Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/639

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It may mean much or little. Paul nowhere tells us what he did in this direction, and, in his sore need to justify his assumption of apostleship against the sneers of his enemies, it is hardly likely that, if he had any very striking cases to bring forward, he would have neglected evidence so well calculated to put them to shame.

And, without the slightest impeachment of Paul's veracity, we must further remember that his strongly marked mental characteristics, displayed in unmistakable fashion in these Epistles, are anything but those which would justify us in regarding him as a critical witness respecting matters of fact, or as a trustworthy interpreter of their significance. When a man testifies to a miracle, he not only states a fact, but he adds an interpretation of the fact. We may admit his evidence as to the former, and yet think his opinion as to the latter worthless. If Eginhard's calm and objective narrative of the historical events of his time is no guarantee for the soundness of his judgment where the supernatural is concerned, the fervid rhetoric of the Apostle of the Gentiles, his absolute confidence in the "inner light," and the extraordinary conceptions of the nature and requirements of logical proof which he betrays in page after page of his Epistles, afford still less security.

There is a comparatively modern man who shared to the full Paul's trust in the "inner light," and who, though widely different from the fiery evangelist of Tarsus in various obvious particulars, yet, if I am not mistaken, shares his deepest characteristics. I speak of George Fox, who separated himself from the current Protestantism of England in the seventeenth century as Paul separated himself from the Judaism of the first century, at the bidding of the "inner light"—who went through persecutions as serious as those which Paul enumerates, who was beaten, stoned, cast out for dead, imprisoned nine times, sometimes for long periods, in perils on land and perils at sea. George Fox was an even more widely traveled missionary, and his success in founding congregations, and his energy in visiting them, not merely in Great Britain and Ireland and the West India Islands, but on the continent of Europe and that of North America, was no less remarkable. A few years after Fox began to preach there were reckoned to be a thousand Friends in prison in the various jails of England; at his death, less than fifty years after the foundation of the sect, there were seventy thousand of them in the United Kingdom. The cheerfulness with which these people—women as well as men—underwent martyrdom in this country and in the New England States is one of the most remarkable facts in the history of religion.

No one who reads the voluminous autobiography of "Honest George" can doubt the man's utter truthfulness; and though, in