Conscience, Conscious, Consciousness, Self-conscious ... toward a deeper understanding of the Early Quakers.

Conscience, Conscious, Consciousness, Self-conscious ... toward a deeper understanding of the Early Quakers.

There was a time when the word “conscience” also expressed conscious, self-conscious, consciousness, and conscience. In the 17th century the two meanings began to split until conscious and conscience took on distinct meanings. An understanding of this nuance is significant to gleaning the depth of the early Quaker experience and those who share that experience today. The very anchor of consciousness, self-conscious, and conscience is changed. Not merely a moral component, but the very foundation of individual self-conscience is changed by being anchored in Presence itself. 

I have begun documenting support materials here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ME36XOI32OZZQLqyG_mJqPKPO4xN2ns...

The first Quakers, writing in the 17th century, used the term conscience often and rarely used conscious. Reading the first Quakers mindful that when they used “conscience” also assumed “conscious” or “self-conscious” makes for powerful spiritual edification toward the strengthening of the influence of the Spirit within individual consciousness and conscience. I have begun collecting as many examples of the use of “conscience” and “conscious” as time allows. It is my goal to find and document all.

Here is a sampling from George Fox:

1. From: Source: A collection of many select and Christian epistles, letters and testimonies, written on sundry occasions, by that ancient, eminent, faithful Friend and minister of Jesus Christ, George Fox Vol. 1
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1a_PqnY9zLhK1TLcsr9BI13ladcM6lQi...

2. From: Source: A collection of many select and Christian epistles, letters and testimonies, written on sundry occasions, by that ancient, eminent, faithful Friend and minister of Jesus Christ, George Fox Vol. 2

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ffoNuRt-oIKiiigq2AvJSFuDsxOXXAo...

3. From: Gospel of Truth Demonstrated Volume 1

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cXtzjOUG0LUPXrhdd2ZYUyDj7A4qlKK...

4. From: Gospel of Truth Demonstrated Volume 2

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nlcSKwJyftTWjrYzTkrgi_CPau7HsVj...

 5. From: Gospel of Truth Demonstrated Volume 3

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1R2zQVGxAOjaCyyHJcmSAnSZfXnnzbLd...

6.  From: A journal or historical account of the life, travels, sufferings, Christian experiences, and labour of love in the work of the ministry of that ancient, eminent, and faithful servant of Jesus Christ, George Fox Vol. 1

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1P8o5FEm9nTMwy7qi1Fy108OsKDgqe6h...

7. From: A journal or historical account of the life, travels, sufferings, Christian experiences, and labour of love in the work of the ministry of that ancient, eminent, and faithful servant of Jesus Christ, George Fox Vol. 2

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rIADHk9ZX_EEDYdUv-inCc8GXSx0RWu...

 

 Isaac Penington's use of Conscience

1. From: The Works of Isaac Penington Volume 1

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Lh148BK2fPuJM_eDjcbKuID2HboumIE...

2. From: The Works of Isaac Penington Volume 2

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1TMSpXixvYAxQqRP82W1QqmVSC59Sg4z...

Views: 175

Comment by Keith Saylor on 3rd mo. 29, 2014 at 6:38pm

I've added the rest of the source material referencing the use of conscience from the writings of George Fox in the list above.

Also added above source material referencing the use of conscience from the first two volumes of the Works of Isaac Penington.

Comment by Keith Saylor on 10th mo. 21, 2017 at 6:49pm
Research Note:

On page 81 of “The Light in their Consciences.” Rosemary Moore writes:

’Conscience,’ ... was a stronger word than today, with something of the sense of ‘consciousness.’ ‘The light in the conscience,’ if it was attended to and not resisted, involved a take-over of one’s personality.

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