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Rufus Jones, 1863-1948
Quaker Mystic, Philosopher, Writer
Our human nature is unmistakably double. There is something in us that the Divine Spirit can make its appeal to, something that draws us upward and onward, something that makes our moral and spiritual life possible. I think that this divine spark in us...is the most significant thing about us.
Rufus Jones was the foremost interpreter of mysticism and Quakerism as well as the most influential Friend of modern times. Rufus Matthew Jones was an American religious leader, mystic, writer, magazine editor, philosopher, and college professor. For more than 40 years he taught psychology, philosophy, ethics, and the development of Christian thought, at Haverford College, profoundly influencing many generations of college students. He was an inspiring teacher and it was his work as a professor which meant most to him.
His speaking and writing were done in a simple and convincing style, freely punctuated with quotations and humorous illustrations, which won him a worldwide audience for his message. In hundreds of editorials, articles, and pamphlets, and in 56 books, he presented the claims of a practical, everyday life with the ever-present Christ as Guide, Counselor, and Friend.
Much of his time, thought, and energy were devoted to work outside the Religious Society of Friends, particularly as a chapel speaker in American colleges. These and other activities grew out of a rich and radiant Christian life. He knew God mystically; and he had seen and heard the Living Christ. To other travelers on the trail of life he spoke as follows:
There is in most of us a vast acreage of our inner estate which has never been touched by the plow. It remains uncultivated. We are this, we have been this, but how much more we might be. Coming to our self, our true self, and reaching out with divine help and the gift of Grace to win the whole of oneself is to be 'spiritual-minded'.
Rufus Jones is considered the leading U.S. exponent of the mystical viewpoint within Quakerism, he dealt with mysticism in most of his more than 50 books.