A Sermon and Prayer Delivered by Francis Camfield, At Grace-Church Street, May 14th, 1693.
Sermons by the People Called Quakers. A New Edition. London: Mary Hinde, 1775.

This is The Quaker Homiletics Online Anthology, Part One: The 17th Century.

The Sermon:

My Friends,

You have often heard by the servants of the Lord, that have given testimony to Jesus, the only and alone Saviour; you have often heard the report, and the report is true, That there is no name under heaven by which any man can be saved, but the name of Jesus; and you have oftentimes read also in the Holy Scripture, of this Jesus the only and alone Saviour; all the holy prophets gave testimony that he should come, and when he was come, all the holy apostles and ministers of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ gave testimony that he was come, and they were made able ministers of the New Testament, and their great business was (as Instruments in the hand of the great God) to turn Men from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to the power of God, that they might receive forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance among them that are sanctified; you know the scripture speaks plentifully after this manner. I hope there are none here but have believed the testimonies that have been given; but the great thing is, for every one to come to a consideration of this, since you have believed the report, that which is every one's concern now, is to examine themselves, whether or no, they are really turned from darkness to the heavenly light; none come to be turned from darkness to light, but as they come to know repentance from dead works, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ. And as every one comes to know this, they come to know what it is to lay a good foundation: this was the foundation the primitive Christians laid, as you may remember the exhortation of the apostle, in the sixth chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews; therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ. let us go on unto perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith towards God.

Thus you see he presseth them to go on, to perfection; it is the business of every one of you that believe in the name of Jesus, that you keep walking on in the holy way; it is the main business of us that are come to know this holy way, through the riches of the love and grace of the great God to us, to walk in this holy Way; they that know any thing of true Christianity, know this to be their great concern, to walk in this holy way that leads to everlasting life; Christ is the way, the truth, and the life; and all that come into this way, and walk in it, are going on towards perfection; and they are putting off the old man; they feel in themselves a power at work, that crucifies the old man with his deeds; then they go on in the name of the Lord. This Power doth work, till every one in his own particular comes to be crucified with Christ; it was the primitive Christians experience; what faith the apostle of himself? Gal. ii. 20. I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me, and the Life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Great is the mystery of Godliness; you, that are engaged in the Christian warfare, and that live the Christian life, and are making war in righteousness against the Devil, the enemy of your souls, know that great is this mystery of Godliness: this mystery is opened among the disciples of Jesus, among the holy offspring of God, who are begotten again through the word of eternal life; who, as the holy apostle saith, are begotten of his own will through the Word of Truth, that they should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures. How ought we to whom God hath graciously manifested himself, in the blessed Son of his love, our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus, to walk as becomes the Gospel ? O! that the serious and weighty consideration of this might rest upon every one of us; that we ought to have our conversation as becomes the Gospel of Christ, and be going on to perfection; you know what the Apostle speaks, Phil. iii. x 2. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect, but I follow after, if that I may apprehend Jesus Christ: This, I am sure, every true, Christian Man and Woman will do, as the Apostle did, who saith, I press towards the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. And as every one comes to grow up in the life of righteousness, they will come to know an increase of faith, they will grow up in faith, and in that hope which hath been as an anchor to their souls in the day of their deep exercise; and they will remain steadfast and unmoveable, as they walk in the holy way: and so every one, as they keep humble and bowed before the God of Heaven, will know his teachings more and more, and have a sensible feeling of it in themselves, every one in their own, particular.

And, certainly, it is all our business to be waiting for the fulfilling of those many great and precious promises, which are recorded in the Holy Scripture, which were enjoyed by the primitive Christians, in the ages that are past and gone; and in succeeding times shall be likewise enjoyed by all true Christian people, as they come to be followers of Jesus. As we have begun well, let us go on towards perfection, laying not again, as I said before, the foundation of dead works, and faith towards God and the Lord Jesus Christ; for whoever expects salvation by Christ the only Saviour, must be going on to perfection; they must begin at the work of regeneration and experience in themselves a new birth, for if we be not born again, we shall die in our sins; you know that our Saviour hath left this upon record, and it remains the same Truth to this day.

And therefore, how ought all that make mention name of the great God, and of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to be weighty and considerate, and examine whether they are come to know repentance from dead works; whether they have turned the evil of their doings? Some are ready to say, I would gladly turn from the evil of my doings, but I find I am beset by the devil, the enemy of my soul: well, if thou believest in the Light, wherewith Christ Jesus hath enlightened thee, then cry to him, and he will give thee power to withstand the enemy of thy Soul.

Praised and blessed be the name of our God, that a remnant can say, as soon as we did really believe in the Name of Jesus, we received power in some measure (as the primitive believers did that received Christ) we received Power to become the sons of God; let the eye of those that have received this power be to the Lord, and cry to him for divine assistance; for of ourselves we are not sufficient, have not power of ourselves to think a good thought or do a good action, but we depend upon the power of God, to enable us to work out our own salvation; for it is God that worketh in us, both to will and to do of his own good pleasure.

