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None but those who are far gone in the wildness of fanatical credulity, can suppose for a moment that God ever gavo a command of such a nature as this; much less that he made a special revelation to a man to alter an innocent mode of speech, and to behave rude and unmannerly to his superiors. Yet Fox expressly fays that he received his injunction to keep on his hat, and to thee and thou all men,from the Almighty himself. If his imagination was ever worked up to such a height as to make him really believe he had such a revelation, he was downright mad, and if he asserted what he knew was not true, he was a gross impostor and a blasphemer. We are disposed from a consideration of .the whole tenour of his life, to conclude that the former was the real cafe; but is it not strange that men of fense should be foundjn an enlightened age to imitate and defend the absurd and indecent practices of a senseless and crack-brained zealot?
Having instanced the extreme ignorance and presumption of Fox, let us follow him into the career of his pretended million, as the "restorer of pure Christianity."
Instead of being actuated by a spirit of meekness, this reformer began his work in outrage and violence. He entered the churches in the midst of divine service, and interrupting the ministers with his contradictions, threw the congregations into confusion. These practices of course brought him into trouble; in some places the people fell upon him with sticks and stones; in others he was committed to "durance vile" by magistrates, who did not think that breaking the peace was the mark of a true prophet. The sufferings which Fox endured were sometimes severe and unjust; but Jbr the most part they were the consequences of his intemperate zeal.
From the beginning of his mission to the close of it, he was always eager to dispute with ministers of various denominations, and he brags most insufferably in his Journal of his victories in these combats. Mr. Clarkfon also mentions these frequent disputations with an intimation that the success of Fox in them is to be considered as a proof that he was specially led by the Spirit of Gad.
On the contrary we are of opinion, and most reasonable men will be of the same, that this love of contention, instead of being a sign of grace, was the sign of spiritual pride, conceit and arrogance.
The strifes in which Fox engaged were about mystical interpretations of words, and the persons he had to combat
Vol. XiII. Churchm. Mag.jor July 1807.
viitb, were for the most, part as zealous ^dbigOtKHJis'riitn* self in, behalf of notions little less anti-scfiptura1]i arid irrational (.Van n'is own. But when we'ifind this rriiricbriductirig himself towards his opponents with virulence, and" applying tfr them the most scurrilous epithets, accompanied with denunciations pf divine.vengeance, we perceive a spirit the reverfa of, that which corneth down from above. 'His usual t&tt&t for professors, as he. in general called tWofe who did hot receive the .Quaker-Testimony, were beasts, serpents, dogs, and fwiije: uie plergy were conjurers, thieves, blasphemers, scarlet-cqlQWed beaAs, Babylon's merchants, whited Walts, ravening wolves, and ambitious Pharisees.,
Thatfuph a rnan should claim the victory in a faiputc is no more to be "wondered at, than that a professor of the science of scolding at Billingsgate, should put to silence and flight the man of learning, and the woman of
As a specimen of the stile'and'spirit of Fox we extract one passage from a famous book of his entituled, "The Viols of the wrath of God, by him who is called George Fox, 16,55, p. 9.
"The word of the Lord to all the fruitless- trees; ye dry trees, ♦e oaks, ye tall cedars, ye fat bulls of Basan, ye thorns, ye briars, ye wild asses which snuff np your noses in the top of the mountains, and the forests; ye high-way ground, ye stony-ground, ye Eoats, ye wolves, ye dogs, ye swine, ye serpents, ye vulterous ones, ye beasts, ye lions, ye strong horses neighing up and down, walking after your lusts: this is not railing, tHfs is the Scripture language, own your names, every one in their place; with the light ye are all seen, and your names come to be known, so every one bears your name, according to these natures; ye are these that cumber the ground, ye are them that are not of the light, y« are them that are to be condemned with the light, ye that are unjust, ye cumber the ground."
Now the author of this vile, nonsensical jargon, is represented by Mr. Clarkson as having " a wonderful gift in expounding the Scriptures" and as •• preaching in th« demonstration of the Spirit, and with power! 1" _
Much has been said about the sincerity and integrity ot George Fox, which, however true, would not weigh a feather, as a proof of his being a rational man, and therefore can 'have nothing to do with his assumption of the character efa divine teacher.
But wjvrt if the sincerity and integrity Qf Ijox be questioned? He professed to abhor fighting, and eV'ery Body ktfgwS that one 9s the leading principles of Quakerismis,' that all war is unlawful.
'Yet Fox on some occafions could not only allow war, but even encourage it in its worst form. Like that enthusiast of the eleventh century, who led half Europe to destruction in Palestine, Fox preached up a crusade against the continent, la bis letter to Oliver Cromwell, dated the 11th month, 1^5^, Be tells the Usurper, that if he had followed his advice,' " ttti Hollanders would have been his subjects, Germafly" fays he. V would have given up to thy will, and the Spaniard bad quiver'd like a dry leaf, the king of France Thoiild have bowed under thee his neck: the Pope should have Withered as In the winter; the Turk, in all his fatness, should have tjtnoaked; thjpu. sjjpuldst have crumbled nations to dust. Therefore k.t thy soldiers go forth with a free and willing heart, that thou mayest rock nations as a cradle, for a mighty work hath the Lord to do in other nations, and their quakings and shakings are but entering. So this is the word of the Lord God to thee, as a charge tram the Lord God." "We fee that Fox could flatter Cromwell in his bloody throne, and assuming the character of a prophet, urge 'him pn, in the name of the Lord, to still more sanguinary deeds, ^nd to a warfare' of the most extravagant nature.' CroirifgeJJ, however, had more fense than to follow this ma4 ppunsej.
