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Second-day 15th. -We attended a meeting at Ancocas, appointed for our friend Thomas Colley, from Old England. He and my companion W. Jackson had good service, Truth being in comfortable dominion after a time of close inward travail ; but I sat easy in silence. After meeting, we returned to Burlington, and on 3-day the 16th, we rode to Stony-brook ; thence on 4th-day the 17th, to William Smith's near Rahway; and 5th-day 18th, were at Rahway monthly meeting ; and being under great weight of exercise in the meeting for worship, and way not opening to relieve my mind, I requested another meeting, which was concluded to be held next day.-6th-day 19th, we at. tended the above-mentioned appointed meeting at the same place, were shut up until time in common for meeting to end, when feeling some small openness, I dropped some pretty close hints.
Seventh-day, 20th.-I mourned and left them with a heavy heart, intending for New York, but often looked back at Rahway, and could not see my way so clear to go to New-York as I wished; but it being homeward, I rode forward to ElizabethTown Point, and there took boat for New York ; but providence prevented us; for soon after we put off, the large cakes of ice, floating with the tide, shut us in for four hours, that the boatmen were very apprehensive the boat would be crushed to pieces; and we perifh; but my mind was inward, and staid on God, in the hollow of whose eternal hand and power I felt perfectly safe and easy : faith and confidence in him and in his never-failing providence were strong and quite unshaken. I had not the least doubt but the winds, waves, and all the elements, were entirely at his command ; and though the
poor men kept crying out, the boat would be cut to pieces, and appeared in much anxiety, I felt a perfect serenity, and had no doubt at all but way
would be opened through the ice, either forward or backward, as the Lord pleased; and I was quite resigned to its being either way—but at length, after long looking and seeing no way, a way was opened, and we landed on the same shore, and rode contentedly back to Rahway,
First-day, 21st.-We attended their fore and afternoon meetings. I had some openings in the first, but feeling no command to speak, the opening closed up, and I suffered among them in silence.
Second-day, 22d.We had a meeting on StatenIsland, (where only one man Friend and his family live) among other societies : this meeting was on my companion W. Jackson's concern, and he had pretty good service among them. I had only a few words. There is an ear in some there to hear the truth, and I hope, in fome degree, hearts to obey it.-3d-day, 23d, we got to New-York, and 4thday, 24th, were at their mid-week meeting: filent, 5th-day, 25th, we went to the select quarterly meeting at Westbury, where I was shut up, though William had good service ---6th-day, 26th, came on the quarterly meeting for worship and discipline, and adjournment of the select meeting, in all which I felt no strength to open my mouth. Dear William was in some degree favoured in supplication and testimony in the meeting for worship.--7th-day, 27th, I being clear of these parts, and about to return immediately home, we had a precious parting opportunity at Fry Willis's, wherein I had a few words in much tenderness to express, and dear William was much favoured in fervent supplication to the Lord for our preservation and persevering integrity to him, who first gathered our souls to an acquaintance with himself. The presence of the Most High was livingly felt, and reigned over all, to our unspeakable joy and consolation, for words are inade
quate to the full expression of it!-magnified and adored for ever be the Lord our God.
Here I parted with my dear companion William Jackson. I have had to mourn in this journey over the declension from primitive zeal, as also the great departure from that commendable plainness, &c. which mine eyes have forrowfully beheld in some places, especially in Philadelphia, and from thence too much spread in parts around them"; yet the Lord hath a chosen remnant there may they ever love and live near him, and the others be brought home to the fold of rest, and weaned from all their vanities. I rode this day, accompanied by Jacob Willets, towards the east end of Long-Island, and next day, being rst-day 28th, we rode to Sterling, -and 2d-day 29th, took boat, and landed in the afternoon at Grotton in Connecticut, from hence, parting with Jacob, I rode to Abiel Gardiner's in Stonington.3d-day 30th, I reached East Greenwich, and jst mo. 3iit 1787, and 4th of the week, got well home; and, to my joy and great thankfulness of heart to the Lord, found my dear wife and family in pretty good health, and much rejoiced to see and receive me again ; and I thought we were renewedly each others joy in the Lord.
I was out in this journey about fix months and ten days, and travelled by computation about two thousand miles.
CHAP. CHAP. VIII.
Trials and exercises he passed through. Exhorta
tions. A prospect of visiting the southern plates. Preparatory exercisesproceeds in the visit.
FTER I got home from Pennsylvania, I
travelled through many heights and depths in my own mind, for about two years, and seemed to be the nearest losing all faith and hope in God, that I ever remembered to have experienced. Oh! none knows, but the Lord alone, the fulness of that bitterness of soul which I had to endure! it was beyond all trials I ever had known, and through which I did not always abide sufficiently on the watch-tower, in strict patience, resignation, and confidence in him, who never yet has failed me when I have rightly trusted in him; but when I have thrown afide my fhield, and lost fight of my armour; Oh, my soul, thou only art fully sensible or the darkness and desolation into which thou hast been plunged !-- but magnified over all for ever be the great name of the Lord ! he did not leave me, nor forsake me; but after pouring out into my cup large draughts of wormwood mingled with gall, was graciously pleased (having thus reduced my soul, for the present at least
, to perfect resignation) to lift up the light of his countenance upon ine, in a marvellous and heart confolating manner. Oh, thou traveller Sion-ward, whenever thou art tried with a deep and inward sense of God's prefence being withdrawn from thee, have a care, yea, a reverential care on thy spirit, that thou cast not away thy shield. It is indeed a great thing to keep the faith at such seasons.-Paul kept it, and had to rejoice in it near his final, solemn close-- t I have
fought * 2 Tim. iy. 7.
• fought a good fight,I have kept the faith ;' but had he not kept the faith, he could not have fought the good fight, for it is only in the faith, that any of our exercises can please God or benefit our own souls, or others—all the willings, runnings, and actings out of the true and living faith, do but run us further from that state wherein alone our true happiness and advancement consists; that state wherein .God is all in all'--and this state we must come to, sooner or later, or we can never know the fulness of the true christian life.-Have a constant watchful care, Oh exercised pilgrim, that thou seek not for ease before the Lord's time-endure the turnings of his hand upon thee; and if the enemy of thy soul present any outward delight or gratification, of whatever kind; fee that thou embrace not his temptations, however pleasing, or artfully presented and insinuated--the very fling of death is in it, if thou yield unto it; and although thou mayest, for thy trial and proving, be left almost destitute of all sense of good, and have scarce a grain of faith remaining; yet though in this extremely depressed situation, thou mayest be ready to believe it will be of little or no advantage to strive any longer against fin; ready to say it is all in vain, and perhaps ready to conclude in a dark moment, it will be no evil for thee to give way, to take a degree of delight in forbidden things; yet I warn thee, in the fear and dread of the living God, touch not with the temptations of the feducer of souls. Flee, flee for thy life! flee from sin as from a serpent: if thou tamperest with it, though thou meanest not to yield, thou art in imminent danger; and if thou listenest, thou mayest, contrary to thy intentions, go near to the borders of destruction; and if thou shouldst unhappily yield and surrender, thy peace with God would be broken, and every evil thing that thus gets in by consent, must (if ever thou knowest thy peace