The exterior and interior is equally plain and totally devoid of ornament, being contrived with no other view than to afford most room and convenience to the congregation. On side an ascent of several steps leads to a narrow platform; and on this stands the bench for the elders or speakers. From this spot did the memorable William Penn (whose mild and excellent proceedings in founding his Pennsylvanian colony cannot be too highly praised) often preach. The following transaction is transcribed from a MS. of George Fox, in the .
It was upon me to goe to Barkin meeting; but hearing yt there would be a busell against our meetings on ye first day; and feeling a great disquietness in peoples spirits in the chusings of the sheriffs; it was upon me to go to Gratius-street upon the first day, to the meeting there; and William Pen said he would go along with me. And while William Pen was delivering ye truth to ye people, ye constable came in with his great staff, and bid him give over, and come down.
But William Pen held on, declaring the truth in the power of God. After a while, the constable went away. After awhile, the constable went away. And when William Pen had done, he sat downe.
And George Fox stood up, and declared to ye people ye everlasting Gospel which was preached in ye apostles days, and to Abram; and which the church in ye apostles dayes did receive and come to be heires of. And this Gospel was sent from Heaven by ye Holy Gost in ye apostles dayes, and now: And this Gospel was not of man, neither by man; but by the revelation by this Holy Gost. Now this Gospel is preached again. John said it should be to all nations, tongues, and people. And now all people are to have Christ, ye prophet in this Gospel of the new covenant; for, as Moses said, like unto me will God raise up a prophet; him shall you hear in all things. He, this prophet Christ, is come. And all ye Jews in spirit, and true believing Christians in ye light, are to Christ in his Gospel, new Testament, and new covenant; who have ye lawe of God writen in theire hearts, and put in theire minds. And not to heare Moses and his priests in their law, in tables of stone, with their tithes, offerings, and swearing, and othes, and outward circumsicion in ye law, and tables of stone as before said; but they are to heare Christ in his new covenant and law of ye spirit of life, which is in Christ Jesus; yt makes free from the law of sin and death. Yea, Christ I say, who bruises ye serpent's head; who of the head of enmity and yt Christ quickens and makes alive. He makes ym to sit together in ye heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that those doe not wander up and downe ye worlde and invented pathes of religion; and soe those doe not wander oute of Christ, but sit together in him, as ye saints did in ye apostles dayes. And so Christ was, and is, their treasure of wisdom, life, knowledge, and salvation.
As George Fox was speaking, two constables came in with their great staves, and bid George Fox come down, and give over speaking. But George Fox spake on in ye power of y Lorde, both toye people and ye constables; and said yt we were a peaceable people, to waite upon God, and worship him in spirit and in truth. And why do you come amongst us with great staves, who are a peaceable people? You need not come amongst us with great staves, who are a peaceable people; who desire ye good and salvation of all people. And soe George Fox went on with many other words. And then the constables drew out towards ye door; and ye soldiers stood with their muskets in ye yard. And George Fox kneeled downe, and prayed; and desired the Lorde to open ye eyes and hearts of people, both high and low; yt their minds might be turned to his holy spirit, yt he may be glorified in all and over all. George Fox was gotten up from prayer; y constables was come in again, with theire great staves, but not ye Soldiers. And ya friends past away out of meeting: for it was our full time of breaking up our meeting. And ye soldiers and constables were very civil. George Fox and friends went into widow Scot's chamber, where we used to goe, and many friends with him. And John Osgoth went downe to ye constables, and spake to them yt they might leave their staves and come to us, if they would any thing with us. Ye people were gone; and one of ye constables came within a quarter of an hour with his staff. We desired to see his
warrant; and when we did, we saw yt one Holton was ye informer, a north countryman. They say he is a papish, and an alderman of yt warde signed the warrant. And it was asked the constable whether he could arrest by his warrant on ye first day. And he said he thought he could not. And he tould us yt he charged ye informer to come along with him to ye meeting; but he ran away from him. Soe we tould him he was a clear man of meddling with us; yt we were free to goe in our freedom to ye alderman. And so John Osgoth said he would goe with the constable to speake with ye alderman. Soe they presently came back againe; and ye alderman who had signed the warrant was gone from home, and ye constable at a straite; and being a tender man, we bid him to set an hour to come to us again, or send for us. I should goe to William Meade, and William Pen to his chamber, and he sat ye wh hour; but he never sent to him. But Thomas Lower met him about ye 7th hour; and ye constable tould him he thought it would come to nothing. Ye Lord's power was over all to his glory. G.F.