The Quaker religion which [Fox] founded is something which it is impossible to overpraise. In a day of shams, it was a religion of veracity, rooted in spiritual inwardness, and a return to something more like the original gospel truth than men had ever known in England. So far as our Christian sects to-day are evolving into liberality, they are simply reverting in essence to the position which Fox and the early Quakers so long ago assumed.-- WM. JAMES, Varieties of Religious Experience, p. 7.
There is room yet for the teaching of the Inward Light, for the witness of a Living God, for a reinterpretation of the Christ in lives that shall convict the careless, language that shall convince the doubting. The dust of a busy commerce hides the Cross. The Christ of the people is but a lay- figure draped in a many-coloured garment of creeds, and, worshipping the counterfeit of its own creation, the world sins on. -- JNO. WILHELM ROWNTRIER , Essays and Addresses, p. 75.
WE have now reached the opening year of the Commonwealth, 1649. Fox has already become the leader of the Nottinghamshire Children of the Light, and is about to address himself to the harder work of proclaiming his message to a scoffing world. It is not surprising to find that his first strength was directed against what he felt to be the crying evil of the day, religious insincerity. It outraged his whole being, and, in hot revolt against it, he forgot his charity.
"The black earthly spirit of the priest," he says,1"wounded my life, and, when I heard the bell toll to call people together to the steeple-house, it struck at my life, for it was just like a market- bell, to gather people together that the priest might set forth his ware to sale."
And so it came to pass that, as he went to a meeting____________________