« VorigeDoorgaan »
the several meetings round about, and a great. concourse of other people also, so that it was thought there were five or six hundred people; and a very good meeting it was, wherein truth was largely declared and preciously opened, to the comforting and refreshing the faithful, and the draw, ing near them that were afar oft. After this I had another meeting at John Blaykling's, where were many friends that were going to the quarterly meeting at Kendal ; with them my wife went back (who, with her daughter Rachel, had accompanied me thus far;) and I, having Leonard Fell with me, passed on through Sedberg and Garsdale, and into Wensydale, visiting friends as we went. And at night I reached to Richard Robinson's at Counterside, where several friends came to me that evening; and some of them went with me next day over the hills to the widow Tenant's at Scarhouse, in Langstroth-dale, whither we had much ado to get, the snow lay so deep, though it was a week in the second month. Here on the next day (which was the first day of the week) we had a large meeting, friends coming to it from several parts round about; and the Lord gave me a very seasonable testimony to bear amongst them, which I did for several hours, to their great satisfaction and comfort. Thence passing on through Bishopsdale, Mildum, Barton, and so through the country by Bedal and Northallerton, I came to George Robinson's at Burrowby; where also friends coming out of several parts, we had a very large and good meeting, and very peaceable. But not long after, an envious justice, who lived not far off, hearing that I had a great meeting there, troubled friends about it, and made them appear at the sessions, where he asked them many ensnaring questions, for he knew not how to convict them, because he had no proof against them. When he saw his questions did not catch them, he told them he had heard that George Fox was at a large meeting with them, and they all sat silent, and none spake in the meeting. This false story he cunningly feigned, thinking thereby to have drawn out some of the friends to have contradicted him, and have said that I had spoken in the meeting ; that so he might have convicted them upon their own confession, and have fined them. But friends standing in the wisdom of God, did not answer him according to his desire, and so escaped bis snare. But two other friends that came out of Ireland, and were at this meeting, having a meeting that evening about three miles off, this evil-minded justice got intus mation thereof, and fined friends, and plundered the boy sorely for it.
I went from Burrowby to Isaac Lindley's, calling upon friends on the way as I went. And having Robert Lodge and some other friends with me, from thence next day we passed to York, and the day following (being the first day of the week) I was at friends' meeting in York, which was large and peaceable. The second-day also I staid in York, and had two meetings with friends at John Taylor's; from whence I writ unto my wife, to let her know how it was with me, as followeth :
« Dear Heart, • To whom is my love, and to thy daughters, and to all friends that enquire after me. My desires are, that ye all may be preserved in the Lord's everlasting seed, in whom ye all will have life and peace, and dominion, and settlement in the everlasting home or dwelling, in the house built upon
the foundation of God. In the power of the Lord I am brought to York, having had many meetings in the way. The way was niany times deep and bad with snow, that our horses sometimes were down, and we were not able to ride, and sometimes we had great storms and rain; but by the power of ihe Lord I went through all. At Scarhouse there was a very large meeting, and another at Burrowby, to which friends came out of Cleaveland and Bishoprick; and many other meetings we have bad. At York yesterday we had a very large meeting, exceeding thronged, friends being at it from many parts, and all quiet, and friends well satisfied : Oh! the glory of the Lord shined over all. And this day we had a large men's and women's meeting, many friends, both men and women, being come out of the country, and all was quiet; and this evening we are to have the men's and women's meeting of the friends of the city. John Whitehead is here, with Robert Lodge and others; friends are mighty glad, above measure : so I am in my holy element, and holy work in the Lord, glory to his name for ever! To morrow I intend to go out of the city towards Todcaster, though I cannot ride as in days past; yet praised be the Lord that I can travel so well as I do. So with
love in the fountain of life, in which as ye all abide, ye will have refreshment of life, that by it ye may grow and gather eternal strength to serve the Lord, and be satisfied. Šo to the God of all power, who is all-sufficient to preserve you, I commit you all to his ordering.'
G. F. York, the 16th of the second
Leaving York, I travelled on through Yorkshire, visiting friends at Todcaster, Nottingly, Doncaster, and so on to Balby, having meetings as I went. At Balby I staid the first-day meeting, and went next day to Thomas Stacy's at Ballowfield, where in the evening. I had a meeting, to compose some difference that had happened between some that professed truth, and they were reconciled. From thence next day I came to Stainsby in Derbyshire, in which county I had formerly lived some time, about the first breaking forth of truth. Here I had a good meeting with friends, and afterwards passed to Skegby in Nottinghamshire, and from thence to Nottingham, to John Reckless's house; who, being one of the sheriffs of Nottingham (when I first declared truth in that town and was imprisoned for it) took me out of prison into his own house, and kept me there, till the mayor and the rest of the magistrates of the town took me away from him, and sent me to the prison again; at which time this John Reckless was convinced, and abode in the truth ever after. Now I had a meeting with friends at his house that evening, after I came thither, and another the next day in friends' public ineeting-house, which was peaceable and well.
