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plined by long thinking and moral consciousness; and his body was not, indeed, “armed in complete steel,” but in complete leather; "partly,” says Sewel," for the simplicity of that dress, and also because such clothing was strong, and needed but little mending or repairing.” In early life he journeyed on foot; but like most founders of sects, eventually rode on horseback or in a carriage; and, says Milton's friend, Ellwood, “the good man (like Julius Cæsar) willing to improve all parts of his time, did usually, even in travel, dictate to his amanuensis what he would have committed to writing.” That he bestrode no contemptible cattle we infer from the commendation of the justice at Lynn; and it is not improbable from his apprehension at that time, that he wore a suit of grey, and that his appearance was altogether more respectable than formerly. One of the news-writers, he says, “ put in the paper, that in my interview with Oliver, I wore silver buttons ; which was false: for they were but ochimy. He wore his hair extremely long, we should have said in offence to the round-heads, whom he certainly disliked, but that he gives us to understand it was by command of the Lord.
In the personal appearance of Fox there seems to have been something very solemn and imposing. His expressions,
were uncouth and unfashionable,” but “his very presence expressed a religious majesty.”—“He had an extraordinary gift in opening the scriptures—but, above all, he excelled in prayer. The inwardness and weight of his spirit, the reverence and solemnity of his address and behaviour, and the fewness and fulness of his words, have often struck even strangers with admiration, as they used to reach others with consolation. The most awful, living, reverent frame I ever felt or beheld, I must say, was his in prayer.”—“ Graceful he was in countenance,” says Ellwood,“ manly in personage, grave in gesture, courteous in conversation, weighty in communication, instructive in discourse; free from affectation in speech or carriage.” Sewel, who also knew him personally, says, “ he was tall of stature, and pretty big-bodied, yet very moderate in meat and drink; neither did he yield much to sleep. He was a man of a deep understanding, and of a discerning spirit; and though his words were not always linked together by a neat grammatical connexion, and that his speech sometimes seemed abrupt, as with a kind of gap; yet he expressed himself intelligently, and what was wanting in human wisdom, was abundantly supplied with heavenly knowledge. In his prayers (which generally were not very long, though powerful), appeared a decent gravity, mixt with an awful reverence to admiration.” To these extraordinaries we may add, that Fox had extraordinary lungs, no indifferent thing to a man who preached three
and four hours at a time, to large congregations in the open air. Indeed, Camm and Coale, two of the early ministers, the latter of whom, Sewel, after Homer we suppose, calls “son of thunder,” died of consumption through straining their voices.
The ordinary events recorded in biography, the birth, the marriage, and death of the party, are of little consequence in the life of Fox. In compliance, however, with established custom, we add, that he died in London on the “ 13th of the month, anciently called January, about 10 o'clock at night, in the 67th year of his age; and his body was buried near Bunbill-fields, on the 16th of the said nionth."
