The Record of a Quaker Conscience, Cyrus Pringle's Diary With an Introduction by Rufus M. Jones

 
9781406916560: The Record of a Quaker Conscience, Cyrus Pringle's Diary With an Introduction by Rufus M. Jones

"With ardent zeal for our Faith and the cause of our peaceable principles; and almost disgusted at the lukewarmness and unfaithfulness of very many who profess these; and considering how heavily slight crosses bore upon their shoulders, I felt to say, "Here am I, Father, for thy service. As thou will." May I trust it was He who called me and sent me forth with the consolation: "My grace is sufficient for thee." Deeply have I felt many times since that I am nothing without the companionship of the Spirit." -Cyrus G. Pringle

"The roots of the Quakers' opposition to war go deep down into the soil of the past. They are the outgrowth and culmination of a long spiritual movement. They carry along, in their ideas, emotions, habits and attitudes, tendencies which have been unconsciously sucked in with their mother's milk, and which, therefore, cannot be held up and analysed. The mystics, the humanists, the anabaptists, the spiritual reformers, are forerunners of the Quaker. They are a necessary part of his pedigree,—and they were all profoundly opposed to war. This attitude has become an integral part of the vital stock of truth by which the Quaker lives his spiritual life, and to violate it is for him to stop living "the way of truth," as the early Quakers quaintly called their religious faith.

"But the Quakers have never been champions of the negative. They do not take kindly to the rôle of being "antis." Their negations grow out of their insistent affirmations. If they are against an established institution or custom it is because they are for some other way of life which seems to them divinely right, and their first obligation is to incarnate that way of life. They cannot, therefore, stand apart in monastic seclusion and safely watch the swirl of forces which they silently disapprove. If in war-time they do not fight, they do something else. They accept and face the dangers incident to their way of life. They feel a compulsion to take up and in some measure to bear the burden of the world's suffering. They endeavour to exhibit, humbly and modestly, the power of sacrificial love, freely, joyously given, and they venture all that the brave can venture to carry their faith into life and action. In the American civil war, in the Franco-Prussian, the South African, the Balkan, the Russo-Japanese, small bands of Quakers revealed the same spirit of service and the same obliviousness to danger which have marked the larger groups that have manned the ambulance units and the war-victims' relief and reconstruction work of this world war. In this present crisis they have gone wherever they could go,—to Belgium, to France, to Russia, to Italy, to Serbia and Greece and Syria and Mesopotamia,—to carry into operation the forces of restoration and of reconstruction. They have not stood aloof as spectators of the world's tragedy. They have entered into it and shared it, and they have counted neither money nor life dear to themselves in their desire to reveal the power of redeeming and transforming love." -Rufus M. Jones

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About the Author:

Cyrus Guernsey Pringle (May 6, 1838 – May 25, 1911) was an American botanist who spent a career of 35 years cataloguing the plants of North America. He is in the top five historical botanists for quantity of new species discovered — approximately 1,200 species, 100 varieties, twenty-nine genera, and four combinations. Rufus Matthew Jones (January 25, 1863 – June 16, 1948) was an American religious leader, writer, magazine editor, philosopher, and college professor. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Haverford Emergency Unit (a precursor to the American Friends Service Committee). One of the most influential Quakers of the 20th century, he was a Quaker historian and theologian as well as a philosopher. He is the only person to have delivered two Swarthmore Lectures. (Wikipedia)

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