The Zeal of Thine House
April 15, 1824 — New Bedford MA
The zeal of thine house hath eaten thee up, where are the wise men, where are the Counsellors of Israel, are they on the house top or have they fled to the mountains, Call home my people saith the Lord, they have departed from my counsel, they have risen in judgment one against another. They have forsaken the living God, have hewn unto themselves broken cisterns that can hold no water. There has been a departure in those who stood as at the helm of government, Hard truth been at the held you would not now be in your present state of confusion you have gone forth in your own will to do the work of the Lord, you have run before your guide, you have called Lord Lord when you had no command — you have assumed the seat of Judgment in your own wills, you have suffered wrath and fierce contention to arise amongst you — you have poured out boiling water on the heads of the brethren, and called it the water of Life, My soul is bowed within me, and woe is me, if I deliver not this message. The voice of it to my mind is as children pouring boiling water upon one another’s heads, and each Dipping from the same fountain, For want to true Judgment my people lay slain on the right and the left and if you cease not to act in this spirit the people will be scattered till not one shall be left in this meeting of the name of a friend —
[She then went on to describe the State of the Meeting] and said you have looked at one another till your own image was reflected as in a vapour and the evil which is in yourselves, you have attributed to a brother; if we only rightly examine ourselves, what appears like a mountain in another, will be little more than a mole hill. The Door of mercy is still open and the language is this day come home come home, and you shall be favoured again to Drink of that living stream which will quench the spirit of contention within you until self is cast out. The pure principle of truth and love cannot reign.
It is self that strives to have the ascendency and wishes to be thought great, While the true followers of God is humble esteems himself as the last and as a servant. When man sees his heart as it really is, and this the light of truth will show him, he finds enough to do there without condemning a brother, if a man be wise he will be careful to have the beam removed out of his own eye before he attempts to cast the mote out of his brothers, for while he is in error himself he cannot point out the right way to another, Therefore I entreat you beloveds to take this home into the secret chamber of your hearts there will be room enough to apply it there — say not it belongs to a brother but each take it to themselves, of our blessed Lord it was said in his humiliation his judgment was taken away.
When all that is of the creature is humble, we feel no disposition to judge one another. What was the language of Jesus, when he was reviled persecuted and nailed to the cross, and this too by the high priest, and rulers of the people. Fathers forgive them, for they know not what they do, I believe, from present impressions that there are those within the sound of my voice whose hands hang down upon their loins whose mouths are bowed in Dust — who are willing to be counted as nothing amongst men, if they can but stand firm in their obedience to God. To those I may say, you must be numbered with the transgression; and condemned with thieves, you must bear reproach and the finger of scorn, and you may enter a state comparable to that of being entombed or as Dead, your usefulness amongst men may appear to be at an end. But the ministering angel will appear and the stone will be rolled from the mouth of the sepulchre, and you shall rise in glory and sit as at his right hand in the kingdom But it appears to me the numbers of these are very small, in the course of her testimony in the foregoing passage. The alluded to the death and burial of Jesus — his resurrection and glorification and draw a parallel between that, and the state she was then describing. I know something of you but from my feelings, I am a stranger in a strange land and I often have to feel that I am along and amongst a strange people. I feel sensible that I am rejected by some amongst you, and those too of high profession, but I am Delivered from his fear of man and in the love of God my heart salutes you all. I know that I love you and I know that I love God, and in that feeling I can rest unmoved. The frowns and scoffs of men their flattery or their praise, are all nothing to the soul that is united and centered in God, that depends upon him alone, But I intreat you beloveds for your own sakes not to despise the message this day delivered to you however weak the instrument, for those that despise the least Servant of God despise him, they that reject the message reject him that sent it. The truly wise are ever ready to be instructed, the least amongst as may be made useful we may learn wisdom from the mouth of a child, but the poor man who is unwilling to receive what is sent to him and who always gives to others what was designed for himself, must ever remain poor, and she again enforced the necessity of of taking care of our own selves and leaving others to take the same care of themselves.
The Disciple asked his master, What shall this man do, Jesus said unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come what is that to thee. Follow thou me. If the master will that one servant tarry while he command another to go forward, what is that to us, we have only to attend to the command given to ourselves, the reproof given by Jesus I that day, is equally applicable now. There are amongst you those who have deaprted from the principle of truth till it has become almost extinct within them, these are endeavouring to bring all to one standard and condemning those who do not walk in the way that they point out, but those will never bring one soul to God, while they themselves continue in this Dark State, those must return to the pure principle of truth. They must enter the valley of humiliation, self must be abased eve they can be accepted themselves, or be usefull to others, every crown must be cast down, every creaturely feeling must be laid low and in that state of humiliation the Divinity will arise and every aspiration of the soul will be, in the language of the heart not my will but thine be done.
[She then described] in beautiful terms the love of God, and the love of the brethren attendant upon this state and described this unity to be a cement that nothing could break or destroy, all who act up to this light and knowledge they profess are accepted of God. We may see things differently, and yet be united in the love of God we may not approve of all that a brother does, yet we may extend to him the arms of affection, though we may not have fellowship will all his ways we cannot judge him or condemn him — the soul that is filled with the love of God, cannot place a brother at a distance nor feel the language; [?} me by thou reprobate, those who dwell in this pure love, cease from acting or desiring — those rest in peace — these when revised revile not again. When smitten on one cheek they will turn the other, like the great pattern of perfect obedience, they are dumb before their abusers. I view a small number of those who stand between the two extremes — who have not turned to the right hand or to the left — and the language of these is: Spare thy people O Lord, and give not tine heritage to reproach These she exhorted to keep their eyes single, to keep humble — any by this Shall ye know if ye are true disciples; if ye have love toward another, And now my mind feels relieved, and I can take my farewell and final leave of you, which I now do, recommending above all things, the love of God, and to be conformed to his will. Farewell beloved Friends, I salute you in that love which knows no distinction of persons. Even the Love of God.
Source: William L. Clement Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI