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FOURTH-DAY, (16th of 4th mo., 1828,) attended Twelfth-street meeting for worship, in Philadelphia, after which was held their monthly meeting: the next day, attended Mulberry-street meeting, which was a favoured time.
Sixth-day, attended the meeting for sufferings; the several matters that came before the meeting were treated with much deliberation and weight; the meeting adjourned to the afternoon: on our first sitting down again, a solemn covering came over the meeting, under which Friends were favoured to transact the business that came before them, and adjourned to the close of the Yearly Meeting
First-day morning, attended North-street meeting; in the afternoon, feeling drawings in my mind towards Pine-street, I sat with Friends there: the meeting soon settled down into that holy quiet which is not at our command, and when in mercy vouchsafed to us, calls for gratitude on our part: I doubt not many minds were comforted in this meeting. Took tea with J. W. Morris ; a large company were present; after tea we had a religious opportunity together, not sought for, I humbly hope I may say, in the will of the creature, but yielded to, under feelings with which we were favoured, amidst social conversation, that the command was proclaimed without the sound of words to effect it, “Keep silence before me:” this opportunity I was led to believe proved a season of renewal of strength to some of our company:
Second-day, (21st of 4th mo.) attended the first sitting of this Yearly Meeting, the attendance was large ; it was considered by some Friends that the attendance was not much sinaller than in ordinary times. The meeting was opened under a very solemn covering, great quietness prevailed; the becoming deportment of the young men, and the attention they manifested to the various matters that came before the meeting, (I hoped it might be said,) evinced the interest they felt in the concerns of the Society, and produced the cheering prospect of a succession of helpers in the church.
Second-day, 28th of 4th mo., this day the Yearly Meeting closed its sittings; the meeting continued throughout to be large in attendance, and Friends parted under a grateful sense of the help
which had in mercy been dispensed, in transacting the various important matters which came before the meeting.
Fourth-day, crossed the Delaware river to New Jersey, and the next day, attended meeting at Old Springfield; the meeting gathered at the same time that of the separatists did ; this to me was to be regretted, from a fear that it would tend to keep up that familiar intercourse between the youth amongst us and them.
Seventh-day, 3rd of 5th mo., attended the select preparative meeting for Upper Springfield, held at Mansfield; it was small by deaths, and by desertion from Friends: I thought it was evidently to be felt, that the Great Head of the Church was mercifully near to this little tried company, waiting to show himself willing to comfort the mourners amongst them, and in his own time to give beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.
First-day, attended meeting at East Branch ; the number of Friends is small, but those of other societies came crowding into the meeting-house, whereby we had a large gathering, which settled down very much in quiet, and continued so to the close. I felt well satisfied that I had given up to sit with this company: may the praise be given where only it is due, is the frequent, fervent prayer of my soul.
Second-day, rode to Crosswicks to attend the select meeting for Chesterfield, which met in the school-house. Friends appeared much cast down at the desolation occasioned amongst them, through a departing from the principles of the Society ; the few members left appeared to be banded together by that love which is stronger than death, and which, if abode in, will carry them through all their future exercises. We took up our abode for the night with a Friend, whom we found in a very trying situation, his mother and others of his nearest relations having gone off with the separatists.
Attended Chesterfield monthly meeting, held in a private house; the weather being warm, and Friends being packed close together, occasioned it to be an oppressive sitting: the meeting continued until past five in the afternoon; the testimonies of denial issued, the consideration of other cases where visits had been made, and fresh cases brought forward in both meetings, were so numerous as to occasion Friends being detained to this late hour.
Fourth-day morning, we rode to Mansfield, to attend Upper Springfield monthly meeting : numerous cases of delinquency came before us, in consequence of the separation ; it was pleasant to observe such a willingness manifested to submit to appointments to visit their disorderly members : after meeting we rode to our kind friend Joseph Ellis's.
Fifth-day, we rode to Mount Holly, to attend the monthly meeting there. It was encouraging in sitting with Friends of this meeting to observe, that under all the insults and abuse which the reports showed they met with, in visiting those who had gone off from Friends, there was no relaxation in putting the discipline in force; the help of the quarterly meeting's committee appeared to be of singular service to this little company, in holding up their hands and counselling them when under difficulty.
Seventh-day, (10th of 5th mo.) rode to Trenton ; the separatists have the controul of the meeting-house here, the doorkeeper being with them; they have set up an afternoon meeting, which had long been discontinued by direction of the quarterly meeting; they had also altered the First-day morning meeting from eleven to half-past twelve o'clock.
First-day, the alteration in the hour of meeting is to take place for the first-time to-day, which has placed Friends in a trying situation ; but as there appeared no other way for Friends to act, but to keep to the hour heretofore agreed to by the quarterly meeting, they accordingly did so; the disaffected persons meeting at an earlier time, it was feared the meeting would be disturbed by the separatists leaving the meeting again before the usual time of its breaking up; but they sat until it appeared time to break up the meeting, and Friends considered it to have been the most quiet meeting that had been known at Trenton for a long time. As it respected the Friends of this meeting, and the reputation of the Society, I could not regret the separatists had adopted such a measure, observing it had a tendency to rouse Friends to a willingness to seek out for a place to meet separately from those who were trampling on the principles of the Society:
Feeling drawings in my mind to make a visit to the stateprison, this afternoon was concluded upon by the managers as the most suitable time for it; the weather being warm, the prisoners (upwards of seventy in number) were seated in the yard; their behaviour was becoming, and from the solidity manifested by many of them, I was led to hope I had not been out of my place in requesting this opportunity; we were very handsomely treated by the managers at our parting: Although the giving up to this service had cost me very painful feelings; yet now it was accomplished, I could go on my way rejoicing.
