A Sermon and Prayer Delivered by ROBERT BARCLAY, at Grace-Church Street, May 16th, 1688.
Sermons Preached by Several of the People Called Quakers. A New Edition. London: Mary Hinde, 1775.
This is The Quaker Homiletics Online Anthology, Section One: The17th Century
This is the testimony that was born of old and it is also borne this day, that there
may be an agreement between the members and the head, the word and the
power, the notion and the substance, He that hath the Son hath life, and he that
hath not the Son, hath not life. So that in this the substance is known, whereby
men are redeemed to live unto God, and to live for God and to glorify him. This
is the end of the testimony of the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus,
that we may all come to partake of his life, and that by partaking of' it, we may
live upon it, and being made alive to him, we shall then be made able to serve
him; then shall we be enabled to worship him, to glorify him, and to declare of
his glory, and of his power, and of his wisdom, and of his goodness, to those that
are strangers to him, and to invite all to be partakers thereof. Let all your eyes
this day be towards him, and to the enjoyment of his life, that you may be
sensible, and that you may be witnesses of his life.
And this Life is, not to be obtained but by death; there is a dying before there is a
living: every plant, seed or grain that is placed in the earth dies before it grows
up; there is a dying before there is a living, those that come to the life of the Son
of God come to it through death; for it was through dying that he obtained this
life; it was necessary that the Son of God, the Prince of Life, should die, that he
should be crucified, else he could not finish the work of our salvation, and make
way for the revelation and the sowing of that Seed, and the dispensation of that
grace,. whereby we might, come to have a share with him in that eternal life he
obtained for us: they that come to the life of the Son of God must obey him; for
they must receive the sentence of death to that life which they derive from
Adam, that cursed, that corrupt life of unrighteousness, that life of ungodliness,
that life wherein self and the will of man delights, wherein the natural man, the
animal man hath a life: we must die, and by dying come to be partakers of the
life of Jesus; he communicates himself to us, and by our receiving him, we
receive life; he that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son hath not
life, and the consequence is, he that hath not this life, hath not the Son of God.
This is the true way for every one to try and examine themselves by, and to
make a true judgment of themselves, that they may know whether they have the
Son of God or not, whether they have Christ or not; if they have Christ, they
have the benefits of his death, and of his blood and sufferings; they that have this
life in them are in the faith, and are partakers of justification, and sanctification,
and adoption: and to all those that are under the dispensation of the gospel, that
have the benefit of Christ's Death, he giveth himself, and to those to whom he
giveth himself, he giveth this life. This is not the life of Adam, a life of
unrighteousness, but a life that springs from the heavenly incorruptible seed;
such as partake of it are born again of the Word of the Lord that remains for
ever. This is a Life that comes from the Lord from Heaven, the quickening
Spirit, and this life tends heaven-ward, it looks heaven-ward; it carries the
affections towards the things that are above, it dwells not in them that have their
pleasures in this world; it looks not to the things of this world, it comes from
heaven, and tends to heaven again, it raiseth the soul that is quickened by it.
They that are born of it are made heavenly by it, it makes all heavenly that are
quickened by. it. By this we may know that we bare the Son of God, by this we
have an understanding of him, and are brought into him that is true.
And this is the living manifestation of Christ, whereby he cometh into thy soul,
and into my soul, this is the Gift of God, we receive God's gift, that we may
receive life from him and by him, that we may live this life: this is that which
makes the yoke of Christ easy, and his burthen light, and his commandments not
grievous to us. The Life of Christ doth the work of Christ naturally; those that
are in the flesh, mind the things of the flesh; those that live a carnal life mind the
works of the flesh, it is their joy, their delight and their pleasure; that which their
hearts are carried after. They rise early, and lie down late, and all for this end; it
is that which their hearts run after all the day long: what is the reason of it ?
They are in the flesh, in the Life of lust; that life moves them, and acts them, and
governs them; that life useth and imployeth all their faculties, their
understandings, wills, affections and imaginations, and it useth all the members
of their bodies to please the flesh, and fulfill the lusts thereof; these are the
consequences of a life of unrighteousness, in those things that are unrighteous.
