Posts Tagged ‘Quakerism’

George Fox’s Doctrinals: A Table of Contents and an Alphabetical Index

December 4, 2020

Part 1: Introduction

The collection of 142 “doctrinal writings” that makes up volumes 4-6 of George Fox’s 8-volume Works has never, to my knowledge, had a published table of contents or alphabetical index of titles in its 314 years in print. Feeling the need for it, I took it on myself to make up one of each and offer them to the world, hoping thereby to encourage more people to read the Doctrinals and take their message to heart.

If I were asked to summarize their message in a 200-word “elevator speech,” I might say this:

Jesus Christ, the only Savior of souls and Revealer of God’s truth, indwells everyone of every faith tradition, reproving our evil thoughts and deeds and encouraging the good in us, asking each of us to accept Him as our rightful Ruler, Teacher, Shepherd, and Reconciler with God, the one almighty, supremely good, unchanging Creator. Only in such acceptance do we find eternal life, victory over sin and death, empowerment to do all that He asks of us, true spiritual understanding of things, and ordering into a covenanted people of God who love and are loved by God and one another. All this is given to us in spite of the scorn and rejection we may receive from the fallen world, which lies in bondage to “the god of this world,” as the Apostle Paul called him (2 Cor 4:4), Satan the deceiver. Christ teaches us to love and forgive all our abusers and persecutors in spite of whatever ill treatment they may give us, and never to take up carnal weapons against anyone, but always to trust in the guidance and protection of Christ Jesus, in whom we abide, and He in us, so long as we persevere in obedience.

But I can no more say it as Fox said it than I can preach the everlasting gospel as Jesus preached it. Read the words of Jesus Himself; and read the words of Fox himself. And may the Mind of Christ “open” them for you!

This table of contents and alphabetical title index were compiled in loving memory of my friend and mentor Arthur Berk (1927-2020), who edited the Doctrinal Writings (comprising volumes 4, 5, and 6) for the 1990 New Foundation reprint of the 1831 American edition of George Fox’s eight-volume Works (currently out of print, but identical in pagination to the searchable electronic edition, made from the 1831 American edition under the supervision of Earlham School of Religion, maintained online in the Digital Quaker Collection at esr.earlham.edu/dqc). Too few Friends are aware of the availability of this priceless public resource! As an appendix to this document, following the Alphabetical Index of Titles, I offer a short tutorial on using the Digital Quaker Collection to select and read individual Doctrinal Writings.

The compiler, who takes sole responsibility for any errors, thanks Rosemary Moore for her helpful bibliography, which gives Wing Catalogue numbers and Thomaston Catalogue dates for many of Fox’s tracts, and Larry and Licia Kuenning of Quaker Heritage Press for posting her bibliography online, where it is to be found at http://www.qhpress.org/rmoore/index.html.

John Jeremiah Edminster
Richmond, Indiana
12th Month 4, 2020

Part 2: Table of Contents

VOLUME 4:

Page / Title

15 To All That Would Know the Way to the Kingdom
Wing Catalogue No. F 1942; Thomaston date 3/25/1654

27 The Vials of Wrath of God Poured Forth upon the Man of Sin
Wing Catalogue No. F 1975; 1654

32 A Word from the Lord, to All the World
Wing Catalogue No. F 1992; 1654 [James Nayler et al., co-Authors]

40 To All Who Love the Lord Jesus Christ
“Published in 1654” – Colophon in Works

48 To the High and Lofty Ones
Wing Catalogue No. F 1956A; 1655

51 To All the Rulers of the Earth

53 A Visitation to the Jews
Wing Catalogue No. F 1978; Thomaston date 7/15/1656

76 A Visitation to All You Who Have Long Had the Scriptures

90 A Declaration of the Difference of the Ministers of the Word, and the Ministers of the World
Wing Catalogue No. F 1790; Thomaston date 2/21/1656

