LIBERAL QUAKERS AND WITCHES

I am complemented to be called a “typical liberal Friend.”  William Penn, a liberal Friend, was the judge in a witch trial.  Back when the Christians were still burning witches in New England, Penn came to visit his colony.  Whilst he was there, there was a witch trial.  As Proprietor, we sat as the judge.  There were several good Christians who testified to having seen the accused “flying on a broom”, proof positive she was a witch.  When it came time to pass judgment, Penn is reported to have paused for a few moments of silence (a custom among traditionalist liberal Friends) to feel out his decision.  When he spake, he said he knew of no law against flying on a broom, and acquitted the defendant.  He did admonish her not to fly on her broom in the future.

 

Thos. Clarkson’s “Commentary” has a very interesting chapter about our testimony on Independence of Mind.  He also has interesting things to say about plain speech, grave stones and general illuminations, which also relate. It’s a good read.

As I said at the beginning, I am complemented to be included among typical liberal Friends.

I’m not sure how much Penn had to do with stopping the Christian practice of burning witches, but I am sure it helped.

 

There is an early liberal friends money laundering scam which had much to do with the progress of good liberal thinking in this country, but that’s another story.

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When you call William Penn a liberal Friend, what definition of "liberal Friend" are you using? William Penn was definitely a Christian, whatever else he was - he even wrote a book called No Cross, No Crown

Mine, of course.

1. he believed witches have civil rights.

2.  he didn't believe in burning witches

3. he  believed in that typical Liberal Friends view,( as expressed so eloquently Barclay), that the Light has been available from the get - go, to enlighten people who would allow it wether they knew it, believed it or not., thus his description of the true church. i.e. theology in un-necessary.

4. he believed the Bible was secondary, not primary, again per Barclay.

5. He definitely also believed standard Christian theology of the period, that Mary was a Virgin, and Jesus was god.....but not the 19th c. believe it or burn theology.

Adria Gulizia said:

When you call William Penn a liberal Friend, what definition of "liberal Friend" are you using? William Penn was definitely a Christian, whatever else he was - he even wrote a book called No Cross, No Crown

I am a liberal Quaker and a Christian. Perhaps, Penn like myself do not believe in witchcraft and was being polite. Personally, I thought it was a good line not to fly in the future.

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