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I tarried yet a little while in London, visiting friends and meetings, and labouring in the work of the Lord there. And being on the first-day at the Bull and Mouth, where the meeting had long been kept out, but was that day in the house, peaceable and large, the people were so affected with the truth, and refreshed with the powerful presence, of the Lord, that when the meeting was ended, they were loth to go away.
After some time, having several things upon me to write, I went to Kingston, that I might be free from interruptions. And when I came there, I understood the officers had been very rude at the meeting there, nipping and abusing friends, and had driven them out of the meeting place, and very abusive they continued to be for some time. Among other things that I writ whilst I was there, one was a little book (printed soon after) the title whereof was, The Saints' heavenly and spiritual worship, unity, and communion, &c. wherein is set forth, what the true gospel worship is, and in what the true unity and communion of the saints stands; with a discovery of those that were gone from this holy unity and communion, and were turned against the saints, that abode therein.
When I had finished the services for which I went thither, and had visited the friends there, I returned to London, and visited most of the meetings in and about the city. Afterwards I went to visit a friend in Essex, and returning by Dalston, I made some stay at the widow Stot's, and there I writ an epistle to friends, declaring the word of the Lord unto them; which epistle being then printed, may be read amongst my other printed books.
I came from Dalston to London, and the next day was sent for in haste to my son Rouse's at Kingston, whose daughter Margaret lay very sick, and had a desire to see me. I tarried now at Kingston about a week, and then returned to London, where I continued for the most part of the winter and the spring following, until the general meeting in the year 1684, (save that I went once as far as Enfield, to visit friends thereabouts): and in this time I ceased not to labour in the work of the Lord, being frequent at meetings, and visiting friends that were prisoners, or that were sick; and in writing books for the spreading of truth, and opening the understandings of people to receive it.
-The yearly meeting was in the third month, and a blessed weighty meeting it was, wherein friends were sweetly refreshed together; for the Lord was with us, and opened his
heavenly treasures amongst us. And though it was a time of great difficulty and danger, by reason of informers and persecuting magistrates, yet the Lord was a defence and place of safety to his people.
Now had I drawings in spirit to go into Holland, to visit the seed of God in those provinces. And as soon as the yearly meeting was over, and most of the country friends gone out of town, I prepared for my journey. There went with me from London Alexander Parker, George Watts, and Nathaniel Brassey, who also had drawings into that country. We took coach on the 31st of the third month, 1684, and got to Colchester that night. The next day, being the first-day of the week, we went to the meeting there, and though there was no notice given of my coming thither, yet our being there was presently spread over the town, and in several places in the country, at seven and ten miles distance, so that abundance of friends came in double-horsed, which made the meeting very large. I had a concern and travail in my mind, lest this great gathering should have stirred up the town, and been more than the magistrates could well bear; but it was very quiet and peaceable, and a glorious meeting we had, to the settling and establishing of friends both in town and coun. try; for the Lord's power was over all; blessed be his name for ever. Truly the Lord's power and presence was beyond words; for I was but weak to go into a meeting, and my face (by reason of a cold I had taken) was sore; but God was strong, and manifested his strength in us and with us, and all was well : the Lord have the glory for evermore for his supporting power. After the meeting there came, I think, above an hundred friends of the town and country to see me at John Furley's, and very glad we were to see one another, and greatly refreshed we were together, being filled with the love and riches of the Lord, blessed be his name for ever.
We tarried at Colchester two days more; which we spent in visiting friends there, both at their meetings for business and at their houses. Then early in the morning of the fourth-day of the week, we took coach for Harwich, where we met with William Bingley and Samuel Waldenfield; who also went over with us. About the eighth hour at night we went on board the packet-boat (of which one Richard Gray was master) but by reason of contrary winds it was the first hour in the morning before we sailed. We had a very good passage; and about the fifth hour in the afternoon next day we landed at the Brill in Holland ; and there we staid that night. Early next morning we went to
Rotterdam, where we abode some days. The next day
The next day, being the first day of the week, we were at the meeting at Rotterdam, which was pretty large; and we declared to the meeting by an interpreter. The day following one alderman Gaul came to speak with me; and with him I and other friends had much discourse about religious matters; wherewith he seemed to be well satisfied, and was very tender. Several other persons of account intended to have come to speak with me that day, but being hindered by extraordinary business (as I understood) they came not.
