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In 1655 Fox was sent prisoner to Cromwell, who contented himself with obtaining a written promise that he would not take up arms against him or the existing government; and having discussed various topics with mildness and candour, be ordered him to be set at liberty. Fox probably now felt himself bold in the cause, re-commenced his ministerial Jabours at London, and spent some time in vindicating his principles by means of the press, and in answering the books circulated against the society which he had founded, and which began to attract public notice in many parts of the kingdom. Notwithstanding the moderation of Cromwell towards Fox, he was perpetually subject to abuse and insult, and was frequently imprisoned and hardly used by magistrates in the country whither he felt bimself bound to travel; and more than once he was obliged to solicit the interference of the Protector, to free him from the persecutions of subordinate officers. Once he wrote to Cromwell, soliciting bis attention to the sufferings of his friends; and on hearing a rumour that be was about to assume the title of king, Fox solicited an audience, and remonstrated with him very freely upon the measure, as wbat must bring shame and ruin on himself and his posterity. He also addressed a paper to the heads and governors of the nation, on occasion of a fast appointed on account of the persecutions of the protestants abroad, in which he embraced the opportunity that such appointment offered, of holding op, in proper colours, the impropriety and iniquity of persecution at home. The history of Fox, for several years previously to 1666, consists of details of his missions, and accounts of his repeated imprisonments. In this last-mentioned year he was liberated by order of the king, and he immediately set about forming the people who had embraced his doctrines into a com pact and united body: monthly meetings were established, and other means adopted to provide for the various exigences to which they might be liable.
About 1669 he married Margaret, the widow of judge Fell, at whose house he had been entertained in his
pro: gress through Lancashire. The ceremony, on this occasion, was according to that simple form which is practised to this day among the people of his persuasion. He only acquainted their common friends of their intention; and having received their approbation, they took each other in marriage, by mútual public declarations to that intent, at
a meeting appointed for the purpose at Bristol. After this Mr. Fox sailed for America, where he spent two years in: making proselytes, and in confirming the faith and practice of those who had already joined in his cause. Soon after his return to England he was taken into custody, and thrown into Worcester gaol under the charge of having "held a meeting from all parts of the nation, for terrifying the king's subjects.” After being acquitted, he went to Holland, and on his return a suit was instituted against bim for refusing to pay tithes; his opponents were successful, and he was obliged to submit to the consequences. In 1684 Fox again visited the continent, and upon his return he found his health and spirits too much impaired by incessant fatigues, and almost perpetual persecutions, to contend any more with his enemies: he accordingly lived more retired ; and in 1690 he died, in the sixty-seventh year of his age; baving, however, performed the duties of a preacher till within a few days of his de
His writings, exclusive of a few separate pieces, which were not printed a second time, were collected in 3 vols. folio; the first contains his “Journal;" the second a collection of his “ Epistles;" the third, his “ Doctrinal Pieces." Fox was a man of good natural talents, and thoroughly conversant in the scriptures. The incessant zeal which he exhibited through life, affords abundant evidence of his piety, sincerity, and purity of intention ; and his sufferings bear testimony to his fortitude, patience, and resignation to the Divine will. William Penn, speaking of him, says that “ he had an extraordinary gift in opening the scriptures, but that, above all, he excelled in prayer. The reverence and solemnity of his address and behaviour, and the ferventness and fullness of his words, often struck strangers with admiration.” He also mens tions, in terms of high commendation, his meekness, humility, and moderation; and he adds, that he was civil beyond all forms of breeding ; in his behaviour very temperate, eating little, and sleeping less, though a bulky
FOX (John), an eminent English divine and churchhistorian, was born at Boston in Lincolnshire, of honest and reputable parents in 1517, the very year that Luther began to oppose the errors of the church of Rome. His
Sewel's Hist, of Quakers -Neal's Puritans.-Rees's Cyclopædia.
father dying when he was young, and his mother marrying again, be fell under the tutelage of a father-in-law, with whom he remained till the age of sixteen. He was then entered of Brazen Nose college in Oxford, where he had for his chamber-fellow, the celebrated dean Nowell, and perhaps the same tutor, Mr. John Hawarden or Harding, who was afterwards principal of the college, and to whom Fox dedicated bis work on the Eucharist. In May 1538, he took the degree of bachelor of arts. He was soon distinguished for bis uncommon abilities and learning; was chosen fellow of Magdalen college, and became master of arts in 1543. He discovered in his younger years a genius for poetry, and wrote in an elegant style several Latin comedies, the subjects' of which were taken from the scriptures. We have a comedy of his, entitled, “ De Christo Triumphante," printed in 1551, and at Basil in 1556, 8vo; which was translated into English by Richard Day, son of John Day, the famous printer in the reign of queen Elizabeth, and published with this title, “ Christ Jesus Triumphant, wherein is described the glorious triumph and conquest of Christ over sin, death, and the law,' &c. 1579; and in 1607, in 8vo. It was again published in the original in 1672, and dedicated to all schoolmasters, in order that it might be admitted into their respective schools, for the peculiar elegance of its style, by T. C. M. A. of Sidney-college, in Cambridge. The date of the first edition (1551), shows that Anthony Wood was mistaken in asserting that Fox wrote it at Basil, to which place he did not go until after the accession of queen Mary in 1553.
