Quaker Women

Anne Docwra: A Looking-Glass for the Recorder and Justices of the peace, and Grand Juries for the Town and County of Cambridge (18th, 3rd Month, 1682)

". . .To be plain; there is no Law to compel People to Conform, if they can shew a lawful or reasonable excuse; Religion being an Obligation; man bound to God, and not to mens Opinions; the Scriptures are clear in this point, that say, That the Law was not made for the Innocent, but for Wicked men; And do not the Statures say the same thing in effect, when it allows both a lawful and reasonable excuse; there is nothing can gain-say this, but Make-bate Opinion, falsly called Religion, which is the gound of Quarrels in matters of Religion; for when men do undertake either to Inform or Correct others in matters of Religion, it ought to be done in Truth and Righteousness, from that inward Principle of the divine Life, whereby good men govern their Actions, and where that Principle rules,. . .

. . . It is likely the high-flown Churchmen that make a Trade of religion will not like this discourse; but I cannot help that, it is the Widdows Mite cast into the Treasurey: I am sure I have no Enmity in my Heart against any of them, but do desire well for them: Gods love is Universal to Mankind; For God is Love, and they that dwell in God, dwell in Love: I heartily wish that they would understand and practise this, it would soon put an end to Differences in Religion. It is a Duty incumbent with every true Christian, to shew those that they love, their Mistakes; it were Uncharitable to let People alone until their own Folly corrects them:. . ."

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