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manifested, though but in small things; un- ling to go; but when I had given up to go,
I faithfulness in which, is the cause of loss and would have known what I was to do there, hurt to many in their growth in the truth. which was the cause, that for a little time, I
After I had passed through great tribula- was shut up within myself, and was in some tion, weeping and mourning in woods and measure darkened; so that I cried unto the solitary places alone, where I often desired to Lord, that if it was his will I should go, I be, I came to more settlement in my spirit, would give up. And being made sensible it and peace began to spring in my soul; where was, I went in faith and quietness of mind trouble and sorrow had been. Then at times, and spirit. As I was going, it appeared to I would be ready to think, that I should not me, as if the priest had been before me; and again meet with such combats and besetments it opened in me to say to him, “ If thou be a by the enemy of my soul, as I had passed minister of Christ, stand to prove thy practhrough. But the more I grew in experience tice; and if it be the same as the apostles of the dealings of the Lord with me; so much and ministers of Christ, in doctrine and practhe more did the enemy transform himself, tice, I will own thee; but if not, I am sent of and as he could not prevail by his former God this day, to testify against thee.” And presentations, so in his subtiliy, he would so soon as I entered the place where the hireinvent new ones. Thus I came clearly to ling priest, George Larcum, was preaching, see that it was not safe for me to sit down he cried out, “ 'There is one come into the satisfied with what I had passed through, or church like a mad-man, with his hat on his the victory I had already obtained; but to head. Churchwardens, put him out!” For travel on in faith and patience, and watch he could not preach after I came into the steediligently in the light of Jesus Christ, where ple-house. So they put me forth, as he bid the true power is still received. For notwith them. This was in Cromwell's time, and not standing the many deliverances, and strength, long after the government was changed and he and victory, I had experienced, the Lord, ac- himself turned out of the place. Some time cording to the greatness of his wisdom, was after I was put forth, I was moved of the pleased to make me sensible of my own weak. Lord to go in again, and had strength given ness, and that there was no strength to stand, me to stay until the priest had done; but his nor place of safety for me to abide in, but in preaching was burthensome and confused. his power, and under a sense thereof, I was Then, with the words aforesaid, I opened my humbled, bowed, and laid low.
mouth, in the fear of God, which made the Wherefore I took up a godly resolution in hireling go out with all the haste he could, at his fear, “ I will rely upon the sufficiency of a contrary door than he used to do; and the thy power, O Lord, for ever.” About six people were in a great uproar, some to beat years after I had received the truth, through me, and some to save me from being beat. great exercise and godly sorrow, I came to When they had haled me out of the house, I be settled in the power of God, and made was enabled by the power of God, to declare weighty in my spirit thereby; and had some the truth amongst the people and to manifest openings from the Spirit of Truth, in silent the deceiver they followed: and having obey. waiting upon the Lord; which tended to min. ed the requirings of the Lord, I came away ister comfort and satisfaction to my soul, in a in sweet peace and spiritual comfort in my renewed experience of the dealings of the heart. Lord with me; and the Lord opened my At a certain time being at a meeting of mouth with a testimony in the fresh spring of Friends upon the Howhill, near Coldbecke, in life, that I was to give forth to his children Cumberland, George Fletcher of Hutton Hall, and people.
a justice of the peace, so called, came into Oh! then a great combat I had through the meeting in a rude manner, riding among reasoning, that I was but a child, and others Friends, who were sitting upon the ground, were more fit and able to speak, than I. But and trod with his horses seet upon a woman's the Lord, by his power, brought me into wil-gown, I was moved of the Lord, to kneel lingness, and with fear and trembling I spoke down to prayer, at the head of his horse; and in our blessed meetings.
