Friday, December 27, 2013

Watchfulness in daily life ... reflecting the journey in the inner Light

Isaac Penington ever brings to the mind of the reader that thinking about Faith and even having faith in thoughts about faith is not sufficient for salvation. Penington ever admonishes to "go further." In the Light, Faith, Peace, Love, Patience, etc. are verbal in essence. Peace, for example, is the result of individual conscious and conscience anchored in and being ever present in the Light. To the extent we seek Peace through outward means like political action or other institutional and conceptual imposition is the extent to which Peace will not manifest. Peace, as an abstract concept reflected in outward institutions, is form without the Life. Peace is the result of the illumination of the Light within individual conscious and conscience. It is the result of pure conscious and conscience.  Peace is not something sought in itself; it is the result of being in the Presence. The same is true for Faith, Love, Patience, etc. 
Living in intentionally and with watchfulness over the Light within the conscious and conscience in daily live is the moment by moment renewal and affirmation of eternity, the Kingdom of Heaven, in the world. All things and events are experienced as if for the first time; even the most mundane of tasks, like taking out the trash, is an affirmation of eternal life within and in everyone.
What are the results of conscious and conscience made tender by and anchored in Presence? A tender conscious and conscience experiences in the Light so that personal identity deepens down into the Light alone and the Light is sufficient itself for awareness. Thoughts, perceptions, feelings, etc. no longer support awareness and are no longer the source of identity. This is not their elimination, it is the turning of conscious and conscience away from them as a source of awareness and identity. Awareness is no longer dependent on abstract thoughts, perceptions, feelings, etc. to BE.  Conscious is free in the Light. Moral awareness is no longer dependent on abstract thoughts, external documents, institutions, the ideas of men and women. Conscience is free in the Light. The inner Light is the Guide and the Instructor. This is daily life transformed in the Life. 
In the Life, every task becomes a moment of worship ... a moment of affirmation ...  of eternity within. What a beautiful gift; to carry eternity in all things. There is a deep and abiding quiet; for conscious and conscience no longer grasps after abstract thoughts and feeling and outward things for awareness. No longer is conscious and conscience battered about and absorbed within abstract thoughts and emotions ... silence deepens. 
With that said, the habit of conscious and conscience anchored to the outward often asserts and suddenly spiritual and moral awareness is threatened. A person runs into you and knocks you down ... suddenly the Light is lost and conscious and conscience is given over to anger at the person who ran into you. Conscience kicks in and brings conviction against anger. With this conviction, frustration manifests. You lash out at the person. Abstract thoughts and emotions darken the Light within ... conscious and conscience is filled with anger ... you are angry. Tenderness is seared ... conscious and conscience become rigid. You are abstracted ... detached and convicted. 
Watchfulness brings realization and then an embracing and returning to the Light. The Light never left it was always there. Then ... in the act of embracing ... of reaching out ... a flash point and the Light fills the soul and conscious and conscience. Bathed in the Light, conscious and conscience is pure ... free from the commotion of outward thoughts and emotions ... silence manifests and is sufficient.
This is the Mystery revealed, known, and experienced ... the Presence piercing and illuminating individual conscious and conscience so that awareness is anchored in Presence itself even in our daily tasks and conscience is guided by the Presence and not by the outward or external.
Daily life becomes living Gospel. As Jesus walked in this world, so too each individual beholden to the Light. The individual becomes a part of the good story of the truth of eternal life in the Spirit of Jesus ... in being present in the Presence we become active players in the epic story of human being awakening into its true nature ... Divinity ... the conscious and conscience renewed, transformed, re-turned in the presence of the Presence. We are active players even in and while the reading of the Story ... Watch!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Turning ... the renewal of conscious and conscience

There is a spiritual nature in each of us. This spiritual nature is the experience and knowledge of the transformation of conscious and conscience by the illumination of the inner Light. This illumination transforms and anchors the conscious and conscience in itself so that no longer is awareness and moral guidance anchored in the world of form; ideological, institutional, abstract. The thoughts and doctrine of those who profess outward forms and would bind men and women to their doctrine and scripture is no longer the anchor of being in the spiritual nature. 
In the spiritual nature, the inner Light is our source of conscious and our conscience ... anchored in eternal Presence. In the Light ... I AM ... without predication. The way of the world and the professors of the world is predication to institutions, ideological, beliefs, principles, scriptures, etc.. In the Light ... Principle is and is known directly and in immediacy ... not through reflection thought of the human faculties.
Conscious and conscience transformed is the salvation of people in the renewal and re-anchoring of the mind in the Light ... Eternal Presence ... in each of us and lived and renewed in each moment of each day in all things so the conscious and conscience is pure and free.

