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the saints? Why, said the old man, we must be as wise as serpents. Then said I, this is the serpent's wisdom indeed. But who, said I, would ever have thought that you presbyterians and independents who persecuted and imprisoned others, and spoiled their goods, and whipped such as would not follow your religion, should now flinch yourselves, and not dare to stand to and own your own religion, but cover it with tobacco-pipes, flagons of drink, cold meat and bread and cheese. But this and such like deceitful practices, I understood afterwards, were too common amongst them in times of persecution.
Now after we had travelled through Herefordshire, and meetings were well settled there, we passed into Monmouthshire, where I had several blessed meetings, and at Walter Jenkins, who had been a justice of the peace, we had a large meeting where were some convinced ; this meeting was quiet. But at another meeting that we had before this, there came the bailiff of the hundred almost drunk, pretending he was to take up the speakers. There was a mighty power of God in the meeting, so that, although he raged, the power of the Lord limited bim that he could not break up the meeting. When the meeting was over I staid a while, and he staid also; but after some time I spake to him, and so passed quietly away. At night some rude people came and shot off a musket against the house, but did not hurt any body; thus the Lord's power came over all, and chained down ihe unruly spirits, so that we escaped them, and came to Ross that night, and had a meeting there at James Merrick's.
After this we came into Gloucestershire and had a general men's- meeting at Nathaniel Crips's house, where all the monthly meetings were settled in the Lord's everlasting power, and the heirs of salvation were exhorted to take their possessions of the gospel, the power of God, which was and is the authority of their meetings. Many blessed meetings we had up and down in that country, before we came to Bristol, whither also we went; and after we had had several powerful meetings there, the men's and women’s-meetings were settled there also.
Now as I was lying in bed at Bristol, the word of the Lord came to me that I must go back to London. Next morning Alexander Parker and several others came to me, and I asked thein what they felt? They in like manner asked me what was upon me? I told them I felt I must return to London; and they said the same was upon them. So we gave up to return to London; for which way the Lord moved and led us, tbither we went in his power.
Wherefore leaving Bristol, we passed into Wiltshire, and established the men's monthly-meetings in the Lord's power there, and then passed through the countries visiting friends till we came to London.
After we had visited friends in the city and had staid there a while, I was moved to exhort them to bring all their marriages to the men's and women's-meetings, that they might lay them before the faithful there, that so care might be taken to prevent those disorders that had been committed by some. For many had gone together in marriage contrary to their relations' minds; and some young raw people that came amongst us had mixed with the world ; and widows had married and had not made provision for their children by their former husbands, before their second marriage. And although I had given forth a paper concerning marriages about the year 1653, when truth was but little spread over the nation; advising friends who might be concerned in that case, that they night lay it before the faithful in time, before any thing were concluded, and afterward publish it in the end of a meeting, or in a market, (as they were moved thereto). And when all things were found clear, they being free from all others and their relations satisfied, then they might appoint a meeting on purpose for the taking of each other, in the presence of at least twelve faithful witnesses. Yet these directions not being observed, and truth being now more spread over the nation, was therefore ordered by the same power and spirit of God, that marriages should be laid before the men's monthly and quarterly meetings, or as the meetings were then established, that friends might see, that the relations of those that proceeded to marriage were satisfied, and that the parties were clear from all others, and that widows had made provision for their first husband's children before they married again, and what else was needful to be inquired into; that so all things might be kept clean and pure, and done in righteousness to the glory of God. And afterwards it was ordered in the same wisdom of God, that if either of the parties, that intended to marry, came out of another nation, county, or monthly-meeting, they should bring a certificate from the monthly meeting to which they belonged, for satisfaction of the monthly-meeting before which they came to lay their intentions of marriage.
Now alter these things, with many other services for God, were set in order, and settled in the churches in the city, I passed out of London, in the leadings of the Lord's power, into the country again; and going into Hertford
as sert deed.
there, and the men's tere, I passed on as far as · meeting of many sorts of Lunds London by Waltham,
and a school there for teaching L's school to be set up at Shackle
ad young maidens in whatsoever Gescul in the creation. at evera! precious meetings in the
adon again, where I staid a while in liso the Lord, and then went down into od's where I had many precious meetings. humans of Weston near Aylesbury, some of schui' each meeting being gathered together, she's thly-meetings for that county were estaba
and thom also, in the order of the gospel, the Lind; and the power of the Lord confirmed it in mail, and they came thereby to see and feel, that
wet o (iod was the authority of their meetings. Tesalst the monthly-meetings were settled there in the His the gospel, and upon the foundation Christ Jesus, I wish we into Oxfordshire, and went to Nathaniel Ball's 4. Kwah Nowton near Banbury, who was a friend in the wift and there being a general meeting, where some
add the meetings were present, the monthly-meetings for what county were then settled in the power of God, and de apud were very glad of them; for they came into their annow in the church, and to take care for God's glory. Alter this meeting we passed through the country visiting nd, till we came into Gloucestershire; and visiting Add through that county also, we travelled on till we pumo into Monmouthshire, to one Richard Hambery's, here meeting with some of all the meetings of that county, the monthly-meetings were settled there also in the Lord's power, that all in it might take care of God's Mlory, and admonish and exhort such as did not walk as became the gospel. And indeed these meetings did make # great reformation amongst people, insomuch as the vory justices took notice of the usefulness and service thereof.
