The Missing Cross to Purity

The Journal of George Fox - 1652 - 1655 - 1st Imprisonment and on to London <page 3 >

<1> <2> <3> <4>

While Friends stayed in the northern parts, a priest of Wrexham, in Wales, named Morgan Floyd heard reports concerning us and sent two of his congregation into the north to inquire concerning us, to test us, and report back to him their experiences. When these testers came among us, the power of the Lord seized on them, and they were both convinced of the truth. So they stayed some time with us, and then returned to Wales; where afterwards one of them departed from his convincement; but the other named John-ap-John, lived in the truth, and received a part of the ministry, in which he continued faithful.

Now the priests became greatly disturbed at Newcastle, Kendal, and in most of the northern counties. A man named Gilpin had sometimes met with us at Kendal. Soon after he ran out from the truth into vain imaginations, and the priests made whatever evil use of him against us that they could; but the Lord's power confounded them all. And the Lord God cut off two of those persecuting justices at Carlisle; after a time and the third justice was turned out of his place and left the town.

About this time the oath of engagement to Oliver Cromwell was tendered to the soldiers; many of whom were disbanded, because they could not swear in obedience to Christ. One of the soldiers was John Stubbs who was convinced when I was in Carlisle prison. He became a good soldier in the Lamb's war, and a faithful minister of Christ Jesus; traveling much in the service of the Lord in Holland, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Egypt, and America. And the Lord's power preserved him out of the hands of the Papists, though there were many times that he was in great danger of the inquisition. But some of the soldiers had been convinced in their judgment but had not come into obedience to the truth, and they took Oliver Cromwell's oath. Afterwards going into Scotland they approached a garrison there. The garrison fired at them, thinking they had been enemies, and several were killed, which was a sad event.

When the churches were settled in the north, and Friends were sitting under Christ's teaching, and the glory of the Lord shined over them; I passed from Swarthmore to Lancaster about the beginning of the year 1654, visiting Friends, until I came to Synderhill-green. There had been a meeting appointed three weeks before, and the meeting left the north fresh and green under Christ their teacher. We passed through Halifax, a rude town of professors, and came to Thomas Taylor's, who had been a captain, where we met with some doctrinal arguers; but the Lord's power was over all because I traveled in the motion of God's power. When I came to Synderhill-green, there was a huge meeting. It was estimated that there were several thousand people at the meeting, including many people of position such as captains and other officers. There was a general convincement, the Lord's power and truth were set over all, and there was no opposition.

About this time the Lord moved upon the spirits of many whom he had raised up. He sent them to labor in his vineyard, to travel southwards; and spread themselves in the service of the gospel to the "eastern, southern, and western parts of the nation: Francis Howgill and Edward Burrough to London; John Camm and John Audland to Bristol; Richard Hubberthorn and George Whitehead towards Norwich; Thomas Holmes into Wales, and many others different ways; for the Lord had raised up more than sixty ministers , and he sent them abroad out of the north country. The sense of their service weighed very heavily upon me and I was moved to give forth the following paper:

To Friends in the Ministry.

ALL Friends everywhere, know the seed of God, which bruises the seed of the serpent, and is atop of the seed of the serpent; which seed sins not, but bruises the serpent's head that does sin, and tempts to sin; which seed God's promise and blessing is to, and which seed is one in the male and in the female. You have come to the beginning where the seed of God is the head and has bruised the head of the other; and the new man is known, and he is known that is servant to the new man; and the promise of God to the seed is fulfilled and fulfilling; and the scriptures come to be opened and owned; and the flesh of Christ is known to be he who took upon him the seed of Abraham according to the flesh; the everlasting priesthood is known, and in the everlasting covenant Christ takes upon him the seed of Abraham, and he is a priest after the order of Melchisedeck; without father, without mother, without beginning of days or end of life; he is the priest that lives forever; the covenant of life, light, and peace. The everlasting offering here is known once and for all, which offering overthrows that nature which offered; out of which the priesthood arose, that could not continue by reason of death. And here is the other offering known, the everlasting offering; which perfects forever them that are sanctified; which offering blotted out the handwriting of ordinances, triumphs over them, and ascends above all principalities and powers. He that has the spirit of Jesus sees this; and here is the love of God received, that does not rejoice in iniquity, but leads to repent of it. This is the word of the Lord God to you all: Friends everywhere scattered abroad, know the power of God in one another, and in that rejoice; for then you rejoice in the cross of Christ, who is not of the world; which cross is the power of God to all of them who are being saved. You that know and feel the power, feel the cross of Christ; you feel the gospel, which is the power of God for salvation to every one who believes. He that believes in the light, believes in the everlasting covenant, in the one offering; he comes to the life of the prophets and Moses, comes to see Christ the hope, the mystery, which hope does not perish. The light lets you see the hope that perishes, which is not a mystery; and in that perishing hope the expectation fades. Where this never failing hope is witnessed, the Lord comes to be sanctified in the heart, and you come to the beginning, to Christ the hope, which does not perish; but the other hope and the other expectation perish. So all of you know the perishing of the other hope, and the failing of the expectation within; and know the hope that does not perish; that you may be ready to give your reason for this hope, with meekness and fear, to every man that asks you. Christ the hope, the mystery, that perishes not; the end of all perishing things, the end of all changeable things, the end of the decaying covenant, the end of what waxes old and does decay; the end of the first covenant, of Moses, and of the prophets; the righteousness of God, Christ Jesus the son; his throne you will know, heirs with him you will be; who makes his children kings and priests to him, and brings them to know his throne, and his power. There is no justification out of the light, out of Christ; justification is in the light, in Christ. Here is one who does the will of God; here is the entering into the kingdom. He that believes in the light, becomes a child of light; and here the wisdom is received, that is justified of her children. Here believing in the light, you shall not abide in darkness, but shall have the light of life; and everyone will come to witness the light that shines in your hearts, which will give you the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ. With this light you will see him reign, who is the prince of life and peace; which light turns from him that is out of the truth, and abode not in it; where the true peace is not.

