George Fox 1624 - 1691
When George Fox was about 23, he began preaching to others the truths revealed to him. He was mightily used of God. Thus he came in the nick of time "to save the church from deadness and formalism, and the world from infidelity." He was sent of God to call the church to real spiritual worship.
Fox began his preaching with a limited education, without any special training, and without special advantages of any kind. He so preached that men got the shakes. The name Quaker was attached to Fox and his followers because of the quaking of the men who came to scoff but stayed to pray. Though he made others shake, no man could make him shake.
Walking bare-footed through the crowded market at Litchfield, England, this man in the leather suit upraised his hands and voice, shouting, "Woe unto Litchfield, thou bloody city! Woe unto Litchfield!" He feared neither man nor the consequences of his tirade. At first the crowd was amused, then serious, then terrified.
Here was a man with unquenchable zeal. He had "heard a voice." Beat him they might, cast him into prison they would, mock him as a madman they laughingly did. But still he proclaimed the message of Christ. Shut out of churches, George Fox made a stone his pulpit and preached to the crowds in the streets. Taken from the street meeting to the jail, he made the jail a cathedral to declare the wonderful works of God. Often he was found praising the Lord in a stinking prison cell.
From judge to criminal, from Lord Protector to kitchen maid, Fox bore a burning witness. "He iterated the British Isles," says one of his biographers, "preaching and protesting as no man before him had ever done. In his preaching he wore out clothes, horses, critics, persecutors, and eventually himself."