This is the message of the early Quakers ... in other words ... this is not a belief ... it is speaking experience.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Story: by Keith F. Saylor - With an Afterword by Isaac Penington

There was a farmer who grew crops using artificial lighting and methods documented in a book he cherished. One day another farmer came to him and said that he does not use unnatural light but relies on the natural sun, in itself, to sustain and grow crops. The former responded by saying the sun certainly has its place, however, just look at how well his crops were growing under these artificial conditions and offered the latter his book and articles on unnatural growing methods. The latter graciously declined.
A time later, both men passed away. The crops tended by the man using artificial methods withered and died without the outward maintenance of his unnatural methods and apparatus. The crops tended by the latter grew and thrived in the light of the Sun that sustains Life needless of the artificials of men and women.
The Sun is sufficient.

“For I also did believe and expect great things in a church-state and way of worship; and in simplicity of heart did I enter into it, and walk in it, and was not without knowledge, warmth and experiences there. But all this the Lord broke down by a strong hand, in one moment ; and hath taught me since to throw away all my gains here, and elsewhere, and to count them but dross and dung, for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ my Lord. And having tasted, having seen, having felt, having handled, I cannot but commend the life ; and dissuade all men from all knowledge, all worship, all religion, all ways and practices (though ever so taking, pleasant, and promising) out of the life. And this is to know Christ ; namely, to know the life : and this is to obey Christ, to obey the life : and this is the kingdom of Christ which is to come, to have the life reign in power and great glory. But the knowing or believing of an history concerning Christ, this is not the knowledge or the faith: antichrist all along the apostasy, in all his various forms and dresses, hath known and believed thus: and this kind of knowledge must pass away further than it can find a place and service in the life. Be not angry at my testimony, it flows from pure love, and comes forth in great good will to your souls.”

----Isaac Penington, “The works of the long-mournful and sorely-distressed Isaac Penington ...” Volume 1, pg. 135

Words of George Fox added:

"All that profess the scriptures both of the New and Old Testament, and are not in Christ Jesus, the apostle tells them they are " reprobates if Christ be not in them." These that are not in Christ cannot be clothed with Christ, the sun of righteousness, that never changes. They are under the changeable moon in the world, in the changeable things, the changeable religions, ways, worships, teachers, rocks, and foundations. But Christ, the Son of God and sun of righteousness, doth not change ; in whom his people are gathered, and sit together in heavenly places in him, clothed with Christ Jesus, the sun, who is the mountain that fil'eth the whole earth with his divine power and light. So all his people see him and feel him both by sea and land. He is in all places of the earth felt and seen of all his. He saith to the outward professors, the Jews, " I am from above, ye are from below, ye are of this world." So their religions, worships, ways, teachers, faiths, beliefs, and creeds, are made by men, and are below, of this world that changeth like the moon. You may see their religions, ways, worships,and teachers,are all changeable like the moon; but Christ, the sun, with which the church is clothed, doth not change, nor his church; for they are spiritually-minded, and their way, worship, and religion is spiritual, from Christ, who is from above and not of this world. Christ hath redeemed you from this world, their changeable rudiments and elements, and old things, and their changeable teachers, and from their changeable faiths and beliefs. For Christ is the author and finisher of his church's faith, who saith, " Believe in the light, that ye may become children of the light."

Source: A journal or historical account of the life, travels, sufferings, Christian experiences, and labour of love in the work of the ministry of that ancient, eminent, and faithful servant of Jesus Christ, George Fox, By: George Fox, pg. 305

Monday, December 9, 2013

In Affirmation ... The Early Quaker Experience ... In the words of Edward Burrough

This quote below is a wonderful affirmation of foundation of Quakerism in the words of Edward Burrough.

His affirmation of mind being turned in the Light and of strength to let go of the thoughts of professors and our own thoughts ... no longer bound to reflective thinking. This giving over all reflective thought to intuitive thinking in the Presence is not just the foundation of Quakerism, but that of Christianity. This rejection of abstract thought and outward institutions affirms the Kingdom of God is lived, known, and experienced in immediate revelation not thought abstract ideology and outward political, religious, and educational institutions or outward Scriptures.

"And we found this light to be a sufficient teacher, to lead us to Christ, from whence this light came, and thereby it gave us to receive Christ, and to witness him to dwell in us; and through it the new covenant we came to enter into, to be made heirs of life and salvation. And in all things we found the light which we were enlightened withal, (which is Christ,) to be alone and only sufficient to bring to life and eternal salvation; and that all who did own the light in them which Christ hath enlightened every man withal, they needed no man to teach them, but the Lord was their teacher, by his light in their own consciences, and they received the holy anointing."

