Historical texts  >  Early Quaker Sermons  >  James Park (1694)


A Sermon

Preached by

Mr. James Park,

In Ratcliffe, April the 19th, 1694.


They that come to wait upon the Lord, and draw nigh to Him, and diligently attend upon Him, shall receive wisdom and strength from Him, and power to enable them to do the will of God, to fear the Lord and call upon His Name, to love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, and to work righteousness in their time, day, and generation, knowing Him in whom they believed, and whom a remnant are come to, and are baptized into, and walk in, as they have received Him, and by whom they have been taught.

All are to receive the Lord Jesus Christ, and to walk in Him who is the Lord's Anointed, the Judge of quick and dead; all are to have a certain knowledge of Him, by receiving and embracing Him. Did we ever know God aright, and the Lord Jesus Christ His only begotten Son, till we received Him, and knew Him to be in us the hope of glory? Many of us have received the Lord Jesus Christ, and walked in Him, as we have received Him, and then we came to know the Witness of Him in ourselves; such as know Him experimentally, can set to their seals that God is true. We have known God the Father at work in us, and His Son Christ Jesus working mightily by His almighty power, in and through whom we come to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. This causes a great fear of God to come upon man; I have known, in my time, a great trial to come upon man, and then he came to serve the Lord with fear, and that is good service, and that will undoubtedly manifest a good Servant, when a man comes to serve the Lord with fear, and to rejoice with trembling, not with an exalted mind, not with a puffed up mind; keep out of that, beware of that.

Friends, I beseech you all in the Name of the Lord, and in the fear of God, wait in God's fear, and then you will be capable of drawing nigh to God. It is written in the Epistle of James, Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you; then will you feel the Lord to work in you mightily, and to wash you, and make you clean, and then, by the help of the Spirit of the Lord, you will put away the evil of your doing; cease to do evil, and learn to do well, and endeavor to please God in all things: The Children of God are all taught of Him, and their peace is great, and they are established in righteousness, and they have a living experience of that promise of the Lord by the Prophet, They shall all be taught of God their heavenly Teacher; and you that are taught of Him, shall find Him near you; that Teacher cannot be removed into corners. There shall be an invisible eye, an heavenly and spiritual eye opened to you, that you may see the Lord near you, draw near to Him in faith, and with a true heart, and with full assurance, and you will certainly know, and you will see clearly, that God is no Respecter of persons, but that, in every Nation, he that feareth God and worketh righteousness, is accepted of Him: God is no Respecter of persons: His love is of large extent, with respect to the Sons and Daughters of men; Those thou gavest me, says our Savior, I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. The mercy of God, through Christ Jesus the Son of His love, reaches all, there is goodwill towards all men. Luke 2:8-14. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over the flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And the Prophet Isaiah tells us, For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the Government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called wonderful, counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting father, the Prince of peace. You shall have Christ Jesus for your Lord, and King, and Counselor, and Instructor; Christ Jesus, the Son of the Highest, will instruct you and counsel you safely, and then great will be your peace; who can disturb the peace of such a one, or bereave him of it? Such a one is also established in righteousness, and Christ is made to them of God, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption; that they may be all endued with that wisdom that is from above, which is pure, and peaceable, and gentle, and easy to be entreated: let the same mind be in you, says the Apostle, which was in Christ Jesus, that great Lord, and King, and peaceable Savior, let us come unto Him, and learn of Him that is meek and lowly and we shall find rest to our souls; come unto Him that has goodwill to all, desiring that all may be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth; and this is life eternal, to know him that is the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent. The children of God desire the saving knowledge of the true God above all the idols of the world, and to be made partakers of that life which is eternal, which never shall have an end; they will always fear the Lord, and think upon His Name.

I beseech you in the tender love of God, consider this; it is our great duty to fear the Lord, and think upon His Name; wherever we are, that is good; they that fear the Lord are always blessed of God, they receive divine wisdom from God, how to order their conversation aright, and so more and more daily partake of God's salvation: For the Arm of the Lord is stretched forth, and made bare to save those that trust in Him. Neglect not that great salvation, which the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, has purchased and procured for us; not with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with his own precious blood, as a Lamb without blemish and without spot; for he was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, his visage was marred more than any man's; whom the Jews slew and hanged on a tree. Had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; He was the Lord's Anointed whom they slew, the Lord of heaven and earth, who had all power committed to Him; and He gave commission to His Apostles and Ministers, to go and teach all Nations, and observe all things whatsoever he commanded, saying to them, Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. And says our Lord Jesus Christ to them, Behold I send the promise of my Father upon you, but tarry ye in the City of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high; and they had power given them to work miracles, and to tread on serpents and scorpions, and nothing was able to hurt them; a mighty, blessed, and glorious power did preserve them and fit them to preach the everlasting Gospel.

