"I stand only to the Lord in respect of my selfe."
James Nayler, Sauls Errand pg.15 1654

"Let him to whom an Idol is nothing, to whom all shadows, Types and Figures, are come to an end, let him exercise his freedom; yet with all tender love and forbearance to those that see not the same liberty;"
Robert Rich, Hidden Things Brought to Light

God hath a People among them [Quakers], many of whom have long been reviled and falsly accused and slandered, because they have conscientiusly refused to conform to Prescriptions without Conviction
Thomas Crisp, Babels Builders, Preface pg.1, London, 1681

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Virtue out of the Shadows

Research Notes.

I am ever thankful for those early Quakers who, through the inshining Spirit, were come out of the process of idenitification with and participation in outward forms to guide and informs their relationships, laid down their testimonies in writing. For by so doing, they make it possible for those of us today who share the same spiritual experience to expose to our contemporaries that the Spirit was ministering in such a way even from the very beginnings of the Quaker gathering.

I am also thankful for those Quakers who, through the inshining Spirit were come out of participation in and identification with outward formalities out of the Life and were led into godly formalities or formalities in the Light and who labored against those in the Quaker gathering were were come out of all formalities and into the substances itself in itself. For those negative reflections not only say things about those who they reflect against but also says important and revealing things about those doing the reflecting.

Sometime around second decade of the manifestation of the Quaker gathering, a fundamental difference revealed itself among the leaders of the Gathering. There were those in the gathering were come out of the very process (relatively speaking) of identification with and participation in outward formalities to rule and guide their relationships through the leading of the inshining Light of Christ. There were others (George Fox and those who shared his witness) who, while they were come out of the dead forms of contemporary Protestantism and Catholicism, were led into godly or living formalities through the leading of the inshining Light of Christ.

Near the beginning of these troubles, John Perrot wrote *An Epistle for the most Pure Amity and Unity in the Spirit and Life of God: To all Sincere-Hearted-Souls, Whether called, Presbyterians, Independents, Baptists, Seekers, Quakers, or Others, Under any other Denomination whatsoever, that desire the God’s Truth and Righteousness in Power, may be Exalted over all, within them and without them (in the whole Earth) for Ever. * This pamphlet troubled George Fox for a number of reasons and he wrote about his concerns and labored strongly against it. Fox’s concerns will be keyboarded and published also.

I am currently keyboarding Perrot’s pamphlet (to be published on the Christonomy website) and felt compelled to share a small piece of his text because it highlights the nature of the difference between those Quakers who were led into the establishment of living forms and those who were led out of all forms. More then highlighting the difference, Perrot here lays out the fundamental nature of his experience (and those who share it) in a very clear and direct manner. Here is a gleaning of his text:

I speak as one that seeth the end of all distinctions 1 and separations by Names, and such like terms and denominations, knowing, that by the Spirit, the true separations is made from the Unrighteous in his Unrighteousness, and an Unity engaged with the weak (that are crying to be delivered from all Unrighteousness) in the Pangs of their sincere-heartedness, and in the Spirit of Unitting in the holy Nature, and separation from the unrighteous Nature. I am even constrained for loves sake to assert this, that though I my self (in and under the Profession and Participation of the Power and Virtue of God) am charactered forth by a Name or Denomination, distinct from other desciphering Terms or Appellations, known by the name of Quaker; yet known be it onto you, that there are of the People called {Page 13} Seekers, Baptists, Independents, and others (whoseConversations become theProfession of what they own, andwitness (to be of God) in themselves) whom I as truly own, and with whom I have more Unity, than with divers which are called by the Name of Quakers, whose Name have not changed them from the Nature of the Enmity which works against the heavenly Spirit of Unity, and Power of the Love of God. So it is to be understood, that the Love and Unity that I seek among all (and none other than the upright sincere-hearted to God) stands in none other than the measure of the spirit and Grace of God, as it is given onto, and manifested in us all, which (as it’s improved in our Hearts) will keep our Minds up to God, and stay our Souls in himself, and fashion and frame us into a qratious Life, well pleasing onto himself; which is the Principle to which I stoop (in all in whom it is truly arisen and sprung up) as God hath made me in like maner, to stoop to the same as it hath plainly manifested its self in my own soul; but to the contrary, in any I dare not bow and bend: And therefore again I say, I seek not Unity with the spirit of Enmity, but mutual Amity with all in the Spirit of Grace and Innocency; and with all (as being one that is full of Love andtenderness to all) that are labouring and travelling in Cryes and in Weaknesses, to be intirely joyned to God in the Spirit, that in the end, not any thing (of all the Heaps, Hills and Mountains that this day stand before them) may interpose, so as to obstruct their Conjuction and Union with him.

And therefore, whereas some are conscientious concerning divers Particulars, which by others (in the Spirit) are known to be weaker than the Spirit, which is {Page 14} the perfect everlasting Substance, who notwithstanding, they know that it is more the Shadow than the Substance, and more the Husk than the Bread that the others feed upon; yet they in wisdom would not have a man forsake a Rock whilst something of sweetness is sucked out of the Rock, or whilst the Husk is green, and some little Moisture therein, before the soul discerns the Rock to be utterly dryed up, and the Husk utterly withered and parched, so that no more Substance can be found in them for Nourishment, whilst they know not another Virtue (or rather the Virtue out of Shadows) that is able to minister Life unto them; seeing Faith is not gained by force, but is the free Gift of God; as on the other hand, a wise man would not link or tye himself to that which he findeth no virtue in, but is as a feeder of Dryness, and Death, knowing that the Glorious virtue of Everlasting Life (which is able to raise the Soul from Death unto Life) stands near him to be received of him, but slighting it * as an uncertain and insufficient thing,regards it not but loseth it. And therefore, though my charity would that all should partake of the more excellent and pretious Virtue, even the Substance of the Very Life of God; yet rather than I would lose my Love towards the Seed in all, which is the stronger part, I could suffer to see the Souls of many which is the weaker part, feeding upon the Husk, until with feeding on (that which cannot give satisfaction to the Invisible and Immortal Soul) their Souls should hunger for the Substance, and in their hunger earnestly seek it, that at last they might find it and be satisfied of it.*

  1. In 1678 George Fox wrote an Epistle that discussing those Quakers who do not distinguish between forms. You may read it by clicking here (XR2750).

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