Frances Dodshon’s Address to the King
Leeds 27th 12th mo 1774 —
Duty to God and the King impels me to address him in such language as Divine Wisdom shall see me to inspire, and let it not seem a strange thing to thee O’ King, that a faithful Subject should be imprest with a deep inward Travail of Spirit for thy Prosperity, and that of thy amiable Consort, And your royal Offspring, on whose account my Knee hath often bowed at the Throne of Grace, give the king Thy judgment O Lord, and thy Righteousness to the Kings Son, and I have been secretly favour’d with a Belief that his Petition has been accepted of him who inspired it, for he is known to the truly dependant upon him to be a God hearing Prayer, and answering in his own Time, that which proceeds from the lively sensible Operation of his holy Spirit, it was this that qualified the faithful Prophets plainly and availingly to address great and powerful Kings, and disclose the Mind of the Lord respecting them, and the Kingdom, which in the Course of his Providence they were permitted to govern, and it is evident from the sacred Records that those Kings who feared God, and hearkened to his Messengers he never failed to bless and prosper. And now, O King suffer me to inform thee of the deep Exercise I have sustained for a considerable Time past, from a View which I have Cause to believe was given me by the Holy Spirit, of the Alarming Tendency of the Commotions that unhappily prevail in some part of thy Dominions, which if not timely or wisely suppressed, will I greatly fear involve this Nation in almost irreparable Grievances and Troubles, which I heartily wish may be rightly and timely apprehended by those in Authority under thee, and prudently avoided — It does not seem to be my concern to enumerate the many Disadvantages this Nation must inevitably sustain if things should be carried to Extremities, what lays with the greatest weight on me is the dreadful Consequence that may attend should the Sword once unsheathed, for who can precisely determine when, where or in what it may end. The painful View given me of these important Things has for some weeks past exceedingly affected me, most gladly would I have divested myself of the Distress it brought — I sheltered myself under an apprehension of my Inability to engage in things of so high a Nature, but Infinite Wisdom will work by such Instruments as he see meet, and his Powerful Word has been as a fire within me so that I dare not any longer keep Silence, but in humble awful Fear and Obedience, offer these Weighty Things, O’ King, to thy serious Consideration imploring Divine Goodness to give thee a due Sense of them I endow thee with Wisdom & Resolution to Act for thy own & thy Subjects Good, & the Preservation of Peace and Tranquility throughout Thy extensive Dominions, and wherein some of thy American Subjects may be thought blameworthy, suffer me, O’ King, to entreat thee to deal with them as a tender Father & Compassionate Sovereign, Chastise them but not with Scorpions, rebuke them but not in Anger, so shalt thou prevent the Effusion of Blood, the Ending of a potent Empire, and by lenient Measures win And secure to Thyself their Obedience, Loyalty, and Affection — May God Almighty, Bless Prosper, and direct thee, is the fervent Prayer of thy faithful Friend and Loyal Subject.
