(Part of the Collection, Kersey's Essays)

Jesse Kersey

Taken From  A Narrative of the Early Life, Travels, and Gospel Labors of Jessey Kersey, Late of Chester County, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia: T. Ellwood Chapman, 1851, pages 205-207.

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[P. 205] The Lamb and his followers shall have the victory; and that victory is not the result of temporal or carnal resistance; for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword: but it is a victory gained by patient suffering,--by non-resistance. For those who make no resistance can never be conquered; they may be persecuted and turned out of temporal existence, but they cannot be destroyed. Those who say they are the disciples of Christ ought to remember that their Lord has said, "Ye are not of this world, for I have chosen you out of the world, therefore doth the world hate you." And, "the friendship of this world is enmity with God"--and "the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God." How then can the disciple of Christ join hands with contending elements! Let not any be deceived who have known the Truth. If the Truth makes you free, then are ye free indeed. All the powers of darkness, and every thing that makes opposition, that leans to or calculates upon human power, will in the end by subdued; and the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world,--having wearied out all opposition, and established his kingdom by entreaty,--it alone shall stand. But every other kingdom and power shall have an end. They form the means for their own destruction,--they lean upon the sword, and consequently perish.

Thus it has been through many generations, and [206] thus it will continue to be with every compulsive system. But the peculiar glory of the Divine government stands in its unconquerable forbearance. How then can those who say they are called to show forth this kingdom, and to witness that it has come in their hearts, be shaken in mind, or turned in any manner to lean upon the policy of nations? Why should they be disturbed by any of the jarring powers of the earth? Ought they not as passive spectators placed upon an eminence, to let the tumults pass by,--rather than sink into the throng of contention?

Under these considerations, I have had a weighty concern on my mind; and as I have endeavored to keep my standing in the unchangeable Truth, I have seen that if my fellow-professors, who I believe are called upon in these latter ages to hold up the true Light, do not keep to the pure foundation they will be driven from the oracle of God, and will be left to stumble and fall in the darkness of human measures and human policy. Under these impressions it has opened in prospect to endeavor to give forth a watchword, and to call upon those who are in danger of being led away,--to return to the Rock of ages,--abide in their tents,--beware how they suffer their spirits to be allied to any of those who are leaning upon a contrary principle. Every species of reasoning about civil government and its uses and importance, I believe I have found has a tendency to draw the mind from the proper foundation, and will, in its effect, weaken the confidence of those who indulge in it, and lessen their dependance upon the Divine Power. But, dear friends, if we believe that we are called upon to be examples of the believers, how shall we [P. 207] comply with this duty, unless we manifest in times of trial a holy dependence upon the Head of the church! has there ever been a day when the disciples of the Christ were authorized to lean upon or trust in the arm of flesh? Were they ever enjoined by his precepts or example to mix in the policy of nations, or the councils of men? if not,--then let every one who desires to be found in his proper place, be on his guard, and beware of becoming connected in any of those departments where a humble dependance upon the Divine council is not prevalent, and where the policy of the world is permitted to supply the place of the doctrines of the gospel.