Conservative Friend

An Outreach of Stillwater Monthly Meeting of Ohio Yearly Meeting of Friends

"Gospel Order" Quotes

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Related Bible Passages
  • “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.  To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.  To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.  All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.”  I Corinthians 12:4-11.
  • “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:  whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies–in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.  To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever.  Amen.”  1 Peter 4:10-11.
Related Quaker Quotes

  • “I can declare unto you...that this gospel order...I neither  received it of man neither was I taught it but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.”  Richardson MSS (95), quoted in George Fox’s Conception of the Church, by Lewis Benson.
  • “It eased me much when these meetings were set up; for men and women, that are heirs of the gospel, have a right to the gospel order, it belongs to them...this I desire...that all feel the power, may take up their possession in the power, and make up the men’s and women’s meetings...This is a day of taking possession, therefore, take your possessions.  You have a right to the authority and dignity; and wait for the spirit of God to arise to order you in the power...and here will be a heavenly harmony and unity and comfort in the joyful order.”  George Fox, Richardson MSS (238), quoted in George Fox’s Conception of the Church, by Lewis Benson.
  • “Christ orders his church not simply by being present in the midst of his church but by giving himself personally to fulfill all the offices that are regarded as necessary in an institutional type of religious community.  Christ is the great priest who makes a human priesthood unnecessary.  He is the teacher and counsellor and bishop.  He is the prophet who speaks from Heaven.  He is the king, of the increase of whose government there shall be no end.”  George Fox’s Conception of the Church, by Lewis Benson.
  • “Wherefore, brethren, let us be careful neither to out-go our guide, nor yet loiter behind him; since he that makes haste, may miss his way, and he that stays behind, lose his guide.”  William Penn, The Rise and Progress of the People Called Quakers, p. 85, republished 1838.
  • “It is a weighty thing to speak in large meetings for business.  First, except our minds are rightly prepared, and we clearly understand the case we speak to, instead of forwarding, we hinder the business and make more labour for those on whom the burden of work is laid.

    If selfish views or a partial spirit have any room in our minds, we are unfit for the Lord’s work.  If we have a clear prospect of the business and proper weight on our minds to speak, it behooves us to avoid useless apologies and repetitions.  Where people are gathered from far, and adjourning a meeting of business attended with great difficulty, it behooves all to be cautious how they detain a meeting, especially when they have sat six or seven hours and a good way to ride home. In three hundred minutes are five hours, and he that improperly detains three hundred people one minute, besides other evils that attend it, does an injury like that of imprisoning one man five hours without cause.”  John Woolman, 1758.
  • “The spirit of worship is essential to that type of business meeting in which the group endeavors to act as a unit....  To discover what we really want as compared with what at first we think we want, we must go below the surface of self-centered desires....  To will what God wills is... to will what we ourselves really want.”  Howard Brinton, 1952.
  • “The right conduct of our business meetings, even in matters of routine, is important to our spiritual life, for in so far as Friends are concerned in promoting the Kingdom of God, we should rightly feel that its business is a service for Him.”  The Book of Discipline of Ohio Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.
  • “He who gathers Christians also provides ministers and teachers among them by the inward unmediated operation of his own Spirit, to watch over and instruct them and maintain them in an animated, refreshed, and powerful condition.  Their call is verified in the hearts of their brethren, and the seals of their apostleship are the awareness of the life and power passing through them which daily and inwardly reinforces them in the most holy faith.  As Paul says:  ’Then you will have the proof you seek of the Christ who speaks through me, the Christ who, far from being weak with you, makes his power felt among you.’”  Barclay’s Apology in Modern English, p. 191 ed. Freiday.
  • From all this then we do firmly conclude, that not only in a general apostasy that it is needful men be extraordinarily called and raised up by the Spirit of God, but that even when several assemblies or churches are gathered by the power of God, not only into the belief of the principles of Truth, so as to deny errors and heresies, but also into the life, spirit, and power of Christianity, so as to be the body and hose of Christ indeed, and a fit spouse for him, that he who gathers them doth also, for the preserving them in a lively, fresh and powerful condition, raise up and move among them, by the inward immediate operation of his own Spirit, ministers and teachers to instruct and teach and watch over them, who being thus called are manifest in the hearts of their brethren, and their call is thus verified in them who,by that feeling of life and power that passeth through them, being inwardly builded up by them daily in the most holy faith, become the seals of their apostleship; and this is answerable to another saying of the same apostle Paul (2 Cor. 13:3):  ‘Since ye seek a proof of Christ’s speaking in me, which to you-wards is not weak, but is mighty in you.’ An Apology for the True Christian Divinity, p. 252, by Robert Barclay.
  • “If the clerk is looking for the general sense of the meeting, he or she will be trying to make a minute that will reflect what is said.  Therefore, the minute will be the servant of the meeting.  But, on the other hand, if the assembled Friends are concerned not to obtain a decision in their own wisdom, but intend instead to seek the guidance of God, the meeting will be the servant of the minute.”  Encounter with Silence, by John Punshon.
  • “Just as for the earliest Christian church, so for the Society of Friends, the membership constitutes the body of the church, under Christ, our Head.  ‘So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another’ (Romans 12:5)’  Consequently, membership is considered a privelege entailing a corresponding responsibility, first of all toward Christ, and secondly toward one another.”  The Book of Discipline of Ohio Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.
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