Memorials to Those We Love Online… My Twitter Quest

Masonic Memorial Friend to Friend

Love Has No Bounds…Friend to Friend Masonic Memorial

I started this quest on twitter to contact my old friends there, because I found two who had passed away over two years ago. I hadn’t known they passed away, because, I do not like to bother people who have unfollowed me, or who suddenly stop retweeting, or mentioning me, because I do not want them to feel threatened, put upon, or otherwise bothered by me, if I have done something to offend them or something…

After finding two that I had been quite close to, that had died, and I hadn’t known, because I didn’t want to be a bother…It broke my heart, that they may have died, thinking I did not care, or that I did not think of them, and remember the many times we had talked. It broke my heart, they may have passed, not knowing, I appreciated the short time I had gotten to know them, even though I had never met them in person, heard their voice, or seen their face. Still yet, I had gotten to know their hearts, and perhaps even more so, since I had never met them in any other context than their thoughts, and heart felt words..

It’s amazing, how close we can get to people who touch our hearts online, with their words, thoughts, and comments, made 140 characters at a time. I have found much grief, since I started this quest, a number of others have passed away. I find memorials on their twitter timelines, from their families, speaking about how those who died, had, had cancer, or some other disease that my twitter friends never spoke of, you never heard them complain, or speak of their conditions. They had gotten into twitter, and / or facebook because it helped take their minds off their pain, or sickness, talking to others, and socializing online, when they were too sick, or in too much pain, to get out among the public and mingle…I cannot bring myself to unfollow their inactive accounts. It somehow seems sacred, and a tribute to their having been. There is @STXherry whose account has been deleted, @14Kathi, @JimmyMcIver, @marknelza, @MsJeffDesigns, @PolarCoug, Bossy Monica aka @MrsDarcy119

Another who I did not know personally was pointed out to me by BOSSY Erin Cruz aka @WAGNERGIRLE is Jeff Hedgpeth aka @AlinskyDefeater God bless & Jesus keep him and his family also always…

Who knows how many others I haven’t reached yet. I will always follow them with my account, just as I will follow them some day, in death…God bless and Jesus keep them, and their families always… For the memories of those mentioned here see the end of this piece…

I know this, because I suffer from chronic back pain, from it being broken when I was a teenager, and me not finding out until I was in my 30’s, after it had so messed up the nerves in my spine. So that it was even painful, to be touched physically by others in any way. I was virtually unable to do anything, other than stand for short periods, sit for a little longer, or lay down flat on my back most of the time. It has gotten much better, since I started trusting only, and completely in the Lord to help me with it, and depending on Him to heal me of it.

I haven’t been completely healed, but it has become much more bearable, and I am able to get a decent nights sleep now. I don’t speak of it online, most do not know of this, none know how bad it is, or how bad it has been. I, like others, I have known, do not like to complain, we’d rather think of others, and try to help them with their pain, sickness, etc. They, like I, do not want sympathy, they want to be treated like everyone else, they want to love, laugh, and enjoy the life they have left. They do not want to waste it, thanking people for their sympathy, etc. They want to enjoy it, by thanking people for their friendship, the good times they enjoy, the conversations that make them, think not of themselves, but of others, and the enjoyments of life, the Lord, and His creation..

Perhaps, now, as I speak of this, I am now learning another reason, the Lord has allowed me to suffer in this condition I have dealt with most of my life, so that I could now write of it, and help others understand, what I understand, about others in my place, or their loved ones, who enjoy the time they have online with friends, friends who they have never seen, never heard their voice, nor ever seen their face, yet greater still, they have felt their hearts, touched their souls, and understood their spirits, as most people never get the chance too. This is what God gives to those, whose suffering, takes their minds elsewhere, instead of dwelling on themselves….

I am also, now able to help my dad, which means more to me than I can put into words, I love and respect my dad more than anyone else in this world. I really hadn’t expected a lot, or asked for a lot from the Lord, as far as helping me, just that I am able to bless, and help others. At least until I got married, and now, it is still more for her, than for me. She deserves nice things, and I need to be able to provide them, and to take care of her, my son, and the children. and grandchildren she brought with her into our marriage.

The Lord is good, He has helped me greatly since we got married. and I am able to do a lot more than I used to be able too. My faith is great, his work is greater, and I will get ever better with God’s grace and help.

I have shed many tears, and dealt with much grief for others, since beginning this quest, and perhaps this piece I am writing now, is where the Lord wanted it to take me. I know He guides each of my steps, my heart is His, and His love dwells there. I do not always let that love out, because far too many times still, I let myself get in the way, and fail to let Him flow through me.

I hope this gives some comfort to the many families, and people who have had to deal with the grief of losing their family members to some disease, or a sudden death, who have left a memorial to their loved ones on Facebook, Twitter, or some other social media site. Know that your family members experienced much more than you know, with their adventures online, socializing with others. Your loved ones were touched to their very core by the friends they made here, and those friendships, helped them greatly to face what they dealt with, that took them away from us, far too early, but made their time here much more pleasant and bearable, as they made their way over the horizon, that we someday will also find in the distance… They were touched, and they touched many others, their work here was complete..Know they enjoyed it greatly…

God bless and Jesus keep you and yours always, and know you are always thought of, and remembered with each breath we take….

Those mentioned before in our twitter family who have left the scene before us…We loved them all dearly and know we will meet them again, when once we follow our Savior home, as they also did…

STXherry
First STXherry, Sherry from Tx who we all grew to love…How poignant one of the tweets came from, and another mentions one of the others I named above…Jimmy McIver; who as I said, was not thinking of his own condition, his only thought was of Sherry’s…
JMcIverSTXherry

STXherryMcIver2

Sherry’s last tweet said much the same as many of us on twitter use, it wasn’t a goodbye, it was simple, often we know not when we will return to get back to people who mention us, we simply know that sometime we will. Her last tweet was such….

Stxherry-2013-03-24-at-2-05-45-am

 

14Kathi
Next we have #14Kathi a transplant to Ft Smith Arkansas from California, having family there and elsewhere in Ark. where my dad was born and raised I got to know Kathi and her younger sister @OttoDeb i.e. Deborah well.

Kathi’s last tweet was a Retweet of Jonah Goldberg’s Column 14 Mar 2014The Millennials get what they asked for.”

jimmy-mciver
Next there is Jimmy McIver, all I can say is… one of the best…A note from his granddaughters and another picture:
JimmyMcIver

JimmyMcIverGdaughtersLastTweet

Next we have Mark Nel from South Africa; his loving wife put a touching memorial and tribute to him here…

Then we have Ms. Jeff who always got a kick out of surprising those on twitter with her name..
MsJeff
Her son informed us on Jan, 14th of her passing on Jan. 4th 2014

“This is Ms. Jeff’s Son Justin, sorry to say my Mom Passed away January 4th. She went in peace and the family was there with her. I know my Mom loved her Twitter family, so I thought I would let you know she passed.” Her last tweet was posted June 16, 2013 it was typical of our good friends on twitter….”Happy Father’s Day to all my twitter Family Fathers. I hope your day was awesome. Good night hugs and Blessings to all. Sweet dreams.

Last but not least we have PolarCoug

PolarCoug

Who proclaims in his profile “I’m a cool conservative penguin. If you’re looking for a liberal penguin go find another iceberg.”

The last tweet on his account comes from his daughter who set up a gofundme account Dec 28, 2014 for donations to help with funeral costs….She explains there: “On Christmas Eve morning, PolarCoug was gloriously and joyously reunited with his mother and father, and was welcomed into Paradise with the embrace of our Savior. His passing was sudden and unexpected. And while our hearts are breaking, we also take comfort in knowing that he is finally free from the debilitating pain he had been experiencing for the past 7 years. While we will miss him terribly, I look forward to the day when our family is once again together – families are forever.

Due to his unexpected passing, we were financially unprepared for the costs associated with funeral arrangements. We are seeking donations to help cover these costs. Any assistance would be forever appreciated.”

Then we have Bossy Monica She added Bossy in front of her name as many of our friends did after some leftist so-called feminist complained about men calling female bosses “Bossy” Thereby making fun of those “feminists” in America who have nothing better to do than complain about things that matter little when all things are counted and life is done…God bless & Jesus keep her and her family always. Her family put a very poignant obituary and tribute to her and her twitter followers here…

So many good ones, we know such a short time, who make such a great impact on our lives. To be remembered is a thing I think we all desire in the end…that is what matters…

As I said I did not know Jeff Hedgpeth personally so I cannot say anything about him as a person..perhaps some of you who did could send me some comments I could make a compilation of to add here to his memory…

If I find anymore of our twitter friends and family gone on before us while I am on this quest….I will add them as I find them….

 

Copyright © 2015 TeaPartyEdu http://teapartyedu.net Foundation Truths http://captainjamesdavis.net The Patriot Brotherhood @CaptainJDavis

Lessons on Listening to the Lord, and Divine Appointments, or Providence

good-shepherd

DIVINE APPOINTMENTS.

“For He performeth the thing that is appointed for me.”—Job xxii. 14.

‘But He is in one mind, and who can turn Him ? and what His soul desireth, even that He doeth.” Job, in these words, declares the unchangeableness, all-sufficiency, and sovereignty of the Ruler of the universe; then, in the next verse, confirms this doctrine by his own experience: “For He performeth the thing that is appointed for me.” The experience of the people of God affords much evidence of the truth of Scripture doctrine, and ought to be noticed for this purpose. The Divine perfections were set forth in the experience of Job, hence the importance of making ourselves familiar with it, as left on record in the Scriptures. ~ [Note from me: This is a quote from “The Evangelical Register: A Magazine for Promoting the Spread of the Gospel” Published January 1838; I found when I did a cursory search of google books for Divine Appointments, just to add what someone else had said about them, who was most likely smarter than I…]

I shared this on Facebook two days ago, 5/21/2015. [Editorial notes in brackets]

Just a little note on how wonderful the Lord is, I was telling a longtime friend and others on his Facebook timeline yesterday about how I trust in the Lord Jesus to guide me in all things. I ask when I pray that Jesus guide my thoughts, my words, my steps, everything. I then believe that He will, and does do, exactly that. Belief IS a Very Big part of it, I then go happily about my business, etc. everyday, never doubting that He does exactly that, I do not worry, I take it as it comes, and do not fret. He gives me the unction to go, do, and say, whatever it is, I need to do in everything. Another BIG Part is, I do my best to do what I know is right, and I constantly question myself, and sometimes Him, as to whether I am doing, what is pleasing to Him. I usually know, or He always lets me know, in my heart and spirit, what is right, and what He would have me do, that is pleasing to Him, because as I have told many of those close to me, that is TRULY, my one, and only desire, to please the Lord Jesus Christ, and God His Father…

Anyway, to get back to what happened earlier, I and one of my buddies I’ve known since kindergarten, were going over to my step-daughter​’s apartment, to check out a problem she was having with her car, so we could fix it…to make a long story short…I had told her last week, I would replace something of hers I threw away, and, I had also been on the look out, and had told my mom to be on the look out for a bed. for Amy’s oldest son who is 5 or 6. I stopped at wally world to get what I was replacing, and instead of going to the checkout line I was 1st going to, I went a couple of registers down, just cause I got that feeling too, i.e. that still small voice that I do my best to listen to. For the 1st time the lady who was the checker, asked me if I wanted to donate to the Children’s Miracle Network, instead of just hitting the keys to skip through that part of the checkout process, as most of the other checkers do. It just so happened, I figured Amy, was using the foam I threw away for her oldest son to sleep on, and since I was replacing it. And I must say, I normally would NEVER be so talkative, and chatty, as I was with this lady, as I hardly ever talk much, especially with people I do not know. I’ll sit here, and type a lot and say a lot of things, but I only do so, because, I feel I have something important to share. I am NEVER one for Small Talk, I only speak, as I said, when I have something important to say…

When the checkout lady asked me if I wanted  to donate. I put my hand on top of the box, the foam was in, and told her “not today, I am already donating to a child with this.” I then went on, to tell her the whole story, and the circumstance, behind me throwing away the old foam, etc., and how I was looking for a bed for Dominic, the oldest son, as I had just gotten a mattress, to go with the youngest sons bed, she [the checker] asked me “How old is this child” I told her how old he is, she asked me if he could sleep on a twin bed, I told her sure. She then told me she had a twin bed, she would give to me for free, almost new, complete and even more it is a Captain’s bed they paid $2400.00 for..if you do not know a Captain’s bed is one of those pedestal beds with drawers in the pedestal so it also gives you a place to put the child’s clothes…On top of all this the woman lives in the same town as Amy and the woman gave me her number and told me all I had to do was call and come pick it up, no charge, no fuss, no muss…

The Bed

The Bed

This is what the Lord does, He is wonderful, His loving kindness never fails and He is forever mindful of His children…My mind is also always on Him…All you have to do is obey, trust and believe. However, you have to TRULY be sincere, and as the Bible says, He measures your heart, so He knows whether you are for real, or whether it is just games, to game Him.

One of my favorite scriptures is “Bless the Lord O’ my soul and ALL That Is Within me, Bless His Holy Name”….Amen

My step-daughter replied “I thought you were joking. Omg! So excited now! He’s gonna light up like a Christmas tree. Allow me to thank her.” In response to this, I replied; “I will tell her you want to thank her, and give her your number when we pick it up, she said she is normally at work, so it might be a day or two, and I also need to get with dad, or someone who has a truck big enough for it to fit in..

My longtime friend who I had tagged in my first post when I had mentioned about me posting on his timeline replied to me; “Pro. 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” I then replied to him; “Amen Bro [name withheld] Bless His Holy Name!”

This friend was from my church growing up and we always call each other brother and sister when we address each other, even the pastor or other ministers, they are simply “Brother” and then their name. No titles, no idol worship, none of the sort of thing that places one above another. We have but one who is above us, that is Christ, and the one above Him is God His Father. For it is written; Man is the head of Woman, Christ is the head of Man, and God is the head of Christ. One man is not above another man, their is only one above each man, that one being the King of kings.

My step-daughter then said; “I’ve been wanting one of those beds exactly! That’s so crazy. I’ve looked at a few online but knew I’d have to settle for something else. They’re also called trundle beds. I can’t believe he’s getting one!” In response I said; “Yes, he is getting one, see what I, and your mother have been trying to make you understand? The Lord IS, Truly wonderful, and ever mindful of us, all we have to do is trust and believe, however, sometimes, He expects us to be obedient too. I can Never, leave that part out, because I do not want anyone, to think they can do whatever they want, and the Lord will continue to bless them. He is long suffering, but He will eventually, ask something of us, he does this through our hearts and conscience.” She responded to this by saying; “I follow my heart always but am just a sinner as u. Thank you so much Rob. Can we get it today!!!! Lol. Jk. I’ll try to figure something out.” My response then was; “Yes, we are ALL sinners, I believe that is one of the ways we grow to trust God, because we HAVE to turn to Him for forgiveness. The wisdom of the Lord is amazing, and there is a great reason for EVERYTHING He does, everything He commands, and in all of the things He set up when He created the world, mother nature, and the way things are, including the way He set it up for us to be saved. It truly IS amazing, the wisdom of the Lord, and we only understand a minute particle of it, His wisdom is ALSO spread among those who seek it. He never gives anyone a complete understanding, except maybe Jesus. In this way, He makes it so that we need each other, He gives each of us who seek Him, something that is special to them, in this way we will learn from each other, and grow to depend on each other. He did this also, when He began, what we now call civilization. God’s wisdom is astounding, and greater than any of us will ever understand, until we are with Him, and He reveals all. He truly is amazing…”

My step-daughter then replied; ” I can’t believe it happened that way. My mom knew I wanted one of those. You don’t know how unbelievable that is to me.” In response to this, I responded thus; “Ahh, what’s so hard to believe?, to tell you a little more. I had no idea you wanted that kind of bed for him, and as I said, and you probably know since you lived with us for a while. I never talk small talk, I almost never talk at all, unless it is something that is bothering me, or that I feel I need to say. You can believe it, because that is exactly the way it happened, and you should know by now, that I also would never knowingly lie… The Lord is just that way, He will guide us in all things, if we put our complete trust and faith in Him..” She responded by saying; “Well he obviously knows my children are my first priority. Very thankful.” I then said to her; “Any of us who are worth our salt, our children are always our first priority. It is the same with the Lord, this is also something I tried to make you understand last weekend, when you were at our house. You ARE special to Him, more special than others ,or the one we were speaking of, because YOU ARE HIS CHILD! You have been since your birth, reminds me of a song Mark Leniger used to sing that I have always loved….”When He was on the Cross….I was on His mind” I then went on to say, “You,  were On His Mind….aww now I am tearing up….when I think of the goodness of the Lord, it always brings tears to my eyes and stains my cheeks..now I am unable to think or speak…His goodness overwhelms me…

She responded by saying; “Well u know I believe he loves us all the same but if you’re right I’d kindly ask him to.” I then said to her; “He does love us all….He just loves his children more….even the Bible talks about how the sons of God married the daughters of men…..not all of us are children of God, we all have the capacity to be the children of God, some however choose not to be, and choose to be of the world. We are to separate ourselves from the world….” I then added, “BTW, you do not have that choice, You will always be His ,because of the way you are rooted and grounded in Him, you would have to do something extremely egregious, for Him to discard you or let you go….”

I then commented to it all and said: “Oh how I love the Lord and oh how wonderful He is if we only let Him….” I then added; “So very often we fail to receive something wonderful just because we didn’t put our complete trust and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ….”

I then wrote the following today, 5/23/2015, after another Divine Encounter, or as another author has written a “God Winks”, also known as miracles, and I know as following the voice of the Lord…

Follow up on how wonderful the Lord is…

First off a little about me…I believe the Lord leads me in all things, everything I think, do, say, every situation I am in there is a reason for it. He talks to me through others, as well as myself…There’s also a reason for every season, and as the Bible says a season for all things…

I’ve told the Lord many times, “I want His thoughts to be my thoughts, my words to be His words, my feelings to be His feelings, my actions to be His actions, my work to be His work, I want to see things as He sees them, I want my emotions to be His emotions, everything of Him, I want nothing of me and all of me to be one with Him.”

When I grew up in church, emphasis was put on the spiritual things, following the Spirit, watching the Spirit, etc. Worshiping the Creator, and Not the Creation, as the Bible tells us to. However, I think, far too many people, and ministers get so caught up in the Spiritual, and denying the Natural, they fail to see the correlation between the Natural, and the Spiritual, or the Terrestrial and Celestial…

God, who is all wise, created all things, and since man sees with the Natural eye, as well as the Spiritual eye. God put us in the Natural World, to help us learn of the Spiritual World. This is how the Founders, [i.e. Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Quincy, Morse, etc.] or Founding Fathers, as they are called, understood things about God, most people today do not see. They understood the divine laws, because they understood the natural laws. They learned of God through nature, through observation of what the natural world contained, and what took place in the natural world. Our whole existence in this life, is about learning…

This is one of the reasons, I say, there was more of God’s wisdom contained in that group of men, than any group of men before or after them, who have ever been in government. They had very uncommon, common sense, and they knew how to understand the way God works, through their observations of nature this was because of their knowledge of nature and their dependence on the Lord Jesus Christ, their understanding of scripture, which they had only had access to for a couple of centuries, during what was called the enlightenment, after many, many more centuries of the Dark Ages..

This is the reason Thomas Jefferson said; “The evidence of this natural right, like that of our right to life, liberty, the use of our faculties, the pursuit of happiness, is not left to the feeble and sophistical investigations of reason, but is impressed on the sense of every man. We do not claim these [Rights] under the charters of kings or legislators, but under the King of kings [Jesus Christ]. If he has made it a law in the nature of man to pursue his own happiness, he has left him free in the choice of place as well as mode; and we may safely call on the whole body of English jurists [lawyers] to produce the map on which Nature has traced, for each individual, the geographical line which she forbids him to cross in pursuit of happiness. It certainly does not exist in his mind. Where, then, is it? I believe, too, I might safely affirm, that there is not another nation, civilized or savage, which has ever denied this natural right. I doubt if there is another which refuses its exercise. I know it is allowed in some of the most respectable countries of continental Europe, nor have I ever heard of one in which it was not. How it is among our savage neighbors, who have no law but that of Nature, we all know. Though long estranged from legal reading and reasoning, and little familiar with the decisions of particular judges, I have considered that respecting the obligation of the common law in this country as a very plain one, and merely a question of document. If we are under that law, the document which made us so can surely be produced; and as far as this can be produced, so far we are subject to it, and farther we are not.”

This was all part of God’s plan, the US of A was, and is, all part of God’s plan, where He began it as a Christian Nation, based on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the Word of God. He then brought people from every nation to make up that coat of Joseph’s, the coat of many colors, that is another story in itself. (Just said it to plant another seed) There is a reason the Lord has so greatly blessed America.

Many more people see only with the Natural eye, than people who see with the Spiritual eye, and far fewer see with both the Natural, and the Spiritual eye to have a much greater understanding of God the Father, Christ Jesus the Son, and the ways of God. I believe there are no coincidences in ANYTHING!

Everything that happens, every situation, absolutely everything, there is a reason for it, especially if you are trying to serve, listen, and do what the Lord would have you do, with all that is within you, and love the Lord with all your heart, mind and strength. Whether it be the Lord speaking to you about something, teaching you something, helping you with something, giving you something to share with others (as I am doing here) or perhaps there are many reasons for any given situation, happening, etc.

Perhaps the Lord is even trying to work on your patience, or your spirit, i.e. if you have anger issues, He may give you a friend that brings out that anger, so that you have to try to work on it, because of your love for your friend, it could even be a family member, someone in church, anyone, or any circumstance. I just use anger issues as an example, because it could literally be, ANYTHING the Lord is trying to teach you, get through to you, give to you, etc., etc., etc. It is up to each individual to listen, learn, and do their best to listen to what the Spirit is trying to tell them, the Lord is trying to work out in them, or work out through them.

The possibilities are endless, and innumerable, just as the Lord is, just as He makes the possibilities in us, and for us, they are endless, innumerable and immeasurable. Just as His loving kindness, care, His help, the miracles He can perform, the deeds He can be in, He is TRULY immeasurable. That’s why it is all about trust, obedience and faith.

My mother used to tell me something that happened to me, that I felt was the Lord, or even that I wondered to her about….she’d say, “oh that’s just coincidence.” I learned when I finally started listening to, and understanding the Lord, as He talked to me, and worked on, or through me, there ARE NO Coincidences, at least, not in my life. I have shown her how the Lord works through me so many times, she does not tell me it’s coincidence any more…

There is a reason, for everything that has ever happened to me, even if I cannot see it at the time, or even if I never see it while I am here, there is absolutely a reason for everything. Even the bad things that have happened to me throughout my life, have gone into the making of who I am right now, and who I am as a person.

