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A CARELESS WORLD.
2 Sermon preached at the Qunkers' Meeting-House,
in Grace-Church-Street, London, Oct. 21, 1694.
BY WILLIAM PENN.
BLESSED are all those who have answered the call of God, and who are found in his way, wbose way is the way of peace, who are not weary of well doing, but having been called of God, have obediently answered that call, and are found diligent, as those that expect to give an account of their deeds done in the body, that neglect not so great salvation, which so numerous a part of mankind are made par. takers of; for it is certainly true, that God hath sent his Son into the world to bless mankind, who were all under a curse by nature, and children of wrath ; God hath so loved the world, as to send his Son to bless them. But, O my friends! who among us will come to be blessed ? who among the sons and daughters of men will come to be blessed of the blessed Son of God this day? who came to bless us, in turning every one of us from our iniquities.
Friends, I call upon you all in the name of the Lord, come and be blessed; they that receive Jesus Christ the eternal Son of God, receive the blessing:
that have received the dear and blessed Son of God, and have opened the door of your hearts
to him and said, O come Lord Jesus, come quickly! thou art the chiefest of ten thousand, and altogether lovely, thou art the desire of all nations, and most desirable to my soul ; I bave have had other lovers, but now my soul loveth thee above all, and by thee will only make inen:ion of thy name ; wbich is that strong tower that I will fly unto, and take sanctuary in, at all times: O be not thou far from me when trouble is near, for at what time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee, and thou wilt set me on a rock higher than I ; who art mighty to save, who art the author of eternal salvation, that canst save me from sin here, and from the wrath to come.'All you who have answered thus, the call of God, and love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, that love bis appearing, and look and long for it, and who cannot be contented and satisfied without it, that wait for the coming of the Lord Jesus, whom our souls love above all, o wait for Him more than they that watch for the morning; these are they that shall have the heavenly dew of divine grace descend upon them, and they shall grow as the lilly, and increase with the increases of God, and strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might; they that wait upon the Lord, (saith the prophet Isaiah,) sball renew their strength ; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint ; and they shall get victory over the world, and over the Prince of the
power of the air, and triumph over death and the
grave, and be able to say, 'O death where is thy sting! O grave where is thy victory!' and likewise say with the apostle Paul, when he was ready to be offered, and the time of his departure was at hand, 'I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith : henceforth
laid for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord the Righteous Judge shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto them that also love his ap
pearing : I have fought a good fight, I have kept the faith, and that hath kept me :' and you may further say with the same apostle, forgetting the things that are behind, and reaching forth unto those things that are before, I press forward towards the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.' It is the desire of my soul that you may all be a willing people in the day of God's power, and be pressing forward in the ways of God, towards the heavenly Ca
And now that you are brought out of Sodom and Egypt, you may never hanker after it again, nor go from the narrow way that leadeth unto life eternal. Remember Lot's wife; when she looked back, she became a pillar of salt, a monument of God's displeasure. Therefore take warning by ber, you that have hastened out of Sodom; look not back, linger not by the way, but persevere to the end, that you may escape the fiery indignation of the Almighty, which will flame against those, and come upon them to the uttermost, that live and die in their iniquities. O labour therefore abundantly in the work of the Lord, and you shall enjoy eternal rest after all your labours, and you shall then find
labour shall not be in vain ; O faint not in the way of holiness, that leads to everlasting blessedness, and you shall have the love of God shed abroad upon your hearts by the Holy Ghost, and divine refreshment from the presence of the Lord, which will make all the ways of God to be ways
of pleasantness and all his paths to be full of peace and joy; that peace that passeth understanding and that joy that is unspeakable and full of glory Therefore follow Christ your grand exemplar and supreme pattern, and be willing to deny yourselves, and take up his
cross, and be crucified to the world, and let the world be crucified to you, and you will appear to be the children of the resurrection, who are royally descended, even of the line and family of heaven, children of light, of the Father of lights, who of his
who of his own will begat you with the word of truth, that you should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
Here is good news for you, and glad tidings, that you that were children of wrath by nature, may by adoption become heirs of the promise, the promise of eternal life, through Christ Jesus, who hath purchased deliverance and eternal redemption for all that do believe in him. Here is true liberty and enlargement, and an opening of the prison doors to all those that have a deep sense of their misery and bondage. It is joyful news to a man in a foreign country, that lies in prison, and under heavy chains, to. hear the joyful report of his redemption, and that the prison shall be opened, and bis chains and fetters taken off
, and that he shall be set at liberty to return to his native country : this is welcome tidings, relating only to the outward man; but here is a greater deliverance, for it is from a worse bondage and captivity : here is a call to the world, that they will come out of the prison and dark dungeon wherein the devil hath long held them in slavery and bondage ; Christ Jesus is come from heaven to deliver them.
O come unto Christ, who is the light of the world, who will bring you out of darkness into his marvellous light ; and turn you from the power of Satan, to
of God. Ye that were sometime darkness, may be made light in the Lord ; you children of wrath and children of the devil, may become the children of God: you that were conceived in sin and brought forth in iniquity you come to partake of the new birth, and be regenerated and renewed by the Holy Ghost, and washed in the blood of Christ, which cleanseth from all sin, that you may be made meet to enter into the kingdom of God, into which no unclean thing shall ever enter; for alas! what is the use of purging and wasbing, but to take away stains and spots? O purify yourselves
from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; and come unto Christ the author of eternal salvation, and trust in him, and depend upon him, by a true and lively faith, and he will ordain peace for you : He is the great peace-maker, and will make their God that answer the call of God. Blessed are they that come under his sceptre, under his holy and pure power and government.
O Friends, answer the call of God, that call that doth call thee, O man, from thy sin, which will certainly bring thee to destruction, if thou dost continue in it: O hearken to this call of God ! if thou dost answer that call, then thou wilt mind the reproofs that are given thee by the Spirit of God, and the light that shines in thine own heart: thou wilt then say, I cannot go on in that sin that God reproveth me for doing : I cannot rebel any longer against the holy motions of the Spirit of God. I remember such a time when I was travelling upon the way, and another time when I was upon my bed, my conscience reproached me, and the Lord rebuked me, and secretly reproved me for such and such a sin as I had committed. Surely it is mcet to be said unto God, I have borne chastisement. I will not offend any more; that which I see not, teach thou me: I have done iniquity, and I will do no more.' Say with the Psalmist, If thou, Lord, shouldst mark iniquity, O Lord, who shall stand! but there is forgiveness with Thee, that thou mayest be feared.'
When you are under a sense of sin, and feel it as an intolerable burden, you will cry out, О that He that made us would save us, and shew mercy to us for his Son's sake! the mercy of God is only extended to us in the Son of his love, Christ Jesus. Let us come unto Him that we may have life, and have it more abundantly. Blessed are they that lay hold on the mercy and loving kindness of the Lord, with