Quotes

What bitterness is to be compared with the bitterness of those who have thought good might come from evil.~Gilbert H. KilpackSource: The City of God And The City of Man
But there is a wholly different way of being sure that God is real. It is not an intellectual proof, a reasoned sequence of thoughts. It is the fact that men experience the presence of God.~Thomas R. KellySource: Reality Of The Spiritual World
Take heed, dear Friends, to the promptings of love and truth in your hearts. Trust them as the leadings of God whose Light shows us our darkness and brings us to new life.Source: From the British YM Advices
Unless we rediscover the love of God itself whose expression is the reason and purpose of our Society, the very Society that we cherish dwindles into nothingness.~Kenneth BouldingSource: The Practice of The Love of God
Oh, why don't Quakers preach what you practice?~John H. HobartSource: Can Quakerism Speak To The Times?
How can we be sure that God is real, and not just a creation of our wishes?~Thomas R. KellySource: Reality Of The Spiritual World
You will say, Christ saith this, and the apostles say this, but what canst thou say? Art thou a child of the Light, and hast thou walked in the Light, and what thou speakest, is it inwardly from God?~George Fox
We see what we believe, and not just the contrary; and to change what we see, it is sometimes necessary to change what we believe.~Jeremy Narby
But the first step to obedience is the flaming vision of the wonder of such a life, a vision which comes occasionally to us all~Thomas R. KellySource: Holy Obedience
We must make way to the sanctuary of the heart, and bring to earth the flavor of heaven, and bring to men the flavor of God.~Jean ToomerSource: The Flavor of Man
What ails us? How do we walk humbly with our God into the future? How do we even get turned around facing the future instead of backing into it with our eyes on the past?~Mildred Binns YoungSource: What Doth the Lord Require of Thee?
...our worship does not begin when we sit down together in our public assemblies, nor end when we leave them. The worship in spirit and in truth is in no way limited by time and place.~Caroline StephenSource: Quaker Strongholds, 1890
Why then do we come here to sit together for our period of waiting expectant worship? We come because we sense that something is going on all the time, and we long to be brought more deeply into touch with it.~Douglas V. SteereSource: On Speaking Out Of The Silence
...for when I came into the silent assemblies of God’s people, I felt a secret power among them, which touched my heart, and as I gave way unto it, I found the evil weakening in me, and the good raised up, and so I became thus knit and united unto them, hungering more and more after the increase of this power and life, whereby I might feel myself perfectly redeemed.~Robert BarclaySource: Apology For The True Christian Divinity
The unconscious is the only accessible source of religious experience.~Karl Jung
We are called as nations and as individuals to take a great task, to lose our lives and to find the life and power which overcomes distrust and hatred and cowardice.~Emil FuchsSource: Christ in Catastrophe
There is a principle which is pure, placed in the human mind, which in different places and ages hath different names... In whomsoever this takes root and grows, of what nation soever, they become brethen.~John Woolman, 1761
Without time eternity would be beyond our grasp, and without eternity time would be too limited to require our reverence and worship.~Howard H. BrintonSource: Evolution and the Inward Light
For this is the true ground of love and unity, not that such a man walks and does just as I do, but because I feel the same Spirit and life in him…~Isaac Penington
And I cried in my spirit to the Lord, 'We are all thieves, we are all thieves, we have taken the Scriptures in words and know nothing of them in ourselves.'~Margaret Fell, 1652Source: Journal of George Fox
Quakerism today lacks the force, power, and convincement, that carried it through its first century of oppressive and bitter persecution. What happened to the prophetic zeal and world vision of its founders?~John H. HobartSource: Can Quakerism Speak To The Times?
