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A Brief Introduction to Quakerism“Christ is come to teach his people himself”- George Fox. Quakerism 1. 01. Quakerism arises out of a radical interpretation of Christianity that understands Christ as being a living reality in personal experience, not only in the Bible and Church tradition. The basic discovery of the Friends movement is – in the words of George Fox, the movement’s founder – that “Christ is come to teach his people himself.” While Friends today understand this in a variety of different ways, the foundational belief that underlies all of Quaker faith and practice is that God is knowable by every human being, and that the Spirit of God will lead us into all truth if we are faithful in hearing and obeying God’s voice in our hearts. Average Age Kids Start Dating there.
Friends believe that all people have the capacity to know the truth in their hearts and to discern the will of God. Furthermore, Friends believe that not only are we able to know God’s will, but that through God’s grace we are empowered to do it. Inward Truth; Outward Faithfulness. Friends testify to an inward experience of the Spirit of Christ that is available to each individual; but Quakerism is not an individualistic path.
Maybe the children of London made up the song to sing the character of its districts [history link]. The Parish of Shoreditch was known for its poverty.
Just as the Holy Spirit speaks to us directly as individuals, we also experience God speaking to us as a group when we gather with the intention to receive God’s will together. Some Friends express this experience by speaking of the “Testimony of Community.” All Friends believe that to be fully faithful to God, our individualism will be brought under control and we will be gathered into community that seeks to know and live out the divine will. Quakers believe that all of life has the potential to be sacramental. That is to say, the reality of God’s power and love can be embodied and experienced in every aspect of life. Rather than placing our emphasis on specific days, times, rituals or ceremonies, Friends place our focus on the possibility of God’s presence and action in every moment. The Social Testimonies.
Discover the radical history of the Quaker movement on our timeline. WE KNOW the Hudson Valley was one of the main arteries of the Underground Railroad. We know that large numbers of fugitives were sent from Philadelphia to New York. What is a book of "Faith and Practice"? While Friends traditionally do not have creeds, most yearly meetings (regional bodies of like-minded Friends) do adopt a book.
Beyond these convictions that Friends hold in common, which could be referred to as our “religious testimonies,” we also share a number of commitments that could be called our “social testimonies.” Of these, the one which Quakers are best known for is the Peace Testimony. Friends oppose war in all forms, based on our conviction that Christ has commanded us to lay aside our earthly weapons and rely only upon the power of God’s love, trusting in God’s justice.
This conviction goes further than simply denying participation in war: Friends seek to let our whole lives be expressions of peace in a world that is wracked by conflict and violence. Another of Friends’ core beliefs is the Testimony of Simplicity. It is our conviction that God should be the Center and Orderer of our lives, and we seek to let all of our actions, possessions and relationships be in the service of Truth. This testimony includes seeking to lead lives of material simplicity, trusting that God has indeed provided for the needs of all, but recognizing that material luxury leads to spiritual deprivation and environmental destruction. Friends recognize that all people are loved by God and have value based on their relationship with their Creator.
From this basis, Friends have developed a Testimony of Equality, which emphasizes the fundamental brotherhood and sisterhood of all people. Friends reject titles, honorifics and other social constructions that are designed to elevate individuals based on human standards of prestige. Similarly, we believe that we are to treat with love and respect those whom the wider society rejects or deems inferior. Finally, as Friends have lived into an intimate relationship with Truth, we have been convicted that all of our lives must be in accordance with that Reality. The Testimony of Integrity is a recognition that the Spirit calls us to lead lives of honesty in all our dealings.
We are called to lead lives of openness and authenticity, speaking clearly and honestly, and showing consistency between our religious faith and the way that we live. Quaker Practice. There are two corporate practices that are distinctive to Friends and which deserve special attention in any introduction to the Quaker movement: Waiting worship and Friends’ decision- making process. Friends form of worship is based on our faith that if we open ourselves up to the Holy Spirit in our hearts, God will be present with us and guide us in our worship together. The heart of our worship together is expectant waiting on God, often referred to as “open worship,” “silent worship,” or “unprogrammed worship.” Friends sit together for approximately an hour (though it could be longer or shorter, depending on how we feel led by God). During this time, our worship is based in expectant silence.