I went from thence the day following to John Fox's at Wymeswould in Leicestershire, where I had a meeting that evening; and went next day to William Smith's at Sileby, where it being the first-day of the week) we had a very large meeting : for besides friends that came from several places, the town's-people hearing that I was there, came many of them to the meeting, and heard the truth declared gladly. Next day I went to Leicester, where finding many friends come out of the country, to be at the horse-fair there next day, I had a very good meeting with them that night; and had another meeting next evening (after the fair was over) at Wm. Wells's house at Knighton, about a mile from Leicester ; fronı whence next day I passed to Swan. ington (where I had formerly been taken prisoner) and had a meeting there; from thence went to Samuel Fretwell's at Hartshorn in Derbysbire, where I had a meeting also; and then went through the country to Henry Sidou's, at Badgley in Warwickshire, and staid the meeting there, which (it being the first-day of the week) was very large and peaceable, notwithstanding that a justice, who lived not far off, had threatened that he would come and break it up. After meeting (having staid awhile with friend, I went in the evening to Richard Baal's of Whittingu, where several friends came to visit me. Next car I wone to Nathaniel Newton's at Hartshill, where bevera per
met me, with whom I had good service. After this I passed on, visiting friends in divers places, till I came to Dingley, where a meeting was appointed before, which was very large, and truth was largely opened to the people : the meeting was peaceable and quiet, and the people generally sober; saving that while I was declaring, and shewing how that Christendom (so called) was gone from the pure religion that is undefiled, &c. one man rushed out in a furious manner, and said, I deny that. After this meeting I went with Thomas Charles to his house at Adingworth, and from thence next day to Northampton, where I staid the first-day meeting, which was very large and peaceable, and had much service among friends besides. Next day Edward Cooper of Northampton, accompanied me to Olney in Buckinghamshire, where I staid ai Jaines Brierlie's, several friends coming thither to see me in the evening. Next day I went to a meeting at Turry in Bedfordshire, to which friends came from several parts; so that it was a very large meeting. Here I met with William Dewsberry, who after the meeting took me along with him to his son. in-law John Rush's of Kempston, where I staid with William that night and most part of the next day, passing thence towards evening through Ampthill, to Thomas Gamboll's of Bullock's Hill. William Dewsberry went along with me thither, and there also several friends came to visit us. Next day, passing through Luton, I went to Market-street (William Dewsberry accompanying me part of the way) and the day following Leonard Fell and I had a meeting at Kensworth, which was pretty large and peaceable. After the meeting we went to Alban's, where we visited friends, and next day passing through South Mims and Barnet, where also we visited friends, we came that night to the widow Haylye's at Guttershedge in Hendon, in Middlesex. Next day, being the first-day of the week, we had a very large meeting there, several friends coming from London. I staid there on the second-day, and on the third went to William Mead's bouse at High gate, with whom next day I went to London; and it being the fourth-day of the week, I went to the meeting at Gracechurch-street, where friends and I were greatly refreshed in each other in the Lord, and the Lord's power and seed were set over all, blessed be his name for ever.
Thus it pleased the Lord to bring me safe to London, though much wearied with travel, for though I rode not very far in a day, yet having had much weakness of body, continual travel was hard to me. Besides, I had not much rest a-nights to refresh nature ; for I often sat up late with
friends, where I lodged, to inform and advise them in things wherein they were wanting; and when I was in bed, I was often hindered of sleep by great pains, which I felt in my head and teeth, occasioned (as I'thought) by cold I had taken, by riding often in the rain. But the Lord's power was over all, and carried me through all, to his praise.
In my journey I observed a slackness and shortness in some that professed truth, in keeping up the ancient testimony of truth against tithes; for wherever that spirit got entrance, which wrought division in the church, and opposed the men's and women's meetings, it weakened those that received it in their testimony against tithes. Wherefore I was moved of the Lord to give forth a short paper by way of an epistle to friends, to stir up the pure mind in them, and to encourage and strengthen them in their Christian testimony against that antichristian yoke and oppression :
My dear friends, * Be faithful to the Lord in your testimony for Jesus, who hath ended the Levitical priesthood of Aaron, that took tithes, and sent his ministers forth freely, to give freely that which they had received of him freely, without a bag or a staff. So Christ's disciples could not join with those that made a trade of preaching. And as there was a testimony to be borne against those tithes which were commanded in the law for Levi and Aaron, so there is a testimony to be borne against these tithes which have been set up by man, in the dark time of popery, and not set up by God nor Christ. Now for any to cry against the priests in words, and yet to give them means, and put into their mouths that they may not prepare war against you, this is a contradiction. And therefore take heed: for if the Lord God do bless you with outward creatures, and you do bestow them upon Baal's priests, the Lord may justly require the outward things from you again, which he hath given you : who saith, that his Christian ministers should freely give, as they have freely received of Christ Jesus. So all the preachers for tithes and money, and the takers and payers of tithe must be testified against in the Lord's power and spirit; so that all men and women may stand up in their testimony for Jesus Christ, in his power and spirit, against the tithe-mongers. Consider how many faithful servants and valiants of the Lord have laid down their lives against them, in this day of the Lord; and in the days of the martyrs they did then witness against them. Consider also,