Research Note:

Robert Rich published a pamphlet in 1678 titled Hidden Things brought to Light or the Discord of the Grand Quakers Among Themselves. Discovered: In some Letters, Papers, and Passages written to and from George Fox, James Nayler, and John Perrott; Wherein may be seen the Cause and Ground of their Differences, and falling out: And what manner of Spirit moved and acted Each of Them.

I am currently scribing (as opposed to keyboarding) this piece for publication on the christonomy.net website.

Published in this pamphlet is a letter from John Perrot to George Fox wherein Perrot writes:

And touching thy late opinion of the Apostles setting up a Formality (which thou callest a Comely order) of taking off the Hatt in prayer or Prophecying, it seems to me to be very unsound to say that he that sought to bring peoples minds out of all visibles, should be the Forcer of them into an {Page 12} external work of taking off the Hatt …

This passage is significant in my research as one source (among many) to support that there were many (much more than some Quakers are willing to conceded) Quakers from the very beginnings of the gathering of Quakers who witnessed in their conscience and testified to being come out of all outward political, religious, and social forms to guide and inform their relationships and interactions.

While in the above quote Perrot is suggesting that Fox (in his establishment of outward formalities of worship and behavior) had changed or modified his earlier testimony of coming out of all forms, what is more important to me is Perrot is holding up those who were come out of all outward political, religious, and social forms even to the point of calling out George Fox as having modifed his original testimony.

This is further support there were Quakers that through the appearance of the inshining Light in their conscience were led out of the very process of being guided and informed by outward formalities, creeds, gestures, institutions etc. There were Quakers who from the very beginnings of Quakerism who were guided and informed by the immediate and immanent presence of the inshining light of the spirit of Christ itself in itself without reference to or regard for any visible forms or formalities.

Furthermore, it is become ever more manifest that their came to be in the gathering of Quakers (after about the first decade) those who testified to coming out of the forms of Protestantism and Catholicism into more godly forms through the leading of the spirit. There were also those who, through the leading of the spirit, were come out of all forms and for whom the inshining Presence of God in their conscience was sufficient in itself to guide and rule their relationships and interactions and, of course, all the relative manifestations in between according to their measure.

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