[10: ON WORSHIP, PAGES 304-306]

John Wilbur

Wilbur, John. A Narrative and Exposition of the Late Proceedings of New England Yearly Meeting, With Some of its Subordinate Meetings & Their committees, in Relation to the Doctrinal Controversy Now Existing in the Society of Friends: Prefaced by a Concise View of the Church, Showing the Occasion of its Apostacy, both Under the Former and Present Dispensations, With an Appendix. Edited from Record Kept, From Time to Time, of Those Proceedings, and Interspersed With Occasional Remarks and Observations. Addressed to the Members of the Said Yearly Meeting. New York: Piercy & Reed, Printers, 1854, pages 277-325.

(All italics added by J.W. for emphasis. All words supplied in [Square Brackets] by J.W.
Page numbers from original publication by -pds in {Set Brackets.}

This Document is on The Quaker Writings Home Page.

J.J.Gurney (On the Sabbath. p. 105): "In frequenting the solemn assemblies of the Lord's people, we ought to cultivate a joyful and thankful Spirit; to train our minds to a vivid pereception of the beauty of holiness; and to delight ourselves in the worship of God. Let us ever remember that on these occasions we meet for the pvurose of commemorating the glories of creation, the wisdom and goodness of providence and the wonders of redeeming love."
(Sketch of Wilberforce, Norwich, p. 7. 1838.) "In the autumn of 1816, I well remember going over from the place of my own residence in the neighborhood of Norwich, partly for the purpose of seeing so great a man, and partly for that of persuading him to join our party, at the time of the approaching anniversaries of tho Norfolk Bible and Church Missionary Societies."

{p. 305} Contrast the above with--

Robert Barclay (Apol. Prop. XL p. 351; &c.): "We judge it the duty of all to be diligent in the assembling of themselves together--and when assembled, the great work of one and all ought to be to wait upon God; and returning out of their own thoughts and imaginations, to feel the Lord's presence, and know a gathering into his name indeed, where he is in the midst, according to his promise. And as every one is thus gathered, and so met together inwardly in their spirits, as well as outwardly in their persons, there, the secret power and virtue of life is known to refresh the soul, and the pure motions and breathings of God's Spirit are felt to arise; from which, as words of declaration, pravers or praises arise, the acceptable worship is known, which edifies the church, and is well pleasing to God. And no man here limits the Spirit of God; but every one puts that forth which tho Lord puts into their hearts: and it is uttered forth, not in man's will and wisdom, but in the evidence and demonstration of the Spirit, and of power. Yea, though there be not a word spoken, yet is the true spiritual worship performed, and the body of Christ edified; yea, it may, and hath often fallen out among us that divers meetings have passed without one word; and yet our souls have been greatly edified and refreshed, and our hearts wonderfully overcome with the secret sense of God's power and spirit."
William Penn (PrimitiveChristianity Revived, chap.X.): "As the Lord wrought effectually, by his divine grace in the hearts of this people, so he thereby brought them to a divine worship and ministry: Christ's words they came to experience, viz., that God was a Spirit, and that he would therefore be worshipped in the spirit, and in the truth, and that such worshippers the Father would seek to worship him? For, bowing to the convictions of the Spirit in themselves, in their daily course of living, by which they were brouglit to eschew that which was made manifest to them to be evil, and to do that which' was good, they, in their assembling together, sat down and waited for the preparation of {p. 306} his Holy Spirit, both to let them see their own states and conditions before the Lord, and to worship Him acceptably; and as they were sensible of wants, or shortness, or infirmities, so in the secret of their own hearts, prayer would spring to God, through Jesus Christ, to help, assist and supply: but they did not dare to 'awaken their beloved before his time,' or approach the throne of the King of Glory, till he held out his sceptre; or take thought what they should say, or after their own, or other men's studied words and forms; for this were to offer strange fire, &c." So that it is this people's principle, that fire must come from heaven, life and power from God, to enable the soul to pour out itself acceptably before him. And when a coal from His holy altar touches our lips, then can we pray and praise Him as we ought to do."
I. Penington (Works Vol. II. p. 249.): "What is the worship, or what are the sacrifices, which the true worshippers offer up to God in this holy place?--Answer.--the gifts of His Spirit. These they offer up, and nothing else. The breathings which the Father gives into the heart of the child, they are breathed back unto Him in the same spirit of life; in the living sense, in the quickening Power. Nothing of man's wisdom, nothing of man's invention, nothing accoroding to man s will, nothing that would please the flesh, or seem glorious in its eye, is offered up there; but the exhortations, or directions,or reproofs, that spring up in God's light, in God's wisdom, they are given forth in the leadings, and by the guidance of His Spirit, and they reach to the hearts of those to whom He pleased to direct them. And this is the ground of such meetings, and breakings, and convictions of soul, (and such like inward operations) as are frequently found in such assemblies. For the living God is there, and the dread of His power overspreads the hearts of such as are gathered into and assembled in His name; and the life springs in the earthen vessels, and the Saviour is precious to all that have their spiritual senses."

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