This past Saturday, the 10th, we had our monthly New Foundation Fellowship Zoom meeting for reading and discussing Fox’s Journal. The reading at the beginning of the recording is from The Works of George Fox (1831) volume one, pages 358-63. The video will be available only until mid-day Sunday, the 18th, when we will need to make space on our Zoom account for our next Fox study session. An audio file will replace the video on Monday, the 19th. The session is one hour and 15 minutes long.
The passage we looked at on Saturday begins with Fox describing his encounters in Scotland in 1657. Particularly interesting is his recounting his ministry at the steeplehouse in Dunbar (360-1). The passage can be heard beginning around 8:50 minutes into the recording, and discussion on the nature of gospel ministry begins shortly after 24:15 minutes.
The topic of the what makes a gospel minister is taken up by Fox after his encounter in Durham with a man who intended to set up a college to make ministers. This passage occurs on pages 362-3, and 14:17 minutes into the recording. Our discussion on this topic begins around 35:00 minutes. Woven throughout this session is the contrast between the “religion of man’s making” and “the religion and worship which Christ had set up in spirit and truth” (361).
Thank you for sharing this. While I much prefer Fox’s letters to his journal you helped me discover a new (to me) text demonstrating how Fox & early Friends read scripture. So thank you.
Your comment regarding why people don’t heed the Light jogged a memory. And I found it in Isaac Penington:
The ground of people’s misunderstanding and wresting of scripture: 1) Lack of acquaintance with God’s Spirit; 2) Lack of acquaintance of with God’s truth in love and power (i.e,, we do not understand the scripture because we cannot witness to it being fulfilled in our lives – most Christians assume we need to understand first and fulfilment comes later in our own strengths); and 3) the preconceptions we bring to it.
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Thanks for your comment, David, and the reference to Penington. I especially found his third reason to affirm what I’ve seen and thought:
For there hath been a cloudy and dark day, or a great night of darkness upon the earth, wherein the light, which leadeth to the soul’s rest, hath not shined clearly in men’s spirits; and so, in this cloudy darkness men have wandered from mountain to hill, seeking their resting-place. Now, some have fixed and pitched on one mountain, some on another; some on one hill, some on another, saying, Here is the resting-place. So when the Spirit of the Lord comes and cries, Depart ye, depart ye; this is not your resting-place, for it is polluted; they cannot hear. Why so? Because they have already believed otherwise, and in that belief taken it up for their rest; and so cannot rightly understand or believe those scriptures, or those living testimonies from the Spirit of the Lord, which declare it not to be so; but are ready to wrest the one, and reproach the other.
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