George Fox was the founder of the Religious Society of Friends, better known as the Quakers, and played a pivotal role in religious reform in 17th century England. Over the course of his life, he traveled throughout England preaching and performing healings. Though he was persecuted and imprisoned many times for his dissenting beliefs, he never stopped fighting for his faith.
George Fox dedicated much of his life to preaching the Gospel. From 1647 until his death in 1691, he toured England sharing his Quaker beliefs. He became part of the Dissentist movement of Protestants who separated from the Church of England, which was the dominant religion in England.
“There is a living God who made all things. And immediately the cloud and temptation vanished away, and the life rose over it all, and my heart was glad, and I praised the living God.” - 1648 Journal of George Fox
“Be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations wherever you come; that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people, and to them; then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone; whereby in them you may be a blessing, and make the witness of God in them to bless you.” - The Works of George Fox
“And when all my hopes in them and in all men were gone, so that I had nothing outwardly to help me, nor could 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.” - Quaker Faith and Practice
“I told [the Commonwealth Commissioners] I lived in the virtue of that life and power that took away the occasion of all wars... I told them I was come into the covenant of peace which was before wars and strife were.” - Quaker Faith and Practice
"Now I see there is a people risen that I cannot win with gifts or honours, offices or places; but all other sects and people I can.” - Autobiography of George Fox
"When I came to eleven years of age, I knew pureness and righteousness; for, while I was a child, I was taught how to walk to be kept pure. The Lord taught me to be faithful, in all things, and to act faithfully two ways; viz., inwardly to God, and outwardly to man." - The Journal of George Fox
“The Lord showed me, so that I did see clearly, that he did not dwell in these temples which men had commanded and set up, but in people's hearts … his people were his temple, and he dwelt in them.” - The Journal of George Fox
“Walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone.” - The Journal of George Fox
“When the Lord sent me forth into the world, He forbade me to put off my hat to any, high or low.” - The Journal of George Fox
“Why should any man have power over any other man's faith, seeing Christ Himself is the author of it?” - Memoir of George Fox
Fox had a mutually respectful relationship with Oliver Cromwell, the general who led armies against King Charles I during the English Civil War and eventually became Lord Protector. Both men were and continue to be controversial figures, but their actions and impact on the Protestant church undeniably altered the course of history.
“As I spoke, he several times said, it was very good, and it was truth. I told him that all Christendom (so called) had the Scriptures, but they wanted the power and Spirit that those had who gave forth the Scriptures; and that was the reason they were not in fellowship with the Son, nor with the Father, nor with the Scriptures, nor one with another.“ - Autobiography of George Fox
“I was moved of the Lord to write a paper to the Protector, Oliver Cromwell; wherein I did, in the presence of the Lord God, declare that I denied the wearing or drawing of a carnal sword, or any other outward weapon, against him or any man….” - Autobiography of George Fox
“As I was turning, he caught me by the hand, and with tears in his eyes said, ‘Come again to my house; for if thou and I were but an hour of a day together, we should be nearer one to the other’; adding that he wished me no more ill than he did to his own soul.” - Autobiography of George Fox
“I told him if he did he wronged his own soul; and admonished him to hearken to God's voice, that he might stand in his counsel, and obey it; and if he did so, that would keep him from hardness of heart; but if he did not hear God's voice, his heart would be hardened. He said it was true.” - Autobiography of George Fox
“It was told him again that we had forsaken our own possessions; and were not like to look for such things from him.” - Autobiography of George Fox
George Fox is one of many influential figures whose faith informed their words. Read about other people whose works and words have influenced the course of history.