More on William Fox Part 2

... He and his employer differed widely in their ideas of doing business—the latter did not hesitate to do business on the Sabbath with any of his customers who were willing to desecrate the day ; he was also in the habit of asking more for an article than he intended to take, rather than let his customer go. When his employer proposed that he should take his business out of his hands, Mr. Fox told him explicitly that if he accepted his offer he should pursue quite a different course, as he was resolved neither to transact business on the Sabbath, nor ask one price for his goods and sell at another. The reply Was“Mr. Fox, if you do not serve on Sunday, you will very soon lose all the business.” But his acts gave the strongest evidence that ungodly men respect professing Christians when their deportment and business transactions are consistent with their profession, and that they prefer entrusting important affairs to their keeping rather than to one of their own number—for he still manifests his confidence in Mr. Fox by giving up the whole of his business above named, without demanding any other security than his business qualifications, industrious habits and correct moral deportment afforded. For the encouragement of all young men, it is proper to say that so far from the prediction of his employer being fulfilled, Mr Fox was so signally blessed in all his business transactions, that in a very few years he was enabled to pay off the whole amount of his indebtedness, and found himself in very comfortable circumstances, with an income more than sufficient to meet all demands against him, and a reputation as a business man unsullied.
His house and table were always ready for the reception of friends, and especially for the young theological students who were prosecuting their studies at the University.
The Rev. Dr Hawies, who afterwards became famous for his efforts to promote religious and missionary enterprises, is said to have been a frequent visiter at his house about this time. About a year before Mr Fox entered into business, he and one of his sisters were baptized at Bourton-on-the-water, uniting with the church there—thus following the footsteps of their parents.
Mr Fox attributes his conversion (under Providence) to the reading of the only religious book in the house of his employer, except the Bible. We are not informed what book that was. Mr Fox being a dissenter from some of the doctrines of the Established Church of England, could not consistently, as he thought, unite in communion with the members of that church, neither did he approve of their mode of conducting public worship; but his religion was of that catholic spirit that would prefer to remove barriers to denominational intercourse, rather than build them up. He therefore attended the ministry of his friend, Dr Hawies.
After his settlement in business, the next important event of his history was to select a companion for life. His views on that subject, although they might not admit of universal application, would, if generally adopted, prevent many unhappy marriages. He used to say that there were three things in regard to marriage, he was resolved NOT to do—first, I will not marry a lady who is not decidedly pious; second, I must be satisfied that I can respectably maintain her; and third, I must have her father's consent. To these resolutions he is said to have rigidly adhered—and about the year 1761 he was married to Miss Mary Tabor, eldest daughter of Jonathan Tabor, Esq., a merchant of Colchester, in the county of Essex—a gentleman very highly esteemed for his correct Christian deportment in all his dealings.
In this conection Mr and Mrs Fox, during a period of more than sixty years, were unusually blessed in all the relations of life. Not having the privilege of attending a church of his own order at Oxford, about the year 1764 he purchased a large business in Leadenhall Street, London, and removed to that city. Soon after his removal to London he united with the Baptist Church in Prescott Street, Goodman's Fields, then under the care of the Rev Samuel Burford, and in a short time under that of the Rev Abraham Booth.
He now enjoyed not only the advantages of Mr Booth's edifying ministry, but his intimate acquaintance, together with that of a number of others who were eminent for their social and religious characteristics. These advantages afforded him much enjoyment, and were more highly prized in consequence of his having been to some extent deprived of them for a considerable time.
One of these gentlemen was Joseph Gutteridge, Esq., of Denmark Hill, Camberwell. A short time after Mr Fox commenced business in London he met with many discouragements. The retail trade in which he was engaged did not meet his expectations - in addition to this, he had been there but a short time when he was attacked with a violent fever, which it was thought would terminate fatally. On this occasion his father-in-law, Mr. Tabor, visited him, and according to his establshed custom on all trying occasions, founded upon the teachings of the Scriptures, particularly of the fifth chapter of the general epistle of James, fourteenth and fifteenth verses, he requested some of the praying friends of Mr. Fox to assemble for the purpose of uniting in fervent supplication, if it was the Divine will and would be for the glory of God, that their afflicted brother might be restored to health. It is said that while they were thus engaged, Mr Tabor received such assurances that their prayers would be answered, that he said with great confidence at the close of the exercises, “Mr. Fox will live.” As an evidence that his assurances were genuine, it need only be mentioned that Mr Fox began immediately to recover, so that in a short time he was enabled to return to his business, which improved from that time forward—so that he not long afterwards removed to Cheapside and engaged in the wholesale trade, which also prospered in his hands, until he became quite wealthy, and was enabled to engage in various benevolent enterprises.
In reference to this period of his life, and especially in regard to the happiness he enjoyed in church fellowship, one of his children who survived him says
"He was useful and respected at this time in no common degree; he in later years looked back upon that period of his life with regret, and called those his halcyon days.”

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