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Quaker Meeting House

320 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

 

Quakers were a persecuted Christian sect in England. Under Penn’s leadership as a trained attorney and theologian, Philadelphia became the “Quaker City.” Quakers developed their faith from a literal reading of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7 which forbids taking oaths and taking up weapons. In the spirit of loving one’s neighbor as oneself, as found in Matthew 22:39, the Quakers sought to make Philadelphia a city of brotherly love and peace, indeed, a city without walls.

The Quakers called themselves “Friends,” reflecting Jesus’ teaching in John 15:12-17, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other” (NIV).