The Missing Cross to Purity


The Journal of George Fox - 1666 - 1673 - To America and Back <page 3 >


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At Droitwich, J. Cartwright came to a Friend's house; and being moved of the Lord to speak a few words before he sat down to supper, there an informer came and stood listening under the window. When he had heard the Friend speak, hoping to get some gain for himself, he went and informed; and got a warrant to seize the Friends' property under pretence that there had been a meeting at his house; however, there was nobody in the house at that time but the Friend, the man of the house, his wife, and their maid-servant. As this evil minded man came back with his warrant in the night. {As he and another man with him were coming up a bottom near the town, an owl flew in front of him and screeched, causing his companion to cry 'God bless him;'; the informer said, why did you say that, are you afraid}? But the informer than fell off his horse and broke his neck. So there was a wretched end of a wicked informer, who hoped to have enriched himself by plundering Friends' personal property; but the Lord prevented him, and cut him off in his wickedness.

Although it was a cruel, bloody, persecuting time; still the Lord's power went over all, his everlasting seed prevailed, and Friends were made to stand firm and faithful in the Lord's power. And some of the sober people of the world would say, ‘if Friends had not stood, the nation would have run into drinking and promiscuity.'

Though by reason of my weakness I could not travel among Friends as I used to do, yet in the motion of life I sent the following lines as an encouraging testimony to them:

My Dear Friends-The seed is above all. In it walk, in which you all have life. Be not amazed at the weather; in all times the just have suffered by the unjust, but the just have the dominion. Throughout time you can read that by faith the mountains were subdued and the rage of the wicked with his fiery darts was stopped. Though the waves and storms are high, your faith will keep you so that you can swim above them; for they are but for a time, and the truth is without time. You who are led by the light to the mountain of holiness, stay on the mountain where nothing shall hurt you. Do not think that anything will outlast the truth, which stands sure and is over what is out of the truth. For the good will overcome the evil, the light will overcome darkness, the life overcome death, virtue overcome vice, and righteousness overcome unrighteousness. The false prophet cannot overcome the true; but the true prophet, Christ, will overcome all the false. So be faithful and live in what does not think the time long.

George Fox

After some time it pleased the Lord to decrease the intensity of this violent persecution; and though I was very weak, in my spirit I sensed victory over the spirits of those man eating priests and professors who had stirred up the persecutions to that height of cruelty. I, my Friends that had come to visit me, and those Friends that were with me, all took notice that as the persecution ceased, I was released from the oppression of the travails and sufferings which had laid with such weight upon me.* By early spring I began to recover and to walk again. This was beyond the expectation of many; who did not think I would ever be able to go abroad again because I had been so exceedingly weak, through the travail and exercise that were upon my spirit. {But that all saw and took notice that as the persecutions ceased, I simultaneously came out from under my spiritual trials and sufferings.}

* Fox was suffering in the Spirit for others in the Body of Christ, as Paul similarly did. This helped those who were not strong enough to endure their trial of sufferings.

While I was under this spiritual travail and suffering, the state of the city New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven, was opened to me; which the carnal-minded believers to think is physical city, like an outward city that drops out of the sky. But I saw the beauty and glory of it, the length, the breadth, and the height of that, all in complete proportion. I saw that all, who are within the light of Christ, in his faith, which he is the author of, in the spirit, the holy ghost, which Christ, the holy prophets, and apostles were in, and within the grace, truth, and power of God, which are the walls of the city; such are within the city, are members of this city, and have right to eat of the tree of life, which yields her fruit every month, and whose leaves are for the healing of the nations. But they who are out of the grace, truth, light, spirit, and power of God, are those who resist the Holy Ghost, quench, vex, and grieve the spirit of God, who hate the light, turn the grace of God into wantonness, and contemptuously disregard the spirit of grace. Such as have erred from the faith, made shipwreck of it and of a good conscience, who abuse the power of God, and despise prophesying, revelation, and inspiration, these are the dogs and unbelievers that are without the city. These make up the great city Babylon, confusion, and her cage, the power of darkness; and the evil spirit of error surrounds and covers them over. In this great city Babylon are the false prophets; in the false power and false spirit; the beast in the dragon's power, and the whore that is gone a whoring from the spirit of God, and from Christ her husband. But the Lord's power is over all this power of darkness, cage, whore, beast, dragon, false prophets and their worshippers, who are for the lake which burns with fire. Many things more did I see concerning the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem, which are hard to be uttered, and would be hard to be received. But, in short, this holy city is within the light; and all that are within the light, are within the city; the gates whereof stand open all the day (for there is no night there), that all may come in. Christ's blood being shed for every man, he tasted death for every man, and enlightens every man that comes into the world; and his grace, that brings salvation, having appeared to all men, there is no place or language where his voice may not be heard. The christians in the primitive times were called by Christ 'a city set upon a hill;' they were also called 'the light of the world,' and ‘the salt of the earth;' but when christians lost the light, salt, and power of God, they came to be trodden under foot, like unsavory salt. Just as the Jews were preserved above all nations while they kept the law of God, but when they turned their backs on God and his law, they were trodden under foot of other nation. Likewise Adam and Eve, while they obeyed God, were kept in his image and in the paradise of God, in dominion over all the works of his hands; but when they disobeyed God, they lost the image of God, the righteousness and holiness in which they were made; they lost their dominion, were driven out of paradise, and so fell under the dark power of satan, and came under the chains of darkness. But the promise of God was, ‘that the seed of the woman, Christ Jesus, should bruise the serpent's head,' should break his power and authority, which had led into captivity, and kept him in prison. So Christ, who is the first and last, sets man free, and is the resurrection of the just and unjust, the judge of the quick and dead; and they that are in him are invested with everlasting rest and peace, out of all the labors, travails, and miseries of Adam in the fall. So he is sufficient and fully able to restore man up into the state that he was in before he fell; and not into that state only, but up into that state also that never fell, and beyond that state even to himself.

{This same time that I was in suffering and travails, I had a vision:

I was walking in the fields, and many Friends were with me. I told them to dig in the earth, which they did. I went down where they had dug and saw a hugh vault filled to the top with people. So I told the Friends to break open the earth and let all the people out. They did that, and all the people came out to liberty; it was a huge place.

When the Friends had finished that, I went on and told them to dig again, which they did. We found another huge vault. I told them to throw it down and let all the people out, which they did.

And I went on again and told them to dig again. The Friends said to me, George you find all things. So they dug there, and I went down. A woman in white sat there watching how time passed away. Another woman came down into the vault where there was a treasure. The woman put one hand on the treasure, and the other on my left hand; and time passed by very quickly. But then I clasped my hand on her and told her not to touch the treasure. This slowed down the passage of time.

