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and Quarterly Meetings in England, Wales, and elsewhere, concerning the
Lord, George Fox, . . . . . . . . . 368
with this superscription, viz., “ Not to be opened before the time,”. : 369
The appearance of the Lord's everlasting Truth, and its breaking forth again
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JOURNAL OF GEORGE FOX,
1663–1666.-George Tox visits London-taken up at Tenterden and examined by
the magistrates, but liberated-precious meetings in Wales—at Derwentwater meets with an old woman whose husband was aged 122 years—apprehended and taken before the magistrates at Holker Hall, but liberated on his parole to appear at the sessions--appears accordingly, and is committed to Lancaster jail-many poor Friends imprisoned there at the same time, whose families become chargeable in consequence-one of them (Oliver Atherton) dies in jail, where he was immured by the Countess of Derby for tithes-George Fox has the oath tendered him at the assizes, and is re-committed—Margaret Fell is also imprisoned thero -the prisoners in Lancaster jail to Justice Fleming—a brief warning to the same by George Fox-George l'ox disputes with Major Wiggan (who was also a prisoner), and confutes him-writes to the judges against giving nicknames--writes a warning to all high professors—also a warning against the spirit of John Perrot-at the assizes he points out many fatal errors in bis indictment, and it is quashed in consequence, but the judge ensnares him with the oath, and he is again remanded to prison-suffers much from the badness of the prison-at the next assizes he again points out fatal errors in his indictment, and is immediately hurried away to jail, and sentence is passed on him in his absence-a testimony against titheshe is removed to Scarbro' Castle-has several conferences and disputes with divers persons there-writes to the king respecting his imprisonment, and is set at liberty -copy of his discharge and passport—the day after George Fox's liberation the great fire broke out in London, a vision of which he had in Lancaster Castle-the hand of the Lord turned against persecutors.
HAVING passed through NORFOLK, SUFFOLK, ESSEX, and HERTFORDSIIIRE, we came to London again; where I stayed a while, visiting Friends in their meetings, which were very large, and the Lord's power was over all. After some time I left the city again, and travelled into KENT, having Thomas Briggs with me. We went to ASHFORD, where we had a quiet, and a very blessed meeting; and on First-day we had a very good and peaceable one at CRANBROOK. Then we went to TENTERDEN, and had one there, to which many Friends came from several parts, and many other people came in, and were reached by the truth. When the meeting was over, I walked with Thomas Briggs into a field, while our horses were got ready; and turning my head, I espied a captain coming, and a great company of soldiers with lighted matches and muskets. Some of them came to us, and said, “we must go to their captain.” When they had brought us before him, he asked, “where is George Fox? which is he?" I said,
“I am the man.” Then he came to me and was somewhat struck, and said, “I will secure you among the soldiers.” So he called for them to take me. He took Thomas Briggs, and the man of the house, with many more; but the power of the Lord was mightily over them all. Then he came to me again, and said, “I must go along with him to the town;" and he carried himself pretty civilly, bidding the soldiers bring the rest after. As we walked, I asked him," why they did thus ;" for I had not seen so much to do a great while, and I bid him be civil to his peaceable neighbours. When we were come to the town, they had us to an inn that was the jailer's house; and after a while the mayor of the town, and this captain, and the lieutenant, who were justices, came together and examined me, "why I came thither to make a disturbance ?” I told them, I did not come to make a disturbance, neither had I made any since I came. They said, "there was a law against the Quakers' meetings, made only against them. I told them, I knew no such law. Then they brought forth the act that was made against Quakers and others; I told them, that was against such as were a terror to the king's subjects, and were enemies, and held principles dangerous to the government, and therefore that was not against us, for we held truth; and our principles were not dangerous to the government, and our meetings were peaceable, as they knew, who knew their neighbours were a peaceable people. They told me, “I was an enemy to the king." I answered, We loved all people and were enemies to none; that I, for my own part, had been cast into Derby dungeon, about the time of Worcester fight, because I would not take up arms against him, and that I was afterwards brought by Colonel Hacker to London, as a plotter to bring in King Charles, and was kept prisoner there till set at liberty by Oliver. They asked me, "whether I was imprisoned in the time of the insurrection ?" I said, yes; I had been imprisoned then, and since that also, and had been set at liberty by the king's own command. I opened the act to them, and showed them the king's late declaration; gave them the examples of other justices, and told them also what the House of Lords had said of it. I spoke also to them concerning their own conditions, exhorting them to live in the fear of God, to be tender towards their neighbours that feared Him, and to mind God's wisdom, by which all things were made and created, that they might come to receive it, be ordered by it, and by it order all things to God's glory. They demanded bond of us for our appearance at the sessions; but we, pleading our innocency, refused to give bond. Then they would have us promise to come no more there; but we kept clear of that also. When they saw they could not bring us to their terms, they told us, “we should see they were civil to us, for it was the mayor's pleasure we should all be set at liberty." I told them their civility was noble, and so we parted.
