Sivut kuvina

and we can own no other, neither outward Jerusalem, nor Rome, nor any sect of people for our mother, but Jerusalem which is above, which is free, the mother of all that are born again, become true believers in the light, and are grafted into Christ, the heavenly vine. For all who are born again of the immortal seed, by the word of God which lives and abides for ever, feed upon the milk of the word, the breast of life, grow by it in life; and cannot acknowledge any other to be their mother, but Jerusalem which is above.’ ‘Oh! (said squire Marsh to the Papist.) you do not know this man. If he would but come to church now and then, he would be a brave man.” After some other discourse, I went aside with justice Marsh into another room, to speak with him concerning Friends; for he was a justice of peace for Middlesex, and being a courtier, the other justices put much of the management of affairs upon him. He told me, “He was in a strait how to act between us and some other Dissenters. ‘For, (said he,) you cannot swear, and the Independents, Baptists, and Fifthmonarchy-people say also, they cannot swear; therefore, (said he,) how shall I know how to distinguish betwixt you and them, seeing they and you all say, it is for conscience sake that you cannot swear!” I answered, “I will show thee how to distinguish. They, or most of them thou speakest of, can and do swear in some cases, but we cannot swear in any case. If a man should steal their cows and horses, and thou shouldst ask them whether they would swear they were theirs? many of them would readily do it; but if thou try our Friends, they cannot swear for their own goods. Therefore, when thou puttest the oath of allegiance to any of them, ask them, “Whether they can swear in any other case, as for their cow or horse?” which, if they be really of us, they cannot do, though they can bear witness to the truth.' I gave him a relation of a trial in Berkshire, which was thus: ‘A thief stole two beasts from a Friend of ours. The thief was taken and cast into prison, and the Friend appeared against him at the assizes. But somebody having informed the judge, that the prosecutor was a Quaker and could not swear, the judge, before he heard the Friend, said, “Is he a Quaker? and will he not swear? then tender him the oaths of allegiance and supremacy.” So he cast the Friend into prison and premunired him, and let the thief go at liberty.’ Justice Marsh said, ‘That judge was a wicked man.” “But (said I.) if we could swear in any case, we would take the oath of allegiance to the king, who is to preserve the laws that are to support every man in his estate. Whereas others, that can swear in some cases, to preserve a part of their estates if they be robbed, will not take this oath to the king, who is to preserve them in their whole estates and bodies also. So that thou mayest easily distinguish and put a difference betwixt us and those people.’ Justice Marsh was after

Wol II. 11

wards very serviceable to Friends in this and other cases; for he kept several, both Friends and others, from being premunired: and when Friends were brought before him, in time of persecution, he set many of them at liberty. When he could not avoid sending to prison, he sent some for a few hours, or a night. At length he went to the king and told him, “He had sent some of us to prison contrary to his conscience, and he could not do so any more.’ Therefore, he removed his family from Limehouse, where he lived, and took lodgings near James' Park. He told the king, “If he would be pleased to give liberty of conscience that would quiet and settle all; for then none could have any pretence to be uneasy.' And indeed he was a very serviceable man to truth and Friends in his day. We had great service at London this year; the Lord's truth came over all. Many who had been out from truth came in again this year, confessing and condemning their outgoings. After I had staid some time in London, I visited Friends in Surry, Sussex, and other places that way, and then travelled northward, having Leonard Fell with me. We visited Friends till we came to Warwich, where many were in prison. We had a meeting in the town. I passed from thence to Birmingham and Badgely. At Badgely I had a large meeting. After which I passed through the country visiting Friends, till I came to Nottingham, where on the first day we had a precious meeting, but not without danger of being apprehended; the constables having threatened Friends. I passed from thence, visiting Friends, till I came to Balby, and so to York Quarterly Meeting. A blessed meeting we had. Friends had in Yorkshire, seven Monthly Meetings before, and they were so sensible of the service of them, that they desired to have seven more added to them; for truth was much spread in that county. Accordingly in that Quarterly Meeting they were settled and established: so now they have fourteen Monthly Meetings in that county. It being the assize-time at York, I met with justice Hotham, a wellwisher to Friends, who had been tender and very kind to me at the first. After I had finished my service for the Lord in York, I passed into the country. As I went, a great burden fell upon me; but I did not presently know the reason of it. I came to a meeting on first-day at Richard Shipton's which was very large. There being a meeting the same day at another place, and the priest of that place, being misinformed that I was to be there, got a warrant, and made great disturbance at that meeting; of which Isaac Lindley gave me an account by the following letter:

‘G. F.—WHEN thou went'st from York, the first-day after thou wast at Richard Shipton's, that day I had appointed a meeting ten miles from York, where there had not been a meeting before. But the priest and the constable got a warrant on the seventh-day, and put thy name only in the warrant; for they had heard thou wast to be there. They came with weapons and staves, and cried, “Where is Mr. Fox 7” over and over; many Friends being there, they concluded thou wast amongst them. But those raveners, being disappointed, plucked me down, and abused me, and beat some Friends, and then took me before a magistrate, but he set me at liberty. ISAAC LINDLEY."

