A Sermon Delivered by DEBORAH BELL, time and place unknown.
Scripture Truth Demonstrated, Being Sermons or Declarations by the People Called Quakers. Philadelphia: Benjamin and Thomas Kite, 1825.
This is The Quaker Homiletics Online Anthology, Section One: The 17th Century
Oh! these are desirous they may come to know the establishment of his government, in and upon
their souls, to that degree, that they may come to do the will of God perfectly, according to the
ability and strength they receive, and indeed there is no more required of any creature, than to do
according to the strength given them; but they that come under the government of the Spirit of
Christ, it is their sincere desire, that his kingdom may come, more and more, and his government
may be established in their souls, that so his will may be done on earth, as it is in heaven. For they
are desirous to be conformable, and subject to Him in all things; because in obedience to Him,
they enjoy true peace to their souls, and a sure evidence of their being the children of God;
therefore these are waiting, and crying to Him, that He will supply all their wants, they are
saying, Give us this day our daily bread; for these cannot live without it, they have it in their
experience, that they have as much need of it now as ever they had, therefore they sensibly cry
I wish you would look into your hearts, and see what you have experienced, and how you have
come to learn this excellent prayer. I do not mean by rote, or what you may have read in holy
writ, but what you have learned in yourselves, through the Divine teachings of Him, who is the
Author and true Teacher thereof, and whether you are daily exercised in it, and are crying to the
Almighty, that he would establish his power, Kingdom and government in your souls; that so
your wills may be subject to his will, and that you may do it perfectly. No doubt then, but you
will know Him to break the Bread of Life and satisfy your hungry souls therewith. Then you will
pray to be forgiven, (0! consider on what terms,) as we forgive those that trespass against us, or
have offended us.
When this is brought to perfection in the mind, and the creature prays to be forgiven, on those
terms, as they freely forgive one another, here is no room for envy, no room for prejudice, or
heartburning, or contriving revenge upon one another, for any little slight offences; no, but
openness of heart is known towards one another: Lord forgive my trespasses as I forgive them
that have offended me; then here is pure love to all, and a committing of our cause to the Lord;
then may we hope for forgiveness, as we come to learn this.
For my part, I can never find, I can have free access to the Lord, or prefer my petition to Him, in
this language, unless I come where I find nothing but universal love, and good-will towards all
the children of men; then can I freely pass by every offence and trespass that is done against me,
and make my appeal to Him that is the searcher of hearts, and the tryer of the reins of the
children of men.
May you truly learn this excellent prayer, and know the great benefit which is in it; then when
temptations come, you will pray, that you may not be prevailed upon by them, but that you may
be delivered from all those things, which you may see are hurtful to your souls, and break your
communion with your Maker. Then deliverance will be known, through the efficacy of the Divine
Spirit, by which alone is taught this excellent lesson of true prayer; and such as these can how in
truth, and with thankful hearts, and say, thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory; these
give due attention unto the Lord, and worship Him that lives for ever and ever.
I wish we may come to be acquainted with this, in all our Meetings; and if all hearts were thus waiting, to be taught by the great Author of our salvation, then would breathings and supplications be put up unto the Lord, which he would accept of, and we should not meet in vain, but know our strength to be renewed in Him, and a being enabled to run the ways of his commandments, and to give Him the praise and glory, who is worth both now and for evermore. Amen.