Felon's Maxims of the Saints
by Thomas Cogswell Upham
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Thomas Upham was an American philosopher and a prominent figure in both psychology
and the Holiness Movement of 19th century Methodism. The mind of the French mystic
Madame Guyon particularly intrigued him. In a two volume work on her life, Upham
included the full text of Archbishop Felon’s (or Fénelon) defense of her religious
practices against accusations of heresy. Felon and Guyon had developed a deep
friendship in 1688. In response to the Catholic Church’s condemnation of Guyon’s
writings, Felon ultimately refused to abandon his friend. He argued in forty-five
points that saints from all eras had held views similar to Guyon’s. These points are the
Maxims of the Saints, and Felon’s defense serves as one of the earliest arguments
in favor of the movement that later became known as Quietism.
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