Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

Others there are in Kendal prison, who were moved of the Lord to speak to the priests, whereof one was moved to go in sackcloth, and of late with ashes upon her head. Others have been moved to go in sackcloth, as a lamentation for the miserable estate of this nation, seeing so many crying up of the preaching of the gospel, and yet so much strife, debate, oaths, and dissention among people. But where the gospel is received indeed, strife and contention are ended, and oppression is taken off Oh? the land mourns, because of the oppression of those called ministers? And though the cry of the oppressed hath not entered into the ears of the magistrates, yet is the cry of the poor oppressed people of God entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabbaoth, who now will be avenged of all his adversaries. You unjust lawgivers, and unjust judges, to that in all your consciences I speak, to be cleared, when ye are judged by the just Judge of heaven and earth; whose terror is gone forth against all the ungodly, and all the oppressors of God's people whatsoever, whether ye will hear or forbear. G. F.”

After the assize, colonel Kirby and other justices were very uneasy with my being at Lancaster; for I had galled them sore at my trials there, and they laboured much to get me removed from thence to some remote place. Colonel Kirby threatened I should be sent far enough; and sometimes he said, ‘I should be sent beyond sea.’ About six weeks after the assizes, they got an order from the king and council to remove me from Lancaster; and with it they brought a letter from the earl of Anglesey, wherein was written, ‘That if those things were found true against me, which I was charged withal, I deserved no clemency nor mercy; yet the greatest matter they had against me was, because I could not disobey the command of Christ, and swear.

When they had prepared for my removal, the under-sheriff and the head-sheriff's man, with some bailiffs, came and fetched me out of the castle, when I was so weak with lying in that cold, wet, and smoky prison, that I could hardly go or stand. They had me into the gaoler's house, where was William Kirby and several others, and they called for wine to give me. I told them, ‘I would have none of their wine.” Then they cried, ‘bring out the horses.' I desired them first to show me their order, or a copy of it, if they intended to remove me; but they would show me none but their swords. I told them, “There was no sentence passed upon me, nor was I premunired, that I knew of; and therefore I was not made the king's prisoner, but was the sheriff's; for they and all the country knew, that I was not fully heard at the last assize, nor suffered to show the errors in the indictment, which were sufficient to quash it, though they had kept me from one assize to another, to the end they might try me. But they all knew there was no sentence of premunire passed upon me, therefore I, not being the king's prisoner but the sheriff's, did desire to see their order.” Instead of showing me their order, they haled me out, and lifted me upon one of the sheriff's horses. When I was on horseback in the street, the town's people being gathered to gaze upon me, I told the officers I had received neither christianity, civility, nor humanity from them. They hurried me away about fourteen miles to Bentham, though I was so very weak that I was hardly able to sit on horseback, and my clothes smelt so of smoke they were loathsome to myself. The wicked gaoler, one Hunter, a young fellow, would come behind and give the horse a lash with his whip, and make him skip and leap ; so that I, being weak, had much ado to sit on him; then he would come and look me in the face, and say, “How do you do, Mr. Fox " I told him, “It was not civil in him to do so. But the Lord cut him off soon after. When we were come to Bentham in Yorkshire, there met us many troopers and a marshal; and many of the gentry of the country were come in, and abundance of people to stare at me. I being very weak and weary, desired them to let me lie down on a bed, which the soldiers permitted; for those that brought me thither gave their order to the marshal, and he set a guard of his soldiers upon me. When they had staid awhile, they pressed horses, raised the bailiff of the hundred, the constables, and others, and had me to Giggleswick that night; but exceeding weak I was. There they raised the constables with their clogshoes, who sat drinking all the night in the room by me, so that I could not get much rest. Next day we came to a market-town, where several Friends came to see me. Robert Widders and divers Friends came to me upon the road. The next night I asked the soldiers, ‘Whither they intended to carry me, and whither I was to be sent? Some of them said, “Beyond sea, others said, ‘To Tinmouth castle.’ And a great fear there was amongst them, lest some should rescue me out of their hands; but that fear was needless. Next night we came to York, where the marshal put me up into a great chamber, where they came most part of two troops to see me. One of those troopers, an envious man, hearing I was premunired, asked me, ‘What estate I had, and whether it was copyhold or free-land!' I took no notice of his question, but was moved to declare the word of life to the soldiers, and many of them were very loving. At night lord Frecheville, so called, who commanded those horse, came to me, and was very civil and loving. I gave him an account of my imprisonment, and declared many things to him relating to truth. They kept me at York two days, then the marshal and four or five soldiers were sent to convey me to Scarborough castle. Indeed these were very civil men, and carried themselves civilly and lovingly to me. On the way we baited at Malton, and they permitted Friends to come and visit me. When we were come to Scarborough, they had me to an inn, and gave notice to the governor, who sent half a dozen soldiers to be my guard that night. Next day they conducted me to the castle, put me into a room, and set a sentry on me. I being very weak, and subject to fainting, they for awhile let me go out sometimes into the air with a sentry. They soon removed me out of this room, and put me into an open room, where the rain came in ; and the room smoked exceedingly, which was very offensive to me. One day the governor, who was called Sir Jordan Crosland, came to see me, and brought with him one called Sir Francis Cobb. I desired the governor to go into my room, and see what a place I had. I had got a little fire made in it, and the room was so filled with smoke, that when they were in they could hardly find their way out again. He being a Papist, I told him that was his purgatory which they had put me into. I was forced to lay out about fifty shillings to stop out the rain, and keep the room from smoking so much. When I had been at that charge, and made it somewhat tolerable, they removed me into a worse, where I had neither chimney nor fire-hearth. This room being to the sea-side, and lying much open, the wind drove in the rain forcibly, so that the water came over my bed, and ran about the room, that I was fain to skim it up with a platter. And when my clothes were wet, I had no fire to dry them; so my body was numbed with cold, and my fingers swelled, that one was grown as big as two. Though I was at some charge on this room also, yet I could not keep out the wind and rain. Besides they would suffer few Friends to come at me, and many times not any, no not so much as to bring me a little food; but I was forced for the first quarter to hire one of the world to bring me necessaries. Sometimes the soldiers would take it from her, and she would scuffle with them for it. Afterwards I hired a soldier to fetch me water and bread, and something to make a fire of, when I was in a room where a fire could be made. Commonly a three penny loaf served me three weeks, and sometimes longer, and most of my drink was water, with wormwood steeped or bruised in it. One time, when the weather was very sharp, and I had taken a great cold, I got a little elecampane-beer; and I heard one of the soldiers say to the other, “they would play me a pretty trick, for they would send for me up to the deputy-governor, and in the mean time drink my strong beer out;' and so they did. When I returned, one of the soldiers came to me in a jeer, and asked me for some strong beer. I told him, they had played their pretty trick, and took no farther notice of it. But inasmuch as they kept me so very strait, not giving liberty for Friends to come to me, I spoke to the keepers of the castle to this effect: ‘I did not know till I was removed from Lancaster castle, and brought prisoner to this castle of Scarborough, that I was convicted of a premunire; for the judge did not give sentence upon me at the assizes in open court. But seeing I am now a prisoner here, if I may not have my liberty, let my Friends and acquaintances have their liberty to come and visit me, as Paul's friends had among the Romans, who were not christians but Heathens. For Paul's friends had their liberty, and all that would might come to him, and he had his liberty to preach to them in his hired house; but I cannot have liberty to go into the town, nor for my Friends to come to me here. So you, that go under the name of christians, are worse in this respect than those Heathens were.” But though they would not let Friends come to me, they would often bring others, either to gaze upon me or to contend with me. One time there came a great company of Papists to discourse with me, who affirmed, “the pope was infallible, and had stood infallible ever since Peter's time.' I showed them the contrary by history: ‘for one of the bishops of Rome, Marcellinus by