to be “


mission of George Fox, and the practice of monarchical or republican, but taught obedience to his early followers resulting from it, are not the magistrate, by enforcing purity of morals. It based upon more solid principles of Chris-was a plain, honest, and zealous attempt to clear tianity, and are not more closely allied to which had long obscured it; to release the minds

the gospel from the mist of error and superstition, its pure spirit than the world at large gene- of the people from the shackles of school-wisdom, rally adınit to be essential ? Quakerism is and the subtleties of polemical divinity; to hold grounded on the passage—that the grace out to them the true nature of that redemption of God which brings salvation had appeared which it offers to all mankind, a redemption de. to all men, and that the manifestation of the pending upon faith in Christ, repentance from sin, spirit of God was given to every man to and transformation from the world, but not upon profit withal.” Fox maintained, that by a

outward rites and ordinances, or creeds drawn up faithful ebedience to the inward teachings liberty, for a free toleration of all religious opi

by fallible men. He pleaded alone for religious of this Holy Spirit we become God's people, nions; a principle which in itself involves emanand by its aid alone acquire a clear under-cipation of mind, and lays the foundation for the standing of the Scriptures; but which in- universal and equal rights of all men, ihe privi. ward monitor, if continually neglected, or leged classes as well as those below them; and ef. after the example of Felix, dismissed for a seclually resists the encroachments of either party more convenient season, will in time be upon the just rights of the other, by inculcating withdrawn, leaving the heart reprobate, and the great Christian rule of doing as we would be

done by.”—p. 48. abandoned to its own wicked devices ; for God has declared, “my spirit shall not al

The " Journal” of George Fox was proways strive with man." Gen. vii., 3.

This inward principle is the good seed, nounced by the late Sir James Mackintosh which being sown in all soils, flourishes in

of the most extraordinary and some, pines away or is choked in others, and instructive documents in the world, and in some individuals finds no root at all.

he adds, that “no man of competent judg. Scriptural authority, if it be literally inter- ment can peruse it without revering the

.” To his efforts, sinpreted, is at least in favor of Fox's testimony against all oaths, and warfare, as being the establishment and rise of the Quakers,

gle-handed, or nearly so, we may ascribe antichristian, and in direct opposition to the dictates of Christ, and the practice of the which, as Bancroft in his “History of the

United States” declares, is one of the most apostles and early church. And further, in accordance with his emulation of the noble remarkable events in the history of man. It and disinterested example of the early Chris- marks,” says he, “the moment when inteltian pastors, who ministered the word of life

lectual freedom was claimed unconditionally without fee or reward; and with his rejection by the people as an inalienable birthright. of all outward ceremonies and forms of wor

It was the consequence of a great moal ship, because they had degenerated into reli

warfare against corruption; the aspiration gious rites, and which he considered as so tion from the long reign of bigotry and su

of the human mind after a perfect emancipamany stumbling blocks and impediments to that spiritual devotion required of man by his perstition.” Maker. Again, it would appear to support how Fox arrived at the conclusion that

In another passage, Bancroft describes his great Christian principle, that no system truth is to be sought by listening to the of policy whatever should be founded on ex: voice of God in the soul. This principle," pediency; but upon that golden precept of Christ's, “ of doing unto others as we would says he, "contained a moral revolution. 'It they should do unto us,”-a maxim that if established absolute freedom of mind, tread

” faithfully acted upon would do away at once

ing idolatry under foot, and entered the with all grounds of contention and warfare, strongest protest against the forms of a hierThe Quakers therefore as a body may be archy. It was the principle for which So

l considered universal philanthropists; and in crates died, and Plato suffered ; and now their Christian love and good will to all men

that Fox went forth to proclaim it among they are as much opposed to every measure with vehemence, and priests and professors,

the people, he was resisted everywhere which is injurious to the free and just rights magistrates and people, swelled against him of man, as they are often the foremost sup- like the raging waves of the sea. porters of those devised for his good.

