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SERMON I.

DELIVERED BY ELIAS HICKS, IN FRIENDS' MEETING

HOUSE, ROSE-STREET, NEW-YORK, ON FIRST DAY
MORNING, THE 8TH OF FIFTH MONTH, 1825.

Since I have been sitting with you, I have been led to consider, not only from the records of history in past ages, but from our own observations and experience at the present day that it has been the practice of the children of men at all times, when an individual has been led to address a community, society, or nation, on any subject, moral or religious, to address them as a single person, as though all were in the same situation or predicament, in relation to the subject, to be commented upon. This is discoverable in the case of Elijah the prophet formerly. Driven, as it were from pillar to post, by Ahab, and Jezebel, being cast down and almost dicouraged, he went off to save his life, and retired into the wilderness, on account of the transgressions of the people. In this state of sequestration from mankind, he was addressed by his Almighty friend, on this wise, What dost thou here Elijah? To this the pro

phet returned an answer according to his views and feelings, that the people had become cruel, and had deviated from the path of rectitude ; inasmuch as they had slain all the Lord's prophets, and sought his life also ! he said, “the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy proprophets with the sword; and I only am left; and they seek my life to take it away." Yet the Lord declared to him, that it was not exactly so; for, said he, “ I have yet left me seven thousand, in Israel,” even seven thousand “ who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” In another case this form of address has

prevailed, in which the Lord spoke to his prophet Jeremiah, and said, “ My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water." Here the queries seem to arise in my mind, how far it is proper to consider all as the servants of God, who profess to be subject to the same discipline. We have all too much forsaken the Lord. We have turned from him and hewed out cisterns of . our own, adapted to our own convenience and vain imaginations. We have contrived ways and

means to get along without applying to him; and yet, in his will only is contained his law and his

covenant. To the Israelites was given an outward law and covenant, for they were an outward people. In their degenerate state, the Divine Mind was anxious to give them such law, and such rules for their government as they could bear. And so long as they kept strictly to the law and the covenant, there was no diversity of opinion among them; all their prophets were attended to. This outward covenant and plan of government was suited to their animal natures and sensual desires. This covenant had its seal, in outward miracles, wrought in their presence, which must have been an evidence to them of its having proceeded from Almighty power. This was the highest evidence they looked for, and was suited to their low views and outward dispensation. But outward miracles are no evidence to an internal spiritual covenant. God now acts upon the hearts of men without them. Were they necessary for the furtherance of his purposes, they would be continued. But they would defeat the design of the new dispensation, if they were now to be renewed; for they are not suited to the new and present covenent and law. You have read in the prophet Jeremiah, that the Lord would make a new covenant with his people. But the promise was confined to his people only; it was not new to any other nation on the earth ; nor is it to be found in history, that he gave an outward covenant to any other nation whatsoever. But it is not to be supposed because they were not included in the assurance of the Jewish covenant, that other nations were out of the notice of God; but their case was different, it was not suited to them, nor to their condition ; God is an impartial being, and hence he would bestow upon them such a course of improvement and direction as should best suit their wants and situations. The old covenant was not to be admitted to any other nation than the Jews; but the new covenant was to be an everlasting covenant. It was not made liable in any wise to change, on his part; for it was to be perpetual, and as such cannot alter; for God cannot change, he is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever. And although the people turned away from him, and sought out their own devices, yet God followed them in their lean and lost condition ; for God is love, and he would not forsake what he had created. If they had attended to their duty, they would have sought to return to their first love, and to perform the will of their Creator. At the present day all that is required of us, is to do the manifested will of God our Creator. How then is that will manifested to us? It

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