Those who can understand such things must have the earth and stony nature removed from them. See how the stones and the earth have been on man since the beginning, since he departed from the image of God with righteousness and holiness. I could speak a lot about these things, but I leave them to the right eye and reader to see and understand.}

I also had in this time a great exercise and travail of spirit upon me, concerning the powers and rulers of these nations, from the sense I had of the many tender visitations and faithful warnings that had been given them, and of their great abuse of that, who had refused to hear, and had rejected the counsel of the Lord. And though I knew Friends would be clear of their blood, yet I could not but mourn over them, and give forth these few lines concerning them:

We have given them a visitation, have faithfully warned them, have declared to them our innocence and uprightness, and that we never did any hurt to the king, nor to any of his people. We have nothing in our hearts but love and good-will to him and his people; and desire their eternal welfare. But if they will not hear, THEN the day of judgment, sorrow, torment, misery, and sudden destruction will come upon them from the Lord; them being those who have been the cause of the sufferings of many thousands of simple, innocent, harmless people, that have done them no harm, nor do these innocent people have any ill will towards them; instead, they have desired their eternal good, for the eternal truth's sake. Destruction will come upon them that turn the sword of the magistrate backward to punish the doers of good. Therefore, do not blind your eyes; the Lord will bring swift destruction and misery upon you. Surely he will do it, and relieve his innocent people, who have groaned for deliverance from under your oppression, and have also groaned for your deliverance out of wickedness. Blessed be the Lord God, that he has a people in this nation that seek the good of all men upon the face of the earth; for we have the mind of the Lord Jesus Christ, that desires not the death of a sinner, but the salvation and good of all. Blessed be the name of the Lord our God for ever!

George Fox

While I continued at Enfield, a sense came upon me of a hurt, that sometimes happened by persons coming under the profession of truth out of one country into another, to take a husband or wife among Friends, where they were strangers, and it was not known whether they were clear and orderly or not. And it opened in me to recommend the following method to Friends, for preventing such inconveniences.

All Friends that marry, whether men or women, if they come out of another nation, island, plantation, or county, let them bring a certificate from the men's meeting of that county, nation, island, or plantation from which they come, to the men's meeting where they propose their intention of marriage. For the men's meeting being made up of the faithful, this will stop all bad and raw spirits from roving up and down. When any come with a certificate or letter of recommendation from one men's meeting to another, one is refreshed by another, and can set their hands and hearts to the thing. This will prevent a great deal of trouble. And then, when you have to say to them in the power of God, in admonishing and instructing them, you are left to the power and spirit of God to do it, and to let them know the duty of marriage, and what it is; that there may be unity and concord in the spirit, and power, light, and wisdom of God, throughout all the men's meetings in the whole world, in one, in the life. Let copies of this be sent to every county, nation, and island, where Friends are, that all things may be kept holy, pure, and righteous, in unity and peace, and God over all may be glorified among you, his lot, his people, and inheritance, his adopted sons and daughters, and heirs of his life. So no more, but my love in what changes not.

George Fox
The 14th of the 1st month, 1671

When I had recovered, so that I could walk a little up and down, I went from Enfield to Gerard Roberts' again, and from there to the women's school at Shacklewell, and so to the meeting at Gracechurch-street, London; where, though I was still weak, the Lord's power upheld and enabled me to declare his eternal word of life.

About this time I was moved to pray to the Lord, as follows:

Oh LORD God Almighty! Prosper truth, and preserve justice and equity in the land! and bring down all injustice, iniquity, oppression, falsehood, cruelty, and unmercifulness in the land, that mercy and righteousness may flourish!

And 0h Lord God! Set up and establish verity, and preserve it in the land! Bring down in the land all drunkenness, promiscuity, vice, whoredoms, fornication, and this raping spirit, which causes and leads people to have no esteem of you, 0 God! Nor their own souls or bodies, nor of Christianity, modesty, or humanity!

Oh Lord! Put it in the magistrates' hearts to bring down all this ungodliness, violence, cruelty, profaneness, cursing and swearing! And to put down all those whorehouses and playhouses, which corrupt youth and people, and lead them from your kingdom, where no unclean thing can enter, neither shall come! Such works lead people to hell. Lord, in mercy bring down all these things in the nation, to stop your wrath, Oh God! From coming on the land!   

George Fox
This prayer was written the 17th of the 2d month, 1671

I mentioned before, that, upon notice received of my wife's being taken to prison again, I sent two of her daughters to the king, and they procured his order to the sheriff of Lancashire for her discharge. But though I expected she would have been set at liberty by his order, yet this violent storm of persecution coming suddenly on, the persecutors there found means to still hold her in prison. But now the persecution a little less, I was moved to speak to Martha Fisher and Hannah Stranger* to go to the king about her liberty. They went in the faith and in the Lord's power; and he gave them favor with the king, so that he granted a discharge under the broad seal, to clear both her and her estate after she had been a prisoner for ten years and indicted; such a discharge was almost without precedent in England. I sent down the discharge quickly by a Friend; by whom I also wrote to her to inform her how to get it delivered to the justices, and also to acquaint her that it was upon me from the Lord to go beyond sea, to visit the plantations in America, and therefore desired her to hasten to London, as soon as she could conveniently after she had obtained her liberty, because the ship was then fitting for the voyage. In the meantime I went to Kingston and stayed at John Rouse's until my wife came up, and then began to prepare for the voyage. But since the Yearly Meeting time was near, I delayed my departure until it was over. Many Friends came up to the meeting from all parts of the nation, and it was a very large and precious meeting; for the Lord's power was over all, and his glorious, everlastingly renowned seed of life was exalted above all.

*Hannah Stranger was one of those who had been a major contributor to the run out with James Naylor, addressing him with several elevated titles; evidently now reestablished in the truth and unity of the spirit. This is a testimony to the policy of the Quakers that if an error was made and condemned by the person in error, it was totally forgotten.

After this meeting was over, and I had finished my services for the Lord in England; the ship and the Friends that intended to go with me were ready, and I went to Gravesend the 12th of the 6th month. The Friends that were bound for the voyage with me went down to the ship the night before. Their names were, Thomas Briggs, William Edmundson, John Rouse, John Stubbs, Solomon Eccles, James Lancaster, John Cartwright, Robert Widders, George Pattison, John Hull, Elizabeth Hooton, and Elizabeth Miers. The vessel we were to go in was a yacht, called the Industry; the master's name Thomas Forster, and the number of passengers about fifty. I lay that night on board; but most of the Friends lay at Gravesend. Early next morning the passengers and those Friends that intended to accompany us to the Downs had come on board, and we said goodbye in great tenderness to those that came with us to Gravesend only; and we set sail about six in the morning for the Downs. {George Fox's wife accompanied us on the boat to the next port}. Having a fair wind, we out sailed all the ships that were outward bound, and got there by the evening. Some of us {including George Fox and his wife} went ashore that night, and lodged at Deal; where we understood an officer had orders from the governor to take our names in writing, which he did the next morning, though we told him they had been taken at Gravesend. In the afternoon, the wind serving, I took leave of my wife and the other Friends and went on board. Before we could set sail, there being two of the king's frigates riding in the Downs, the captain of one of them sent his press-master on board, who took off three of our seamen. This would have certainly delayed, if not wholly prevented our voyage, had not the captain of the other frigate, being informed of the leakiness of our vessel, and the length of our voyage, in compassion and much civility, spared us two of his men. Before this was over, an officer of the custom house came on board to examine our luggage and get fees, so that we were kept from sailing until about sunset; during which stop, a very considerable number of merchantmen, outward bound, were several leagues ahead of us. Being clear we set sail in the evening, and by next morning overtook part of that fleet about the height of Dover. We soon reached the rest, and in a little time left them all behind us; for our yacht was counted a very swift sailing vessel. But she was very leaky, so that the seamen and some of the passengers did for the most part pump day and night. One day they observed that in two hours' time she sucked in sixteen inches of water in the well.