'Friends don't be hasty, for he who believes in the light is not in a hurry. Here the grace is received by which you come to be saved; the election is known that obtains the promise; the will is seen that wills; the mind is known that runs and does not obtains, but stops and dulls. When the light sees, judges and stops the haste, the patience is formed which obtains the crown; and the immortality is brought to light. So all who act contrary to the light and do not believe in it, fail to come to justification. And all Friends, if you go from the light and from wanting to have the promise of God fulfilled to the seed in you, so that you may know Christ to reign in you, you thereby bring on yourselves changeable garments, and come to wear the changeable garments, and the strange flesh, which leads to spiritual adultery, which the law seizes. This shuts out of the kingdom; and out of kingdom works are produced which are for the fire, by which you may come to suffer loss. Therefore love the light, which condemns your apathy; and receive the power from the Lord, with which you stand over the apathy, and condemn it; here you feel and see what gives you victory over the world, and to see beyond time, to before time was. Again, Friends, know Abraham who obeyed the voice of Sarah; he who fathered a son and cast out the bond-woman and her son. Do not depart from this principle or you will harbor wildness. Know the source of the wild son, and its mother, who is not Sarah; for the promise is to the seed, not of many, but one; which seed is Christ: and this seed you now come to witness standing on the top of all, yes, on the head of the serpent. And so all, as I said before, who come to feel and witness this, come to the beginning; and to the beginning come all the seed of God, the church, that the beginning you may all come to know, where there is no blemish, nor spot, nor wrinkle, nor any such thing. This is what is purchased by the blood of Jesus, and presented to the Father out of all that defiles; which is the pillar and ground of truth. None attain to this, but such who come to the light of Christ, who purchased this church. They who go from the light, are shut out and condemned, though they profess all the scriptures declared from it. Therefore walk in the light, that you may have fellowship with the son, and with the Father; and come all to witness his image, his power, and his law, which is his light, that has converted your souls, and brought them to submit to the higher power, above what is out of the truth; that you may know here the mercy and truth, and the faith that works by love, which Christ is the author of; who lights everyone of you; which faith gives the victory. That which gives the victory, is perfect; and what the ministers of God received from God, is what is perfect; and what they are to minister, is for the perfecting of the saints; until they all come in the unity of the faith unto a perfect man. This is the word of the Lord to you all. Everyone in the measure of life wait, that with it all your minds may be guided up to the Father of life, the Father of spirits; to receive power from him, and wisdom, that with it you may be ordered to his glory, to whom be all glory forever! All keep in the light and life, that judges down what is contrary to the light and life. So the Lord God Almighty be with you all. And keep your meetings everywhere, being guided by that of God; by that you may see the Lord God among you, who enlightens every man that comes into the world; that all men in the world might believe. He that believes not, the light condemns him; he that believes, comes out of condemnation. This light, which enlightens every man that comes into the world; which they that hate it stumble at it - the light of men.

All Friends that speak in public, see that it be in the life of God; for that begets to God; the fruits of that shall never wither. Speaking from the life sows to the spirit which is in prison, and of the spirit reaps life; and the speaking from out of the light sows to the flesh, and of the flesh reaps corruption. This you may see happening all over the world among those speaking out of the life; you can see what they may reap in the field, that is the world. Therefore in the spirit of the Lord wait, which cuts down and casts out all this, the root and branches of it. So in the light wait to receive power, and the Lord God Almighty preserve you in it; whereby you may come to feel the light, that comprehends time and the world, and penetrates it; believing in the light gives you victory over the world. Here the power of the Lord is received, which subdues all the contrary, and puts off the garments that will stain and pollute. With this light you come to reach the light in every man, with which Christ enlightens every man that comes into the world; and here the things of Christ come to be known, and the voice of Christ heard. Therefore keep in the light, the covenant of peace; and walk in the covenant of life. There is what rejoices over the witness of God, and there is what rejoices in the Lord; which is over what has made merry over it; of that take notice, you who are in the light. The Lord beautifies those whose trust is in his strength; and the Lord sees those who trust in his strength and those that are in his light. But those who are not from the light and whose eyes are after their abominations and idols, their eyes are to be blinded; their beautiful idols and their abominations are to be destroyed, and by the light condemned, which they have made from out of the life in their own strength; which with the light is seen, and overthrown by the power of God. "If you can change my covenant," said the Lord, “which keeps the day in its season, and the night in its season, (mark, my covenant - the light), if you can change this, then may you change the covenant of God with his seed." So all Friends that are turned to the light which comes from him by whom the world was made, who was before it was made, Christ Jesus, the savior of your souls, abide in the light, and you will see your salvation to be walls and bulwarks against what the light discovers to be contrary to it. Waiting in the light you will receive the power of God, which is the gospel of peace, that you may be shod with it. And know that in one another which raises up the seed of God, sets it over the world and the earth, and crucifies the affections and lusts; then the truth comes to reign, which is the band that encircles.

George Fox

About this time Rice Jones* of Nottingham, (who had been a Baptist, then a Quaker, and was now turned Ranter), and his company began to prophesy against me, giving out that I was then at my peak and that I would fall down quickly. He sent a bundle of scoffing papers from Nottingham to Mansfield, Clauson, and the surrounding towns, judging Friends for declaring the truth in the marketplaces and in the steeple-houses; which papers I answered. But their prophecies came upon themselves; for soon after they fell to pieces, and many of his followers became Friends, and continued so. And through the Lord's blessed power and truth, Friends have increased and do increase in the increase of God; and by the same power I have been and am preserved, and kept in the everlasting seed that never fell or changes. But Rice Jones took the oaths that were put to him, and so disobeyed the command of Christ. Many such false prophets have risen up against me, but the Lord has blasted them, and will blast all who rise against the blessed seed, in which I am. My confidence is in the Lord; for whoever opposed me, I saw their end, and how the Lord would confound them before he sent me forth.

