Looking to the past
Reading meditations of last century
A few words written by those who changed the world
Those who left a legacy

Was the change too much?
Was good that existed damaged?
What was the heart of these men?
Did they understand that everything would change?

A few sermons using the language of the wider community
A few innovations, calling for openness
Can a person read or sing hymns?
Is it right to play musical instruments in meeting?

Faithful men born into a system of tradition
Tradition speaking to the condition of their souls
Men who see that at times traditions are shackles
For men slavishly do the same things, without guessing reason

A few men in a few years can change their world
Sometimes change is necessary
Sometimes change brings harm
A few men in a few years can bring reform

The heart remembers the work of ancestors
Much is inherited by their labor
The eyes see how their labor has come to waste
It is time for a new generation to take up their tools

Ancestors have done their labor
Today the world is ours

I just finished reading journals by Allan Jay and J.Y. Hoover. Both of these were ministers of the Gospel in the Society of Friends from before the Evangelical movement continuing to the establishment of the pastoral system. The two, for a time traveled together, trusted God to take care of them, and managed to change their world… even now the American Quaker world is changed for good or for ill by the influence of that time.


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