{The following section was left out of the Ellwood Journal, but included in the Cambridge Journal. The interesting parts of the daily log, kept by John Hull, are included in the interest of seeing a clear record of a 17th Century sea voyage across the Atlantic:

  • 6th mo.
  • 16th We came as far as the Isle of Wright.
  • 17th We advanced as far as Apsum in Devonshire, North. We had been ahead the fleet now for about two days. We had a very good meeting this evening. By the afternoon we had gone as high as Dartmouth; the wind was scant but merciful in that everyone has been pretty well. In the evening we passed Eddistone, which had destroyed many ships. We met with a ship from Ireland bound for London, and we had a very fine gale all night.
  • 18th At about 5 AM we passed four leagues south of Lizard and shortly after saw Lands End. Then we saw a fleet of about forty Dutch ships which had left the Downs about a week before the fleet that had left the morning before us. We had a good wind and went ahead of the Dutch fleet too.
  • 19th We lost sight of the fleet, but two had peeled off, which we supposed were heading for Virginia.
  • 20th We saw the two ships again. One had lost the main mast. This morning we met a fleet of Dutch ships and a few were English. We were just before the Bay of Biscay.
  • 22nd We are still crossing the Bay. Friends have been seasick about two days, especially John Cartwright, who had a fever. That evening George Fox was moved to pray for him.
  • 23rd Our mainstay [rope that supports the mast of the boat] was cut from rubbing, but could be mended. Friends are getting better. John Cartwright thought he was going to die, but it was revealed to him that he must go and preach the gospel. We had a good meeting that evening in our cabin.
  • 24th We found John Stubbs ill, and the surgeon said he was feverish in a breathing sweat. We past the northern cape and are off the coast of Portugal. We sailed 180 miles in the past 24 hours. We saw several dolphins sporting themselves, and two huge porpoises leaped at a great height out of the water. We closed the day with a fine meeting.
  • 25th About 90 miles today. Wind started light and picked up in the afternoon. John Stubbs is better enough to eat again. We caught a dolphin, which was lovely in a variety of colors, was excellent to eat, and made a fine broth; which raised up several sick friends from being ill.
  • 26th No fish sighted today. Strong wind. George Fox, John Stubbs and I spent two hours in our cabin going over some scriptures.
  • 27th Little wind. We caught two dolphins. Friends are pretty well. We had two meetings today, with the passengers being very attentive. We had a meeting by ourselves in our cabin that night. Our ship is so leaky, the seamen and passengers spend most of the day and night pumping about ten tons of water out of the ship per day. But it keeps them healthy.
  • 28th This morning George Fox, John Stubbs and I were employed in finding out the significance of the four rivers of Eden, according to the Hebrew text, together with the meaning of them.  We are about even latitude with Lisbon.
  • 29th We sailed 75 miles. Friends well. Wind scant. Smooth seas. Huge rain showers early this morning.
  • 30th Seas still. We are hot, sitting still. It is very uncomfortable to sleep next to someone because of the heat.
  • 7th mo.
  • 1st. I was very ill yesterday and today. Still hot, no wind. A breeze finally arrived. Friends are in pretty good health. Still too hot to sleep two side by side. Thomas Forster caught a huge dolphin, which was probably a companion of the last one caught, because it had followed us ever since, ever since along with flying fish and another dolphin.

}

[Fox resumes.] When we had been about three weeks at sea, one afternoon we spied a vessel about four leagues astern of us. Our master said, it was a Turkish Sallee man of war, and he seemed to give us chase. Our master said, 'Come, let us go to supper, and when it grows dark, we shall lose him.' This he spoke to pacify the passengers, some of whom began to be very apprehensive of the danger. But Friends were well satisfied having faith in God, and no fear upon their spirits. When the sun was down, I saw the ship out of my cabin making towards us. When it grew dark, we altered our course to miss her; but she altered also, and gained upon us. At night the master and others came into my cabin, and asked me, 'What they should do?' I told them, 'I was no mariner;' and asked them, 'What they thought was best to do?' they said, 'There were but two ways, either to outrun him, or tack about and hold the same course we were going before.' I told them, ‘If he were a thief, they might be sure he would tack about too; and as for outrunning him, it was to no purpose to talk of that, for they saw he sailed faster than we,' they asked me again, 'What they should do?' 'For,' they said, 'if the mariners had taken Paul's counsel, they had not come to the damage they did.' I answered, ‘It was a trial of faith, therefore, the Lord was to be waited on for counsel.' So retiring in spirit, the Lord showed me, 'That his life and power was placed between us and the ship that pursued us.' I told this to the master and the rest, and that the best way was to tack about and steer our right course. I wished them also to put out all their candles, except those used for they steering, and to tell all the passengers to be still and quiet. About the 11th hour in the night the watch called and said, ‘They were just upon us.' That disquieted some of the passengers; whereupon I sat up in my cabin, and looking through the porthole, the moon being not quite down, I saw them very near us. I was getting up to go out of the cabin; but remembering the word of the Lord, ‘That his life and power was placed between us and them,' I lay down again. The master and some of the seamen came again, and asked me, 'If they might not steer such a point?' I told them, 'They might do as they would.' By this time the moon was gone quite down, a fresh gale arose, and the Lord hid us from them; and we sailed briskly on, and saw them no more. The next day, being the first day of the week, we had a public meeting in the ship, as we usually had on that day throughout the voyage, and the Lord's presence was greatly among us. I desired the people, 'To mind the mercies of the Lord, who had delivered them; for they might have been all in the Turks' hands by that time, had not the Lord's hand saved them.' About a week after, the master and some of the seamen endeavored to persuade the passengers, it was not a Turkish pirate that chased us, but a merchantman going to the Canaries. When I heard of it, I asked them, 'Why then did they speak so to me? Why did they trouble the passengers? And why did they tack about from him, and alter their course?' I told them, ‘They should take heed of slighting the mercies of God.'

Afterwards, while we were at Barbados, a merchant from Sallee came in and told the people 'that one of the Sallee men of war saw a monstrous yacht at sea, the greatest that he had ever seen; he had her in chase, and was just upon her, but that there was a spirit in her that he could not take.' This confirmed us in the belief that it was a Sallee man of war we saw chase after us; and that it was the Lord that had delivered us out of his hands. 

