Saturday, July 26, 2008

Quaker Wisdom

...The Quaker discovery and message has always been that God still lives and moves, works and guides, in vivid immediacy, within the hearts of men. For revelation is not static and complete, like a book, but dynamic and enlarging, as springing from a Life and Soul of all things. This Light and Life is in all men, ready to sweep us into its floods, illumine us with its blinding, or with its gentle guiding radiance, send us tendered but strong into the world of need and pain and blindness. Surrender of self to that indwelling Life is entrance upon an astounding, an almost miraculous Life. It is to have that mind in you which was also in Jesus Christ. "Behold, I stand at the door and knock." In the silence of your hearts hear Him knock. Outward teachers can only lead us to the threshold. But "God Himself has come to lead His people." Such men and women must be raised up, heaven-led souls who are not "seekers" alone, but "finders," finders who have been found by the Father of all the world's prodigals.

...How different is the experience of Life... when the Eternal Presence suffuses it! Suddenly, unexpectedly, the Divine Presence is upon us. Secretly, astonishingly, we are lifted in a plateau of peace. The dinning clamor of daily events so real, so urgent they have been!--is framed in a new frame, is seen from a new perspective. The former things are passed away; behold, they have become new. This world, our world, and its problems, does not disappear nor lose its value. It reappears in a new light, upheld in a new and amazing quiet power. Calm replaces strain, peace replaces anxiety. Assurance, relaxation, and integration of life set in. With hushed breath we do our tasks. Reverently we live in the presence of the Holy... Life itself becomes a sacrament wherein sin is blasphemy. A deep longing for personal righteousness and purity sets in. Old tempting weaknesses no longer appeal as they did before. In patience we smile in loving concern for those who rush about with excited desperation. Oh, why can they not see the ocean of light and love which flows completely over the ocean of darkness and death! But all things are in His Providence. A little taste of Cosmic Patience, which a Father-heart must have for a wayward world, becomes ours. The world's work is to be done. But it doesn't have be finished by us. We have taken ourselves too seriously. The life of God overarches all lifetimes...

(Thomas R. Kelly, Excerpts from the Richard Cary Lectures, from The Eternal Promise)


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