Religion: An Original

Many sons have done virtuously in this day; but, dear George, thou excellest them all.

—William Penn

George Fox was a hard man for any century to live with. In 17th century England, already a melee of warring religions and political factions, he founded a rudely revolutionary new movement, which became the Society of Friends. A weaver's son from Leicestershire, Quaker Fox preached "God's free gospel" loudly and with a countryman's directness. He attacked other religions indiscriminately, and the fierce pacifism of his followers was, politically speaking, highly suspicious.

He and his...

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