“A Killinge Instrument We May Neither Forme, Nor Beare”
The Peace Testimony
Quakers renounced war, killing, and the use of weapons – a set of principles of nonviolence that they termed the peace testimony. Upon the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, the English Quaker leadership enunciated the peace testimony on behalf of the collective body of Quakers in two documents: the “Declaration and Information” and the “Declaration of 1660.” Early English Quakers grounded their peace principles in biblical texts, especially the admonition to love one's enemies. They relied upon this spirit of the gospel wherein the purity of one's motives was as essential as one's behavior. The early peace testimony rested on the foundation of maintaining the purity of one's soul in order to remain in the Kingdom of God; later, the emphasis would shift to a concern for the victims of violence and to an interest in worldly justice.
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