The Substance of a Sermon Delivered by THOMAS STORY, At Carlisle, 19th of 7th Month, 1740.
The Journal of the Life of Thomas Story. In: Evans, William and Evans, Thomas, eds. The Friends' Library, Vol. 10. Philadelphia: Joseph Rakestraw, 1846, pages 358-359.
This is The Quaker Homiletics Online Anthology, Part 2: The 18th Century.
"Report, and we will report; that old corruption is to much rampant and in fashion among you this
day. Know ye not the state of those, and what and who they are on the left hand of the judgment
seat of Christ, to whom it is said, "Go ye cursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and
his angels? Do you really know who this devil and his angels are, against whom this dreadful
sentence is denounced by the Judge, the all-wise and all-knowing Judge of the world, of the living
and the dead? If you do not, If you do not, I will endeavour to inform you, that your conversation
may not be with them; but in innocence and holiness to communicate with the just, to edification
and comfort, and escape the destructive effects of the vile and evil communications of drunkards,
liars, and the unrighteous of every denomination. Too many of such being crept into the
profession of Truth at this day, have brought reproach upon the Lord, his Truth and people, to the
stumbling of many souls who have been seeking the Lord in secret, and pointed in themselves
towards his people; of whom having had good sentiments, and yet seeing such things too visibly
prevail, by the transformation of Satan, and false pretenses of those his children, they have
stumbled, gone backward, and fallen from the beginning of that work of salvation they once
knew; and so may be utterly lost, save for the application of infinite goodness and mercy. Now, as
to these terms which I was but now about to explain to you, the word satan, in the language in
wich that part of the Scripture was written, signifieth an adversary; being properly applicable to
that evil thing in mankind, which worketh in their imaginations every evil thought, and brings the,
forth, as man closeth with tem, into evil words and actions; and as the destruction of souls is
thereby effected, he is an adversary unto the, even the greatest they have, though under the false
pretense of a friend, to gratify all those evil desires himself is the father of in our deceived hearts.
"And as to that word which is translated devil in our language, it properly signifies a calumniator
and false accuser. He is the inventor of evil and evil things: he is the liar, and the father thereof;
and when he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of himself. He hath no foundation for what he saith, and
all lairs are his children: for thought, by nature, they are the children of the first Adam in the flesh,
yet, as to their minds, they are so depraved and debauched, by hearkening to, and obeying this evil
one, and so united and incorporated with him, that they are one with him, and the propagators of
his works and kingdom in and among the rest of mortals; not always by human design, under the
delusions and deceptions of him who subtilly worketh in the, even often out of their own view.
"And as to the angels of this devil, the calumniator of God and man from the beginning of the world, this word angel signifies a messenger sent by another; then he who inventeth calumnies and false reports against others, and they who receive them, spread and carry the, about, to the dishonour of God and hurt of mankind, as they are become one with that evil one, and one with him in his work of evil, he and they have one and the same sentence, "Go ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:" as much as to say, Go ye workers of iniquity into that exquisite and everlasting punishment due unto you, as the necessary effect of your own apostacy from all good, and of living in evil.
"And I further observe to you, that the word fire in the text imports the most tormenting and
painful property to flesh and blood, and the most dreadful too, know to mankind. And also what
the apostle James hath written to this effect, "Let not him who is tempted say, he is tempted of
God, for God tempteth no man, neither is he himself tempted of evil; but he who is tempted is led
aside of his own lusts, and enticed." And as this apostle maketh no mention of any other devil in
this text,  but our own lusts, let us all be so aware of the, every one in himself, as not to
think, or speak, or act according to them, and that evil one, who worketh in them and by them;
but through the divine eternal Truth, the Holy Spirit of Truth, revealed in us through Christ our
Lord, in whom we have believed, mortify the deeds of the body; and then shall we conquer all
evil, and subdue every temptation towards it in due time, and live in and unto him who died for
us; and in the end of all, see evil no more, nor any devil: to which I fervently exhort this day.
"Now as to some of the evil fruits and consequences of evil surmising, and the bad and pernicious
effects of it to Christian consolation, society, and love, this being an evil work, and child of the
darkness of this world, it is conceived in darkness; in darkness it is brought forth; in darkness it
wandereth about from house to house, corner to corner, place to place, till many are corrupted
thereby, so as to entertain evil thoughts and form false sentiments of others, by means of those
lying surmises, of whom they never saw or heard evil in al the time of their acquaintance and
frequent conversation with them. You may easily conceive, that if any entertain thoughts of
another, as if guilty of any particular evil, such can never have real unity with such a one as he at
the same time judges, on censures as if guilty. For though false, it hath the same consequence, in
that respect, as if true; and the evil surmiser, by that means, becoming distant, shy, and adverse to
the person censured, it hath the like effect upon him likewise: so that there is no unity in the
ground between them, but a bare outward show, and no truth or among them, but they become
hypocrites one to another. I do verily think this secret evil hath done more hurt to Christian
society in general, and to us as a people in a more particular manner than all the open and flagrant
sins which any among us have ever fallen unto this day; for open evil is seen of all, and judged and
condemned of all persons and all denominations, and therefore the failings of particulars are no
way justly imputable to the generals; but secret evils reign and rage in the dark, as with toleration
and authority. yet such is the common consent and joint sentiment of all mankind, that to be
convicted of a lie, or called a liar, false accuser, or calumniator, is highly offensive to mankind,
even to be supposed guilty of it; and of which all are ashamed when duly convicted by proper
evidence; such as have heard with their own ears, seen with their own eyes, and thereby known
and understood the Truth, and not with the eyes and ears of others, who say and report things
which they have not seen and heard, and consequently have never understood, or can; there never
having been such things at all."
Friends were exhorted to beware of all those great evils, and to do or say nothing inconsistent with true and Christian love, which is the law of divine and endless life in all the faithful an obedient, and of all their conversation and dealings one with another, and with all men: take the counsel of the apostle on the subject, "Let love be without dissimulation; love not in word, nor in tongue only, but in deed and in truth:" with much more on the same subjects.