It is now about seven years since the Lord raised us up in the north of England, and opened our mouths in this his spirit; and what we were before in our religion, profession, and practices is well known to that part of the country; that generally we were men of the strictest sect, and of the greatest zeal in the performance of outward righteousness, and went through and tried all sorts of teachers, and run from mountain to mountain, and from man to man, and from one form to another, as do many to this very day, who yet remain ungathered to the Lord. And such we were, (to say no more of us,) that sought the Lord, and desired the knowledge of his ways more than any thing beside, and for one I may speak, who, from a child, even a few years old, set my face to seek and find the saviour, and, more than life and treasure or any mortal crown, sought with all my heart the one thing that is needful, to wit, the knowledge of God. And after our long seeking the Lord appeared to us, and revealed his glory in us, and gave us of his spirit from heaven, and poured it upon us, and gave us of his wisdom to guide us, whereby we saw all the world, and the true state of things, and the true condition of the church in her present estate. First the Lord brought us by his power and wisdom, and the word by which all things were made, to know and understand, and see perfectly, that God had given to us, every one of us in particular, a light from himself shining in our hearts and consciences; which light, Christ his son, the saviour of the world, had lighted every man withal; which light in us we found sufficient to reprove us, and convince us of every evil deed, word, and thought, and by it, in us, we came to know good from evil, right from wrong, and whatsoever is of God, and according to him, from what is of the devil, and what was contrary to God in motion, word, and works. And this light gave us to discern between truth and error, between every false and right way, and it perfectly discovered to us the true state of all things; and we thereby came to know man, what he was in his creation before transgression, and how he was deceived and overcome by the devil, and his estate in transgression, and in disobedience, and how he is driven and banished from the presence of the Lord, and the sorrow and anguish which he is in and to undergo. And also by the light in us, we perfectly came to know the way of restoration, and the means by which to be restored, and the state of man when come out of transgression and restored. These things to us were revealed by the light within us, which Christ had given us, and lighted us withal; what man was before transgression, and what he is in transgression, and what he is being redeemed out of transgression. And also as our minds became turned, and our hearts inclined to the light which shined in every one of us, the perfect estate of the church we came to know; her estate before the apostles' days, and in the apostles' days, and since the days of the apostles. And her present estate we found to be as a woman who had once been clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, who brought forth him that was to rule the nations; but she was fled into the wilderness, and there sitting desolate, in her place that was prepared of God for such a season, in the very end of which season, when the time of her sojourning was towards a full end, then were we brought forth. If any have an ear they may hear. So that all these things concerning man, and concerning the times and seasons, and the changing and renewing of times, and all things that pertain to salvation, and redemption, and eternal life, needful for man to know, all these were revealed, discovered, and made known to us, by the light which was in us, which Christ had lighted us withal.

And we found this light to be a sufficient teacher, to lead us to Christ, from whence this light came, and thereby it gave us to receive Christ, and to witness him to dwell in us; and through it the new covenant we came to enter into, to be made heirs of life and salvation. And in all things we found the light which we were enlightened withal, (which is Christ,) to be alone and only sufficient to bring to life and eternal salvation; and that all who did own the light in them which Christ hath enlightened every man withal, they needed no man to teach them, but the Lord was their teacher, by his light in their own consciences, and they received the holy anointing.

And so we ceased from the teachings of all men, and their words, and their worships, and their temples, and all their baptisms and churches; and we ceased from our own words, and professions, and practices in religion, in times before zealously performed by us, through divers forms, and we became fools for Christ's sake, that we might become truly wise. And by this light of Christ in us were we led out of all false ways, and false preachings, and from false ministers, and we met together often, and waited upon the Lord in pure silence from our own words, and all men's words, and hearkened to the voice of the Lord, and felt his word in our hearts, to burn up and beat down all that was contrary to God; and we obeyed the light of Christ in us, and followed the motions of the Lord's pure spirit, and took up the cross to all earthly glories, crowns, and ways, and denied ourselves, our relations, and all that stood in the way betwixt us and the Lord; and we chose to suffer with and for the name of Christ, rather than enjoy all the pleasures upon earth, or all our former zealous professions and practices in religion without the power and spirit of God, which the world yet lives in. And while waiting upon the Lord in silence, as often we did for many hours together, with our minds and hearts toward him, being staid in the light of Christ within us, from all thoughts, fleshly motions, and desires, in our diligent waiting and fear of his name, and hearkening to his word, we received often the pouring down of the spirit upon us, and the gift of God's holy eternal spirit as in the days of old, and our hearts were made glad, and our tongues loosed, and our mouths opened, and we spake with new tongues, as the Lord gave us utterance, and as his spirit led us, which was poured down upon us, on sons and daughters. And to us hereby were the deep things of God revealed, and things unutterable were known and made manifest; and the glory of the Father was revealed, and then began we to sing praises to the Lord God Almighty, and to the Lamb for ever, who had re deemed us to God, and brought us out of the captivity and bondage of the world, and put an end to sin and death; and all this was by and through, and in the light of Christ within us. And much more might be declared hereof, that which could not be believed if it were spoken, of the several and particular operations and manifestations of the ever lasting spirit that was given us, and revealed in us. But this is the sum life and immortality were brought to light, power from on high and wisdom were made manifest, and the day everlasting appeared unto us, and the joyful sun of righteousness did arise and shine forth unto us and in us; and the holy anointing, the everlasting comforter, we received; and the babe of glory was born, and the heir of the pro mise brought forth to reign over the earth, and over hell and death, whereby we entered into everlasting union, and fellowship, and covenant with the Lord God, whose mercies are sure and infinite, and his promise never fails. We were raised from death to life, and changed from satan's power to God, and gathered from all the dumb shepherds, and off all the barren mountains, into the fold of eternal peace and rest, and mighty and wonderful things hath the Lord wrought for us, and by us, by his own outstretched arm.

