« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
A most merciful man ; as ready to forgive, as unapt to take or give an offence. Thousands can truly say,
he was of an excellent spirit and savour among them ; and, because thereof, the most excellent spirits loved him with an unfeigned love. He was an incessant labourer in word, doctrine, and disci. pline ; and as he was unwearied, so he was undaunted, being no more to be moved to fear than to wrath--and, truly, I must say, that though God had visibly clothed him with a divine preference and authority; and, indeed, his very presence expressed a religious majesty, yet he never abused it, but held his place in the church with great meekness and a most engaging humility and moderation.
“ I write my knowledge, and pot report: and my witness is true, having been with him for weeks and months together on divers occasions, and those of the nearest and most exercising nature; and that by night and day, by sea and land, in this and foreign countries : and I never saw him out of his place; or not a match for every service or occasion ; for in all things, he acquitted himself like a man, yea, a strong man ; a new and heavenly minded man; a divine and a naturalist; and all of God Almighty's making. I have been surprised at his questions and answers in natural things: that, whilst he was ignorant of useless and sophistical science, he had in him the foundation of useful and commendable knowledge; and cherished it
every where. « Thus he lived and sojourned amongst us ; and as he lived, so he died, feeling the same eternal
pre. served him in his last moments. So full of assurance was he, that he triumphed over death; and so even to the last, as if death were hardly worth notice or a mention : and, a few hours before his departure out of this world, being inquired of, bow he found himself, he answered, never heed, the Lord's power is over all weakness and death, the seed reigns ; blessed be the Lord.' » Extract from William Penn's preface to George Fox's Journal, p. 37–43.
Thus, I have believed it right to give these specimens of the real character of George Fox, that the reader might have an opportunity of judging for himself. Other testimonies, from equal authority, might be adduced, if needful, no less descriptive of the Christian temper and virtues of this ex cellent man.
The “ Errors of the Quakers," closes with a form of prayer, as he calls it, which takes up more than two pages ; of which the following is an extract, page 53: “ Were Qua“kers to make a plea at the Bar of God, “ predicated on the principles they think
most essential, would not this be the bur“ den of their cry, Lord, Lord open unto
us. Have we not spoken in thy name, and " hast thou not been with and taught us by “ thy Spirit? and have we not honoured “ thee by saying, thee and thou to a single
person, and by wearing our hats,-55. O o consider, Lord, did we not see into the u seventh seal ? that solemn silence there “ discovered, though it was contrary to that “ text of Scripture, where it says, ye that 66 make mention of the Lord keep not si“ lence, yet we saw such solemn silence in " that seal that we thought it the highest “ attainment in thy favour to worship silent
Page 56, we“ did not believe the Scripu ture was the word of God to us. We had
a spirit--therefore, Lord, Lord, open unC6 to us.”
Can any man of common understanding suppose, that, in writing this, the author could believe, he was speaking and acting according to the will of God? or, that he wrote it with
prayers and tears, in humble hope that it would be rendered a blessing to Quakers," and others ; as himself asserts, page 5. I conceive his manner of treating the subject of the seventh seal and silence in heaven, with the comparison he makes thereon, bespeaks great irreverence.
Could he have spoken more contemptibly of the silence of a servant before a petty prince, than he has of the silence of the heam venly host before the Divine Majesty.
Much of the succeeding part of this work being a recapitulation of, and animadversions upon the same subject treated on in the original pamphlet, may of course, be chiefly passed silently over. It will, therefore only be necessary to notice such subjects as I have not fully explained, with such other assertions and charges as appear deserving attention.
The first of which I shall remark, is the great effect which, he says, his original work had
upon us, page 57, in these words :“after “the publication of the above pamphlet, and
« it began to spread, the great cry of the « Quakers was, (as the Philistines said when 6 Samson burnt their corn) who has done « this ? for it was easy to be seen that it had “ set their quarters, monthly, and prepar- .
atory meetings all on fire ; and was « like to burn up much stubble.” Then, after other like assertions, he proceeds: “ How6 ever, they made a great talk ; and I was one great subject of talk at all their meet
ings and tea tables throughout the town « and country where the book
has « spread," &c.
This author here has vainly attached more importance to himself and his work, than we have ever considered them to merit ; and positively affirmed what he cannot prove.
I have steadily attended our quarterly, monthly, and preparative meetings, ever since that time ; and never have I heard the subject so much as named in any one of them, nor ever found, on inquiry, that either himself, or his book, has been once named in any of those meetings for discipline in any part of the society.
I shall now pass over sundry passages of like nature, as deeming them unworthy of the reader's attention.