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of that that had run out. And in these meetings (which lasted whole days) several that had run out with John Parrot and others came in again, and condemned that spirit that led them to keep on their hats when friends prayed, and when they themselves prayed; and some of them said that friends were more righteous than they, and that if friends had not stood, they had been gone, and had fallen into perdition. And thus the Lord's power was wonderfully manifested and came over all.
Then was I moved of the Lord to recommend the setting up of five monthly meetings of men and women in the city of London (besides the women's meetings and the quarterly meetings) to take care of God's glory, and to admonish and exhort such as walked disorderly or carelessly, and not according to truth : for whereas friends had had only quarterly meetings; now truth was spread, and friends were grown more numerous, I was moved to recommend the setting up of monthly meetings throughout the nation. And the Lord opened to me and let me see what I must do, and how the men's and women's monthly and quarterly meetings should be ordered and established in this nation, and in other nations; and that I should write to them where I came not, to do the same. So after things were well settled at London, and the Lord's truth, and power, and seed, and life reigned and shined over all in the city, then I passed forth into the countries again, and went down into Essex; and after the monthly-meetings were settled in that county, I went from thence into Suffolk and Norfolk, Thomas Dry being with me. And when we had visited friends in their meetings in those parts, and the monthly, meetings were settled there, we passed from thence and went into Huntingdonshire, where we had very large and blessed meetings; and though we met with some opposition there, yet the Lord's power came over all, and the monthly-meetings were established there also. When we came into Bedfordshire we had great opposition ; but the Lord's power came over it all. Afterwards we went into Nottinghamshire, where we had many precious meetings, and the monthly-meetings were settled there. Then passing into Lincolnshire we had a meeting of some men friends of all the meetings in the county, at his house who bad been formerly sheriff of Lincoln, and all was quiet. After this meeting we passed over Trent into Nottinghamshire again, (he that had been the sheriff of Lincoln being with me) where we had some of all the meetings in that county together, and our meeting was glorious and peaceable; and many precious meetings we had in that county.
At that time William Smith was very weak and sick, and the constables and others had seized upon all his goods, to the very bed he lay upon, for truth's sake. These officers threatened to come and break up our meeting, but the Lord's power chained them, so that they had not power to meddle with us, blessed be bis name. After the meeting was over, I went to visit William Smith, and there were the constables and others watching his corn and his beasts, that none of them might be removed.
From thence we passed into Leicestershire and so into Warwickshire, where many blessed meetings we had ; and the order of the gospel was set up, and the men's monthly meetings established in all those counties. Then we went into Derbyshire, where we had several large and blessed meetings; and in many places we were threatened by the officers, but through the power of the Lord we escaped their hands. So leaving things well settled in Derbyshire, we travelled over the Peak hills, (which were very cold, for it was then frost and snow,) and so came into Staffordshire; and at Thomas Hammersley's we had a general men’s-meeting, where things were well settled in the gospel-order, and the monthly meetings were established there also. But I was so exceeding weak, I was hardly able to get on or off my horse's back; but my spirit being earnestly engaged in the work the Lord had concerned me in, and sent me forth about, 1 travelled on therein, notwithstanding the weakness of my body, having confidence in the Lord that he would carry me through, as he did by his power. So we came into Cheshire, where we had several blessed meetings and a general men's-meeting, wherein all the monthly meetings for that county were settled according to the gospel-order, in and by the power of God; and after meeting was done I passed away. But when the justices heard of it they were very much troubled, that they had not come and broken it up and taken me, but the Lord prevented them. So after I had cleared myself there in the Lord's service, I passed into Lancashire, to William Barnes's, near Warrington, where met some of most of the meetings in that county, and there all the monthly meetings were established in the gospel-order also. From thence I sent papers into Westmoreland by Leonard Fell and Robert Widders, and also into Bishoprick, Cleaveland and Northumberland, and into Cumberland and Scotland, to exhort friends to settle the monthly meetings in the Lord's power in those places, which they did : and so the Lord's power came over all, and the heirs of it came to inherit it. 'For the authority of our meetings
is the power of God, the gospel, which brings life and immortality to light, that they may see over the devil that hath darkened them, and that all the heirs of the gospel might walk according to the gospel, and glorify God with their bodies, souls and spirits, which are the Lord's; for the order of the glorious gospel is not of man, nor by man. To this meeting in Lancashire Margaret Fell, being a prisoner, got liberty to come, and went with me to Jane Milner's in Cheshire, where we parted. And I passed out of Cheshire into Shropshire, and from thence into Wales, and had a large general men's-nieeting at Charles Floid's, whore some opposers came in, but the Lord's power brought them down.
Having gone through Denbighshire and Montgomeryshire we passed into Merionethshire, where we had several blessed meetings, and then went to the sea side, where also we had a precious meeting:
And having passed through several countries, and friends there being established upon Christ their foundation, we left Wales, the monthly meetings being settled there in the power of God, and returned into Shropshire, where the friends of the country gathering together, the monthly meetings were established there also. Then coming into Worcestershire, after we had had many meetings up and down amongst friends in that country, we had a general men’s-meeting at Henry Gibb's House at Pashur, where also the monthly meetings were settled in the gospel-order.