The fact I grew up in the country, i.e. away from any town, which I didn’t like as a teenager, cause I wanted to be where things were happening. The Lord Jesus Christ was in it, and knew what He was doing. Now, I am so very thankful I grew up in the country, because I learned so much more, than others I know, who didn’t. I learned to appreciate nature, everything in the natural world, that teaches me, so much more about the spiritual world, than those who do not grow up with an appreciation of all things God created.

Who knows, I may be one of a kind, I do not know, because I have always had an affection for God’s creatures, as well as His creation. To be honest I have a hard time killing anything, I have gotten much better about that as I have gotten older, but for awhile, I would even have a hard time killing a fly, or some pesty bug. I believe the Lord caused this, so I would have an appreciation for all life, no matter what it was. [As a side note, it kills me, even when I hit sparrows that fly in front of my vehicle. This happened a few times in quick succession when I was driving to town a number of years ago, I still haven’t figured out if the Lord was telling me it is okay to kill in certain instances, for food for instance, or whether He was telling me to slow down my driving, or perhaps He was telling me at the time, how much more important to Him, I was, and am, than the sparrow, because His Holy scriptures talk about how much He cares for the sparrow. Perhaps it is all three, then again, I remember I was having a hard time then with a few things, so it may be the latter, which as I tell about it here it seems the voice of  the Lord is telling me is true.]

I must say, with the way some humans are / were I have experienced, I will admit it took me much longer, to care about humanity, than it did for me to care about the animal kingdom, just to be honest. The Lord has worked on me about humanity, probably longer than anything, and the ways in which He has accomplished that, are vast, and innumerable.

Now I am telling you all this, just to give you some insight, into how vast the workings of God, and the Lord Jesus Christ are. They are absolutely, in everything, and in every situation, they know how to talk to each individual, in ways that individual can understand, if that individual will just listen.

As I have said before it is His Story, it isn’t just History, all the world{s} all of time, all of everything, it is His Story, and we are all a part of it. He cares about us all…

His love for us is immeasurable, the pleasure He takes from our love, from our lives is immeasurable, why do you think, God sent the first of His Creation, to dwell among us, and to show us how to live, how to trust, how to have faith, how to forgive, how to do everything. Jesus was with God from the beginning, He is the Wisdom it speaks about in Proverbs 8, Jesus is the angel of the Lord in the Old Testament, Jesus is the Lord, David speaks of when he said “the Lord said unto MY Lord” Jesus was, and is, David’s Lord. This is the reason Jesus told the Jews they had read about Him their whole lives, and yet they didn’t know Him.

What a tragedy for them, and what a wonderful gift for the rest of us, Again showing, just how God cares for all of us, and how the love of Christ Jesus was so immeasurable, that He willingly came to dwell among us, and willingly drank the cup that put all the sins of the world on His shoulders, and that He suffered such shame for, that it caused Him to say…..”My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”

He, Jesus who had never suffered, the shame of sin Himself, in all of His existence, not until that time on the cross, and in His death, He suffered all the shame that each of us has caused ourselves, and others, including Him. Yet He loved us so much that He also said…”Father Forgive them, for the know not what they do”

Jesus had seen humanity, He had experienced it, as God Himself never could, because God is God and He will always be omnipotent. He is life and in Him there can be no death. This is the reason God in His love, sent Jesus His only Son, to dwell among us, and to live, even as we live, to have to overcome the Adamic nature, i.e. the nature of man, so that He, could not only intercede for us with the Father, but also, so He could learn what it was like, show it could be done, that we could live without sin, and how to help each of us through every situation, all of our weaknesses, all of our trials, all of our temptations, through everything,

He learned about humanity by suffering EVERYTHING Humanity suffers. And it was through His suffering, that in God’s Word it says, that He learned obedience, through the things He suffered. So even Jesus was given the ability to be disobedient, so that He could learn how to succor us, and to be patient and long suffering with us even in our disobedience. You can see this, by the difference between the Old Testament and the New, just in how much Mercy, God has shown to humanity since Jesus came, and gave His life so that we may live.

God in His wisdom did all of this, and it was all for a reason, and you know what that reason was, and is? It is simple really, it is because of His love, for each and every one of us.

Jesus said it Himself, when they asked Him what the Greatest commandment was, and He told them, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

I will tell you of the wisdom of the Founding Fathers, it is shown in the foundation documents of America. Just as God put things in the order of importance in His commandments. So too did He cause men to put things in order of importance in our foundation documents, these are part of the Foundation Truths I share on my website here…http://captainjamesdavis.net]

And again in the Word it is written “For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have ever lasting life.”

And again, “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath NOT believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”

This is why I say “the Fear of the Lord is not one of retribution, but it is one of loss,” i.e. the pure fear of losing Him, Not of the impure fear of retribution””. The Word says the “Beginning of Wisdom is the fear of the Lord” That wisdom is one of loss, not one of retribution..

I will have to finish this later, know that I haven’t even begun yet to tell of the happening today, that caused me to write at the beginning of this “Follow up on how wonderful the Lord is…” that follow up being an addition to what I wrote day before yesterday 5/21/2015 on how wonderful the Lord is when I mentioned Bro [name withheld] and my step-daughter, there is much more to this that I will be adding, and posting publicly to my website….

Follow up on how wonderful the Lord is…

The Follow-Up; Because it is the weekend and my step-daughters muscular boyfriend was coming to her house and taking her on a date, this boy I have also known since he was a child, I called the wally world checker I spoke of on 05/21/2015, to set up a time today (the 23rd) to pick up the bed from her house while he was in town so that I didn’t have to do the lifting myself, because of my broken back. I didn’t reach her by calling twice and she didn’t return my two voicemails I left last night and this morning. I had some things to do in town this morning, including showing my step-daughter and her boyfriend how to get to my buddies house to pick up her car, he had fixed for me. As a last minute decision as I was walking out the door, I decided after showing them the way I would go by wally world just in case she was at work, so I could see about picking it up while the boyfriend was in town, I had already arranged with my dad to use his truck.

Therefore after going to my buddies house and getting the keys to her car for them, I went to wally world, they were supposed to meet me there in case our good Samaritan was there who was giving me the bed for the grandson. They had to go to another place after picking up her car, before meeting me there.

I went ahead and went to wally world, I entered on the end of the store I had encountered her in the first place, not knowing for sure I would recognize her, but trusting in the Lord that I would. I went down the aisle in the front of the store between the little shops in the front of wal-mart and the checkout aisles looking at the checkers. I saw a couple of ladies I thought might be the checker I had spoken with on the 21st, but didn’t think they were, I was then coming up to the entrance on the other end of the store and I happened to look at the subway which was the shop on that end of the store, right by where you enter or exit, and I saw a woman eating there, right by the walkway in the front of the store, I felt it was her, so I turned in her direction, about the same time she saw me coming. I walked up to her and said; “Didn’t I talk to you about a bed the other day?” She, in her calm sort of way nodded, and said “Yes.”

I then explained I had tried to call her and asked her what would be a good time for her, for me to pick up the bed. To make a longer story shorter, while we were speaking I noticed on the iphone she had set on the table, she was reading something about God, I started to ask her what she was reading and if it was scripture, and before I could ask her about it being scripture, she told me it was something with “politics” in the title. I cannot remember what the rest of the title was. I then asked her if it was old or new, because I do not usually read books written after the early 1900’s. Because she mentioned it was about politics as well as God, I told her she should visit my website and told hear the web address. I then told her she should see what I had written on facebook about our encounter, she said “You know that was a Divine appointment, don’t you?” I told her “Oh yes!” and then explained to her about how I had started for another checkout aisle and how the voice of the Lord had directed me to hers, I had no idea why the Lord directed me there, I was just following the Spirit, i.e. the voice of the Lord.

I then asked her where she went to church, she told me Tulsa, I said oh really, we go to church in Owasso, she asked me what kind of church I went to, I told her a non-denominational church, she nodded in her calm way and said “that is the only kind [to attend]” I said yes, and she started telling me about the pastor at her church and how there weren’t a lot of attendees, but how the Lord was there, I told her I understood, that there are not a lot of people who attend ours either, but that we believed in being filled with the Holy Ghost, speaking in other tongues and that we can overcome sin. I then told her we needed to attend each others churches, she agreed and gave me her husbands phone number because he is able to answer his. She had told me as I said on the 21st about her being hard to contact because she worked at wal-mart and they make employees turn off cell phones, and when I explained to her today about calling her, she told me how she forgets to turn it on when she gets home.

ANOTHER DIVINE APPOINTMENT TODAY THE 23RD

After leaving wally world I went about my business, before I tell you what happened next, let me first give you a little background. My wife has asked me to find another TV for the house, I went online yesterday, the 22nd and found one refurbished for a little less than $200, after she got home from work she asked me what I had found. I told her about the television and she asked me where it was, I told her amazon. She said we’d have to wait for it to be delivered and told me to “go to some pawn shops tomorrow [today the 23rd] and get a cheap one” and gave me $100 to accomplish it. After leaving wally world I stopped at the first one I came to on main street. I noticed as I pulled into the parking lot it looked like they had a new rocking horse setting out front. I had recently been looking at old ricking horse designs, because I wanted to make one for the grandchildren, that had more the action of a real horse, than the ones they make now. Since the one they had sitting in front of the shop looked almost new, after looking at it and walking by the televisions as I came into the shop, giving a cursory purview of the the tv’s and the prices on them,

I walked up to the lady at the counter and queried the price of the rocking horse sitting in front. She said “50 bucks” I said; “hmm, those grandkids sure like the real horsies out where I live, I was wanting to get me some tools, however, it’s hard to pass on the horsy, for the grandkids.” I then told her I was looking for a tv, she said something about a 3D one she had, I asked her how much, she quoted me a price of almost $300, I told her I only wanted to spend about $100, long story short I bought the tv and the rocking horse. She took the tv to the car I was driving, I took the rocking horse, I set the rocking horse down beside the car while I unlocked it for her to put the tv in the back seat.

I started to put the horsy in the back seat to and felt no, I’ll call the step-daughter and see if they are still in town, no answer, I call the boyfriend, no answer. I call my stepson who went with my stepdaughter, he answers. I tell him about the horsy, ask where they are, and tell him if they want to come back they can get the horsy and take it home for the grandkids.

While I was leaning against the car watching for them to come along, a truck with a young lady and young man put up behind and to the side of my car. The young woman gets out of the truck, long story short, she told me they were moving, had a washer and dryer to sell, wondered if I was interested, I told them I had just bought new ones the day before, I told them I may know someone. They also had some toys, I told them maybe the toys also but the kids had all kinds. I then called my stepdaughter again, because I knew she needed a washer and dryer, told her how much they wanted, asked if she’d be interested, she was, so I let them know she’d be there before long. Long story short, the Lord used me to solve a number of problems for my stepdaughter, and also gave me an opportunity to teach her, my other stepchildren, and many others, some very valuable lessons.

This again is how wonderful the Lord is and is also why I am sharing with you here, just one of my daily experiences on Listening to the Lord….Looking forward to many more Divine Encounters and Appointments with others who love and follow the Lord. God bless, and Jesus keep you and yours always!

Copyright © 2015 TeaPartyEdu http://teapartyedu.net Foundation Truths http://captainjamesdavis.net The Patriot Brotherhood @CaptainJDavis

America You Have Lost!

John Quincy Adams quotes in regards to reading the Holy Bible

John Quincy Adams in regards to reading the Holy Bible [Click to enlarge]


40 years is a dispensation with God. What this means is that God gives us 40 years from the time He does one move to the time He moves again.

Approximately 40 years ago I heard prophecy many times that what is taking place now in America, would take place, sometime in the future. I am sure the men who prophesied those things never understood, it would happen at the end of the dispensation we were then in, for they never put a time on when it would take place.

Also 40 years ago was when Roe vs Wade was decided by the Supreme Court, which has led to the wholesale slaughter of infants still in their mothers womb or just as they are being birthed to then have their limbs torn off, their spines cut, etc.

America you have brought on your own demise, you failed to stand up against the slaughter that has taken place for far too long and among many of you have also celebrated those same deaths. Which amounts to human sacrifice to the gods of the Liberal leftists of America.

You’ve allowed it America! And now we will all pay the price for it. Far too many of you have turned your backs on the God of our salvation, the God who gave US America with its acknowledgement of the Freedom of Conscience, that has now been outlawed, i.e. Religious Freedom, Yes we were and still are a Christian Nation, however far too many of you profess to be Christians without truly serving the one and only Master…That Master being Christ Jesus who you have allowed to be marginalized far too many times.

You’ve allowed Christ Jesus’ name to become a curse word on your lips, or an exclamation of surprise on the same. You’ve allowed the word Holy, to be associated with all that is unholy, and done nothing to correct the course your actions have set for you.

You’ve allowed homosexual men to prey on those who are younger and too naive to understand the insidious nature of those same men who do nothing but cause harm and shame on America’s youth. You’ve even allowed this to happen with priests who claim to be ministers of God, who finds their actions to be reprehensible and without redeemable qualities.

Now there is a price to be paid and if you look at the Jews and their history, you will begin to understand just how great a price, that price may be…God helps US all as we try to stand for Christ in the coming tidal wave…

A warning to those who attack God’s messengers. When you attack God, Jesus Christ or their people there is a price to be paid, NEVER DOUBT IT! Look at what the Jews have suffered since denying Christ and persecuting His people…

America Listen Now! For Your Only Hope Is Jesus, Christ our Lord, Christ our Savior!

 I never met a Christian who cared, or even thought about what people did in the privacy of their own houses and bedrooms…It is not until the militant individuals who try, and have tried, to force the Christian community to accept what the Bible clearly states is wrong, a sin, or an abomination to God, that the Christians I know of, or even I for that matter, started caring what people do.
If you think that preaching God’s word, or the gospel of Christ, is somehow infringing upon your rights, or that it is a sign that Christians care what you do in the privacy of your home. You are simply wrong, and your feeling bad, angry, etc., when hearing that Word taught, is simply your own consciences condemning you, for what you know to be wrong in the first place.
Whether you are in a heterosexual relationship out of wedlock, homosexual relationship, or whether you are in any of a number of other situations that are sinful and wrong.A Man and Woman having sexual relations before marriage used to be called “Original Sin” because that is the sin that Adam and Eve partook of in the Garden of Eden. Which I might add is easy to discern when you look at the punishments that God meted out to them, after they sinned…The fact most, or the majority of people do it now days, does not make it right, or any less of a sin. It just means we are getting closer and closer to the judgment of God upon this world, and on this nation.
Christians do not serve the Lord because they think they are perfect. Quite the contrary, they serve the Lord because they know, He is the only one who can help them overcome their own faults, sins, failures, etc.
So when you are busy hating on Christians, who truly try to live up to God’s Word, and keep His and Christ’s commandments. Look in the mirror, you may see some things there you find to be reprehensible, that you need help with to overcome.
As Benjamin Franklin said “Sin is not harmful because it is forbidden, but it is forbidden because it is harmful, and Duty is not beneficial because it is commanded, but is commanded because it is beneficial”

Something else I together dealing with 40 year dispensations of God

From the time of the Declaration of Independence 1776 where they eliminated the portion of the document that dealt with the end of slavery and the importation of slaves to the official 1833 beginning of the abolitionist movement was 57 years i.e 40 + 17,

The Quakers i.e. Society of Friends had long condemned the practice as did many of the founding fathers, since before the founding as well as during and after. They declared it to be a sin and in opposition to the ideals of the foundations of America (See more below timeline)

1787 The Northwest Territory where slavery was prohibited = 11 years

1808 Federal Govt banned Transatlantic Slave Trade = 32 years

1816 African Colonization Society, a group founded to return blacks to their home continent = 40 years

1861 Start of Civil War = 85 years, 40 years Quakers & others speak out against slavery + 40 years of Abolitionists activity + 5 Years = judgment

Quote from the Records of the Federal Convention of 1787 Appendix A, CLVIII is as follows: Unsure of the speaker who said it, could be Madison…

“[61] This report was adopted by a majority of the convention, but not without considerable opposition. It was said, that we had just assumed a place among independent nations, in consequence of our opposition to the attempts of Great Britain to enslave us; that this opposition was grounded upon the preservation of those rights to which God and nature had entitled us, not in particular, but in common with all the rest of mankind; that we had appealed to the Supreme Being for his assistance, as the God of freedom, who could not but approve our efforts to preserve the rights which he had thus imparted to his creatures; that now, when we scarcely had risen from our knees, from supplicating his aid and protection, in forming our government over a free people, a government formed pretendedly on the principles of liberty and for its preservation, — in that government, to have a provision not only putting it out of its power to restrain and prevent the slave-trade, but even encouraging that most infamous traffic, by giving the States power and influence in the Union, in proportion as they cruelly and wantonly sport with the rights of their fellow creatures, ought to be considered as a solemn mockery of, and insult to that God whose protection we had then implored, and could not fail to hold us up in detestation, and render us contemptible to every true friend of liberty in the world. It was said, it ought to be considered that national crimes can only be, and frequently are punished in this world, by national punishments; and that the continuance of the slave-trade, and thus giving it a national sanction and encouragement, ought to be considered as justly exposing us to the displeasure and vengeance of Him, who is equally Lord of all, and who views with equal eye the poor African slave and his American master.

[62] It was urged, that, by this system, we were giving the general government full and absolute power to regulate commerce, under which general power it would have a right to restrain, or totally prohibit, the slave-trade; it must, therefore, appear to the world absurd and disgraceful to the last degree, that we should except from the exercise of that power, the only branch of commerce which is unjustifiable in its nature, and contrary to the rights of mankind; that, on the contrary, we ought rather to prohibit expressly in our constitution, the further importation of slaves; and to authorize the general [i.e. Federal] government, from time to time, to make such regulations as should be thought most advantageous for the gradual abolition of slavery, and the emancipation of the slaves which are already in the States: That slavery is inconsistent with the genius of republicanism, and has a tendency to destroy those principles on which it is supported, as it lessens the sense of the equal rights of mankind, and habituates us to tyranny and oppression.” End excerpt from Records of the Federal Convention of 1787 Appendix A, CLVIII

Copyright © 2010 – 2015 TeaPartyEdu http://teapartyedu.net Foundation Truths http://captainjamesdavis.net The Patriot Brotherhood @CaptainJDavis ™

I And My Father Are One; As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father

My Father and I are One

“I and my Father are One”

I spent a bit of time this last week having some Bible discussions in the hospital, one particular case was where I was talking to an RN and she talked about the Trinity and how she believes the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are all Three the same being, or entity. This always amazed me the Trinity people vs the Oneness people because they essentially believe the same, yet according to most of them, they would argue they believe the opposite. Now whether you believe all three are one or whether you believe one is all three, the arguments are cutting the hairs pretty thinly.

The way I believe and most people I’ve ever been in church with believe the simple truth with Jesus himself admonished people not to get away from the simplicity that is in Christ Jesus. The Bible plainly says there are two in the Godhead. God the Father and Christ Jesus the Son. The Holy Ghost is the Life, Spirit and Love of the Father that Christ Jesus must baptize everyone with for them to be born-again. Born-again, given a new life, given a new spirit and thereby given a new love that comes from the Father, through the Son. No one cometh to the Father, but by me.

The Bible plainly says: God is the head of Christ, Christ is the head of man, and man is the head of the woman. Putting aside mane being the head of the woman for the point of this piece I am writing. God i.e. the Father, being the head of Christ Jesus the Son. Christ Jesus the Son being the head of man. That puts two in the Godhead, not three, man is not a god, nor is man the Prince of Peace, nor is man the Everlasting Father, Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God!

In another example it talks of the woman following the man as the man follows Christ Jesus’ example, words, etc. When it talks of I and my Father being “One”, that is speaking of heart, mind, ability, nature, spirit, love, work, etc.

For example; My mother and father have two children, my brother and I. My brother, he has mainly the characteristics of our mother, they do not take anything from anyone, and will jump right back at anyone who dares cross them or those they care for. I on the other hand have more of the characteristics of our father, we are more forgiving, laid back and yielding. My father has done HVAC work practically his whole life, he had a large HVAC business in the Tulsa / Broken Arrow area for many years. Our parents because of the distance from where we live, mom being secretary / bookkeeper of the business for dad, took my brother and I out of public school when I, myself was twelve years old. My brother and I went to work part time for dad and they enrolled us in homeschool so that we could  also do our studies and fulfill their obligations to educate us.

My brother disliked HVAC immensely and eventually he parted ways with the business and finally found his calling as a heavy equipment operator and quarry man.

Personally, I loved working for my father, and I have spent most of my life doing the same work as he. This is not the only area though where “I and my Father are One” You watch our actions in Church for instance, the way we move, clap, and countless other things, the sound of our voices as we sing, you can easily mistake my voice for his. Again; “I and my Father are One” There are many other character traits, actions, words, ideals, the way we see various and numerous things, issues, etc. Again; “I and my Father are One”

You get to know the times and various other things concerning our sleeping habits. Again; “I and my Father are One”

You get to know our wives, even our wives are one like the other in countless ways. Again; “I and my Father are one”  You get to know us by our demeanor, our silences, our utterings, our attentions. Again; “I and my Father are One”. You look even at the type of television shows, sports, etc. we watch. Again; “I and my Father are One”

No, my Father and I are not the same person, nor are we exactly alike in every aspect of our thinking, hearts, minds, lives. There are many small, insignificant and minor differences between my Father and I. However, in every point that counts, that goes to make up a mans character, sense of duty, motivations that drive us, our passions, etc. Yes! I and my Father are indeed “One”!

Copyright © 2015 TeaPartyEdu http://teapartyedu.net Foundation Truths http://captainjamesdavis.net The Patriot Brotherhood @CaptainJDavis ™

Caring for Our Troops: Protecting those Who Risk their Lives to Protect Us by Helen Love

God bless & Jesus keep our military men, women and families. We Could Never Do Enough!

God bless & Jesus keep our military men, women and families. We Could Never Do Enough!

Caring for Our Troops: Protecting those Who Risk their Lives to Protect Us

Serving in any army, particularly one as actively engaged in warfare as the US Army and the rest of the forces, is a big price for any soldier to pay. Political views aside, the courageous women and men who serve in the forces are immediately putting their lives on the line because they believe in protecting their country and the values upon which it was founded. These are people who, when returning home, are not only filled with an immense pride and dignity, but a deep love for their homeland which they will defend with their lives. But it is not only their lives that they put on the line – it is their livelihood, and quality of life itself. The work they do often leaves devastating implications on themselves and their loved ones, especially in the case of PTSD. And more than ever, veterans are left in the dark when it comes to getting the proper healthcare, as well as the chance to enjoy a normal, civilian life.

