The life of a fully committed Quaker can be described as a series of passages, beginning with a truthful understanding of one's spiritual condition and deepening through attention to inward experience, spiritual covenant, discipline, and the practice of discernment, culminating ultimately in the maturation of spiritual authority in a beloved community. Robert Griswold explains these passages for modern Friends, drawing from the writings of early Quakers, and offers us a glimpse of the profound growth that can flourish when we turn outselves over to a life dedicated to the Spirit. Discussion questions included.
The eight words are:
The Beloved Community
Griswold uses several quotes from early Friends. Two of my favorites are:
George Fox (24):
And all Friends, ye must come into a patience above all the world.
And all Friends, ye must come into a moderation above all the world.
And all Friends, ye must come into a wisdom above all the world.
And all Friends, ye must come into a knowledge above all the world.
And all Friends, ye must come into an understanding above all the world.
And all Friends, ye must come into a sobriety, and gravity, and a seasoned state above all the world.
Isaac Penington (28):
Our life is love, and peace, and tenderness; and bearing one with another, and forgiving on another, and not laying accusations one against another; but praying one for another, and helping one another up with a tender hand.
[Epistle to Friends in Amersham, 1667]