mightily filled with the presence and power of the Lord, they went away with joyful hearts to their several habitations, in the several colonies where they lived.

When this general meeting was fully over, and friends had taken their leaves one of another to depart home; we, who travelled amongst thein, dispersed ourselves into our several services, according as the Lord ordered us. John Burneyate, with John Cartwright and George Pattison, went into the eastern parts of New England, in company with the friends that came from thence, to visit the particular meetings there; whom John Stubbs and James Lancaster intended to follow a while after in the same service of truth; but they were not yet clear of this island. Robert Widders and I staid some time longer also upon this island ; finding service still here for the Lord, through the great openness of the people, and the daily coming in of fresh people in sloops from other colonies for some time after the general meeting was over: so that we had many large and serviceable meetings among them for several days after.

During the time that we abode here, there was a marriage celebrated amongst friends in this island; and we were at it. It was at a friend's house, who had formerly been governor of the island; and three justices of the peace, and many others of the world's people were there; and both they and friends said, they never saw such a solemn assembly on such an occasion, and so weighty a marriage, and so comely an order. Thus truth was set over all; and this might serve for an example to others, for there were some present from many other places.

After this I had a great travail in spirit concerning the ranters (for there were many of them in those parts, and they had been rude at a meeting which I was not at.) Wherefore I appointed a meeting amongst them; and I believed the Lord would give me power over them; and he did so to his praise and glory, blessed be his name for

There were at this meeting many friends and divers of the world's people; some of whom were justices of the peace, and other officers; and they were generally well affected with the truth. But one of the justices, who had been a justice twenty years, was convinced, and spake highly of the truth; and more highly of me than is fit for me to mention or take notice of.

Then we had a meeting at a place called Providence, which was very large; as consisting of many sorts and sects of people; and I had a great travail upon my spirit concern

ing the meeting, that it might be preserved quiet, and that truth might be brought over the people, and might gain an entrance and have a place in them; for they were generally above the priests in high notions; and some of them came on purpose to dispute. But the Lord whom we waited upon was with us, and his power went over them all, and his blessed seed was exalted and set above all, and the disputers were silent, and the meeting was quiet and ended well; praised be the Lord! And ihe people went away mightily satisfied, much desiring another meeting. This place (called Providence) was about thirty miles from Rhode Island, and we went to it by water. The governor of Rhode Island and many others went with me thither, and we had the meeting in a great barn, which was thronged with people, so that I was exceeding hot, and in a great sweat; but all was well; the glorious power of the Lord shined over all, glory to the great God for ever!

After this we went to another place called Warraganset, about twenty miles from Rhode Island; and the governor went with us. There we had a meeting at a justice's house, where friends had never had any meeting before ; and the meeting was very large, for the country generally came in; and people came also from Connecticut, and other parts round about. There were amongst them four justices of the peace; and most of these people were such as had never heard friends before ; but they were mightily affected with the meeting, and a great desire there is after the truth amongst that people; so that our meeting was of very good service, blessed be the Lord for ever! The justice at whose house the meeting was, and another justice. of that country, invited me to come again; but I was then clear of those parts, and was going off towards Shelter Island. But John Burnveate and John Cartwright, being come back out of New England into Rhode Island before I was gone, I laid this place before them; and they felt drawings thither, and went to visit them. At another place I heard some of the magistrates should say among themselves; if they had money enough, they would bire me to be their minister. This was where they did not well understand us and our principles; but when I heard of it, I said, it was time for me to be gone ; for if their eye was so much to me or any of us, they would not come to their own teacher. For this thing (of hiring ministers) had spoiled many, hy hindering them from improving their own talents; whereas our labour is to bring every one to their own teacher in themselves.

Now, after we had had very good service for the Lord in Rhode Island and the parts adjacent, and that John Burneyate, with the other friends, that went from the general meeting here into New England, were returned hither again, I went off from hence to Shelter Island, having with me Robert Widders, James Lancaster, George Pattison, and one John Jay, a planter in Barbadoes; and leaving John Stubbs and John Burneyate in Rhode Island; to water what had been planted by the Lord there and thereaways, who expected John Cartwright (whom they had left at Piscataway) to come and join shortly with them in the same service. We that were for Shelter Island went off in a sloop; and passing by Point Juda and Block Island, came to Fisher's Island, where at night we went on shore; but were not able to stay for the muschetos (a sort of gnats or little flies) which abound there, and are very troublesome. Wherefore we went into our sloop again, and put off from the shore and cast anchor; and so lay in our sloop that night. Next day we went into the Sound, but finding our sloop was not able to live in that water, we turned in again, (for we could not pass that way), and so came to anchor again before Fisher's Island, where we lay in our sloop that night also. There fell abundance of rain that night, and our sloop being open, we were exceeding wet. Next day we passed over the waters called the Two Horse Races, and then by Garner's Island; after which we passed by the Gull's Island, and so got at length to Shelter Island ; which, though it was but about twentyseven leagues from Rhode Island, yet through the difficulty of passage we were three days in getting thither. The day after we came thither, being the first day of the week, we had a meeting there. Afterwards, in the same week, i had a meeting among the Indians there; at which were their king with his council, and about an hundred Indians more; they sate down like friends and heard very attentively, while I spake to them by an interpreter, an Indian, that could speak English well. After the meeting they appeared very loving, and confessed that what was said to them was truth. On the next first-day we had a great meeting on the island, to which came many of the world's people that had never heard friends before. They were very well satisfied with the meeting, and would not go away when the meeting was done, till they had spoken with me; wherefore I went amongst them, and found they were much taken with the truth; and good desires were raised in them, and a great love. Blessed be the Lord,