So now, my Friends, my counsel from the Lord to you, is, that you will be faithful to what the Lord our God, in His dear Son Jesus Christ, has manifested and made known to you, be it more or less: You that have received much, of you will much be required; and they that are faithful in a little, shall be made Rulers over much, they shall enter into their Master's joy, that joy that the stranger does not intermeddle with. This spiritual joy of the Lord, has been our strength, it has been comfortable to the Children of God from time to time, and from day to day. How joyful will it be, to hear that sentence from Christ hereafter; Well done good and faithful Servant, thou hast been faithful in a little, I will make thee ruler over much, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord; then shall the redeem of the Lord sing the song of Moses, the Servant of God, and the song of the Lamb; saying, great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty, just and true are thy ways, thou King of Saints.

Now, my Friends, hearken and incline your ears from time to time, to what the Lord shall say, he will speak peace unto his people, and to his Saints, but let them not return again to folly. Whoever you are that are true real Christians, you have peace with God through Christ Jesus the peaceable Savior; we are accepted of God in the beloved, and have peace with God, in and through Jesus Christ, who is the great Peace-maker and Prince of Peace; it is by His meritorious death and suffering, and satisfaction made to divine justice, that we are reconciled to God. I never did desire to hear anything, or speak anything, that had the least tendency to undervalue the death, sufferings, satisfaction, mediation, and intercession of our Lord Jesus Christ; but have always owned, believed, and preached these great truths.

My Friends, I beseech you all to have an eye to the Lord; if you draw nigh to Him He will draw nigh to you; if we keep to the Lord, and joy in the Lord, we shall find the Lord near to us, answering our desires. He will keep us in the hollow of His Hand, and in the secret Pavilion; then will your bread (your heavenly living bread) be sure, and you will know the breaking of it, and the eating of it; that bread which Christ gives, is that whereby we are comforted and refreshed.

So my Friends, the Lord God Almighty be with you: It is not in my mind to say much at this time, though many things were upon me to speak to you in the light of the Lord, and the love of the Lord; I shall at present commit you to the Lord Jesus Christ, to cast your care upon Him at all times; in all your afflictions, distresses, trials, and troubles whatsoever, keep your eye steadfast, and your hearts fixed upon the Lord, and you need not then be afraid of evil things; trust in the Lord at all times; not for a day, or a week, or a year, but forever, cast your care upon the Lord, for he careth for you. If your faith be tried, murmur not, but rejoice, for the trial of your faith is much more precious than gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, that it may be found unto praise, and honor, and glory, at the appearing of Jesus Christ, in whom though now you see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. If trials, sufferings, and tribulations come, do not boggle at them, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial, which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you, but rejoice; inasmuch as ye are made partakers of Christ's sufferings, that when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

Friends, happy are you, if the Lord shall be pleased to try your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and to try your love and patience: Verily, I say to you in the name of the Lord, we have all need of it in our spiritual travail and progress, and heavenly journey; ye have need of patience, that after ye have done to will of God, ye may receive the Promise: The patient and the meek shall inherit the earth, and have an inheritance reserved in heaven. Seek the Lord, my Friends, that you may be hid in the day of His wrath, that you may be among His hidden Ones; when His indignation shall break out against sin and wickedness, would not you be hidden then? Would you not have the Lord to spare you then, as a man that spareth his son that serveth him? The Lord will have mercy upon Sion, and spare his people in the day of his fierce anger, until his indignation be over-past. The walls of Sion are the walls of salvation, and they are a Bulwark to God's People; when did these Walls and Bulwarks fail you? Have you not been preserved in your day and generation? If these walls of salvation had failed, we had not been preserved in Christ Jesus, we had not now been a People: We have stood in the brunts, we have been kept safe in the strong city, where salvation is for walls and bulwarks. And so I shall commit you to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world; I desire you all to look to Him, and fix your hearts upon Him, who is the Author of eternal salvation to all them that believe in Him and obey Him; to Him be glory, praise, and dominion, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.