I was thankful (he adds in his Diary) that the meeting was held in quiet, for there is a bitter feeling of persecution in the neighborhood. I was previously much cast down, but “thanks be unto God who always causeth us to triumph in Christ.”
HIS JOURNEY TO SOUTH RUSSIA.
The call which John Yeardley had received to visit the German colonies in South Russia, and which had lain for a long time dormant, now revived. A friend who had watched with regret his unsuccessful attempts on former journeys to enter that jealous country, and who augured from the political changes which had taken place that permission might probably now be obtained, brought the subject again under his notice. The admonition was timely and effectual. After carefully pondering the matter—with, we doubt not, as on former occasions, a childlike dependence on his Omniscient Guide for direction,—he came to the conclusion that it was his duty once more to address himself to this undertaking: and when it was accomplished, and he had returned in safety and peace to England, he alluded more than once to the manner in which the concern had been revived, saying he had been, before he was thus aroused, like the prophet asleep.
He re-opened the prospect of this service before his Monthly Meeting, on the 3rd of the Fifth Month, 1853. In a letter written the same day, he says:—
I am just returned from our Monthly Meeting in London, where I mentioned to my friends my concern to visit the German colonies in the South of Russia, which, thou wilt probably recollect, was included in my certificate for religious service on the Continent of Europe, five years ago. I received the expression of much sympathy and unity from my friends, and the certificate was ordered, including on my return, if permitted, any service that may present in Constantinople, the island of Malta, and some places in the South of France. Weak as I am, I cast myself once more into the hand of our Lord and Blessed Protector, in holy confidence that he will do all things well.
On receiving a passport from the Secretary of State, with the requisite counter-signature of the Russian Ambassador, he wrote to John Kitching, the 25th of the Fourth Month:—
I want thee to know that, through the kind and efficient aid of our mutually dear friend Samuel Gurney, I have at length been enabled to procure a Russian passport, and also a letter of recommendation to one of the first houses in Petersburg. Thou knowest, my dear friend, for a long time this matter has been heavy on my mind. It is a great comfort to have the ground cleared in this respect.
John Yeardley left London at the end of the Sixth Month, and went to Hull to take the steam-packet direct to Petersburg. In the narrative which follows, we have interwoven with the Diary extracts from his letters to his sisters; and we have been allowed the use of William Rasche’s Journal, in relating and describing many circumstances of which J.Y. himself made no record.