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being so often nigh them, and yet they missing me, it tormented them the more.
I went from thence to James Taylor's at Cartmel in Lancashire, where I staid the first-day and had a precious meeting, and after the meeting was done I came over the sands to Swarthmore.
When I came there they told me colonel Kirby had sent his lieutenant thither to search for me, and that he had searched trunks and chests for me. That night as I was in bed I was moved of the Lord to go next day to Kirby-hall, which was colonel Kirby's house, about five miles off, tó speak with him, and I did so. When I came thither, I found there the Flemmings and several others of the gentry (so called) of the country, who were come to take their leave of colonel Kirby, he being then to go up to London to the parliament. I was had into the parlour amongst them, but colonel Kirby was not then within, being gone forth a little way; so they said little to me nor I much to them. But after a little while colonel Kirby came in, and then I spake to him and told him, I came to visit him, understanding that he would have seen me, and to know what he had to say to me, and whether he had any thing against me. He said, before all the company, As he was a gentleman he had nothing against me. But, said he, mistress Fell must not keep great meetings at her house, for they meet contrary to the act. I told him, that act did not take hold on us, but on such as did meet to plot and contrive, and to raise insurrections against the king, whereas we were no such people; for he knew that they that met at Margaret Fell's house were his neighbours, and a peaceable people. After many words had passed, he shook me by the hand, and said again he had nothing against me, and others of them said I was a deserving man. So we parted, and I returned to Swarthmore.
Shortly after, when colonel Kirby was gone to London, there was a private meeting of the justices and deputylieutenants at Houlker-hall, where justice Preston lived, and there they granted forth a warrant to apprehend me. I heard over night both of their meeting and of the warrant, and so could have gone away and got out of their reach if I would; for I had not appointed any meeting at that time, and I had cleared myself of the north, and the Lord's power was over all. But I considered there being a noise of a plot in the north, if I should go away they might fall upon poor friends, but if I gave up myself to be taken, it might stop them, and friends should escape the better. So I gave up myself to be taken, and prepared myself against
they came. Next day an officer came with his sword and pistols to take me; I told him I knew his errand before, and had given up myself to be taken, for if I would have escaped their imprisonment I could have gone forty miles off before he came; but I was an innocent man, and so mattered not what they could do to me. He asked me how I heard of it, seeing the order was made privately in a parlour. I said it was no matter for that, it was sufficient that I heard of it. Then I asked him to let me see his order, whereupon he laid his hand on his sword, and said I must go with him before the lieutenants to answer such questions as they should propose to me. I told him it was but civil and reasonable for him to let me see his order, but he would not. Then said I, I am ready. So I went along with him, and Margaret Fell went with us to Houlker-halí. And when we came thither, there was one Rawlinson, called a justice, and one called Sir George Middleton, and many more that I did not know, besides old justice Preston who lived there. They brought one Thomas Atkinson, a friend of Cartmel, as a witness against me, for some words which he had told to one Knipe who had informed them, which words were, that I had written against the plotters, and had knocked them down; which words they could not make much of, for I told them I had heard of a plot and had written against it. Then old Preston asked me whether I had an hand in that script; I asked him what he meant; he said in the Battledore ; I answered yes. Then he asked me whether I did under: stand languages. I said sufficient for myself, and that I knew no law that was transgressed by it. I told them also that to understand those outward languages was no matter of salvation ; for the many tongues began but at the confusion of Babel; and if I did understand any thing of them, I judged and knocked them down again for any matter of salvation that was in them. Thereupon he turned away, and said George Fox knocks down all the languages: come, said he, we will examine you of higher matters.
Then said George Middleton, You deny God and the church, and the faith. I replied, nay, I own God and the true church, and the true faith. But what church dost thou own, said I, (for I understood he was a papist.) Then he turned again and said, you are a rebel and a traitor. I asked him whom he spake to, or whom did he call rebel : he was so full of envy that for a while he could not speak, but at last he said he spake it to me. With that I struck my hand on the table and told him, I
hnd suffered more than twenty such as he, or than any that was there; for I had been cast into Derby dungeon for six months together, and had suffered much because I would not take up arms against this king before Worcester fight; and I had been sent up prisoner out of my own country by colonel Hacker to Oliver Cromwell, as a plotter to bring in king Charles in the year 1654, and I had nothing but love and good will to the king, and desired the eternal good and welfare of him and all his subjects. Did you ever hear the like, said Middleton. Nay, said I, ye may hear it again if ye will. For ye talk of the king, a coin, pany of you, but where were ye in Oliver's days, and what did ye
do then for him? But I have more love to the king for his eternal good and welfare than any of you have.
