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This good man also took great pains to get travelling Friends to appoint meetings at his house ; and then to acquaint people thereof, several miles round, travelling for that purpose by night, as well as by day, in the winter season, and in severe weather, and underwent much reproach for this labor and diligence. Yet he was blest in it, both inwardly and outwardly, many came to the meetings at his house, several were convinced of the truth, and in process of time a meeting was settled there, and grew larger than that of Birr, out of which it had sprung.
At the time of his joining our Society, he was in low circumstances, but through industry and the blessing of heaven, he grew rich, and did abundance of good, being singularly hospitable, liberal and charitable.
At the abovesaid meeting at Birr, through the ministry of Thomas Wilson, there was also convinced his wife's daughter Mary, the wife of James Sheppard. This was a great mortification to her husband, who tried various means to reclaim her. At length a noted preacher being to preach at the worship-house he frequented, he proposed to his wife, that if she would go with him to hear him, he would
go with her next Sunday, as he called it, to the meeting at Birr, to which proposal she assented. She went accordingly, and heard fine words and eloquence; but that was not what her soul wanted.
Next First-day, pursuant to his engagement, he went with her to Birr. It proved to be a silent meeting there; yet through the reverent attendance of the souls of those present upon Christ, the best minister, they were favored together with his life-giving presence, with the sense of which the said James was reached and tendered into contrition, in the sight of the self-denying path cast up to peace with God. Hereupon, what he little expected at
his going to that meeting, he immediately joined in society with Friends, and became a serviceable man in his station.
After parting with John Ashton, I proceeded toward Cork, and reached it next morning before meeting.
VISITS FRIENDS IN WALES. ACCOUNT OF JOHN GOODWIN. VISITS
FRIENDS IN ENGLAND, AND ATTENDS LONDON YEARLY MEETING. VISITS MEETINGS AND FAMILIES IN IRELAND.
Soon after, I visited some parts of Leinster province. After my return I spared my brother, at the request of Benjamin Wilson, near Edenderry, to be tutor to his children, and those of a neighboring friend. When he had been there about a year and a half, I wrote to him to prepare, after duly apprizing his employers, to return to Cork, having a desire for once, while I had an opportunity of his supplying my place, to be at the Welsh, Bristol, and London Yearly Meetings; and though the family was loath to part with him, yet as I wanted him on this account, he disengaged himself and returned to Cork, in due time for me to proceed on the service before me.
Accordingly, in the beginning of the First Month, O. S., now called the Third, I embarked on a Sixth-day morning at Cork. On Seventh-day, at night, by favor of the light-houses, we got into Milford-haven. On Firstday morning I walked to Haverford-west, where I met with Abraham Fuller, of Dublin, whom I consulted how I should steer my course to North-Wales, as I understood here, that the Welsh Yearly Meeting was to be about a
month from this time, in this neighborhood, viz: at Tenby in Pembrokeshire.
Abraham advised me to order my course so, as to be at John Goodwin's on a First-day, because there was generally a large resort of people there on that day, and gave me directions how to accomplish it, which I was pleased with, having heard before of that good old man, and having a desire to be then at his house.
On Third-day, after meeting, I left Haverford-west, and had a meeting next day at Carmarthen. On Fifth-day morning, went to John Bowen's, at Penplace, expecting to have a meeting there; but he being gone to their Monthly Meeting at John Reece's, at Penbank; I followed him thither, where I found a considerable number met. After I had sat down, old John Reece stood up
and preached to us in Welsh. On Sixth-day, I went to the widow Evan's, at Llandewy-brevy, in Cardiganshire, and, expected next day to reach John Goodwin's, at Escargogh, in Monmouthshire.
Next morning, the Friend who was to have been my guide, came into my chamber long before day, when I was about getting up, having an earnest desire to reach John Goodwin's that day. He informed me, I could not go thither that day, without running the risk of my life, as it snowed very hard, and it was a mountainous road. I presently got up, and found myself obliged to stay there, to the no small disappointment of my desire.
I then went to their market-town, called Tregarron, and there had two meetings that day, the latter of which was large. Next day being First-day, hearing of a priest called Daniel Rowland, whose parish worship-house was at Llangeithow, three miles beyond Llandewy-brevy, who was much flocked after by many people, even from other
parishes; thither I went, accompanied by three friends. When we arrived we found the house full, and
at the outside, who seemed to listen to the preacher with attention, who was preaching in Welsh. I desired a young man to endeavor to get to the parson, and acquaint him that an Englishman without wanted to speak to him, which I suppose he did. For when he had ended his sermon the congregation broke up, and he came out one of the first.
I went to meet him, and told him I had found my mind drawn in Christian love to visit him and his congregation, and therefore desired then the opportunity to deliver to him and them what was on my mind. After some inquiries, he said it was not convenient then, as he had himself preached largely to the people. Finding myself clear of him, I got upon a pretty high tombstone, and the people generally drew near, being a very large multitude. The opportunity was greatly favored, I being engaged to invite the people to Christ, the free teacher, and of Him to receive wine and milk, strength and nourishment to their souls, without money and without price: though the people stood close crowded, there seemed to be as great a stillness as if scarcely any were there. After I had ended what at that time flowed through my heart to them, I stood a little with my mind reverently and thankfully affected. At length I looked round to see on which side I might most easily retire. Some of the people near, who perceived it, desired that I would pray for them before I left them. I answered, that I did indeed pray for them; but as for doing it vocally, I durst not, unless it appeared at that time to be my duty so to do. They asked then whither I intended to go next; I told them, to Llambeter, about five miles off, where I intended to have a meeting that afternoon. Thither many of them went.
When I had got a little way on the road, I was overtaken by one who looked like a gentleman, on horseback, with his wife riding behind a man on another horse; he told me he had come out of Carmarthenshire, fourteen miles over the hills, to hear Daniel Rowland; asking if I should come into that county, that if I did, he would meet me any where in it, if he could know the time and place; but would be better pleased if I could come and lodge a night with him, which I afterward did.
As I advanced a little further, a certain woman, not of our profession, invited me and Friends with me, to dine, and gave us the best entertainment in her power. She expressed, with solidity, she had not understood one word I had said ; but had felt that which had done her heart good, as a Friend interpreted her words to me.
Many people flocking to Llambeter, the meeting was held in the street. After it, I parted with the people in mutual affection, and returned to Llandewy-brevy, in company
with Friends and others. I was at this time much overcome with the Lord's goodness, and thankful for the aforesaid disappointment of my desire, believing it to be in the ordering of best wisdom, for the service of the day, being filled with a comfortable hope I was in my proper place, which caused the tears to run down my cheeks, most of the way I had to ride.
When I returned to my quarters, at the widow Evans's, near Llandewy-brevy, a great number of the neighboring people were come thither, and an unexpected meeting ensued, wherein several were broken and tendered in the time of silence. I briefly observed, that it had been made a good day to several of us, expressing my desire that it might be duly remembered by us. And in this lively tenderness we took our leave of one another.