When it’s Over

… it’s never really over. People who sign up for the military are more than aware that it is a life-changing decision for themselves and their loved ones, and that nothing will ever be the same again. But this does not immediately render their right to a normal lifestyle as non-valid. While many people who have served are able to return to a civilian lifestyle and enjoy a regular job, bring up a family, and celebrate life in general, there are many others who struggle to adjust and find employment. The country’s turmoil with the recession has made employment difficult for people across a wide spectrum of demographics, even those with high qualifications from leading post-secondary institutions. People who have served in the forces have an incredible set of skills and qualifications, not only from their training but from their experiences on the field and the emotional growth and resilience they have cultivated. These people – dedicated, loyal, disciplined and trustworthy – make the perfect candidates for employees, yet are often considered “over-qualified” or in some cases, too far removed from civilian life.

Everyone deserves a fair chance to make a living, especially those who have risked their lives to protect others. Healthcare and a chance for employment isn’t an entitlement but a right. Healthcare has come a long way for veterans who are now covered for life, but this doesn’t mean that they always receive the best care and for illnesses such as PTSD, this is detrimental. Veterans also receive discounts on transportation on major routes for Greyhound and Amtrak, and individual businesses may choose to offer advantages as well as a small token of appreciation for the time they have served. When venturing abroad, vets can also look into coverage for pre-existing conditions if their healthcare doesn’t take care of their needs outside of the US. Fortunately, there are many companies offering viable options, but coverage should extend for vets outside of the US as well if they choose to travel. The Foreign Medical Program is responsible for taking care of the medical needs of vets abroad, but they are subject to certain criteria like injuries which are a result of an incident while in service. For some veterans, going abroad is a chance to make a new start, rebuild family life, and have a new experience – this is right we should all have. Surely veterans should have this chance too.

Additionally, the number of homeless veterans is also alarming. Various factors such as unemployment and ongoing mental health issues, as well as the lack of a personal support system and a stable infrastructure in place contribute to many living on the streets. As well as facing extreme weather conditions, physical health problems and worrying about their next meal, they also face the stigma of being homeless and being outcast by society.

We praise our military and we use them not only to fight the battles of a few men in power, but as the beacon of strength and loyalty which is symbolic of the United States. We uphold our Armed Forces which a pride and fervor which is virtually unparalleled in the rest of the world. So why, then, do we give our vets such a cold welcome when the homecoming ceremonies are over? It’s time to change things and give them a country they can still be proud to fight for, and a life they can live when they have sacrificed everything for us.

Copyright © 2015 TeaPartyEdu http://teapartyedu.net Foundation Truths http://captainjamesdavis.net The Patriot Brotherhood @CaptainJDavis ™

TWO MADE ONE THE HAPPINESS OF MARRYING IN THE LORD

The Sure Foundation by William Penn

The Sure Foundation by William Penn (Click to enlarge)

Marriage is not a “Civil Right”. Marriage is an institution sanctioned by God for the express purpose of procreation and to advance the species in a manner (if done right) that is acceptable to God, which He gave us to also learn and experience something deeper than mere animal lust and self gratification!

TWO MADE ONE;

OR,

THE HAPPINESS OF MARRYING IN THE LORD.

A Sermon preached at the Quakers’ Meeting-House, in Devonshire-House, London, October 3, 1694, at a Wedding.

BY WILLIAM PENN.

IT becomes the sons and daughters of men to have a sense of their duty, that is incumbent on them, to the great God of heaven and earth; and the duty we owe to God, is to do all tilings to the praise and glory of his holy name. And happy were it for mankind if they were duly sensible of their duty and obligation to their sovereign Lord and Maker; and did set the Lord always before their eyes, and acknowledge him in all their ways, that he might direct their paths. It greatly concerns us to have an eye to the great obligation we lie under to him, who is our God and faithful Creator, that by his almighty power made us, and by his good providence hath preserved us, in the land of the living, to this day; to whom we are deeply indebted, both for our being and well-being.

They that have a sense hereof upon their souls and spirits, they will take heed not to offend him, for the fear of the Lord is planted in their hearts. This is true religion, the fear of God, which teaches man and woman, first to eschew evil, and then to do that which is good and acceptable in his sight.

The fear of the Lord, it is said, is a fountain of life, which preserves from the snares of death. No man that is replenished with the fear of the Lord can be destitute of divine life and comfort. Since the secrets of the Lord are with them that fear him, he will shew them his covenant. Abraham was said to be God’s friend, because he feared God, and God was his friend.

O my Friends! it is not a name to live; it is not the character of a profession; not adhering to a party, or being of such a society or church, or people; but it is the fearing of God, and keeping of is commandments, and believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, and shewing forth his virtues in our conversation, that doth speak us to be real Christians. ‘He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good.’ O man, that is, mankind; the whole race of human kind. ‘God hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?’ Mic. vi. 8. Let us all take heed to walk in this way, and that will give us acceptance with God, and fit and prepare us for his holy worship. Abraham was the friend of God, because he believed and obeyed, it is not enough to make a profession of religion, and godliness and Christianity, if we be found vain in our conversation, and to love the world more than God, and to be more careful what we shall eat, and what we shall drink, and what we shall put on, and how we shall divert and please ourselves than to please God. Our hearts and affections should be set on things above, and not on things below. We should, with the apostle, not look to the things that are seen and temporal, but to the things that are not seen and eternal. They that mind temporal things will fee disappointed upon a death bed; but those that fear God, shall not only have present peace, but future and everlasting comfort. Let us all endeavour to be purifying our minds, wills and affections, that we may enter into a holy covenant with God, into a heavenly marriage and league with him. They that are joined unto the Lord are one Spirit. As we come under the teachings of God, we shall be united in our love and affections to him, and delight ourselves in the Lord, who only can give us the desires of our hearts. The world passeth away, and the lustre and glory of it, and all the visible relations and capacities we stand in. Let us then use the world as if we used it not; and let them that have wives be as if they had none, (as saith the apostle) for the fashion of this world passeth away. There is a time to live and a time to die; and as sure as we die, we must be judged. Let every one of us endeavour so to live, that we may give up our account with joy, and not with grief. Let the fear of the Lord possess your hearts, which is the beginning of wisdom. When men and women do that which is pleasing to God, and live in the fear of God, and eschew evil, and do good, they, in so doing, promote their chiefest interest. The Lord takes pleasure in them that fear him: his salvation is nigh unto them that in truth call upon his name. We see God’s visible care over all the works of his hands. Here in this world, his goodness is extended to all, both good and bad; he is kind to the unthankful; he causeth the sun to rise on the evil, and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust; but in the other world there is no shining of the Sun of righteousness upon the wicked and ungodly; no comforts of the Holy Ghost, no manifestations of love vouchsafed to them; but there is a revelation of wrath, and the fiery indignation of the Almighty.

For the very prayers of the wicked are an abomination, and because they love the world more than God, and esteem it more than heaven, they shall never enter into it.

But, my Friends, seek ye the kingdom of God, and the righteousness thereof, in the first place, and follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. Those persons that so do, have a solid foundation, they have a sure bottom that they can stand upon; they can look death and eternity in the face, upon this bottom, when they believe in the Lord Jesus with all their hearts, and shew forth all his virtues in their lives; having the promises assured to them, 1 Cor. 7. 1. ‘That God will dwell with them, and walk in them, and be their God, and they shall be his people. And I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.’ Having therefore these promises, (saith the Apostle) ‘ let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and the spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.’ Now unto such, To live is Christ, and to die is gain.’ They live in holiness and purity, through the sanctification of the spirit, and belief of the truth, as it is in Jesus, being regenerated and born again, and thereby made meet to enter into the kingdom of God. It was sin that first brought down man, from glory to shame; Christ came down from heaven and glory, that he might bring man out of sin and shame to glory again; which by sin he had lost and forfeited. Our Saviour said unto Nicodemus, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water, and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again; the wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but cannot tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth, so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered and said unto him, how can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?’ art thou a judge, and a law-giver, and not skilled in the doctrine of regeneration? man being fallen from God, there is no coming to God again without Christ, and without coming from that which separated him from the Lord.

God made all good, and man made all bad. Christ came into the world to make all good again.’ Christ died for all; but they only have the benefit of his death to salvation, that die to their sins. For sin will still live against them, for all Christ’s death, that live in sin and not in Christ. Friends, I desire that you may all come to a sense of your spiritual condition: the Lord is pleased to follow us with his mercies, and with many spiritual favours, and blessings: God is the fountain of all good, from whence comes every good and perfect gift; with whom is no variableness, nor shadow of turning; whom to know is life eternal: let us live suitably, be sensible of his mercies, and be fixed in our obedience ; for it is the obedient that eat the good of the land. Before the deluge came upon the old world, God sent his Spirit, to strive with them, to bring them to repentance. And this is our testimony, 1 John i. 2. 3. ‘That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the word of life; that which we have seen and heard, declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us ; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.’ This is a time wherein we are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, and to give all diligence to make our calling and election sure. We have now a call to repentance, and if we faithfully answer that call, we need not fear a call to judgment; but we may, each of us say, with the Apostle, ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there ts laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous Judge shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.’

Every one that cometh to God’s holy Spirit, to be led by it, He will lead them into all truth: if the Spirit of Christ dwell not in you, ye are none of ‘his. If we have the spirit of meekness, patience, humility, charity, and kindness, by these virtues and qualifications of Christ’s working in us, we are brought into a near relation to Christ, who is the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. He is by nature the Son of God, and by participation of his nature, and adoption, we become God’s children too; and by the operation of the Holy Ghost, they that are born of the Spirit and partake of the fruits of the Spirit, have clear evidence of their being children of God. Gal. v. 22, 23. ‘Now the fruit of the Spirit, is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law.’ If these things abound in you, you are free from the condemnation of the law. There are a people that bolster up themselves, and buoy up themselves, in not being under the law, but under grace ; but they are not yet come to the poor prodigal’s state, ‘ Father I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son:’ nor yet to the state and condition of the penitent Publican, who prayed ‘ God be merciful to him a sinner;’ nor to Paul’s state, when he cried out, ‘O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me r” this shall be for a lamentation, that too many are so little troubled, and concerned, for the loss of God’s favour, and of their own immortal souls; when the whole world is not so much worth as one soul. ‘What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world, and lose his own soul, or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’ O how many do hazard their precious souls for the trifles of this vain world? let us all consider we must come to the bar of Christ the great judge of all the earth ; and if we be not found in him, not having our own righteousness, as the Apostle tells us; we shall be undone forever, and we shall see too late what we have lost: and like profane Esau, (we shall be rejected,) when he would have inherited the blessing he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. There is nothing will remain then, but chains of darkness, they that loved darkness, here, shall he cast into utter darkness hereafter, even the blackness of darkness for ever.

Wherefore let all that believe in the light of the Lord Jesus, walk in it, and know and embrace the day of their visitation. You that know your Master’s will, be sure to do it, and he will say unto you, ‘well done :’ you shall hear that joyful sound, ‘enter into the joy of your Lord.’ God hath vouchsafed a merciful visitation, a day of grace and salvation, to the sons and daughters of men: He hath brought us from a gloomy night, and the dark clouds of ignorance and superstition, that our forefathers were involved in, and the day-spring from on high hath visited us: we have had the inshinings of divine light: yea, God hath brought us out of darkness into his marvelous light: let us walk as children of light, in the light of the Lamb of God. We live in the last days, wherein that promise shall been fulfilled, ‘That the Mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted upon the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it 5 and many people shall go and say, come ye and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths.’ Pray consider what God speaks to the Jews, that were his chosen people, and what he says concerning his own institutions, when they were formal and hypocritical in the use of them: Isa. i. 12. 13. ‘To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to me, bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination to me, &c. Your new moons, and your appointed feasts, my soul hateth; they are a trouble to me, I am weary to bear them: wash ye, make ye clean, put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do well, &c. Come now and let us reason together, saith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool;’ God is no respecter of persons. My Friends, let us not be outward but also inward christians, in all our solemn meetings, and approve our hearts to God, and worship him in spirit and in truth. Let us consider that God is present in the midst of us.

All nations do acknowledge that God is omnipresent; the royal Psalmist thus addresses himself to God, Psal. cxxxix. 7, 8. ‘Whither shall I go from thy spirit, or whither shall I flee from thy presence? if I ascend up into heaven, thou art there, if I make my bed in hell; behold thou art there; if I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost part of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.’ And the prophet Amos, tells us,’ it is God that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought; that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, the Lord of hosts is his name.’ O bow should we live and walk as in the presence of God! and set the Lord always before us, who is the supreme judge of the world; to whom we must be accountable for all our thoughts, words and actions. But how do the most of men live as without God in the world, live in a contradiction to their own rational natures ? God hath made men reasonable, and his judgment shall be most righteous and reasonable. The Lord hath given unto us his light and grace, if we do not improve it, and live answerably to it, we shall go down into perdition: therefore to day, while it is called to day, let us perform our duty to God, and one another, that it may go well with us for ever.

These things are of great importance which belong to our everlasting peace: these are not chimeras and enthusiastical fancies, but the great realities of religion. God hath been pleased in his admirable love and condescending goodness, to twist his glory and our felicity together, and to require nothing of us, but what is for our own interest and good: He is infinitely blessed in himself, and perfectly happy without us, but we cannot be happy a moment without him; yet we despise the riches of his goodness, that is extended to us: and like a foolish people and unwise, we are ready to frustrate the design of his mercy and kindness, and to receive the grace of God in vain.

Let this opportunity now before us, be carefully improved, in order to our spiritual benefit and advantage. Let our superlative love be set on the Lord Jesus Christ, who should be our husband and head. Let us love him with fervent and inflamed affections, as becomes the living members of his mystical body ; as those that are really united to him, and receive vital influences from him. We are now present at the solemnity of a marriage, which is a thing of itself joyous: but O let not our joy be carnal, but spiritual: let us rejoice in Christ Jesus, who for our sakes became a man of sorrows, that we might partake of that joy that is unspeakable and eternal. We may all live a happy and blesssed life, if we will live to his glory that is the giver of it, and set our affections on things above, and live in a deep and daily sense of our duty, to him that made us, and will make us happy for ever, if we be not wanting to ourselves. When the Lord-God first created man, he said, • It is not good that man should be alone, I will make him a help meet for him:’ and he caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and took one of his ribs, whereof he made the woman; and brought her unto the man, and Adam said, ‘this is bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh.’ Thus you see in the first creation; God made man and woman in one, he then joined them both in one person; then of one. he made them two; and after made them one again : b Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh.’ Gen, ii. 24. It is of very great importance to men and women, to dispose of themselves rightly in marriage: for it is for term of life; and it is that which makes people either easy or uncomfortable in their lives : therefore they must take care to be equally yoked, that they are one in judgment, and in affection. And when they change their condition, to marry in the Lord, that they may be meet helps and blessings one to another. God bath made us sensible of that delight and joy that is proper, both to the Outward and inward man, which makes us thirst after the happiness of our souls. This the saints in all ages have borne their testimony to; David who was a mighty hero, and king, a man after God’s own heart; he declares to us the temper and disposition of carnal men; they cry out, ‘Who will shew us any good?’ but this is the language and longing of the saints, ‘Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us,’ Psal. iv. 6. That will make our hearts more glad, than those that have their corn and wine increased. The refreshing light of God’s countenance, and the sense of his love, is that which in all ages, hath been the consolation of the righteous, ever since the beginning of the world; and will be to the end fl it. So my Friends) we lay great stress and weight upon this, that married persons do not enter into that relation with a mere natural affection, or for worldly interest, or advantage: or to gratify a carnal fancy; but we must be in the exercise of a divine and heavenly affection; making the law of God our rule, and his glory our aim and end; remembering that we are none of our own, but are bought with a price: therefore we ought to glorify God, both in our bodies and in our spirits, which are His.

It becometh us to live as strangers and pilgrims on the earth; for we are but tenants at will of the great Lord; let us pass therefore the short time of our sojourning here in fear. The time past, is irrevocable; the time to come, is uncertain; and only the time present, we can call our own. Let us then improve it, while we have it; and in all our solemn meetings, let us have an awful sense of God upon us and love him, and live unto him; for we are entirely at his disposal. You that are strangers, and present in this meeting, may observe the order and method among us, with respect to nuptial solemnities. It concerns us to vindicate ourselves from those aspersions that have been unjustly cast upon us. We have no clandestine proceedings in any of our marriages, though we have been misrepresented to the world; we do observe that order and method which is set down in the holy scriptures, which are our warrant and direction. We have divers instances in scripture concerning marriages, that of Boaz and Ruth is a very eminent one; he solemnly took Ruth to be his wife, as in the presence of the Lord, and before the congregation, even all the people and the elders, and Boaz said unto them, ye are witnesses this day. And all the people that were in the gate and the elders said, we are witnesses, the Lord make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel, and do thou worthily in Ephrata, and be famous in Bethlehem, so Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife.

Thus let us proceed in all our marriages, as in the presence of the Lord; which none can do. but those that have an awful sense of the divine presence, which is graciously vouchsafed to his people in all their humble and solemn approaches to him; then He will meet them, and bless them.

I shall commit you to the Lord, and to the grace of God that is given to you; for we are not a people so stingy, as not to awn the grace communicated to others, as if we engrossed and arrogated all to ourselves; we declare, with the Apostle, that’ there is a measure of the Spirit given to every man to profit withal.’ We are all intrusted with some talents, let us remember we must give an account of them. When we are convinced of sin, let us depart from it, and live in the delightful exercise of a conscience void of offence towards God and towards men. Then we shall find there is hope for us in death, and fruition of happiness after death. It will be said unto us, ‘well done good and faithful servants, enter into the joy of your Lord.’

My Friends, consider now that Christ is universally offered to all the sons and daughters of men, and his love is, and is to be, extended to all the habitable parts of the earth. The Sun of righteousness will shine upon them, with healing under his wings; but this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil. He that hath given us the knowledge of our duty if we seek it, will also give us strength to perform it, and work in us to will and to do, of his own good pleasure. So that though of ourselves, as of ourselves, we can do nothing, we may say with the Apostle Paul, ‘We can do all things through Christ that strengthens us.’ Let us therefore labour abundantly in the work of the Lord, and then our labour shall not be in vain in the Lord; ‘For if we be faithful to death, we shall receive the crown of life.’

Source: The Harmony of Divine Doctrines: Demonstrated in Sundry Declarations on a Variety of Subjects Preached at the Quaker’s Meetings at London by William Penn [Founder of Pennsylvania] and Others by A Lover of that People

Copyright © 2010 – 2015 TeaPartyEdu http://teapartyedu.net Foundation Truths http://captainjamesdavis.net The Patriot Brotherhood @CaptainJDavis ™

GEORGE WASHINGTON CONCERNING IMMIGRATION and IMMIGRANTS

George Washington Quote Concerning Immigration and Immigrants

George Washington Concerning Immigration and Immigrants

See also:
THOMAS JEFFERSON CONCERNING IMMIGRATION and IMMIGRANTS
 
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS CONCERNING IMMIGRATION TO THE U.S.A.
 
MAKING THE FOREIGN-BORN FAMILIAR WITH THE AMERICAN SPIRIT By George S. Tilroe

 

PRESIDENT GEORGE WASHINGTON TO JOHN ADAMS, VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

Saturday, 27 November, 1794.

DEAR SIR,
I have not been able to give the papers herewith enclosed more than a hasty reading, returning them without delay, that you may offer the perusal of them to whomsoever you shall think proper. The picture, drawn in them, of the Genevese is really interesting and affecting. The proposition of transplanting the members entire of the university of that place to America, with the requisition of means to establish the same, and to be accompanied by a considerable emigration, is important, requiring more consideration than under the circumstances of the moment I am able to bestow upon it.

That a national university in this country is a thing to be desired, has always been my decided opinion; and the appropriation of ground and funds for it in the Federal City has long been contemplated and talked of; but how far matured, or how far the transporting of an entire seminary of foreigners, who may not understand our language, can be assimilated therein, is more than I am prepared to give an opinion upon; or, indeed, how far funds in either case are attainable.

My opinion, with respect to emigration, is, that except of useful mechanics, and some particular descriptions of men or professions, there is no need of encouragement; while the policy or advantage of its taking place in a body (I mean the settling of them in a body) may be much questioned; for by so doing they retain the language, habits, and principles, good or bad, which they bring with them. Whereas, by an inter-mixture with our people, they or their descendants get assimilated to our customs, measures, and laws; in a word, soon become one people.

‘ I shall, at any leisure hour after the session is fairly opened, take pleasure in a full and free conversation with you on this subject, being with much esteem and regard, dear Sir, &c.

Copyright © 2010 – 2015 TeaPartyEdu http://teapartyedu.net Foundation Truths http://captainjamesdavis.net The Patriot Brotherhood @CaptainJDavis ™

THE SURE FOUNDATION by William Penn of Pennsylvania

The Sure Foundation by William Penn

The Sure Foundation by William Penn (Click to enlarge)

[Editor’s note: I am adding these sermons by William Penn, not only for the historical context, but also, because they could very well have been preached by the ministers I have listened to all my life, same spirit, same messages. Truth is truth. no matter what time in history we live.]

THE

SURE FOUNDATION:

A sermon preached at the Quakers’ Meeting:-House in Grace-Church Street, London, Oct. 10, 1694.

BY WILLIAM PENN, WITH HIS EXCELLENT PRAYER.

THE foundation of God standeth sure; and they that build sure, must build upon it. This hath been God’s great love to us, in this day, age and generation, that he has laid for us this sure foundation, that which in all ages the people of God have been built upon, and have been preserved in all the storms and tempests that have been raised, both from within and without. They who are fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, are built upon the foundation of the prophets and apostles, ‘Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;’ in whom all the building fitly framed together, groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord, Ephes. 2:20.

Friends, I exhort you in the name and power of the living God, mind this foundation, upon it do you build all your hopes of salvation. The living power and truth of the living God, is that which visited us in the beginning, and gathered us out of that which is evil, into that which is holy, pure and precious: blessed are you that feel, and experimentally know this visitation of the Lord, within you, from day to day, and from one season to another: this is that wherein stands your refreshment, your consolation, your succour and relief in all the times of temptation wherein the enemy of souls goes about, like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.’ This subtle enemy is always waiting how he may break into God’s vineyard, and lay waste and spoil the heritage of the Lord; but by his divine Light and Spirit, and the Word of his Grace, they shall be preserved. This is the word which you read of in Rom. 10:8 and mentioned by Moses, Deut. 30:14. ‘The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart:’ that is, the word of faith which we preach, that is that word of God by which you and all God’s people have been preserved in all ages and generations. Here is the foundation of peace and love, of purity and holiness; they that come to build on this foundation, they see it to be a sure foundation, by the brightness of Christ’s appearance, by the manifestation of the son of God. For ‘God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined into our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ.’ This is the foundation; in building upon which, our souls can find peace and satisfaction. This is revealed and made known by the sovereign almighty arm, and power and wisdom of the Eternal God. This is that which I would leave among you; build upon the right foundation, even upon the Lord Jesus Christ, the blessed Son of God. God sent his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh; that you may all come to be justified freely; by his grace, and led by the spirit of God as the children of God: that you may walk in the spirit, and not fulfill the lusts of the flesh, for ‘if ye live after the flesh (says the apostle) ye shall die; but if you through the spirit mortify the deeds of the body ye shall live’ Rom. 8:13. The spirit of God is a spirit of purity, holiness, righteousness and self-denial; that will lead you through the straight gate, and in the narrow way, that leads to life.

