Founder of the Society of Friends (Quakers). George Fox was born in Drayton-in-the-Clay, Leicestershire, England, the son of Puritan parents. Little is known of his early life, apart from what he wrote in his journal: "In my very young years, I had a gravity and stayedness of mind and spirit not usual in young children. Insomuch that, when I saw old men behave lightly and wantonly toward each other, I had a dislike thereof raise in my heart, and I said within myself, `If ever I come to be a man, surely I shall not do so, nor be so wanton.'"
At the age of 19, he gained deep, personal assurance of his salvation and began to travel as an itinerant preacher, seeking a return to the simple practices of the New Testament. He abhorred technical theology, and preached a faith borne of experience, freshly fed and guided by the immediate presence of the Holy Spirit.
Fox was persecuted almost daily, yet his power of endurance was phenomenal. He was beaten with dogwhips, knocked down with fists and stones, brutally struck with pikestaves, hard beset by mobs, incarcerated eight times in the pestilential jails, prisons, castles and dungeons--yet he went straightforward with his mission as though he had discovered some fresh courage which made him impervious to man's inhumanity.
He undertook as far as possible to let the new life in Christ take its own free course of development in his ministry. He shunned rigid forms and static systems, and for that reason he refused to head a new sect or to start a new denomination, or to begin a new church. He would not build an organization of any kind. His followers at first called themselves "Children of the Light," and later adopted the name "The Society (or Fellowship) of Friends."
Fox preached and traveled for 40 years throughout England, Scotland, Holland, and America. His life demonstrated the truth of his famous saying, "One man raised by God's power to stand and live in the same spirit the apostle and prophets were in, can shake the country for ten miles around."
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George Fox, An Autobiography - Table of Contents
Edited with an Introduction and Notes By
Rufus M. Jones, M.A., Litt. D.
Professor of Philosophy in Haverford College
TO THE SWEET AND SHINING MEMORY OF THE LITTLE
LAD WHOSE BEAUTIFUL LIFE WAS A VISIBLE
REVELATION TO ME OF TRUTH, WHICH
THIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY TEACHES, THAT
THE DIVINE AND THE HUMAN
ARE NOT FAR-S ...read
All Dear Friends Everywhere, Who Have No Help But The Lord
All Dear Friends Everywhere, Who Have No Helper But The Lord (1670)
All dear Friends everywhere, who have no helper but the Lord, who is your strength and your life, let your cries and prayers be to him, from whom all your help and strength comes; who with his eternal power, hath kept up your heads above all waves and storms. Let none go out o ...read
All Friends Everywhere, Who are Dead to Carnal Weapons
All Friends Everywhere, Who Are Dead To Carnal Weapons (1659)
All Friends everywhere, who are dead to all carnal weapons, and have beaten them to pieces, stand in that which takes away the occasion of wars, in the power which saves men's lives, and destroys none, nor would have others. And as for the rulers, that are to keep peace, for peace's ...read
And All Ye Believers In The Heavenly Light
And All Ye Believers In the Heavenly Light (1669)
And all ye believers in the heavenly light, as Christ hath taught, you seek that which is lost and driven away; but the false prophets, false ministers, and teachers, they did not seek that which was lost, and driven away from God; they put no difference between the precious and the vile, but mas ...read
Be Faithful in the Truth, Which the Devil is Out Of
Be Faithful In The Truth, Which The Devil Is Out Of (1668)
My dear Friends, - Be faithful in the truth, which the devil is out of; in which truth you have obtained dominion over him. And live in the power of God, which was before the devil was; in which power of God, which is the gospel, in your fellowship. And live in the light, which was befor ...read
Concerning the Light
Concerning The Light (1655)
All Friends everywhere, keep you meetings waiting in the light which comes from the Lord Jesus Christ; so will ye receive power from him, and have the refreshing springs of life opened to your souls, and be kept sensible of the tender mercies of the Lord. And know one another in the life, (ye that be turned to the l ...read
Concerning The Pure and Undefiled Religion
Concerning The Pure and Undefiled Religion, That Was Set Up Above Sixteen Hundred Years Ago: Which All That do Own God And Christ Are To Walk In. (1685)
Dear Friends, you who profess the light, faith, grace, and spirit of Christ, and the pure undefiled religion before God the Father, are to keep yourselves unspotted from the world, and to brid ...read
Concerning The Spiritual Warfare
Concerning the Spiritual Warfare (1653)
The world of the Lord God to all my brethren, babes, and soldiers, that are in the spiritual warfare of our Lord Jesus Christ. Arm yourselves, like men of war, that ye may know, what to stand against. Spare not, pity not that which is for the sword (of the spirit,) plague, and famine, and set up truth, a ...read
Concerning Those That Go Out Of Unity
Concerning Those That Go Out of Unity
Those that are gone from the light, from the spirit and power of God, and so from unity, buy the light, and by the spirit, and by the power are judged; and the power, and light, and spirit are over them. And they being gone into their own wills, and into a perverse spirit, then they say, they will not be sub ...read
Concerning True Liberty
Concerning True Liberty (1679)
And now, friends, you who are called into this glorious liberty of the sons of God, stand fast in it. And as the apostle saith, "Brethren, ye have been called unto liberty, only use is not for an occasion to the flesh; but in love serve one another." Gal. v. 13.
