My faith is firm in the blessed, the eternal doctrine preached by Jesus and by every child of God since the creation of the world, especially the great truth that God is the teacher of his people himself; the doctrine that Jesus most emphatically taught, that the kingdom is with man, that there is his sacred and divine temple.
– Lucretia Mott (1793–1880),
in Margaret Hope Bacon, Valiant Friend, 1980
There is that of God in everyone. This principle of the Inward Light, the Christ Within, illumines for us every corner of religion, philosophy, ethics, morals, daily living, social relationships, and international relations.
Before we can express this faith to others, whether in words or in deeds, we must first experience the reality of the Inward Light in our own souls. Then we are released to be faithful to this Spirit. The corporate and personal disciplines Friends have used are the means by which we have found and experienced the presence of God. Through these disciplines we have been able to remain faithful in our witness to the world.
Cast aside, now, thy burdensome cares and put away thy toilsome business. Yield room for some little time to God.
– Anselm (1033–1109), Proslogium
“Seek, and ye shall find,” said Jesus. From the beginning Friends have emphasized the search. We do not have the whole truth. But we can search diligently for understanding and use some of the guides that help us grow toward the Light.