*Rice Jones led the first of several splits with the Quakers; however, this was a minor split, affecting only one locale. Jones and his followers made the error of believing they could be inwardly faithful to God, while their bodies could be conformed to the world; thus they rejected the need of self-denial and the inward cross. Rice Jones had been a faithful Quaker, but his ambitions to teach and preach, coupled with his shunning the cross, defeated his progress. He led many immature Quakers in separation with him, where they met at the castle in Nottingham, calling themselves "Proud Quakers" or the "Castle Company." Their passions included sports, many later becoming prominent wrestlers and football players in England. Fox later requested Rice Jones to call a meeting of his followers so Fox could speak to them; at which meeting Fox discredited Jones' statements by scripture, convincing most to return to the true Quaker faith. Those who remained, met on the week's first-day to play shovel board.

I was now at Synderhill-green, where I had a large meeting in the day-time, and another at night, in Thomas Stacy's house for the people came from far, and could not soon depart. The high sheriff of the county told Captain Bradford he intended to come up, with half a dozen of his troopers, to the meeting; but the Lord prevented him. When I had settled some meetings in the area, I traveled up and down in Yorkshire as far as Holderness, and to the Land's end that way, visiting Friends and the churches of Christ; which were finely settled under his teaching. At length I reached Captain Bradford's house, where many Ranters had come from York to argue; but they were confounded. From this area a woman called the lady Montague came; who was then convinced, and lived and died in the truth.

Then I went to Thomas Taylor's, within three miles of Halifax, where was a meeting of about two hundred people; among whom were many rude persons, and several butchers, who before they came had bound themselves with an oath that they would kill me, (as I was told). One of those butchers had been accused for killing a man and a woman. They came in a very rude manner, and made a great disturbance in the meeting, which, being crowded, Thomas Taylor stood up and said to them, ‘if you will be civil, you may stay; but if not, I insist that you leave my property.' But they grew worse, and said they would make it like a common; and they yelled and made a noise as if they had been at a bear-baiting. They pushed Friends around; and since they were peaceable, the Lord's power came over the disturbers. Several times they pushed me off from the place I stood on, by the crowding of the people together against me; but still I was moved of the Lord to stand up again each time that I was forced down. At last I was moved of the Lord to say to them, 'If they wanted to discuss the things of God, let them come up to me one by one; and if they had any thing to object, I would answer them all, one after another;' but they were all silent, and had nothing to say; and then the Lord's power came so over them all, and answered the divine witness in them, that they were bound by the power of God, and a glorious powerful meeting we had, and the minds of the people were turned by the holy spirit in them to God, and to Christ their teacher. The powerful word of life was largely declared that day, and in the life and power of God we broke up our meeting, and that rude company went their way to Halifax. The people asked them, 'Why they did not kill me, according to the oath they had sworn?' They maliciously answered, 'I had so bewitched them they could not do it.' Thus was the devil chained at that time. Friends told me, they used to come at other times and be very rude and unruly, and sometimes break their seats and make fearful work among them; but the Lord's power had now bound them. Shortly after, this butcher, that had been accused of killing a man and a woman before, and who was one of those that had taken an oath to kill me, killed another man, and was then sent to York jail. Another of those rude butchers, who had also sworn to kill me, having the habit of sticking out his tongue in derision of Friends when they passed by him, had his tongue so swollen out of his mouth that he could never draw it in again, and died so. Several strange and sudden judgments came upon many of these conspirators against me, which would be too large to enumerate here. God's vengeance from heaven came upon the blood thirsty, who sought after blood; for all such spirits I laid before the Lord, and left them for him to deal with, who is stronger than all, in whose power I was preserved and carried on to do his work. The Lord has raised a fine people in that area, whom he has drawn to Christ, and gathered in his name; who feel Christ among them, and sit under his teaching.

After this I passed through the countries until I came to Balby, from where several Friends accompanied me into Lincolnshire, of whom some went to the steeple-houses, and some to private meetings. There came to the meeting where I was, the sheriff of Lincoln, and several with him, who made great contention and jangling for a time; but at length the Lord's power so struck him, that he was convinced of the truth, and received the word of life, as did several others also who had opposed us; they continued among Friends until they died. There were great meetings and a large convincement in those parts. Many were turned to the Lord Jesus, and came to sit under his teaching, leaving their priests and their superstitious ways; and the day of the Lord flourished over all. Among those who came to our meetings in that country was one called Sir Richard Wray who was convinced along with his brother and his brother's wife. His brother and sister-in-law lived in the truth until death; though afterwards Sir Wray departed from the faith.
Having visited those countries, I came into Derbyshire. The sheriff of Lincoln had been recently convinced and accompanied me. In one meeting we had some opposition, but the Lord's glorious power gave dominion over all. At night a company of bailiffs and serving men came and called me out. I went out to them, having some Friends with me. They were exceeding rude and violent. Evidently they had plotted to have carried me away with them in the dark of the evening by force in order to injure me or kill me; but the Lord's power chained them so that they could not affect their design; and at last they went away. The next day Thomas Aldam, understanding the serving men belonged to a nearby knight, went to his house and told  him about the bad conduct of his servants. The knight rebuked them, and forbade their further evil behavior towards us.

After this we came to Skegby, in Nottinghamsbire, where we had a great meeting of many different peoples; and the Lord's power went over them, and all was quiet. The people were turned to the spirit of God, by which many came to receive his power, and to sit under the teaching of Christ, their savior. The Lord now has a great number of people in those parts.

I passed towards Kidsley park, where many Ranters had arrived; but the Lord's power checked them. From there I went into the Peak country to Thomas Hammersley's, where the Ranters of that country and many high professors came. The Ranters opposed me and started swearing. When I reproved them for swearing, they would bring scripture for it, alleging Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph swore; and the priests, Moses, the prophets, and the angels swore. 'I confessed all these did so, as the scripture records; but, said I, Christ (who said, Before Abraham was, I am), commanded, Swear not at all. Christ ends the prophets, the old priesthood, the dispensation of Moses, and reigns over the house of Jacob and Joseph, and he says, Swear not at all. And God, when he brought the first begotten into the world, said ‘Let all the angels of God worship him’, that is Christ Jesus, who said,  'Swear not at all.' As for the plea that men make for swearing, to end their strife, Christ, who says, Swear not at all, destroys the devil and his works, who is the author of strife; for that is one of his works. And God said, "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased; hear you him," So the son is to be heard, who forbids swearing, and the apostle James, who did hear the son of God, followed him, and preached him, forbids all oaths. James 5:12. So the Lord's power went over them, and his Son and his doctrine was set over them. The word of life was fully and richly preached, and many were convinced that day. This Thomas Hammersley, being summoned to serve upon a jury, was admitted to serve without an oath; and being foreman of the jury, when he brought in the verdict, the judge declared, 'That he had been a judge so many years, but never heard a more upright verdict than that Quaker had then brought in.' Much might be written of things of this nature, which time would fail to declare. But the Lord's blessed power and truth was exalted over all, who is worthy of all praise and glory forever!