It is worthy of remark, that this storm of “ The mission of G. Fox was no republican persecution should have raged most fiercely doctrine, disguised under the form of theology. It during the protectorate of Cromwell, a man never interfered with the existing powers, whetherl who has the credit of resisting the influence

[ocr errors]


of priesthood and priestcraft when directed The following extracts will give some idea against himself. We are especially told by of the treatment which this most sincere D'Aubigné, in his “History of the Reforma- and truly pious man was made to suffer, and tion,” that “the rise of the plebeian sects, it will also exhibit his own character in its which swarmed in England, was encourag- true light. ed by the freedom of the popular government under the commonwealth.” What “ The next morning he was summoned before this freedom could have been does not ap- the magistrates, to whom he gave further offence pear very obvious; imprisonment in dun- by declaring to them that the fruits of their priests' geons underground, and beneath other dun- preaching were void of Christianity, and that, geons occupied by felons, and so arranged without the possession of that which they profess

ihough ihey were great professors, they were that the lower dungeon received all the ed' He was, upon this, committed 10 gaol as a filth from the upper one; pelting with stones heretic, a blasphemer, and a seducer;' and by orand rotten eggs in the pillory ; beating with der of the magistrates, lie was shut up among the holly-bushes ; laceration with pitchforks ; lowest class of felons, and the gaolers were enthreshing with long poles ; these are feats, couraged to treat him with the greatest brutality, either performed by the executive or sanc- declaring to him that he should never come out tioned by the administrators of the common again but to be hanged; and so confident were weal. George Fox, however, went on his

his enemies in accomplishing his ruin and death, way whenever he was liberated, renewing person, who was shortly to be executed.”—P: 97.

that numbers visited him in prison as a condemned on all occasions his testimony against a " At Carlisle he suffered an illegal imprisonhireling ministry, payment of tithes, swear- ment for several months, and at the approaching ing, ceremonies, and forms; and preaching assizes his enemies made sure of leading him to his favorite doctrine of the divine light of the gallows; but, not being able to substantiate Christ in the soul of man. His sufferings any legal charge against him, he was never were renewed again and again, often with brought up for trial. The high-sheriff

, and a comout the slightest provocation, but sometimes pany of bilter Scotch priests, were so misled by

their rancorous feelings, that they had him guardfrom his own intemperate zeal; intemperate, ed by three musqueleers to shoot him upon any because personal interference with the mode pretence of escape. For a time they would suffer of worship chosen by others is at all times no one to have access to bim excepting themselves; of doubtful propriety, and in many instances they sometimes came into his cell as late as the

tenih hour, and their deportment was ' exceeding. fectly unjustifiable. But Fox's day was 'y rude and devilish; they were not fit to speak one of all manner of religious excesses and he grieved to think such people should call

of the thing of God, they were so foul-mouthed; Baptists, Presbyterians, and Independents, themselves ministers of God; but the Lord, by were struggling for the mastery, and all his power, gave them dominion over them all, and striving to possess themselves of some of the let ihem see both their fruits and their spirits." emoluments of priestcraft. Wild, blood- During this confinement he was often cruelly beaten thirsty, and persecuting, all seemed to lose with a large cudgel, at the caprice of the undersight of the peaceful character of Christian- gaoler; who, entering his cell one day, fell upon ity, and to contend with a fury more allied him without the shadow of an excuse for such to the ravings of madmen than the behaviour calling out all the time, as a pretext, • Come out of

abominable cruelty, and beat him most furiously, of sincere disciples of a meek and peace the window," although George Fox was on the preaching master: All these wrangling opposite side of the room to it.

While he was so Dissenters thought it an outward symbol of beaten,' he was moved of the Lord to sing psalms, sanctity to wear their hair closely cropped; being filled with joy: upon which the exaspebut Fox wore his very long, falling grace

rated gaoler brought in a fiddler to annoy him; but fully, over his shoulders, a practice which while he played George Fox so overpowered him obtained generally among his followers, and by his singing, ' being moved by the everlasting from a passage in his journal it would ap- and confounded, and went away, leaving him to

power of the Lord God,' that they were struck pear that he entertained some scruple the unmolested enjoyment of his heartfeli hymns against its being cut: he wished it to be of praise, and rejoicing that he was thus found understood that true religion did not con- worthy to suffer for the sake of his great Lord and sist in this outward mark, an observation Master, whose precepts he had thus far totally which would lead one to believe that he and faithfully declared, without respect of persons. eschewed rather than aimed at a peculiar Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and assumption of holiness in his appearance or against you falsely for my sake, Rejoice, and

persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil apparel. His long hair gave additional of- be exceeding glad for great is your reward in fence to the " crop-tars, roundheads” heaven.'— Mait. v. 11, 12.

"In this prison he became acquainted with


of the day.