Religion binds back the soul into union with realities which refresh it, restore it, vivify it, and integrate it and complete it; i.e., put it in possession of the whole of itself.~Rufus M. JonesSource: Religion as Reality, Life And Power
Our task is to bind up the broken-hearted, to be a cup of strength in times of agony, to set men on their feet when the foundations seem to be caving in, and to feed and comfort the little children amidst the wreckage of war.~Rufus M. JonesSource: Rethinking Quaker Principles
We would suggest, however, that the world suffers more from its politicians than from its prophets. Social progress toward the good life might move more surely if [we] would dare to credit more highly the inner voice of moral guidance...~Vincent D. NicholsonSource: Cooperation and Coercion as Methods of Social Change
To me, worship is recognising and communing with the divine, whether it is within myself, in others, or in the world. The pre-condition of worship is my belief in worth-ship, my own and that of other people.Source: British YM, 1986
The lonely mystic knows only the vertical relation to God, the social gospeler too often only the horizontal relation to man, but group mysticism takes account of both God and man.~Howard H. BrintonSource: A Religious Solution to the Social Problem
The spirit of Christ, by which we are guided, is not changeable, so as once to command us from a thing as evil and again to move unto it...~George FoxSource: Declaration to Charles II, 1661
How immensely important religion is to wholeness and to all forms of healing. A new theory and practice of healing has come into being during my lifetime ...~Howard E. CollierSource: Experiment With A Life
For the real difference between happiness and joy is that one is grounded in this world, the other in eternity. Happiness cannot encompass suffering and evil. Joy can.~Elise BouldingSource: The Joy That Is Set Before Us
I am doing something presumptuous: I am saying that in my judgement the only Quakerism that can survive in the future will have to be mystical, prophetic, and evangelical.~John YungblutSource: Quakerism of the Future
Friends, meet together and know one another in that which is eternal, which was before the world was.~George FoxSource: 1657
We do utterly deny all outward wars and strife and fighting with outward weapons, for any end or under any pretense whatsoever. And this is our testimony to the whole world.~George FoxSource: Declaration to Charles II, 1661
The deepest Self of all is that Self which we share with all others. This is the one Vine of which we all are branches, the Life of God on which our own individual lives are based.~Howard H. BrintonSource: Reaching Decisions: The Quaker Method
Don't pray to escape trouble.  Don't pray to be comfortable in your emotions.  Pray to do the will of God in every situation. Nothing else is worth praying for.~Samuel M. Shoemaker
I won't take my religion from any man who never works except with his mouth.~Carl Sandburg
Stand still in that which is pure, after ye see yourselves; and then mercy comes in. After thou seest thy thoughts, and the temptations, do not think, but submit; and then power comes~George Fox, 1658
There is a turning of the soul from the darkness to the light; from the spirit of deceit to the spirit of truth; from all false appearances and imaginations about holiness to that which the eternal light manifesteth to be truly so.~Isaac Penington
Let us hear the challenge of Christ. There may be hard disappointment and bitter suffering on the road he points to. He never promised quick or easy victory.~Emil FuchsSource: Christ in Catastrophe
You will say, “Christ saith this, and the apostles say this,” but what canst thou say? Art thou a child of the Light, and hast thou walked in the Light, and what thou speakest, is it inwardly from God?~George FoxSource: as quoted by Margaret Fell
Our first task is to love one another, to be valiant for the truth upon the earth, and to remain attentive to the true spirit in all that we do.~Newton GarverSource: Jesus, Jefferson, and the Tasks of Friends,
Something happens in the course of understanding another's truth that irradiates and lights up one's own tradition..~Douglas V. SteereSource: Mutual Irradiation: A Quaker View of Ecumenism
The task of man, of every man, according to hasidic teaching, is to affirm for God's sake the world and himself and by this very means to transform both.~Martin BuberSource: The Way of Man According to the Teachings of Hasidism
True Christianity allows no religious persecution – no matter what name or pretense is given to it. It is by its very nature meek, gentle, and forbearing, consisting of faith, hope, and charity, and no persecutor can have these while persecuting others~William PennSource: A Brief Account of the Rise & Progress of the People Called Quakers
There are plenty to follow our Lord half-way, but not the other half. They will give up possessions, friends and honors, but it touches them too closely to disown themselves.~Meister Eckhart
The real strength of early Quakerism lay in the quiet inconspicuous growth of small meetings in many homes where sometimes as few as three or four waited upon God in silence...~Howard H. BrintonSource: How They Became Friends
During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.~George Orwell
If we could take up the challenges of 1652, we should know that the Lord is at work in the darkness; that the ocean of love and light is unquenchable, yesterday, today and forever...~Elfrida Vipont FouldsSource: Let Your Lives Speak
Quakerism: Christianity without creeds, without dogma, without clergy ...
