George Keith and the Growth of Quakerism

Authored by Kellie-Ann Ford

Image of George Keith’s Published Sermons, Courtesy of the Massachusetts Historical Society, who has a copy on micro-film. An original can be viewed at the New York Historical Society

During the 17th century the Religious Society of Friends, better known today as Quakers, was founded. Unlike the Protestants, Quakers believed each person contained within them Divine Light meaning “all people, regardless of their familiarity with the Bible, might have access to grace” (Plank 2016, 523). For this reason, women could speak up, publish their writings and take part if they felt moved to do so (Tarter 1993), though, eventually the Meetings would become separated (Adams 2001, 660). Slavery and the treatment of Natives were issues taken up by early Quakers. While preaching in Barbados, Quakers were forced to take a moderate stance on slavery, after being accused of inciting rebellion and causing suspicion among the slave holders (Plank 2016, 517).

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