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Survey of parent-family education in the Southern California-Arizona Conference of the Methodist Church

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A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of the Department of Religion The University of Southern California

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts


Donald McHichols June 1950

UMI Number: EP65200

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>S j



T h is thesis, w r i t t e n by

Donald McNichols u n d e r the g u id a n c e o f A.i.?... F a c u l t y C o m m it te e , and a p p ro v e d

by a l l its

m e m b e rs, has been

p resen ted to a n d a ccep ted by the C o u n c i l on G ra d u a te S t u d y a n d R e se a rch in p a r t i a l f u l f i l l ­ m e n t o f th e re q u ire m e n ts f o r the degree o f

Master of Arts ........................


Jung 17, 1950___

Faculty Committee




THE PROBLEM AND DEFINITIONS OF TERMS USED . . . Statement of the problem






Importance of the study

Method employed in the s t u d y ............... Definitions of terms used Quaker

. .




Ideology . . * .


P u r i t a n ................................. History of the l i t e r a t u r e ..................

11 11 12







10 10






Domestic l i f e ..............................


Objections to the t h e a t r e ..................


Attitude toward the civil government ........


Church organization






The general socio-religious influences upon George Fox .


The specific influences upon George Fox. . .






. .


Indebtedness to mysticism....................


Indebtedness to P u r i t a n i s m .................. Indebtedness to the religious sects ..........




The inner l i g h t ...........


Sense of mission


. . . ......................

The peace testimony




View of the s a c r a m e n t s ...............


Attitude toward the Scriptures. . . . . . . .


Critical evaluation ..........................




The Quaker as literary s u b j e c t ................ lOli John B u n y a n ................................ 10 6 Thomas B e n n e t .............


Richard Baxter



Samuel B u t l e r ........................... . .


John M i l t o n .................................... 110 Henry More VII.

.................................. 112

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS.......................... 115 Summary Conclusions

................................ 115 .......................

B IBLI O G R A P H Y ...............................

Il6 118

CHAPTER I THE PROBLEM AMD DEFINITION OF TERMS USED A great deal of literature has been written about the Quaker movement during its three centuries of existence. The great body of this literature represents the voice of the movement itself, for the Quakers were articulate from their beginning;^ thus it constitutes a witness to their faith, a polemic for the existence of the Society.


little study has been made of the rise.of Quakerism as a part of the seventeenth-century sect movement to determine the particular genius of the group which would enable it to

^ nFavored by Cromwell's efforts for religious toler­ ation the lack of a vigorous and effective censorship of the press . . . In seven decades following 1653* there were ljli.0 Quaker writers who published 2,678 separate publi­ cations varying from a single page tract to folios of nearly a thousand pages . . . From 1653 to l655* Friends published 136 tracts and broadsheets.H Elbert Russell, The History of Quakerism (New York: The Macmillan Company, 19i+2), p. 79* For an account of the Controversial.literature be­ tween the Puritans and Quakers, the controversy between Edward Burrough and John Bunyan, and for a discussion of the early Quaker writers, Fox, Farnsworth, Dewsbury, Naylor, Whitehead, Danson, Fisher, Howgill, and Hubberthome it is helpful to read:

William C. Braithwaite, The Beginnings of Quakerism (London: The Macmillan Company, 1923)7 pp. 279-305T Louella M. Wright, The Literary Life of the Early Friends l650-1725> (New York: Columbia University Press,

1932), pp. Ij.0-56.'


initiate such a positive concern and discontinue the sec­ tarian spirit. Statement of the problem,

It is the purpose of this

study (1) to investigate the immediate social, political, and religious unrest out of which the Quaker movement emerged; (2) to present its dominant religious tenets, their sources and development; and (3) to determine, as far as possible within the range of the study, the specific elements of its ideology that generated and gave to the Society of Friends a constructive impetus. Importance of the study.

It is difficult to obtain

a clear picture of the significance of the smaller religious sects to the Commonwealth, and the precise degree of relatedness between the sects and the environment of seventeenth-century England which nurtured them into being. This fact is realized proportionately as one segregates a particular religious movement for study.

That classical

historians tend either to ignore the contribution of the Nonconformists to the Kingdom or to overemphasize their peculiarities is ably stated by a contemporary scholar of the Stuart period in his evaluation of the work of other historians: Professor Green, writing of the Restoration under Charles II, after summing up the work of the Common­ wealth, dismissed Puritanism with the simple sentence: ■All that was noblest and best in Puritanism was

3 whirled away with its pettiness and tyranny in the current of the nationrs hate.T Macaulay, in his History of England, put especial emphasis upon the foibles and extreme views of the radical element, which for Puritanism as a whole is unwarranted and unhistorical.2 The modern historian, on the other hand, has quite generally ignored the religious problems after l66o and has emphasized rather the economic, commercial, and constitutional developments . . . .3 This neglect of religious influences by historians is further pointed out by a member of the research staff of the Huntington Library in the introduction to The Leveller Tracts: Even the best historians, who were not principally interested in the religious phase of their subject any­ how, dealt impatiently with dissent, preferring to devote themselves to the great constitutional issues between Parliament and the crown and to the epic struggles of Cromwell against all antagonists, of what­ ever camp, who. impeded his heroic work of conquering and governing.4

2 Macaulay*s position is thus well stated: his evalua­ tion of the Quaker, however, is much more kind, "If we form our judgment of George Pox simply by looking at his own actions and writings, we shall see no reason for placing him morally or Lintellectually, above Lodovick Muggleton or Joanna Southcote. But it would be most unjust to rank the sect with regards him as its founder with the Muggletonians or the Southcotians. •" Thomas B. Macaulay, The History of England from the Accession of James II (Hew York: The United States Book Company, ZnTdTTTTv, 136. 3 Harry Grant Plum, Restoration Puritanism (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press"! 19 L.3 )f p . v. kr William Haller and Godfrey Davies, editors, The Leveller Tracts (New York: Columbia University Press,-! ^ ^ ) * P* 3*

1+ The church historians, on the other hand, have been too quick to attribute the rise of these religious groups to a special divine providence in some cases or in others satisfied simply to trace their rise without examining the cause in other cases.

If this is true in general, it is

particularily true of the historians of Quakerism in which a great place has been given to direct divine leadership in the development of the group, with small consideration for the role of the environmental forces in the shaping of its ideology. It is of significance that Protestantism began as a reactionary movement against the Roman church.

Also of

significance is the fact that as the Protestant faith itself developed into a ceremonial religion it exercised a high degree of intolerance toward those dissenters who sought to establish an emotional satisfying type of religious worship and practise.

Seventeenth-century England was turbulent

with religious unrest, small groups of Dissenters banned together to protest against the impurities of the Anglican Church, and from this Puritan movement many small religious bodies were organized.

These Separatist sects of the

Commonwealth period were predominately reactionary and short lived.5

Quakerism began with an emphasis upon inward

^ A few illustrations: The Fifth Monarchy Men, who

religion as did the other Separatists, but its motif quickly incorporated a constructive concern that became entrenched within the movement and gave to it a mission above the "Puritan” emphasis and lifted it from a level of reproach to one of respect.^ There is, therefore, need for the present research effort which seeks to discover the genius of Quakerism, i.e., ' the cause for its dynamic social consciousness and resultant loss of negativeness, through a study of the integration of

pressed for the Fifth Monarchy of Daniel 2 1IdLp* The movement had its origin among the Baptists, and became political zealots of Puritanism who were particularly opposed to Parliamentary institutions. The Muggletonians, named for their leader, Lodowick Muggleton, a London tailor, were possessed with obscurantist convictions and nourished an apocalyptic faith. Of the Ranters, who represent revolt against authority in its extremest form, little need be mentioned except to identifv them as a revival of the "Free Spirit” whose "spiritualism” blurred their distinctions be­ tween good and evil resulting in moral laxity. Nearer in spirit to the Quakers were the Familists who came to England from Holland about the middle of the century. Their emphasis upon righteous living and rejection of oaths and war, like the Anabaptists, gave them a close affinity to the Quakers although any direct relationship between them has not yet been established. (In London this sect was known as Etheringtonians and in Yorkshire as G-rindie tonians). For a historical survey of the examples cited here and of many others, the following references are useful: Rufus M. Jones, Spiritual Reformers in the l6th and 17th Centuries (London: The Macmillan Company, 1923)> pp. xiv ff. Braithwaite, o£. cit., pp. 20-27. 6 Macaulay, op. cit., I, 156.


spiritual forces and natural factors particularly in the life of George Pox. II.


Quaker history has been divided into three periods corresponding to the dominant tendency of the movement:7 (1) the rise of the Society (16 L 7 -I6 9 1 ) from the year of George Foxfs great experience until his death; (2) the age of quietism (I6 9 I-L8 2 7 ) from Foxfs death until the separa­ tion of 1827 in America; and (3 ) the revival and reorganiza­ tion of Quakerism (1827- ) until the present time. This research is concerned with only the first or formation period within England, and since its most powerful religious upheaval reached Its culmination during the two middle decades of the seventeenth century, giving rise to many tiny sects, the investigation is especially concerned with this period of intense unrest and transition.


some prefer to begin the study of the group with 1652, the year of Fox's vision on Pendle Hill of a gathering people,^ the use of the broad date l61i.7 represents a desire to be

7 Russell, on. cit., pp. 66, 7 8 , 513* ® George Fox, Journal (Philadelphia: Fry and Krammerer for T. and B. Kite, lBotij, I, 1 7 3 . Braithwaite, op. cit., pp. 66, 7 8 , 513.

7 inclusive, but is, for research, arbitrary.

That Foxfs

death marks the close of the formative period is evident from the conclusions given by one of the Friends1 best historians: For nearly half a century afterward the society remained in all important respects as it was in 1 6 9 1 . It had entered the territory which it was to occupy. Its organization had been outlined and the principal features put into operation, Barclay had given its doctrine classical form and Penn had founded Pennsylvania. The Toleration Act had relieved the society of most of the Persecutions and disabilities that so rigorously conditioned its early efforts and had given it at last a legal place among English Nonconformists. Most of the active leaders in the Founding of the society were dead. The three leaders, Margaret Fell Fox, William Penn, and George Whitehead who survived Fox added nothing creative to the society after 1 6 9 1 . From this point its history was determined by the second generation to whom Quakerism was chiefly an inheritance to be preserved.9 Each of the next five chapters is devoted to a par­ ticular aspect of early Quakerism, arranged as best to trace the rise of the principal elements of its ideology.


two is a study of the distinguishing characteristics of the Quakers during the seventeenth century; it Is a discussion of the Quaker in his world, picturing the general manner of life: economic status, social attitudes, dress, language, and attitudes toward war and the civil government, that is, a cross section of Quaker life.

9 Ibid., p. xxii., citing J. Stephen Rowntree, Quakerism Past and Present, p. 0 8 .


Chapter three presents the primary environmental forces which converged upon Fox, as related to the develop­ ment of his ideology, and chapter four contains a study of the religious sources upon which he depended for his basic ideas.

The turbulant political unrest of the Puritan

Revolution, stemming from indomitable religious attitudes on the one hand and Cavalier, Royalistic prerogatives on the other, beat upon the mystical and imaginative young Fox during his formative years. to town while yet

y o u n g , 10

He became a wanderer from town and the economic and social dis­

content, the inequalities of justice, and the insincerity of the clergy, which he experienced became a matrix to hold the harshness of life always before his attention.

By thus

tracing the rise of his ideas and convictions in response to his surroundings, it is possible to watch the formation of those concerns which became the Quaker message. Chapters five and six each represent an attempt to identify and evaluate the sectarian elements within those facets of life and religious practice which were more distinctly Quaker prior to 1700.

Chapter five identifies

those religious tenets to which the group subscribed.

10 A. C. Bickley, George Fox (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1881$.):, p. 15. Fox, 0£. cit., pp. 8 IJ.-9 I4..

9 Although both by profession and by reputation Quakerism never stressed creed, yet positive attitudes were early formed regarding modes of worship, the Bible, the ministry, sacraments, ordinances, and oaths.

An understanding of

these tenets is of importance to a discussion of the four major emphasis; the inner light, mysticism, simplicity, and an intense humanitarianism, for the problem of sectarianism is the most deeply entrenched within this religious posi­ tion.

This aspect of the study is an attempt to expose the

marrow of the society, to understand its deepest and most persistent tendencies, and thus to comprehend the manner by which Quakerism was to develop in the direction of a socially-conscious society. Presented in this chapter also is the Friendsf sense of mission, the "concern” which became the motif of the Society.

The material given in this chapter provides the

key to the problem of the research.

In it is contained an

account of the emergence of an ideology conditioned by a positive dynamic, before which such sectarian tendencies as negative practice and resistance elements were to be sub­ ordinated within the major part of the organization. Chapter six brings to the study a sampling of the criticism directed towards the Quakers during the formative years of development.

This criticism is evaluated on the


basis of how far the critics were justified, in the light of the actual trend of the movement at the time the state­ ments were made; however, the study of the criticism was employed as a method to determine public reaction to the Society in response to its various emphases.


criticism proves of special value in considering sectarian practics. Chapter seven is a summary of the findings as a basis for the conclusions drawn from the study. III.


In the present research, definitions as given by Webster have been accepted with only slight change in wording; in the case of the terms 11Quaker” and ’’sect,” further- elaboration and clarification has been added. Quaker.

Quaker and Friend are used interchangeably

in this thesis to designate the religious group founded by George Fox, about l6jj0, a religious group whose faith con­ tains mystical and prophetical elements, yet is more generally known by a vigorous humanitarian concern which has come to be its most distinctive characteristic. Sect.

Throughout this study the term sect is in­

terpreted as meaning a narrow or bigoted denomination whose chief characteristic tendency is that of a dissenter.

This .


concise definition of a very broad term was adopted from the Websters Collegiate Dictionary (19^4-5) > for it best embraced the total concept of trsecttf presented by lexi­ cographers and contemporary writers,

Elmer T. Clark, in

his study of Small Sects in America, described its most basic essential: Sectarianism is a matter of spirit rather than a form, organization, or size . , . . The sect has a strong attachment to certain definite or concrete earmarks of its own, such as pecularities of worship, literal in­ terpretation of scripture, specific forms of emotional reaction, rejection of innovations * . • . and dispropriate elevation of some tenet . . , a narrow dogmatism is perhaps the most universal characteristic of the typical sectarian spirit,H H. Richard Neibuhr contrasts a church and a sect in the following ways: the church is inclusive and frequently national in scope emphasizing the universalism of the gospel, while the sect is exclusive in character demanding a designated religious experience as a basis for admittance. The sect possesses separatist and semi-ascetic attitudes. It has a lay leadership rather than a trained clergy, 12 Ideology.

By ideology is meant a manner or content

of thinking characteristic of a class. Puritan.

The word Puritan is used to identify those

who, in the time of Queen Elizabeth and the first two Stuarts, opposed traditional and formal usages, and advocated

Elmer T. Clark, The Small Sects in America (New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 19^4-9) > PP* 20-21. 1 2 H. Richard Niebuhr, The Social Sources of Denomina­ tional ism (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1929T7 PP* 17-20.

simpler forms of faith and worship than those established by law.

When used in its adjectival form its meaning

designates those who practiced or preached a more rigorous or professedly purer moral code than that \vhich prevailed during the seventeenth century. IV.


The Society of Friends has long had careful historians of its progress.

The earliest history of which the present

study has reference was the Historia Quaker!ana by Gerard Croese, first published in Latin in 1695* and in German and English in 1 6 9 6 .

John Goughfs History followed in 1789-1790»

but the first work to become a recognized text was The History of the Rise. Increase» and Progress of the People Called Quakers, by William Sewel.3-3

This was published in Dutch

in 17179 in English In 1?22, and in German in 17k Z .

