powerful God will, in his own time, take away the robes of many who yet, as in former time, love greetings in the market place, and who are, like their predecessors, taking the uppermost seats in the synagogue, and loving to be called of men Rabbi--who think they are bound to the law and the testimony of modern time, and who are saying they are the true Israel contending for the faith once delivered to the saints--vainly supposing that this faith consists in dogmas which they labor to impose. Oh, that the Lord Almighty may hasten this blessed period and open the way for his servants who are not concerned about formal doctrines or opinions, but who see the eternal word which was in the beginning to be as widely operative on the rational creation as the outward sun is upon the physical--spreading its benign influence to the souls of all men, and not demanding of any the admission of formal opinions as a means of salvation, but simply and wholly obedience to itself.
Second-day, 11th mo. 19th, 1804. Had but an unpleasant time during much of the last night, but towards the dawn of the day I felt the opening of the inward light, and as I lay quietly, attending to it, my understanding was let into a sight of its beauty, and a confidence as given that the veil which infinite wisdom had cast upon eternity, and the disposal of souls in it, was a cause of great thankfulness, and that as the true follower in the regeneration has nothing to fear in the world to come, so he has no need to desire that this secret of the Almighty should be opened to human capacity, but may sweetly repose in confidence that the Judge of the whole earth will do right. That the righteous shall inherit quietness and the assurance forever, is sealed to every necessary evidence, and as to those whom we judge as not so, if they tarry till he come that need not produce perplexity in us.
Third-day, 20th. Left Limerick and lodged in the evening at Samuel Penrose's. In the course of the day had my entertainment principally from reading a book, the title of which is, "The World Unmasked." It appears to me to correspond with the name, and would be well worthy of the attention of many.
Fourth-day, 21st. After an acceptable opportunity in this family, proceeded to Cork and lodged at James Abel's. I was entertained on the road as yesterday, and in the evening felt thankful that a retrospect of the day was pleasant. My sleep was sweet, and the idea of the service before me less oppressive than at some other times.
Fifth-day, 22nd. Attended Cork Meeting. It was larger than many others I have been at lately, and there was a hope raised that many of the younger class might be prevailed upon to draw nigh to draw nigh to the voice of conscience, and laying aside all deceivableness of unrighteousness, see themselves in the true light, and not only see but be encouraged to obey. I cannot help but ardently wish this may be their wise choice, and that without taking any man for a pattern, they may be each governed by the evidence in themselves; thus the light would shine through them, and any man seeing the blessed fruit brought forth would be invited to follow their footsteps. Then it may be hoped the day of the Sun of Righteousness would break forth on the right hand and on the left, to the glory of the great name, and the redemption of the souls of many who at present are content with their own deceivings, and living to themselves in all the vanity of the times.
Sixth-day 23d. Not much has occurred during this day that appeared to me worth making a note about, except that I feel persuaded that I have been mercifully preserved, and that the light has shone upon my mind with so much clearness that all the dangers have been manifest. In the evening when I went to my bed, my mind was calm, and the sleep comfortable. Nature is gradually yielding to the light, and peace follows as a reward.
Seventh-day, 24th. Paid some visits, and on the whole enjoyed the day comfortably.
First-day, 25th. Our meetings, both fore and afternoon,, blessed and heavenly; that in the afternoon particularly so. Until I was permitted to enjoy those opportunities I had almost begun to suppose that I must have committed a serious offense, and therefore was, throughout the course of attending all the preceding ones in Ireland, only a cumber to my friends, but now I see that my sufferings were owing to another cause, and that if I was shut up there was great wisdom in it.
Second-day 26th. Rose with pleasant company to Youghall, and had much satisfaction in opening considerations and removing difficulties out of the way of a precious young Friend of the name of M. Harvey. Lodged in the evening at the house of a Friend not long since deceased, whose name was Thomas Harvey. By accounts he was a very valuable man, and his children left behind are pleasant and agreeable.
Third-day, 27th. Was at Youghall Meeting, where through mercy I was again set at liberty to contend for the safety of submission to the light, and had also to notice that if individuals then present had kept to the covenants they had made in early life they would have shone as advocates in the cause of universal righteousness. The meeting ended much to my satisfaction. In the evening I was surrounded as usual with the company of a number of friends, and had not much to complain of, but on the other hand felt at liberty to indulge in pleasant conversation. After they generally separated from us, I was again pleasantly, and I hope profitably employed in discussing several propositions with my friend, M.H. who at the close of this interview was happily set at liberty from several perplexing ideas. She often put me in mind of E. R. in my own country.
Fourth-day, 23rd. Rode to Clohee and lodged at Saml. Grubb. Here I was kindly received and entertained.
Fifth-day, 29th. Proceeded to Clonmell and was accommodated by John Grubb. This friend and his wife Sarah are ornaments in the Christian world. With them the time was spend was spent comfortably. I attended their Monthly Meeting and sat silent. Many considerations occurred that I was instructed by, and the evening was spent with satisfaction.