I then visited Friends at Whitby and Scarborough. When I was at Scarborough, the governor, hearing I was come, sent to invite me to his house, saying, ‘Surely, I would not be so unkind, as not to come and see him and his wife.” After the meeting I went to visit him, and he received me very courteously and lovingly. Having visited most of the meetings in Yorkshire, the Woulds, and Holderness, I came to Henry Jackson's, where I had a great meeting. From thence to Thomas Taylor's, and to John Moor's at Eldreth, where we had a very large meeting: the Lord's power and presence was eminently amongst us. Not far from this place lay colonel Kirby, lame of the gout, who had threatened, “If ever I came near, he would send me to prison again; and had bid forty pounds to any man that could take me,’ as I was credibly informed. After this meeting I passed through the country till I came into Staf. fordshire and Cheshire, where we had many large and precious meetings. I had a very large one at William Barns', about two miles from Warrington; and though colonel Kirby was now got abroad again, as violent in breaking up meetings as before, and was then at Warrington, the Lord did not suffer him to come to this meeting: so we were preserved out of his hands. Now was I moved of the Lord to go over into Ireland, to visit the seed of God in that nation. There went with me Robert Lodge, James Lancaster, Thomas Briggs, and John Stubbs. We waited near Liverpool for shipping and wind. After we had waited some days, we sent James Lancaster, who took passage, and brought word the ship was ready, and would take us in at Black-rock. We went thither on foot. It being pretty far, and the weather very hot, I was much spent with walking. When we arrived the ship was not there, so we were obliged to go to the town and take shipping there. When we were got on board, I said to the rest of the company, ‘Come, ye will triumph in the Lord; for we shall have fair wind and weather.” There were many passengers in the ship sick, but not one of our company was sick. The master and many of the passengers were very loving; and being at sea on a first-day, I was moved to declare truth among them: whereupon, the master said to the passengers, ‘Come, here are things that you never heard in your lives.” When we came before Dublin, we took boat, and went ashore; and the earth and air smelt, methought, with the corruption of the nation, so that it yielded another smell to me than England did; which I imputed to the corruption and popish massacres that had been committed, and the blood that had been spilt in it, from which a foulness ascended. We passed through among the officers of the customs four times, yet they did not search us; for they perceived what we were. Some of them were so envious, they did not care to look at us. We did not presently find Friends; but went to an inn, and sent to enquire for some, who were exceeding glad of our coming, and received us with great joy. We staid there the Weekly Meeting, which was a large one, and the power and life of God appeared greatly in it. Afterwards we passed to a province meeting, which lasted two days, there being both a men's meeting about the poor, and another more general, in which a mighty power of the Lord appeared. Truth was livingly declared, and Friends were much refreshed therein.

Passing from thence about twenty-four miles, we came to another place, where we had a very good refreshing meeting; after which some Papists were angry, and raged very much. When I heard of it, I sent for one of them, a schoolmaster; but he would not come. Whereupon I sent a challenge to him, with all the friars, monks, priests, and Jesuits, to come forth, and try ‘their God and their Christ, which they made of bread and wine;' but no answer could I get from them. Wherefore I told them, “They were worse than the priests of Baal; for Baal's priests tried their wooden god, but these durst not try their god of bread and wine; and Baal's priests and people did not eat their god, as these did, and then make another.’

We went on to New-garden, where was a great meeting. From thence we travelled on among Friends till we came to Bandon bridge and the Land's-end, having many meetings as we went ; in which the mighty power of the Lord was manifested, Friends were well refreshed, and many people were affected with the truth. At Bandon, the mayor's wife, being convinced, desired her husband to come to the meeting; but he bid her for her life she should not make known that I was at a meeting there.

He that was then mayor of Cork, being very envious against truth and Friends, had many Friends in prison; and knowing I was in the country, he sent four warrants to take me; therefore Friends were desirous that I might not ride through Cork. But being at Bandon, there appeared to me in a vision, “A very ugly-visaged man, of a black and dark look. My spirit struck at him in the power of God,' and it seemed to me that I rode over him with my horse, and my horse set his foot on the side of his face.” When I came down in the morning, I told a Friend, the command of the Lord was to me to ride through Cork; but bid him tell no man. So we took horse, many Friends being with me. When we came near the town, Friends would have showed me a way on the backside of it; but I told them, my way was through the streets. Taking Paul Morrice to guide me through the town, I rode on; and as we rode through the market place, and by the mayor's door he, seeing me, said, “There goes George Fox;' but he had no power to stop me. When we had passed through the sentinels, and were come over the bridge, we went to a Friend's house, and alighted. There the Friends told me, what a rage was in the town, and how many warrants were granted to take me. While I was sitting there with Friends, I felt the evil spirit at work in the town, stirring up mischief against me; and I felt the power of the Lord strike at that evil spirit. By-and-by some other Friends coming in, told me, “It was over the town, and amongst the magistrates, that I was in the town.' I said, ‘Let the devil do his worst.” After awhile that Friends were refreshed one in another, and we who were travellers had refreshed ourselves, I called for my horse, and having a Friend to guide me, we went on our way. But great was the rage that the mayor and others of Cork were in, that they had missed me, and great pains they afterwards took to have taken me, having their scouts abroad upon the roads, as I understood, to observe which way I went. Afterwards, scarce a public meeting I came to but spies came to watch if I was there. And the envious magistrates and priests sent informations one to another concerning me, describing me by my hair, hat, clothes, and horse; so that when I was near a hundred miles from Cork they had an account concerning me, and description of me, before I came amongst them. One very envious magistrate, who was both a priest and a justice, got a warrant from the judge of assize to apprehend me; the warrant was to go over all his circuit, which reached near a hundred miles. Yet the Lord disappointed all their counsels, defeated all their designs against me, and by his good hand of providence preserved me out of all their snares, and gave us many sweet and blessed opportunities to visit Friends and spread truth through that nation. For meetings were very large, Friends coming to them far and near; and other people flocking in. The powerful presence of the Lord was preciously felt with and amongst us; whereby many of the world were reached, convinced, gathered to the truth, and the Lord's flock was increased, and Friends were greatly refreshed and comforted in feeling the love of God. Oh! the brokenness that was amongst them in the flowings of life So that, in the power and spirit of the

« EdellinenJatka »