Primitive Quakerism Revived

by Paul Buckley

This is the word of the Lord God to you all, a charge to you all in the presence of the living God; be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations, wherever you come; that your life and conduct may preach among all sorts of people, and to them. Then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in every one; whereby in them ye may be a blessing, and make the witness of God in them to bless you: then to the Lord God you shall be a sweet savour, and a blessing.

—George Fox

The Religious Society of Friends arose as a passionate missionary movement in the 1650s and suffered through decades of persecution before gaining legal toleration in 1689. The new religious sect questioned the fundamental values and underlying principles of English society, pointedly challenging the social, political, and religious status quo. From its inception, members of the Society felt divinely called to model a God-centered alternative to the surrounding culture. Outwardly, this was manifested by such things as distinctive ways of dressing and unique forms of speech. Inwardly, Friends were characterized by their faithful dependence on the immediate direction of the Inward Light of Christ in all aspects of their lives. As the years passed, the outward forms dropped away and the peculiarities of the Quaker way of life gradually disappeared. While in some ways Friends today continue to resist “the world’s ways,” they have largely accommodated themselves to the forms, customs, and standards of the peoples they live among.

Primitive Quakerism Revived challenges contemporary Friends in each of the Society’s branches to reexamine their fundamental beliefs and practices, to identify the changes and additions that have been made in the past three and a half centuries, and to acknowledge which of those are unacceptable compromises that need to be abandoned. This book is a plea to reclaim the essential Quaker principles and mission by modeling a joyfully faithful community of God.

About the author
Paul Buckley is a Quaker historian and theologian, well-known among Friends of all stripes for his workshops, short courses, and retreats. He has written books on William Penn, Elias Hicks, and the Lord’s Prayer; and co-edited The Quaker Bible Reader

Now available:
164 pp.: Hardcover, ISBN 978-0-9998332-2-3, $25
164 pp.: Paperback, ISBN 978-0-9998332-3-0, $15

Choose Paperback or Hardcover:

Read excerpt: Chapter 2 - "Some Essential Concepts"

Related title now available:
Primitive Christianity Revived, by William Penn, translated into modern English by Paul Buckley

Copyright © Paul Buckley, 2018

Return to Inner Light Books home page
For more information contact