mastery, and were, in every corner of the realm, refuting and reviling each other. He wandered from congregation to congregation; he heard priests harangue against Puritans; he heard Puritans harangue against priests; and he in vain applied for spiritual direction and consolation to doctors of both parties. One jolly old clergyman of the Anglican communion told him to smoke tobacco and sing psalms; another advised him to go and lose some blood. The young inquirer turned in disgust from these advisers to the Dissenters, and found them also blind guides. After some time he came to the conclusion that no human being was competent to instruct him in divine things, and that the truth had been communicated to him by direct inspiration from heaven. He argued that, as the division of languages began at Babel, and as the persecutors of Christ put on the cross an inscription in Latin, Greek and Hebrew, the knowledge of languages, and more especially of Latin, Greek and Hebrew, must be useless to a Christian minister. Indeed, he was so far from knowing many languages, that he knew none; nor can the most corrupt passage in Hebrew be more unintelligible to the unlearned than his English often is to the most acute and attentive reader. One of the precious truths which were
- Journal, page 4.
- Ibid. page 7.
- "What they know, they know naturally, who turn from the command and err from the spirit, whose fruit withers, who saith that Hebrew, Greek, and Latine is the original: before Babell was, the earth was of one language; and Nimrod the cunning hunter, before the Lord which came out of cursed Ham's stock, the original and builder of Babell, whom God confounded with many languages, and this they say is the original who erred from the spirit and command; and Pilate had his original Hebrew, Greek and Latine, which crucified Christ and set over him." — A message from the Lord to the Parliament of England by G. Fox, 1654. The same argument will be found in the journals, but has been put by the editor into a little better English. "Dost thou think to make ministers of Christ by these natural confused languages which sprung from Babell, are admired in Babylon, and set atop of Christ, the Life, by a persecutor?" — Page 64.
- His journal, before it was published, was revised by men of more sense and knowledge than himself, and therefore, absurd as it is, gives us no notion of his genuine style. The following is a fair specimen. It is the exordium of one of his manifestoes. "Them which the world who are without the fear of God calls Quakers in scorn do deny all opinions, and they do deny all conceivings, and they do deny all sects, and they do deny all imaginations, and notions, and judgments which riseth out of the will and the thoughts, and do deny witchcraft and all oaths, and the world and the works of it, and their worships and their customs with the light, and do deny false ways and false worships, seducers and deceivers which are now seen to be in the world with the light, and with it they are condemned, which light leadeth to peace and life from death which now thousands do witness the new teacher Christ, him by whom the world was made, who raigns among the children of light, and with the spirit and power of the living God, doth let them see and know the chaff from the wheat, and doth see that which must be shaken with that which cannot be shaken nor moved, what gives to see that which is shaken and moved, such as live in the notions, opinions, conceivings, and thoughts and fancies these be all shaken and comes to be on heaps, which they who witness those things before mentioned shaken and removed walks in peace not seen and discerned by them who walks in those things unremoved and not shaken." — A Warning to the World that are Groping in the Dark, by G. Fox, 1655.