A Prayer from John Bellars

I was reading an essay from T. Vail Palmer this morning on titled “Religion and Ethics in the Thought of John Bellars” and came upon this beautiful prayer and a great quote from about Jesus being the example for all people (even Princes) to imitate. Bellars was an early Quaker social reformer and has some beautiful and radical ideas that are still worth investigation today.

“Do thou inable us, O Lord! to prostrate ourselves in deep humility before thee, with our Wills subjected and resign’d unto thy Holy Will in all things, that we may with Sincerity, say, Thy Will Be done on Earth as it is done in Heaven.”

John Bellars 1718 Epistle

Jesus is the supreme moral patten for his ethics:

“Never mention those Heathen Heroes, such as Alexander, Caesar, or Hannibal, for Patterns to be Imitated by Christian Princes. who Sacrificed the Live of Thousands, to their restless Ambition and Honour; But let the Holy Jesus, who went about doing good, be the Example for all Christian Princes to Imitate, which will Increase their Subject, and add last Glory to themselves, and a happy Peace to both.”

Published by Wess Daniels

Teacher, author, Quaker, ​and public theologian. Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College.

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