A Quaker Response to Distinguishing Marks

Stephen Sims


This 1741 broadside, by a member of the Society of Friends either in southeastern Connecticut or Rhode Island, is a response to Edwards’ portrayal of Quakers in Distinguishing Marks as believing in a “mystical fantastical Christ, such as the Light within,” as opposed to an “outward” Christ, or a Christ that appeared “in the Flesh.” Sims claims that Quakers bear testimony to nothing more nor less than the “True Light” of Christ’s Holy Spirit in the heart or soul. He then proceeds to give a litany of scripture proofs for his position, and concludes with a somewhat confessional summary, showing the orthodoxy of Quaker beliefs, including that of an “outward” or incarnate Christ born of a virgin. Edwards’ knowledge of Quaker principles is uncertain, but was probably not very extensive


History; Quaker; Distinguishing Mark; Early American Religious History

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