Henry Craik, ed. English Prose. 1916. Vol. III. Seventeenth Century
Greeting to Charles II. on his Restoration
By George Fox (16241691)
LET thy moderation be known unto all men, for the Lord is at hand whose presence filleth Heaven and earth; and let such a nobility appear in thee as to try all things and to hold fast that which is good; and either to read or to hear with patience before thou judge; for wisdom becometh a king, and true reason, solidness and patience, him that is a ruler of the people. The God of Heaven hath put into my heart to write unto thee, and in tender love both to thy soul and body, to lay before thee several things whereby thou mayest come to me and consider, how the mighty hand and justice of the invisible God hath been in these overturnings and changes, which have happened in these nations of late years. Therefore, consider these things. The mighty God, the everlasting Father, He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords; and the whole earth is His, and the fulness thereof, and He ruleth over the kingdoms of men, and giveth them to whomsoever He pleaseth. Yea, He pulleth down one and setteth up another, and there is no overturning or changing in kingdoms but it is either by His commission or permission, and the Lord doth not do anything, neither suffereth He anything to be done unto persons or kingdoms without a cause (though he may do whatsoever he pleaseth) and who shall call Him to an account? Yet all His doings are righteous, and His ways are just and equal altogether; and it is for the unrighteousness, sometimes of a king or kings, and sometimes of a people, and other times of both, that the Lord doth break or suffer a nation or nations to be broken; and when He determines to break a people, or to change governors (or to suffer such things to be done) in vain do men strive to preserve or uphold them; and the Lord may, and doth make whomsoever He pleaseth His instruments for to do His determined work; and when they have done His work, thus He may do whatsoever He pleaseth with them; and many times His instruments, when they begin His determined work, appear very contemptible unto many; yet, such speak foolishly and without understanding, who say that such instruments are too weak and cannot prevail, seeing all power is in the hand of God, who can give wisdom and strength and courage unto whomsoever He pleaseth; and when His instruments have done this work (and he determines to break or to suffer them to be broken again) let them appear never so wise, bold, and mighty, yet vainly do they speak who say such a wise, bold, and mighty people cannot be broken, seeing the Lord can do whatsoever He pleaseth, who suddenly can turn mans wisdom into folly, his strength into weakness, and his boldness into dauntedness of spirit. Now such things as these, O king, come oft to pass, and some of them without a cause, and they that are truly wise learn further and get understanding through all these things. Therefore is true wisdom better than strength, and a right understanding is better than an earthly crown. Therefore, O king, wait to feel the noble principle of wisdom, which God hath inspired thee withal; for there is a measure of it in thee, though it hath been hid, and that measure is the light, which Christ the wisdom of God hath enlightened thee withal, which light in thee is that which never had fellowship with darkness in thee, or its deeds, nor concord with the devil or his works, but makes manifest and reproves all such things, which light being received in the love of it and believed and united in, man becomes a child of it, and so it gives him a good understanding . Therefore, O king, give all diligence to receive the gift which God hath placed in thy heart, that so thou mayest be acquainted with wisdom, and that thou mayest be filled with moderation, gravity, and patience, and come to a right understanding and discerning, that so thou mayst rightly look upon things past, present, and to come; and see them as they were, are, or shall be.