Sermons Delivered by JOHN MOORE and JESSE KERSEY At An Appointed Meeting in Green Street Meetinghouse, Philadelphia, September 3rd, 1827.
The Quaker, Vol. III, No. 2 (February, 1828,) page 25-37.

The is The Quaker Homiletics Online Anthology, Part 3: The 19th Century.


Dr. John Moore

"Let not your hearts be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me."

During the short time that we have been together, I have been sincerely desirous that our minds may be sufficiently humbled, to be instructed and profited by being thus assembled. And if this be the case, He who gave this injunction, and who fed the multitude when sitting upon the grass, will also condescend to be with us, and our coming together will profit. But remember, it is important, that we be ourselves in a proper state to receive, and can only be the case when the mind is humble. It is the humble that the Lord teaches of his ways, and the meek he guides in judgment; and if we are sincerely desirous, with our whole hearts to serve the Lord, and worship him who is a spirit, he will not fail to furnish qualifications whereby our minds may be humbled and our hearts contrited before him; and we shall thus come to comprehend the importance of the injunction that I have mentioned, and also the importance of believing in him that declared, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." "Let your not hearts be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me."



Jesse Kersey

I was also musing upon Him in whom it is desirable that we should believe. And there was brought before the view of my mind, the testimony that, "In the beginning god created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And god said, let there be light; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness: and God called the light day, and the darkness he called night. And the evening and the morning were the first day."

I have believed that the same all-powerful and Eternal Being, who saw meet to bring that all-important requisite into creation, light; and who has, so admirably, as it regards this visible world, accommodated it in this particular, has unquestionably as it regards the soul of man, condescended that it should also be clothed upon with light. That god should have accommodated an outward and visible creation with all the requisites, and should have at the same time, excluded the soul of man from the means of perceiving the way in which it should go, would be indeed a view contradictory to the benevolence of his character, and to the greatness and glory of the end, for which we may believe we were brought into being.

And as these consideration have a little opened, I have been persuaded, that from the commencement of the creation down to the present day, all the Lord's people, of every nation, kindred, and race, that have know the constitution of the first day in a spiritual point of view, have experienced the light separated from the darkness, and they have known the day of the Lord to be manifested in them. And I believe that these have been of one heart and one soul, through all the generations of the world, and that they constitute the church of Christ; and that this is a glorious and heavenly church; and though it has been traveling along abundantly in the wilderness; and remains, down to our day to be more or less clouded, obscured, and veiled from the general comprehension; yet, that it is coming out of the wilderness; and that it will more and more be manifested, is a faith that I entertain, sold and settled; and that it will come forth out of the wilderness, not leaning on any external prop; not leaning on an circumscribed people; nor on the doctrines of men, but leaning on the breast of its beloved, the Son of righteousness; and that it will be found, "clear as the sun, fair as the moon, and terrible as an army with banners;" "that it will subdue, and turn, and overturn all that which has had its rise in the pride, the self importance and the vanity of man, and that the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day."

Oh! the excellency and the glory of this universal church, which is founded in the power and in the wisdom of God - which is sustained by the glorious and blessed light of the sun of righteousness, that is no more concentrated and limited to one particular spot on the globe, or to one particular district of country, that the light of the outward luminary. But in every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, this glorious light is bursting forth and making its heavenly impressions. And I have believed, that we who live in the later ages of the world - that we of the present day and time, live in a very important period, in a very interesting day of the world; and that it is of great consequence of us in our individual capacity, that we know how to retire, in agreement with what we have given in the outward illustration where it is mentioned, that the darkness covered the face of the deep, yet when the Spirit of the Lord moved upon the face of the waters, and God said, "Let there be light, there was light." And so I have believed, if we learn in our individual capacity, what it is to retire into that state of deep inward investigation, requisite for the soul of man - if we are brought into that state wherein we are separated from all the willing and running of the creature, humbly and earnestly waiting upon God - I believe that he will command his light to shine, and his truth to rise higher and higher in our understanding; and that we shall more and more clearly perceive, than we have yet done, that in the glorious and all-powerful operation of his hand, he has brought man into being for a noble end; and that we must stand upon that ground, fitted and prepared reverently to worship his name, and to bow in his presence, and be devoted to him. In order to experience this state, and to enjoy it in the family of the church militant, we must be prepared to untie with the church triumphant in the glorious act of devotion to him that was, that is, and is to come.