Friends, this is the work that God hath called you to, even to build upon the right foundation; this is the day of God’s love, the day of his power, wherein you are to be a willing people that this work may be carried on in your hearts, the knowledge you have in religion, it must be experimental; for historical knowledge only, will not do; for that is a knowledge of the concern of others, and not our own. Let us highly prize and value the saving knowledge of God, and Jesus Christ, which is life eternal: let us look unto Christ within us, who is the light that discovers the works of darkness, and leads us out of them. Know God’s foundation, and build well upon it, not hay and stubble, which will be consumed by fire. I beseech you, in the name of the everlasting God, build upon the true foundation, Christ within you, the hope of glory, which is a mystery hid from ages and generations. Our Lord Jesus Christ said to his disciples a little before his departure; ‘If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.’ It is he, that dwelt in the hearts of the primitive Christians of old, and it is he, that dwells in his people now; he can open in our hearts a living fountain, a well of water springing up unto everlasting life. The Lord Jesus Christ is the great physician, that can cure all our spiritual maladies, and he is willing and ready to help us: come under his teaching, and guidance, and he will show you the path of life, and lead you in the way everlasting. Behold, he stands at the door and knocks; do you open your hearts to him, and he will come in, and sup with you, and you with him. He is calling you to repentance, to turn from sin, and come to Him that you may have life; he will lay judgment to the line, and righteousness to the plummet, and bring down the man of sin in us, and raise us up to the love of God, and faith in God; that we may deny all ungodliness and worldly lusts , and everything that is contrary to the mind of God, that so we may love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our mind, and with all our soul. And if we love God with all our minds, we must not give our minds to anything else; and if we love God with all our might and strength, we must love nothing but in subordination to him: we must love all things in God, and love God above all things, then we shall come truly to know that the Lord is our God. Matt. 7:24. Our Saviour speaking of building upon the right foundation, ‘Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doth them; I will liken him to a wise man that built his house upon a Rock, (and this Rock is Christ himself,) and the rains decended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon the House, and it fell not; for it was founded on a rock.’ Such an one, that heareth Christ’s sayings, and doth them, he builds upon Christ the Rock of our salvation: upon this foundation did the holy patriarchs build; and upon this Rock and Foundation did the holy prophets build.

God told Elijah, 1 King 19:18. ‘Yet have I left seven thousand in Israel, that have not bowed unto Baal.’ Have a care of idolatry, of spiritual idolatry of loving any sin or lust: let Christ have your hearts, and the strength and flower of your love and affections, and build upon him alone who is the true foundation. Do not content yourselves with an external possession; labour to come and experience the work of regeneration, that you may know you are born again, born of the spirit, and are passed from death to life, and live in obedience to the commands of Christ, for he is the Author of eternal salvation, to all them that obey him. Have you known the terrors of the Lord? ask yourselves, am I so terrified, as to be persuaded to turn from that which would turn me from God? am I turned from that; which would eclipse God’s light in my soul? If thou art turned from sin to righteousness, thou art not a canter, thou art not an enthusiast; thou art a true child of God; and a work of regeneration is not only begun in thy soul, but thou art going on to perfection, and thou hast laid the foundation of repentance from dead works, and repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ, our great mediator and redeemer, who is the way, the truth and the life: and if thou be faithful to death, he will give thee the crown of life.

Let us take heed to ourselves, and watch against the enemy of our souls, that he may not seduce us and bewilder us, and make us wander and lose our way, while we are travelling through the wilderness of this world, toward the heavenly Canaan. The same almighty arm, that brought us out of Egypt, will conduct us through the wilderness, and bring us safe to Canaan: our heavenly Joshua, the Lord Jesus Christ, will be our captain and leader, and after all our labours and dangers and conflicts with potent enemies in our way, he will bring us to the good land, to that kingdom that cannot be shaken; that inheritance, that is incorruptible, and undefiled, and fadeth not away: then we shall know our lot, and sing praises, living praises, with joy in our hearts, and harps in our hands, and worship Him that liveth forever and ever, saying, ‘blessing, honour, and glory, and power, to him, that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever! worthy is the Lamb, that was slain, to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength, honour, glory, and blessing; who hath redeemed us to God by his blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;’ and hath made us to our God kings and priests.— We must now believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, with a faith that worketh by love; we cannot be saved by a dead faith, but by a living faith : and as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. If we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved from sin, and from the wrath to come: ‘unless you believe in me (said our Saviour to the Jews) ye shall die in your sins.’ They that live in their sins, will die in them: blessed are they that mortify their sins, and that die to sin, that they may die in the Lord, and live forever with the Lord! happy are they, that are found in Christ (in a dying hour) not having their own righteousness, they shall be accepted of God; not for any righteousness of their own, but for the righteousness of Christ, who hath all righteousness to justify us, and will by his spirit work righteousness in us, and will be sanctification to us, ‘ he that knew no sin, was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him ;’ and the apostle tells us, that Christ is made to us of God, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption: O glory, and honour, and eternal renown, be to our Lord Jesus Christ, who is all in all to us!

O friends, you that are an humble people, that mourn for sin, that are merciful, meek, and lowly, and poor in spirit, and pure in heart; our Lord Jesus Christ in his sermon on the mount hath pronounced a blessing on you: ‘blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven: blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted: blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth: blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy: blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.’ Matt. 5. O friends, you that have tasted, that the Lord is gracious, come unto Christ, as the true and sure Foundation : come unto him, as a Living Stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious; you also as lively stones, shall be built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God, by Jesus Christ: unto you (saith the apostle) that believe, Christ is precious. Wherefore it is written, Isa. 28:16. ‘Thus saith the Lord God, behold I lay in Zion for a Foundation Stone, a tried Stone, a precious Corner Stone, a sure Foundation.’ He that believeth, shall not make haste: trust in this sure Foundation, you know that it hath never failed you. O lay not a new foundation, depart not from this sure Foundation, the Lord Jesus Christ; but say unto him, as Peter, when many disciples went back, and walked no more with him ; ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.’ Thus, by believing in Christ, and building upon this sure Foundation, you will bring honour and glory to his blessed name, and obtain salvation for your immortal souls.

Blessed is he that overcometh,(not he that is overcome,) he that overcometh, shall inherit all things. Blessed is he that overcometh the world, that overcomes the devil, and that overcometh sin, that overcomethh is lusts, his concupiscence, and all ungodliness and unrighteousness. Rev. 2:7. ‘To him that overcometh, will I give to eat of the Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.’ It is the desire of my soul, that you may overcome, and be more than conquerors, through Christ, that hath loved you and washed you from your sins, in his own blood: and that you persevere, and continue in well doing to the end of your days, and then lay down your heads in peace, and enter into an everlasting rest, where there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, nor pain, nor mourning; but God shall wipe away all tears from your eyes. And you that have been mourners in Zion, shall sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, ‘Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty! just and true are thy ways, thou King of Saints ; who shall not fear thee and glorify thy name, for thou only art holy!’

Thus, my friends, you will bless the Lord forever, that hath visited your souls, when you come to obtain, through our Lord Jesus Christ, salvation and eternal glory; and join in the innumerable company of angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect, in celebrating the praises of his great and excellent name: who alone is worthy; who is God over all, blessed for ever more! Amen.

HIS PRAYER AFTER SERMON.

MOST Blessed, Glorious, Eternal and Incomprehensible Lord God, we desire to worship, and humbly adore thy excellent Majesty, whose gracious and favourable presence is with all thine, that wait upon thee, and desire to serve thee in the beauties of holiness. Thou hast mercifully made known thyself in this day of thy power and love, to a willing people, that delight to worship thee in spirit and in truth; the desire of whose souls is to thee only, and to the remembrance of thy name, that hunger and thirst, and look, and long for thy appearance.-— Blessed God, thou hast appeared, and thy appearance is glorious: Thou hast wonderfully appeared in the beams of gospel-light and grace, and caused not only the blessed gospel to dawn upon us, but thou hast been pleased to make thy glory to shine upon us, in the face of Jesus Christ, the dear Son of thy love; and by the mighty and powerful working of thy Holy Spirit, thou hast enlightened us with the saving knowledge of thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent, which is Life Eternal. The desire of our souls is after thee, more than after all things besides thee: Lord thou hast raised these living desires in our souls, and fervent breathings after thee, the living God. It is the most sincere and earnest desire of our souls to draw nigh to thee, that thou mayest draw nigh to us, and bless us; and that our services may be accepted, and well pleasing to thee through Jesus Christ. Lord, be graciously pleased to bow down thy people by thy mighty power, to a holy submission and resignation to thy heavenly will; and lift up the light of thy countenance upon all those, that breathe after communion with thee, that are thy peculiar people, and whom thou has set apart for thyself, and whom thou hast raised up to be monuments of thy mercy, and instruments of thy praise. There are many here present can say, that thou hast been very good unto them; thou hast caused joy to spring up in their souls in all the sorrows and troubles that have attended them. O how liberally hast thou distributed of thy light and love! thou hast opened a living fountain, and with living streams thou hast consolated and refreshed their souls, under their many trials and temptations. O God of my life, I beseech thee, bless all thy people, all that have believed in thy dear Son, Jesus Christ; draw nigh to all those that desire to come into the fellowship of thy truth; open thy hand, and dispense thy mercies liberally to us, that every one of us may know, that we receive from thy infinite fullness, and have all our supplies from thee. Let us be abundantly satisfied with thy loving kindness, which is better than life; and fed with the hidden manna; and eat of the bread that came down from Heaven, that whosoever eats of it shall never die, but live forever. Let thy mighty arm and power, O Lord, be revealed, and thy love shed abroad upon our hearts! preserve us and all thy people in the hollow of thy hand, and under thy Pavilion, from the fury and rage of the enemy, and from the strife of tongues. Compass us about with thy favour, as with a shield, and surround us with thine everlasting arms, that the enemy of our souls nay not approach us. O Lord, frustrate the designs of that adversary, that like a roaring lion goes about continually seeking whom he may devour. Lord hear all those that cry to thee in the depth of their distresses and afflictions, and help, and succour, and comfort, and support them, and deliver them in the needful time: show them the path of life; keep them from every evil way, and lead them in the way everlasting; and let them walk therein, and not be weary and faint in their minds; looking up to Jesus, the author and finisher of their faith; who for the joy, that was set before him, endured the cross, and despised the shame; who is a merciful high priest, that cannot but be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; that was tempted as we are, that he might succour those that are tempted. Let us follow the Captain of our salvation, who was made perfect through sufferings, having the kingdom of grace in our hearts, and kingdom of glory in our eyes; and by a patient continuance in well doing, seek after glory and honour, immortality and eternal life. Let thy kingdom come in power, and thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven! we pray thee, sanctify all such opportunities, as these, unto thy people, and teach them to profit, and so to hear, that their Souls may live.

We cannot open the hearts of men; it is Thou, O Lord alone, that canst open their hearts: Thou hast the key of David, that canst open, and none can shut; and shut, and none can open. Man can do nothing of himself; it is thou, O Lord, that dost all. Prosper the labours of thy servants in the ministry of this nation, and in all the nations that are nigh, and afar off, where any are gathered to wait Upon thee: Lord, be thou in the midst of them; let every plant of thine own planting, grow, and bring forth fruit to thy praise. Send forth thy light, arid thy truth, and let thy glorious gospel have a free course, and be glorified. Be with those that cannot come to the solemn assemblies of thy people, let them be taught of God: those that lie upon beds of languishing, do thou heal and recover them; let them near the voice of thy rod, and not only receive correction, but instruction, and be taught by thy Spirit to improve their afflictions, that they may thankfully and joyfully say, it is good for us that we were afflicted. Pity “those that are wounded with the sense of their sin, and pour oil into their wounds and speak peace unto them, and pardon, and wash them in the precious blood of Jesus, which cleanseth from all sin; and prepare them for the everlasting enjoyment of thyself in the region of blessedness, where all tears shall be wiped from their eyes, and sorrow and sighing shall be no more. Let the knowledge of the Lord cover the earth, as the waters cover the sea: finish transgression, and make an end of sin, and bring in everlasting righteousness! Lord, let the fear and dread of thy blessed majesty fill the hearts of all the inhabitants of this land, that thou mayest delight to dwell in the midst of us, and bless us. O Lord God Almighty, be pleased to go along with us, to the respective places of our abode, and let thy presence abide with us; and let salvation be for walls and bulwarks round about us! Lord, sprinkle the posts of the doors of thy servants, and sprinkle our hearts and consciences with the blood of the Immaculate Lamb, that the destroying angel may pass by: and preserve all thy people in the hollow of thy hand, and under the wing of thy love, that they may lie down in peace and safety, and extol and magnify thy great and excellent name, who hast extended thy favour to them and preserved them, when they have passed through the great waters, and mighty deeps, where thou hast showed them thy wonderful power, and great salvation: let their souls magnify thy name, and their spirits rejoice in thee, their God and Saviour, who didst preserve thy people Israel at the sea, even at the Red sea, and caused the waters on the right hand and on the left, to stand up as a wall, while they passed through the sea on dry land, and made their hearts glad, and to rejoice in thy great salvation, and triumph in thy praise. Honour and glory be ascribed to thy great and holy name, for that, thou hast of late delivered thy people as in days of old. Let them not go back again into Egypt; but be travelling on to the heavenly Canaan; and in thy good time do thou give them rest, after all their labours, travels, distresses and troubles; and let them sit down under their vines and fig-trees, and eat the fruits of their own labours; and of thy bounty and beneficence, and glorify thy name* with solemn praises, and heavenly conversation. And, blessed God, satisfy the desires of their souls, with respect to their inward, and spiritual state and condition, whose minds are exercised, about making their calling and election sure; that they may at last obtain life everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Those that have been gathered, and brought to the knowledge of the truth, let them be continued in it, and enjoy heavenly fellowship and communion with thee, and the openings of divine life and love, while they are in their pilgrimage; that they may lay down their heads in peace, and render to Thee, through thy dear Son, Christ Jesus, thy Lamb, and our Light and Leader, (who is both our priest and sacrifice,) glory, honour, dominion and praise, who alone is worthy, and is God over all, blessed forever and ever! Amen.

Reference: The Harmony of Divine Doctrines: Demonstrated in Sundry Declarations on a variety of subjects. Preached at the Quakers’ Meetings in London. By William Penn

GOD’S CALL TO A CARELESS WORLD by William Penn of Pennsylvania

Admiral William Penn (1621-1670)  Founder of Pennsylvania quote concerning Knowledge and Judgement

William Penn Founder of Pennsylvania concerning Knowledge and Judgement (Click to enlarge)

Editors Note: Freedom cannot exist without morality, integrity and self-restraint. This is something the Founding Fathers were quite aware of. The less morality, integrity and self-restraint people have, the greater the need for laws to restrain the actions of men. The idea of self-governance the Founding Fathers promoted included the governing of your passions & desires, to restrain yourself from bad acts and choices. The Founding Fathers knew a people who could govern their own behavior would not need laws to restrain their freedoms! Moral decline in America is key to our loss of liberty!

How many who say “God bless America” realize they each have a duty to help obtain those blessings by living a righteous life? Not only did our ancestors ask for personal forgiveness at Thanksgiving along with their thanks. They also asked forgiveness for our National sins. A very good practice to follow!

GOD’S CALL

TO

A CARELESS WORLD.

A Sermon preached at the Quakers’ Meeting House, in Grace-Church-Street, London, Oct. 21, 1694.

BY WILLIAM PENN.

BLESSED are all those who have answered the call of God, and who are found in his way, whose way is the way of peace, who are not weary of well doing, but having been called of God, have obediently answered that call, and are found diligent, as those that expect to give an account of their deeds done in the body, that neglect not so great salvation, which so numerous a part of mankind are made partakers of; for it is certainly true, that God hath sent his Son into the world to bless mankind, who were all under a curse by nature, and children of wrath; God hath so loved the world, as to send his Son to bless them. But, O my friends! who among us will come to be blessed? who among the sons and daughters of men will come to be blessed of the blessed Son of God this day? who came to bless us, in turning every one of us from our iniquities.

Friends, I call upon you all in the name of the Lord, come and be blessed; they that receive Jesus Christ the eternal Son of God, receive the blessing: O you that have received the dear and blessed Son of God, and have opened the door of your hearts to him and said,’ O come Lord Jesus, come quickly! thou art the chiefest of ten thousand, and altogether lovely, thou art the desire of all nations, and most desirable to my soul; I have had other lovers, but now my soul loveth thee above all, and by thee will only make mention of thy name; which is that strong tower that I will fly unto, and take sanctuary in, at all times: O be not thou far from me when trouble is near, for at what time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee, and thou wilt set me on a rock higher than I; who art mighty to save, who art the author of eternal salvation, that canst save me from sin here, and from the wrath to come.’— All you who have answered thus, the call of God, and love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, that love his appearing, and look and long for it, and who cannot be contented and satisfied without it, that wait for the coming of the Lord Jesus, whom our souls love above all, O wait for Him more than they that watch for the morning; these are they that shall have the heavenly dew of divine grace descend upon them, and they shall grow as the lilly, and increase with the increases of God, and grow strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might; ‘they that wait upon the Lord, (saith the prophet Isaiah,) shall renew their strength ; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint; and they shall get victory over the world, and over the Prince of the power of the air, and triumph over death and the grave, and be able to say, ‘O death where is thy sting! O grave where is thy victory!’ and likewise say with the apostle Paul, when he was ready to be offered, and the time of his departure was at hand, ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord the Righteous Judge shall give me at that day ; and not to me only, but unto them that also love his appearing: I have fought a good fight, I have kept the faith, and that hath kept me:’ and you may further say with the same apostle, ‘forgetting the things that are behind, and reaching forth unto those things that are before, I press forward towards the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ It is the desire of my ,soul that you may all be a willing people in the day of God’s power, and be pressing forward in the ways of God, towards the heavenly Canaan. And now that you are brought out of Sodom and Egypt, you may never hanker after it again, nor go from the narrow way that leadeth unto life eternal. Remember Lot’s wife; when she looked back, she became a pillar of salt, a monument of God’s displeasure. Therefore take warning by her, you that have hastened out of Sodom; look not back, linger not by the way, but persevere to the end. that you may escape the fiery indignation of the Almighty, which will flame against those, and come upon them to the uttermost, that live and die in their iniquities. O labour therefore abundantly in the work of the Lord, and you shall enjoy eternal rest after all your labours, and you shall then find that your labour shall not be in vain; O faint not in the way of holiness, that leads to everlasting blessedness, and you shall have the love of God shed abroad upon your hearts by the Holy Ghost, and divine refreshment from the presence of the Lord, which will make all the ways of God to be ways of pleasantness and all his paths to be full of peace and joy; that peace that passeth understanding and that joy that is unspeakable and full of glory Therefore follow Christ your grand exemplar and supreme pattern, and be willing to deny yourselves, and take up his cross, and be crucified to the world, and let the world be crucified to you, and you will appear to be the children of the resurrection, who are royally descended, even of the line and family of heaven, children of light, of the Father of lights, who of his own will begat you with the word of truth, that you should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.

Here is good news for you, and glad tidings, that you that were children of wrath by nature, may by adoption become heirs of the promise, the promise of eternal life, through Christ Jesus, who hath purchased deliverance and eternal redemption for all that do believe in him. Here is true liberty and enlargement, and an opening of the prison doors to all those that have a deep sense of their misery and bondage. It is joyful news to a man in a foreign country, that lies in prison, and under heavy chains, to hear the joyful report of his redemption, and that the prison shall be opened, and his chains and fetters taken off, and that he shall be set at liberty to return to his native country : this is welcome tidings, relating only to the outward man; but here is a greater deliverance, for it is from a worse bondage and captivity: here is a call to the world, that they will come out of the prison and dark dungeon wherein the devil hath long held them in slavery and bondage; Christ Jesus is come from heaven to deliver them.

O come unto Christ, who is the light of the world, who will bring you out of darkness into his marvellous light; and turn you from the power of Satan, to the power of God. Ye that were sometime darkness, may be made light in the Lord ; you that were children of wrath and children of the devil, may become the children of God : you that were conceived in sin and brought forth in iniquity you come to partake of the new birth, and be regenerated and renewed by the Holy Ghost, and washed in the blood of Christ, which cleanseth from all sin, that you may be made meet to enter into the kingdom of God, into which no unclean thing shall ever enter; for alas! what is the use of purging and washing, but to take away stains and spots? O purify yourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; and come unto Christ the author of eternal salvation, and trust in him, and depend upon him, by a true and lively faith, and he will ordain peace for you: He is the great peace-maker, and will make their peace with God that answer the call of God. Blessed are they that come under his sceptre, under his holy and pure power and government.

O Friends, answer the call of God, that call that doth call thee, O man, from thy sin, which will certainly bring thee to destruction, if thou dost continue in it: O hearken to this call of God ! if thou dost answer that call, then thou wilt mind the reproofs that are given thee by the Spirit of God, and the light that shines in thine own heart: thou wilt then say, I cannot go on in that sin that God reproveth me for doing: I cannot rebel any longer against the holy motions of the Spirit of God. 1 remember such a time when I was travelling upon the way, and another time when I was upon my bed, my conscience reproached me, and the Lord rebuked me, and secretly reproved me for such and such a sin as I had committed. Surely it is meet to be said unto God, ‘ I have borne chastisement. I will not offend anymore; that which I see not, teach thou me: I have done iniquity, and I will do no more.’ Say with the Psalmist, ‘ If thou, Lord, shouldst mark iniquity, O Lord, who shall stand! but there is forgiveness with Thee, that thou mayest be feared.’

