Reading the Doctrinal Works section of Fox's Works often makes me marvel that Fox survived the periods of Puritan and Restoration persecution at all. Pieces that I find fascinating expositions of his belief in the Light are often prefaced by blasts at other sects, reinforced by the persecutions those sects have already led. The extended title of Possession above Profession includes both aspects:
Possession Above Profession;
Being a Discourse, in which it may be clearly seen that many that make a
Profession of Christ in the Flesh, and deny him in his Light, which he
enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world withal, (which Light is
the Life in the Word,) and speak evil against it, are such as possess him
not, but persecute his Light and Life as the Jews, that persecuted him in
the days of his Flesh.
And how that many Turks and Heathens will own his Divine Light more
than many of them that make a Profession of Christ in the Flesh.
And likewise, how that all such as profess Christ Jesus has bought them, are
to be governed and ordered by him, their owner; for the worldling's reason
will say, ‘that which he hath bought and paid for, is his own to order and
The opening of the piece is a challenge to other believers, warning them that they may in fact be more closed to Christ's light than those with less claim to be Christian, including the Jew, the Turk, the Indian, and the heathen. As the piece develops, Fox comes to a large paragraph (which I've broken up as best I can) which explores how people know the 'light of Christ':
And Christ Jesus is not known as he is God in his divinity, nor in his flesh, as was manifest, but by this 'divine heavenly light, which we own, and believe in as he commands, who are children of the light; which name or title Christ bestowed upon us before you professors nicknamed us with the name of Quakers, in the year 1650, which name one Bennet, at Darby, gave us when he cast us into prison:
and as it is said, 'young men, you are strong, you have overcome the wicked one; fathers,you have known him from the beginning;' that is, you have known him in his divinity, you have known him in the promise, and in the prophets, you have known him in his birth and 'conception by the Holy Ghost,' ye have known him in his 'life, preaching, and miracles,' and the 'contradiction and blasphemies of sinners against him;' so you have known him in his sufferings, and have fellowship with him;
you have known him in his death and passion, as he was crucified without the gates at Jerusalem, and buried, ('who saw the travail of his soul, and was satisfied;')
you have known him in his death, burial, and suffering, who lay three days and nights in the sepulchre, (or heart of the earth. Matt. xii. 40.) you have known him again in his resurrection, who is ascended above all principalities, powers, thrones, and dominions, and remains in the heavens till all things be restored; and restoring, by his light, power, spirit, grace, and faith, who is before all, and above all, first and last, and has made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, where our bread is sure, and our water is sure, whose flesh is meat indeed, and whose blood is drink indeed.
And we that do believe in the light of Christ, which is the life in him, cannot deny the flesh of Christ, our heavenly bread, who remains in the heavens. I say, that Jesus Christ that died without the gates of Jerusalem above sixteen hundred years since, who hath enlightened us with his heavenly divine light, which is the life in himself, through which light we are grafted into Christ, the heavenly spiritual man, who hath saved, redeemed, and purchased and bought us with his precious blood, the blood of the heavenly man, the second Adam, who does cleanse and sanctify us with his blood, the blood of the new covenant, Christ Jesus: so I say, he that bought us, and purchased us, and hath given a price for us, to wit, his heavenly and precious blood,
we believing in the light, as he has commanded, which is the life in him, and he hath sealed us, Christ, the heavenly man hath set his heavenly seal upon us: so here is his heavenly mark upon us, his sheep, and we are his that has purchased us, and given a price for us, to wit, his heavenly blood; we are not our own, and are not to live to ourselves, nor to order ourselves, but to live unto him, and be ordered, ruled, and governed by him, of the increase of whose government there is no end; and so to be counselled by him, and led by him, and taught by him, as he is our heavenly prophet, and to be fed by him, our 'heavenly shepherd,' in his heavenly pasture and fold; and to be overseen by him, as he is our 'heavenly bishop,' that we his sheep do not go astray out of his heavenly pasture, that are come in by him, the 'heavenly door;' who is our 'heavenly priest,' that offered up himself for us, and ends all the outward typical offerings, that were offered up for sin, as well as the other;
and 'he offered himself up to God once for all, for our sins, a sweet-smelling sacrifice;' wherefore 'the offerings of bulls and goats thou wouldst not, but a body hast thou prepared me to
do thy will, O God;' so God prepared him a body to do his will, and with his body he did fulfil his will, according to all his prophets and promises, whose flesh saw no corruption, which is the heavenly bread, and his blood, which purchases, which is not corruptible; for the blood of bulls and goats was corruptible, but this precious blood of Christ is incorruptible, that cleanseth from corruption: so, by his precious blood are we cleansed from all sin; he is a priest, made higher than the heavens, a 'heavenly priest,' and a 'heavenly spiritual man,' offered up himself first for us, and offers us, and cleanses, and washes, and sanctifies us with his blood, he who is without spot or wrinkle, to make us without spot or wrinkle, that he may present us pure and clean, without spot or wrinkle, up to the eternal, pure, holy, uncorruptible, infinite God, who is a consuming fire to the wicked, who dwells in glory, and inhabits eternity.
(202-3; paragraph breaks and emphasis added)
Much of this large paragraph would feel familiar to Puritans and other Christians, including doctrines of the crucifixion, Christ's saving power, and Christ as a leader, but there is a particularly Quaker moment in the section I highlighted:
we believing in the light, as he has commanded, which is the life in him, and he hath sealed us, Christ, the heavenly man hath set his heavenly seal upon us: so here is his heavenly mark upon us, his sheep, and we are his that has purchased us, and given a price for us, to wit, his heavenly blood; we are not our own, and are not to live to ourselves, nor to order ourselves, but to live unto him, and be ordered, ruled, and governed by him, of the increase of whose government there is no end; and so to be counselled by him, and led by him, and taught by him, as he is our heavenly prophet
The light here is described as "the life in him", the mark that we are his. The light is not of us, or of our desires, which Fox condemns frequently, but rather those believing in the light are "to live unto him, and be ordered, ruled, and governed by him". This direct connection places a tremendous burden on us, one Christ can help us carry through the light.
We may own the light, but the light owns us.