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The Ancient Banner Or, Brief Sketches of Persons and Scenes in the Early History of Friends   By:

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[Transcriber's Notes: Corrections made: canvass corrected to canvas buffetted corrected to buffeted multipled corrected to multiplied Equiped corrected to Equipped steadfastnesss corrected to steadfastness]

THE ANCIENT BANNER;

OR

Brief Sketches OF PERSONS AND SCENES IN THE EARLY HISTORY OF FRIENDS.

"THOU HAST GIVEN A BANNER TO THEM THAT FEARED THEE, THAT IT MAY BE DISPLAYED BECAUSE OF THE TRUTH." Psalm 60, 4.

PHILADELPHIA:

JOSEPH KITE & CO., PRINTERS, No. 50 North Fourth Street. 1846.

THE ANCIENT BANNER.

In boundless mercy, the Redeemer left, The bosom of his Father, and assumed A servant's form, though he had reigned a king, In realms of glory, ere the worlds were made, Or the creating words, "Let there be light" In heaven were uttered. But though veiled in flesh, His Deity and his Omnipotence, Were manifest in miracles. Disease Fled at his bidding, and the buried dead Rose from the sepulchre, reanimate, At his command, or, on the passing bier Sat upright, when he touched it. But he came, Not for this only, but to introduce A glorious dispensation, in the place Of types and shadows of the Jewish code. Upon the mount, and round Jerusalem, He taught a purer, and a holier law, His everlasting Gospel, which is yet To fill the earth with gladness; for all climes Shall feel its influence, and shall own its power. He came to suffer, as a sacrifice Acceptable to God. The sins of all Were laid upon Him, when in agony He bowed upon the cross. The temple's veil Was rent asunder, and the mighty rocks, Trembled, as the incarnate Deity, By his atoning blood, opened that door, Through which the soul, can have communion with Its great Creator; and when purified, From all defilements, find acceptance too, Where it can finally partake of all The joys of His salvation. But the pure Church he planted, the pure Church Which his apostles watered, and for which, The blood of countless martyrs freely flowed, In Roman Amphitheatres, on racks, And in the dungeon's gloom, this blessed Church, Which grew in suffering, when it overspread Surrounding nations, lost its purity. Its truth was hidden, and its light obscured By gross corruption, and idolatry. As things of worship, it had images, And even painted canvas was adored. It had a head and bishop, but this head Was not the Saviour, but the Pope of Rome. Religion was a traffic. Men defiled, Professed to pardon sin, and even sell, The joys of heaven for money, and to raise Souls out of darkness to eternal light, For paltry silver lavished upon them. And thus thick darkness, overspread the Church As with a mantle. At length the midnight of apostacy Passed by, and in the horizon appeared, Day dawning upon Christendom. The light, Grew stronger, as the Reformation spread. For Luther, and Melancthon, could not be Silenced by papal bulls, nor by decrees Of excommunication thundered forth Out of the Vatican. And yet the light, Of Luther's reformation, never reached Beyond the morning's dawn. The noontide blaze Of Truth's unclouded day, he never saw. Yet after him, its rising sun displayed More and more light upon the horizon. Though thus enlightened, the professing Church, Was far from many of the precious truths Of the Redeemer's gospel; and as yet, Owned not his Spirit's government therein. But now the time approached, when he would pour A larger measure of his light below; And as he chose unlearned fishermen To spread his gospel when first introduced, So now he passed mere human learning by, And chose an instrument, comparable To the small stone the youthful David used, To smite the champion who defied the Lord... Continue reading book >>




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