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blished themselves in the western continent. The undertaking was arduous; new calamities and persecutions awaited them in new countries. Their pious efforts, however, were eventually successful in the transatlantic regions. The brevity we must observe does not allow us to go here into particulars. But two instances of their zeal, at this period, to propagate their doctrine in the foreign parts of Europe, were of so singular a nature as to call for particular notice.
About the year 1661, two women, Catharine Evans and Sarah Cheevers, moved with a religious concern to diffuse their principles, took their passage in a ship bound from London to Leghorn after various trials and storms, they arrived at that city; and, during their stay in it, they dispersed books, explaining the doctrines of the society, and discoursed with people of all ranks, numbers of whom curiosity daily drew after them; and here they met with no molestation. They sailed from thence in a Dutch ship bound to Alexandria, the master of which put into Malta. Going on shore the day after their arrival, they were met by an English consul, who invited them to his house, where they continued about three months. They were visited by many, whom they found it their concern to call to repentance, and were repeatedly summoned before the inquisitors, whose interrogatories they answered in such a manner as not to give them the advantage they sought, nor to resign their own principles by the least compliance with the superstitious and showy religion of the country. The consul, at last, overcome by flattery, menaces, and bribery, gave up his guests to the inquisitors, who would not venture to take them without his consent or acquiescence. Having undergone an examination, which they supported with simplicity and firmness, they were imprisoned in a close dark room, with only two little holes for light and air, and so extremely hot in that warm climate, that it seemed as if the intention of the inquisitors was to stifle them to death. This imprisonment lasted three or four years. They were continually beset and perplexed with the impertinences of monks and friars, to cajole or terrify them into their superstitions. But neither flattery nor menaces could pervert these innocent women from their profession. Upon this they were put into a room so exceedingly hot, close, and suffocating, that they were often forced to rise out of their bed, to lie down at the chink of the door for air to draw breath; their faces were excessively stung by gnats; and, such was the effect of the heat of the room and the climate, their skin was parched, their hair fell off, and they frequently fainted away. They were tempted at times to wish for death, to end their sorrows. Catharine Evans fell into a fit of sickness, and the physician said, "they must have air, or else they would die." On this the door was ordered to be set open six hours in the day. Soon after they were separated,
Gough, vol. 2. chap. 9.
in hope that an impression might be made on their minds if they were separately attacked; but each was immoveable. They not only resisted every attempt to draw them off from their religious profession to the superstitions of popery; but, as the house of inquisition was rebuilding, or repairing in some parts, for the space of a year and half, they embraced the opportunities which offered to incite the people to repentance, both the workmen who were obliging to them, and the citizens of better quality who came to view the building. The apartment of Catharine being near the street, she frequently accosted with admonitions those that passed by, many of whom would stay to hear as long as they durst, and were much affected. After enduring the severities of an imprisonment in the inquisition upwards of three years, and several unsuccessful attempts to procure their release, George Fox engaged the friendly and humane interposition of lord D'Aubigny with the magistrates, whose mediation was effectual: and being liberated they returned to England. On their passage home, a passenger who was a knight of Malta, and the inquisitor's brother, interested himself with the captain, to secure them every accommodation the ship could afford. The merchants at Leghorn, where the vessel stopped, treated them with great kindness, and supplied them with wine and other articles for their refreshment. At Tangier, the governor courteously received them, and would have given them money, which they declined accepting, though they gratefully acknowledged his kindness. They freely addressed their admonitions to him, and exhortations to amendment of life to the people who flocked to the house where they lodged. Previously to their discharge from Alexandria, their tried integrity and blameless manners had made impressions in their favour, both on the magistrates and the inquisitor, the latter of whom relaxed in his severity, and granted them the use of pen, ink, and paper, to write to their friends *.
The sufferings of these women, in the singular enterprise to which their apprehensions, of duty animated them, fell short of those which befel two men in a similar undertaking namely, John Philly and William Moore. These persons, being in Germany with other friends in the beginning of 1662, felt a concern to proceed into Hungary, and to visit the Hortesche brethren, who were a kind of Baptists that lived in a community, hundreds of them together in a family, having their goods and possessions in common; they also refused to swear or fight. This was a design attended with peculiar difficulties and perils: as it would lead them, on a long journey, through a tract of country unknown to them, and amongst people differing from them in language, in sentiments, and in manners. But, such were their views of the obligations lying upon them, they were not intimidated by the prospect of difficulties, and actually made a prosperous jour
*Gough, vol. 2. p. 51-63.
ney to the nearest body of that people, residing at Cushart, near Presburg, where they were pretty hospitably entertained, and dispersed some religious books, which they had taken for that purpose. From hence they set off for Pattock, a city three hundred miles farther on in Upper Hungary, and accompanied each other to Comora in Schut, an island in the Danube: encompassed with dangers on all hands; on the one side, of being killed by the Turks, or of being put to death at Newhausel, according to the practice of that garrison towards those who were found there, it being tributary to the Turks, without permission. At Comora, first, Moore was apprehended, searched and stripped, and carried to the guards with his hands and feet shackled; and an insinuation was thrown out, that he should be roasted on a spit. Philly was afterward apprehended at his lodgings. They were committed to separate prisons; Moore to the stockhouse, and Philly to a room appropriated to the inhuman purpose of putting prisoners to the rack. On the next day they were brought before the inquisitor to be examined; by whom, among other questions, they were asked, if they did not know that Catholics had laws to burn and torment heretics, and such as carried such books as they had with them? To which Moore warily replied, "I should not have expected such dealings among good Christians." They were for eight days repeatedly brought to examination, and insnaring questions put to them, as, what they thought of the sacrament; to which Moore replied, "the flesh profiteth little, it is the spirit that quickeneth." This inquisitor was so strangely unacquainted with the Scriptures, that in a surprise he applied to a priest present, "Sir father, how is that?" Who, recollecting himself, said, "he did remember such an expression." The inquisitor next asked him if he would turn Catholic? To which he made this rational reply; "If I should do so for fear of favour of you, the Lord not requiring it of me, I should not have peace in my conscience, and the displeasure of the Lord would be more intolerable than yours;" adding, "that compulsion might make hypocrites, but not Christians, as it did not change the heart."
