Posted at 04.10.2018
The Quakers, also called the Culture of Friends, are a group of Christians that are tolerant of other religions. They don't have confidence in sexism, racism, or war. As a society they preach love, truth, and tolerance. They have confidence in treating every person as a best friend, yet this peaceful band of Christians was seen as one of the greatest threats to Christianity and the Puritan life-style during the mid-17th century. They were persecuted, whipped, and hung by the Puritans in the Early North american Colonies. Why would the peaceful Contemporary society of Friends be so greatly feared that it would drive the Puritans to persecute them so? Were the Quakers that large of the threat, or was this yet another exemplory case of antagonism that been around between other Christian bodies in the past? This paper will claim that the Quakers were feared only because that they had a different spiritual view than the Puritans and this throughout background Christians, creating a different view items on Christianity has resulted in persecutions. First I am going to cover a short history of the way the Quakers and Puritans arrived to New Britain. Next I'll cover some of the similarities and distinctions between your Quakers and Puritans. I QUICKLY will detail a few of the persecutions that the Quakers endured from the Puritans in New Britain. Finally I'll compare the hostility that the Puritans placed for the Quakers, with hostilities that other Christians and groups of Christians experienced throughout history.
The Puritans began as several Christians who sought to "purify" the Church of England, during the early 17th hundred years. They experienced that the Church should be different from the rule of the King. The Puritans wanted to be free to worship God that they saw fit, without the King of Great britain telling them the way they should worship (Woodman 22). The Puritans also wanted to correct certain practices and ceremonies of the Chapel of England, that they considered Anti-Christian. They wanted to return the Chapel back to how it was through the apostolic times, before the Church adopted tactics that they felt strayed from God's glory. Sadly the Puritans didn't have much luck in purifying the Cathedral of Britain, instead that they had stiff opposition to any changes and the Anglican Church ended up passing regulations against them (Sugary 18).
Since the Puritans were persecuted and struggling to change the Chapel of England, they instead visited the New World in order to create a "pure" Cathedral that was not controlled by any type of federal government (Abbott 232). They viewed New England as a place where they could create their perfect chapel. They wanted to build a Cathedral that warned against pleasures of the flesh, the one that was very plain so as not to detract from the glory of God, and the one that promoted a very strict way in which to live. They also wanted to ensure that the government would not have the ability to control their Cathedral. This would allow them to worship as they observed fit, without federal government disturbance. The Puritans thought using this method that they might be able to live their simple life that was completely specialized in God in every aspect without the fear of persecution (Great 21).
The Quakers, like the Puritans, also found the Church of England as being corrupt. They presumed that the Anglican Chapel got strayed from your path of God and this it needed changes. They also experienced that the chapel shouldn't be controlled by the Ruler. The Quakers also satisfied stiff resistance, similar to the Puritans, and were persecuted for taking a stand to the King and the Cathedral of England. Laws and regulations were quickly exceeded to try and curb them, their meeting homes (similar churches) were used up, and the jails were quickly filled with Quakers. Not surprisingly opposition the Quakers were not deterred, instead they extended to preach in Britain even though these were constantly persecuted and the Church refused to improve (Woodman 22).
The Quakers felt the craving to propagate their religion about the world, so unlike the Puritans, they did not come to New Britain to start a new church nor to flee persecution. Instead they journeyed to New England to be able to pass on their religious beliefs. They went to New England as missionaries, but rather than being accepted with wide open biceps and triceps by the Puritans, they were immediately thrown in prison. The Puritans then used up the Quaker missionary's books and arranged because of their deportation shortly after (Hamm 23).
A short time following the first two Quakers were deported, more Quakers commenced to arrive and the Puritans noticed they need to stop the Quaker invasion immediately. Soon the Puritans transferred regulations to fine the ship's captains that brought any Quakers to New Great britain. The Quakers soon found it very difficult to get a ship to consider those to New England. Rather than being deterred, the Quakers simply built their own ship to take them to New England. The Puritans continued to persecute the Quakers as they would arrive. They would whip, brand, and sometimes even mutilate the Quakers who arrived to Massachusetts. Then your Quakers would be banished and all of their property confiscated by the Puritans. If the Quakers were departing New Britain, the Puritans would give them a strict alert that promised the Quakers loss of life if they ever before went back again. Despite these stringent warnings and punishments, the Quakers still continued to return to New Britain (Hamm 23).