When you are under a sense of sin, and feel it as an intolerable burden, you will cry out, O that He that made us would save us, and shew mercy to us for his Son’s sake! the mercy of God is only extended to us in the Son of his love, Christ Jesus. Let us come unto Him that we may have life, and have it more abundantly. Blessed are they that lay hold «n the mercy and loving kindness of the Lord, with whom there is mercy, that be may be feared. ‘The Lord delighteth not in the death of a sinner, but that he may repent, return and live.’ When the Scribes and the Pharisees brought unto Christ the woman taken in adultery, and said to him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act; now Moses in the law commanded us that such should be stoned; but what sayest thou? Jesus said unto them, he that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone upon her;’ and they being convicted by their own consciences, went out one by one. When they were gone out, Jesus said unto the woman, ‘Where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? she said, no man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, neither do I condemn thee; go and sin no more.’ Here he laid the axe to the root of the tree, they lived in the profession but not in the possession of the truth; they went out one by one, and being accused by their own consciences, they ceased to accuse her. Christ by his Spirit doth reprove thee for thy sin, and bids thee go and sin no more. They only shall have the benefit of what Christ hath done and suffered in his outward coming in the flesh, that believe in him, and see the necessity of his inward appearance and coming in the spirit, and answer the same. When Christ stands and knocks at the door of thy heart, be sure to let him in; if thou shuttest the door of thy heart against Christ, thou dost thereby provoke him to shut the door of heaven against thee. Rom. 2: 6. ‘He will render to every man according to his deeds;’ to them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour, immortality, eternal life to them ; but unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation, and wrath, tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that doth evil; of the Jew first, and also the Gentile: but glory, honour and peace, to every man that worketh good. There is a time to live and a time to die. This is the day of God’s visitation, when God calls men by his Spirit, and invites them to accept of mercy. There is a time coming when he will call them to judgment: woe be to them that have not answered the first call, when the second call comes. See to it while the Spirit of the Lord strives with you. Hearken to the voice of God, the oracle within, that reproves thee and checks thee for thy sin, and reverence the hand of the Lord when he corrects thee, and do thou patiently bear the indignation of the Lord, because thou hast sinned against Him. This is the day of God’s visitation! now he calls upon sinners, ‘how long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity, and the scorners, delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? turn ye at my reproof; I will pour out my Spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. Because I have called and ye refused, I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded, but ye have set at nought all my counsels, and would have none of my reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity, and mock when your fear cometh; when your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind, when distress and anguish hear and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David cometh upon you: then shall they call upon me, and 1 will not answer, they shall seek me early but they shall not find me; but whoso hearkeneth unto me, shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.’ Isa. 55:3. ‘Incline your ear and come unto me (saith the Lord).’ O live in the fear of the Lord and you shall have peace; live in the fear of God, for the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; it is the best wisdom that can be; it is the wisdom of heaven and eternity; it is that which promotes thy soul’s eternal happiness. When God calls thee by the voice of the rod, hear the rod, and that hath appointed it, and say in thy heart, O Lord I have waited for thee in the way of thy judgments, I will bear thine indignation because I have sinned against thee. I will submit to thy correction because I have transgressed, L have done- iniquity, I will do so no more ; I have done amiss; I have been vain and foolish, but I will not return to folly. I have forsaken the Lord, and he invites me to return, and I will return unto him.

Friends, they that will not hear God’s call in the day of his grace, God will not hear their call in the day of his wrath; He will be so far from pitying of them, that he will mock when their fear cometh; he will laugh at them and not regard them, and there is reason for it: for they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord; they would none of my counsel, they despised all my reproof; therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices; for the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them; ‘this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil;’ and there is no peace saith my God, to the wicked; the sacrifices of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord; but unto you that fear my name (saith the Lord) shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing under his wings; and they shall be mine (saith the lord of hosts) in that day that I make up my jewels, and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Blessed are those that in the day of their visitation answer the call of God’s love, who hath sent his Son to bless us in turning every one of us from our iniquities. There are many would be glad of the blessing, but they say in their hearts, this man shall not reign over us, Christ shall not be our king: but let me tell thee, O man! He will rule and govern thee’ if ever he save thee; He will rule over thy mind, and over thy will, and affections, and desires; and thou must bow to his sceptre, if thou wilt have any share in his sacrifice. Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us and given himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor; He is called Jesus, the Mighty Saviour; He will both save us from sin here and from the wrath to come. For the grace of God, which bringeth salvation, hath appeared to all men, and teacheth us, that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; you must be such, if you will obtain the blessing; you must have a godlike life, and be holy in all manner of conversation, and you must be turned from that which turned you from God; you must be turned from sin, or sin will turn you into hell. They that love sin and will live as they list, will find that the wages of sin is death; and yet when Christ comes to judge the world, He will only save those that have taken Him for their Lord as well as their Saviour. O those who would have Christ then, must receive Christ now, and turn to the light of Christ in their own consciences; Christ is the light of the world, he that hath the Light, hath Christ, and he that hath Christ, hath all that is desirable. ‘Behold I stand at the door and knock;’ open the door of thy heart, that Christ the King of glory may come in. O that men would but use their wits, and exercise their reason and understanding, but how contrary do they act to their own reason? they would be saved from death, but hot from sin, which is the cause of it; they would not be delivered from the cause, but only from the effect. The wages of sin is death. If thou wouldst be saved from destruction and perdition, thou must be saved from the cause of it; thou must be saved from thy sin, which is the root of all thy misery. For this end Christ died and shed his precious blood, that He might take away sin, and if He take away sin, He must take it away where it is, even in the hearts of men and women, and there you must receive Him. But if you will live in your sins, there is no way but you must die in your sins; unless Christ save from sin here, and justify you, sin will certainly condemn you. Be willing that Christ shall save you from sin now, and you will have cause to rejoice in the great day of judgment, for he that is the righteous Judge of the world, and that will sentence and condemn the wicked world, will be your Saviour and Justifier. In that day you that mourn now, shall rejoice forever, and obtain everlasting salvation; for Christ is the Author of eternal salvation to all them that believe in him and obey him. O that will be a trying day indeed, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power, when He shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe, saith the Apostle Paul, 2 Thess. 1:7. ‘Because our testimony among you was believed in that day; wherefore also we pray always for you, that God would count you worthy of his calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Blessed are they which are prepared for the coming and glorious appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ; they that can say with the Apostle, 2 Cor. 5:1. ‘For we know, that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an House not made with hands, eternal in the Heavens: for in this we groan earnestly, desiring to be clothed upon with that House which is from heaven.’ It is the groan of faith and hope, and of vehement desire, to be forever with the Lord. Those that are regenerate and born again, they are looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good works.

It is the desire of my soul, that you may all come to answer the call of God, who hath sent his Son to bless you, and to turn every one of you from your iniquities. Let us not turn aside to the right hand nor to the left, but be pressing forward towards the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, and we shall be made partakers of the inheritance of the saints in Light.

The people of Israel were by Joshua’s command, all circumcised, both old and young, before they could enter into the good land, that flows with milk and honey; so must it be now. if you will enter the eternal land by our heavenly Joshua. Wherewith shall a young man cleanse his way? (saith the Psalmist, Psal. 119: 9.) ‘By taking heed thereto according to thy word.’ Hiding the word of the Lord in your heart, is the circumcising of it: there must be a witnessing of the circumcision in the heart, before we can enter into rest in the heavenly Canaan. The word of the Lord is as a fire, and as a hammer, and as a circumcising knife, the instrument of our purification, which takes away everything that is unclean, that would defile us, that we may become living temples, prepared for the presence of the holy God.

The Proto-Martyr, Stephen, when he reproved the persecuting Jews that stoned him to death, said, ‘Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost; As your fathers did, so do ye: Which of the prophets, have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One, of whom you have been now betrayers and murderers.’ The most high God dwelleth not in temples made with hands; ‘Thus saith the Lord, the heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house that ye build unto me? And where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made. But to this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.’ Therefore, my friends, give up your hearts to the Lord, that he may say, ‘Here do I delight to dwell, this is my habitation; for I have desired it;’ walk in the holy ways of God, and his word will be a light to your feet, and a lanthorn to your paths, and you will find the good ways of God to be ways of pleasantness, and all his paths to be full of peace. O pray, with the royal Psalmist, ‘Create in me, O God, a clean heart, and renew a right spirit in me; cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me: Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with thy free Spirit: Then will I teach transgressors thy ways, and sinners shall be converted unto thee.’ People must be first converted themselves, before they can be fit instruments to convert others. ‘I love them that love me, (saith the Lord,) and they that seek me early shall find me,’ that seek me in the first place, before and above all. ‘Wash you, make ye clean, put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes: Cease to do evil, and learn to do well. Come now, and let us reason together, (saith the Lord.) Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.’ This is the call of God, hearken to it, and obey; and do not start aside like a broken bow, for then woe unto you: ‘Better that a millstone were hanged about your necks, and you cast into the midst of the sea,’ than be disobedient to the Lord, and live and die in your sins, and at last be drowned in destruction and perdition.

O, my Friends, hearken to the call of Christ; hear and your souls shall live. ‘Doth not Wisdom cry, and Understanding put forth her voice? Unto you,

O men, 1 call, and my voice is to the sons of men: Hear, for, I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things; For my mouth shall speak truth, and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness: I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment; that I may cause those that love me to inherit substance, and I will fill their treasures.’ What is this substance? It is heavenly treasures in the other world, ‘where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and thieves do not break through nor steal.’ The immutable God, that changeth not, hath an unchangeable inheritance for his people, that cannot find peace nor rest in their own hearts, till they find a place for the God df Jacob to dwell in: it is their most ardent desire that he may dwell in their hearts, and that they may for ever dwell with him in heaven.

O, my Friends, cast your care upon the Lord, and nothing shall be able to overwhelm you. If you have peace with God, he will in his time, make your enemies to be at peace with you; so that you may sit down under your own vines, and under your own fig trees, and eat the fruit of your labours. O say, with the Psalmist, ‘My soul waiteth for the Lord, more than they that watch for the morning,

I say, more than they that watch for the morning. Let Israel hope in the Lord, for with the Lord there is mercy, and with him there is plenteous redemption.’ ‘What I say to you, I say unto all. Watch, (saith our Saviour,) Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation.’ We must watch always, and pray without ceasing; I must not pray before I watch. Let us always be upon our watch, and walk so as remembering we are always in the presence of the omnipresent God. Let us set the Lord always before us, and consider we are under his all-seeing eye: Let us take heed unto our ways, and turn our feet unto God’s testimonies Let us look up to God and say, with holy David, ‘as the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God! When shall I come and appear before God? Lord, thou wilt shew me the path of life. In thy presence there is fulness of joy, and at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.’ When you are panting and breathing after the inward enjoyment of the divine presence, some may ignorantly call it enthusiasm, say it is merely the effect of melancholy; but holy David, the man after God’s own heart, was such an enthusiast, be did ardently pant and breathe after the enjoyment of God’s presence: God hath made known himself in and through his well-beloved Son Jesus Christ; God is in Christ, and Christ is in us, if we are his. Examine yourselves, saith the apostle, know ye not that Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? If God be in Christ, and Christ Jesus e in us, to rule and govern us, we are safe and happy; he will be with us in the time of distress, trouble and tribulation; and will preserve us in the hour of temptation. What though we may meet with storms and tempests in our labours and travels on this earth: This may encourage us, that we have a serene heaven over our heads, and in the darkest night of our affliction, we may look up to the bright morning star, Christ Jesus, who is our light and our leader; and if we be weary and heavy laden, he will give us rest: And if we be wound ed with the sense of our sins, he is the great physician of souls, and the Sun of righteousness that will arise with healing under his wings.

My Friends, this is the love of God to mankind. He will bless us in turning us from our sin to himself; he will turn us from darkness to light, and turn us from that which hath turned us from God, if we will hear him. Let us pray and strive against sin, and bemoan ourselves with Ephraim, and say, ‘Lord, thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke. Turn thou me and I shall be turned, for thou art the Lord my God.’ If we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, we shall with Ephraim hear the sounding of God’s bowels, and the voice of God pronouncing peace and pardon to us: ‘Is Ephraim my dear son? Is he a pleasant child? For since I speak against him, I do earnestly remember him still, therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I , will surely have mercy upon him, saith the Lord.’ But, my friends, notwithstanding the great love of God to mankind; yet how doth the Lord complain by the Prophet: ‘Hear, O Heavens, and give ear, O Earth, for the Lord hath spoken; I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knows his owner, and the ass his master’s crib; but Israel doth not know; my people doth not consider.’ The ox and ass, which are dull and stupid creatures, do upbraid their ingratitude, who are not affected with the kindness of God, but have forgotten him days without number. O remember your Owner; live unto him, and not to yourselves. ‘Ye are none of your own, ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God with your bodies, and; with your spirits, which are his. O live unto Christ that died for you; live unto his glory, that died for your salvation; hereby you will come to please God, by believing in him in whom he is well pleased, and you shall have that peace and joy that the world cannot give nor take away. Our Saviour said to the woman of Samaria, ‘If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith unto thee, Give to drink, thou wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water; whosoever shall drink of this water, shall thirst again, but whosoever shall drink of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him, shall be in him a well of water springing up unto everlasting life.’ They that come unto Christ and believe in him, they shall receive living comforts and refreshments; be will satisfy them with living water. These divine, sweet and refreshing joys, are only tasted by those that believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who will abundantly satisfy the thirsty souls. He will give them living waters from the brooks of Shiloh, the streams whereof make glad the city of God. They that that drink of these waters, of these living streams which they receive from Christ the Fountain, shall never thirst again. Christ is that living Fountain that gives refreshment and satisfaction to all that come to him. It is of his fulness that we all receive, grace for grace. Here is a well set open by the living and eternal God, a fountain unsealed, for whoever will come, may come, and drink of the well of the water of life freely.

Living praises be given to the most blessed everlasting God, that thus aboundeth in his mercy towards us, and deals bountifully with us: ‘For God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son; whom he hath appointed heir of all things, who is the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person.’ He came into the world to seek and save us that were lost, who took our nature and sin upon him; who hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: God hath made him to be sin who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. ‘He hath suffered for us, (saith the apostle Peter,) leaving us an example, that we should follow his steps, who his own self bare our sins in his own body upon the tree; that we being dead to sin, should live unto righteousness.’ If we follow the Captain of our salvation, who was made perfect through sufferings, we shall overcome the world, the flesh and the devil, and be more than conquerors through him that hath loved us; and go out of the world triumphantly, and say with the apostle, ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous judge shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing:’ To whom be glory, praise and dominion, forever and ever. Amen.

Copyright © 2010 – 2015 TeaPartyEdu http://teapartyedu.net Foundation Truths http://captainjamesdavis.net The Patriot Brotherhood @CaptainJDavis ™

The Wonderful Love of the Father

FatherSonI recently joined a Bible Discussion group and someone asked a very profound question today in it, I must share, along with my response to it, because I think it would be of benefit to others.

Brother Pete (last name withheld so he doesn’t suffer the abuse I sometimes get for my beliefs and being public with them); he asked the following question:

“I’ve prayed many prayers and shed many tears. I’ve read some of these books in the bible until I thought the words were gonna fall off. Am I really willing to go where he leads? What if he wants to humble me, bruise me, crush me or rearrange my life? What if he chooses to tear down everything I thought I was?”

He added the following scripture as reference:

Isaiah 57:15 KJV
For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

My response follows:

Speaking personally; the Lord Jesus spent at least four years deconstructing my life and showing me I wasn’t the person I thought I was. Since that time, He has spent it building me into the person He wants me to be. It can be rough at times, even with as much as I love Him, I do not always feel the love, I should always have for Him. In these times I stand on His promises and resolute in the fact, He is indeed making me into that vessel He wishes to use, and trust in His inestimable mercy and grace to continue to work in me, and through me to bring out that which is best, for I know He indeed knows what is best and knows how best to make me into that which pleases Him. For indeed! It pleases me to please Him, and I want to be the best me I can be!

The Lord can be a hard taskmaster, many times I see (in me) hate, rebellion, and many other completely undesirable qualities, rising up in me when He is working on me. Indeed, many times, my will gets in the way and I suffer for it. I would however, expect nothing less. God is my father, I expect Him to chastise me, correct me, and show me when I am wrong. It’s never pleasant in the sense that I like it. However as I said on my Facebook TL and Twitter TL just within the last week. “Even though the Lord chastises me and corrects me when I am wrong or I have done wrong, I rejoice, for I know He does so in righteousness

I rejoice because not only does it prove to me His righteousness, it also proves that everything else in His word is true, and there is nothing as Paul said; that can separate us from the Love of God that is in Christ Jesus. Not how I feel, not how I think, not what I do. Even though I do not always have the right attitude or spirit when He is dealing with me. I know He does so, because He loves me and He knows I love Him and want my life to be what He chooses (again He knows best) and I do not believe that He expects me to always have the right spirit. Indeed; we are all born with that adamic spirit and nature. So I rest assured in the fact if I endure to the end, I will be saved.

Many times I see Him doing something or making me face something unpleasant to bring out those things that are undesirable in me, in order for me to see them and work on them. As David requested to be shown in him what was evil, so do I! I don’t ask for it to be easy, I ask for it to be complete, for I want to be completely saved.

So not only if I endure to the end of this life, and keep the faith, I also know that if I endure to the end His correction and chastisement when I am wrong, do wrong, or have something in me that is wrong, keeping that same faith. I know that He in the same spirit of a loving Father will comfort me, lift me up and help me when that correction and chastisement is finished. It is not just a matter of enduring through life, but enduring through each test, trial, and persecution.

That being said. The Lord is the most loving, complete, tender, merciful, gracious and beautiful love. He is unimaginably kind, good and uncondemning. He is beautiful in all His make-up. All I have to do to see His mercy is look at life and nature. To look at the things He created, and not see His love, is next to impossible for me. He is everything I have ever desired, He is everything I have ever needed, and He put up with many years of me denying Him, refusing Him, and persecuting Him. I cannot complain, for He has shown me more unwarranted love, mercy and kindness, than I have ever known in my life. He is indeed good and would never hurt us, it is only our disobedience and wills, that cause us not to be able to see, and feel that love at all times in our lives. As the song says, if we never had a problem, we wouldn’t know He can solve them.

He has taught me even to be careful of my words, for I will answer for every one of them. Even when joking around I must always be mindful of Him. That being said though, He is never too hard, He is never unkind, He is always loving, gentle, and conscious of our faults, infirmities, and weaknesses, and mindful of them when He corrects us, in anyway or anything. Indeed; His loving kindness has no end, and understanding this is key to being able to stand in the day of judgement. Jesus did not come into the world to condemn, but to save. We must be ever mindful of this, it says the way of the transgressor is hard therefore if I am suffering, it is because I am transgressing, and it is up to me to correct that, with His help, loving tenderness and kindness.

I must add that when the Lord is finished chastising me, and, I do not get it near as much as I deserve. Most of the time the Lord is overwhelming me with His love, which by the way I tend to see in everything. I see His love in His correction, in History, in every flower, creature, each one of His creations, in all things I see His love, tenderness and guiding hand. So do not think He is in anyway hard, it can just be hard on us at times, because of how we take it. Most of the time when I take it hard and fight against it, it is because my own misunderstanding of the work He is trying to do. Thus the statement I make that I want nothing more than to get me out of the way of the work, He is trying to do. The Lord never ceases to overwhelm me with His love in every aspect of my life!

Indeed! I see that love in our own nations founding documents:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Those words and that spirit were born and nourished in England and our fathers carried them to the ends of the earth. They’re our inheritance from the past, our legacy to the future! That’s why we’re here, to defend them, to the Glorification of He who inspired them, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

“What the ark was to Israel the ballot should be to the American people, and their love of liberty should act like a divine presence to palsy the hand that profanes it.” ~ Rev. R. A. Holland

The Bible can inspire you, lift you up, empower you, make you feel on top of the world. Yet, it can also condemn you, shame you, chastise you, reprove you, and correct you.

Thus Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

DEEP-SEA FISHING

AncientMarinerDEEP-SEA FISHING A. H. F. FISCHER, D.D., Phoenixville, Pa.
Launch out into the deep.—Luke 5: 4.

THE accounts we have of the Master are but a very small portion of the things which he did. One biographer [John the Apostle] even states that if all were recorded the world itself could not contain the books [this is because Jesus was the first of God’s creation]. And yet there are no gaps in that comparatively short life. It moves along in perfect smoothness from start to finish. Now on what principle did the Spirit guide the sacred writers to omit what was not necessary to give us a succinct life and its work! On what principle did Christ enter the boat and tell certain men to fish where they had toiled all night and caught nothing, to go out into deeper waters, with such marvelous results! On what principle does Christ come into the life of tired disappointed men and fill them with encouragement and cheer! On the principle that he always does the right thing at the needed time. The early Church Fathers greatly emphasized the account of the miraculous draught of fishes. They said this story must never be allowed to die out, because it brings out one of the most encouraging lessons in human experience, viz., to work where we have failed and there meet success. It is a parable of the abiding influence of Christ in the world. Whenever you say to a man who is despondent, who feels he has been defeated, who has lost his grip and thinks everyone has deserted him and he has not a friend in the world, when you say to such a man, “Try again,” a sort of miracle of God occurs. New life and hope and energy enter the man and he faces defeat with a determination that means victory. Now the gospel is the voice of God to disheartened men. It says, get up and try again, there is a new fortune to be won where the old one was lost, a victory to be scored where our defeat was recorded. It comes to a man when depressed and tells him to take heart again.

This lake was a great place for fish. These men made their living catching fish and supplying the many surrounding towns with the product of their industry. They were accustomed to fish at night, for the fish then drew near the shore to feed. But they had a very unsuccessful night of it, a water-haul every time, and they had given it up and were drying their nets on the beach when Jesus appeared on the scene. A great crowd was there, and using Simon’s boat as a pulpit, he preached to them. Then, as if to reward him for the use of his improvised pulpit, he told Simon to launch out into the deep and let down his nets for a draught. Tired and disheartened with the night’s failure, Simon said, “Master, we have toiled all night and taken nothing, nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.” And the haul was so tremendous that the net broke, and they had to call another boat, and the catch almost swamped both of them. That is the story.