Sixth-day, 30th. Was at Meeting again in this place, and very soon felt at liberty to advocate the cause. My testimony related to the benefit of an early submission to the dispensations of light, and it tended to awaken an encouraging hope that my stay here might be short. Accordingly after meeting, the way appeared clear to proceed to Waterford. In the evening went two miles of the distance, and lodged at Sarah Grubb's. This is an agreeable Friend who lives in a handsome situation. She has the valuable company of three daughter and one son in law.
Seventh-day, 1st of 12th mo. Proceeded on my way to Waterford, and had the pleasure of agreeable company. In the evening reached the house of the widow Strangman, where I wrote the following letter to Margaret Harvey:
My Dear Friend: Since we left Youghall, it hath been several times on my mind to inform, that I have much desired, for the sake of thy health, and indeed on many other accounts, that thou would often try to have thy mind unbent. Be careful, I intreat thee, not to dwell upon subjects too long. Everything necessary for us to know will be opened in its proper time, if we are only read to receive it: and thou hast nothing to do with invention. Remember that all objects we are capable of knowing, have their proper idea in us, and that when they are clearly proposed, they will immediately awaken or stir up that idea that shall agree therewith, as when we see a circle the idea of a circle, and not of a square, is thereby excited. If at any time subjects should present themselves, and on tracing them there should appear to be but a partial understanding of them, let such be entertained with due respect and though the various parts may be but weakly comprehended, remember that in all such cases mystery will end at the very moment when the proper ideas become awakened, and also that those ideas can only be stirred up , and clearly proposed in us, not by invention but by presentation of their proper objects. Now, as all objects, whether visible or invisible, are not at our command, we can only wait until they shall be presented, and if the subject be generously but not anxiously entertained for a reasonable length of time, and then remain in mystery for want of explanatory objects, it may be dismissed in full confidence that it will return again.
For subjects, like our friends, will find us out while they are well used, and at the time when they renew their visits that which they brought not along with them at the first may be likely to presented at a second or some succeeding visit, so that at all events it is only necessary that we should be prepared to receive. Here all our anxiety may safely end, and nothing need be admitted to disturb or injure the true rest, so that my friend may know concerning necessary truth, whether it relates to prayer, to modesty, to pride, to retirement, natural affection, to Christian charity, or to any other object, it will have it own way, its own before we shall find it clearly proposed in us. From all which, I conclude our proper deportment, under considerations that relate to any subject, is clearly no more nor less than patiently to wait, for, as saith the apostle, "That which a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for, but if we hope for that which we see not, then do we with patience wait."(2) After the foregoing thou may now that I have long been persuaded, if we were less anxious and more subject to the revealer of truth we should have less difficulty and greater certainty concerning necessary truths than is commonly the case, because I now have no hope that it will be our lot to have much, if any, more of each other's company, and because I know I am thy affectionate and well-wishing Friend, I have written this. Now, if thy way should be open and thou feels free, remember that it is the desire, and will be the pleasure, of thy friend to receive a line from thee as often as, and on any subject, thou please. I remain, &c.
First-day, 12th mo. 2d,1804. I attended Waterford Meeting in the morning and likewise in the afternoon. I the evening had the company of a number of Friends, and on retiring to my bed felt comfortable.
Second-day, 3d. Returned to Sarah Grubb's at Annan Mills. Here I have enjoyed pleasant society, and last night slept sweetly.
Third-day 4th. Spent the day principally on the plan of resting; such parts as were occupied were devoted to writing letters to my friends in Liverpool.
Fourth-day. Rode to Ganeroan, and was at Meeting. The object that engaged my attention was a conquest of our prejudices, and the benefit of good will for each other. After the opportunity closed, rode back to the widow Grubb's, where I felt happy; and it is no small comfort to know that, though I recollect my family with much affection, my separated state from them is rendered much easier than was the case early after I left them; and it was remarkable to me that at the before-mentioned meeting the subject treated upon was materially important to many then present, some of whom were so much under the influence of their prejudices as not to speak to each other when they met. This I was informed of after I had parted from the meeting.
Fifth-day, 6th. Attended Clonmell Meeting. The day was chosen for solemnizing a marriage between Joseph Grubb and Lydia Jacob. This led many who were inhabitants of the place to come to the meeting. It gathered in a very irregular manner, and when I thought all were present that could be expected, I rose to communicate on the subjects which had presented, but was interrupted afterwards by a considerable number coming in when I supposed the meeting had been gathered. I therefore quit my subject in the middle of it to the great surprise of Friends, and sat down; after which a female Friend took it up and proceeded in testimony, and although I did approve of all the doctrine she had to communicate, I was of the ind the meeting was not injured. When she sat down, way was made to impart some considerations that tended to the relief of my mind, and the opportunity closed to a good degree of satisfaction.
Sixth-day, 7th. Spent the day at John Grubb's, and can only say that it seemed well spent, nothing occurring in the evening that was unpleasant.
Seventh-day. Went to Annan Mills, and was agreeably entertained in the family there.
First-day, 9th. Attended Clonmell Meeting. My testimony was particularly pointed to the necessity of standing open to the light, also holding up to view the necessity for this before any could be qualified to judge of gospel ministry. At the close of this opportunity I felt most easy to propose that the afternoon meeting be put off till six o'clock, at which time many came together, and it proved a blessed opportunity. Great solemnity was felt in the meeting and my mind was much relieved. Among the congregation were a number of military men; these I felt concerned particularly to address, and I was afterwards informed, divers of them were brought to tears.
