A Portraiture of Quakerism, Volume II


Taken from a View of the Education and Discipline, Social Manners,
Civil and Political Economy, Religious Principles and Character, of
the Society of Friends




Thomas Clarkson


Originally Published:

New York: Published by Samuel Stansbury, No 111, Water-Street




CHAPTER I – Quaker Marriage

SECT. I.—Marriage—Regulation and example of George Fox, relative to Marriage—Present regulations, and manner of the celebration of it among the Quakers.

SECT. II.—Those who marry out of the society, are disowned—Various reasons for such a measure—Objection to it—Reply.

SECT III.—But the disowned may be restored to membership—Terms of their restoration—these terms censured—Reply.

SECT IV.—More women disowned on this account than men—Probable causes of this difference of number.

CHAPTER II – Quaker Funerals

SECT I.—Funerals—Extravagance and pageantry of ancient and modern funerals—These discarded by the Quakers—Plain manner in which they inter their dead.

SECT II.—Quakers use no tomb-stones, nor monumental inscriptions –Various reasons of their disuse of these.

SECT. III.—Neither do they use mourning garments—Reasons why they thus differ from the world—These reasons farther elucidated by considerations on Court-mourning.

CHAPTER III – Quaker Occupations

Occupations—Agriculture declining among the Quakers—Causes and disadvantages of this decline.

CHAPTER IV – Quaker Trade

 SECT. I.–Trade—Quakers view trade as a moral question—Prohibit a variety of trades and dealings on this account—various other wholesome regulations concerning it.

SECT. II.–But though the Quakers thus prohibit many trades, they are found in some which are considered objectionable by the world—These specified and examined.

CHAPTER V – Quaker Settlement of Differences

Settlement of differences—Abstain from duels-and also from law—Have recourse to arbitration—Their rules concerning arbitration—An account of an Arbitration Society at Newcastle upon Tyne, on Quaker-principles.

CHAPTER VI – Quaker View of Poverty

SECT. I.–Poor—No beggars among the Quakers—Manner of relieving and providing for the poor.

SECT. II.–Education of the children of the poor provided for—Observations on the number of the Quaker-poor—and on their character.



INTRODUCTION to Quaker Religious Views

Invitation to a perusal of this part of the work—The necessity of humility and charity in religion on account of the limited powers of the human understanding—Object of this invitation.


CHAPTER I – Overview of Quaker Religious Thought

God has given to all, besides an intellectual, a spiritual understanding—Some have had a greater portion of this spirit than others, such as Abraham, and Moses, and the prophets, and Apostles—Jesus Christ had it without limit or measure.

CHAPTER II – Quaker View of the Holy Spirit

Except a man has a portion of the same spirit, which Jesus, and the Prophets, and the Apostles had, he cannot know spiritual things—This doctrine confirmed by St. Paul—And elucidated by a comparison between the faculties of men and of brutes.

CHAPTER III – Quaker Scriptures

Neither except he has a portion of the same spirit, can he know the scriptures to be of divine origin, nor can he spiritually understand them—Objection to this doctrine-Reply.


This spirit, which has been thus given to men in different degrees, has been given them as a teacher or guide in their spiritual concerns—Way in which it teaches.


This spirit may be considered as the primary and infallible guide—and the scriptures but a secondary means of instruction—but the Quakers do not undervalue the latter on this account—Their opinion concerning them.


This spirit, as a primary and infallible guide, has been given to men universally—From the creation to Moses—From Moses to Christ—From Christ to the present day.


Sect. I.–And as it has been universally to men, so it has been given them sufficiently—Those who resist it, quench it—Those who attend to it, are in the way of redemption.

Sect. II.–This spirit then besides its office of a spiritual guide, performs that of a Redeemer to men—Redemption outward and inward—Inward effected by this spirit.

Sect. III.–Inward redemption produces a new birth—and leads to perfection—This inward redemption possible to all.

Sect. IV–New birth and perfection more particularly explained-New birth as real from “the spiritual seed of the kingdom” as that of plants and vegetables from their seeds in the natural world—and goes on in the same manner progressively to maturity.


