wilmer a. cooper,
the testimony of integrity in the religious
society of friends, pendle hill pamphlet 296, 1991
more than three hundred years, Friends have acted upon a set
of shared convictions. While the specific details have varied over
time, today’s concerns and underlying beliefs are remarkably
similar to those of past generations. The word “testimonies” refers
to this set of deeply felt, historically rooted attitudes and ways
living in the world. Testimonies bear witness to the Truth as Friends
in community perceive it: Truth known through relationship with
God. Testimonies are expressions of lives turned toward the Light,
outward expressions that reflect the inward experience of divine
evolution of the Religious Society of Friends occurs
largely through individual Friends’ openness to spiritual insights.
Insights widely held by Friends over time, guiding and informing
the community, become testimonies.
is no single list of testimonies. To understand the role of
testimonies in Friends’ history and spiritual practice, it
important to understand their essential oneness.