But what good is there in a fish story? First this. Our Lord sent these men back to the very waters where they had failed; sent these discouraged fishermen to cast their nets in the same place where they had been working all night and caught nothing. So God sends us not to other places or other work, but where failure faced us. Now the business of these men was to know when and where to fish. They were experts, and doubtless they expected to be successful just where they failed. Christ might have said, you failed where you were, now let us go to another place, let us try our luck there. And the disciples might have added, yes, we have fished at the wrong place, we must go to other waters. For the tendency of the human heart is to give a materialistic interpretation to all life’s successes and failures. This or that was the cause of the success or the failure, leaving God out of the question altogether. We can imagine a man saying, if I could only go off to some new place every time I get discouraged trying again would be a much easier thing: if I could be somebody else, or go somewhere else, or do something else, it might not be hard to have fresh faith and courage. We can imagine a preacher saying, if I had only gone to China or the Philippines, or to some other field of labor, or if I would connect myself with some other denomination, perhaps I would be more successful in my work. If I would leave my profession and go into business, or as the case may be, leave my business and prepare for some profession, I might find my real place in life. But the Master knows best. It is the same old net in the same old pond for most of us. The old temptations are to be overcome, the old faults to be conquered, the old trials and discouragements before which we failed yesterday to be faced again today. Yes, the old things will be there, the people, some of whom we almost hated and with whom it was so hard to get along— the same people will be there. And back to them Christ sends us. We must win success where we are if we win it at all, and it is the Master himself, who, after all these toil-filled disheartening efforts that we call failures, bids us try again. George Eliot once said that the ethics of Jesus were too effeminate, that they did not appeal to the heroic, and consequently the teachings of Christ made weak men. But what could be more heroic than the life of the apostles! We read how once the disciples put up a good fight. Peter and the other apostle when imprisoned and charged that they should no longer teach in Christ’s name, replied, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” Peter, the same man who in the presence of some of these people denied with an oath that he knew the Christ, now defends him, and with imprisonment and perhaps death staring him in the face, boldly advocates his Master’s cause. And with what effect on the people? They perceived that these men had been with Jesus. They saw the firmness and the rock-like character of Jesus speaking out through them. That is the iron hand beneath the silken glove of the gospel.

Peter, the denier, the failure, goes back among the men before whom he failed, where he had proved to be a coward, and there shows himself a man of courage and unquestionable bravery. The ethics of Jesus too effeminate! Not when it transforms men like that and sends them back amidst old scenes, old failures, to face old enemies, and friends who proved treacherous, amongst old and adverse conditions, and there to make good, there to wrest victory out of former defeats. This is the nature of the gospel. Christ did not promise us anything else, but a life of battle, but it was to be accompanied by its compensating conquests. The nature of the gospel is to make man face difficulties until he is crucified with Christ; until he bears in his body all through life the marks of the Lord Jesus. He set his face like a flint steadfastly toward Jerusalem, his Calvary, but his place of victory, where before he could not do many mighty works: victory out of defeat. So the disciples went back to the lake again.

But it was Christ who sent them back. The followers of Christ should always remember, that, as soldiers, they are under orders. Whatever their work, and wherever their place may be, they are under the great Commander. Back of the disciples’ order was Christ. It is he whom they must obey. Nothing can be really failure which is obedience to his command; and some bright morning the great draught of reward will come. Worry does no good. It does not make the burden lighter, the road shorter, or the duty easier. The sensible thing to do is to face the fact that is discouraging or hard, and under Christ’s command go right on. He was a wise traveler who when his horse died, said, “I must walk now,” and trudged on with cheerful energy. A good many people would have sat down beside the dead horse and spent hours in worry. Happiness, content, and success at last; all doubts answered; all dark places lighted up; heaven begun here: this is the reward of obeying and loving Christ. In this world disappointment and tribulation; yes, but good cheer in spite of them.

And then though Jesus sent the disciples bark to the same waters, he sent them more deeply into them. “Launch out into the deep,” was the command. So men are to go back, but to plunge more deeply and earnestly into their work. It is what men keep back from Christ that is the cause of most of their trouble and the lack of their spiritual growth. The young man was willing to memorize and keep a few commandments, but he failed utterly in not consecrating himself and all he had. We consecrate only a part of our life. We give the Lord only a mite of our time and substance, an hour Sunday morning or evening, as is convenient, and a painfully small offering, reserving all the rest for self, and thus we rob God. Christ gave all. O, the depth of the riches of his grace which he has bestowed upon us! It is our shallow way of doing great things that is the torture. Shallow plowing produces scant crops. Plow deeply if you would have a rich and nourishing soil. There is a shallow way of serving Christ for the emoluments of the service, or to minister to our pride, or to have social standing, not rendering him our homage from the deep principle and motive of lore. Many a man presents the gospel in a shallow way because of a consciousness of his own inefficiency. Those in Corinth thought Paul was not rhetorical enough, not verbose enough, he did not “orate.” They thought his speech contemptible, and it disturbed Paul. He felt his weakness and thought some other might do better. But in the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians he breaks away from all this and finds himself; finds the heart of all service, the true motive in consecration. He shows that there can be no complete consecration of all the powers of body, soul, and mind unless love be the strong under flowing current. If we were as anxious to be good men and women as we are to be good preachers, good teachers, good business men, good house-keepers and home-makers, we must go more deeply into self and into Christ.

A man was riding in a trolley car one day and he became very much interested in watching the movements of the motorman. Sometimes the car would run forty miles an hour, and then twenty, then ten, and then stand still. But he saw no corresponding motion on the part of the motorman. They were using the third rail system. So he went to the motorman and said, “I have been watching you for some time, and have noticed the variations of speed, but I cannot see how it is done.” The motorman replied, “When I lift up this lever the speed slackens; when I press down it goes; when I press half we skid the live rail. I just keep above it and the car runs by its own momentum.”

There are many professed Christians who just skid the third rail, the rail that furnishes the power. They work or run by their own momentum, as they feel or when they want to. They do not press down on Christ, the source of all spiritual power, the great dynamic of religious activity. And that is the reason there is so little enthusiasm and fire and activity and loyalty in Christian work to-day. Why is it that so many persons are victims of the tuberculosis germ? It is because they do not breathe deeply enough and there is so little lung or chest expansion. So many lung-cells are not used at all; and hence, not being strengthened, they are susceptible or subject to any and every microbe that floats in the air. Breathe deeply, that is the law of health physically. Launch out into the deep, that is the law of health and success spiritually.

And note too, that when Jesus sent the disciples out into deeper waters, he went back with them. Take Christ with you wherever you go. Take him as your silent Partner in every business, and your life’s work will never spell failure. Jesus never sends a man into deeper water, or calls to him for a fuller consecration, without going with him. “Lo, I am with you always,” will turn any apparent failure into success.

There is a story told of a Scottish minister, a man of delicate constitution, one of those peculiarly sensitively organized creatures who have the poetic insight and the prophetic vision, who see farther and deeper than others, a man who of God can do finer things than we of coarser fibre. As a student in college in taking his evening strolls he felt that he could never walk beyond a given point. He could not bring himself to pass it. At that point his energy seemed to fail him. One day he told it all in confidence to his dearest friend. The friend said, “Give me your arm; lean hard on me,” and leaning on that arm he walked past the point in victory. We are going back to our work again on the morrow, and what will we make of it—success or failure!

Back to the same old round of duty, to meet the same old faces, to do the same dull tasks of yesterday, to the same place where perhaps we failed yesterday. But if we are working along the line of duty, if we are engaged in the work for which we are adapted, then that is Christ’s call to us for deeper consecration, for a more thorough application of all our powers. Let us remember that we are under orders, that Christ goes with us, and he who works daily and hourly under the inspiration and consciousness of the divine presence and divine help will never go down, will never wholly fail, but will be crowned with victory at last. Over such a life the divine hand will write “Success” in golden letters when he sums up life’s total. “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.” To strive with God is to succeed.

He cast his net at morn where fishers toiled,
At eve he drew it empty to the shore;
He took the diver’s plunge into the sea
But thence, within his hand no pearl he bore.
He ran a race but never reached his goal;
He sped an arrow but he missed his aim;
He slept at last beneath a simple stone
With no achievements carved about his name.
Men called it failure; but for my own part
I dare not use that word; for what if Heaven
Shall question,—ere its judgments shall be read,
Not, “Hast thou won!” but only, “Hast Thou striven!”

Source: The Homiletic Review – Volume 82 published 1921

THE INFLUENCE OF LOVE

The Relationship Between a Man and Woman

And the Women’s Libber’s in NOW would have you believe women didn’t used to be appreciated, this piece from the 1800’s belies that assertion. I thank the Lord for the women in my life, and to the woman who encompasses all that a woman should be to me, I love you my darling.

From Gunn’s New Family Physician: Or, Home Book of Health; Forming a Complete Household Guide; Published 1868: Compiled / Authored by John C. Gunn, Johnson H. Jordan, Charles S. Royce. Unsure of the actual author of the piece.

Influence of Love:

Love is the divine essence of our being; it flows from God into our souls, and is our life. As the sun of the natural world warms the flower into life and beauty, so does the spirit of man receive the warmth of will, which animates it into life and action, from the great fountain of Divine love.

“If love, then, is one of the essential principles of our being, and through us is to fashion other forms receptive of life, how all-important that we should understand its nature and quality!

“In the brute creation, this influx of love from God is a mere external sensation. Man, too, partakes of animal love; but with him there is also an inner love, Which is spiritual and holy, as much above animal sensation, as the soul of man is above brute instinct And if this inner faculty be not cultivated and developed, man remains an animal, only exercising a rather superior understanding to other animals—dead to all the higher ends of his existence, but unfortunately too much alive to all low passions and propensities; for it is an immutable law of our creation, that we must love—-there being no life without love-and when we close our souls to the Divine love, we become receptive of infernal love—-for the lost spirits of the infernal regions love; but what do they love? all sin, and wickedness, and uncleanliness. It behooves us, therefore, to search out and try our loves, whether they be divine or infernal. And as all sin comes from love of self, we should seek, above all things, the antidote to that which enslaves us to lust, to pride, to worldliness, and all uncharitableness.

This antidote, God, in his divine providence, has provided for us; first in our love for him, and secondly, in that beautiful love which links the soul of man to woman. It is this which awakens the soul truly to God, and through which He creates the angels. Will not this thought sanctify love with so heavenly an end, that in our inmost spirit we must feel and acknowledge its holiness!

But how is love an antidote to selfishness? I speak not of mere sensual love, but of that which is spiritual and true. “When God gave woman to man, it was with a definite and divine purpose, that man in her might love himself, and thus be lifted out of his self-love. Through his senses, which join him to the visible material world, man begins to love. How often do we see this outward love glancing from the spirit-speaking eye of the young, when, in the spring-time and full joy of life, soul seeks soul, as the warbling bird doth its mate, and trills forth a love tone, and often thinks it bears its echo, when it has but struck upon a false sounding-board, that dull and heavy sound which comes to the aching heart full of disappointment. But if the true note of harmony has been trilled, how beautiful it is when man awakens from his dream of passion, and discovers that all the pride of his understanding is reflected in a softened, chastened, and more divine light in the love of the gentle being at his side; he finds his taste, his opinions, the thoughts and feelings of his own soul, appropriated by her; that all unconsciously, while he slept the deep sleep of love, from his own breast, a wife has been created “ a helpmeet for him.” How peculiarly she is his own! She is something wonderful to him; he no longer loves himself, or thinks of himself—in her centers all thought and all feeling. Then how beautifully turns that trusting, loving eye upon him—he is her wisdom, her glory, her happiness—she should learn of God through him—he may love God through her.

But, alas! how rare is the beautiful, truly spiritual union? How often the waning moon of an external love finds paired souls sundered, who are bound, the living to the dead, for this mortal life—veiling behind outward conventionalities their internal disunion, and that burdensome yoke that perhaps binds some almost angel to an ox! The dull beast of earth plods on, all unconscious and uncaring for that dear one who has been a refuge to him from the tempestuous and bereaving storms of life

Love is the weapon which Omnipotence reserved to conquer rebel men when all the rest had failed; reason, he parries; fear, he answers blow to blow; future interest, he meets with present pleasure: but love, that sun against whose melting beams winter cannot stand; that soft, subduing slumber which brings down the giant; there is not one human creature in a million, not a thousand men in all earth’s domain, whose earthy hearts are hardened against love. “ There needs no other proof that happiness is the most wholesome moral atmosphere, and that in which the morality of men is destined ultimately to thrive, than the elevation of soul, the religious aspiration which attends the first assurance, the first sober certainty of true love.” There is much of this religious aspiration amid all warmth of virtuous affections. There is latent love of God in the child that rests its check against the check of its mother, and clasps its arms about her neck. God is thanked, perhaps unconsciously, for the brightness of his earth, on a summer evening, when a brother and sister, who have long been separated, pour out their hearts to each other, and feel their course of thought brightening as they run. “Then the aged parent hears of the honors his children have won, or looks around on their innocent faces in the glory of his decline, his mind reverts to him who in them prescribed the purpose of his life, and bestowed his grace. But religions as is the mood of every affection, none is so devotional as that of love, especially so called. The soul is the very temple of adoration, of faith, of holy purity, of heroism, of charity. At such a moment, the human creature shoots up into the angel, strengthened, sustained, vivified, by that most mysterious power, union with another spirit, it feels itself on the way to victory over evil—sent out “conquering and to conquer.” There is no other such crisis in human life. The philosopher may experience uncontrollable agitation in verifying his balancing system of worlds, feeling, perhaps, as if he actually saw the creative hand in the act of sending the planets forth on their everlasting way. But this philosopher, solitary seraph as he may be regarded amid a myriad of men, knows, at such a moment, no emotions so divine as that of the spirit becoming conscious that it is beloved, be it the poorest creature in his humble cottage, or the daughter of affluence in her luxury, or the poor mechanic who toils for his daily bread, or the- man of letters musing by his fireside. The warrior about to strike his decisive blow for the liberties of a nation, however impressed with the solemnities of the hour, is not in a state of such lofty resolution, as those who by joining hearts are laying their joint hands on the wide realm of futurity for their own. The statesman, who, in the moment of success, feels that he has annihilated an entire class of social sins and woes, is not conscious of so holy and so intimate a thankfulness as they who ascribe their redemption to a new and sovereign affection.

And these are many; they are in the corners of every land. “The statesman is the leader of a nation; the warrior is the grace of an age; the philosopher is the birth of a thousand years; but the lover, where is he not?” “Wherever parents look around upon their children there he has been; wherever there are roofs under which men dwell; wherever there is an atmosphere vibrating with human voices, there is the lover, and there is his lofty worship going on, unspeakable, but revealed in the brightness of the eye, the majesty of the presence, and the high temper of the discourse. Men have been ungrateful and perverse; they have done what they could to counteract, to debase this most heavenly influence of their lives, but the laws of their Maker are too strong, the benignity of their Father is too patent and fervent for their opposition to withstand, and true love continues and will continue to send up its homage, amid the meditations of every eventide, the busy hum of noon, and the songs of the morning stars. There is something soothing and delightful in the recollection of a pure-minded woman’s affection; it is an oasis in the desert of a worldly man’s life, to which his feelings turn for refreshment, when wearied with the unhallowed passions of this world; it is that heaven-born passion that binds us in prosperity, and links us more closely under adversity; it is a tenderness unutterable, which banishes every unhallowed thought, and leads ‘us back to our primeval innocence. They know but little of this passion who deem it the offspring of sighs and protestations. These are but the husbandry which calls forth the common produce of common soils, the needful aliment of that great principle of nature, which alike peoples our cities, and our plains, our rivers, and the air we breathe. In many a heart, where it has never been awakened, lies the subtle essence, which, when touched by a kindred essence, starts at once into giant life. And how manifold are the channels through which that kindred essence works itself a passage to the sleeping mischief! A word, a look, a tone of the voice, one pressure of the hand, though a hundred have preceded it, a simple “good night,” or a parting “ God bless you!” from lips that have pronounced the words for months, shall, in a predestined moment, be like the spark that falls upon the nitrous heap, followed by instant combustion. And then what a revolution is effected! The eye sees not, the ear hears not, the mind perceives not, as it has been wont; a new being is created; the past is obliterated; nothing seems to remain of what was, and the very identity of the object by whom this delirium of all the faculties has been produce, is destroyed. We strive in vain to recall the mere man or woman we have known, in the lover or mistress we now adore. Spell-bound in the fascination, enthralled in the idolatry of suddenly awakened passions, we discover wisdom, wit, beauty, eloquence, grace, charms, benignity, and loveliness, where hitherto we at most had dim and visionary glimpses of their possible existence. All is transformed, and in a moment the heart creates its idol; all is sunshine. The graceful form flits before the imagination, and love with its genial warmth pours her incense upon the heart. Love, that cordial drop of bliss, that sovereign balm for every woe, as it is of the first enjoyment, so it is frequently the origin of our deepest distress. If it is placed upon an unworthy object, and the discovery is made too late, the heart can never know peace. Every hour increases the torments of reflection; and hope, that soothes the severest ills, is here turned into deep despair. Two souls that are sufficient to each other in sentiments, affections, passions, thoughts, all blending in love’s harmony, are earth’s most perfect reflection of heaven. Through them the angels come and go continually, on missions of love, to all the lower forms of creation. It is the halo of heavenly visitors that veils the earth in such a golden glory, and makes every little flower smile its blessings upon lovers. Nothing in life is so pure and devoted as a woman’s love. It is an unquenchable flame, the same constant and immaculate glow of feeling, whose undeniable touchstone is trial; her faithful heart is more devoted than the idolators of Mecca, and more priceless than the gems of Golconda. The world may put forth its anathemas; fortune may shower down its adversities, but in vain; still the unutterable ecstasies of this heaven-born passion are the idol of the human heart. With man, love is never a passion of such intensity and sincerity as with woman. She is a creature of sensibility, existing only in the outpourings and sympathies of her emotions. Every earthly blessing, nay, every heavenly hope, will be sacrificed for her affections. She will leave the sunny home of her childhood, the protecting roof of her kindred, forget the counsels of her aged father, the admonishing voice of that mother on whose bosom her head has been pillowed, forsake all she has clung to in her years of girlish simplicity, do all that woman can do consistently with honor, and throw herself into the arms of the man she idolizes.

Unrequited love with man is to him never a cause of perpetual misery. Other dreams will flow upon his imagination. The attractions of business, the meteors of ambition, or the pursuit of wealth, will win him away from his early infatuation. It is not thus with woman; although the scene may change, and years, long, withering, and lingering years, steal away the rose from the cheek of bounty; the ruins of a broken heart cannot be reanimated: the memories of that idol vision cannot be obliterated from the soul. She pines away again until her gentle spirit bids adieu to the treacheries of earth, and flits away into the bosom of her God. There is this difference between a woman’s love and a man’s: his passion may lead him, in the first instance, to act in opposition to opinion, but its influence is soon suspended, and a sneer or a censure will wound his pride and weaken his love. A woman’s heart, on the contrary, reposes more on itself, and a fault found in the object of her attachment is resented as an injury—she is angered, not altered.

There is such a thing as love at first sight, deny it who may; and it is not necessarily a light or transitory feeling because it is sudden. Impressions are often made as indelibly by a glance, as some that grow from imperceptible beginnings, till they become incorporated with our nature. Is not the fixed law of the universe, as illustrated by the magnetic needle, a guarantee for the existence of attraction? And who will say it is not of Divine origin? The passion of love is similar, when of a genuine kind. Reason and appreciation of character may on longer acquaintance deepen the impressions, “as streams their channels deeper wear,” but the seal is set by a higher power than human will, and gives the stamp of happiness or misery to a whole life.

I cannot but add, how truly deplorable it is that a passion which constitutes the most noble trait in human nature, should now everywhere be trampled upon by avarice. I trust I shall not witness, as our country advances, such instances of legal prostitution as have occurred in some other parts of the world.

I distinguish four seasons of love: first comes love before betrothal, or spring; then comes the summer, more ardent and fierce, which lasts from the betrothal to the altar; the third. the richly-laden, soft and dreamy autumn—the honey-moon, and after it the winter, bright, clear winter, when you take shelter by your fireside, from the cold world without, and find every pleasure there.

And then there is that love “which passeth all understanding,” Which emanates from God himself, filling us with extending joy, that shall never wear away; like a tender flower, planted in the fertile soil of the heart, it grows, expanding its foliage and imparting its fragrance to all around, till transplanted, it is set to bloom in perpetual love and unfading brightness in the paradise of God.

Follow the Star of Bethlehem, the bright and the morning star the guide to him who in his love gave his dear life for us—it will light you through every labyrinth in the wilderness of life, gild the gloom that will gather around you in a dying hour, and bring you safe over the tempestuous Jordan of death, into the haven of promised and settled rest, to enjoy that love which shall abide forever.

Perhaps a more just and beautiful compliment was never paid to woman in American history than the following, by Judge Joseph Story (1779 – 1845)

To the honour, to the eternal honour of the sex, be it said, that in the path of duty no sacrifice is with them too high or too dear. Nothing is with them impossible, but to shrink from what love, honour, innocence, and religion require. The voice of pleasure or of power may pass by unheeded—but the voice of affliction never. The chamber of the sick, the pillow of the dying, the vigils of the dead, the altars of religion never missed the presence or the sympathies of Woman! Timid though she be, and so delicate that the winds of heaven may not too roughly visit her, on such occasions she loses all sense of danger and assumes a preternatural courage, which knows not and fears not consequences. Then she displays that undaunted spirit which neither courts difficulties nor evades them; that resignation which utters neither murmurs nor regret; and that patience in suffering which seems victorious even over death itself.

SISTERS AND MOTHERS; The Scrap-book: Consisting of Tales and Anecdotes, Biographical, Historical, Patriotic, Moral, religious, and Sentimental Pieces, In Prose and Poetry. Compiled by William Fields

These are ties, which, like the invisible strings of conscience, bind man to the world of kindly affection, and are the last things forgotten when one leaves life. The married situation may be one of pure and uninterrupted felicity; there may be no cloud in its whole happy horizon; it may be ever sunny, and flowers spring in it at every season of the age. But even these happy ones, who are in this clime of bliss, remember long and late the claims of a sister or a mother to their best affections. In the life of the solitary and single, those who are said to be doomed to an ennui of loneliness, the claims of a sister and a mother should hold strongly, not only upon their feelings, but duties. Those kindnesses which men bestow upon their offspring and their wives, who possess each, and in whom their best views are concentrated, in the bachelor are given to the (almost) sacred names which constitute this heading. In loving a sister, there is none of that earthliness of passion which degrades the heart—in the devotion due to a mother, there is none of the selfishness of men. The feelings inspired by both sister and mother are all derived from sources as pure as the Divinity that inspired them.

