Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

thence to Loveday Hambley's, where we had a general meeting for the whole country, and all was quiet.

A little before this there had been in those parts Joseph Hellen and G. Bewly, and they had been at Loo to visit one Blanch Pope, a ranting woman, under pretence to convince and convert her; but before they came from her, she had so darkened them with her principles that they seemed to be like her disciples, especially Joseph Hellen; for she had asked them who made the devil, did not God? This idle question so puzzled them, that they could not answer her. They afterwards asked me that question, and I told them, no, for all that God made was good and was blest, so was not the devil; and he was called a serpent before he was called a devil and an adversary, and then he had the title of devil given to him; and afterward he was called a dragon, because he was a destroyer; the devil abode not in the truth, and by departing from the truth he became a devil, and so the Jews when they went out of the truth were said to be of the devil, and were called serpents. Now there is no promise of God to the devil that ever he shall return to truth again ; but to man and woman, who have been deceived by him, the promise of God is, that the seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head, shall break his power and strength to pieces. Now when these things were opened more at large to the satisfaction of friends, those two who had let up the spirit of that ranting woman, were judged by the truth; and one of them, viz. Joseph Hellen, run quite out from truth and was denied by friends; but George Bewly was recovered, and came afterwards to be serviceable to truth.

We passed from Loveday Hambley's to Francis Hodges, near Falmouth and Penryn, where we had a large meet ing, and from thence we went to Helstone that night, where some friends came to visit us, and the next day we passed to Thomas Teage's, where we had another large meeting, at which many were convinced; for I was led to open the state of the church in the primitive times, and the state of the church in the wilderness, and the state of the false church that was got up since, and to shew that now the everlasting gospel was preached again over the head of the whore, beast, and false prophets, and antichrists, which had got up since the apostles' days; and now the everlasting gospel was received and receiving, which brought life and immortality to light, that they might see over the devil that had darkened them : and the people received the gospel and the word of life gladly, and a glorious blessed meeting we had for the exalting the

VOL. II.

B

Lord's everlasting truth and his name. After the meeting was done I walked out, and as I was coming in again I heard a noise in the court, and coming nearer, I found the man of the house speaking to the tinners and others of the world's people, and telling then it was the everlasting truth that had been declared there that day, and the people generally confessed to it.

From thence we passed to the Land's End to John Ellis's house where we had a precious meeting; and there was a fisherman, one Nicholas Jose, that was convinced, and he spake in meetings and declared the truth amongst the people, and the Lord's power was over all I was glad that the Lord had raised up his standard in those dark parts of the nation, where since there is a fine meet. ing of honest-hearted friends, and many there are come to sit under Christ's teaching ; and a great people the Lord will have in that country.

From thence we returned to Redruth, and the next day to Truro, where we had a meeting. Next morning some of the chief of the town desired to speak with me, and I went to them, amongst whom was colonel Rouse. A great deal of discourse I had with them concerning the things of God, and in their reasoning they said the gospel was the four books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and they called it natural. But I told them the gospel was the power of God, which was preached before Matthew, Mark, Luke and John or any of them were printed or written; and it was preached to every creature, (of which a great part might never see nor hear of those four books,) so that every creature was to obey the power of God; for Christ, the spiritual man, would judge the world according to the gospel, that is, according to his invisible power. When they heard this they could not gainsay, for the truth came over them. So I directed them to their Teacher, the grace of God, and shewed them the sufficiency of it, which would teach them how to live and what to deny, and being obeyed would bring them their salvation : and so to that grace I recommended them and left them.

Then returned we through the country, visiting friends, and had meetings at Humphrey Lower's again, and at Thomas Mount's : and afterwards at George Hawkins at Stoke we had a large meeting, to which friends came from Launceston and several other places; and a living precious meeting it was, in which the Lord's presence and puwer was richly manifested amongst us; and I left friends there under the Lord Jesus Christ's teaching.

