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The following Journal of her exercises and travels, may be interesting to those who are engaged in like manner as she appears to have been, duly to discharge every religious obligation, and through obedience, to obtain an evidence of divine approbation and acceptance.
In perusing these memorandums, in peace and prosperity at home, the thoughtful reader can hardly fail to observe the persevering dedication of a delicate female, in the discharge of her apprehended duty, even when “wars and rumours of wars" were spreading in the land. And though an interval of a number of years is passed over in silence, before she was liberated to perform a religious visit to England, &c. yet her lively zeal and interest in the welfare of society, appear to be unabated. This divine energy and travail for the prosperity of Truth, appear to have influenced her, when the infirmities of nature were such as might seem inadequate to the labours of her exercised mind. While we mentally view her, in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, assiduously engaged to raise the standard of Truth among the members of our society, it may be profitable for us to consider how far we are deficient in living up to that standard, at home. It may also be well to inquire whether we are individually improving, and industriously occupying, those talents committed to us, not only for our own profit, but also for the help of others, and the promotion of truth and righteousness in the earth, in our day.
Account of her visit to New Jersey, Long Island,
and New England. Having drawings in my mind to visit Friends eastward, in company with my husband, Nathan Yarnall, I set forward on the 1st of the 5th month, 1776, and rode twenty-five miles to Philadelphia. Crossed the river, and went to Chesterfield monthly meeting, and thence to Nathan Wright's. Here Rebecca Wright joined me as a companion, and we were at Haddonfield meeting on first-day, morning and afternoon. Next day rode to Woodbury, and had a meeting there. Dined at Mark Miller's, where I parted with my kind, affectionate husband, he returning home. It was a season of close exercise to us both; but, as we believed it to be in the wisdom of Providence, we were enabled to give up each other, and took leave in endeared affection. The two following days, we had meetings at upper Greenwich and Pilesgrove, and dined at Daniel Bassett’s.
At the latter place we heard that some English ships of war were come up the river to, or near Wilmington, and that they and the provincials had an engagement. We heard the cannons roar, for some time before we left Daniel's house, and for several miles on the way. I think we heard them several hours; which occasioned many serious reflections to pass through my mind. The thoughts of war so near us seemed very awful, and I remembered my poor family at home.
That evening we came to Josiah Miller's, where we heard that the engagement had not destroyed many lives on either side. Yet, when I considered my family, nine miles from the place on one side, and myself but ten, on the other side, it did not look likely I should see any of them that season, is erer; and it affected my mind with heaviness. It was also a time of great mortality, in these parts. We were informed that five persons were buried in one day, at a burying-ground belonging to the Baptists; and one lay sick in the house where we were, The thoughts of taking the disorder, so near home, and no likelihood of seeing my dear husband, came close under my consideration, and I felt much sympathy with my family left at home: yet I had renewedly to believe, it was not in my own will that I was separated from them; which was a stay to my mind. So, recommending them, with myself, to Divine protection, I rested pretty quiet in my spirit.
Next day we rode five miles to meeting, and on the way, saw many men gathering under arms. Also in the afternoon, saw a company marching, with their flag up, and drums beating before them. Yet my mind was preserved still and quiet;-a favour which demands the return of gratitude.
From Salem, the 9th of 5th month, wrote to my dear husband as follows:-I feel a sympathy with thee and my poor family, now when trials seem to be so near, and thou art left in care to struggle without me. We see, in the few days since we parted, that there is a great alteration. Such is the roaring of the cannon, as has not heretofore been heard withip our peaceful land, and which, no doubt, thy ears have heard as well as mine, we being about an equal distance from the scene of action, though on opposite sides. The commotion here is very great. On our way to meeting to-day, we saw numbers of men gathered under arms; and this afternoon a company marched by us.
Thus the storm which has been long threatening, seems to be rising higher, and drawing nearer. Yet be not discouraged nor disquieted; for there is a resting-place that can never be entered by storm nor tempest, nor disquieted by the overturnings that shake the earth. May thy confidence and mine be placed therein. I hope that Power which has hitherto been our support, will not leave us, yea, I have faith to believe he will never leave nor forsake us, if we are careful to walk before him with a perfect heart.
Now, though we are outwardly separated, so that we cannot enjoy the company of each other, yet I hope we shall remember one another, in that near affection and sympathy in which we have lived together: and in that love felt when we parted, may we often offer up supplications for each other's preservation. I have renewedly to believe it is not in my own will, but from a persuasion of duty to my God, that I have left thee, my dear, and all my near connexions. My mind has been preserved in a good degree of calmness and resignation, although it is a very mortal time in these parts, in addition to the trying circumstances and commotions already mentioned; but my health is rather better than when thou left me.
Perhaps thou may meet with trials,-it is the case with Friends here, by reason of the soldiers sending for provisions; but I hope thou wilt be favoured with best wisdom to direct. Stand fast in the liberty which Truth gives, and bear thy testimony faithfully; and then, if sufferings come, no doubt strength
will be given thee: and Oh! how willingly could I bear a part with thee, either in loss of estate, or in sufferings of body, if this should fall to thy lot!
I conclude with my kind love to thee and the family, thy affectionate wife.
We then had meetings at Upper and Lower Alloways Creek, and called to see James Daniel. Thence to Greenwich meeting, morning and afternoon. At this place, the people were in great consternation, mustering together under arms, in great numbers, although it was the first day of the week. They gathered so near the meeting-house, that it was a very unpleasant sight. Next day, accompanied by Richard Wood, we rode twenty-five miles to Isaac Townsend's, by the sea side; and the day following had a meeting at Cape May. Thence we travelled to Great Egg-harbour, and had meetings at the lower, and upper house. Truth, in those parts, is at a very low ebb; yet I have a secret hope it is rather reviving in some minds. Dined at Japhet Leeds’, and crossed Little Egg-harbour river, being four miles over. We then travelled on to Barnegat, Squan, Squankum and Shrewsbury; at all which places we had meetings. Through most of them, my lot was to sit in great poverty of spirit, and much weakness. Indeed, such is the state of meetings, that the Seed lieth very low, and I have often said in my heart, “By whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small," and greatly despised by many; and even those that are looked upon as standard-bearers, are ready to faint.
Next day we rode about thirty miles to Jacob Shotwell's, where we met with our friends, David Ferris and John Parry, whom we were glad to see.