The restoration of monarchy was zealously opposed by Fox, and even a few months before that event happened, h& published addresses to the nation, in which he inveighed most bitterly against "all kings and emperors as being the spawn of antichrist, and the enemies of'the Lamb.4'':
But when-the antient order of'things was established, Fox and his friends cunningly turned about, arid in thieir Address to Charles the second, they say "We'do declare' tb: take1 oft" all jealousies, tears, and suspicions of our truth'arid fidelity to the king, and the present governors, that our intentions apd endeavours are, and thall be good, true, honest, and peaceful towards .them, and that we do love, own,' ana honour th« king and these present governors."
It must be owned that the politisal conversion of Fox appears
to have been very sudden and complete; but his attachment
to the government ot Cromwell and his son Richard, withlits
indecent language against kings and emperors',' will naturally
•"" I 2 excitt excite some doubts as to his sincerity. To consistency he certainly could have no claim.
Ever since that period, however, the Quakers have protested against the lawfulness of all war, but from the beginning of the sect, it was not so.
We have been thus long in our view of the founder of this remarkable society, and it was necessary to be fo, because Mr. Clarkson has represented him as a perfect man, as a prophet, and a teacher sent directly from God. These are high pretensions, the highest indeed which can possibly be claimed by a human being: whether they of right belonged to George Fox, the reader of his journal and other writings, from which we have made the..: few 'feasts, will be able to judge.*
* As a further proof of the miserable ignorance of this pretended prophet, we shall give in this note, an exact copy of his last Will and Testament, written whh his own hand, the orthothography of which will exercise the ingenuity of the reader.
u I do give to Thomas Lower ray sedell the ar at Jhon Nelsons and bridall and spores and bootes inward lethereths and the newengland indan Bible, and my great book of the signifing of names, and my book of the new testement of eight langes and all ray fiser kail things that came from beyond the seay with the outlandish cup and that thing that people do'give glisters with and my tow diales, the one is an eknoksha. dial, and all my over pleish bookes to be divided among my four sones in law and also all my other bookes and my hamack I do give to Thomas Lower that is at bengamin antrobus his closet and rachall may take that which is at Swarthmor. And Thomas Lover may have my walnut equnockshall diall and if he can he may get one cut by it which will be hard to do and he shall have one of my prospect glasseses in my tranck at London and a pare of my glovesess and my seale G. F. and the flaming sword to Nat Mead and my other two scales J Rose and the other Dan Abraham and Thomas Laier shall have my Spanesh letherhud. S. Meade shall have my magnising glas aud the torkel' shel comandcace. G.F.
and all that I have written consaring what I do give to my relashons ether mony or otherways Jhon Loft may put it up in my tronke at Jhon Elfenes and wright all things downe in a paper and make a paper out of all my papers how I have ordered things for them, and Jhon Lost may send all things down by Powelsworth carrer in the trounke to Jhon Fox at Powelsworth in Warwicksher and let Jhon Fox send Jhon Loft a full receat and a discharge and in this mater and none of you may be consarned but Jhon Loft only. * C. F.
Now if it shall appear from them that Fox was aa enthusiast, grossly illiterate, confused in his intellects, violent in his
and my other letell tronke that standeth in Bengmln Antrubeses closet, with the outlandish things Thomas Lover shall have and if it be ordered in any other papeers to any other that must not stand so but as now orders. G. F,
and Sary thou may give Sary Frickenfeld half a gine for she hath been sarvesable to mee a honest carfull young wo* man. G. F,
make no noyes of (hes things but do them in the Use as I have erderd them and when all is .'on and cleared what remenes to th« printing of my books.
Bengmin Antrabushath one 100 of mine take no yowes of them for it when you do receive it.
and in my cheast in Bengamin Antrabschamber there is a letell gilt box with some gold in it, Sary Mead to take' it and let it do it sarveses among the rest so far as it will go the box is seal. ed up. G. F.
and let Thomas Docker that knoeth many of my Epeseles and writen bookes which he did wright com up to London to assist frends in sorting of my Epeseles and other writings and give him a gine. G.F.
This is to be .put up among G. F. scled up papers that pocket that Sary Mead hath.
I do order W. and Sarah Mead and J Lover to take care of all my books and Epeseles and papers that be at Benjimin Antrahis and at M M chamber and those that com from Swarthmor and my journal of my life and the paseges and travels of frends and to taka them all into ther hands and all the over pluch of them the may have and keep together as a library when the have gatherd them together which is to be parted.
and for them to take charge of all my mony and defray all as I have ordered in my o; her papers and any thing of mine the mav take, and god will and shall be ther reward, the 8 mo. 1688. G.F.
Thomas Lover and John Rous may aslst you and all the paseges and travilsand sufferings of friends in the beging of the spreadingof the troath which I have kept together will make a fine history and the may be had at Swarthmor with my other bookes, and if the com to London with they papers then the may be had either at W. M. •r ben Antrubs closet for it is a fine thing to know the beging of