A word from Mother Ann

The Testimonies of Mother Ann Lee and the Elders, stories of the Shaker founders collected after their deaths, remind me of nothing so much as the Apophthegmata of the Desert Mothers and Fathers.  You can buy the book from the Shaker community at: http://www.maineshakers.com/books.html.  The following is perhaps the most famous passage:

At a certain time, on taking leave of some who had been at the Church, and were about to return home, Mother addressed them as follows: “Go home and put your hands to work, and your hearts to God; for if you are not faithful in the unrighteous mammon, how can you expect the true riches?  Mankind have fallen below the order of nature; even the beasts of the field might teach them knowledge.  Many will come to the Church and receive the gifts of God, then go away, be careless and idle, and lose them.  This is not right, you ought to be faithful, then when you come again, you may bring strength and not weakness.”  (p.208)

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