A Sermon Delivered by WILLIAM SAVERY, No date or place given.
Five Sermons and a Prayer, Delivered at the Meetings of the Society of Friends in England, by William Savery. Taken in Short Hand by Job Sibley. Newtown, PA: Printed by William C. Coale, 1804.
This is The Quaker Homiletic Online Anthology, Section 2: The 18th Century.
I desire not to offend any of my fellow-travellers in the way to the kingdom: far
be it from me. I know that there is great indulgence necessary one towards
another. We have been variously educated; we have had various prejudices in
our minds; and nothing but the divine, illuminating power can make them
subside, so as that we might have charity one towards another. I believe there are
some of the Lord's true church in every nation, and among every name; and that
there are not only those who are professing the same faith with me, and who
worship God in silence, as I do; but also, in other professions, there are those
who, in sincerity of soul, offer up their prayers to God. This I desire to be,
wherever I may be.
I am here in this island at present; but am going to the continent of Europe. I
seek not my own, the Lord knoweth; nor the applause of men, nor any thing that
they can give; but a quiet and peaceful conscience; and that I may be made, in
some small degree, instrumental to induce some to enter into that holy bond of
everlasting union and harmony which shall go with us beyond the grave. This is
the great and most important work that I have now to do among you; aye, it is
all; and for this I have left my peaceful home, and my endeared connexions; that
so, if possible, I might be an instrument of uniting my fellow-professors. Oh!
then, that we may look upon one another with that charity which ever ought to
distinguish all the followers of Christ; for I believe there may be followers of
him, in many forms that I have not particularly heard of at present. But, through
the divine mercy, I believe I have found him who was typified by all the types
and figures that went before him, Jesus Christ, the Son and Sent of God; and my
desire is, that all men may find him to their comfort here, their peace, their
settlement of mind, and their everlasting rejoicing in the world to come.
Seek him then, my friends, impartially: enter into your closets do as the noble
Bereans did. When they heard the doctrine which the servant of Jesus Christ
delivered to them, they searched the Scriptures diligently, to see whether these
things were so. And the apostle said, "these were more noble than those of
Thessalonica, because, when they heard the truths of the gospel they searched
diligently" -- they did not let them pass by unnoticed, as it were, in at one ear
and out of the other, but searched diligently, to see whether these things were
I believe that, if this were the case with some that are now present, they would
indeed be made wiser than some of their teachers. Though I doubt not I have
fellow-labourers in the gospel of Jesus Christ, among the various professors
under every Christian name; yet I believe, and with all the charity I can attain,
that there are far too many who have entered into Christ's church with sinister
views; that are making it a living and competency for support in this life, more
than preaching the gospel for Jesus Christ's sake. Yet I say, I believe I have some
faithful brethren in the ministry, who labour with all their power to exalt the
glory of God upon the earth, and to bring people into that condition whereby
they may lay hold kingdom of God.
Therefore, my friends, let no man judge me a sectarian. I wish your everlasting happiness: I wish all our increase in that wisdom which is from above; that so, as we advance in years, and the time draws nigh wherein we must lay down this mortal and perishing body, we may, through the mercy of God, be gathered to himself; and through his love, which is unspeakable, be with the saints and angels, glorifying and praising his name, forever and ever, world without end.