Classic quotes from Quaker Faith & Practice
Some of the classic statements about the Meeting for Worship contained in "Quaker Faith and Practice", and in "Christian Faith and Practice in the experience of the Society of Friends":
19.21 - Robert Barclay, (seventeenth century)
"...when I came into the silent assemblies of God's people, I felt a secret power among them, which touched my heart; and as I gave way unto it I found the evil weakening in me and the good raised up; and so I became thus knit and united unto them, hungering more and more after the increase of this power and life whereby I might feel myself perfectly redeemed..."
19.22 - George Fox (seventeenth century)
"We need no mass for to teach us, and we need not your common prayer, for the Spirit that gave forth the scriptures teacheth us how to pray, sing, fast, and to give thanks. The true faith changeth not, which is the gift of God, and a mystery held in a pure conscience. Our faith, our church, our unity in the Spirit, and our Word, at which we tremble, was in the beginning before your church-made faiths, and our unity, church and fellowship will stand when they are all ended."
2.41 - Alexander Parker (seventeenth century)
"Those who are brought to a pure still waiting upon God in the spirit, are come nearer to the Lord than words are; for God is a spirit, and in the spirit is he worshipped. In such a meeting there will be an unwillingness to part asunder, being ready to say in yourselves, it is good to be here: and this is the end of all words and writings to bring people to the eternal living Word."
2.47 - Thomas Bodine (1980)
"As a meeting 'gathers', as each individual 'centres down', there gradually develops a feeling of belonging to a group who are together seeking a sense of the Presence. The 'I' in us begins to feel like 'we'. At some point - it may be early in the meeting or it may be later, or it may never occur at all - we suddenly feel a sense of unity, a sense of togetherness with one another and with that something outside ourselves that we call God."
From "Christian Faith and Practice":
233 - An English Meeting (1919)
"In our life as a religious society we have found it true that the spirit of man can come into direct contact with the Spirit of God, and can thereby learn of God. A man who has experienced the sense of contact with the Spirit will not only wish to listen for himself to what God may say, and in the secret of his own soul speak with God, but he will become conscious that fellowship with other human beings, especially if they be seekers like himself, will strengthen and deepen the sense of communion. The way of worship through silent communion, in which there is freedom for spoken prayer or ministry, springs from the fundamental experience of the Society of Friends, and is a constant expression and working out of its central principle."