It is

essentially an account of Foxfs early inner experiences. Shorter histories include The Rise of the Quakers by T. Edmund Harvey,


and The Story of Quakerism by Elizabeth

Braithwaite Emmott in 1 9 0 8 .

Excepting Croese, whose work

represents a hostile view toward the Friends, these histories were means of presenting doctrine as well as a

3*3 Champ 1in Burrage, The Early English Dissenters in the Light of Recent Research (Cambridge: at the University Press, 19121, p. 5.

record of events in early Quaker history.^ One of the most ambitious plans for a complete presentation of the Quaker faith was begun by John Wilhelm Bowntree, but execution of his plan for nThe Quaker History Series,ft was left to his successors, chief of whom was Rufus Jones whose Studies in Mystical Religion in 19^9> Spiritual Reformers in the l6th and 17th Centuries 19lli.» The Quakers in the American Colonies in 1911* and The Later Periods of Quakerism 1921, form volumes I, II, IV, and VI respectively of this series.

William C. Braithwaite contributed volumes

III and V to the study with The Beginnings of Quakerism, 1923*■ and The Second Period of Quakerism, 1921. More recent publications in Quaker history are represented in the United States by Elbert RussellTs The History of Quakerism published in 19 ^4-2 .

Although the book

is concerned with the total history of the Society, the author did not neglect the historical setting of its be­ ginnings.

Theodor Sippell, a leading German authority on

Quakerism, published in 1937 his history Werdendes Quakerturn which is a searching piece of original investigation into the historical and political events that uprooted English Protestantism.-^

His study related Quakerism to the

15 Wilhelm Hubben, HBook Review of Werdendes Quakertum,rr Bulletin Friends Historical Association, XXVII (1938), 4.

34 mysticism of John Everhard and to prophetism. The periodicals of the Friends are of inestimable value to a historical study of the Society*

The Friends

Library (l8idj.) in fourteen volumes, is a collection of early memoirs, letters, and biographies which are par­ ticularly significant to a consideration of early Quakerism. The Bulletin of the Friends Historical Association and the Journal of the Friends Historical Society have represented the voice of the Friends Historical Society since 1912, by the American and British associations respectively.


publications are scholarly and report the discovery of all material which bares upon Quaker history. The movement is replete with interpretive literature. The major works used in this research were: Robert Barclay’s Apology for the True Christian Divinity (1827), George Fox’s Journal in two volumes (l808),3-6 A Portraiture of Quakerism by Thomas Clarkston in three volumes (1 8 0 6 ), Journals of the

Unless other?/ise specified, the Journal refers to The Great Journal, known by some as The Cambridge Journal, in honor of the University whose facilities made possible the publication of the original manuscript left by George Fox. Although the reference library at Devonshire House, London, possesses a printed, authentic copy of the Journal in which the orthographical and grammatical crudities have been preserved, the present study made use of the l808 edition which has benefited from editorial selection and revision.


Friends Historical Society, The Quaker Library, and Minutes of the London Yearly Meeting, The Swarthmore Documents provide the chief documentary source for the study of Quaker history.**-7 The main collec­ tion in four volumes contains one thousand four hundred original documents.

The complete set of documents is in

London, but this study has benefited from the four most complete reprints of these documents available to a reader in this country; namely, those by Barclay, Evans, Bowden, and Cadbury.

Abram Rawlinson Barclay edited the most com­

plete printed collection of these documents in Letters, etc. of Early Friends, I8 I4.I, which contains approximately one hundred fifty letters and papers, largely from the Swarthmore collection.

Evans edited the Friends Library, 181^., which

contains reprints of seven volumes of the Swarthmore collec­ tion.

James Bowden included in his History of Friends in

America, 1850, a portion of the William Caton Collection. Henry J. Cadbury edited "The Swarthmore Documents in America," 1914.0 . 18

17 Braithwaite, o£. cit., p. 538* 18 por a complete list of the Swarthmore Documents in America, Henry J. Cadbury, "The Swarthmore Documents in America," Journal Friends Historical Society, Supplement 20 (19^0 ). .


There are many books on the life of George .Pox, most of which attempt to present his life to the Quakers them­ selves without any particular interest in a critical con­ sideration of this seventeenth-century mystic*

Such works

as Rufus Jones1 George Fox Seeker and Friend (1 9 3 0 )5 Samuel Janney*s The Life of George Fox (1856), A. C. Bickleyfs George Fox and the Early Quakers (188 I4.), and Josiah Marsh*s A Popular Life of George Fox, all tend to popularize his life.

Rachel Hadley*s psychological study entitled George

Fox is significant as a critical approach to his personality; however, the Journal was the basis for these studies and biographies and they are, for the most part, thus limited in range of interest to this unusual personality as isolated from natural influences on the formation of his religious views. The important works which give the backgrounds of Quakerism such as those by Rufus Jones are concerned with linking Quakerism with the trends of mystical and spiritual religion which flowed from the continental reformers.


histories of the movement, such as The Beginnings of Quaker­ ism by William Braithwaite, demonstrate little creative interest in environment as a key to understanding the genius of Quakerism; therefore, to a great extent the natural in­ fluences upon Fox and his followers have been neglected.

17 Ho study has been centered in investigating the rise and concerns of the Friends to determine its status as an organization, since the discovery of the list of books comprising Fox's library.

This provides the possible link

between his views and similar views held by Jacob Boehme and other continental mystics.


THE DISTINGUISHING- CHARACTERISTICS OP THE QUAKERS DURING THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY The purpose of the present chapter is to show that simplicity was the identifying mark most characteristic of the seventeenth-century. Quakers.

It is necessary to present

their doctrine of simplicity in order to comprehend fully the ideology of the group, for the practice of plain living constituted a very significant element within the religious principles of George Pox and his contemporary followers. Prom the writings of such men as George Pox, Robert Barclay, and William Penn, journals, letters, official minutes of the London Yearly Meeting, and Quaker historians, the doctrine and practice of simplicity Is traced through dress, language, home life, manners, customs, attitude toward the theatre, and attitudes towards the civil govern­ ment. The delineation of the early Quaker figure reveals the glorification of simplicity.

This simplicity is more

than a peasant frugality; it is a mode of life that con­ forms to a doctrine of plain living.

Early Quaker parentage

includes those from many social levels.

Many were enrolled

from the laboring class, but the great bulk came from the

19 middle class people of the rural areas, yeomen, artisans, and

t r a d e s m e n , 19

although there are records which indicate

that recruits also include royal descent.^0 Early leaders were, for the most part, persons with training; Edward Burrough, Francis Howgill; ‘Thomas and Christopher Taylor had all taken Anglican orders.


Lawson was a Cambridge graduate, a famous botanist who was a recognized school master and writer for thirty years. Samuel Fisher had received a Master of Arts Degree from Oxford, and George Keith was a recognized scholar in Oriental languages from the University of Aberdeen, and a friend of Henry More.

Later he turned against the Quakers,

but for some years was a leader among Foxfs followers. Simplicity was the element of life that first set them apart from other sects, and because it was a consistent practice that penetrated deeply into every area of life and mode of behavior, it became the identifying tag by which the society was recognized.

Moderation was the keynote of dress,

discipline, language, religion, and family life.

19 Louella Wright, ^Literature and Education in Early Quakerism,11 University of Iowa Studies, V (1932-1938)* 10-11. Braithwaite, ojd. cit., pi 512. 20 Josiah Newman, nSome Special Studies in Genealogy” cited by Bulletin, Friends Historical Society, II, (June, 1908), 781 ~


The doctrine of simplicity arose from the conviction that man must not glorify nor call attention to himself; rather, all glory must be directed to God.

Thus the dual­

ism between body as material and thus of little value, and spirit as of intrinsic value was very sharp. I.


The insistence upon plainness of dress was a reaction against the prodigality in the use of apparel during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and by his dress the Quaker was known throughout the entire Kingdom.21


quaint figures wearing round hats with common crowns that were stripped of the usual silver clasp and ornaments common to men1s hats of the seventeenth century, and dressed in a plain suit of clothes with perhaps a cloak over it made from the same drab or gray material were easily recognizable as Friends.

The fabrics were undyed:

The drab consisted of the white wool undyed, and the gray of the white wool mixed with the black, which was undyed also.22 The ladies wore the black hood that had long been the

21 Thomas Clarkson, A Portraiture of Quakerism (New York: Samuel Stansbury, l8oF)7 T~, 2 L 2 , 22 ibid.,,p. 21l6.


distinguishing mark of a grave matron, 23 but its adoption by this group appeared singular because the fashionable women of Fox*s day had discarded it.

The hair was worn

plain and covered occasionally by a plain hat or bonnet.^An unusually close and a ccurate description of the women1s apparel is recorded by Clarkson: They admitted none of the large ruffs, that were then in use, but chose the plain handkerchief for their necks, differing from those of others, which had rich point, and curious lace. They rejected the crimson satin doublet with black velvet skirts, and contented themselves with a plain gown, generally of stuff, and of a drab, or grey, or buff in color . . . the colors worn by country people. . . . To this gown was added a green apron. Green aprons had been long worn in England, yet, at the time I allude to, they were out of fashion, so as to be ridiculed by the gay.25 The odd dress adopted by the Friends and the peculiar fashions thus described were worn by choice as an arbitrary surrender to the doctrine of simplicity.

ETo color or form

was described by the Society as a distinguishing mark,^ hence Barclay wrote, flWe shall not say that all persons are to be clothed alike . . .

but without superfluity . . .”27

23 All prostitutes as early as the reign of Edward III had been forbidden to wear it. Clarkson, 0 £. cit., p. 2! l6 .

24 Ibid.. p. 247. 25 Loc. eit. 26 Ibid.. p. 248. 27 Barclay, op. cit., p. 532.

22 George Fox admonished, 11do not delight in apparel, do not delight in the creature more than the

c r e a t o r . H28


another letter he wrote: Keep out of the vain fashions of the world; your eyes, and minds, and spirits run after fashion in apparel . . . * But keep all in and plainness, and fervency, and sincerity, circumspect.^9

let not every modesty, and be

Yet he gave only general advice in this respect, and did not outline or prescribe suggested customs for Friendsr clothing, if plainness were observed strictly, his adminitions were satisfied.

As is often observable among move­

ments, however, some of his early followers went to more extreme lengths to emphasize their doctrine of simplicity than did Fox.

Braithwaite related an example of this

activity which illustrates the doctrine*s abuse by irrational men: About August, l652, there were memorable developments at Malton, where Fox had already convinced Roger Hebden, the woolen draper . . . *The men of Malton** with, we opine, the sturdy woolen-draper at their head, burnt their ribbons and silks and other fine Commodities, 1because they might be abased by pride.*30

28 Samuel Turke, editor, The Epistles of George Fox (London: Edward Marsh, l8 k 8 ), p. 52. 29 Ibid.,



3° Braithwaite, oj>. cit., pp. 71-72.

23 II.


The insistence upon plain living further made the early Quakers distinguishable by the adoption of a common religion-centered language.31

Particularly significant,

because of its offending nature, was the use of the singular pronouns Mthee11 and "thou" in place of the plural form "you," when addressing only one person. this adoption.

There were two reasons for

First there was the insistence, based upon

the arguments of Erasmus and Luther, that to be gramatically correct it was necessary to use the singular form of address when speaking to one person.

Without doubt the underlying

argument for this usage was expressed by both Barclay and Penn who believed it had been discontinued for no other purpose than to introduce flattery.32

Clarkson summarized

this contention by stating: The rich and the mighty thought themselves degraded by this ^singular/mode of address, as reducing them from a plural magnitude to a singular, or simple station in life.33 The uncompromising insistence upon the use of thee and thou, even when appearing In court caused the members

31 T. Edmund Harvey, "Quaker Language," Journal Friends Historical Society, Supplement XV (1928), 5>. 32 Clarkson, op. cit., p. 2?0. 33 Ibid., p. 278.


of the Society a great deal of hardship, hut to use you, appeared to them to glorify man, and this they could not do.

In keeping with their consistency, all honorific

titles were avoided both in reference to the living and the dead; consequently, the prefix Saint was dropped. Plain language was associated with truthfulness, and this tendency to avoid untruthfulness led the Friends to a certain circumspection and often to a deliberate vagueness of expression.34

One common expression was, rfI very largely

agree with thee.*’ Another example which demonstrates an un­ willingness to make an unqualified statement is from a certificate of standing issued by a monthly meeting: John Brown, a member of this Monthly Meeting having removed to John Street, Clerkenwell, in the compass of yours, and inquiry having been made relative to his conduct and respective debts, nothing appears to pre­ vent the issue of a certificate on his behalf. We therefore commend him to your Christian care, and remain, with love, your Friends.35 Because the days of the week and the months of the year bore the names derived from gods and goddesses, the very use of them was considered to be, in a measure, idola­ trous; therefore, the London Yearly Meeting took official action to designate each by a number, beginning with Sunday as First Day, and January as First Month.

.cit., p.

34 Harvey, ojd

35 Ibid., p . 10.


Although the

25 change in month designation was first ordered in 1 6 9 7 , the official publication was made in the minutes of the Yearly Meeting of 1751.3& Such words as 11lucky” or "fortunate” were excluded from reference to the affairs of menfs lives, for the settle­ ment of human affairs they believed to be beyond the power of man.

Such expressions they regarded as a slur upon

divine providence ruling in the lives'of

m e n . 37

The term "Christian name" was associated with the name given to a child at the time of baptism; consequently, the Quakers avoided its use. Good-morrow, as a greeting was not consonant with their view that all days were equally good, hence the re­ fusal to adopt it.

Such practices, although seemingly

artificial to the present day, were not inconsistent with the gravity with which the Quaker viewed all of life and attempted to govern it. III.


The glory of simplicity which characterized the

^ Advices, to the Quarterly and Monthly Meetings ■ of Friends in Great Britain, Ireland, and Arnerica (London: the Seventh Month, 17?l). 37 Clarkson,

o jd.

cit., pp. 2914--295*

26 Friends* manner of dress and speech penetrated into all other spheres of life.

Home life bore its stamp and resulted

in a directness of manner. few.

Life was grave and spoken words,

Grace before meals, so often only lip service, was

changed to a quiet period of meditation by the family as they paused.before eating.

At times, the master of the

house would speak a few words of praise, at other times he. would offer a prayer, but usually silence prevailed instead of vocal expression. The Friend was hospitable, and he considered it a compliment for the guest to be direct and ask for what he wanted.

The host thought nothing of going about his necessary

duties after explaining with directness that certain things must be done.3 9 Conversation was narrow, centering in religion. ,fScandal, 11 or community gossip, was regarded as tale bear­ ing; thus barriers to many topics of conversation naturally restricted the circle of visiting friends or family to pious subjects. Both marriage and death were centered in deeply

38 Clarkson, op. cit., p. 21l5. 39 Ibid., pp. 330-331.

27 religious principles; last words were treasured and widely c i r c u l a t e d . ^

Engagements were handled through intermedi­

aries and couples were required to appear for advice before men and women's meetings a month previous to the ceremony. The extreme caution and concern which was felt for domestic life is adequately expressed in the minutes of the London Yearly Meeting of 1 6 9 0 , under the caption of marriage and marriage-engagements: Parents and Guardians of children, desired to take especial care to prevent them from any Entanglement, on that Account, before all Things relating to their out­ ward Estates, be firmly agreed on both Sides, that no breach be made on Account of outward Things, to the Hurt and Prejudice of young people; who are advised not to make any motion or Procedure, one with another upon the Account of Marriage, without first acquainting their Parents and Guardians therewith, and duly waiting upon them for their consent * . The reading in the home centered in the Bible, and as late as the middle of the eighteenth century it was limited largely to religious works: Quaker histories, journals, Barclay's Apology, Thomas a Kempis, Madam Guion, letters, and sermons.^

The novel was not uniformly approved, for

Ibid. . p . 2 2 9 . Pox, op. cit., II, 9 1 . John Pry, editor, An Alphabetical Extract of all the Annual Printed Epistles TLondon: Luke Kindle, I7 S&), p. 3 6 . 42 Isabel Grubb, "Quakerism and Home Life," Children fcfr6 Light (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1938J pp. 2852U6.

