QWHP 17th and 18th Century Material
Part One: A-M.
A Letter of
Encouragment to Elizabeth Levis and Jane Fenn. "In this year (1724) two
sober young women, Elizabeth Levis and Jane Fenn, were concerned to visit
Friends in the island of Barbadoes, and they meeting with some discouragement,
in Christian love I wrote the, the following letter, to encougae them in
the work of Christ." This Elizabeth Levis was the sister-in-law of the Elizabeth
Levis who appears below. Jane Fenn is better known by her later married name,
to Friends, Belonging to Hertford Meeting. "Dear Friends, let us not
always be dwarfs in Christianity, as it were, for Christ is a thorough Redeemer
to all that the first Adam lost; As Abraham recovered all for the king of
Sodom, that Chedorlaomer had carried away. Therefore mind your [p412] growth,
I beseech you, from little children to young men, that you may overcome the
wicked one;.." Written while in prison, at the age of 82.
My Children and Grandchildren. Also written at the age of 82, advice
to seek holiness, love the scriptures, attend meetings, etc.
A Letter to
John Wesley, June 29th 1772. Mary Dudley (then Mary Stokes)
was active in Wesley's revival movement at the time but had recently started
showing some dissatisfaction and had begun attending an occasional Friends'
Meeting. Wesley apparently wrote her a strongly worded letter about such
activities; (I have looked for, but have not found, this letter yet) this
was her response. This appears to have been the turning point for Mary Dudley,
and about a year later she made her affiliation with Friends formal.
Letter to the
Governor of Barbados. This version of the
famous letter, inculded as a doctrinal statement in most American versions
of Faith and Practice indicates which portions of the letter were
extracted for a doctrinal statement and which were not. The extracts version
was taken from Northwest and Southwest Yearly Meetings (EFI) and Indiana,
North Carolina, and Western Yearly Meetings (FUM.) Note: Since originally
posting this I have learned that Indiana Yearly Meeting has restored the
most significant omission, the balance of the text on the
Declaration Regarding Wars and Fightings. The
full text of one of the fullest declarations concerning war, also from the
Bicentenary Edition. To my knowledge the full text is not anywhere available
in print anymore, it is even abridged in the Nickall's edition.
Concerning Silent Meetings. Fox on the reasons
for and purpose of silence in Meetings.
To James Wilson,
on the death of his wife. In my humble opinion,
the best of all of these letters. She also makes mention of having attended
Penrith (?) Yearly Meeting, and that controversy and dissension there regarding
the ministry of women seemed to have been resolved.
To James Wilson,
1757. A fairly vivid example of apocalyptic
influenced earlier Quaker eschatology, forseeing a day of judgment coming
to the people of the unrepentant nation in the near future.
Letter to Gilbert
Thompson, 1729. A typical letter of encouragement
for that time, written to a younger brother.
Letter to James
Wilson, 1751. She comments about the difference
between those who continue to press on and those who sit by the roadside,
reliving previous openings. (James Wilson being her brother.)
Death of Samuel Bownas. (Letter to James Wilson,
1753.) She writes a good memorial to one of the most important of the Friends
of that period. In the latter part of t he letter, though, we see her becoming
more and more isolated.
the Precious Unity of the Spirit in Christ Jesus. An epistle to Friends
exhorting them to keep in unity, and to be vigilant against the wiles of
the enemy, who would attempt to stir up backbiting, talebearing, dissention,
etc. to draw people away from the gospel.
to Friends. Written during a time of persecution, counseling Friends
to keep their meetings in the name and power of Christ; this would bring
comfort and joy to them, and be a source of terror to the workers of iniquity.
An Epistle to
Friends Coming Forth in the Ministry. With particular focus on the reminder
to wait until it is time to give the testimony from the Lord, so as not to
lead to an untimely birth.