Rufus Jones’ Future Hope

Here’s a nice long quote from Rufus M. Jones about what he hopes to see in the future of Friends. The quote comes from a lecture he gave at the Baltimore Young Friends Yearly Meeting in 1944:

I am looking for a time, and counting on it, when we shall have a Society of Friends not composed of a few awakened leaders and a body of unkindled quiescent members who move in the ancient grooves of habit and routine. But instead a live membership of persons who have thought out their principles of life and not merely adopted them second hand. It was that unique high level of the total membership of the body which made early Quakerism such a convincing and conquering body of people. They knew what they believed and they lived in the power of it. They had a philosophy of life and they transmitted it.

 There is very great need to have the unique aspect of spirit in man and its relation to the divine spirit in the universe freshly interpreted in a world that has become bogged down with material conceptions of life and the world.

 There is very great need of a more vital grasp of the unique Person at the headwaters of our faith lined up with the Real Presence of the inward Christ who is the Life of our lives…We can very well have a moratorium of divisive theological doctrines and focus our minds on a religion of life, vitally, livingly, constructively grasped and expressed in life and character.

Jones, R. M. (1944). What Will Get Us Ready? The Baltimore Young Friends Yearly Meeting Lecture for 1944. Baltimore Yearly Meeting, p 6.