Our peace testimony expressed through the ages

A good end cannot sanctify evil means ; nor must we ever do evil, that good may come of it....... It is as great presumption to send our passions upon God's errands, as it is to palliate them with God's name..... We are too ready to retaliate, rather than forgive, or gain by love and information. And yet we could hurt no man that we believe loves us. Let us then try what love will do: for if men did once see we love them, we should soon find they would not harm us. Force may subdue, but Love gains: and he that forgives first, wins the laurel.

Willian Penn, 1693   (QF&P 24.03)

        Friends are not naive enough to believe that such an appeal 'to that of God' in a dictator or in a nation which for psychological or other reasons is in an aggressive mood will necessarily be successful in converting the tyrant or preventing aggression. Christ was crucified; Ghandi was assasinated. Yet they did not fail. Nor did they leave behind them the hatred, devastation and bitterness that war, successful or unsuccessful, does leave. What can be claimed, moreover, is that this method of opposing evil is one of which no person, no group, no nation need be ashamed, as we may and should be ashamed of the inhumanities of war that are perpetrated in our name and with our support.

Kathleen Lonsdale, 1953    (QF&P  24.26)