After this they were put to the torture; first, their thumbs were screwed to extort the confession of some crime, and then they were racked, with such violence in the case of Moore, that his chin was close to his breast, and his mouth so closed, that he was almost choked. They were then threatened with death. Philly, by calling out to the governor, as he was passing in his coach, obtained some redress of their calamities; and they were allowed to earn a trifle, to buy bread, by working at the wheelbarrow, though often their wages were kept back. After sixteen weeks they were conveyed in chains, by a waggon, under a guard, to general Nadash, the emperor's lord-chamberlain. They were examined before him and several lords of the kingdom, some of whom seemed affected with their answers, and none objected thereto. They were sentenced, however, to be burned, if they
would not embrace the Popish religion; but the sentence was not executed; and a priest was sent to convert them. These endeavours proving ineffectual, they were removed to a place within about five German miles of Vienna, where, falling into the hands of priests, their perils became aggravated: they were again searched, their books and papers taken away, insnaring questions were put to them, and they were threatened with the execution of various tortures, and of the sentence of death. But the frauds and menaces of their persecutors were frustrated by the steadfastness of these confessors. Manacles were then put on their wrists, so small, as when locked by main force, put them to extreme pain. They were thrust into a narrow hole with some Turks, that were prisoners, where they had scarcely room to sit down. At length they found a friend in the person who was invested with the chief civil authority in the place, whose dispositions to protect them and afford them relief were much strengthened by the influence of one Adam Bien, his barber, a religious man who had been educated among the Hortesche brethren. The priests were restrained from keeping them any longer in their hole of a prison, and using them with the cruelty they had done before. Those who had distinguished themselves by promoting malicious insults, endeavoured to ingratiate themselves; and after the prospects of obtaining their liberty had been repeatedly clouded over by the sickness of the governor, or by the attention he had been induced to give to insinuations against them, and by some renewed sufferings from the priests and soldiers, by Adam Bien's steadfast friendship, and persevering solicitations in their favour, they were released, September 1663*.
Whatever opinion may be entertained of the prudence of these and other pious persons belonging to the society of Quakers, in exposing themselves to such perils, without possessing ordinary or supernatural means of succeeding in their well meant efforts; the patience, firmness, and fortitude, which they displayed under the most trying circumstances, must be allowed singular merit and praise. Patience and meekness, indeed, were general characteristics of this people. They met and supported the exertions of malicious violence and wanton despotism with resigned acquiescence, and in humble dependence upon divine protection and support, without fainting in their minds.
They were also distinguished, from the beginning, by their charitable regard towards each other. There were some among them, who were not only examples of steadfastness, but by their exhortations, in word and writing, encouraged their brethren to perseverance. In the time of the plague they were exemplary for the care and tenderness with which they relieved the affliction of the widows and orphans of their friends, whom that calamity carried off. They held occasional meetings in the city to provide
Gough, vol. 2. p. 63-83.
for the necessities of the poor; and when the number of objects proved too many for the men to assist by these meetings, they called upon the most grave and tender-hearted of their female friends to aid them in the offices of humanity, who for this purpose met once a week. Not the resident inhabitants only were exercised in this care; but several, as George Whitehead, Alexander Parker, Josiah Coale, and others, came out of the country to London, as with their lives in their hands, supported by the sentiments of faith and resignation, to suffer with their friends there, whatever might be permitted to befal them, to strengthen and encourage them to keep up their meetings, to edify them with their gifts, and to visit and comfort the sick and imprisoned. And through all they were mercifully preserved from the infection, and from imprisonment in this season of danger*.
The benevolence of their minds was not confined to the acts of fraternal regards to one another, in the season of calamity and persecution, but took a wider scope. Their attention to their poor, that there should be no beggar amongst them, nor any sent to the parish for relief; and to afford their children instruction, and put them out apprentices to suitable trades, hath deservedly attracted notice, and commanded general approbation. They have, moreover, cheerfully paid their quota to the poor of their respective parishes, and proper objects of any denomination have been relieved by their private donationst. It frequently happened, that justices and military officers, on coming to break up their general meeting at Skipton, when they saw their accounts of their collections and disbursements, and the care taken that one county should help another, as circumstances might require, have been obliged to commend their care, and have left them undisturbed in the exercise of the laudable object of their meeting. The poor of other societies, frequently gathered in crowds upon these occasions, partook of their liberality; for it was their custom, after the meeting was over, to send to the bakers for bread, and distribute a loaf to each, how many soever they were ‡.
Our sketch of the history of this society will not be complete, if we do not notice some who were eminent ministers in it, and died at this period.
The first to be mentioned is Richard Hubberthorn, the son of a reputable yeoman in the north of Lancashire, who, after two months' imprisonment, through the effect of the throng of prisoners, and the vitiated air on his tender constitution, died in Newgate on the 17th of June, 1662. He was from his youth inclined to piety, sobriety, and virtue. When he arrived to years of maturity, he obtained a post in the parliament's army; and preached occasionally to the soldiers. When he joined the society of the Quakers, he quitted, agreeably to their principle of peace, his military employment. He was one of the first ministers of
Gough, vol. 2. p. 149, 150.
+ Ibid. p. 189.
Ibid. vol. 1.