Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
I was reading the other day the book 'Keeping Silence' by C. W. McPherson who is an Episcopal priest and spiritual director. McPherson found himself guiding people in their spiritual practice. One of the most difficult practices, he found, was for people to be silent:
"If I ever thought that keeping silence was easy, my congregation taught me otherwise. From time to time as a parish priest, I recommended they try spiritual pracices, such as memorizing a psalm or reading…Continue
The Method of the Guide
The ‘Guide to True Peace’ offers a simple method of prayer, referred to as the prayer of inward silence. The method is stated in Chapter 1:
“We must retire from all outward objects, and silence all the desires and wandering imaginations of the mind; that in this profound silence of the whole soul, we may hearken to the ineffable voice of the Divine Teacher. We must listen with an attentive ear; for it is a still, small voice. It is…Continue
Added by Jim Wilson on 3rd mo. 6, 2013 at 11:04am — No Comments
A Brief History of ‘A Guide to True Peace’
What follows is a brief textual history of the Quaker contemplative work, “A Guide to True Peace”.
The work is based on the works of three continental Quietists; Madam Guyon, Archbishop Fenelon, Miguel Molinos. The ‘Guide’ weaves together passages from these authors’ works. Primary sources include “A Short Method of Prayer” by Guyon, “The Spiritual Guide” by Molinos, and “Maxims of the…Continue
Added by Jim Wilson on 3rd mo. 4, 2013 at 1:22pm — No Comments
The Bible in the ‘Guide’
The presence of the Bible in the Quaker work ‘A Guide to True Peace’ is pervasive. This is in keeping with traditional Quaker writings. The Bible is used in the ‘Guide’ as a proof text, meaning that the point of view that the ‘Guide’ presents is placed in a biblical context and supported by numerous biblical quotations.
There are 102 quotes from the Bible in a work that is roughly 80 pages (the number of pages varies somewhat…Continue
"A Guide to True Peace" has been in continuous publication since it was first published in England in 1813. There have been many editions. Each edition makes editorial changes; almost all of these are very minor. I thought I would take a moment to cover the currently available editions of the "Guide" and discuss their commonalities and differences. Currently I am aware of five versions of the Guide that are easily available.
Added by Jim Wilson on 1st mo. 18, 2013 at 1:12pm — No Comments
200 Years of True Peace
This year, 2013, is the 200th anniversary of the publication of the Quaker work “A Guide to True Peace”. It was originally published in England in 1813. The first American Edition is dated 1816; so it found a place among American Quakers very quickly.
It has been in continuous publication ever since its initial offering. There are numerous editions published in the 19th century. I…Continue
The Chasm between the Activist and the Contemplative
I can’t remember the name of the blog, but last year I read about a Meeting that decided to have a structured sharing between those who spoke often at Meeting for Worship and those who remained silent. As I recall the two groups were paired and given time to express their views of Meeting for Worship. As one might expect, those inclined to be speakers at Meeting for Worship had a lot to say, while those who inclined to…Continue
Extinguishing the Flames
There is a famous sermon of the Buddha called ‘The Fire Sermon’:
‘Thus I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Gaya, at Gayasisa, together with a thousand bhikkhus [monastics]. There he addressed the bhikkhus.
"Bhikkhus, all is burning. And what is the all that is burning?
"The eye is burning, forms are burning, eye-consciousness is burning, eye-contact is burning, also whatever is felt…Continue
My favorite Quaker work is “A Guide to True Peace”. Since discovering it I have dwelled on it and used it as a personal Guide to the prayer of inward silence. Originally published in 1813 it has gone through numerous editions including ones published as recently as this year. It has had a big impact on the Quaker Community from which it originated.
I have been working on a textual history of the “Guide”; comparing each published edition that…Continue
In the ‘Introduction’ to ‘The Second Period of Quakerism’ by William Braithwaite, Rufus Jones posits that the origins of Quaker Quietism are to be found in the writings of Robert Barclay. The view of Jones is that Quakers were receptive to the teachings of Guyon and other continental Quietists because the basic teachings of Quietism are to be found in early Quaker works, particularly Barclay, prior to the Quaker community encountering continental Quietism. Jones writes, “[I]t is a plain…Continue
Silence is My Leading
Since I became acquainted with the Quietist period of Quaker history I’ve been attracted to it. This period, which some Quaker historians refer to as ‘The Second Period of Quaker History’, is the one where I find the most nourishment. It is the period which produced ‘A Guide to True Peace’ which has been of such help in my own inward journey.
Along with this attraction has been a searching out of what constitutes the difference between…Continue
I have been reading 'Experimental Theology in America: Madame Guyon, Fenelon, and Their Readers' by Patricia A. Ward. In my ongoing exploration of our Quietist Heritage this was recommended to me by a poster here at QuakerQuaker.
For those who have an interest in the second period of Quaker history, the period of Quietism, this book offers valuable insights. Ward shows how the continental Quietists were quickly picked up by Quakers, and many…Continue
Added by Jim Wilson on 7th mo. 6, 2011 at 10:03am — No Comments