A Specimen of Quaker Theology In Transition, 1852
An Excerpt from Voices From the Spirit World,
By Isaac Post, 1852
For introductory information about Isaac Post and his book, Click Here.
For a more detailed biographical portrait of Isaac Post, Click Here.)
Communication from “George Fox”
I am grateful for this privilege, and I claim it the more readily because I am considered good authority by those that bear the name of friends. I am in the enjoyment of as much happiness as a well spent life entitled me to, and to which has been indeed the full compensation for all good that I have been instrumental in accomplishing, since my Spirit Life commenced–for remember full enjoyment cannot be realized without progression.
I labored earnestly to gather together a people that I hoped would regenerate the world. I endeavored to so form our agreements that none could feel restricted by our articles of faith.
These were only intended to set bounds to outward conduct; always intending that progression should be our motto–advancement out life; and wherever an evil was perceived, duty called us to assail it. Thinkest thou, that had friends faithfully pursued this course, the Spirit of War, would have such power over the minds of the people as it now has? or that your’s would be a nation of Slave Hunters! or that intemperance would so much abound! I Answer, no. The Christian’s life must be a progressive one, and when any association of men so bind themselves, either by rules or usages, that they set bounds to the onward aspirations of the seeking soul, then their God is made subservient to their sectarianism–those that are thus bound cannot receive that fullness of the love of God, which will lead them to end their earthly pilgrimage with joy.
l am earnestly desirous that the sectarian shall experience a change in his love, for when he admits the pure christians light to shine in his mind, he will look upon his brother for his manhood’s sake for his capacity of becoming formed in the image of God, spiritually, without enquiring whether Jesus died to save sinners, or whether he believes in water baptism, or that of the Holy Ghost; none of these cherished beliefs will the pure Christian allow to separate him from his brother. Jesus said, “if a man says he loves God whom he has not seen–while he loves not his brother who he has seen, he is a liar, and the truth is not in him; the aim of His life was to encourage men to turn from their evil lives–if they had sinned, to go and sin no more–and when he drew that beautiful picture of the judgment day, condemnation was pronounced not for a want of correct faith, but for the want of love towards men; and a reward was not bestowed for love to God, but for works of kindness and mercy.
Nothing so much elevates the soul as a correct spirituality. Many seem to think that the death of the body must transform an ignorant or wicked spirit into an Angel of Light, at once. Not so are God’s laws–such as is sown must be gathered. Hence, if a Spirit of the lower order communicates, it will not be possible for wisdom to be elicited; thus many turn away, when they get trifling, or untruthful sentences written with the hand, or by responses given in the presence of Rapping Mediums.
Thee should remember, all satisfactory conclusions are derived through labor–for instance, hadst thou turned away from those invisible intelligences revealed through sounds, how different would have been thy experience. It is not because thou art wiser or better than many others who are not operated upon in this way, but because of spiritual influences brought to bear upon thy physical system, which will be more and more explained as experience shall give knowledge.
Much that I left on record was penned as it were, from the first dawnings of Light upon my mind–I was in a progressive state, and as things opened I penned them; many of them being much in advance of my former views. Instead of taking my writings for a guide, they should be considered as helps marks for encouragement, and never for a moment as laws to govern others. No written code, however, it may be adapted, will be wholly suited to the time and circumstances for which it was designed, will be wholly suited as an ultimate Christian standard — his must be a life ever on the watch, ready to examine whatever draws his attention, and if selfishness is sufficiently subdued, and prepossessions banished from the mind, then with an honest purpose of heart, independent of books or men, a judgment will be formed that will elevate and prepare the mind for advancement while in the body, and will necessarily introduce to a happy eternity.
— George Fox