Archive for October 2nd, 2022

True Sheep of God


Written by John Woolman (1720-1772), an American merchant, journalist, Quaker preacher, and early abolitionist in the colonial era. This is an excerpt from the book “The Journal and Major Essays of John Woolman.”

The sense I had of the state of the churches brought a weight of distress upon me…It appeared to me that through the prevailing spirit of this world the minds of many were brought to an inward desolation and instead of the spirit of meekness, gentleness, and heavenly wisdom, which are the necessary companions of the true sheep of Christ, a spirit of fierceness and the love of dominion too generally prevailed. From small beginnings in error great building by degrees are raised and from one age to another are more and more strengthened by the general concurrence of the people; and as men of reputation depart from the Truth, their virtues are mentioned as arguments in favor of general error, and those of less note, to justify themselves, say “Such and such good men did the like.” By what other steps could the people of Judah arise to that height in wickedness as to give just ground for the prophet Isaiah to declare in the name of the Lord that none called for justice nor pleaded for the Truth? Or for the Almighty to call upon the great city of Jerusalem, just before the Babylonian captivity, to find a man who executed judgment and sought the Truth and he would pardon it? The prospect of a road lying open to the same degeneracy in some parts of this newly settled land of America, in respect to our conduct towards the Negroes, hath deeply bowed my mind in this journey; and though to briefly relate how these people are treated is no agreeable work, yet after often reading over the notes I made as I traveled, I find my mind engaged to preserve them…They who know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent, and are thus acquainted with the merciful, benevolent Gospel Spirit, will therein perceive that the indignation of God is kindled against oppression and cruelty, and in beholding the great distress of so numerous a people will find cause for mourning.


Today’s prayer is from the Book of Common Prayer.

O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from thy ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of thy Word, Jesus Christ thy Son; who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Read Full Post »