Chapter 19 » 19.40

A guided people

The testimonies


Thomas Ellwood committed himself to being a Quaker when he declined to return ‘the vain salutations of the world’. He maintained the testimony against hat honour, and the testimony to plain language:

The sight of my hat upon my head made [my father] presently forget that I was that son of his, whom he had so lately lamented as lost; and his passion of grief turning into anger, he could not contain himself; but running upon me, with both his hands, first violently snatcht off my hat, and threw it away; then giving me some buffets on my head, he said, Sirrah, get you up to your chamber…

But as this hat-honour (as it was accounted) was grown to be a great idol, in those times more especially, so the Lord was pleased to engage his servants in a steady testimony against it, what suffering soever was brought upon them for it. And though some, who have been called into the Lord’s vineyard at latter hours, and since the heat of that day hath been much over, may be apt to account this testimony a small thing to suffer so much upon, as some have done, not only to beating, but to fines, and long and hard imprisonments; yet they who, in those times, were faithfully exercised in and under it, durst not despise the day of small things; as knowing that he who should do so, would not be thought worthy to be concerned in higher testimonies…

But whenever I had occasion to speak to my father, though I had no hat now to offend him, yet my language did as much; for I durst not say ‘You’ to him; but ‘Thou’, or ‘Thee’, as the occasion required, and then would he be sure to fall on me with his fists.

See also 15.20 Gravestones, 19.25, 19.31 & 20.2720.36

← 19.39 19.41 →