A SISTER’S LOVE

brothersisterA SISTER’S LOVE

There is no purer feeling kindled upon the altar of human affection, than a sister’s pure, uncontaminated love for her brother. It is unlike all other affection; so disconnected with selfish sensuality; so feminine in its development, so dignified, and yet withal, so fond, so devoted. Nothing can alter it, nothing can suppress it. The world may revolve, and its revolution effect changes in the fortunes, in the character, and in the disposition of her brother; yet if he wants, whose hand will so readily stretch out to supply him as a sister’s? And if his character is maligned, whose voice will so readily swell in his advocacy? Next to a mother’s unquenchable love, a sister’s is pre-eminent. It rests so exclusively on the tie of consanguinity for its sustenance; it is so wholly divested of passion, and springs from such a deep recess in the human bosom, that when a sister once fondly and deeply regards her brother, that affection is blended with her existence, and the lamp that nourishes it expires only with that existence. In all the annals of crime, it is considered anomalous to find the hand of a sister raised in anger against her brother, or her heart nurturing the seeds of hatred, envy, or revenge in regard to that brother. ~ The Ladies’ Repository, Volume 26

Prophetic: Religion the only Basis of Society by William Ellery Channing

WilliamElleryChanningReligion the only Basis of Society by William E. Channing (1780–1842); grandson of William Ellery, (1727-1827) a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence

1. Religion is a social concern; for it operates powerfully on society, contributing, in various ways, to its stability and prosperity. Religion is not merely a private affair; the community is deeply interested in its diffusion;” for it is the best support of the virtues and principles, on which the social order rests. Pure and undefiled religion is, to do good; and it follows very plainly, that if God be the Author and Friend of society, then the recognition of him must enforce all social duty, and enlightened piety must give its whole strength to public order.

2. Few men suspect —perhaps no man comprehends —the extent of the support given by religion to every virtue. No man perhaps is aware, how much our moral and social sentiments are fed from this fountain,—how powerless conscience would become, without the belief of a God,—how palsied would be human benevolence, were there not the sense of a higher benevolence to quicken and sustain it,—how suddenly the whole social fabric would quake, and with what a fearful crash it would sink into hopeless ruin,—were the ideas of a supreme Being, of accountableness, and of a future life, to be utterly erased’ from every mind.

3. And, let men thoroughly believe that they are the work and sport of chance,—that no superior intelligence concerns itself with human affairs,—that the weak have no guardian and the injured no avenger,—that there is no recompense for sacrifices to uprightness and the public good,—that an oath is unheard in heaven,—that secret crimes have no witness but the perpetrator,”—that human existence has no purpose, and human virtue no unfailing friend,—that this brief life is everything to us, and death is total, everlasting extinction,— once let them thoroughly abandon religion,—and who can conceive or describe the extent of the desolation which would follow.

4. We hope, perhaps, that human laws and natural sympathy would hold society together. As reasonably might we believe, that were the sun quenched in the heavens, cur torches would illuminate, and our fires quicken and fertilize the creation. What is there in human nature to awaken respect and tenderness, if man is the unprotected insect of a day?— And what is he more if atheism be true?

5. Erase all thought and fear of God from a community, and selfishness and sensuality would absorb the whole man. Appetite, knowing no restraint, and suffering, having no solace or hope, would trample in scorn on the restraints of human laws. Virtue, duty, principle, would be mocked and spurned as unmeaning sounds. A sordid self-interest would supplant every other feeling ; and man would become in fact, what the theory of atheism declares him to be,—a companion for brutes.

Gain a Greater Understanding of History by Joseph Stevens Buckminster

JosephStevensBuckminster GilbertStuart

As I have said “History is not simply a record of man’s accomplishments. Even more, History is the story / record of God’s interaction with man. It is indeed His Story” ~ CJD

Gain a Greater Understanding of History; Value of Religious Faith by Joseph Stevens Buckminster (1784 – 1812)

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Having considered the objects, and the reasonableness of religious faith, it now remains to say something of its Importance. The value of religious faith principally results from two circumstances—from the fears it excites, and from the consolations it affords.

In the ordinary conduct of government, and to the well-being of society, some kind of faith is essential. Belief in the superintendence of invisible powers is not peculiar to religion. It is found in every man, who conscientiously submits to the government under which he lives; for how few of the subjects of any extensive empire have ever seen their rulers? Their authority, their edicts, their measures, nay, their very existence, are almost exclusively objects of faith. Suppose the assassin were to fear nothing but the instrument of punishment, or the thief were permitted to demand a strict demonstration of the authority of the officer who arrested him, think you society would long sustain the consequences of so great incredulity? Every man would become his own avenger, and we should revert to the barbarous independence of universal democracy. If, too, the sober part only of the community should require, that every law should be promulgated in their hearing, or that their rulers should constantly live under their ocular inspection, it is easy to foresee, that the affairs of human society would fall into the utmost confusion. We must, therefore, in the ordinary state of society, live, as seeing those that are invisible.

The fear, which faith awakens, is the foundation of the most necessary prudence. It is faith, which warns us of the invisible and approaching misfortunes, to which we are daily exposed; it is faith, which keeps up a continual, and sometimes painful interest in the dangers, which threaten the community. Without this we should rush as inconsiderately into the abode of foreign pestilence, as we now walk the streets of our own city; and be as unprepared for an approaching war, as for an impending earthquake. If we were to wait, till we could satisfy our own personal experience, in regard to some of the most common evils of life, we should find, that our ruin was accomplished, [before] the remedy was provided. The life of children is a continual exercise of faith. The prudence of parents is employed in foreseeing dangers, which the short-sightedness of the child must believe upon authority. Without filial confidence, which is only another name for faith, not one of the generations of men could hardly have reached the maturity of manhood; each successive race would profit nothing from the experience of its predecessors; and even if it were possible to continue the human species without a principle of faith, the world would have remained, to the present day, in a state of infantile ignorance, exposure and imbecility. What then! is it of so much importance, that the years of minority should be so carefully provided with this principle to secure it against the evils of present inexperience; and is it of none, that the full-grown understanding should be admonished of the alarming disclosures, which another world will make of a retributive power? Is it of no importance, that the conscience of the wicked should be awakened, before his senses tell him, that he is in anguish? Shall the narrow policy of civil government, and the feebleness of temporal punishments, be left to maintain, unsupported, the order of society? Is it of so much consequence, that, while he lives here, man should be aware of his mortality, and be provided against death, the inevitable and universal lot of mortal creatures; and of none, that he should suspect his immortality, and extend his views to the tribunal of his Judge? Shall man tremble so much at the thought of dying; and know nothing of the dread of punishment? Is it of no importance for the selfish man to know, that, by the interested pleasures in which he is absorbed, he is surely defeating his own aims, however successful they may have been? Shall the indolent, the luxurious, the dead in sensuality, the avaricious, the hard-hearted, go on accumulating wrath, and hardening their consciences by unbelief? Because we cannot be transported to the regions of future suffering, and witness the intensity of the torment, shall we rush, with all our sins upon our head, into that community of woe, and learn first by experience what we would not receive upon credit? Thank God! that such is the want, which individuals and society feel of a principle like this, that the imagination supplies it, where the reason cannot attain to undoubting conviction. Legislators have always invented something, like what revelation discloses; and the barbarous faith of the early ages has supplied, in almost every country, something, which has served the purposes of providence, till the cultivated mind was ready for the fullness of God’s communications.

In the second place, the value of faith may be estimated from the consolations it affords.

Who would look back upon the history of the world with the eye of incredulity, after having once read it with the eye of faith? To the man of faith it is the story of God’s operations. To the unbeliever it is only the record of the strange sports of a race of agents as uncontrolled as they are unaccountable. To the man of faith every portion of history is part of a vast plan, conceived ages ago in the mind of Omnipotence, which has been fitted precisely to the period it was intended to occupy. The whole series of events forms a magnificent and symmetrical fabric to the eye of pious contemplation; and, though the dome be in the clouds, and the top, from its loftiness, be indiscernible to mortal vision, yet the foundations are so deep and solid, that we are sure they are intended to support something permanent and grand. To the skeptic, all the events of all the ages of the world are but a scattered crowd of useless and indigested materials. In his mind all is darkness, all is incomprehensible. The light of prophecy illuminates not to him the obscurity of ancient annals. He sees in them neither design nor operation, neither tendencies nor conclusions. To him the wonderful knowledge of one people is just as interesting as the desperate ignorance of another. In the deliverance which God has sometimes wrought for the oppressed, he sees nothing but the fact; and in the oppression and decline of haughty empires, nothing but the common accidents of national fortune. Going about to account for events according to what he calls general laws, he never for a moment considers, that all laws, whether physical, political or moral, imply a legislator, and are contrived to serve some purpose. Because he cannot always, by his short-sighted vision, discover the tendencies of the mighty events of which this earth has been the theatre, he looks on the drama of existence around him as proceeding without a plan. Is that principle, then, of no importance, which raises man above what his eyes see or his ears hear at present, and show him the vast chain of human events, fastened eternally to the throne of God, and returning, after embracing the universe, again to link itself to the footstool of Omnipotence?

Would you know the value of this principle of faith to the bereaved? Go, and follow a corpse to the grave. See the body deposited there, and hear the earth thrown in upon all that remains of your friend. Return now, if you will, and brood over the lesson which your senses have given you, and derive from it what consolation you can. You have learned nothing but an unconsoling fact. No voice of comfort issues from the tomb. All is still there, and blank, and lifeless, and has been so for ages. You see nothing but bodies dissolving and successively mingling with the clods which cover them, the grass growing over the spot, and the trees waving in sullen majesty over this region of eternal silence. And what is there more? Nothing,—Come, Faith, and people these deserts! Come, and reanimate these regions of forgetfulness! Mothers! take again your children to your arms, for they are living. Sons! your aged parents are coming forth in the vigor of regenerated years. Friends! behold, your dearest connections are waiting to embrace you. The tombs are burst. Generations long since in slumbers are awakening. They are coming from the east and the west, from the north and from the south, to constitute the community of the blessed.

But it is not in the loss of friends alone, that faith furnishes consolations which are inestimable. With a man of faith not an affliction is lost, not a change is unimproved. He studies even his own history with pleasure, and finds it full of instruction. The dark passages of his life are illuminated with hope; and he sees, that although he has passed through many dreary defiles, yet they have opened at last into brighter regions of existence. He recalls, with a species of wondering gratitude, periods of his life, when all its events seemed to conspire against him. Hemmed in by straitened circumstances, wearied with repeated blows of unexpected misfortunes, and exhausted with the painful anticipation of more, he recollects years, when the ordinary love of life could not have retained him in the world. Many a time he might have wished to lay down his being in disgust, had not something more than the senses provide us with, kept up the elasticity of his mind. He yet lives, and has found that light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. The man of faith discovers some gracious purpose in every combination of circumstances. Wherever he finds himself, he knows that he has a destination—he has, therefore, a duty. Every event has, in his eye, a tendency and an aim. Nothing is accidental, nothing without purpose, nothing unattended with benevolent consequences. Everything on earth is probationary, nothing ultimate. He is poor—perhaps his plans have been defeated—he finds it difficult to provide for the exigencies of life—sickness is permitted to invade the quiet of his household—long confinement imprisons his activity, and cuts short the exertions on which so many depend—something apparently unlucky mars his best plans —new failures and embarrassments among his friends present themselves, and throw additional obstruction in his way—the world looks on and says, all these things are against him. Some wait coolly for the hour when he shall sink under the complicated embarrassments of his cruel fortune. Others, of a kinder spirit, regard him with compassion, and wonder how he can sustain such a variety of woe. A few there are, a very few, I fear, who can understand something of the serenity of his mind, and comprehend something of the nature of his fortitude. There are those, whose sympathetic piety can read and interpret the characters of resignation on his brow. There are those, in fine, who have felt the influence of faith.

In this influence there is nothing mysterious, nothing romantic, nothing of which the highest reason may be ashamed. It shows the Christian his God, in all the mild majesty of his parental character. It shows you God, disposing in still and benevolent wisdom the events of every individual’s life, pressing the pious spirit with the weight of calamity to increase the elasticity of the mind, producing characters of unexpected worth by unexpected misfortune, invigorating certain virtues by peculiar probations, thus breaking the fetters which bind us to temporal things, and

“From seeming evil still educing good,
And better thence again, and better still,
In infinite progression.”

When the sun of the believer’s hopes, according to common calculations, is set, to the eye of faith it is still visible. When much of the rest of the world is in darkness, the high ground of faith is illuminated with the brightness of religious consolation.

Come now, my incredulous friends, and follow me to the bed of the dying believer. Would you see in what peace a Christian can die? Watch the last gleams of thought which stream from his dying eyes. Do you see anything like apprehension? The world, it is true, begins to shut in. The shadows of evening collect around his senses. A dark mist thickens, and rests upon the objects which have hitherto engaged his observation. The countenances of his friends become more and more indistinct. The sweet expressions of love and friendship are no longer intelligible. His ear wakes no more at the well-known voice of his children, and the soothing accents of tender affection die away unheard, upon his decaying senses. To him the spectacle of human life is drawing to its close, and the curtain is descending, which shuts out this earth, its actors, and its scenes. He is no longer interested in all that is done under the sun. O! that I could now open to you the recesses of his soul; that I could reveal to you the light, which darts into the chambers of his understanding. He approaches that world which he has so long seen in faith. The imagination now collects its diminished strength, and the eye of faith opens wide. Friends! do not stand, thus fixed in sorrow, around this bed of death. Why are you so still and silent? Fear not to move—you cannot disturb the last visions which enchant this holy spirit. Your lamentations break not in upon the songs of seraphs, which enwrap his hearing in ecstasy. Crowd, if you choose, around his couch—he heeds you not—already he sees the spirits of the just advancing together to receive a kindred soul. Press him not with importunities; urge him not with alleviations. Think you he wants now these tones of mortal voices—these material, these gross consolations’ No! He is going to add another to the myriads of the just, that are every moment crowding into the portals of heaven! He is entering on a nobler life. He leaves you—he leaves you, weeping children of mortality, to grope about a little longer among the miseries and sensualities of a worldly life. Already he cries to you from the regions of bliss. Will you not join him there? Will you not taste the sublime joys of faith? There are your predecessors in virtue; there, too, are places left for your contemporaries. There are seats for you in the assembly of the just made perfect, in the innumerable company of angels, where is Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant, and God, the judge of all.

National Recollections the Foundation of National Character by Edward Everett

Edward_EverettThePeople

National Recollections the Foundation of National Character by Edward Everett (1794 – 1865) was an American politician, pastor, educator, diplomat, and orator from Massachusetts.

How is the spirit of a free people to be formed, and animated, and cheered, but out of the store-house of its historic recollections? Are we to be eternally ringing the changes upon Marathon and Thermopylae; and going back to read in obscure texts of Greek and Latin of the exemplars of patriotic virtue? I thank God that we can find them nearer home, in our own country, on our own soil; — that strains of the noblest sentiment that ever swelled in the breast of man, are breathing to us out of every page of our country’s history, in the native eloquence of our mother tongue;—that the colonial and provincial councils of America exhibit to us models of the spirit and character, which gave Greece and Rome their name and their praise among the nations. Here we ought to go for our instruction;—the lesson is plain, it is clear, it is applicable. When we go to ancient history, we are bewildered with the difference of manners and institutions. We are willing to pay our tribute of applause to the memory of Leonidas, who fell nobly for his country in the face of his foe. But when we trace him to his home, we are confounded at the reflection, that the same Spartan heroism, to which he sacrificed himself at Thermopylae, would have led him to tear his own child, if it had happened to be a sickly babe,-—the very object for which all that is kind and good in man rises up to plead,—from the bosom of its mother, and carry it out to be eaten by the wolves of Taygetus. We feel a glow of admiration at the heroism displayed at Marathon, by the ten thousand champions of invaded Greece; but we cannot forget that the tenth part of the number were slaves, unchained from the work-shops and door-posts of their masters, to go and fight the battles of freedom. I do not mean that these examples are to destroy the interest with which we read the history of ancient times; they possibly increase that interest by the very contrasts they exhibit. But they do warn us, if we need the warning, to seek our great practical lessons of patriotism at home; out of the exploits and sacrifices of which our own country is the theatre; out of the characters of our own fathers. Them we know,—the high-souled, natural, unaffected, the citizen heroes. We know what happy firesides they left for the cheerless camp. We know with what pacific habits they dared the perils of the field. There is no mystery, no romance, no madness, under the name of chivalry, about them. It is all resolute, manly resistance for conscience’ and liberty’s sake, not merely of an overwhelming power, but of all the force of long-rooted habits and native love of order and peace.

Above all, their blood calls to us from the soil which we tread; it beats in our veins; it cries to us not merely in the thrilling words of one of the first victims in this cause,— “My sons, scorn to be slaves!”—but it cries with a still more moving eloquence—” My sons, forget not your father’s.”

Colloquial Powers of Dr. Benjamin Franklin; by William Wirt

BenjaminFranklinQuotesQuarreledReligion

I thought I would share this in light of the so-called “record” snow-fall in the United States this year.

Colloquial Powers of Dr. Benjamin Franklin; by William Wirt (1772 – 1834) Former U.S. Attorney General

Never have I known such a fireside companion as he was!—Great as he was, both as a statesman and a philosopher, he never shone in a light more winning than when he was seen in a domestic circle. It was once my good fortune to pass two or three weeks with him, at the house of a private gentleman, in the back part of Pennsylvania; and we were confined to the house during the whole of that time, by the unintermitting [unceasing, non-stop] constancy and depth of the snows. But confinement could never be felt where Franklin was an inmate.—His cheerfulness and his colloquial powers spread around him a perpetual spring.—When I speak, however, of his colloquial powers, I do not mean to awaken any notion analogous to that which Boswell has given us, when he so frequently mentions the colloquial powers of Dr. Johnson. The conversation of the latter continually reminds one of “the pomp and circumstance of glorious war.” It was, indeed, a perpetual contest for victory, or an arbitrary and despotic exaction of homage to his superior talents. It was strong, acute, prompt, splendid and vociferous; as loud, stormy, and sublime, as those winds which he represents as shaking the Hebrides, and rocking the old castles that frowned upon the dark rolling sea beneath. But one gets tired of storms, however sublime they may be, and longs for the more orderly current of nature of Franklin no one ever became tired. There was no ambition of eloquence, no effort to shine, in any thing which came from him. There was nothing which made any demand either upon your allegiance or your admiration.

His manner was as unaffected as infancy. It was nature’s self. He talked like an old patriarch; and his plainness and simplicity put you, at once, at your ease, and gave you the full and free possession and use of all your faculties.

His thoughts were of a character to shine by their own light, without any adventitious aid. They required only a medium of vision like his pure and simple style, to exhibit, to the highest advantage, their native radiance and beauty. His cheerfulness was unremitting. It seemed to be as much the effect of the systematic and salutary exercise of the mind as of its superior organization. His wit was of the first order. It did not show itself merely in occasional coruscation’s; but, without any effort or force on his part, it shed a constant stream of the purest light over the whole of his discourse. Whether in the company of commons or nobles, he was always the same plain man; always most perfectly at his ease, his faculties in full play, and the full orbit of his genius forever clear and unclouded. And then the stores of his mind were inexhaustible. He had commenced life with an attention so vigilant, that nothing had escaped his observation, and a judgment so solid, that every incident was turned to advantage. .His youth had not been wasted in idleness, nor overcast by intemperance. He had been all his life a close and deep reader, as well as thinker; and, by the force of his own powers, had wrought up the raw materials, which he had gathered from books, with such exquisite skill and felicity, that he had added a hundred fold to their original value, and justly made them his own.

THE LIBERTY OF THE INDIVIDUAL by John Stuart Mill

JohnStuartMill

THE subject of this Essay is not the so-called Liberty of the Will, so unfortunately opposed to the misnamed doctrine of Philosophical Necessity; but Civil, or Social Liberty: the nature and limits of the power which can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual. A question seldom stated, and hardly ever discussed, in general terms, but which profoundly influences the practical controversies of the age by its latent presence, and is likely soon to make itself recognised as the vital question of the future. It is so far from being new, that, in a certain sense, it has divided mankind, almost from the remotest ages; but in the stage of progress into which the more civilized portions of the species have now entered, it presents itself under new conditions, and requires a different and more fundamental treatment.

The struggle between Liberty and Authority is the most conspicuous feature in the portions of history with which we are earliest familiar, particularly in that of Greece, Rome, and England. But in old times this contest was between subjects, or some classes of subjects, and the Government. By liberty, was meant protection against the tyranny of the political rulers. The rulers were conceived (except in some of the popular governments of Greece) as in a necessarily antagonistic position to the people whom they ruled. They consisted of a governing One, or a governing tribe or caste, who derived their authority from inheritance or conquest, who, at all events, did not hold it at the pleasure of the governed, and whose supremacy men did not venture, perhaps did not desire, to contest, whatever precautions might be taken against its oppressive exercise. Their power was regarded as necessary, but also as highly dangerous; as a weapon which they would attempt to use against their subjects, no less than against external enemies. To prevent the weaker members of the community from being preyed upon by innumerable vultures, it was needful that there should be an animal of prey stronger than the rest, commissioned to keep them down. But as the king of the vultures would be no less bent upon preying on the flock than any of the minor harpies, it was indispensable to be in a perpetual attitude of defence against his beak and claws. The aim, therefore, of patriots was to set limits to the power which the ruler should be suffered to exercise over the community; and this limitation was what they meant by liberty. It was attempted in two ways. First, by obtaining a recognition of certain immunities, called political liberties or rights, which it was to be regarded as a breach of duty in the ruler to infringe, and which, if he did infringe, specific resistance, or general rebellion, was held to be justifiable. A second, and generally a later expedient, was the establishment of constitutional checks, by which the consent of the community, or of a body of some sort, supposed to represent its interests, was made a necessary condition to some of the more important acts of the governing power. To the first of these modes of limitation, the ruling power, in most European countries, was compelled, more or less, to submit. It was not so with the second; and, to attain this, or when already in some degree possessed, to attain it more completely, became everywhere the principal object of the lovers of liberty. And so long as mankind were content to combat one enemy by another, and to be ruled by a master, on condition of being guaranteed more or less efficaciously against his tyranny, they did not carry their aspirations beyond this point.

A time, however, came, in the progress of human affairs, when men ceased to think it a necessity of nature that their governors should be an independent power, opposed in interest to themselves. It appeared to them much better that the various magistrates of the State should be their tenants or delegates, revocable at their pleasure. In that way alone, it seemed, could they have complete security that the powers of government would never be abused to their disadvantage. By degrees this new demand for elective and temporary rulers became the prominent object of the exertions of the popular party, wherever any such party existed; and superseded, to a considerable extent, the previous efforts to limit the power of rulers. As the struggle proceeded for making the ruling power emanate from the periodical choice of the ruled, some persons began to think that too much importance had been attached to the limitation of the power itself. That (it might seem) was a resource against rulers whose interests were habitually opposed to those of the people. What was now wanted was, that the rulers should be identified with the people; that their interest and will should be the interest and will of the nation. The nation did not need to be protected against its own will. There was no fear of its tyrannizing over itself. Let the rulers be effectually responsible to it, promptly removable by it, and it could afford to trust them with power of which it could itself dictate the use to be made. Their power was but the nation’s own power, concentrated, and in a form convenient for exercise. This mode of thought, or rather perhaps of feeling, was common among the last generation of European liberalism, in the Continental section of which it still apparently predominates. Those who admit any limit to what a government may do, except in the case of such governments as they think ought not to exist, stand out as brilliant exceptions among the political thinkers of the Continent. A similar tone of sentiment might by this time have been prevalent in our own country, if the circumstances which for a time encouraged it, had continued unaltered.

