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general, superior to our expectations. But it ex. tends no further than to á care over their poor, and one another's moral conduct. They have no other tenets, nor any testimonies recorded, by which they may be distinguished ; and our little band were not without a guard, with respeet to proposing or urging any thing to them which they have not, at present, a capacity rightly to adopt and support.
At Congenies and in its neighbourhood, we spent two weeks ; visited all their families; attended their monthly meeting ; had a meeting for conference with the elder rank; a youth's meeting, and a very satisfactory public meeting with the inhabitants ; also, divers solemn opportunities unforeseen -all which brought us into near sympathy with them, and often deeply humbled and baptized our spirits on their account, as well as our own. Our parting was a very affecting one, but under a comfortable sense, that the Shepherd of Israel has them under his gracious care.
From Congenies we went to Giles's, about twentyöné miles, where there are between twenty and thirty who profess with us as they do at Congenies; but they do not appear so much awakened in their minds, nor so earnest to be visited. They received us, however, with great kindness, and were pleased with the visit, which perhaps may be profitable to some beyond what we can now see.
After having three meetings at Giles's, we came to Nismes, and thence by way of Roane, Fontainbleau, Paris, and Versailles, to Alençon, where we arrived the 2d of the 7th month, after having travelled near six hundred miles. At Alençon we were affectionately received by John de Marcillac; and courteously by his wife, who, through the whole of our visit there, which was three days, appeared to enjoy the company of their visiters. Thence we returned to London.
Truly, there is a hidden, precious seed, scattered up and down, not only in these parts, but in Holland and Germany, who are measurably gathered, both from the superstitious, and the vain world, and are seeking a foundation whereon they may rest the soles of their feet.”
Richard Jordan's account of his Journey to visit
Friends at Congenies, and some other places on the Continent.
On the 2d of 10th month, 1801, they left Paris, and travelled upwards of three hundred miles to Lyons, where they staid only one day. They then took boat down the Rhone, a very rapid river;--but the weather became so stormy that it appeared dangerous; and next day they resumed their journey by land. “On first-day, the 11th," he says, “through considerable fatigue and difficulty we reached Congenies, where we were kindly received by Lewis Majolier and his wife, with whom we put up. Third-day had an appointed meeting at this place, with those under our name ; and although we found them in a very weak state, and not much appearance of the Friend about them, yet it proved, through the renewal of holy help, one of the most watering seasons I ever experienced in a meeting. We found it necessary to use great deliberation in
Our communications, in order to be at all understood, so general a weeping prevailed at hearing the sound of the gospel in plain simple Truths delivered among
them.” In giving a narrative of this visit to Congenies, after his return, Richard Jordan related to a friend, that his hope of enjoying a comfortable season with this remote handful of Friends, had borné up his mind through the toils, trials, and very great diffculties he had to encounter in his long and perilous journey to see them. But on his arrival there he became exceedingly depressed and discouraged, on finding very little of the appearance of Friends among them, and he was ready to conclude his concern and toil were all lost, or that he had been mistaken in his feelings respecting them. The meeting, however, was appointed, as above stated, and in this deeply distressed and discouraged state of mind, he was introduced into the room where they were collected. So deep was the distress and exercise of his mind, that he said he passed through them to the farther end of the room, where he took his seat, without looking at them. His head almost involuntarily dropped between his knees, and such was the conflict of his deeply tried mind, that he was unconscious of surrounding objects until he found himself on his feet addressing the assembly. And so great was the openness, and intense the interest of the people on the occasion, that he said (however uncouth the comparison,) he could compare them to nothing but a parcel of hungry dogs, that were ready to catch with eagerness, and devour every thing thrown to them. It was a watering season indeed! Richard's mental captivity under
discouragements, was turned as the streams of the south ;" and, contrasting the situation of many Friends in their large meetings, full-fed even with a living gospel ministry—to this remote, poor, hungry, destitute little company in the south of France --the proverb is applicable which says, “ The full soul loatheth the honey-comb; but, to the hungry soul, every bitter thing is sweet."
“Next day," says Richard in his Journal, “ we went to Nismes, about ten miles distant, and visited one or two under our name there. The day following we went to a place called St. Giles, about fifteen miles from Nismes, close on the Mediterranean sea, and said to be noted formerly for containing many Protestants, who suffered much, especially in the reign of Louis XIV. for their religious principles, which occasioned a great dispersion of the inhabitants from that place, and it has never recovered, being now only a small town, but the remains of a large city. There are, however, at this time, a number who make some profession of our principles; with thein we had a meeting, of which they seemed glad, though it was not so open as the aforementioned one at Congenies. We only staid one day, and then returned to Congenies. On first-day morning attended meeting again at this place, which was considerably larger than the first, and was also a time of favour.
“ After this meeting, feeling my mind much exercised for the right advancement of Friends here, I proposed a meeting, to be held at some suitable time, which was acceded to and held in the afternoon. My mind was opened and enlarged in laying their weak and disordered state before them, and the consequences of having no rule or order of discipline, to unite them in supporting and holding up the testimonies of Friends. Many seemed fully sensible of it, and confessed, in much brokenness, that their deviations had been such, that they had been only usurpers of the name of Friends. This was truly an affecting opportunity; and, after much time had been spent, in which many, with weeping, lamented their situation, it was proposed to hold a meeting next day, to try if they could get into some order; which was agreed to ; and, in the evening, several articles were drawn up, in order to lay before them.
“On second-day, a meeting for business was accordingly held, when the afore-mentioned articles were laid before them. They consisted of sundry heads of testimonies, from the book of extracts of London Yearly Meeting, accommodated as much as might be to their local and weak situation, and it was proposed, that all such among them as were willing and desirous of supporting these rules and testimonies, should subscribe to them, and become united in the work. This proved also a time of general weeping and brokenness, and I could not forbear weeping with them. I think about thirty of them stood up, and declared their willingness and desire to support and maintain these rules of discipline as proposed, and subscribed thereto. Others confessed, with tears, that they felt too weak to engage at present, and desired to know whether a door would be left open for them hereafter, in case they should be better able to come in at a future day. After a considerable time thus spent, and they had appointed some of their number as over