28 youth should not waste time in pursuing

r o m a n c e s , ^*3

time could more profitably be passed in meditation.

rather, Fables

and other writing for the promotion of virtue were not censored.

The Quakers did not maintain so rigorous a censor­

ship of the novel as was made upon drama, because they did not consider every novel to possess a pernicious influence; however, the general tendency of fiction was considered to be bad.Wi* IV.


The objections raised against the theatre and stage plays are much more representative of Quaker attitudes, and are thus more illustrative of the principle of straightfor­ wardness and moderation than can easily be shown from a discussion of most amusements.

One of the primary objections

was directed against the moral level presented in stage plays and by those attending the theatre.^

Even though

this objection might, as Maxfield points o u t,^ be in part a Puritan opposition, there is quite conclusive evidence that

Ibid., p. 1 3 1 . Ezra K. Maxfield, "Friendly Testimony Concerning Stage Plays," Bulletin Friends Historical Association, XIV (Spring, 1923), 13-21. Ibid., p. 13.

29 this objection was justified and that it constituted more than a simple separatist opposition to theatrical perform­ ances and public amusements.

Of those attending the theatre,

Allardyce Nicoll writing of Restoration Drama, mentioned the type of audience in these words;: The Gourtiers made of the theatre a meeting-place of their own, with licence of kinds, bringing there their dubious loves, so that those citizens who still re­ tained some of their Puritan convictions shunned the place like the plague.47 The atmosphere of the court of Charles was vulgar in the extreme, . . . all sort of moral ties, all sense of decency had gone. Women had become as libidinous as the men: ’common women 1 were ’publick grown . . . in this darn’d town1: nothing was left to occupy the minds of . this circumscribed clique but intrigue and s e n s u a l i t y . 4 ^ The content of the Restoration Drama, even though written for the century of Charles, was filled with conversa­ tion of men and women that reached a freedom unequalled in any other period of English drama.^4-9 That the lines spoken between Celadon and Florimel in the fifth act of Dryden’s Secret L o v e ^ could have been given on the stage as realistic

k-7 Allardyce Nicoll, A History of Restoration Drama i66Q-170Q (Cambridge: at the University Press, I9 L-O) p. 7*

48 Ibid.,



4-9 Ibid.,



5® John Dryden, The Dramatic Works (London: edited by Montague Summers for the Nonesuch Press, 1931)» H j 6 9 .

30 conversation among cultured people demonstrates the moral decay of the drama and the

a u d i e n c e s . 51

Thus the argument

of the Quakers that the stage play was contributing to low morals appears to be justified. The insistence made by Quinn that Quakers objected to drama in the colonies because of an insistence upon a puritanic frugality in opposition to the cost of the play production^- demonstrates a lack of understandingof the core of Friends1 condemnation of the theatre*

Tothe Friend,

the role of acting or portraying of false character was not consonant with Christian integrity.53

The objection was

raised also on the grounds that such performances arouse ex­ travagant passions thereby corrupting the mind for holy contemplation. 5^1- Robert Barclay applied this argument against stage plays and comedies, as well as to many other forms of recreation, by referring to them as, na studied

5l Nicoll, OJD. cit., p. 2 1 . 5^ Arthur Hobson Quinn, A History of the American Drama from the Beginning to the Civil War~TNew York: F. S. Crofts and Company, 1 9i|-3)» P* 2. 53 Clarkson, op. cit., p. 91* 3>k- William Penn, No Cross, No Crown (Pendle Hill Historic Studies, number 7, Abridged by Anna Brinton, October, 19iilj.)> PP. 3 3 - 3 k *

31 studied complex of idyle and lying words.”55 In a final objection, the Quaker argument concluded that the stage tended to destroy domestic happiness through the undermining of moral integrity. 5 6

This position also

appears as a reasonable one in the light of the stage pre­ sentation of a gentleman described by Jeremy Collier: To sum up the evidence. A fine gentleman is a fine Whoring, Swearing, Smutty, Atheistic man. These quali­ fications, it seems, compleat the Idea of Honor. They are the Top-Improvements of Fortune, and the distin­ guishing Glories of Birth and Breeding. This is the Stage-Test for Quality . . . 57 As convincing as the argument was against the vices of the theatre, yet the core of the Quaker argument resides within the shunning of any impersonation, disguise, or subterfuge.

Such behavior violates the principle of

simplicity in that simplicity itself demanded straightfor­ wardness in every aspect of life.

Therefore, within their

own frame of reference, the protest against drama was inconsistent, even though not convincing to a modern reader.

55 Robert Barclay, Apology for the True Christian Divinity (Hew York: printed by Samuel Wood and Sons, 1827 ), p. 536. 56 Clarkson, op. cit., p. 101. 57 Jeremy Collier, ”A Short View of the Immortality and Profaneness of the English Stage,” Critical Essays of the Seventeenth Century (Oxford: at the University Press, 1909), III, 255.

32 V.


Such politically ambitious groups as the FifthMonarchy Men did much damage to the Quakers by incriminating them in acts against the government, but there is no ref­ erence within the Extracts of State Papers Relating to Friends within which the Friends demonstrated any other than respect for the civil power.

It appears evident that

no secret meetings were held, and that not any of their leaders secreted themselves from arresting officers. Minutes of the London Yearly Meeting admonish respect for the government by employing Acts 22:5* nThou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.”

In 1 6 9 2 , the

Minutes admonished: . . . being obliged to demean ourselves, not only as a grateful people, but, as a Christian society, to live peaceably and inoffensibly under the present government, as we always have done under the various revolutions of government . . . VI.


The strict adherence to moderation and simplicity

^ Extracts from the Minutes and Advices of the Yearly Meeting, of Friends held in London from its First Institution (Printed by James Phillips, 1751) 9 pp. 1 9 -2 0 . Advices were similarly given in the years 1 6 8 9 * 1 6 9 0 , 1719, 1730, 1737, 1757, 1769, and 1775.

33 prevented the strong organizational tendency that is charac­ teristic of institutional life generally.

Personal convic­

tions and inspired leadership provided the vital force of the young Society rather than a rigorous discipline and organization.

The sense of universal mission expressed

itself through group-life and strong fellowship, rather than through channels provided by the matrix of organization. With respect to the formation of the organization, it must be pointed out that practical necessity dictated the time and the step to be taken within the organizing process. Never did the institution develop beyond the point of meeting the needs of the group.

As the group spread out, it

seemed best to have a systematic basis for business arrange­ ments; consequently, at first the establishment of the local monthly meeting.

The general area composed of several

Monthly Meetings next joined regularly for transaction of business in the Quarterly Meetings, and these in turn joining together for the Yearly Meeting.

George Fox made reference

to all three of these in a systematic manner in 1 6 8 9 .^9 The' reluctancy with which formal organization was made testifies to the fear of church polity that was felt

59 Ibid., pp. 1^2, 310. The letter of Fox referred to by Braithwaite was not complete for many years; however, the missing conclusion which confirms Foxfs authorship is now in Devonshire House Library.


by Pox and iiis followers.

They desired to be guided simply

by ”openings,” or the ffInner Light.”

Although naive in

their simple expectancy, the fear of losing the fresh daily '’openings11 prevented the formation of elaborate church government which, to them, would have hindered the direction of the Spirit.

To preserve the great spirit of democracy

which they shared as a regard for others of the group it was decided: that none may exercise lordship or dominion over another, nor the person of any be set apart, but as they continue in the power of the truth . . . 55 For this reason full unity was always required before any business was transacted;^ all persons present gave assent that they ,!felt clear” before a decision was made, thereby giving greater opportunity for guidance by the Spirit. In keeping with the spirit of simplicity, the Quakers were directed to refrain from wearing mourning habits: According to the primitive innocency and simplicity of friends, it is the advice of this meeting, that no friends imitate the world in any distinction of habit, or otherwise, as marks or tokens of mourning for the dead. 52


ibid., citing Letters of Early Friends, pp. 288-


61 £bld., p.


62 Extracts from the London Yearly Meeting for the year 1717. (1751), p. 1 6 9 .

35 It was further ordered in the same Yearly Meeting that Friends must discontinue the practice of erecting grave stones in honor and memory of friends and relatives.


the meeting went so far as to advise, *’that all such monu­ ments as are already in being over'dead bodies of friends, should be removed, as much as may be with discretion. ”^3 The glory of simplicity must be understood to be rooted deeper in the seventeenth-century Quaker view of life than a simple separation from undesirable customs. this was the way that life was made to be lived.

To them, Perhaps

William Penn summarized this important f,philosophy” of simplicity in its most basic form when he wrote: The temperance I plead for is not only religiously but politically good; ftis the interest of good government to curb or rebuke excesses; it prevents many mischief!s; luxury brings effeminacy, laziness, poverty, and misery, but temperance preserves the land.^lf The consequences which the desire for simplicity en­ gendered were, in many instances, harmful to the Society. These followers of the light, characterized by simple garments, a quaint language, and an unaffected directness of manner, created a basic barrier that was unfortunate in that it impeded the acceptance of a society so richly endowed with a sense of moral and social justice.

63 ibid.. p. 8 5 . ^

Penn, 0£. cit.. p. 3 6 .


THE PRINCIPAL ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES UPON GEORGE FOX Three hundred years have passed since the crisis years of George Foxrs life.

Although histories and biogra­

phies are helpful in this respect, perhaps Fox and the other early Quakers can best be understood by reading their journals, memoirs, and letters, for these are the best studies for a modern student who wishes to comprehend the working of their minds, their reactions, and emotions. The present chapter is not intended to be a biography of George Fox, rather it is directed toward pointing up the intensity of life during the century and particularly the decades in which the Quaker movement came into being.

It is

an emphasis upon the natural circumstances and events as causal agents in the formation of this religious society. I.


George Fox is, perhaps the grandest specimen of what we may term the seventeenth-century socialist. While others dreamed of Utopias, he endeavored to establish one; while others theorised about the rights of man, he attempted to enforce them. All through his life, his motto was 1liberty, equality, and fraternity, 1 in the noblest sense of these noble words.^5

65 A. C. Biekley, Geor&e Fox (London: Hodder and Stoughton, l88 lj.), p. vii.

37 Thus George Fox was characterized by a biographer who pre­ sented him as a man of great social concern motivated by a deep religious inwardness. Foxfs life covers that part of Stuart England which was most distinctly Puritan.

He was born in Leicestershire,

in central England, 1 6 2 I4., and died in London in 1 6 9 1 *


life extended then, from the last year of the reign of James I, through the Protectorate, and through the first thirty-one years of the Restoration of the Stuarts and three years after the Glorious Revolution.

During his life Fox witnessed the

failure of that version of Tudor sovereignity inherited by Charles I from his father, and exercised as extreme Preroga­ tive rule to his own downfall in lSI|_9 •

He had experienced,

MThe age of .civil war and republication experiments (I6 I42 l6 6 0 ): the experiments and collapse of the restored monarchy (l6 6 0 -l6 8 8 ),”66

the opening part of the period in which

was accomplished the consolidation of the supremacy of Parliament (1 6 8 9 -I71 I4.). Historians of the seventeenth century in England concur in the position that political and religious history of this period is difficult to treat separately.&7



DO I. Deane Jones, The English Revolution (London: William Heinemann Ltd., 1931), p. 11. 67 p.. c. Montague, The History of England (London: Longmans, Green and Company, 1929)> PP• 127-129.

38 political philosophers appealed to a religious basis for their theories on the one hand, while Puritanism introduced religious conviction into government on the other. It is necessary only to state the major issues of both the church and the government to understand the close relationship that existed between them. During the Middle Ages the church, although united with Rome, was national in that every man was supposed to belong to it.

The forms of service varied in different

parts of England in accordance with custom, not lav/.


in the breach of Henry VIII with Rome, no change was made In the form of worship until the First Act of Uniformity which was passed under Edward VI (l5lt9)*

This act prescribed the

exclusive use of a new Book of Common Prayer* with heavy penalties for disobedience.

A Third Act of Uniformity (1559)*

received opposition from the Puritans who desired to reform the church on a Presbyterian model. With the accession of James I, new hope was given for the Presbyterians, but in the conference held at Hampton Court in 160 I4., the King yielded no advance.

The tension

thus created between the Established Church and the

G. M. Trevelyan, English Social History (London: Longmans, Green and Company, 19li3)> pp. 233“231l. Jones, o cit.* p. 328*

39 Non-conformists was accentuated under Charles I.


Archbishop, Laud, was determined to enforce uniformity of worship and succeeded in abolishing episcopacy by Parliamen­ tary action.

The attempt to enforce this measure partly

resulted in the Civil War, a struggle between the King and Parliament and between the Anglicans and Independents, thus both a political and religious war. Under the Restoration, a renewed effort to enforce uniformity was attempted with the passage of the Act of Uniformity of 1662, which resulted in a permanent religious cleavage in England.

By Charles* (JI) desire to restore

Catholic worship, the groups of Non-conformists were united against him which culminated in the Toleration Act of 1 6 8 9 .6 8 During the seventeenth century three major problems of government confronted England, all centering in the power of the State: what should be its origin, its form, and its limits. 69

A statement regarding each will show that at the

center these were religious problems. Either the origin of government was ascribed to Divine command or to the agreement of a free people.



h. A. Bell, The English Church (London: William Collins, 19l|£), PP. 22-23. Macaulay, o j d . cit., pp. 82-89. 69 Jones, op. cit., p. 32k.


former represented Tudor tradition and was used as a weapon by such writers as Bacon, Strafford, Filmer, and Hobbs^O to demand that all subjects share a common duty of uncondition­ al obedience•

If its origin was within the liberty of its

citizens as argued by Seldon, Lilburne, Milton, Harrington, Sidney, and Locke, then a ruler was bound to govern only with the consent of the governed; Political power is that power, which every man having in the state of nature, has given up into the hands of society, and therein to the governors, whom the society hath set over itself, with this express or tacit trust, .that it shall be employed for their g o o d . 71 The religious problem remained in the problem of rform* for those advocates of Divine Right devised a doctrine of "Necessity11 which insisted that unity of government could only'be secured by maintaining a unity of power. Regarding the proper scope of government, those who desired a supreme power saw within the state a living force which was of greater value than its citizens; it possessed a soul*

But those who, like Locke, shared a collectivist view,

saw the power of the State as being rightfully limited by

70 Hobbes1 system was based on a social contract, but it aided the-cause of the absolute monarchy because of its appeal to force. 71 John Locke, "Of Civil Government,” The Works of John Locke (London: Printed for C. and J. Rinington and others, 1 8 2 9 ), IV, 1*1*1*

Ipconsideration of the common

g o o d .


Puritan rise to power also reveals a reason for the deep entrenchment of religion into seventeenth-century government.

Puritanism began when exiles under Mary re­

turned from Geneva under the Rule of Elizabeth.

With their

only weapons consisting of the Geneva Bible and Calvin*s theology, they were determined to purify the half-Catholic Church of England of its "popish idolatry.”

They found in

marginal commentaries of the Geneva Bible grounds for a theocracy, and in turning to their task of imposing the laws of God upon the King they feared neither King nor man, but set about their task with a purposefulness born only from conviction.

