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from his sickness in the year 1649, (and whose servingman came at me with a drawn sword to have done me a mischief,) he and his wife came to see me. From thence we travelled through Warwickshire, where we had brave meetings, and so into Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire visiting friends till we came to London.
I staid not long at this time in London, but went into Essex, and so into the east, and to Norfolk, having great meetings. At Norwich, when I came to captain Lawrence's, there was great threatening of disturbance, but the meeting was quiet. Passing from thence to Sutton, and so into Cambridgeshire, there I heard of Edward Burrough's decease : and being sensible how great a grief and exercise it would be to friends to part with him, I writ the following lines to friends for the staying and settling of their minds :
Friends, "Be still and quiet in your own conditions, and settled in the seed of God that doth not change, that in that ye may feel dear E. B. among you in the seed, in which and by which he begat you to God, with whom he is; and that in the seed ye may all see and feel him, in which is the unity with him in the life; and so enjoy him in the life that doth not change, which is invisible.
From thence I passed to Little Port and the Isle of Ely, where he that had been the mayor, with his wife, and the wife of the then present mayor of Cambridge came to the meeting. So travelling on into Lincolnshire and Huntingdonshire, I came to Thomas Parnel's, where the mayor of Huntingdon came to see me, and was very loving. From thence passing on I came into the fen-country, where we had large and quiet meetings. While I was in that country, there came so great a flood that it was dangerous to get out, yet we did get out and went to Lynn, where we had a blessed meeting. Next morning I went to visit some prisoners there, and then back to the inn and took horse; and as I was riding out of the yard, the officers (it seems) came to search the inn for me. I knew nothing of it then, only I felt a great burden come upon me as I rode out of the town, till I was got without their gates; and when some friends that came after, overtook me, they told me that the officers had been searching for me in the inn, as soon as I was gone out of the yard : so by the good hand of the Lord I escaped their cruel hands. After this we
passed through the countries visiting friends in their meet ings; and the Lord's power carried us over the persecuting spirits and through many dangers, and his truth spread and grew, and friends were established therein : praises and glory to his name for ever:
And so having passed through Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, and Hertfordshire, we came to London again, where I staid awhile, visiting friends in their meetings, which were very large, and the Lord's power was over all. After some time I left the city again and travelled into Kent, having Thomas Briggs with me, and we went to Ashford, where we had a quiet and a very blessed meeting; and on the first-day we had a very good and peaceable meeting at Cranbrook. Then we went to Tenterden and had a weet. ing there, to which many friends came from several parts, and many of the world's people came in, and were reached by truth. When the meeting was done I walked with Thomas Briggs into a close, while our horses were got ready, and turning my head I espied a captain coming, and a great company of soldiers with lighted matches and muskets. Some of the soldiers came to Thomas and
me, and said we must go to their captain ; and when they had brought us before him, he asked where was George Fox? which was he? I said, I am the man : then he came to me and was somewhat struck, and said, I will secure you among the soldiers. So he called for the soldiers to take me, and then he took Thomas Briggs and the man of the house, and many more; but the power of the Lord was mightily over him and them all: then he came to me again, and said, I must go along with him to the town, and he carried himself pretty civilly, bidding the soldiers bring the rest after. As we walked, I asked him why they did, thus; for I had not seen so much ado a great while, and I bid him be civil to his neighbours who were peaceable. When we were come to the town, they had us to an inn that was the jailer's house; and after awhile the mayor of the town, and this captain, and the lieutenant, who were justices, came together, and examined me why I came thither to make a disturbance: I told them, I did not come to make a disturbance, neither had I made any disturbance since I came. They said, there was a law which was against the Quakers' meetings, made only against them. "I told them I knew no such law; then they brought forth the act that was made against Quakers and others; I told them, that was against such as terror to the king's subjects, and were enemies and held dangerous principles to the government, and therefore that
was not against us, for we held truth, and our principles were not dangerous to the government, and our meetings were peaceable as they knew, who knew their neighbours were a peaceable people. They told me I was an enemy to the king ; I told them, we loved all people and were enemies to none; and that I, for my own part, had been cast into Derby dungeon many years ago, ahout the time of Worcester fight, because I would not take up arms against him, and that I was afterward brought by colonel Hacker to London as a plotter to bring in king Charles, and was kept prisoner at London till I was set at liberty by Oliver. They asked me, whether I was imprisoned in the time of the insurrection : I said yes, I had been imprisoned then and since that also, and had been set at liberty by the king's own command. So I opened the act to them and shewed them the king's late declaration, and gave them the examples of other justices, and told them also what the House of Lords had said of it. I spake also to them concerning their own conditions, exhorting them to live in the fear of God, and to be tender towards their neighbours that feared God, and to mind God's wisdom by which all things were made and created, that they might come to receive it, and be ordered by it, and by it order all things to God's glory. They demanded bond of us for our appearance at the sessions, but we pleading our innocency refused to give bond; then they would have had us promise to come no more there, but we kept clear of that also. When they saw they could not bring us to their terms, they told us we should see they were civil to us, for it was the mayor's pleasure we should all be set at liberty. 1 told them their civility was noble, and so we parted.
