“And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”
William Penn (1644-1718), the founder of Pennsylvania, at age 22 converted to the Christian truths of the Society of Friends, or Quakers, who at that time were greatly scorned and ridiculed. He suffered imprisonment over three times for his faith. Once he was imprisoned in the Tower of London for eight months, during which time he wrote his classic book, No Cross, No Crown:
” No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown….
Christ’s cross is Christ’s way to Christ’s crown. This is the subject of the following discourse, first written during my confinement in the Tower of London in the year of 1668, now reprinted with great enlargement of matter and testimonies, that thou mayest be won to Christ, or if won already, brought nearer to Him. It is a path which God in his everlasting kindness guided my feet into, in the flower of my youth, when about two and twenty years of age.
He took me by the hand and led me out of the pleasures, vanities and hopes of the world. I have tasted the Christ’s judgements, and of his mercies, and of the world’s frowns and reproaches. I rejoice in my experience, and dedicate it to thy service in Christ….
The unmortified Christian and the heathen are of the same religion, and the deity they truly worship is the god of this world. What shall we eat? What shall we drink? What shall we wear? And how shall we pass away our time? Which way may we gather and perpetuate our names and families in the earth? It is a mournful reflection, but a truth which will not be denied, that these worldly lusts fill up a great part of the study, care and conversation of Christendom.
The false notion that they may be children of God while in a state of disobedience to his holy commandments, and disciples of Jesus though they revolt from his cross, and members of his true church, which is without spot or wrinkle, not withstanding their lives are full of spots and wrinkles, is of all other deceptions upon themselves the most pernicious to the eternal condition they are at peace in sin and under a security in their transgression.”
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.”