The Quotations for Timeless Quaker Wisdom in Plainsong
1. “Be still and cool in Thy own mind and spirit, from thy own thoughts, and then thou wilt feel the principle of God to turn thy mind to the Lord God, whereby thou wilt receive God’s strength and power from whence life comes, whereby thou wilt receive God’s strength to allay all blusterings, storms, and tempests.” George Fox, 1658, A letter to Lady Claypole (daughter of Oliver Cromwell). Journal, ed. Nickalls, p. 346f.
2. “Ye have no time but this present time, therefore prize your time, for your soul’s sake.” George Fox. 1652 , Epistle #5, “A Letter to Parents”, from T. Canby Jones, The Power of the Lord is Over All, p. 5.
3. “Keep within. And when they say, ‘Lo[ok] here or lo[ok] there is Christ,go not forth, for Christ is within you. And those who try to draw your minds away from the teaching inside you, are opposed to Christ. For the measure’s within, and the light of God is within, and the pearl is within, though hidden.” George Fox, 1652, Epistle, #19 , Works 7:27.
4. “Art thou in the Darkness? Mind it not, for if thou dost it will feed thee more. But stand still, and act not, and wait in patience, Till Light arises out of Darkness and leads thee.” James Naylor, p. lv in “To the Life of God in All,” in A Collection of Sundry Books, Epistles and Papers written by James Nayler, London, 1716.
5. “Stand still in that which is pure, after ye see yourselves, and then mercy comes in.After thou seest thy thoughts and temptations, Do not think, but submit, and then power comes in. Stand still in that which shows and discovers, and there doth strength immediately come. And stand still in the light, and submit to it, and the other will be hushed and gone, and then content[ment] comes.” George Fox, 1652, Epistle #10. Works 7:20. (See Matthew 4: 1-3.)
6. “ Lord, give me and mine the comfortable Enjoyment of thy presence forever, and then try us as thou pleasest: Thy preserving Power is all that I desire of thee, and unto it I commit all, and with thee I leave all; for thou art worthy to dispose of all; and then would Life flow in like a River, to the comforting and strengthening of Soul and Body.” Joan Vokins, from God’s Mighty Power Magnified, 1691
7. “Give over thine own willing, give over thine own running, give over thine own desiring to know or be anything, and sink down to the seed which God sows in thy heart and let that be in thee, and grow in thee, and breathe in thee, and act in thee, and thou shalt find by sweet experience that the Lord knows that, and loves and owns that, and will lead it to the inheritance of life, which is God’s portion.” Isaac Pennington, 1681, from “Some Directions to the Panting Soul,” in Works, Volume 2.
8. “Oh, love Truth and its Testimony, whether its Witness be to you or against you. Love it, that into my Mother’s house you all may come, and into the Chamber of her that conceived me, where you may embrace and be embraced of my dearly beloved one. Love is his Name, Love is his Nature and Love is his life.” Sarah Blackborow, from the tract A Visit to the Spirit in Prison, 1658
9. “I saw that there was an ocean of darkness and death, but an infinite ocean of light and love, which flowed over the ocean of darkness. In that I also saw the infinite love of God, and I had great openings.” George Fox, 1647, p. 19, The Journal of George Fox, edited by John L. Nickalls, Cambridge University Press, 1952.
10. “They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death cannot kill what never dies nor can spirits ever be divided that love and live in the same Divine Principle, the root and reward of their friendship.” William Penn, 1693, Fruits of Solitude, Part II, paragraph 127. From Volume two of Hugh Barbour’s William Penn on Religion and Ethics: The Emergence of Liberal Quakerism, 1992 - p. 558.
11. “The truth is one and the same always, though ages and generations pass away, and one generation goes and another comes, yet the word and power and spirit of the Living God endures forever, and is the same and never changes.” Margaret Fell, 1660, from “Preface to Margaret Fell’s Epistles, Written by Herself”
12. “Mind that which is eternal, which gathers your hearts together up to the Lord, and lets you see that ye are written in one another’s heart.” George Fox, 1653, Epistle #24 (Works 7:31), from Rex Ambler’s Truth of the Heart, p. 58 (Revised Edition)
13. . “Our life is love, and peace, and tenderness and bearing with each other, and forgiving one another, and not laying accusations one against another; but praying for each other, and helping each other up with a tender hand.....” Isaac Pennington, 1667, from Isaac Penington’s Letter to Friends in Amersham.
14. “ Let not the sons and daughters, nor the handmaids, be stopped in their prophesying, nor the young men in their vision, nor the old men in their dreams... So every one may improve their talents, every one exercise their gifts, and everyone speak as the spirit gives them utterance...... So that all plants may bud and ‘bring forth fruit’ to the glory of God.” George Fox, 1657, An epistle to Friends of 1657, in Journal, ed. Ellwood, in Works 1:345f. , from Rex Ambler’s Truth of the Heart, 1st edition, p. 70.
15. “And may not the Spirit of Christ speak in the female as well as in the male? Who is it that dare limit the Holy One of Israel. For the Light is the same in the male and in the female....... And who is it that dare stop Christ’s mouth?” George Fox, 1656, “The Women Learning in Silence,” Doctrinals, Works 4:109. From Rex Ambler’s Truth of the Heart, 1st edition, p. 70
16. “All meet together everywhere, and in your Meetings wait upon the Lord. And take heed of forming words, but mind the Power, and know that which is Eternal, which will keep you all in unity, walking in the Spirit, and will let you see the Lord near you and among you.” George Fox, Epistle 43
17. “We are a people, that follow after those things that make for peace, love and unity. It is our desire that other’s feet may walk in the same. We do deny and bear our testimony against all strife and wars and contention.” Margaret Fell, 1660, from Margaret Fell’s Letter to the King on Persecution.
18. “Be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations, wherever you come; that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people and to them; then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone; whereby in them ye may be a blessing and make the witness of God in them to bless you.” George Fox, 1656, A letter ‘to Friends in the ministry’, in Journal, ed. Nickalls, p. 263. From Rex Ambler’s Truth of the Heart, 1st edition, page 112.
19. “It would go a great way to caution and direct people in their use of the world if we understood more about the creation of it. For how could we find the confidence to abuse it, while we should see the Great Creator stare us in the face, in all and every part thereof?” William Penn, 1692, Fruits of Solitude, Part I, paragraph 12-13.
20 “Peace reqires justice. Justice requires law. Law requires government, not only within nations, but also between nations.” Willliam Penn, 1693, (paraphrased) An Essay towards the Present and Future Peace of Europe, by the Establishment of an European Dyet, Parliament or Estates (1693)
21. “May we look upon our treasure. the furniture of our houses, and our garments. And try to discover whether the seeds of war have nourishment in these, our possessions.” John Woolman, from his essay, A Plea for the Poor, 1763