as a wicked persecutor of God's people, he At one time, as I was sitting in silence struck me bitterly over my head and face waiting upon the Lord, in a meeting of with his horse-whip. When he saw he could Friends, upon Pardshaw Crag, a weighty not move me, he called his man, being near exercise fell upon my spirit, and it opened in by, to take me away; who came in great me, that I must go to the steeple-house at fury, and took me by the hair of my head, Cockermouth, which was hard for me to give and drew me down the hill; but I got upon up to. But the Lord by his power, made me my feet, and said to his master, “Dost thou à shake and tremble, and by it I was made wilI pretend to be a justice of peace, and break
est the peace; and disturbs, persecutes, and great power had preserved us all along until abuses God's peaceable people, and sets on now, on this side the sea, would also preserve thy servant so to do?” He said, we should us on the other side, as we stood faithful in know he was a justice of peace before he had our testimony for him.” done with us; could no place serve us to meet We were set at liberty that sessions ; goods in, but under his nose? Yet it was at a great being taken for all our fines; but the sheriff distance from his dwelling, upon the common. for the county, Willfrid Lawson, of Issel Hall, He committed me and three more, to the com- being there, said to the jailer, “If they will mon jail at Carlisle; it being at the time when not pay fees, put them into the common jail that act was in force, which imposed a penal. again, and keep them there until they rot." ty of five pounds for the first offence; ten So the jailer put us into the common jail again, pounds for the second; and for the third, ban- because we could not pay him fees; where was ishment. By his warrant he caused one cow a Bedlam-man, and four with him for theft ; and a horse, worth six pounds ten shillings, and two notorious thieves, called Redhead and to be distrained of my father, with whom 1 Wadelad ; two moss troopers, for stealing catlived, for my fine of five pounds ; it being tle; and a woman, for murdering her child. the first offence (so adjudged by him,) and Several of the relations and acquaintances of kept me in prison some weeks too. George these, were suffered to come to see them, after Martin, a wicked hard hearted man, being the sessions was over, who gave them so much jailer, put us in the common jail, for several drink, that most of them were basely drunk ; days and nights, without either bread or water; and the prison being a very close nasty place, because we could not satisfy his covetous de- they did so abuse themselves and us with their sire, by giving him eight pence a meal for our filthiness, that it was enough almost to stifle meat; so he threatened, when he put us in the some of us. On the morrow, we let the jailer common jail, that he would see how long we know how we were abused, whereupon he bid could live there without meat ; and suffered the turnkey bring us to the room where we none that he could hinder, neither would he were before; saying he scorned to keep us allow any of our friends, to bring us any bed- there, for we were honest men, setting our reding, not so much as a little straw. We had ligion aside. One of us answered, " If the no place to lie on, but the prison window, tree be good, the fruit cannot be evil.” So in upon the cold stones, the wall being thick, a little time after we had been in his house, there was room for one at a time; and when he gave us our liberty, without paying fees. he saw he could not prevail, notwithstanding This was in the fifth month, 1663. his cruelty, he removed us from the common jail, into a room in his own house, where he
Here follow some letters I wrote whilst I had several Friends prisoners, for non-pay- was a prisoner at Carlisle. ment of tithes, at the suit of the said George Fletcher.
“ Dear Father and Mother, The jailer was often cruel, wicked and abu- My duty is hereby remembered to you; sive in his behaviour to Friends ; but in a few and my dear and tender love, both naturally years he was rewarded according to his do- and spiritually, doth hereby reach unto you ings; for he himself was cast into prison for both : and as you are faithful according to debt, and so ended his days.
what the Lord hath made known unto you, by When the quarter sessions began, which his pure light, the Lord will preserve you. was in about two weeks after our commitment, “Dear parents, as it is thus ordered, that I
at Carlisle, we were called and examined by am called to suffer, for no other cause, than : one Philip Musgrove, of the said city, called worshipping God among his people, I desire i a justice, an old persecutor, who, under a great you to be content, and do not murmur or
pretence of love to us, said that if we would complain : but live in love, quietness, and all but conform, and come to the church, they unity with each other, that the blessing of the would show us all the favour they could ; and Lord may be upon you, and prosper what you when any one of us would have answered his go about; for they that truly fear the Lord, questions or proposals, he would say, we must shall want no good thing. Let your faith stand be silent, except we would conform, for we here, dear hearts, and be patient, and content might not preach there, but would tauntingly in your minds, and not too much concerned say, “When you are banished beyond the for me and my welfare; for I am persuaded, seas, then you may preach there.” One of us feeling the evidence of Truth in my heart, replied, “We were not afraid to be banished that I suffer not for evil-doing, but for obeying beyond the seas; for we did believe, and had the requirings of the Lord : yea, for worshipgood cause so to do, that the Lord our God, ping and serving him in spirit and in truth; whom we worship and serve, and who by his so that it is, and shall be well with me, as I
keep faithful unto the end. Be not at all de- moreland, Lancashire, and some part of York. jected, or cast down in mind concerning me: shire, several times before the Lord sent me but rather rejoice with me, that the Lord hath forth into other countries; so when I was not only counted us worthy to believe in his clear of those counties, I returned home to my name, but also to suffer for the same.
parents, and lived with them about a year more. " From the house of our friend, Mungo Bewly, Upon the 26th day of the sixth month, 1664,
one of the prisoners, (being five) where the I took a Friend, by name Ann Littledale, to
scorn called Quakers, in a Friend's house in
Pardshaw town, before many witnesses, as
do; which as a blessing and mercy I received
from his hand, wherefore I am bound in duty My second letter to my parents ; with a few
to give him the praise, and to return him the words to Friends.