Traveling through Derbyshire, I visited Friends until I came to Swanington in Leicestershire. There was a general meeting in this town, to which many Ranters, Baptists, and other professors came; for there had been great contests between the Ranters and the priests in that town. Several Friends came to this meeting from several areas including John Audland, Francis Howgill, Edward Pyot from Bristol, and Edward Burrough from London; and several were convinced in those parts. The Ranters made a disturbance and were very rude, but at last the Lord's power came over them, and they were confounded. The next day Jacob Bottomly, a great Ranter, came from Leicester; but the Lord's power stopped him, and came over them all. A priest also came there, but he was also confounded by the mighty power of the Lord. About this time, the priests, Baptists, Ranters, and other professors were very rude and stirred up rude people against us. We sent  a message to the Ranters requesting them to come to the meeting so that their God could be tried. Many of them came and they were very rude by singing, whistling, and dancing; but the Lord's power so confounded them that many of them were convinced.

After this I went to Twycross where some the same ranters came who hand sung and danced before me, but I was moved in the dread of the Lord to reprove them; and the Lord's power came over them, so that some of them were convinced and received the spirit of God; they become a pretty people, living and walking soberly in the truth of Christ. I went to Anthony Brickley's in Warwickshire where there was a great meeting; several Baptists and others came and jangled, but the Lord's power came over them.

