“Fruits of Solitude”

“So likewise ye, when ye shal haue done all those things which are commanded you, say, Wee are vnprofitable seruants: Wee haue done that which was our duety to doe.”

“We are all sensible what a stately Seat it is:
The Heavens adorned with so many glorious Luminaries;
and the Earth with Groves, Plains, Valleys, Hills, Fountains, Ponds, Lakes and Rivers;
and Variety of Fruits, and Creatures for Food, Pleasure and Profit.
In short, how Noble an House He keeps, and the Plenty and Variety and
Excellency of His Table; His Orders, Seasons and Suitableness of every Time and Thing.
But we must be as sensible, or at least ought to be,
what Careless and Idle Servants we are,
and how short and disproportionable our Behavior is to His Bounty and Goodness:
How long He bears, and often He reprieves and forgives us:
Who, notwithstanding our Breach of Promises, and repeated Neglects,
has not yet been provok’d to break up House, and send us to shift for our selves.
Should not this great Goodness raise a due Sense in us of our Undutifulness,
and a Resolution to alter our Course and mend our Manners;
that we may be for the future more worthy Communicants

at our Master’s good and great Table?
Especially since it is not more certain that we deserve

His Displeasure than that we should feel it,
if we continue to be unprofitable Servants. ”
William Penn. (1644–1718). Fruits of Solitude.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14. Part I Religion, #485


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