A Relation of a Dream or Vision of the Night full of mysterious Meaning ——
Methought I was at the House of a Farmer who was a Tenant and the Landlord was with me, but the Tenant and his Wife were from Home. There was also at this House a great Number of People of both Sexes, among whom were many of my Acquaintance, who live in high Life as it is called; I observed they were dressed elegantly, and a sumptuous Feast was preparing for them, at an immense Cost; in the meantime, as I was walking by myself at the East-end of the House, I observed a Fire kindling in the Shingles near the Chimney, but it had not begun to blaze, and appeared but little. I thought I made all the Haste I could to inform the People of the Danger there was of the House being consumed for the Wind was high and easterly, which would not only increase the Fire, but also send it all over the House, but to my great astonishment, the Men seemed no way affected by my Intelligence., I told them I thought the Fire might be easily extinguished, if taken in time, but they made me a slight answer, that the building was old and they did not choose to trouble themselves as it was not their immediate Concern. I told them if it was only for the sake of the vast Treasure which I observed in the House, if the Building itself was old, it was a great pity to have that lost., When I had much persuaded them, I thought some of the Men and several well dressed Women walked out with me to view the fire, leaving the rest divesting themselves many ways, some Companies sitting round large Tables drinking, others Gaming, some dressing others, Cooking, and all disregarding the Danger which to me appeared inevitable, the Fire I observed had gone on the inside making but little Appearance without only I could see something like ashes all about the Eaves, and many other parts, which convinced me the House was consuming, tho I could yet see no Blaze, which I attributed to the Brightness of the Sun shining on that end of the House, for it was in the forepart of the Day. I could not tell what the others thought of it who went out with me, for they left me without speaking, and went in again. I then tried to forget it a little and join some of the Company, but my Mind was so affected that I could take no pleasure, so I went to the Landlord and told him of it. He said the House had stood long enough and if it was now burned down he was able to build a better and more to his Mind than this was, and as for the Goods, Furniture, and Treasure, they were none of his. I then desired some of the People to assist me in getting out the Goods, for the Tenants sake, which some of the lower sort seemed willing to do and we fell to work accordingly, in great Terror least the House should fall on our Heads. I saw a parcel of choice homespun yarn which I thought valuable, but as soon as I took hold of it, it turned to Glass Beads, and every Thing I handled changed its form — There were vast quantities of Plate, and jewels and abundance of Rich Furniture, but I could get nothing out, I thought I had yet only gone about the Kitchen, Kitchen Chambers and Rooms adjoining, and I thought I would look once more to see if the People were gone out, so I ran about from Room, to room, just out of Breath — in many places I found the Fire coming through the Ceiling, which was all Cedar, there were many who saw it as well as I, and some would throw Mugs of Water on the places where they saw the Fire appear, and so make themselves easy — As I was running out of one Room, I saw several Persons asleep, and some very young ones, which exceedingly distressed me to think they must perish in that State. I felt it was the Nature of the Heat to lull People, and make them Sleepy, for while I was in one of the Apartments striving to persuade, or drive the People out, I began to feel my own Spirits fail, my Nerves relax, and a kind of Drowsiness seize upon me, till I was almost unable to stir, but summoning all my Strength, I made toward a Door, or Window, where I got a little air, and began to breathe again, which I thought before I could not do,, So I quitted this Part of the House, finding nothing could be done, and went into a Chamber, in another part whence I could see how the People amused themselves, there I saw a Number of fine Women, richly dressed, walking with Fans in their Hands in a large Court yard on the Shady side of the House, no Tongue, or Pen, can express the Anxiety of my Mind at this Time, which was greatly increased by the lightness, and inattention of these People I thought as I ran by one of the Rooms, which the Fire had just consumed with several sleeping in it I heard the Voice of Merriment in an adjacent Apartment, and listening to hear the Cause, I heard one say in a vain airy manner “ The Floor is just fallen in and they are gone plump into H___” I was shocked beyond expression at hearing this, and the Applause that followed from those who heard him — I then thought I would try to Ascend to the Top of the House, on that side which was furtherst from the Fire, so I went up by Stairs, and found a most surprising extent of Buildings, which the Fire had not seized, here I was filled with fresh distress, and great Sorrow for the poor Tenants loss, I lamented that I had not tryed to put out the Fire myself before it had spread, but then I thought again it was out of my reach, and I would endeavour to get away — I cannot perfectly describe the Scene that next presented, but there appeared a vast Space which seemed to me to be on the Top of this House; for I came out of an upper Chamber up into it. This Place appeared to me like a Fair for it was covered with all sorts of Merchandise that are to be mentioned. Here my Ears were wounded with a Language too gross to repeat, which passed among the