“The Rectification of the Heart”

Meredith Baldwin Weddle

in Walking in the Way of Peace

Published in print May 2001 | ISBN: 9780195131383
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834839 | DOI:
 “The Rectification of the Heart”

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Beyond soldiering, individual Quakers faced other issues relevant to the peace testimony, such as self‐defense and offering sanctuary to others. To seek protection in a garrison house, for example, raised several questions: might it betray a lack of faith in God's protection; should one go in armed, or unarmed; as a site of potential violence, should one avoid it altogether? The records show a range of behavior, from Nathaniel Sylvester's scrupulous avoidance of garrison houses to William Coddington's contorted legalism. Would offering sanctuary to wounded English soldiers be a loving act, or would it be an unconscionable support of military activity? The peace testimony, with the exception of the Rhode Island Testimony, did not appear in disciplinary admonitions until the 1690s among New England Quakers, suggesting that its parameters were too unsettled, its complexities too great.

Keywords: Coddington; complexities; discipline; garrison houses; God's protection; New England Quakers; Rhode Island Testimony; sanctuary; self‐defense; Sylvester

Chapter.  6836 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christianity

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