The Quakers are unique among Christians. They do without creeds, clergy, consecrated buildings, and sacraments. They worship in silence and have always had women ministers. Believing God to be at work for good in everyone, they try to get behind outward religious affiliations to respond to that goodness whenever they can.
They are known for philanthropy, inventiveness, zeal for social reform, and hard-headed business sense. They are uncompromising opponents of war and violence of all kinds. In the Nineteenth Century they campaigned in Great Britain and the United States against slavery. In the Twentieth Century their international as an expression of their Peace Testimony was rewarded with the Nobel Prize.
This book charts the rise of Quakerism, the development of its distinctive way of life, its expansion overseas, and the contributions made by many Friends to intellectual, business, and social life. It seeks to draw a portrait of the Quakers and discerns that in the grey clothing they used to wear as a testimony of their simplicity, there was a prominent thread of gold.