Period II The Peculiar People 1737-1784



THERE were many signs of change in English society toward the end of the first third of the eighteenth century. The reaction from the struggles of the Puritan period was coming to an end. The Stuart dynasty was definitely finished; the last serious attempt of the Jacobite Pretender to the throne had been decisively defeated. The second George of the Hanoverian line had succeeded peaceably to the throne. A new generation had arisen and new issues were demanding attention. Fresh areas of English society were ripe for a spiritual harvest, which was to be gathered, however, not by Friends but by the Methodist and Evangelical movements. Puritanism won its spiritual victory in the Wesleyan movement after the failure in the previous century of its military and political struggles.1

Other events, indicating a change in the religious climate, were the publication in 1727 and 1735 of translations of works of continental Quietists,2 the early writings of William Law, and the visit of Count Zinzendorf, the

Green, A Short History of the English People, III, 307, 308.
Hobhouse, William Law and 18th Century Quakerism, p. 151.


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The History of Quakerism
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