Second-day, 10th. Paid a number of visits to friends in the town, and in the evening rode to Sarah Grubb's, at Annan Mills. In her family I have had much satisfaction and some trials.
Third-day, 11th. Left this place and rode again to the widow Strangman's, at Waterford. On leaving the before mentioned family, many tears were shed by them, and indeed, the separation was a serious one t me, being likely to be a final one. This is not among the least trials that I have to meet, and it need not be any means marvelous.
Fourth-day, 12th. Had many considerations through the course of this day; my idea often being excited on particular and fundamental doctrines of the Christian religion. What the issue may be, is at present not determined; but this much is clear, that man's deportment concerning all necessary truth, is to wait until it shall be opened; and therefore, in every case where he finds mystery attached to a subject, it is only necessary to wait until it shall be removed. The Meeting this evening was held at six; it gathered irregularly, but ended to my satisfaction.
Fifth-day, 13th. Rode to Ross; had a meeting in the evening at six o'clock. It gathered very irregularly, but ended agreeably. My lodging in this place is at Samuel Elly's, who is one of the kind and obliging sort of Friends. From here I have written to Jane Watson.
Sixth-day, 14th. Went on the way to the Forest meeting and lodged at W. Gough's, where I was generously entertained by his wife and children, he being from home.
Seventh-day, 12th mo. 15th. Was at Forest Meeting. It gathered very irregularly and was a trying time. The inhabitants here seem to me very much gone from the love of Christian gravity, and in consequence not much in love with serious subjects, yet they are polite and even profuse in their hospitality to strangers. After meeting, rode to Emiscorthy and lodged at Jacob Martin's. This Friend met us at the before-mentioned meeting. He was one of the number that was taken to Vinegar Hill at the time of the Rebellion at that place. A number were put to death. Hee I may note, that yesterday I passed by in sight of where a bard has stood, in which I am told upwards of 300 Protestants were burnt during that dreadful period.
First-day, 16th. At six in the evening attended a meeting at Enniscorthy, where my mind was opened in a view of the universal love of God to man. The testimony on this subject was attended with convincing evidence, and a considerable number were measurably affected. The opportunity closed much to my satisfaction. There forenoon of this day I was at Cooladine; the meeting in this was small, but a solid, satisfactory time.
Second-day. Was at Ballintore. This meeting was likewise small, but my mind was feeling impressed on behalf of the few who were present, and I had the satisfaction to believe it was an opportunity that would be remembered to profit. Lodged at Joseph Smithson's.
Third-day. Proceeded on our way to Kilconner, and lodged at Dinah Watson's.
Fourth-day, 119th. Attended Kilconner Meeting and had but little satisfaction there. The number who were present was few, and generally such as had thrown off the appearance of Friends. In the afternoon rode to Carlow and had an evening meeting; a number came but I had nothing given me to say to them. There is much rudeness in this town, and as a proof of it I may instance, that while we sat in Meeting some of the windows were broken by the mob without. I cannot, however, help supposing that had the Society of Friends kept their places, the conduct towards us would have been different. I lodged at Daniel O'Brien's.
Fifth-day, 20th of 12th mo., 1804. At ten o'clock this day was present at
another meeting in Carlow. In this opportunity I was not much relieved, but
felt some qualification to contend for the necessity of faithful obedience
to the light. The opportunity was upon the whole not very relieving. After
meeting I dined with one of the dissenters from society. He professed much
liberality, but on being put to trial I found had but little; I put him in
mind of the fact, which tended to awaken conviction; we parted and I rode
to Ballitore and lodged at Elizabeth -----'s. In the evening was called upon
by another of the dissenters, who had been famous for bold assertions. We
spent some time together, and he invited me to his house; I agreed to go;
while in company with his family I had some serious observations to make
on the danger of following the opinions and manners of a corrupt world; the
children were particularly serious, and I left them under a hope that they
would not forget the feelings we had
Sixth-day, 21st. Our meeting a Balliltore a serious and favored time. Some of the military present were particularly addressed, and I understood afterwards that one of them had once been a Friend. They shook hands with me as we parted, and appeared very thoughtful. In the evening I had the company of M.S., one of the female dissenters. She plead a conscientious objection to attending our meetings. I reminded her of the will being sometimes an interruption to the evidence in the conscience, and took notice that many absurdities were reconciled among the superstitious, who all contended that they acted from conscience, and that to me it appeared unaccountable that the Almighty should in different ages of the world have inspired his servants with concern to plead with professors that they neglect not the assembling themselves together, and that the same spirit should inspire others in direct opposition; the conversation being wholly under the dominion of good will, had an engaging effect, and I hope also, a convincing one. In the issue I was clear that if all prejudice could be done away and the blessed, gentle, spirit of truth prevail,, it would draw their shattered members back, and remedy the untempered zeal of some, who while they may think they are doing God service, are not aware of what spirit they are of.
Seventh-day, 22d. Accompanied by A.S. as our guide, we rode to Dublin. He several times took notice that if all Friends were equally tender, though he might differ with them in some particulars, as he did with me, they might, and he would, enjoy society with much more comfort than was now the case. He is one that I should rejoice might get from under every improper difficulty, and become again useful in the society of his friends.
