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who finding they had missed their prey, were much enraged; and the officers were offended with the soldiers, because they had not seized my horse in the stable the first time they came. But the Lord, by his good providence, delivered me, and prevented their mischievous design. For the officers were envious men, and had an evil mind against Friends; but the Lord brought his judgments upon them, so that it was taken notice of by their neighbours. For, whereas before they were wealthy men, after this their estates wasted away; and John Line, the constable, who was not only very forward in putting on the soldiers to take Friends, but also carried those that were taken to prison, and took a false oath against them at the assize, upon which they were fined and continued prisoners, was a sad spectacle to behold. For his flesh rotting away while he lived, he died in a very miserable condition, wishing he had never meddled with the Quakers, and confessing he never prospered since he had a hand in persecuting them; and that he thought the hand of the Lord was against him for it.'
At Frye's, in Wiltshire, we had a very blessed meeting, and quiet, though the officers purposed to have broken it up, and were on their way in order thereunto. But before they were got to the meeting, word was brought them, “there was a house newly broken up by thieves, and they were required to go back again with speed to search after and pursue them;' by which means our meeting escaped disturbance, and we were preserved out of their hands.
We passed through Wiltshire into Dorsetshire, having large and good meetings. The Lord's everlasting power was with us, and carried us over all; in which we sounded forth his saving truth and word of life, which many gladly received. Thus we visited Friends till we came to Topsham, in Devonshire, travelling some weeks eight or nine score miles a week, and had meetings every day. At Topsham we met with Margaret Fell and two of her daughters, Sarah and Mary, and with Leonard Fell and Thomas Salthouse. From thence we passed to Totness, where we visited some Friends, and then to Kingsbridge, and to Henry Pollexfen's, who had been an ancient justice of peace. There we had a large meeting. This old justice accompanied us to Plymouth, and into Cornwall, to justice Porter's, and from thence to Thomas Mount's, where we had a large meeting. After which we went to Humphrey Lower's where also we had a large meeting; and from thence to Loveday Hambley's, where we had a general meeting for the whole country: and all was quiet.
A little before this, Joseph Hellen, and G. Bewley had been at Loo, to visit one Blanch Pope, a ranting woman, under pretence to convince and convert her; but before they left her, she had so darkened them with her principles, that they seemed to be like her disciples, especially Joseph Hellen. For she had asked them, “who made the devil? did not God?’ This idle question so puzzled them, they could not answer her. They afterwards asked me the question. I told them, no; for all that God made was good and was blest, so was not the devil. He was called a serpent before he was called a devil and an adversary, and then he had the title of devil given to him. And afterwards he was called a dragon, because he was a destroyer. The devil abode not in the truth: by departing from the truth he became a devil. So the Jews, when they went out of the truth, were said to be of the devil, and were called serpents. There is no promise of God to the devil, that ever he shall return into truth again; but to man and woman, who have been deceived by him, the promise of God is, that ‘the seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head;' shall break his power and strength to pieces. When these things were opened more at large to the satisfaction of Friends, those two, who had let up the spirit of that ranting woman, were judged by the truth; and one of them, viz. Joseph Hellen, ran quite out from the truth, and was denied by Friends; but George Bewley was recovered, and afterwards became serviceable to truth. We passed from Loveday Hambley's to Francis Hodges', near Falmouth and Penryn, where we had a large meeting. From thence we went to Helstone that night, where some Friends came to visit us, and next day passed to Thomas Teage's, where we had a large meeting, at which many were convinced. I was led to “open the state of the church in the primitive times, the state of the church in the wilderness, the state of the false church that was got up since ; and to show, that now the everlasting gospel was preached again over the head of the whore, beast, false prophets, and antichrists, which had rose up since the apostles' days; and now the everlasting gospel was received and receiving, which brought life and immortality to light, that they might see over the devil who had darkened them.” The people received the gospel and the word of life gladly, and a glorious blessed meeting we had for the exalting the Lord's everlasting truth and his name. After it was done I walked out, and coming in again, I heard a noise in the court. Approaching nearer, I found the man of the house speaking to the tinners and others, and telling them, it was the “everlasting truth that had been declared there that day;' and the people generally confessed to it. From thence we passed to the Land’s-end to John Ellis', where we had a precious meeting. Here was a fisherman, one Nicholas Jose, that was convinced. He spoke in meetings, and declared the truth amongst the people; and the Lord's power was over all. I was glad the Lord raised up his standard in those dark parts of the nation, where since there is a fine meeting of honest-hearted Friends; and many there are Vol. II. 3
come to sit under Christ's teaching, and a great people the Lord will have in that country. From thence we returned to Redruth, and the next day to Truro, where we had a meeting. Next morning, some of the chief of the town desired to speak with me, amongst whom was colonel Rouse. I went, and had a great deal of discourse with them concerning the things of God. In their reasoning they said, “the gospel was the four books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John ; and they called it natural. But I told them, the gospel was the power of God, which was preached before Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John were written; and it was preached to every creature, (of which a great part might never see nor hear of those four books,) so that every creature was to obey the power of God: for Christ the spiritual man, would judge the world according to the gospel, that is, according to his invisible power. When they heard this, they could not gainsay: for the truth came over them. So I directed them to their teacher, the grace of God, and showed them the sufficiency of it, which would teach them how to live, and what to deny ; and being obeyed would bring them salvation. So to that grace I recommended them, and left them. Then we returned through the country, visiting Friends, and had meetings at Humphrey Lower's again, and at Thomas Mount's. Afterwards