Excerpts from the Meeting

Just doing some reading on Quakers and came across a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier

"No cool philosophy to teach
Its bland audacities of speech
To double-tasked idolaters
Themselves their gods and worshippers,
No pulpit hammered by the fist
Of loud-asserting dogmatist,
I know how well the fathers taught,
What work the later schoolmen wrought;
I reverence old time faith and men,
But God is near us now as then;
His force of love is still unspent,
His hate of sin as imminent;
And still the measure of our needs,
Outgrows the cramping bounds of creeds;
The manna gathered yesterday
Already savors of decay;"

"God should be most where man is least:
So, where is neither church nor priest,
And never rag nor form of creed
To clothe the nakedness of need,--
Where farmer folk in silence meet,--
I turn my bell-unsummoned feet;
I lay the critic's glass aside,
I tread upon my lettered pride,
And, lowest-seated, testify
To the oneness of humanity;
Confess the universal want,
And share whatever Heaven may grant.
He findeth not who seeks his own,
The soul is lost that's saved alone"


Not everyone who says to me "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, "Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons, and in your name perform many wonders?" and then I will declare to them, "I never knew you: Depart from me, you who practice wickedness."

This is, incidentally, the same passage where Jesus warns his followers to "judge a tree by its fruits," that is, not by their words or affirmations of some doctrinal orthodoxy. (7:15-19).


The Religious Society of Friends is... "an alternative Christianity which emphasizes the personal experience of God in one's life. Quakers understand the necessity of first listening to God before working in the world. They affirm the equality of all people before God regardless of race, station in life, or sex and this belief leads them into a range of social concerns. Being "Children of the Light" they find recourse to violence intolerable. Quaker thought is both mystical (waiting upon God) and prophetic (speaking truth to power). Friends believe that God's revelation is still continuing, that God is not absent or unknowable but that we can find God ourselves and establish a living relationship thus being able to live in the world free from the burden and guilt of sin. It is the search for a closer relationship with God who is the Way. Religious knowledge, like the appreciation of beauty, is not attained by a logical process of thought but by experience and feeling. Quakers maintain that the teaching of Jesus is a practical method for the guidance of the world today, that religion is concerned with the whole of life, and that, beyond a certain point, definition becomes a limitation."

Maybe Neitzche was a Quaker....