Item #54987 A contemporary copy of Joseph Pike's letter to Joseph Gurney. Joseph Pike.

A contemporary copy of Joseph Pike's letter to Joseph Gurney

Cork (Ireland): ca. 1717. 6¼" x 4", 24 pages on 12 leaves, the first leaf loose, the early leaves with slight chipping, and with many blank leaves at the back. Hand written copy of a letter of faith and religious encouragement written by Quaker Joseph Pike to Joseph Gurney, Quaker minister. Joseph Pike was the eldest son of an English father and an Irish mother. His father had served in Cromwell's army in Ireland with distinction, but both parents later took the Quaker faith. From agrarian family beginnings Joseph began in business at age 18 as a wool trader and later as a dry goods merchant, opening a shop in Cork. In the course of his business that took him to Holland and Flanders, he gained friendly relations with William Penn. He was a strong supporter of Quaker teachings, writing and publishing tracts. This and a friendship with a Thomas Story, another friend of Penn, led to Story becoming Pike's agent in Pennsylvania. In 1682, William Penn petitioned King Charles II to make payment in land for a debt owed by the Crown to his father, an Admiral in the British Navy. He saw the land west of the Delaware as an opportunity for his "Holy Experiment" – a Quaker colony, first called the Society of Friends of West New Jersey, a realization of his ideal to enable Quaker households to practice their discipline of familial and spiritual communities in an agrarian society. Pike's Land was the first name given to the grant of 10,000 acres to Joseph Pike, in 1705. With the death of Joseph Pike in 1729, having never set foot in Pennsylvania, his eldest son Richard became owner of Pike's Pennsylvania properties. [ref: East Pikeland Township History. Chester County, PA. online.] The letter begins as follows: "Cork, Sixth month, 1717. Dear friend, It hath been very often upon my mind since thy departure, to visit thee with a few lines, to communicate such things as might in the love of God occur to my mind; and feeling the concern renewed at this time, I herewith in the first place send the salutation of very dear love in the holy Truth, wherewith I love thee, and in which I can truly say I desire thy prosperity every way, but in a more especial manner thy growth and prosperity in the Lord's holy and eternal Truth. And as he has, I am satisfied, given thee a gift for the ministry, so on thy part thou mayst answer his love, by thy obedience in giving thyself up to whatsoever he may be pleased to require of thee, neither staying behind, nor going before, but waiting in the pure light, in which thou wilt truly see thy way, and by which alone the things of God's kingdom are made known and manifested, as well what may relate to ourselves, as what he may require of us to communicate to others according to our several stations in the church. But oh! for want of true waiting in his pure light, and being continually inward to the Lord, I have seen in my time many who have been rightly called and gifted, who have come to a loss; and at last, some of them have lost their way to that degree, as not to know their right time either when to go abroad, or when to stay at home, or when to begin in testimony, or when to end; by which the service they would have had, if they had truly kept to the light and walked therein, has been marred." [ref: Some Account of the Life of Joseph Pike...: Also, A Journal of the Life and Gospel Labours of Joseph Oxley...Darton and Harvey, 1837, pp. 162ff.]. Joseph Gurney (1691-1750), the letter's recipient, lived in Norwich, Norfolk, England, and was also in the woolen trade. He married Hannah Middleton. He and his sons became wealthy and his sons established Gurney's Bank which was a precursor to Barclay's Bank. He was ancestor to Joseph John Gurney (1788-1847), who continued in the family bank in Norwich, England. Joseph J. became an evangelical Quaker Minister, whose views and actions led, ultimately, to a schism among American Quakers. While preaching in the United States, he was concerned that Friends had so thoroughly accepted the ideas of the inner light and of Christ as the Word of God that they no longer considered the actual text of the Bible and the New Testament important enough. He also stressed the traditional Protestant belief that salvation is through faith in Christ. Those who sided with him were called Gurneyite Quakers. Those who sided with John Wilbur, his opponent, were called Wilburites. Item #54987

Price: $450.00

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