It may be allowed us before closing this article to say a few words in reference to the age in which Fox lived, and the consequences of his ministry. At the time he first appeared, there was, raging over the whole kingdom, a religious madness. “Who,” says Howel, in a letter dated 1644, the very first of Fox's wanderings, "would have held it possible, that to avoid superstition, some people should be brought to belch out such a horrid profaneness, as to call the temples of God, the tabernacles of Satan ; the Lord's Supper, a twopenay ordinary; to make the communion table a manger, and the font, a trough to water their horses in; to term the white decent robe of the Presbyter, the whore's smock; the pipes through which nothing came but anthems and holy hymns, the devil's bagpipes.” This was the current and established slang, and about the only thing in which the people were agreed. On one occasion, says Fox, “I met with people that held women had no souls ;” at another with a people that “ relied much on dreams,” as indeed Fox himself did; but he professed to distinguish between “ the whisperings of Satan,” “ the speaking of God," and the mere vulgar shadowing from “ multitude of business.” At another time, with “people that held all things come by nature.” Being in prison at Coventry, he met with men who declared themselves to be God; in Darby prison one said, “ Your faith stands in a man that died at Jerusalem, and there was never any such thing.” The same person also " held, that never any of the prophets, nor apostles, nor holy men of God, suffered any thing outwardly, but all their sufferings were inward.” From a short news-tract, published at the time, it appears that “ upon the 10th of this instant month of January, [1646,] being the blessed sabbath, in sermon-time, there arose a great disturbance, [in one of the city churches,] by one Evan Price, a taylor, who in the middle of the sermon stood up, and declared himself to be Christ.” Being taken and questioned before the Lord Mayor, “ he maintained that he had suffered upon the cross, and had the print of all the nails upon his hands.” 'The country was, in fact, overrun with sects, parties, and divisions beyond all number; and their
differences equally beyond reason and common apprehension. “ Some,” says Mr. D’Israeli, “ maintained there existed no distinction between moral good and moral evil, and that every man's actions were prompted by the Creator. Prostitution was professed as a religious act; å glazier was declared to be a prophet, [why every third Quaker was a prophet,] and the woman he cohabited with was said to be ready to lie in of the Messiah. A man married his father's wife ; [another was apprehended for having seven wives.] Murders of the most extraordinary nature were occurring ; one woman crucified her mother; another sacrificed her child in imitation of Abraham; and just at this time appeared George Fox to add to the bewilderment, and make confusion worse. “ A Quaker,” proceeds D'Israeli,
the text that man shall not live by bread alone, but by the word of God, persisted in refusing his meals. The literal text proved for him a dead letter, and this practical commentator died of a metaphor." One young gentleman found himself so possessed of the spirit, even while at school, that “the making of Latin verses became a burthen to him," and he was therefore taken home by his rejoicing family. If this test be sufficient, we suspect the influence of the spirit is much more extensive than the simple Quakers imagine. Boys of sixteen and seventeen became " powerful ministers.” The history of one of these, James Parnell, is full of melancholy interest, and we regret we cannot extract it.
While Fox was confined in York jail, “ Justice Benson's wife," he observes, “was moved of the Lord to come to visit me, and to eat no meat but what she eat with me at the bars of the prison windoro."
Another woman, “Sarah Goldsmith, who from a well-meant zeal to testify against pride, having a coat of sack-cloth, and her hair dishevelled, with earth or dust strewed on her head, had gone through the city without receiving any considerable harm from the people, because some looked upon her to be crack-brained.” This not succeeding to their satisfaction, others threw aside the sack-cloth, and with it common decency, and paraded the public streets stark naked. Solomon Eçcles “ went naked above his waist, with a chafing dish of coals and burning brimstone on his head, and entered a [Catholic] chapel when all the people were on their knees to pray for their idol, and spoke as follows :—Wo to these idolatrous worshippers! God hath sent me this day to warn you, and to show you what will be your portion except you repent.” William Sympson was moved of the Lord to go at several times for three years, naked and barefoot before them, as a sign to them, in markets, courts, towns, cities, to priests' houses, and to great men's houses; telling them, “So. should they be stripped naked as he was stripped naked.” And sometimes he was moved to put on hair sackcloth, and to besmear his face, and to tell them, “ So would the Lord besmear all their religion as he was besmeared.” Great sufferings,” says Fox, “ did that poor man undergo, sore whippings with horsewhips and coachwhips on his bare body, grievous stonings and imprisonments in three years' time, before the King came in, that they might have taken warning ; but they would not, and rewarded his love
One woman being on the scaffold at Boston in America, where she suffered death, declared, “ that she had been in Paradise.
The Quakers, indeed, knew no bounds either to their zeal or extravagance.* Some went forth as Missionaries to America,
with cruel usage.
