Page images
PDF
EPUB

should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world,” (Tit. ii. 11. 12.) Now all those men and women that live ungodly, and in the lusts of the world, that turn this grace of God into wantonness, and walk despitefully against it, and so deny God and the Lord Jesus Christ, that bought them; the fault is in all such that turn the grace into wantonness, and walk despitefully against that which would bring their salvation, and save them out of the reprobation. But the priests, it seems, can see no fault in such as deny God and the Lord Jesus Christ, that hath bought them, such as deny his light, which they should believe in, and his grace, which should teach them to live godly, and which should bring them their salvation. Now all that believe in the light of Christ, as he commands, are in the election, and sit under the teaching of the grace of God, which brings their salvation. But such as turn this grace into wantonness, are in the reprobation ; and such as hate the light are in the condemnation. Therefore I exhorted all the people to believe in the light as Christ commands, and own the grace of God their free teacher, and it would assuredly bring them their salvation; for it is sufficient. Many other scriptures were opened concerning reprobation, and the people were opened to see, and a spring of life rose up among them.

These things soon came to the priests' ears; for the people that sate under their dark teachings, began to see light, and to come into the covenant of light. So the noise was spread over Scotland amongst the priests, that I was come thither, and a great cry was among them that all would be spoiled; for, they said, I had spoiled all the honest men and women in England already (so, upon their own account, the worst were left to them.) Upon this they gathered great assemblies of priests together, and drew up a company articles of curses to be read in their several steeple-houses, and that all the people should say amen to them. Some few of these I will here set down, the rest may be read in the book before-mentioned, of “The Scotch Priests' Principles.'

The first was, Cursed is he that saith, every man hath a light within him sufficient to lead him to salvation; and let all the people say, amen.

The second, Cursed is he that saith, faith is without sin; and let all the people say, amen.

The third, Cursed is he that denieth the sabbath-day; and let all the people say, amen.

In this last they make the people curse themselves, for on the sabbath-day (which is the seventh-day of the week,

which the Jews kept by the command of God to them) they kept markets and fairs, and so brought the curse of God upon their own heads.

And as to the first, concerning the light, Christ saith, believe in the light, that ye may become children of the light; and he that believeth shall be saved; he that believeth shall have everlasting life; he that believeth passes from death to life, and is grafted into Christ. And ye do well, said the apostle, that ye take heed unto the light that shines in the dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts. So the light is sufficient to lead unto the day-star. And as concerning faith, it is the gift

of God, and every gift of God is pure. The faith, which Christ is the author of, is precious, divine, and without sin; and this is the faith which gives victory over sin, and access to God, in which faith they please God. But they are reprobates themselves concerning this faith, and are in their dead faith, who charge sin upon this faith under pain of a curse; which faith gives victory over their curse, and returns it into their own bowels.

There were a company of Scots near Badcow, who challenged a dispute with some of our Scotch friends (for with me they would not dispute ;) so some of the Scotch friends met them at the market-place. The dispute was to be concerning the sabbath-day, and some other of their principles before mentioned ; and I having gotten their principles and assertions, shewed the friends where they might easily be overthrown, and a Scotch friend, a smith, overthrew them clearly.

There were two independent churches in Scotland, of which many were convinced; but the pastor of the other was in a great rage against truth and friends. They bad their elders, who sometimes would exercise their gifts amongst the church-members, and would sometimes be pretty tender; but their pastor 'speaking so much against the light and us, who are the friends of Christ, he darkened his hearers, so that they grew dark, and blind, and dry, and lost their tenderness. And he continued preaching against friends, and against the light of Christ Jesus, calling it natural; at last one day in his preaching he cursed the light, and fell down, as if dead, in his pulpit. The people carried him out, and laid him upon a grave-stone, and poured strong waters into him, which fetched him to life again; and they carried him home, but he was mopish. After a while he stripped off his clothes and put on a Scotch plaid, and went into the country amongst the dairy

women; and when he had staid there about two weeks, he came home, and went into the pulpit again. Whereupon the people expected some great manifestation or revelation from him; but instead thereof he began to tell them what entertainment he had met with, how one woman gave him skimmed milk, another gave him butter-milk, and another gave him good milk; so the people were rain to take him out of the pulpit again and carry him home. He that gave me this account was one Andrew Robinson, who was one of his chief hearers, and came afterwards to be convinced, and received the truth; and he said he never heard that he recovered his senses again. By this people may see the vengeance of God, which came upon him that cursed the light, which light was the life in Christ, the word ; and it may be a warning to all others that speak evil against the light of Christ.

