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: in the 17th Century, the Quaker
The Religious Society of Friends, or Friends Church, is a Christian movement which stresses the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. Members are known as Friends, or popularly as Quakers. It is made of independent organisations, which have split from one another due to doctrinal differences...
movement revived the Gospel use of the word "epistle
An epistle is a writing directed or sent to a person or group of people, usually an elegant and formal didactic letter. The epistle genre of letter-writing was common in ancient Egypt as part of the scribal-school writing curriculum. The letters in the New Testament from Apostles to Christians...
" to mean an advisory or admonitory letter, sent to a group of people, sometimes termed a "general epistle" . The text of a short epistle, written by Isaac Penington
Isaac Penington was one of the early members of the Religious Society of Friends .Penington was the oldest son of Isaac Penington, a Puritan who had served as the Lord Mayor of London. Penington married a widow named Mary Springett and they had five children. Penington's stepdaughter Gulielma...
in 1667 is in Wikisource.
The term is still in use for letters sent by Yearly Meeting
Yearly Meeting is a term used by members of the Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, to refer to an organization composed of a collection of smaller, more frequent constituent meetings within a geographical area. These constituent meetings go by various names such as Quarterly Meetings, which...
s in session to all other Yearly Meetings
- "To Friends everywhere" : reflections on the epistle in the life of London Yearly Meeting" by Edward H. Milligan
Edward Hyslop Milligan , also known as Ted Milligan, is a Quaker historian and the former librarian at Friends House, London. He is the author of The Biographical Dictionary of British Quakers in Commerce and Industry 1775-1920, which includes entries for some 2,800 people...
. - In: The Friends' quarterly ; Vol.22 ; no.11 (July 1982 ) p. 724-736.