his name spreads, and will be great among the nations, and dreadful among the heathen.

While we were in Shelter Island, William Edmundson came to us, who had been labouring in the work of the Lord in Virginia. From whence he travelled through the desert-country, through difficulties and many trials, till he came to Roan Oak, where he met with a tender people; and after seven weeks service in those parts, sailing over to Maryland and so to New York, he came from thence to Long Island, and so to Shelter Island; where we met with him, and were very glad to hear from him the good service he had had for the Lord in the several countries and places wherein he had travelled since he parted from us.

We staid not long in Shelter Island, but entering our sloop again put forth to sea for Long Island. We had a very rough passage, for the tide did run so strong for se. veral hours, that I have not seen the like, and being against us we could hardly get forwards, though we had a gale. We were upon the water all that day and the night following ; but found ourselves next day driven back near unto Fisher's Island. For there was a great fog, and towards day it was very dark, so that we could not see what way we made; and besides it rained much in the night, which in our open sloop made us very wet. Next day a great storm arose, so that we were fain to go over the Sound, and did get over with much ado. When we had gotten from Fisher's Island, we passed by Faulcon Island, and came to the Main, where we cast anchor till the storm was over; and then we came over the Sound, being all very wet; and much difficulty we had to get to land, the wind being strong against us.

But blessed be the Lord God of heaven and earth, and of the seas and waters, all was well; and we got safe to Oyster-Bay in Long Island, on the seventh day of the sixth month, very early in the morning, which (they say) is about two hundred miles from Rhode Island. At Oyster-Bay we had a very large meeting; and the same day James Lancaster and Christopher Holder went over the Bay to Rye on the Continent, in governor Winthrop's government, and had a meeting there. From Oyster-Bay we passed about thirty miles to Flushing, where we had a very large meeting ; many hundreds of the people of the world being there, some of whom came about thirty miles to it. A glorious and heavenly meeting it was, (praised be the Lord God!) and the people were much satisfied.

Meanwhile Christopher

Holder and some other friends went to a town in Long Island, called Jamaica, and had a meeting there. We passed from Flushing to Gravesands, about twenty miles, and there had three precious meetings, to which many would have come from New York, but that the weather hindered them. Then being clear of this place, we hired a sloop; and the wind serving, we set forth for the New Country, now called Jersey. And passing down the Bay by Conny Island, and Natton Island, and Stratton Island, we came to Richard Hartshorn's at Middletown. harbour, about break of day in the morning on the 27th of the sixth month. Next day we rode about thirty miles in that country through the woods and over very bad bogs, one worse than all the rest, the descent into which was so steep, that we were fain to slide down with our horses, and then let them lie and breathe themselves before they could go on; this place the people of the country called Purgatory. We got at length to Shrewsbury in East Jersey, and on the first-day of the week had a precious meeting there, to which friends and other people came far; and the blessed presence of the Lord was with us. The same week we had a men's and women's meeting out of most parts of New Jersey. They are building a meeting-place in the midst of them, and there is a monthly and general meeting set up; which will be of great service in those parts, in keeping up the gospel-order and government of Christ Jesus, (of the increase of which there is no end) that they who are faithful may see that all who profess the holy truth do live in the pure religion, and walk as becometh the gospel,

While we were here at Shrewsbury an accident befell, which for the time was a great exercise to us.

There was one John Jay, a friend of Barbadoes, who came with us from Rhode Island, and intended to accompany us through the woods to Maryland. He being to try an horse, got upon his back; and the horse fell a running, and cast him down upon his head and brake his neck, as the people said, They that were near him took him up dead, and carried him a good way and laid him on a tree. I got to him as soon as I could; and feeling on him, concluded he was dead. And as I stood by him, pitying him and his family, I took hold of his hair, and his head turned any way, bis neck was so limber. Whereupon, throwing away my stick and my gloves, I took his head in both my hands, and setting my knees against the tree I raised his head, and perceived there was nothing out or broken that way. Then I put one hand under his chin and the other behind his head,

« VorigeDoorgaan »