{Back to the group's log, by John Hull, from the Cambridge Journal: (little of note took place until the 14th below)

  • 14th Good winds. The friends and passengers are generally well. The sun is getting very hot. George Fox's legs are swelling, getting pimply, itching, and burning very much.
  • 15th We ate a flying fish that had flown on board in the night.
  • 16th We are within 90 miles of the Tropic of Cancer. Friends are in pretty good health, except myself;I am usually sick.
  • 17th We sailed about 12 miles in one hour today.
  • 18th We are south of the Tropic of Cancer by about 56 miles. I way several flying fish today, five or six at a time, some flying two hundred yards of more.
  • 19th We had a good meeting before bed.
  • 21st George Fox is very ill at his stomach this morning. We saw a tropical bird, many herring, a herring hog (a porpoise following the herring, eating them), and several dolphins.
  • 22nd More tropical birds seen. George Fox is very ill tonight. He had been very sick for the last several days, down to his bones. Calm winds. George Fox tried to eat some slightly spoiled pork meat and it stunk so bad that he now loathes flesh and has lost his stomach for it.
  • 23rd Pumping is still very necessary. We saw a ship this afternoon. Solomon Eccles is on a seven day fast, drinking no water, eating no food, only rinsing out his mouth occasionally with vinegar. Neither does he go to bed or sleep much, only occasionally dozing off while sitting up.
  • 24th We saw the ship again. It came very near us and we persuaded the master of the ship to pause for her. She came side by side with us, and our master haled her; she answered that she had come from London about the same time as us, and was headed to Barbados also. George Fox is very sick and vomiting a cold, waterish phlegm, though he was never seasick.
  • 25th Saw the ship again, but with a fresh gale we ran them out of sight.
  • 26th Many porpoises, several birds. One bird called a man-of-war, looks like a heron.
  • 29th We figure we are about 300 miles from Barbados. Saw a bird called a Booby, as big as a goose. Friends are generally well, and George Fox is too. This day is called Michaelmas.
  • 30th We saw many porpoises and a whole flock of birds at a distance. We are one to two days from Barbados.
  • In closing, George Fox, though better has not been well, almost from the time we left from England. While at sea, his legs and stomach swelled so much that it looked like his skin would break. With the old pains and former bruises [from the beatings he endured] in his joints, great pains struck him in the stomach and heart so that he became very weak beyond words, which would have killed other men. And then for a month, he could not sweat at all, either at sea, or when we landed for three weeks. We gave him several things to make him sweat, but he just dried up the more. He could hardly drink anything but water mixed with a ginger. And after landing, for more than three weeks now he as not sweated and is in great pain in his bones, joints, and all over his body, unable to get any sleep. Despite all that, he remains cheerful and keeps above it all. The island is very excited about his coming, and many friends and others of note have come to visit him on board, but he has been unable to attend any meetings and that has somewhat abated and quenched the excitement on the island.



[Fox resumes]. I was not seasick during the voyage, as many of the Friends and other passengers were; but the many hurts and bruises I had formerly received, and the infirmities I had contracted in England by extreme cold and hardships, which I had undergone in many long and harsh imprisonments, returned upon me at sea; so that I was very ill in my stomach, and full of violent pains in my bones and limbs. This was after I had been at sea about a month; for during the space of about three weeks after I came first to sea, I sweated abundantly, chiefly on my head; and my body broke out in pimples, and my legs and feet were extremely swollen, so that my stockings and slippers could not be drawn on without difficulty and great pain. All of a sudden the sweating ceased, so that when I came into the hot climate, where others sweat most freely, I could not sweat at all; but my flesh was hot, dry, and burning, and as before I broke out in pimples. Pain struck again in my stomach and heart; so that I was very ill and weak beyond expression. Thus I continued during the rest of the voyage, which was about a month; for we were seven weeks and some odd days at sea.

The third of the eighth month, early in the morning, we discovered the island of Barbados; but it was between nine and ten at night before we came to anchor in Carlisle bay. We got on shore as soon as we could, and I walked with some others to a Friend's house, a merchant, whose name was Richard Forstall, above a quarter of a mile from the bridge. But being very ill and weak, I was so tired that I was in a manner quite spent by that time I got there. I stayed inside there very ill for several days, and though they often gave me things to make me sweat, I still didn’t sweat. What they gave me did rather parch and dry up my body and made me probably worse than otherwise I might have been. Thus I continued about three weeks after I landed, having much pain in my bones, joints, and whole body, so that I could hardly get any rest; yet I was pretty cheery, and my spirit kept above it all. Neither did my illness prevent me from my work for service of truth; but both while I was at sea, and after I came to Barbados, before I was able to travel about, I gave forth several papers (having a Friend to write for me), some of which I sent by the first boat traveling to England to be printed.

After I had rested three or four days at Richard Forstall's, where many Friends came to visit me, John Rouse, came to fetch me to his father, Thomas Rouse's home; in a coach that he had borrowed of one of his acquaintance there, called Colonel Chamberlain. But it was late before we could get there, and I got little or no rest that night. A few days later, Colonel Chamberlain, who had so kindly lent his coach, came to visit me; and he conducted himself very courteously towards me.

Soon after I came to the island, I was informed of a remarkable passage where the justice of God did eminently appear. It was thus. There was a young man of Barbados, whose name was John Drakes, a person of some note in the world's account, but a common oath taker and a bad man. When he was in London, he decided to marry a Friend's daughter, left by her mother very young; along with a considerable inheritance, she was left to the care and upbringing by several Friends, of whom I was one. He made application to me, that he might have my consent to marry this young maid. I told him, 'I was one of her overseers appointed by her mother, who was a widow, to take care of her; that if her mother had intended her for a match to any man of the world, she would have disposed of her accordingly; but she committed her daughter to us (Friends), that she might be trained up in the fear of the Lord; and therefore, should I consent to him marrying her to someone such as him who was out of the fear of God, I would betray the trust placed in me and I would not do it.' When he saw that he could not obtain his desire, he returned to Barbados with great offence of mind against me, but without a just cause. Afterwards, when he heard I was coming to Barbados, he swore desperately and threatened, ‘if he could possibly procure it, he would have me burned to death when I came there.' Which a Friend hearing, asked him, 'what I had done to him that he was so violent against me?' He would not answer, but said again, ‘I'll have him burned.' In reply the Friend said, ‘Do not march on in your life with unchecked anger, or you may come to your journey's end prematurely.' About ten days after, he was struck with a violent burning fever of which he died; by which his body was so scorched that the people said, ‘it was as black as a coal;' and three days before I landed, his body was laid in the dust. This was taken notice of as a sad example of living in rage out of the fear of God.
 
While I continued so weak that I could not go abroad to meetings, the other Friends that came over with me vigorously roused themselves in the Lord's work. The very next day after we came on shore, they had a great meeting at the Bridge, and after that several meetings in different parts of the island; which alarmed the people of all sorts, so that many came to our meetings, and some of the highest rank. For they knew my name, understanding I had come upon the island, and expected to see me at those meetings; not knowing I was unable to travel. Indeed my weakness continued the longer on me because my spirit was very weighed down from the first with the filth, dirt, and the unrighteousness of the people, which was a heavy weight and load upon me.

