<< PYM home

Faith and Practice

Pacific Yearly Meeting

of the

Religious Society of Friends

a guide to quaker discipline in the experience of pacific yearly meeting of the religious society of friends.
published 2001

Search provided by

Contents page

iii: testimony and experience of friends

< previous page

next page >

Living Our Faith

pym in context
quaker faith & spiritual practice
testimony & experience of friends
organization of the society
activities & organization of the YM
sources of quotations
index of sources
subject index

We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Friends who have permitted us to use material for this Faith and Practice.



92 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

matthew 5:44

93 But I told them [the Commonwealth Commissioners] I lived in the virtue of that life and power that took away the occasion of all wars, and I knew from whence all wars did rise, from the lust according to James’s doctrine. … But I told them I was come into the covenant of peace which was before wars and strife were.

george fox, 1651

94 All bloody principles and practices, we, as to our own particulars, do utterly deny, with all outward wars and strife and fightings with outward weapons, for any end or under any pretense whatsoever. And this is our testimony to the whole world. … That the spirit of Christ, by which we are guided, is not changeable, so as once to command us from a thing as evil and again to move unto it; and we do certainly know, and so testify to the world, that the spirit of Christ, which leads us into all Truth, will never move us to fight and war against any man with outward weapons, neither for the kingdom of Christ nor for the kingdoms of this world.

george fox, 1660

95 I speak not against any magistrates’ or people’s defending themselves against foreign invasions, or making use of the sword to suppress the violent and evil-doers within their borders — for this the present estate of things may and doth require, and a great blessing will attend the sword where it is borne uprightly to that end, and its use will be honourable; … but yet there is a better state, which the Lord hath already brought some into, and which nations are to expect and travel towards.… There is to be a time, when “nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” When the power of the Gospel spreads over the whole earth, thus shall it be throughout the earth; and, where the power of the Spirit takes hold of and overcomes any heart at present, thus will it be at present with that heart. This blessed state, which shall be brought forth in the general [society] in God’s season, must begin in particulars [that is, in individuals]…

isaac penington, 1661

96 Whoever can reconcile this, Resist not evil, with Resist violence by force; again, Give also thy other cheek, with Strike again; also Love thine enemies, with Spoil them, make a prey of them, pursue them with fire and the sword; or, Pray for those that persecute you, and those that calumniate you, with persecute them by fines, imprisonments and death itself;… whoever, I say, can find a means to reconcile these things, may be supposed also to have found a way to reconcile God with the devil, Christ with Antichrist, light with darkness, and good with evil. But if this be impossible, as indeed it is impossible; so will also the other be impossible; and men do but deceive both themselves and others, while they boldly adventure to establish such absurd and impossible things.

robert barclay, 1678

97 Common folk, not statesmen, nor generals, nor great men of affairs, but just simple men and women, if they devote themselves … can do something to build a better peaceful world.

henry cadbury, 1947

98 We affirm our unchanging conviction that our first allegiance is to God, and if this conflicts with any compulsions of the State, we serve our countries best by remaining true to our higher loyalty.

pacific yearly meeting, 1953

99 The Quaker belief in peace is not just a negative refusal of war, but also an endeavor to appeal to “that of God” in other men regardless of nationality, race, or social status. This appeal may not at first appear successful, but it is the only appeal which can be successful in the long run.

howard brinton, 1972

100 And we recognise that discipleship of Jesus carries ethical implications not only in personal life but “in all realms of life,”which indeed is why, throughout our history, we have been concerned with peace, justice and social questions.

london yearly meeting, to lima with love, 1987

101 … [we must remember] truth without love is violence. And love without truth is sentimentality.

muriel bishop, 1990