The Missing Cross to Purity


The Journal of George Fox - 1661 - 1666 - Scarborough Castle Prison <page 3 >


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I was kept until the assize, and judge Turner and judge Twisden were assigned that circuit. I was brought before judge Twisden, on the 14th of the month called March, the latter end of the year 1663. When I was brought to the bar, I said,  ‘peace be among you all.' The judge looked upon me and said, 'what! Do you come into the court with your hat on! Upon which words, the jailer took it off, and I said,' the hat is not the honor that comes from God.' Then said the judge to me, 'will you take the oath of allegiance, George Fox?' I said, ‘I never took any oath in my life, or any covenant or engagement.' ‘Well,' he said, 'will you swear or not? 'I answered, ‘I am a Christian, and Christ commands me “not to swear;" and so does the apostle James; and whether I should obey God or man, you judge.' ‘I ask you again,' he said, ‘whether you will swear, or not?' I answered again, ‘I am neither Turk, Jew, nor Heathen, but a Christian, and I should show forth Christianity. And I asked him, if he did not know that Christians in the primitive times, under the ten persecutions, and some also of the martyrs in queen Mary's days, refused swearing, because Christ and the apostle had forbidden it? I also told him that they had seen how many people had first sworn for the king and then sworn against him. But as for me, I had never taken an oath in my life. My allegiance did not lie in swearing, but in truth and faithfulness; for I honor all men, and I much more honor the king. But Christ, who is the great prophet, the King of kings, the Savior and judge of the whole world, said I must not swear. Now, must I obey Christ or you? For it is tenderness of conscience, and in obedience to the command of Christ, that I do not swear; and we have the word of a king for tender consciences. Then I asked the judge, if he did own the king?' Yes,' he said, 'I do own the king.' Why then, I said, do you not observe his declaration from Breda, and his promises made since he came into England, "that no man should be called in question for matters of religion, so long as they lived peaceably?" If you own the king,' I said, 'why do you call me in question and ask me to take an oath, which is a matter of religion; since neither you or anyone else can charge me with un-peaceable living?' Upon this he was moved, and looking angrily at me, said, ‘Sirrah, will you swear?' I told him, ‘I was none of his sirrah, I was a Christian; and for him, an old man, and a judge, to sit there and give nicknames to prisoners, it did not become either his gray hairs or his office.' ‘Well,' he said, ‘I am a christian too.' 'Then do Christian works,'  I said. 'Sirrah!' he said, 'do you think to frighten me with your words.' Then catching himself and looking aside, he said, 'hark! I am using the word (sirrah) again;' so he checked himself. I said, 'I spoke to you in love; for that language did not become you, as a judge. You should instruct a prisoner in the law, if he is ignorant and does not understand.' 'And I speak in love to you too,' he said. ‘But,' I said, ' love gives no nicknames.’ Then he roused himself up, and said, ‘I will not be afraid of you, George Fox. You speak so loud, your voice drowns mine and the court’s; I must call for three or four criers to drown your voice; you have good lungs.' 'I am a prisoner here,' I said, ‘for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake; for his sake do I suffer, and for him do I stand this day, and if my voice were five times louder I should lift it up, and sound it out for Christ's sake, for whose cause I stand this day before your judgment seat, in obedience to him who commands '"not to swear;" before whose judgment seat you must all be brought, and must give an account.' ‘Well,' said the judge, 'George Fox, say whether you will take the oath, yes or no?' I replied, 'I say as I said before, whether ought I to obey God or man, you judge? If I could take any oath at all, I should take this; for I do not deny some oaths only or on some occasions, but all oaths, according to Christ's doctrine, who has commanded his, “not to swear at all." Now if you or any of you or any of your ministers or priests here will prove that Christ or his apostle, after they had forbidden all swearing, ever commanded Christians to swear, then I will swear.' I saw several priests there; but not one of them offered to speak. Then said the judge, 'I am a servant to the king, and the king sent me not to dispute with you, but to put the laws in execution; therefore present him the oath of allegiance.' 'If you love the king,' I said, ‘why do you break his word, and not keep his declarations and speeches, where he promised liberty to tender consciences? I am a man of a tender conscience, and in obedience to Christ's command I cannot swear.' 'Then you will not swear,' said the judge; 'take him away, jailer.' I said, ‘it is for Christ's sake that I cannot swear, and for obedience to his command I suffer; and so the Lord forgive you all.' So the jailer took me away; but I felt the mighty power of the Lord was over them all.

On the sixteenth of the same month I was brought before judge Twisden again, who was somewhat offended at my hat; but since it was the last morning of the assize, before he was to go out of town, and not many people were there, he made the less of it. He asked me, 'whether I would deny the charge to be true, stand mute, or submit.' But he spoke so fast, it was hard to know what he said. However I told him, 'I desired I might have liberty to deny the truth of the indictment, and have it tried in court.' Then said he, 'Take him away, I will have nothing to do with him, take him away.' I said, ‘well, live in the fear of God, and do justice.' 'Why, (he said), have I not done you justice?' I replied, 'What you have done has been against the command of Christ.' So I was taken to the jail again and kept prisoner until the next assizes.

Some time before this assize, Margaret Fell was sent prisoner to Lancaster jail by justices Fleming, Kirby, and Preston; and at the assize the oath was also tendered to her, and she was again committed to prison to stay until the next assize.