And thus we became followers of the Lamb whithersoever he goes; and he hath called us to make war in righteousness for his name's sake against hell and death, and all the powers of darkness, and against the beast and false prophet, which have deceived the nations. And we are of the royal seed elect, chosen and faithful, and we war in truth and just judgment; not with weapons that are carnal, but by the sword that goes out of his mouth, which shall slay the wicked, and cut them to pieces. And after this manner was our birth or bringing forth, and thus hath the Lord chosen us and made us an army dreadful and terri ble, before whom the wicked do fear and tremble; and our standard is truth, justice, righteousness, and equity; and all that come unto us, must cleave thereunto, and fight under that banner without fear, and with out doubting, and they shall never be ashamed nor put to flight, neither shall they ever be conquered by hell or death, or by the powers of darkness; but the Lord shall be their armour, weapon, and de fence for evermore. And they that follow the Lamb shall overcome, and get the victory over the beast, and over the dragon, and over the gates of hell; for the Lord is with us, and who shall be able to make us afraid ?
Source: The Works of George Fox, Volume 3, pgs 11-14

George Fox - The Church, State, and the Individual - people's conscience are to be left free.

The conscience of people are to be ruled, guided, and governed not by the outward church nor the outward rules of government. The eternal Light that shines in conscience, toward the turning or renewal of the mind, is the true rule and government of people.
From: The Works of George Fox, Volume 3, pg.16
"And as for all churches (so called) and professions and gatherings of people, we beheld you as all in the apostacy and degeneration from the true church, not being gathered by the spirit of the Lord, nor anointed thereby, as the true members of Christ ever were, but to be in a form, and in forms of righteousness without the power, and in imitations without life and perfect knowledge. So that all the practices of religion we beheld without power and life, though some had a sin cerity in them, and a zeal and a desire towards the Lord; yet all people erred in judgment, and none were guided in judgment by the eternal spirit; and the error in judgment made their zeal blind, and their performances of righteousness not accepted, though acted in some sincerity and zeal; because they were not guided in practice, and led in judgment by the spirit of the Lord, which only leads into all truth, and none are in the truth but who are led only thereby. So that we beheld all profession to be but as coverings with fig leaves, while the nature of transgression stood uncondemned and not crucified. We then also saw not only that the performance and practice in church state, and in religious orders were corrupted, but also government, and magistracy, and all things in civil state were not aright in the sight of the Lord, nor as the Lord required, neither as he had ordained in the beginning; for government, we know, as ordained of God, is to punish, and limit, and terrify all evil doers, and to preserve and defend all that do well; and that men's consciences are to be left free, to be ruled by the Lord alone, and guided by his spirit; and that outward power and civil magistrates and laws, (so called,) ought not to be Lord or ruler in men's consciences, nor over them. But we beheld how unrighteousness and iniquity, and sin and wickedness were strengthened and encouraged in the government, and by such as were in authority; and how the exercise of a good conscience in the fear of God was abused; so that it was turned backward from what it ought to be; them that did well were punished, and limited as transgressors, and the evil doers were set free, and not made afraid: so that we could truly cry, truth was fallen in the streets, and justice and true judgment turned back ward, and equity had no place to enter, and the innocent were devoured through want of true and just judgment, and the needy were spoiled and made a prey. For no sooner had we opened our mouths, but the magistrates began to put us in prison, and execute great injustice upon us, and became oppressors of the innocent, and laid unjust burdens upon us, grievous to be borne, and true justice and judgment were neglected, and wrong judgment brought forth, and good government abused, and men in authority not ruled by the Lord, neither ruling for the Lord among men: and thus it came to pass upon us, through the corruption and degeneration in government and magis trates, which we saw to be, as it was fulfilled by them, to wit, not as the Lord required, nor as he in the beginning ordained it, but quite the contrary. And this we saw in the beginning, when the spirit of the Lord was poured down upon us, and power from on high was re vealed to declare against all the abominations of the earth, and to make war against all corruption, in all orders, and places, and men.