In Cornwall I was informed that there was one colonel

Robinson, a very wicked man, who after the king came in was made a justice of the peace, and became a cruel persecutor of our friends, of whom he sent many to prison; and hearing that they had some little liberty, through the favour of the jailer, to come home sometimes to visit their wives and children, he made a great complaint thereof to the judge at the assize against the jailer; whereupon the jailer was fined an hundred marks, and friends were kept very strictly up for a while. After he was come home from the assize, he sent to a neighbouring justice, to desire thein to go a fanatic-hunting with him : so on the day that he intended, and was prepared to go a fanatic-hunting, he sent his man about with his horses, and walked himself on foot from his dwelling house to a tenement that he had, where his cows and dairy were kept, and where his servants were then milking. When he came there he asked for his bull, and the maid-servants said they had shut him into the field, because he was unruly amongst the kine and hindered their milking. Then went he into the field to his bull, and having formerly accustomed bimself to play with the bull, he began to fence at bim with his staff as he used to do; but the bull snuffed at him and passed a little back, and then turning upon him again, ran fiercely at him and struck his horn into bis thigh, and heaving him upon his horn threw him over his back, and so tore up his thigh to his belly; and when he came to the ground again, he gored him with his horns, and would run them into the ground in his rage and violence, and roared, and licked up his master's blood. The maid-servant hearing her master cry out, came running into the field, and came to the bull, and took himn by the horns to pull bim off from her master. The bull, without hurting her, put her gently by with his horns, but still fell to goring of him and lick. ing up his blood; then she ran and got some workmen, that were at work not far off, to come in and rescue her master; but they could not at all beat off the bull, till they brought mastiff dogs to set on him, and then the bull fled in a great rage and fury. Upon notice of it his sister came and said to him, 'Alack brother, what a heavy judg. ment is this that is befallen you! And he answered, Ah, sister, it is an heavy judgment indeed; pray let the bull be killed and the flesh given to the poor,' said he. So they carried him home, but he died soon after; and the bull was grown so fierce that they were forced to shoot him with guns, for no man durst come near him to kill him. Thus does the Lord sometimes make some examples of his just

judgment upon the persecutors of his people, that others may fear and learn to beware.

Now after I had cleared myself of Cornwall, and Thomas Lower, (who had rid with us from meeting to meeting through that county) had brought us over Horsebridge into Devonshire again, we took our leave of him. And Thomas Briggs, Robert Widders, and I, came through the country to Tiverton, and it being their fair, and many friends there, we had a nieeting amongst them, and the magistrates gathered in the street, but the Lord's power stopped them. I saw them in the street over against the door, but they had not power to come in to meddle with us, though they had will enough to have done it.

After the meeting was done we passed to Collumpton and to Wellington, for we had appointed a meeting five miles off, where we had a large meeting at a butcher's house, and a blessed meeting it was : for the people were directed to their Teacher, the grace of God, which would bring them salvation ; and many were settled under its teaching; and the Lord's presence was amongst us, and we were refreshed in him, in whom we laboured and travailed; and the meeting was quiet. There had been very great persecution in that country, and in that town a little before, insomuch that some friends questioned the peaceableness of our meet. ing; but the Lord's power chained all, and his glory shined over all. The friends told us how they had broken up their meetings by warrants from the justices, and how by their warrants they were required to carry friends before the justices, and friends bid them carry them then. The officers told friends they must go : but friends said nay, that was not according to their warrants, which required them to carry them. Then they were fain to hire carts, and waggons, and horses, and to lift friends up into their waggons and carts, to carry them before a justice. And when they came to a justices's house, sometimes he happened to be from home, and if he were a moderate man he would get out of the way, and then they were forced to carry them before another; so that they were many days carting and carrying friends up and down froin place to place. And when afterward the officers came to lay their charges for this upon the town, the town's people would not pay it, but made them bear it themselves, and that brake the ņeck of their persecution there for that time. The like was done in several other places, till the officers had shamed and tired themselves, and then were fain to give gver.

At one place they warned friends to come to the steeplehouse; and the friends met together to consider of it, and had freedom to go to the steeple-house, and meet together there. Accordingly when they came thither, they sate down together to wait upon the Lord in his power and spirit, and minded the Lord Jesus Christ, their teacher and Saviour, but did not mind the priest. When the officers saw that, they came to them to put them out of the steeple-house again, but the friends told them it was not time for them to break up their meeting yet. Awhile after, when the priest had done his stuff, they came to the friends again, and would have had them go home to din. ner; but the friends told them they did not use to go to dinner, but were feeding upon the bread of life. So there they sat, waiting upon the Lord, and enjoying his power and presence, till they found freedom in themselves to de part. Thus the priest's people were offended, because they could not get them to the steeple-house : and when they were there, they were offended, because they could not get them out again.

From the meeting near Collumpton we went to Taunton, where we had a large meeting, and the next day we came to a general meeting in Somersetshire, which was very large; and the Lord's everlasting word of life and truth was largely declared, and the people were refreshed there. by, and settled upon Christ their rock and foundation, and brought to sit under bis teaching; and the meeting was peaceable. But about the second hour in the night there came a company of men about the house, and knocked at the door, and bid open the door, or they would break it open, for they wanted a man that they came to search the house for. I heard the noise, and got up, and at the window saw a man at the door with his sword by his side. When they bad let him in he came into the chamber where I was, and looked on me, and said, You are not the man I look for: and so went his way.

We came from thence to Street, and so to Puddimore, to William Beaton's, where we had a very large general meeting, wherein the Lord's everlasting truth was declared, and the people refreshed thereby, and all quiet. From thence we went to John Dandy's, where we had another large and very precious meeting, and then passed on to Bristol, where we had good service for the Lord, and all quiet. Here we met with Margaret Fell and her daughters again. And after some time we went to Slattenford in Wiltshire, where was a very large meeting in a great barn, and good service we had there ; for the truth,

« VorigeDoorgaan »