Thursday, December 10, 2009

George Fox: live in the pure hope

"And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." (1 John 3:3)

"O! Live in the pure hope, which purifies you as He is pure; which hope is Christ ... and so feel Christ your hope, which anchors your immortal souls, that stays it in all waves, storms, and tempests, and is safe and sure in all weathers; Christ who is the same today as he was yesterday; so no new thing." George Fox, from Mind the Heavenly Treasure

Fox and the early Quakers seem to have often written of "pure" things, such as "pure hope" and "pure peace," and I believe the adjective "pure" had special meaning for them. I wonder, what to them, was the difference between pure peace and peace, pure hope and hope.

Having just learned about the potency of images to the early Friends, I note that Fox contrasts the unchanging "anchor" of Christ to the uncertainties (waves, storms and tempests) of this world and declares Christ as the place of safety. As Fox notes, not a new thing ... or image ... but powerful all the same.

Interestingly, he asks us to "feel" Christ, which moves us from intellectual argument to heart place, from empirical evidence to mystical, possibly ecstatic, union.

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