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the Court, “than the destroying of us and ours by the sword.” In respect to these and some other matters specified, the agents were told: “These are only private intimations to yourselves, which we desire you to make use of for our indemnity, as you best may, in a more private way and personal capacity.” If called upon to make any public answer, they were to reply that they had not received authority to do so, the Court not being able to “foresee the particulars wherewith they should be charged.” There was much occasion for anxiety, and great need of circumspection. For thirty years—from the beginning of their settlement—the freemen of Massachusetts had managed their own affairs. For twenty years they had pursued their plans with little apprehension of disturbance. The restoration of the royal authority revived painful remembrances, and gave birth to a new uneasiness. Of the personal character of the King they indeed could have known little. He had been lost sight of, since the time when he was a hypocritical youth in Scotland. But they might naturally hope that years and afflictions had done him good, and that a wholesome fear of Puritanism would make him a better ruler than his father or his grandfather had been. Of Lord Clarendon it may be supposed that they had learned still less; for, important as was the part that he had been acting, it was not acted in the view of Englishmen on either side of the water. The promises in the Declaration which the King had sent from Breda, interpreted by their hopes and by their own honesty, were suitable to dispel alarm. Their charter, as long as it should stand good in English law, they reckoned to be their sufficient shield. They had some tried friends at court. The Parliament which was in session contained a strong force of men who would not willingly see them wronged. And, in the last resort, the constancy and conduct which, when their numbers were smaller, had stood them in good stead, were now a not less secure dependence. But, on the other hand, the enthusiasm which had brought back the King had invested him with much power for mischief; and that Puritan organization in England, to which in former dangers they had looked for efficient sympathy, was disabled. The most compact and solid array of Puritanism now in existence was in New England itself. In these circumstances a gloomy uncertainty rested over the future; and a sense of responsibility, somewhat new after the comparative calm of a score of years, nerved the minds of the pilots of the state. The reader understands the grounds of that complaint from the Eastern settlements, which had been carried by “Mr. Godfrey and that company” to the foot of the re-established throne." The application of the Quakers related to a series of transactions now to be narrated. The people known among themselves by the name of The sect of Friends, but commonly called Quakers, possess at “ present, in a high degree, the respect of mankind. In consideration of qualities of the most praiseworthy character, the world easily overlooks little peculiarities of theirs which are liable to some objection. They avoid the utterance of certain conventional expressions of courtesy. They wear a uniform almost as demonstrative as that of the military profession, and recommended as little by considerations of convenience as by considerations of taste. They are scrupulous to cover the head at times when others leave it bare. They adhere to an ostentatious use of an obsolete style of speech, and employ it without regard to the settled rules of grammar. But they are generally examples of thrift, of practical judgment, and of the high moral qualities of self-possession, sobriety, steadfastness, and benevolence. They have introduced very valuable improvements into the discipline of prisons, the treatment of the insane, and various administrations of public charity, and they have done much to rectify the sentiment of mankind in respect to the character of war. The names of Clarkson, of Fry, of Benezet, of Hopper, and of numerous others worthy to be remembered with them, occur to the mind, whenever the heroism of philanthropic enterprise is the theme. In America and in England, the nefarious system of African slavery has found no more generous or resolute foes than in this sect. In the same countries, in this age, Quaker names stand high on the roll of men and women of genius and accomplishment in letters. The founders of the sect were men of different metal. In the second period of its history, when the formative spasm was over, and the gentle spirit of Penn and Barclay was infusing itself into the society, it began to wear a less unamiable character. But seldom have enthusiasts been more coarse, more unfriendly, more wild and annoying, than the early Friends. It seemed to be their “very stuff of the conscience" to make trouble and give offence. The sect appeared in that agitated period of the English Commonwealth, which gave rise to various eccentricities of speculation and of action. Quakerism was the ultimate manifestation of disgust at a religion of sacrament and spectacle? George Fox is reputed to be its founder, though John Reeves and Ludovick Muggleton had obtained some notoriety by preaching a doctrine similar to his, a short o
* Mass. Rec., IV. (i.) 455,456. —In was said to be the original.” Perhaps the State Paper Office is a transcript of it had been surreptitiously obtained by this paper, with the following memo- the government. randum: “This is a true copy of what
- - - . its reputed time earlier. Fox, a native of Drayton in founder
* William Penn, Select Works, W. 203–231.
Leicestershire, was a shoemaker by trade. He was of a thoughtful and devout turn of mind; and he had begun, while yet a youth, to revolve anxiously some of the great problems of religion. He sought advice from his relations and from the ministers, but obtained none that would meet his case. One recommended to him to enlist in the army; another, to try bleeding; and another, to “take tobacco, and sing psalms.” The formalism of religious institutions and worship caused him vehement displeasure; and the prevailing habit of appealing to Scripture as the absolute arbiter of religious truth, appeared to him an unworthy disparagement of that light within the soul, which “lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” He took to solitude, sometimes living in a town, where he shunned companions, sometimes wandering among the Derbyshire hills, absorbed in contemplation and in the study of his Bible. At length, when he was twenty-two years old, he considered himself to have received some distinct revelations of truth. “As he was walking in a field on a first-day morning, it was discovered unto his understanding, that to be bred at Oxford or Cambridge was not enough to make a man to be a minister of Christ;” and, “some time after, it was opened in him that God, who made the world, did not dwell in temples made with hands.” “He had great openings now concerning the things written in the Revelations.” “He fasted much, and walked often abroad in solitary places, taking his Bible with him, and then sat in hollow trees and lonely places till night came on ; and frequently in the night he walked mournfully about, being surrounded with many sorrows.” “He was clothed with leather, . . . . . partly for the simplicity of that dress, and also because such a clothing was strong, and needed but little mending or repairing, which was commodious for him, who had no steady dwelling-place, and everywhere, in his travelling about, sought to live in a lonely state.” It would not have been safe to predict the effect of such a regimen on an ignorant, imaginative, and fervent mind. Fox’s “understanding came more and more to be opened; . . . . . nevertheless his temptations continued, so that he began to question whether he might have sinned against the Holy Ghost.” In a quiet way he made some proselytes to his still unshaped doctrine, the first of whom was a woman named Elizabeth Hoolton. “Several persons, seeking the Lord, were become fellow-believers, and entered into society” with him. “The virtues of the creatures were also opened to him ; so that he began to deliberate whether he should practise physic for the good of mankind; but God had another service for him, and it was showed him that he was to enter into a spiritual labor.” “He found also that the Lord forbade him to put off his hat to any man, high or low; and he was required to Thou and Thee every man and woman without distinction, and not to bid people Good morrow or Good evening ; neither might he bow or scrape with his leg to any one.”” Perseverance in his track of thought, success in proselyting, and the sympathy of proselytes, naturally operated on Fox's bold nature to make him more aggressive. “He went to the courts, crying for justice, and exhorting the judges and justices to do justice.” “Very burdensome it was to him, when he heard the bell ring to call people together to the steeple-house; for it seemed to him just like a market-bell, to gather the people, that the priest might set forth his ware to sale. Going on a first
* Sewel, History of the Quakers, 10 places got out of the way, they were so – 12. – “It was a dreadful thing to struck with the dread of the eternal them, when it was told them, ‘The power of God; and fear surprised the man in leathern breeches is come.’ At hypocrites.” (Fox, Journal, 55.) the hearing thereof, the priests in many Sewel, History, &c., 13–18.