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A Friend being in this neighbourhood, had a concern to have a meeting with the inhabitants, on which account a general invitation was requested to be given ; but as the residence of this family was remote from the high-road, and from the place where the meeting was to be held, some Friends considered, as they were such rigid professors in their own way (not knowing anything of what was the state of this woman's mind,) it would be of no avail to inform them thereof. But by some means the information reached her, and she with her husband came to the meeting: from which time she continued steadily to attend Friends' meetings, her husband, on meeting-days, bringing her to the end of the lane, that led to the Friend's house where the meeting was held, and afterwards coming to meet and take her home again. After awhile he came with her to meeting himself, continuing to do so as long as she herself kept to meeting. She had been much given to dress and following the vain fashions of the world; but her mind becoming further visited by this same Divine power which at first awakened her, she came to see the inconsistency of all these things with a true Christian walking ; whereby she was enabled to put away from her all her finery, and in time it became very evident, the chief adorning she was aspiring after, was the hidden man of the heart. She applied after awhile to be received into membership with Friends, which request was complied with. Being a woman naturally of much sweetness of disposition, added to her honest simplicity and very becoming deportment every way, she became an ornament to our religious So. ciety, and continued so for some years; but, alas! it appears the enemy enviously strove against her, and against the cause she so faithfully espuused, and by little and little prevailed, and again turned the feet of her mind aside from the right way of the Lord, which she had given such proof she preferred before every other way.
The meeting, which had been appointed at my request, proved a quiet, solid opportunity ; afterwards I retired to rest, thankful I was not permitted to proceed with the Friends to Sandwich, as I felt anxious to do.*
(" By a communication from a Friend at Providence R. Island, date 7th mo. 1829, to her "esteemed and faithful labourer in the gospel, Thomas Shillitoe," the following additional information is obtained respecting the individual visited by the author, as above described, which, it is believed, will be interesting to the reader.
“ The next meeting-day (after T. S.'s visit,) she attended ; after which her kind husband, who appeared to be a person of some note, yet not a miember of the Society of Friends, called ou a neighbour of his, who observed to him, that his wife attended meeting this morning; to which he replied, with animation,
Yes, an aged gentleman came from Old England, to tell my wife her duty : and she thinks it is time to attend to it.'
“ From that time she has enjoyed her family and friends, and diligently at. tended meetings; and is thankful that she is released from that state of depression she had for a long time been afflicted with; and is desirous that Thomas Shillitoe may know, previous to his leaving this country, that his visit was a blessing unto her.”
SEVENTH-DAY morning, (1st of 9th mo., 1827,) we proceeded to Sandwich, and reached the house of Cyrus Beede, where we took up our abode for the night.
The next day attended their usual meeting, which was very large, owing to the coming in of those of other societies ; at the close of the meeting I requested the men and women members to stop, which they accordingly did, to whom I proposed for consideration, (the members of the meeting being numerous, and not out of the reach of the meeting-house twice on a First-day,) their holding an evening meeting during the summer-season: this subject being mentioned appeared to be a relief to many minds, and especially so in the manner it was laid before the whole meeting. In the afternoon we proceeded to the north meetinghouse, where a meeting was appointed to be held at my request; the house was greatly crowded, and the weather so oppressive, I much feared our being able to hold a meeting in quiet, but we were not only favoured with a quiet, but a solemn time together ; under a sense of which we separated.
Third-day, we rode to Falmouth ; and on Fourth-day attended the select quarterly meeting, which was small; the queries were answered in such a summary way, that the true state of the meetings could not be come at; if my feelings were correct, the state of this part of the body here was in a very low feeble, condition. I cndeavoured, as strength was afforded me, faithfully to leave with Friends of this meeting, that which I believed was given me for them.
Fifth-day, 6th of 9th mo, 1827, the quarterly meeting for discipline commenced with a meeting for worship; this meeting was large, being attended by those not in profession with our religious Society. I marvelled not at the plungings I had endured, on my taking my seat in the meeting-house, from the close searching testimony I had to declare to the members of this quarterly meeting: although what I had to offer was close and pointed, I was thankful to find it had found entrance into some minds ; so as to call forth public expression from individual members of the meeting, in confirmation of the truths that had been given me to deliver. The meeting for discipline was equally trying; the answers to the queries exhibited a sorrowful picture of the low state of the Society in this quarterly meeting, and yet there was cause for rejoicing to find, there were a few individuals left, who did manifesť a desire for the welfare of the cause of truth and righteousness; but I was not able to divest my mind of a fear, that faintheartedness was a disposition prevalent with such, for the defects that were noticed in the answers to the queries, instead of being seasonably attended to, were suffered to remain and be passed over in silence from quarter to quarter. By endeavouring to acquit myself faithfully in the meeting for discipline, I was favoured to retire from it with a peaceful mind, thankful I had been made willing to share in the sufferings, which the well-concerned members of this meeting, I believe have, at times, to wade through.
Sixth-day, the breakfast being over, some of our company were on the move; but my mind feeling charged with something for communication before we separated, I was obliged to burst into expression, which produced a quiet settling down again, affording me an opportunity for my relief; after which we proceeded towards Brunswick, in the state of Maine, where we were kindly received by Stephen Jones and his family.
First-day, attended Durham meeting, which was large; my friends considered it to have been a solid, favoured meeting The next day, we rode to Lichfield, and were kindly cared for by our friend Noah Farr. I had been apprehensive, for several days, I must have a meeting with Friends at this place before the quarterly meeting : I opened my prospect to suitable Friends of the settlement, and they appeared readily to unite with it; to accommodate us on our journey afterwards, the meeting was obliged to be appointed to be held at an earlier hour than usual next morning.