honour and glory, who lives for ever. “Dear Father and Mother,
About four years after I was married, the “ My dear and tender love, as a dutiful and Lord called me forth to travel in the work of obedient child, I do most dearly and tenderly the ministry, and I was made willing to leave remember to you; and if I should not write all, in answer to his requirings, to go into the one word more to you, as to that, I do not south and west of England. Yea, I was made question but that you believe and are sensible willing to leave my dear wife and sweet child, that my love is large and dear to you both, though near and dear unto me, and went forth for your good in all respects; and this I in the power and Spirit of the Lord Jesus. can say of a truth, that all I desire of you Our friend John Wilkinson and I travelled is, that you would be patient and truly con- together in the Lord's work and service (this tent; that you may come to say in truth, the was Cumberland John Wilkinson). We took will of the Lord be done, both concerning you our journey in the second month, 1668, and
So, dear hearts, keep the faith, and travelled into Yorkshire, and visited many hold fast the word of his patience; and in meetings in divers places, where we had good that suffer, as one with me, though you be at service for the Lord and his truth. 4124u liberty and give up freely unto the Lord, for
15 what we have is his; and if he bless, who can curse? Blessed, praised, and magnified
A letter to my wife, written upon my jourbe his holy name for evermore.
ney towards the west and south of England.
little one, in the nearness of that pure spirit
6. J. B. thy confidence in him in all things, who is * From the prison-house in Carlisle, the
able to do whatsoever he pleaseth and seemeth 18th of the Fifth month, 1663."
good in his sight; for he can make all things
work together for good, to them who truly love Some time after, I had drawings in my spi- and fear him, and are concerned for the prosrit to visit the neighbouring counties, as West-I perity of his blessed truth; though we must
expect to meet with various exercises in the made our service acceptable to Friends and way to come to be made partakers thereof. other people; and we travelled through Som
“Remember my love and due respect to my ersetshire, from whence I wrote the following parents, and let them know that I am well letter to
wife. every way; and to Friends without respect of 6 Dear Wife, persons, as they inquire of me.
“ In that love which still endureth, and in“ The desire of many people hereaway, is creaseth in my heart to thee, do I feel thee; after the Lord ; and they flock to our meet. and the further I am separated from thee, the ings, like doves to the windows, when they nearer thou art unto me, even in that which hear of any that have the way of truth to de- length of time or distance of place shall never clare. We have had a meeting every day be able to wear out, or bring to decay. Feel this week, and shall have one to-morrow, if the reach of my love in thy heart, and be thou the Lord will.
broken and tendered in the sense thereof, even " Thy dear and loving husband, according to of the heart-breaking love of God: in which my measure of the truth received.
my heart abounds in love to thee; with breath. “ JOHN BANKS.
ings to God, that we may be kept living to " Written near Bradford, in Yorkshire, the 14th of the Third month, 1668.”
him, through all our various exercises, that so
we may daily learn with the blessed and wise From Yorkshire we travelled into Notting that patience may have its perfect work in us;
apostle, in all conditions to be content; and hamshire, Leicestershire, and Warwickshire, for patience gains experience, and experience where we had many blessed meetings, and where I wrote the following letter to my wife. hope, that never makes ashamed, but anchors
the soul both sure and stedfast unto God. “ Dear Wife,
“My dear, give me freely up to the will and “Unto whom I am truly united; in the pure disposing of Him, into whose hand I am freely love and unity of the Spirit of Truth, wherein given up, both soul and body. Keep near the the Lord hath made us truly one, do I dearly Lord at all times, and pray for me in spirit, salute thee, and let thee know that I am well that I may be preserved faithful to the Lord, in all respects; blessed and praised be the to finish a good testimony for him; and that I Lord our God for evermore.
may not return to thee until his time, that so “In my heart I reach forth a hand unto we may enjoy each other in the Lord, and be thee; give me thine, and let us go along to made partakers of his blessings upon us and gether, in the work and service of the Lord; ours, and all we take in hand, without which, that so we may be a strength and encourage. it will not prosper; for it is in vain to strive ment to each other, to go on in faithfulness, against the Lord, before whom all nations are and finish a faithful testimony for the Lord, but as the drop of a bucket : if he bless, none in what he requires of us, in doing or suffer- can curse : blessed and praised be his holy ing, and giving up whatever we have or enjoy name for evermore. Amen. in this world.
“By this, thou and the rest of my family “My dear heart, give all up freely, as to and friends, may understand, that I am pretty the Lord our God, to be ordered and disposed well in health at present, through the goodness of by him, who is wise and wondersul in coun- of the Lord, though I have been under weak. sel, and to be admired of all them who truly ness of body, at times, since I wrote my last love and fear him, and wait for his glorious from Warwick; but the Lord by his power appearance of light and life. Take no thought strengthens me many times, far beyond what nor care for me, but in the Lord, who hath a can be expected, considering my own weak. care and tender regard unto us, and all his ness. I have faith to believe, and that upon people, as our hearts are kept near to him. good ground, that whatsoever the Lord is We came this day to see our dear friend Wil. pleased to exercise me in, or call me to, he liam Dewsbury, and intend to travel through will give me strength to perform and go the county, in visiting of the seed of God, through, and nothing shall be able to hinder towards Bristol, and then as the Lord may it
. I am truly content, whatsoever the Lord order us.
may suffer to come upon me, because hitherto “So with the remembrance of my duty to my he hath kept and preserved me, to his praise
parents, and my love to Friends, as though and glory, and to my sweet peace and comnamed, I remain thy dear and loving husband, fort; endless praises to Him who lives for
" J. B. " Warwick, the 4th of the
ever! Fourth month, 1668."
