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to us the credulity of a child, with the intellect of a giant. But if we turn to the other side of Fox's character, we find this man of fancies and visions, confronted with controversialists, Jesuits, and lawyerspuzzling them with his subtlety, and with his logic beating down their fences. Now in a court of justice, he confronts the judge, defies the bar, picks flaws in their indictment, quotes against them adverse statutes, and wrings from baffled judges a reluctant acquittal. Then he is in the Protector's Court, to meet a man hard to dupe. There he plants himself, his hat on his head, at Oliver's dressing-table : engages him in long discourse; sets before him his duty; presses on him the policy of toleration; till the iron-hearted soldier, first surprised, then attentive, at length interested, extends his hand to the Quaker, bids him repeat his visit, and tells him, if they could meet oftener, they would be firmer friends. No less remarkable are his courage and skill. As storms thicken, he is always in the front of the battle ; wherever the strife is vehement, there he is; now in Lancashire, now in Leicester, in Westmoreland, or Cornwall : meeting magistrates and judges, braving them at Quarter Sessions; vanquishing officers, governors of castles, and judges. Then he sits down calmly to organize, with a forecast equal to that of Wesley, the scheme of Quaker polity, which has lasted to our times. And if we smile at the oddity of his language, at the curious

missives, which he hurls at mayors and magistrates, gaolers and judges; we find at times a caustic style, worthy of Hudibras or Cobbett, in which he lashes the fripperies of the court, or meets the casuistry of the Jesuit, or ultra-Calvinist; and as we dwell on those words of wisdom in which he tells us of his faith, and cheers the drooping heart of Cromwell's daughter, we perceive that he is no common man: but one who, with strange training, and singular notions, rose, by the strength of genius and piety, to a wide command

over men.

If we would know the lessons which Fox taught his followers, we should turn to the letters in which the gentle Isaak Pennington has poured forth the breathings of his affectionate friendship: letters, which, in spite of their uncouth phraseology, have a great charm, conveying to us the feelings of one who has gone through many trials, and who yearns to pour the balm of his own spirit into the wounded hearts of others. And this he does with an earnestness which awakens confidence, and with a gentleness which makes us love him. Written many of these letters were, in circumstances of personal suffering, in prison, under persecution. But to these trials he rarely alludes, his mind is absorbed in his benevolent mission. And, though that mission was not only one of consolation but also of teaching, we feel that he has a right to teach, who sets us in his own self-abandonment so

high an example. The case of Pennington, (not alone among Quaker worthies) illustrates the highest attainment of character, where struggle has ceased, and enjoyment alone remains :—a character sketched to us, in the exquisite lines of our poet Wordsworth :

“ Serene will be our days and bright,
And happy will our nature be,
When love is our unerring light,
And joy its own security.
And they a blissful course may hold
Even now, who, not unwisely bold,
Live in the spirit of this creed,
Yet seek Thy firm support according to their need.”

CHAPTER III.

THE STORY OF THE FRIEND.

We resume Fox's history. In 1647, at the age of twenty-three, he entered on his work, by protesting against the revels which disturbed the Sunday, and the frauds which disgraced the market. He visited schools, to urge the teachers to bring the children up in the fear of God, and private families to admonish them to train religiously their children and servants. He denounced the Clergy and the Church, proclaiming what he calls their “steeple-houses” as places of deceit, which brought men together that the covetous hireling might set forth his wares. In the third year of his mission, in 1649, his sufferings began ; and he offered himself to these with the unshrinking courage of an American Indian. At Nottingham he was imprisoned. Scarcely out of prison, he returned to work. At Mansfield he was beaten, put into the stocks, and stoned out of the town. Next year, he was arrested by the Presbyteria mayor of Derby, and thrown into gaol amongst

un

felons. There, he occupied himself in reclaiming the Presbyterian gaoler, saving from death an fortunate convict, addressing letters to the mayor on his injustice, to the magistrates on their negligence, and to the judges on the condition of the gaol. Such was, even then, his influence, that the parliamentary commissioners gave a proof of it, by offering him a captaincy over a new levy, who said they would only serve under George Fox. Again thrown into prison, he was kept there for six months, and released, only because the magistrates became uneasy at their own proceedings. Set free in 1651, he traversed Staffordshire and Yorkshire ; visited Whitby, Beverley, Malton, York, Doncaster, Gainsborough, Wakefield, and Hull. In York he was driven out of the minster; in another town, he was invited into the church; here, he preached in the church-yard ; there, he was driven out of it, stoned, and dragged half dead through the streets. At Warmsworth staves and clods, at Doncaster stones, at Tickhill mud and bruises, welcomed him : unmoved, he is found next year in Cumberland, meeting the same treatment in the church of Ulverstone; dragged to the adjoining moor, and there beat with hedge-stakes till he fainted away; and then, as he rose, felled to the ground by a brutal blow. Next, he visits the Island of Walney, and its rude inhabitants drive him with fishing-poles from their shores : then the authorities step in, not to protect the sufferer,

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