At the Beginning of Time, the Morning

§. 2. I will begin here also, with the Beginning of Time, the Morning; so soon as you wake, retire your Mind into a pure Silence, from all Thoughts and Ideas of Worldly Things, and in that Frame, wait upon God, to feel his good Presence, to lift up your Hearts to him, and commit your whole self, into his blessed Care and Protection. Then rise, if well, immediately; being drest, read a Chapter or more in the Scriptures, and afterwards dispose your selves for the Business of the Day; ever remembring that God is present, the Overseer of all your Thoughts, Words, and Actions; and demean your selves, my dear Children, accordingly; and do not you dare to do that in his holy all-Seeing Presence, which you would be ashamed, a Man, yea a Child, should see you do. And as you have Intervals, from your lawful Occasions, delight to step Home, within your selves, I mean, and commune with your own Hearts, and be still; and (as Nebuchadnezzar said on another Occasion) One like the Son of God, you shall find and enjoy with you and in you; a Treasure the World knows not of, but is the Aim, End and Diadem of the Children of God. This will bear you up against all Temptations, and carry you sweetly and evenly through your Day’s Business, supporting you under Disappointments, and moderating your Satisfaction in Success and Prosperity. The Evening come, read again the holy Scripture, and have your Times of Retirement, before you close your Eyes, as in the Morning; that so the Lord may be the Alpha and Omega of every Day of your Lives. And if God bless you with Families, remember good Joshua’s Resolution, Josh. 24. 15. But as for me and my House, we will serve the Lord.

from “Advice Of William Penn To His Children” (1699), Chapter 2, in Collection of the works of William Penn (London: J. Sowle, 1726), vol. 1, 896-897: Accessed 12/21/2021 from the Digital Quaker Collection (



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