Slowly Puritanism had gained in power, until

during the short interval of the Commonwealth its most intense command of political power had been realized. At the close of Tudor rule, and thus surrounding the early years of Fox, the Puritans formed the extreme in religion and politics which made relentless demands upon any group whatsoever that held an opposing opinion.

They were

concerned with and occupied their time in destroying ,fsin,” and thus they combatted heresy in high places and low, always seeking sufficient liberty within the church to

72 John Locke, Of Civil Government, Second Essay (Ann Arbor: J. W, Edwards, Zn. dT7, pp. 1}., 8 2 , 1 6 3 -1 (3^.

1*2 satisfy the individual conscience.73

At the other extreme

were the Cavaliers, who formed the party of the King, the nobles, the bishops, and the poets.

They represented the

Tudor tradition of privileged power, subscribing to the divine right of kings and Anglican bishops, while holding to a mild Armenian theology.

Toward these positions the

Puritan lashed out with a righteous fury intent upon destroy­ ing the last remnant of invested ecclesiastical power.


Cavaliers were also given to artificiality of life; courtesies, extravagant dress, amusements, and recreation, all of which engendered the wrath of Puritan piety. During the reign of Charles I, the upper class became divided as Parliament challenged the theory and practice of despotism; thus the gathering storm, which was soon to break upon the English people with all its fury in the Bishops Wars and the Civil Wars was concerned with both religion and politics.

Trevelyan wrote of this blending:

The civil wars of Charles and Cromwell were not, like the War of the Hoses, a struggle for power between two groups of aristocratic families, watched with disgust and indifference by the majority of the population, particularly by the townsfolk. In l6l±2 town and country alike rushed to arms, Yet it was not a war of town against country, though to some extent it became a struggle for London and its appendages against the rural North and West. Least of all was it a war between

73 Plum, op. cit., p. 8 . Russell, op. cit., p. 10.

rich and poor. State.7q

It was a war of ideas in church and

Any single view of a great cathedral is inadequate to present its structural magnitude to an observer, regard­ less of the length of the exposure.

Bather, it must be

viewed from many angles, interior as well as exterior, to be fully appreciated; seventeenth-century England with its varied facets of life embracing tones and half tones is not unlike a cathedral in this respect.

In order to comprehend

the currents of influence upon a solitary figure whose life span reached across the last three-quarters of the century, many different exposures of English national life must be given.

Bunyan wrote:

I dreamed and behold I saw a man clothed with rags, standing in a certain place, a Book in his hand, and a great burden on his back. I looked and saw him open the book and read therein; and as he read, he wept and trembled; and not being able longer to contain, he broke out with a lamentable cry, saying 11What shall I_ do?n75> Trevelyan wrote of this man thus pictured by Bunyan, HThat lonely figure, with the Bible and burden of sin, is not only John Bunyan himself.

It is the representative

Puritan of the English Puritan epoch.”7^

Certainly Bunyanfs

7ij. Trevelyan, op. c 11., p. 2L.0, 75 John Bunyan, Pilgrim1s Progress (New York: Charles Scribnerfs Sons, 191$), p. 7* 76 Trevelyan, ojc; cit., p. 23ij..

Wlonely pilgrim with his religious earnestness mirrors all within the century who embraced a personal and family re­ ligion, but such a tender regard for sin did not constitute an equal regard for human life.

That the century of Pox,

in many respects, was a brutal age is demonstratable from many aspects of life. The courts were, at best, paralyzed to administer j u s t i c e . 77

They were,held mostly by local squires,

illiterate men with strong prejudices, without training in weighing evidence, and wholly dependent upon the clerks for knowledge of the law.

Accused persons were arrested, taken

before the magistrates, committed to imprisonment in default of bail until the Quarter Sessions.76 When concerned with property or religion, the laws were severe.

Punishments were corporal or "bloody," consist­

ing of whipping, the pillory, stocks, mutilation, and hanging. Social conditions in the rural areas also demonstrate

77 David Ogg, England in the Reign of Charles II (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1 9 3 ljT, I, 118^120. Trevelyan, op. cit., pp. 3k8-35l. Jones, op. cit., pp. 56-57* 78 Pox*s Journal contains many accounts of court activity written with an unusual amount of insight. It is helpful in this connection to read the many accounts given in Volume I, pp. 3 H - 3 I4.9 .

the inhumanity of the period.

The foundation of a system of

poor relief had been laid down under Elizabethan legislature under which each parish was required to care for its own poor*

Stuart England, particularly under the council of

Charles I, grappled with unemployment by fixing wages and prices, and by providing work for the poor, but with the fall of Prerogative rule, relief was again left to local, and in this case to corrupt, administration and distribution. Of this condition a few statements will serve as examples to amplify this position: Prom these acts of 1662, 1666, and l6 6 ? it may be seen that the poor law enactment of Charles1 reign attempted to amplify the Elizabethan system, which was based on the principle of providing relief for the impotent, work for the able, and punishment for the idle poor. Only in the last of these objects does the law seem to be effective. For the impotent the State provided no institution, leaving them to almshouses, or the charity dispensed by the church wardens or private persons , . .79 A statement made within the context of economic organization and development, although lacking in the harsh­ ness of the preceding one, serves to point out the attitude of the State toward the poor:^

79 Ogg, op. cit., p. 121. 80 Of the almshouses which remained until the follow­ ing century the lines written by G-eorge Crabb are illuminating Theirfs is yon house that holds the parish poor, Whose walls of mud scarce bear the broken door; There, where the putrid vapors, flagging, play, And the dull wheels hum doleful through the day; There children dwell who know no parents 1 care;

46 The new rulers of England, being employers, rejected the royal doctrine of the responsibility of employers for poverty; under Puritan inspiration, they traced responsibility to the idleness or sins of the laborers. The State therefore abandoned the attempt to save men from the consequences of their own folly.ol II.


It is impossible to ascertain to what extent the great issues of seventeenth-century England affected or in­ fluenced Fox during his ,formative years.

Communication was

dependent upon transportation, and this was slow.

The roads

were poor, and frequent robberies in isolated places con­ tributed to the hardships of travel.

The population was

relatively sparse and unevenly distributed, thereby isolating the rural population largely unto local issues. was rich in writing,62 the remote sections.

The century

libraries were all but unknown to Despite this isolation experienced by

Parents, who know no childrenfs love, dwell there. Heart-broken matrons on their joyless bed, Forsaken wives, and mothers never wed; Dejected widows with unheeding tears, And crippled age with more than childhood fears; The lame, the blind, and, far the happiest they. The moping idiot, and the madman gay. George Crabb, The Village. 11, 228-239. Jones, op. cit.. citing R. H. Tawney, Religion and the Rise of Capitalism, pp. 263-273. 62 cf. ante., p . 1.

the Midlands, certain influences within Pox’s environment left a traceable imprint upon his life and thoughts; it is to these that attention must be turned. George Pox was born in July, 1621l, in Leicester County at the quiet Midlands village of Drayton-in-the-Clay, now called Penny Drayton.

The surrounding country, as the

name suggests, was flat and featureless, and was far removed from a town of any importance.83 Christopher Pox, his father, was from all available accounts, a weaver of respect in the community.

His nickname

of "Righteous Christer" is interpreted by Pox’s biographers as an appellation of respect in testimony to his standing as a church warden and a man of esteem in the community.&kMary Largo, his mother, is said to have come from the stock of martyrs, thereby crediting George with a religious back­ ground* There is disagreement regarding the financial circum­ stances of the Pox family.

Most biographers credit them

83 Bickley, op. cit., p. 1 1 . % Ibid., p. 1 2 . Braithwaite, oj>. cit., pp. 28-29. Russell, 0£. cart., p. 18. Pox, op. cit., p. 8 3 . 85 William Sewell, The History of the People Called Quakers (Philadelphia: Uriah Hunt, 180BT, p. 19.


with a limited amount of money; however, the inheritance received by George from his father appears to have been sufficient to provide for his needs. Journal of giving to those in

He mentioned in his

n e e d , 86

but received no

apparent regular subsistence from earnings. .Of Fox*s life during the first eighteen years, only meager information is available.

The Journal, which is the

basis for his biographers* remarks, devotes less than two pages to this period of development which is of such import­ ance for the molding of his ideas.

Of these years he wrote:

In my very young years I had a gravity and stayedness of mind and spirit not usual in children . . . . When I came to eleven years of age, I knew pureness and right­ eousness; for while I was a child I was taught to walk so as to be kept pure.”7 Thus he grew and matured with an unusual sensitivity to evil, a mystical lad, quite unlike normal boyhood.


I 6 I4.3 * when nineteen years of age, he left his family, ”At the command of God,tf88 and began his wanderings.

Most of

his Ideas took form during the two following decades while he was seeking spiritual satisfaction.

86 Bickley, 0£. cit., p. 392. 87 Fox, o£. cit., p. 88. 18i8* 9 p. 85.

He emerged from these

1*9 years of wandering during the last stormy years of Charles I and the Commonwealth Period with ideas that became perma­ nent*^ The questions now to be considered are: what in­ fluences affected him during these years? his ideology influenced thereby?

In what way was

For purposes of con­

venience these factors are divided into general categories to be discussed separately under the following heads: his family, the priests, and imprisonments considered with the persecutions * Fox apprenticed to a shoemaker and dealer in wool, rather than enter the civil war which broke out between Parliament and the Royalists*

Most of his activity centered

within the tending of sheep, an occupation well suited to his quiet and sensitive spirit, and that may have contributed to his mystical strain and resultant insatiable thirst for spiritual satisfaction. He reacted against frivolity in a manner that indi­ cates a Puritan loathing of all lightness in mood*90


the age of nineteen, while attending a fair on business for his employer, he encountered a cousin and another man both

89 Of. post, p. 56

90 Ibid. , p. 56.

50 of whom professed religion.

He accompanied them to a tavern

to satisfy their thirst, but at the suggestion of drinking healths he recoiled in dismay and went home.91

The in­

fluence of this experience was so great that it began a new period in his life.

That night he paced his room in great

distress over such light behavior by those who made a pro­ fession of religion.

Finally, he narrated in his Journal,

he heard the voice of God warning him to, ”forsake all, young and old, to keep out of the way of all, and to be a stranger to all.n92

This vision he interpreted as God*s

command to leave his family, and thus he began his quest for some unknown relief from the dissatisfaction which to him was spiritual thirst.

Of this condition Macaulay wrote

that Fox, nhad an intellect in the most unhappy of all con­ ditions, that is to say, too much disordered for liberty, and not sufficiently disordered for Bedlam. If93 In the biographies which are benevolent to him, there is also a tendency to consider this experience as one in which he was not entirely rational,9^ yet it is significant

9^ Fox, o|>. cit., p. 85. 92 Ibid., p. 85. 93 Macaulay> op. cit., IV, 132. 94- Bickley, o£. cit. , p. 15.

51 that out of this distress which tormented and drove the lad from town to town, he found a satisfaction that became permanent.95

A summary of these early influences points out that from the influence of the Fox home there was communicated to him a sensitivity for right living, and a general Puritan disdain for the appearance of evil.

His early work appears

to have given time for reflection, a practice that drove him further into a subjective attitude, thereby forming the psychological condition conducive to the development of an inward religion. In this state of dissatisfaction George Fox was not a novel figure, rather he was one of many who were highly charged with a sensitivity to the constant religious, politi­ cal, and social flux which swirled about him, a situation made altogether possible by his wanderings.

The decade be­

tween 1 6 I4.3 and 1653 gave immediate rise to Quakerism; con­ sequently, it was examined specifically in this study for an

95 Following the great experience of 16I4.7» in which Fox heard the voice say, "There is one, even Jesus Christ, that can speak to thy condition,” he wrote, “Christ, who had enlightened me, gave me his light to believe in, and gave me his spirit and grace, which I found sufficient in the deeps and in weakness. Thus in the deepest miseries, and in the greatest sorrows and temptations that beset me, the Lord in his mercy did keep me." Journal, I, p. 92.

52 understanding of the direct environment which converged upon Pox while forming his ideology. This period, to the conclusion of the Commonwealth, produced many independent sects which sprang into existence to meet certain needs of the time.

The Church of England

was at a low ebb, and many persons had been cast loose from their moorings in organized religion, to drift about from current to current among the Separatists.

The Reformation

had given strength to the English spirit of independence and democracy.

Many shared the sentiments of such men as

Lilburne, who, through his Levellers Tracts, sought to awaken his countrymen to independent thinking.

His was not a re­

ligion-centered struggle: In the Levellers, however, Puritan individualism sought to save itself from anarchy by organizing not dissident communities of saints but an all-inclusive community of citizens. This was the larger meaning of Lilburne?s career.96 It does represent well the characteristic struggle of this period because of the many emotions which it embraced. Religious unrest was fostered by the fall of the Established Church in


to the Presbyterians.

Some found

the church of their childhood closed or its pulpit filled by a Puritan lecturer.

Others began to find in the King James

96 Haller and Davies, o|>. cit., p.


53 Version new and strange interpretations; often these became searchers, who, by drifting from sect to sect, sought a prophet to guide them.

Still others, like Milton withdrew

from church affiliation altogether. Within the political framework a similar situation existed.

Dissatisfaction was intensified following the

campaigns of 161^9-1652.

Even the successive executions of

Stafford in 161JJL, Laud in l6k5, and Charles I in 161^9, failed to bring stability into the affairs of State. The idea that this period of ferment nurtured the new religious movements is shared by such historians as Trevelyan who wrote of it: The stage of economic and social development which had been reached in the England of l6 ii.O was not the cause, but it was a necessary condition, of the political and religious movements that burst forth into sudden blaze.97 It was into this condition of malcontent and search­ ing that nineteen-year-old George Fox projected his search for enlightenment about God and the eternal path of righteous living.

He first addressed his quest to the priests.


his home town of Drayton, Nathaniel Stephens, the local priest, often consulted with Fox.

Stephens demonstrated an

interest In the boy at times, but often he used the Ideas given to him by Fox for his sermons and young George came

97 Trevelyan, op. cit., p. 233.

5L to loathe such disregard Tor integrity.9^ Later Stephens be­ came one of his worst persecutors. The priest at Mansetter advised the youth to, ”take tobacco and sing psalms*”99

The same elderly clergyman

violated George’s confidence by relating the problems of his life to the servants who took them into the village as gossip. Cradock, a priest in Coventry, with whom Pox was con­ versing concerning temptation, flew into a rage when the young man accidentally stepped into a flower bed.^-^


a priest at Macham prescribed the letting of blood and a physic for Pox’s condition, but the Journal relates, 11they could not get one drop of blood from



The ineffectiveness of the priests to aid him re­ sulted in an ^opening” in which he stated, ”that being bred at Oxford was not fit to qualify men to be ministers to Christ.”102 His intense search for guidance and enlightenment when directed toward the priests was met with ridicule by

98 Pox, pp. cit., pp. 8 6 -8 7 .

99 ibid., p. 87. 100 Loc. cit. 101 Loc. cit. 1 0 2 Ibid.. p. 8 8 .

55 those who should have provided guidance, a factor that further kindled the flame of distrust in organized religion. This contempt was intensified by the behavior and selfish­ ness of the various religious groups.

Episcopalians, Pres­

byterians, Independents, and Baptists were each striving for mastery by refuting and reviling each other. 3-^3


hear the Puritans and priests harrangue against each other in the congregations which he visited further convinced him that only a personal experienceof God himself was capable of satisfying his emptiness and relieving distress.


the normal channel of communication with God through organ­ ized public worship proved to be valueless for him; con­ sequently, its influence upon Fox was to contribute to his already growing conviction that every man can be led through immediate confrontation of God.