Now were the priests in such a rage, that they posted up to Edinburgh to Oliver Cromwell's council there, with petitions against me. And the noise was that all was gone; for several friends were come out of England and spread over Scotland, sounding the day of the Lord, and preaching the everlasting gospel of salvation, and turning people to Christ Jesus who died for them, that they might receive his free teaching. After I had gathered up the principles of the Scotch priests, and the sufferings of friends, and had seen the friends in that part of Scotland settled by the Lord's power, upon Christ their foundation, I went up to Edinburgh, and in the way came to Lithgow; where lodging at an ina, the innkeeper's wife, who was blind, received the word of life and came under the teaching of Christ Jesus, her Saviour. At night there came in abundance of soldiers and some officers, with whom we bad much discourse, and some were rude; one of the officers said he would obey the Turk's or Pilate's command, if they should command him to guard Christ to crucify him. So far he was from all teiderness, or sense of the Spirit of Christ, that he would rather crucify the just, than suffer for or with the just, whereas many officers and magistrates have lost their places before they would turn against the Lord and his just one.

When I was come to Edinburgh, and had staid there a while, I went from thence to Leith, where many officers of the army came in with their wives, and many were convinced. Among those that came, Edward Billing's wife was one; she brought a great deal of coral in her hand, and threw it on the table before me, to see whether I

would speak against it or no. I took no notice of it, but declared the truth to her, and she was reached. There came in many baptists also, who were very rude, but the Lord's power came over them, so that they went away confounded. Then there came in another sort, and one of them said he would dispute with me; and for argument sake, would deny there was a God. I told him, he was one of those fools that said in his heart, there is no God, but he should know him in the day of his judgment. So he went his way; and a fine precious time we had afterwards with several people of account, and the Lord's power came over all. William Osburn was with me; and colonel Lidcot's wife and William Welch's wife, and several of the officers themselves also that were there, were convinced at that time. Now Edward Billing and his wife were at that time separated and lived apart, and she being reached by truth, and become loving to friends, we sent for her husband, and he came; and the Lord's power reached unto them both, and they joined together in it, and agreed to live together in love and unity as man and wife.

After this we went back to Edinburgh again, where many thousands of people were gathered together, with abundance of priests among them, about burning of a witch, and I was moved to declare the day of the Lord amongst them. Which, when I had done, I went from thence to our meeting, whither many rude people and baptists came. The baptists began to vaunt with their logick and syllogisms, but I was moved in the Lord's power to thresh their chaffy, light minds, and shewed the people that, after that fallacious way of discoursing, they might make white seem black, and black seem white; as, that because a cock had two legs, and each of them had two legs, therefore they were all cocks. Thus they might turn any thing into lightness and vanity; but it was not the way of Christ or his apostles, to teach, speak, or reason, after that manner. Hereupon those baptists went their way, and after they were gone, we had a blessed meeting in the Lord's power, which was over all.

I mentioned before that many of the Scotch priests being greatly disturbed at the spreading of truth, and loss of their hearers thereby, were gone up to Edinburgh, to petition the council against me. Now, when I came back from the meeting to the inn where I lodged, an officer belonging to the council came to me, and brought me the following order :

Thursday, the 8th of October, 1657, at his Highness's

Council in Scotland.

on.

Ordered, That George Fox do appear before the council on Tuesday, the 13th of October next, in the forenoon.

E. Downing, Clerk of the Council. When he had delivered me the order, he asked me whe. ther I would appear or no? I did not tell him whether I would or no, but asked him if he had not forged the order : He said no, it was a real order from the council, and he was sent as their messenger with it. When the time came I appeared, and was had up into a great room, where many great persons came and looked at me. After a while the door-keeper came and had me into the council-chamber; and as I was going in he took off my hat. I asked him why he did so, and who was there that I might not go in with my hat on; for I told him I had been before the Protector with my hat But he hung up my hat, and had me in before them. When I was come in and had stood a while, and they said nothing to me, I was moved of the Lord to say, Peace be amongst you, and wait in the fear of God, that ye may receive his wisdom from above, by which all things were made and created, that by it ye may all be ordered, and may order all things under your hands to God's glory. After I had done speaking, they asked me what was the occasion of my coming into that nation? I told them I came to visit the seed of God, which had long lain in bondage under corruption; and the intent of my coming was, that all in the nation that did profess the scriptures, the words of Christ, and of the prophets and apostles, might come to the light, spirit, and power, which they were in who gave them forth, that so in and by the Spirit they might understand the scriptures, and know Cbrist and God aright, and have fellowship with them, and one with another. They asked me whether I had any outward business there? I said, nay. Then they asked me how long I intended to stay in the country? I told them I should say little to that; my time was not to be long, yet in my freedom in the Lord, I stood in the will of him that sent me. Then they bid me withdraw, and the doorkeeper took me by the hand and led me forth. In a little time they sent for me in again, and told me I must depart the nation of Scotland by that day seventh night. I asked

« PreviousContinue »