his multitudinous letters, he but rarely rises far above the incoherent commonplaces of a street preacher, there can be no question of his power as a speaker, nor any doubt as to the dignity and attractiveness of his personality, or of his possession of a large amount of practical good sense and governing faculty.
But that George Fox had full faith in his own powers as a miracle-worker, the following passage of his autobiography (to which others might be added) demonstrates:
It needs no long study of Fox's writings, however, to arrive at the conviction that the distinction between subjective and objective verities had not the same place in his mind as it has in that of ordinary mortals. When an ordinary person would say "I thought so and so," or "I made up my mind to do so and so," George Fox says "it was opened to me," or "at the command of God I did so and so." "Then at the command of God on the ninth day of the seventh month 1643 [Fox being just nineteen] I left my relations and brake off all familiarity or friendship with young or old." "About the beginning of the year 1647 I was moved of the Lord to go into Darbyshire." Fox hears voices and he sees visions, some of which he brings before the reader with apocalyptic power in simple and strong English, alike untutored and undefiled, of which, like John Bunyan, his contemporary, he was a master.
"And one morning, as I was sitting by the fire, a great cloud came over me and a temptation beset me; and I sate still. And it was said, All things come by Nature. And the elements and stars came over me; so that I was in a manner quite clouded
- "A Journal or Historical Account of the Life, Travels, Sufferings, and Christian Experiences, etc., of George Fox," ed. 1, 1691, pp. 27, 28.