But in the light of God all wait, which will bring you to see where wisdom’s gate is; the fear of the Lord is the beginning of it. Pure wisdom is let out of the treasury into the pure heart, which sees God; and fearing the living God, it keeps the heart pure and clean, to receive the wisdom from the treasury freely, who doth not upbraid. And as ye depart from evil and iniquity, he breaks the bonds by showing mercy; and then the understanding grows pure and clear (Works, VII, 54).
On Fifth month, the 16th, nine people met to read and discuss Fox’s Epistle 44. In this epistle, written in 1653, Fox calls Friends to wait for the power to unify them into one spiritual body. Our discussion begins at 3:58 in the recording and centers on the distinct, significant change that occurs in man as he is given the light of Christ, and thereby enabled to “walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). Discussion on the meaning of the phrase “baptizes into one body” (53) follows, starting at 13:36. The conversation then moves into the topic of our tradition’s increasingly refined standards of righteousness, which direct us toward the mind of Christ, the wisdom of God. The final standard and beginning of wisdom has been found to be the fear the Lord (starting at 22:38). A passage from Penington is read at 36:55:
The pure fear, the holy fear, the heavenly fear, which is of a clean and heavenly nature, and endureth for ever, is also in this seed. The child-like fear is in the nature of the child; and the more it grows in the true child-like nature, the more it grows in this kindly fear, wherein there is no torment, but the pure pleasure of life, and of holy obedience to the Father of life. The child-like fear is a promise of the new covenant; and given to the children of the new covenant, by virtue of the new covenant; God putting it into their hearts from the seed of life springing up in them, which preserves them from departing from the Lord (Works, IV, 343).
At 45:10 there is a moving personal testimony on the ordinary moments in which the Lord manifests himself to us through his mercy and love, allowing us to grow in heavenly wisdom. This lovely passage will hearten anyone who loves the light of Truth and delights to see it prosper!
“Wisdom is justified of her children.” He that knows not the principle of the eternal light, who is not born of it . . . he cannot justify it in his paths; but he justifies the earthly wisdom and reason of man, by its setting up appearances of good, instead of good, and would make all acknowledge and bow to them as good; whereas that which is indeed acquainted with the good, living in the principle thereof, cannot bow to the false appearance, but only to the truth itself. When man’s spirit and wisdom is wearied out of all its paths, and he broken with the misery which will certainly overtake him therein; at last the path of God will be welcome to him, and that principle which, through the operation of God, is able to rectify him and make him happy (Works, II, 197).
The recording has been edited to reduce silence between speakers.