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of America, where his ministry and conversation were to the comfort and edification of the faithful; (as some of us can with satisfaction declare, from our knowledge and remembrance of him at that time ;) and the near fellowship and union he then had with Friends here, we believe, contributed to his more speedy determination of settling among us, which he afterwards thought it his duty to do, though the leaving his parents and relations (as he afterwards expressed) was no small cross to him; being of a dutiful and affectionate disposition,
After fixing his residence amongst us, he persevered in his concern and labour for the edification of the churches, and gathering people to faith and dependence on the inward teachings of Christ, and for that purpose only he travelled many long journies and voyages through the several English colonies on this continent, and most of the islands in the West Indies, and in Europe, through England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland,
Holland, Friesland, and several parts of Germany, i and the adjacent Northern kingdoms; and in
many of these places his ministry and religious labours were blessed with the desired success, of which there are yet some witnesses living, and others who were convinced of the principles of truth by his means, became serviceable members of the church, and continued therein to the end of their lives.
But as the wise king Solomon formerly observed, that “One event cometh to the righteous, and to the wicked,” so it happened to this good man, who met with various losses and disappointments in his temporal estate ; after which, the circumstances of his affairs engaged him to undertake some business, in the management of which he was obliged to cross the seas frequently : this, however, did not abate his zeal and religious care to make use of all opportunities of visiting the meetings of Friends when among them, and of calling at other times, to such who might be accounted as the outcast of Israel, and the dispersed of Judah, or as sheep not yet of the fold of Christ; and his services of that kind are worthy to be commemorated, having been often productive of good effects.
His patience was remarkable in disappointments and afflictions, of which he had a large share; and his meekness, humility, and circumspection, in the general course of his life and conversation, were conspicuous and exemplary; and as he fre. quently exhorted and admonished others to the observation and practice of the many excellent precepts and rules of Christ, our Lord and law. giver; and more especially those expressed in his Sermon on the Mount, (which contains the sum of our moral and religious duties,) so he mani, fested himself to be one of that number, whom Christ compared to the wise builder, who laid a sure foundation ; so that his building stood un,
shaken by the various floods and winds of tribulations and temptations he met with, both from within and without.
He was a lover of unity amongst brethren, and careful to promote and maintain it, shewing the example of a meek, courteous, and loving deportment, not only to Friends, but to all others, with whom he had conversation or dealings; so that it may be truly said, that few have lived so universally beloved and respected among us : and it was manifest this did not proceed from a desiro of being popular, or to be seen of man: for his love and regard to peace did not divert him from the discharge of his duty in a faithful testimony to those that professed the truth, that they ought to be careful to maintain good works; and he was often concerned zealously to incite and press Friends to the exercise of the good order and discipline established in the wisdom of truth, hy admonishing, warning, and timely treating with such as fell short of their duty therein, and by testifying against those who, after loving and brotherly care and endeavours, could not be brought to a sense and practice of their duty; and thereby he sometimes shared the ill- will and resentment of such persons.
The several essays he wrote on religious subjects at sea, are further proofs that his mind was principally engaged in the great business and concern of religion; and as he continued under the same engagement to the end, we are fully
persuaded the words, with which he concluded his last public testimony on the island of Tortola, may be truly and properly applied to him, That he had “ fought a good fight, and had kept the faith,' and, we doubt not, he now enjoys “a crown of righteousness.'
Much more might be truly said of his integrity, faithfulness and worth, but we do not think it necessary; our chief intention being to express our respectful remembrance of him, and our unity with his labours and services, and in order to assure those, to whom he was not personally known, of the truth of what he has himself wrote of his life and travels; for we believe, as he was a man signally influenced with the spirit of universal love and good-will to mankind, this was his chief motive for writing ; and we are sincerely desirous that his good design may be answered, and that the glory of every good and perfect work may be attributed to that Divine power alone, which can qualify others to supply the places of those faithful ministers and servants of Christ, who have been of late years removed from among us, and are of that number, of whom it is written, * Blessed are the dead, which die in the Lord, from henceforth, yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours, and their works do follow them." SIGNED on behalf, and by appointment of the
Monthly Meeting of Friends in Philadelphia, the Twenty-eighth day of the Second month, 1749, by
Birth~ Education, Early religious impressions
Call to the Ministry-Visit to Friends in some parts of Great Britain and to Friends in America~Return to England.
Having great cause to acknowledge the regard
and protection of Divine Providence in the several stages of my life, I think it may be of service to others, to leave behind me the following account of my life and travels :
was born on the third day of the third month, 1675, in Southwark, and descended of honest and religious parents, who were very careful of me, and brought me up in the fear of the Lord; and oftentimes counselled me to sobriety, and reproved me for wantonness; and that light spirit, which is incident to youth, they were careful to nip in the bud: so that I have cause to bless God, through Christ, on the behalf of my tender parents.