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SIXTH-DAY, 21st of 7th mo. 1826. I left my dear wife, family, and comfortable home at Tottenham ; proceeded to London, and, accompanied by three Friends, afterwards took coach to Sheffield, in Yorkshire ; at which place we were favoured to arrive safely on Seventh-day afternoon.
First-day, attended the usual meeting there; in which I humbly hope I may say, I endeavoured to acquit myself in such a way as would be the most likely to secure to me that continuance of Divine regard, which I awfully felt my situation in prospect would in a more especial manner need. The meeting in the afternoon was largely attended, and I believe proved a time of Divine favour, to the humbling of my heart.
Second-day morning, 24th of 7th mo., attended to some arrangements for my departure, and on Third-day morning, accompanied by my dear son-in-law, John Heppenstall, proceeded to Ackworth school to attend the general meeting of that institution next day; on our arrival we were kindly received by Robert Whitaker, his wife, and other members of that family. Here I met with divers Friends from different parts of the nation, which appeared to be mutually consoling. It is a great favour thus to find that the bond of true discipleship is not dissolved.
Fourth-day morning, the meeting for Divine worship commenced; it was attended by Friends and some others not in profession with us, and proved a season in which the Ancient of Days was pleased, in his renewings of mercy, to condescend to come down and tabernacle with us, to the comforting of the minds of such as were rightly concerned to gather to that place of true waiting, where alone a right qualification for the performance of acceptable worship is to be known. After this, the concerns of the institution were entered upon : being one, amongst many more, nominated as a committee to examine the children's progress in learning, I quietly submitted to my name standing, rather than set an example of refusing ; notwithstanding I felt so enfeebled both in mind and body, with the prospect of the nearly approaching trials that awaited me, I could gladly have been excused. In the evening, after supper, the usual pause took place; and by endeavouring faithfully to cast before my friends that which I believed was given me for communication, the day closed peacefully with me; for which, I hope I may say, I was favoured to feel humbly thankful.
Fifth-day evening, the business of the general meeting concluded, with feelings of gratitude accompanying many of our minds for the favours that had been dispensed by the great I Am, during its several sittings, and in mercy continued to the end. After the close of the general meeting, I proceeded to Doncaster, lodged at Richard Cocking's, and next day returned to Sheffield.
Seventh-day, 29th of 7th mo. I proceeded by coach for Liverpool, with my son-in-law John Heppenstall ; which place we reached this evening, and were kindly received by our mutual friends, Thomas and Frances Thompson, by whom I was informed my passage in the packet, about to sail for New York on Third-day, had not been secured, agreeably to my request : the captain feared he could not make me comfortable, as he wished to do, in consequence of the crowd of cabin-passengers that were going in her, mostly gay young men; and should they be disposed to sit up late at night, singing, dancing, and drinking, as at times is the case, they would greatly annoy me, and the captain might not have it in his power to prevent it. There being two merchant vessels about to sail for New York the same day, it was by my friends apprehended I should be more comfortably accommodated by going in one of them : it was too late this evening to attend to this matter, so that the subject was left until Secondday. First-day, I found it hard work to stand up in meeting this morning ; I delivered that which to me appeared to be the counsel of my Divine Master. The evening meeting was largely attended, it was a very exercising time; yet I felt thankful my lot was cast amongst Friends in this place; believing there were yet preserved in this meeting, those who are mourning the desolation which the spirit of the world has occasioned, within the borders of our once highly-favoured Society. Spent the evening at my quarters : this day closed under a comfortable hope I had been found in the faithful discharge of apprehended duty; and earnest were my desires to be preserved moving under the guidance of Divine wisdom, in securing my passage across the mighty ocean.
Second-day morning, 31st of 7th mo., the way appearing to open with clearness in my mind, I proposed a few Friends to accompany me first on board the packet; apprehending it would not be safe for me to relinquish a passage in her, in favour of one in either of the merchantmen, until I had a clearer evidence than at present I was able to come at; notwithstanding all the difficulties a passage in the packet seemed to threaten. Accompanied by my kind friends Thomas and Frances Thompson, and other Friends, we proceeded on board the Pacific, packetship, Captain Crocker, bound for New York; we took our seats in the cabin: my spirit was bowed in humble prostration before the throne of Divine grace, accompanied with earnest desires to be favoured with all-sufficient help, that a willingness might be brought about in me cheerfully to yield to the Divine will. I was favoured to get into that quiet, where alone the voice of the true Shepherd is to be known; and a clear sense was, as I believed, given me, that if I were faithful to present conviction, I must submit to have my passage secured in the Pacific, and not suffer my mind to be perplexed by seeking further; I therefore informed my friends to this effect : and being encouraged by my friends to attend to my feelings on this subject that had brought us together, my passage was secured in the packet.