A Quakerism that is concerned only with the preservation of inherited testimonies and the recorded experiences of early Friends, is totally inadequate for the tasks which now confront our Society.~John H. HobartSource: Can Quakerism Speak To The Times?
O that we who declare against wars, and acknowledge our trust be in God only, may walk in the light, and therein examine our foundation and motives in holding great estates!~John Woolman, 1793
To be present is to be vulnerable, to be able to be hurt, to be willing to be spent - but it is also to be awake, alive, and engaged actively in the immediate assignment that has been laid upon us.~Douglas V. SteereSource: On Being Present Where You Are
Without the love of God the command to love our neighbor is a monstrous sarcasm, the imposition on mankind of impossible conflict between the moral sense and the will.~Kenneth BouldingSource: The Practice of The Love of God
Quakerism combines in religious worship two elements which are usually considered incompatible, a mystical approach to God and a social relation to our fellows.~Howard H. BrintonSource: A Religious Solution to the Social Problem
If the soul knows God in His creatures, that is only evening light: if it knows His creatures in God, that is morning light: but if it know God as He who alone is Being, that is the clear light of midday.~Meister Eckhart
Why is it that we are born remembering, and live forgetting? Is this a joke that God would share with us, but that we can only laugh at when we have come full circle, and remember again?~Elise BouldingSource: Born Remembering
Be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations, wherever you come, so that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people, and to them.~George Fox, 1656
If the soul is able to find in the silence union with the peace of God at the heart of existence, then inward peace is secured and new knowledge and power received.~Howard H. BrintonSource: The Quaker Doctrine of Inward Peace
The upshot of most careful analysis is that the central trouble is in our inner lives rather than our outer condition...~D. Elton TruebloodSource: A Radical Experiment
Then and there that young man was given the flavor of man, for the primary ingredient of man's substance is love, love of God, love of man, and through love, a sense of unity with all creation.~Jean ToomerSource: The Flavor of Man
To discover what we really want as compared to what at first we think we want, we must go below the surface of self-centered desires to the deeper level where the real Self resides.~Howard H. BrintonSource: Reaching Decisions: The Quaker Method
Mysticism is the type of religion which puts the emphasis on immediate awareness of relation with God, on direct and intimate consciousness of the Divine Presence.~Rufus M. Jones
...to turn all we possess into the channel of universal love becomes the business of our lives.~John Woolman
Stand still in that which shows and discovers; and then doth strength immediately come. And stand still in the Light, and submit to it, and the other will be hush'd and gone; and then content comes.~George FoxSource: 1658
There is a quiet, open place in the depths of the mind, to which we can go many times in the day and lift up our soul in praise, thankfulness and conscious unity. With practice this God-ward turn of the mind becomes an almost constant direction, underlying all our other activities.~Kenneth Boulding
There is a spirit which I feel, that delights to do no evil, nor to avenge any wrong, but delights to endure all things in hope to enjoy its own in the end. Its hope is to outlive all wrath and contention, and to weary out all exaltation and cruelty...~James Naylor
True religion does not draw men out of the world but enables them to live better in it and excites their endeavors to mend it.~William PennSource: No Cross, No Crown
A religious society centers on the practice of a corporate worship which opens itself to continuing revelation.~Parker J. PalmerSource: A Place Called Community
It is our duty to seek emotional truth, as it is to seek intellectual truth, and indeed as we seek them we shall find that they are not two truths, but one.~Kenneth E. BouldingSource: The Practice of The Love of God
Human beings are perhaps never more frightening than when they are convinced beyond doubt that they are right.~Laurens van der Post
Once having the vision, the second step to holy obedience is this: Begin where you are. Obey now. Use what little obedience you are capable of, even if it be like a grain of mustard seed.~Thomas R. KellySource: Holy Obedience
We feel that even when all possible scientific questions have been answered, the problems of life remain completely untouched.~Ludwig Wittgenstein