Then leaving Tenterden we went to NEWICK in SUSSEX, where we visited some Friends. Thence we passed through the country, visiting Friends, and having great meetings; all quiet and free from disturbance, except by some jangling Baptists, till we came into HAMPSHIRE. After a good meeting at SOUTHAMPTON, we went to PULNER, in the parish of Ringwood, where was a monthly meeting next day, to which many Friends came from Southampton, Poole, and other places; and the weather being very hot, some of them came pretty early in the morning. I took a friend and walked out with him into the orchard, inquiring of him how the affairs of truth stood amongst them; (for many of them had been convinced by me, before I was a prisoner in Cornwall.) While we were conversing, a young man came and told us the trained bands were raising, and he heard : they would come and break up the meeting. It was not yet meeting-time for about three hours, and there being other Friends walking in the orchard, the Friend that I was discoursing with before, desired me to walk into a corn-field adjoining it, which we did. After a while the young man that spoke of the trained bands left us, and when he was gone some distance, he stood and waved his hat. Whereupon I spoke to the other young man that was with me, to go and see what he meant. He went, but did not reiurn; for the soldiers were come into the orchard. And as I kept walking I could see the soldiers, and some of them, as I heard afterwards, sav me, but had no mind to meddle. Coming so long before the meeting-time, they did not tarry; but took what Friends they found at the house, and some whom they met in the lane coming, and led them away. After they were gone, it drew towards eleven, Friends began to come in apace, and a large and glorious meeting we had; for the everlasting Seed of God was set over all, and the people were settled in the new covenant of life, upon the foundation, Christ Jesus. Towards the latter part of the meeting, there came a man in gay apparel, and looked in while I was declaring, and went away again presently. This man came with an evil intent; for he went forthwith to Ringwood, and told the magistrates “they had taken two or three men at Pulner, and had left George Fox there preaching to two or three hundred people.” Upon this the magistrates sent the officers and soldiers again; but the meeting being nearly ended when the man looked in, and he having about a mile and a half to go, with his information, to fetch the soldiers, and they as far to come, after they had received their orders, before they came our meeting was over; ending about three o'clock peaceably and orderly. After the meeting I spoke to the Friends of the house where it was held (the hostess lying then dead in the house), and then some Friends conducted me to another Friend's at a little distance; where, after we had refreshed ourselves, I took horse, having about twenty miles to ride that afternoon to one — Frye's house in WILTSHIRE, where a meeting was appointed for the next day.
After we were gone, the officers and soldiers came in a great heat, and when they found they were too late, and had missed their prey, they were much enraged; and the officers were offended with the soldiers, because they had not seized my horse in the stable the first time they came. But the Lord, by his good providence, delivered me, and prevented their mischievous design. For the officers were envious men, and had an evil mind against Friends; but the Lord brought his judgments upon them, so that it was taken notice of by their neighbours. For “whereas before they were wealthy men, after this their estates wasted away; and John Line, the constable, who was not only very forward in putting on the sol. diers to take Friends, but also carried those that were taken to prison, and