A Sermon Delivered by ELIAS HICKS, Followed With Responses by JERUSHA CURTIS and PHILADELPHIA PEMBERTON, A Response to them by ELIAS HICKS, A Sermon by OTHNIEL ALSOP, and a Another Sermon by ELIAS HICKS.
The Quaker, Vol. I, No. 5, 1827, pages 105-143.

This is The Quaker Homiletics Online Anthology, Part 3: The 19th Century.

First Sermon by Elias Hicks:
"Peace, be still." This command and requisition was made upon a former, occasion; and I apprehend it will apply fully to us. I believe there can be no occasion to demand it more than the present one. The comfort and improvement of this large assembly depends principally upon it. Therefore, it becomes our duty individually, to labour to be still. And, in the first place, we are to still our bodies. This is a work that seems in a degree to be comprehended in our power as men and creatures; hence this is the first step. For we must always do what we can, rightly and justly; for it is by this right labour, and industry, that there is something to receive the divine blessing upon.

But this is not enough, my friends,--we must endeavour to have our minds still. And here is a much greater work, which it is beyond the power of man to effect of himself. And this shows us the necessity of individually endeavouring to get our bodies still, that so we may retire to that fountain of strength, which only can enable us to experience our minds to be brought into stillness--into silent prostration before the King of heaven. And we are not to stop here neither, my friends. There is that "little member," that no man," the apostle says, "has tamed;" although men may have tamed all the brute creation--and that is the tongue. It is a little member; but, as he says, "it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison." It is like a fire, "and it is set on fire of hell." Now there is nothing that can enable us to keep this quiet and silent, but as we bow in perfect submission to the divine will, to time manifestation of the grace of God in our own souls; and without this, we cannot use it in a proper manner. "Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God." And we know, that it does happen among the children of men, that they usurp, as it were, the throne of God, and impeach their fellow Creatures and give sentence upon them; and, as far as the tongue can do it, send them down to the bottomless pit of perdition. "My brethren, these things ought not so to be." And it is an evidence to us what state we must come to experience, before we can effect the great purpose for which we are assembled together this morning; which is no less, I apprehend, as to time general motive, than to present ourselves before time Almighty Creator of the universe, the giver of every good and perfect gift, and to wait on him, and worship him in spirit and in truth.

But none can worship him, till all these unruly passions, all these disturbances and troubles, that naturally attend men and women in their natural state, are all brought down into entire subjection to the divine will, and until there is a complete sense of his greatness, and of our nothingness. Here it is, that we are brought into a condition to learn of him. For what will it avail any of us, to come and sit down thus together, to be led, and guided, and instructed in the way of salvation, if we do not gather into a state, whereby and wherein we calm be instructed--into a situation in which we can hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches? And it is my earnest desire, that we may individually labour after this stillness; for this is the travail that ought always to attend our minds when thus assembled together. This leads to an experience and evidence in ourselves, of the mighty power of God, and of our own complete insufficiency to do any good thing. For we must come to this evidence before we can serve him aright; and before we can walk in the way which he has cast up for the ransomed and redeemed to walk in--a blessed way. We must come into this condition, in order to learn our duty, not only to God our creator, but to man our fellow creature. This will open to us all that we are to do, and instruct us in the way in which we can answer the great end of our creation, and we shall always be ready to glorify God and enjoy him.

Hence, we see, as reasonable creatures, that every act of our lives must be to this effect; and every word that we speak ought to have this tendency: we ought to have our words savory, so as to minister grace to the hearers, and timer even in our language and converse with one another. That it may all tend to the glory and honour of time great and adorable I AM, from whom we receive all our power and ability to do any thing, and every blessing which we can have or receive. How awful the consideration, that not only in every word, but in every act, whether we meet together as at present, or whether in eating, drinking, or putting on apparel, it is all to be done to the glory of God. Mind it, my friends, and my dear young friends!

And what way is there for us to do it, so as to give glory to his great name? There is but one way, and that is to seek unto him for knowledge and instruction, and how to act in small matters as well as in greater; because nothing will bring glory to his name, unless we do it agreeably to his holy will and pleasure. No matter how small the thing is, if it be contrary to the divine will, it is a sin against heaven. We must not plead and reason as finite creatures, as we are, against it; nor shall we, when we have the fear of God in our hearts. We have no right to reason upon consequences, let what will follow: but become wholly passive to the divine light and leaven of the kingdom of heaven in our own souls, otherwise we cannot be leavened into his nature. But as there is a coming in aud under his influence; and as we begin to partake of his divine nature, we can commune. with the Almighty God of our lives, and God of our salvation. For nothing but the spirit of God can teach us the things of 6nd. So that it is of infinite importance, that we examine every word, every thought, and every action, as in the presence of the Most High, as we certainly are, continually. For he is every where present, and in him we live, move, and have our being. This is what some, of all nations, must know for themselves. For when the apostle was reasoning with a wise people of former days, concerning their idolatry, he says--"As I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, "TO TH UNKNOWN GOD:" whom the people of Athens ignorantly worshiped. Now, what sort of God was this, my friends ? It must have been an imaginary one. They were worshiping something from mere report--it was an unknown God. But this is not the case with the true worshipers of God; for those who worship him in spirit and in truth, must know and feel him to be always present, a continual observer of all their works; for he is a God of infinite knowledge, and by him all our actions are weighed. I want, therefore, that our minds should become humbled, as being in his holy presence, and that his fear may spread over every mind, from the love which we feel for him. For that fear that cometh from terror hath torment, and it is not the true fear of God; therefore, it is a vain thing for men and women to denounce one another, and to try to scare one another, for they are about as likely to scare them into sin as any way. For every fear that comes from terror has torment in it: as all fear, that does not arise from the true fear of God hath torment in it,--but the true fear of God is above it all, and it is no slavish fear; for "perfect love casteth out all fear."