Monday, December 2, 2013

An Inward and Living Christmas Story

An Inward and Living Christmas Story
by Job Scott

Edited Into Five Movements by Keith Saylor

Source: Essays on Salvation by Job Scott, Friends' Book Association, 1894


Except we are regenerated and born again ; that is, except another birth and life take place in us, besides our natural birth into, and life in this world and into things natural; except a work, that, strictly speaking, produces a real regeneration and new birth, as real a conception, generation, and birth of the seed of God in us, and of us too, as the production of our natural life is a real work of conception, generation, and birth into this world, we can not possibly enter into the kingdom of God. This is the new creature that is born of God, and sinneth not; and this must have the rule and government in us, and bring forth the works of God, so far as we are justified (pg. 23,24)

Movement One: Co-workmanship

We must, through the divine workings of God by his grace and spirit in us, work out our own salvation. This is always the way it is wrought. We can do no more of it ourselves, unassisted by him, than " the Ethiopian can change his skin,  or the leopard his spots." And yet, even where it is done in the most sudden manner that ever it was known, it is done no other way, and no further, than as the will or spirit of man yields up, submits to, and becomes a co-worker with him who worketh all in all in true religion. (pg. 29,30)

Our part is to be unresisting, as the clay in the hand of the potter. The simile regards the non-resistance of the clay, but does not extend so far as to represent us inactive, unconscious, or without choice, will, or exertion, in this great work. It might as well represent us unconscious, and entirely insensible, as inactive, or active as mere machines. It shows that we can do no more merely of ourselves in it, than life less clay ; and that even where we are the most vigorously active in a right line religiously, our will and activity are not only wholly yielding and unresisting under the divine operation, but they are no further or faster exertive in the work, than the divine hand or influence is felt and extended, holds us fast, and puts us forward, forms and fashions us vessels of use and honour, as he pleases.(pg. 30,31)

And he never pleases to make any of us any thing in religion, either in ourselves or to others, without the consent, concurrence, and co-operation of our own minds and abilities in it. As we yield to his call and operation, the new formation, creation, and generation begin and advance. Old things are done away, all things become new, and all things of God ; and not of ourselves, without him. (pg. 31)

Movement Two - Preeminence

This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light.  None therefore have, nor ever can have, this condemnation, who have not had the light. Its coming cannot be to the condemnation of any but those who hate it. He that loves it, that lives in it, and conforms his deeds, his heart, his life to it, is and must be in union, communion, and reconciliation with God, the source of it, and from whom it shines an emanation of the Eternal Divinity. The word that was in the beginning with God, and truly was God, is now, and ever was the light of all men, and the life of those in whom it obtains, in all things, the pre-eminence. These live by it ... (pg. 33,34)

He is the eternal Word, and as such is God. To us he is the emanation, or son of God's love. When he lives and reigns complete in us, when he is our life, and has in all things the preeminence with us, and so is our complete justification, as such he must have been begotten and formed in us; strictly and truly so; for it is thus, and thus only, that we are or can be complete in him. (pg. 36)

Movement Three: Christ “begotten and formed in us: strictly and truely so ...”

He is one in all the only begotten of God forever. God alone is his Father. Every true believer is his mother. Hence he assures us, " Whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in Heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." Matt xii. 50. And hence too he is the son of man. (pg.36)

The outward body of flesh and blood, which cannot inherit the kingdom of God, never came down from heaven. " He that ascended, is he that first descended." The outward body was prepared for him who came to do the divine will. It was the eternal holy Word that came down from Heaven, and took flesh in that body ; and this divine word having a conception and birth in man, becomes truly, and in the scripture sense, the son of man, as well as son of God ... (pg. 36)

It was not the outward body, nor the mere human nature ... It was that living birth of divine life ... This is the seed of the woman that bruises the serpent's head. It was and is necessary, in order to our restoration and union with God, that the life of the Deity, the holy Word, should so operate as to bring forth in us a conception and birth of his own divine nature ; a real birth of the incorruptible seed and word of God. As in this holy offspring a real union of life, human and divine, is formed and brought forth, and as man herein becomes the mother of this heavenly offspring, this is really the seed of the woman, the seed of the church and spouse of Christ ; for it is not only as the seed of Mary or of Eve, that the only begotten is the seed of the woman. The souls in whom he is begotten and brought forth, are all in the relation of parent to him, as well as brethren and sisters ; and according to the nature of the work which form's this relation, it is strikingly represented by the parent in the female line ; " Whosoever, &c. the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." And this is that begotten of God, and at the same time that son of man, which ascends up where he was before he became the son of man. And as God alone can be the father of this his only begotten, man at most can be his mother.  (pg. 37,38)

Movement Four: Christ is come in the mortal flesh of each human being.

