Imatges de pÓgina
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AFFECTIONATE ADDRESS

TO THE

SOCIETY OF FRIENDS

IN

GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND.

BY A MEMBER.

LONDON:

PUBLISHED BY DARTON AND HARVEY,
55, GRACECHURCH STREET.

MDCCCXXXIV.

C 8348.40

HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY FROM THE

ANDREW FRESTON FEABODY

FUND

Fehmary 3,

3.1942

LONDON:

JOSEPH RICKERBY, PRINTER, SHERBOURN LANE.

AN

AFFECTIONATE ADDRESS,

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To become a fool in order to be wise is no small attainment yet it is one essentially needful for every true Christian. His experience teaches him that he must be willing to be reputed such, for the sake of Him who hath loved us, and shed his precious blood for us ;-for the sake of Him in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; and who dispenseth them to his children severally as he will; enduing them with patience to possess their souls, when a scarcity of spiritual food, or even a seeming entire deprivation of it is experienced. But whether they want or whether they abound, there is equal need to attend to the injunction, "What I say unto you I say unto all, Watch;" lest the enemy should prevail on them to take up a rest short of the true rest, to substitute head-knowledge for heartknowledge; or, which is the same, darkness for light; and this darkness the more impenetrable, because it is mistaken for light. "If," said our blessed Lord," the light within thee be darkness, how great is that dark

ness.

The writer, who feels that he is one of the weakest of

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the flock, is induced to make these remarks, from a sincere desire that himself and every individual member of the body may keep in mind, that those who do the will of our Lord are they that shall know of his doctrine; and that those who abide with Him in his temptations, are they to whom the kingdom is appointed. Blessed results of simple child-like obedience! the which, may none who have tasted of his goodness miss of obtaining, through trusting in man, and making flesh their arm; and thus becoming like the heath in the desert that seeth not when good cometh ; but may our individual experience attest, that "Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is; for he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river; and shall not see when heat cometh; but her leaf shall be green: and shall not be careful in the year of drought; neither shall cease from yielding fruit." In this state of greenness, the humble conviction is sealed, that "the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked." "Who," saith the prophet, "can know it?" and, under a deep sense of our helplessness without a Saviour, often will earnest prayer for deliverance from its corruptions, ascend as incense to the throne of Him who hath declared, “I the Lord search the heart; I try the reins."

If ever there were a day when deep travail for the welfare of our Zion was called for from her mourners, this appears to be eminently such a day; for have we not, in great measure as a body, left our first love? and is there not reason to fear that a day of deep proving may be hastening upon us; a day that shall be “darkness and not light; even very dark, and no brightness in it?" Well, dear friends, who amongst us shall stand when the anger of the Lord is poured out, and the rocks

are thrown down by Him? surely those only who can say, "The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble:" for to such it is given to believe, that "he knoweth them that trust in him." It is my earnest desire that all within our borders may be induced to ponder this subject: to try themselves in the balance of the sanctuary, whether they be in the faith; and whether, through its precious influence, they are receiving supplies of wisdom and knowledge from the great fountainhead, Jesus Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God; or whether they are confiding in their natural powers, or in past experiences, or openings treasured up in the natural understanding: thus hewing out for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no living water. Oh! that none may endeavour to open the book of heavenly wisdom by means of any key, except the key of David; with which, in his own time, our blessed Redeemer will assuredly furnish us, if under and through all the baptizing operations of his holy hand we shall have faithfully maintained the watch. To this key of David, I feel a concern to invite the attention of my fellow-professors in this day of outward ease: earnestly desiring that He who hath this key, "He that shutteth and no man openeth, and openeth and no man shutteth," may be graciously pleased to give us to see that our whole dependance must be upon Him thus revealed; and that without this key no access can be had to the riches of his house, no not for an hour, whatever our past experience may have been. The inspired description of the state of one of the seven churches may afford a salutary warning in this respect. It would seem that in her own apprehension she abounded in the fruits of the Spirit :-she had borne, and had patience: and for Christ's sake had laboured; and had not fainted :

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