But those that have received the Spirit of God, have received Jesus Christ, the
Son of' God, and this is the consequence, they are become dead to the Life of
unrighteousness; all that are dead in sins and trespasses he hath quickened. Now
when you have received the Son of God, you have received a new lift, another
life; then your affections are set upon things that are above, and you are come to
fit in heavenly Places in Christ Jesus, you fit no more in the earthly place, nor
live an earthly life, but in the heavenly place, where the heavenly life abounds.
For this end the eternal Son of God came into the World, that we might have
Life, and that we might have it more abundantly; that we might abound in the
Life of Jesus, and in the abundance of it: This is that which is recommended to
us, that we might, receive the Son of God into our Souls, and by receiving him,
partake of his life, and then let this life produce its actions: Let the Word of God
dwell richly in you, in all those things that are divine; these are the consequences
that it brings forth amongst the children of God.
For it is not the things of the earth that we are to remember, and to have dwelling
in us, but the word of God, and that which proceeds from the life of the the Son
of God. All words and testimonies, preachings, prayer, exhortation and spiritual
counsel, which are not from the life of the son of God, edify not this body of the
Lord Jesus Christ in love: let us receive that which comes from the life of the
Son of God, which is manifest among us, and shed abroad in our hearts; let us
watch and take care that whatsoever is not of this life may not appear, may not
be manifest and made known among us. And this Life that we receive from the
Son of God, is that which will stand us in stead in the day of trial, and he is well
pleased with as many as live unto God in this divine life; and the tempter, the
wicked one, cannot touch them at all, nor reach them, nor hurt them. This is my
testimony unto you from the life of God, which to the glory and praise of his
name hath risen in my soul in some measure: it is the desire, and labour, and
travail of my soul that you may be inwardly gathered into this heavenly life, that
all my dear brethren and sisters who are of the household of Faith may be inward
in this life, that the fruit thereof may be manifest, that the notice thereof; the
sound thereof, the language thereof may be heard in this assembly at all times,
that the Lord our God may be made known to us, through this Word of Life in
our hearts, to the praise, honour and renown of his name who alone is worthy, to
whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
O most powerful Lord God of life, and of glory and blessedness! precious in thy sight are thy people whom with thy power thou hast visited with, the dayspring from on high, and upon whom thou hast breathed with, a divine inspiration, and mad them alive to thyself, through thy tender mercy and goodness, which in the Son of thy Love thou hast freely extended to us, whereby we are made capable of drawing nigh to thee, and of having access into thy blessed presence to enjoy communion with thee, through the Lord Jesus Christ. We desire to wait upon thee, and seek fervently after thee; all our expectation is from thee, from day, to day, and, from time to time, that we may receive relief, that we may receive strength from thee, who art the God of all our mercies. Thou haft not been wanting to us in the needful time, thou hast had regard to the sighing of the poor, to the breathing and supplication of the needy, whose desires have been fully after thee, and the sweet enjoyment of thy presence, the feeling of thy blessed power, and the beholding of the Light of thy countenance wherein there is life and salvation. Blessed be thy name forever, all living praises and holy thanksgivings be in truth and humility offered up to thee through the dear son of thy love, by all thy children and people, whom thou hast sought out by thy blessed Spirit, and whom thou hast gathered by the arm of thy blessed and mighty power, that they might be a people to thy praise, serving thee in newness of spirit, worshiping the in the beauty of holiness, and in spirit and truth, and not according to the oldness of the letter; not:,according to an empty and outward formality, but in the sense of the springings up of that pure life of that fresh spring of life, that thou haft placed in the hearts of a remnant by thy blessed power; o righteous; and holy God! the sense and feeling thereof is beyond words, beyond expression, and beyond utterances: therefore we humbly intreat thee, by the blessed arm of thy power, gather thy people more and more into an inward sense of the springings of life, that they may attend upon thee, and feel life in their souls, and breathings after thee in their hearts; that in their daily attendance on thee, they may receive day by day, of those living suitable supplies of life, virtue, wisdom and power, whereby they may be supported through all trials and adversities, and through all oppositions and temptations that they may meet withal, for the trial of their faith, and for the exercise of their patience; that all their afflictions and exercised may be sanctified to them, for the bringing them nearer and nearer to thyself, and into a more lively inward and single dependance on thee, and on thy divine grace and truth, which thou hast made known by Christ Jesus, our only mediator, by whom alone we have access to thee, and whereby we are made capable of beholding the light of thy countenance, and of partaking of thy diving goodness and blessing, and of those precious promises which thou hast left upon record, and impressed upon our minds and hearts. Thou hast poured into us a living and inward sense of that pure life of thy dear son, whereby we may be enabled to live to thy praise. And, O blessed powerful Lord God! that those that are not convinced and persuaded of thy way and blessed truth, that are not come into it to partake of the life of it, that re not yet come to live to thee, and to live in obedience to thy blessed Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who are not come under the power of his cross, may be crucified to the world, and have the world crucified to them: Lord awaken them, utter thy voice that shakes the mountains, rend the vail, and draw in their hearts, and minds, and affections, from earthly and fading objects; that they may come to breathe after thee, and feel the Spirit in them, wherewith thou dost inspire thy people; whereby they may supplicate thee for relief, fro strength and victory over the Spirit of the world, and over the temptations of the Devil and the flesh, which do so easily beset men, and whereby many are led captive, who cannot yet make mention of thy name, and walk in thy truth; Lord awaken them by thy powerful voice, and incline their hearts to seek thee, while thou art to be found, and call upon thee while thou art near, that thou mayst be known in thy glorious visitation. The cords of thy love thou hast extended, that they may lay hold thereon, that they may be drawn out of the pollutions of the world, and of sin and Satan, that have brought death over them; let the fear of God take place, that they may be afraid to offend thee, as kno3ing that thou art a jealous God, and thine eyes are upon all the was of the son of men; thou art the heart-searching God; there is no secret can be hid from thine all-seeing eyes: under that consideration, O Lord! let many come unto thee, and reverence thy name, and not provoke thee to displeasure against them. And, O blessed God! thou hast been graciously pleased to begin a good work, a glorious work of righteousness in day and times; blessed God and Father! we humbly pray thee carry it on, and make it prosper: prosper the souls of thy people in it, that they may be a growing, thriving, and increasing people in thy holy ways, and in thy blessed work; and as thou hast sown a precious seed, and planted a noble vine by thine own might hand, and given us a root of life, the foundation of our faith, love and obedience, which foundation thou hast laid in Sion: Lord keep thy people sensible of it, that they may mind it, and wait upon thee, and be preserved in that root of live wherein thy blessing is; that thy people may partake of thy blessing, and grow up into the nature of that life, to bring forth fruit to thee, to increase in faith and live, in obedience, and humility, and meekness, that the life of true Christianity may be promoted and increased among thine heritage; that they may live in it, and shine forth in it as thy workmanship, which thou hast created in Christ Jesus unto fruitfulness, unto all good works, that they may walk in them: that so, powerful God and living creator, they may live unto thee, and act intirely to thy praise, hounor and glory in their day, age and generation, and that their bright shining forth in the light of truth and righteousness may appear more and more, as an invitation to those that are afar off. This is the day wherein thou art setting up the Tabernacle of David, the kingdom of thy beloved Son, and repairing the ruins and waste places thereof, Lord God eternal, grant that the residue of men may seek after thee, and be sensible that thou art at work, and raising an house for thine honour, and promoting the kingdom of thy son, which is a kingdom of righteousness, that of his government there may be no end; that all those that desire after peace, and after happiness, in the kingdom of thy dear son, may wait to see him rule and govern, to see him reign whose right it is; that sin may not reign in their mortal bodies, that sinful lusts, and vile affections, and an earthly mind may not have power over them and prevail against them, that so their souls may be lifted up to thee. That, blessed eternal God, they may wait upon thee, and renew their strength, and renew their thankfulness, for the renewing of thy mercies, and the incomes of thy love which are fresh every morning; that they may fear thee, and wait upon thee, and diligently seek after thee, and have sweet communion with the, in the enjoyment of thy presence. And blessed thou, O Lord God eternal! for all thy mercies, preservations and encouragements, so frequently afforded to they people, whose eyes and hearts are toward thee: our souls are deeply engaged to thee, and wh have cause to bless, and praise, and honour thy great and excellent name, and, through thy dear son, to offer up praise and thanksgiving to thy great and excellent majesty, for thou alone, O God! art worthy to receive the honour and praise of all thy mercies, benefits and blessings, by all the living here and elsewhere, who art God only over all heaven and the whole earth, blessed and praised for ever and ever. Amen.