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At Little Egg-Harbour lived a Friend whose name was Edward Andrews, who, as he himself told me, had been a leader of the people into vanity and folly, as musick, dancing, &c. But the good hand of the Lord being upon him, wrought a wonderful reformation in him, and made him an instrument to lead people into truth and righteousness, and gave him an excellent gift in the ministry of the gospel of Christ; so that he was made instrumental in the gathering of a large and growing meeting, most of the people thereabouts being convinced, and a great reformation and change wrought in their conversations. This Friend told me, that when he was very rude and wild, he was mightily reached unto at the meeting we had under the trees at Croswicks*, so that he could not go on with his vanity as before, after which he had strong convictions on him, which wrought conversion in the Lord's time, after he had gone through many deep and inward exercises.
After these several journies were over, and I had cleared myself, I was some time at home, and followed my business with diligence and industry, and throve in things of the world, the Lord adding a blessing to my labours. Some people would tell me that I got money for preaching, and grew rich by it; which, being a common calumny cast upon our public Friends that are travellers, I shall take a little notice of it, and leave it to posterity. That it is against our prin
* See page 28.
ciple, and contrary to our known practice and rule, to take money for our preaching the gospel of Christ, and the publishing of salvation through his name unto the people; for according to Christ's command, we, receiving it freely, are to give it forth freely: and I can say without vanity or boasting, I have spent many pounds in that service, besides my time, which was, and is, as precious to me, as to other people: and rising early, and lying down late; many days riding 40, 50, and 60 miles a day, which was very laborious and hard for my flesh to endure, being corpulent and heavy from the 27th year of my age ; and I can truly say, that I never received any money or consideration on account of these services, either directly or indirectly; and yet if any of our ministers are necessitous or poor, we relieve them freely, not because they are preachers, but because they are needy. And when we have done those things, we have done but our duty : and well will it be for those that have discharged themselves faithfully therein: such will, besides the earnest of peace in their own souls in this world, have a blessed reward in the glorious kingdom of the Lord and his Christ in that world which is to come. It is well known that I have spent much of my time, since I have been free from my apprenticeship, in travelling and preaching the gospel, being out often many months, and sometimes a whole
year, and more; and at intervals I have been apt to think the time long, till I got to my business and
family; and so have divers times made more haste than I should have done, which has brought trouble on my mind, and is a trouble to me unto this day; which may be a caution to those who travel in the work of the ministry hereafter, not to make too much haste from the work of Christ; and yet there ought to be discretion used; for a minister may stay too long, as well as return too soon, which may be perceived as we keep the eye of our mind to our Divine Guide.
After visiting Friends in the West India Islands,
he embarks for Europe on the same servicelands in Ireland-proceeds through that nation into Scotland, and thence to England-passes over into the Low Countries-His travels there and in some parts of Germany-Return to England, and, in the following year, to Philadelphia - Decease of his first Wife.
AFTER I had staid at and about home for some considerable time, a weighty concern came upon me to visit Friends in the West-Indies, and some parts of Europe, as it might please the Almighty to open my way; and as it was to be a long travel, both by sea and land, and hazardous, by reason it was war time, and many privateers out at sea, I settled my affairs by will, and otherwise, that if I should not live to come home again, things relating to my outward affairs might be done honourably and well; for at this time, as at many others, I can truly say, I gave up my life freely for my holy Master's sake, and in his cause, who said, “Go, teach all nations," &c.
On the 29th of the sixth month, 1707, I had a
certificate from the monthly meeting of Friends at Philadelphia, signifying their unity with my undertaking, and desires for my welfare; and a tender concern was on my mind that I might live according to what my brethren had certified concerning me. I likewise laid my exercise before the general-meeting of ministers and elders held for the provinces of Pennsylvania and New-Jersey, on the 22d of the seventh month, who also signified their fellowship with my intended travels and journey, and recommended me to the grace of God; and in much love and tenderness I parted with my dear and loving wife, and my near and affectionate friends and brethren,
I had for my companion and fellow labourer in the work of the gospel, my dear friend Richard Gove, who also had the approbation and unity of Friends in this journey and undertaking.
We went on board a sloop at Philadelphia, bound for Barbadoes, John Knight master, about the 27th of the eighth month, in the aforesaid year.
After a few days sailing down the river Delaware, we put to sea, and in about a month's time we came within sight of Barbadoes, where we met with a privateer, which chased, and had like to have taken us; but the good Providence of God preserved us out of the hands of those enemies, for ever blessed be his great name! In this chase the seamen were uneasy, and belched out wicked oaths, and cursed the Quakers, wishing all their vessels might be taken by the enemy, because they