We wait on God, opening ourselves to the Spirit’s working in our hearts and praying that God give us a message as individuals, as well as for the group as a whole. Sometimes, no one speaks during the entire hour.
The Underground Railroad in the New York Hudson Valley « Fergus Bordewich: The Imperfect Union. WE KNOW the Hudson Valley was one of the main arteries of the Underground Railroad. We know that large numbers of fugitives were sent from Philadelphia to New York City, and up through the valley to Albany and Troy. Between 1. 84. 2 and 1. New York City. Most of them were sent onward to Central New York, Vermont, or Massachusetts. But there is almost no record of how they traveled.
Compared to other areas—for example, Central New York State, southern Pennsylvania, the Ohio River Valley, Detroit—the absence of records is deeply puzzling. How did they travel? What routes did they follow? And who helped them? Profile of the valley and slavery. Before we get to the answer, I want to go back in time somewhat.
New York was once home to the largest number of slaves of any state in the North—more than Georgia, until the late 1. The heaviest concentration of them was on plantations in the Hudson Valley, many owned by the prominent Livingston family. At times, slaves had made up as much as 1. Slavery was cruel here as it was anywhere in the South. Slaves were branded with irons, and notched in the ears, like cattle.
Sometimes they were punished with castration. In the early 1. 9th century, there were about 2,0.
Dutchess County—in some areas of the county, one- third of the population was enslaved. Support for slavery—or at least tolerance for it—persisted in the valley’s staunch antebellum Democratic Party politics. Especially in the plantation country along the east shore of the river, the atmosphere was, frankly, intensely hostile to abolitionism. In 1. 83. 3 and 1. American Anti- Slavery Society swarmed through the state, setting up hundreds of local branches, and recruiting many thousands of members. They were less successful in the Hudson Valley than in any other part of the state. Apart from the Quaker strongholds of Poughkeepsie and Hudson, they recruited almost no one.
In 1. 83. 9, an agent assigned to the mid- Hudson was mobbed and driven out of Newburgh. The same year, a Liberty Party ticket received only 2. Dutchess County—compared to 4. Madison County, near Syracuse, which was a hotbed of abolitionist activity. And in 1. 84. 0, Samuel Ringgold Ward of Poughkeepsie—the state abolition society’s first black lecturer—was prevented from speaking anywhere.
No churches or public buildings were opened to him. And the wheels were even stolen from his wagon. In 1. 84. 6, in a referendum on black suffrage, the vote in the valley against allowing blacks to vote was overwhelming: 9. Columbia County, 9.
Westchester and Ulster, and almost 9. Putnam. The land route So let’s come back to the question I began with. We know fugitives traveled through the valley in big numbers.
But how did they do it? In the early decades of the century, fugitives were assisted by the tacit alliance that formed the nucleus of the underground in many parts of the county: Quakers and free blacks. But: Bear in mind that in this early period many of the fugitives handled by the underground were not coming from the South, but fleeing from slavery right here in New York State, or from New Jersey, or Connecticut. The main route—as best as I have been able to determine it—ran more or less due north through a chain of Quaker communities that extended from New York City to Vermont. Families and meetings were intertwined. Quakers could travel from New York to Burlington without ever sleeping beneath a non- Quaker’s roof.
So could fugitives. In the 1. 83. 0s, fugitives were dispatched northward by underground men like David Ruggles and Isaac T. Hopper. Ruggles—who had connections in Poughkeepsie—was the founder of the New York City Vigilance Committee, the first black- operated underground unit in the country. Hopper was, in a sense, the “father of the Underground Railroad.” He began doing underground work in Philadelphia as early as the 1. Fugitives dispatched from the city found protection at three Quaker- owned mills, and possibly at the Colored Peoples Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, in New Rochelle, and among Quakers in Mamaroneck and Scarsdale.
The route continued north to the homes of Joseph Pierce at Pleasantville, and John Jay Jr. Bedford, in northern Westchester. The Jay family included some of the most important, if underappreciated heroes of the abolitionist movement.
His grandfather, also named John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court, was a founder of the New York Manumission Society (though a slave owner himself). His father, Judge William Jay, was one of the most prolific pamphleteers of the abolitionist movement. His son, William Jay Jr., reportedly forwarded fugitives out of New York City while he was a student at Columbia University.
I’ll come back to the Jays later.)Fugitives probably also found refuge, or at least assistance, in an African- American settlement known as “The Hills,” near the town of Harrison.