O my friends! the great imprtance that I feel, while standing in this meeting, to attach to that of becoming acquainted with God for ourselves, instead of being carried about by all the variety of opinions that prevail! How important it is to be able to say - upon the ground of living experience, to be prepared to say, "I know that my redeemer liveth," and because he liveth, I shall live also. This is coming at the life and soul of the subject; and to this, through the tender mercy of God, we are called. Oh! How precious, how humbling a sense it is to an experience mind, to be brought to feel, that the love of God is shed abroad among us; and to know that the Father of creation is looking down upon this assembly; that his fatherly care is extended to each of us, and that he is now calling us to retire from all visible things, that we might enter into spiritual life; that we might come to know him in secret, that we might know how to retire unto him in secret, and to pray unto him in secret; and that we might be enabled to exchange the outward pomp and show, for the living and eternal substance; that we might have a religion that would go with us to our bed-chambers, and at our retired moments - that we might have a religion that would abide with us, when on the margin of another world; that we might feel the all-sustaining presence of that God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, and who is equally disposed to cause it now to h\shine, as at any other age of the world. Oh! the great importance I that I feel there is attached to each individual, touching their proper direction, instead of being carried away, and floating along the tide of time with a mere talk about religion, - a mere buzz and noise, and jarring of opinions - instead of being absorbed in this course, to come to the living enjoyment of the substance, where the soul of man encompassed by the ever blessed and glorious feeling of the love of God shed abroad, giving it a tendency to embrace with a tender regard, all parts of his creation. He has placed us in a situation on the earth, in which, I have little doubt, he designed that we should be at the head of his visible creation; and instrumental in his all-powerful hand in preserving its beauty, order, harmony and happiness. And what is the present state of the case? Why, my friends, there is a great deal to do, before God's suffering creation will be brought to a proper point. For certain it is, that "the whole creation hath groaned and travailed in pain together, until now." And much is needed to be done before the mass of misery which arises out of the corruption of man shall be removed, and which now hangs over us as a dark cloud.

I have seen the religious world, as it were, in darkness and without form; as darkness covering the face of the great deep; and my prayer has been, that he who commands the outward luminary to shine, would graciously condescend to appear and to burst the clouds of darkness asunder, and lead the souls of men into the enjoyment of that, with which only they can be fed so as to be nourished up to eternal life. And in order that we may come into this state, the door is open before us. I have seen it, and rejoice in it, and have been made sensible on the present occasion, and while in your company, that the door is open - the everlasting door of compassion is open, and god is calling on each of us to come away from our various idols, and to abandon that devotion which we are paying to unworthy objects; to surrender ourselves up obedient subjects of his blessed government. And if we enter into his government, he will enlarge our souls one towards another - he will give us hearts of flesh, and we shall feel for his creation in all its several departments; our spirits will be alive, and a general concern awakened, that will kindle as a common blaze, extending from individual to individual, till it envelopes the whole race of man, in compassion for the suffering that remains; and thus the mass of suffering will be done away. And it is not only the human race that suffers, but God's creation suffers through the hardness of man, in his unredeemed state; a state in which too many remain. It is an awful consideration, that we have been talking about religion from time to time, and from one season to another, while so little fruit is apparent in our lives. We have been speaking of it, and professing a great deal of concern, that it might spread from sea to sea, and from the rivers to the ends of the earth.