Then I went to Drayton, in Leicestershire, to visit my relatives. As soon as I had arrived, the priest Nathaniel Stephens having joined with another priest and given notice to the country, sent to me to come to them; for they could not do anything until I came. Having been three years away from my relatives, I knew nothing of their design. But at last I went into the steeple-house yard, where the two priests were. They had gathered many people. They wanted me to go into the steeple-house. I asked them why I should go in there? They said Mr. Stephens could not bear the cold. I told them that he might bear it as well as I could! Richard Farnsworth was with me, and at last we went into a great hall where we had a great dispute with these priests concerning their practice and how contrary they were to Christ and his apostles. The priests wanted to know where tithes were forbidden or ended. I showed them out of the seventh chapter to the Hebrews, ‘That not only tithes, but the priesthood that took tithes, was ended; and the law was ended and disannulled by which the priesthood was made, and tithes were commanded to be paid.' Then they stirred up the people to some lightness and rudeness. I had known Stephens from childhood; therefore I exposed his condition and the manner of his preaching; and how he, like the rest of the priests, applied the promises to the first birth which must die. But I showed that the promises were to the seed, and not to many seeds, but to the one seed, Christ; who was one in male and female: for all were to be ‘born again, before they could enter into the kingdom of God.' Then he said, I must not judge so. I told him, 'He that was spiritual judged all things.' Then he confessed, that that was a full scripture; ‘but, neighbors,' he said, 'this is the business: George Fox has come to the light of the sun, and now he thinks he can put out my star-light.' I told him, ‘I would not quench the least measure of God in any, much less put out his star-light, if it were true light from the morning-star.’ But I told him, ‘if he had anything from Christ, he ought to speak it freely, and not take tithes from the people for preaching because Christ commanded his ministers to give freely, as they had received freely.' So I charged him to preach no more for tithes or any compensation. But he said he would not yield to that. After awhile the people began to be vain and rude, at which point we stopped our debate. Yet some were made loving to the truth that day. Before we parted, I told them, 'If the Lord allowed, I intended to be at the town again that same day of the week, seven nights from then.' In the interim I went into the country, had meetings, and came again a week later in the evening. During that time this priest had gotten seven priests to help him; for he had given notice at a lecture on a market-day at Adderston, that today there would be a meeting and a dispute with me. I knew nothing of it; but had only said I should be in town that evening at seven nights later. These eight priests had gathered several hundred people which was even of the people from the surrounding country; and they wanted me to go into the steeple-house. I refused to go in, and went to the top of a hill where I spoke to them and the people. Thomas Taylor, James Parnell, and several other Friends were with me. The priests thought they would have trampled down truth that day; but the truth came over them. Then they grew light and the people rude. The priests would not debate with me; but would be contending here and there a little with one Friend or other. At last one of the priests brought his son to dispute with me; but his mouth was soon stopped. When he could not tell how to answer, he would ask his father, and his father was also confounded when he tried to answer for his son. So after they were exhausted from trying, they went in a rage to priest Stephens's house to drink. As they went away I said, 'I had never been in a meeting where so many priests together would not debate with me.' Upon which they and some of their wives surrounded me, grabbed me, and fawningly said, 'What might I have been if it had not been for the Quakers!' Then they started pushing Friends around to separate them from me, and to surround me. After awhile several bulky fellows approached me, picked me up in their arms, and carried me into the steeple-house porch, intending to have carried me into the steeple-house by force; but the door was locked, and they fell down in a heap with me under them. As soon as I could, I escaped to my hill again; and then they took me from that place, carried me to the steeple-house wall, and set me on the bass of it like a stool. All the priests had returned and stood below with the people. And the priests cried, 'Come, to argument, to argument.' I said, ' I denied all their voices, for they were the voices of the hirelings and the strangers.' They cried, 'Prove it, prove it.' I directed them to the tenth of John, where they might see what Christ said of such; he declared, 'He was the true Shepherd that laid down his life for his sheep, and his sheep heard his voice and followed him; but the hireling would fly when the wolf came, because he was a hireling.' I offered to prove that they were such hirelings. Then the priests plucked me off from the bass again, and they all got upon basses under the steeple-house wall. Then I felt the mighty power of God arise over all; and I told them, ‘If they would listen and hear me quietly, I would show them by the scriptures why I denied those eight priests or teachers that stood there before me along with all the paid teachers of the world whatsoever, and I would give them scriptures for what I said.' At which point, both priests and people consented. Then I showed them out of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Micah, Malachi, and other prophets, that they were in the steps of such as God sent his true prophets to cry against for I said, ' You are such as the prophet Jeremiah cried against, Chap.5 when he said, "The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means;" which he called a horrible filthy thing. You are such as used their tongues, and said, Thus said the Lord, when the Lord never spoke to them. Such as followed their own spirits; and saw nothing; but spoke a divination of their own brain; and by their lies and their lightness caused the people to err. Jer 23:31-32. You are such as they were that sought their gain from their quarter; that were as greedy dumb dogs, that could never have enough, whom the Lord sent his prophet Isaiah to cry against: Isa. 56:11. You are such as they were who taught for handfuls of barley and pieces of bread, who sewed pillows under people's arm-holes, that they might lie soft in their sins. Eze 13. You are such as they that taught for the fleece and the wool, and made a prey of the people. Eze 34. But the Lord is gathering his sheep from your mouths, and from your barren mountains; and is bringing them to Christ, the one shepherd, whom he has set over his flocks; as by his prophet Ezekiel he then declared he would do. You are such as those that divined for money, and preached for hire; and if a man did not put into their mouths they prepared war against him, as the prophet Micah complained, Chap.3.' Thus I went through the prophets too largely to be here repeated. Then coming to the New Testament, I showed from there, that they were like the chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees, whom Christ cried woe against. Mat 23. And that they were such false apostles the true apostles- cried against, such as taught for filthy lucre; such antichrists and deceivers as they cried against, that minded earthly things, and served not the Lord Jesus Christ, but their own bellies; for they that served Christ gave freely and preached freely, as he commanded them. But they that will not preach without hire, tithes, or outward means, serve their own bellies, and not Christ; and through the good words of the scriptures, and feigned words of their own, they made merchandise of the people then, as (I said) you do now. When I had largely quoted the scriptures, and showed them how they were like the Pharisees, loving to be called of men masters, to go in long robes, to stand praying in the synagogues, to have the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the like; and when in the sight of the people I had associated them among the false prophets, deceivers, scribes, and Pharisees, and showed without exception how their types were judged and condemned by the true prophets, Christ, and the apostles. I directed them to the light of Jesus, who enlightens every man that comes into the world; that by it they might see whether these things were not true as had been spoken. When I appealed to that of God in their consciences, the light of Christ Jesus in them, they could not abide to hear it.They were all quiet until then; but then a professor said, George, will you never finish talking? I told him, I would be finished shortly. So I went on a little longer, and cleared myself of them in the Lord's power. When I was finished, all the priests and people stood silent for a time; at last one of the priests said that they would like to read the scriptures that I had quoted.' I told them that I welcomed their reading with all my heart. They began to read the twenty-third of Jeremiah, and there they saw the marks of the false prophets that he cried against. When they had read a verse or two, I said, 'Take notice, people;' but the priests said, 'Hold your tongue, George.' I asked them to read the whole chapter throughout, for it was all against them. Then they stopped, and would read no farther; but asked me a question. I told them I would answer their question, the matter being first granted that I had charged them with: that they were false prophets, false teachers, antichrists, and deceivers, such as the true prophets, Christ, and the apostles cried against. A professor said No to that; but I said, 'Yes: for you leaving the matter, and going to another thing, seem to consent to the proof of the former charge.' Then I answered their question, which was this: 'Seeing those false prophets were adulterated, whether I judged priest Stephens to be an adulterer?' To which I answered, 'He was adulterated from God in his practice, like those false prophets and the Jews.' They would not stand to vindicate him but broke up the meeting. Then the priests whispered together, and Stephens came to me and asked that my father {in the flesh}, brother, and I might go aside with him so that as he might speak to me in private while the rest of the priests would keep the people away from us. I was very loath to go aside with him; but the people cried, 'Go George, do George, go aside with him.' Being afraid, if I did not go, they would say I was disobedient to my parents, I went while the rest of the priests were to keep the people away; but they could not for the people wanted to hear and drew close to us. I asked the priest what he had to say? He said, 'If he was out of the way I would pray for him, and if I was out of the way, he should pray for me, and he would give me a form of words to pray for him by.' I replied, ‘It seems you don’t  know whether you are in the right way or not; neither do you know whether I am the right way or not; but I know that I am in the everlasting way, Christ Jesus, of which you are out. And you want to give me the form of words to pray by, yet you deny the Common Prayer Book to pray by as well as I, and I deny your form of words as well as it. If you would have me pray for you by a form of words, is not this to deny the apostle's doctrine and practice of praying by the spirit, as it gave words and utterance?' At that point the people started laughing, but I was moved to speak more to Stephens. When I had cleared myself to him and them, we parted; before leaving I had told them that I would, God willing, be in town that evening at seven again. So the priests left, and many people were convinced that day; for the Lord's power came over all. And where they thought to have confounded truth that day, instead many were convinced of it. By that day's work many of those previously convinced were confirmed in the truth, and lived in it; and it was a great loss to the priests. Yes, my father, though a hearer and follower of the priest, was so well satisfied that he struck his cane upon the ground, and said, 'Truly I see, he that stands  for the truth will be vindicated.' I traveled around the country until that evening at seven, and then came back again because we had scheduled a meeting at my relative's house. Priest Stephens had notice of the meeting beforehand and had gotten another priest to join him. They had a company of troopers with them, and sent for me to come to them. But I sent them word that our meeting had already been scheduled and they might come to it if they wished. The priests didn’t come, but the troopers came with many disorderly people. They had planned for the troopers to take every one's name, and then command them to go home; and whoever would not go home would be arrested. Accordingly they began and took several names telling them to go home; but when they came to take my name, my relatives told them I was already at home; so they could not arrest me that time. Nevertheless, they took my name; but the Lord's power was over them, and they went away, both professors and troopers, crossed and vexed because they had not achieved their plans. But several were convinced that day and admired the love and power of God. This was the same priest Stephens, who had once said of me, 'Never was such a plant raised in England;' yet afterwards he reported, 'that I was carried up into the clouds, and found again full of gold and silver;' and he raised many false reports about me, but the Lord swept them all away. The reason why I would not go into their steeple-house was because I was to testify against it, and to bring everyone away from such places to the spirit of God so that they might know their bodies to be the temples of the holy spirit, and to bring them off from all the hireling teachers to Christ, their free teacher, who died for them, and purchased them with his blood.

