Every one feeling the danger to his own particular in travelling abroad, there the pure fear of the Lord will be placed and kept in. Though they that travel may have openings when they are abroad, to minister to others; yet, for their own particular growth, they must dwell in the life which doth open; and that will keep down that which would boast.The Works of George Fox (1831), 1:368
New Foundation Fellowship’s monthly study of Fox’s journal took place on the morning of the 12th, with five participating. We began on page 366 of volume 1 and read to the bottom of page 371. This passage is from an epistle written to Friends in which Fox addresses spiritual problems ministers might encounter as they travelled in their work among the worldly. Fox lists a number of particular errors that could arise and cautions the minister to be aware of them; to know and feel his own spirit; and thus to counteract the world’s effect upon him, that he may dwell in the life that undergirds his service.
Following the reading of the passage, our discussion begins at 22:21 in the recording, and centers on what constitutes the rightly ordered inward state of the minister as he encounters and speaks to the worldly. A contrast of two distinct inward sources and types of ministry – natural and godly – begins at 23:05; how the minister’s condition is undergirded by life in Christ is discussed beginning at 34:07; how gospel ministry differs from other kinds of preaching is at 43:35; and a personal reflection on ministering to the world, and the feelings that can arise begins at 46:30.
The recording has been edited to reduce the silent time between speakers. Matthew 13:52 is the Bible verse I was attempting to recall:
Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old (Mt. 13:52).