Then leaving Tenterden we went into Sussex, and came to Newick where were some friends whom we visited, and from thence passed on through the country visiting friends and having great meetings, and all quiet and free from disturbance (except by some jangling baptists) till we came into Hampshire; where after we had had a good meeting at Southampton, we went to a place called Pulner in the parish of Ringwood, where there was to be a monthly meeting next day, to which many friends came from Southampton, Pool, and other places, and the weather being very hot, some of them came pretty early in the morning. I took a friend and walked out with him into the orchard, inquiring of him how the affairs of truth stood amongst them; (for many of them had been convinced by me before I was a prisoner in Cornwall.) While we were
discoursing another young man came to us, and told us the trained bands were raising, and he heard they would come and break up the meeting. It was not yet meeting time by about three hours, and there being other friends walking in the orchard also, the friend that I was discoursing with before, desired me to walk into a corn field adjoining to the orchard, and so we did. After a while the young man that spake of the trained bands left us and went away; and when he was gone a pretty way, he stood and waved his hat: whereupon I spake to the other young man that was with me to go and see what he ailed, and he went, but came not to me again; for the soldiers it seems were come and were in the orchard. And as I kept walking I could see the soldiers, and some of them, as I heard afterwards, did see me, but had no mind to meddle. So the soldiers coming so long before the meeting-time they did not tarry, but took what friends they found at the house, and some that they met in the lane coming, and had them away. After they were gone, and it grew towards the eleventh hour, friends began to come in apace, and a large and glorious meeting we had; for the everlasting seed of God was set over all, and the people were settled in the new covenant of life upon the foundation Christ Jesus. Toward the latter part of the meeting there came a man in gay apparel, and looked into the meeting while I was declaring, and went away again presently. This man came with an evil intent, for he went forthwith to Ringwood, and told the magistrates they had taken two or three men at Pulner, and had left George Fox there preaching to two or three hundred people. Upon this the magistrates sent the officers and soldiers again; but the meeting being near ended when that man looked in, and he having about a mile and an half to go with his information to Ringwood to fetch the soldiers, and they as much to come back after they had received their orders, before they could come our meeting was over, ending about the third hour peaceably and orderly. After the meeting I spake to the friends of the house where this meeting was, (the woman of the house lying then dead in the house) and then some friends had me to another friend's house at a little distance from the meeting place; where, after we had refreshed ourselves I took horse, haying about twenty miles to ride that afternoon to one Frye's house in 'Wiltshire, where a meeting was appointed to be next day.
After we were gone the officers and soldiers came in a great heat, and when they found they were come too late
and had missed their prey, they were much enraged, and the officers were offended with the soldiers, that they had not seized my horse in the stable the first time they came : but the Lord by his good providence did deliver me, and prevented them of their mischievous design. For the officers were envious men and had an evil mind against friends, but the Lord brought his judgments upon them, so that it was taken notice of by their neighbours. For • whereas before they were wealthy men, after this their estates wasted away; and John Line who was the constable, (and who was not only very forward in putting on the soldiers to take friends, but also carried those that were taken to prison, and took a falfe oath against them at the assize, upon which they were fined and continued prisoners) he was a sad spectacle to behold. For his Hesh rotting away while he lived, he died in a very miserable condition, wishing he had never meddled with the Quakers, and confessing that he never prospered since he had an band in persecuting them; and that he thought the hand of the Lord was against him for it.'
At-Frye's in Wiltshire we had a very blessed meeting and quiet, though the officers had a purpose to have broken it up, and were coming on their way in order thereunto. But before they were got to the meeting word was brought after them, that there was an house newly broken up by thieves, and they were required to go
back again with speed, to search after and pursue the thieves; by which means our meeting escaped disturbance, and we were delivered out of their hands.
We passed through Wiltshire into Dorsetshire, having large and good meetings, and the Lord's everlasting power was with us and carried us over all, in which we sounded forth his saving truth and word of life which many gladly received: thus travelling through the countries we visited friends, till we came to Topsham in Devonshire, travelling some weeks eight or nine score miles a week, and had meetings every day. At Topsham we met with Margaret Fell and two of her daughters, Sarah and Mary, and with Leonard Fell and Thomas Salthouse. From thence we passed to Totness where we visited some friends, and then on to Kingsbridge and so to old Henry Pollexfen's, who had been an ancient justice of peace; there we had a large meeting; and from thence this old justice passed with us to Plymouth, and so into Cornwall to one justice Porter's, and from thence to Thomas Mount's, where we had another large meeting. After which we went to Humphrey Lower's, where also we had a large meeting, and from