99 A Cry for Repentance
Wing Catalogue No. F 1779; Thomaston date 12/1/1656

104 The Woman Learning in Silence
Wing Catalogue No. F 1991; Thomaston date 3/21/1656

111 A Declaration Concerning Fasting, and the Prayer that God Accepts
Wing Catalogue No. F 1785; 1656

115 The Promise of God Proclaimed

119 An Epistle to All People on the Earth
Wing Catalogue No. F 1805; Thomaston date 5/10/1657

134 Something Farther Concerning Silent Meetings

135 To All the Magistrates in London, &c.
Wing Catalogue No. F 1949A; 1657

138 Concerning the World’s Hypocritical Salutations, Being Out of the Truth

139 The Fashions of the World Made Manifest; Also, A Few Words to the City of London

144 The Second Covenant
Wing Catalogue No. F 1898; 1657

156 Christ’s Way and Judas’s Way

160 A Warning to All the Merchants in London, And Such As Buy and Sell
Wing Catalogue No. F 1985; 1658

164 The Pearl Found in England
Wing Catalogue No. F 1858; 1658

177 The Wrath of the Lamb

178 The Lamb’s Officer is Gone Forth with the Lamb’s Message
Wing Catalogue No. F 1855; 1659

194 The Serious People’s Reasoning and Speech, with the World’s Teachers and Professors
Wing Catalogue No. F 1900; 1659

202 The Difference between the World’s Relation… and the Saints’ Relation

205 To the People of Uxbridge
Wing Catalogue No. F 1959; 1659

208 A Word in the Behalf of the King
Wing Catalogue No. F 1993; 1660

216 To the Turk (Turcae et omnibus sub ejus…)
Wing Catalogue No. F 1972; 1660, in Latin and English

222 Some Papers Given Forth to the Magistrates of the Isle of Milita

226 To the Emperor of the House of Austria

234 To the King of France

239 To the King of Spain
The previous four letters published in Latin and English as Scriptunculae, 1660

246 To the Pope

252 For the Emperor of China (Pro Imperatore Chinensi)
Wing Catalogue No. F 1888; 1660, in Latin and English

255 To All the Nations under the Whole Heavens
Not found in Wing; 1660

259 A Few Plain Words… to the Teachers and People of the Nation

264 To Both Houses of Parliament
Wing Catalogue No. F 1952; 1660

267 Concerning Christ Jesus the Covenant of God

270 Truth’s Triumph in the Eternal Power
Wing Catalogue No. F 1971; 1661

282 Concerning the Spirit

286 Concerning Faith

290 A Declaration to the Jews [John White, co-author]
Wing Catalogue No. F 1792; 1661

298 To All that Profess Christianity

303 Christ’s Light, the Only Antidote to Overcome and Expel the Poison…
Wing Catalogue No. F 1761; 1662

305 A Measuring Rule Concerning Liberty and Persecution
Wing Catalogue No. F 1862; 1661

312 To All Rulers of Families
Not found in Wing Catalogue

316 Some Queries to All Teachers and Professors of Christianity
Wing Catalogue No. F 1908A; 1666; a broadside

317 To All Sorts of People in Christendom

329 Gospel Liberty, and the Royal Law of Love

346 Concerning the Act that Prohibits, that Not above Four or Five May Meet

366 A Hammer, to Break Down All Invented Images

387 The Heathen’s Divinity

407 To All Professors in the Christian World

VOLUME 5:

3 A Warning to England
Worcester Prison, The 1st of 11th Month 1674 [= January 1675]*†

13 For All the Bishops and Priests in Christendom
Worcester Prison, 11th Month 1674 [= January 1675]*†

61 A Looking Glass for the Jews
Worcester Prison*

84 A Testimony of What We Believe of Christ
Worcester Prison, The 25th of 11th Month 1675 [= January 1676]†

154 A Small Treatise Concerning Swearing
Swarthmore, This 29th day of the 8th Month, 1675; Fox claims it was written in Worcester prison*

171 Primitive Ordination and Succession
Swarthmore, The 10th of the 9th month, 1675

197 Possession above Profession
Swarthmore, This 20th of the 8th Month, 1675

210 To All Magistrates and People in Christendom… to Turn from the Persecuting Mind

217 The People of God, in Scorn Called Quakers
Worcester Prison*

228 Concerning Revelation, Prophecy, Measure and Rule
240 Now Concerning Such as Deny Prophecies in These Days
245 And Now Concerning Them which Deny Inspiration Nowadays
246 Now Concerning the Measure of the Spirit
249 Concerning the Rule
Worcester Prison, the 9th day of the 11th Month 1676 [= January 1677]*†

254 The Beginning of Tythes in the Law

266 The Spiritual Man Christ Jesus
The 7th month, 1676

271 Christ’s Parable of Dives and Lazarus
The 7th month, 1676

277 A Testimony, For All Masters of Ships, and Seamen
Swarthmore, The 28th of the 8th month, 1676

288 Concerning How the World Is Called the Sea

291 Concerning Christ the Spiritual and Holy Head over His Holy Church

308 Now Concerning Schisms and Errors among the Christians
Marshgrange, The 9th of the 3rd month, 1676

313 To All the Kings, Princes and Governors in the Whole World
The 5th day of the 10th month, 1676

341 The Spirit of Man the Candle of the Lord
The 2nd of the 4th month, 1677

362 A Testimony concerning the Blood of the Old Covenant

367 A Demonstration to the Christians in Name, Without the Nature of It
The 28th of the 2nd month, 1679

381 Election and Reprobation

421 A Distinction between the New Covenant and the Old
Swarthmore, The 4th month, 1679

425 A Warning to All That Profess Christianity
The 5th month, 1679

434 The Man Christ Jesus the Head of the Church
The 10th month, 1678

VOLUME 6:

3 Concerning the Living God of Truth
6th month, 1679

38 A Clear Distinction between the Old Covenant, or Old Testament, and the New…
Marshgrange, The 8th month, 1679

77 To the Great Turk and King at Algiers
Kingston upon Thames, The 16th of the 5th month, 1680

92 The Protestant Christian Quaker

105 Concerning the Upright and Good Conversation of the Saints in Christ

118 An Epistle to All Christians, Jews and Gentiles
The 4th of the 7th month, 1682

120 Concerning Persecution in All Ages to This Day
London, the 8th month, 1682

130 How the Devil Was, and Is the Old Informer against the Righteous

140 A Paper to Friends, and Others, against the Pomps of the World
London, the 2nd of the 11th month, 1682 [January, 1683]

