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Fox on the Trinity, Spirit

I wrote about early Quakers and the Trinity last month, and Zach recently asked about whether early Friends:

seemed to confuse the second and third persons of the Trinity. When I've explained traditional Quaker theology to Protestants, they quite often say that the Inward Christ, etc. sounds like what they would call the Holy Spirit (a phrase I think they very rarely used).

Zach has a good point, especially with the Quakers of the 1650s and early 1660s. I did look up the Trinity and Holy Spirit in Lewis Benson's Notes on George Fox, and found a fair number of entries, but it's clear that Fox didn't spend a tremendous amount of time theorizing about the Trinity specifically. In The Great Mystery (1657), he writes:

As for the word trinity, and three persons, we have not read it in the Bible, but in the common-prayer-book, or mass-book, which the pope was the author of. But as for unity we own it, and Christ being the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his substance (of the Father) we own; that which agrees with the scriptures, and for that which the scriptures speak not, which men speak and teach for doctrine, their own words, that the scriptures speak not nor teach, such the scriptures shut out, and we deny. (180)

That suggests a lack of fondness for the Trinity as a doctrine, but just above that, Fox also wrote:

And are there not three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the word, and the spirit, are not they all one? How then are they distinct? And there are three that bear record in earth, the spirit, the water, and the blood, which agree in one. And Christ saith 'I and my Father are one;' and 'I in the Father, and the Father in me,' and he is in the saints, and so not distinct. (180)

That response to a challenge over the nature of Christ's soul and its relation to human souls is filled with the Trinitarian language of the I John 5:7-8 insertion.

Fox does write about the spirit regularly, as in this later piece, A distinction between true liberty and false:

God pouring out of his spirit on all flesh, both on sons and daughters, handmaids and servants, &c. all are to walk in the liberty of this holy, pure, peaceable, gentle spirit of God, that keeps in humility, and in tenderness and kindness, and leads into righteousness, godliness, and holiness, and into modesty, sobriety, virtue, and chastity, and into things that be of a good report.

In this holy spirit of God is the pure holy liberty, the fruits of which, are love and peace, &c. And this holy pure spirit of God leads out of strife, contention, hatred, malice, and envy, and all unrighteousness and ungodliness, and false liberty of the will and the flesh, and the inordinate and loose affections that are below.

And if the will and the flesh and inordinate affections have their loose liberty, they set the whole course of nature on fire with the unruly will and tongue, which is to be limited, kept down, and mortified with the holy spirit of God; in which spirit is the unity kept, which is the bond of peace, in the church of Christ among all true christians, that are called the 'household of faith,' and 'of the son of God,' who is over his house.

And the holy, divine, pure, and precious faith, which is the victory, and purifies the heart, Christ is the author and finisher of; and the mystery of this faith is held in a pure conscience; by which faith all the faithful have access to God, and in it do please God. (Works, VI, 329, paragraph breaks added.)

When I explain Quakerism to other Christians, I usually talk about the Holy Spirit's continuous activity, and sometimes "Christ is come to teach his people himself." I don't think these are contradictory. Early Quakers might well have explained it differently, though.