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be too great a scandal and reproach to expose his name and station in the world. Some thought I did well in forgiving him, and some thought I did ill in it; but I spoke my mind to him alone freely, in which I had satisfaction and peace.
Intending my vessel for London, I made my chief mate, Ralph Loftus, master of her, not knowing whether I might proceed the voyage, it being a very sickly time; afterwards my mate had the distemper also, but I bless God we both recovered a good state of health. It was this
friends in Barbadoes published a little piece I wrote at sea, which I called, “ Free Thoughts communicated to Free Thinkers,” done in order to promote thinking on the name and works of God; which had, as far as I understood, a good acceptance among the people; the principal clergyman on the island thanked me for it, and said there was need enough for it: but I could be glad another, or a better hand, had done something of that nature, and more large. If this may be of any service, I
I shall be thankful.
I had also a meeting at John Lewis's, in Joseph's parish, at which were divers not of our profession, and some who were never at any of our religious meetings before; who said they were glad they were there that day; it being a satisfactory open meeting.
After I had visited my friends, and settled my affairs as well as I could, and loaded our vessel
with sugars, for London, being willing, once more, to see my native land, and to settle my affairs there, and see my relations and friends, on the 6th of the Third month we set sail from Barbadoes to London, and had pleasant weather. The 16th, being the First-day of the week, we had a religious meeting for the worship of God, in which I was concerned to speak on the government of the tongue, having on board several hands, who did not sail with us before that voyage, that were much used to swearing. After that meeting, we had not so many bad words and oaths as before. I was thankful in my soul to the Lord, and bless ed his holy name, for his goodness to us that day; and, in the night, my sleep was very sweet and comfortable, being sensible of the love of God in the visions of the night; so that I witnessed the fulfilling of the prophecy of Joel, chap. ii. 28.
The 23d, being the First-day of the week, we had a meeting, in which the grace of God, that comes by Jesus Christ, was magnified, and a blessing begged for all who love and serve God, throughout the world, by sea' and land; also a tender petition was put up to Almighty God, that, as he was graciously pleased to look down on those eight persons in Noah's ark, so he would please to look upon us in our vessel; and that, as by his Divine Providence, they safely landed on the earth, so we, if it were his will, might safely land at our desired port; yet not that our wills, but his will might be done : which supplication
was put up with great submission. Both day and night I often sought the Lord, and was much alone in this voyage. I read the Old and New Testament almost through, and much of it divers times over; my time being mostly taken up in reading, writing, and meditating, in which at times, my heart would be broken into tenderness; and I was humbly thankful to God, that my heart was not hard, he having promised to visit the contrite ones; the which he sometimes fulflled, to my unspeakable satisfaction: glory to his holy name for ever. My heart was also thankful, that God was pleased to visit me in my watery travels and troubles, and in my separation from my family and friends, which are much nearer, and more valuable to me, than all riches, and a great cross to my natural inclination to part with.
The 8th of the Fourth month, being the Firstday of the week, we had a meeting, in which acquaintance with God was exhorted to, shewing the benefit of it, and of loving him above all things, and delighting in his law, and meditating therein day and night. The 19th, in the morning, a strong northerly wind came up, and blew so hard, that we could not carry sail, but lay to the wind under our mizen, which was split or torn with the violence of the wind, and the sea rose high, so that it came into the windows of our great cabin : it was very rugged for the time, and, though it was midsummer, it was so cold, that we were obliged to clothe ourselves, as in winter.
The 22d, being First-day, we had a comfortable meeting after the storm, wherein the great benefit of true religion was a little opened to our small company, and the Lord, most High, was praised for our deliverance and preservation. The 26th we sounded, and found about seventy fathom depth of water. The 29th, we were a-breast of the Isle of Wight. From the time we left the island of Barbadoes, to the time we found ground, was seven weeks. Thus, through many perils and dangers, we came to Great Britain ; for all which mercies and providences, let my soul bless and praise the holy name and mighty power of the Most High.
It was now a time of very great pressing for seamen, and several men of war's boats came on board to press our sailors; but they had prepared a place in the vessel to hide themselves, and the men of war's people could not find them : one lieutenant, with his men, came on board, and seeing us weakly handed, the best of our hands being hid, he asked me if I had any more hands on board; I made him very little answer;
he then said he was sure I could not bring the ship from Barbadoes without hands: I told him sailors were hard to be got in Barbadoes, either for love or money, to go for London, for fear of being pressed, and I was obliged to take any I could get: he said it was in vain to talk much, but if I would say I had no more hands on board, he would be satisfied; he having a belief that I would speak the truth, though he never
saw me before; and he said if I would
there were no more men on board, he would go away, for then he had no more business there : but I made him no answer, not daring to tell a lie. 66 Now I know that there is men on board," said he; so he commanded his men to search the ship to her keel; so they stripped, and made a narrow search, and sweated and fretted, but could not find them. He being civil, I made him, when he went away, a small present; he wished me well; and so I carried my people safe up to London.
In the beginning of the Fifth month, I came to London, and lodged at the house of Simeon Warner, in Southwark, and at divers kind friends and relations in and about London; the tender and brotherly respect which I received from divers, in some of those families, in my sickness, will not, I believe, ever be forgotten while I am in thisworld, at times, by me; and, i hope, that He, whom I serve with my might and strength, will be their reward. When in the country about Loudon, my residence was mostly at Edmonton, at my dear brother George Chalkley's, who with my sister and cousins, were a comfort to me, both in health and sickness; for I was often in London sorely afflicted with the phthisic and asthma, which sometimes made me very uneasy; and, though my affairs required me to be often at the city, yet I was obliged to return into the country for air, and, both in health and sickness, was kindly and very affectionately received and tended by my dear