The Beginnings of Quakerism

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The Beginnings of Quakerism - William C. Braithwaite. The Quaker religion, properly called the Society of Friends, began in Westmoreland in northwest England in the mid-1600s, when George Fox and several others including William Dewsbury, James Nayler, Francis Howgill and Edward Burrough traced their inspiration and their constructive ideas to direct divine "openings" through which they believed they were being led by God. Because this book covers only up to the end of 1660, it is a very detailed study of the early history of Quakerism. The book explains background influences which led to the formation of the new religion, then shows us the beginning of its growth, in which its members were persecuted and jailed, in England, Europe and America, with some followers paying with their lives. Quakerism did not exclude women, some of whom felt called to the ministry. Some followers showed dramatic fits of trembling (hence the term Quaker) while others manifested their convictions in other ways. William Simpson of Lancaster "went three years naked and in sackcloth in the days of Oliver and his Parliament, as a sign to them and to the priests showing how God would strip them of their power…" Many of the followers called themselves "seekers" or "publishers of the truth." The book also includes four excellent maps of parts of Britain which cradled this religion. While we have all heard about the Quaker religion, there are few people whose understanding would not be greatly broadened by this informative work. (1912, 1999), 2009, 5½x8½, paper, indices, 610 pp. 101-B0955 ISBN: 0788409557