But, in political and philosophical theories, as well as in persons, success discloses faults and infirmities which failure might have concealed from observation. The notion, that the people have no need to limit their power over themselves, might seem axiomatic, when popular government was a thing only dreamed about, or read of as having existed at some distant period of the past. Neither was that notion necessarily disturbed by such temporary aberrations as those of the French Revolution, the worst of which were the work of an usurping few, and which, in any case, belonged, not to the permanent working of popular institutions, but to a sudden and convulsive outbreak against monarchical and aristocratic despotism. In time, however, a democratic republic came to occupy a large portion of the earth’s surface, and made itself felt as one of the most powerful members of the community of nations; and elective and responsible government became subject to the observations and criticisms which wait upon a great existing fact. It was now perceived that such phrases as ‘ self-government/ and ‘ the power of the people over themselves,’ do not express the true state of the case. The ‘people’ who exercise the power are not always the same people with those over whom it is exercised; and the ‘self-government’ spoken of is not the government of each by himself, but of each by all the rest. The will of the people, moreover, practically means the will of the most numerous or the most active part of the people; the majority, or those who succeed in making themselves accepted as the majority; the people, consequently, may desire to oppress a part of their number; and precautions are as much needed against this as against any other abuse of power. The limitation, therefore, of the power of government over individuals loses none of its importance when the holders of power are regularly accountable to the community, that is, to the strongest party therein. This view of things, recommending itself equally to the intelligence of thinkers and to the inclination of those important classes in European society to whose real or supposed interests democracy is adverse, has had no difficulty in establishing itself; and in political speculations the tyranny of the majority’ is now generally included among the evils against which society requires to be on its guard.

Like other tyrannies, the tyranny of the majority was at first, and is still vulgarly, held in dread, chiefly as operating through the acts of the public authorities. But reflecting persons perceived that when society is itself the tyrant—society collectively, over the separate individuals who compose it—its means of tyrannizing are not restricted to the acts which it may do by the hands of its political functionaries. Society can and does execute its own mandates: and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with which it ought not to meddle, it practises a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself. Protection, therefore, against the tyranny of the magistrate is not enough: there needs protection also against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling; against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them; to fetter the development, and, if possible, prevent the formation, of any individuality not in harmony with its ways, and compel all characters to fashion themselves upon the model of its own. There is a limit to the legitimate interference of collective opinion with individual independence: and to find that limit, and maintain it against encroachment, is as indispensable to a good condition of human affairs, as protection against political despotism.

But though this proposition is not likely to be contested in general terms, the practical question, where to place the limit—how to make the fitting adjustment between individual independence and social control—is a subject on which nearly everything remains to be done. All that makes existence valuable to any one, depends on the enforcement of restraints upon the actions of other people. Some rules of conduct, therefore, must be imposed, by law in the first place, and by opinion on many things which are not fit subjects for the operation of law. What these rules should be, is the principal question in human affairs; but if we except a few of the most obvious cases, it is one of those which least progress has been made in resolving. No two ages, and scarcely any two countries, have decided it alike; and the decision of one age or country is a wonder to another. Yet the people of any given age and country no more suspect any difficulty in it, than if it were a subject on which mankind had always been agreed. The rules which obtain among themselves appear to them self-evident and self-justifying. This all but universal illusion is one of the examples of the magical influence of custom, which is not only, as the proverb says, a second nature, but is continually mistaken for the first. The effect of custom, in preventing any misgiving respecting the rules of conduct which mankind impose on one another, is all the more complete because the subject is one on which it is not generally considered necessary that reasons should be given, either by one person to others, or by each to himself. People are accustomed to believe, and have been encouraged in the belief by some who aspire to the character of philosophers, that their feelings, on subjects of this nature, are better than reasons, and render reasons unnecessary. The practical principle which guides them to their opinions on the regulation of human conduct, is the feeling in each person’s mind that everybody should be required to act as he, and those with whom he sympathizes, would like them to act. No one, indeed, acknowledges to himself that his standard of judgment is his own liking; but an opinion on a point of conduct, not supported by reasons, can only count as one person’s preference; and if the reasons, when given, are a mere appeal to a similar preference felt by other people, it is still only many people’s liking instead of one. To an ordinary man, however, his own preference, thus supported, is not only a perfectly satisfactory reason, but the only one he generally has for any of his notions of morality, taste, or propriety, which are not expressly written in his religious creed; and his chief guide in the interpretation even of that. Men’s opinions, accordingly, on what is laudable or blameable, are affected by all the multifarious causes which influence their wishes in regard to the conduct of others, and which are as numerous as those which determine their wishes on any other subject. Sometimes their reason—at other times their prejudices or superstitions: often their social affections, not seldom their antisocial ones, their envy or jealousy, their arrogance or contemptuousness: but most commonly, their desires or fears for themselves— their legitimate or illegitimate self-interest. Wherever there is an ascendant class, a large portion of the morality of the country emanates from its class interests, and its feelings of class superiority. The morality between Spartans and Helots, between planters and negroes, between princes and subjects, between nobles and roturiers, between men and women, has been for the most part the creation of these class interests and feelings: and the sentiments thus generated, react in turn upon the moral feelings of the members of the ascendant class, in their relations among themselves. Where, on the other hand, a class, formerly ascendant, has lost its ascendancy, or where its ascendancy is unpopular, the prevailing moral sentiments frequently bear the impress of an impatient dislike of superiority. Another grand determining principle of the rules of conduct, both in act and forbearance, which have been enforced by law or opinion, has been the servility of mankind towards the supposed preferences or aversions of their temporal masters, or of their gods. This servility, though essentially selfish, is not hypocrisy; it gives rise to perfectly genuine sentiments of abhorrence; it made men burn magicians and heretics. Among so many baser influences, the general and obvious interests of society have of course had a share, and a large one, in the direction of the moral sentiments: less, however, as a matter of reason, and on their own account, than as a consequence of the sympathies and antipathies which grew out of them: and sympathies and antipathies which had little or nothing to do with the interests of society, have made themselves felt in the establishment of moralities with quite as great force.

The likings and dislikings of society, or of some powerful portion of it, are thus the main thing which has practically determined the rules laid down for general observance, under the penalties of law or opinion. And in general, those who have been in advance of society in thought and feeling, have left this condition of things unassailed in principle, however they may have come into conflict with it in some of its details. They have occupied themselves rather in inquiring what things society ought to like or dislike, than in questioning whether its likings or dislikings should be a law to individuals. They preferred endeavouring to alter the feelings of mankind on the particular points on which they were themselves heretical, rather than make common cause in defence of freedom, with heretics generally. The only case in which the higher ground has been taken on principle and maintained with consistency, by any but an individual here and there, is that of religious belief: a case instructive in many ways, and not least so as forming a most striking instance of the fallibility of what is called the moral sense: for the odium theologicum, in a sincere bigot, is one of the most unequivocal cases of moral feeling. Those who first broke the yoke of what called itself the Universal Church, were in general as little willing to permit difference of religious opinion as that church itself. But when the heat of the conflict was over, without giving a complete victory to any party, and each church or sect was reduced to limit its hopes to retaining possession of the ground it already occupied; minorities, seeing that they had no chance of becoming majorities, were under the necessity of pleading to those whom they could not convert, for permission to differ. It is accordingly on this battle field, almost solely, that the rights of the individual against society have been asserted on broad grounds of principle, and the claim of society to exercise authority over dissentients, openly controverted. The great writers to whom the world owes what religious liberty it possesses, have mostly asserted freedom of conscience as an indefeasible right, and denied absolutely that a human being is accountable to others for his religious belief. Yet so natural to mankind is intolerance in whatever they really care about, that religious freedom has hardly anywhere been practically realized, except where religious indifference, which dislikes to have its peace disturbed by theological quarrels, has added its weight to the scale. In the minds of almost all religious persons, even in the most tolerant countries, the duty of toleration is admitted with tacit reserves. One person will bear with dissent in matters of church government, but not of dogma; another can tolerate everybody, short of a Papist or an Unitarian; another, everyone who believes in revealed religion; a few extend their charity a little further, but stop at the belief in a God and in a future state. Wherever the sentiment of the majority is still genuine and intense, it is found to have abated little of its claim to be obeyed.

In England, from the peculiar circumstances of our political history, though the yoke of opinion is perhaps heavier, that of law is lighter, than in most other countries of Europe; and there is considerable jealousy of direct interference, by the legislative or the executive power, with private conduct; not so much from any just regard for the independence of the individual, as from the still subsisting habit of looking on the government as representing an opposite interest to the public. The majority have not yet learnt to feel the power of the government their power, or its opinions their opinions. When they do so, individual liberty will probably be as much exposed to invasion from the government, as it already is from public opinion. But, as yet, there is a considerable amount of feeling ready to be called forth against any attempt of the law to control individuals in things in which they have not hitherto been accustomed to be controlled by it; and this with very little discrimination as to whether the matter is, or is not, within the legitimate sphere of legal control; insomuch that the feeling, highly salutary on the whole, is perhaps quite as often misplaced as well grounded in the particular instances of its application. There is, in fact, no recognised principle by which the propriety or impropriety of government interference is customarily tested. People decide according to their personal preferences. Some, whenever they see any good to be done, or evil to be remedied, would willingly instigate the government to undertake the business; while others prefer to bear almost any amount of social evil, rather than add one to the departments of human interests amenable to governmental control. And men range themselves on one or the other side in any particular case, according to this general direction of their sentiments; or according to the degree of interest which they feel in the particular thing which it is proposed that the government should do, or according to the belief they entertain that the government would, or would not, do it in the manner they prefer; but very rarely on account of any opinion to which they consistently adhere, as to what things are fit to be done by a government. And it seems to me that in consequence of this absence of rule or principle, one side is at present as often wrong as the other; the interference of government is, with about equal frequency, improperly invoked and improperly condemned.

The object of this Essay is to assert one very simple principle, as entitled to govern absolutely the dealings of society with the individual in the way of compulsion and control, whether the means used be physical force in the form of legal penalties, or the moral coercion of public opinion. That principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil in case he do otherwise. To justify that, the conduct from which it is desired to deter him, must be calculated to produce evil to someone else. The only part of the conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.

It is, perhaps, hardly necessary to say that this doctrine is meant to apply only to human beings in the maturity of their faculties. We are not speaking of children, or of young persons below the age which the law may fix as that of manhood or womanhood. Those who are still in a state to require being taken care of by others, must be protected against their own actions as well as against external injury. For the same reason, we may leave out of consideration those backward states of society in which the race itself may be considered as in its nonage. The early difficulties in the way of spontaneous progress are so great, that there is seldom any choice of means for overcoming them; and a ruler full of the spirit of improvement is warranted in the use of any expedients that will attain an end, perhaps otherwise unattainable. Despotism is a legitimate mode of government in dealing with barbarians, provided the end be their improvement, and the means justified by actually effecting that end. Liberty, as a principle, has no application to any state of things anterior to the time when mankind have become capable of being improved by free and equal discussion. Until then, there is nothing for them but implicit obedience to an Akbar or a Charlemagne, if they are so fortunate as to find one. But as soon as mankind have attained the capacity of being guided to their own improvement by conviction or persuasion (a period long since reached in all nations with whom we need here concern ourselves), compulsion, either in the direct form or in that of pains and penalties for non-compliance, is no longer admissible as a means to their own good, and justifiable only for the security of others. It is proper to state that I forego any advantage which could be derived to my argument from the idea of abstract right, as a thing independent of utility. I regard utility as the ultimate appeal on all ethical questions; but it must be utility in the largest sense, grounded on the permanent interests of man as a progressive being. Those interests, I contend, authorize the subjection of individual spontaneity to external control, only in respect to those actions of each, which concern the interest of other people. If any one does an act hurtful to others, there is a primd facie case for punishing him, by law, or, where legal penalties are not safely applicable, by general disapprobation. There are also many positive acts for the benefit of others, which he may rightfully be compelled to perform; such as, to give evidence in a court of justice; to bear his fair share in the common defence, or in any other joint work necessary to the interest of the society of which he enjoys the protection; and to perform certain acts of individual beneficence, such as saving a fellowcreature’s life, or interposing to protect the defenceless against ill-usage, things which whenever it is obviously a man’s duty to do, he may rightfully be made responsible to society for not doing. A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury. The latter case, it is true, requires a much more cautious exercise of compulsion than the former. To make any one answerable for doing evil to others, is the rule; to make him answerable for not preventing evil, is, comparatively speaking, the exception. Yet there are many cases clear enough and grave enough to justify that exception. In all things which regard the external relations of the individual, he is dejure amenable to those whose interests are concerned, and if need be, to society as their protector. There are often good reasons for not holding him to the responsibility; but these reasons must arise from the special expediencies of the case: either because it is a kind of case in which he is on the whole likely to act better, when left to his own discretion, than when controlled in any way in which society have it in their power to control him; or because the attempt to exercise control would produce other evils, greater than those which it would prevent. When such reasons as these preclude the enforcement of responsibility, the conscience of the agent himself should step into the vacant judgment seat, and protect those interests of others which have no external protection; judging himself all the more rigidly, because the case does not admit of his being made accountable to the judgment of his fellow-creatures.

But there is a sphere of action in which society, as distinguished from the individual, has, if any, only an indirect interest; comprehending all that portion of a person’s life and conduct which affects only himself, or if it also affects others, only with their free, voluntary, and undeceived consent and participation. When I say only himself, I mean directly, and in the first instance: for whatever affects himself, may affect others through himself; and the objection which may be grounded on this contingency, will receive consideration in the sequel. This, then, is the appropriate region of human liberty. It comprises, first, the inward domain of consciousness; demanding liberty of conscience, in the most comprehensive sense; liberty of thought and feeling; absolute freedom of opinion and sentiment on all subjects, practical or speculative, scientific, moral, or theological. The liberty of expressing and publishing opinions may seem to fall under a different principle, since it belongs to that part of the conduct of an individual which concerns other people; but, being almost of as much importance as the liberty of thought itself, and resting in great part on the same reasons, is practically inseparable from it. Secondly, the principle requires liberty of tastes and pursuits; of framing the plan of our life to suit our own character; of doing as we like, subject to such consequences as may follow: without impediment from our fellow-creatures, so long as what we do does not harm them, even though they should think our conduct foolish, perverse, or wrong. Thirdly, from this liberty of each individual, follows the liberty, within the same limits, of combination among individuals; freedom to unite, for any purpose not involving harm to others: the persons combining being supposed to be of full age, and not forced or deceived.

No society in which these liberties are not, on the whole, respected, is free, whatever may be its form of government; and none is completely free in which they do not exist absolute and unqualified. The only freedom which deserves the name, is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it. Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental and spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest.

Though this doctrine is anything but new, and, to some persons, may have the air of a truism, there is no doctrine which stands more directly opposed to the general tendency of existing opinion and practice. Society has expended fully as much effort in the attempt (according to its lights) to compel people to conform to its notions of personal, as of social excellence. The ancient commonwealths thought themselves entitled to practise, and the ancient philosophers countenanced, the regulation of every part of private conduct by public authority, on the ground that the State had a deep interest in the whole bodily and mental discipline of every one of its citizens; a mode of thinking which may have been admissible in small republics surrounded by powerful enemies, in constant peril of being subverted by foreign attack or internal commotion, and to which even a short interval of relaxed energy and self-command might so easily be fatal, that they could not afford to wait for the salutary permanent effects of freedom. In the modern world, the greater size of political communities, and above all, the separation between spiritual and temporal authority (which placed the direction of men’s consciences in other hands than those which controlled their worldly affairs), prevented so great an interference by law in the details of private life; but the engines of moral repression have been wielded more strenuously against divergence from the reigning opinion in self-regarding, than even in social matters; religion, the most powerful of the elements which have entered into the formation of moral feeling, having almost always been governed either by the ambition of a hierarchy, seeking control over every department of human conduct, or by the spirit of Puritanism. And some of those modern reformers who have placed themselves in strongest opposition to the religions of the past, have been no way behind either churches or sects in their assertion of the right of spiritual domination: M. Comte, in particular, whose social system, as unfolded in his Systeme de Politique Positive, aims at establishing (though by moral more than by legal appliances) a despotism of society over the individual, surpassing anything contemplated in the political ideal of the most rigid disciplinarian among the ancient philosophers.

Apart from the peculiar tenets of individual thinkers, there is also in the world at large an increasing inclination to stretch unduly the powers of society over the individual, both by the force of opinion and even by that of legislation: and as the tendency of all the changes taking place in the world is to strengthen society, and diminish the power of the individual, this encroachment is not one of the evils which tend spontaneously to disappear, but, on the contrary, to grow more and more formidable. The disposition of mankind, whether as rulers or as fellowcitizens, to impose their own opinions and inclinations as a rule of conduct on others, is so energetically supported by some of the best and by some of the worst feelings incident to human nature, that it is hardly ever kept under restraint by anything but want of power; and as the power is not declining, but growing, unless a strong barrier of moral conviction can be raised against the mischief, we must expect, in the present circumstances of the world, to see it increase.

It will be convenient for the argument, if, instead of at once entering upon the general thesis, we confine ourselves in the first instance to a single branch of it, on which the principle here stated is, if not fully, yet to a certain point, recognised by the current opinions. This one branch is the Liberty of Thought: from which it is impossible to separate the cognate liberty of speaking and of writing. Although these liberties, to some considerable amount, form part of the political morality of all countries which profess religious toleration and free institutions, the grounds, both philosophical and practical, on which they rest, are perhaps not so familiar to the general mind, nor so thoroughly appreciated by many even of the leaders of opinion, as might have been expected. Those grounds, when rightly understood, are of much wider application than to only one division of the subject, and a thorough consideration of this part of the question will be found the best introduction to the remainder. Those to whom nothing which I am about to say will be new, may therefore, I hope, excuse me, if on a subject which for now three centuries has been so often discussed, I venture on one discussion more.

A New Perspective: Being a Witness for Jesus, What is My Testimony Worth?

The ChristianPatriot1Peter5

Indeed, what does my testimony actually profit Him?

I saw a sign at a church a couple weeks ago and it said “We are called to be witnesses, not judges” of course I knew what they meant by this, is to be a witness for Jesus without judging the people you should be witnessing too.

However, my mind and heart would not let it go with that, and I kept mulling it over in the back of my mind. This will tell you a little about how long it takes for me to think through something, and get what the Lord is trying to give me, or make me see, I am somewhat slow and methodical.

I’ve always felt that Christians would judge the world, not by judging others because you think yourself above them, or in fact one day, may actually be above others. Like some who think they will sit with Jesus, in judgment of the world after being taken away to be with Him. I felt that you would judge the world, by the life you live and by overcoming yourself in this life, just as the followers of Jesus did in the Early Reign Church, i.e. New Testament Bible times, and the Bible tells us we have too.

I was again thinking about the words on that sign, as my wife and I were passing by that same church in town today. After we got to the store, it hit me. A new look at it I had never considered before. This is a combination of many thoughts and truths I have had throughout my life, now given a new perspective. Looking at it in a courtroom setting…

God, He is the Judge of the earth. and all that is therein, the earth is the courtroom, God calls us to be a witness for His Son, who being innocent, yet was found guilty, and hung on the cross among thieves. We are being witnesses for Jesus, that He was, and is, indeed the Christ, and therefore innocent of the charges leveled against Him at the time of His death.

This being the case, and looking at myself as a lawyer would, it caused me to ask myself first this question. Is my testimony as a witness advancing the cause of Jesus, during this trial we call life?

Secondly, Is my testimony witnessing to His transformational power as a Savior, to His loyalty as the very best friend, to His might as a warrior for His people, to His tenderness as a Father, to His mercy as a Lord, to His peace as the giver of peace, to His majesty as the King of all Kings, to His light that expels all darkness, to His wisdom that goes beyond understanding, to His guidance as a Teacher, to His love as a perfect brother, and to His knowledge as the Master of Humanity?

I’ll have to say, I fall short, and I hope to one day truly proclaim that yes, He has indeed profited by my testimony as a witness.

THE PHILOSOPHY OF ADVERSITY and AFFLICTION

TheChristianPatriotJames1Compilation of adversity and affliction quotes from great philosophers.

ADVERSITY borrows its sharpest stings from our impatience; it flattereth no man; it has no friends, but is not without comfort and hope; it is the parent of virtue and is easier borne than prosperity forgot; it is the true scale in which to weigh friends; it makes wise, though not rich; it often leads to prosperity, and reminds men of religion; it is a severe instructor, but the best; successfully overcome, it is the highest glory; it tests virtue, and will not last forever; he who has not known adversity, has seen but half of the world; he who swells in prosperity, will shrink in adversity; in prosperity caution, in adversity patience; it is more difficult for a man to behave well in prosperity than in adversity; men can bear adversity, but few contempt; sweet are its uses; there is no education like it; adversity makes a man wise, not rich; in the adversity of our friends, we always find something which is not wholly displeasing to us; it is the trial of principle; who hath not known misfortune, hath not read his own heart aright; it is the balance to weigh friends; heaven often smites in mercy, though the blow be severe; adversity elicits dormant talents; it is a severe instructor; our own impatience is the sharpest sting of adversity; he who hath no cross will have no crown; adversity exasperates fools, dejects cowards, and draws out the faculties of the wise; sweet are the uses of adversity.

AFFLICTION is the school of virtue; it separates the wheat from the chaff, and is the wholesome soil of virtue; heaven tries our virtue by affliction, sanctified afflictions are spiritual promotions; a calamity is man’s true touchstone”; the best people need affliction to bring their virtues into play; contentment is thus secured; it lightens the stroke to draw near to Him who wields the rod; by trial, God is shaping us for higher things; prosperity tries the fortunate, adversity the great; God afflicts us to draw us nearer to Him; great trials prepare us for great duties; crown wearers in heaven were cross bearers here; afflictions are but mercies in disguise; they are the wholesome soil of virtue, the good man’s treasure; no man would be happy without them; one affliction is better than a thousand exhortations; the afflicted person is sacred, and the best remedy is to submit to Providence, for there is mercy in affliction’s smart; it heals all those wounds of sin which mock all human art; sorrow is better than laughter, for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is improved; affliction is the wholesome soil of virtue; it shapes as it smites, and is oft a blessing in disguise; it is the good man’s shining time, his treasure; affliction’s sons are brothers in distress, whom it is god-like to relieve; no man would appreciate prosperity thoroughly, who had not experienced suffering and sorrow; the virtuous and the wicked are alike afflicted, for the same sun shines equally upon the just and upon the unjust, and it is our duty to submit to Providence, who ordereth all things well.