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and were kindly cared for by the superintendents, Asa Upton and his wife. The select quarterly meeting beginning at eleven this morning, I found myself encircled by a goodly company, as far as external appearances went, which led me to hope, if the inside of the cups and platters was in accordance with the plainness and simplicity of the outside, we should be favoured with a precious meeting together, and have to declare, as in the beginning of our religious Society, the glory of the Lord so filled the house of each of our hearts, that there was no room or occasion for the ministers to minister. Alas! I had no such glad tidings to proclaim, but to warn some present against that spirit of disaffection, which was secretly at work in the hearts of many of the disobedient members of our religious Society, sapping the foundation of that true religion and righteousness, which aforetime they had been favoured in some degree to experience.
The next morning, Friends assembled to transact the affairs of Society: the meeting for worship was large; we were early favoured to settle down in outward quiet, and the calming, quieting influence of the Spirit of Truth prevailed, to the gathering of the minds of very many to that true place of waiting, where the voice of the Divine Counsellor is clearly understood. The time of our thus sitting together was a laborious one to me: being fearful to break in upon the precious quiet that was over the meeting : but keeping in the patience, strength for the work was mercifully given, whereby I was enabled not only to obtain relief to my own mind, but to the relief of the honest-hearted members of the meeting. In the evening I felt my mind drawn towards having a religious opportunity with the children of the school, of which there is a considerable number, both young men and boys, young women and girls. It is the practice amongst Friends on this continent, in farming districts, to have their children at home for the summer six months; partly in consequence of the difficulty they are under to hire labourers in the summer-season, and partly because some of those masters, who undertake to teach school in country places, only engage for the winter half-year : thus many of both sexes are kept at school to an age when the youth in Great Britain have nearly finished their apprenticeship: I proposed to the superintendent and my companions, to have a sitting with the children; the scholars were collected accordingly, and I hope our time together was not unprofitably passed. Although I am unable to record any account of this quarterly meeting for discipline, yet I believe it will not be well to omit the following observations made to me by a Friend in the station of elder in this meeting, after it closed, hoping they may prove a strength to some, and caution to others. " Some soldiers appear valiant by the fire-side, but when they are brought into the field of battle, they manifest great cowardice: we have too many of these fire-side valiants, who
have done harm amongst us, by conversing boldly by their firesides on the declension which has taken place in our Society, but have not been bold enough to declare, as they should have done, their sentiments in our meetings, which is the right place for them to relieve themselves. I am glad to find we have one valiant come amongst us, and I hope thou wilt be able to proceed as thou hast begun, by avoiding much, if any, information out of meeting, speaking to matters only from the knowledge that is given thee as they arise in thy own mind in passing along; and then, thou wilt have nothing to fear: if the archers should shoot at thee, they will not be able to wound thee; so be encouraged to hold on as thou hast begun." These remarks felt like a cordial to my mind, coming at a time when I was disposed, as I often have been in passing along from meeting to meeting, to call in question what I have communicated, and to fear my coming over to this continent was all a delusion of the enemy, and to conclude at times it would be safer for me to pack up, and return home.
Fourth-day morning, the closing meeting commenced, which was largely attended; some few not in profession with Friends gave us their company : much religious labour fell to the lot of others, until near the close of the meeting, when my mind became charged with that, which to me appeared like a little legacy to leave behind me, but which from a fear of dissipating that precious covering that was over the meeting, by making unnecessary additions, I had nearly taken away with me : but venturing on my feet in that faith which ever did and ever will give the victory over carnal reasoning, I was favoured to obtain relief to my own mind, and the meeting closed under that precious covering which, as a canopy, had been spread over us ; some Friends whose judgment in spiritual matters I thought I was fully warranted in esteeming, after the meeting closed, expressed their entire satisfaction with my having thus given up.
My companion, S. Wood and I rode to Stamford, and took up our abode with Henry Hull and wife, from whom we received every marked attention our wants needed. We the next day attended Stamford select quarterly meeting: owing to the state of things in this meeting, and the oppression the living members of it were labouring under, I had not smooth things to declare, as I found nothing would tend to my relief but plain dealing and firmness in my manner of expressing myself, both on the answers to the queries, and such other subjects as came before the meeting : from observations made by some members of the meeting before it closed, I was led to hope my services amongst them had been acceptable. The meeting for discipline was large, divers Friends from Purchase and Nine Partners' quarters giving their company.. As we intended being at Hudson meeting on First-day morning, Friends proposed a meeting being appointed for me at Athens on First-day evening and one at Cocymans on Second-day ; but not being able to see my way clear to have a meeting appointed at Athens, I requested further time to consider of it; and weighing this subject in the best way I was capable, I found I must not venture upon such a meeting on my own account.
First-day, we crossed the Hudson-river to Hudson ; on our reaching the meeting-house, we found the meeting already gathered if my feelings respecting this assembly were correct, it appeared to me but
very few of our members were truly awake to their best and eternal interest ;--a more distressing meeting I had not sat since landing on the shore of the United States. I felt thankful when the meeting closed, ---the retrospect affording a consoling evidence l had not kept back aught I should have left behind me for those assembled : a dear friend, after meeting, told my companion, he knew of no meeting of Friends where there was more need of the doctrine that had been delivered than Hudson. Hannah Barnard, who made such a schism amongst Friends in Ireland, by spreading unsound religious principles in that nation, was once a member of this meeting.