Only by our suffering can we overcome prejudices bred in millions of people by the inability of Christians to speak to their times.~Emil FuchsSource: Christ in Catastrophe
The highest patriotism is the patriotism that sees in love of country a means of service to the Kingdom of God, and it is perhaps the deepest of all the tragedies of war that it tends to deny this truth.~Norman M. ThomasSource: The Christian Patriot
The most striking thing about the type of human life which I should suppose is normal is its infinite reach.~Rufus M. JonesSource: Religion as Reality, Life And Power
Every man hides for this purpose, for every man is Adam and finds himself in Adam's situation. To escape responsibility for his life, he turns existence into a system of hideouts.~Martin BuberSource: The Way of Man According to the Teachings of Hasidism
We cannot compel the inner voice to speak, we can only try to practice openness and attention, and when we hear the voice we can only practice minding and answering.~Paul A. LaceySource: Education and the Inward Teacher,
The spirit of Christ, which leads us into all Truth, will never move us to fight and war against any man with outward weapons, neither for the kingdom of Christ nor for the kingdoms of this world.~George FoxSource: Declaration to Charles II, 1661
To be a Quaker is not simply to subscribe to doctrines but to be convinced that one has known an ultimate reality which authenticates doctrine.~Paul A. LaceySource: Leading and Being Led
And oh, how sweet and pleasant it is to the truly spiritual eye to see several sorts of believers, ... every one learning their own lesson, performing their own peculiar service, and knowing, owning, and loving one another in the their several places...~Isaac Penington
We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.~Buddha
One of the most important concerns of this vital cell ought to be for the spiritual nurture of the children and youth of the meeting.~Rufus M. JonesSource: The Vital Cell
May we look upon our treasures, the furniture in our houses, and our garments, and try whether the seeds of war have nourishment in these our possessions.~John WoolmanSource: 1793
When all has been said, the most skilled of us is only a novice in the art of meditation. None of us is too skilled to profit by the experience of others or too ignorant to be unable to help someone.~Howard E. CollierSource: The Quaker Meeting
The love of country without the love of God is a destructive emotion; it leads into selfishness, pride, arrogance, injustice, cruelty, domination and war...~Kenneth BouldingSource: The Practice of The Love of God
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.~Philip K. Dick
Our life is love, and peace, and tenderness, and bearing one with another, and forgiving one another, and not laying accusations, one against another, but praying for one another, and helping one another up with a tender hand.~Isaac Penington
The Society of Friends has a great task ahead of it: the translation of its religious and ethical experiences into a conscious understanding of the way in which the love which we treasure can be produced, defended, and extended.~Kenneth E. BouldingSource: The Evolutionary Potential of Quakerism
Listen, then, to the silence. Listen to what they say who say nothing. Open yourself to the silence within, to the Inward Light that shines in every soul.~Frederick Parker-RhodesSource: Wholesight: The Spirit Quest
Men seek, often without realizing it, to know what they are and what may arise from the depths of their own being to give meaning and direction to their life.~Howard H. BrintonSource: How They Became Friends
Be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations, wherever you come, so that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people, and to them.~George FoxSource: 1656
The silence we value is not the mere outward silence of the lips. It is a deep quietness of heart and mind, a laying aside of the preoccupation with passing things — yes, even with the workings of our own minds; a resolute fixing of the heart upon that which is unchangeable and eternal.~Caroline StephenSource: Quaker Strongholds, 1890
When will the Christian conscience be strong enough to unite those who call themselves after Jesus? When will we be ashamed to call Christian those who trust in the sword?~Emil FuchsSource: Christ in Catastrophe
If there is one phrase that can sweep together the whole ethical message of the Gospels, it might well be the unlimited liability which we bear for our fellow human beings in this world.~Douglas V. SteereSource: Prayer in the Contemporary World
'Behold: in peace is my bitterest bitterness' - the words of the prophet Isaiah say what our hearts should say but cannot.~Gilbert H. KilpackSource: The City of God And The City of Man