From Valiant for the Truth: While George Fox was thus suffering for conscience' sake his kind hostess, the widow of Judge Fell, was in her turn subjected to trial and imprisonment. One day as the Friends were quietly sitting in their meeting in Swarthmore Hall, Colonel Kirby made his appearance and took down the names of all the men present. A few days after an officer came to bring Margaret Fell before a special meeting of the magistracy, assembled at Ulverstone. She was questioned in regard to the meetings held at her house, and told if she would not promise to discontinue them, they would tender her the oaths of allegiance and supremacy. She replied, so long as the Lord let her have a house, she would in spirit and in truth endeavor to worship God in it. The oath was then tendered, and as she could not conscientiously take any oaths, she, too, was sent to prison till the next assizes. Here the same plan was pursued with the same result. She could neither take the oath, nor accept her liberty on condition of giving up the meetings at her house, and so was remanded for three months more. At the expiration of this period Judge Turner passed sentence of premunire against her, by which she was outlawed, condemned to imprisonment for life, and her property confiscated to the Crown. But neither faith nor courage forsook her, and she returned this answer to her cruel sentence: " Although I am out of the king's protection, I am not out of the protection of the Almighty God." The Lord did indeed sustain her, as she parted from her children, and returned to her gloomy prison, not knowing whether she should ever see them or her beloved home again. She proved, of a truth, that “Stone walls do not a prison make, Nor iron bars a cage," for the light of the Lord shone in her heart, and His peace filled her soul.

Shut up in Lancaster Castle, Margaret Fell, though debarred from active cooperation with her friends, was able to use her pen in the service of her Master. She sent letters of advice and counsel to the different meetings of Friends, and tracts on various subjects came from her dungeon walls, flying like seed vessels of truth, in many cases to spring up and bear fruit to God's glory. After three years' imprisonment she wrote a forcible appeal to the king, reminding him of the declaration of Breda, and his promise to her that if the Friends were peaceable they should be protected. She also referred to her interview with the king, and her advice to him to beware of taking counsel of those who would oppress them whose only crime was that they obeyed and worshipped the Lord Jesus. She then describes her prison as "a place where storm, wind, and rain found easy access, and which sometimes was filled with smoke."

This remonstrance had no effect, and she remained in her gloomy prison-house nearly two years longer, when the efforts of her friends on her behalf were successful. In 1668 she was released from her confinement, and allowed to return to her home and children after an imprisonment of nearly five years.

Justice Fleming was one of the fiercest and most violent justices in persecuting Friends and sending his honest neighbors to prison for religion's sake; and since many Friends were at this time in Lancaster jail, committed by him, and some having died in prison, we that were then prisoners had it upon us to write to him as follows:

Oh Justice Fleming!-

Mercy, compassion, love, and kindness adorn and grace men and magistrates. Oh! do you not hear the cry of the widows, and the cry of the fatherless, who were made so through persecution! Were they not driven like sheep, from constable to constable, as though they had been the greatest transgressors or felons in the land? Which grieved the hearts of many sober people, to see how their innocent neighbors and countryman, who were of a peaceable carriage, and honest in their lives and conversations among men, were used and served! One more is dead, whom you sent to prison, having left five children both fatherless and motherless. How can you do otherwise than take care of those fatherless infants, and also of the other's wife and family? Is it not your place? Consider Job Ch. 29 how he was a father to the poor, he delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless that had none to help. He broke the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth. But oh! Measure your life and his, and take heed of the day of God's eternal judgment, which will come, and the sentence and decree from Christ, when every man must give an account and receive a reward according to his deeds. Then it will be said, "Oh! Where are the months that are past?" Again Justice Fleming, consider, when John Stubbs was brought before you. He had a wife and four small children, and had little to live on but what they honestly earned by their own diligence. As soon as he appeared, you cried out, "Put the oath to that man." And when he confessed he was but a poor man, you did not care, but cast away pity, not hearing what he would say. And now he is kept in prison, because he could not swear, and break the command of Christ and the apostle James. It is to be hoped that you will take care of his family, so that his children do not starve; and see that they do not want bread. Can this be allegiance to the king, to do what Christ and his apostle say is evil, and brings into condemnation? If Christ and the apostle James, who commanded not to swear, had lived in your days, would you not have cast them into prison? Consider also your poor neighbor, William Wilson, who was known to the entire parish and neighbors to be an industrious man, careful to maintain his wife and children; yet had little but what he got with his hands in diligence and travels to supply himself. How should his wife maintain her children, when you have cast her husband into prison, and thereby made him incapable of working for them? Therefore it may be expected you will have a care of his wife and children, and see they do not want; for how should they live, having no other way to be sustained but by the little that he earned? Surely the noise of this is in the very markets, and the death of your two neighbors, and the cry of the widows and fatherless is heard. All those fatherless and widows having been made so for righteousness sake. For might not John Stubbs and William Wilson still have their liberty if they would have sworn, even if they had been those who are patrons of  charlatans and actors, or those who go hunting for trouble? Oh! Consider! For the Lord's mind is not like this. For “He is tender,” and the king has declared his mind to be, that there should be no cruelty inflicted upon his peaceable subjects. Besides, several poor honest people were fined who needed to have something given to them; and it had been more honorable to have given them something, than to fine them and send them to prison, some of whom live upon the charity of others. What honor or grace can it be to you to cast your poor neighbors into prison, who are peaceable? You know these people cannot do what you require of them, if it were to save their lives or all that they have. Because in tenderness they cannot take any oath, you make that a snare to them. What do you think the people say concerning this? “We know, (they say), the Quakers' principle that keep to yes and no; but we see others swear and forswear." For many of you have sworn first one way and then another. So we leave it to the spirit of God in your conscience, Justice Fleming, who was so eager to take George Fox, and so offended with them that had not taken him, and now have fallen upon your poor neighbors. But oh! Where is your pity for their poor fatherless children, and motherless infants? Oh! Take heed of Herod's hard-heartedness and casting away all pity! Esau did so, not Jacob. Here also consider Thomas Walters, of Bolton, cast into prison, and the oath imposed on him through you;, and for denying to swear at all, in obedience to Christ's command, he has continued in prison, who has five small children and his wife near childbirth. Surely, you should take care for them also, and see that his wife and small children do not want, who are as fatherless and she as a widow through you. Do you not hear in your ears the cry of the fatherless, the cry of the widows and the blood of the innocent speak, who through you have been persecuted to prison, and are now dead? Oh! Heavy sentence at the Day of judgment! How will you answer, when you and your works come to be judged, when you shall be brought before the judgment-seat of the Almighty, who in your prosperity have made widows and fatherless for righteousness sake, and for tenderness of conscience towards God? The Lord knows and sees it! Oh man! Consider in your lifetime how you have stained yourself with the blood of the innocent! When you had power and might have done good among your peaceable neighbors, you would not; but used your power not to a good intent, but contrary to the Lord's mind and to the king's. The king's favor, mercy, and clemency to sober people and tender consciences has been manifested by declarations and proclamations, which you have abused and slighted by persecuting his peaceable subjects. At London and in other palaces the Quakers' meetings are peaceable; and if you look only as far as Yorkshire, where the plot has been, Friends' innocence has cleared itself in the hearts of sober justices. For you here to fall upon your peaceable neighbors and people, it is not honor to you to be rigorous and violent against them that are tender, godly, and righteous. How many drunkards, swearers, fighters, and such as are subject to vice have you caused to be brought before you to your courts? It is as though it is more honorable for you to look after such; as though the law was not made for the righteous, but for sinners and transgressors. Therefore consider and be humbled for these things; for the Lord may do to you as you have done to others; and you do not know how soon there may be a cry in your own family, as the cry is among your neighbors, of the fatherless and widows that are made so through you. But the Quakers can and do say, "The Lord forgive you, and lay not these things to your charge, if it be his will"

