... no Outward Order, Counsel, or Advice, is sufficient Ground for any man to Practice this, or t’other thing, so as thereby to find Acceptance with the Lord, until the Conscience of such an one, by the Light of Christ Jesus, be convinced thereof: For every action in relation to the things of God, that springs not from an enlightened convinced Conscience, is but the fruit of a lifeless Form without the Power, and seems not to square with this Doctrine, draw water out of your own Wells; let it be your own, and not anothers: nor yet with that Doctrine which hath often been sounded in our Ears, to gather us from the Lo Here's, and the Lo there's.

Source: The Christian Quaker - William Rogers 1680

Views: 150

Comment by Kirby Urner on 11th mo. 21, 2016 at 12:10pm

I'm finding the William Rogers (1603 -1683) testimony lining up with Maurice Nicoll's pretty well, the latter a Scottish Jungian (1884 -1953) who took on filtering psychological teachings through a framework and shoptalk developed by Russian mystics P.D. Ouspensky (1878 -1947) and George Gurdjieff (1866? - 1949).

Maurice is Gospel-oriented. He avers our ordinary fallen state, into Personality, identifying with thoughts and emotions, may be a necessary ontogenic step, however our calling is to transcend same and returning to growing our Essence, which is accomplished by God from outside the self.

We engage in Essence-building by disengaging from outward forms in worshipful observing and self remembering, leading to acceptance, without judgement, of our fallen state and robotic / reflexive nature. 

This practice of worshipful and vigilant waiting allows a more intelligent light to shine through our "magnetic center" -- God's grace works its magic, strengthening our Essence, weakening our need for a self (ego).

Through the Work, we gain freedom from negative emotions and inward gossip regarding who's naughty and nice, who owes whom an apology, and so on (lots of fictional accounts regarding some imagined outward soap opera).

Yes, the Nicoll framework involves lots of jargon, and I'm not suggesting mainline Quakers take it on. These are distinct lineages.  Yet I'm struck by the resemblance nevertheless.  I'll put something together for SMAD (Sunday Morning Adult Discussion) at Multnomah Meeting, with specific citations to the writings of both William and Maurice.

Comment by Keith Saylor on 11th mo. 21, 2016 at 1:53pm
Hello Kirby,

Your reflection made me mindful of these words from Rogers

"That we do know, many of our Opposers, or at least, such who are not at Unity with us, have very confidently made use of such Discourse, as is contained in the last recited Objection, to induce us to follow Outward Prescriptions, and Orders, thought not convinced of its Service; which occasions us to be jealous, That in Process of Time, the Enemy may so enter in at this Door, as that Darkness may more generally over-shadow again, than it yet doth; though our Hope in God is, That he will lay such a Constraint on many of those, whose Eyes are open, beholding the Approached Apostasy, as that they may be raised in a Sense of God’s Indignation, and appear as Lyon on the behalf of the Lyon of the Tribe of Judah, to oppose every Appearance of that Spirit which would be exalting Self, or any Outward Form, Observation, Prescription, or Order, to be as a Bond on the Members of Christ’s Body; when by the Light of Christ, (their alone Law-giver) they are not fully perswaded thereof un their own Consciences; which undoubtedly was the Meaning of the Spirit through Paul, when he writ unto Romans, Chap. 14 Vet. 5,23. Let every Man be fully perswaded in his own Mind; for whatsoever is not of Faith, is sin."
Source: The Christian Quaker Fourth Part pg 20 - William Rogers


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