One of the earliest meetings of the people called Quakers occured some 350 years ago (reported to us by Paul L in his Showers of Blessing blog):
"Here is the Francis Howgill quotation (as it appears in Britain Yearly Meeting's Faith and Practice) that Colin opened with at the World Gathering:
"And from that day forward, our hearts were knit unto the Lord and one unto another in true and fervent love, in the covenant of Life with God; and that was a strong obligation or bond upon all our spirits, which united us one unto another. We met together in the unity of the Spirit, and of the bond of peace, treading down under our feet all reasoning about religion. And holy resolutions were kindled in our hearts as a fire which the Life kindled in us to serve the Lord while we had a being, and mightily did the Word of God grow amongst us, and the desires of many were after the Name of the Lord. O happy day! O blessed day! the memorial of which can never pass out of my mind. And thus the Lord, in short, did form us to be a people for his praise in our generation."
The bold type phrase caught Paul's attention as it does mine. Did you ever see a plainer witness of the power of the individual (in this case group) experience over ecclesiastical authority? We read here how the people called Quakers became the People of God.