a puritan's blog

O God, stamp eternity on my eyeballs…

A REPROOF TO THE UNFAITHFUL

(This letter was written in 1600’s in a very clear language.  I find it to be ‘relevant’ for us Americans at large today)

Ruins of the William Penn Hotel

 

How long shall the Spirit of the Lord strive with you, O ye careless and unfaithful who are convinced of the truth of God and come to meetings, confess to the testimony and profess it in the world and are yet unsanctified and unregenerated and so have no part nor lot in the blessed word of life eternal. What can ye hope for from the hand of the Lord at the hour of your death and day of your judgment? Will not God remember unto you the day of your visitation his strivings his waitings his long suffering; how often he would have gathered you that ye might have inherited substance. Awake, awake ye sensual, ye earthly minded professors of the truth, that Christ Jesus may give you life.  For I may say with the apostle and that weeping too, there are too many unworthy of the great favour and mercy of God, who under all their pretences to religion walk in the way of those whose god is their belly, who glory in their shame and who mind earthly things pursuing uncertain riches and trusting in their store; if redeemed from scandalous things, yet abounding too much in more hidden evils – envy, covetousness, high mindedness, meddling in other folks matters, out of the watch, out of the cross that crucifies the flesh and delivers the spirit to serve God in the newness of life. O, knowing the terrors of the Lord, let me persuade you while it is today to hear his voice, his living word that cleanseth the young man’s way; and believe in the light whilst ye have the light, that ye also maybe the children of light in which the nations of them that are saved must walk; lest it pass away from you and the night overtake you in which the works of peace cannot be wrought. O friends, your doom will be the most dismal, and your end the most horrible of all others that are called, and would not do it. Will not he make such Jews of the synagogue of Satan, who are not Jews inward, neither your circumcision that of the heart.

Be assured that in the day of his winnowing, ye shall go to the chaff, and the wind of his fury shall drive you from the joy of his presence for ever. Therefore receive my counsel in the love of God, be faithful to his truth, wait and watch in it that ye may be delivered in the hour of temptation. It will try your limit, your desires, bound your affections, it will make you humble so God will teach you and so will He guide you in judgment and clothe you with salvation. I have a trouble upon my soul and my spirit is pained for you. I would have nothing lost but the son of perdition. I would have you all gathered and nothing cast away that is called of God. I would have all come to the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus and be saved. This I send you as a farewell to you in the name and power of the God of my salvation and in so doing am clear of you all.

Your true friend,

WILLIAM PENN

Posted in The Friend, Twelfth month, 1, 1827, pg. 54 as found here digitized by google

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