A Friend emailed me this morning to say that the article Quaker History on wikipedia seems rather flawed. This is a separate article from the one on Quakerism I have consulted more often. A passage my Friend quoted goes as follows:
Then in the early 1700's something happened that was just about the undoing of the whole thing. The next generation of Quakers began to say things that should never have been said. "Let's major on the minors." There were certain things that Friends did that many other Protestants did not do and those things took on way too much importance. For example, George Fox would sometimes spend an hour in silent prayer and then he would preach for two or three hours. These second generation Quakers opted to forget the sermon and concentrated on silent prayer. That's where the whole idea of Quakers sitting in silence got started.

Well, once the message of Christ was diluted a whole bunch of Quakers turned inward and the dynamic of the Friends movement died. Many of the stereotypes people have of Quakers comes from this period. One historian stated that friends "settled down into a peaceable, respectful sect proud of their past and content to preserve their distinctive. Pleasure, music and art were taboo; dress was painfully plain and speech was Biblical...They gained few new converts and lost many old members.


Another oddity I noted further on were the listing of "SOME NOT VERY IMPORTANT BUT INTERESTING TIDBITS". Incuded in this category was the "tidbit" of John Woolman's testimony against slavery.

Are there any Friends out there with the time and energy to edit and correct this wikipedia article? We'd be well served not just by contrary opinions but by solid research (quoting early Friends on silent worship etc.

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Rich, I'm unable to reach the Quaker History page from your link. I also tried searching that topic, but came up with nothing. Interestingly, Wikipedia asked if I meant "Qlerker History." I guess my response to that would be, "yes, I'm interested in that topic as well, just not at the moment!"
hmm. Well, there was a typo in my link (it shouldn't have included the close parenthesis at the end). But the non-typo link doesn't work any more either. However, the following URL will now bring you to the same page I was viewing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Religious_Society_of_Fr...

I don't know what happened to the other URL after I posted it.
Good ol' Wikipedia. I haven't seen that entry. I'm not going to dive into those waters but I'm glad you're doing it. There are some knowledgeable people who work on the main Quaker entry but like most things Wikipedia those with the strongest opinions tend to be those who make edits. Good luck and I hope some Friends here do take this up!

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