This was not done for want of courtesy
which ‘no religion destroys;’ but he knew that the hat was the symbol of enfranchisement, worn before the king by the peers of the realm, in token of equality; and the symbol, as adopted by the Quaker
, was a constant proclamation that all men are equal.
Thus the doctrine of George Fox
was not only a plebeian form of philosophy, but also the prophecy of political changes.
The spirit that made to him the revelation was the invisible spirit of the age, rendered wise by tradition, and excited to insurrection by the enthusiasm of liberty and religion.
Every where in Europe
, therefore, the Quakers were exposed to persecution.
Their seriousness was called melancholy fanaticism; their boldness, self-will; their frugality, covetousness; their freedom, infidelity; their conscience, rebellion.
, the general laws against dissenters, the statute against Papists, and special statutes against themselves, put them at the mercy of every malignant informer.
They were hated by the church and the Presbyterians, by the peers and the king.
The codes of that day describe them as ‘an abominable sect;’ ‘their principles as inconsistent with any kind of government.’
During the Long Parliament, in the time of the protectorate, at the restoration, in England
, in New England
, in the Dutch
colony of New Netherlands, every where, and for wearisome years, they were exposed to perpetual dangers and griefs; they were whipped, crowded into jails among felons, kept in dungeons foul and gloomy beyond imagination, fined, exiled, sold into colonial bondage.
They bore the brunt of the persecution of the dissenters.
Imprisoned in winter without fire, they perished from frost.
Some were victims to the
barbarous cruelty of the jailer.
Twice George F<*>