Beside this, which went in the name of many, I sent him also a line or two, subscribed by myself only, and directed 

To Daniel Fleming.

FRIEND,-You have imprisoned the servants of the Lord, who have not broken any law, therefore take heed what you do for fear that the hand of the Lord will be turned against you. For in the light of the Lord God, you are seen by him.

George Fox

It was not long after this, that Fleming's wife died, and left him thirteen or fourteen motherless children.

When I was prisoner at Lancaster, there was a prisoner there also named major Wiggan, a Baptist preacher. He boasted much before hand what he would say at the assize, if the oath should be put to him; and that he would refuse to swear. But when the assize came, and the oath was presented to him, he desired time to consider it; and that being granted him until the next assize, he got leave to go to London before the assize came again, and stayed at London until the plague broke out, and there both he and his wife died. He was a very wicked man, and the judgments of God came upon him; for he had published a very wicked book against Friends, full of lies and blasphemies; the essence of which was this. While he was in Lancaster castle, he challenged Friends to a dispute, at which time I got permission from the jailer to go up to them. Entering into discourse with him, he asserted, 'That some men never had the spirit of God, and that the true light, which enlightens everyone who comes into the world, is natural.' For proof of his first assertion, he instanced Balaam, affirming, ‘that Balaam had not the spirit of God,' I declared and proved that Balaam had the spirit of God, and that wicked men have the spirit of God, otherwise how could they quench it, vex it, grieve it, and resist the Holy Ghost, like the stiff necked Jews?' To his second assertion, I answered: 'That the “true light”, which enlightens every man who comes into the world, was the “life” in the world, and that was divine and eternal, and not natural. And he might as well say that the word was natural, as to say that the life in the word was natural. Wicked men were enlightened by this light, otherwise how could they hate it? It is expressly said, they did hate it; and the reason given why, was: because their deeds were evil; and they would not come to it, because it reproved them; and it must be in them if it reproved them. Besides, that light could not be the scriptures of the New Testament; for it was testified of before any part of the New Testament was written; so it must be the divine light, which is the light in Christ, the word, before the scriptures were. And the grace of God, which brought salvation, had appeared to all men, and taught the saints; but they that turned from it into wantonness, and walked despitefully against the spirit of grace, were the wicked. Again, the spirit of truth, the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, which leads the disciples of Christ into all truth, the same should reprove the world of sin, of righteousness, of judgment, and of their unbelief. So the wicked world had it to reprove them. And the true disciples and learners of Christ, who believed in the light as Christ commands, had it to lead them. But the world that did not believe in the light, though they were lighted by it, but hated the light which they should have believed in, and loved the darkness rather than it, this world had a righteousness and a judgment, which the Holy Ghost reproved them for, as well as for their unbelief.' Having proved, that the good and the bad were enlightened, that the grace of God had appeared to all, and that all had the spirit of God, else they could not vex and grieve it, I told major Wiggan, the least babe there might perceive him; and presently Richard Cubham stood up and proved him an antichrist and a deceiver by scripture. Then the jailer took me away to my prison again. Afterwards Wiggan wrote a book of this dispute, and put in abundance of abominable lies; but his book was soon answered in print, and he was cut off not long after, as before mentioned.

