Quaker Principles

poster that reads "Walk cheerfully over the world answering that of God in everyone."


As defined by George Fox, an early Quaker (adapted from Introducing Quakers by Gordon Browne):

  • God is directly accessible to all persons without the need of an intermediary priest or ritual;
  • There is in all persons an in-dwelling Seed or Christ or Light (early Quakers used all these metaphors) which is of God and which, if they will but heed it, will guide them and shape their lives in accordance with the will of God;

  • True religion cannot be learned from books or set prayers, words or rituals, which early Quakers called "empty forms," but comes only from direct experience of God, known through the Seed or Christ or Light within;
  • The Scriptures can be understood only as one enters into the Spirit which gave them forth;

  • There is an ocean of darkness and death-of sin and misery- over the world but also an ocean of light and love, which flows over the ocean and darkness, revealing the infinite love of God;
  • The power and love of God are over all, erasing the artificial division between the secular and religious so that all of life, when lived in the Spirit, becomes sacramental. The traditional outward sacraments, again characterized as empty forms, are to be discarded in favor of the spiritual reality they symbolize.

Out of the general Quaker principles enunciated above have grown some specific applications which Friends call their testimonies. Though they manifest themselves in a variety of ways, the testimonies are basically four:

*  Equality  *  Peace  *   Simplicity  *  Community  *