George Fox (1624 – 1691) was a major early figure — usually considered the founder — of the Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as the Quakers. Living in a time of great social upheaval, he rebelled against the religious and political consensus by proposing an unusual and uncompromising approach to the Christian faith.
George Fox’s Journal (or Autobiography) is well known even among non-Quakers for its vivid account of his personal journey.
“It (George Fox’s Journal) is one of the most extraordinary and instructive narratives in the world; which no reader of competent judgment can peruse without revering the virtue of the writer.”
Sir James Mackintosh
“To sum up in fewest possible words the impression made by his words and works upon one who studies them across the level of two centuries: he was a man of lion-like courage and adamantine strength of will, absolutely truthful, devoted to the fulfillment of what he believed to be his God-appointed mission, and without any of those side-long looks at worldly promotion and aggrandisement which many sincere leaders of church parties have cast at intervals of their journey.”
“I have read through the ponderous folio of George Fox. Pray, how may I return it to Mr. Skewell at Ipswich? I fear to send such a treasure by a stagecoach, not that I am afraid of the coachman or the guard READING it, but it might be lost. Can you put me in a way of sending it safely? The kind-hearted owner trusted it to me for six MONTHS; I think I was about as many DAYS in getting through it, and I do not think that I skipped a word of it.”
Charles Lamb to Bernard Barton, 1823.