Mary Cole and Priscilla Cotton respond to the silencing of women in church.
Early Quaker women’s writings contain some of the most creative and powerful scriptural arguments in the Friends tradition. Quakerism started in the 1650’s by a group of seekers including George Fox, Elizabeth Hooten and many others. Among the early Quakers, women and men were moved by the Spirit to speak in the meetings. The church establishment of the day found this to be outrageous and women were regularly abused and imprisoned for standing up and speaking in church.
One of my favorite arguments for women’s speech comes from Priscilla Cotton and Mary Cole in *To the priests and people of England we discharge our consciences…"
The first section is somewhat standard Quaker fare as a polemic against the religious abusers of the day being of ‘Cain’s generation’. (Cain murdered his brother Abel). Cain’s
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