Third-day, ist of 8th mo., accompanied by my son-in-law, T., and F. Thompson, and divers other Friends, we went on board the packet. I humbly hope I could say, I felt truly thankful in feeling myself so much at home on board ; my mind was calm, without a desire to leave, until, if permitted so to do, I should land on the other side the Atlantic ocean. We soon left the dock, and were towed by a steam-boat about five miles down the river Mersey ; the wind being unfavourable for us to proceed on our voyage, we cast anchor for the night. Many of the cabin-passengers returned by the steam-boat to the shore again; but as I had taken an affectionate farewell of my friends, and had indulged in the prospect of them on the pier, as long as my eyes were capable of this enjoyment, I concluded it would be best for me to remain quietly on board, and occupy my time in arranging my luggage, before the hurry occasioned by the other passengers, who would be alike occupied, commenced. Captain Crocker had kindly given up to me his own berth ; which being about the centre of the vessel, and having it to myself, I passed the night very comfortably; yet not without some feelings of doubt; how it would prove with us when the cabin-passengers returned to the vessel. I could not but anticipate the probability of our frequently interrupting each other, from the small space we had to occupy compared with our number; there were twenty-seven cabin-passengers, a considerable number in steerage, with our captain and his men, in all amounting to seventy-five souls.
Fourth-day morning, we had a very awful storm of thunder and lightning ; but my mind was, through Divine mercy, preserved quiet through the whole ; under the assurance I was as safe, and as much under the Divine protection at sea, as on the dry land. About ten o'clock, our captain and the remainder of my fellow-passengers came on board: and about half an hour after their arrival, we set sail with a fair wind for New York. I was truly glad that I remained on board, and embraced the opportunity of arranging any luggage, from the confusion occasioned for a time by those who went on shore. About ten this evening we passed Holyhead.
Fifth-day morning, the wind fair; I began to feel symptoms of sea-sickness, but it lasted a very short time: I became more comfortable the remainder of the day; although my dear wife and children at times glanced before the view of my mind, yet I was not permitted to feel anxiety on their account, or for aught I had left behind me. My greatest concern now was, having thus embarked on the bosom of the great deep under an apprehension of Divine requiring, that during my separation (whether shorter or longer) from them and my outward concerns, I might be preserved so fully and so faithfully attending to my great Master's business, and so patiently abiding in that sphere of action he may see meet to piace me in, as that, when my service on the American shore shall be over, if permitted to return to my native land, it may be with the reward of that soul-enriching peace, which ever will in due time follow obedience unto Him.
Sixth-day, the wind fair: at ten this morning we came in sight of Cape Clear, and about noon we lost sight of land and entered the Atlantic Ocean. On taking a view of some of my giddy and gay companions on ship-board, and looking towards the approaching First-day of the week, I felt very thoughtful as to the manner in which I feared it was likely to be spent; unless early care was taken to endeavour after as quiet an observance of it, as the nature of our situation and variety of our dispositions would admit. I therefore took an opportunity to speak to the captain on the subject, proposing our endeavouring to pass the First-day of the week, as much as possible, consistently with the design of its being set apart from the other six working days; to which he replied, he hoped it would be the case ; and here the matter rested for the present. I had been led to consider, when the passengers returned to the vessel again, that the first impressions we receive of liking or disliking each other, are the most lasting; and that when once the mind has received an unfavourable bias, or an impression of disgust, in consequence of any improper demeanour on our parts, it becomes an almost insuperable bar to that line of usefulness which otherwise we might be of. My own comfortable procedure from day to day, whilst confined in such a narrow space as we were-only the cabin or the deck for our accommodation,) and the way opening in the minds of my fellow-passengers to receive any proposals I should feel it right to make to them, with respect to the manner of passing the First-day, would there
fore much depend on my carrying myself in the onset as courteously and aflably as I could towards all; at the same time, not countenancing actions or expressions, by keeping silence when duty called upon me to rebuke; but being careful at all times to feel the necessity laid on me so to do, and that it be done in the spirit of love and meekness; otherwise to keep silence, and let the countenance manifest, we do not approve of words or actions opposed to the doctrine of Christ our Saviour.
Seventh-day, wind fair, which I hope I esteem a great favour : may I give proof thereof by my consistent conduct at all times and on all occasions, whilst contined in this small space; and not expect more from my fellow-passengers than I have a right to look for, considering their age, education, variety of dispositions and propensities; but endeavour to bear with Christian patience and fortitude any unpleasant occurrences, should such take place.
First-day morning, calm weather: we make but little way. My sickness has wholly subsided, and my appetite continues good; yet my mind is afresh brought under exercise, at the prospect of proposing to my fellow passengers our assembling to-day in a religious capacity : may I be preserved, keeping my proper place amongst them every way. * At the breakfast-table, this morning, I received strength to propose, that we should fix upon an hour to collect together, to sit down to read the Scriptures ; this seemed to be as far as I felt myself authorized to go; with which the captain and passengers united, and proposed our meeting at half past ten this morning. A general muster took place accordingly: after a short pause, one of the most giddy of our company, a well educated man, proposed himself to take my Bible and be the first reader. On my being queried with, if I had any choice where our reading should commence, having thus far been favoured to gain their attention, I felt most easy to leave this matter to themselves. After a suitable time had been spent in reading, a pause ensued; and feeling, as I was led to believe, my mind charged with something for communication, that which was offered appeared to be generally well received. I had proposed in my own mind to make a visit to the steerage-passengers and the ship's crew, and read to them; but before I could make the effort towards it, a giddy young man of our company proposed such a measure being adopted, and offered to accompany me with my Bible, and others offered their assistance in reading to them ; which accordingly took place; those who attended, of the steerage-passengers and men, behaved orderly, inanifesting satisfaction that they had been thus far noticed; and the day passed over quietly, beyond my expectation. Supper being over, I proposed closing the day by some one of us again reading a suitable portion of the sacred writings, which was joined in with, and our company assembled in the round-house. After