Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

bumility, and highest admiration : For thou art worthy of all honour, glory, praise, dominion and thanksgiving, who art God over all, blessed for ever and ever. Amen.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

OR, THE HAPPINESS OF MARRY

ING IN THE LORD.

A Sermon preached at the Quakers' Meeting-House,

in Devonshire House, London, October 3, 1694, at a Wedding.

BY WILLIAM PENN.

IT becomes the sons and daughters of men to have a sense of their duty, that is incumbent on them, to the great God of heaven and earth; and the duty we owe to God, is to do all things to the praise and glory of his holy name. And happy were it for inankind if they were duly sensible of their duty and obligation to their sovereign Lord and Maker; and did set the Lord always before their eyes, and acknowledge him in all their ways, that he might direct their paths. It greatly concerns us to have an eye to the great obligation we lie under to him, who is our God and faithful Creator, that by his almighty power inade us, and by bis good providence hath preserved us, in the land of the living, to this day ; to whom we are deeply indebted, both for our being and well-being.

They that have a sense hereof upon their souls and spirits, they will take heed not to offend bim, for the fear of the Lord is planted in their hearts. Tbis is true religion, the fear of God, which teaches

man and woman, first to eschew evil, and then to do that wbich is good and acceptable in his sight..

The fear of the Lord, it is said, is a fountain of life, which preserves from the snares of death. No man that is replenished with the fear of the Lord can be destitute of divine life and comfort. Since the secrets of the Lord are witb them that fear bim, be will shew themn his covenant. Abrabam was said to be God's friend, because he feared God, and God was bis friend.

O my Friends! it is not a name to live; it is not the character of a profession; not adhering to a party, or being of such a society or church, or people; but it is the fearing of God, and keeping of his commandments, and believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, and shewing forth his virtues in our conversation, that doth speak us to be real Christians. He hath shewed thee, Oman, what is good.? O man, that is, mankind; the whole race of human kind. God hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and wbat doth the Lord require of . thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?' Mic. vi. 8. Let us all take heed to walk in this way, and that will give us acceptance with God, and fit and prepare us for his holy worship. Abraham was the friend of God, because he believed and obeyed. It is not enough to make a profession of religion, and godliness and Christianity, if we be found vain in our conversation, and to love the world more than God, and to be more careful what we shall eat, and what we shall drink, and what we sball put on, and how we shall divert and please ourselves than to please God. Our hearts and affections should be set on things above, and not on things below. We should, with the apostle, not look to the things that are seen and temporal, but to the things that are not seen and eternal. They that mind temporal things will be disappointed upon a death bed; but those that

fear God, shall not only have present peace, but future and everlasting cornfort. Let us all endeavour to be purifying our minds, wills and affections, that we may enter into a boly covenant with God, into a heavenly marriage and league with bim, They that are joined unto the Lord are one Spirit. As we come under the teachings of God, we shall be united in our love and affections to him, and delight ourselves in the Lord, who only can give us the desires of our hearts. The world passeth away, and the lustre and glory of it, and all the visible relations and capacities we stand in. Let us then use the world as if we used it not; and let them that have wives be as if they had none, (as saith the apostle) for the fashion of this world passeth away. There is a time to live and a time to die; and as sure as we die, we must be judged. Let every one of us endeavour so to live, that we may give up our account with joy, and not with grief. Let the fear of the Lord possess your hearts, wbich is the beginning of wisdom. When men and woinen do that which is pleasing to God, and live in the fear of God, and eschew eyil, and do good, they, in so doing, promote their chiefest - interest. The Lord takes pleasure in them that fear him : his salvation is nigh unto them that in truth call upon his name. We see God's visible care over all the works of his hands. Here in this world, his goodness is extended to all, both good and bad; he is kind to the unthankful; he causeth the sun to rise on the evil, and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust; but in the other world there is no shining of the Sun of righteousness upon. the wicked and ungodly; no comforts of the Holy Ghost, no manifestations of love vouchsafed to them ; but there is a revelation of wrath, and the fiery indignation of the Almighty. . ,

For the very prayers of the wicked are an abomi. nation, and because they love the world more than

God, and esteem it more than heaven, they shall never enter into it. · But, my Friends, seek ye the kingdom of God, and the righteousness thereof, in the first place, and follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. Those persons that so do, have a solid foundation, they have a sure bottom that they can stand upon; they can look death and eternity in the face, upon this bottom, when they believe in the Lord Jesus with all their hearts, and shew forth all his virtues in their lives; having the promises assured to thein, 1 Cor. 7.1. - That God will dwell with them, and walk in them, and be their God, and they shall be his penple. And I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty! Having therefore these promises, (saith the Apostle) let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and the spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.' Now upto such, “To live is Christ, and to die is gain. They live, in holiness and purity, through the sanctification of the spirit, and belief of the truth, as it is in Jesus, being regenerated and born again, and thereby made meet to enter into the kingdom of God. It was sin that first brougbt down man, from glory to shame; Christ came down from heaven and glory, that he might bring man out of sin and shame to glory again; which by sin he had lost and forfeited. Our Saviour said unto Nicodemus, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water, and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again; the wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but cannot tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth, so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered and said unto him, how can these things be?

« EdellinenJatka »