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humbled, tendered and revived in my spirit, with fresh resolution to renew my diligence in my journey heavenward.
One branch of this discipline, viz: the institution of meetings of ministers and elders, I highly regarded. For when we have, in a sense of our entire inability without His help, prostrated ourselves together before the most high God, He hath graciously vouchsafed to open the living springs of counsel, suitable to the several states and stations present, tending to stir up to diligence and devotedness in his service, and pointing out in the opening of gospel light, the snares and dangers waylaying the spiritual traveller in his journey.
Often have these meetings, when we have been thus prepared for them, cemented us together in an humble engagement of soul toward God. Tender love hath abounded, which hath made us dear one to another, as children of one family, and fellow-laborers in the highest and best cause.
Christ our Lord has favored us with his presence and sovereign power, and made us partakers together of his heart-tendering goodness, and of a near communion and divine fellowship with Him through his Spirit, and with each other therein, renewing our ardent concern for the honor of his Name, and the promotion of his Truth.
But when this preparation has been wanting, and inattention and absence of mind have taken place, then we have been barren as the dry heath; and like the earth, covered with darkness, without form and void, when the Spirit of the Lord moved not on the face of the waters. Both the immediate and instrumental springs of lively and clear counsel and consolation have been closed up, and the edification and watering of the flock withheld.
This hath caused living zeal and even the attendance of those meetings to decay, and to yield to temporal affairs and temptations, to the hurt and loss of many.
May these considerations move ministers and elders more particularly, to seek after the preparation requisite for assembling in the name and power of Christ, and under a renewed concern for their individual preservation, as well as for that of their brethren and sisters, that they may thereby be comfortably enlivened, and enliven one another to all goodness, as men and women redeemed from the world, and fellow-citizens of the new Jerusalem. Then of great and valuable benefit indeed, would these solemn meetings be, as heretofore, when faithful laborers in the Lord's service dignified, adorned and upheld them.
WHEN I had resided about three years in Ireland, my brother John, whom I left in the service of Thomas Bennett, at Pickwick, Wilts, as noticed before, being desirous to fix his residence in the same nation with me, at the expiration of his fourth year there, resigned his place of usher to that school, in order to remove to Ireland; and going first to see our mother and relations at Kendal, she concluded to accompany him in order to pay us a visit of a few weeks, and about the middle of the summer, 1740, they both arrived at Cork. After about five weeks abode
with us, my mother inclined to return home; and I having a concern on my mind to visit my native country in the service of Truth, my brother's arrival opened the way to set me at liberty: he willingly taking charge of my school in my absence. I concluded to accompany my mother in her return; and having laid my concern before the men's meeting and obtained their certificate, and soon meeting with a vessel bound to Whitehaven, we embarked therein, and had a favorable passage, being only about forty-eight hours from port to port.
This journey took me up about five weeks, in which time I visited the meetings of Friends pretty generally, through the counties of Cumberland, Westmoreland and Lancashire, and part of the north of Yorkshire, being frequently much favored by the Master of our assemblies, and often enlarged in the love of the gospel amongst my former relations, friends and neighbors, many of whom were glad to see me, and I was nearly united to them in the unity of the one spirit, the bond of peace.
* I was at a general meeting at Crook, about four miles
* Here a sheet of the original is lost, which I have not been able to recover; I regret the loss, not only that it occasions a chasm in the narration, but by the recollection I have of my brother's epistolary and verbal relations of this journey, I apprehend we are deprived of some occurrences worthy of preserving. One in particular I have heard him relate in terms so lively and affecting, as indicated it had fixed a deep impression on his mind; so that I think he would not pass it unnoticed. When he came to Pardshaw meeting in Cumberland, he received intelligence that our ancient valuable Friend, that faithful minister of the gospel in his day, James Dickenson, was then confined by sickness, and apparently near his close, whereupon he went to pay him a visit, and found him in such a happy, heavenly frame of mind, as made the opportunity very tenderly affecting and edifying. Raised
from Kendal, which was eminently favored, and after it, went to lodge at Lydia Lancaster's, a valuable minister, and a mother in Israel. Next morning went to their meeting at Colthouse, near Hawkshead, and after meeting went to William Rawlinson's to lodge. Next morning, in very wet, stormy weather, I went to Height meeting. Most of the Friends belonging to it lived at some miles distance; yet they generally attended, and I believe were thankful that they did so, the cementing virtue and power of the gospel so prevailed therein.
After meeting I went with James Rowlandson's family to his house at Frith. His daughter Jane had for a little while past appeared at times in the public ministry in our above the world he was departing from, and well prepared for that celestial mansion, he was favored with a lively hope of being shortly admitted into; and in this his concluding scene, amongst other affecting expressions he related of his, I recollect the following in purport: “I have served the Lord and his truth in my generation, and now I feel the blessed reward thereof; the accuser of the brethren is cast down as to me, and my peace with God is sealed forever.” This, he related, was delivered in such a feeling, powerful and affecting manner, as greatly tendered his spirit, and left the best impressions upon it, animating him to fresh and ardent desires so to fulfil his ministry and walk through life, as that he might die the death of the righteous, and that his last end might be like his. And indeed, what scene in this life more dignifies humanity? What school is more profitably instructive than the death-bed of the righteous, impressing the understanding with a convincing evidence, that they have not followed cunningly devised fables, but solid, substantial truth; that there is a measure of divine light and grace in man, which if duly minded and obeyed, is sufficient to preserve through all the vicissitudes of life, to give him the victory over his spiritual enemies, and in the end over death, hell and the grave.
meetings. So much of tenderness, and of inward fervency toward Christ, the beloved of her soul, prevailed in her, as to make deep and lively impressions on my mind.
Next day, that family accompanied me over the sands to a meeting at Swarthmore, and I returned with them, and from thence back to Kendal. The said Jane Rowlandson afterwards married George Crosfield, became a valuable minister, visited Ireland twice while I lived there, and the continent of America once.
In the course of this journey I was favored with the company and countenance of sundry Friends, whom in my younger years I had held in estimation, by reason of the good impressions I received from their exemplary lives and labors, as before noted in its place. My quondam master, David Hall, treated me with affectionate respect ; he had buried his former wife, who was my mistress, and married again. He and his wife accompanied me to a meeting at Airton. I lodged at Thomas Anderson's a Friend in the ministry, who visited Ireland in company with David Hall; he was blind, but exceedingly pleasant and cheerful. Next morning being a hard frost, I went with said Thomas and other friends over a great hill to a Monthly Meeting at Settle. By me in the gallery sat Julian Franklin, a good old woman, near ninety years of age, and a good meeting it was.
At and about Kendal also, I had much of the company of that honorable minister and elder, James Wilson, who as a nursing father encouraged and strengthened me in the service I was engaged in. His conversation was often pleasant, instructing and edifying; one remarkable passage he related, I think worthy of inserting, which was to the following purport.
In his young years, having been educated in the estab