But after I had been above a month upon the island, my spirits became somewhat eased up, and I began to recover my health and strength and travel among Friends. In the meantime, having an opportunity to send a letter to England, I wrote to Friends there to let them know how it was with me as follows:

Dear Friends, I have been very weak these seven weeks past and unable to write myself. My desire is to you, and for you all, that you may live in the fear of God and in love one to another and be subject one to another in the fear of God. I have been weaker in my body than I ever have been in my life that I remember; yes, my pains have been such as I cannot express, yet my health and spirit are strong. I have hardly sweated these seven weeks past, though I am in a very hot climate, where almost everyone is continually sweating; but as for me, my old bruises, colds, numbness, and pains struck inwardly, even to my very heart. So I have had little sleep, and the best things that were comfortable to my stomach were a little water and powdered ginger; but now I have begun to drink a little beer as well as water, and sometimes a little wine mixed with water. Great pains and travails' I have felt, and in measure am under; but it is well, my life in God is over all. This island was to me as all on a fire before I came to it, but now it is somewhat quenched and lessened. I came in weakness among those that are strong, and have so continued; but now I have gotten a little cheery and over it. Many Friends, and some considerable persons of the world, have been with me. I exhausted my body considerably when among you in England; it is the Lord's power that helps me; therefore I desire you all to prize the power of the Lord and his truth. I was but weak in body when I left you, after I had been in my great travail among you; but after that, the evil attacked back again into my body, which was not in very good condition after all the travails in England. And then I was so tired at sea that I could not rest, and I have had little or no appetite for a long time. Since I came into this island, my life has been very much burdened; but I hope, if the Lord gives me strength to manage his work, I shall work thoroughly and bring things that have been out of course into better order. So, dear Friends, live all in the peaceable truth and in the love of it, serving the Lord in newness of life; for glorious things and precious truths have been manifested among you plentifully, and to you the riches of the kingdom have been reached. I have been almost a month on this island, but have not been able to go abroad or ride out; only very lately I rode out twice, a quarter of a mile at a time, which wearied me much. My love in the truth is to you all.      

George Fox

Because I was not well able to travel, the Friends of the island decided to have their men's and women's meeting for the service of the steeple-house at Thomas Rouse's, where I lay; by which means I was present at each of their meetings, and had very good service for the Lord in both. For they needed informing about many things, various disorders having crept in for want of care and watchfulness. 'I exhorted them, particularly at the men's meeting, to be careful with respect to marriages, to prevent Friends marrying their near relatives, and also to prevent overly hasty proceedings to second marriages after the death of a former husband or wife; advising that a decent regard be had in such cases to the memory of the deceased husband or wife. As to Friends' children marrying too young, as young as thirteen or fourteen years of age, I showed the unfitness of that, and the inconveniences and hurts that occur in such childish marriages. I admonished them to purge the floor thoroughly, and to sweep their houses very clean, that nothing might remain that would defile; and that all should take care, that nothing be spoken out of their meetings to the blemishing or defaming of one another. Concerning registering of marriages, births, and burials: I advised them to keep exact records of each in distinct books for only that use; I also advised to record in separate books for each purpose, including condemnations of those who departed from truth into disorderly practices, and the repentance and restoration of those who returned again. I recommended to their care the providing of convenient burying places for Friends, which in some parts were not yet established. I also gave them some directions concerning wills, and the ordering of legacies left by Friends for public uses, and other things relating to the affairs of the church. Respecting their negroes: I desired them to endeavor to train them up in the fear of God, not only those that were bought with their money, but also those that were born into their families, that all might come to the knowledge of the Lord; that so, with Joshua, every master of a family might say, "as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." I desired also, that they would cause their overseers to deal mildly and gently with their negroes, and not use cruelty towards them, as the manner of some has been and is; and that after certain years of servitude they should make them free.'

Note: Fox was well ahead of his time. This was 200 years before the abolition of slavery in America; and was for the time, a radical proposal, but obviously from the leading of the Lord, who is aways ahead of the times].

In 1688, the Quaker dominated government of Pennsylvania passed a resolution calling for the end of slavery, initiating slavery's long demise in America.

Many sweet and precious things were opened in these meetings, by the spirit and in the power of the Lord, to the edifying, confirming, and building up of Friends both in the faith and holy order of the gospel.

After these meetings, the vessel bound for England not being gone, I was moved to write another epistle to Friends there; the copy of which follows:

Dear Friends and brethren, to whom is my love in what never changes, but remains in glory, which is over all, the top and cornerstone. In this you all have peace and life, as you dwell in the blessed seed. Here all is blessed, over what brought the curse; where all shortness, narrowness of spirit, brittleness, and peevishness are. Therefore keep the holy order of the gospel. Keep in this blessed seed, where all may be kept in temperance, in patience, in love, in meekness, in righteousness and holiness, and in peace; in which the Lord may be seen among you, and no way dishonored, but glorified by you all. In all your meetings, in cities, towns, and countries, men's meetings, women's meetings, and others, let righteousness flow among you, the holy truth be uppermost, the pure spirit your guide and leader, and the holy wisdom from above what orders you, that is pure gentle and easy to be entreated. Keep in the religion that preserves from the spots of the world, which is pure and undefiled in God's sight. Keep in the pure and holy worship in which the pure and holy God is worshipped, namely in the spirit, and in the truth, which the devil is out of, who is the author of all unholiness, and of what dishonors God. Be tender of God's glory, of his honor, and of his blessed and holy name, in which you are gathered. All who profess the truth, see that you walk in it, in righteousness, holiness, and godliness; for "holiness adorns the house of God, the household of faith." That which adorns God's house, God loves. For he loves righteousness. And that is the ornament which adorns his house and all his family. Therefore see that righteousness runs down in all your assemblies, that it flows to drive away all unrighteousness. This preserves your peace with God; for in righteousness you all have peace with the righteous God of peace and one with another. And so every one that bears the name of the anointed, that high title of being a Christian, named after the heavenly man, see that you be in the divine nature and made conformable unto his image, even the image of the heavenly divine man, who was before that image which Adam and Eve got from satan in the fall; so that in none of you that fallen image may appear, but his image, and you made conformable unto him. Here translation is shown forth in life and conversation, not in words only; yes, and conversion and repentance, which is a change of the nature, of the mind, and of the heart, of the spirit and affections, which have been below, and come to be set above; and so receive the things that are from above, and have the conversation in heaven, not that conversation which is according to the power of the prince of the air, which now rules in the disobedient. So be faithful; this is the word of the Lord God unto you all. See that godliness, holiness, righteousness, truth, and virtue; the fruits of the good spirit, flow over the bad and its fruits so that you may answer what is of God in all; for your heavenly Father is glorified, in that you bring forth much fruit. Therefore you, who are plants of his planting, his trees of righteousness, see that every tree be full of fruit. Keep in true humility and in the true love of God, which does edify his body so that the true nourishment from the head, the refreshings, springs, and rivers of water, and bread of life may be plenteously known and felt among you; so that praises may ascend to God. Be faithful to the Lord God and just and true in all your dealings and doings with and towards men. Be not negligent in your men's meetings to admonish, exhort, and reprove, in the spirit of love and of meekness, and to seek what is lost, and to bring back again what has been driven away. Let all minds, spirits, souls, and hearts, be bent down under the yoke of Christ Jesus, the power of God. Much I could write, but I am weak as I have been mostly since I left you. Burdens and travails I have been under, and I have gone through many ways; but it is well. The Lord Almighty knows my work, which he has sent me forth to do by his everlasting arm and power, which is from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be his holy name, which I am in, and in which my love is to you all.

George Fox

After this I was able to travel, and had been a little among Friends, when I went to visit the governor. Lewis Morrice, Thomas Rouse, and some other Friends were with me. He received us very civilly and treated us very kindly; making us dine with him and keeping us the most part of the day before he let us depart.

