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wait for the needful qualification to worship

the Father in spirit, and in truth; and this we -believe may be done without the aid of the · human voice. For if the worship of God, depended upon the organic powers of our nature,

and could not be performed without them, then , it must be in part a natural and not purely a spiritual worship. We are informed on this subject, by the Head of the church, that “ the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a spirit, and they that worship him, must worship him in 'spirit and in truth.” John iv. 28, 24. It therefore appears to us that no well-founded objection can be raised against our silent meetings; and that the form itself correctly agrees with that kind of worship which Christians are called to. And although we do not deny that the spirit of Christ may sometimes accompany vocal acts of worship, yet we believe many may be deceived by complying with outward forms without the -spirit. We confess also that it is possible for an assembly to be gathered into outward si. lence, and not experience the mind to be separated from the influence of the natural wan

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derings and desires of the creature. In either case, pure and spiritual worship may fail to be performed. But in the former, where an assembly are collected, and without waiting for the mind of the spirit, immediately proceed to outward and formal acts; there appears to us a danger of departing from the will of God, and fulfilling the will of man alone. To wait upon God, requires à state in which we are separated from all the acts of the creature. But such a state is not obtained while any thing of our own commands our attention, Hence we infer that were we to enter our re. ligious assemblies, and pursue the emotions

of the unsubjected will, we should be active in the first nature without the quickening in- .

fluence of the Holy Spirit; and all such acts, however specious, we believe will fail to be acceptable to the Father, who is a pure and spiritual being, only known and worshipped in that manifestation of the spirit which he has been pleased to grant to all them that wait upon, and worship him in spirit and in truth. Many are the instances mentioned in the Scrip. tures of the faithful waiting upon God. The prophet Jeremiah says, “ the Lord is good unto them, that wait for him, to the soul that

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seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.” Lam. iii. 25, 16. David saith, “'I waited patiently for the Lord, and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.” Psalm xl. 1. Isaiah saith, “ And it shall be said in that day, lo, this is our God, we have waited for him, and he will save us. This is the Lord, we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” Isaiah xxv. 9. One more instance I will add in confirmation of leaning upon and waiting for the aid of the spirit.” “ But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Likewise the spirit also helpeth our infirmities, for we know not what we should pray for as we ought, but the spirit itself maketh intercession for us, with groanings which cannot be uttered." Rom. viii. 25, 26. In this doctrine of the apostle, it is evident that he believed in the necessity of waiting in the spirit, and that there was a sensible devotion in the joint influence of the spirit itself, with the soul of man, where words were not necessary or even: competent to the occasion. As there can be nothing more opposite to the natural will' and wisdom of man, than this silent waiting upon

God; so neither can it be obtained, nor rightly comprehended by man but as he layeth down his own wisdom and will, so as to be content, to be thoroughly subject to God. Therefore it was not preached, nor can it be so practised, but by such as find no outward ceremony, no observations, no words, yea not the best and purest, even the words of Scripture, able to satisfy their weary and afflicted souls. Because where all these may be, the life, power and virtue which make such things effectual may be wanting. Such I say were necessitated to cease from all externals and to be silent before the Lord, and being directed to that inward principle of life, and light in themselves, as the most excellent teacher, which can never be removed into a corner; came thereby to be taught to wait upon God in the measure of life and grace received from him, and to cease from their own forward words and actions, in the natural willing and comprehension, and feel after this inward seed of life, that as it moveth, they may move with it, and be actuated by its power, and influenced whether to pray, preach or sing. And so from this principle of man's being silent and not acting in the things of God of himself, until thus ac

tuated by God's light and grace in the heart, did naturally spring, that manner of sitting together in silence.” (Apology, p. 353.) “ Yet I , do not so much commend and speak of silence,.. as if we had bound ourselves by any law, to exclude praying or preaching, or tied ourselves thereunto, not at all; for as our worship consisteth not in words, so neither in silence, but in an holy dependence of the mind upon God, from which dependence, silence necessarily follows in the first place until words can be brought forth, which are from God's spirit.” (Apology, p. 360.) The reader will from the foregoing have some idea of our reasons for assembling in silence; but they only can be competent to judge in this weighty matter who have come to the light of Christ in themselves, and are sensible of those joys, which spring from an inward and spiritual knowledge of his presence., Friends believe that all true wor-, shippers in spirit and in truth, must walk in the spirit, and not fulfil the luşts of the flesh. Neither are we alone in our belief, that divine worship is a spiritual act and to be known and performed in silence. “ Devotion considered in itself, is an intercourse between God and us, between the Supreme, Self Existent, Incona ,

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