who refused to denounce his opinions were accused of being infidels and separatists; and they called their accusers bigoted and intolerant.
With regard to disputed doctrines, both claimed to find sufficient authority in the writings of early Friends; and each side charged the other with mutilating and misrepresenting those writings.
As usual in theological controversies, the skein became more and more entangled, till there was no way left but to cut it in two.
In 1827 and 1828, a separation took place in the Yearly Meetings
, and several other places.
Thenceforth, the members were divided into two distinct sects.
In some places the friends of Elias Hicks
were far the more numerous.
In others, his opponents had a majority.
Each party claimed to be the genuine Society of Friends, and denied the other's right to retain the title.
The opponents of Elias Hicks
called themselves ‘Orthodox Friends,’ and named his adherents ‘Hicksites.’
The latter repudiated the title, because they did not acknowledge him as their standard of belief, though they loved and reverenced his character, and stood by him as the representative of liberty of conscience.
They called themselves ‘Friends,’ and the others ‘the Orthodox.’
The question which was the genuine Society of Friends was more important than it would seem to a mere looker on; for large pecuniary interests were