Early Friends heard the Word and then invaded public spaces with it, bringing to steeplehouses and marketplaces the prophetic announcement of a new age. My sense is that early Friends were less concerned with exactly where they were going with the Lamb’s War and whether they were “winning” than with being faithful to their call. In the short term, they certainly shook things up and made impressive gains in bringing about the transformation they believed in. But in the long term, of course, the Lamb’s War seemed to fail. The Restoration of the monarchy, the collapse of the Puritan experiment, the decades of persecution that followed, all meant that the Lamb’s War had been lost.
Or had it? On its own terms, yes. But . . .
Like all apocalypses, the Quaker apocalypse of the Word understood the problems of the time and their causes brilliantly, it flared brightly in…
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