chapter  3
12 Pages

George Fox’s Witness Regarding Good and Evil

ByDouglas Gwyn

This chapter discusses George Fox's understanding of good and evil, which was generally shared by the Quaker movement and is evident in the writings of its other leaders. Emerging at the end of the English Reformation, early Quakers shared with their Puritan contemporaries an acute consciousness of sin and evil. Many Seekers who became Friends were hyper-Puritans with debilitating fixations upon their own personal sin. They were unable to accept assurances from Puritan divines that they might be among the elect, that their sins might be 'covered' by Christ's imputed righteousness. They longed for real victory over sin in this life. Fox's apocalyptic preaching of Christ's return by the light in their consciences gave these troubled souls a powerful experience of God's power striking at the root of sin within them. As they gathered into communities that waited upon the Lord together, hearing and obeying Christ in concrete codes of behavior, they experienced victory in their own lives.