Then they asked me whether I had heard of the plots; and I said yes, I had heard of it. They asked me how I had heard of it, and whom I knew in it? I told them I had heard of it through the high-sheriff of Yorkshire, who had told Dr. Hodgson that there was a plot in the north, and that was the way I heard of it; bui I never heard of any such thing in the south, nor till I came into the north, And as for koowing any in the plot, I was as a child in that, for I knew none of them. Then said they, why would you write against it if you did not know some that were in it. I said my reason was, because you are so forward to mash the innocent and guilty together, therefore I writ against it to clear the truth from such things, and to stop all forward foolish spirits from running into such things. And I sent copies of it into Westmoreland, Cumberland, Bishoprick, and Yorkshire, and to you here; and I sent another copy of it to the king and his council, and it is like it may be in print hy this time. One of them said, O, this man hath great power! I said, yes, I had power to write against plotters. Then said one of them, you are against the laws of the land. I answered, nay, for I and my friends direct all people to the spirit of God in them, tó mortify the deeds of the flesh; this brings them into the well-doing, and from that which the magisa trate's sword is against, which eases the magistrates, who are for the punishment of the evil-doers. So people being turned to the spirit of God, which brings them to mortily the deeds of the flesh, this brings them from under the occasion of the magistrate's sword; and this must needs be one with magistracy and one with the law, which was added because of transgression, and is for the praise of them that do well. So in this we establish the law, and
are an ease to the magistrates, and are not against, but stand for all good government.
Then Geo. Middleton cried, Bring the book and put the oaths of allegiance and supremacy to him. Now he himself being a papist, I asked him whether he had taken the oath of supremacy, who was a swearer? But as for us we could not swear at all, because Christ and the apostle had forbidden it. Some of them would not have had the oath put to me, but have let me have my liberty; but the rest would not agree to that; for this was their last snare, and they had no other way to get me into prison, for all other things had been cleared to them. But this was like the papist's sacrament of the altar, by which they ensnared the martyrs. So they tendered me the oath, and I could not take it; hereupon they were about to make my mittimus to send me to Lancaster jail; but considering together of it, they only engaged me to appear at the sessions, and so for that time dismissed me. Then I went back with Margaret Fell to Swarthmore; and soon after there came colonel West to see me, who was at that time a justice of the peace.
He told us he told some of the rest of the justices that he would come over to see me and Margaret Fell, but it may be, said he to them, some of you will take offence at it. I asked him what he thought they would do with me at the sessions; and he said they would tender the oath to me again.
Now.whilst I was at Swarthmore there cane William Kirby into Swarthmore-meeting, and brought the constables with him. I was sitting with friends in the meeting, and he said to me, How now, Mr. Fox, you have a fine company here. Yes, said I, we do meet to wait upon the Lord. So he began to take the names of friends, and them that did not readily tell him their names, he committed to the constables bands, and sent some to prison. The constables were unwilling to take them without a warrant, whereupon he threatened to set them by the heels; but the constable told him he could keep them in his presence, but after he was gone he could not keep them without a warrant.
The sessions now coming on, I went to Lancaster and appeared according to my engagement. There was upon the bench that justice Flemming that had bidden five pounds in Westmoreland to any man that would apprehend me; for he was a justice both in Westmoreland and Lancashire. There was also justice Spencer and colonel West, and old justice Rawlinson the lawyer, who gave the charge, and was very sharp against truth and friends; but
the Lord's power stopped them. The session was large, and the concourse of people great ; and way being made for me, I came up to the bar and stood there with
my they looking earnestly upon me and I upon them for a pretty space. Then proclamation being made for all to keep silence upon pain of imprisovment, and all being quiet, I said twice, Peace be among you. Then spake the chairnian, and asked if I knew where I was. I said, yes, I do, but it may be, said l, my hat offends you ; that's a low thing, that's not the honour that I give to magistrates, for the true honour is from above, which, said I, I have received, and I hope it is not the hat which ye look upon to be the honour. The chairman said they looked for the hat too, and asked wherein I shewed my respect to magistrates if I did not put off my hat. I replied, in coming when they called me. Then they bid one take off my hat. After which it was some time before they spake to me, and I felt the power of the Lord to arise. After some pause, old justice Rawlinson (the chairman) asked me if I did know of the plot. I told him I had heard of it in Yorkshire by a friend that had it from the high-sheriff. Then they asked me whether I had declared it to the magistrates, I said I had sent papers abroad against plots and plotters, and also to you as soon as I came into the country, to take all jealousies out of your minds concerning me and my friends; for it was and is our principle to declare against such things. They asked me then if I knew not of an act against meetings. I said I knew there was an act that took hold of such as met to the terrifying of the king's subjects, and were enemies to the king, and held dangerous principles; but I hoped they did not look upon us to be such men, for our meetings were not to terrify the king's subjects, neither are we enemies to him or any man. Then they tendered me the oaths of allegiance and supremacy. I told them I could not take any oath at all, because Christ and his apostle had forbid it; and they had had sufficient experience of swearers (I told them) first one way then another, but I had never takey any oath in my life. Then Rawlinson the lawyer, asked me whether i held it was unlawful to swear. This question he put on purpose to ensnare me, for by an act that was made such were liable to banishment or a great fine, that should say it was unJawful to swear. But I seeing the snare avoided it, and told him, that in the time of the law amongst the Jews before Christ came, the law commanded them to swear; but Christ, who doth fulfil the law in his gospel-time, commands not to swear at all, and the apostle James for