" Remember my dear and tender love, as
also my duty and tender regard, to my parents, From Warwickshire we travelled into Glou- for they are very near and dear to me; with cestershire, and so to Bristol, where the Lord my love also to Friends, neighbours, and rela.
tions, as if named. My companion and fellow- to whose care and fatherly protection I comlabourer in the Gospel desires to have his love mit and commend thee, and dearly salute thee, remembered to thee.
with love to thy companion, J. W., and bid “ And so I bid thee farewell. The Lord thee farewell; and am thy dear and loving keep and preserve thee, with all his people, wife,
ANN Banks. faithful in this trying day, which possibly “ Whinsell-Hall, in Cumberland, the may have the effect to try the faith of many.
19th of the Fifth month, 1668."
“ J. B. “ Puddimoore-Milton, in Somersetshire, the 28th of the Fourth month, 1668."
From hence we travelled westward, through part of Devonshire, and into Dorsetshire,
Hampshire, Wiltshire, and so up to London. “ The truth of our God prospers and gain. The Lord was with us; and Friends were eth a good report in these parts, and many greatly refreshed and comforted with us, and other places where we have travelled ; and we with them. many are coming in to partake thereof. For
Great openness and tenderness there was people in many places are weary of the hire- in those days among Friends, and many other ling priests, and dead formal worship of the people where we came, and the witness of world, and their assemblies grow thin. The God was soon reached. We had very large Lord, by the all-sufficiency of his power, hath and full meetings in most places where we made our service effectual unto many, both travelled, and many were convinced and are Friends and other people, and very full and yet alive, standing witnesses for God. peaceable meetings we have had in several London, I wrote to my wife as follows: counties and shires ; wherefore we cannot
“ Dear Wife, but return the praise, honour, and glory unto Him, whose the work and power are; and count
“ Thine I have received, whereby I undernothing too hard for us, so that we may bear stand the great weakness thou hast been in, a faithful testimony for Him, to the good of which hath been a near trial and great exer souls; that he over all may be glorified; and cise to me, But when I consider the large that we may feel true peace with Him in the love of God to thee, in preserving thee in faith end for our reward.
to believe in him, and patience and true con.
tentedness to give up unto him, under thy My wise's letter to me.
great weakness, it hath eased my burden and
lessened my exercise. “ Dear Husband,
“Wait daily to feel the Lord to be thy “ After long expectation to hear from thee, strength, in the time of thy greatest weakness; I have, before the writing hereof, received two rely wholly upon him, trust in him, believe in letters, whereby I was much satisfied and re- him, and he will never fail thee. He can be freshed; but in thy last from Somersetshire, more to thee than a husband, and to thy child I observe, that thou hast been under weakness than her father. Mayest thou know thy por, of body for some time. At the first hearing tion increased in Him, and thy inheritance to of which I was sad in my spirit; but con- be enlarged, that thou mayest dwell in the sidering the greatness and sufficiency of the borders of his sanctuary, in the sight of his Lord's love and power, in whom is our glorious Son for evermore; and mayest feel strength, I rest satisfied, hoping that all things thy faith to increase, and thy patience and will work for good in the end. Dear husband, contentedness to remain in him, by the suffiI have been and am brought very low in body, ciency of whose power, safety and preservaby a strong fever, but am well in mind, bless. tion is known. As we abide in Him, whether ed be the Lord therefor. It was one month we live or die we are the Lord's, and it shall last fifth-day, since the sickness took me, and be well with us for evermore, world without in about two weeks time I received some end: and no matter what we suffer or undergo strength, but became worse again, and am in this life, if that be attained unto. very weak. I greatly desire this may come “ Remember
dear and tender love, and safe to thy hand, that thou mayest understand also my duty, to my parents; for still I find how it is with me; and that, in the wisdom of myself bound to be tender over them, and to God, thou mayest consider what may tend do what in me lies for them, under the conmost for the glory of God in this matter. Isideration of what they have done for me. can truly say, in a sense of the Lord's love with the salutation of my true love to thyself, and truth, according to my measure, whether in the remembrance of our little one, and my ever I see thy face again or no, I desire no- love to Friends, and relations and neighbours, thing more than that the will of the Lord may I remain thy loving husband, be done in all things, whether in life or death;
“ J. B."