Recent Magazine Articles

15 Feb 2016

To act in the spirit “not of judgment, but of mercy”

by Alice Almond Shrock | Issue 117

“Hell above ground” makes an apt description of Newgate, London’s most notorious prison in the early 1800s. The men’s cells were despicable and the women’s even worse. According to one observer, the “horror, filth and cruelty would have disgraced even a slave ship.” First to assault the senses was the stench: daily human waste, menstrual blood, birthing blood, alcohol, vomit all saturated the floor straw and produced an overwhelming odor. Then came the racket: the screaming and fighting of the felons crammed into windowless wards built for...

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13 Feb 2016

Testimonies of truth

by Paul N. Anderson | Issue 117

THEY WERE KNOWN AS “Children of the Light” and “Publishers of Truth” and eventually simply as “Friends.” Like many believers of their day, Quakers sought to interpret and follow the Scriptures apart from established religious authorities. Their focus on the Inward Light of Christ in the believer distinguished them from both the established churches and other dissenting groups. William Penn described the Quaker faith as “primitive Christianity revived” in his book of the same name, but what exactly set them apart? 

From the time of George...

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13 Feb 2016

Quaker Speak

by Thomas D. Hamm | Issue 117


Friend : A Quaker

Birthright Friend : Originally, a person whose membership came from being born to Quaker parents; today, common shorthand for a lifelong Friend

Convinced Friend : A convert to Quakerism


Clerk : The person who presides over a meeting for business

Discipline : The collection of rules and advice by which Friends are expected to govern their lives and conduct business, now often called “books of Faith and Practice”

Meeting : A Quaker congregation or gathering

Meeting for Business : A meeting to transact...

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13 Feb 2016

Seeking the light of Christ

by Max L. Carter | Issue 117

I OFTEN TELL STUDENTS bemused by the culture at the Quaker college where I teach that Friends are “lost in the  sixties”—the 1660s

The situation in England, where Quakerism began in the mid-seventeenth century, seemed as chaotic in those days as the 1960s seemed to Americans going through them. Distinctive principles and “testimonies” observed by Friends today are deeply rooted in the issues and debates that marked the Civil War period of English history and its aftermath. We can understand those times and their influence on Quakerism...

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1 Feb 2016

A Tale of Two Brothers

by Richard P. Heitzenrater | Issue 69

IN 1785, at age 82, John Wesley wrote a wrenching letter to his 77-year-old brother Charles, who had for several years been openly critical of John’s leadership in the Methodist movement.


“Do not hinder me if you will not help,” the older brother scolded. “Perhaps, if you had kept close to me, I might have done better. However, with or without help, I creep on.”

The story of early Methodism is, of course, more than the tale of these two brothers. But the...

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21 Nov 2015

Not concerning the heart but the life

by William Kostlevy | Issue 116

THEY WERE THE TWO GIANTS  of the eighteenth-century evangelical revival. Fitting for men from a century known as the “Age of Reason,” both were university-trained, articulate defenders of faith they believed reasonable. But reason was not all. They saw love as the fountain and heart-warmed affections—we might use the word “emotions” today—as a stream (to use Edwards’s words) that waters an interior life that flowers into holy actions.  

opposites attack 

Ironically, Calvinist Edwards (1703–1758) and Arminian Wesley (1703-1791) each...

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