Second-day morning, we proceeded to Cocymans: the horseboat, which was to take us across the river, being aground on the other side, we were detained ; and the road we had to travel being up-hill, and full of large stones, we were not able to make much speed without danger of injuring our carriage; the time for the meeting was left to the Friends there, so that we were not acquainted with it. I became very uncomfortable, fearing we should not reach the meeting-house in proper time : on our getting in sight of the meeting-house, we observed the Friends standing about it as if the meeting had then broken up, but we reached them before any had gone away except one young
Friends collected around us, and we informed them the cause of our not reaching in due time, and our willingness now to sit down with them if they saw it best to go into the meetinghouse again; or, if it appeared to them more desirable, a meeting should be held in the afternoon, we were quite willing to conform to their wishes: after considering our proposals, Friends concluded to go into the meeting-house again, and the mecting soon became settled. From a sense which I believed I had given me of the deplorable state of things in this meeting, with respect to those who are at ease in a bare profession of religion, as well as in respect of the youth, it proved a time of sore exercise before I could rise upon my feet; but by patiently waiting upon the gift bestowed, strength was in due time given to engage in the work which I believed was assigned me. The terms I had to express myself in were such, as at times caused me to halt, before I could utter what came before me; my lialting was not the effect of doubting what came before
me for communication being in full accordance with the sorrowful state of things, but from a fear lest some should not be willing to bear what I had to offer, and so leave the meeting ; but this did not prove to be the case, Friends remained quiet until we broke up the meeting. Before we separated, some Friends acknowledged themselves much satisfied they had not dispersed, as well as their unity with what had been offered in the meeting; saying, there was great need for it, and if the young people were but willing to receive it, this meeting would prove a blessing to them. We accompanied Thomas Bedel and wife home, where we took up our quarters for the night.
Accompanied by our kind landlord and his son, we proceeded toward Duanesburg, in order to attend that quarterly meeting: after travelling about thirty-four miles of very bad road, and passing over some dangerous, broken wooden bridges, we reached the house of Isaac Gaige in safety; for which favour, I humbly hope I may say, feelings of gratitude flowed from my heart to that Almighty Power, who had watched over, and thus us from harm.
The next morning we attended the select quarterly meeting, which was small. I endeavoured to be found faithful to the
portion of labour assigned me among this little company ; I was ready to hope there was good ground for believing it would not all be in vain.
Fifth-day, 16th of 11th mo. 1826. The quarterly meeting for discipline was held, which I understood was thinly attended by its members; both the meeting for worship and that for discipline were to me trying meetings: at our quarters in the evening we had a comfortable sitting together, and the day closed with the language of “ Return unto thy rest, O my soul ! for thou hast been abundantly cared for;" and whether the people will hear or forbear, I thought I was favoured with an evidence that, by cooperating with that helping hand which was in mercy extended, I should be clear.
The next day a meeting for worship was held; many not in profession with our Society gave us their company : although I believe the command was given me early to hand out to the people, yet I had not courage to obey, until the words given me to stand up with, became so much as a fire in my bones, that I durst no longer withhold them ; my service (if any fell to my lot) was to our own members. After meeting, we rode fourteen miles to Schenectady, over a very rough road and broken bridges, to the house of John Marsielus.
Seventy-day morning, we rode to the widow Merrick's, at New Town, who had buried her husband only the preceding day; we found her in a very feeble state, as to her bodily health, surrounded by many children, who appeared disposed to endeavour to supply the loss of their father, by their kindness and attention
First-day morning, attended New Town meeting, which was small, and was much hurt by the disorderly gathering of it. If my feelings be correct, the life of religion is at a very low ebb amongst the members ; yet I was comforted in a hope, there was preserved a little remnant, whose garments had been measurably kept clean, and that there was a hopeful prospect in some young men. After meeting, we proceeded to Troy, about fourteen miles, to attend a meeting in the evening at my request, for members and such as attend our meetings. As we passed down the street to the meeting-house, observing how much the lights in the meetinghouse would attract attention, I feared it would bring a crowd of those of other religious societies, contrary to my view; on entering the yard and the house, this appeared to be the case. I took my seat in the gallery, but for awhile I would gladly have been anywhere than where I then was: but endeavouring after resignation to my present allotment, in being seated with such a mixed congregation, earnest were my cries to Him who hears in secret, that He would be pleased so to watch over me, that I might keep my right place amongst those now assembled ; which secret petition, I humbly hope I may say, was mercifully granted, to the contriting of my spirit, on the retrospect of this evening's work.
Second-day morning, we left Troy and rode to Saratoga, and on the following day, we attended the select quarterly meeting: from the answers to the queries that were exhibited, gospel order appeared sorrowfully broken in upon ; the prospect of making any remarks was trying to human nature, from that sense I thought I had given me, of a high-towering self-exalted disposition, which was uppermost in the minds of some, who wanted to take the lead in transacting the business of the Society ; but as there was a waiting in patience until the right time was fully come for me to open my mouth, strength was given for the labour of this day; not only to the relief of my own mind, but, if expressions are to be depended upon, to the comfort of the little remnant of that quarterly meeting, whose garments are not stained by the polluted religious principles, (if they can be called religious,) afloat in the minds of some of the members of this part of the body. Ruth and Sarah U. Smith, of Stanford quarterly meeting, travelling as ministers, with certificate, very acceptably made a part of our company.
Fourth-day morning: the meeting for worship commenced: several women, with their young children being present, and the children becoming rather restless and uneasy, it was needful for me to aim at having my mind brought into patience, (there appearing no alternative, but that it must be endured,) even by knowing it to be stayed where all that would disturb comes to be subdued, so