His concept of the nopenings,**

or ,finner light 11 had begun to take form within his own experience as an answer to his search for spiritual satis­ faction, and it represents the beginning of his view of inspiration; not that he had developed the theory, but that it had become a part of his own experience and thus, for him, original.

Had the churches supplied him with religious

satisfaction he would not have sought elsewhere for this

103 Macaulay, o£. cit., p. 132.

56 experience, thus this impasse of spiritual religion may be credited as an environmental factor that led him to accept the concept of direct and immediate apperception of God*s will*

The Inner Light was among the first, if not the first

major religious tenet of his ideology to be formed, and became one of his most persistent emphases. The imprisonments and persecutions through which Fox passed can best be presented, and their significance appreci­ ated, if preceded by a short discussion of the attitudes of the Government toward the Separatist sects under the rule of Charles I, the Protestorate, and the Restoration, to the death of Fox.

Indeed, these persecutions cannot be under­

stood nor evaluated without seeing them in context. Charles I set out to accomplish two principal objec­ tives during his reign: (l) to make the treasury self-support­ ing, and (2) establish uniformity of worship.

The bankrupt

condition of the royal purse forced his^ hand in the former, and his own religious interest gave support to the latter. He called his first Parliament June 18, 1625, but quickly dismissed it because of the plague in London.

The war with

Spain rapidly drained the small financial resources at his disposal, but the first and second Parliaments refused to grant any additional funds.3-0^-

10b Montague, op. cit., p. 127.

57 In desperation, the King adopted arbitrary measures for securing revenue by demanding forced loans*

Such Pre­

rogative rule turned the Parliament against Charles; they met and listed their grievances against him in the Petition of Right, issued June ?> 1 6 2 8 .

This petition condemned

unparliamentary taxation, arbitrary Imprisonment, and billet­ ing of troops upon common house h o l d e r s . N o provision was made in this petition for religious liberty; rather, it was a restraint against arbitrary means of strengthening the Royal treasury. The aspect, of Charles* rule that most directly in­ fluenced Pox concerned his attempt to suppress all Noncon­ formity.

On January l6 , l6 ij.O, the House of Lords at his

bidding passed an order on the Services of the Churches that forbade all Nonconformifey of worship.

The order reflects

the spirit and attitude of the State so adequately that the complete text is included: It is this day ordered by the Lords spiritual and temporal in the High Court of Parliament assembled, that the divine service be performed as it is appointed by the acts of Parliament of this realm and that all such as shall disturb that wholesome order, shall be severely punished according to the law; and curates in the several parishes, shall forebear to introduce any rites

1^5 Samuel Rawston Gardiner, editor, The Constitutional Documents of the Puritan Period (Oxford: at the Clarendon Press, 1905T, p. 199*

58 or ceremonies that may give offence, otherwise than , those which are established by the laws of the 3-0o l





The same legislative body voted to print and publish the order on September 9>

l 6 1 i l . 3 - 0 7

The Grand Remonstrance containing two-hundred four articles which the House of Commons presented to the King the first day of the following December petitioned for more religious liberty, but it was answered with a reiteration of the order previously given by the House of Lords.


December 10, the King issued a "Proclamation of Religion" that further forbade Nonconformity, and followed it with an answer to the Petition on December 23 > LoijJL.3-08 Religious sects grow most rapidly under severest per­ secutions; consequently, such legislative enactments fell short of accomplishing the goal of crushing the Separatists. The emphasis upon liberty, both civil and religious, and upon individual interpretation of the Scripture during the l6 k0 »s, provided a milieu well suited to the amazing medley of sects which mushroomed into existence.

Conscience is

always a harsh taskmaster, particularly when lacking in the refinements due to training, and of the Separatist groups this observation seems accurate, for they persisted in

3-06 Loc. cit. 3-07 Loc. cit. 103 ibid., pp. 2 3 2 -2 33 ,.

59 following the dictates of individual conviction in matters of religious observance. The harsh attitude of Charlesf rule toward Independ­ ency fell heavily upon George Pox during these years of his wanderings and itinerant activity.

His early imprisonments

stemmed directly from this intolerance which was committed to local enforcement.

The Journal gives many accounts of

jail experiences to which he patiently submitted; however, the specific nature of his imprisonments must be given before describing these imprisonments. His persecutions came from t wo sources, the first Rufus Jones attributed to mob frenzy in reaction to his break with convention.-^9 and the law.3--*-^

The second came from the courts

He was unyielding in all points, fearless,

and rigid, rejected the church sacraments, called church creeds man-made “notions,” emphasized democratic principles, insisted upon equality to the point of refusing to doff the hat in respect to those in higher positions, used “thou” to every one, and refused the oath under all circumstances. His clothing was odd, by which he came to be known as the, “Man in leather breeches.”

It required only the rumor that

109 Rufus Jones, George Fox Seeker and Friend (New York: Harper and Brothers Publishers, 1930), p. 72. 110 Loc. cit.

6o this unusual individual was in town for the people to begin agitation that resulted in stoning him.

One of the earliest

examples of this type of mob spirit is related in his Journal: While I was at Mansfeld Woodhouse, I was moved to go to a steeple-house, and declare the truth to the priest and people. But the people fell upon me in great rage, struck me down, and almost stifled me. I was cruelly beaten and bruised by them with their hands, bibles, and sticks. Then they haled me out, though I was hardly able to stand, and put me in the stocks, where I sat some hours; and they brought dog-whips and horse-whips, threatening to whip me. H I Similar demonstrations were repeated soon after at Balbyand and Tickhill.H2 Following the execution of Charles Stuart by the High Court of Justice, January 30* l61i-9> Parliament passed on the following May 19, an act declaring England to be a Common­ wealth and Free State.

The nation was left without any legal

form of government; consequently, the Parliament assumed power and exercised it until l6j?3, when Oliver Cromwell was declared Lord Protector of England, Scotland, Ireland, and

the Realm.

\ This short rule by Parliament gave the Presby­

terians the majority of power, who forgetting their own previous pleas for Hon-conformity, set up the Directory for

111 Fox, op. cit., p. 118.

112 ibid. , p. 169 .

6i Public Worship to which all were compelled to comply within the limits possible through force.

The Independents pre­

dominated in the army, however, and persistently contended against Presbyterian coercion.

A long conference was held

between these two parties, but the Presbyterians refused to yield at all points and the hope for arbitration was abandoned. The army then,;with Oliver Cromwell at its head put an end to the Commonwealth and Parliament together in l 6 53* The new government was more kindly disposed toward Non­ conformity in religion.

Provision was made in the new

constitution whereby: none be compelled to conform to the public religion, by penalties or otherwise . . . . That such as profess faith in God, by Jesus Christ, though differing in judge­ ment from the doctrine . . . shall not be restrained from, but shall be protected in, the profession of their faith. H 3 These views were creditable, but granting of liberty fell to the local magistrates and justices in whose hands execution of the law was committed.

nFrom these Friends

were frequently interrupted in the exercise of their religion, and punished, because they could not swear nor pay tithes. " U n ­ just sentiments gained ground during the years of

Friends Library, p. 9 *» citing Articles of Con­ stitution. Loc. cit.


Cromwells a d m i n i s t r a t i o n , b u t following his death in l6£8 and the resignation of his son eight months later, the House of Stuart was restored.

Charles II hoped to quiet the

fear of those who dreaded the restoration of the hierarchy by issuing a declaration from Breda before sailing for England. His language was couched in conciliatory phrases, 11We also do declare a liberty to*tender consciences, and that no man shall be disquited or called in question for differences of opinion, in matters of religion, which do not disturb the peace of the Kingdom.

jn practice, however, the new King demanded

strict conformity and initiated legislative measures to promote his plan. This new series of persecutions fell upon George Pox and the early Quakers with peculiar severity.

He narrated

in his Journal eleven separate imprisonments that extended in duration from a few hours to two years.

Jail experiences

were revolting to all men; the gaols were filled with filth, prisoners were badly treated, and Fox usually was held upon false charges or denied the right of knowing the immediate charge upon which he was held in prison.

He was tried before

local magistrates, Oliver Cromwell, and the King, yet there is no available record that credits him with any other than

H 5 Ibid., p. 10. Il6 Loc. cit.

63 the most patient submission to all persecutions. Early Friends were continually remonstrating with authorities over the injustice and hardships inflicted upon them.

George Fox, himself, wrote many letters to justices

and magistrates to condemn the injustices which he suffered, but he always submitted to legal orders without hesitation. The effect of these prison experiences was greater upon his body than upon his spirit.

The months of exposure

at Scarborough Castle, in which he was denied shelter from the rain and cold permanently affected his health. H ?


confinements, however, provided time for the composition of his Journal and other works.

The Short Journal, the earliest

account of his life, was written while in Lancaster Jail (1 6 6 3 - 16614.).1 1 8

These were times also in which converts were won to his faith.

Such men as John Crook emerged from jail to

preach for the Friends.H9

Forced confinements and continued

injustices may have affected his thinking; certainly he could not have written as he did without experiencing clearer in­ sights regarding his religious beliefs.

Suffering from the

H ? Rufus Jones, op. cit. , p. 107 116 Ibid., p. 110. 1^-9 William Evans and Thomas Evans, editors, **The Memoirs of John Crook,1* The Friends Library, XII, 18.


inequalities due to the social-caste system, and injuries which stemmed from gross intolerance, must have given rise to his desire to crush all injustice in a more forceable manner than could have been possible otherwise.

It is in­

conceivable that such harrowing and painful treatment from the hands of other men could have but intensified his humanitarian concern; however, the records at the disposal of this research failed to disclose any specific change within his ideology due to his persecutions.

CHAPTER IV SOURCES OP THE RELIGIOUS VIEWS OP GEORGE POX The religious faith of the Society of Friends can be summarized under four heads ;120 (x) mysticism, life,

light within,

(2 )

(3 ) simplicity, and (I4.) a high regard for human

The first three of these elements of faith can be

identified within the immediate environment of George Pox, prior to his emphasis upon them, and in a form similar to that in which he expressed them. The earlier historians of Quakerism sought to emphasize the complete independence of their religious faith, for they wanted to be free from the stigma associated with the many fanatical religious sects of the period.

Consequently, any

particular religious influences upon the founder of their movement were minimized, and he was presented as Hno m a n rs A dichotomy exists within the ranks of those who have written Quaker histories.

One group insists that Pox was

creative, that his views were formulated almost exclusively within his own intense religious












w^xie the

120 william Wistar Comfort, The Quaker Way of Life (Philadelphia: The Blackiston Company, 19II57T pp. 'I-2I4.. 121 Edmund T. Harvey, William Braithwaite, Elizabeth Emmott, A. Neave Braipham, Robert Barclay, A. C. Beckley, William Sewell.

66 other general position connects his ideas with the sects about him. The former view makes much of the fact that Fox mentions only reading the Bible, and that historians and biographers have presented him as an unread as well as an unlearned man.

This attitude results in the conclusion

that Fox could have been influenced only indirectly by the various religious persuasions; however, there is now evidence that he had received quite direct influence from some of the practical mystics through reading, in addition to the more familiar environmental elements from which he unconsciously assimilated Ideas and attitudes.

Some factors that did in­

fluence him will now be discussed to point up the manner by which each had a bearing upon his thinking. I.


In 1928, Thedor Sippell of Marburgh, Germany, dis­ covered a folio volume of seventeenth-century manuscripts in the library of Friends 1 House in London.

This volume

referred to as the, f,Annual Catalogue of George Fox*s Papers," contains, among other papers, two detailed in­ ventories of manuscripts which George Fox left at the time

122 Hufus Jones, Champlin Burrage, Josiah Royce, Henry Seidel Canby.

67 of his death*

These give the titles of ninety-nine different

printed works in his library and also show that he possessed at least two hundred twenty-seven additional volumes•1 2 3 Included in this list are books by mystics and other religious writers whose chief concerns became the major emphases of George Pox. This discovery reveals a direct channel through which the stream of mysticism reached the founder of Quakerism. Prom this source he came into contact with the idea of the fflight within” as a part of the general trend of this practi­ cal mysticism.

That these particular notions could have come

to him from his books is evident from only a cursory treat­ ment of a few significant titles.

This list included The

Forbidden Fruit or a Treatise of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil by Sebastian Franck mystic.

), a German

This small, one hundred seventy-two page book had

been translated from Latin into English by John Everhard, and printed in 16IlO.

It makes the point that the forbidden

fruit is the knowledge which comes from the world, the flesh, and the devil.1 2 ^. in contrast, wisdom is obtainable within

123 A complete list of these titles is included in The Journal of the Friends Historical Society, XXVIII, 3-20. 12lj. Sabastian Franck, The Forbidden Fruit or a Treatise of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (London: August Elothenius, l6Ip)), translated by John Everhard, p. I4J4..

68 the providence of God for those who will accept him. 125


his discussion of the "Fruit of the Tree of Life," Franck points out man’s capacity to hear and learn from the voice of God within: For he that would knowledge of God, the fame from God himself, for that man . 126

be divinely wise, and learne the its needful that he heare and learn himself, he having detained it to it can by no meanes be taught of

Franck also advances the belief, emphasized by Boehme three quarters of a century later, and still later by Fox, that a man through redemption is restored to a condition of innocency like that of Adam before the fall. How this our fall as Adam's, is amended and repaired, if we spitt out and vomitt up this knowledge of good evil as poison, and become as Adam was before his f a l l . 127

The library of Fox contained The Trial of Spirits both in Teachers and Hearers, by William Dell, a little book based upon the Gospel of John (!j.:l-6 ).

Dell made the

point in this work that many spirits exist in the world, but the Christian must decide which are true.

This spirit of dis­

cernment, he points out, is altogether possible for those

I4.5 .

125 Ibid.,


1 2 6 ibid.,



127 Ibid. .





who know Christ, hence there is no reason for men to live without the guidance from God that has been provided. The contempt of Dell for a trained and hired clergy is reflected by the following statements: Teachers are those who do usually spring up in the church, through Academical Degrees, and ecclesiastical Ordination; which two Things have poured forth in the church whole Swarms of false Prophets, and Anti-Christian Ministers.12^ And thus the true Teachers do not seek any temporal Gain or Commodity, from the Hands of men, by their preaching, but do truly and cheerfully teach out of Love of Christ, and their Brother.129 George Pox also condemned the hiring of ministers in much the same manner as Dell had done for he believed it to be a means of corrupting them: For this thing /hiring ministers/ had spoiled many, by hindering them from improving their own talents; whereas our labor is. to bring everyone to their own teacher in themselves.2.30 Dell further taught non-violence and passive resistance as the proper response to cruel treatment: The true Preachers and Ministers of Christ, when they are opposed, resisted, slandered and persecuted for the Wordfs Sake, they endured it with all Meakness, Humility, and Patience.^-31

128 vfniiam Dell, The Trial of the Spirits both in Teachers and Hearers.(Philadelphia: reprinted by B. Franklin, and D. Hall, 1760), p. 33-

129 I b i d . , p . ko . 130 Fox, op. cit., II, 158. 131 Dell, op. cit. , p. 43.

70 And this concept became a conviction of Pox for he practiced it and taught its necessity so strenuously that it became central in Quaker ideology.

However, the idea of absolute

submission to the temporal sovereign was impressed upon Pox with greater intensity through a book by William Tyndale, The Obedience of a Christian Man, and how Christian Rulers Ought to Governe, also a title in the Pox library.


important book by Tyndale reasoned that men ought to obey the rulers for,

lawe of the kinge is God!s lawe.l,132

Also Tyndale emphasized the complete authority of the Scriptures, an idea accepted by Pox.133 The library of Pox also included The More Excellent Way, a book of unknown authorship which was published by Giles Calvert in London, l6£0. the seeker for the light.

