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JOHN FOX,

BALE, AND COVERDALE.

LONDON:

PRINTED FOR

The Religious Tract Society,
AND SOLD AT THE DEPOSITORY, 56, PATERNOSTER-ROW;

ALSO BY J. NISBET, 21, BERNERS-STREET ;

AND BY OTHER BOOKSELLERS.

1831.

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CONTENTS.

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read the writings of the Greek and Latin fathers, the disputa. tions of the schoolmen, the acts of the councils and decrees of the consistories. These, but especially a thorough acquaintance with the scriptures in the original tongues, led him to discern the errors of popery and to seek the only way of salvation.

This change appears to have taken place about the time when Fox removed to Magdalen college. His son relates, “ By the report of some ho were fellow students with him, he used, besides his day's exercises, to bestow whole nights at his study, or not to betake himself to rest till very late. Near the college was a grove where for the pleasantness of the place the students used to walk, and spend some hours in recreation. This place, and the dead time of night, master Fox chose, with the solemnity of darkness and solitude, to confirm his mind, which, as a newly enlisted soldier, trembled at the guilt of a new imagination." To forsake the errors of popery then was no light affair. It involved many dangers ; the loss of friends and preferment, nay death itself, might almost be reckoned a certain consequence.

The son proceeds :-“How many nights he watched in these solitary walks, what combats and wrestlings he suffered within himself, how many heavy sighs, sobs, and tears, he poured forth with his prayers to almighty God, I had rather be spared, lest it savour of ostentation. But of necessity it was to be remembered, because from thence sprang the first suspicion of his alienated affections. For no sooner was the fame spread of his nightly retirements, but the more understanding sort out of their own wisdom, others according as they stood inclined towards him, interpreted all to the worst sense. At length some were employed, who under pretence to admonish him, might observe his walks, and pry into his words and actions. These wanted not others to aggravate the facts. Why should he not come to church so often as he had been accustomed? Why should he shun the company of his equals, and refuse to recreate himself in his accustomed manner ?"

Having thus fallen under suspicion of heresy, and his singular openness and sincerity disdaining to attempt any hypocritical concealment, Fox was removed from his fellowship, or found it advisable to resign and leave Oxford. But farther troubles awaited him. The profession of the gospel at that time, usually excited those discordant feelings in families spoken of by our Lord, Matt. x. 34–36. When the rage of bigotry was stirred up it often proceeded to the most unwarrantable lengths. It did so in this case. The father-in-law of Fox, enraged at the change in his views, and knowing that one reputed a heretic then had no remedy against injustice, withheld his patrimony.

The events recorded of the history of the next few years in the life of Fox are not very clearly arranged as to dates, but it appears that being driven

from his natural home, he found a refuge in the family of sir Thomas Lucy, a respectable knight of Warwickshire, by whom he was employed as tutor. During his

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