Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

as it is in Jesus, was published amongst them, and many were gathered by it into the name of the Lord.

After this I passed into Gloucestershire and Hereford. shire, having large meetings in each. In Hereford I had a meeting in the inn, and after the meeting was over, and I was gone, the magistrates hearing there had been a meeting, came to search the inn for me, and were vexed that they had missed of me. But the Lord so ordered it that I escaped their snare; and friends were established upon Christ their foundation, and the rock of ages.

Then went I into Wales, into Radnorshire, and had several precious meetings there ; and the Lord's name and standard was set up, and many were gathered to it, and are settled under the teaching of Christ Jesus, their Saviour, who hath bought them.

After I was clear of Wales, I turned towards England again, and came to a market-town betwixt England and Wales, where was a great fair that day; and several friends being at the fair, we went to an inn, and friends came to us. And after we had had a fine opportunity with friends, we parted from them, and went on our way. The officers of the town took notice (it seems) of our being there, and. friends gathered together to us; and they began also to get together to consult among themselves how to ensnare us, though it was the fair time, but before they could do any thing we were gone on our journey, and so escaped them.

From thence we came into Shropsbire, where we had a large and precious meeting ; and after we had had many meetings in those parts, we came into Warwickshire, and visited friends there, so came into Derbyshire and Staffordshire, visiting friends' meetings as we went. At a place called Whitehaugh, we had a large blessed meeting and, quiet; and after the meeting was done, we took horse, and rode about twenty miles that night to one captain, Lingard's. We heard afterwards that when we were gone, the officers came to have seized on us, and were much disturbed that they missed us; but the Lord disappointed them, and delivered us out of their wicked hands; and friends were joyful in the Lord that we escaped them.

At captain Lingard's we had a blessed' meeting, the Lord's presence being wonderfully amongst is. After this meeting we psssed through the Peak-country in Derby. shire, and after we had been at a friend's house there, we went on to Sunderhill-green, where we had a large meet. ing. Here John Whitehead came to me, and several other friends, and then I passed through the country, visiting

friends, till I came to Holderness. We went to the farther end of Holderness, and so passed down by Scarborough and Whitby, and near Malton, and then to York, having many meetings in the way, and the Lord's everlasting power was over all.

At York I heard of a plot; whereupon I was moved to declare against all plots and plotters, both in public and private ; and also to give forth a paper against plotting, of which a copy here followeth ;

• All friends every where; keep out of plots and bustlings, and the arm of flesh: for all that is among Adam's sons in the fall, where they are destroying men's lives like dogs, and beasts, and swine ; goring, rending, biting, and destroying one another, and wrestling with flesh and blood. From whence riseth wars and killings but from the lusts? And all this is in Adam in the fall, out of Adam that never fell; in whom there is peace and life. And ye are called to peace, therefore follow it; and Christ is that peace : for all that pretend to fight for Christ, they are deceived, and are in Adam in the fall; for Christ's kingdom is not of this world, therefore his servants do not fight. Therefore fighters are not of Christ's kingdom, and are without Christ's kingdom, for his kingdom stands in peace and righteousness. And so fighters are in the lust: and all that would destroy men's lives are not of Christ's mind, who comes to save men's lives. Christ's kingdom is not of this world, it is peaceable, and all that be in strifes are not of his kingdom, nor any such as pretend to fight for the gospel. The gospel is the power of God, which was before the devil or fall of man was, or fighters either; which is the gospel of peace. And they that pretend to fighting, and talk so for fighting, are ignorant of the gospel of peace. And all that talk of fighting for Sion are in darkness, for Sion needs no such helpers. And all such as profess them selves to be ministers of Christ, and Christians, and to beat down the whore with outward carnal weapons; the flesh and the whore are got up in themselves in a blind zeal, That which beats down the whore, which got up by the inward ravening from the Spirit of God, the beating down of the whore, must be by the inward rising of the sword in the spirit within. All

such as pretend Christ Jesus, and confess him, and run into carnal weapons, wrestling with flesh and blood, throw away the spiritual: that are wrest, lers with flesh and blood, they throw away Christ's doctrine, and flesh is got up in them, and they are weary of their sufferings. And such as would revenge themselves

be out of Christ's doctrine ; and such as would be stricken on the one cheek and would not turn the other, be out of Christ's doctrine : and such as do not love one another, and love enemies, be out of Christ's doctrine. And there fore you, that be heirs of the blessings of God (which was before the curse and the fall was) come to inherit your portions. And you that be heirs of the gospel of peace, before the devil was, live in the gospel of peace, seeking the peace of all men, and the good of all men. And live in Christ, which comes to save men's lives out of Adam in the fall, where they destroy men's lives, and live not in him. For the Jews sword outwardly, by which they cut down the heathen, was a type of the Spirit of God within, which cuts down the heathenish nature within : so live in the peaceable kingdom of Christ Jesus, and in the peace of God, and not in the lusts from whence wars arise. And live in Christ the way of God, who is the second Adam, who never fell; and live not in Adam in the fall, in the destruction, where they destroy one another: therefore come out of Adam in the fall, into that Adam that never fell, and so live in love and peace with all men. And keep out of all the bustlings in the world, and meddle not with the powers of the earth, but mind the kingdom, and the peace. You that be heirs of grace, and beirs of the kingdom, and heirs of the gospel, and heirs of salvation, and saints of the Most High, and children of God, whose conversations are in heaven, that is above the conbustions of the earth, let your conversations preach to all men, and your innocent lives, that they beholding your godly conversation, may glorify your Father which is in heaven. And all friends every where, this I charge you, which is the word of the Lord unto you all, live in peace in Christ, the way of peace, in which seek the peace of all men, and no man's hurt, as I said before. In Adam in the fall is no peace, but in Adam out of the fall, in him is the peace : so you being in Adam that never fell, it is love that overcomes the evil, and not hatred with hatred, nor strife with strife. And therefore live in the peaceable life, cioing good to all men, and seeking the good and wel. fare of all men.'

