Was Gerrard Winstanley a Quaker? Did he have any direct connection with Quakers? Did George Fox read his books and pamphlets, and was he influenced by them? These questions — the first two, at least — were asked in the seventeenth century, and have been asked again by historians and scholars in the twentieth.
Let the first concern of the friends of Jesus be to cooperate with and to encourage, rather than to convert, anyone who is already promoting the Realm of God on earth. Let us look forward to a new millennium when all humankind’s great religions will collaborate full-heartedly in the mutual building up of a civilization based on love. Let us recognize that while spiritual life in its externals often presents us with a bewildering diversity, the saints of each spiritual tradition are practically indistinguishable from each other in their lives, their way of being. Though their theological concepts may be different, their feelings and conduct are amazingly similar. They dwell in love, and God dwells in them because God is love. In the beautiful prayer with which he closes his final discourse in the Gospel of John, Jesus acknowledges that he came so that “all might be One.” Increasingly in this modern age, the capacity to apprehend the One in the many constitutes the special responsibility of those who would dwell in love. As we embrace our heritage for the new millennium, may this capacity to apprehend the One in the many, and the love it expresses, be our special gift as the friends of Jesus to people of all faiths everywhere!
An answer to evangelical Quakers from the “Beanite” viewpoint.