William Penn English Quaker leader and colonist. William Penn, (born October 1. London, England—died July 3. Buckinghamshire), English Quaker leader and advocate of religious freedom, who oversaw the founding of the American Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a refuge for Quakers and other religious minorities of Europe. Early life and education. William was the son of Admiral Sir William Penn. He acquired the foundations of a classical education at the Chigwell grammar school in the Essex countryside, where he came under Puritan influences.
After Admiral Penn’s naval defeat in the West Indies in 1. London and then to Ireland. In Ireland William heard Thomas Loe, a Quaker itinerant, preach to his family at the admiral’s invitation, an experience that apparently intensified his religious feelings. In 1. 66. 0 William entered the University of Oxford, where he rejected Anglicanism and was expelled in 1. Nonconformity. Determined to thwart his son’s religiosity, Admiral Penn sent his son on a grand tour of the European continent and to the Protestant college at Saumur, in France, to complete his studies.
Summoned back to England after two years, William entered Lincoln’s Inn and spent a year reading law. This was the extent of his formal education. In 1. 66. 6 Admiral Penn sent William to Ireland to manage the family estates. There he crossed paths again with Thomas Loe and, after hearing him preach, decided to join the Quakers (the Society of Friends), a sect of religious radicals who were reviled by respectable society and subject to official persecution.
Quaker leadership and political activism. After joining the sect, Penn would eventually be imprisoned four times for publicly stating his beliefs in word and print. He published 4. 2 books and pamphlets in the seven years immediately following his conversion.
In his first publication, the pamphlet. Truth Exalted (1. Quaker doctrines while attacking in turn those of the Roman Catholics, the Anglicans, and the Dissenting churches. It was followed by The Sandy Foundation Shaken (1. Trinity and other Protestant doctrines. Though Penn subsequently qualified his anti- Trinitarianism in Innocency with Her Open Face (1.
Tower of London, where he wrote his most famous book, No Cross, No Crown (1. In this work he expounded the Quaker- Puritan morality with eloquence, learning, and flashes of humour, condemning the worldliness and luxury of Restoration England and extolling both Puritan conceptions of ascetic self- denial and Quaker ideals of social reform. No Cross, No Crown stands alongside the letters of St. Paul, Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy, and John Bunyan’s. Pilgrim’s Progress as one of the world’s finest examples of prison literature. Penn was released from the Tower in 1.
It was as a protagonist of religious toleration that Penn would earn his prominent place in English history. In 1. 67. 0 he wrote The Great Case of Liberty of Conscience Once More Debated & Defended, which was the most systematic and thorough exposition of the theory of toleration produced in Restoration England. Though Penn based his arguments on theological and scriptural grounds, he did not overlook rational and pragmatic considerations; he pointed out, for example, that the contemporary prosperity of Holland was based on “her Indulgence in matters of Faith and Worship.”That same year Penn also had an unexpected opportunity to strike another blow for freedom of conscience and for the traditional rights of all Englishmen. On August 1. 4, 1. Quaker meetinghouse in Gracechurch Street, London, having been padlocked by the authorities, he preached in the street to several hundred persons.
After the meetings, he and William Mead were arrested and imprisoned on a trumped- up charge of inciting a riot. At his trial in the Old Bailey, Penn calmly and skillfully exposed the illegality of the proceedings against him.
The jury, under the leadership of Edward Bushell, refused to bring in a verdict of guilty despite threats and abusive treatment. For their refusal the jurymen were fined and imprisoned, but they were vindicated when Sir John Vaughan, the lord chief justice, enunciated the principle that a judge “may try to open the eyes of the jurors, but not to lead them by the nose.” The trial, which is also known as the “Bushell’s Case,” stands as a landmark in English legal history, having established beyond question the independence of the jury. A firsthand account of the trial, which was a vivid courtroom drama, was published in The People’s Ancient and Just Liberties Asserted (1.
Admiral Penn died in 1. Quakerism. Young Penn inherited his father’s estates in England and Ireland and became, like his father, a frequenter of the court, where he enjoyed the friendship of King Charles II and his brother, the duke of York (later James II). In 1. 67. 2 Penn married Gulielma Springett, a Quaker by whom he had eight children, four of whom died in infancy.