142 A Way to Prevent the Indignation and Judgments of God from Coming on a Kingdom
Kingston, the 24th of 12th month, 1682 [February, 1683]

149 The Cause why Adam and Eve Were Driven out of Paradise
London, the 8th month, 1682

161 Several Plain Truths Manifested and Declared from the Spirit of God
Gouses in Essex, the 13th day of 2nd month, 1683

165 A Distinction between the Wars and the Weapons… in the Old Testament and the New
London, the 8th month, 1682

171 Concerning Cain

174 Uniformity and Conformity Proclaimed to the Whole World

177 The Authority of the Church of Christ

179 Concerning Exhortation and Admonition

182 Concerning Such as Cry against Orders

184 Concerning Meeting in Houses, Ships, Streets, Mountains, and High-Ways
Kingston, the 23rd of 5th month, 1684

201 The State of the Birth Temporal and Spiritual
Kingston, the 10th month, 1684

210 Trying the Spirits in Our Age Now

234 The Saints… Their Heavenly and Spiritual Worship, Unity, and Communion
Kingston, the 9th of the 9th month, 1684

246 A Word of Admonition to Such As Wander from the Anointing and Teaching Within

256 Concerning God’s Promise to Cain

260 The Christians’ Righteousness Must Exceed the Righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees

263 Concerning Such as Shall Enter into the Kingdom of God… and Such as Shall Not

267 Concerning Condemnation

269 Concerning Such as Have Forbidden Preaching, or Teaching in the Name of Jesus
The 6th of the 10th month, 1684

271 To the Chief Magistrates… and Other Officers; who Profess Christ and Christianity
London, the 17th of the 9th month, 1684

275 An Exhortation to All People, to Pureness, Cleanness, and Holiness

276 Concerning Such as Eat Up God’s People Like Bread, and Such as Make Idols

278 The Cause of Drought, and Barrenness, Famine and Plagues

280 Concerning Such as Overcome the Beast, and Dragon, and Whore, and False Prophet

282 A Distinction between the Two Suppers of Christ

295 Concerning Christ, the Resurrection of the Just and Unjust

301 Concerning the Stone that Smote the Image; and Concerning Christ the Vine

309 To All Kings, Princes, Rulers, Governors, Bishops, and Clergy, that Profess Christianity

329 A Distinction between True Liberty and False
London, the 12th of the 8th month, 1685

333 How the Unchangeable God Is, and How All People May Know Him

336 A True Account of the Sensible, Thankful, and Holy State of God’s People

338 How the Lord Spake unto Moses in the Outward Tabernacle in the Old Testament

344 To All Magistrates in Christendom that Do Profess Christianity

347 How God’s People Are Not to Take the Names of the Heathen gods in Their Mouths

350 A Testimony for God’s Truth

353 How All Nations May See with the Light, the Life in Christ, Him the Great Mountain

356 Here You May See How Male and Female Were Meet-helps in the Government

359 Here You May See How Every One Is to Improve His Talent Which Christ Gives Them
Kingston upon Thames, the 7th of the 10th month, 1687

