Saturday, January 21, 2012

George Fox To The Jesuit, "Ye Are The Filthy Dreamers"

George Fox
An excerpt from the autobiography of George Fox the founder of the Protestant sect The Quakers.

About this time many Papists and Jesuits began to fawn upon Friends, and talked up and down where they came, that of all the sects the Quakers were the best and most self-denying people; and they said it was great pity that they did not return to the Holy Mother Church. Thus they made a buzz among the people, and said they would willingly discourse with Friends. 
But Friends were loth to meddle with them, because they were Jesuits, looking upon it to be both dangerous and scandalous. But when I understood it, I said to Friends, "Let us discourse with them, be they what they will." So a time being appointed at Gerrard Roberts's, there came two of them like courtiers. They asked our names, which we told them; but we did not ask their names, for we understood they were called Papists, and they knew we were called Quakers.
I asked them the same question that I had formerly asked a Jesuit, namely, whether the Church of Rome was not degenerated from the Church in the primitive times, from the Spirit, power, and practice that they were in in the Apostles' times? He to whom I put this question, being subtle, said he would not answer it. I asked him why. But he would show no reason. His companion said he would answer me; and said that they were not degenerated from the Church in the primitive times. I asked the other whether he was of the same mind. He said, "Yes."
    Then I replied that, for the better understanding one of another, and that there might be no mistake, I would repeat my question over again after this manner: "Is the Church of Rome now in the same purity, practice, power, and Spirit that the Church in the Apostles' time was in?" When they saw we would be exact with them, they flew off and denied that, saying it was presumption in any to say they had the same power and Spirit which the Apostles had. 
I told them it was presumption in them to meddle with the words of Christ and His Apostles, and make people believe they succeeded the Apostles, yet be forced to confess they were not in the same power and Spirit that the Apostles were in. "This," said I, "is a spirit of presumption, and rebuked by the Apostles' spirit."

I showed them how different their fruits and practices were from the fruits and practices of the Apostles.

Then got up one of them, and said,  
"Ye are a company of dreamers." "Nay," said I, "ye are the filthy dreamers, who dream ye are the Apostles' successors, and yet confess ye have not the same power and Spirit which the Apostles were in. And are not they defilers of the flesh who say it is presumption for any to say they have the same power and Spirit which the Apostles had? Now,
said I, "if ye have not the same power and Spirit which the Apostles had, then it is manifest that ye are led by another power and spirit than that by which the Apostles and Church in the primitive times were led." Then I began to tell them how that evil spirit by which they were led had led them to pray by beads and to images, and to set up nunneries, friaries, and monasteries, and to put people to death for religion; which practices I showed them were below the law, and far short of the gospel, in which is liberty. They were soon weary of this discourse, and went their way, and gave a charge, as we heard, to the Papists, that they should not dispute with us, nor read any of our books.
Link (here) to that autobiography.

1 comment:

dante rosso said...

As ol' G.K. said, Protestant variations are really extremes of aspects of the Roman Catholic Church. The Quakers are very active in the peace movement, not far from the pacifist anti/nuke Jesuits.

I attended a Quaker gathering once. Everyone sits around and waits for someone to say something. Kind of a non-corporeal corporate meeting. I twiddled my thumbs waiting for someone to say something. One woman did and I felt sleepy. Everyone was slowed down and quiet.