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I suspect that the article on Elias Hicks might be somewhat misleading. English visitors to Hicks remarked how old-fashioned he was in his dress and ways, and where is the evidence that there was deviation from plain speech? He insisted that he believed in Christ's divinity and quoted the Bible from memory in spoken ministry. He may be seen as within the quietist tradition of Woolman and Job Scott, whereas the Orthodox were taking on evangelistic notions which were alien to original Quaker faith. He might have been puzzled that modern liberal Quakers are now referred to as Hicksites. (sources: Edwin Bronner 'The Other Branch', H.Larry Ingle 'Quakers in Conflict', also E.Poley 'Quaker Anecdotes' for his ethical standards.)
- I like what you say here, especially in that it draws attention away from the schism and back to the human Hicks, so I've edited some of it and put that into the article. Please edit the article as you see fit! I am also reminded of a memoir of Hicks's preaching written, I think, by the famous poet Walt Whitman, who got to see and hear some of it. This was from a book my sister has, so I'm going to have to search around to find it again, but I suspect the passages in question are long out of copyright, and some of them might be usefully incorporated into this article. --Eric Forste (talk) 06:41, 30 July 2005 (UTC)
Text removed September 3, 2005
During my edits just now, I either removed the following sections, or wrote them heavily:
From Hicks's Reported Views:
- It was certainly one of the distinguishing beliefs of Friends from the time of its founder, George Fox. Therefore, Hicks emphasized it in his preaching. He downplayed and reputedly even denied the doctrines of the miraculous conception and divinity of Christ and the provision of vicarious atonement by the death of Christ. He also was reported to have denied that certain in the counts were historical fact and taught that the leading of the Inner light was more authoritative than the text of the Bible. His detractors considerd these views heretical because they contradict the teachings of "orthodox" Christianity.
From Disputes Among Friends:
- The contoversy over Hicks's teaching interrupted the normally calm procedings of the Religious Society of Friends and resulted in competition and disputation instead of the consensus that noramally charactrized and still characterizes interaction among them. In 1827 certain members of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting tried to prevent Hicks from speaking. In 1828, the Yearly Meeting split, and there were two sessions. Other yearly meetings split along similar lines during subsequent years, including those in New York, Balitmore, Ohio, and Indiana. Those who sided with Hicks were generally called Hicksites, and his detractors were called Orthodox Friends. Each side considered itself the legitimate heir to the legacy of earlier Friends, such as George Fox and Robert Barclay.
- Hicks' partisans were mostly country Friends who perceived urban Friends as worldly. Many of the Philadelphia Friends were wealthy businessmen, and many of the country Friends kept less peculiar in matters of "plain speech" and "plain dress", which by this point in time had become a sort of jargon and a sort of uniform, respectively. The split was not purely doctrinal. It reflected tensions that had been growing between the elders — who were mostly from the cities — and Friends who lived farther away from major communities and Meetings. Both groups that emerged after the schism continued as unprogrammed Meetings, having no designated preacher, prearranged music, or set ritual.
- As for Elias Hicks himself, his English visitors remarked how old-fashioned he was in his dress and ways, and there is no particular reason to think that his speech was not plain.
--Ahc 01:46, 4 September 2005 (UTC)
So who won?
The article describes a split between Hicksites and Orthodox Quakers. How did this impact the Quakerism of today? Was Hicks just the proponent of one side of an 18th century squabble or did he influence modern Quakers? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.108.40.206 (talk) 19:13, 30 April 2009 (UTC)
-- Everybody lost. The official Orthodox line was that Hicks and his followers were disowned. At that time, Britian YM supported the Orthodox. There were more splits after that. I guess, in all branches, the effect is weaker elders, and a tendency to prefer to be like some outside group (such as Wesleyans, or Unitarians) instead of like more traditional Quakers (There seems to be a fear on all sides that Barclay and Fox are a path to the crazies on the other side of that old split).