ASSEMBLE BEFORE HIM IN A STATE OF DEEP
HUMILIATION OF SOUL.
A Sermon Delivered by James Backhouse, Date and place not given.
Sermons Preached by Members of the Society of Friends. London: Hamilton, Adams, &
Co., 1832, pages 7-9.
This is The Quaker Homiletics Online Anthology, Part Three: The 19th Century.
I came to this meeting, my friends, under a deep sense of disinclination to open my mouth; but
notwithstanding this was the case, my mind has been brought under such feelings as have
occasioned me to apprehend that I should not be doing right in keeping silence. I have felt a deep
sense of the importance of our coming together with our minds properly impressed with the
object of our so doing; this has filled my mind with an earnest desire that we may increasingly,
when we assemble before the Lord, assemble before him in a state of deep humiliation of soul;
that there may be a willingness in our heart to see ourselves as he would have us to see ourselves;
that we may be willing to understand our errors as he is willing to show them unto us by the
teachings of his Holy Spirit; and that we may be brought under feelings of humiliation because
thereof; and also under a deep sense of our weakness and of our inability, in our own strength, to
worship God acceptably, in spirit and in truth; and to walk before him from day to day in that way
which is well pleasing in his sight; and that under a deep sense of these things, we may draw nigh
to him, and trust in him in that way which is set forth unto us, in and through our Holy
Redeemer;--that we may pour out our petitions unto him in the name of Jesus for that help and
strength which we feel we stand in need of, and I believe the more we are exercised in this
manner--not only when we meet for the avowed purpose of worshiping Almighty God--but the
more we are thus exercised in our private retirements, and are often engaged in searchings of
heart before the Lord, when our hands are engaged about our lawful business, the more I believe
we shall be preserved growing in grace and in the saving knowledge of God, and our Lord Jesus
Christ; yea, the more we feel of our own weakness and unworthiness, the more we shall be
prepared to appreciate the privilege of coming unto the Father, in the name of his beloved Son;
and the more we are thus exercised, the more we shall grow in the love and fear of God, and also
in the love of our neighbor, and in that spirit which, being deeply sensible of its own infirmities
and its many haltings and backslidings, is disposed to look with charity upon the failings of others,
and to labor with them in the spirit of love and meekness, that they may be rescued from under the
power of the enemy, and brought under the power of the cross of Christ; and the more we are
thus brought into this spirit, the more our lights will shine before men, so that they will be
constrained to glorify God, even on our account.