The Quaker meeting for worship and the Quaker meeting for business are unique institutions. It is their purpose to expose the soul to the Light from God...~Howard H. BrintonSource: The Quaker Doctrine of Inward Peace
There is a principle which is pure, placed in the human mind, which in different places and ages hath had different names. It is, however, pure and proceeds from God. It is deep and inward, confined to no forms of religion nor excluded from any, where the heart stands in perfect sincerity.~John Woolman
I saw also that there was an ocean of darkness and death, but an infinite ocean of light and love, which flowed over the ocean of darkness. And in this also I saw the infinite love of God.~George Fox, 1647Source: Journal
Ethical Mysticism first withdraws from the world to the inward Divine Source of Light, and then returns with strength renewed, insight cleared, and desire quickened to bind all life together in the bonds of love.~Howard H. BrintonSource: Ethical Mysticism in the Society of Friends
Though our hearts break with bitterness, we are dumb, or we chatter without sense, for we are a people who lack even the wisdom of lamentation.~Gilbert H. KilpackSource: The City of God And The City of Man
Happiness depends on the present. Joy leaps into the future and triumphantly creates a new present out of it. It is a fruit of the spirit, a gift of God - no man can own it.~Elise BouldingSource: The Joy That Is Set Before Us That Is Set Before Us
We are too ready to retaliate, rather than forgive, or gain by Love and information. And yet we could hurt no Man that we believe loves us. Let us then try what Love will do: For if Men did once see we Love them, we should soon find they would not harm us. . . . What we Love, we’ll Hear; what we Love, we’ll Trust; and what we Love, we’ll serve, ay, and suffer for too.~William PennSource: Some Fruits of Solitude
As I see our mission, across the years behind us and in front of us, it is to demonstrate and exhibit a type of religion which reveals the life of God in the lives of men.~Rufus M. JonesSource: The Vital Cell
The easiest way to predict the future is to invent it.Source: XPARK motto
A major issue for the Society of Friends today is whether its emphasis is to be, once more, for this type of open, expectant religion, or whether it is to seek for comfortable formulations that seem to ensure its safety.~Rufus M. JonesSource: Rethinking Quaker Principles
I trust that I will never again be able to persuade myself that I am too tired to pray~Elise BouldingSource: The Joy That Is Set Before Us
Into our lives come times when, all unexpectedly, He shadows over us, steals into the inner recesses of our souls, and lifts us up in a wonderful joy and peace.~Thomas R. KellySource: Reality Of The Spiritual World
To be a Quaker is to know oneself capable of being taught now by the living Spirit of Truth...~Paul A. LaceySource: Leading and Being Led
Do you want to know whether a group is part of the true church? Very well, note whether they love each other; note whether their hearts are quickened by the love of the Living God; note whether they show that they have the mind of Christ in them. No other credentials are needed.~D. Elton TruebloodSource: A Radical Experiment
We are all thieves; we are all thieves; we have taken the scriptures in words, and know nothing of them in ourselves.~Margaret Fell
Walk cheerfully over the world, answering to that of God in every one, whereby you may be a blessing, and make the witness of God in them to bless you.~George FoxSource: 1656
What does it mean, this trusting in God? I think it means that we are certain that spiritual power is life's precious foundation.~Emil FuchsSource: Christ in Catastrophe
Our task is not to rewrite their books in modern language, it is to relive their experience and, by so doing, make it our own. Let your lives speak, the words must come out of the life.~John H. HobartSource: Can Quakerism Speak To The Times?
God can lead us by more ways than one. Some he makes ready before he sends them out; others he sends out that they may be made ready.~Mildred Binns YoungSource: The Candle, The Lantern, The Daylight
What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Presence implies a power to influence, to engage with the other; but it means equally a willingness to be vulnerable enough to be influenced by, and even to be changed by the experience.~Douglas V. SteereSource: On Being Present Where You Are
The Society of Friends can make its greatest contribution to community by continuing to be a religious society...~Parker J. PalmerSource: A Place Called Community,

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