What may have brought on the Puritans to do something so violently on the Quakers? In the end, there were many similarities between your Puritans and the Quakers. They both acquired endured persecutions from the Anglican Chapel and the Ruler of England. They both believed that the federal government shouldn't control the cathedral and they both thought that the Chapel of Great britain was experienced become corrupt and needed to be fixed. Also both the Puritans and Quakers thought that folks should prevent the natural pleasures of the world and the pleasures of the flesh, as well as any styles or traditions that could lead to pleasure and/or selfishness. They both believed in having a straightforward church so as never to detract from the glory of god plus they both disliked the theory a priest was had a need to talk to God (Jones xx).
Despite these similarities between your Puritans and Quakers, there were also many differences. The Puritans, like many religions, got a minister to lead the church services, whereas the Quakers experienced no ministers or priests (Abbott 232-233). The Quakers thought that every Religious is actually a minister in his or her own way and that the Holy Spirit could move anybody, whether man, girl, wealthy, poor, royalty, or peasant, to speak on God's behalf. For their church services, instead of a person leading the sermon, the Quakers would gather together and hold out in silence before Holy Spirit would undertake a person. See your face would then be compelled by God to speak for God and to uncover new revelations.
Another difference was that the Puritans thought that only a go for few were picked by God, whereas the Quakers presumed that every specific had an interior light in themselves. This interior light could show every person the best way to salvation. It could light up sin and show how to avoid anything that was unlike what God will need a person to do. This inner light also allowed each individual to communicate directly with God, without the need for a minister or priest (Hamm 21).
The Puritans also presumed that reading the Bible was the best way to understand what God required. The Puritans thought that the Bible was the inspired expression of God and that it held most of God's truths (Lovely 98). They stressed that learning the Bible was of the utmost importance. The Quakers on the other side, believed that following a "inner light" was of the most importance, with the Bible to arrive second. The Quakers still presumed that the Bible was God's term, however they also thought that God could expose new things to each person through their individual "inner light" that may well not have been exposed through the Bible (Jones xxi - xxii).
The Puritans also looked at the sacraments as outward signs or symptoms of God's unseen grace, while the Quakers view of the sacraments is simply spiritual. For example, the Quakers do not have baptisms or take Holy Communion. Instead they believed that true communion was gathering mutually to worship Christ. Also, they assumed that really the only true baptism was whenever a person was baptized with the Holy Spirit moving through them. The Quakers then looked at God's grace not as a visible indication, but one that you cannot see. It was a sign that went directly into a person's center and only see your face could sense that that they had God's grace (Abbott 252 & Hamm 21).
Another difference was equality. The Puritans possessed a very rigorous social order, however the Quakers, believing that all women and men were equal, didn't have a interpersonal hierarchy. The Puritans thought that women shouldn't have public assignments, but the Quakers would often give women general population roles and allow women to experiment with important roles within their Chapel (Hamm 23). Also the Quakers looked at every person as if he was a favorite brother. They believe all life is a sign of God's grace and every person should be cared for as if these folks were your best friend. This designed that the Quakers did not view anybody as outranking someone else, even if see your face happened to be a King or a Bishop (Woodman185).
Before the arrival of the first Quakers to New England, the Puritans experienced received anti-Quaker pamphlets. These pamphlets led the Puritans to assume that the Quakers may be considered a threat to their way of life. Because the Puritans assumed that that they had set up a perfect world and chapel in God's eyes, they did not want one to threaten their way of life. Therefore the Puritans viewed all the religions as a potential risk (Sweet 144). When the Quakers did turn up, they immediately looked at them as a potential menace for civil disorder. Because the Quakers did not believe in specialist, but that every person was identical, the Puritans looked at this as contempt and disorder in their culture. This in turn allowed the Puritans to utilize state laws and regulations to punish Quakers. If the first Quakers came to New England, the Puritans claimed that the Quakers were creating civil unrest and immediately acquired them arrested and tossed in jail (Chu 6-7).
