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visit a Friend who was a blacksmith, and had shod my horse. He was willing and desirous to do it free of cost; of which when I was informed, it turned in my mind to say, How much kinder are some men to their friends, than to themselves? Not feeling easy to accept it, and on thinking about the man, it came into my mind that he loved strong drink too well, and that I must go to him, and give him the money; which I did, and took an opportunity to tell him what had opened on my mind concerning him, beginning with these words: It may seem strange to thee, that thy proposing to do me a kindness, should be the first inducement to my paying thee a visit. And so went on, as things opened in my mind;-warning him to refrain from his evil way. It was a remarkable time,-divers Friends being present; and I believe most were broken into tears, as also a young woman, not of our society. He appeared to take the visit kind. My companion likewise had something to communicate.
After staying first-day meeting at the same place, we returned to Elijah Jenkins', and had a meeting at Kittera. But I was so unwell, that I lay at a friend's house near by, till about the time for meeting to conclude. I then felt a strong draft to go to it, and suddenly had strength given me, so that I thought I felt as well as ever. But in returning from the meeting, I was again very unwell, yet rode five miles in a carriage, crossed a ferry, and - lodged at Hope Seaman's. After which, getting better, we took one meeting in our way, and went to Lee, where we had a meeting. In several of these last opportunities, my exercise was as great as I thought could be borne; being under a pressing concern to sound forth judgments to the people. This was a very great trial; being very backward about proclaiming any thing of this nature; therefore sat under the weight of it till meeting was almost over, before I cleared myself.
Next day had a meeting at Joshua Fulsom's house; where there appeared some of those people called Ranters; and one of them stood up, after I had spo. ken, and said that which I had spoken was the truth; and she went on to speak fawningly, by commending what I had delivered, and saying she was in unity with me. But upon hearing some of her first words, I was struck with a sense that she was in a ranting spirit, and felt a necessity to bid her sit down. Yet she went on a little longer; and one of her party (I was told) muttered privately about it in the meeting. I had not heard before, that there were any of those people in the parts, nor had I ever before seen any but one. She stayed after meeting to discourse with'me about it, and said, the Lord was no respecter of persons; and that they whom he sent to preach, must preach. I told her the Lord had not sent her, but that she ran of herself, and was out of the Truth, and in a ranting spirit. She said she spoke the truth; and it was what I had said. I told her she was like the false prophets, who, though they said, the Lord liveth, yet swore falsely. She over and again, asked how I knew these things. I told her, I was sensible, because I felt it to be so. Also, at the close of the meeting, I stood up and told Friends and the people, that that woman which had spoken was out of the Truth, and in a wrong spirit;--that I had no infor
mation, nor knew such a person was on earth; but was constrained to leave it as my testimony.
When I had cleared myself, I and other Friends withdrew into another room, to get rid of her noise; seeing she was all mouth, and had no ears to hear. I understood afterwards that she had come to disturb Friends' meetings before, when strangers were there, and Friends had several times spoken to her about it.
From thence we went, next day, about forty miles, to Hails-town, a newly settled place, and were at meeting there on first-day. Then travelled on to Salem, and attended monthly meeting there; so continued our journey to Freetown, where, in the meeting, I was concerned to put them in mind of an awakening day, which was coming, in which judgment would be poured forth, and chastisement for rebelling against God. It was a very full and crowded meeting, and divers very grand looking people. I fully expected opposition from some of them, but did not meet it. On the contrary, one very fine man among them would fain have us dine with him. He was one who had had his substance taken from him, for being a tory, (so called,) and many others appeared friendly. We dined with one who was not a member. He was very kind, and would not have any thing for our entertainment, though he had kept a public house. He had been educated in the Presbyterian way; but for some time he declined going to their worship, and said he would never go any more, in the mind he then was. He told us their ministers preached up war, and said God would be angry with them, if they would not fight for liberty. But he said he was convinced that all wars and fightings were wrong, and contrary to Christianity.
Next day we had a meeting at Long Plain in the morning, and another at Rochester, in the afternoon; in both of which I was silent. We then went on to Bedford and lodged. Next morning, set off for Nantucket, but turned back for want of wind, and went to a preparative meeting at Aponegansett, where we had a good deal of service. Next day, we tried again for Nantucket, but the wind was ahead; so turned back and stayed till the following day, when we reached there about one o'clock at night. The day after, we attended a burial, and were at their morning and afternoon meetings, on first-day; then entered on a visit to ministers, elders, and overseers, in which I had exercising labour. We stayed upwards of a week, visiting families, and were at their monthly meeting. Then returned to the main land, and so on to Tiverton, where we had a meeting, which broke up before I was fully clear. But I rose and spoke what was on my mind, and the people stood and would not go away. There were many soldiers at meeting, and one of them, after they went out, said, he wondered why they broke up meeting so soon, for, said he, “I know more about Quaker meetings than to think it time to break up; for we should have had another sermon first.” This I thought might be a lesson of instruction to Friends, to give strangers time to clear themselves.
We then attended a meeting at Taunton, the monthly meeting at Swanzey, and so on to Providence. Lodged at Moses Brown's- then had meetings at Cranston, Greenwich, and Scituate; also at the widow Elizabeth Aldrich's, Upper and Lower Smithfield, Uxbridge and Mendon-then returned to Moses Brown's at Providence.
[An account of the remainder of this journey is wanting; though it is likely they returned pretty directly home, having visited nearly all the meetings that were then in New England.]
Phebe Speakman's Voyage to England, and
Travels through England, Ireland, 8.c. On the 18th of the 5th month, 1796, I embarked for England in the ship Sussex, Philip Atkin, commander. Had the company of Deborah Darby and Rebecca Young, who had been on a religious visit to America, and were returning to their native land: also, Samuel Emlen and William Savery, of Philadelphia, and Sarah Talbot, of the same monthly meeting as myself. Our being passengers together was to our mutual satisfaction, and we were favoured to maintain great harmony, during the voyage.
We landed at Liverpool, on the 18th of the 6th month; had a good passage, though at two different times it appeared awful, by reason of high sea and hard winds, when things in the cabin were thrown in almost every direction, but it did not last long. Most of us were sea-sick; but our captain was kind, and we had every necessary accommodation; so that under a sense of humble gratitude to the Father of all our sure mercies, we could acknowledge how kindly he had dealt with us.
We were taken to the house of Robert Benson; he and his wife were exceeding kind to us, and we attended several meetings in Liverpool. On third