Society to assume any standard whatsoever concerning creeds.
It is true that the early Quakers
wrote volumes of controversy against many of the prevailing opinions of their day; such as the doctrine of predestination, and of salvation depending upon faith, rather than upon works.
All the customary external observances, such as holy days, baptism, and the Lord
's Supper, they considered as belonging to a less spiritual age, and that the time had come for them to be done away.
Concerning the Trinity
, there appears to have been difference of opinion among them from the earliest time.
When George Fox
expressed a fear that William Penn
had gone too far in defending ‘the true unity of God,’ Penn
replied that he had never heard any one speak more plainly concerning the manhood of Christ
, than George Fox
was imprisoned in the Tower for ‘rejecting the mystery of the Trinity
,’ in a book called ‘The Sandy Foundation Shaken.’
He afterward wrote ‘Innocency with her Open Face,’ regarded by some as a compromise, which procured his release.
But though various popular doctrines naturally came in their way, and challenged discussion, while they were endeavoring to introduce a new order of things, the characteristic feature of their movement was attention to practical righteousness rather than theological tenets.
They did not require their members to profess faith in any