The Quaker movement began in the 17th century with George Fox (1624-1691); Fox wrote, "this is both our principle and practice, and hath been from the beginning, so that if we suffer, as suspected to take up arms or make war against any, it is without any ground from us... whereas men come against us with clubs, staves, drawn swords, pistols cocked, and do beat, cut and abuse us, yet we never resisted them, but to them our hair, backs, and cheeks have been ready. It is not an honour to manhood nor to nobility to run upon harmless people who lift not up a hand against them, with arms and weapons." (Pg. 107)
American Quaker John Woolman (1720-1772) wrote that he believed "true religion consisted in an inward life, wherein the heart doth love and reverence God the Creator and learn to exercise true justice and goodness, not only towards all men but also towards the brute creatures." (Pg. 165) He also believed slavery "to be a practice inconsistent with the Christian religion." (Pg. 169)
Caroline Stephen (1834-1909) of England states that the justification of Quakerism lies in "its energetic assertion that the kingdom of heaven is within us; that we are not made dependent upon any outward organization for our spiritual welfare... other Protestant sects ... transfer the idea of infallibility from the Church to the Bible. Nothing, I believe, can really teach us the nature and meaning of inspiration but personal experience of it." (Pg. 247) She adds that a true mystic is conscious of having an inward life, "into which as into a secret chamber, he can retreat at will." (Pg. 248) Thomas R. Kelly (1893-1941) asserts that "Life is meant to be lived from a Center, a divine Center." (Pg. 304)
This is a wonderful collection, and makes a marvelous introduction to Quakerism and its spirituality.