360 Concerning the Apostate Christians, that Think to Do Miracles by Dead Men’s Bones, &c.

361 Of Praying to the Saints that Are Dead… and Praying for the Dead

362 Concerning the Apostate Christians’ Tradition of a Purgatory, After They Are Dead

364 Concerning the Apostate Christians’ Traditions, of Making a God or Christ of Bread and Wine

365 Concerning the Traditions of the Jews, and Apostate Christians

367 Christ is the Rock and Foundation Which the Heavenly Father Revealed to Peter

369 Now Concerning Whom the Scripture Saith is the True Rock and Foundation

370 The Antiquity of Our Cross
The 2nd month, 1688

371 The Speech or Declaration of Sultan Mahomet, the Great Turk

372 An Answer to the Speech or Declaration of the Great Turk

382 Concerning Daily Sacrifices and Offerings

384 Concerning the Antiquity of the People of God Called Quakers
Edmondton, the 2nd month, 1688

402 A Spiritual or Heavenly Salutation to All the Tender-hearted in Christendom

409 A Scripture Testimony against Persecution for Religion

434 A Postscript Concerning Prayer

435 Several Treatises Worthy of Every True Christian’s Serious Consideration

435 I. A Distinction betwixt the Prophets of God… and the Messengers of Satan
451 II. Priests the Chief Promoters of Persecution
455 III. And What a Scabbed Flock the Bishops and Priests Have, which Should Oversee Them
456 IV. How No Persecutor upon the Earth… Can Exercise a Good Conscience toward God and Man
459 V. And the Bad Example of Gehazi and Simon Magus, to Be Shunned
461 VI. Concerning the Priests and Professors, that Say They Must Do as the Priests Say, Not as They Do
463 VII. To All You Priests, Teachers, and Professors, that Mock and Sniff at the Motions of the Spirit
470 VIII. A Reformation from Heathenism and Popery, &c.
473 IX. Concerning the Builders that Reject the Corner Stone
475 X. News, News! Cain, Ishmael, Esau… Turned Outward Christians
476 XI. Here You May See the Heavenly and Spiritual Gifts
480 XII. How that Such as Kill and Persecute People, Are Not Like to Convert Them
481 XIII. Concerning the Papists Making the Flesh and Blood of Christ of Bread and Wine
484 XIV. The Trial of the Pope’s Spirit
485 XV. Concerning the Kingdom of God
_______________
* In John L. Nickalls, ed., The Journal of George Fox (London: Religious Society of Friends, rev. ed., 1975), 705-706, Fox writes: “During the time of my imprisonment in Worcester… I writ several books for the press, one whereof was called A Warning to England. Another was To the Jews proving by the prophets that the Messiah is come [Listed above as “A Looking-glass for the Jews”]; another Concerning inspiration, revelation and prophesy [sic]; another Against all vain disputes. Another was For all bishops and ministers to try themselves by the Scriptures [Listed above as “For All the Bishops and Priests in Christendom”]; another To such as say we love none but ourselves [Listed above as “The People of God, in Scorn Called Quakers”]; another on Our testimony of what we believe of Christ. Another little book Concerning swearing was the first of those two that were given to the Parliament. Besides these I writ many papers and epistles to Friends to encourage and strengthen them in their services for God….”

† In Fox’s time, and until 1752 in England, the new year officially began on March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation (“Lady Day”), making the month of March “First Month” in Quaker usage. Accordingly, where Fox dates a piece of writing “11th Month 1674,” he means what the modern world would call January 1675.
_______________

Part 3: Alphabetical Index of Titles

Title Volume: page

Answer to the Speech… of the Great Turk, An 6:372
Antiquity of Our Cross, The 6:370
Authority of the Church of Christ, The 6:177

Beginning of Tythes in the Law, The 5:254

Cause of Drought, and Barrenness, Famine and Plagues, The 6:278
Cause why Adam and Eve Were Driven out of Paradise, The 6:149
Christ is the Rock and Foundation… Revealed to Peter 6:367
Christians’ Righteousness Must Exceed… Scribes and Pharisees 6:260
Christ’s Light 4:303
Christ’s Parable of Dives and Lazarus 5:271
Christ’s Way and Judas’s Way 4:156
Clear Distinction between the Old Covenant… and the New, A 6:38
Concerning Cain 6:171
Concerning Christ Jesus the Covenant of God 4:267
Concerning Christ, the Resurrection of the Just and Unjust 6:295
Concerning Christ the Spiritual and Holy Head over His Holy Church 5:291
Concerning Condemnation 6:267
Concerning Daily Sacrifices and Offerings 6:382
Concerning Exhortation and Admonition 6:179
Concerning Faith 4:286
Concerning God’s Promise to Cain 6:256
Concerning How the World Is Called the Sea 5:288
Concerning Meeting in Houses, Ships, Streets… and High-Ways 6:184
Concerning Persecution in All Ages to This Day 6:120
Concerning Revelation, Prophecy, Measure and Rule 5:228
Concerning Such as Cry against Orders 6:182
Concerning Such as Eat Up God’s People Like Bread … and Make Idols 6:276
Concerning Such as Have Forbidden Preaching… in the Name of Jesus 6:269
Concerning Such as Overcome the Beast, and Dragon… 6:280
Concerning Such as Shall Enter into the Kingdom of God 6:263
Concerning the Act that Prohibits, that Not above Four or Five May Meet 4:386
Concerning the Antiquity of the People of God Called Quakers 6:384
Concerning the Apostate Christians, that Think to Do Miracles… 6:360
Concerning the Apostate Christians’ Tradition of a Purgatory 6:362
Concerning the Apostate Christians’ Traditions… of Bread and Wine 6:364
Concerning the Living God of Truth 6:3
Concerning the Spirit 4:282
Concerning the Stone that Smote the Image; and… Christ the Vine 6:301
Concerning the Traditions of the Jews, and Apostate Christians 6:365
Concerning the Upright and Good Conversation of the Saints in Christ 6:105
Concerning the World’s Hypocritical Salutations, Being Out of the Truth 4:138
Cry for Repentance, A 4:99

Declaration Concerning Fasting, and the Prayer that God Accepts, A 4:111
Declaration of the Difference of Ministers of the Word, and of the World 4:90
Declaration to the Jews, A 4:290
Demonstration to the Christians in Name, A 5:367
Difference between the World’s Relation… and the Saints’ Relation, The 4:202
Distinction between the New Covenant and the Old, A 5:421
Distinction between the Two Suppers of Christ, A 6:282
Distinction between the Wars and the Weapons [in the Old Testament and the New] 6:165
Distinction between True Liberty and False, A 6:329

Election and Reprobation 5:381
Epistle to All Christians, Jews and Gentiles, An 6:118
Epistle to All People on the Earth, An 4:119
Exhortation to All People, to Pureness, Cleanness, and Holiness 6:275

Fashions of the World Made Manifest, The 4:139
Few Plain Words… to the Teachers and People of the Nation, A 4:259
For All the Bishops and Priests in Christendom 5:13
For the Emperor of China 4:252

