by George Fox

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III.--In Perils Oft

Now as I went towards Nottingham on a first-day, when I came on the top of a hill in sight of the town, I espied the great steeple-house, and the Lord said unto me, "Thou must go cry against yonder great idol, and against the worshippers therein." When I came there all the people looked like fallow ground, the priest (like a great lump of earth) stood in his pulpit above. Now the Lord's power was so mighty upon me that I could not hold, but was made to cry out.

As I spoke, the officers came and took me away, and put me into a nasty, stinking prison, the smell whereof got so into my nose and throat that it very much annoyed me. But that day the Lord's power sounded so in their ears that they were amazed at the voice. At night they took me before the mayor, aldermen, and sheriffs of the town. They examined me at large, and I told them how the Lord had moved me to come. After some discourse between them and me, they sent me back to prison again; but some time after the head sheriff sent for me to his house. I lodged at the sheriff's, and great meetings we had in his house. The Lord's power was with this friendly sheriff, and wrought a mighty change in him; and accordingly he went into the market, and into several streets, and preached repentance to the people. Hereupon the magistrates grew very angry, and sent for me from the sheriff's house, and committed me to the common prison. Now, after I was released from Nottingham gaol, where I had been kept prisoner for some time, I travelled as before in the work of the Lord.

And while I was at Mansfield-Woodhouse, I was moved to go to the steeple-house there, and declare the truth to the priest and people; but the people fell upon me in great rage, struck me down, and almost stifled and smothered me; and I was cruelly beaten and bruised by them with their hands, Bibles, and sticks. Then they haled me out, though I was hardly able to stand, and put me into the stocks, where I sat some hours. After some time they had me before the magistrate, who, seeing how evilly I had been used, after much threatening, set me at liberty. But the rude people stoned me out of the town for preaching the word.


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