After this I went into the country, had several meetings, and came to Swanington, where the soldiers came; but the meeting was quiet, the Lord's power was over all, and the soldiers did not interfere. Then I went to Leicester; and from Leicester to Whetstone. About seventeen troopers of Colonel Hacker's regiment,with his marshal came and arrested me before the meeting, though Friends were beginning to assemble; for there were several Friends from many areas. I told the marshal, 'If He let all the Friends go, I would answer for them all.' Upon which he took me, and let all the Friends go; only Alexander Parker went along with me. At night they had me before colonel Hacker, his major, and captains, a great company of them; and we had a great deal of discussion about the priests and about meetings; for at this time there rumors of a plot against Oliver Cromwell. I reasoned with them for some time about the light of Christ, which enlightens every man that comes into the world. Colonel Hacker asked, whether it was not this light of Christ that made Judas betray his master, and afterwards led him to hang himself? I told him, 'No, that was the spirit of darkness, which hated Christ and his light.' Then Colonel Hacker said that I could go home if I stayed at home without leaving to go to other meetings. I told him, 'I was an innocent man, free from plots, and denied all such work.' Then his son Needham said, ‘Father, this man has reigned too long; is not this the time to stop him.' I asked him, for what? What had I done, or whom had I wronged from a child? For I had been born and raised in that country, and who could accuse me of any evil from a child?' Colonel Hacker asked me again, if I would go home, and stay at home? I told him, 'if I promised him that, it would show that I was guilty of something and it would make my home a prison;' and that if I went to meetings, they would say I had broken their order. Therefore, I told them, I would go to meetings, as the Lord might order me; and I could not submit to their requirements; but I said, we were a peaceable people.' 'Well, then,' said colonel Hacker, 'I will send you tomorrow morning by six o'clock to my lord protector, by captain Drury, one of his life-guard.' That night I was kept prisoner at the Marshalsea, and the next morning by the sixth hour I was delivered to captain Drury. I asked him to let me speak with Colonel Hacker before I went; and Colonel Hacker let me meet with him at his bedside. Colonel Hacker ordered me to go home again and to attend no further meetings. I told him, 'I could not submit to that; but I must have my liberty to serve God, and to go to meetings. He said: ‘Then you must go before the protector.' Upon which I kneeled on his bedside, and asked the Lord to forgive him; for he was like Pilate, even though he washed his hands; and I told him that when the day of his misery and trial came upon him, he should remember what I had said to him. But he was stirred up and influenced by Stephens, and the other priests and professors, by which their envy and baseness was evident; because when they could not overcome me by disputes and arguments, or resist the spirit of the Lord that was in me, they had soldiers arrest me.

Afterwards, when Colonel Hacker was imprisoned in London, a day or two before his execution, he was reminded of what he had done against the innocent; and he remembered it, and confessed it to Margaret Fell; saying, he knew well whom she meant; and this was the cause of his trouble. So that his son, who had told his father I had reigned too long, and it was time to have me cut off, might observe how his father was cut off afterwards, he was hanged at Tyburn.

{To Oliver Protector, by George Fox, 1654

To Oliver Protector [Cromwell was well versed in the scriptures and outwardly appeared very religious.]

Friend, the wisdom of God mind, let not those who pretend to be your friends come near you, or your enemies either, for there is danger.

George Fox

Isaiah 8: If any should run to you, the dead [the carnal man] for the living [supposedly speaking for the living God]: If any man wants light, let him look upon the law and the testimony to be sure they don't speak against this meaning. If he does not do this, he suffers from hunger; [he has no righteousness, still carnal] he is out of patience, [he has no fruit] and blasphemes his king and his God. [by giving advice from their carnal minds, but pretending to speak with God's authority, their words damage both God and the king.]

This was taken out of the Bible at Gravesend.}

(Site Editor's Note: the Cambridge Journal footnote, says: an expert in the Bible manuscripts can find nothing in Isaiah to support this. Yet, it is exactly where Fox said it was, Isaiah Chapter 8, three verses in a row, 19-21. Certainly, how the verses are used by Fox to construct a warning to Cromwell remain subject to opinion, of which mine shows in the brackets within the cryptic construction, but Cromwell was very well versed in the Bible. I think this is an inspired letter warning Cromwell of exactly what led to his downfall, or removal by the Lord, which the Lord later explicitly threatened. Instead of listening to this warning from Fox, Cromwell listened to the religious sycophants around him.)

Now was I carried up as a prisoner by captain Drury from Leicester; and when we came to Harborough, he asked me, if I would go home, and stay for two weeks? He said that I could have my liberty if I would not go to or hold meetings. I told him that I could not promise any such thing. Several times upon the road he asked and repeated the same offer, but I still gave him the same answers. So he brought me to London and lodged me at the Mermaid over against the Mews at Charing-Cross. On the way as we traveled, when I came to inns or other places, I was moved of the Lord to warn people at the inns and places of the day of the Lord that was coming upon them. He let me go to visit William Dewsbury and Marmaduke Storr who were in prison at Northampton.

Note from Valiant for the Truth: THE London which George Fox entered in 1654 would scarcely be recognized by a resident of the present city. It was surrounded by walls whose foundations were laid by the Romans, and could only be entered through embattled gateways. Within these walls was a labyrinth of narrow lanes, of which Cheapside and Cornhill were the most conspicuous. The upper stories of the houses overhung the lower, so that acquaintances could shake hands from the opposite windows, while the street below was like a covered way. There was no provision for lighting the streets at night, and the different classes in society jealously maintained the distinction of rank. The courtiers had an exclusive right to lanterns, merchants and lawyers were accompanied by boys with links, (torches of pitch for light), while mechanics and other artisans must be content with torches. The busy, bustling Strand was the connecting link between London and Westminster, then a distinct city, and instead of being crowded with stores, as at the present day, was lined on either side from Temple Bar to Charing Cross with the houses and gardens of bishops and noblemen.

