Page images

and went along with me to a town; and he raised the town upon me, with the constable and chief constable, before the sun was up. So I declared God's everlasting truth amongst them, warning them of the day of the Lord, that was coming upon all sin and wickedness, and exhorted them to repent. But they seized on me, and had me back again to Patrington, about three miles, guarding me with watch-bills, and pikes, and staves and halberds. Now when I was come back to Patrington, all the town was in 'an uproar, and the priest and people were consulting together; so I had another opportunity to declare the word of life amongst them, and warn them to repent. At last a professor, a tender man, called me into his house, and there I took a little milk and bread, having not eaten for some days before. Then they guarded me about nine miles to a justice; and when I was come near his house, there came a man riding after us, and asked me whether i was the man that was apprehended ; and I asked him wherefore he asked ; and he said, for no hurt; and I told him I was; so he rode away to the justice before us. The men that guarded me said, it was well if the justice was not drunk before we got to him, for he used to be drunk early. Now when I was brought in before him, because I did not put off my hat, and said thou to him, he asked the man that rode thither before me, whether I was not mazed or fond; but the man told him, no, it was my principle. Then I warned him to repent, and come to the light, which Christ had enlightened him withal, that by it he might see all his evil words and actions that he had spoken and acted, (his ungodly ways he had walked in, and his ungodly words he had spoken,) and to return to Christ Jesus whilst he had time, and that whilst he had time he should prize it. Ay, ay,' said he, the light, that is spoken of in the third of John. I desired him that he would mind it, and obey it. And as I admonished him, I aid my hand upon him, and he was brought down by the power of the Lord; and all the watchmen stood amazed. Then he took me into a little parlour with the other man, and desired to see what I had in my pockets, of letters or intelligence; and I plucked out my linen, and shewed him that I had no letters ; so he said, he is not a vagrant by his linen, and then he set me at liberty. Then I went back to Patrington again, with that man that had ridden before me to the justice, for he lived at Patrington. When I came there, he would have had me have had a meeting at the cross ; but I said it was no matter, his house would serve. Then he desired me to go to bed, or lie down upon

a bed; which he did, that they might say they had seen me in a bed, or upon a bed; for they had got up a report that I would not lie on any bed, because at that time I lay many times without doors. Now when the first-day of the week was come, I went to the steeple-house, and declared the truth to the priest and people; and the people did not molest me, for the power of God was come over them. Then presently after I had a great meeting at that man's house where I lay, and many that day were convinced there of the Lord's everlasting truth, who stand faithful witnesses for it to this day. And they were exceeding sorry and grieved that they did not receive me, nor give me lodging when I was there before.

From hence I travelled through the country, even to the furthest part thereof, warning people, both in towns and in country villages, to repent, and directing them to Christ Jesus their teacher.

On the first-day of the week I came to one colonel Overton's house, and had a great meeting of the prime of the people of that country ; where many things were opened out of the scriptures, which they had never heard before in all their lives; and many were convinced, and received the word of life, and were settled in the truth of God.

Then I returned to Patrington again, and visited those friends that were convinced there; by whom I understood that a taylor, and some wild blades in that town, had occasioned my being carried before the justice. The taylor came to ask me forgiveness, fearing I would complain of him ; the constables also were afraid, lest I should trouble them; but I forgave them all, and warned them to turn to the Lord and to amend their lives. Now that which made them the more afraid was this: when I was in the steeple-house at Oram not long before, there came a professor, and gave me a push on the breast in the steeplehouse, and bid me get me out of the church; Alas, poor man,' said I, dost thou call the steeple-house the church? The church is the people, whom God hath purchased with his blood, and not the house.' It happened that justice Hotham came to hear of this man's abuse done to me, and sent his warrant for him, and bound bim over to the sessions ; so affected was he with the truth, and so zealous to keep the peace. And indeed this justice Hotham had asked me before, whether any people had meddled with me, or abused me; but I was not to tell him any thing of that kind, but was to forgive all.

From Patrington I went to several great men's houses, warning them to repent. Some received me lovingly, and

some slighted me. Thus. I passed on through the country; and at night came to another town, where I desired lodging and meat, and I would pay for it; but they would not lodge me, except I would go to the constable, which was the custom (they said) of all lodgers at inns, if strangers. I told them I should not go ; for that custom was for suspicious persons, but I was an innocent man. So after I had warned them to repent, and declared unto them the day of their visitation, and directed them to the light of Christ and Spirit of God, that they might come to know salvation, I passed away; and the people were something tendered, and troubled afterwards. "But when it grew dark, I spied an hay-stack, and went and sat under it all night, till morning

The next day I passed into Hull, admonishing and warning people, as I went, to turn to Christ Jesus, that they might receive salvation. That night I got a lodging, but was very sore, with travelling on foot so far.