First-day, 23d. At Meath Street Meeting. In this opportunity I was engaged to manifest the hardship that attended traveling in the capacity of a gospel minister, owing to the multitude of jealousies and prejudices that was everywhere to be met with. If he on the one hand, attempted to speak of doctrine, it was impossible to meet the judgment of all, even tough his testimony might be ever so sound; and if on the other he spoke to the state of the people, he was not to escape the censure of personal knowledge, and, of course, of partiality, in one direction or another. Under such circumstances, however, it was my lot to be with them, and as I claimed for my defence the disposition for universal good will, and as I did not wish to be implicitly credited, it was with me freely to say that when the different reforms had occurred from under superstition, there had been retained by each a part of the old structure, which, to our predecessors and to us, was seem to be incompatible with the freedom of the Gospel spirit, and that, therefore, for the purpose of standing free in every respect, and meeting in the benign guidance of truth in our assemblies, we had happily, as a society, done away with all stated preaching, praying, &c., thus came to the end of all preceding forms. Yet that to assemble for the solemn purpose of worship was our duty, and in order that this should be continued with godly circumspection, other meetings under the name of those for discipline had been instituted, where, every member was encouraged to communicate any matter, concern, which he might feel, and having done so, then for the preservation of the peace of the body it was his duty to leave it to the consideration of others. A society thus harmonizing in brotherly sympathy under the sacred ties of good will, appeared to me to have come to the end of the Gospel plan, and their form could not possibly give occasion to a conscientious mind to be burdened. The meeting ended in the life. In the afternoon our meeting was large; on my part, it was silent, but a dear old Friend, whose integrity I value, supposed that what I had said in the morning tended to leave the duty of assembling together for the purpose of divine worship too weak a ground, in consequence of which he introduced my sentiments with some addition to them; the effect of which, I am sorry to suppose, only tended to produce prejudice against himself.
Second-day, 24th. In the evening of this day went on board of the Packet, bound for Holy Head; had an almost tremendous passage of forty-eight hours, but was permitted to land safe; our accommodations very indifferent, the only place of lodging being on the cabin floor, and sickness throughout the whole time.
Fifth-day, 27th. Being now landed safe, we spent the day at the inn, for the purpose of being again recruited.
Sixth-day, 28th. Went in the mail stage to Old Chester, where we arrived about 12 o'clock at night.
Seventh-day, 29th. I am on board the canal boat on my way to Liverpool, where about 12 o'clock I was safely landed.
First-day, 12th mo. 30th, 1804. Attended two meetings in the place, the first in some degree comfortable, the second not so much so. I felt among them a new cause of concern, such is the nature of man, that unless we are kept obedient to the light we are always liable to prejudices one against another; and whether we have just occasion or not the effect is also pernicious. I have had much to contend with on this account among with on this account among Friends here and in Ireland. It sees us thought there was not a single dissension or any other difficulty had overtaken the society, but what might be clearly traced to the want of good will as the main or principle cause. In every place where I have been engaged I find that had patience and charity prevailed, the disputes about doctrine would have been much less; but for want of those excellent qualifications many have wounded each other, and now they are willing to charge the error of dissension to different doctrinal opinions, and these of such a nature as never could be important or even merit discussion. How long this temper and unqualified zeal may be permitted to make its ravages upon the church is difficult to know, but this is to me very clear that it will only affect and move those who are in the unsettled state. During the last three days very little has occurred that I need note, yet I have the pleasure to feel supported by the conscious evidence that my return here from Ireland has been timely, and whatever may be the applause or censure which may attend my engagements in critical cases, now I am here I feel in a happy degree resigned to submit thereto.
Fourth-day, 1st mo 2d, 1805. This day I wrote to my dear wife, paid some visits, and in the evening was amused and entertained in the discussion of some passages of the Holy Scriptures, and on retiring to my bed feel calm.
Fifty-day, 3d. Felt a happy share of solid comfort attend my mind in the meeting today, and in the afternoon was engaged in conversation with W.R.(4) It gave me much concern to find him altogether disposed to vindicate his conduct in writing his narrative of "Events in Ireland," and I mentioned to him a few things on the subject, which I can hardly suppose will have much effect. The probability is that he will be disowned from the society, and should that be the case, I have very little doubt but he will publish the proceedings of the Monthly Meeting in his case. But that I feel very little concern about.
Sixth-day 4th. The day has passed in paying some agreeable visits, and in the evening my mind feels calm and content; at present nothing more opens with clearness than to remain here until First-day next.
Seventh-day, 5th. Some visits have also been paid in the course of this day, the issue of which has been pleasant, and I think on adverting to the scenes since I left my precious family I have great occasion to be thankful, having had many impressions made upon my mind in the moment of retirement that I deem no less than the kind admonition of an ever gracious God--that I may say with the prophet, "morning by morning he maketh mine ear to hear as the learned. (5) Many things relating to the dangers that attend me have been brought to view when my head has been upon my pillow, and I firmly believe that if all the officers in the militant church were careful to consult the witness, they would be awakened to a clear discovery of every danger, and with more conviction in the cause than at present is the case.