During Cromwell's Protectorate, religion was the prominent topic of the day. Knotty points of doctrine were discussed with as much zest as the state of the markets is now. Outdoor preaching was very common, and crowds would stand patiently three or four hours at a time to listen to eminent preachers. Of one of these, named Howe, it is recorded, that on a fast day he preached for seven hours, with a recess at noon for refreshment. Notwithstanding the length of the sermons, these meetings were not very helpful, and there was a strong desire among many to see some of those Quakers who had arisen in the north of England, and of whom so much was said.

Isabel Butten came to London early in the year 1654, and found two brothers willing to open their houses for all who wished to assemble to worship in this new way. These were the first meetings of Friends held in London. Isabel was busy one First Day evening in St. Paul's Church-yard, circulating some papers written by George Fox, when she was arrested for Sabbath breaking and carried before the Lord Mayor. He committed her and her companions to Bridewell, among the abandoned and guilty, thus showing the fanatical spirit of the times.

Among the sixty ministers, mentioned in a former chapter as going out from the north on their Master's service, were two, very different in age and character, but who were united in their zeal for the truth. These were Francis Howgill and Edward Burrough. Both came from Yorkshire, and their simple appearance and provincial dialect did not make much impression at first upon the subtle Londoners. Their wisdom and zeal, however, produced great effect; and, borne up by a strength not their own, the fruits of their ministry increased to such an extent that after three months of service many other meetings were established, besides the two in the houses of the brothers Dring, and room could hardly be found for the numbers who assembled.

At last a large meeting-place, known as the Bull and Mouth, which would hold one thousand, was obtained. Here, amid wrangling and contention, some extolling the Quakers and some accusing them of heresy, Edward Burrough, the younger of the two evangelists, would take his stand on a bench, with a Bible in his hand, and speak to the tumultuous assembly before him, with so much power that all became calm and attentive. Both Francis Howgill and Edward Burrough laid down their lives for their religion,-the former in Appleby Jail, where he was imprisoned for life; Edward Burrough in Newgate. After ten years of successful ministry this young Boanerges, as he was called, was shut up with a hundred others in such close quarters that many died of jail fever; one of these was this zealous evangelist, at the age of twenty-eight.

After captain Drury had lodged me at the Mermaid, he went to give the protector a report about me. {I wrote a paper and asked him to carry it to Oliver, which is here as follows:

To Oliver Cromwell by George Fox about 1654

Dear Friend

Be still, and in the council of God stand, and that will give you wisdom so that you may frustrate men's ends [selfish purposes]; and calm men's spirits; and crumble men under [rule with authority that makes men yield]; and arise and up into the power of the Lord God and the Lamb's authority. Fear not the face of a man, but fear and dread the Lord God. Then you shall have his presence, wisdom, and counsel to throw down the rubbish [confusion] and quell all the bad spirits under your dominion. Fear those who surround you [beware of the court sycophants]. Live in the Lord's power and life, and he will then give you wisdom; you will come into feeling the pure, by which the soul is refreshed. It will be your delight to do the will of God, and it will be your meat and drink [spiritual food and drink that satisfies], as you dwell in the pure eternal power, council, will, and wisdom of God. All things will be made plain to you, for you, and to you from the Lord God. In what you do for the Lord God, you shall have peace (and the blessing); and in so doing, all the sober, true-hearted people will be one with you in all your travails, sorrows, and pains in feeling. In that, a blessing from the Lord will come upon you in great measure, and protect you as you live and are kept by the power and dread of the Lord God of heaven and earth. Here wisdom is not wanting or peace lacking, but peace is enjoyed, and the counsel and instruction of the Lord is given. You will feel the helping arm and hand that is stretched over all the nations of the world. With that you will come to break down all of men's ends [selfish purposes], that they have to themselves, and break down the worships that men invent and the images that they have set up. For the arm of the Lord helps the righteous; by his hand he carries his lambs; which arm is turned against the wicked and stretched over the lambs. The hand of the Lord is against those who do evil; in which hand is the soul, and which hand brings the soul into peace.

Therefore, live in the power of the Lord God, and feel his hand stretched over the nations; for the Lord has a mighty work to do in other nations. Their quaking and shaking is just beginning. So this is the Word of the Lord to you, and a charge to you from the Lord God in the presence of the Lord God: live in the presence of the Lord God of heaven and earth, that will make all nations to tremble and quake; for those are God's enemies who are out of his power and council. And be faithful to God singly without respecting any man's person, but respect the Lord and his work; and be obedient to his will singly without pursuing your own desires. By living in the pure wisdom, counsel, and instruction from God, you will see God's enemies, who love out of his wisdom, power, and counsel; such fall into their pits, snare themselves, and fear where there is no fear, slaying themselves with their envy. The power of the Lord will keep all the wicked off of you, as you live in the power and are kept in it. This is the Word of the Lord God to you. Live in the wisdom and the life of God, that with it, you may be ordered to his glory. Be still and silent from your own wisdom, wit, craft, subtlety, or policies that might arise in you; but stand single to the Lord without any end to yourself. Then God will bless you and prosper you in his ways. You will feel his blessing in your generation. With your mind stayed on the Lord, you will be kept in perfect peace, without any intent to yourself, to the glory of God. There you will feel no wants, or ever a failing, or a forsaking; only the presence of the Lord God of life with you. For in the state of this present age now is that the Lord is bringing his people into life, from which the scriptures were given forth; in which life people shall come to have unity with God, with the scriptures, and with one another - for establishing righteousness, truth, and peace - in which is the Kingdom of God.