SECT. I.–Possibility of redemption to all denied by the favors of “Election and Reprobation”—Quaker-refutation of the later doctrine.

SECT. II.–Quaker refutation continued.


Recapitulation of all the doctrines advanced—Objection that the Quakers make every thing of the Spirit and but little of Jesus Christ—Attempt to show that Christians often differ without a just cause—Or that there is no material difference between the creeds of the Quakers and that of the objectors on this subject.


SECT. I.–Ministers of the Gospel—Quakers conceive that the spirit of God alone can qualify for the ministry—Women equally qualified with men—Way in which ministers are called and acknowledged among the Quakers.

SECT. II.–Quaker-ministers, when acknowledged, engage in family visits—Nature of these—and sometimes in missions through England—and sometimes in foreign parts.


Elders—Their origin and their office—These are not to meddle with the discipline of the church.


SECT I.–Worship—is usually made to consist of prayer and preaching—But neither of these are considered by the Quakers to be effectual without the aid of the spirit—Hence no liturgy or studied form of words among the Quakers—Reputed manner and character of Quaker-preaching—Observations upon these.

SECT. II–Silent worship—Manner of it—Worship not necessarily connected with words—Advantages of this mode of worship.

SECT. III.–Quakers discard every thing formal and superstitious from their worship—No consecrated ground—No priest’s garments—No psalmody—No one day esteemed by them holier than another—Reasons for these singularities.


Miscellaneous particularities—Quakers seldom use the words “original sin,” or “Trinity,” and never “the word of God” for the Scriptures—Believe in the manhood and divinity of Christ—In the resurrection—Their ideas on sanctification and justification.

CHAPTER XIV – Quaker Baptism

Quakers reject baptism and the Lord’s supper—Indulgence solicited for them on account of the difficulties connected with these subjects—These difficulties explained.


SECT. I.–Two baptisms, that of John and of Christ—That of John was by water—and a Jewish ordinance—John the prophet left under the law.

SECT. II.–Baptism of Christ was by the Spirit—This the baptism of the Gospel—Authorities on which this distinction between the two is founded.

SECT. III.–Quakers conceive it was not the baptism of John which Jesus included in the Great Commission, when he ordered his disciples to go into all nations, and to teach them, baptizing in the name of the father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost—This shown from expressions taken from St. Peter and St. Paul—and from the object and nature of this baptism.

SECT. IV.–But that it was the baptism of Christ—This shown from a critical examination of the words in the commission itself—And from the commission, as explained by St. Mark, St. Luke, and St. Paul.

SECT. V.–Practice of Jesus and the Apostles a confirmation of this opinion.


Sect. I.–Two suppers, the one instituted by Moses, the other by Jesus Christ—The first called the Passover—Ancient and modern manner of its celebration.

Sect. II.–Second, enjoined by Jesus at Capernaum—This wholly, of a spiritual nature—Way in which this may be enjoyed.

Sect. III.–Quakers say that Jesus instituted no new supper distinct from that of the Passover, and which was to render null and void that enjoined at Capernaum, at a rite of the Christian church—No such institution to be collected from St. Matthew, St. Mark, or St. John.

Sect. IV.–Nor from St. Luke—St. Luke only says, that all future Passovers of the Disciples with Christ were to be spiritual—but if, as Jews, they could not all at once abdicate the Passover to which they had been educated, they were to celebrate it with a new meaning—But no acknowledged permission of it to others.

Sect. V.–Nor from St. Paul—St. Paul only says that the Passover, as spiritualized by Jesus, was allowed to his disciples, or to the Jewish converts, who could not all at once lay aside their prejudices concerning it, but that it was to last only for a time—Different opinions about this time—That of the Quakers concerning it.

Sect. VI.–Had a new supper, distinct from that of the Passover, been intended as a ceremonial of the Christian church, it would have been commanded to others besides the disciples, and its duration would not have been limited—Reasons from St. Paul, to show that he himself did not probably consider it as a Christian ordinance—Whereas the supper enjoined at Capernaum, was to be eternal—and universal—and an essential with all Christians.


See also, A Portraiture of Quakerism, Volume I.