This Wiggan was poor and while he was prisoner at Lancaster, he sent into the country and solicited money to be gathered for relief of the poor people of God in prison; and many people gave freely, thinking it had been for us, when indeed it was for himself. But when we heard of it, we laid it upon him and wrote into the country that Friends might let the people know the truth of the matter; that it was not our manner to have collections made for us, and that those collections were only for Wiggan and another, a drunken preacher of his society, who would get so drunk that once he lost his pants.

After this it came upon me to write to the judges and other magistrates concerning their 'giving evil words and nicknames to such as were brought before them.' Which was after this manner:

To all judges or other officers whatsoever in the whole world, who profess to be Christians.

Friends,-In this letter and by reading the scriptures, you may see both your own words and behavior, and the words and practice of both Jews and Heathens, and of the King of kings, the great lawgiver and judge of the whole world. First, concerning the words and carriage of the Jews, when such as were worthy of death were brought before the rulers among them. When Achan had taken the Babylonish garment, the two hundred shekels of silver, and the wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, and Joshua, who was then judge of Israel, had by the lot discovered him, he did not call him, "sirrah," nor "you rascal,"  “knave," "rogue,'" as some, called christian magistrates, are too apt to do. But Joshua said unto Achan, “My son." Mark his clean language, agreeable expression, and gracious words. "My son," said he, “give, I pray you, glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession to him, and tell me now what you have done, hide it not from me." Then Achan confessed that he had sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and thus and thus he had done.' Then Joshua, the judge, said, "Why have you troubled Israel? The Lord shall trouble you this day!" and they "stoned him and his with stones, and burned his goods with fire." But there was no unsavory word given him that we read of, though he was worthy of death. Joshua 7:20-26.

So when the man that gathered sticks upon the Sabbath day, was taken and brought before Moses, the judge of Israel, and put in custody until the mind of the Lord was known concerning him, we read not of any reviling language given him; but the Lord said to Moses, and Moses to the people, "the man shall surely be put to death." Num 15:35.

Likewise in the rebellion of Korah, Dathan and Abiram, when Moses called them to trial, he did not "sirrah" them nor misname them; but said to Korah and the rest, “hear, I pray you, you sons of Levi." Num 16:8. And when he gave the sentence against them, he said, "If these men die the common death of all men." He did not say, if these rascals or knaves, as many that profess themselves christians now do.

When Elihu spoke to Job, who was a judge, and to his friends, and said, "let me not, I pray you, be influenced by respect for any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles to man, for I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my Maker would soon take me away." Job 32:21. Job did not say, "sirrah, hold your tongue;" nor did he give him any unsavory expression. Then for the words of David, Solomon, and other kings and officers, see in the books of the Kings and Chronicles, the agreeable language they gave to them who were brought before them. Although Shimei cursed David the king, yet neither David then or afterward, nor Solomon, when he caused him to be put to death, give him any reproachful language, or so much as call him" sirrah." 2 Sam 16:10-13, and 1 Kings 2.

Read the prophecies of Isaiah, Micah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the rest of the prophets, who prophesied to different people, and against rulers, kings, and magistrates; yet where can it be found, that they had any bad language given them, as "sirrah," or the like, by any ruler either of the Jews or Heathens? No, though Jeremiah was cast into prison, and into the dungeon, yet there was no such word as "sirrah," or “knave," given him. Jer 37:13-21

Concerning the words and behavior of the Heathen. When Abraham came before Abimelech, (who was a king), he used no unsavory expressions to Abraham. Gen 22 When Isaac came before Abimelech, he gave him no taunting language. Gen 26. When Joseph was cast into prison and that in Egypt, we do not read he had any railing language given him. Gen 39. Neither did Pharaoh, when Moses and Aaron appeared before him, give them bad language, as “sirrah," " knave," or the like.

When Nebuchadnezzar sentenced the three children to the fiery furnace, there was no such language given them as "sirrah," "knave," "rascal;" but they were called by the names they were known by. Dan 3. And when Daniel was brought before king Darius, and sentenced to be cast into the lion's den, he had no such ill names given him, as many give now, who call those rulers Heathen, but call themselves christians.

If you look into the New Testament, in the parable of the wedding supper, the king that came to view his guests, did not say to him who was found without a wedding-garment, "sirrah, how came you here?" but, "friend, how came you in here?" even though he was one that was to be bound hand and foot, and cast into outer darkness." Mat 22:11-13. No, even when Judas had betrayed his master, Jesus Christ, the Lord of life, and sold him to the priests, Christ did not call him "sirrah," when he came to apprehend him, but "friend." Mat 26:50. Stephen in his examination, sentence, and death, had no such reproachful word given him, as "sirrah," or "knave." Acts 6 and Acts 7. When the apostles Peter and John were brought before the high priest and rulers of the Jews, and commanded not to preach in the name of Jesus, Acts 4, they were not called "sirrahs," or "knaves," nor had any such ill names given them. When Paul and Silas were cast into prison by the magistrates, Acts 16, they called them "men," not, rogues," "sirrahs," nor "knaves." And when the magistrates had done something contrary to the law they were afraid. So you may see how short of this example many fall (who call themselves christian rulers), who are not afraid to cast innocent people into prison, and give them ill names besides, below both Jews and Heathens.

