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fore dare to be faithful to the trust thou acknowledgest to be committed to thee, leaving all consequences to the disposal of Him, who has the hearts of all men at his command, and is able to chain down that evil disposition which would rise up in any of thy subjects ; whose dissatisfaction is of small moment, compared with the displeasure of Almighty God. Let me, then, again beseech thee, O king, well to consider these remarks, and let them have due place in thy mind; that so one part of the cause of these evils may be removed : and then I humbly hope that, in time, much of these evil fruits will have gradually disappeared, and the minds of thy religiously disposed German subjects will be relieved from that load of suffering, which I believe some have to bear, because of the abominations of the people. And inasmuch as by the interference of Divine Providence, the enemies' forces have been expelled from their possession of thy dominions on the Continent of Europe, and an end put to that terrible slaughter and bloodshed, and thou art in quiet possession of thy German states, permit me respectfully to query with thee, is it not a loud call upon thee to exert thy utmost endeavours to root out those evil practices ; otherwise, should the Almighty see meet again to plead with the inhabitants of the Continent, by his judgments, yet more terrible than any thing they have experienced, because of their impenitence and irreligion, what ground can there be to expect that these thy subjects will be spared ? Such were my feelings on their account, when amongst them. And now, that the blessing of Heaven may rest upon the king and his counsellors, in deliberating on this and all other matters of the state, is the earnest prayer of my soul.
« THOMAS SHILLITOE." “ Hitchin, Herts, 12th of 12th Month, 1823."
After obtaining certificates from my own monthly and quarterly-meeting to visit Pyrmont, Minden, Berlin, and in parts of Russia, where truth should open the way ; I left my own home, on the First-day, sixteenth of Fifth month, 1824; attended meeting at Hertford in the afternoon,-proceeded to Tottenham, attended the evening meeting there ; after which I walked to London.
17th. Attended the select Yearly Meeting, which adjourned to the afternoon: at the adjournment I opened my concern to visit some parts of the Continent of Europe, and my prospect of duty to spend most of the winter in Petersburgh. Certificates were ordered accordingly.
First-day morning, attended a funeral at Esher in Surry, of a Friend, whose removal from time into eternity was sudden and unexpected to her friends. The opportunity at the grave-side continued long; there was good ground for believing it proved a profitable season, not only to the relations of the deceased, but to many others. I attended the several sittings of the Yearly Meeting, in which silence appeared to be my proper province; in being favoured thus to see my right place in these meetings, and to be enabled to keep it, 1 esteemed a great mercy from my Heavenly Father. The activity of the creature is so soon stirred up, in some minds more than others, in these meetings, especially when the meeting becomes agitated with some inatters that are brought before it: on such occasions dispositions like my own, require to be exercised in more than a common share of watchfulness, in order that we may be preserved from meddling in matters which we are not called upon to do.
27th 5th mo. The Yearly Meeting closed its sittings : my certificate being signed and delivered to me, increased my bonds, accompanied by fresh excitement to be preserved cleaving in spirit to the Lord, in order to my being favoured to experience his all-supporting arm of power, to bear me up and sustain me through every trial, that may await the faithful discharge of duty. Unaccompanied, for ought I had any ground as yet to suppose, by a sympathizing brother; on my way from meeting to my quarters, pondering over my solitary situation in this respect, my kind friend Thomas Christy overtook me, and proceeding with me to my lodgings, offered to be my companion to Minden. This offer coming
so unexpectedly (we not having conversed on the subject,) was fresh cause of thankfulness to my mind. I met the committee on continental concerns, appointed by the Meeting for Sufferings to arrange matters for my departure; to whom I opened my prospects of the time when the necessary passports should be in readiness. But there was a subject which had long pressed on my mind, the weight of which I found I must in some way be relieved from, before I left my native shore; assured if I did my part towards its accomplishment, by casting myself upon my friends, and they were not willing I should proceed in the service, the will would be accepted for the deed, and the burden would be removed from my shoulders : otherwise it appeared to me it would be a heavy load to carry with me out of my native land, and at times prove the means of impeding my progress in my religious engagements on the Continent. I therefore opened to the committee my prospects of duty before I embarked for the Continent, of visiting the principal acting magistrates of the different police offices in London, also a member of the privy-council, and the secretary for the home department. After suitable deliberation on my religious prospects, I was left at liberty to proceed; my kind friend John Eliot, wrote to a member of the privycouncil, who was considered the most suitable to try to obtain an interview with. It being several days before a reply was received, in consequence of his indisposition, this suspense was a fresh exercise of faith and patience : not feeling myself at liberty to take
much active part in preparing for my departure for the Continent, until the prospect before me was accomplished, yet I was at times desirous to lose no time in prosecuting my journey, so as to escape the equinoctial gales in the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland, which are said so frequently to prove fatal, and to reach Russia sufficiently early to become gradually seasoned to meet the approaching winter.
Accompanied by my kind friend Peter Bedford, on the fourth of Sixth month, we visited the resident magistrate at Lambeth Street, who received us with great cordiality: I laid before him, in his official capacity of magistrate, the evil and very sorrowful consequences resulting to all classes in society by the open disregard of the First-day of the week; the day set apart by general consent of all professing Christians for the worship of Almighty God; calling his attention to a prominent occasion of this abuse, the shops being opened for the sale of newspapers, and their being sold about the streets on the day called Sunday ; together with the gin-shops and public tea-gardens being opened on this day; and the drunkenness suffered in the evening at the publichouses round about the suburbs of the city, where it is carried to a great excess. It afforded great relief to my mind, to meet with such a willingness to hear what I had to offer, and to enter into the views I had been enabled to take of the various matters I had to lay before them. I had viewed this engagement as being likely to prove very up-hill work; but from the desire the magistrate evidently manifested to do his part towards a remedy, and from the open reception we met with, I was enabled to take fresh courage, and renew my covenants with Him, who had, I was led humbly to hope, called me to it.