name, denied the faith, and sacrificed to idols; therefore he was not infallible. I told them, if they were in the infallible spirit, they need not have gaols, swords, and staves, racks and tortures, fires and faggots, whips and gallows, to hold up their religion by, and to destroy men's lives about religion; for if they were in the infallible spirit, they would preserve men's lives, and use none but spiritual weapons about religion. I told them also what one that had been of their society told me. A woman lived in Kent, who had not only been a Papist herself, but had brought over several to that religion; but coming to be convinced of God's truth, and being turned by it to Christ, her Saviour, she exhorted the Papists to the same. One of them, a taylor, being at work at her house, while she opened to him the falseness of the popish religion, and endeavoured to draw him from it to the truth, he drew his knife at her, and got between her and the door. But she spoke boldly to him, and bid him put up his knife, for she knew his principle. I asked the woman, what she thought he would have done with his knife? She said, “he would have stabbed her.” “Stab thee!” said I, “what would he have stabbed thee for 1 thy religion!” “Yes,” said she, “it is the principle of the Papists, if any turn from their religion, to kill them if they can.” This story I told those Papists, and that I had it from a person who had been one of them, but had forsook their principles and discovered their practices. They did not deny this to be their principle, but said, what! would I declare this abroad? I told them, yes, such things ought to be declared abroad, that it might be known how contrary their religion was to true christianity; whereupon they went away in a great rage. Another Papist came to discourse with me, who said, “all the patriarchs were in hell from the creation till Christ came, and that when Christ suffered he went into hell, and the devil said to him, what comest thou hither for, to break open our strong holds? and Christ said, to fetch them all out. So, he said, ‘Christ was three days and three nights in hell to bring them out.’ I told him, that was false; for Christ said to the thief, “this day thou shalt be with me in paradise.” And Enoch and Elijah were translated into heaven. And Abraham was in heaven; for the scripture saith, ‘Lazarus was in his bosom; and Moses and Elias were with Christ upon the mount before he suffered.’ These instances stopped the Papist's mouth, and put him to a stand. Another time came one called Dr.Witty, who was esteemed a great doctor in physic, he came with him that was called lord Falconbridge, the governor of Tinmouth castle, and several knights. I being called to them, Witty undertook to discourse with me, and asked me, ‘What I was in prison for " I told him, “Because I would not disobey the command of Christ, and swear.’ He said, ‘I ought to swear my allegiance to the king.” He being a great Presbyterian, I asked him, “whether he had not sworn against the king and house of lords, and taken the Scotch covenant 7 and had he not since sworn to the king? what then was his swearing good for 1 but my allegiance, (I told him,) did not consist in swearing, but in truth and faithfulness.” After some further discourse, I was had away to my prison again; and afterwards this Dr. Witty boasted in the town amongst his patients, that he had conquered me. When I heard of it, I told the governor, “It was a small boast in him to say, he had conquered a bondman.' I desired to bid him come to me again when he came to the castle. He came again awhile after, with about sixteen or seventeen great persons, and then he ran himself worse on ground than before. For in discourse he affirmed before them all, ‘That Christ had not enlightened every man that cometh into the world;" and ‘that the grace of God, that brought salvation, had not appeared unto all men, and that Christ had not died for all men.” I asked him, what sort of men those were which Christ had not enlightened? and whom his grace had not appeared to ? and whom he had not died for 7 he said, ‘Christ did not die for adulterers, and idolaters, and wicked men.” Then I asked him, “whether adulterers and wicked men were not sinners” he said, ‘Yes.” “And did not Christ die for sinners? (said I,) did he not come to call sinners to repentance?’ ‘Yes,’ said he. ‘Then (said I,) thou hast stopped thy own mouth.' So I proved, that the grace of God had appeared unto all men, though some turned from it into wantonness, and walked despitefully against it; and that Christ had enlightened all men, though some hated the light. Several of the people that were present confessed it was true; but he went away in a great rage, and came no more to me. Another time the governor brought a priest, but his mouth was soon stopped. Not long after he brought two or three parliament-men, who

« EdellinenJatka »