at George Hawkins' at Stoke we had a large meeting, to which Friends came from Lanceston and several other places. A living, precious meeting it was, in which the Lord's presence and power were richly manifested amongst us, and I left Friends there under the Lord Jesus Christ's teaching. “In Cornwall I was informed there was one colonel Robinson, a very wicked man, who after the king came in was made a justice of peace, and became a cruel persecutor of Friends; of whom he sent many to prison. Hearing they had some little liberty, through the favour of the gaoler, to go home sometimes to visit their wives and children, he made great complaint thereof to the judge at the assize against the gaoler; whereupon the gaoler was fined a hundred marks, and Friends were kept very strictly up for awhile. After he was come home from the assize, he sent to a neighbouring justice to desire him to go a fanatichunting with him. So on the day that he intended and was prepared to go a fanatic-hunting, he sent his man about with his horses, and walked himself on foot from his dwelling-house to a tenement where his cows and dairy were kept, and where his servants were then milking. When he came there, he asked for his bull. The servant-maids said, they had shut him into the field because he was unruly and hindered their milking. Then went he into the field to the bull; and having formerly accustomed himself to play with him, he began to fence at him with his staff as he used to do. But the bull snuffed at him, and passed a little back; then turning upon him again, ran fiercely at him, and struck his horn into his thigh, and heaving him upon his horn, threw him over his back, and tore up his thigh to his belly. When he came to the ground again he gored him with his horns, run them into the ground in his rage and violence, and roared, and licked up his master's blood. The maidservant, hearing her master cry out, ran into the field, and took the bull by the horns to pull him off from her master. The bull, without hurting her, put her gently by with his horns, but still fell to goring of him, and licking up his blood. Then she ran, and got some men that were at work not far off, to come and rescue her master; but they could not at all beat off the bull, till they brought mastiff-dogs to set on him; and then he fled in great rage and fury. Upon notice of it his sister came and said to him, “Alack brother, what a heavy judgment is this that is befallen you!” He answered, “Ah! sister, it is an heavy judgment indeed. Pray let the bull be killed, and the flesh given to the poor,” said he. They carried him home; but he died soon after. The bull was grown so fierce, they were forced to shoot him with guns; for no man durst come near to kill him. Thus does the Lord sometimes make examples of his just judgment upon the persecutors of his people, that others may fear, and learn to beware.” After I had cleared myself of Cornwall, and Thomas Lower, who had rode with us from meeting to meeting, through that country, had brought us over Horse-bridge into Devonshire again, we took our leave of him, and Thomas Briggs, Robert Widders, and I came to Tiverton. It being their fair-time, and many Friends there, we had a meeting amongst them; and the magistrates gathered in the street, but the Lord's power stopped them. I saw them over against the door; but they had not power to come in to meddle with us, though they had will enough to have done it. After the meeting we passed to Collumpton and Wellington; for we had appointed a meeting five miles off, where we had a large one at a butcher's house, and a blessed meeting it was. The people were directed to their teacher, the grace of God, which would bring them salvation, and many were settled under its teaching. The Lord's presence was amongst us, and we were refreshed in him, in whom we laboured and travailed; and the meeting was quiet. There had been very great persecution in that country, and in that town a little before, insomuch that some Friends questioned the peaceableness of our meeting; but the Lord's power chained all, and his glory shined over all. Friends told us, how they had broken up their meetings by warrants from the justices, and how by their warrants they were required to carry Friends before the justices. The Friends bid them, carry them then. The officers told them, they must go; but they said, nay, that was not according to their warrants, which required them to carry them. Then they were forced to hire carts, wagons, and horses, and to list them into their wagons and carts to carry them before a justice. When they came to a justice's house, sometimes he happened to be from home, or if he was a moderate man he would get out of the way, and then they were obliged to carry them before another; so that they were many days carting and carrying Friends up and down from place to place. And when afterwards the officers came to lay their charges for this upon the town, the town's people would not pay it, but made them bear it themselves, which broke the neck of their persecution there for that time. The like was done in several other places, till the officers had shamed and tired themselves, and then were sain to give over. At one place they warned Friends to come to the steeple-house. Friends met to consider of it, and finding freedom to go, they met together there. Accordingly, when they came thither they sat down together to wait upon the Lord in his power and spirit, and minded the Lord Jesus Christ, their teacher and Saviour; but did not mind the priest. When the officers saw that, they came to them to put them out of the steeple-house again; but the Friends told them, it was not time for them to break up their meeting yet. Awhile after, when the priest had done his stuff, they came to the Friends again, and would have had them go home to dinner; but the Friends told them, they did not choose to go to dinner, they were feeding upon the bread of life. So there they sat, waiting upon the Lord, and enjoying his power and presence, till they found freedom in themselves to depart. Thus the priest's people were offended, because they could not get them to the steeple-house, and when they were there, they were offended, because they could not get them out again. From the meeting near Collumpton we went to Taunton, where we had a large meeting. The next day we came to a general meeting in Somersetshire, which was very large; and the Lord's everlasting word of life and truth was largely declared. The people were refreshed thereby, and settled upon Christ, their rock and soundation, and brought to sit under his teaching ; and the meeting was peaceable. About the second hour of the night came a company of men, knocked at the door, and bid them open it, or they would break it open ; for they wanted a man that they came to search the house for. I heard the noise, and got up, and at the window saw a man at the door with his sword by his side. When they had let him in, he came into the chamber where I was, and looked on me, and said, ‘You are not the man I looked for;' and went his way. We came from thence to Street, and to William Beaton's at Puddi