By John Banks
A TESTIMONY CONCERNING OUR DEAR AND WORTHY FRIEND JOHN BANKS
Whom the Lord was pleased to place in this part of the country, as he himself hath signified. And he was very serviceable amongst us in the work of the ministry, and also in settling a godly discipline in many places, encouraging the young men, as well as the old and middle-aged, to come to our meetings for that service, that they might be serviceable in their places. He was very tender and loving to the well inclined and a reprover of evil doers, gainsayers, and backsliders, placing judgment upon the head of the transgressor. He was very desirous that things might be kept savory and in good order amongst us, often giving good advice and counsel to Friends out of meetings, as well as in meetings, for it was his great delight to see them grow in the truth.
He gave way to strangers when we were visited, although he was an able minister of the word of life which dwelt plentifully in him, and his bow abode in strength, and he would often hit the mark. He was a great encourager of Friends to bear a faithful testimony against tithes, and steeple-house rates, &c., and where he saw anything to the contrary, he would show his dislike.
He was a faithful laborer in the work of the Lord, visiting Friends' meetings abroad as long as he had strength of body. But he was attended with weakness several years, in which time he wrote several papers to Friends. Some time before he died, he removed his habitation to Street, near the meeting-house and our meetings both for worship and business were many times held at his house, which was a great comfort to him, for he was very glad of the company of honest Friends.
And sometimes when they asked him how he did, he would say, "Weak in body, but strong in the Lord--all is well." He was borne up in his spirit beyond what could be expected to bear a living testimony in our meetings, being attended with that Divine power which made his soul sing praises to the Lord, to the comforting of the faithful in Christ. He was a great help to us in our Monthly Meetings in managing the affairs of the church, being favored with the continuance of his understanding and memory.
We greatly miss him, and although it is our loss, yet we believe it is his everlasting gain, and that he is gone to rest with the faithful in Christ. And now, since it hath pleased the only wise God, in his infinite wisdom, to take unto himself this our dear friend, his faithful servant and minister of the everlasting Gospel, it is the desire and supplication of our hearts unto the great Lord of the harvest that it may please him to raise many more such laborers, "For the harvest indeed is great, but the true and faithful laborers are but few."
Signed on behalf of our meeting at Glastonbury and Street, the 13th of the Third month, 1711, by
James Clothier, Sr., Arthur Gundry, James Clothier, Jr., Thomas Marnard, Roger Jewell, Joseph Moore, John Blackmore, Thomas Freeman, William Blackmore.