James Parnell, a youth of only sixteen years, but | brought them both a light and a few handfuls of remarkable for his early piety and religious life. straw, which they burnt to purify the air. The He had been so struck with Fox's preaching and smoke arising upon this occasion penetrated doctrine, that he frequently visited him while in through the chinks of the floor above, and found bonds, eagerly seeking instruction; and the Lord its way into the chamber occupied by the under quickly made him a powerful minister of the word gaoler and some thieves, who immediately began of life, and many were turned to Christ by him.' to revenge themselves, hy pouring down upon Travelling soon after into Essex, as an acknow. them through the chinks whatever ihey could obledged minister of the Quakers, he was imprisoned tain to annoy them, and make their condition still with many others in Colchester Castle, and sub-. more deplorable; at the same time abusing them jected to the cruelty of a merciless gaoler, who with the foulest language. In this place they was encouraged in his brutality by the magistrates were sometimes left in want both of food and themselves. At this time James Parnell was ex. water, owing to the brutality of the gaoler and his tremely debilitated by severe indisposition, and wife; who often abused and beat those who was confined in a place called the oven, a large brought them a few necessaries and comforts. hole in the wall, and so high from the ground that the whole particulars of the infamous treatment it was only accessible by a short ladder, and a to which they were subjected, from the misconrope, because the ladder was not sufficiently long. duct of their unfeeling keepers, are too offensive From this place he was constrained by the gaoler for recital; and when such abuses no longer exto come down every day for his food, refusing ist in our public goals are best left untold.”-p. him the advantage of any assistance which his 131, fellow prisoners would gladly have rendered him. Climbing up one day to this incommodious dormi- Cromwell, who was well acquainted with tory, with his day's provision in one hand, he Fox, both personally and by reputation, missed his hold of the rope through weakness, and was cognisant of all these proceedings; and falling down was so much shaken, that he died it certainly seems to us a lasting stigma on very soon afterwards in consequence of his fall. his character that he allowed them. On After his death, his persecutors, to cover their own one occasion, after a long interview, when self to death. Thus he died a martyr to his reli- Fox was about to leave, Cromwell seized gious convictions, about two years after he had him by the hand, and said, with tears in his joined the Quakers.”—p. 98.

eyes, “ Come again to my house ; for if · During his confinement with those unfortunate thou and I were but an hour a day together and depraved characters, of both sexes, his sincere we should be nearer one another;" and he piety and kindly feeling united to his good exam ordered that Fox should be conducted to the ple, had a great effect upon the minds of his

great hall, to dine with his gentlemen. This wretched companions; they treated him with respect, and several of thein became sincere and true

honor was, however, flatly refused by the penitents, so powerfully and so feelingly had be unambitious Quaker: “Tell the Protector," faid open to them the profligacy of their evil said he, “that I will neither eat of his bread courses.”—p. 100

nor drink of his drink.” When Cromwell • The assizes being now ended, and the prison received the message he remarked—- Now ers refusing upon principle to pay a fine they con: I see there is a people arisen that I cannot sidered most illegal, since nothing had been proved win either with gifts, honors, offices, or against them to justify their apprehension,* much less their imprisonment, and judging from the places; but all other sects and people I malice of their enemies íhat they were not likely can.” This anecdote and subsequent events to he liberated very soon, demanded a free prison, show the exhibition of friendly feeling toand told the gaoler they should discontinue to pay wards Fox to have been ostensible only; him for the hire of his room, for which they had for he never raised a finger to assist him or hitherto given him seven shillings a week each to do him justice when so foully ill-used; person, as well as seven shillings a week for each the anecdote exhibits also the talent of the of their horses. Upon this notification, the gaoler, Protector in correctly estimating the hollowwho was an abandoned character, and had been iwice branded with a hot iron as a thief (as well ness and mercenary spirit of his self-righteous as his wise and the under gaoler), shut them up

followers. The following short quotations in a foul dungeon, called Doomsdale, which was show that Fox himself remonstrated with noisome and pestilential, on account of its being the Protector on the cruel oppression of his the common sewer of the prison, the floor of persecuted sect :which was so thick in mire, that it was over their shoes, and afforded no place where they could “ The travellers entering London by Hyde either sit or lie down. In this dreadful place they Park, met the Protector in his coach, attended by were denied by their exasperated keeper even a his life-guard, and surrounded by a great concourse little straw or a lighı; but some kindly disposed of people. George Fox immediately, rode up to people of the town hearing of their sad condition the coach side, from whence he would have been

* They had been arrested for travelling and repelled by the guards, had not Cromwell caught preaching by the way.

sight of him and beckoned him to approach. He


then rode by the coach side, and spoke to him, neither eat of his bread nor drink of his