Now, by this consideration we may try ourselves; and it puts us into a capacity to take the apostle's advice, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves: know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates ?''Here he came to the point in his exhortation; and that which was right in that day, is just as right in the present day. It is as necessary for us now, as it was for them then; and we must know a Saviour in us. For what does he mean by Jesus Christ? Nothing but a savior, nothing but a redeemer, nothing but a deliverer. Here now, can we find him any where else, according to the apostle's declaration? If we have not his power and sufficiency in us--if he is not thus over every other power, we cannot be otherwise than reprobates, for none other can change our fallen nature. And as this view of the subject spreads great caution, so it sometimes, if we are willing-minded, spreads great encouragement. For the apostle, no doubt, spoke from his own personal and absolute experience, by which he came to know Christ thus to he in him, that is. when he says, Christ, a savior--the wisdom of God and the power of God manifesting itself in the soul against sin. And under what epithet shall we speak of it in the most ready way? We may call it light. We see what the great apostle says, "Jesus Christ is in you;" and our eminent friend George Fox was led under the same influence and inspiration that the apostle was when he uttered this declaration; he calls to the light within, as the only source of all true knowledge of God, and from which we must draw all our ability to worship in spirit and in truth.

"God is light;" and here it is that the light begins its work--"All things that are reproveable, are made manifest by the light, for whatsoever maketh manifest is light." But without an every where present God, nothing could do this for the children of men--reprove them for every thing they do for every act, for every thought, and every word.

Now this is true, my friends, and I have confidence to believe it, from my own experience, that it will convict for every idle thought and word; and that, for every idle word we shall have to give an account in the day of judgment. And when is the day of judgment? When man is brought under the revelation of the divine law, when he knows what the law of God is. Here, now, the judge is always sitting upon the judgment seat. It is not a day and time, as some have vainly, ignorantly, aud carnally supposed, at a great distance from us; at what they call the end of the world.

Here now, how some express their darkness; and how they reflect upon the Almighty goodness, to suppose that he is with us, and yet that he will let us go on in sin and wickedness, and not judge us! Can we suppose such a thing for a moment? For indeed what is the end of the world? The creature man knows no other end of the world than the end of his own life, the end of his probationary state; and to him, this is the end of the world. As man has no knowledge of the world till he is born, so he cannot know any thing of that world which is to come till the soul goes hence, to be here no more. Here their work is completed, and they centre at death in that place where divine justice sees at to place them, as consistent with his goodness and mercy. But when we look at God in the common and carnal view, there arise such strange ideas, as if all the children of men, all the immortal souls of all that have been born on earth, and who have passed away by death, are now located in some subterranean place, the same as in the body of this earth! But, alas! they know nothing about it. They are waiting for a judgment day at a distance. But can God delay judgment, my friends? No such thing. If we attend even to external testimony, we are convinced of this. What did the Saviour say to the thief on the cross? There he was, a poor culprit, who had been a prisoner, likely, for his wicked deeds, a good while, or time enough to reflect on his evil conduct; and as he gathered to that point that is expressed--that point that he was brought to when Jesus was on the cross with him. He repented--he made reconciliation with his heavenly Father by repentance. Here Jesus saw his condition, and you may remember what he said. In direct opposition to his fellow sufferer, he acknowledged the justice which was upon them; but as for that innocent man, he had done nothing amiss: which drew front him the declaration, "This day shalt thou be with me in paradise." Here now the spirit of Jesus and the spirit of this thief ascended into paradise; that is, they were brought into a happy state. We speak of ascending and descending, but there is no such thing, unless it is as it relates to a state of mind; because that which is up to day will be down to night, for there is a continual rotation--it is all up and all down, as to what we can see and observe. Yet so carnal are the people, that they think heaven is up, and earth down: and it is because they worship an unknown God, or they would know better than all these things. Had not the judgment then passed? Had it not been pronounced to the thief on the cross, by the Son of God ? This shows that he thus declares him a fit inhabitant for heaven: fit for communion with the God of his life, with Jehovah himself; that he was brought into a condition in which he was fit to he continually and for ever with God; where he might continue to praise and magnify his mercy and goodness. O, my friends I when I reflect on these things. and see the carnality of the children of men, my spirit is made to mourn.

