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On the other hand, Dr. Henry More, the friend of Penn, held Fox to public resentment, as a melancholy fanatic, and possessed of a devil.*

The last character who has attempted the character of Fox is Clarkson; and though it was done long after the subsiding of party spirit, it is as partial, and as wide of sober history, as those of his compatriots. Without examining the composition in Fox's public character, he has contented himself with some declamation on his courage, zeal, and similar qualities. But such had Nero; such had Mahommed; and a Mary, queen of England, was so conscientious, and so zealous, that she could not retain the lands wrested from the Romish church, "because she valued the salvation of her soul more than ten kingdoms." It is not the possession merely of these qualities, it is the cause in which they are called forth, and the good motives which regulate them, that determine the true character of the agent. There have been martyrs for every heresy. It is the holy cause which makes the Christian martyr. Martyrdom merely demonstrates the sincerity of the sufferer.

In drawing the character of Fox, I shall not, with More, call him "a devil:" neither shall I deify him; and I cannot be charged with injustice if I shall take no other book than his own Journal, and Sewell's History, for my guides. I shall not even take the advantage of quotations from his earliest writings, nor the first editions of his book: I will take it as it lies before the public, after having undergone the severest castigations of modern critics: for I have proofs before me that they have expunged ideas and expressions which no modern ear could endure.

G. Fox was of an obscure birth. He was in early youth apprenticed to a cordwainer. He was so illiterate that he could scarcely write a legible hand, or even spell. His letters, deposited in Zion college library, and his will, were adduced to prove that he could not write a sentence of correct English.§ He was distinguished in youth for his sullen silence; in his advanced years

Theol. works, folio, Myst. of Godl. book 10, ch. 13, and Schol. in Dial. v. sec. 5.

t Warner's Ch. Hist. ii. 371. folio. Phil. ed. 2 vols. 8vo. A. D. 1808.

§ Ellwood wrote his Journal.

for the extreme volubility of his speech. He possessed uncommon sensibility of mind: he had a tender and benevolent heart. He felt religious impressions at an early age: he spoke with ardour of the love of God. Had he been placed in proper hands at that interesting crisis, he might have become a useful citizen, and of service to the church; but he was seduced by the ignorance and fanaticism of the age. He was a mystic after the manner of Behmen: he came, like him, through the ordeal of silence and deep retirement. In his doublet, and breeches of leather, and girded, in a primitive manner, with his leathern girdle, he strolled over the country, spending whole days in hollow trees and lonesome dells, and live-long nights in painful watchings.* He abstained from food sometimes for several days.f

"The web of thought

Was shatter'd; burst into a thousand threads.-
He loathed and sickened at the name of knowledge."

"Qui miser in campis moerens errabat aleis,
Ipse suum cor edens hominum vestigia vitans."

Goethe's Faustus.

* Jour. i. p. 90, 158. † Sec. i. 165.

Hom. by Cic.

This induced a disease: when attempts were made to bleed him, no blood could be found. At another time he was so entranced, or carried out of himself, that it was supposed that he was dead. Out of this trance he arose so altered, that his body seemed to be new moulded. He read his bible; but he had read Behmen more. According to the doctrine of his master, the result of this mental agony was, that "the spirit of darkness was chained:" "the power of God was over all:" "the pure fire appeared in him." The sensorium was so purified that he could discern spirits: for he too claimed this high prerogative; or, in the words of Hudibras, he

Sec. i. 99.

Compare Taylor's Platonic Operation on the Mind by the Catholic virtues, the first part of Fox's Journal. Tayl. ii. 277. That the Platonic writings were familiar and accessible to all, appears from these facts. Penn praises the Platonic studies of Keith. Penn's Let. to Turner. See "Snake," &c. p. 333. Behmen's Avera, or Day Spring, was published in 1650; and Okely states, that some of B.'s works had gone through four editions before his new translation.

|| Sec. i. 94.

"Had lights where other eyes were blind,
As pigs are said to see the wind."

Like Behmen, he carried his spirit of discerning into the virtues of plants and creatures:* but he played it off to grander effect on the human heart. He discerned who were saints, who were devils, or apostates, "without speaking a word." He was particularly successful in this line among the fair and frail members of his audience. "Thou hast been a harlot," said this oracle to one: "Thou hast an unclean spirit," said he to another, with an ef frontery which would have appalled an Amazon.‡

This singular character began to discover, by the most natural train of thinking, that this inward "fire," or "light," being "Christ," superseded the use of external means. He went no more to the church, except only to reprove priest and people; he conceived a strange antipathy to "steeple houses:" the sight of them "struck at his life."§

He was ushered into his public ministry by his precursor Brown. This precursor had "great prophecies and sights of him on his death bed."|| It was at the death of this man that Fox had his greatest Platonic purification, and his spirit of discerning perfected.

He was highly favoured with visions: he saw an angel of the Lord standing with a glittering sword:T he saw a rent in the earth, and smoke coming out of it.** By a sort of second sight he saw the visions of vast multitudes coming to him in white clothing. As he set his missionary foot on the soil of Scotland he "felt the seed of God to sparkle about him like fire." He saw the heavens opened to him; he was caught up into the paradise of God, and heard the intimation made to him that his name was in the book of life.tt How true is the saying 66 ωσων αν ή φύσις λαλος

εστι και μελαγχολική πανταδοπως οψεις όρωσι 19988

• Sewel, vol. i. p. 43, edit. of 1811.

