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A Testament of Devotion Paperback – August 2, 1996
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
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About the Author
Thomas R. Kelly (1893-1941) was a Quaker missionary, educator, speaker, writer, and scholar.
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“This amazing simplification of life comes when we “center down… Some of you know this holy, recreating Center of eternal peace and joy and live in it day and night. Some of you may see it over the margin and wistfully long to slip into that amazing Center where the soul is at home with God. Be very faithful to that wistful longing. It is the Eternal Goodness calling you to return Home... It is the life beyond fevered strain. We are called beyond strain to peace and power and joy and love and thorough abandonment of self. We are called to put our hands trustingly in (God's) hand and walk the holy way, in no anxiety assuredly resting in (God).”
“Deep within us all there is an amazing sanctuary of the soul, a holy place, a Divine Center, a speaking Voice, to which we may continually return. Eternity is at our hearts, pressing upon our time-worn lives, warming us with intimations of an astounding destiny, calling us home unto itself. Yielding to these persuasions, gladly committing ourselves in body and soul, utterly and completely to the Light Within, is the beginning of true life. It is a dynamic center, a creative Life that presses to birth within us. It is a Light Within that illumines the face of God and casts new shadows and new glories on upon the face of (humanity.) "
“ the Holy Now is not something which we, by our activity, by our dynamic energy, overtake or come upon. It is a now which is itself dynamic, which lays hold actively on us, which breaks in actively upon us and re-energizes us from within a new center. …The Eternal is urgently, actively breaking into time, working through those who are willing to be laid hold upon, to surrender self-confidence and self- centered effort, that is self-originated effort, and let the Eternal be the dynamic guide in recreating, through us, our time-world.”
“Life becomes simplified when dominated by a few concerns. Too many of us have too many irons in the fire.”
“Life from the Center is a life of unhurried peace and power.
It is simple, It is serene. It is amazing. It is triumphant. It is radiant…We need not get frantic. (God) is at the helm.
And when our little day is done, we lie down quietly in peace, for all is well.”
Who doesn't need reassurance and advice like that?
Here you will find no facts or figures. Here you will find no Quaker theology, or maybe a little. Here you will find the Quaker spirit at its finest. The content of the pages is of secondary importance. The peace radiating from under the type is the central message. He writes quietly. No demand. No trumpets. No anxiety. The words flow. The thoughts come and go. And you, or at least I was, you are carried gently forward. A Native American chief in the mid-eighteenth century was asked why he, who knew no English was raptly listening to the Quaker John Woolman ,responded that he liked where the words came from. I read Thomas Kelly and I understand and appreciate the words, but basically I read and reread him because I like where the words come from. I wish I was there.
It may speak to the mystics of all faiths but not for the lukewarm, as he puts it. Some of his language is traditional Christian and may put off many -- which he admits almost apologetically, being unable to find other terms to describe what he suddenly experienced.