11A little book addressed to

It sets forth Christ as love and

as Light within. 11^-34 That which is of the greatest importance surrounding the knowledge of P o x !s reading is the direct connection that it established between him and the mysticism of England and

132 William Tyndale, The Obedience of a Christian M a n , and how Christian Rulers Ought to Governe.fLondon • Wyllyam Coplande, 15L-0), p. 33•

133 Ibid., p. lj-3. 13k-

Wright, op. cit., pp. 16-17.

71 and the Continent*

Its full weight of evidence supports the

present thesis that Quakerism, as it stemmed from Pox and his contemporaries was, to a great degree, a product of the flux peculiar to the middle decades of his century, and not a sudden act of God to raise up a pure church. The mysticism that affected him represents both practical and philosophic types.

The former is either an

intermittent or constant awareness of an influence from without to which the individual turns for guidance.


has descended through the spiritual reformers such as Peter Waldo, Meister Eckhart, Caspar Schwenkfeld, Jacob Boehme, Sabastian Franck, and Henry Nicholas, to Pox. Philosophic mysticism, in contrast, is interested in questioning the source of this mystical sensation.


Thomas Browne spent time in this type of mystical specula­ tion as well as Henry More and the Cambridge Plationists. Among the poets of the seventeenth century such men as Thomas Traherne, John Milton, John Donne, and George Herbert there are many strains of this more formal mysticism which was current within the general environment of Pox, but with less direct influence upon him. That Pox reflects many of the ideas found within the writings of the so-called practical mystics there can be no doubt*

Although it still cannot be stated with complete

72 authority that Fox had read any of Boehme*s writings, there are many parallels of thought and expression which give the impression of specific acquaintance with the German mystic. Between

and 1 663 several English translations of

Boehme1s works had been published.

Ho complete work was

included, but parts from all of his works were and thus available to Ehglish readers.



Rufus Jones, whose

general position favors the view of Quaker independence from other sects, but associated it within the stream of mysticism from the earlier reformers wrote: There are so many marks of influence apparent in the Journal that no careful student of both writers can doubt that there was some sort of influence direct or indirect, conscious or unconscious.136 During the years between


the formative

years of his life, Fox was living in contact with the varying currents of religious influence.

For this reason he would

have been especially susceptible to mystical strains of thought, for as has been pointed out, his religious environ­ ment included the English mystical movement.3-37

That a

135 Margaret Lewis ;Bailey, Milton and Jacob Boehme (New Yorks Oxford University Press, American Press, 1 91 k )» p. 1 8 6 . 3-3& Jones, op. cit., p. 231.

.cit., pp.

3-37 Bailey, ojd Weigel, pp. 307*308.

96-97* citing Opel, Valerin

73 close relationship existed between Fox and such mystics as Boehme and Weigel is quite evident because the orthodox German clergy attacked Quakerism on the same grounds as was used in their criticism of these mystics.138

Fox did not

pattern consciously or intentionally after other men or movements, but as a new idea became a matter of his own ex­ perience he embraced it as his own.

This is'unconscious

absorption, and is the method by which most of the influences came to bear upon him. 139 According to Richard Baxter, the well known enemy of the sect movement in this period, the Boehmists held very similar beliefs to the Quakers.l^J-0 Sharing this opinion*: Lodowick Muggleton, also an enemy whose judgment could have been influenced by prejudice in his Looking Glass for George Fox the Quaker,1^1 identified Boehme1s teaching of the opening of the Spirit with Fox*s Inner Light. So apparently close were the views of the Boehmeists and Quakers, during the years I6 I4.5 -1 6 5 5 * that other men from

138 Loc, cit. 139 Jones, op. cit., p. 231. 1^0 Richard Baxter, One Sheet Against the Quakers (London: / n 1657)* PP* 1> 12* 13* cited by Bailey, op. cit.. p. 100. Ibid., p. 100.

without identified them as emerging into one group.1 ^4*2 In her study of seventeenth-century mysticism, particularly related to Boehme, Margaret Bailey stated: The influence of Boehme on Quakerism was more, however than the merging of the two related sects. George Fox himself must have read Boehme during the formative period of his development. Barclay brings out the striking similarity of utterance on the part of the two menjlW 1 SIppel calls it, ffree quotation from Boehme1s writings on the part of Fox . . . ^4*5 Those who do not belong to a movement are not always sufficiently aware of its actual elements to make valid com­ parisons with other like movements.

On the other hand, the

judgment might possess greater validity because of its lacking in partiality.

Regardless of the category Into which

Justice Hotham (a justice before whom Fox was tried many times) might be classified, he recognized the identity be­ tween Fox and Boehme In their teaching concerning the, "Inner light," during one of his several conversations with Fox during 1 6 5 1 .-*-^

1^-2 Thomas Hancock, The Peculium (London: / n . x i j , 19°7)> p. 122, cited by Bailey, ojd. cit., p. 105. ^■3 Ibid., citing Robert Barclay, Inner Life of the Religious Societies of the Commonwealth (London: /n.n./ 1 8 7 6 ). p. 2 1 3 . li|!{. Theodor Sippell, "Quakers," Christliebe Welt. 1910, p. I4.3 6 , cited by Bailey, oj d . cit., p. 100. Loc. cit. Fox, o£. cit., I,


75 Jacob Boehme and George Pox shared similar back­ grounds.

Boehme was born or poor country people at Alt

Seidenburg, Germany, 1575.

In his youth he herded his

parentfs cattle, and after some schooling was apprenticed to a shoemaker.^*4?

Fox, too, came from the rural areas,

for Drayton, his birthplace, was in a remote section.


too, herded cattle and learned the shoe cobbler’s trade. Both were unusually sensitive to religious experiences while in their youth.

The description of Boehme1s initial

religious experience as described by Hartmann contained in it the element of an awareness of Divine light as did that of Pox: Such an illumination, indeed, took place within his mind, and for seven days in succession Jacob Boehme was in an ecstatic state, during which he was surrounded by the light of the Spirit, and his consciousness immersed in contemplation and happiness.1 4 ° The similarity to Pox’s great experience as related in his Journal is striking: And when all my hopes in them ^jpriests / and In all men were gone, so that I had nothing outwardly to help me, nor could I tell what to do; then, 0 then, I heard a voice which said, ’there is one, even Jesus.Christ, that can speak to they condition.’ When I heard it, my heart did leap for joy. 14-9

1^-7 Franz Hartmann, The Life and Doctrines of Jacob Boehme.(Boston: The Occult Publishing Company, 1 H 9 IT, p. 1. lli-8 ibid., p . 2 . Pox,


cit. , p.


76 In regard to intellectual interests, however, there exists a sharp contrast between the two men.


writings show a concern for some of the great speculative issues related to the interpretation of Christianity.


works include discussions of creation, angels, the restora­ tion of man’s nature, man, the Christ, incarnation, death, and eternal life.

Fox’s turn of mind was toward a practical

Christianity, and his interest thus narrowed in range to a very few issues, such as: illumination, inspiration, and concerns of daily life.

Parallels exist in their writings,

despite this contrast, and some of the more outstanding ones follow: Both men believed in an experience by which man can be restored to the perfection of Adam through a work done by God within, Boehme wrote: It was the will of God, by means of becoming Himself human, to reinstate man, who in consequence of his sin had become degenerated into an earthly being, into the glorious state in which he had been created originally. 150 This view is closely paralled by a statement of Fox: Moreover the Lord God let me see, when I was brought up into his image in righteousness and holiness, and unto the paradise of God, that state, how Adam was made a living soul . . . . For all the sects in Christendom (so called) that I discoursed withal, I found none who could bear to be told that any should, come to Adam’s perfection,

1^0 Jacob Boehme, ’’Redemption, 11 Three Principles, xxiii, 21. Extracts from.Boehme’s Complete Works, edited by Franz Hartmann, op. cit., p. 2lj2.

77 into that image of God, that righteousness and holiness that Adam was in before he fell.151 Boehme and Pox both gave great emphasis to the Word of Wisdom which could open their minds to greater under­ standing.

Rufus Jones wrote concerning this idea in the

German mystic: Everywhere in Boehme it is 1Sophia,f the Word of Wisdom, that fopens all things, 1 and the goal of all spiritual experience and of all divine illumination for him con­ sisting in coming to *the hidden unity in the Eternal Being.*152 Pox used the same idea, even quite similar words, in his description: . . . but as people come into subjection to the Spirit of God, and grow up in the image and power of the Almighty, they may receive the word of wisdom that opens all things, and,come to know the hidden unity in the Eternal Being.153 This philosophic expression is not in the Bible, and it is not probable that Pox was capable of originating it; consequently, it is among the citations which evidence direct influence from Boehme. 15^4* This Nordic mystic did influence the Quaker movement because he was read by some early Friends1 leaders.

151 Pox, ££. cit., p. 110. Jones, 0£. cit., p. 22ij.. 153 Pox, ££. cit., p. 105. Jones, Oja. cit.» p. 22If.


78 Ellington, a Quaker of some importance, read Boehme and re­ garded him as a faithful prophet of the£5


the Quakers took exception to the Boehmeists because of their emphasis upon, instruments for the conveyance of Godfs grace,u in a pamphlet, One Blow at Babel, written by John Anderson and published in 1662.1^6 The exact degree of influence which the writings of Boehme exercised upon the molding of Foxfs ideas is impossi­ ble to ascertain after three hundred years, but he reflects an influence from this German religionist.

The spread of

Boehmistic ideas in England aided the cause of Foxfs teaching by forming a milieu during the seventeenth century which would be receptive to his teaching.^57 II.


The relation of Puritanism to the ideology of Fox is close with respect to the moral issues of Christianity, in which respect he demonstrated the thought-forms of Puritan teaching quite decidedly.

He practiced a temperate

life in which he was free from over indulgence.

155 Ibid.,


2 21.

!56 ibid.,



157 Wood, op. cit. . pp. 51-52.

He observed

79 Sundays in religious pursuits,l58 advocated plainness of dress,

and was sickened by frivolity of all kinds

His was the religious earnestness and insistence upon simplicity characteristic of the Puritan. The theology of the Quaker leader differs from the Puritan position.

Regarding inspiration, the Puritans be­

lieved the Scriptures to be the end of this particular work of the Holy Spirit which was not to be repeated. subsequent inspiration was on a lower level.1&1

All Pox felt

obligated to challenge this doctrine, for a strong burden of his total message was

that men must be guided by the same

spirit that gave the Scriptures: I saw plainly that none could read Moses aright without Moses 1 spirit, by which he saw how man was in the image of God in paradise, how he fell, how death came over him, and how all men have been under the death . . . . I saw how none could read John!s words aright and with a time understanding of them, but in and/with the same divine Spirit by which John spake them.182

158 pox, o£. cit., pp. 310 ; 32k.


115; H 9 ; 151; 152;


159 Advice addressed, f,To Such as Follow the World!s Fashions.” Ibid., pp. 267-270. 160 Ibid., pp. 363-361l. 16 1 Herbert G. Wood, ,fReligious Influences upon George Pox , 11 Some Modern Appreciation of George Fox (London: The Swarthmore Press, 1925V p. 56. ~ !62 Pox>

cit.. I, IO8 -IO9 .


Puritan antagonism was stirred up by this exaltation of the present guidance of the Holy Spirit above the letter of the Scriptures,

He was brought before the court in

Lancaster in 1652, charged with blasphemy by the

p r i e s t s , ^-^3

and when given opportunity to speak testified: That the holy scriptures were given forth by the Spirit of God . . . and as the Spirit of God was in them that gave forth the scriptures, so the same Spirit must be in all them that come to understand the scriptures. The second point of theology in which he differed from Puritanism pertained to sin.

The latter believed that

all, believers included, must live in conflict with sin throughout all of life.

Pox emphasized the reality of an

experience in which the conflict with sin would be resolved within the personality. It is evident that his general attitude reflects much of the milieu of Puritanism, but that he brushed aside its theological leanings because they were contrary to his per­ sonal experience and interpretation of Scripture.


indebtedness to Puritanism is limited thus to a framework upon which the elements of a more personal and mystical religion from other sources were placed.

■^3 Wood, op. cit., p. £8 . l6 Ij. pox, 0 £. cit., p. 1 9 6 .




The term Seeker is used with two meanings; it is used to designate an attitude of searching on the part of an individual or group for spiritual satisfaction.

In this

sense it designates an individuals turning away from the established Church of England in quest of a religious peace of mind and conviction.

The term Seeker is a name given to

a specific religious group during Fox's period.

In the

former sense he was a seeker, for he sought among the various religious persuasions for an inner satisfaction. There is still insufficient evidence to support the conten­ tion that he belonged to the Seeker



even though

they were related in many respects, and Quakerism is indebted to them. This indebtedness is demonstrable, for the slowly emerging group of Fox's followers came largely from the northern counties of England and this new movement spread into the south of England, recruited by the prepared groups of Seekers. ^66

The Seekers provided a fertile field for

165 Champlin Burrage contends that the Quakers were the continuance of the Seekers; however, the principal tenet of the Seekers consisted of a belief that the visible church was apostate. Consequently, they were waiting for a new prophet. George Fox believed the church to be in a new day already. ■LO° Jones,

0 £.

cit. , p. 3i^2.


Quaker beliefs and many became leaders in early Quakerism in response to the preaching of Pox,1^7 Despite this relationship; however, the extent to which Pox was indebted to them for his religious tenets is slight.

Both movements came from Continental mysticism,

but they developed in opposing directions.

The Seekers be­

lieved the visible church had become apostate and had lost its authoritative power;3-68 therefore, those who held these views sought a new apostolic commission.

They expected a

sudden miracle, a cataclysmic event through which the fresh out-pouring of God*s Spirit would be experienced.-^9 In contrast, Pox believed the time apostasy was at an end, a new day had come.

For this purpose he believed,

lfThe Lord raised us (Friends) up and opened our mouths in this His Spirit. f,lTO Quakerism and the Seekers were both part of the general religious unrest of the Civil War and Commonwealth

167 A. Neave Brayshaw, The Personality of George Fox (London: Allenson and Company, Ltd., 1933 )> p. 20. 1 Z. O

-1*00 Jones, o]D. cit., p. 8 k.

Ibid., pp. 85-86. 3-70 Ibid., p. citing Edward Burrough, The Great Mystery of the Great Whore (London: 1659. P. B2.

83 Period, both arose partly, as Burrage stated, Prom the dis­ semination of Arian views,171 still there is insufficient evidence for crediting a definite Seeker influence upon the formation of Quaker ideology. The Collegian movement in Holland was closely related to both groups*

This body arose in response to a controversy

over the views of Jacobus Arminius (l£60-l609) who had remonstrated to the States of Holland against strict Calvanism in five articles, in which he maintained that:; (1 ) divine decrees of predestination are not absolute; (2 ) the atonement was intended to be universal; (3 ) man of himself cannot do any good thing without regeneration; (1l) the grace of God does not act irresistibly of man; and (5) be­ lievers are able to resist sin.^-72 As a general movement, the Collegians opposed taking oaths, refused to fight or take measures for self-defense, insisted upon simplicity of life, emphasized the equality of men and women even in public worship, and used no titles in addressing persons***-73

Like the Seekers they expected a

Champlin Burrage, The Early English Dissenters in the Light of Recent Research (Cambridge: at the University Press, 1912T, I, 220. 172


op. cit.* p* III4.*

173 Jones, op. cit., p. Il6 .

81}true messenger of God to be confirmed by miracle.