When we went from Richard Hambery's, he and his with accompanied us a day's journey through the country visiting friends, till we came to a widow woman's, where we luy that night; and from thence passed over the hills next day, visiting friends and declaring the truth to peoplo, till wo came to another widow woman's house, where wo had a meeting. The woman of the house could not
speak English, yet she 'praised the Lord för seriding us over those hills to come and visit them.
We travelled on through the country till we came to Swansea, where on the first-day we had a large and precious meeting, the Lord's presence being eminently amongst us. On a week-day afterwards we had a general meeting beyond Swansea of men friends, that came from Swansea, Tenby, Haverfordwest and other places; and there the monthly-meetings were settled in the gospelorder, and received by friends in the power of the Lord, and the Lord's truth was over all.
From hence we endeavoured to have got over the water into Cornwall, and in order thereunto went back to Swansea and so to Mumbles, thinking to have got passage there, but the master deceived us; for though he had promised to carry us, yet when we came he would not. Thereupon we turned from thence, and went to another place where there was a passage boat, into which we got our horses ; but there being some rude men in the boat (though called gentlemen) that threatened to pistol the master if he took us in, be being afraid of them turned our horses out again, which put us out of hopes of getting over that way, : Wherefore turning back again into the country, we staid up all night, and about the second bour in the morning took horse, and travelled through the country till we came near Cardiff
, where we staid one night. And the next day came to a place called Newport; and it being market-day there, several friends came to us, with whom we sate to. gether awhile, and after we had had a refreshing season together, we parted from them and went on our way.
When we were gone beyond this market-town we overtook a man, who lingered on the way, as if he staid for somebody; but when we came up to him, he rid along with us, and asked us many questions. At length meeting with two others, who seemed to be pages to some great persons, he took acquaintance with them, and I heard him tell them he would stop us and take us up. We rid on, being in our way; and when he came to us and would have stopped us, I told him none ought to stop us on the king's highway, for it was as free for us as for them; and I was moved to exhort him to fear the Lord. Then galloped he away before us, and I perceived, bis intent was to stop us at Shipton in Wales, which was a garrison-town, through which we were to pass in our way.
When we come to Shipton, John-ap-John being with me, we walked down the hill into the town leading our horses; and it being the market-day there several friends met us, and
would have had us to have gone into an inn : but we were not to go into any inn, but walked directly through the town over the bridge, and then we were out of the limits of that town. Thus the Lord's everlasting arm and power preserved us, and carried us over in his work, labour and service.
The next first-day we had a large meeting in the Forest of Dean, and all was quiet. Next day we passed over the water; and having staid a little at a friend's house by the way, we came to Oldstone; where, after we had visited friends, we passed over the water again to William Yeoman's house at Irb's Court in Somersetshire : from thence we went down to a meeting at Portshead, whither several friends of Bristol came to us. After this neeting we went further up into the country, and had several large meetings; and the Lord's living presence was with us, supporting and refreshing us in our labour and travel in his service.
We came to a place near Minehead, where we had a general meeting of the men friends in Somersetshire; and there came also a cheat, whom some friendly people would have had me to have taken along with me; I saw he was a cheat, and therefore bid then bring him to me, and see whether he could look me in the face. Some were ready to think I was too hard towards him, because I would not let him go along with me; but when they brought him to me, he was not able to look me in the face, but looked hither and thither; for he was indeed a cbeat, and had cheated a priest by pretending himself to be a minister, and had got the priest's suit and went away with it.
After the meeting we passed to Minehead, where we tarried that night: and in the night I had an exercise upon me, from a sense I had of a dark spirit, that was working and striving to get up and to disturb the church of Christ; whereupon next morning I was moved to write a few lines to friends as a warning thereof, as follows:
Dear friends, "Live in the power of the Lord God, in his seed that is set over all, and is over all trials that you may have from the dark spirit again, which would be owned in its actings, and thrust itself amongst you, which is not come as yet; but in the power of the Lord God and his seed keep over it, and bring it to condemnation. For I felt a kind of dark spirit thrusting itself up towards you and heaving up last night; but you may keep it down with the power of God,