Gospel Liberty, and the Royal Law of Love 4:329

Hammer, to Break Down All Invented Images, A 4:366
Heathen’s Divinity, The 4:387
Here You May See How Every One Is to Improve His Talent 6:359
Here You May See How Male and Female Were Meet-helps 6:356
How All Nations May See with the Light, the Life in Christ 6:353
How God’s People are Not to Take the Names of the Heathen gods 6:347
How the Devil Was, and Is the Old Informer against the Righteous 6:130
How the Lord Spake unto Moses in the Outward Tabernacle 6:338
How the Unchangeable God Is, and How All People May Know Him 6:333

Lamb’s Officer is Gone Forth with the Lamb’s Message, The 4:178
Looking Glass for the Jews, A 5:61

Man Christ Jesus the Head of the Church, The 5:434
Measuring Rule concerning Liberty and Persecution, A 4:305

Now concerning Schisms and Errors among the Christians 5:308
Now concerning Whom the Scripture Saith is the True Rock 6:369

Of Praying to the Saints… and Praying for the Dead 6:361

Paper to Friends, and Others, against the Pomps of the World 6:140
Pearl Found in England, The 4:184
People of God, in Scorn Called Quakers, The 5:217
Possession above Profession 5:197
Postscript Concerning Prayer, A 6:434
Primitive Ordination and Succession 5:171
Promise of God Proclaimed, The 4:115
Protestant Christian Quaker, The 6:92

Saints… Their Heavenly and Spiritual Worship, Unity, and Communion, The 6:234
Scripture Testimony against Persecution for Religion 6:409
Second Covenant, The 4:144
Serious People’s Reasoning and Speech, The 4:194
Several Plain Truths Manifested and Declared from the Spirit of God 6:161
Several Treatises Worthy of Every True Christian’s Serious Consideration 6:435
Small Treatise Concerning Swearing, A 5:154
Some Papers Given Forth to the Magistrates of the Isle of Milita 4:222
Some Queries to All Teachers and Professors of Christianity 4:316
Something Farther Concerning Silent Meetings 4:134
Speech or Declaration of Sultan Mahomet, the Great Turk, The 6:371
Spirit of Man the Candle of the Lord, The 5:341
Spiritual Man Christ Jesus, The 5:266
Spiritual or Heavenly Salutation to All the Tender-hearted in Christendom, A 6:402
State of the Birth Temporal and Spiritual, The 6:201

Testimony concerning the Blood of the Old Covenant, A 5:362
Testimony for All Masters of Ships, and Seamen, A 5:277
Testimony for God’s Truth, A 6:350
Testimony of What We Believe of Christ, A 5:84
To All Kings, Princes… Bishops, and Clergy, that Profess Christianity 6:309
To All Magistrates and People… to Turn from the Persecuting Mind 5:210
To All Magistrates in Christendom that Do Profess Christianity 6:344
To All Professors in the Christian World 4:407
To All Rulers of Families 4:312
To All Sorts of People in Christendom 4:317
To All that Profess Christianity 4:298
To All that Would Know the Way to the Kingdom 4:15
To All the Kings, Princes and Governors in the Whole World 5:313
To All the Magistrates in London, &c. 4:135
To All the Nations under the Whole Heavens 4:255
To All the Rulers of the Earth 4:51
To All Who Love the Lord Jesus Christ 4:40
To Both House of Parliament 4:264
To the Chief Magistrate 6:271
To the Emperor of the House of Austria 4:226
To the Great Turk 6:77
To the High and Lofty Ones 4:48
To the King of France 4:234
To the King of Spain 4:239
To the People of Uxbridge 4:205
To the Pope 4:246
To the Turk 4:216
True Account of the Sensible, Thankful, and Holy State of God’s People, A 6:336
Truth’s Triumph in the Eternal Power 4:270
Trying the Spirits in Our Age Now 6:210

Uniformity and Conformity Proclaimed to the Whole World 6:174

Vials of Wrath of God Poured Forth upon the Man of Sin, The 4:27
Visitation to All You who Have Long Had the Scriptures, A 4:76
Visitation to the Jews, A 4:53

Warning to All that Profess Christianity, A 5:425
Warning to All the Merchants in London, A 4:160
Warning to England, A 5:3
Warning to All that Profess Christianity, A 5:425
Way to Prevent the Indignation and Judgments of God, A 6:142
Woman Learning in Silence, The 4:104
Word from the Lord, to All the World, A 4:32
Word in the Behalf of the King, A 4:208
Word of Admonition to Such As Wander from the Anointing Within, A 6:246
Wrath of the Lamb, The 4:177

