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families in that city ; upon his arrival, he joined him in the service, and accompanied him to ninety families, he having visited forty-six before my brother's return.
And in about three months after, Matthew Johnson, from Cornwood, in Northumberland, coming to the aforesaid city, under the like concern, after discharging himself in the same service to the meetings of Lisburn and Ballinderry, my brother accompanied him also in his visit to the families of Friends there. Thus he was diligently engaged most part of his latter days, in almost a continued series of laborious service in the church, either at home or abroad.
When we reflect upon the repeated visits of this kind, which divers other Friends from distant parts, as well as those above mentioned, from the fresh and lively impressions of duty, have been engaged in, to Friends in the different quarters of this nation; leaving, or submitting to be detained from every near connection in life, to labor amongst us in the work of the gospel, not only in public, but from house to house; and often in the clear opening of our states, under the influence of truth, even as from man to man, it should affect every considerate mind with humbling sensations of thankfulness to our beneficent Creator, for his unbounded loving-kindness and mercy to us as a people, under the view, that although many of the professors of truth, one going to his farm, and another to his merchandise, have slighted repeated calls, and excused themselves from the necessary preparation for admittance to the marriage supper, He hath not yet given charge to his servants, to go to the lanes and highways, to call in others; but is still causing us to be striven with, in close and searching labor. May the serious consideration hereof so impress our minds, as to produce holy resolution to turn
to Him that smiteth us, and in reality, to seek the Lord of Hosts: remembering the day of our visitation hath its assigned period, in the determination of his unsearchable wisdom, who hath declared. “My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh.”
On the 3rd day of Ninth Month, 1778, he set forward on a journey, to visit his friends in the province of Munster, making his way pretty directly through the county of Carlow to Clonmel, where he commenced his visit to said province, being there on a First-day, at their two meetings. On Second-day he writes, “Not suiting for any public meeting hereaway, being the time of their assizes, we were at nineteen Friends' houses, and had good opportunities in several of them.” So proceeding, he had meetings in course, at the following places, viz: Cashel, Garryroan, Limerick ; Cork on First-day, the two public meetings, and a third with divers friends in the evening, at Joseph Garratt’s; on Second-day he went to Bandon, accompanied by several Friends, and back to Cork; was at their meeting on Third-day, and after it at the men's meeting; on Fourth-day to Youghal, to a meeting appointed at five o'clock that evening, staid their week-day meeting
next day, and after it returned to Cork, to the Quarterly Meeting. From thence, by Garryroan and Clonmel to Waterford, where his visit terminated. He fell in with the meetings of Forest, county of Wexford, Carlow and Rathangan, in his way from Waterford to the Quarterly Meeting for Leinster province, held at Edenderry, the 4th of Tenth Month, and from thence returned home.
He continued at and about home for near eleven months, for just at the same time of the succeeding year, viz: the 2nd of Ninth Month, 1779, he left home to go to the Quarterly Meeting at Edenderry, and thence by Moate and Ballimurry, he made his way into Ulster province again; being at Oldcastle on First-day, the 10th of Ninth Month. From thence to a meeting at Coothill, which was a large, crowded meeting, several of the town's people, I suppose, coming in. From Coothill, he came to Castleshane, thence to Moyallen, and attended the week-day meeting at Lurgan, which he says was a large and good meeting. The Quarterly Meeting at Lisburn succeeding, he attended it, and after that, was at meetings at Rathfriland, Moyallen, Ballihagan, and near Charlemount successively. At this last meeting he joined in the visit to the families of Friends, and in
some Friends of that meeting, performed the said visit thoroughly, spending therein near two weeks, although closely engaged day by day. After this service, he visited the meetings of Antrim Quarter, and the rest of the meetings of the province in course, finishing his service at the province meeting at Lurgan, the 29th and 30th of the Tenth Month.
The next service I find him engaged in, was a visit to the Monthly Meetings of Mountmelick and Edenderry ; in his letter to me, dated First Month, 1780, he writes, “In the very cold weather which we have had, I visited
all the Particular Meetings of Mountmelick, and Edenderry Monthly Meetings, and though I could not but lament the state of many careless professors, yet I had good satisfaction in discharging my duty therein.”
In the summer of the same year, he made another excursion through some parts of Leinster province, and as far as Waterford. And about the same season as the two past years, viz: on or about the 22nd of Eighth Month, 1780, he set out again on a visit to Friends in the
province of Munster. In his first day's journey his guide dropped his saddle-bags, whereby being deprived of necessary change of linen, &c., for the journey before him, I was told, it put him to a stand whether to proceed or re turn home; and also upon seriously considering the grounds he set out on, and the validity of his commission; and upon consulting the oracle in his own breast, it was intimated to him, that he must go forward, if his life went for it. The first meeting he had, was at Mountmelick, from whence he wrote: “ We had a good meeting here today, which seemed as a fresh seal to my commission, and makes me strongly desire I may be preserved, to attend singly to my duty, and faithfully discharge it.” From Mountmelick, he went by Roscrea, Birr, and Kilconnermore, to Limerick, to the province Meeting for Munster, which, by the account he gave, was said to be the largest that was remembered in that place, many Friends from Leinster attending it; and further, “The kind Father and Author of all our mercies, favors my mind with the sweet sense of his Divine love, and a desire to follow and serve Him, who is a rich rewarder of all his faithful servants. Here, being requested by Friends to forward the family visit, he consented, following therein the pointings of duty. On the Fourth-day after the province meeting, in con
junction with divers Friends of that province, he entered upon this exercising service: his succeeding labors in this and the following service, may be best understood from extracts from his own letters, written to his wife, during his being engaged therein.
Limerick, 1st of Ninth Month, 1780. “On Fourth-day we began the family visit here, and that day we had six solemn opportunities ; visiting so many families, and yesterday we followed the business closely; having eight solemn meetings, some of which held long, so that it was near ten at night when the last of them broke
up. We hope that two days more will be sufficient to finish the family visit here, so after First-day, expect to be thoroughly clear of this part of Munster, and on Second-day to proceed with the Friends who stay with me here, to Cork. To look at the labor in a service of this kind, through such a very large, increasing, extensive meeting as that of Cork, would appear very weighty, and almost terrifying, were it not for the earnest, which the great and good Master hath already given us; who hath led us along, in the sweet enjoyment of his own pure love, and therein hath united our spirits, and hath opened a door of utterance, reaching the witness, and tendering the hearts of many."
“ Cork, 13th of Ninth Month. “ It is now somewhat hard for me to get a little time to write, we are so closely employed from early in the morning till late in the evening. We were on the service yesterday and to-day at a little past seven in the morning. We had nine family meetings on Second-day; yesterday, one before meeting, five after; and to-day hath been a day of almost incessant labor, having had nine family