This thesis considers Quaker ministry from George Fox through the 18th into the 19th century, and argues that there was a diversion from the conception of Fox, represented by both an increasingly oppressive formal structure, and by shallow lack of considered discernment concerning vocal ministry; as well as a focus on silence at the expense of communication and a morbid obsession with one’s own inner condition. This was coupled with a loss of the sense of the inner light as the personal Christ, and a devaluing of history and scripture, at least until the influence of Methodism and the evangelical revival.

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