Chapter 11 » 11.03

The meaning of membership

Richard Claridge (1649–1723) of Peel Monthly Meeting had been rector of the parish of Peopleton in Worcestershire for nineteen years when in 1691 he resigned and joined the Baptists. In 1697 he became convinced of the truth as understood by Friends. He recalled his experiences in these words:

This was the way that Friends used with me, when I was convinced of truth; they came oftentimes to visit me, and sat and waited upon the Lord in silence with me; and as the Lord opened our understanding and mouths, so we had very sweet and comfortable seasons together. They did not ask me questions about this or the other creed, or about this or the other controversy in religion; but they waited to feel that living Power to quicken me, which raised up Jesus from the dead. And it pleased God so in his wisdom to direct, that all the great truths of the Christian religion were occasionally spoken to. Now this was Friends’ way with me, a way far beyond all rules or methods established by the wisdom of this world, which is foolishness with God: and this is their way with others that are convinced of the truth.

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