In the Words of George Fox

George Fox (born July 1624, Drayton-in-the-Clay, Leicestershire, England—died January 13, 1691, London) was an English preacher and missionary and founder of the Society of Friends(or Quakers). His personal religious experience made him hostile to church conventions and established his reliance on what he saw as “inner light,” or God-given inspiration over scriptural authority or creeds. He recorded the birth of the Quaker movement in his Journal.

Mark Wutka, Friendship Friends Meeting in Greensboro, shared this compilation of words from George Fox (citations from Fox Works) during the Piedmont Friends Annual Sessions, June 1, 2024, at Guilford College, in celebration of the 400th anniversary of George Fox’s birth.

When all my hopes in them and in all men were gone, so that I had nothing outwardly to help me, nor could I tell what to do, then, oh, then, I heard a voice which said, “There is one, even Christ Jesus, that can speak to thy condition”; and when I heard it, my heart did leap for joy.
(Fox Works, Vol 1, p. 74)

But I showed them by the scriptures, there was an anointing within man to teach him, and that the Lord would teach his people himself.     (Fox Works, Vol 1, p. 72)

Now was I come up in spirit, through the flaming sword, into the paradise of God. All things were new, and all the creation gave another smell unto me than before, beyond what words can utter. I knew nothing but pureness, innocency, and righteousness, being renewed up into the image of God by Christ Jesus; so that I was come up to the state of Adam, which he was in before he fell.        (Fox Works, vol 1, p. 84)                  

I told them I knew from whence all wars arose, even from the lusts, according to James’s doctrine; and that I lived in the virtue of that life and power that took away the occasion of all wars.  (Fox Works, Vol 1, p. 113)

Be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations, wherever you come; that your life and conduct may break among all sorts of people and to them. Then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in every one; whereby in them ye may be a blessing, and make the witness of God in them to bless you. (Fox Works, Vol 1, p. 288)

So as you all come to be guided with that of God in you, and to feel that of God in you to guide your minds up to God, you shall come to satisfaction; it leads you up out of the earth to that within, so from all those without, and here comes the glory of the Lord God to be revealed in you: and though you may profess all the scriptures of truth, yet if every particular of you do not come to feel that of God, which God hath manifested in you, and shewed you to guide your minds to God, you cannot know any of the scriptures; for that opens the words to every particular, and gives to every particular, a particular satisfaction, by which every one comes to pray in the spirit, and sing in the spirit, from which glory is given to God.  (Fox Works, Vol 4, p. 125)              

Stand still in that which is pure, after ye see yourselves; and then mercy comes in. After thou seest thy thoughts, and the temptations, do not think, but submit; and then power comes. Stand still in that which shows and discovers; and there doth strength immediately come. And stand still in the light, and submit to it, and the other will be hushed and gone; and then content comes. And when temptations and troubles appear, sink down in that which is pure, and all will be hushed, and fly away. Your strength is to stand still, after ye see yourselves; (Epistle 10, Fox Works, Vol 7, p. 20)

Dear Friends, watch over one another in love, and stir up that which is pure in one another, and exhort one another daily.  (Fox Works, Vol 7, p. 30)  

So my love to all Friends in all those parts, as though I named them: and be at peace one with another; neither judge one another about such things, but live in love, which doth edify. And in the power of God, that your hearts, and souls, and minds, may unite together in it; and all to walk as becomes the gospel: and let your lives and conversations preach that with a measure of the spirit of God you may reach that of God in all;  (Fox Works, Vol 8, p. 90)