Appendix: How to Access Individual Works in the Digital Quaker Collection

  1. In the “search” window of your browser, key in esr.earlham.edu/dqc/ (or simply google “Digital Quaker Collection,” which will take you to that URL). This will take you to a page with a prominent button labeled “ENTER.” Click on that button.
  2. The page with “ENTER” on it has a column of buttons on its left-hand side, one of which is labeled “Instructions.” The Instructions deserve thorough study as soon as you can afford the time. But to proceed directly toward your goal: clicking on the “ENTER” button will bring up a page with two alternative buttons: “Search Collection” and “Browse Collection.”
  3. Choose “Browse Collection.” This choice will bring up a column of alternative buttons: “View Results List,” “Browse Titles,” “Browse Authors,” “Search History,” and “Log Out.”
  4. Choose “Browse Authors.” This choice will bring up an array of letters of the alphabet.
  5. Choose the letter “F.” This choice will bring up a page beginning with “Fell, Margaret. – The life of Margaret Fox, wife of George Fox.”
  6. Now click repeatedly on the ‘Next Page‘ button until you get to the ninth consecutive page of “F” authors. The second item on that page will read “Fox, George. – The works of George Fox (Volume 4).” You may note that individual Doctrinal Writings of George Fox are also listed on the fourth through sixteenth pages of “F” authors. You may also access the writings by clicking on them individually.
  7. To the left of every item on every page is a little open book icon. Clicking on the open book icon to the left of “Fox, George. – The works of George Fox (Volume 4)” reveals a Table of Contents for that volume.
  8. The entry for each item in that Table of Contents ends with underlined text reading “Starts at” and then a page reference like “Img 18 Pg UN.” Click on the “Starts at” and that will take you to the opening page of the work you want.
  9. To access the Table of Contents of Volume 5 of the Doctrinal Writings, go to the eleventh consecutive page of “F” authors and scroll down to the sixth item on it. To access the Table of Contents of Volume 6, go to the sixteenth page (which is the fourth from the last page) and scroll down to the eighth item.







Priorities for the Religious Society of Friends

June 28, 2014

A story is told about John the Beloved Disciple, who, alone of the twelve disciples, lived to a very old age and died a natural death.  As Jerome recounts it, in his last years John had to be carried to the church in Ephesus in his disciples’ arms. At these meetings he’d say no more than “Little children, love one another!” After hearing the same message many times, his followers found it tiresome, and asked him why he always said it. He answered, “It’s the Lord’s command; and if this alone be done, it is enough!” (see William Steuart McBirnie, The Search for the Twelve Apostles (Living Books edition, 1983), pp. 187-188.)

“Love one another:” isn’t this the “new commandment” that Jesus gave the disciples at the Last Supper? Wasn’t this to be the criterion (John 13:34-35) by which all people might recognize followers of Jesus? That they love one another as Jesus loved them – therefore, wrote John, “we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16).  There is, of course, also the commandment to love our neighbors and our enemies (Matt. 22:40, 5:44), without which we can’t really love God: love is the fundamental thing; faith “worketh through love,” Galatians 5:6.  God loves us infinitely, but if we bite and devour one another, refuse to forgive one another, tell lies to one another, or use one another to gratify our own swollen egos, we shut the door on God also, and refuse God’s love.  In such a case, estrangement from God is our doing, not God’s.

Fast forward sixteen hundred years, to the founding of the Religious Society of Friends, whose rallying-cry was “Christ is come to teach His people Himself!”  This, said George Fox and others, was a truth known “experimentally,” that is, through direct experience of the “true Light, which lighteth every [person] that cometh into the world” (John 1:9).  It’s important to remember that this was no voluntary association of individuals formed around common values and purposes, but a people of God – “the people of God in scorn called Quakers,” they sometimes styled themselves – who knew themselves bound to God by a covenant, and called – called to be saints, called to grace, liberty, holiness, peace, and eternal life, called to the fellowship, kingdom, and glory of Christ: called no longer to live as separate individuals unto themselves, but to die to the old self and live as branches in the One Vine.  Three hundred and fifty years later, we Quakers may no longer remember that we’re a covenanted people, and we may no longer even agree that there is a God, let alone a Person titled Christ who calls us to a new life, but neither have we repudiated any of these foundational understandings.  So it’s to this covenanted people I address myself here:

New York Yearly Meeting, to which I belong, is in the midst of considering its priorities, having approved a process “to discern… what work God would have us do.” It’s appointed a working group of dedicated, seasoned Friends to meet with local and regional meetings and worship groups. These have done a great deal of deep listening over the past few years, and formulated a Statement of Leadings and Priorities, which is shortly to be presented to the Yearly Meeting for approval. Tomorrow there’s to be a called meeting, at my monthly meeting, to consider the document. I think it’s a pretty good document, and it makes sound, sensible suggestions – loving suggestions – for improving our corporate health.

But there are a couple of things that don’t sit well with me. The encouragement to bring new people into meeting, for example, so that we’ll enjoy an increase in membership. Frankly, I don’t want an increase in membership. 70% of our membership takes no part in our committee work; 10 to 15% come to business meeting; this tells me that membership as we know it is a rotten institution. I don’t even want to see an increase in attendance per se. I’d like to see an increase in love for one another, in mutual forgiveness, in readiness to die to the old self or to die one for another, even to sacrifice personal comfort for one another’s sake. Be more Christlike, Friends! Then, I think, new people would come to us like bees to the honeysuckle vine. And then we might see how to reinvent membership, to have more to do with that covenant with God than it now has.

