« AnteriorContinuar »
1735. served to me, that the more kind they were to their &sjiL/* Slaves, they had their Business the better done for ic » though I observed also, that I had been at some Places, where I had watched to hear some Expressions that might look like Charity; but in divers Houses, and some of Note, I could not hear any Christian-like-Extirbado.'s. preffions to their Slaves or Negroes, and that with Sorrow I had seen a great deal of Tyranny and Cruelty, the which I dissuaded them from: This Doctrine so exasperated some that were there, that they made a Disturbance in the Meeting; one of which Persons ". meeting me on the King's High-way, shot off his Fowling-piece at me, being loaded with small Shoe, ten of which made Marks on me, and several drew Blood; by which unfriendly Action, the Man got a great deal of Disgrace, it being highly resented by all who were acquainted with me; the President of the island looked on it as a very base, Action, as did also divers of the Justices and the Gentry, also the Vestry, and several Clergymen and Lawyers; one of the Lawyers told me, / should not be just to the Court~ try, myself, nor the Man, is I did not prosecute him; another, professing the Law, said, He ought to be abandon'd by all Mankind, if he shot at me with Design; many were for prosecuting him, for the People generally took Notice osit with Abhorrence; but he sending for me, and signifying, "he' would not do so again, I forgave him; and I pray it may not be laid to his Charge in the great Day, and that he may be forgiven, he being ignorant of the Love I had and have for him and all Men, even them whom I know to be mine Enemies. It would 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. S., - 'Intending
Intending my Vessel for London, I made my Chief- 1755, mate,.Ralph Loflus, Master of her, not knowing where v^v^ ther I.'might proceed the Voyage, it being a very Bar^tf; sickly Time; afterwards my Matebad the Distemper also', but I bless God we both recovered a good State of Health.r; •'- . .'..«'.'.' './ .;
It was this Voyage that my Friends in. Barbadoes published. a little Piece I wrote at Sea, which I called, Free Thoughts communicated to Free Thinkers; done in order pi, promote Thinking on the Name and Works of God; which had, as far as I understand, a good Acceptance among the People; the principal Clergyman on the Island, thanked me for it, and said There was 'needenofigb of it: But I could be glad another" or. a better Fund, had done something of that Nature? And more large. If this may be of any Service, I shall oe thankful. ..:;.'..../:
I had also a Meeting at John Lewis's, in Jofeph's Paristi, at which were divers not of our. Profession ^nd 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 Afi fairsas Well as I could, and loaded our Vessel witliSur gars, for. London, being willing, once more, to fee my jiative JLand, and to settle my Affairs there, and see my Relations and Friends; on the 6th of the Third Month, we set fail from Barbados for London, and had pleasant .Weather. The. .16th, being the First-day of At Sea, the Week,.we had a religious Meeting for the Worship of God,.y In which I was concerned to speak on the Gw vernment of the Tongue (having on board several Hands, which did not fail with us before that Voyage, that were much used to Swearing.) Aster, that Meet* ing, we had not so many bad Words and Oaths as before I was thankful in my Soul to the Lord,. and
1735. blessed his holy Name, for his Goodness to us that Day 5 v/V>J and, in the Night, my Sleep was very sweet and com**$■». Portable, being sensible of the Love of God in the Visions of the Night; so that Iwitness'd the Fulfilling of the Prophecy of Joel* Chap. ii. 28.
The 23d, being the First>day of the Week, we had % Meeting, in which the Grace of God, that comes by Jesus Christ, was magnified, and a Blessing begg'dfor all who love and serve God, throughout the WorW, 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 Noatrs 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 N ight 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; mf 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 fulfilled, 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 watVy 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 First-day 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 norther- 1735. \y Wind came up, and blew so hard, that we could not wv^/ carry Sail, but lay to the Wind, under our Mizea, which was split or torn with the Violence of the Wind, and the Sea rose high, so that it came into the Win, dows of our great Cabbin: It was very rugged for the Time, and, though it was Mid-summer, it was so cold, that we were obliged to cloath ourselves, as in Winter, The »2d, being First-day, we had a comfortable Meeting after the Storm, wherein the great Benefit of true Religion was a little opeo'd to our small Company, and the Lord, most High, was praised for our Deliverance and Preservation. The 26th, we sounded, and found about 70 Fathom Depth of Water. The 29th, we were abreast of the Jfie of Wight. From the Time we left the Island of Eng,i!h Barbadocs, to the Time we found Ground, was seven CbuucL 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 Wars Boats. came on board to press our Sailors > but they had prepared a Place in the Vessel to hide themselves, and the Men of Wars 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 mora 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 press'd, and I was oblig'd to take any I could get: He said, it was in vain to talk much, but if I would far, 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 say,
1735. there were no more Men on board, he would go away; ta'v"W for then he had no more Business there: But I made him no Answer, not daring to tell a Lie: 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 carry'd 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 this World, at times, by me i and, I hope, that He, whom I serve with my Might and Strength, will be their Reward. When in the Country about London, 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 Pbtbyfick 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 Brother, Sister, and all my loving Cousins; the Memory thereof is cordial to me in penning these Lines: It may be truly said, We were very joyful in meeting one another, and our Sorrow in parting not easy to be expressed.
In London I sold my Vessel the Barladoes Packet, and settled all my Affairs to general Satisfaction, so far as I know, on which Account I had laboured for several Years, and was joyful that Providence had