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Quakers also described themselves using terms such as true Christianity, Saints, Children of the Light, and Friends of the Truth, reflecting terms used in the New Testament by members of the early Christian church.
Quakerism gained a considerable following in England and Wales, and the numbers increased to a peak of 60,000 in England and Wales by 1680 leading to official persecution in England and Wales under the Quaker Act 1662 and the Conventicle Act 1664.
Hicksites viewed the Bible as secondary to the individual cultivation of God's light within.
With Gurneyite Quakers shift towards Protestant principles and away from the spiritualisation of human relations, women's role as promoters of "holy conversation" started to decrease.
The movement arose from the Legatine-Arians and other dissenting Protestant groups, breaking away from the established Church of England.
The Quakers, especially the ones known as the Valiant Sixty, attempted to convert others to their understanding of Christianity, travelling both throughout Great Britain and overseas, preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. They based their message on the religious belief that "Christ has come to teach his people himself", stressing the importance of a direct relationship with God through Jesus Christ, and a direct religious belief in the universal priesthood of all believers.
They were imprisoned in terrible conditions, then deported.
Some Friends immigrated to what is now the Northeastern region of the United States in the early 1680s in search of economic opportunities and a more tolerant environment in which to build communities of "holy conversation".
Hicksites, though they held a variety of views, generally saw the market economy as corrupting, and believed Orthodox Quakers had sacrificed their orthodox Christian spirituality for material success.They were imprisoned and banished by the Massachusetts Bay Colony.Their books were burned, and most of their property was confiscated.This was relaxed after the Declaration of Indulgence (1687–1688) and stopped under the Act of Toleration 1689.One modern view of Quakerism at this time was that the relationship with Christ was encouraged through spiritualisation of human relations, and "the redefinition of the Quakers as a holy tribe, 'the family and household of God Together with Margaret Fell, the wife of Thomas Fell, who was the vice-chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and a pre-eminent judge, Fox developed new conceptions of family and community that emphasised "holy conversation": speech and behaviour that reflected piety, faith, and love.