July 21, 1831 — Friends’ meeting, Darby PA
What shall I do unto thee? O Ephraim,; O Judah, what shall I do unto thee, for your goodness is as the morning cloud and as the early dew that passes away.” Therefore get thee into thy tent, and dwell in it, lest that which has been so abundantly handed forth shall be entirely withdrawn.” This language was sounded in my ears soon after I took my seat among you. “What shall I do unto thee, O, Ephraim; what shall I do unto thee, O Judah; for I hear your goodness is as the morning cloud and the early dew, that passes away.” I was willing to take it to myself, conceal it in my own breast and improve upon it. but finding it is not for me alone, I fee a woe if I warn not this people, and take not warning myself. Therefore, my beloved friends, let us gather home; let us dwell in our tent, and that is God. And there is no other tent in which the mind of man can safely dwell. And I believe there never was a day nor a time when there was more need of this people to dwell in their tents — for here our safety assuredly lies. For I believe, from awful impressions as I pass through the land, there are more storms arising, greater than have yet been witnessed by this people. And those who are not founded in God, whose souls are not anchored in perfect love, will be wiped away, and carried wholly into the vortex of confusion. For behold there cometh storms and tempests and a deluge of blood. And I do not find that I have much more to say unto you, than to warn you to gather home to your God — for nothing else will screen you from danger, and no other arm can protect you.
Do I not hear, in my spiritual ear — I have long heard it — the alarm of war, the loud roar of cannon, the clashing swords, and horsemen rushing to battle? And I believe that this day is nigher at hand than many are aware of; a day of treading down, and a day of bloodshed; And it will be “see that every battle of the warrior is with confused noise and garments rolled in blood.” But this shall be a day, like the day of the Lor, “that cometh with burning and fuel of fire,” that it may consume all the sin and transgression of the heart, purify the soul, and bring it unto God. I can tell you, beloveds, and I do tell you in awful fear, that I have long seen, sons wrestling in bonds, and their bands will burst, and they will leap as tigers, from their dens, and then, wo, wo, to the inhabitants of North America. Thus I feel engaged to warn all that are now present, and to invite you, to come home and centre in Him that is perfect love. And there is no other weapon that will defend you but perfect love, and you will find this to be a rock of safety; and although the deluge of blood may come, yet this will bear your souls above all. For God will preserve his children who depend upon him, and who have no other arm or place of refuge; these he will marvellously protect and hold them in the hollow of his holy hand. And all who de experience this day of the Lord, do find the truth of this, that it comes with “burning and fuel of fire,” and will consume all that is comparable to wood, hay or stubble; it will burn up all vain notions. And thus it is that righteousness will come unto us, and the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings, as was declared by the mouth of one of the prophets; “Behold the day cometh saith the Lord, that shall burn as an oven, and all that are proud, and all that do wickedly, shall be as stubble, and the fire of the Lord shall utterly consume them; but unto them that fear my name, shall the Sun of righteousness arise, with healing in his wings.” Now this is the reward of the righteous, and those have nothing to fear. But the sinner and transgressor must perish, fearfulness shall surprise the hypocrite, and sinners will be made afraid. This language was used formerly, and it may be used in the present day, — and the time is near at hand when it will be applicable; for “the sinners in Zion will be made afraid, fearfulness [shall] surprise the hypocrite.” Now, “who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings; who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? he that worketh righteousness, and speaketh sprightly; he that despises the gains of oppression; that shutteth his hands from the holding of bribes; that stoppeth his ears from the hearing of blood; and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil — his place of defence shall be the munition of rocks _ his bread shall be given him, his water shall be sure.”
Here the righteous can dwell in safety, and be at peace with God. And blessed are they who receive him in the way of his coming, and who endure this day that consumes all that his holy will hath a controversy with; blessed are those who can, in sincerity of heart, adopt the language of Jesus Christ, “Not will my will but thine, O God, be done.” For in this blessed state, where the mind comes to dwell in perfect love, all fear is cast out, and where there is no fear there is no torment, said one of the Apostles, — and if our souls dwell in this perfect love, we have nothing to fear; for it is this that triumphs over death, hell, and the grave. It is this that makes us perfect, even as our Father who is in heaven is perfect; and though many may think this is an impossibility — and say it is impossible for man to become as perfect as God — yet there is nothing required of us but what we have ability give us to perform, and this is a divine commandment, an injunction of Jesus Christ, “be ye therefore perfect even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect.” And how ae we to come to this. The only way that we can come to it, is to live in perfect obedience to his Divine will. And as we come to dwell in God, and God in us, we shall dwell in perfection, just so far, as we live in obedience to the Father’s will; and every rational soul may come and dwell in the love of God; all have power to receive his kind offers. He is a God nigh at hand — he is Omnipresent, and all who come unto him, and enlightened to walk in the paths of peace and perfection. But if we remain in darkness and ignorance, the fault is our own — for man was not designed to dwell in darkness he was made to inherit the bright regions of eternal day, to come forth in light, and to be alive in the eternal Word. Therefore if man remains in darkness it is his own fault, and the reason is, because he transgresses the Divine law, he will not hearken to the call of God, nor open to the beloved of souls, while he stands inviting all, wooing all, calling all, — saying unto them “open unto me.” Now here is the express invitation of his eternal love. “Behold I stand at the door and knock, if any many will her my voice and open until me, I will come in and sup with him, and he with me.”
Source: Friends’ Intelligencer, July 19, 1862, Vol. XIX, No. 19, pp. 290-291.