Quakers

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Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. ~ First Epistle of Peter

Quakers (or Friends, as they refer to themselves) are members of a family of religious movements collectively known as the Religious Society of Friends. The central unifying doctrine of these movements is the priesthood of all believers. Most Friends view themselves as members of a Christian denomination, and include those with evangelical, holiness, liberal, and traditional conservative Quaker understandings of Christianity. Unlike many other groups the Religious Society of Friends has actively tried to avoid creeds and hierarchical structures.

See also:
List of Quakers

Quotes[edit]

Be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations wherever you come; that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people, and to them… ~ George Fox
Statements of Quaker faith sorted alphabetically by author or source
The Lord showed me, so that I did see clearly, that he did not dwell in these temples which men had commanded and set up, but in people's hearts. ~ George Fox
  • Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
  • Be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations wherever you come; that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people, and to them; then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone; whereby in them you may be a blessing, and make the witness of God in them to bless you.
  • The Lord showed me, so that I did see clearly, that he did not dwell in these temples which men had commanded and set up, but in people's hearts ... his people were his temple, and he dwelt in them.
  • I was suddenly arrested by what seemed to be an awful voice proclaiming the words, "Eternity! Eternity! Eternity!" It reached my very soul — my whole man shook — it brought me like Saul to the ground. The great depravity and sinfulness of my heart were set before me, and the gulf of everlasting destruction to which I was verging. I was made to bitterly cry out, "If there is no God — doubtless there is a hell." I found myself in the midst of it.
    • Stephen Grellet, on his inspiration, to take up the reading of No Cross, No Crown by William Penn, after having first set it aside upon realizing it was a religious book; he subsequently joined the Society of Friends. In Memoirs of the Life and Gospel Labors of Stephen Grellet (1860), p. 20
  • There is one great God and power that has made the world and all things therein, to whom you and I and all people owe their being and well-being, and to whom you and I must one day give an account for all that we do in this world. This great God has written his law in our hearts, by which we are taught and commanded to love and help and do good to one another, and not to do harm and mischief one unto another.
    • William Penn, in a letter to the Lenape Nation (18 October 1681); as published in William Penn and the Founding of Pennsylvania 1680 - 1684: A Documentary History, (1983) edited by Jean R. Soderlund, University of Pennsylvania Press
  • Men being born with a title to perfect freedom and uncontrolled enjoyment of all the rights and privileges of the law of nature ... no one can be put out of his estate and subjected to the political view of another, without his consent.
    • William Penn, in First Frame of Government (25 April 1682) Full title: The frame of the government of the province of Pennsylvania, in America, together with certain laws agreed upon in England by the governor and divers freemen of the aforesaid province, to be further explained and continued there by the first provincial council that shall be held, if they see meet.


Disputed[edit]

I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again. ~ generally credited to Stephen Grellet
  • I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again.
    • This, and variants of it, have been been widely circulated as a Quaker saying since at least 1869, and attributed to the Quaker activist Stephen Grellet since at least 1893. W. Gurney Benham in Benham's Book of Quotations, Proverbs, and Household Words (1907) states that though sometimes attributed to others, "there seems to be some authority in favor of Stephen Grellet being the author, but the passage does not appear in any of his printed works." It appears to have been published as an anonymous proverb at least as early as 1859, when it appeared in Household Words : A Weekly Journal.
      It has also often become attributed to the more famous Quaker William Penn, as well as others including Mahatma Gandhi and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Some anecdotes related to this are at in "Truth : I Expect To Pass Through This World But Once" by M D Magee at Ask Why (14 October 2009)
    • Variants:
    • I expect to pass through this world but once. If, therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do any fellow human being let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I will not pass this way again.
      • Writing of an unnamed Quaker, as quoted in Scott's Monthly Magazine Vol. VII, No. 6 (June 1869, p. 475, edited by William J. Scott
    • I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good thing, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow human being let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
      • As quoted anonymously in Hour by Hour; or, The Christian's Daily Life (1885), compiled by E.A.L., p. 37, and as "the old Quaker's words" in The Unitarian Vol. VI (July 1891); this version was given the title "Do It Now" in Heart Throbs: In Prose and Verse (1905) by Joe Mitchell Chapple.
    • I shall pass through this world but once! Any good thing, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now, in his name, and for his sake! Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
      • Anonymous quotation on a card, as quoted in The Friend, Vol. 61 (1888) by The Society of Friends, p. 364
    • I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
      • Anonymous quotation on a card, as quoted in A Memorial of a True Life : A Biography of Hugh McAllister Beaver (1898) by Robert Elliott Speer, p. 169
    • I expect to pass through this world but once. If, therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do, to any fellow being let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
      • As quoted anonymously in The Lamp Vol. XXVI (February-July 1903)

Quotes about Quakers[edit]

  • My luck is getting worse and worse. Last night, for instance, I was mugged by a quaker.
    • Woody Allen, as quoted in The Good Luck Book (1997) by Stefan Bechtel and Laurence Roy Stains, p. 371
  • The Quakers have an excellent approach to thinking through difficult problems, where a number of intelligent and responsible people must work together. They meet as equals, and anyone who has an idea speaks up. There are no parliamentary procedures and no coercion from the Chair. They continue the discussion until unanimity is reached. I want you guys to do that. Get in a room with no phones and leave orders that you are not to be disturbed. And sit there until you can deal with each other as individuals, not as spokesmen for either organization.

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