George Fox’s Journal 2
Adult Education Reading Group
Santa Monica Quaker Meeting
September 18, 2016 at 8:30 a.m.
Clerked by Kim O’Brien
All of the quotations are from the Journal of George Fox, edited by John L. Nickalls (Philadelphia, PA: Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, 1985). We will approach these passages in a modified worship sharing approach.
Here are the passages that we will consider:
“Now the Lord God hath opened to me by his invisible power how that every man was enlightened by the divine light of Christ; and I saw it shine through all, and that they that believed in it came out of condemnation and came to the light of life and became the children of it, but they that hated it, and did not believe in it, were condemned by it, though they made a profession of Christ. This I saw in the pure openings of the Light without the help of any man, neither did I then know where to find it in the Scriptures; though afterwards, searching the Scriptures, I found it. For I saw in that Light and Spirit which was before Scripture was given forth, and which led the holy men of God to give them forth, that all must come to that Spirit, if they would know God, or Christ, or the Scriptures aright, which they that gave them forth were led and taught by” (Fox, p. 33).
“Now after I was set at liberty from Nottingham gaol, where I had been kept prisoner a pretty long time, I travelled as before in the work of the Lord. And coming to Mansfield-Woodhouse, there was a distracted woman under a doctor’s hand, with her hair loose all about her ears. He was about to let her blood, she being first bound, and many people being about her holding her by violence; but he could get no blood from her. And I desired them to unbind her and let her alone, for they could not touch the spirit in her, by which she was tormented. So they did unbind her; and I was moved to speak to her in the name of the Lord to bid her be quiet and still, and she was so. The Lord’s power settled her mind, and she mended and afterwards received the Truth, and continued in it to her death. And the Lord’s name was honoured, to whom the glory of all his works belongs. Many great and wonderful things were wrought by the heavenly power of those days, for the Lord made bare his omnipotent arm, and manifested his power, to the astonishment of many, by the healing virtue whereof many have been delivered from great infirmities, and the devils were made subject through his name, of which particular instances might be given beyond what this unbelieving age is able to receive or bear. Blessed for ever be the name of the Lord and everlastingly honoured and over all exalted, and magnified be the arm of his glorious power, by which he hath wrought gloriously; and let the honour and praise of all his works be ascribed to him alone” (Fox, pp. 43-44).
“And as I was one time walking in a close with several Friends, I lifted up my head and I espied three steeplehouse spires. They struck at my life and I asked Friends what they were, and they said, Lichfield. The word of the Lord came to me thither I might go, so, being come to the house we were going to I bid friends there were with me walk into the house from me; and they did and as soon as they were gone (for I said nothing to them whither I would go) I went over hedge and ditch till I came within a mile of Lichfield. When I came into a great field where there were shepherds keeping their sheep, I was commanded of the Lord to pull off my shoes of a sudden; and I stood still, and the word of the Lord was like a fire in me; and being winter, I untied my shoes and put them off; and when I had done I was commanded to give them to the shepherds and was to charge them to let no one have them except they paid for them. And the poor shepherds trembled and were astonished.
So I went about a mile till I came into the town, and as soon as I came within the town the word of the Lord came unto me again to cry, `Woe unto the bloody city of Lichfield!’; so I went up and down the streets crying, `Woe unto the bloody city of Lichfield!’. Being market day I went into the market place and went up and down in several places of it and made stands, crying, `Woe unto the bloody city of Lichfield!’, and no one touched me nor laid hands on me. As I went down the town there ran like a channel of blood down the streets, and the market place was like a pool of blood” (Fox, p. 71).