When did the creature man first lose paradise? When did he lose heaven? and by what means did he place himself out of it ? It was by going counter to the law and manifested will of God his creator. Now, did this alter his situation? Did it send him into any other place? No. It only altered his state and condition, from that in which he was placed by his creator previous to his transgression; where he was with the Father in all things, and who declared his will without a mediator between him and the soul. It was only when man had fallen into sin and transgression that he needed a mediator. So, here, when they come to know a reconciliation; when they return back and acknowledge their transgressions, and know a being forgiven for all their sins, here is a reconciliation; and now they set out anew, and confirm to the will and law of God, revealed in the secret of their hearts. For the law is not written on tables of stone now, my friends, nor was it ever written, (any thing that could save the soul,) upon tables of stone; but that law which was written upon tables of stone, was only designed to save the bodies of the Israelites. And the law was not good for Israel, for it was suffered to be a veil between them and their God; but it was broken and rent from top to bottom, and an end put to that dispensation. When Jesus gave up the ghost upon the cross, he said, "It is finished." For he had done his office, his great work. He had finished the law, and abolished all the covenants and ceremonies; all the hand writing of ordinances, which were not for us but against us. And we are now to have access again to the holiest of all, the veil being taken away that covered the ark of the testimony. Jesus has entered into the holy place as our forerunner. And how shall we have access unless we follow him as our forerunner? We must follow up in him same righteousness, under the guidance of the same light that he was led by; for nothing else will enable us to follow him who was holy, into the holiest of all. Here, by his example, we are drawn, and his example shows us the way, and we must do as he did; and he lived under the cross. "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." And what was his cross? Was it a wooden cross--or a silver cross--or a golden cross? Was it a cross made by man? No. It was the eternal, unchangeable law of God. This was his cross--this it was that he submitted to: all his propensities and dispositions were crossed and governed by this. He kept this law as his rule, which enabled him to take up his cross against every temptation. For he was "tempted in all points as we are, but without sin;" for he never complied with temptation.

Now it is no sin to be tempted, but the sin consists in yielding to the temptation. We ought not to be alarmed, my Friends, because we are tempted with evil sometimes, even if it should seem as though we must give up--though it should be so powerful in the mind that it becomes a matter of great suffering--though we should seem to feel as if we were doing all that the temptation pointed to, yet all the time we may be struggling against it. And if we have not yielded, but only felt its operation upon our minds, this brings suffering, the right kind of suffering, because of righteousness; and by this we learn obedience. This was the case with our great pattern; he learned obedience by the things he suffered. And nothing else could bring suffering, but these same temptations he passed through, that he might set all example to all who followed him in this way of holiness. And if we take up our cross and despise the shame, this is the great thing, my friends; for I know that the dear young people are afraid of the shame, afraid of the pointing of the finger, and the world's broad laugh. For whenever they turn away from the popular current, let it be never so wicked, all will cry out fool, idiot, and what not. Now we must be strengthened to withstand the torrent of this confusion and folly. And there is nothing that can enable us to stem this torrent, but as we keep under the influence of the divine light, and have a willingness to observe the divine law, let come what will.

Some will get so into the popular current, that they will go to work the work of God by the help and command of man. And I have known some to say to a brother, pray! Now, what presumption! It is taking the seat of God immediately, and presuming to be God, and to be exalted above all that is called God and worshiped. "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth," and not man. Should man undertake to do a single thing in God's work without the command of God? If he does, he is a fool. This leads him, with the same tongue, to bless God and curse men.

No, my friends, in all our works we ought to admit of but one head, and have but one master. And, therefore, when we attempt to do any thing by the contrivance or agreement of man, we oppose God Almighty, and take his seat in the heart; and here it brings on darkness, death, confusion, and every evil work.

My desire, therefore, is, that we may so sink down in this meeting, as to come to a right view of these things, and be delivered from any attempt arising from the contrivance of the creature, whether to promote religion or any thing else, till we are convinced that it is from the will of our heavenly Father. We must feel his power; we must have an evidence of his light to show us the way; and then we can go on without fear or trembling, as composedly as though we were in heaven; and every thing we do would be agreeable to the will of God. But every thing we do in religion, agreeable to the mind of man, it makes us tremble, because that God is not with us, because we turn away from his counsel--it causes trembling to our bodily frames. But those who do the commandments of God, are as bold as a lion; and nothing on earth--not all the powers of men and devils, can make them tremble or fear. They are not afraid of their foundation; they dare set it against all the rolling billows of time. It is all? It was the immoveable rock, as Jesus told his disciples. And what was that rock? It was the revelation of the spirit of God--it was the power and presence of God in the soul. "And upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shah not prevail against it." But we see the rock and foundation that the general body of Christian professors build upon; they are alarmed if a poor worm seems to do something counter to their rock; they are all alive-- they are scared off the ground? and show their foundation to be nothing but sand.