Afterward, passing through the country, I came to Balby, and visited friends up and down in those parts; and then passed into the edge of Nottinghamshire, visiting friends there; and so passed into Lincolnshire, and visited friends there. And on the first day of the week I went to • a steeple-house on this side of Trent; and in the afternoon I went to another steeple-house on the other side of Trent, declaring the word of life to the people, and directing them to their teacher, Christ Jesus, who died for them, that they might hear him, and receive salvation by him. Then I went further into the country, and had several meetings there-aways. And at one meeting where I was, there came a great man and a priest, and many professors; but the Lord's power came over them all, and they went their ways peaceably. And there came a man to that meeting, who had been at a meeting before, and he raised a false accusation against me, and made a noise up and down the country, reporting that I said I was Christ, which was utterly false. And when I came to Gainsborough, where a friend had been declaring truth in the market, the town and market-people was all in an uproar; so I went into a friendly man's house, and the people rushed in after me; so that the house was filled with professors, and disputers, and rude people. And this false accuser came in before them all, and accused me openly before all the people, that I said I was Christ, and he had got witnesses to prove the same; which set the people into such a rage, that they had much ado to keep their hands off

Then was I moved of the Lord God to stand up upon

the table, in the eternal power of God, and tell the people that Christ was in them, except they were reprobates; and that it was Christ, the eternal power of God, that spake in me at that time unto them; not that I was Christ. And the people were generally satisfied, except himself and a professor, and his own false witnesses. And I called the accuser Judas, and was moved to tell him that he was Judas, and Judas's end should be his; and that that was the word of the Lord and of Christ, through me to him. So the Lord's power came over all, and quieted the minds of the people, and they departed in peace. But this Judas went away, and shortly after hanged himself, and a stake was driven into his grave. And afterwards the wicked priests raised a scandal upon us, and reported that a Quaker had hanged himself in Lincolnshire, and had a stake driven through him. This falsehood they printed to the nation, adding sin to sin, which the truth and we were clear of; for he was no more a Quaker than the priest that printed it, but was one of their own people. But notwithstanding this wicked slander, by which the adversary designed to defame us, and turn people's minds against the truth we held forth, many in Lincolnshire received the gospel, being convinced of the Lord's everlasting truth, and sat down therein under the Lord's heavenly teaching

After this I passed in the Lord's power into Yorkshire, and came to Warnsworth, and went to the steeple-house in the forenoon, but they shut the door against me; yet after a while they let in Thomas Aldam, and then shut it again, and the priest fell upon him, asking him questions. At last they opened the door, and I went in; and as soon as I was come in the priest's sight, he left preaching, though I said nothing to him, for he was in a great maze, and asked me, what have you to say? and presently cried out, come, come, I will prove them false prophets in Matthew ; but hé was so confounded, he could not find the chapter. Then he fell on me, asking me many questions, and I stood still all this while, not saying any thing amongst them. At last I said, seeing here are so many questions asked, I may answer them. But as soon as I began to speak, the people violently rushed upon me, and thrust me out of the steeplehouse again, and locked the door on me.

And as soon as they had done their service and were come forth, the people ran upon me, and knocked me sorely with their staves, ihrew clods and stones at me, and abused me much; the priest also, being in a great rage, laid violent hands on me himself. But I warned them and him of the terrible

day of the Lord, and exhorted them to repent, and turn to Christ. And being filled with the Lord's refreshing power, I was not sensible of much hurt I had received by their blows. In the afternoon I went to another steeple-house, but the priest had done before I got thither, so I preached repentance to the people that were left, and directed them to their in ward teacher Jesus Christ.

From bence I went to Balby, and so to Doncaster, where I had formerly preached repentance on the market-day, which had made a noise and alarm in the country. On the first-day I went to the steeple-house, and after the priest had done, I spake to him and the people what the Lord God had commanded me. And they were in a great rage, and hurried me out, and threw nie down, and haled me before the magistrates, and a long examination they made of me, and much work I had with them; and they threatened my life if ever I came there again, and that they would leave me to the mercy of the people. Nevertheless I declared truth amongst them, and directed them to the light of Christ in them, testifying unto them that God was come to teach his people himself, whether they would hear or whether they would forbear. After awhile they put us out (for some friends were with ine) aniong the rude multitude, and they stoned us down the streets, and there was an inn-keeper, that was a bailiff, came and took us into his house, and they broke his head, that the blood ran down his face, with the stones that they threw at us; so we stayed a while in his house, and shewed the more sober people the priest's fruits. Then we went away to Balby, about a mile off, and the rude people laid wait for us, and stoned us down the lane; but blessed be the Lord, we did not receive much hurt.

The next first-day I went to Tickhill, whither the friends of that side gathered together, and there was a meeting; and a mighty brokenness by the power of God there was amongst the people. I went out of the meeting, being moved of God to go to the steeple-house; and when I came there, I found the priest and most of the chief of the parish together in the chancel. So I went up to them, and began to speak; but they immediately fell upon me; and the clerk up with his bible, as I was speaking, and struck me on the face with it, so that my face gushed out with blood, and I bled exceedingly in the steeple-house. Then the people cried, let us have bim out of the church ; and when they bad got me out, they beat me exceedingly, and threw me down, and threw me over an hedge ; and afterwards dragged me through an house into the street,

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »