“My mind was likewise largely opened to communicate with clear, rational demonstration, how we all might by faithful attention and adherence to the aforesaid divine principle (the Light Within) come to know and believe the certainty of those excellent scripture doctrines of the coming, life, righteous works, sufferings, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, our Blessed Pattern and that by this Inward Light only, we are prepared for an admittance into the heavenly kingdom when done with time.”
For 175 years, the prevailing image of Elias Hicks has been a false one. His opponents in the Religious Society of Friends have successfully misrepresented him as denying Christ and the scriptures. In his last year of life, Hicks reluctantly penned a reply to these charges, recounting in his journal how God had ordered his life. But the published Journal was edited into a bland portrayal of one of the most dynamic figures in Quaker history. Paul Buckley has meticulously compiled a new edition of The Journal of Elias Hicks from the original manuscripts – most in Hicks’ own handwriting – that restores more than 100 pages of missing material.
Paul Buckley is known among Friends for his books, The Quaker Bible Reader, Twenty-First Century Penn, and Owning the Lord’s Prayer, and for many articles on the history, faith, and practice of the Religious Society of Friends.
About the author
Elias Hicks was reluctant to publish a record of his life. In 1823, his close friend William Poole wrote to him, asking if he intended to leave a journal of his life and experiences for future generations. Hicks’ initial response was negative. As a Quietest, he distrusted any and all prepared ministry. He felt that everything he did must be under the direct inspiration of the Inward Light, so as to address the immediate needs of the people he was with. What he said to people in Philadelphia one day was what God called him to do then and there. However well suited it was for that audience, he did not feel at liberty to repeat it to other people at another time.