A Sermon Delivered by ELEAZAR BALES on 2-11-1877, at Summit Grove Meeting, Western Yearly Meeting (Conservative)
Previously Unpublished Material Transcribed from Archival Manuscripts by Tom Roberts, Made available to the editor by Edsel Burdge.

This is The Quaker Homiletics Online Anthology, Part 3: The 19th Century

Sometimes while sitting in silence as we are to day, desiring spiritual food and Nourishment, we are favored with a source of meditation which is not always at our command. I have been thinking and meditating on the life as we find recorded in the life of Job. It is wonderful and marvelous to meditate on the display of his faith, trust and confidence in the Almighty power of an overruling providence. In the first place it is stated that he was a perfect man, "one who feared God and eschewed evil". Also that he was a very rich man, his wealth I think, it is stated, exceeded all that was in the eastern country, the account goes on to make a statement of his wealth and in this time notwithstanding his perfect condition--a good man--But the enemy was permitted to buffet him and his trials, mental and physical were very great it would seem entirely [past] natural ability to sustain. His great wealth was taken from him in a very short time; even to the last of his beloved children, composed seven sons and three daughters, who were all taken in a very short time, and then his poor body was sorely afflicted from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet. But we find that the enemy was limited, for he was not permitted to take his life or else no doubt he would have done so, because this is his business to destroy the spiritual life of man. Notwithstanding he was smitten from the top of his head to the soles of his feet, his own dear companion - his wife - told, him to "curse God and die". In this condition it seems there were worms upon his body and he took him a potshred to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes". It is wonderful still that in this tried condition his faith failed him not, for he says "the Lord hath given and the Lord hath taken away blessed be the name of the Lord". And from this he says, "O that my words were now written! O that they were printed in a book! that they were graven with an iron pen an laid in the rock forever; for I know that my Redeemer liveth and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth". This trouble which came upon Job I do believe was to try his faith. I do believe the truly dedicated follower of Christ has his trials because the Lord will have a tried people and our love, trust and confidence in him must be proved and tried that we may go fourth as pure gold; it was not only on his own account, but this declaration is handed down to future ages who pass through this ordeal that we should learn to trust in that Holy Head. I have felt this much my friends, while sitting with you to day and I hope and trust that there may not be a giving out under any circumstances in your Zionward journey. I believe all will be tried in a greater or less degree. I believe we read that Paul was tried with a message from Satan that he called a "thorn in the flesh" and he desired three times the Lord might take it away, but he did not do it, at the same time he gave him strength and encouragement for he says "My grace is sufficient for thee". I would say dear people to trust in our Divine Master for his grace is sufficient under all circumstances. If we are foiled in battle it is because we are not living near enough to Christ; it is to those who are faithful to the last who will receive the welcome language "Well done good and faithful servant". O that my words were now written, O that they were printed in a book, that they were graven with an iron pen and laid in the rock forever for I know that my Redeemer liveth and that he shall stand at the later day upon the earth which we know has long since been fulfilled. Our blessed Lord and Master who came in order to redeem the soul of man from ruin, giving his life for us has now furnished grace for every soul who desires it and will walk in it and attend to the teachings of it that all may be well at last.

Notwithstanding all the trials, all the suffering, all the tribulations and losses and crosses that may be permitted to come upon us on our journey through life all will be well at last if there is not a giving out by the way on our part. The enemy of our souls peace is a limited being now as he was in the days of Job and if we loose our home in heaven it is because we are not willing that the Lord should rule over us and be our King who comes to us through suffering and death. Yet we have our choice which will serve, Whether it is this tyrant enemy that was permitted to buffet Job, or whether we will serve him who gave his life for us. There is another true saying which he made in the time of his affliction "Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble, he cometh forth like a flower and is cut down; he fleeth also as a shadow and continueth not." So it is. It is a serious matter for us to consider whether we are making use of the time that He has granted to us here in answer to the great object of our being to live for the honor and praise of his great and excellent name, and we can not do this unless we are willing to come under his teaching and practice a great deal of self denial. Christ says himself "If any man will come after me let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." Although I have been privileged to live to what is considered a long life and have grown feeble, my eye has become clear, yet I do feel the same need for me to live near this source and fountain of divine light, that light which was in former days. The same need and watchfulness lest I should in an unguarded moment be taken with the deception of common enemy. This is what I desire, and especially for these dear young people to "remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them." The good Master will take care of you if you will submit yourselves to his teachings and care.