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Notes on George Fox

I mentioned in my last piece that I'd used Notes on George Fox to look up mentions by Fox of the Trinity and the Holy Spirit. Since Fox's Works are unindexed, and don't even have Tables of Contents in many cases, having an external index is incredibly helpful.

Lewis Benson's works, including the Notes, are available from the New Foundation Fellowship. Benson describes their creation in the Introduction:

These notes were accumulated over a period of forty years. They represent an attempt to devise a means for quickly assembling what Fox wrote on a particular subject, as it appears in his Journal, his Collected Works, and some of his unpublished writings. The notes were put together for my own use on the basis of a very broad and loose scheme. Categories were added as subjects or words recurred frequently and seemed important to Fox...

The notes can be of real use to students who want to inform themselves about Fox's preaching and teaching. Perhaps it is inevitable that there will now be users of these notes who are more interested in finding support for a thesis than in listening to Fox. These notes were not intended for that kind of user...

I want to stress that I did not set out to produce a subject index to Fox's writings. This, I hope, will be done by others. With the exception of the notes on the unpublished writings of Fox, which were done on a Woodbrooke Fellowship (1954-1955), these notes were put together in broken time while learning my trade as a printer and earning my living by it. It was always my intention to devote as little time as possible to compiling these notes and I have never thought of them as representing a great contribution to scholarship.

Benson's humility aside, these Notes are a tremendous help in finding what Fox had to say on a given subject. It's better than an index, because it includes excerpts, not just page numbers, though Benson rightly warns users of the index that they should always check the original context rather than pulling quotes from these volumes.

It's not always the easiest pile of paper to work with, and it's unfortunate that their small volume of purchasers means that the NFF prints off copies as they're ordered, leading to a high price tag. Hopefully mentioning it here might eventually lead to a few more people finding and using it.