First-day, 6th. Present at the meetings today in this place. That held in the morning was a time in which my mind was opened on the advantage of attending to the word nigh in the heart and in the mouth, showing that by these [illegible] raised above any dependence upon traditional faith, and brought to the inheritance of that faith which remains to be the evidence of things not seen. In the afternoon I hoped to be at liberty to have sat the meeting in silence, but as I sat attending the impressions made upon my mind, the prospect opened of addressing the assembly on the necessity of keeping our place in the Christian world, particularly as relating to wars and fightings. I instanced that the governments of this world had cast a mantle over the society, and readily admitted that we might have some conscientious scruples on this head, and that therefore it became us to be on our guard, lest while other men from the ideas of political necessity entered the field of battle, we should give occasion to be suspected of reaping profits form the price of blood. I was also led to urge that as this place was stained with the profits of a horrid trade to the oppressed African shore, Friends should be particular on their guard that they in no instance partake of the profit of this inhuman business. The meeting ended to my satisfaction.
Second-day, 7th. Was entertained with paying some visits, and in the evening, surrounded by a number of my friends, the time passed pleasantly away, but there was not anything very interesting that occurred.
Third-day, 8th. Parted again with my many friends at Liverpool, under strong persuasions that the present visit here was well timed, and not only so, but abundantly convinced that the part I had been led to act, was altogether consistent with the profession that had led me from my habitation.
Fourth-day, 9th. Having yesterday reached the habitation of my kind friend Robert Burned, this day I attended their meeting at Manchester, where I sat silent, and the meeting was blessed with a comfortable solemnity. In the afternoon a letter came to hand from my dear companion. Its contented tended to involve me in much serious and anxious thoughts. I had before some ideas which I had attached to her former letter; supposed that during my absence she would have met not uncommon or extraordinary occurrence; but by that received today, it appeared she would be confined,(6)
and that before it could be possible for me to return. The tender solicitude I felt on her account I have no language to describe. If the one half of my estate could have been accepted as an exemption from further obligation to remain separated from her at so trying a moment, I would cheerfully sacrifice to be permitted to return; but the decree is fixed, I am here and she is in a distant land. Gracious God, permit that under present circumstances, whether we are right or wrong, we may have thy support, and particularly that the tender object of my warm affection may have a happy and favored time. Thou knowest she has given me up for thy sake and obedience to thy truth, therefore, O God! Let her tender and affectionate soul be sustained by the guardian angel of thy presence, inspire the family with all necessary compassion for her, and aid them that they may know what in thy counsel ought to be done, and should the tender infant born in my absence be either son or daughter, end by thy light all their difficulties in thy care.
Fifth-day, 10th. Nothing appears like a necessity for further service at Manchester at present, and the opening of prospect of prospect being towards Birmingham, I shall probably be at their meeting on First-day, and from thence go directly on my way to London. I have with much gratitude to admire the preservation experienced in the many trials which have attended this previous journey. The support which I have felt in moments of imminent danger on the awful deep and calm resignation, in such times, I consider nothing short of being an effect produced by the immediate aid of divine providence: and in [illegible] and trials on behalf of the cause, I feel persuaded that I have great reason to be thankful.
Sixth-day, 11th. My time has not been carelessly spent through this day, having had much to explain and contend for as consistent with the principle of universal good will toward men. The society in England I find much disposed to attend to the letter of discipline, without considering that it is the spirit of those who are active in its exception that always determines the consequences, and that unless they are themselves properly disciplined, they can never be instruments of good to those with whom they are called to treat, forgetting the ancient advice given to the church, that if a brother be overtaken in a fault, let such as are spiritually minded restore such a one in the spirit of meekness and wisdom; but on the contrary all things are insisted upon subject to certain rules and regulations, saying we have a law, and by our law he ought to die, &c. At 7 o'clock went in the long coach on the way to Birmingham, where I arrived the next day.
Seventh-day, 12th. Here I have lodged at Samuel Lloyd's, where I have had a temporary release from labor or concern.
First-day, 27th. In the Meeting today I was led to treat on the nature of man, to show that he is a being intended for society, that society could not subsist without unity, and that unity could not be where there was a want of condescension, hence concluded that difference of opinion about non-essentials could injury only where condescension is wanting. Various other subjects having relation to the foregoing were introduced, corresponding in their tendency, to support the doctrine, the whole illustrated in the example and practice of our religious society. I was clear in the evening that this communication had excited much thought and examination, particularly among the young people, concerning the necessity of subordination as well as the several constituent relations of society government, all which I have a hope may tend to enlighten and convince individuals to their own advantage and the benefit of the church.
Second-day, 28th. Attended a public meeting in Birmingham. It was tedious in coming together. Here I saw the necessity for me to suspend all subjects that presented and leave them to be weighed in the balance of the sanctuary. I remembered that it is said Nimrod was a mighty hunter before the Lord;(7) but a Gospel minister has no need to set out in search after what he may think will suit the assembly. It is his duty to keep close to his guide and wait for that concern which may have the savor of life with it. If it be to sit in silence, he need not doubt but the all-wise God knows what is best adapted to the present and assembly. The meeting, however, was a precious one, and I knew not until a very few minutes before I stood up, what might be the subject. First my attention was drawn to one and then to another, but finally all the early ideas were at an end, and then it was while I sat in the passive state willing to speak or otherwise, that I saw what the duty of the time led to, and the meeting was a solid and savory one.