Declaring,' as he says, “what the Lord gave me drink;" let the reader ask what was Fox's to say to him, of the condition and of the suffer- opinion, founded on dear-bought experience, ings of Friends in the nation ; showing him how of this sincere and straight-forward monarch. contrary this persecution was to Christ and his Apostles, and to Christianity! At the park gate

For what crime was Fox imprisoned ? of St. James' they parted, and Cromwell invited Alas! does not the termination of each imhim to come to his house."--p. 137.

prisonment show? We have it recorded “In the course of a few days he had an inter: again and again—" At length he was freed view with the Protector at Whitehall

, accompanied without a trial, without a hearing, without by Edward Pyott. George Fox was very urgent a charge of any kind being brought against on behalf of the Friends, stating how unjustly him."° We doubt whether the annals of they were persecuted, and how great were their sufferings throughout his dominions, for con any nation under the sun can produce a science sake alone; he pleaded their right, in match for the unrighteous persecutions common with all peaceable subjects, to Cromwell's borne for conscience' sake under that liberal protection.”—p. 137.

government, the Commonwealth of Eng“ A report was also spread of his (Cromwell's) land. Immediately before Cromwell's death intention to assume the crown. George Fox went Fox bad a final interview with him, in the to him and warned him against accepting it, and capacity of intercessor for the sect which he also of other dangers, such as his suffering the in.

had founded. nocent to be oppressed by the unjust, and that if

What impression he made he did not put a slop to this evil, he would bring is unknown; for the Protector's days were shame and ruin upon himself and his posterity. numbered—he was on the eve of that sumCromwell appeared to take his advice very well,” mons which the weak and the powerful &c.-p. 163.

alike obey. We give our author's brief acAppeared to take his advice very well;" count of the meeting :but his course remained unaltered. The priests of all denominations, and the rabble

George Fox went again to see the Protector, whom they incited, continued their persecu- to act with justice and impartiality to all his sub

to try once more how far he could influence him tions : procured the arrest and ill-usage of jects, and thus put a stop 10 the sufferings of the Fox and all the leaders of his sect; and injured Friends, who were now unjustly deprived Cromwell remained as before a passive if of the liberties and privileges secured to all freenot approving spectator.

men by the great charter of England. He had Since the publication of Mr. Carlyle's often before warned him of his unjust neglect of very able “Life of Cromwell” it has become this portion of his unoffending and innocent subrather a fashion to suppose that powerful jects, and had told him, that if he persisted in re

fusing any interference on their behalf, God would man greatly injured by the charge of hypo- soon 'rend the power out of his hands; and that crisy formerly preferred against him, and to a day of reverse and thick darkness was coming hold him up as a pattern of straight-forward over those high professions, even a day of darkness and sincerity. Now, the elements of ness that should be felt.' Cromwell was at straight-forwardness and sincerity do not ap- Hampton Court. George Fox says, '! met him pear to us to consist in conduct like that of riding in the park, and before I came to him, as he Cromwell, a sovereign prince, towards Fox, walt (or apparition) of death go forth against him;

rode at the head of his life.guard, I saw and felt a a peaceful and inoffensive subject. Since

and when I came to him he looked like a dead rity does not, in our view, consist in wring

After I had laid the sufferings of Friends ing a man's hand, and, with tears in one's before him, and had warned him, according as I eyes, begging him to come again, when he was moved to speak to him, he bid me come to his had just permitted him to suffer the grossest house. So I returned 10 Kingston ; and the next indignities; neither in providing sumptuous day went up to Hampton Court, to speak further dinners for him one day, and seeing him with him. But when I came he was sick ; and cast into a loathsome dungeon the next

one Harvey, who waited on him, told me the docwithout raising so much as a finger to assist So I passed away, and never saw him more.'”—

tors were not willing that I should speak to him. him. And be it recollected that dungeons p. 168. and fair words were continually alternated with some regularity, not merely on one oc- After the Restoration the persecution of casion, but times and oft ; and the ruler the Quakers still continued ; but, as before, knew the sterling worth of his subject, and it appears to have proceeded entirely from lamented that he was not to be bought with the Roundheads, especially those who had a bribe. Let the reader repeat, again and turned renegades to their old faith, and put again, Fox's answer to this powerful and on the more fashionable religion established crafty potentate—“Tell the Protector I will by law, in order to conciliate those in power,


[ocr errors]

and obtain a share of the temporalities of character they had represented him to be, they the church.