Third-day morning, from the early hour the meeting was appointed, I was led to fear it would gather stragglingly, and be thinly attended; but this was not so in either respect, the house being nearly full. I felt much tried with poverty and strippedness on taking my seat, which led me to fear I had not sufficiently digested the subject, before I took this step of having Friends called together; I was suffered to remain for a considerable time in this tossed state, to the abasing in me of all that was of the creature, whereby a willingness was brought about to become any thing or nothing, whatsoever my Great Master willed I should be: but He condescended, in his own due and appointed time, to say, It is enough, and light arose out of obscurity; and I was favoured to leave the meeting, well satisfied I had yielded to this pointing of duty. After taking some refreshment, we rode to Vassalborough, and were favoured to reach our friend Moses Sleepen’s.
Fourth-day, attended the select quarterly meeting here, which
was considerably larger than most I had of late attended; there appeared to be many Friends who, from their solid countenances and general demeanour, were concerned for the promotion of the welfare of the Society : but when the business of the meeting was gone into, it was distressing to observe such a want of religious animation in the right conducting of the business, by not giving that due attention to the answers to the queries, which it was evident the state of some of the meetings called for.
Fifth-day, attended the quarterly meeting for discipline; the house was very much crowded; the meeting for worship held very long, as did the meeting for discipline. Friends, I believe, separated under feelings of thankfulness for that Divine condescension and goodness which had been near to us at this time. After meeting, we rode sixteen miles to Hollowell, and took up our abode at the widow Ramsden's, who, with her children, kindly cared for us.
Seventh-day, we rode to Portland, a large, thickly-settled town. First-day, attended their usual meeting: Friends here are few in number; some of other societies gave us their company. This, to me, was a trying meeting, the life of religion appearing to me to be very low amongst Friends. After meeting, we rode about ten miles to Scarborough, and had a religious opportunity in a large family, (part of them not in membership with Friends ;) they were placed in a very solitary situation, no meeting being held nearer them than Portland : we took up our abode with them for the night.
Third-day, we rode to Hopkin's village ; having a hard day's travel, we were anxious to reach our journey's end, hoping to find a quiet abode, from the character we had received of the tavern we were to stop at for the night; but on our entering the village, all appeared to be bustle and confusion, it being the day when the young men had turned out to be trained for the army; to proceed further would not be doing justice to our beasts, we therefore resolved to make the best of our situation. The widow who kept the tavern appeared to be willing to do all in her power to care for us, and make us as comfortable as circumstances would allow of.
The next morning, we rode to Ware, to the north meetinghousc; the meeting was small. In the afternoon we rode to our ancient friend Daniel Gore's, and took up our abode for the night.
Fifth-day, attended meeting in Warc, at the south meetinghouse: Friends coming in from the north meeting, occasioned a large gathering
Seventh-day, we rode to Cumberland, and were favoured to reach the comfortable abode of my kind companion, Joseph Metcalf. First-day, attended meeting here: we had a great coming-in to the meeting of those of other religious societies. The people appeared solid, and I felt satisfied my lot had beenthus cast amongst them; and here, if service has fallen to my lot in this Yearly Meeting, for the present it closed.
Second-day morning, accompanied by my kind companion, I rode to Providence, where I was informed it was their monthly meeting on Fourth-day next. I was willing to give this subject all due consideration ; but my face, I had good ground for believing, was now rightly turned to New York, to reach there by first conveyance. The steam-boat proceeding on the morrow afternoon, I arranged for my departure : my kind companion, Joseph Metcalf, now left me, after we had travelled together in much harmony.
Third-day afternoon, 25th of 10th mo., after taking an affectionate farewell of my kind friend Moses Brown and his family, with many other Friends, I went on board the steam-boat, and was favoured to land safely at New York on Fourth-day, and was kindly received by my esteemed friends, Elizabeth Bowns and family.
Fifth-day, attended Hester-street meeting, at the close of which the preparative meeting was held much in quiet, which was a great favour, as the state of the Society is now becoming more distressing, in consequence of the disaffected part of the members here becoming increasingly clamorous. In the afternoon, attended an adjournment of the preparative meeting of Rose-street, which was held on account of an application by the disaffected part of the Society for a certificate, to be addressed to Green-street monthly meeting in Philadelphia, that meeting-house being in the possession of those who have seceded from the Society; in consequence of which that monthly meeting has been dissolved. Many Friends very promptly rejected this request; the clerk also refused to make a minute, which should order one to be prepared for a meeting they could not hold correspondence with ; on which the disaffected part of the meeting became very turbulent, proposing that the clerk should be displaced. This proposal produced great commotion : individuals of the disaffected party were called upon to name a clerk; the name of one of their own party being brought forward, he was ordered to the table, to make a minute displacing the clerk that had been regularly appointed by the meeting, and to confirm this fresh appointment, also ordering the clerk of the preparative meeting to quit the table, and give up the books and papers; but this order not being complied with, attempts were made to obtain forcible possession ; but their attempts failing, they were obliged to make their minute on loose paper. During these hostile proceedings, the clerk and sound members of the meeting were, in a very remarkable manner, kept from manifesting any thing like impatience or resentment on account of the abuse and outrage thus committed. Their newly-appointed clerk opened their meeting, the regular clerk of the meeting and Friends sitting quiet, not taking any part in their transactions ; their newly chosen clerk made a minute, ordering a certificate to be pre