Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven
By: David Ferris, 1779
“It was Christ, the Light of the world, the Life of men, who opened to me the Scriptures, and gave me a discerning of their meaning; and, as I was faithful and obedient to the pointings of Truth, I was favoured with further and clearer discoveries thereof. In this state I felt desirous that others should come to be acquainted with it.”
If all men would “Seek first the kingdom of heaven, and the righteousness thereof”, and carefully attend to the leadings of the Holy Spirit, with which all might be favored, I believe hay would be blessed with a sufficient portion of wealth. O that mankind where wise, and would early seek that treasure which cometh from above; and which neither moth nor rust can corrupt, nor thieves break through and steal! And may we all beware of loving the world; and living at ease, in the enjoyment of its good and pleasant things! Even those who have been favored with remarkable Divine visitations, and have been put in possession of» the upper and nether springs”, have great need to be on their guard. When we enjoy health and plenty, and all things seem pleasant around us, we are prone to forget the Lord, and neglect those» things that belong to our peace”. This I know by sorrowful experience. In this way I was brought into a long, dark, and mournful situation: and kept from yielding obedience to my known duty respecting the ministry.
Although I had been called out of the world, and uncommonly favored; although I had forsaken the vanities and flesh- pleasing gratifications in which I had delighted…and freely born the cross of being esteemed a fool by the world; afterwards joining with the despised Quakers, adopting their language, dress and behavior [all of which I could not have done without Divine assistance}, yet, after all this, I was so forgetful, and ungrateful to my heavenly Benefactor that it is a wonder I was ever restored. And I have no doubt that thousands through negligence, even after they have been called out of the world, and have ran well for a season, have been finally lost; swimming away in the riches and pleasures of this transitory state. This I have written as a warning to others.
From the memoirs of David Ferris, Wilmington, Delaware, 1779