This frequently brings to my mind the saying of good old Joash, when his son Gideon was called of the Lord to go and do the Lord's work, to deliver Israel from their oppressors. He was a very valiant man, and still he felt very doubtful; he felt himself unworthy and insufficient for any thing; and how it brought him down. But it seemed that he could not give up till he proposed to the Lord to give him a sign. The sign was, I think, that a fleece of wool should be spread through like night, and to confirm his faith, in the morning the dew should be upon it, and none elsewhere. Well, he was not satisfied, notwithstanding this was effected; but he would try again, so he turned the fleece, and proposed that there should be dew all over the ground and none on the fleece and this was also affected, here he was encouraged; but he had a great work to do at home. There was the altar of Baal, which he was requested to destroy and break down. Well, this he effected in the right season: and in the morning there was a great cry made, about who had thrown down the altar of Baal; and it was finally fixed upon poor Gideon, to have effected it. Well, the men of the city, the prophets of Baal, appealed unto Joash the father of Gideon, that he would give up his son that they might destroy him. But see how wisely he reasoned with them. What, "will you plead for Baal?" Are you afraid of poor Gideon, a mere worm? If Baal be a God, let him avenge himself. He must be a miserable God if lie cannot avenge himself.

Now. my friends, won't this apply to all those who are scared off their foundation, and must rise up to help their God, for fear that their foundation will be destroyed? I have often been brought under a view of the carnality that is prevailing in the systematic proceedings of the professors of Christianity. They are looking to creeds and professions, and they are all idols. And now if a Gideon should rise up to destroy their idol, they want to fall upon the poor instrument--when it would exactly apply, if they would only turn to the scriptures: "If Baal be the God that has given you these things, let your God avenge himself." He must make a poor God that cannot do this.

You see, now, the ground of all the persecutions that have ever been in the world, in regard to religion--that they have all been in consequence of worshiping an unknown God, and not coming to the one living and true God, who is all perfect love and full of power: and those, and those only, flint rally under him, and fly to him for refuge, shall bo established on the rock of ages, against which the gates of hell can never prevail.

Oh! that we may learn wisdom; and where shall we look for it? Shall we go to books, or to the sciences of men's wisdom as mortals? No, verily; for it is all foolishness with God. Where we are to apply, we have been told by tho apostle: "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." This ought to be, now, our continual care. And what seemed at first to break in upon my mind was so complete, that it seemed as if it were all that need be said--a being still, and entering into quiet and rest.

The Jewish nation had an outward covenant, but it was all carnal, because it consisted in earthly things-it was outward and material. All their law and covenant was suited to their outward heaven; and all their institutes were agreeable to it. But now, what is the Christian to do? What is man, that desires redemption from sin, to do? "Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen; I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us: the God of Jacob is our refuge."

When we come to offer ourselves before the Almighty, how necessary it is to be still, and to do all that we can to effect that purpose. For we are not, when under discouragements, immediately to fall into fear and dismay. When something happens, as it were, like our wagon falling into the ditch, we are not immediately to cry out to Hercules; but when it is really necessary. Now this is a very instructive page, and although it is a fable, still how full of instruction it is. The man who had his cart stuck in the mud, fell to bawling and crying to Hercules to come and help him. But Hercules looking down upon him, cried out, thou fool, whip thy horses stoutly, and clap thy shoulder to the wheel, and then if thou wilt call on Hercules, he will help thee. Now although this is a fable, under the character of those who may be called heathen, that made it, yet it comprehends great instruction and an excellent moral. So we must now not only be gathered together, but we must set to work in good earnest, and do what the Lord has furnished us with ability to do; and as he has given us the means to exercise, we ought to use all our mental powers to get our bodies quiet, under a consideration that we are now in the presence of the Almighty and merciful God, who will distribute onto us according to our wants and necessities. We are to do all that we can, to be humble, and to show ourselves humble, by stilling our bodies and keeping our minds clear of agitation and unprofitable thoughts. You know how they will get in. Oh, what struggles I have had to keep them down! And when we have sometimes got the victory, if we have not kept up a perfect watch over our minds, these foolish thoughts will spring up, and we hardly know where they come from. And here our attention is turned away from God.

Then what a continual labour is necessary for us, in our solemn meetings, and whenever or wherever we are meditating on the works of salvation and redemption. Here, as the creature struggles in good earnest, and is desirous of effecting the great purpose which he is aiming at, he comes to experience the divine power to still every thing--every improper cogitation of the mind. For, until this is the case, we cannot receive him into it. He will not come into our hearts when we are full of other guests; nor can we worship him. We may learn a form of prayer; and it may be very good in the expression of words, and at the same time our hearts be filled with vain thoughts; and the creature may be excited to put this form into execution by proposing to pray, while it is a mere outward thing. What an affront this is to the Majesty of heaven! To pray by a form of words! It is a great affront to the Majesty of heaven! For we know not what to pray for, but as the spirit helpeth our infirmities, and teaches us what to pray for. And if we are not attentive to this, if any outward calamity has befallen us, such as dearth, or what not, which may be designed by Almighty God for our good, we may be praying right against his power; praying him to do away these things to gratify us foolish, selfish creatures. But if we are under the influence of the Holy Spirit, we shall be kept from this inconsistency, and shall rather pray that he will increase the dearth and continue it three years, as most likely to effect the great purpose intended by it, to bring us away from earthly attachments, and increase our dependence on him. But now when we experience a little difficulty and affliction, we pray to be delivered from it to gratify our selfish inclinations. Such prayers are all vain--they are all hypocritical.