Mr. Fox, for some time after his going to the university, was attached to the popish religion, in which he had been brought up, but afterwards applied himself to divinity, with somewhat more fervency than circumspection; and discovered himself in favour of the reformation then going on, before he was known to those who maintained the cause, or those who were of ability to protect the main. tainers of it. In order to judge of the controversies which then divided the church, his Ārst care was to search diligently into the ancient and modern history of it; to learn its beginning, by what arts it flourished, and by what errors it began to decline; to consider the causes of those controversies and dissensions which had arisen in the church, and to weigh attentively of what moment and con
sequence they were to religion. To this end he applied himself with such zeal and industry, that before he was thirty years of age, he had read over all the Greek and Latin fathers, the schoolmen, the councils, &c.; and had also acquired a competent skill in the Hebrew language. But from this strict application by day and by night while at Oxford, from forsaking his friends for the most solitary retirement, which he enjoyed in Magdalen grove, from the great and visible distractions of his mind, and abore all, from absenting himself from the public worship, arose suspicions of his alienation from the church ; in which bis enemies being soon confirmed, he was accused and condemned of heresy, expelled his college, and thought to have been favourably dealt with, that he escaped with his life. This was in 1545. Wood represents this affair somewhat differently; he says in one place, that Fox resigned his fellowship to avoid expulsion, and in another that he was “ in a manner obliged to resign his fellowship.” The stigma, however, appears to have been the same, for his relations were greatly displeased at him, and afraid to countenance or protect one condemned for a capital offence; and his father-in-law basely took advantage of it to withhold his paternal estate from him, thinking probably that he, who stood in danger of the law himself, would with difficulty find relief from it. Being thus forsaken by bis friends, be was reduced to great distress; when he was taken into the house of sir Thomas Lucy of Warwickshire, to be tutor to his children. Here he married a citizen's daughter of Coventry, and continued in sir Thomas's family, till his children were grown up; after which he spent some time with his wife's father at Coventry. He removed to London a few years before king Henry's death; where having neither employment nor preferment, he was again driven to great necessities and distress, but was relieved, according to his son's account, in a very remarkable manner. He was sitting one day, he says, in St. Paul's church, almost spent with long fasting, his countenance wan and pale, and his eyes hollow, when there came to bim a person, whom he never remembered to have seen before, who, sitting down by him, accosted him very familiarly, and put into his bands an untold sum of money; bidding him to be of good cheer, to be careful of himself, and to use all means to prolong his life, for that in a few days new hopes were at hand, and new means of subsista.
ence. Fox tried all methods to find out the person by whom he was so seasonably relieved, but in vain; the prediction, however, was fulfilled, for within three days he was taken into the service of the duchess of Richmond, to be tutor to the children of her nephew, the celebrated earl of Surrey. Upon the commitment of this amiable nobleman and his father the duke of Norfolk to the Tower, these cbildren were sent to be educated under the care and inspection of their unnatural aunt the duchess of Richmond.
In this family he lived, at Ryegate in Surrey, during the latter part of Henry's reign, the five years reign of Edward, and part of Mary's; being at this time protected by the duke of Norfolk, and Wood says he was restored to his fellowship of Magdalen college, under Edward VI.* Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, was, however, now determined to have him seized, and laid many snares and stratagems for that purpose. The bishop was very intimate with the duke of Norfolk, often visited him, and frequently desired to see this tutor. The duke evaded the request, one while alleging his absence, another that he was indisposed, still pretending reasons to put him off. At length it happened, that Fox, not knowing the bishop to be within the house, entered the room, where the duke and he were in discourse; and seeing the bishop, with a shew of bashfulness, withdrew himself. The bishop asking who be was, the duke answered, his physician, who was somewhat uncourtly, being newly come from the university. “I like his countenance and aspect very well,” replied the bishop, * and upon occasion will make use of him t.” The duke, perceiving from hence that danger was at hand, thought it time for Fox to retire, and accordingly furnished him with the means to go abroad. He found, before he could put to sea, that Gardiner had issued out a warrant for apprehending him, and was causing the most diligent search to be made for him ; nevertheless, he at
* Fox's biographers have all con- liberality in so bigotted a catholic as curred in saying that he was protected the duke of Norfolk. by “one of his pupils then duke of + It does not seem very clear from Norfolk,” meaning Thomas third duke this story whether the bishop knew of Norfolk; but as this nobleman did Fox's person, or whether, knowing it. pot die until 1554, when For was he affected to be deceived by the duke's abroad, it appears more probable that excuse, that he might lay his plans it was he who demonstrated his friend. against Fox's life with less bazard of ship to Fox in the manner described in baving them counterplo:sed. the test. The wonder is lo fiad this