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praise, honour, glory, dominion and thanksgiving; For he alone is worthy, who is God over all, blessed for ever and ever! Amen.
SURE FOUNDATION :
I sermon preached at the Quakers' Meeting-House in Grace-Church Street, London, Oct. 10, 1694.
BY WILLIAM PENN, WITH HIS EXCELLENT PRAYER.
*** THE foundation of God standeth sure ; and they that build sure, must build upon it. This hath been God's great love to us, in this day, age and generation, that he has laid for us this 'sure foundation, that which in all ages to people of Cud have been built upon, and have been preserved in all the storms and tempests that have been raised, both from within and without. They who are fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, are built upon the foundation of the prophets and apostles, • Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone ;' in whom all the building fitly framed together, groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord, Ephes. ii. 20.
Friends, I exhort you in the name and power of the living God, mind this foundation, upon it do you build all your hopes of salvation. The living power and truth of the living God, is that which visited us in the beginning, and gathered us out of that which is evil, into that which is holy, pure and precious : blessed are you that feel, and experimentally know this visitation of the Lord, within you, from day to day, and from one season to another : this is that wherein stands your refreshment, your consolation, your succour and relief in all the times of temp
tation wherein the enemy of souls goes about, like a froaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.' This subtle enemy is always waiting bow he may break into God's vineyard, and lay waste and spoil the heritage of the Lord; but by his divine Light and Spirit, and the Word of his Grace, they shall be preserved. This is the word which you read of in Rom. X. 8. and mentioned by Moses, Deut.xxx. 14. "The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart :' that is, the word of faith which we preach, that is that word of God by which you and all God's people have been preserved in all ages and generations. Here is the foundation of peace and love, of purity and holiness; they that come to build on this
foundation, they see it to be a sure foundation, by at the brightness of Christ's appearance, by the manifes
tation of the son of God. For‘God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined into our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ. This is the foundation; in building upon which, our souls can find peace and satisfaction. This is revealed and made known by the sovereign almighty arm, and power and wisdom of the Eternal God. This is that which I would leave among you; build upon the right foundation, even upon the Lord Jesus Christ, the blessed Son of God. God sent his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh; that you may all come to be justified freely, by his grace, and led by the spirit of God, as the children of God: that you may walk in the spirit, and not fulfil the lusts of the flesh, for 'if ye live after the flesh (says the apostle) ye shall die; but if you through the spirit mortify the deeds of the body ye shall live,' Rom. viii. 13. The spirit of God is a spirit of purity, holiness, righteousness and self-denial; that will lead you through the straight gate, and in the narrow way, that leads to life.
Friends, this is the work that God hath called you to, even to build upon the right foundation ; this is the day of God's love, the day of his power, where in you are to be a willing people that this work inay be carried on in your bearts, the knowledge you have in religion, it must be experimental; for historical knowledge only, will not do; for that is a knowledge of the concern of others, and not our own. Let us highly prize and value the saving knowledge of God, and Jesus Christ, which is life eternal : let us look unto Christ within us, who is the light that discovers the works of darkness, and leads us out of them. Know God's foundation, and build well upon it, not hay and stubble, which will be consumed by fire. I beseech you, in the name of the everlasting God, build upon the true foundation, Christ within you, the hope of glory, which is a mystery hid from ages and generations. Our Lord Jesus Christ said to bis disciples a little before his departure ; 'If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.' It is be, that dwelt in the hearts of the primitive christians of old, and it is he, that dwells in his people now ; he can open in our hearts a living fountain, a well of water springing up unto everlasting life. The Lord Jesus Christ is the great physician, that can cure all our spiritual maladies, and he is willing and ready to help us : come under his teaching, and guidance, and he will show you the path of life, and lead you in the way everlasting. Behold, be stands at the door and knocks; do you open your hearts to him, and he will come in, and sup with you, and you with bim. He is calling you to repentance, to turn from sin, and come to Him that you may have life; he will lay judgment to the line, and righteousness to the plummet, and bring down the man of sin in us, and raise us up to the love of God, and faith in God; that we may deny all ungodliness and world
ly lusts, and every thing that is contrary to the mind of God, that so we may love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our mind, and with all our soul. And if we love God with all our minds, we must not give our minds to any thing else ; and if we love God with all our might and strength, we must love nothing but in subordination to him :-we must love all things in God, and love God above all things, then we shall come truly to know that the Lord is our God. Matt. vii. 24. Our Saviour speaking of building upon the right foundation, · Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doth them; I will liken him to a wise man that built his house upon a Rock, (and this Rock is Christ himself, and the rains decended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon the House, and it fell not; for it was founded on a rock. Such an one, that heareth Christ's sayings, and doth them, he builds upon Christ the Rock of our salvation : upon this foundation did the holy patriarchs build ; and upon this Rock and Foundation did the holy prophets build. * God told Elijah, 1 King xix, 18. Yet have I left seven thousand in Israel, that bave not bowed unto Baal.' Have a care of idolatry, of spiritual idolatry of loving any sin or lust: let Christ bave your hearts, and the strength and flower of your love and affections, and build upon bim alone who is the true foundation. Do not content yourselves with an external possession; labour to come and experience the work of regeneration, that you may know you are born again, born of the spirit, and are passed from death to life, and live in obedience to the commands of Christ, for he is the Author of eternal salvation, to all them that obey him. Have you known the terrors of the Lord ? ask yourselves, am
I so terrified, as to be persuaded to turn from that - wbich would turn me from God ? am I turned from
that; which would eclipse God's light in my soul ?