An Interpretation of Friends Worship

An Interpretation of Friends Worship

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An Interpretation of Friends Worship by N. Jean Toomer

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1947

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An Interpretation of Friends Worship

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What should we try to do in a meeting for worship? What do we hope to attain through it? Why is silence desirable? What is the main idea behind the Friends manner of worship? It is true that Quakers wait for the spirit to move them. Why wait? Wouldn't it be better just to go ahead? Besides waiting, what more is to be done? Can we not pray and worship when we are alone, or as we go about our daily affairs? Why is it necessary to meet together? What is worship?

Book Excerpt

at love. Once we have entered it, our every act is a prayer, our whole life a continuous worship.

THE BASIS OF FRIENDS WORSHIP AND OTHER INWARD PRACTICES

Some people believe that whereas God's nature is divine, man's nature is depraved. God is good, but men are evil. God, according to this view, exists in heaven, remote from us. We exist in sin, remote from Him, in hell or next door to it. Human beings are completely separated from the Divine Being. The only possible connection between men and God is that brought about by the mediation of the church and its authorized officials. Friends have never held this view.

Friends, beginning with George Fox, realized that something of God dwells within each and every human being, and that, therefore, He is reachable by us through direct contact, and we are within His reach, subject to His immediate influence. This is the well-known basis of Friends worship.

Since God is within us, Friends turn inward to find Him. This is not a

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