We went next day from Rotterdam to Amsterdam, · where we had a large and very precious meeting: and in the afternoon I was at another meeting with the friends ; there, about business.
There is a yearly meeting at Amsterdam for the friends of Holland and Germany, &c. which begun now on the eighth day of the fourth month, and ended on the twelfth. Here we had a fine opportunity of seeing friends from divers
parts, and of being refreshed together in the love of God. And after this meeting, before the friends that came out of the several provinces were gone, we had a meeting with some particular friends, about the places and countries, into which we, who came out of England in the work of the ministry, were to travel ; and to understand who among them were suitable persons to go along with us for interpreters. When this was concluded on, William Bingley and Samuel Waldenfield took shipping for Friezland, and Jacob Claus their interpreter
Alexander Parker and George Watts remained with me, and we tarried a few days longer at Amsterdam, where I, had further service. And before I left Amsterdam, I went to visit one Galenus Abrahams, a teacher of chief note among the mennonites (or baptists). I had been with him when I was in Holland about seven years before; and, William Penn and George Keith had disputes with him then; he was then very high and very shy, so that he would not let me touch him, nor look upon him (by his good will) but bid me keep my eyes off him, for, he said, they pierced him. But now he was very loving and tender, and confessed in some measure to truth; his wife also and daughter were tender and kind, and we parted from them very lovingly.
Soon after this, feeling our spirits drawn towards Friez-, land, Alexander Parker, George Watts and I, having Johú Claus of Amsterdam with us for our interpreter, took shipping at Amsterdam for Friezland, and having sailed some nine or ten leagues, we left the ship and travelled through Friezland, sometimes by boat, sometimes by wag, gon, visiting friends and tender people in the towns and villages where we came; and having commonly one, sometimes two meetings in a day. After we had been at Leuwarden, we passed by Franeker to Harlingen in WestFriezland, which was the furthest place we went to that way. And having been out six days from Amsterdam, and had very good service in that time, in visiting friends and publishing truth amongst the people, we took ship at Hare, lingen for Anisterdam on the 26th of the fourth month, and arrived there that night. The first-day following we were at the meeting at Amsterdam, which was very large and precious; many of the world's people were there, and some of their teachers, some great persons also, and they seemed very attentive; and a good opportunity we all had, one after another, to declare the word of the Lord unto them, and open the way of truth amongst them, John Claus
interpreting for us. I tarried the next day at Amsterdam; but George Watts went to a burial at Harlem, where many hundreds of people were, amongst whom he had a good opportunity, and came back at night to us.
The day following we went by boat to Osan-overton in Waterland, and from thence in another small boat, about a league over a small river, where we passed over and by above an hundred bridges, and so went to Lansmeer to a friend's house, whose name was Timon Peters; and there we had a very good meeting : after which we returned to Amsterdam at night, and were at the meeting there next day. There were many at this meeting besides friends, and among the rest the great baptist-teacher Galenus, who was very attentive to the testimony of the truth, and when the meeting was done, came and got me by the hand very lovingly.
We went next day by boat to Alkmaer, about eight leagues from Amsterdam, passing through Sardam (the great town of ship-carpenters) and several other towns in the way. At Alkmaer (which is a pretty city) we staid, and had a meeting there next day at one William Williams his house. There were, besides friends, many very sober people at this meeting, who were very attentive to the testimonies of truth, that were borne both by Alexander Parker, George Watts and myself, John Claus being our interpreter. This was on the sixth-day of the week, and on the seventh we returned to Amsterdam, partly by wag. gon, partly by draw-boat, being willing to be at the meet. ing at Amsterdam on the first-day, because it was like to be the last meeting we should have there. Accordingly we were at it, and a very large and open meeting it was: many great persons were at it, some earls (we were told) with their attendants out of Germany, very grave and sober; and the everlasting gospel was preached unto them.
After this meeting we took our leave of the friends of Amsterdam; and the next morning departed thence to Harlem, where we had a meeting at a friend's house, whose name is Abraham Frondenberg. There were great numbers of people at this meeting, and of great service it was. And after the meeting, a watch-maker of Amsterdam (who with his wife was come from Amsterdam to the meeting) desired to speak with me concerning religion. I had pretty much discourse with him, and both he and his wife were very low and tender, and received with gladness what I spake to them, and seemed well satisfied when they