After the first deportation of the extremely first two Quakers to arrive in New England, the Puritans thought they may have stopped the issue. However when increasingly more Quakers began to reach, the Puritans believed threatened by the change the Quakers were endeavoring to bring. The Puritans chose they had to set an instantaneous stop to anymore Quakers arriving to New Britain. This resulted in the fines on ship's captains for delivering Quakers to New England, but the Quakers continued to arrive and pass on their religious beliefs. This led to the Puritans fining anyone who even possessed the Quaker's books or pamphlets. In fact the Puritans were so protecting of their culture that these fines weren't limited by only Quaker literature, but to any material from a religion other than the Puritan religion (Wills 19). Despite these fines, the Quakers extended to come and spread their religious beliefs, even though it intended building their own dispatch to get from Britain to New Britain.
This constant influx of Quakers only helped to influence the Puritans that Quakerism was definitely one of the greatest threats to their society. These were revolted by the Quaker's views on the Bible, direct revelation, offering women public functions, the sacraments, their opposition to taking oaths, and the actual fact that the Quakers seemed compelled to visit where these were not wanted. Towards the Puritans it looked like as if the Quakers must surely be possessed by demons and that they were out to destroy the Puritan's way of life (Hamm 23). They could not fathom anyone in their right mind who would keep going where they were not pleasant. The Quakers however, were stubborn. They, like the Puritans, believed that their religion was the correct religion and that God was on their side.
At first the Puritans noticed that the fines, prison time, and banishment would stop the Quakers from approaching, however the Quakers continued to return over and over. When these punishments failed, the Puritans then setup stricter laws to keep carefully the Quakers away. They announced that if a male Quaker went back after being banished, he'd have his hearing cropped. Then if he went back again, the other ear would be cropped. Following a third return, the Quaker could have his tongue fed up through with a hot flat iron. For females Quakers, they would be whipped for the first 2 times they delivered and they would have their tongue's tired through for the 3rd criminal offense. When these punishments proved to be inadequate, the Puritans thought that they need to setup the death charges to deter the Quakers from arriving (Great 146).
Still the Quakers would maintained coming back to try and spread their religion. They would claim that visions and dreams urged them to visit New England also to spread the good word with their religion. As the Quakers were so consistent ongoing to New Great britain, regardless of the punishments inflicted after them, many more people changed into Quakerism. Once people would observe how dedicated the Quakers were to their religion and that they would willingly die for what they presumed in, it finish up drawing a lot more people to the Quaker faith. This resulted in the Quaker religious beliefs spreading fast and considerably (Fox 34).
These hostilities between the Quakers and Puritans weren't just an isolated incident between both of these religions. It has been going on for centuries between Christians and non-Christians, as well as between Christian groups that have different values. Christianity's history is littered with persecutions and people who have died for his or her faith and beliefs.
When Christianity was first starting, the Roman Empire had persecuted Christians on / off over the first few decades. You start with Jesus who was simply viewed as a threat to the Empire and for that reason was persecuted and finally wiped out for his beliefs. Then his enthusiasts were also persecuted for following him. For instance Paul the apostle, who was a big influence in spreading early Christianity, was persecuted, tossed in prison, tortured, and driven out of cities for growing the Christian trust. Then in 64 C. E. the Roman Emperor, Nero, blamed Christians for losing the location of Rome, to which he finished up persecuting a lot more Christians. Many Christians were also persecuted for refusing to pay homage to the Roman Emperor's genius or divine spirit. These Christians experienced seen paying homage to the emperor's genius as idol worship and refused to participate in the function. Christians were also persecuted by the Roman Empire for refusing to execute sacrifices. These Christians were often executed by fire, wild animals, or gladiators in public arenas, in order to send a note to other Christians that they ought to comply with the rules of the empire (Moore 58-59).
The early on Christians were persecuted because they had different values than lots of the Romans and therefore were viewed as a risk even though they could have been peaceful. This however, did not keep them from persecuting others as time continued. Other groups of Christians that also confronted opposition and hostilities, during the first couple of centuries that Christianity had become, were the Ebionites, Gnostics, and the Marcionites. These three communities were Christians that experienced different views on Christianity than the proto-orthodox Christians. For this they were persecuted and completely demolished by the proto-orthodox Christianity. For example, the Ebionites assumed that to become Christian a person must be Jewish and follow all of the Jewish practices from eating a kosher diet to circumcisions. In addition they believed that Jesus was the followed son of God and didn't result from a virgin delivery. Due to these values the Ebionites weren't popular with other Christians that wished to move away from the Jewish traditions, which led to them being persecuted and eventually their religious beliefs was destroyed (Ehrman 100-102).