When Peter knew Christ to be the son of God, Christ told him, flesh and blood had not revealed it unto him, but his heavenly Father. Matt. xvi. 17. This holds good to every individual. The world by wisdom never knew God, and never can know Christ. None know him, but those to whom the Father reveals him ; nor can any know the Father, but by the revelation of the son in themselves. " No man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost." 1 Cor. xii. 3. This is the reason why " every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God." 1 John iv. 2. The evil spirits of old confessed him in words, but he rejected their testimony, and suffered them not to speak ; Luke iv. 41. For though they had an outward knowledge who he was, they spake not by the Holy Ghost ; they were not of God. And thus thousands now confess him to have come in the flesh in that body, and are proud to call him Lord; but none ever rightly called him so, but by the revelation of the Father. (pg. 39)

It is not merely confessing, though in full assent to the truth of it, that Christ did come in that one outward body, that determines any one to be of God ; the devils believe, confess, and tremble ; but none truly and thoroughly confess him without knowing (in the present tense) that he " is come in the flesh " in themselves, spiritually. " I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he may abide with you forever, even the spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not) neither knoweth him ; but ye know him, for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless ; I will come to you : yet a little while and the world seeth me no more, but ye see me : because I live, ye shall live also. At that day, (that is, when I come again the second time, the comforter, to salvation), you shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you." John xiv. 16 to 20. This is the great mystery of godliness. God manifest in the flesh, is not confined to the flesh of that one body. (pg. 40)

The preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made mani fest, " is Christ in you the hope of glory." Col. i. 27. " Always bearing about in the body," says the apostle, " the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body; for we which live, are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh." 2 Cor. iv. 10, 11. " We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us ; " 7. Here is plainly in us the death; the dying of the Lord Jesus, in order that his life may be manifest in us. This is baptism into his death, and rising with him into newness of life ; the one soul-saving baptism. (pg. 41)

Christ formed in man, is in the oneness with the Father. The begotten of God in every soul is one with him in the everlasting covenant ; as truly so, in measure, as there was a real oneness with God in the man Christ Jesus. (pg. 42)

The Final Movement: The Living Christmas. Christ is conceived and born about in the bodies of individuals.

We are enabled to work out our own salvation, but it is only as God worketh in its and we work by him; he in us, and we in him. (pg. 44)

The only begotten son which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." John i. 18. "And of his fulness have all we received." 16. Had we not, we could never rightly know God, nor receive the testimony of the son. There is nothing else through which we can receive it. It is hid from the wisest of men except only so far as it is manifested to them in and by this. It is revealed only unto babes, that is, to his begotten. Men, as natural men, and as such considered as the work of God, are created. But the new born babes in Christ, though in a sense the work and creation of God, (as Christ is the beginning of it), yet they are, as his production, not merely created as Adam; they are, strictly speaking, begotten. There is in their formation, a spiritual conception and birth in the soul. The Father, by the overshadowing of the holy ghost upon the willing mind, which embraces and yields to the visitations, operations, and wooings of his love, begetteth and produceth a true and real birth of divine life, a conception and birth of that which is truly and properly his only be gotten forever, being one in all his spiritual offspring. This is he that is born again of God, of the incorruptible seed and word of God. In the production of the conception, generation, and birth, there is both Father and mother. He that begets, is the only possible Father of this the only begotten. The soul in whom this conception and birth is effected, is the mother ; and here " the man is not without the woman, nor the woman without the man in the Lord." This conception and birth cannot possibly be effected by the mother without the Father, and is never produced by the Father without the consent of the mother. There must be a celestial union, and real co-operation, wherein two become one. Of twain the one new man is made, which is God and man in the heavenly and mystical fellowship and union.. This is the mystery of Christ. This is what is held forth strikingly and livingly in his birth of the virgin Mary ; and this ever was, and ever will be the only possible way of salvation. This is the new creature, that being born of God sinneth not ; indeed, cannot sin, and that for this very reason, because " his seed remaineth in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God ;" (1 John iii. 9), as really so, as one was ever born of another in natural procreation. The natural man, the mere creature, as the work of God, is a created being ; he never saw God, cannot know him, nor receive the testimony respecting the mystical union and sonship: but the babe, the begotten, that with a true and living knowledge of its sonship, cries Abba, Father, both sees and knows the Father, and receives the heavenly testimony. (pgs. 45-47)

Christ is the door. Is there a door of entrance into the kingdom in our hearts? If so, it is Christ in us; there is no other door, nothing can open to receive him, nor enter into the kingdom with him, but that which is of him ; all else is, and ever will be, darkness, and can not comprehend the light, or receive it. Nature works against it; men love darkness rather, and as men merely, ever will. (pg. 48)

Afterword: by Keith Saylor

The natural world yearly manifests death, life, regeneration, and rebirth in the movement of the seasons. Outwardly, men and women observe life, death, and resurrections of Jesus in the holy days throughout the year, that follow the seasons. These outward manifestations and observances are empty without the same literally and experientially happening within the mortal flesh of human beings.   

