Elias Hicks: A Controversial Quaker

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The Meeting for Sufferings also maintained contact with its counterpart in London which had been organized in Meeting for worship: Meetings for worship within Philadelphia Yearly Meeting have always been organized on the principle of silent waiting, where each person may pray, meditate, or "listen to the Light of God" within himself or herself and within the group. Vocal ministry arises when a member feels inwardly led to offer a specific message, prayer, or song. It is not necessary to be a member to attend such a meeting. Membership register: Volume in which the monthly meeting records its members, often including information about births, deaths, marriages, and removals.

Such composite registers were unusual prior to the Separation but became common thereafter. Memorials: On the death of a minister or other important member, the monthly meeting might prepare a brief biography testifying to the spiritual value of this life. This practice is no longer generally followed. Yearly Meetings also periodically published printed books of memorials, particularly in the second half of the 19th century.

Men's meeting: Monthly, quarterly, and yearly meetings for business were held by men and women in separate sessions until the late 's and early 's when men and women gradually began to meet in joint session. See also women's meeting. Ministers: Historically, men and women who were recognized as being unusually inspired by the Spirit of God and provided most of the vocal messages in meeting for worship.

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Ministers were formally designated or "recorded" by the monthly meeting, and regular meetings of ministers and elders, called Preparative Meetings of Ministers and Elders, or Select Meetings, were held to consider the spiritual life of the meeting. See also elders. Minutes: Official records of proceedings kept for all Quaker business meetings preparative, monthly, quarterly, and yearly meetings , along with their committees.

Monthly meeting: The basic unit of Quaker administration, which holds regular monthly business meetings. Only members can participate.

It has responsibility for care of members, authorizes removals and marriages, maintains discipline, considers the queries, manages meeting property, fosters social concerns, and reports regularly to the quarterly meeting. Its purpose was to support the abolition of slavery and educational charities for blacks.

Hopper , joined the society. It separated into Hicksite and Orthodox branches in The Hicksite branch suffered a Progressive or Congregational separation in when the larger body in Marlborough Monthly Meeting withdrew, later becoming the Friends of Human Progress. Indiana Yearly Meeting was set off in , composed of Friends in the states of Indiana, Illinois, and the western part of Ohio. In , the Orthodox branch further divided into Wilburite and Gurneyite sections. Orthodox Friends: Members of a branch of Quakers resulting from the Separation of who were evangelical and stressed the Jesus Christ of history and reliance on the Bible as the authoritative source of religious truth.

Particular meeting: A formally-established meeting for worship under the care of a monthly meeting.

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Elias Hicks: A Controversial Quaker

Pennsylvania Hall Association: The Pennsylvania Hall Association was a stockholders association formed in to erect a building in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, dedicated "to Liberty and the Rights of Man. Many of the primary movers behind the Association were Quakers involved in the anti-slavery movement. The building was opened on May 14, , but, as a symbol of the abolitionist movement, it was destroyed by an angry mob on May 17, Founded by the Quaker Anthony Benezet , its membership was substantially composed of Friends.

See Progressive Friends. The first general meeting held in Philadelphia was in In , the meetings in New Jersey and Pennsylvania were combined into one yearly meeting with alternate sessions at Philadelphia and Burlington. Since , all yearly meetings have been held in Philadelphia. From that year, there were two Philadelphia Yearly Meetings, one of the Orthodox, the other of the Hicksite branch.

Preparative meeting: A regularly-organized business meeting of a single congregation which prepared business to be presented to the monthly meeting.


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The scope of business as recorded in its minutes was normally limited to responses to queries and matters of property and school oversight. Prize Goods: Goods seized from enemy ships by naval or privateer vessels and sold to the public; as part of their testimony against war, Quakers were forbidden to purchase them.

Elias Hicks and other Quakers argued that slave produced goods, having been created by people who were enslaved by war and violence, were prize goods.

See free-produce. Progressive Friends also called "Congregational Friends" : A reform movement which developed among Hicksite Friends in the s, but also included many non-Quaker liberals and radicals. The largest group became formally organized as the Pennsylvania Yearly Meeting of Progressive Friends, which met at Longwood in Chester County, Pennsylvania, from to Progressive Friends advocated a religion of humanity which stressed the inherent goodness and perfectibility of humankind and promoted such reform causes as abolition of slavery, temperance, women's rights, opposition to capital punishment, prison reform, homestead legislation, pacifism, Indian rights, economic regulation, and practical and co-educational schooling.


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  6. What I Require From Life: Writings on science and life from J.B.S. Haldane.

Quarterly meeting: Meetings for business held four times per year, attended by representatives of all monthly meetings in a region. It is an intermediary between the monthly and yearly meeting, serves as an appellate body for disciplinary matters, and considers problems too large for a local meeting to solve. A quarterly meeting holds the authority to establish or discontinue a monthly, preparative, or particular meeting for worship. It collects financial assessments from each monthly meeting in accordance with the quota established by the yearly meeting.

Queries: A set of questions, revised periodically, which were to be answered in writing by preparative, monthly, and quarterly meetings and reported to the Yearly Meeting. The queries concerned conduct of individuals and practices of the meetings, and provided one means of assuring uniformity in discipline.