Therefore, repentance and remission of sins preached in Christ's name; and without the knowledge and Christian experience of this, and believing in the name of Jesus, we cannot be saved from the wrath to come: let us wait upon God, who by our Lord Jesus Christ, saveth all his people from their sins; not by works of righteousness that we have done, but, as the apostle saith, according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which he shed on us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour. When those that have experience of the work of regeneration, and of being renewed in their inward parts, where Christ bears rule, meet together in the solemn assemblies of the Lord's People, he will be in the midst of them; and they that come to hear the Word of the Lord, and wait upon him, know it to be so; you that are real Christian people, know this by your own experience: therefore wait upon the Lord your God, that the work of regeneration may go on, and you will find strength more and more ministered to you, and you will feel the pouring forth of the Spirit abundantly upon you; the same spirit that raised up our Lord Jesus from the dead, and quickened him, shall quicken you, that you may live to him here, and with him for ever hereafter.

The Prayer:

Most glorious, powerful, and infinite Lord God of Life, thou hast sought out a People to serve thee, and thou hast made choice of many from among the sons and daughters of men, to honour thy name in the land of the living; that we might be capable so to do, thou hast opened an everlasting fountain, and the streams of Life have reached to us; thy divine comforts, O Lord! have been our portion from one day to another, and we tasted thy goodness, and our hearts have been deeply affected with it blessed God and Father, when we confider how thou hast nourished us, thy children, and brought us up in troublesome times, and made a way for us in the wilderness, and a path in the desert, and brought us through the deep waters, when we were ready to be overwhelmed; when our souls cried to the Lord to be present with us, then thou hast been near unto us; when we been seeking thy face, and thy glory, thou refreshed us with the light of thy countenance; when we have been walking in thy way, thy banner over us hath been love; and Lord, out of the mouths of babes and sucklings, thou hast brought forth praise and glory to thyself: O! that all that partake of thy divine goodness, may magnify and praise thee. This hath been our supplication, O Lord! from Year to Year; Lord, reach to the nations, gather a people under the shadow of thy wings, secure them from all dangers, and let them have great delight in thy ways, and let thy word be sweet to their taste. Most tender and everlasting Father of life, and God of all grace, we humbly intreat thee, to gather the inhabitants of this island, and bring down all haughtiness and pride to the dust, and bring all thy People to humility and self-abasement, before thee the God of glory, that the knowledge of the Lord may cover the earth, as the waters cover the sea, that thy great name may be exalted: Lord we entreat thee, gather together those that are broken and contrite, and are as dead and dry bones; can these dry bones live? Thou knowest, O Lord! Shall I ever be capable of praising the Lord, saith one by a sense of thy Favour to my soul? Lord thou canst reach there, and gather to thyself a numberless number, that no man can number, that, everlasting God of Power, shall stand before thee without spot and blemish, in whose mouths there is no guile. Lord increase the number of those that seek after thee, the living fountain of all goodness, with tears flowing from their eyes, and sorrow in their hearts. Everlasting God of life, let the day of our tranquility be lengthened out; and preserve the land of our nativity, and let no desolation be among us; Father of mercies, many have been visited with dreadful judgments from thy hand in other nations; O! preserve this sinful land, and let thy continued mercies and blessings, and thy long suffering prevail upon us, that we may be turned to thee with all our hearts, and cry mightily to thee from one day to another; that we may be as to many Jacobs wrestling with thee to the break of the day, that thou wouldest bless us, and that thy blessing may never depart from this island. O Lord! hear the cries of thy people, that are seeking thy glory, and the good of their own souls; let thy mercy prevail for us, and let thy blessing be with all thy servants, that cry to thee; we beseech thee, for the sake of Jesus Christ, let not thine anger be kindled against us, lest we perish. And, O Lord! let thy judgments which are impendent be diverted, and stir up thy people, to wrestle with thee with all their souls, that thou wouldst save this nation; that England may live in thy sight. Cover us under the shadow of thy wings, and let the hearts of all thy people be turned to thee, and turned from sin to righteousness, that they may be preserved in thy fear and love, and partake of the fountain of life, and may be delivered from the snares of death. Father of life, preserve all thing that have waited on thee, thou art a God that changest not, therefore we are not consumed. Glory, honour, and praise be rendered to thee, for all thy love and favour, blessings and benefits vouchsafed to us, and for all the opportunities which we have had for our souls. Break and soften the hearts of all thy children, and kindle in their souls a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, that we may say it is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes, that we may rejoice and triumph in thy great salvation, through Jesus Christ, who alone is worthy, and God over all, blessed for ever and ever. Amen.