In the inwardly experienced, Living Christmas,  Christ is come in each individual; conceived in the literal union of humanity and divinity and bearing eternal being, the Presence, in an earthly vessel.

The power of Scott’s testimony is in the experience of the substance behind his words. This is not mere analogy, it is a spiritual happening in the lives of individuals awoken to eternal being even in mortal flesh. Men and women carrying the baby of eternal being conceived through the union of human and divine.

This Christmas Story is lived and experienced in all things and in all moments.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

John Wilbur and immediacy or The Way Not Mediated

Please read the 10 quotations below from Wilbur's Journal.
In the Journal of the Life of John Wilbur he writes:
"A disposition is making its appearance in divers places in this nation, and among Friends, to think very little of the cross of Christ, practically, and to plead for liberality, both of faith and practice; the perceptible influence of the Holy Spirit is mournfully deprecated by many members of our Society ; some of them in conspicuous standing, are now disposed to put the Scriptures in the place of the Spirit, and seem ready to hold them as the only rule of faith and practice, or guidance of Christians." pgs. 150-151
He goes on the speak of  "a want of experience, and of the true knowledge of God through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." In quotation number three below, Wilbur suggests Gurney has turned from the early Quakers faith in "immediate revelation" to the "divinations of  his own brain."  This is the core of Wilbur's labor against Gurney. Gurney, and those who labored against Wilbur, gave space for the rational, abstract, or "creature." That is, he suggested, according to Wilbur, that "waiting upon God for the influence of his Spirit (see 1 below)" was not necessary but that the outward doctrines of the Scriptures are sufficent unto themselves.
Gurney represents a fundamental departure from the early Quakers experience of and faith in the immediate revelation or guidance of the inner Spirit. Resting in and waiting on the quickening of Divine Truth was a distinguishing characteristic of the early Quaker spiritual experience (see 9 below). In fact, the early Quakers were the restoration of the immediate revelation of the apostles:
"the testimony of Jesus, which is revelation, had been much withheld therefrom until our early Friends were prepared to receive it, and to walk faithfully by its guidance, as the rule of life, and thus this unspeakable blessing to the church was again restored" (see 9 below).
This renewal of the mind through focus on and faith in the direct and unmediated guidance of the Spirit is a turning from abstract or reflective thought for guidance or direction. It is not a bending of the mind toward external ideas, ideologies, institutions, doctrines, etc. for guidance, it is anchoring consciousness in the Spirit and being guided by immediate revelation in all things and activities in life.
This testimony to and focus upon faith in immediate revelation over faith in and focus upon outward ideological and institutional constructs is what is so captivating  about Wilbur's struggle against Gurney.  Being present in the Presence ,so that the mind is no longer a tool for the manipulation of abstract or outward thoughts (the carnal mind) and ideas but a conduit for the immediate guidance of the Spirit is a powerful testimony and one that speaks directly to and nurtures the Spirit within me. It is a giving up or dying of the self-conscious ago anchored in the sensual; toward the self-conscious ego anchored in the Spirit ... the Eternal.
It is no wonder Wilbur took issue with those who said the reading and belief in the written Gospel of Scripture was sufficient to salvation. Or the the Bible is the Word of God rather than the inner Spirit.
Immediate Revelation
Quotations from "Journal of the Life of John Wilbur"
1) I was led to speak of the ministry, — of the times and seasons, as well as of the immediate quickening of Divine Truth, as the only qualification for rightfully and profitably preaching the gos pel of Christ I had no information of there being any one present, who professed such a calling, but found afterwards, that there was a preacher there, who, it seems, felt very rest less under my testimony ; and he opened to me, next morning, his mind upon the subject, saying, that he was disposed to think such an one might leach the people properly enough,, without waiting upon God for the influence of his Spirit. The discovery of such a sentiment as this, entertained by a professed minister of our Society, was, indeed, a great grief tome. And I could but see, that if this should become general, our testimonies concerning worship and the ministry would be lost and trodden under foot of men ; for if our ministers abandon that patient, reverent, and silent waiting upon God, for strength and a renewed qualification, as well as for the matter to communicate, their offerings will certainly be no better than salt which has lost its savor ; and we should soon get into the form, without the power.
2) It is very evident, that if we should come to believe that the Scriptures, of themselves, are a sufficient guide in all the walks of a Christian life, then our silent, spiritual worship will ere long, sink into disuse, and our faith in the immediate renewing of the Divine Spirit, on every occasion of the ministry, will be exploded. This result is a consequence that must unavoidably follow such a faith concerning the Holy Scriptures, however excellent they are, in subordination to the Spirit which gave them forth. pg. 152