"As free, not using you liberty for a cloak ...read
Dwell in Unity and Love in the Power of God.
To Friends, to Live in Love and Unity Together, In the Power of God.
George Fox, Epistle #150.
GF, To Friends, to live in love and unity together, in the power of God.
Friends all every where, in the life and power of God live and dwell, and spread the truth abroad. Quench not the spirit, but live in love and unity one with another; that ...read
Fear Not The Powers of Darkness
Fear Not the Powers Of Darkness (1653)
Friends, - Fear not the powers of darkness, but keep your meeting, and meet in that which keeps you over them; and in the power of God ye will have unity.
And dwell in love and unity with one another, and know one another in the power of an endless life, which doth not change. And know the second Ada ...read
For Plymouth, Keep Your Meetings
A Warning To Friends, To Keep To The Light, Out of Deceit And Strife, in Unity (1655)
Friends, - I warn and exhort you all in the presence of the Lord God, to meet together in the measure of life, that with it ye may be guided up to God, and in unity kept together to him, the Father of light and life; and God Almighty be with you! And that the ...read
Friends, - Seek the Peace of All Men
Seek The Peace Of All Men (1674)
Friends, - Seek the peace of all men; which peace is in Christ, which is a peace the world cannot take away. And blessed are the peacemakers, that make p[peace among the brethren and people; these shall have a blessing from the Lord,the king of peace; but wo be unto them that cause strife and offence. And all w ...read
If Ye Love the Light, and Walk In It
If Ye Love The Light, and Walk In It (1652)
Friends, - If ye love the light, and walk in it, ye love Christ, and will all walk in unity togather. And if ye hate the light, ye hate Christ. Here is your teacher, who love it; here is your condemnation, who hate the light. And the conscience being seared, there is a returning to the teachers witho ...read
In Everything Give Thanks to the Lord
In Everything Give Thanks to the Lord (1674)
Friends, - In everything give thanks to the Lord; for from him every good thing do you receive; for the apostle saith, 1 Thess. v. 18. "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Jesus Christ concerning you;" and they that do not obey this doctrine, do not the will of God in Jesus ...read
In The Stillness And Silence of the Almighty Dwell
In The Stillness And Silence of the Almighty Dwell (1161)
Dear Friends, - In the stillness and silence of the power of the Almighty dwell, which never varies, alters, nor changes, but preserveth over and out of, and above all the changeable worships, religions, ministers, churches, teachings, principalities, and powers, with the power of God, wh ...read
Know The Praying in the Spirit
Know The Praying In The Spirit (1657)
Friends, - Know the praying in the spirit, and with the understanding; then ye will come to know the sighs and groans than cannot be uttered. For such as have not the spirit that gave forth the scriptures to guide them, are as the Pharisees were, in the long prayers, and in the wrath, and in the doubting, ...read
Live In Peace, All My Dear Babes of God
Live in peace, all my dear babes of God (1656)
Live in peace, all my dear babes of God, one with another, for patience obtains the crown, and hath the victory. And in pureness live over the deceit, and answer the witness of the Lord God in every one. And keep in the seed and life of the Lord God, that ye may feel the blessing of the Lord God a ...read
Men In the Fall Are in Wars and Strife
Men in the fall are in the wars and strife, but truth restores and brings into peace. (1656)
Dear Friends, - My love is to you all in the everlasting seed of God, that never changes nor falls, nor gives itself to that which doth change, which is not of this world, but is over it, and was before the world was; in which is the steadfastness, and ...read