Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I am clear

For past several weeks, I have been reading the Journal of George Fox, along with commentaries by three well known Quakers, William Penn, Henry Cadbury and Rufus Jones. George Fox was born in 1624 and died in 1691. He lived most of his life in England, but with brief travels to America and Europe. He spent many months in prison, on three occasions, because of his religigious beliefs. The Society of Friends owes its origins to Fox’s ministry. Most Quakers regard him as the Society’s founder. I consider myself a Quaker and hold membership in a Friends meeting, though I fall far short of the ideals George Fox professed and lived.

I could write more about the Friends, but that is not my purpose. I simply want to quote from Rufus Jones’ concluding commentary on the Journal, which I read this morning. Jones writes:

“…When some friends came to his room … he told them he ‘felt the cold strike to his heart as he came out of meeting.’ ‘Yet,’ he added ‘I am glad I was here’ (i.e. in the meeting.) Now I am clear, I am fully clear.” Later, when Friends were visiting him, he said “All is well; the Seed of God reigns over all and over death itself. And though I am weak in body, yet the power of God is over all, and the seed reigns over all disorderly spirits.” Lying thus in a heavenly frame of mind, his spirit wholly exercised towards the Lord, he fell asleep in peace on the evening of January 13th, 1691. The funeral was attended by a very large concourse of people and the body was laid in the burying-ground near Benhill Fields, where the grave is now marked by a modest stone.

Few men in their dying hour could say more truly, “I am clear


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