When there was the uproar at Ephesus about Diana's shrine, Demetrius, who bore great respect among the craftsmen, did not call Paul "sirrah," but Paul. Acts 19. And when Paul was brought prisoner before the high priest Ananias and council of the Jews, and told them, "he had lived in all good conscience towards God until that day;" though they, who professed the scriptures but lived out of the life of them, could not abide to hear of living in a good conscience, as professors of the scriptures now, that live not in the life, cannot abide to hear of living in a good conscience nowadays; but Ananias caused Paul to be "smitten on the mouth;" yet he did not call him "knave," nor '''sirrah." Acts 23. The apostate Jews indeed, (who, though they professed scripture, were out of the life of that, and had rejected Christ), in accusing Paul before the Roman magistrates, did not once call him "a pestilent fellow," Acts 24, as the accusing professors, who live out of the life, will sometimes call us now. But neither Felix, Festus, nor king Agrippa, in all their examinations, gave Paul any such words as "sirrah, "rascal," "knave," or the like, but heard him patiently. So christians may see through all the scriptures, when persons were brought before rulers, kings, or magistrates, whether Jews or Heathens, they did not  call them evil names, as "sirrah," "rascal," "knave," and the like. They had no such foul mouthed language in their courts. Nor did they say to them, "sirrah, put off your hat." Now, you that profess christianity, and say the "scripture is your rule," may see that more corrupt words proceed out of your mouths than either out of the Jews' or Heathens', if you will try your practice by the scriptures; and does not the apostle tell you, that no corrupt communication should proceed out of your mouths; and that your words should be gracious. Now, I ask, where you that call yourselves christians have gotten all these bad words and names, seeing neither God nor Christ, the prophets, judges, kings, nor rulers ever gave any such names, so far as appears by scripture, either among heathens, Jews, or christians?   

George Fox

Before the next assizes there was a quarter-sessions held at Lancaster by the justices. Though we were not to be brought before this court, I asked Friends to draw up an account of their sufferings, and lay them before the justices in their open sessions. For Friends had suffered deeply by fines and distresses; the bailiffs and officers had been making great havoc and seizing their property; but no redress was available.

And because some evil-minded magistrates would be telling us sometimes of the late plot in the north, we gave forth the following paper to stop their mouths and to clear truth and Friends, which was as follows:

A Testimony from us the people of God, whom the world calls Quakers,
to all the magistrates and officers of what sort so ever, from the highest to the lowest.

We are peaceable, and seek the peace, good, and welfare of all, as in our lives and our peaceable behavior reveals; and we desire the eternal good and welfare of all and their souls' everlasting peace. We have become heirs of the blessing before the curse was, and of the power of God before the devil was, and before the fall of man. We are heirs of the gospel of peace, which is the power of God; and we are heirs of Christ, having inherited him and his everlasting kingdom and possessing the power of an endless life. You knowing our portion and inheritance; this paper’s purpose is to remove all jealousies out of your minds and out of the minds of all people concerning us. We have always and do now utterly deny any and all plots and conspiracies, plotters and conspirators against the king, and all aid or assistance to such; any such is not of us, or to be of the fellowship of the gospel, of Christ's kingdom, or his servants. For Christ said, “His kingdom was not of this world; if it were, his servants would fight." Therefore he told Peter, “put up his sword; for," he said, "he that takes the sword shall perish by the sword." Here is the faith and patience of the saints, to bear and suffer all things, knowing as we know that vengeance is the Lord's. And he will repay it to them that hurt his people and wrong the innocent; therefore we cannot avenge but must suffer for his name's sake. We know that the Lord will judge the world in righteousness according to their deeds, and everyone shall give an account to him of the "deeds done in the body." Then the Lord will give every man according to his works, whether they be good or evil. Christ said, he came not to "destroy men's lives;" and when his disciples would have had “fire come down from heaven," to have consumed those that did not receive him, he told them, "they knew not what spirit they were of," that would have men's lives destroyed; therefore he rebuked them, and told them, "that he came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them.” Now we are of Christ's mind, who is the great prophet, whom all ought to hear in all things, who commands his, "if they strike you on one cheek turn the other, and render to no man evil for evil." This doctrine of his we have learned, and not only confess him in words, but follow his doctrine; and therefore we have suffered, and do suffer all manner of reproaches, scandals, slanders, spoiling of goods, buffetings, whippings, stripes, and imprisonments for these many years, and can say, "the Lord forgive them that have thus served us, and lay not these things to their charge!" We know the Jews' outward sword, by which they cut down the Heathen outwardly, was a type of the inward sword of the spirit, which cuts down the inward Heathen, the raging nature in people. And the blood of bulls, lambs, rams, and other offerings, and that priesthood which offered them, together with other things in the law, were types of Christ, the one offering, and of his blood. He is the everlasting priest and covenant, our life, and way to God, the great prophet, and shepherd, the head of his church, and the great bishop of our souls, whom we witness come; and he does oversee and keep his flock. For in Adam, in the fall, we know the striving, quarrelling, unpeaceable spirits are in the enmity one with another, and not in peace; but in Christ Jesus, the second Adam, that never fell, is peace, rest, and life. The doctrine of Christ, who never sinned, is to “love one another;" and those who are in this doctrine hurt no man, in which we are in Christ, who is our life. Therefore it is well for you to distinguish between the ‘precious and the vile; between those who fear God and serve him, and them that do not, and to put a difference between the innocent and the guilty, and between him that is holy and pure and the ungodly and profane; for they who do not, bring troubles, burdens, and sorrows upon themselves. This we write in love to your souls, that you may consider these things; for those that hate enemies, and one another, we cannot say they are of God, nor in Christ's doctrine, but are opposers of it. And such as wrestle with flesh and blood, with carnal weapons, are gone into the flesh out of the spirit. They are not in our fellowship in the spirit, in which is the bond of peace, neither are they of us, nor have we unity with them in their fleshly state, and with their carnal weapons. For our unity and fellowship stand in the gospel, this is the power of God, before the devil was, the liar, the murderer, the man-slayer, and the envious. Now Christ's mind and his doctrine being to save men's lives, we who are of Christ's mind are out of and above these things. Our desire is, that in the fear of the Lord you may all live, and may receive God's wisdom, by which all things were created, that by it all may be ordered to his glory.