But my dearly beloved friends--for I can call you so in that love which knows no bounds--my soul craves that we may bow down to the light and life of God in our own souls--that humiliating power. For the more we receive of it, and the more of its power is manifested for our rising up and getting the victory--in the same proportion as we gain a victory over those things that harm us, we shall be more and more humbled in the dust; because it is all of his mercy, for we have no merit of our own. What a tendency it has to regulate our conduct, and to humble us, when we see and reflect on the goodness and mercy of heaven. I want that all should be encouraged; and that not even the drunkard should consider himself as a cast out. No, my friends, not so long as he feels conviction for his drunkenness. For every time he is convicted, he knows it to be the God of his salvation who is calling upon him, and willing to help him out of his lost and dissolute situation. I want that all should hear and obey; for the call has gone forth to the ends of the earth. "For all have heard, but all have not obeyed:" and so with every other one, the thief, the robber, the adulterer, the whoremonger, the fornicator, I want that they should not give up, and sink down into despair. This is the work of tho enemy of their souls. Their natural inclination leads them to give up to this animal gratification. But so long as God is them calling out to them, so long there is hope, my friends; and so long as they are called to hear what the spirit saith to the churches, every one who has been doing evil may reform and come to God. And what infatuation, that any should ever like doing evil, when they must feel that they are losing more than they can ever gain--as nothing but turmoil and distress is the portion of the wicked man. For Divine Wisdom has so ordered it, that every rational creature must find the reward of his doings, for in every act, if he has been wicked, trouble and anguish will be the reward; and if just, justification, and joy, and peace, full of glory.

So that we all have a time. The Almighty is doing and will continue to do, all that a gracious God can possibly do for the redemption of his creature man--for the redemption of his rational children. For he has placed them in the most eligible station that an infinite God could have done. For we cannot suppose that he would place them in any other state, than that which would be accordant with his consummate goodness. Here we see as our probation is in the wisdom, mercy, and power of God, we ought not to murmur because we are tempted, for there is a power always at hand, if we attend to the light of truth. There is something which will enable us to rise superior to it, and become victorious, through the manifestation of the will anti power of God in our own souls. Be persuaded then, my friends; for we have an abundance of evidence, that the more we are brought under the influence of this holy teacher; the more we are subject to divine grace--the more and more we shall be turned to do the thing that is right--the more and more we shall be united together--the more and more we shall enjoy that social communion, in which all our happiness with one another consists. But by becoming strongly fixed in notions of our own, and hy exalting ourselves and considering ourselves better than others, and judging others, our unity is broken, the bond of love is severed, and confusion and anarchy ensue. Here men take the seat of God, for we are only to answer to the Almighty for our views--we are not to he concerned to give an account to man, so long as our views are such as lead us to love our creator above all, and our fellow creatures as ourselves. What matter is it what opinions rest in our minds? for we are all to attend to our own salvation: and if we are concerned to do this, will we give way to notions that will hinder this salvation? God is to judge of these things; and man is only to judge of the overt acts of his fellow creatures--such as have a tendency to injure his fellow creatures. But if a brother does all his duty, consistent with the will of God Almighty, we have no right to judge any farther than this, "By their fruits ye shall know them." We know that love and good works are the only fruits of the right and good tree: but the contrary fruit is the fruit of thorns and briars always and perpetually.

O, my dear friends, how my soul craves it of the God of our lives and of our salvation, that he will enlighten our hearts more and more, and spread abroad the curtain of his love over us, that we may feel it to be what it is-that he may shed abroad his love in our hearts, that so we may love him above all. And we cannot do this till we know him to be above all things glorious and precious to ns. We must know him to fill all things, to fill our souls with his glory and majesty; and than it is that we can love him with our wilde heart, and our neighbours as ourselves. Here we should be qualified to do to others, as we would that they should do to ns. Now here we shall be qualified to fulfil the law, and nothing ever did it or can do it, but as we turn inward and dwell under the influence of his grace; and that will teach us, agreeably to what the apostle declares: "The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared unto all men." And we might know it if we had never read the apostle; for we feel it reproving for sin--it is the gospel preached in every creature under heaven. It was preached to Adam and Eve in paradise, and it is preached to all, the world over. And every rational soul has the same preacher, the grace of God, the manifestation and life of God in the soul. "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared unto all men, teaching us, that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world."

