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hear patiently and quietly. He seemed to like the proposition, and sat down by me. We had not sat down long before I stood up, and spoke to the people some considerable time; and the lawyer sat opposite to me, and took what I said in short hand, for about half an hour ; but growing weary, he laid down his pen, and took out of his pocket a bottle of liquor, or spirits, and said, “ Come friend, here is to thee, or you, you have spoke a great while, you need something to refresh you.” So I made a stop, and said to the people, “ Here is your minister, and here are some of the fruits of his ministry, of which he and all sober people may be ashamed." And then I went on again without any opposition till I had done ; but afterwards they were in a rage, and threatened what they would do to me, if ever I came to have a meeting any more there. But I told them, if they had power to take our lives from us, they were not dear to us for the sake of Christ and his gospel; and that we did not matter their threatenings. I desired the lawyer to give me a copy of what he had written : he went about it, but did not do it; neither was he candid in penning my words; for several of the people then present did bear witness he had not writ it verbatim, nor truly taken the sense of what I spoke, wherefore I charged him to be just, otherwise he had many witnesses against him ; at which the priest bent his fist, and held it up to me, but did not strike me, and away he went in a
fret. Soon after we had another meeting at the same place, which was large and quiet. The man of the house being an attorney at law, had got his house licensed, and though the priest and lawyer threatened hard, they came not.
Aquila Pica, high sheriff for the county, living at the head of Bush river, near the main road, built a meeting house at his own charge, and had it licensed, at which we had many good meetings. About this time also was built a meeting-house at a place called Nottingham, which is a large meeting, and greatly increases.
When I was travelling in those parts, I had a concern on my mind to visit the Indians living near Susquehannah, at Conestogoe; I laid it before the elders of Nottingham meeting, with which they expressed their unity, and pronoted my visiting them. We got an interpreter, and thirteen or fourteen of us travelled through the woods about fifty miles, carrying our provisions with us, and on the journey sat down by a river, and spread our food on the grass, and refreshed ourselves and horses, and then went on cheerfully, and with good will, and much love to the poor Indians; and when we came, they received us kindly, treating us civilly in their way. treated about having a meeting with them in a religious way, upon which they called a council, in which they were very grave, and spoke one after another without any heat or jarring ; and soine of the most esteemed of their women do
sometimes speak in their councils. I asked our interpreter, Why they suffered or permitted the women to speak in their councils; his answer was, That some women were wiser than some men. Our interpreter told me, That they had not done any thing for many years without the counsel of -an ancient grave woman; who, I observed spoke much in their council; for I was permitted to be present at it; and I asked, What it was the woman said;
he told me she was an empress; and they gave much heed to what she said amongst them, and that she then said to them, She looked upon our coming to be more than natural, be. cause we did not come to buy, or sell, or get gain, but came in love and respect to them, and desired their well doing both here and hereafter ; and further continued, That our meetings among them might be very beneficial to their young people, and related a dream which she had three days before, and interpreted it, viz. That she was in London, and that London was the finest place she ever saw, it was like Philadelphia, but much bigger; and she went across six streets, and in the seventh she saw William Penn preaching to the people, which was a great multitude, and both she and William Penn rejoiced to see one another; and after meeting she went to him, and he told her, That in a little time he would come over and preach to them also, of which she was very glad. And now she said her dream was fulfilled, for one of his friends was come to preach
to them. And she advised them to hear us, and entertain us kindly; and accordingly they did. Here were two nations of them, the Senecas and Shawanese, We had first a meeting with the Senecas, with which they were much affected; and they called the other nation, viz. the Shawanese, and interpreted to them what we had spoke in their meeting, and the poor Indians, particularly some of the young men and women, were under a solid exercise and concern. We had also a meeting with the other nation, and they were all very kind to us, and desired more such opportunities; the which, I hope Divine Providence will order then, if they are worthy thereof. The gospel of Jesus Christ was preached freely to them, and faith in Christ, who was put to death in Jerusalem, by the unbelieving Jews; and that this same Jesus came to save people from their sins, and by his grace and light in the soul, shews to man his sins, and convinceth him thereof, delivering him out of them, and gives inward peace and comfort to the soul for well-doing, and sorrow and trouble for evil-doing; to all which, as their manner is, they gave publick assents; and to that of the light in the soul, they gave a double assent, and seemed much affected with the doctrine of truth; also the benefit of the holy Scriptures was largely opened to them.*
It is worthy of notice, that at the first settling of Pennsylvania, William Penn took great care to do justice to the Indians, and bought his land of them to their satisfaction, and settled a trade
After this we returned to our respective habitations, thankful in our hearts to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Several of the Friends that went with me expressed their satisfaction in this visit, and offered themselves freely to go again on the like service.
I also was concerned soon after to visit the people about Egg-Harbour and Cape-May, and had divers meetings amongst them, and several meetings were settled in those parts, and the people somewhat reformed from what they had been before they were visited by Friends, as themselves told me, after a meeting we had with them, that they used to spend the Sabbath-days in sporting and vanity, until Friends came among them, and now they met together to worship God, and his Son Jesus Christ. At our coming amongst them, some backsliders and apostates were displeased. One, in a very bitter spirit, called us cursed and cruel devils. Another wrote against us.
To him I sent an answer, for which he scandalized me in one of his almanacs, and publicly belied me in print; which lies I swept away with a “Small Broom," printed in this year 1706, to which I never understood that he returned any answer, nor that he wrote against Friends afterwards, though he had made it his practice before for se
with them ; so that whereas the Indians were destructive to other colonies, they were helpful to Pennsylvania; and to this day they love to hear the name of WILLIAM PENN.