Sellers and Buyers, of that Place. My Heart ached for them. I knew the Fire was burning under them, and that in a little Time they must fall into it, but as I was alone I dared not tell them of it. Neither had I courage to reprove them for their Vile Language, so I ran through the midst of them as fast as I could, Trampling on heaps of Finery of all sorts which were spread over the place, none of them offered to lay Hands on me, but each seemed taken up in talking with the next Bystander. I thought I came to one Side, and giving a great Spring, as if I would throw myself quite off, found myself in an instant — on firm Ground in a long lane with Trees on each side which terminated in a great Light at the other End,. I was no sooner fixed on the Ground, but I began to look around me to see if I had Company, and to my great joy found several whose Faces I knew, among whom was my own Brother, and I said to him, dear Brother, does thou not think we were to blame for not putting out the Fire, for I think it might have been easily done “I suppose it might’ said he. Yes my little Son could have done it, if the Landlord had bid him, but I don’t think we ought to distress ourselves about that now — Let us go forward” So we went on, but my Heart still ached for those I left behind, to that degree that the Pain awakened me, but it was a Considerable Time before I could persuade myself it was a Dream — The Impression is made on my Mind was too strong to be erased, and being persuaded in myself, that the Dream was real, and the Interpretation sure relating in some Measure to some future Service which the great Landlord had for me to do, I found it best for me to commit it to Writing, which greatly relieved my mind from the Weight of that Concern that had oppressed me while Sleeping ——— This happened the 9 Day of the 4th mo 1770 in the Morning and Altho’ I had no Time that Day to Write, my ideas were as clear, and remained equally sensible of their impressions as when I first awoke —
The Language, in which I have endeavoured to express my Ideas, is what immediately occupies to my Mind, for I wrote in great Haste, and looking it over since, I observed in the Beginning, I had used the Word Immense applied to the Costliness of the Entertainment. And I well remember I had then the Idea of Bartering away Things of Immense Value for the Sensual gratification of a Feast, or in other Words that the People were selling like Even their Birthright to Heavenly Treasure for a Mess of Pottage —— I wish it may not be too much the case. I found that I had not freedom in Copying this to alter the first Relation by adding any of the particular Circumstances, of which I remember many, from whence I conclude that what I have wrote may be of use to some, and what I write not — must be for my own Instruction
Doctor Heathcots Testimony Concerning Jennet Stow, who was Her Physician, and attended her in her last Illness ———
When first I beheld that Holy Woman, that left this Legacy behind her, I thought I never saw so Heavenly an Image, her Eyes seemed full of Concern, but not for this World, what way forever her outward Eyes looked, I still thought that the Eye of her Mind was towards the Door where her Beloved was wont to come in, and truly I have some reason to believe that He seldom or ever knock’d in the Days that I knew Her, but she was ready to let Him in, without making many Excuses, and He that made her Heart clean delighted often to visit her, the first time I cast my Eye on her was in a Meeting, and tho’ she spoke no words in that Meeting, yet I thought it Good that I met her, for the very sight of her preached aloud to me, her look was Humble, Serious, Steady, full of Watchfulness, Love and earnest Longings, and Wrestlings in the depth of Patience for her Beloved, whose Blessed Presence and living Enjoyment he often wanted. Altho’ favoured with it more than others as far as I could Judge, She lived in my House some Months, and I thought myself highly favoured of the Lord that He was pleased to order it so, the more I knew of her the more I loved her, and the more I loved her, the better I was pleased for I found it never did me any harm, being a love not of my own but of the Lords begetting, for whose sake alone we loved one another — In Meetings she was Valiant to fetch Water for others, her dwelling was deep, and the Water she brought up was living to all whose Senses were lively. The sound of her Voice was beyond all the Musick I ever heard, and the least sound that dropped in a Meeting in Words or if only a Sigh or Sound of any sort, I always thought it brought my Mind nearer the Lord from whom every Thing of hers had its sweetness, when she had not the immediate Sense of this Power she was less than others, having little or no Life but it, and being as dead to every thing else, she was very despicable to those whose Life and Delight is in the World, and unacquainted with the secret Life hid with Christ in God, a true Disciple She was, denyed herself, took up and carried her Daily Cross, and followed Him who hath bid us all do so if we will be his Disciples. She hated Sin Pitied Sinners, and had a Mantle of Love to cast over the least that belonged unto or looked towards her Masters Family —— I am loth to say she was pure Gold yet never say any thing more like unto it for being often put into the Fire she was more refined. Her Life grew stronger as her body decayed that Life which Death hath no Power over, tho her Pains were great and long, so was her Patience and Strength to bear Wonderful as well it might be being in and from the Almighty I am not sorry that she is gone, nor that I am left, but may my Life and latter End be like hers — then I know in Life and Death happy shall I be, and the same happiness I desire for all Mankind