Here all is done for us, by this grace of God, that need be done for us, as we must see, if we believe the apostle, and as we know by our own experience. For we know of nothing else, that ever did the least possible good, in the way and work of the soul's salvation, from what we read or any thing else, but as it is received from the immediate manifestation of God in the soul--the wisdom of God manifesting itself for our help and salvation. And, as the apostle declares, it will give the victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil, and every tiling that can hurt or harm us. Therefore, let every one be encouraged, for there is hope for all--there is balm in Gilead, and a physician there. Then let us apply to him for it,--we shall not find it in any outward tree or garden, but in the garden of our own hearts. There he makes his abode-there is the garden that we are to look over, and nurse, and keep, and cut down all the weeds. It is the outward garden that we are to attend to, as it regards our souls' salvation or preservation. Here we deny all unrighteousness and ungodliness, and every thing that hurts and wounds; and it will enable all to love righteousness and to perfect true godliness in the fear of the Lord. Thus we are brought on from step to step, to experience a blessed deliverance---a fall reconciliation with our Father in heaven: we shall be brought to place our whole confidence on him and feel him to be our support. And as we keep with him, and put our whole confidence in him, nothing can harm us--it makes us happy. And this is the experience of all those that fix their souls on God. For a soul fixed on God its maker, for support and countenance, while passing through fills probationary state, is happy beyond all finite comprehension.

Response, by Jerusha Curtis:
It is with me to add a little to what has been said. In remembering the passage, where our blessed Saviour was on the cross with the two thieves, one on rite right hand and one on the left, my mind has been impressed with the circumstance, that although one mocked, the other, knowing that he justly suffered, looked unto him and said when thou comest to the Father, remember me. He looked to him to make intercession for his transgressions. O, my beloved friends! we shall ever find Christ remains lo be as he testified: "I am the way, and the truth and the life: no man cometh to the Father but hy me." Here we see, too, there is no other mediator or intercessor between God and man, and that he is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. And by looking to him we shall be saved, as we may remember, the answer of our blessed Saviour was, "This day shalt thou be with me in paradise."

Response, by Philadelphia Pemberton:
As there may be in this large assembly those who are not Friends, or members of our meeting [Great confusion, rendering it very difficult to hear the speakers--Elias Hicks rose, and by words and motions succeeded in restoring a degree of composure: the only words heard were, "My dear friends, do keep still]--died for and offered up his precious life a sacrifice for us all. He died upon the cross without the gates of Jerusalem. and ascended up on high, and is seated on the right hand of the Majesty in heaven, there to make intercession for us. And it is only through him, that we can have access to the Father. And if we deny him before men, he will deny us before his Father, and the holy angels. Oh! how I have desired that none of us may be mistaken, that we may see that it is only and alone through him, that we can be saved; therefore, my dear friends, look well to your standing.

Remarks by Elias Hicks:
My dear friends, God is a God of order--and it will do me great pleasure to see this meeting sit quiet till it closes. We have, and claim gospel privileges, and that every one may be persuaded in his own mind; and as we have gifts differing, so ought every one to have an opportunity to speak, one by one, but not two at once, that all may be comforted. If any thing be revealed, (and we are not to speak except this is the case,) if any thing be revealed to one, let others hold their peace--this is according to order. And I desire it, once for all, my dear friends, if you love me, that you will keep strictly to this order; it will be a great comfort to my spirit.

Sermon by Othniel Alsop:
It is a gospel privilege to speak only one by one. I hope, a desire to improve--a desire to know what is truth, is the motive of a large number who have assembled here this day. Even Pilate, who so far complied with the requisition of the Jews, as to consent to the crucifixion of Christ; even Pilate asked, "What is truth?"

And what was the declaration of Jesus Christ the Saviour? "I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me." And when persecuting Saul had received a commission to persecute them that called on this name--the name of Jesus, he was suddenly arrested in his course. A light shone about him, and those that were with him, exceeding the brightness of the sun, and he was smitten to the earth. And what did he hear? He heard the divine voice, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks." And he who had been a persecutor was made to suffer much for that name, and was made powerful to stand for that name even in the midst of persecution. So that although he was made sensible that in all places where he came bonds and afflictions awaited him, yet he counted these things as nothing, so that in the end he might win Christ and be found faithfully serving him. And it is so, and it will remain to be so, that those who stand faithful, looking to their divine leader and commander all the clamor of the world, all the persecution of man, will be of no avail, in turning their feet aside from this straight course. For, what a cloud of witnesses--what a weight of testimony have we, that through this divine name, and by his power, even through the name of Jesus Christ the son of God, and by his power, all things are possible, unto them that stand faithfully to him. When the disciples Peter and John were requested by the man who had been lame from his birth for an alms, what did they say? "Silver and gold have we none; but such as we have give we thee: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk." And he who had been lame from his birth, under the power of this Saviour of men arose, perfectly restored to wholeness. And when these two apostles were called to account before the rulers of the Jews, who had before persecuted the Lord of life, they stood with all holiness and said, "Be it known unto you that by the name of Jesus of Nazareth whom ye did crucify, does this man stand before you whole; nor is there salvation in any other. This is the stone that was rejected by you builders, which God has made the head of the corner." Yea, my friends, it is the living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God and precious: unto whom if you come, he will receive you and forgive all your sins, and your iniquities will be blotted out; for he hath graciously declared, that no man shall come unto him and be rejected. He is the mediator between God and man, and the advocate with the Father. He was the great high priest, whom the apostle declared had passed into heaven, there to appear in the presence of God for us.

