Reproclaiming the Everlasting Gospel
I have had a sense that this discussion about the early Friends not practicing the ritual of taking the bread and wine is not complete, but I have not seen where it should go until now. We have said, "Paul wrote..." and "Paul must have meant..." in our grapplings with the subject. We have looked at various passages from the works of Fox showing how scripture had been opened to him. This morning I was shown what to do with all this.
There is a beautiful passage from Vol. 4 of Fox's Works, pp. 101-102, which I quote here:
"Alas for you! All your profession of scriptures, of the apostles', Christ's, and the prophets' words, if you be found out of the life of the prophets, Christ, and the apostles, is vain, ye are but as the Jews were, of whom Christ said the devil was their Father; and as the pharisees, scribes, and priests which Christ cried woe against, called whitened walls, graves, vipers, and serpents, venoming and poisoning others, being not in the life the scripture was given forth from, are found such as the apostles spoke of, vain janglers about words, and vain disputers, and bringing the scriptures to oppose one another, and disputing of Christ and the saints' words, bringing scripture as the devil did, and are out of the life that gave it forth, and disputing about the body of Moses, such be in the unrepented state, which eat and drink damnation to themselves, not discerning the Lord's body..."
Lewis Benson, a number of years ago, had a dream in which he was being pursued by all manner of thugs. He was quite hard pressed, barely escaping each encounter with them. Finally he arrived at what proved to be a safe haven, "The Sheep May Safely Graze Cafe." Lewis could enter because he entered by the door. The thugs could not enter because the door is the light that is in the life that is in the Word of God. This light enlightens everyone born into the world. Those who receive this light enter and feed upon Christ, the bread of life. Those who want to hide their evil deeds, stumble at the door and cannot enter. Those who fail to come into the light, fail to discern the body of Christ. This discernment is only in and by the light, which is Christ. His body cannot be discerned by human reasoning or by intellectual processes. By intellect and by reasoning we can read the sign that says "The Sheep May Safely Graze Cafe," but we will never, by those means, find the door.
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