Then there’s the expressed hope that the Yearly Meeting would “witness to the world on our behalf.” No, I don’t want it to witness to the world on our behalf, I want it to witness to the world on God’s behalf, on Christ’s behalf, on the Gospel’s behalf, or else be silent! I don’t want it to lobby public officials to do the right thing so that what we consider right policies are enacted and enforced, leaving those officials’ defiled consciences unchallenged, but to call those officials to repentance if that’s what their spiritual need is. What have we, a people disarmed of carnal weapons, to do with the apparatus of the state, which is all about domination, force, mass surveillance, and the deployment of carnal weapons? The world says, “let us do evil, that good may come of it” (Romans 3:8); we’re a people called out of the world, forbidden to reason in such a manner. What communion hath light with darkness!? Jesus was silent before Pilate: do we think ourselves any better equipped to negotiate with the world?

On the other hand, if we are a city on a hill that cannot be hid, there’s hope that the world will come to us for counsel when its own counsel fails.

 

Will you repent?

June 21, 2014

This morning, Steven Davison posted a blog posting entitled “The New Lamb’s War – the Language and Worldview of Quaker Prophetic Witness” (http://throughtheflamingsword.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/the-new-lambs-war-the-language-and-worldview-of-quaker-prophetic-witness/#comment-1862). I think that Steve is my uncontestedly favorite blogger, now that Paul Hamell (http://entirelydifferent.net/) has left this world for the next, and some others, like “Brooklyn Quaker” Rich Accetta-Evans, have fallen silent in the blogosphere.  I revere Steve’s loving heart, brilliant mind, and wealth of knowledge; but we differ theologically. He’s put an immense amount of work into articulating a theology for Liberal Quakerism that stops short of declaring itself to be Christian Quakerism.  (See his http://throughtheflamingsword.wordpress.com/category/liberal-quakerism-an-exploration/.)  I, on the other hand, understand myself to be the property of Jesus Christ, a fact that makes moot the question of whether I’m a Christian or not.  I may be a valuable piece of property, a worthless piece of property, or something in between, but I’m bought with a price and live, no longer to myself but in Christ, under an everlasting covenant.

So Steve’s posting this morning pushed my “ignite me” button, and the first thing I did was post a response, which I reproduce here (with a few subsequent edits):

I eagerly await your presentation of the Lamb’s War, Steve. I’d like to think that while the Liberal Friends’ lambs are making their cavalry charge against the Man of Sin (whom James Nayler named as the enemy in this war; we’ll return to the question of who and what he is, but the impatient may want to look ahead to 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, noting that the Greek anthrōpos tēs anomias could also be translated “Person of Lawlessness”), Conservative and Evangelical Friends’ lambs will be sending their infantry divisions in on the right and left flanks, trapping the Man of Sin in a valley of no escape and forcing his unconditional surrender to an engulfing sea of bleating lambs. What better cause to bring these natural allies together for! We’ll also be doing the Man of Sin a favor, too. It’s no fun parading around pretending to be God when you’re “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17).

What a sad reflection on the condition of Liberal Friends, though! “Today, Liberal Friends do not generally share this worldview [of early Friends]. Our God—when we have one—is not primarily and essentially a lawgiver and judge. We are not comfortable with the idea of divine judgment, especially in its classic biblical presentation as destruction and suffering.” Your God, when you have one? — You mean you’re not a people of God any more? Some of you are sheep with a shepherd and some of you have no shepherd? How will you fight a Lamb’s War without your General?

I’d argue that the Christian God was never “primarily and essentially a lawgiver and judge,” anyway, but a Lover and a Forgiver, a Savior and a Cherisher, who always wished all His darlings, or Her darlings, to be saved, awakened from their terrible dream of fallenness, and reunited with their Divine Source in an eternity of perfect bliss. (For “darlings” read “all souls,” or “all sentient beings.”) This is the God whom Jesus likened to the father of the prodigal son (Luke 15) and then modeled by forgiving His own murderers from the cross (Luke 23:34), having made plain to his followers (John 14:9) that whoever sees and knows Him, Jesus, also knows the character of God. This is also the character of God that was revealed to Paul, who, in a marvelous tour de force of rhetorical irony (Romans 1:20-2:4), ends his thundering denunciation of us sinners and our “abominable” sins with “but it’s God’s kindness and forbearance and patience that leads us to repentance.” Not God’s wrath or God’s scariness, but God’s kindness, yes, God’s heart-melting tenderness.

You note that Liberal Friends “are not comfortable with the idea of divine judgment, especially in its classic biblical presentation as destruction and suffering.” All the worse! Because then that means that the destruction and suffering we experience daily are meaningless! If you explain our sufferings as the workings of karma (a concept that pervades Christian scripture, as in “as ye sow, so shall ye reap,” though the term itself is a Hindu-Buddhist import) but divorce the law of karma from a lawgiving God who ordained it, you’re saying that God had nothing to do with it. What is God, anyway, just an observer? How can an observer be a Savior? (God does come across as an indifferent observer in the Yoga Sutras, though a righteous avenger in the Bhagavad-Gita, and a nonentity in the Buddhist literature, so Liberal Friends who look to the East for their theology can make God be whatever they want God to be.)