Far was it from me, when I entered this house, to open my mouth in this assembly; but I feel myself constrained to bear my testimony to those principles, which have ever been the fundamental principles of this society. It is not for naught, that we are from time to time recommended carefully to instruct our children and families in the diligent perusal of the holy scriptures, wherein are plainly set forth the miraculous conception, birth, holy life, wonderful works, meritorious death, glorious resurrection, and mediation of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. We bear the name of Christians before men; and do we individually feel, that we are not in name only, but in deed and in truth disciples and followers of him who laid down his precious life for us? He entered not into the holy places made with hands, as did the high priests of the Jews, with blood of others: "For then," as the apostle says, "must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world; but now once, in the end of the world, hath he appeared, to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself."

O, my friends ! this is a subject that nearly concerns every one of us. Our religious society has never taught its members to depend solely on the outward sacrifice. No! it has been far otherwise. We hold it as a fundamental principle that we must attend to the work of God in the heart--the revelation of Christ within. For he declares that those who meet in his name, he will be with them; and that he will be with them unto the end of the world. And he is making good this his promise in the present day; and where two or three meet in his name, that is, in his power, reverently waiting on him, he will appear, and does appear, to the comfort and strengthening. and to the support of these. And he will give strength unto these to stand for his name and testimony, and even in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. These will be enabled to stand under every circumstance; and in the hands of these, as instruments, his cause will go on and prosper. I believe he never will suffer to be wanting, in his church, instruments to stand, firmly to stand, for his cause and testimony. That I feel earnestly desirous, that we may indeed endeavour to get into a state of silent, solemn waiting upon him; that we may be willing to lay aside our own selfish views, that when we come to a meeting for worship, we may feel, that we have no other object in view, than the glory of God, and the good of our own souls and the souls of others.

O, my friends! the cause never was and never will be advanced, by any other course of conduct than this. My very soul was pained in this meeting, when an exercised sister was endeavouring to spread before this assembly the exercise of her mind, to observe, what must have been very evident to every one of us, a disposition in some, l hope not in many, to drown her voice in clamor and noise. My friends, even one of the apostles witnessed something of this kind; but by whom was it? It was not by the disciples of Christ. There was even a clamor raised--"Away with such a man from the earth; it is not fit that lie should live." But he was moved by none of these things; and some of his followers know, that the cause they are bound to advocate is of too solemn and important a nature, for them to be thus intimidated by noise; they feel that they stand upon the ground of truth. It is my only hope, and it is for the good of the souls of those who are endeavouring to disturb the silence of this assembly, that I have felt constrained to speak. And my soul's desire for us is, that when we retire to our respective homes, we may, with that light which we have heard recommended to us, the light of Christ within, examine, every one of us, into the motives of our conduct. For there is a judge who will judge every one of us, according to our works, whether they are good, or whether they are evil; and, if we really are followers of that light, we shall be willing that our deeds should be brought to the light "For he that loveth the truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God." Then may we, every one of us, examine ourselves whether we are indeed children of the light and of the day. And there is a witness for God in the secret of every soul that will tell us; if, in the cool of the day, in the silence of all carnal reasoning, and the will of the flesh, we turn to it with a real desire to see what our condition is, it will show ns what our state is. And thus must every soul of us feel convicted, if our motives in coming to assemblies like this, are other than a real desire to know what is truth. And how manliest it is, many times, that in this peaceful state, we may humble ourselves at the feet of the blessed Jesus, take his yoke upon us, and learn of him who was meek and lowly in heart. Then, and not till

[Here, the tokens of disapprobation, which had for some time manifested themselves, were swelled into a degree of confusion, in which a part of the closing sentence was lost.]

A Second Sermon by Elias Hicks:
[Elias Hicks then rose, and stated, that he had something which he wished to communicate, and begged that the meeting would please to be quiet. The meeting being again restored to order, he proceeded.]