From a lover of your soul and eternal good

George Fox }

When he came to me again, he told me that the protector required that I should promise not to take up a carnal sword or weapon against him or the present government and that I should write the promise in whatever language I thought was good. I said little in reply to captain Drury. But the next morning I was moved by the Lord to write a paper to the protector, Oliver Cromwell, where I did in the presence of the Lord God declare that I did deny the wearing or drawing of a carnal sword, or any other outward weapon, against him or any man. And that I was sent by God to stand as a witness against all violence and the works of darkness, to turn people from darkness to light, to bring them from the occasion of war and fighting to the peaceable gospel, and to cease from being evil doers, to which the magistrates' sword should be a terror. When I had written what the Lord had given me to write, I set my name to it, and gave it to captain Drury to hand to Oliver Cromwell, which he did. {The fifth day of the first month, George Fox was moved of the Lord to give out these words following, which were given to Oliver Cromwell; and George Fox was then presently brought before him by Captain Drury.

George Fox to Oliver Cromwell 1654

I, who am of the world called George Fox, do deny the carrying or drawing of any carnal sword against any, or against you, Oliver Cromwell, or any man; in the presence of the Lord God I declare it; (God is my witness, by whom I am moved to give forth this for the truth's sake, from him whom the world calls George Fox, who is the son of God), who is sent to the world to stand a witness against all violence and against all the works of darkness; and to turn people from the darkness to the light; and to bring them from the occasion of the war, and from the occasion of the Magistrate's sword; which is a terror to  the evil doers, who act contrary to the light of the lord Jesus Christ; which [ Magistrate' s sword] is a praise to them that do well and which is a protection to them that do well, but not to those who do evil. Any soldiers who serve as a Magistrate must not be false accusers, do no violence, but be content with their wages. And that Magistrate does not bear his sword in vain. From under the occasion of that sword I do seek to bring my people. My weapons are not carnal, but spiritual. And my Kingdom is not of this world, [the Kingdom of Christ, which Fox was in, is not in this world]. Therefore with the carnal weapon I do not fight, but I am dead to such things by him who is not of the world [Christ]; called of the world by the name of George Fox [everyone in the Kingdom has a new name, given to them by Christ]. This I am ready to seal with my blood, and this I am moved to give forth for the truth's sake. I, who is a witness, stand against all unrighteousness and ungodliness; I, who is a sufferer for the righteous seed's sake, waiting for the redemption of the seed. I, who seeks not a crown that is mortal and fades away, but in the light dwells, which comprehends that crown [mortal, fading], which light is the condemnation of all such [crowns]. In which light I witness the crown that is immortal, which does not fade away and is [The light] from him who is a friend to all your souls, and [the light] is for establishing of righteousness, and cleansing the land of evil doers; and [the light] is a witness against all wicked inventions [invented plans] of men and murderous plots. The light in all your consciences answers [tells you the truth of these written words]; this light makes no covenant with death. To the light in all of you, I speak and am clear.

George Fox
who is of the world called George Fox
who has a new name, which the world knows not.

We are witnesses of this testimony, whose names in the flesh* are called:
Thomas Aldam, Robert Craven}

*They were also in the Kingdom with new names, not of the flesh, having been given.

Site Editor's Comments: Fox's referring to himself as "the son of God" is the subject of later controversy: but this is just the way the Bible refers as well. ( Rom 8:14, 1 John 3:2, and Phil 2:15). If I am one of John Smith's five sons, and if I describe myself as "the son of John Smith," my description does not say I am the exclusive son of John Smith — such faulty logic being used by the critics of George Fox. Cromwell was a great student of the Bible; had he found anything objectionable in Fox's statement above, he would have been very critical; instead, Cromwell raves in praise for Fox's letter below.

After some time captain Drury brought me before the protector himself at Whitehall. It was in the morning before he was dressed; and a man named Harvey, who had spent a little time among Friends, but was disobedient, now waited upon him. When I came in, I was moved to say, ‘Peace be in this house;' and I exhorted him to keep in the fear of God, that he might receive wisdom from him so that by it he might be ordered, and with it he might order all things under his hand to God's glory. I had much to say to him about truth, and we had a long discussion about religion; the whole time he conducted himself very moderately. But he said, we quarreled with the priests, whom he called ministers. I told him, ‘I did not quarrel with them, they quarreled with me and my friends.' But said I, 'if we own the prophets, Christ, and the apostles, we cannot hold up such teachers, prophets, and shepherds, as the prophets, Christ, and the apostles declared against; but we must declare against them by the same power and spirit.' Then I showed him, that the prophets, Christ, and the apostles declared freely, and declared against them that did not declare freely; such as preached for filthy lucre, divined for money, and preached for hire, and were covetous and greedy, like the dumb dogs that could never have enough; and that they, who have the same spirit that Christ, the prophets, and the apostles had, could not but declare against all such now, as they did then.

As I spoke, Cromwell said several times that it was very good, and it was truth.
I told him, 'that all Christendom, (so called), had the scriptures, but they did not have the power and spirit that those had, who had given forth the scriptures; and that was the reason they were not in fellowship with the son, nor with the Father, nor with the scriptures, nor one with another.’ I had many more words with him; but other people came in, and I drew a little back. As I was turning, he caught me by the hand, and with tears in his eyes, said, ‘Come again to my house; for if you and I could spend an hour of a day together, we would be closer to each other;' adding, that he wished me no more ill than he did to his own soul. I told him, 'If he did, he wronged his own soul; and admonished him to hearken to God's voice, that he might stand in his counsel, and obey it; and if he did so, that would keep him from hardness of heart; but if he did not hear God's voice, his heart would be hardened.' He said it was true. Then I went out; and when captain Drury came out after me, he told me, his Lord Protector said that I was at liberty and could go where I wished, {"and my Lord [Cromwell] says", he says, "'you are not a fool; and said he never saw such a paper in his life as I had sent him before by him.'"}

Then I was brought into a great hall where the protector's gentlemen were to dine. I asked them why they brought me there? They said, it was by the protector's order that I was to dine with them. I told them let the Protector know that I would not eat a bit of his bread, nor drink a cup of his drink. When Cromwell heard this, he said,' Now I see there is a people risen that I cannot win either with gifts, honors, offices, or places; but I can all other sects and people.' He was told again, 'That we had forsaken our own; and were not likely to seek such things from him.'

<1> <2> <3> <4>

<back> <next>