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Meetings of ministers and elders also responded to queries. Removal: A certificate of removal is a document given to persons who are transferring their membership from one monthly meeting to another. Their removal testifies that they are members in good standing with the meetings they are leaving.

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Testimonies: Traditionally, Quakers developed a series of specific practices, often called testimonies, which expressed ethical conduct of truthfulness, simplicity, equality, and peace. Testimonies include rejection of oaths, use of "thee" and "thou" in speech, plain dress, refusal to take off hats to social superiors, equality of men and women, opposition to slavery, and refusal to bear arms.

Testimonies also can refer to official documents, frequently disownments and memorials, prepared by Quaker business meetings as part of what they considered witnessing to truth.

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Traveling certificate or minute: A document issued by a meeting to a member in good standing normally a recorded minister , allowing him or her to travel to other meetings to visit or preach. In , Friends in Virginia made the decision to disown members holding slaves. By Friends persuaded the Virginia legislature to pass a law permitting manumission and within six years nearly all Quaker slave-holders had freed their slaves. Life in slave states became difficult and many Quakers from Virginia and surrounding states migrated west.

There was no Hicksite Separation in this area. Virginia Yearly Meeting was laid down in Wilburites emphasized the plain life, separation from the world, strict enforcement of the discipline, guidance by the Inward Light, and close adherence to writings of early Quakers. Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Orthodox maintained a fragile unity, despite tensions between a Wilburite majority and a Gurneyite minority. A second series of splits for similar reasons occurred in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, resulting in Yearly Meetings of Conservative Friends.

See also Gurneyite Friends. Women's meeting: Separate business meetings for women alongside the men's meetings were held by preparative, monthly, quarterly, and yearly meetings. Women appointed representatives, communicated with other women's meetings, granted or received certificates of removal, approved marriages for women members. The men's meeting rarely overruled the women's meetings on removals, marriages or questions regarding matters of discipline. Women usually had to work with much smaller funds than men's meetings.

Gradually, beginning late in the 19th century, men and women met jointly to conduct business. See also men's meeting. It became the Annual Meeting of the Friends of Human Progress in , and continued until approximately Yearly meeting: A large autonomous body of Quakers, which meets for several days once a year.

In theory, its decisions are binding on the monthly and quarterly meetings within its jurisdiction and on the committees and staff which carry out the work of the yearly meeting. It meets annually to conduct business, formulate the discipline, receive reports and concerns from its constituent meetings, review the state of the Society, and communicate with other yearly meetings and non-Quaker organizations.

See Note on Quaker dating above. Scholarly Commentary Themes People Organizations. A Abolitionism: The term "abolitionism" is sometimes used to distinguish those who advocated immediate and unconditional end of slavery, and the term "anti-slavery" used as a generic term to indicate opposition to slavery. Congregational Friends: see Progressive Friends.

Conservative Friends: see Wilburites. Braithwait left the soil of her native England, armed with full documentary evidence of her unity with the society at home, gifted by nature with unbounded assurance of mind and a countenance undaunted in what she considered the service of the Lord. She it was before whom the monster of infidelity was to wither and to die, who was to bring the American people into all the glorious consistency of the Mother Church.

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This very early Hicksite application of orthodox comes across as contemptuous and sarcastic — but is really too early, I think, to be functioning as the name of a definite party in the controversy. Rather, it seems merely to be an ironic description of the perceived self-righteousness and condescending attitude of British Friends.

A clearer use of the term Orthodox to refer to an identifiable side in the impending schism appears in the New York religious newspaper The Telescope , April 1, almost exactly a year before the actual separation took place in Philadelphia Yearly Meeting :. There is now a general commotion and overturning among the once peaceful people called Quakers.

A SERIES OF EXTEMPORNEOUS DISCOURSES, by Elias Hicks - 1825

The division seems mostly to have originated in a difference of sentiment, maintained and strenuously enforced by two noted preachers of that order, viz. The only explicit explanation of the origin of the term Orthodox that I know of by a Friend of this era is offered by Hicksite James Cockburn, who in wrote:.

The application of the term orthodox to a party in the society of Friends, appears to have arisen from the similarity of their assumptions and measures with those of the various sects who, at different periods of the church, have laid claim to this distinction, and on this ground have proscribed and persecuted others who have differed from them in opinion.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Sign me up. Quaker Historical Lexicon A blog on historical changes in distinctive Quaker vocabulary. A clearer use of the term Orthodox to refer to an identifiable side in the impending schism appears in the New York religious newspaper The Telescope , April 1, almost exactly a year before the actual separation took place in Philadelphia Yearly Meeting : There is now a general commotion and overturning among the once peaceful people called Quakers. The only explicit explanation of the origin of the term Orthodox that I know of by a Friend of this era is offered by Hicksite James Cockburn, who in wrote: The application of the term orthodox to a party in the society of Friends, appears to have arisen from the similarity of their assumptions and measures with those of the various sects who, at different periods of the church, have laid claim to this distinction, and on this ground have proscribed and persecuted others who have differed from them in opinion.

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