… And by him we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. … – Romans 8:9-18 (NIV)
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Two of the standard dictionary definitions of “testimony” reveal the scope of Quaker action: “evidence in support of a fact or assertion: proof” and “a public declaration.”
For Friends, both definitions apply. Testimony – and its synonym, witness – are the way we live, not the words we utter. Through them, we respond to a sensed concern – “something of interest or importance,” “earnest regard,” and even “anxiety; worry” as definitions that can be blended to create an awareness of what is intended. A Dictionary of Friends Terms (Friends United Press, no date) defines concern as “Urgent matter which a person feels the Lord calling him or her to do, i.e. John Woolman’s concern to visit the Indians,” and testimonies as “Application of Friends’ beliefs to situations and problems of society, i.e. peace, simplicity, regular attendance at meetings.”
Here, too, we can see Christ’s glory.
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Not by Works of Righteousness, which we have done, saith the Apostle, but according to his Mercy he saved us, by the washing of Regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. (Elizabeth Bathurst, 1655?-1685)