This is from them that love all your souls, and seek your eternal good.

Being now a prisoner in Lancaster castle, a deep sense came upon me of a day of great trial and exercise that was come and coming upon all who had been high in profession of religion; and I was moved to give forth the following paper as a warning to such:

Now is the day when everyone's faith and love to God and Christ will be tried; those who are redeemed out of the earth, and those who are in the earth will be manifested; and who is the master they serve, and whether they will run to the mountains to cover them. Now it will appear who are the stony ground, who are the thorny ground, and who are highway ground, in whom the fowls of the air take away the seed, the thorns and cares of the world choke, and the heat of persecution scorches and burns up your green blade; for the day tries all things. Therefore, let not those who forsake truth so they can save the earthly life, say that only the priests, "serve not the Lord Jesus Christ but their own belly, and mind earthly things;" for they also do the same, and hug and embrace self and not the Lord. Now it will be made manifest who is everyone's God, and Christ, and Savior, and their love will be manifest, whether it is of the world or the love of God. For if it is the love of the world, it is enmity, and the enmity will manifest itself what it is; and the day will try every spirit and his fruits. Therefore, all my dear friends, in the everlasting seed of God live, that is over all the house of Adam and his works in the fall; dwelling in the seed, Christ, that never fell, in him you all have virtue, life, and peace, and through him you will overcome all that is in the fall.

George Fox

I wrote also another short epistle to Friends, to warn them to keep out of that spirit that worked in John Perrot and his company against the truth.

Dear Friends,

Dwell in the love of God, and in his righteousness, that will preserve you above all unclean and changeable spirits, which do not dwell in the truth but dwell in quarrels. Avoid such spirits and keep your habitations in the truth. Dwell in the truth, and in the word of God, by which you are reconciled to him. Keep your meetings in the name of Jesus Christ, who never fell; then you will see over all the gatherings of Adam's sons and daughters. You dwell in the life over them all, in which is your unity, peace, and fellowship with God, and one with another, in the life, where you may enjoy God's presence among you. So remember me to all Friends in the everlasting seed of God. All those who are in fellowship in outward things, their fellowship will corrupt, and rot, and wither away. Therefore, live in the gospel, the power of God, which power of God the gospel, was before the devil was. And this fellowship in the gospel, the power of God, is a mystery to all the fellowships in the world. So look over all outward sufferings, and look at the Lord and the Lamb, who is the First and Last, the Amen; in whom farewell.

George Fox

In the sixth month the assizes were held again at Lancaster, and the same judges, Twisden and Turner, came to that circuit again; but Judge Turner then sat on the crown bench, so I was brought before him. Before I was called to the bar, I was put among murderers and felons for about two hours. The people, the justices, and the judge also were gazing upon me. After they had tried several others, they called me to the bar and empanelled a jury. Then the judge asked the justices, ‘Whether they had presented the oath to me at the sessions?' they said, 'They had.' Then he said, ‘Give them the book, that they might swear they had presented me the oath according to the indictment.' Some of the justices refused to be sworn; but the judge said, he wanted it done to take away all occasion of exception (denial of the charge). When the jury was sworn, and the justices had sworn 'that they had tendered the oath according to the indictment,' the judge asked me, ‘If I had not refused the oath at the last assizes?' I said, 'I never took an oath in my life, and Christ, the Savior and Judge of the world, said, "Swear not at all" The judge seemed not to take notice of my answer; but asked me, 'Whether or not I had not refused to take the oath at the last assize?' I said, 'The words that I had spoken to them were: that if they could prove, (either judge, justices, priest, or teacher), that after Christ and the apostle James had forbidden swearing, that they later had commanded Christians to swear, I would swear.' The judge said, 'He was not at that time going to dispute whether it was lawful to swear, but to enquire whether I had refused to take the oath or not.' I told him, 'Those things mentioned in the oath, such as plotting against the king, and acknowledging the pope's or any other foreign power, I utterly deny.' ‘Well, (he said), you say well in that; but did you decline to take the oath? What do you say? "What would you have me say? (I said), for I have told you before what I said.' Then he asked me, 'If I wished these men swear that I had taken the oath?' I asked him, 'If he wished those men swear that I had refused the oath?' at which the court burst out into laughter. I was grieved to see so much lightness in a court, where such solemn matters are handled, and therefore asked them, 'If this court were a play-house? Where is gravity and sobriety, (I said); for this behavior does not become you.' Then the clerk read the indictment, and I told the judge, 'I had something to say about it; for I had informed myself of the errors that were in it.' He told me, 'he would hear me afterward concerning any reasons that I could allege why he should not give judgment.' Then I spoke to the jury, and told them, ‘they could not bring me in guilty according to that indictment; for the indictment was wrong, and had many gross errors in it.' The judge said, 'I must not speak to the jury, but he would speak to them;' and he told them, 'I had denied to take the oath at the last assizes, and (he said) I can tender the oath to any man now, and premunire him for not taking it; and, (he said), they must find me guilty because I refused to take the oath.' 'Then, (I said), what do you do with the form of court procedure? You may as well throw away your form of court procedure then.' And I told the jury, 'It lay upon their consciences, as they would answer it to the Lord God before his judgment seat.' Then the judge spoke again to the jury, and I charged him to 'do me justice.' The jury brought me in guilty. Upon which I told them, 'That both the justices and they too, had forsworn themselves, and therefore, they had small cause to laugh as they did a little before.' Oh! The envy, rage, and malice that appeared against me, and the lightness; but the Lord confounded them, and they were wonderfully stopped. So they set me aside, and called up Margaret Fell, who had a great deal of good service among them, and then the court broke up near the second hour.

