CHAPTER 29
ACTIVITIES AND NEW TENDENCIES OF AMERICAN QUAKERISM

THE first period ( 1827-1861) of the third division of American Quaker history was characterized by separations and was dominated by the slavery issue. Many other lines of philanthropic and educational work also engaged the interest and support of Friends. At the beginning of this period, however, the policy of isolation was emphasized by the leaders of American Friends, especially with regard to political, religious and philanthropic work. It became their settled policy not to form "mixed associations with the world's people" for any cause. The separation of 1827 1828marked the abandonment of the Quietist theology,1 but Quietism still reigned in religious work and worship. The leaders and travelling ministers were chary of general concerns or organized efforts. In their philanthropic efforts they were careful to proceed according to "immediate guidance." It was understood that all their plans were, like modern railroad schedules, "subject to change without notice." The latter part of this period witnessed the passing of Quietism in religious work.

In objecting to the anti-slavery leaders' work in "mixed associations," Indiana Yearly Meeting put it on the ground that the non-Friends "do not profess to wait for divine direction in such important concerns."2 Over against this came to be set the ideal which Joseph Sturge advocated in

____________________
1
This was true also for the Hicksites, who, while having no official theology, stopped with theological tolerance or went on to Liberalism.
2
Edgerton, op. cit., p. 49.

-392-

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