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Quaker Faith

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George Fox, the founder of Quakerism, spent years in spiritual ferment, talking with ministers, or "priests and professors", as he often calls them. None seemed able to help him. As Fox reached the bottom of his despair over his concerns and the inability of the ministry to address them, he was raised by the insight that created Quakerism:

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. Then the Lord did let me see why there was none upon the earth that could speak to my condition, namely, that I might give him all the glory; for all are concluded under sin, and shut up in unbelief as I had been, that Jesus Christ might have pre-eminence, who enlightens, and gives grace, faith, and power. Thus, when God doth work who shall let [prevent] it? And this I knew experimentally.

This founding story combines key elements that appear elsewhere in Fox's Journal, and which develop through Quakerism:

Christ (through the Inner Light) "enlightens, and gives grace, faith, and power."

Even the best of men – priests and ministers included – can't communicate this grace.

Fox knows this through his experience of God - "experimentally" meaning "through experience" - not through the ministry or even the scriptures. (It corresponds well to scriptures, but it is Christ's authority which makes it true, not the Bible's.)

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