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JOURNAL OF ELIAS HICKS.
Birth, 1748.-Early visitations of Divine grace.-Apprenticeship.-Trials and temptations.-Marriage, 1771.-Renewed visitations of Divine love.-Appearance in the Ministry.—Situation of Friends during the war.-Journey to Philadelphia, 1779.—Visit to Friends on the Main, 1781.—Illness, 1781.— Visit on Long Island, 1782.-Visit to the Meetings on the Main, 1782.
HAVING experienced many mercies and preservations, both spiritual and temporal, in passing through this probationary state, I am induced to record some little account of them, under a sense of humble gratitude to my gracious and merciful Creator and Preserver.
I was born on the 19th day of the third month, 1748, in the township of Hempstead, in Queens county, on Long Island. My parents, John and Martha Hicks, were descended from reputable families, and sustained a good character among their friends and those who knew them. My father was a grandson of Thomas Hicks, of whom our worthy friend Samuel Bownas makes honourable mention in his journal, and by whom he was much comforted and strengthened, when imprisoned through the envy of George Keith, at Jamaica, on Long Island. Neither of my parents were members in strict fellowship with any religious society, until some little time before my birth. My father was at that period united in membership with Friends; but as his residence was mostly at some distance from meeting, and in a neighbourhood where very few Friends lived, my associates, when young, were chiefly among those of other religious persuasions, or, what was still worse for me, among those who made no pro
fession of religion at all. This exposed me to much temptation; and though I early felt the operation of divine grace, checking and reproving me for my lightness and vanity, yet being of a lively active spirit, and ambitious of excelling in my play and diversions, I sometimes exceeded the bounds of true moderation, for which I often felt close conviction and fears on my pillow in the night season.
When I was about eight years old, my father removed his habitation and settled on a farm which his father had left him, on the south side of the island, near the sea shore. This introduced a new scene of diversion to my active mind, which was prone to pleasure and self-gratification. The shore abounded with fish and wild fowl, and I soon began to occupy myself with angling for the former, and shooting the latter. These amusements gained an ascendency in my mind, and although they were diversions for which I felt condemnation at later periods, yet I am led to believe that they were, at this time, profitable to me in my exposed condition, as they had a tendency to keep me more at and about home, and often prevented my joining with loose company, which I had frequent opportunities of doing without my father's knowledge. My mother was removed by death when I was about eleven years of age, and my father was left with the care of six children, three older, and two younger, than myself; and although he endeavoured to keep his children within the limits of truth, yet opportunities sometimes occurred to join with vain companions. But the Lord was graciously near to my poor soul in my tender years; and he followed me with his reproofs, and his dread made me afraid.
When I was about thirteen years of age, I was placed with one of my elder brothers who was married, and lived at some distance from my father's residence. I was here without any parental restraint; and mixing with gay associates, I lost much of myyouthful innocence, and was led wide from the salutary path of true religion, learning to sing vain songs, and to take delight in running horses. Yet I did not give way to any thing which was commonly accounted disreputable, having always a regard to strict honesty, and to such a line of conduct as comported with