There is an explanation of the suffering we experience that is consistent with the Christian teaching that “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 4:16), and that is that we chose to experience a world of suffering and death when we chose to have a will that diverged from God’s. This happens to be the central thesis of A Course in Miracles, for those Liberal Friends that follow that text, but it can also be found in John 3:19-20 and, in mythic form, in Genesis 3.

But with repentance, rightly understood, all that changes: suffering, death, the hapless victimhood of innocent creatures about to be cooked to death by the heedless, godless captains of a runaway industrial civilization. Once we’ve undergone the thorough change of consciousness that constitutes repentance, rightly understood (for the Greek metanoia means something far deeper than mere shame or regret over past deeds), it becomes an experienced fact that “all things work together for good to those who love God” (Romans 8:28). Repentance is the almost-inevitable consequence of discovering that the Man of Sin, the Person of Lawlessness, is me, for from that discovery there is no other meaningful escape. (There’s suicide, of course; but is that meaningful?)  The question before Liberal Friends is, Will you repent? And the test of whether Liberal Friends’ theology is viable or not is, Does it invite repentance?

A Personal Mission Statement

March 14, 2014

God is love, and calls us all to forgive all offenses and adopt God’s will as our own.

I’ve also discerned that God calls me to preach and exemplify this call to repentance of our selfish ways, and bear witness to the new life that follows on our being forgiven and healed from estrangement from God, which is this common fear-dominated condition called sin. I experience and understand this new life as a life in Jesus Christ, who lives both in God and among us, guiding, directing, warning, empowering, gathering, healing and perfecting all who will come to Him, whether they call Him by that name or some other.

I’ve discerned that I’m called to serve Jesus Christ, in His name and power, as a teacher of His gospel, persuader, comforter, hearer of confessions, and conveyer of His forgiveness and His healing. As I understand my calling, I’m to do this chiefly, but not exclusively, within the Religious Society of Friends.

I ask the help of a spiritual care committee to help me grow in this ministry, and to correct me if I should stray from it.

A heart that’s right in the sight of God

December 4, 2013

“Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter, for thy heart is not right in the sight of God,” said Peter to Simon Magus (Acts 8:21) in a rebuke that, happily, triggered Simon’s repentance. The original Greek for “heart right in the sight of God” is kardia eutheia enanti tou theou, and the word here translated as “right,” eutheia, is more properly translated “straight.” Its adverbial forms eutheōs and euthys convey the notion of an immediate consequence, as when Jesus performs a healing in the Gospel of Mark and eutheōs, “straightway,” the hemorrhage stops, the damsel rises from the dead, or the deaf man’s ears are opened. A heart “straight” in this sense would answer the Holy Spirit’s promptings straightway.

I went to bed last night thinking that a heart that’s right in the sight of God is the most precious thing I could ask for.  This morning I read, somewhere in the Philokalia, that it’s more to be desired than the joys of Heaven, because if my heart were not right, and steadfastly so, I’d go plummeting from Paradise just as Adam, Eve and Satan did. O Lord, make my heart steadfast and keep it steadfast, in Jesus’ name. I feel it wavering from steadfastness every time I’m tempted to say something hurtful in anger or take pleasure in someone else’s real or imagined pain. I want a straight heart that stays straight, fit always to stand in Your holy, enlightening and all-healing Presence until I’m absorbed back into Your Unity. And since I believe that this is what You intend for me and for all living creatures that I love, I thank You now and always for our salvation; Amen.

Yesterday I had a conversation with a Friend who was concerned that our Friends’ meeting, and maybe the whole Religious Society of Friends, was a “declining institution.” He shared with me a letter he’d gotten last year from another Friend who’d left our meeting in deep disappointment over our members’ behavior. Mention of the often inane and ego-driven messages we hear in meeting for worship made my anger rise, and I imagined raging at the meeting that those who were breaking the silence with junk ministry were damnable blasphemers, defiling their neighbors’ attempts to have communion with God with their narcissistic insistence on getting others’ attention on their own selfish thoughts! And  so on and on. I rolled Ezekiel 16:63 around in my mouth like a delicious throat-lozenge of fire. And the day before that, I’d had a conversation with a young man who’d withdrawn his interest in becoming a member because of our “disorganization.” Don’t get me started on others’ failures to be organized! I hear my late father’s voice echoing in the back of my heart: “When are you going to get organized!?” How intolerant of others my own shame can make me!

And then this morning, as I prayed for a heart that’s right in the sight of God, it came to me that I was praying alongside countless others who were praying to God for the same thing, many in tears, many with hearts purer than my own. It also came to me to tell my Friend that it didn’t matter whether we were a declining institution or a thriving institution, the only real question was whether he wanted a heart that’s right in the sight of God; and if he did, he’d find at least one other person at our meeting that wanted the same thing, and who would pray for his steadfastness in wanting it, and would commit to encouraging him to persevere. But then, he might find that somewhere else, too. The Holy Spirit would tell him where to go on Sunday mornings, and I hope, of course, that he’d go there straightway.