This be­

came their major interest and emphasis; thus they developed around a very narrow and minor concern, while Quakerism embraced a broader scope or religious teaching. It is doubtful if Pox had any contact with the Collegians during his formative years.

Both references to

contact with them in the Journal occurred in 1677 while he was touring Holland with William Penn, Robert Barclay, George Keith, and B e n j a m i n Fur ley. 17l|- The group of Collegians at Rynsburgh shared a very close parallelism to Quakerism.


their most important book, The Light on the Candlestick. Rufus Jones wrote that it is: indistinguishable in its body of ideas from Quaker teaching, and differs only in one point, that it reveals a more philosophically trained mind in the writer than does any early Quaker book with the single exception of Barclay1s Apology.175 His situation was different with respect to the Baptists.

George Fox was actually associated with them

during most of his life, and particularly while young came into contact with the broken community of Baptists in

Fox, ojg.. cit. ♦ JI, 237, 22+2. Sewel, op. cit., II, 3 6 8 . For a detailed account of the relationship the Collegians and Quakers in Holland, a reliable William I. Hull, Benjamin Purley and Quakerism in (Swarthmore College Monographs on Quaker History, 17k

175 Jones,


cit., p. 123.

between study is: Rotterdam Number 5 »

85 Nottinghamshire.

He was impressed with their point of view

in matters of church life,176 hut disputed with them over their view of election.

The Baptists caused him a great

deal of trouble, particularly by disputing with his con­ gregations after he left a meeting. ^-77

He recorded winning

a Baptist teacher to his point of view in he won Samuel Fisher, a Baptist preacher,^-79 a Baptist teacher, 1^0 and a Baptist woman and her h u s b a n d . D e s p i t e these associations, however, the Baptists cannot be identi­ fied as an antecedent of Quakerism. The Ranters, who represent the remnant of the English Seeker movement, were pantheistic.

Examples of their weird

fanaticism are abundant in the Journal.

In 1 6 I4.9 , Fox was in

jail with a group of the Ranters who claimed to be G-od;-*-®^ his disgust for them is evident in nearly every reference made to them, !t. . . I went away; for I perceived they were

176 Braithwaite, o£. cit. , p.- k5* x77 Fox, ojo. cit., I, 305. 178 ibid.. p. 2 3 3 . 179 ibid., p. 2 7 6 . 180 Ibid.. p. 297.

181 Ibid.. p. 302. 182 ibid.. p. 1 2 0 .


Ranters. Hl83

He referred to their low standards in one

referenee,l®4- and in another wrote, MI laid open the Ranters, ranking them with the Old Ranters of Sodom. fll85 They are always referred to by him as disturbers, fanatics, immoral, unstable, and ignorant people.

It is

doubtful if such a group could have influenced perceptably the molding of his ideology. During the early years of the Restoration the Quakers were often mistaken for Fifth-Monarchy Men.-*-®^


the First Conventicle Act against the Friends (l6 6 l), the Fifth-Monarchy Men ran about the streets of London crying that they would overthrow the government of Charles; they were confused with the Quakers, who in turn were further persecuted.

Some Friends appeared before the Commons to

remonstrate and were supported in their position by Waller, Mallet, and Sir John Vaughn, which indicates that in this early period of.development -the Friends were gaining in prestige over the Fifth-Monarchy Men, because of a more sane attitude toward resisting governmental orders.

Loc. cit. l8V Ibid.. p. 155. 185 Ibid., p. 157. 1 8 6 cf. ante. , p. ij..

1®7 Friends Library, I, 11.

87 From the foregoing consideration of religious in­ fluences upon the founder of the Society of Friends, it seems evident that the truth of its religious origin is to be found between the extreme positions.

Henry W. Clark

summarized his position on the rise of the Quakers in the following words: Quakerism, in short, was a new protest of the Non­ conformist spirit, breaking in upon the world when those to whom the making of that protest had before been en­ trusted fell short of entire faithfulness to their charge . . .' . Indeed, we may say of Quakerism as we said of Wicliffism, that it made a sudden and dramatic appearance upon the stage. It was veritably something new. It was from Fox, and f£gm no where else, that the Quaker stream flowed forth.188 The other extreme is defended by Champlin Burrage who does not credit the Society with an individual identity: . . . it may be noted as ascertained that Quakerism was in the main an outgrowth of the earlier Scattered Flock influenced from the better side of Familism . . . George Fox and his leading adherents came forward as prophets, and in this lay their success. Most of the Scattered Flock (now called Seekers) soon accepted them as the divinely sent leaders for whom they had so long been waiting. 3-^9 This examination of Foxfs religious environment supports the position that he was indebted to the men and

188 Henry W. Clark, History of English Non-Conformity from Wyclif to the Close of the Nineteenth Century (London: Chapman and Hall, 1911), I, 3 6 1 -3 6 2 .

189 Burrage, o£. cit. pp. 8 8 -8 9 *


the movements about him for three of his principle tenets, (l) the Light within, (2) mysticism, and (3) simplicity. His fourth major emphasis, a high regard for human life, later became one of the Society*s best known tenets, but it was developed by Fox himself as a logical result of the belief in the tfInner Light11 or ”Divine Spark” within all mankind.

The rise of this element is traced as a part of

the following chapter on the religious tenets of seventeenth century Quakerism,


THE PRINCIPAL RELIGIOUS TENETS OP QUAKERISM DURING THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY Early statements of Quaker belief must be gathered largely from journals, letters, and defensive tracts.


Apology by Robert Barclay Is the most systematic doctrinal statement of the seventeenth-century Friends, and represents less extreme views than those expressed by other early leaders of less enlightenment. Inasmuch as the Society was more interested in a practical religion than in one of formal principles, few creedal statements were issued except in defense.


were many hundreds of defensive pamphlets issued during the first period of the Societyfs development, all of which reflect the pressure under which their composition occurred. A discussion of this early defensive literature is reserved for the following chapter; much of it is repetitious and re­ flects the extreme in the Society, thus is not adequate for a study of the religious tenets.

The research that is

presented in the present chapter was restricted to the widely recognized leaders who were endorsed as official spokesmen for the group.

Although the choice of these writers rep­

resents an arbitrary selection, they were chosen from those

90 most often quoted and referred to by such, responsible Quaker historians as Rufus Jones, Norman Penny, Thomas Evans, William Braithwaite, Edward Grubb, Josiah Marsh, and Louella Wright. The study of the religious tenets is centered in the works of George Pox, Robert Barclay, William Penn, George Whitehead, Isaac Penington, Edward Burrough, Francis Eowgill, Richard Farnsworth, and collective statements of the Society. In an effort to accomplish an economy of treatment, only the most significant and distinguishing tenets are dis­ cussed.

This body of religious beliefs to which the group

subscribed provides the core of seventeenth-century Quaker ideology and is discussed under the following heads: the Inner Light, sense of mission, the peace testimony, the Sacraments, and the Scriptures. It should be pointed out that the religious ideas held by Fox and the unlearned element of his followers are difficult to treat if the spirit of the movement’s founder is preserved.

George Fox did not establish a creed, in the

formal sense.

His was not a critical mind in the formal

sense; consequently, he was not definitive in his concepts nor exact in his use of terms.

The declarations of belief

which he gave represent simple expressions in accord with his experiences and, therefore, are not set within a care­ fully planned schematization.

91 Pox emphasized a type of Christianity that begins with experience and not dogma,190 upon an inherent relation between the soul of man and God as a living, breathing Spirit.191

Thus he gave to religion a new center which was

experience and not doctrine, and while doing so had no thought of engaging in the erection of a new denominational structure.192

He and his followers simply engaged in the

task of reproducing in the world the New Testament type of Christianity.

This faith, for them, was not a new invention,

but the rediscovery of something that had been lost.193


their eagerness to restore purity to life, their total energy was focussed upon moral effort, which grew naturally out of their simple belief in the Divine Light of Christ. I.


The Inner Light, or t!Divine Light of Ghrist,ft as it was sometimes referred to by Pox, constituted his most central religious idea.

All of his religious attitudes refer

190 Rufus Jones, Paith and Practise of the Quakers London: Methuen and Company, Ltd., ^n.d_j/), p. Llj_. 191 Ibid., p. 3 9 . 192 Braithwaite, o£. cit., p. xliii. 193 Jones, op. cit., p. 3 6 .

92 to it and are unintelligible apart from it. The interpretation of what was meant by the Inner Light is the most critical problem of contemporary Quakerism. Its definition is the greatest single factor in dividing the Society of Friends into two groups, the evangelical element and the more progressive group .3-94

This interpreta­

tion Is made more difficult because it is doubtful if such writers as William Penn and Robert Barclay reflect the same spirit as did Fox, yet it is necessary to base a seventeenthcentury study upon their writings, for the belief of the Society must be viewed from a broader point of view than is represented by its founder. An examination of seventeenth-century Quaker writing reveals four separate and distinguishable meanings of the Inner Light.-**95


meant, first, a faculty that passed

judgment on right and wrong, a type of conscience; in a second use It referred to an organ for apprehending religious truth; third, it indicated an occult divination of natural fact, and finally, and more significantly, the Inner Light

^94 Kansas, Oregon, and Ohio Yearly Meetings do not belong to the Five Years Meeting, although no actual separa­ tion divides them from the main body of the Friends. 195 Brand Blandshard, "Early Thought on the Inner Light," Byways in Quaker History (Wallingford, Pennsylvania: Pendle^Hill Studies, 19 M 4J* p. 153*

93 meant the indwelling presence of God. There can be little doubt that Robert Barclay was crediting the Inner Light with a conscience-like function when he wrote: As every unrighteous action is witnessed against and reproved by this light and seed, so by such actions is it hurt, wounded, and slain, and flees from that which is of a nature contrary to it .^-98 This use is more clearly stated in the Apology: ’Every one of you , 1 said George Pox, ’hath a light from Christ which lets you see that you should not lie, nor do any wrong to any, nor steal, nor curse, nor take God’s name in vain.*197 The same meaning is given to the Quaker’s Inner Light by Emerson who wrote of it as a negative faculty: The illuminated Quakers explained their light, not as somewhat that leads to any action, but it appears as an obstruction to anything unfit.3-9°

196 Robert Barclay, Truth Triumphant, Through the Spiritual Warfare, Christian Labours and Writings of Robert Barclay (London: Reprinted and sold by the assigns of J. Sowles, 1718), p. 333. ■*■97 Barclay, Apology, p. 1 8 7 . Barclay did not use the Inner Light synonymously with con­ science; he wrote, MWe do further rightly distinguish this Inner Light from man’s natural conscience: for conscience being that in man which ariseth from the Natural Faculties of Man 1s Soul. 11 His view, as continued, emphasized this distinction while reflecting obscurantism, nFor as God gave two great Lights to Rule the Outward World,.the Sun and Moon, . . . so hath he given man the Light of his Son a Spiritual, Divine Light, to Rule him in things Spiritual. 11 Barclay, Works, p. 337. ■*•98 Ralph Waldo Emerson, l?Essay on Swedenborg,ft Prose Works (Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1875)> II* 75*


The second meaning of this to

Light presents a contrast

thefirst, forwhereas conscience is considered to be

capable of error, the Divine Light of Christ is presented as infallible in its apprehension of religious truth.199 The third concept of the Light stemmed from Fox. Throughout his visions and ecstatic experiences, he appeared to be in possession of occult knowledge.200

ip^e enlightened

Friends made no such claim for themselves, and those writers who gave Quaker doctrine classic form avoided any use of the Inner Light which referred to such an irrational practice. The fourth quality of this isa Divine Spark

Light, the belief that it

within man, was made unmistakably clear by

such claims as the following: But we understand a Spirituals Heavenly, and Invisible Frinciple, in which God, as Father, Son, and Spirit dwells: a Measure of which Divine and Glorious Life is in all men, as a Seed, Which of its own Hature, draws, invites, and inclines to God. 201

199 Pox, o£. cit., I, 99, ioo, loli., ao5. 200

Fox is credited, among other predictions, with foreseeing the death of Oliver Cromwell, and with the break­ up of the Long Parliament. Other early Friends who partici­ pated in this type of prophetic insight include William Edmundson, Miles Halhead, and John Richardson. Joseph Walton, Incidents Illustrating the Doctrine and History of the Society of Friends (Philadelphia: Friends1 Book Store, 1 B9 7 }, pp. 2ix2-27 6 . 201 Barclay, Works, p. 33k.


Such a view would seem to point out the Inner Light as a separate or special attribute of man made possible by the indwelling presence of God,

This view is emphasized

more clearly by statements of Barclay like the following which occur often in his discussions of the Light: By this seed, grace, and word of God, and light where with we say everyone is enlightened . . . we understand a spiritual, heavenly, and invisible principle, in which God as Father, Son and Spirit, dwells: a measure of which divine and glorious life is in all men as a 202 s





He further declared it to be, "a real, spiritual sub­ stance, ”203 but

is not found in all men in the same

degree, for he wrote, "Neither is Christ in all men by way of union. ,f20lj. jje believed Christ to be the Light that illuminates every man, thus he dwells within those who accept Him as a spiritual guiding force.

Barclay!s position is

strongly evangelical, for he makes the Light contingent upon the acceptance of the atonement.

The Inner Light, although

capable of leading men to God, can be resisted and weakened, but is reawakened within him after he repents and turns to Christ.

202 Blanchard, op. cit., p. l60. Apology, p. 1 3 6 . ^ 3 Barclay, Apology, p. 139 20 k ibid. . p. 1 L.3 .

Citing Barclay,


In this particular respect, the works of William Penn and George Pox impress a reader with the belief that the Light, ,fleads all that take heed unto it out of dark­ ness into GodTs marvellous light. If205>

Pox attributed the

Light with leading him into peace with God.


in his Journal, the Light is pictured always as being within all men as a Divine Seed, that is, God within. Whereas the evangelical element of the Quaker movement insists that repentance, that is, partaking of the atonement, is the only path to fellowship with God, Fox left no record to indicate that he found peace through an instantaneous act of conversion.

The broad view of his works, indicates a

belief that something of God is in every man, and if per­ mitted to direct the individual it will lead him into the fellowship of God. The more progressive element of the Society gives this interpretation to the Inner Light: it is a Divine Spark within all men which, if nurtured, will lead them into direct communion with God, thereby eliminating the conversion ex­ perience as a special spiritual phenomenon. This latter interpretation of Poxfs writing is con­ firmed by Louella Wright, a recognized student of Quaker

205 William Penn, "Preface,” The Journal of George Pox, I, 57*

97 literature, who wrote of Pox, flGod, he taught, was even then directly revealing himself to all who voluntarily surrendered their wills to the divine will . M206

In his biography of

Fox, Marsh made a similar observation, ftThus did the mind of George Pox arrive at the conclusion, the Truth is to be sought by listening to the voice of God in the soul*”207 The theory of the Inner Light is the center of Foxfs religious views, and from it his total position proceeds from remarkably logical conclusions*

Because something of

God resides within all men, then all men are of equal value and are to be given equal respect.

Titles and other means

of special respect honor only the human element, and man is not to be thus honored and set aside.

The Divine element

gives to all men a particular value, so that human life is unmistakably sacred and Is thus to be preserved and protected. One man is not to own another, nor take the life of another, but is to contribute to the welfare of all.

This point of

view led Pox and the other early Quakers to the positive action of humanitarian concerns, thereby planting within their ideology a seed for positive action that was to grow and envelop the Society.

Thus, their emphasis quickly

206 Wright, op. cit., pp. li^-l^. Marsh, op. cit,, p. 23.

98 turned away from the narrow sectarian spirit of the Separatist movement to embrace a world concern; this became their sense of mission* II.


The emphasis upon the value of human life quickly gave to the Friends an urgent and persistent desire to meet social needs.

