Admitting the darkness as well

There are, however, pockets of deep spiritual yearning in nearly every Meeting I have visited – often among the younger members and attenders, who sense a hollowness in the “goodness and light” messages they have heard so long; perhaps this represents a hunger among a remnant who may yet be a leaven for our Society – not that I am holding my breath for renewal of our Christian body. Rather, all we can do is be faithful in our own individual practice and testimony until He summons forth Life among us again – or sends us further into exile. In either case, we must yield to His will and service.

Envisioning the garden anew

Just listen to Elizabeth Bathurst (1655?-1685):

  • Here Man and Woman having transgressed the royal Law of God, by breaking of his Holy Commandment, in eating of the Tree whereof he commanded them, saying, Ye shall not eat thereof, by this they came to be separated from him:
  • Thus Man being drove from the Presence of the Lord, Death came over his Soul, through he lived outwardly, yet did he die as to that inward Principle of Divine Life and Virtue which once he enjoyed, and so the Threatning was fulfilled which the Lord had said, In the Day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.
  • Now that People may attain to what Knowledge may be had of God, by the inward Manifestation of the Light of his Son, which is a Measure of his Spirit, in their Hearts; this is clearly proved by the Apostle, Rom. i. 19. That which may be known of God (saith he) is manifest in Men, for God hath shewed it unto them.
  • O! turn in, turn in, I say, before it be too late, left you at last cry with them spoken of in Jeremiah. The Harvest is past, the Summer is ended, and we are not saved: Work while it is Day, while the Candle of the Lord shineth in your Tabernacle, be you Workers together with God, for the Night cometh wherein no Man can work; and who can tell how soon the Sun of Righteousness may go down upon you, and the Light thereof obscure itself from you.