But what is the concern which we manifest for its perfect government and perfect establishment, every man within the circle of his own particular sphere of action? How do we stand in this point of view? Does the sun of righteousness constitute our primary guide? If this were the case, what tenderness should we discover, - every act would be an act resulting from cautious consideration. And we should find ourselves standing in state of watchfulness, care, and attention, and we should no where oppress God's creation. We should steer clear of afflicting any part of his glorious workmanship. And these consequences would follow our devotion to him, as our prominent good, and we should by no means be disappointed. I would not do away those lesser means, they all have their place, but God is our prominent good. He that fills heaven and earth, in whom we live, move, and have our being, He is and ought to be the prominent good.

And it is said in the book of books, that the period shall come, when "the children of the Lord shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of those children." And we look for this blessed day, with ardent desire, that he who is the great and blessed source from whence proceeds all our comfort, will mercifully condescend to give us, individually, a portion of his spirit to guide us through the wilderness of time, in safety and propriety.

I am aware that there are those who have doubted the correctness of this doctrinal view, and I am far from wishing to impose it on the mind of any fellow creature, but I believe it is a doctrine abundantly promulgated in the great family of mankind, and not so much by the instrumental efforts of men, as by the internal operation and powerful effect of this spirit. It is known in its impressive influence upon the souls of thousands and tens of thousands. It is this all powerful spirit of God, which is now operating in all the creatures of his creation. His glorious light in the souls of men is everywhere operating, and producing its valuable impressions and deep-felt effects; and we are sometimes ready to suppose, that it is possibly causing those who may be considered as at the ends of the earth, to bear more of that precious fruit, than is illustrated in the language expressed by the example of many professing christians. And would it not be a lamentable case, if in this highly privileged country, we should be found pursuing a course of means, which in their nature are tending more to lower the character of christianity, than the example and walk of those who have never had the outward history of the glorious and blessed display of the goodness of God to man, which has been furnished to us in unequivocal testimony, relative to the appearance of the son of God.

Would it not be a melancholy case, if within our own borders, it should be found, that the mas of example is far below, in excellency and dignity of character, that of the poor solitary inhabitants of the wilderness! And even this is possible!

I take it for granted, that where the religion of God prevails, where the religion of God becomes the chief object, there will be an end to deception - men will no longer deceive one another - they will no longer lead one another into difficulties and embarrassments with design - they will no longer act under those powerful temperaments which they do now. They will look at one another with confidence and tender affection. They will embrace one another as candidates for immortality and eternal life. They will be able to consider one another as beings appointed to a short stay here on earth, to prepare them to join the general assembly and church of the first born. They will be able to contemplate one another as designed to be included in that company, where they may enjoy the presence of him that lives and reigns forever. And in connection with these considerations, many of those practices of men in which they proceed with so much avidity, will be considered a delusion. "But if our gospel be hid," says a great apostle, "it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." Thus they would not be the passive subjects of the secret convictions and manifestations of the spirit of truth in themselves, but preferred to become subject to the world, and the world's subjects, and separated from the light of truth. Therefore, if our gospel be hid, it is hid from such as these. It is out of the question, to suppose that it is hid in any soul that stands open and passive to the divine government, and that is concerned to nourish every impulse of conviction, and that is alive to every check of conscience. It is out of the question, that the soul of such a subject should be separated from the gospel of Christ, which is the power of God unto salvation to all them that believe. These are necessarily made acquainted with the gospel, and they know that it does not stand in word but in power - the everlasting, energetic power of truth, opening an evidence to the understanding of man, of his own particular condition. And if we were alive to it, and passive to its government, we should soon find that it would lay us under the necessity of casting aside our idols; but I rejoice in the evidence that I feel of the goodness of God, and of the fatherly care that he has over the human race. I rejoice in this evidence, and however we may have made our own way difficult, still there is an open door, that we may enter into the way in which we should go. And there is something remarkably impressive on my mind, as to the tender mercy of God. This seems evident in the various passages of scripture, that I have mentioned, and in one which now comes up, in which the blessed Saviour of men gives the invitation: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Come unto me, you that have made the experiment, like Solomon, to the extend of your means, and who have gone the round of selfish gratifications - and have know the consequences of them to be a heavy burthen, and who have felt yourselves, after having made this experiment, and gone to this extreme point, in tender mercy graciously regarded. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls." There is no account of uncertainty about it, but "you shall find rest unto your souls."

