Quaker Heritage Press > Online Texts > The Old Discipline > Days and Times


Some reasons for not observing fasts and feast days and times, and other human injunctions and institutions relative to the worship of God.
Ever since we were a people we have had a testimony against formal worship, being convinced by the precepts of our Lord Jesus Christ, the testimonies of his apostles, and our own experience, that the worship and prayers which God accepts, are such only as are produced by the influence and assistance of his holy Spirit; we cannot therefore consistently unite with any in the observation of public fasts, feasts, and what they term holy days; or such injunctions and forms as are devised in man's will for divine worship; the dispensation to which outward observations were peculiar, having long since given place to the spiritual dispensation of the gospel, we believe the fast we are now called to is not the bowing of the head like a bulrush for a day, but an universal and continual fasting and refraining from every thing which has a tendency to defile the soul and unfit it for becoming the temple of the Holy Ghost, according to the injunctions of Christ to his primitive disciples, "If any man will come after me, let him take up his daily cross and follow me. Watch ye therefore and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man." That the primitive believers saw an end to these shadows of good things, by coming to Him in whom all figures and shadows end, is evident by the words of the apostle Paul; "For Christ, said he, is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth," Rom. 10:4. -- "But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises." Heb. 8:6. "Let no man therefore judge you in meat or drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days, which are a shadow of things to come, but the body is of Christ." Col. 2:16-17. And the same apostle thus expostulated with some who it appears had fallen from the true faith in these respects, "But now after that ye have known God, how turn ye again to the beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage. Ye observe days and months, and times, and years: I am afraid of you lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain" Gal. 4:9-11.

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