5th of 6th mo. Accompanied by Peter Bedford, we proceeded to Union Hall, in the Borough of Southwark, where the crowd of persons waiting on the magistrates was so great, there appeared no hopes of our obtaining a suitable opportunity ; we therefore claimed the advice and assistance of a friend near, who wrote a note to the magistrate on the bench, requesting a private interview, which it appeared could not be granted ; but an offer being made, that if I was willing to come to the hall I should be heard, for a while placed me in a trying situation ; fearing lest my not accepting the present opportunity for relieving my mind the way for it would not open again.
Deliberating on the matter in the best way I was capable, and finding it was likely that many persons would be within hearing of what I had to offer, and catch a part, and very imperfectly catch other parts of what was said, and thus circulate very erroneous reports of it; from these considerations it appeared to require greater clearness than I was able to attain to, that this was the right way for me to proceed; I therefore found it safest for me to relinquish it. On further inquiry, it appeared, that the most active magistrate, and the one most likely to enter into the consideration of my views, was not on the bench that day. Understanding that he resided in the neighbourhood of Peckham, and the way opening in my mind to attend Peckham meeting next day, I engaged my young friend, Joseph Sterry, to accompany me.
First-day, 6th of 6th mo. I attended Peckham meeting; after which we made a visit to the magistrate of Union Hall, who received us kindly. When he came to understand the motive of our making him this visit, he manifested a willingness to enter agreeably into the consideration of the subjects I laid before him; in addition to these, I felt my mind constrained to mention to him a circumstance to which I had been a witness that morning, and which I was well informed was a common practice on Firstday mornings, viz. for persons to assemble in a foot-path field near town, to fight their pitched battles; whereby hundreds of people were collected, and great uproar takes place. It appeared the magistrate was a stranger to this circumstance; he handsomely expressed his obligation for the information, assuring us that the necessary steps to prevent the practice in future should be taken, and the other matters attended to, as far as was in his power.
Second-day, accompanied by my friend Luke Howard, we waited on the principal active magistrate belonging to the police-office, Queen Square, Westminster, who received us very respectfully; he gave us a full opportunity to say what came before us, manifesting a disposition to enter agreeably into the consideration of the various subjects thrown before him, and expressed a desire to do his part towards a remedy.
Third-day, accompanied by my friend John Eliot, we waited upon the chief-magistrate at the police-office, Hatton Garden, who received us with kindness, manifesting a willingness to do his part, as far as he was entrusted with power, to remedy the evil practices mentioned to him : the sad consequences attendant on the tea-gardens, were generally adverted to by those magistrates whom we visited, as being the cause of producing immorality in many of the youth, and defeating the exertions of the police in endeavouring to clear the streets of prostitutes, and thus to remove these temptations to evil out of their way; the tea-gardens being the place of resort for these disorderly females ; and the evils produced by the gin-shops being opened, as was the case in the neighbourhood of the poor, at four or five in the morning, which laid the foundation for the drunkenness so apparent in these neighbourhoods. We could not doubt a sincere desire prevailed in the minds of most we visited, to help these things which are so much out of order: but it was evident, if good in these respects
was to be effected, it must originate with the higher powers; the fines now allowed by law to be levied for misdemeanours, being so limited, were by no means adequate to remedy the existing evils.
Fourth-day, accompanied by my friends Luke Howard and Thomas Richardson, we waited upon the lord mayor at the Mansion-house, who received us in a courteous manner. My endeavouring faithfully to lay before him various subjects as they presented, afforded me a peaceful reflection.
Sixth-day, accompanied by my friend Luke Howard, we proceeded to Lambeth Palace, and obtained an interview with the Archbishop of Canterbury; to whom I opened my concern on various subjects, as I had done to the different magistrates : informing him, that a disposition of mind generally prevailed with them, towards remedying these evils, were their hands made sufficiently strong for the work: I pointed out the need there was for their hands to be strengthened by the higher powers to induce this necessary reformation ; laying before him the necessity of his exerting his influence with the rulers of the nation toward such laws being framed, that would prove an effectual means of checking these existing evil practices. We parted, I trust, under feelings of goodwill; and I was reverently thankful, that strength had been given me faithfully to acquit myself.
Seventh-day, we waited on the Bishop of London, who also received us in a respectful manner; with whom I enlarged much on the subjects I had laid before the magistrates ; to which he appeared to give agreeable attention, uttering as I proceeded frequent expressions of assent. I endeavoured in a becoming manner to lay before him, how much it might be in his power, from the situation in which he stood, to promote the application of proper remedies for the evils existing in the nation ; exhorting him to do his very utmost towards its being brought about. The interview afforded me relief; and I left the bishop under feelings of regard, for the candid opportunity he had afforded us.
First-day morning, attended Winchmore-hill meeting ; where I trust I was favoured to acquit myself faithfully: attended Tottenham meeting in the afternoon, in which I kept silence; but I left the meeting-house under a fear I had not been right in so doing ; yet Divine mercy and tender compassion, when our disobedience is not wilful, fails not again in due time to manifest itself; whereby my unfaithfulness was not suffered to remain as a sin unto death against me. Second-day, attended the morningmeeting of ministers and elders,--to me a low, exercising time; although from testimonies borne by others, it proved a time in which the wing of Divine regard was stretched over the meeting. My intended companion continuing anxious to be moving towards the Continent, I felt not a little on his and his family's account;