The same week I went to Bridge Town. There was to be a general meeting of Friends that week. Because the Governor’s kind reception during our visit  was  generally known to the officers, civil and military, many came to this meeting from most parts of the island, and not all were of low position; several of were judges or justices, colonels or captains. So we had a great meeting of Friends and others. The Lord's blessed power was plentifully with us, and though I was somewhat limited for time, three other Friends having spoken before me, the Lord opened things through me to the general and great satisfaction of those present. Colonel Lewis Morrice came to this meeting and with him a judge in the country, whose name was Ralph Fretwell and who was well satisfied and received the truth.

Paul Gwin, a jangling Baptist, came into the meeting, and began to babble and asked me, 'How I spelt Cain? and whether I had the same spirit as the apostles had?' I told him, 'Yes.' And he told the judge take notice of it. I told him, 'you do not have a measure of the same Holy Ghost as the apostles had, and you are possessed with an unclean ghost.' And then he went his way.

I went home with Lewis Morrice that night, which was about nine or ten miles; going part of the way by boat, the rest on horseback. The place where his plantation was, I thought to be the thinnest air of the island. Next day Thomas Briggs and William Edmundson came to see me, they intending to leave the island the day following, and to go upon the Lord's service to Antigua and Nevis. Lewis Morrice went with them. At Antigua they had several good meetings, to which there was a great resort of people; and many were convinced. But when they went to Nevis the governor, an old persecutor, sent soldiers on board the vessel, to stop them, and would not allow them to land. Therefore, after Friends of the place had been on board the vessel with them, and they had been sweetly refreshed together, in feeling the Lord's power and presence among them, they returned to Antigua; where having stayed awhile longer, they came again to Barbados; Thomas Briggs being very weak and ill.
 
Of the other Friends that came over with me, James Lancaster, John Cartwright, and George Pattison, had left some time before for Jamaica, and other Friends to other places; so that few remained in Barbados with me. Yet we had many great and precious meetings, both for worship, and for the affairs of the church; to the former of which many of the sects came. At one of these meetings, Colonel Lyne, a sober person, was so well satisfied with what I declared that he afterward said, 'now I can dispute any I hear who speak evil of you, who say you do not own Christ or that he died, because I perceive you exalt Christ in all his offices beyond what I have ever heard before.' This man, observing a person taking down in writing the words of what I delivered, desired him to let him have a copy of it and stayed another day with us before he went away, so great a love was raised in him to the truth. And indeed a very great convincement there was in most parts of the island, which made the priests and some professors fret and rage. Our meetings were very large and free from disturbance from the government, though the envious priests and professors endeavored to stir up the magistrates against us. When they found they could not prevail that way, some of them that were Baptists came to the meeting at the town, which was full of people of several ranks and qualities. A great company came with them; and they brought a slanderous paper written by John Pennyman, with which they made a great noise. But the Lord gave me wisdom and utterance to answer their frivolous objections; so that the listening audience generally received satisfaction, and those quarrelsome professors lost ground. When they had wearied themselves with clamor, they went away; but the people stayed, the meeting was continued; their frivolous sophistries were further opened and cleared, and the life and power of God came over all. But the rage and envy in our adversaries did not cease; they endeavored to defame Friends with many false and scandalous reports, which they spread through the island. Upon which I, with some other Friends, drew up a paper, to go forth in the name of the people called Quakers, for the clearing truth and Friends from those false reports. It was after this manner:

 
For the Governor of Barbados, with his council and assembly,
and all others in power, both civil and military, in this island;
from the people called Quakers.

Whereas many scandalous lies and slanders have been cast upon us, to render us odious, such as that "we deny God, and Christ Jesus, and the scriptures of truth," etc. This is to inform you that all our books and declarations, which for these many years have been published to the world, clearly testify the contrary. Yet, for your satisfaction, We now plainly and sincerely declare that we own and believe in God, the only wise, omnipotent, and everlasting God, who is the creator of all things both in heaven and in the earth, and the preserver of all that he has made; who is God over all, blessed for ever; to whom be all honor, glory, dominion, praise and thanksgiving, both now and for evermore! and we own and believe in Jesus Christ, his beloved and only begotten Son, in whom he is well pleased; who was conceived by the holy ghost, and born of the virgin Mary; in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins; who is the express image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature, by whom were all things created that are in heaven and in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, dominions, principalities, or powers; all things were created by him. And we own and believe that he was made a sacrifice for sin, who knew no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth; and that he was crucified for us in the flesh, without the gates of Jerusalem; and that he was buried, and rose again the third day by the power of his Father, for our justification; and we believe that he ascended up into heaven, and now sits at the right hand of God. This Jesus, who was the foundation of the holy prophets and apostles, is our foundation; and we believe there is no other foundation to be laid but that which is laid, even Christ Jesus; who we believe tasted death for every man, and shed his blood for all men, and is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world; according as John the Baptist testified of him, when he said, "Behold the Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world." John 1:29. We believe that he alone is our Redeemer and Savior, even the captain of our salvation, who saves us from sin, as well as from hell and the wrath to come, and destroys the devil and his works; who is the seed of the woman that bruises the serpent's head, to wit, Christ Jesus, the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last. That he is (as the scriptures of truth say of him) our wisdom and righteousness, justification and redemption; neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we may be saved. He alone is the shepherd and bishop of our souls. He is our prophet, whom Moses long since testified of, saying, "A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall you hear in all things, whatsoever he shall say unto you: and it shall come to pass, that every soul that will not hear that prophet shall be destroyed from among the people." Acts 3:22-23. He it is that is now come "and has given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true." And he rules in our hearts by his law of love and life, and makes us free from the law of sin and death. We have no life, but by him; for he is the quickening spirit, the second Adam, the Lord from heaven, by whose blood we are cleansed, and our consciences sprinkled from dead works, to serve the living God. He is our Mediator, that makes peace and reconciliation between God offended and us offending; he being the oath of God, the new covenant of light, life, grace, and peace, the author and finisher of our faith. Now this Lord Jesus Christ, the heavenly man, the Emanuel, God with us, we all own and believe in; he whom the high priest raged against, and said, he had spoken blasphemy; whom the priests and elders of the Jews took counsel together against, and put to death; the same whom Judas betrayed for thirty pieces of silver, which the priests gave him as a reward for his treason; who also gave large money to the soldiers to broach a horrible lie, namely, "That his disciples came and stole him away by night while they slept." And after he had risen from the dead, the history of the Acts of the apostles sets forth how the chief priests and elders persecuted the disciples of this Jesus, for preaching Christ and his resurrection. This, we say, is that Lord Jesus Christ, whom we acknowledge to be our life and salvation.

And as concerning the holy scriptures, we believe they were given forth by the holy spirit of God, through the holy men of God, who (as the scripture itself declares, 2 Pet 1:21.) "spoke as they were moved by the holy ghost." We believe they are to be read, believed, and fulfilled, (he that fulfils them is Christ); and they are "profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works, (2 Tim 3:16-17), and are able to make wise unto salvation, through faith in Christ Jesus." We believe the holy scriptures are the words of God; for it is said in Exod 20:1, "God spoke all these words, saying,…"  meaning the ten commandments given forth upon mount Sinai. And in Rev 22:18-19, John said: "I testify to every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man adds unto these, and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this, prophecy," [not the Bible which had not even been printed a the time of the Revelation's writing; the words of that book of prophecy, Revelation].  So in Luke 1:20, "Because you believed not my words." And so in John 5:47, 12:47, 14:23, 15:7. So that we call the holy scriptures, as Christ, the apostles, and holy men of God called them, namely the words of God.