G. F.

way of

"

Let this go among friends every where.' We went from York to Burrowbridge, where I had a glorious meeting: Thence we passed into the Bishoprick to one Richmond's, where there was a general meeting ; and the Lord's power was over all, though people were

grown exceeding rude about this time. After the meeting we went to Henry Draper's, where we stayed all night; and the next morning a friend came to me as I was passing away, and told me, if the priests and justices (for many priests were made justices in that country at that time) could light on me they would destroy me.

But I being clear of the Bishoprick went over Stainmore into part of Yorkshire, and to Sedberg, where have ing visited friends I went into Westmoreland, visiting friends there also. From thence I passed into Lancashire and came to Swarthmore, where I staid but a little while before I went over the sands to Arnside, where I had a general meeting. After that meeting was ended there came some men to have broken it up, but understanding before they got thither that the meeting was over, they turned back. I went to Robert Widder's, and from thence to Underbarrow, where I had a glorious meeting, and the Lord's power was set over all. From thence I passed to Grayrigge, and having visite” friends there, I went to Ano Audland's, where they would have had me to have staid their meeting the next day; but I felt a stop in my spirit, and it was upon me to go to John Blaykling's in Sedberg, and to be next day at the meeting there, which is large, and a precious people there is. So we had a very good meeting next day at Sedberg, but the constables went to Ann Audland's to their meeting to look for me. Thus by the good hand and disposing Providence of the Lord I escaped their snare.

I went from John Blaykling's with Leonard Fell to Strickland-head, where on the first-day we had a very precious meeting on the common. That night we staid amongst friends there, and the next day passed into Northumberland. After the justices had heard of this meeting at Strickland-head, they made search for me, but by the good hand of the Lord I escaped them again, though there were some very wicked justices. We went to Hugh Hutchinson's house in Northumberland (a friend in the ministry) from whence we visited friends thereabouts, and then went to Darwin-Water, where we had a very glorious meeting. There came an ancient woman to me, and told me her husband remembered his love to me, and she said I might call him to mind by this token, that I used to call him the Tall White Old Man. She said he was six score and two years old, and that he would have come to the meeting, but that his horses were all employed upon some urgent occasion. I heard he lived some years after.

Now when I had visited friends in those parts, and they were settled upon Christ their foundation, their rock, and their teacher, I passed through Northumberland, and came into Cumberland to old Thomas Bewley's. And friends came about me, and said would I come there to go into prison! For there was great persecution in that country at that time; yet I had a general meeting at Thomas Bewley's, which was large and precious, and the Lord's power was over all.

Ore Musgrave was at that time deputy governor of Carlisle, and I passing along the country came to a man's house that had been convinced, whose name was Fletcher, and he told me if Musgrave knew that I was there he would be sure to send me to prison, he was such a severe man. But I staid not there, only called on the way to see this man; and then went on to one William Pearson's, near Wigton, where the meeting was, which was very large and precious. Some friends were then prisoners at Carlisle, whom I visited by a letter, which Leonard Fell carried. From William Pearson's I passed through the countries visiting friends, till I came to Pardsey-Crag, where we had a general meeting which was large, and all was quiet and peaceable, and the glorious powerful presence of the everlasting God was with us.

So eager were the magistrates about this time to stir up persecution in those parts, that they offered, some five shillings, some a noble a day, to any that could apprehend the speakers amongst the Quakers; but it being now the time of the quarter sessions in that county, the men who were so hired, were gone to the sessions to see to get their wages, and so all our meetings were at that time quiet.

From Pardsey-Crag we went into Westmoreland, calling in the way upon Hugh Tickell near Keswick, and upon Thomas Laythes, where friends came to visit us, and we had a fine opportunity to be refreshed together. We went that night to one Francis Benson's in Westmoreland, near justice Fleming's house. This justice Fleming was at that time in a great rage against friends, and me in particular, insomuch that in the open sessions at Kendal just before, he had bid five pounds to any man that should take me, that friend Francis Benson told me. And it seems as I went to this friend's house, I met one man coming from the sessions that had this five pounds offered him to take me, and he knew me, for as I passed by him he said to his companion, that is George Fox; yet he had not power to touch me, for the Lord's power preserved me over them all. And the justices being so eager to have me, and I

« VorigeDoorgaan »