† Fox Great Myst. p. 89. Penn vindicates his claims. See his "Winding Sheet," sec. 2. In this treatise Penn advocates his claims of infalli. bility!

Journal, sec. i. p. 220. There are five instances recorded there of dooms pronounced agaist females by this oracle.

§ Sec. i. 149.

|| Sec. i. 99.

** Jour. vol. i. 180.

Sewel, vol. ii. p. 91.

tt Journal, i. 448.

Sec. i. 109, 241.

$ Aristotle e Div. " Men that are of a talkative and melancholy tem per see any kind of visions."

The system of his doctrine was simple. It was built on the "Christ within." His sufferings were within: his resurrection was within the rule and guide were within: nay none has a glory and a heaven but that which is within.*

In his whole line of conduct he professed to be guided by impulses from the oracle within; these dictated the nature, the manner, the time of his services. Moved by these, he made, during divine service, an irruption into the great church at Nottingham, and roared out against the doctrines of the preacher! Wherever he travelled, it "was in the motion of God's power." It was by the same "power" he was prohibited from taking off his hat, or bowing or scraping to any man. It dictated to him the orthodox use of "thee and thou." This the Society called the new tongue, with which they spoke as the spirit gave them utterance.§ When sitting down to eat, the spirit would say "eat not," and he instantly obeyed. In one of his apostolical journeys, the spirit moved him to go to the top of Pendle hill, and forthwith he scaled its lofty cliffs. On the summit of another hill he was thrown into a trance in the extacy of his visions he could not contain himself, but like the young Ciceronian, who pronounced his maiden speech to the cabbages in his mother's garden, Fox poured forth with all the energies of inspiration, "the notable day," to the winds and the barren heath.** He was moved, in one of his marches to Litchfield, in the middle of winter, to throw off his shoes, and to walk barefooted through that city, while he made the streets re-echo with the lugubrious shouts of "wo, wo, wo to the bloody city of Litchfield !" When he returned to his shoes, he felt

1

* See Fox's Great Mystery, anct. edit. p. 214. Snake, &c. p. 164. +See more specimens of this zeal, Jewel, vol. i. p. 51, 55, edit. 1811.The Society has referred to this zeal of Fox with evident approbation. See Vind. of Quak, Mosh, vol. iv. 9, edit. of 1821. Mr. Clarkson has ventured to state, that " Fox disapproved of his own conduct, in having interrupted the public service in the church of Nottingham." Portrait, vol. i. p. xi. But the Society will not thank him for this stretch of charity. Fox acted this whole scene (if we may believe himself) by an immediate revelation as he came within sight of the church, "The Lord said unto him, go and cry against yonder idol, and the worshippers in it." Journal, vol. i. p. 115. To have disapproved of his own conduct would have been to condemn his inspirations, and to give up his divine commission. Clarkson was not aware of this. He has ventured to teach before he learned the principles of the Society.

Sec. i. p. 241.
Sec. L. 172.

Burroughs's works, fol. p. 273, ed. 1672.
¶ Vol. i. p. 173.
** Sec. i. p. 36.

the "fire of God" so in his feet, and all over him, that he was dutifully constrained to wait for a divine signal to put on his shoes. After some suspense, with his bare feet in the snow, the oracle permitted him to put them on.*

He possessed invincible courage: this was bottomed on the conviction that his commission was equal to that of the apostles.t He went further: "He knew nothing but pureness and innocence: he was renewed up into the image of God, and had arrived into the state of Adam before the fall." With such a commission, and such sinless perfection, he came forth to tell a guilty world" that God was come himself to teach the people :"§ that all their ordinances and sacraments were done away: and that all must turn to the pure light in every one of themselves. Wherever he came," the power of God was over all." Strangers bowed before him: priests were struck dumb: great doctors melted away: some of them ran and hid themselves under hedges:" it was only necessary to say that "the man in the leather breeches was come," and the power of God fell on them. His accusers went mad and hanged themselves.T

66

So marvellous were his ministrations in "steeple houses," by way of episodes to the services, that a great woman, as he modestly tells us, took him, as he slunk away, for "an angel," or at least "a spirit."** So dreadful was the power of God accompanying his labours, that "the people flew like chaff before him into their houses." As he prayed the people trembled, and the house was shaken. He healed the sick-he cured the lame-restored a man who had his neck broken-cast out spirits.‡‡ Distressed souls, he tells us, were sent out of the church by a revelation, to seek his presence and to receive from him light and comfort.§§ And the plague of London, and the Dutch war came in fulfilment of e Quaker prophecy, to avenge the injuries done to that sect.||||

Nihil est, quod credere de se,

Non possit, quum laudatur dis æqua potestas."

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Juv. Sat. iv. 71.

He had his share of vanity: though literally an ignorant he affected to write letters to kings, and princes, and ma

man,

* Vol. i. 169.

Vol. i. 169.

+i. 111.
i. 158.

* Vol. i. 159.

tt i. p. 186.

# See Journal index, at the word "Miracles."

SS Vol. i. p. 139.

+ i. p. 104.

¶ Sec. 167.

I Sewel, vol. ii. book viii. p. 148.

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