And are there not living witnesses in this assembly, to the truth of this doctrine, who have gone on the broad and ruinous ground of sin and transgression, till they have become wearied, and who, under the tender mercies of God, have been invited to turn their backs upon the iniquity and evil of the world? Are there not such with the audience of my voice, who could be living witness that God has given them rest from their afflictions, and contaminations, and grievances, that they could never have obtained from any other source? Are there not those who have known a little of the setting up of his kingdom in their souls, for it is in our souls that we are to experience this, if we ever experience it. And have not these known that there is a certain rest to the people of God? Well, my friends, these views, simple and plain as they are, are impressed upon my mind in this meeting with great weight. I feel a deep interest in the present day and time, and in the present circumstances of things. And I very much desire, that my fellow creatures may come to an inheritance of standing in the fulness of a faith of the same nature as that which has been enjoyed by the people of god, in every generation of the world.

"Abraham believed in the Lord, and it was counted to him for righteousness;" he believe the heavenly invitation and received the reward. Noah believed God and was saved, he and his family. But time would fail me to enumerate the various cases of importance, that wh have evidence of in the book of books. You may look at that precious young man, that tender plant that was sold by his brethren into Egypt, Joseph. He believe god and kept of conscience void of offence; he walked in the innocency and integrity of his soul. Though he was thrown among stranger and cast into prison, where he was discarded from the society of men, yet he trusted in the Almighty, and walked in obedience to the convictions of truth upon his mind, and the Lord raised him out of his afflictions to be governor over Egypt.

We have a cloud of witnesses of this kind, that show how important it is that there should be such subjects. Look at the dignified and interesting character of Paul. When a young man, educated and polished by the literature of his day, and made acquainted with the customs and laws of his nations - this beautiful dignified, and interesting subject, when he was brought to comprehend the truth, what a noble example he set. He conferred not with flesh and blood, but gave up to the heavenly vision, and became a powerful ambassador to the Gentile world. And for any thing that you know, many now within the audience of my voice, may become equally devoted to the same eternal and all powerful word of faith; and if you become subject to it, you may, for any thing you know, be made blessed instruments, and thus leave an impression behind, that many generations shall not wear away; and I believe it would be so. And as I have mentioned, we live in an important crisis; eighteen hundred have rolled away since the publication of the outward ministration of the Saviour of the world, and since the publication of those precepts and doctrines that were designed to spread peace over the world and good will to men from sea to sea, and from the rivers to the ends of the earth; and which were designed to put away cruelty and death, and to make God's people happy.

Eighteen hundred years have rolled away, and thousands and tens of thousands of our poor fellow creatures, under the murdering hand of darkness and deception, have been plunged into eternity, and the blessed and glorious gospel remains to be still, in the land of Christendom, as it ever has been, clouded and darkened by those who are called preachers of righteousness, and who are preachers of the military profession, and prepared to spread ruin and desolation to the ends of the earth, and who could pierce the heart of an individual and send him to another wold! Oh! that He, in whose hand is the work, would break in upon his bewildered creation, and open the door, that they might once more see, feel, and know that man is to be, what hi is called to be, a rational being; that he is to be a noble being, advanced far beyond the dreadful tendency of the spirit of cruelty, and raised above every thing that could darken and cloud the judgment, and sink it into that mass of wretchedness that envelops the creation.

I am now advancing, and drawing fast to the end of my earthly journey, and whatever may have been the wanderings of my ways, God is my witness, that the cause of eternal truth is dear to the tenderest feelings of my soul and I earnestly desire the happiness of my fellow creatures. O the importance that I have this evening seen to attach to this subject; and I afresh rejoice in the conviction, that the life and power of the gospel has been felt since we have been together this evening, and if we are wiling to enter into covenant with God, we shall see that we shall be preserved.

"Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom." Oh! That we were all prepared to partake of this heavenly life, and to sing the song of the redeemed, with minds enlarged, equivalent to the dignity and majesty of it.