In the afternoon we were brought again to have sentence passed upon us. Margaret Fell, desired sentence might be deferred until the next morning. 'I desired nothing but law and justice at his hands, for the thieves had mercy; only I requested the judge to send some to see my prison, which was so bad they would put no creature they had in it. And I told him, that colonel Kirby, who was then on the bench, had said, "I should be locked up, and no flesh alive should come to me." The judge shook his head, and said, ‘when the sentence was given, he would leave me to the mercy of the jailer.' Most of the gentry of the country were gathered together expecting to hear the sentence; and the opinion among the people was, 'That I should be transported.' But they were all crossed at that time; for the sentence being deferred until the next morning, I was sent to prison again. Upon my complaining of the condition of my prison, some of the justices with colonel Kirby went up to see it; but when they came, they hardly dared go in because the floor was so bad and dangerous, and the place so open to wind and rain. Some that came up said, 'Surely it was an outhouse.' When colonel Kirby saw it and heard what others said of it, he excused the matter as well as he could, saying, 'I should be removed before long to some more convenient place.'

Next day towards the eleventh hour, we were called again to hear the sentence. Margaret Fell was called first to the bar, and she had counsel to plead for her; he pointed out many errors in her indictment. After the judge had acknowledged them, she was set free. Then the judge asked, 'What they could say to mine?' I was not willing to let any man plead for me, but to speak for myself; and indeed, though Margaret had counsel that pleaded for her, yet she spoke as much herself as she would. But before I came to the bar, I was moved in my spirit to pray, 'That God would confound their wickedness and envy, set his truth over all, and exalt his seed.' {The thundering voice said, "I have glorified you, and I will glorify you again! And I was so filled with glory, any my head and ears were so filled with glory, so that when the trumpets and judges came up again, they all appeared as dead men under me}. And the Lord heard and answered, and did confound them in their proceedings against me. And though they had most envy against me, yet the grossest errors were found in my indictment.

Since I had no others pleading for me, the judge asked me, ‘what I had to say; why he should not pass sentence upon me?' I told him, ‘I was no lawyer; but if he would but have the patience to hear, I had much to say.' At that he laughed, and others laughed also, and the judge said, ‘Come what have you to say? He can say nothing.' ‘Yes, (I said), I have much to say; but have the patience to hear me!'

