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his honest life and conversation, and lively zeal for the holy truth, whereof he made profession.
“ Dear brother, though it be a sorrowful occasion of writing, yet herein we may be comforted, in consideration that our father went to his grave in peace in a good old age: he had his understanding and memory to the last in a wonderful manner. I believe, as I have sometimes said, that he embraced death as joyfully as ever he did any happy accident of his life. I remember one passage of his cheerful resignation : finding him fine and cheery when I came to see him, a week before his decease, and he shewing me how well he could walk about the room, and would have went (gone] out of it, though he was' very bad the day before, so that I said, Father, I hope thou wilt get over this illness;' but he answered me pretty quick and loud, "No, but I do not though. It is not long since he was at my house, and was cheerful and well, but spoke as if he thought it would be the last time. My wife said, Father, thou mayest live some years ;' but he replied, “Is it not better for me to die, and go to Christ?' So, dear brother, with dear love to thee, my sister, and thy dear children, and our relations, I conclude with earnest desires for thy health and welfare,
My Brother's Account of my Father's Convince
ment, and of his last Sickness and dying words.
« My father was born of religious parents at Kempton, near Hitchin, in Hertfordshire, the 1st of the Ninth month, 1642; his father's name was Thomas Chalkley, by trade a dealer in meal, by profession of the church of England, and zealous in his way, as was also his wife.
" They had four sons and three daughters, Thomas, John, George, and Robert; Elizabeth, Sarah, and Mary. My father, being the third son, was convinced very young, at a meeting by Enfield-Chace-Side, near Winchmore. Hill, through the powerful ministry of William Brend, who was an eminent minister in the Lord's hand in that day, and had been a great sufferer for his testimony in New England. He was preaching, as I heard
father several times say, upon the words of the preacher, Eccles. xi. 9. Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth, and let thy heart.cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thy heart, and in the sight of thine eyes; but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.' Upon which subject he spoke so home to my father's state and condition, that he was convinced, and two others of his companions were reached and affected with the testimony of Christ's truth and gospel; my father and two young men had been walking in the fields, having religious conversation together, and were provi
dentially directed to the meeting, by observing some Friends going to it, whom they followed thither. One of his companions was Samuel Hodges, who lived and died a faithful Friend, at whose house in succeeding times a meeting was settled, and is there continued, and a meetinghouse built at this day at Mims in Hertfordshire.
My father was the first of the family who received the testimony of truth as it is in Jesus, after which his father and mother were convinced, and all his brothers and sisters, who lived and died honest Friends, except one who died young, continuing in the church of England persuasion. Soon after the convincement of my father and his two companions aforesaid, they met with a trial of their faith and patience ; for being taken at a religious meeting of Friends, they were all three committed to the New Prison in Whitechapel, where having continued prisoners for some time, the magistrates observing their Christian courage, boldness and innocency, and being touched with tenderness towards them, considering their youth, they discharged them.
“ My father, about the 25th year of his age, married my mother, a virtuous young woman, who was the widow of Nathaniel Harding, a Friend, who died under the sentence of banishment for his profession of Christ; the above account I had from my father's own mouth; what follows fell within my own observation.
“ My dear father met with great exercises and
disappointments in his early days; he, dealing in his father's business, sold meal to some who broke in his debt, which brought him low in the world,
in which low estate he was an eminent example of · patience, resignation and industry, labouring with his hands for the support of his family, and conscientiously answered all his engagements ; so that it may be justly said of him, he was careful that he might owe nothing to any man but love; and further, he was very constant in keeping to meetings, being a good example therein, though in very hot times of persecution ; for when Friends were sorely and severely persecuted on account of keeping their religious meetings, and the prisons filled with them through the nation, and their goods taken away, and much spoil and havock made about the years 1680 to 1684, my father constantly attended meetings, and never missed, as I remember, when well; and though he was sometimes concerned to speak by way of exhortation to Friends in their public meetings, when they were kept out of their meeting-houses, by the then powers, to stand faithful to the truth, and testifying of the solid comfort and satisfaction those had who truly waited on the Lord, which the faithful enjoyed, notwithstanding their deep and many sufferings for Christ's sake, and his gospel, it pleased the Lord to preserve him by his Divine Providence, that he did not suffer imprisonment, though the wicked informers were very busy in that time of severe persecution. I may
further add, that when my father was about 60 years
of age, he had a concern to visit Friends' meetings in the north of England, and some other parts of the nation; and in the 75th year of his age, he travelled to Chester, and from thence, in company with James Bates, a public Friend of Virginia, went over for Ireland; in all which services he had good satisfaction, and was well received of Friends; divers other journeys and travels he performed not here noted; but this journey into another nation at 75 years of age, shews his age had not quenched his love and zeal for his Lord's work and service.
6 In our father's old age he was attended with very great exercises. About the 77th year of his age, as he was assisting his men in the dusk of the evening, he missed his footing, and fell down and broke his ley; and soon after his leg was well, he met with another accident by a fall, which disabled him, and made him lame to his death, never recovering the hurt he had by that fall, which was after this manner: he was sitting in a chair by his door on a plank, which not being set fast, it fell, and he, to save himself from the stroke of the plank, fell with his hip on the stones, and got hurt exceedingly; notwithstanding he was remarkable for his activity : he would walk, though so aged, and also lame, as far as the Work-house, Devonshire-house, and Bull and Mouth meetings, two or three miles from home. The last bad accident that befel him, was about three weeks be