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in whose presence is joy, and at whose right hand are rivers of pleasure for evermore. For this our Lord prayed to his Father on behalf of his disciples : “sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth.”
I continued in Bristol upwards of four years, living with my worthy master, for whom I had a great and deserved esteem, as assistant or usher in his school, to the time of his death, which happened the latter end of my fourth year there, he being seized with a disease which gradually weakened him, till at last in a sweet frame of mind he departed this life, generally regretted by Friends and others, having been a man remarkably serviceable, not only as a member of religious, but also of civil society. His character for integrity being so universal that he was very much employed in determining differences between his fellow citizens, either as arbitrator or umpire, so that to the blessing of the peace-maker, he might seem to have a title above most. His funeral from the Friars Meeting-house was attended by a very great number of Friends and others. Four Friends appeared publicly to a very crowded audience, viz: James Tylee, Daniel Badger, Isaac Sharpless and Thomas Gawthrop. The next day the men's meeting elected Jonathan Nelson, schoolmaster of Reading, to succeed him, and desired me to. keep up the school till it might be convenient for him to come, which I did, and at his coming resigned it to him.
Being informed that Friends at Cork, in Ireland, wanted a schoolmaster, I agreed to go thither to serve them in that capacity; so calling to see and take leave of my brother, who lived with Thomas Bennett at Pickwick, in Wiltshire, in the station of usher to his school, I went from thence to Gloucester, and was at the two meetings there on First-day, which were poor small meetings. On Sec
ond-day I rode to Worcester, and staid there at my kind friend William Beesley's over Third-day. The week-day meeting there, was to me a tendering season, both in silence and under the lively ministry of old John Corbyn: towards the week's end I reached Kendal, where I stayed two or three weeks; during which stay, my father took a fever and died. A day or two after his funeral, I left Kendal and returned to Bristol, from whence, after waiting sometime for a wind, I took shipping for Cork, in company with Doctor Rutty, of Dublin, who had been at the Yearly Meeting in London, and amongst his relations in Wiltshire, and was also waiting for a passage to Cork.
I was affected with an awful impression on my first embarking; which put me on considering on what foundation I ventured my
the water. On that head I was soon favored with inward satisfaction, and resignation to Divine providence.
The wind being unfavorable, we had a very tedious passage, being ten days on the water from Pill to the cove of Cork. It was late at night when we landed at the cove, and next morning went up in a boat to Cork, where I lodged about two weeks at Jonas Devonsher's, a Friend of a large estate, his two sons being under my tuition; and afterwards boarded in a Friend's family till I married.
OBSERVATIONS ON THE MEETINGS OF FRIENDS IN IRELAND.
MARRIAGE TO MARY DOBBS. ACCOUNT OF HIS WIFE'S PARENTS, JOHN AND MARTHA DOBBS. REMARKS ON BUSINESS ENTANGLEMENTS, AND ON LOOKING FOR DIVINE DIRECTION BEFORE ENTERING UPON MARRIAGE. APPEARS IN THE MINISTRY. CONSIDERATIONS ON THE MINISTRY, AND ON MEETINGS OF MINISTERS AND ELDERS.
The meetings of Friends in Ireland, and particularly in the province of Munster, not lying so contiguous as in many parts of England, could not so conveniently be joined several together, to constitute monthly or men's meetings of discipline, for transacting the affairs of the church. In these parts each particular meeting was a men's meeting in itself, and some of the meetings being greatly reduced in number, it became the concern of Friends to recommend to the larger meetings nearest to them, the care of visiting these little meetings frequently, to inspect their state, and help them by advice and counsel, as occasion might require. Two of these meetings, viz: those of Bandon and Youghal, were under the care of Cork's men's meeting, which was constant in appointing visits to them at the stated times.
Being now a member of Cork men's meeting, to which I was recommended by certificate from Bristol, it fell to company
with other Friends, to go upon a visit to the meeting of Youghal; where I met with Mary the daughter of John and Martha Dobbs, of said town, a plain and orderly young woman. I found my affections closely engaged towards her; and having proposed to her parents
my lot in
my desire to address her in order to marriage, and obtained their consent, after some time we were married there, according to the good order used in our Society.
John Dobbs, her father, being convinced of the truth while he was a student at the University of Oxford, was for his fidelity to his religious convictions, disinherited by his father, Richard Dobbs, Esq., of Castle-Dobbs, near Carrickfergus, of an estate worth several hundred pounds per annum, he being his eldest son.
His father left it to a younger son, who was to pay my father-in-law ten pounds per annum out of it, which, during the lifetime of that son, was but indifferently paid, and by his prodigality the estate was involved. But his son, Arthur Dobbs, late Governor of North Carolina, succeeding to the inheritance thereof, voluntarily doubled the said annual sum, and paid it punctually. My father-in-law having studied physic at the college, practiced it with good success, and
great Christian charity to the poor, so as to save little from his income that way.
He had been the favorite of the family, but upon his joining in society with Friends, and giving up his whole heart to follow the discoveries of the light of Christ in his conscience, he was treated by his father with great severity as a rebel, and then cast out as an alien. So that he might well be said to have forsaken father and brethren, and sisters, and houses, and lands, for Christ's sake; and like faithful Abraham, to have offered up to the Lord whatever was dearest to him in this world, and to have trusted in God, which was doubtless counted to him for righteous
Being beloved by friends, he was urged by some to have recourse to the law, for the recovery of the family estate as his birthright, which he had done nothing to
forfeit, and assistance offered him for doing it. Whereupon he was prevailed with at length to make a beginning; but not having that inward peace with Christ which he preferred before all the world, in the first step of contention, he put a stop to all further proceedings, and rather chose to confide in God without it.
For a more particular account of him, see the “Collection of Friends' Sufferings,” Vol. II., and doctor Rutty's “History of the Rise and Progress of Truth in Ireland.” Of him I have only to add, that he made a joyful and happy exit out of this world, in an exceedingly thankful and triumphant state, with a full assurance of going to live forever in a better. He died about seven or eight months after our marriage.
His wife, Martha Dobbs, was convinced of the Truthbefore their marriage, by the dying expressions of that handmaid of the Lord, Deborah Sandham. She had a few words of public testimony in meeting, survived her husband some years, and died in a good old age, having been a heavenly-minded woman.
Previous to my marriage, a small lot of ground offering for building on, which was very convenient to my school, and the carpenter reckoning he could rùn up a neat small house for a sum I could then spare, having in my employment in Bristol and here, saved so much, I adventured in conjunction with a friend, to take the ground and build upon it, and the house was finished a few weeks after our marriage; but the cost of it came to double the sum the carpenter had proposed it might be built for. This and some other things filled me with gloomy apprehensions, and I became very dejected in my mind in consideration of my circumstances, finding I had gone too far, and owed what I was not able to pay. However, as