The Beginnings of Quakerism

By William C. Braithwaite | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV
THE PEOPLE IN WHITE RAIMENT (June 1652)

It pleased the Lord in His infinite [mercy to] visit a people in the latter age of the world. . . . So in that age there were many in a fervent [desir]e after the Lord and the way of worship that might be the [mos]t acceptable to Him, which caused many to leave off the [for]real dead way of worship then professed amongst a people notionally professing Christianity, [and] under a deep sense of the want of the enjoyment of that we made profession of, caused us to separate ourselves from among them, so that it pleased God to look down upon us with an eye of pity, and He sent His servants amongst us to preach the glad tidings of the gospel of peace, which directed our minds to the measure of grace or light manifested within our hearts and consciences: notwithstanding many and great were the sufferings we underwent for the same.-- First Publishers of Truth, p. 57 ( Cumberland account).

WE now return to the end of May 1652 and resume the narrative of Fox's pioneer work. He is travelling with Farnsworth, and has eaten and drunk but little for several days together.1 They come to Pendle Hill in the edge of Lancashire, and Fox is moved of the Lord to go up it, which he does "with much ado, it was so steep." The local proverb with pardonable exaggeration said:

Ingleborough, Pendle, and Pen-y-ghent Are the highest hills between Scotland and Trent.2

A mount of vision is an inspiration to the Seer; it uplifts his heart and supplies the ample horizons which his soul requires. On another occasion, near Dolgelly,3 Fox came to a hill, presumably Cader Idris, which the people told him

____________________
1
Journ. i109, and parallel passage in Camb. Journ. i. 40.
2
Cited from Harland and Wilkinson Lancashire folk-lore, p. 204 n. Pendle rises 1831 feet above the sea-level, Ingleborough 2373 feet, Pen-y-ghent 2250 feet. Whernside is 2414 feet in height, and several others of the Yorkshire Fells are higher than Pendle.
3
Journ. i. 376.

-78-

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