The Marcionites were also considered heretics and persecuted for having different beliefs than the proto-orthodox Christians. These were seen as a significant risk and even acquired five quantities of catalogs written against them to be able to assault their values. Their values differed because they believed in two Gods, one was the "evil" Old Testament God and one was the "good" New Testament God. They also believed that Jesus had not been actually human being, which greatly contrasted with proto-orthodox Christianity. (Ehrman 103-108).
The Gnostics also possessed different views than the proto-orthodox Christians, which resulted in them being harassed and persecuted. The Gnostics thought that Jesus wasn't actually human, that the materials world was completely evil and the heart world was good, that there have been multiple Gods, and that only certain people got a divine spark in them that would allow them to go to heaven. These ideas induced the Gnostics to be looked at heretics and another menace to Christianity. Christians were even warned how to spot possible Gnostics in order to drive them out of the proto-orthodox Christian churches (Ehrman, THE BRAND NEW Testament 197-201).
Persecutions among different Religious orders continued, but persecutions even happened within the same Christian order. Whenever there was a break up in values, Christians would often dispute over who was right and who was wrong. This might often lead to more persecutions. One particular example was around the 8th century when there was a huge issue over symbols of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the saints. Christianity split into two categories, each of who thought their views were appropriate. One group was the iconoclasts, who presumed that all symbols should be ruined, and the other group was the iconodules, who assumed that icons where just simple glimpses of what heaven may be like. This difference in beliefs led to violent issues over who was right and who was simply incorrect. Constantine V, Emperor Leo III's boy, had some of the best and harshest persecutions of the time. He had hundreds of iconodule monks tortured by gouging out their eyes, chopping off their tongues and noses, arranging their beards burning, and even performing those that stood against his iconoclast view. These hostilities between the iconoclasts and iconodules lasted from 726 until 787 C. E. (Nystrom 134-235).
Another example of hostilities between Christian orders was between the Protestants and the Catholic Church. The Protestants were persecuted because they interpreted the Bible in another way than the Catholics. The Protestants then used these new interpretations of the Bible to change the Catholic Church. A number of the changes they required were to get rid of indulgences, reduce the sacraments from the seven to only baptisms and communion, and use scripture by itself as the primary guide for faith. The Catholic Chapel on the other hand wanted to keep indulgences, all seven sacraments, and to continue using scripture in conjunction with church teachings as the ultimate authority for trust (Moore 182-183). These variations led to an irreparable break up between the two Christianities, with the Catholic Chapel declaring that the Protestants were.
In realization, these hostilities between Religious groups and between Christians and Non-Christians were very similar to the hostilities between your Puritans and Quakers. Every one of the hostilities had to do with different views on Christianity leading to persecution of 1 of the Religious teams. These persecutions ranged from imprisonment, to excommunication, to banishment, or to fatality. The Quakers got completely different views on Christianity than the Puritans. As the Puritans thought threatened by these differences, they persecuted the Quakers. This was nearly the same as a great many other persecutions throughout the history of Christianity. Christians when they were first forming possessed different viewpoints than non-Christians. Then as Christianity grew, factions of Christians segregated because they had different viewpoints on how Christianity should be. Therefore resulted in the new groups of Christians, with the new viewpoints, who were often persecuted by the original band of Christians.
While it could seem that the Puritans were especially harsh on the Quakers, it is apparent that these were not the one ones to make use of death and consequence to deter what they viewed as a threat to their life-style. When two sets of Christians have opposing viewpoints, plus they both imagine very strongly that they are right and the other group is wrong, this inevitably contributes to hostilities between the two groups. In the event the hostilities are strong enough, there have been apt to be punishments and perhaps even loss of life to deter and stop the get spread around of the opposing group's values. These hostilities will probably continue in the future as new revelations happen over what Christianity should be and what tactics should be followed. Only time will notify what new Christianities will branch off of the vast selection of Christian purchases that already are founded, but it is almost sure that new branches of Christianity will meet opposition and persecution in one or another of the already founded branches of Christianity.