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Spiritual Reformers in the 16th & 17th Centuries

by Rufus M. Jones

In my Quakers in the American Colonies I announced the preparation of a volume to be devoted mainly to Jacob Boehme and his influence. I soon found, however, as my work of research proceeded, that Boehme was no isolated prophet who discovered in solitude a fresh way of approach to the supreme problems of the soul. I came upon very clear evidence that he was an organic part of a far-reaching and significant historical movement--a movement which consciously aimed, throughout its long period of travail, to carry the Reformation to its legitimate terminus, the restoration of apostolic Christianity. The men who originated the movement, so far as anything historical can be said to be "originated," were often scornfully called "Spirituals" by their opponents, while they thought of themselves as divinely commissioned and Spirit-guided "Reformers," so that I have with good right named them "Spiritual Reformers."

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