The Beginnings of Quakerism

By William C. Braithwaite | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIX
FRIENDS IN PRIVATE LIFE

I continued . . . four years, mostly following my outward calling rind attending and waiting upon the Lord in the workings of His holy power in my heart, both in meetings and at other times, wherever I was, or whatever I had to do, for I found that, as my heart was kept near the power, it kept me tender, soft and living: and besides I found, as I was diligent in eyeing of it, there was a constant sweet stream that run softly in my soul of divine peace, pleasure and joy, which far exceeded all other delights and satisfactions. -- JOHN BURNYEAT, Works, p. 20.

The bearing of the cross is a true part of the Christian's life. . . . When we walk in the love and will of our Father, sacrifice may indeed be turned as by a heavenly alchemy into a glad expression of our sonship. Yet the highest service is often bound up with sacrifice that must be made with effort and with pain. In the days of the early Friends their ministry rested on such an experience, and it was this that gave them power with their hearers. Let us not hesitate to face sacrifice to-day in whatever form it comes to us, whether it affects our course of life, or out social or business aims, if by so doing we may enter more deeply into the place of power.-- Epistle ( 1911), from LONDON YEARLY MEETING OF FRIENDS.

WE have now carried the story of the Quaker movement from its beginnings in the apostolic mission of Fox to the North of England down to the new opportunities and perils which confronted it upon the Restoration of monarchy, parliamentary government, and episcopacy. Before attempting a general review of the position, we shall enrich our knowledge of the inner significance of the movement if we turn aside from the missionary work and the external history of Friends to the private life of the individuals who made up the Quaker groups scattered over the land. We shall gain thereby some fresh sense of the extraordinary place played in the life of the first Friends by the enduring of hardship for the sake of inward peace and the service of Truth. Their eyes were

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