Edited by William Byron Forbush This is a book that will never die — one of the great English classics. . . . Reprinted here in its most complete form, it brings to life the days when “a noble army, men and boys, the matron and the maid,” “climbed the steep ascent of heaven, ‘mid peril, toil, and pain.” “After the Bible itself, no book so profoundly influenced early Protestant sentiment as the Book of Martyrs. Even in our time, it is still a living force. It is more than a record of persecution. It is an arsenal of controversy, a storehouse of romance, as well as a source of edification.”
Fox’s Book of Martyrs is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
An Account of the Persecutions of Friends, Commonly Called Quakers, in the United States
Part 1 of 10
About the middle of the seventeenth century, much persecution and suffering were inflicted on a sect of Protestant dissenters, commonly called Quakers: a people which arose at that time in England some of whom sealed their testimony with their blood.
For an account of the above people, see Sewell’s, or Gough’s history of them.
The principal points upon which their conscientious nonconformity rendered them obnoxious to the penalties of the law, were,
\# The Christian resolution of assembling publicly for the worship of God, in a manner most agreeable to their consciences.
\# Their refusal to pay tithes, which they esteemed a Jewish ceremony, abrogated by the coming of Christ.
\# Their testimony against wars and fighting, the practice of which they judged inconsistent with the command of Christ: “Love your enemies,” Matt. 5:44.
\# Their constant obedience to the command of Christ: “Swear not at all,” Matt. 5:34.
\# Their refusal to pay rates or assessments for building and repairing houses for a worship which they did not approve.
\# Their use of the proper and Scriptural language, “thou,” and “thee,” to a single person: and their disuse of the custom of uncovering their heads, or pulling off their hats, by way of homage to man.
\# The necessity many found themselves under, of publishing what they believed to be the doctrine of truth; and sometimes even in the places appointed for the public national worship.
Their conscientious noncompliance in the preceding particulars, exposed them to much persecution and suffering, which consisted in prosecutions, fines, cruel beatings, whippings, and other corporal punishments; imprisonment, banishment, and even death.
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