More than any other faith stream that I’ve experienced within the Christian landscape, the Quakers acknowledge the divine within. “Quaker” is the popular name for the Religious Society of Friends, which has nourished and informed my spiritual journey over the years. Here are some of my favorite Quaker quotes.
Friends, meet together
and know one another
in that which is eternal,
which was before the world was.
(George Fox, 1657)
Take heed, dear Friends,
to the promptings
of love and truth
in your hearts,
which are the leadings
of God. (Advices, 1964)
Walk cheerfully over the world,
answering that of God in everyone.
Act on the light you have, and more light will be given to you.
O Lord, baptize our hearts into a sense of the needs and conditions of all. (George Fox)
True Godliness doesn’t turn men out of the world, but enables them to live better in it, and excites their endeavors to mend it.
(William Penn, 1682)
What is love? What shall I say of it, or how shall I in words express its nature? It is the sweetness of life; it is the sweet, tender, melting nature of God, flowing up through his seed of life into the creature, and of all things making the creature most like unto himself, both in nature and operation. It fulfils the law, it fulfils the gospel; it wraps up all in one, and brings forth all in the oneness. It excludes all evil out of the heart, it perfects all good in the heart. A touch of love doth this in measure; perfect love doth this in fullness. (Isaac Penington, 1663)
Do you cherish that of God within you, so that love may grow in you and rule your life? (Questions and counsel, 1988)
It is for this grace that we pray; that we, too, may love to excess even though it may appear foolish in the eyes of the world.
(Phyllis Richards, 1949)
How can we walk with a smile into the dark? We must learn to put our trust in God and the leadings of the Spirit. (Gordon Matthews, 1987)
Gathered along the way for personal use, these quotes are not precisely sourced. Many but not all came from Quaker Spirituality: Selected Writings – Classics of Western Spirituality, ed. Douglas V. Steere (Paulist Press, 1983).
To learn more, see Faith and Practice, which summarizes Quaker teachings. This exists in many versions specific to particular meetings. For an example, see this version, used by the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.