Then I asked him, ‘whether the oath was to be tendered to the king's subjects, or to the subjects of foreign princes?' he said, ‘To the subjects of this realm.' Then said I, ‘look into the indictment, and you may see that you have left out the word subject; so not having named me in the indictment as a subject, you cannot premunire me for not taking the oath.' Then they looked over the statute and the indictment, and saw it was as I said; and the judge confessed it was an error. I told him, 'I had something else to stop his judgment,' and desired him to look at the day that the indictment said the oath was presented to me at the sessions there. They looked, and said, ‘it was the eleventh day of January.' 'What day of the week was the session held on?' said I. 'On a Tuesday,' said they. 'Then,' said I, 'look at your almanacs, and see whether there was any sessions held at Lancaster on the eleventh day of January, so called?' so they looked, and found that the eleventh day was the day called Monday, and that the sessions was on the day called Tuesday, which was the twelfth day of that month. 'Now you look, (I said ), you have indicted me for refusing the oath in the quarter-sessions held at Lancaster on the eleventh day of last January, and the justices have sworn that they tendered me the oath in open sessions here that day and the jury, based upon their oaths, has found me guilty; and yet you see there was no session held in Lancaster that day.' Then the judge, to cover the matter, asked, 'Whether the sessions did not begin on the eleventh day?' But some in the court answered, 'No; the session held but one day, and that was the twelfth.' Then the judge said, 'This was a great mistake and an error.' Some of the justices were in a great rage at this, stamped their feet, and said, 'Who has done this? Somebody has done this on purpose;' and there was great anger among them. 'Then, (I said), are not the justices here, that have sworn to this indictment, perjured men in the face of the country? But this is not all, (I said), I have more yet to offer why sentence should not be given against me.' Then I asked, 'In what year of the king the last assize here was held, which was in the month called March last?' The judge said, ‘It was in the sixteenth year of the king.' 'But, (I said), the indictment says, it was in the fifteenth year.' They looked, and found it so. This also was acknowledged to be another error. Then they were all in a fret again and could not tell what to say; for the judge had sworn the officers of the court that the oath was tendered to me at the assize mentioned in the indictment. 'Now, (I said), is not the court here perjured also, who have sworn that the oath was tendered to me at the assize held here in the fifteenth year of the king, when it was in his sixteenth year, and so they have sworn a year false?' The judge told them look at whether Margaret Fell's indictment was the same with errors or not. They looked and found it was not so. I told the judge, 'I had more yet to offer to stop sentence;' and asked him, 'Whether all the oath ought to be put into the indictment or not?' ‘Yes, (he said), it ought to be all put in.' 'Then (I said), compare the indictment with the oath, and there you may see these words; "or by any authority derived, or pretended to be derived from him or his see," left out of the indictment, which is a principal part of the oath; and in another place the words "heirs and successors," are left out.' The judge acknowledged these also to be great errors. 'But,' I said, 'I have not finished yet, I have something further to allege.' 'No,' said the judge, ‘I have enough, you need say no more.' 'If,' I said, 'you have enough, I desire nothing but law and justice at your hands; for I do not look for mercy.' 'You must have justice,' he said, ‘and you shall have law.' Then I asked, 'am I at liberty, and free from all that ever has been done against me in this matter?' 'Yes,' said the judge, 'you are free from all that has been done against you.' But then, starting up in a rage, he said, 'I can put the oath to any man here, and I will put the oath to you again.' I told him, 'he had examples enough yesterday of swearing and false-swearing, both in the justices and in the jury; for I saw before my eyes that both justices and jury had perjured themselves.' The judge asked me, 'if I would take the oath?' I answered, 'Do me justice for my false imprisonment all this while; for what have I been imprisoned so long for?' I told him, ‘I ought to be set at liberty.' 'You are at liberty,' he said,' but I will put the oath to you again.' Then I turned about, and said, 'all people take notice this is a snare, for I ought to be set free from the jailer and from this court,' But the judge cried, 'give him the book,' and the sheriff and the justices cried, 'give him the book.' Then the power of darkness rose up in them, like a mountain, and a clerk lifted up a book to me. I stood still, and said, 'if it be a bible, give it into my hand.' 'Yes, yes,' said the judge and justices, 'give it into his hand.' So I took it, and looked into it, and said, ‘I see it is a bible, I am glad of it.' He had caused the jury to be called, and they stood by; for after they had brought in their former verdict, he would not dismiss them though they desired it; but told them, 'he could not dismiss them yet, he should have business for them; therefore they must attend, and be ready when they were called.' When he said so, I felt his intent, that if I was freed, he would attack again. So I looked him in the face, and the witness of God started up in him, and made him blush when he looked at me again; for he saw that I discovered him. Nevertheless, hardening himself, he caused the oath to be read to me, the jury standing by. When it was read, he asked me, ‘whether I would take the oath or not?' Then I said, ‘you have given me a book here to kiss, and to swear on; and this book which you have given me to kiss, says, "kiss the Son”; and the Son says in this book, "swear not at all;" and so says the apostle James. I say as the book says, yet you imprison me. How is it you do not imprison the book for saying so? How is it that the book is at liberty among you, which bids me not to swear, and yet you imprison me for doing as the book bids me?' Now, as I was speaking this to them, and held up the bible open in my hand, to show them the place where Christ forbade swearing, they plucked the book out of my hand, and the judge said, 'no, but we will imprison George Fox.' Yet this spread abroad over all the country as a by-word, 'that they gave me a book to swear on that commanded me “not to swear at all;" and that the bible was at liberty, and I was in prison for doing as the bible said.' When the judge still urged me to swear, I told him, ‘I never took oath, covenant, nor engagement in my life; but my yes or no was more binding to me than an oath was to many others; for had they not had experience how little men regarded an oath? And how they had sworn one way and then another? And how the justices and court had perjured themselves now?’ I told him I was a man of a tender conscience, and if they had any sense of a tender conscience, they would consider that it was in obedience to Christ's command that I could not swear. ‘But,' I said, ‘if any of you can convince me, that, after Christ and the apostle James had people commanded not to swear, that they had altered that command and commanded christians to swear, you shall see I will swear.' There being many priests by, I said, 'if you cannot do it, let your priests stand up and do it.' But not one of the priests answered. 'Oh!' said the judge, 'The entire world cannot convince you.' 'No,' I said, ‘Why should I be convinced by the world? The whole world lies in wickedness.' But bring out your spiritual men, as you call them, to convince me.' Then both the sheriff and the judge said, ‘the angels swore in the Revelation.' I replied, ‘when God brought his first-begotten Son into the world, he said, "Let all the angels of God worship him;" and he said, “Swear not at all.” ‘No,' said the judge, 'I will not dispute.' Then I spoke to the jury, telling them, ‘it was for Christ's sake that I could not swear, and therefore I warned them not to act contrary to that of God in their consciences; for they must all come before his judgment seat.' And I told them, 'as for plots, and persecution for religion and popery, I deny them in my heart; for I am a Christian, and shall show forth Christianity among you this day. It is for Christ's doctrine I stand.' I had more words both with the judge and jury before the jailer took me away.

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