Another slander they have cast upon us, is, " that we teach the negroes to rebel; "a thing we utterly abhor and detest in our hearts, the Lord knows it, who is the searcher of all hearts, and knows all things, and can testify for us, that this is a most abominable untruth. For what we have spoken to them, is to exhort and admonish them to be sober, to fear God, to love their masters and mistresses, and to be faithful and diligent in their service and business, and then their masters and overseers would love them, and deal kindly and gently with them; also that they should not beat their wives, nor the wives their husbands; neither should the men have many wives; that they should not steal, nor be drunk, nor commit adultery, nor fornication, nor curse, swear, nor lie, nor give bad words to one another, nor to anyone else; for there is something in them that tells them they should not practice these nor any other evils. But if they should do them, then we let them know there are but two ways, the one that leads to heaven where the righteous go; and the other that leads to hell, where the wicked and debauched, whore mongers, adulterers, murderers, and liars go. To the one the Lord will say,"Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;" to the other, "Depart, you cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels; "so the wicked go into "everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal." Matt. 25:31-44. Consider, friends, it is no transgression for a master of a family to instruct his family himself, or for others to do it in his behalf; but rather it is a very great duty incumbent upon them. Abraham and Joshua did so: of the first, we read the Lord said, Gen.18:19, "I know that Abraham will command his children, and his household after him; and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment, that the Lord may bring upon Abraham the things that he has spoken of him." And the latter, we read, said, Josh 24:15. "Choose you this day whom you will serve, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." We declare, that we esteem it a duty incumbent on us to pray with and or for, to teach, instruct, and admonish those in and belonging to our families; this being a command of the Lord, disobedience from this will provoke, his displeasure; as may be seen in Jer 10:25, "Pour out your fury upon the Heathen that know you not, and upon the families that call not upon your name." Now, Negroes, Tawnies, Indians, make up a very great part of the families in this island; for whom an account will be required by him who comes to judge both quick and dead at the great day of judgment, when everyone shall be "rewarded according to the deeds done in the body, whether they be good, or whether they be evil;" at that day, we say, of the resurrection both of the good and of the bad, and of the just and of the unjust, when, "the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power, when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and admired in all them that believe in that day." 2 Thes 1:8-10. See also, 2 Pet 3:7.

This wicked slander, (of our endeavoring to make the negroes rebel), our adversaries took occasion to raise, from our having some meetings among the negroes; for we had several meetings with them in many plantations, here we exhorted them to justice, sobriety, temperance, chastity, and piety, and to be subject to their masters and governors; which was completely contrary to what our envious adversaries maliciously accused us.

Since I had visited the governor as soon as I had arrived and was able, the governor came to visit me at Thomas Rouse’s and was very courteous.
 
Having been three months or more in Barbados, and having visited Friends, thoroughly settled meetings, and dispatched the service for which the Lord brought me there; I felt my spirit clear of that island, and found drawings to Jamaica. Which when I had communicated to Friends, I acquainted the governor also, and several of his council with my intention; which I did so that as my coming there was open and public, so might my departure also be. Before I left the island, I wrote the following letter to my wife that she might understand both how it was with me, and how I proceeded in my travels.

My Dear Heart,

To whom is my love, and to all the children in the seed of life that changes not, but is over all; blessed be the Lord forever! I have undergone great sufferings in my body and spirit, beyond words; but the God of heaven be praised, his truth is over all. I am now well; and, if the Lord permit, within a few days I will pass from Barbados towards Jamaica; and I think to stay only a little while there. I desire that you may be all kept free in the seed of life, out of all cumbrances. Friends are generally well. Remember me to Friends that inquire after me. So no more, but my love in the seed and life, that changes not.

George Fox
Barbados, the 6th of the 11th month, 1671

I set sail from Barbados to Jamaica the eighth of the eleventh month, 1671; Robert Widders, William Edmundson, Solomon Eccles, and Elizabeth Hooton going with me. Thomas Briggs and John Stubbs remained in Barbados, with whom were John Rouse and William Bayly. We had a quick and easy passage to Jamaica; where we met with James Lancaster, John Cartwright, and George Pattison again, who had been laboring there in the service of truth; into which labors we joined them, traveling up and down through this large island. Is is a magnificent country, though many of the people are debauched and wicked. We had much service. There was a great convincement, and many received the truth; some of which were people of account in the world. We had many meetings there, which were large and very quiet. The people were civil to us, so that not a mouth was opened against us. I was twice with the governor and some other magistrates, all of whom carried themselves lovingly towards me.
 
About a week after we landed in Jamaica, Elizabeth Hooton, a woman of great age, who had traveled much in truth's service, and suffered much for it, departed this life. She was well the day before she died; and departed in peace, like a lamb, bearing testimony to truth at her departure.

Note: Elizabeth Hooton was one of the first people to be convinced of the truth by George Fox, and the first woman to become a Quaker mininter in 1650. She was the wife of  a high society husband, and she was not only the first female Quaker minister, but the second minister of the Society, and counted as one of the valiant sixty, a group of evangelists following George Fox to be sent by the Lord all over England.

She endured several imprisonments, sometimes for several months. In 1651 she was imprisoned at Derby on complaint of having reproved a priest, and in the following year was imprisoned in York Castle for exhorting a congregation at Rotterdam at the close of the service. In 1664 she suffered five months imprisonment at Lincoln for disturbing a congregation. At Selston, Nottinghamshire, she was violently assaulted in 1660 by Jackson, minister of the village, because she was a Quaker, although she does not appear even to have spoken to him.

In 1661, when over sixty years of age, she went to America on a missionary journey, arriving at Boston in 1662. Because of the Puritan laws against the Quakers she had considerable difficulty in obtaining food or shelter. While visiting some Quakers in prison, she was taken before the governor, John Endicott, who after insulting her, sent her to prison. She was subsequently carried two days' journey into the forest and left there to starve. She managed to find her way to Rhode Island, obtained a passage to Barbados, returned to Boston, and after a brief stay came back to England. Having procured a license from Charles II to settle in any of the American colonies, Elizabeth Hooton returned to Boston, where she attempted to settle, but found that the king's license was set at invalid by the rules of the town. She then went to Cambridge, where, because she would not deny her creed, she was thrown into a dungeon and kept without food or drink for forty-eight hours (a person who relieved her being fined 5 pounds for the offence). She was afterwards ordered by the court to be whipped through three towns, which was done in the depth of winter and with great severity. She was then again carried into the depth of the forest and left; she again found her way to a town, where she was befriended, and then left; after visiting Rhode Island, she returned to Cambridge, where she was again subjected to barbarous usage.

She returned to England and resumed her work as an itinerant preacher, but in 1665 she was committed to Lincoln jail for three months on a charge of disturbing a congregation.

She made three religious visits to the Americas, and she accompanied George Fox to America on his visit, where in Jamaica she had a sudden illness, dying the following day, aged about 71. She was a Quaker evangelist-minister for 21 years.

There is a Memoir to Elizabeth Hooton on this site with more details of her life and sufferings.

When we had been about seven weeks in Jamaica, had brought Friends into pretty good order, and settled several meetings among them, we left Solomon Eccles there. The rest of us embarked for Maryland, leaving Friends and truth prosperous in Jamaica; the Lord's power being over all, and his blessed seed reigning.
 