3) The above mentioned Friend [J.J. Gurney] has been visiting families in our Quarterly Meeting for a long time at intervals, and especially giving lectures on religious subjects ; which is a sort of new gift that has sprung up in these days, wherein the performer has more liberty to follow the divination of his own brain, than in speaking by immediate revelation, as the Spirit lays under a necessity and gives ability and utterance ; thus there is more room for the creature to take a part. pg. 199

4) The Hebrew and Greek languages being very limited, one word in them will sometimes embrace several significations, some of which will be in entire contrast with others ; this he (J.J. Gurney) has caught at, and then made use of those opposite senses to vary the present translation of the Scriptures, and to promote his purpose in undervaluing and contradicting the solid sense and judgment of our ancient Friends, that he may the more readily introduce and propagate Episcopalian doctrines. He tries to make out that the eating of the flesh, and drinking the blood of Christ, means a belief in his incarnation, thus lowering down that deep experience and blessed fellowship in spirit with the Lord Jesus, in his baptisms and sufferings, to a mere assent of the human mind — that the gospel which is preached in, or to every human being, means the outward preaching of the gospel doctrines, that is, the declaration of the atonement of Christ ; that the name of Jesus does not signify his power, but only to ask of the Father that he would grant our petitions, merely because of his beloved Son, Jesus Christ ; that therefore we are not to look for the immediate influence of the Spirit as a qualification to pray, but to push forward into this offering when ever we incline to it ; and many other changes he makes which I can call by no other name than perversions. He endeavors to make out that our primitive Friends were under mistaken views ; in order that he may, with more facility, lay waste our attachment to the doctrines and testimonies they held, and prepare us to embrace new schemes 'which will be more acceptable to the unregenerate man ; liberate us from the mortifying operation of the cross of Christ, and cause us, as a Society, to be more respected by the carnal, superficial professors of religion in the several denominations. pg. 229

5) But the liability of men and Christians to a declension and departure from the immediate government of Truth, as individuals and as a body, induced George Fox and his fellow-helpers to institute and establish a written discipline, both for the church and for the members, as a guide to the ordering of church government, and for the deciding of all questions that might after arise in the Society. pg. 268
6) In the enemy's attempts to destroy Quakerism in 1827, his army was nothing like so strong and formidable as at the present time ; for now, the whole body of professors, save a little remnant of our Society, are joined in concert against the doctrines of a religion immediately revealed to the mind and understanding of man. pg. 360
7) But how can any expect to be favored with the living spring and life of the gospel ministry who give their strength to those who are laying waste this blessed faith of the inward and immediate revelation of God's will to men, by upholding and defending those who have resorted to so many turnings and windings in order to weaken and dissipate our faith in this very doctrine — I say how can such expect to preach the gospel by the revelation of Jesus Christ, or in the demonstration of the Spirit and with power! How vain is the repetition of many words in our assemblies, (however good in themselves those words,) without the renewed anointing! pg. 432

8) The misgivings which an enemy has introduced into our Society of later time touching our faith in the inward light, life, and power of Christ the Lord, has done incalculable mischief both in your country and ours. It has undoubtedly caused hundreds of our ministers to let go their hold of the faith of immediate revelation, whereby there has been, (sorrowful to say,) a lamentable falling back from the spirit to the letter ; holding to the form, but practically denying the life and power ! This degeneracy has been seen and known not only by the living among us, but by other people also ; and it seems very strange how those ministers who have heretofore been favored to preach in demonstration of the Spirit and with power, can now be satisfied only to preach themselves, or to preach the letter. pg. 446
9) Next day we attended meeting at Croydon, and therein referred to Christ's exhortation to one of the churches, namely, " Hold fast that which thou hast," referring to the circumstance that there had been a direct intercourse between the heavens and the earth, through the days of the Patriarchs and the Prophets ; that God had continued to reveal himself through Jesus Christ, immediately to his creature man, but that the professing Christian church had become enveloped in darkness ; and since that time, by reason of the unfitness of its professors, the testimony of Jesus, which is revelation, had been much withheld therefrom until our early Friends were prepared to receive it, and to walk faithfully by its guidance, as the rule of life, and thus this unspeakable blessing to the church was again restored ; and how exceedingly essential is it for her that " she hold fast that which she hath." pg. 523
10) Although, my dear friend, I do sometimes nearly come to want, and necessarily so, for the frequently reminding me of whence all good cometh, as also of my own poverty and wretchedness, without the immediate supplies from the Fountain of all good ; yet when permitted to look back upon my late journey, and a little to realize the marvellous and gracious preservations of infinite goodness, amid the dangers which awaited us, by sea and by land, and through the enmity of false brethren, and subtleties of an enemy's assaults upon untried ground, I seem to be lost in admiration of the goodness of God, extended to an unworthy creature, and leading to language like some on record : " Give thanks unto the Lord, oh ! my soul, for his mercies endure for ever." pg. 553