Third-day, 1st mo. 29th, 1805. At 7 o'clock this evening I parted with my many friends here, and went on my way to London.
Fourth-day, 30th. In the evening came to Joseph Smith's, of the great city; he and his kind companion put me in mind of plain country Friends.
Fifth-day, 31st. I took a short walk and spent the residue of the day in the quiet. Indeed some rest seems necessary after so many engagements as I have passed through within a few weeks past. The following letters came to hand, to wit: one from E. Roberts, one from J.K., one from Thomas Briggs, one from Thos. Stewardson, one from Wm. Sampson, and two from Liverpool. They contain many marks of the excellency of that love which their respective authors feel for their old friend.
Sixth-day, 1st of 2d mo. I attended the meeting for sufferings in London. There I noticed a difference in practice from that held in Philadelphia, but on the whole an evident similarity with respect to the object in view.
Seventh-day, 2d. Indulged with resting today, pretty much at my quarters, during which time I wrote a few lines to some of my English friends.
First-day, 3d. Attended Gracious street Meeting in the morning, and Devonshire in the afternoon, likewise a funeral between the two. The meetings were satisfactory, and in the evening I enjoyed with pleasure the small company at my quarters.
Second-day, 4th. Went to George Stacy's and dined, spent the afternoon agreeably, and on retiring to my lodgings was permitted to sleep peacefully.
Third-day, 5th. Attended Devonshire Monthly Meeting; it was a time in which I was favored to show the necessity of being attentive to the gifts and talents which we had received. The opportunity closed much t my satisfaction, and although I was not so well as to stay the whole of the sitting, yet it was pleasant to find that during the short time I did stay the members of this meeting appeared to be condescending to each other.
Fourth-day, 6th. Was at Grace Church street Monthly Meeting. I felt qualified to enjoy the company of friends here, and after a satisfactory time returned to my lodgings where I spent some time in writing a letter to my friend Thos. Stewartson.
Fifth-day, 7th. I attended Westminster Meeting. It was a time when the light was permitted to break forth, and I left it in the agreeable prospect that it was a time that would be profitably remembered by some of the assembly that were present.
Sixth-day, 8th. Spent this day at home, and was principally employed in writing letters to my friends. This task seems to increase, and the number of correspondents, so far, are of the animating and agreeable kind.
Seventh-day, 9th. Went to Jonah Alyse's and lodged, The time spent in his family was instructive and agreeable; here I wrote one letter to my dear wife and one to my brother Joshua.
First-day, 10th. Attended Westminster Meeting in the morning. In this opportunity my mind was comfortably refreshed. In the afternoon I had a serious and blessed meeting at Peal; returned to my lodgings this evening in London.
Second day, 11th. Was present at what is called the Second-day morning meeting. Not much occurred there that I need notice. The remainder of the day was spent in rather dull and inactive trim. There appeared at present an open door for me in London, and I observe some doubts among my friends that I may be in danger of going away too soon; this, I hope may have no more than its proper effect.
Third-day, 12 th. I attended Southwark Monthly Meeting. Here I had an opportunity to see and hear their manner of doing business. It differs much from that adopted in my country. The foregoing part of the meeting was a time of solid satisfaction.
Fourth-day, 13th. Was at the Peal and mercifully blessed with the necessary aid to open and impress the doctrine of the Light. This opportunity closed under a comfortable share of solemn weight.
Fifth-day, 14th. Was at Radcliffe Meeting. It did not prove relieving, but was a time of trial.
Sixth-day, 15th. Went on some visit, and in the evening lodged at George Stacy's.
Seventh-day, 16th. On the same plan, and in pursuing it paid a visit to Richard Chester.
First-day, 17th. Was at Southwark Meeting in the morning. It was large, and in the conclusion I was thankful in the prospect that the cause had lost none of its weight. In the afternoon I attended that called Ratcliffe; here I was favored to show the necessity for subduing all self-exaltation and pride. The meeting was a solid and interesting o ne. After it concluded I rode to Wm. Dillwyn's in company with his four daughters and lodged.
Second day, 18th. Spent the day in the company of this precious family, and in the evening returned to London, having the company of several of the children with me.
Third-day, 19th. I attended Devonshire Meeting. In the prosecution of the work before me in this opportunity I felt helped, and it was an instructive time.
Fourth-day, 20th. Was at Gracious street Meeting; it was large and favored with much solemnity; the doctrine preached related principally to the light or ingrafted word: some notice was however taken of the evils which prevail in this large city, and the young people particularly called upon to separate themselves from every unclean thing.
Here ends for the present my labors in this city, and now being at liberty in my mind, I propose tomorrow evening to go on my way to Birmingham.