Second-day morning, 12th of 5th mo., we rode to Shrewsbury, and were kindly cared for by the widow of my friend S. Williams. Although a separation had taken place in the meetings for discipline in this quarterly meeting, yet Friends having adjourned to this place to hold the quarterly meeting next Fifthday, I found I was likely again to be introduced into warfare, the separatists having concluded to hold their quarterly meeting at the same time and place.
The next day, attended an adjournment of this monthly meeting; it was encouraging to observe the few members left in this meeting were so alive to the welfare of the Society, and no disposition manifested in any of its members to flinch from the calls of the meeting
Attended the quarterly select meeting : as the separatists occupied that part of the house heretofore used by this meeting, it was held by Friends in the women's side, keeping as far as they were well able to do from the partition, so as not to be annoyed by what passed in the other meeting. I believe it might be said to be a time in which Friends were comforted together, and afresh encouraged to be willing to hold on in whatever way it might be required of them to take up the daily cross.
Fifth-day, Friends met as usual to hold their quarterly meeting, the separatists met with them; when it was considered a suitable time, a Friend proposed that the shutters should be closed, to separate the men and women ; on which one of the separatists seized the clerk's table, brought it to the front of the meeting, took a paper out of his pocket with minutes all ready prepared, and read over an opening minute of their meeting, and the names of their representatives; one of the Friends of the quarterly meeting remonstrated with him on account of these proceedings, but all was of no avail ; Friends were obliged to leave the meeting and go to the house of a Friend, and proceed with the business of the quarterly meeting in the best way circumstances would allow: the like was the case with the women Friends.
First-day, attended meeting at Stoney Brook ; this is a small meeting; it is apprehended nearly one half of its members are unsound, but are afraid to manifest their principles; the generality of the neighbourhood, who do not profess with Friends, are reputed to be serious, religiously disposed Episcopalians, Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians, and warmly opposed to those who hold the doctrine of Elias Hicks. In the afternoon we made a visit to an aged Friend confined to the house, and her sister; our visit appeared grateful to them both.
Fourth-day, attended Plainfield monthly meeting; the meeting for worship was a time which called for thankfulness: the business of the monthly meeting appeared to be conducted in much harmony ; this meeting had been much stripped of its members, and some of its overseers. Friends had not as yet found their way open to do much in dealing with their delinquent members, who had set up new meetings. I concluded, from the number of individuals that were present, there must be those who had joined in the separation; but their cases not having yet been brought forward, they still had a claim to sit in the monthly meeting of
Friends. Although I feared it would rouse such, if there were of this description present, and prevent the meeting breaking up in that quiet in which it had been conducted, I found if I were faithful to apprehended duty, that I must call the attention of Friends to consider, if there were not a danger of their suffering the right time to pass by for effecting a separation in a meeting for worship capacity,-giving such reasons for this step being taken, as I found accorded with the views of most, if not all, who took an active part in the concerns of the meeting; on which a committee was nominated to take the subject into consideration, and propose the most convenient place for such a purpose.
Fifth-day, my kind companion T. Curtis and myself proceeded to New York, where after all the perils by land, and through false brethren, to which I had been exposed, we were favoured to arrive in safety, and I hope under a thankful sense of the many merciful preservations I had been a witness of. We were kindly received by Elizabeth Bowns.
24th of 5th mo. Seventh-day morning, attended the first sitting of the Select Yearly Meeting of New York, which was large. After the meeting was opened and the representatives called over, Friends were informed, there were a number of persons present who had separated themselves from the religious Society of Friends, and who had been regularly disowned by the respective monthly meetings to which they had belonged; these persons were several times requested to withdraw, that the meeting might proceed with its business, agreeably to our established rules, which require that the meeting should be select; but this they declined doing, giving suflicient proof, by their disorderly conduct, of their determination to disregard the entreaties of the meeting. During this scene of clamour and confusion, Friends were preserved in a remarkable manner in Christian meekness and firmness,-not a word, that I could observe, escaped from any Friend denoting impatience or hostility; for which favour many of our minds were bowed as into the
very dust before Him, who had, in this time of danger, thus far preserved us in the hollow of his Divine hand. After enduring for several hours much abuse from these intruders, who were countenanced in their conduct by several members of the meeting, who had identified themselves with the separatists, the meeting adjourned to the afternoon, directing the representatives to consider of, and propose to the next meeting, a suitable Friend to serve as clerk. Agreeably to adjournment, Friends met; one of the representatives, who had, in various ways, identified himself with the separatists, informed the meeting, he was requested by a part of their number to state, they had agreed to propose —
for clerk, the person thus proposed being one of those who had also united himself with the separatists: a Friend, one of the representatives, also informed the meeting, that he had been