liberated hiin upon his parole, to appear of bis Fox was arrested at Swarthmore, on a

own accord, and deliver up his own accusation charge of “having great meetings up and before the proper authorities in London ; by this down," and was kept a close prisoner in the own proceedings, and the falsity of their charges

act tacitly acknowledging the injustice of their “ Dark House” in Lancaster Castle. He against him; because, if they had been true only was committed by one Porter, a violent and in part, nothing could justify their setting such a bitter Roundhead, but one who had just person at large upon parole. Thus he left Lanrenegaded to the faith now uppermost. caster Castle, without the payment of a single fee, While in Lancaster Castle numbers of rude travelled at his leisure, visited his friends, and held people were admitted to see him, merely for many great meetings on his journey; committing the purpose of abusing and insulting him. had been imprisoned, and in which offences his

over and over again the very offences for which he “ One time,” he says,

16 there came two

persecutors now silently acquiesced, since, by young priests, and very abusive they were ; liberating him upon his bare word to surrender the worst of people could not be worse.” himself, they consented to that which they well But perhaps the climax of abuse came from knew would be his only line of conduct. a woman whom he terms “old Justice “ Upon his arrival in London be found a great Preston's wife, of Howker Hall.” She concourse of people assembled at Charing Cross, told him his tongue should be cut out, and to witness the burning of the bowels of the late that he should be hanged ; at the saine time quartered. The next day he went before the Lord

king's judges, who had been hanged, drawn, and showing him a gallows, which we may ima- Chief Justice Foster, and Judge Mallett

, and pregine she had brought in her pocket in order senting them his own accusation, they read it to illustrate and point her invective. Hav- through till they came to the words, ' that he and ing applied for a copy of his mittimus, it was his friends were embroiling the nation in blood," refused him; but he appears to have gained &c. Upon which they struck their hands upon a knowledge of its contents by two of his the table

. George Fox told them, I am the man fellow-professors, who had perused it. He of any such thing as a new-born child, and had

whom that charge is against, but I am as innocent owed his liberation on this occasion to the brought it up myself; and some of my friends intercession of Margaret Fell, the lady at came with me, without any guard.' They then whose house he was staying, and whom he observed that he stood with his hat on, and said afterwards married. This excellent person to him, What, do you stand with your hat on!' went


to London, and appealed personally He replied, ' that he did not stand so in any conto the king on behalf of her ill-used friend.

tempt of them. In consequence of the King's She met with a most gracious reception ; . Will you appear to-morrow, about ten o'clock,

Bench prison being full, Judge Foster asked him, and the application resulted in the liberation at the King's Bench bar in Westminster Hall? of Fox. There is in the narrative matter of He said, “Yes, if the Lord give me strength.' the highest interest.

Then Judge Foster remarked to the other Judge, Reverting to Margaret Fell's application to If he says, yes, and promises it, you may take the king, it appeared from the nature of his com- his word; and then he was dismissed. The next. mitment that the king could not release him; he morning, he says, I was brought into the middle therefore ordered a writ of habeas corpus to be is of the court; and as soon as I came in I was sued for his removal 10 London, in order that his moved to look about, and, turning to the people, case might be referred to the judges. The trouble said, 'Peace be among you ;' and the power of now was how to get him removed to town; for the Lord sprung over the court. if he was only sent under the care of iwo bailiffs, against me was then read openly. The people the charge would be considerable; but to send him were moderate, and the judges cool and loving ; under the guard of a troop of horse was quite out and the Lord's mercy was to them. of the question; therefore, to save their pockets, “ But when they came to that part which said the magistrates told him, that if he would put in that I and my friends were embroiling the nation bail that he would be in London hy such a day of in blood, and raising a new war, that I was an term, he might go up with some of his friends.' enemy to the king, &c.,' they listed up their hands. George Fox told thein, he would neither put in | Then stretching out my arms, I said, 'I am the bail, nor give one piece of silver to the gaoler, for man whom that charge is against, but I am as inhe was an innocent man, upon whom they had nocent as a child concerning the charge, and have Jaid a false charge, and imprisoned wrongfully. never learned any war postures; and do ye Nevertheless, if they would let him go up with think, that if I and my friends had been such men one or two of his friends, he would be in London as the charge declares, that I would have brought such a day, if the Lord should permit, and would it up myself against myself? or that I should have carry up the charge against himself: So incon been suffered to come up with only one or two of sistent was the conduct of his persecutors, that, to my friends with me ? Had I been such a man as save themselves the charge of conveying him up this charge sets forth, 1 had need to have been to town under an escort, suitable for the dangerous guarded up with a troop or two of horse!' Then

[ocr errors]

The charge

« VorigeDoorgaan »