John Wilbur

John Wilbur

Perhaps more than any other Friend in the nineteenth century, John Wilbur (1774-1856) labored and suffered to uphold the original principles and testimonies of the Society of Friends (as held and maintained by George Fox, Robert Barclay, Isaac Penington, etc.) at a time when multitudes were fast abandoning the faith of their worthy predecessors. Though naturally averse to controversy and conflict, Wilbur labored tirelessly in word and in writing to stop the propagation of those principles that he clearly saw would lead out from a living experience of the indwelling Christ and back into a crossless religion of words. Though loved and admired by the faithful in his day (like John Barclay, Sarah L. Grubb, Daniel Wheeler, etc.), he was persecuted by many members of his own society and eventually disowned by his yearly meeting. Having abandoned its solid foundation, the Society of Friends continued to “mix with the nations” and soon fell into a lamentable state of ruin, but the name John Wilbur came to be forever associated with original Quakerism, and with the small band of worthies who held on till the end.

I know of no one in these latter days of trouble in our Society that has had so deep baptisms to pass through as you have. Oh, my dear friend, as you are so thoroughly converted, go on and strengthen your brethren; yes speak often to them and one unto another, and the Lord who has been your helper will hearken, and a book of remembrance will be written before Him.

- Christopher Healy (in a letter to John Wilbur)

Books by John Wilbur

Perhaps more than any other Friend in the nineteenth century, John Wilbur (1774-1856) labored and suffered to uphold the original principles and testimonies of the Society of Friends (as held and maintained by George Fox, Robert Barclay, Isaac Penington, etc.) at a time when multitudes were fast abandoning the faith of their worthy predecessors. Though naturally averse to controversy and conflict, Wilbur labored tirelessly in word and in writing to stop the propagation of those principles that he clearly saw would lead out from a living experience of the indwelling Christ and back into a crossless religion of words. Though loved and admired by the faithful in his day (like John Barclay, Sarah L. Grubb, Daniel Wheeler, etc.), he was persecuted by many members of his own society and eventually disowned by his yearly meeting. Having abandoned its solid foundation, the Society of Friends continued to “mix with the nations” and soon fell into a lamentable state of ruin, but the name John Wilbur came to be forever associated with original Quakerism, and with the small band of worthies who held on till the end.

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The Journal and Letters of John Wilbur
Wilbur
Friends Library Publishing
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The Journal and Letters of John Wilbur

John Wilbur

The Journal and Letters of John Wilbur

The journal and letters of John Wilbur, relating his travels in the work of the ministry when young, and his tireless defense of the original principles and practices of the Society of Friends at a time when multitudes were abandoning the faith of their worthy predecessors.

  • 573 pages
  • journal, letters
Map of U.S.

“I know of no one in these latter days of trouble in our Society that has had so deep baptisms to pass through as you have. Oh, my dear friend, as you are so thoroughly converted, go on and strengthen your brethren; yes speak often to them and one unto another, and the Lord who has been your helper will hearken, and a book of remembrance will be written before Him.”

John Barclay (in a letter to John Wilbur)

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