This constituted their sense of mission and

is largely responsible for the new light in which they were regarded at the close of the seventeenth century.


of belief were subordinated to the intense humanitarian con­ cern that drove them into dangerous quarters in order to make life more meaningful for others by alleviating physical distress and need. An unusual sense of justice moved Fox as early as l 6k 8 to appeal at statue hirings, in fairs, and markets for just wages for servants.

Throughout his life he denounced

oppression, and pressed for fair dealing by fixing prices in trade, a practice unknown in that day.*^® The development of a concern for man represents the Increment of religious faith and practice which Fox insti­ tuted.

It grew out of his own experience, rather than the

208 ^ Edmund Harvey, "The Life of G-eorge Fox in Out­ line," George Fox, Some Modern Appreciations (London: The Swarthmore Press, 1925), pp. 1 3 -I4 .

99 product of reflection, but its result was the same; it brought social status to the Friends despite their unusual ways of dress, quaint speech, and strange notions, III.


The testimony for peace stemmed from the same roots as did the sense of mission, for both grew out of a high regard for human life.

The peace testimony has remained

unshaken for nearly three hundred years, and represents one of the Society*s best known stands.

This conviction that

war is an inadequate means of settling disputes has become one of their leading religious tenets; however, their pacificism is recorded in special testimonies, rather than as a part of doctrinal statements. In a declaration issued by George Fox and five other Friends to Charles II in l660, the first of their official statements against war was made: Our principle is, and our practices have always been to seek peace and pursue it; to follow after righteousness and the knowledge of God; seeking the good and welfare, and doing that which tends to the peace of all ,2 0 9 These early leaders were not peace propagandists, but followers of the principle that the Prince of Peace, whose voice within they heard, called them into a life of harmony

209 Pox, ojd. cit., I, 522,

100 and good will.23-°

They believed themselves to be warriors

of a sort and often quoted the Biblical verse, ’’The weapons of our warfare are not carnal.* 1

Spiritual striving was con­

stantly and fearlessly carried on against the protagonists of righteousness; their kingdom was within, thus Edward Burrough wrote to Friends in l660: As for all confusions, and distractions, and rumors of wars, what are they to us? What have we to do with them? Wherein are we concerned in these things? Is not our kingdom of another world, even that of peace and right eousness?2H IV.


Similarly, all ceremonies were rejected in the per­ formance of public worship, for Fox regarded worship to be a spiritual act between the heart of man and his Maker. this reason he instituted the worship of silent

w a i t i n g .

For 212

The objections raised against the Sacrament of the Lord*s Supper included the insistence that no explicit in­ structions were given for its institution,213 and the words, ftas oft as ye do,** leaves it to the discretion of the people.2 1 ^

210 Howard H. Brinton, !lWhy are Quakers Pacifists?** Critique by Eternity (Wallingford: Pendle Hill, 19li3) pp.-.21-22. 211 Walton, op. cit., p. ljii-2, citing Edward Burrough. 212 Marsh, op. cit., p. 22. 213 Fox, Journal, I, 3 8 O. 2li|- Ibid. , p. 381.

101 More basic in their object was the view that the Sacrament served as an instrument of worship, and inasmuch as man has the Light of Christ within him, it is not necessary to use outward forms as instrumental means to immediate, Divine confrontation. V.


The concept of the Inner Light resulted in the peculiar interpretation of the Scriptures which was anathema to the Puritan.

The Scriptures were looked upon as sub­

ordinate to the Spirit, for the written page was meaningless until illuminated by the same Spirit through which it was written.^15>

Furthermore, their authority rests not upon the

church but upon the Spirit. In accord with their fundamental views, the problem of inspiration of the Scriptures did not present itself to these seventeenth-century mystics. men directly.

God could speak to all

He could tell men what to write, and He could

reveal the meaning to other men.

In short, it was a re­

ligious faith as simple in its expectation as the plain clothes which they wore.

215 Barclay, Apology. pp. 6 7 , 6 8 , 275 > PP* 67 j 8 k.




The Inner Light constituted the core of early Quaker belief because their total view rested upon it; therefore, a critical treatment of this theory will serve as an evalua­ tion of their religious position. The significance of the Inner Light resides in its glorification of the individual spirit and renunciation of institutional a u t h o r i t y . I t represents the Quaker spirit of prophetism In its purest form, for through the Light the mind Is made to reveal God spontaneously, which is, in brief, the doctrine of the Friends.^18

further represents a

striving for certainty in the moral realm, which Is an idealism characteristic of the group. Its value can be summarized in the statements (1 ) it is an insistence upon first-handedness or genuineness in religious experience, and (2 ) it exalts personal insight above authority.

But it must be pointed out that the Inner

Light does not represent a wholly anarchistic or individual­ istic system.

Within the Light was the principle of unity,

for the Society soon found that the individual must use the

Howard W. Hintz, nWalt Whitman, 11 The Quaker In­ fluence in American Literature,u (New York: Fleming H. Re veil Company, 191l0 ), p. 6 3 . . 218 Ibid., p. 6 7 .

103 sens© of guidance possessed by the group as a check on his personal ’’Light.1’ This reliance brought in collective obedience and group authority, which remains as the democratic principle within their church government. 219 There are three distinct weaknesses within the doc­ trine of the Inner Light.

First, the Quakers were in error,

psychologically in assuming the mind to possess two separate compartments, a natural and a supernatural.220 is indefensible intellectually. its arbitrary nature.

Such a theory

Its second flaw stems from

Fox disapproved of education, especial­

ly for ministers, believing that the Spirit would lead them into sufficient truth; however, the subsequent emphasis upon education by the Friends and the endowment of splendid colleges testifies to the inadequacies of such a notion in actual practice.

A final weakness is that inasmuch as the

Light does not originate In reason, it is not responsible to the censorship of reason and is therefore in constant danger of inducing fanaticism. 221

jn j^g account of the rise of

Quakerism, Braithwaite cites many examples of such behavior.^22

219 Brinton, op. cit. , p. li.5. 220 Blandshard, ojd. cit., p. 1 6 8 . 221 ibid., p. 1?5


222 Braithwaite, op. cit., pp. 126, lk8 , 158, 19^# 391.





Following the Restoration the Quakers were, with other Puritans, the theme of merciless invective and de­ rision,

In a period when both the stage and press were

most licentious, Friends were exposed to their most reproach­ ful abuses.

Criticism originated from the other Separatists

who violently opposed their peculiar doctrines, and from the men of letters who considered the general Quaker position untenable. Ridicule was heaped upon them by the Royalists because of their peculiarities of dress, their stiff posture, Scriptural phrases, disregard for learning, and detestation of amusements% however, the core of Royalistic criticism was directed against them because the implication of the Friends 1 religious position undermined all vested interests. Their practice of an unpaid clergy was hated by the clergy of other denominations, for it struck a blow against their security; its non-litigious principles were resented by lawyers whose livelihood was thereby endangered, and the non-combatant principle undermined the soldierfs profession. Furthermore, a religious body which forbade music, art,

105 colorfulness, and painting incurred the wrath of the lovers of beauty; the rich and noble were resentful of its insist­ ence upon equality of rank, in short, its protests against conventionality caused a reckless flood of antagonism to dash against the newly formed Friends movement through satirical novels, plays, and verse.^23

But it outlived the

storm and gained in popularity as its real concerns were made known. The volume of criticism against the Quakers during the seventeenth century alone is so great that a thorough study of it must be beyond the purpose of the present chapter. Arberfs Term Catalogues (Volume I) lists the titles of fortyfour books written against the Quakers within the nine-year period of 1 6 7 I-I6 8 O.

In the Bibliotheca Anti-Quakerina

(1873)9 of Joseph Smith, an alphabetical catalogue of several hundred anti-Quaker works is given.2.2.1+.

ear»iy as i659>

George Fox wrote ,fThe Great Mystery of the Great Whorerr in which he replied to over one hundred attacks. Something of the significance of this criticism can be obtained by examining the most representative writers of each group, and this is the present task.



o jd.

cit., p. 8 .

2 2 k This volume which extends to 147 ^4- pages includes eighteenth and nineteenth century- criticism also.

io 6 II.


The pamphlet war between the Friends and other non­ conformists included an extremely long list of names, but is very repetitious.

Charges were hurled against the follow­

ers of Fox in wave after wave of attack, each of which was met with a stubborn repulsing defense.

Much of this warfare

of writing became charges and counter charges between in­ dividuals.

Thomas Hicks, a Baptist, wrote a Dialogue between

Christian and a Quaker, that was promptly challenged by Thomas Ellwood with an ensuing controversy.

Perhaps the

best known of Quaker critics during the pamphlet war was John Bunyan.

In l656 he published a tract entitled Some

Gospel Truths Opened, which, although not naming the Quakers specifically, was so pointed that its attack was clear. The body of his argument consisted of attacking their view of the Inner Light.

He declared the doctrine, that

something of God is within every man, to be a corrupting influence because it prevents the saving work of grace In menfs hearts.22£

Edward Burroughs became the Quaker spokes­

man and answered the charge in The True Faith of the Gospel of Peace, to which Bunyan replied:

Bunyan, op. cit., p. 1|.7.

107 Again, in page 7* thou /Burroughs^ wouldst make us be­ lieve that the Quakers do really and truly lay.the Christ of God, God-man, for their foundation^), p. 1 6 .

Ill men,” he seeks guidance for the task in these lines: Before all Temples th 1 upright heart and pure, Instruct me, for thou knowfstj Thou from the first, Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread Dove-like satst brooding on the vast abyss And madrst it pregnant: What in me is dark Illuminate, What is low raise and support.23*4The same acceptance of the principle of the Inner Light appears unmistakably in Book III: So much the rather thou Celestial light Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers Irradiate, there plant eyes, all mist from thence Purge and dispose, that I may see and tell Of things invisible to mortal sight.235 And I will place within them as a guide My Umpire Conscience, Whom if they will hear, Light after light well u s fd they shall attain, And to the end persisting, safe arrive.236 The religious faith of Milton reflected the mystical strain of the Friends in this feeling of the immediate revelation of God to man.

This position is given particular

emphasis by Alden Sampson in his essay on MiltonTs faith, in which he cites many references to demonstrate the similarity of his faith with that of the Quakers.237

23k John Milton, Paradise Lost in Ten Books, the Text exactly Reproduced from the first Edition of 1667 (London: Basil Montague Pickering, 1 8 7 3 )5 Book I, 11, 17-23. 235 ibid., III, 11, 51-55. 2 36 ibid., 1 1 , 1 9 I4.-I9 7 .

237 Alden Sampson, “Miltons Confession of Faith,” Studies in Milton (New York: Moffat, Yard and Company, 1913), pp. 155-2ljl0.

112 V II.


Henry More, the Cambridge Platonist, demonstrated a marked change in attitude toward the Quakers during the nineteen-year period between 1 6 5 6 -1 6 7 5 *

In the year 1 6 6 0

in his Grand Mystery of Godliness he wrote, TrThe mystery of Familism, and I doubt not of Quakerism, is the worst of all heresies.,f2 3 B

^he modification of his attitude as revealed

in a letter written to William Penn, May 22, 1675* is sur­ prising.

In a century when controversial literature was

filled with harsh charges, the charity expressed by More toward the Quakers indicates a change of attitude toward them. And I hope according to the measure of their sincerity the Quakers faith and practice will grow more ample and articulate til they reach at least the full nature of Christ in the primitive and apostalick towns. And for the present I must confess that those charges that J. Faldo lays agst them (though I little doubt but that they are all true agst the Familist, from whence the Quakers may spring), yett the Quakers themselves . . . are free from the most and chiefest of them.239 He did not mention the factors responsible for the change in attitude thus reflected; however, certain changes within the Society itself are apparent.

The intervening

years no doubt tempered the new Society somewhat; its

238 Cited by Journal Friends Historical Society, XIII (Autumn, 1927)* 6 7 . 239 Ibid., pp. 6 7 -6 8 .

113 separate identity from more fanatical groups had become evident, and its own emphasis had become positive thereby bringing it into favorable repute*

The exact cause of

Morefs change in attitude is not revealed in the letter, but as society at large began to respect the Quakers, he appears to have been thus influenced in his appreciation for this group. Criticism of the Quakers did not terminate, however, by the end of the century, for the eighteenth century pro­ duced its critics, among whom were John and Charles Wesley. But criticism had decreased in quantity and became more restricted to other non-Conformist groups*


sources of criticism had been the most profuse in slander, for it possessed only fragmentary knowledge of true Quaker tenets with little effort to understand the real character of the Quaker. The value of the criticism directed against the early Friends was that the movement, to all practical purposes, was forced to become articulate, thereby making its true posi­ tion known.

As the positive force of the movement became

known, their eccentricities of speech and dress, their peculiar mode of worship, and straightforward manners were minimized within public regard.

The extent to which

popularity had come to the group is hardly more evident than in a letter written by Sir George Saviie, first Marquis of

n4 Halifax, upon the occasion of the Declaration of the Act of Indulgence.

Lord Halifax wrote:

The Quakers, from being declared by the Popists not to be Christians, are now made the favorites, and taken into their particular protection; they are now on a sudden grown the most accomplished men of the kingdom in good breeding, and gave thanks with the best grace, in refined language. 2 I4.O This statement tends to confirm the statement of Macaulay regarding the popularity of the Friends, nHis /Foxrs/ doctrine, a few years later, was embraced by some eminent men, and rose greatly in the public estimation.112 lj-l In conclusion, it should be pointed out that the seventeenth-century Friend as literary subject attests to the rising regard of society for this religious body.


tenet of the Inner Light appears more often as subject of criticism than any other element of their ideology.


this belief persisted and was practiced while popularity was coming to them.

2 I4.O C. Foxcraft, editor, f!A Letter to a Dissenter,rt The Life and Letters of Sir George Saviie (Hew York: Longmans, Green, and Company, 1 B 9 8 ), II, 3 0 0 .

2^-1 Macaulay,


cit. , I, 15>6.



The preceding chapters within this research on the ideology of seventeenth-century Quakerism reveal certain of its significant characteristics: (1) The Quaker way of life centered in a basic simplicity in every aspect of life and belief.

(2) The movement owes its origin to a transitional

period in religion, politics, and economics in which the masses were in quest of certainty in morals, and security for all of life.

(3) The religious views of George Pox and

other leaders of Quakerism were, with the exception of the humanitarian concern, a part of their religious environment. (1l ) The ideology of Foxfs followers was not a formal doc­

trine, but consisted of four loosely connected principle. elements, the Light within, mysticism, simplicity, and a high regard for human life.

(5) Although they were the

victims of relentless literary attacks until the end of the century, these attacks lessened as the Society1s actual character was revealed.

116 II.


In the light of these data the following conclusions can he submitted: (l) Inasmuch as the constructive concern appears as that particular element possessed by Quakerism and which was not possessed by the other contemporary, small Separatist groups, It‘appears feasible to identify it as that specific quality largely responsible for lifting the Society of Friends above the sect level.

(2) Further, this

positive emphasis of Quakerism is traceable to two aspects of FoxTs teaching.

(a) He emphasized that Christian quali­

ties are of more value than Christian dogmas, and this resulted In a moral earnestness which prompted his followers to develop an unusually high integrity of life; this gave to the members of the Society a splendid reputation for honesty, true humility, and dependability.

(b) His belief that a

Divine Spark is present in every man caused Fox t ot ake every precaution to respect human life, and to stress the Christian injunctions that make life more meaningful, such as the re­ lief of physical distress and the practice of physical of non-violence. Thus the genius of Quakerism by the close of its first period of development was the insistence upon a high standard of practical morality for all human relationships.




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