Before I left Jamaica, I wrote another letter to my wife, as follows:

My Dear Heart, To whom is my love, and to the children, in what changes not, but is over all; and to all Friends in those parts. I have been in Jamaica about five weeks. Friends are generally well; and here is a convincement; but things would be too large to write of. Sufferings in every place attend me; but the blessed seed is over all; the great Lord be praised, who is the Lord of sea and land, and of all things therein. If it pleases the Lord, we intend to pass from here about the beginning of the next month towards Maryland. All of you dwell in the seed of God. In his truth, I rest in love to you all.       

George Fox
Jamaica, 23d of the 12th month, 1671

We went on board the 8th of the first month 1671; and having contrary winds, were full a week sailing forwards and backwards before we could get out of sight of Jamaica. This proved a difficult voyage and pretty dangerous, especially in our passage through the gulf of Florida, where we met with many winds and storms. But the great God, who is Lord of sea and land, and who rides upon the wings of the wind, did by his power preserve us through many and great dangers, when by extreme stress of weather our vessel was several times likely to be overturned, and much of her rigging was broken. And indeed we were sensible that the Lord was a God at hand, and that his ear was open to the supplications of his people. For when the winds were so strong and boisterous, and the storms and tempests so great, that the sailors knew not what to do, but let the ship go which way she would; then did we pray unto the Lord; who did graciously heal and accept us, and did calm the winds and seas, gave us seasonable weather, and made us to rejoice in his salvation; blessed and praised be the holy name of the Lord, whose power has dominion over all, and whom the winds and seas obey!

We were between six and seven weeks in this passage from Jamaica to Maryland. Some days before we came to land, after we had entered the bay of Patuxent River, a great storm arose, which cast a boat upon us for shelter; in which were many men and women of account in the world. We took them in; but the boat was lost with five hundred pounds worth of goods in it, as they said. They continued on board us several days, not having any means to get off; and we had a very good meeting with them in the ship. But provisions grew short, because they brought none in with them; and ours, by reason of the length of our voyage, were almost gone when they came to us; so that with their living upon it too, we had now little or none left. Upon which George Pattison took a boat, and risked his life to get to shore; the hazard was so great, that all but Friends concluded he would be cast away. Yet it pleased the Lord to bring him safe to land; and after a short time the Friends of the place came to bring us to land also, in fortunate timing because our provisions had been consumed.

We partook also of another great deliverance in this voyage, through the good providence of the Lord, which we understood afterwards. When we were determined to come from Jamaica, we had our choice of two vessels, both bound for the same coast. One was a frigate, the other a yacht. We thought the  master of the frigate asked an unreasonable amount for our passage, so we accepted with the master of the yacht’s offer of ten shillings a-piece cheaper than the other to transport us. We went on board the yacht, and the frigate came out together with us, intending to be consorts during the voyage; and for several days we sailed together: but what with calms and contrary winds, after awhile we were separated. Losing her way the frigate was captured by the Spanish, plundered, and robbed, while the master and mate were taken prisoner. The frigate was afterward retaken by the English and sent home to her owners in Virginia. When we learned of this, we saw and admired the providence of God, who preserved us out of our enemies' hands; and he that was covetous fell among the covetous.

Here we found Burneyate, intending shortly to sail for Old England; but upon our arrival he altered his purpose, and joined us in the Lord's service. He had appointed a general meeting for all the Friends in the province of Maryland, that he might see them together, and take his leave of them, before he departed out of the country; and it was so ordered by the good providence of God, that we landed just time enough to reach that meeting; by which means we had a very seasonable opportunity for bringing the Friends of the province together. This was a very large meeting, lasting for four days and attended by Friends and many other people of whom several held important positions in the world; for there were five or six justices of the peace, the speaker of their assembly, one of their council, and others of note, who seemed well satisfied with the meeting.

After the public meetings were over, the men's and women's meetings began; here I explained to Friends the meetings intended service to their great satisfaction. After this we went to the cliffs, where another general meeting was appointed. We went some of the way by land, the rest by water. A storm arose and our boat was run aground, in danger to be beaten to pieces, and the water came in upon us. I was in a great sweat, having come very hot out of a meeting before, and now was wet with the water besides; yet having faith in the divine power, I was preserved from being hurt, blessed be the Lord! Many came to this meeting and received the truth with reverence. We had also a men's meeting and a women's meeting. Most of the backsliders came in again; and several of those meetings were established for taking care of the affairs of the church.

After these two general meetings in Maryland we parted company, dividing ourselves unto several coasts, for the service of truth. James Lancaster and John Cartwright went by sea for New England; William Edmundson and three more Friends sailed for Virginia, where things were much out of order; John Burneyate, Robert Widders, George Pattison, and I, with several Friends of the province, went over by boat to the eastern shore, and had a meeting there on the first-day; where many people received the truth with gladness, and Friends were greatly refreshed. It was a very large and heavenly meeting. Several persons of quality in that country were at it, two of whom were justices of the peace.

Note from Valiant for the Truth: While George Fox was on his mission in America, his brethren at home were rejoicing in a temporary rest from persecution. In 1672, professing to be moved by the sufferings of a large portion of his subjects, and by a desire to promote union, King Charles II issued a proclamation suspending "the execution of all penal laws against those who did not conform to the doctrine, discipline, and government of the church established by law."

Soon after the publication of this declaration of indulgence, Friends, ever on the alert to assist their brethren, hastened to take the necessary steps in regard to the four hundred sufferers who were incarcerated in prison, some of whom had been there ten or eleven years. George Whitehead (at 26 years of age) and Thomas Moore were permitted to appear at the council chamber at Whitehall to represent their case. Whitehead's plea was so successfully performed that the King said, " I will pardon them," and ordered the necessary letters patent to be made out. As the number of prisoners was so large, the fees for procuring their separate discharge would have amounted to a large sum, but the King ordered that the pardon, though including so many, should be charged but as one, and the Lord Keeper voluntarily remitted his fees. Eleven skins of parchment were requisite to make a fair copy of the document, and much labor was required, in order to render it available as quickly as possible to the weary ones so long separated from their homes and friends. The Friends in London, however, were not deterred by trouble or expense, and in a little time had the glad assurance that all who came within the scope of the letters patent were set at liberty.

There were other Dissenters [non-Quakers] in prison, and George Whitehead, the active agent of the Friends, was solicited to aid in their deliverance. This he cheerfully assented to, for he says, "Our being of different judgments and societies did not abate my charity or compassion, even towards them who had been my opposers in some cases. Blessed be the Lord my God, who is the Father and Fountain of mercies, whose love and mercies in Christ Jesus towards us should oblige us to be merciful and kind one to another." He advised that the names of the prisoners should be sent to the King, with a petition for his warrant, to have them inserted in the same patent with the Quakers. The King granted the petition, and they also were set at liberty. Among the number thus released was John Bunyan, whose imprisonment in Bedford Jail for twelve years gave to the world the allegory, (Pilgrims' Progress). John Bunyan was a Baptist minister and an enemy of the Quakers, writing several books severely critical of the Quaker faith. (Click to read Fox's rebuttals to Bunyan's book one and book two.)

 

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