Fifth-day, 21st. Left London and traveled all night; the next came safe to Birmingham; lodged at Samuel Lloyd's and had the company of his agreeable wife, Rachel, and sister, Dorothy. While I was looking about me and attending to all that should appear proper in that large city, many things presented that I shall not think necessary to notice at present; one circumstance, however, may be mentioned, that is, when I had fully made up my mind to come away, several were saying the stay had been short, and supposing I might be in danger of making more haste than good speed; but no one of these could undertake to say that they could see when it might be right for me to go, but that it must be left to myself. In this manner I have thought it possible to perplex the inexperienced in coming to a judgment.
Sixth-day, 22d. After arriving at the house of my dear friend, S. Lloyd, the day was spent in the enjoyment of the company of his valued wife, Rachel, and beloved sister, Dorothy. These friends, I hope will long remain as Epistles, written upon the most sensible feelings of my heart. How it is I cannot say, whether my affection arises from the similarity that I see in them to my beloved relations at home, or whether it is in consequence of their unlimited kindness; from some cause or other I am led to love them, in a degree beyond most that I have met with since I parted with my dear family.
Seventh-day, 23d. Like the preceding, has been much devoted to the company of the before mentioned friends, but in the afternoon, took an agreeable walk with my friend Dorothy, and another precious young woman by the name of Mary Lloyd, and on the evening of this day was favored for the first time to see one of my countrymen, Wm. Jackson. We spent the time pleasantly together, and in the evening I parted from him, to write a letter to my valued friend Deborah Darby.
First-day, 2d mo 24, 1805. This day attended the meeting of Friends in Birmingham; in the morning my way was open to show that man was a creature that always stood subject t some prevailing power, that he could not at one and the same time be in complete subordination to contrary principles; and that therefore it was important to know the power by which we are controlled, showing that if we were under the dominion of any other than that of the principle of truth, we must necessarily be unhappy, since nothing but truth itself could keep the mind in its proper place. In the afternoon sat silent, and felt in the evening the comforts which attend a conscious persuasion that the day had been well spent.
Second-day, 25th. Was attacked and pretty much confined by a violent headache; it confined me through the day, but my friends' attention was so kindly manifested that it was a means of alleviating the affliction.
Third-day, 26th. Somewhat recovered and favored to enjoy the day in considerable quiet.
Fourth-day, 27th. Parted with my friends in Birmingham, and went to Warrington. On the way had much instructive conversation with my fellow passengers, the general tendency of which related to our discipline and profession against wars and fightings; on the last subject they became particularly interested, and one of them, who lives in London and is of German extraction, gave me his address and hoped when I returned to the city I would pay him a visit.
Fifth-day, 28th. Came to the habitation of my dear friend Sarah Benson, who had removed to the country on the account of her daughter, Rachel. This young Friend is fast declining in a consumption; she was one of those with whom I had gained an acquaintance early after landing it Liverpool.
Sixth-day, 1st of 3d month.. Spent the day in the society of this family; it has been my lot to feel particularly interested for them and they equally so for me.
Seventh-day, 2d. As yesterday, this day has been spent with those friends; my dear Rachel is on the way to that issue appointed for all living. It seems trying to think of the affecting separation, and I cannot but wish the relatives who remain may be happily supported under it.
First-day, 3d. Attended Langton Meeting; it was small, but measurably accompanied with becoming solemnity. In the evening was present at a large public meeting appointed at Wigen; the people appeared much unacquainted with the nature or propriety of silence. I endeavored politely to invite them into it, and in some degree succeeded. The meeting however ended well, and the people seemed interested on all the subjects which had been introduced.
Second-day, 4th. I had now bid this valued family farewell, and I suppose it will be as regards some of us a final parting, there is nothing but resignation that can ever render those events tolerable. After leaving them I went forward to Preston, and put up at Robert Benson's. This young man and his agreeable wife are new beginners in the world, and bid fair to get on comfortably. The town they live in, has but few members of our society in it, and those few are principally young people. Some prospects attended that led to appointing a public meeting, but after mature deliberation I felt at liberty to omit it at the present.
Third-day, 5th. This morning I look towards attending Preston Monthly Meeting. I am told it is very small; indeed, the meeting in this nation are many of them so, and I cannot but lament the cause. It is evidently owing to a departure in principle from the fundamental ground claimed by the society. There is much formality, and very little of the true life of the ever blessed gospel spirit. The savor therefore of the kingdom of God is wanting, little remains to invite the people to, so that I have often thought no society can appear more deformed than ours when we depend wholly on our forms. In the afternoon rode to Lancaster and lodged at Wm. Jepson's.
Fourth-day, 6th. This evening attended a large public meeting here, and was favored with qualification to impart some serious observations on various subjects, but particularly on the nature of true prayers; the people behaved well, and if I might judge, form the solemnity that prevailed towards the conclusion of the opportunity, it would be that they had been edified.
Fifth-day, 7th. Was present at their meeting again, and had a very interesting, solemn time; the true light shone with great clearness, and the permanent ground of the Christian religion was convincingly maintained. I the afternoon rode to Kendal. Here I am accommodated at the house of my friend George Braithwaite; he and his interesting family are very capable to make the stranger happy. Since leaving London I have been accompanied by Luke Howard, who is here, intending to leave me and return home. In his place I shall have George Stacy, who proposes going with me to Ireland.
