The messenger that goes before : reading Margaret Fell for spiritual nurture

by Michael Lawrence Birkel

Other authorsChel Avery (Editor), Margaret Fell (Author), Mary Helgesen Gabel (Designer)
Pamphlet, 2008



Call number

CP 398/1


Wallingford, Pa. : Pendle Hill Publications, 2008.



Local notes

Pendle Hill Pamphlet 398


Michael Birkel has discovered in the letters of Margaret Fell, one of the founding members of the Religious Society of Friends, a "treasure trove" of wise and loving counsel for those on the spiritual journey. In a careful exploration of passages from some of these letters, he shows modern readers how to find the gems of wisdom embedded in the rich language of early Friends, the unique use of Biblical imagery, and the meditative practice of "reading within." Margaret Fell's guidance is rich in good advice for the spiritual seeker and for those called to nurture others in their spiritual lives. Discussion questions included.-- Publisher's description.

User reviews

LibraryThing member QuakerReviews
Michael Birkel provides an introduction to passages from Margaret Fell, one of the earliest Friends. She offered spiritual nurture to her contemporary Friends, and to us, with spiritual advice that is still fresh and vital. She invites us into a deeper inward life, where clarity, love, and unity
Show More
can be found in the presence of the light that guides us. Birkel's commentary is clarifying and helpful, and Fell's writings lay out the spiritual process that the early Friends discovered and how it can transform the seeker.
One particular contribution in this pamphlet is that Birkel explains and lets Fell explain how early friends read the Bible, and how the Bible offers us language to understand the dynamics of the inward life. We are to identify with the Biblical characters and events, recognizing, for example, that both Pharaoh and Moses are within us, either imprisoning or leading forth the spirit of God that also is within us. There are numerous examples among these quotes; this kind of reading could open up the Bible (and other scriptures) to modern seekers too used to literal readings. This topic is addressed further in PHP #411, Plow Up the Fallow Ground: A Meditation in the Company of Early friends, by Lu Harper.
In this wonderful pamphlet, Birkel succeeds in conveying to us the richness in Margaret Fell's writings.
Show Less
LibraryThing member bookcrazed
Married to an influential judge, Margaret Fell was an avid supporter of Quakerism well before she was widowed and became the wife and full-time supporter of Quaker leader George Fox. Like any good wife of a great man, she kept things organized and moving along. Some scholars credit her with making
Show More
Quakerism a viable, organized religious movement. In early days, Quaker leaders wrote and circulated letters of spiritual guidance. Birkel discusses the "gems of wisdom" to be gleaned from the letters of Margaret Fell.
Show Less

Similar in this library

Call number

CP 398/1


Page: 0.1281 seconds