The sessions were held that day in that town, and some friends were pretty much concerned, lest they should send some officers to break up our meeting; but the Lord's power restrained them, so that our meeting was quiet, through which power we had dominion. After the meeting I passed away, and had several meetings amongst friends in that country till I came to Worcester, and it being the fairtime, we had a precious meeting there. There was then in Worcester one major Wild, a persecuting man, and after I was gone out of town, some of his soldiers inquired after me; but I having left friends there settled in good order, was passed away to Droitwich.
From thence we passed to Shrewsbury, where also we had a very precious meeting. But the mayor hearing that I was in town, got the rest of the officers together to consult what to do against me; for they said, the great Quaker of England was come to town. But when they were come together the Lord confounded their counsels, so that, when some were for imprisoning me, others of
them opposed it, and so being divided amongst themselves I escaped their hands.
We went also into Radnorshire, where we had many precious meetings, and the monthly meetings were settled in the Lord's power. As we came forth of that country, staying a little at a market town, a justice's clerk and some other rude fellows combined together to do us a mischief upon the road. Accordingly they followed us out of town and soon overtook.us; but there being many market-people on the way, they were somewhat hindered from doing what they intended. Yet observing, that two of our company rid at some distance behind, they set upon them two, and one of them drew his sword, and cut one of those two friends, whose name was Richard Moor, the Surgeon of Shrewsbury. Meanwhile another of these rude fellows came galloping after me and the other friend that was with me, and we being to pass over a bridge, that was somewhat of the narrowest for him to pass by us, he in his eagerness to get before us rid into the brook, and plunged his horse into a deep hole in the water. I saw the design and stopped, and desired friends to be patient, and give them no occasion; and in this time came Richard Moor
with the other friend that was with him, wbo knew the men and their names. Then we rid on the oad again, and a little further we met another man on foot who was drunk, and bad a naked sword in his hand. · And not far beyond him in a bottom, we met two men and two women, one of which men had his thumb cut off by this drunken man that had the naked sword; for he being in drink would have ravished one of the women, and this man withstanding him, and rescuing the young woman from him, he whipped out his sword and cut off the man's thumb). Now though this drunken man was then on foot, having alighted to do his wickedness, yet he had a horse, that being loose followed him a pretty way behind. Wherefore I rid after the horse, and having caught him, I brought him to the man that had his thumb cut off; and bid him take the horse to the next justice of peace, and by that means they might find out, and pursue the man that had wounded him.
Upon this occasion I wrote a letter to the justices, and to the judge of the assize which was then at hand; and I employed some friends to carry it to the justices first. The justice to whom the clerk belonged, rebuked his clerk and the others also, for disturbing and abusing us upon the high way; so that those men were glad to come and make intreaty to friends not to appear against them at
the assize ; which upon their submission and acknowledgment of their fault, friends granted, And this thing was of good service in the country, for it stopped many rude people, that before had been forward to abuse friends.
We passed into Herefordshire, where we had several blessed meetings; and we had a general men's-meeting also, where all the monthly meetings were settled. There was about this time a proclamation against meetings; and as we came through Herefordshire, we were told of a great meeting there was of the presbyterians, who had engaged themselves to stand and give up all, rather than forsake their meetings. But when they heard of this proclamation, the people came but the priest was gone, and then they were at a loss. Then they met in Leominster privately, and provided bread and cheese, and drink in readiness, that if the officers should come, they would put up their bibles and fall to eating. The bailiff found them out, and came in among them, and said their bread and cheese should not cover them, but he would have their speakers. They cried, what then would become of their wives and children ? But he took their speakers and kept them a while : this the bailiff told our friend Peter Young, and said they were the veriest hypocrites that ever made a profession of religion.
The like contrivance they had in other places: for there was one Pocock at London, that married Abigail Darcy, who was called a lady, and she being convinced of truth, I went to his house to see her. This Pocock had been one of the triers of the priests; and being an high presbyterian, and envious against us, he used to call our friends housecreepers. Now I going to visit his wife, and he being present, she said to me, I have something to speak to thee against my husband. Nay, said I, thou must not speak against thy husband. Yes, said she, but I must in this case : the last first-day, said she, he and his priests and people (the preshyterians) met, and they had candles and tobacco-pipes, and bread and cheese, and cold meat on the table, and they agreed before-hand, that if the officers should come in upon them, then they would leave their preaching and praying and would fall to their cold meat. Oh, said I to him, is not this a shame to you, who persecuted and imprisoned us and spoiled our goods, because we would not follow you and be of your religion, and called us house-creepers, and now ye do not stand to your own religion yourselves. Did ye ever find our meetings stuffed with bread and cheese and tobacco-pipes ? Or did ye ever read in the scriptures of any such practice among