Sixth-day, 8th. Met with Friends at Kendal meeting; they appear like a comfortable company, and among them are some valuable young people, who appear to me equally judicious with any I have found in any part of this populous kingdom. This evening was spent in a large circle of this kind of society, and I should have enjoyed it, if all the subjects that were handled in the conversation could have been brought to issue, but this was not the case, until I had retired to my quarters, when my attention was continued with them, in a smaller circle of company. The influence of the worldly spirit constituted, when taken in its various relations and tendencies, nearly all the topics of our discourse. On the whole I was convinced that our evening terminated to advantage and left some favorable impressions on the company.
Seventh-day, 9th. Was employed in taking several walks, among which a visit
was embraced to an ancient friend whose name is Alice Riggs. She has a
comfortable home, and evidently enjoys a calm and peaceful mind.
Note: Here ends the journal contained in the two books, and as there are a number of blank leaves remaining, we may presume that in the remainder of his visit he failed to keep a diary. According to his published "Narrative," after a not very long visit to Ireland , he returned to England, and left there finally in the beginning of 7th month, 1805. J.M.T.
1. The editor of The Journal.
2. Probably Romans 8:24-25; see also related verses Job 17:15 and Hebrews 11.1.
3. "After spending near a week in Clomnell, and the neighborhood, I proceeded to Waterford, and went thence to Carlow. From Carlow I went to Ballitore; and found but little to encourage me, among the few Friends that met with Abraham Shakeleton.
"Abraham Shackleton insisted on my going to see his family. Soon after I sat down in his house, he handed me Milton's Paradise Lose, and opened it at a picture of a serpent with an apple in its mouth, tempting a woman;--and asked me what I thought of that. I answered that I did not consider myself a judge of the picture: I could not say whether it as well executed, or not. He remarked, that was not the object he had in view by handing me the book. What did I think of a serpent's tempting a woman with an apple? I told him the idea appeared to me an awkward one. I did not think there was one woman in a thousand, that would feel any temptation to take an apple out of the mouth a snake. Abraham then said, his object was to know my opinion of an evil principle that envied the human race, and was constantly endeavoring to draw us out of the way in which we should go. To this inquiry I remarked, that I supposed he was so much a philosopher as to admit there was no effect without a cause. Of course, as there was evil in the world, it appeared to me not very material whether we understood whence it arose, or not;--or whether it proceeded from one or from many causes: our great business was, to get the better of it; and if we succeeded, it was all that need concern us on the subject. So he admitted the conclusion and dropped the matter." A Narrative of the Early Life, Travels, and Gospel Labors of Jesse Kersey, Late of Chester County, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia: T. Ellwood Chapman, 1851, pages 59-60.
Compare this to the experiences of William Savery, six years earlier: "At my lodgings in the evening came Robert Greer and Abraham Shackleton, the latter from Ballitore, who had come forty-two miles to see me. He holds opinions of a singular nature, objects 'to the first five books of Moses in particular, but in general to the accounts of the Jews in the Old Testament, and various parts of the New Testament; professes to think there is little if any need of books of any kind on religious subjects; that they only darken the mind and keep it from turning itself wholly unto God, the fountain of all light and life. But of all books of a religious kind, he especially dislikes Friends' Journals, and has but a slight opinion of ministry and discipline, and all secondary helps in general; but is for having all people turned to the Divine Light in themselves alone. Christ, he says, was a good man, the leader of the people, because he was wholly obedient to this light, which he was in an especial manner filled with. He thinks the Evangelists are poor historians, that Paul brought much of his epistles from the feet of Gamaliel, and many part of them are therefore rabbinical stuff,--Christianity was the same to those who were obedient before the anointing, before the coming of Christ in the flesh, as since, &c. I perceived all this was accompanied with a pretended looking towards a greater state of perfection and redemption, than our Society has yet arrived at. For my part, I could not see as he did, nor unite with him in his erroneous expressions and opinions, and I feel a fear they will produce much hurt, if he and others in this nation are not brought into deep abasement; his talents and morality making error in his hands more dangerous. We separated without much satisfaction, at least on my side.
"After retiring to rest, I could get but little sleep for some hours--Satan is indeed full of subtleties--who can discover them, but he who dwelleth in and covereth himself with unapproachable light!" Evans, Jonathan, ed. Journal of the Life of William Savery. In: Evans, William and Evans, Thomas, eds. The Friends' Library. Philadelphia: Joseph Rakestraw, 1837, Vol. I, pages 440-441.
4. Probably William Rathbone. Kersey was correct in what he anticipated; Rathbone did publish his account of events in Ireland, was disowned, and published the account of his disownment. See A Narrative of Events Which Have Lately Taken Place In Ireland Among the Society Called Quakers: With Corresponding Documents. London: J. Johnson, 1804 and Memoirs of the Proceedings of the Society Called Quakers, Belonging to the Monthly Meeting of Hardshaw, In Lancashire: In the Case of the Author of a Publication, Entitled, A Narrative of Events Which Havel Lately Taken Place in Ireland. London: J. Johnson, 1805.
5. Probably Isaiah 50:4: "The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned."
6. I.e., she was pregnant.
7. Genesis 10:8-10: "And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.