Now I have been learning all the time my friend has been speaking; for we call learn, not only from things that are right, but by things that are wrong; both as it regards spiritual things and temporal things. We have now had an opportunity for several individuals to give their views: and now it is for us to say, and for you to judge. Now, where is the judgment seat, and who is to judge us? Our friend has told us, and we can profit by it, that there is a witness for God placed in every mind; and it was this that enabled the primitive disciples to write what they did, under the influence of the Spirit. Therefore, they wrote according to their views; but no man can unfold these writings, and give a right view of them, except he is influenced by the same spirit that those had who wrote them. It was only the inspiring spirit of God, that enabled the primitive disciples to know God; and without this inspiration no man ever did know God. We learn, likewise, that the name is the power; and this is not contained in the five letters that spell JESUS--no one of common sense will suppose this. But it was the power of his heavenly Father that was in him, when actively on earth. He tells us, that it was his Father that enabled him to do all his miracles. He says, "It is not I that do the works, but my Father that is in me. For my Father is greater than I." See, then, how we can learn, when we are sober and serious. Then let all our faculties be rightly exercised; let right reason and revelation go hand in hand; for reason is the most noble part of the creature; it gives a distinction between thing and thing. And as it is a gift of God, so we shall find that it is fully so,--a gift to the soul.

Now these are the two witnesses. The witness for God which he has placed in every mind--the revelation of his spirit in the rational and immortal soul of man; and the reason which he has a capacity of exercising in conformity to what the spirit makes manifest. For reason can do nothing of itself; therefore, it is only to decide as things are revealed to us by the light. Our reason would be dormant, as to the things of this world, were it not for revelation. The light of the outward sun is a beautiful index of the sun of heaven, as it reveals all things on our earth; and until it shines upon our earth, reason lies dormant. And so it is, though in itself it has the same capacity, reason lies dormant till things are opened to it by the light of heaven. As by the light of the outward sun We see things upon the earth, we can give unto them names, and can settle on what names things shall be called by. We are thus enabled to speak of things, to regulate things, to add to and diminish from things; and thus, under the operation of reason, we can make them in a measure useful; in a measure a blessing to us. Here we see the ability of this reason; but as reason is lower than divine revelation, it must always be subject to revelation. It knows nothing till revelation gives it materials, by which the soul can act upon them, and improve them.

Here it comes to the one point, that the name of Jesus is nothing but the power of God and the wisdom of God. And that it is so, we find from abundance of testimonies in the inspired writings: but the translators were not inspired men, for they declared against inspiration. Here then, as we have been told, we must come to a revelation in our own hearts to assure us what is right or wrong; and the scriptures, in their fullest extent, can go no further than to recommend us to God, the one thing needful. And no true minister ever attempted any further, than to recommend to this light and spirit of God. It was the ultimatum of Jesus Christ in his outward manifestation. It was his command not to move or take one step till they had tarried at Jerusalem, exempted from all outward dependance; for he wanted to show them that they could do nothing at all, without that power which had enabled him to do the work; and which was a manifestation of his Father's power in him. Here he said, "Tarry at Jerusalem till ye receive power from on high; and ye shall receive it when the Holy Ghost is come upon you." And not till then, can any man bear testimony to the truth of the scripture records. We know, that they who wrote they were inspired men; but then what a diversity of opinions there is about them, and it will be eternally so, while we go to the scriptures only, which can do nothing more than to recommend us to that which, Jesus recommended to Martha.

We must now leave it to the people to judge; and I hope, that no soul will believe a single word that I have said, unless it be from mere conviction. Now, if we will let each speak, and then we judge, we shall be profited by it; but if do not enter into this quiet resignation to our lots we shall not be profited, as I have observed. And if any speak improperly, though no man take notice of them; yet. no doubt, the witness in the soul would give uneasiness, if they attempted to speak for controversy sake, to give an opinion in opposition to another; and they could never feel peaceable under it, when left alone. So we must leave this to God., who will do his work in us and for us.

I mention these things to stimulate us to order~ in all our meetings. Let the dear children try to be patient. and to be quiet; because it is not allowing a brotherly freedom, to rise up and stop an individual who wants to speak, and because we have an order in our assemblies. And if we keep to the order established, and which we believe to have been set up under the guidance of truth, we shall never be broken to pieces; we shall always be united. But the unity of the Spirit does not need outward laws and rules at all; for every one under the influence of this, is like an epistle written in the heart, and these cannot be separated--neither time nor distance can separate those souls that are united in this divine lift and love. But we must, while in these earthen tabernacles, have order for the regulation of these outward bodies--there will ever be need of this order. For one generation passeth away and another cometh; and children when they come into the world, bring no knowledge with them--they must gain it all here. Some have one view and some another; some are very weak; some can use meat, and some cannot eat meat, and others can eat herbs only; but let not him that eateth, condemn him that eateth not; but let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. And so long as there is harmony--while the outward bond which is to preserve harmony in bodies is maintained, how can there be any confusion in our meeting together, for it can only be a breach of order that leads to confusion, and it will lead to anarchy.

Now; what I want is, that we should not rise up to take the seat of judgment, and to turn God out. But we must consider the discipline that we have made, to be only outward, and relating to these bodies, because the true discipline is the law of God written in our hearts; and to this we must refer for an interpreter in every thing--it is above every thing else. For God has placed an unerring witness and guide in every soul, and the soul that is faithful to it, will never do any thing to harm a fellow creature, but honor God in all his works.