* Hume has given a brief but masterly account of the Quakers, and of the mad extravagance of Nayler ; but he is not quite correct in saying that imprisonment, labour, and bread and water, brought the latter to his senses, and that he was content to come out of prison an ordinary man, and return to his usual occupation. Nayler lived but a short time after, and he both taught and wrote, in that short time, in favour of the doctrine of the Quakers. The Quakers, too, though condemning his extravagance, that is to say his difference with themselves, are very guarded in what they say of him. In the language of one, “ His gift in the ministry was eminent, his experience in divine things truly great.” One of his greatest burthens, and of which he most repented, was, says Fox, “his resisting the power of God in
The account of Nayler given by the Quakers is this: He was a man in very high repute among them, but” he became exalted above measure, through abundance of revelation," and the flatteries of ignorant enthusiasts. These people addressed him as “ the everlasting son of righteousness--the only begotten son of God.” This was the common language of his followers; and when he was in prison at Exeter they knelt before him, and kissed his feet; and proclaimed every where that he there raised upone Dorcas Ebury,after she had been two days dead; to which the woman herself testified on oath, before a magistrate. After his liberation they accompanied him in procession, and on his entering Bristol, some walked bare-headed before him, while others strewed their garments in the way, and all went singing “ Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God of Hosts, &c.” The “ dissipation of the illusion,” that Hume alludes to, was not that Nayler ever saw the total fallacy of opinions which led, in their result, to these extravagancies, but that he confessed his error in permitting others to run such extreme lengths in shewing him honor ; for the Quakers say he never declared himself to be Christ; and he said, “ he did not receive them as done to himself, but to Christ in him.” Even to the raising of Ebury, Nayler gives a gloss, that, if we understand it, shews no very lucid interval. “ And that report, as though I had raised Dorcas Ebury from the dead carnally, this I deny also, and condemn that testimony to be out of the truth; though that power which quickens the dead, I deny not, which is the word of eternal
Syria, India, China, and “ Prester John's country. Among these a great many were women. Others went to Malta, Egypt, and even Rome itself, where they were thrust into the Inquisition, the jails, and the madhouses.
There could certainly have been no other end to the extravagancies of a sect who admitted no authority to control the license of individuals; to whom creeds, councils, experience, and the wisdom of past ages, were as nothing to; whom the scriptures were no measure of the truth of their doctrine, but their doctrine of the scriptures, nor of their conduct, for they at first held that the commands of scripture were no further obligatory on any man, than as he found conviction on his conscience, though they afterwards qualified this opinion; than their separation as a body, with the universal contempt and reprobation of other men. As Fox grew older he became sensible of this. The " light within,” which was "sufficient to enlighten every man that cometh into the world," would sometimes, as in Penot, Nayler, Keith, Bugg, and others, outblazon, or outbrazen, the light in George himself:-Sewel, speaking of one of these, says, innocently enough, he “so far complied with his vain imaginations that he thought himself further enlightened than George Fox, and his friends :-every man became an oracle, and oracles were sometimes contradictory ; accordingly, councils were called ; a select body was established, over which Fox was chosen to preside. This council was to be infallible; its light was to illuminate the whole body; in “ best wisdom,” it was to judge the doctrine of every man; and thus that “light within," which when a solitary, obscure glimmering, visible only through the cracks in the scull of a poor, ignorant, fanatical shoemaker, was sufficient to shew the errors of all the established religions in Europe; which, as one of the reclaimed Quakers afterwards urged, they “in order to bring us over to them, and to decoy us, told us was a sufficient guide, teacher, and leader, and sufficient to lead us to salvation, yea, above scriptures, above fathers, above councils, and above churches;” was at once, and for ever, put out, and Pope George and his Cardinals established in lieu of it.
life.” One piece of justice let us do Nayler; he was mad in good company. The council of a nation that could sit ten days in judging this miserable creature, and eventually sentence him to be twice put in the pillory, twice whipped, to have his tongue bored through, and be branded on the forehead with hot irons, was equally in want of a bread and water regimen.