« EdellinenJatka »
they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary ; they shall walk and not faint. When the Lord saith to them, seek ye my face;' their hearts will answer, thy face Lord will we seek. Search the scriptures to know the mind and will of God, and consult the oracle within, the word of God in your own hearts; whether shall you, or can you go? you have the words of eternal life, from Christ within you the hope of glory. You that have begun in the Spirit, do not end in the flesh; but resist all temptations from without, and corruptions within, and you shall be more than conquerors, through Christ that bath loved you; and you shall witness the fulfilling of that promise, him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out; and I will write upon bim the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is New Jerusalem ; and to him (saith Christ) that overcometh, will i grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am sat down with my Father in his throne, and I will give him a white stone, and a name, wbich none knows but he that hath it.' As in your Parish books, there is a registering and a writing down of the names of all that are born there ; so in the book of life are written down all the names of the childien of light, that are born again, born from above; and God will remember them, and they will remember his loving kindness, and have it ever before their eyes, and walk in his truth.
My Friends, it becomes us to be a willing people, to bear the yoke of Christ cheerfully, and not to be like a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke. "If any draw back (saith the Lord) my soul shall bave no pleasure in him.' Let us be willing both to do and suffer the will of God, and follow Christ, the Lamb of God, whithersoever he goeth; through persecutions, sufferings, and tribulations, bearing his reproach, and counting it our honour to suffer shame
and disbonour for his name; and have a holy ambition to drink of his eup, and to be baptised with his baptism. We read, (Luke xx. 20.) that the mother of Zebedee's children came to Christ with ber two sons, worshipping him and desiring a certain thing of him, and he said unto her, What wilt thou ?' She said unto him, 'Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left, in thy kingdom : But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I drink of? And to be baptised with the baptism that I am baptised with? They say unto him, We are able.' And our Saviour said unto thein, 'Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptised with the baptism that I am baptised with; but to sit on my right hand and on my left, is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them, for whom it is prepared of my Father.' What is this baptism ? 'It is self-denial, and taking up the cross of Christ; and to be willing to part with all for his sake: To stand at a distance from the world, and to be weaned from the enjoyments of it, and to let Christ have the command and government of our hearts, wills, and affections.
My Friends, let us so live, as we shall wish we had done, when we come to die. 2 Cor. v. 10, 11, * For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that which he bath done, whether it be good or bad.' Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men: 0 blessed are they that turn from the evil of their ways, and so hear that their souls may live : 'Obedience is better than sacrifice; and to hearken than the fat of ranis.' Blessed are they that ponder and weigh, and consider what the Lord's prophets and messengers speak and declare unto them, that are found in a way of obedience, and live up to what they know, they shall at last lay down their
heads in peace; "For blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, they rest from their labours, and their works will follow them. ..;
O Friends, come unto Christ that you may have life, and have it abundantly: He is the living fountain that God hath vouchsafed to open to us, even the fountain of living water, for the refreshment of thirsty souls; and the bread that comes down from heaven, for filling and satisfying the hungry soul. Blessed are they that know Christ to be their Shepherd, and bear his voice, and follow him, who will go before them as their light and leader, and give them eternal life. They shall receive from him in this life food convenient; he will make them lie down in green pastures, and lead them by the still waters, and he will prepare a table before them in the midst of their enemies, and satisfy them as with marrow and fatness, and make them triumph in his love and praise. Let us travel on in the path of life, in the ways of righteousness, without fainting, and labour to answer the great end of our creation, and the design of God's love in our redemption, and let us live as witnesses for God in our own generation. But some may say, What do we witness ? I witness to God's judg. ment for my sin, and to his mercy in forgiving my sin, and to his good Spirit visiting my soul, and sanctifying me, and making me free from the law of sin and death; and I witness (may a sincere and humble soul say) a freedom and deliverance from the bondage of corruption, and power and victory over the world, and the flesh and the devil, the grand enemy of my salvation. O that you may all experience these great things in your own souls! Then Christ will say unto every one of you, Well done, good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful in a little, I will make thee ruler Wer much. The joy of the Lord shall enter now
thee, and thou shalt hereafter enter into the
joy of thy Lord; thou shalt then behold bis face in righteousness, and be eternally satisfied with bis likeness : In whose presence is fulness of joy, and at whose right hand are pleasures for evermore.'
A Sermon preached at the Quakers' Meeting-House in Grace-Church-Street, London, January 16, 1694.
THE life of man and woman is compared unto a race that is to be run; and unto a post, that makes haste : And our daily experience confirins, what the Holy Ghost hath lively set forth and expressed to us by the holy men of God in several ages and generations. We are all of us that are here this day, running our natural race; our time is speed. ing on, and we are every day a step nearer to the grave. God requires, that we will every day draw nigh to him : Blessed are all those, that are every day a step nearer to God, as well as a step nearer to the grave, and to eternity! If you draw nigh to God he will draw nigh to you, and turn every one of you from your iniquities, and keep you from returning to folly.
Friends, of ourselves we can do nothing, except the Lord be present with us, and strengthen and uphold us : Blessed are those, that live in an humble sense of their own insufficiency, and are in a true poverty of spirit, and as the light of every morning appears, are waiting upon God, as a watchman waits for the morning. I say wait upon him, for the lifting up of the light of his counte