A Sermon Delivered by JOSEPH S. ELKINGTON, 5th Month 8th, 1865, at the Western District Meeting in Philadelphia.
Selections From the Diary and Correspondence of Joseph S. Elkington, 1830-1905. Philadelphia: Printed for Private Distribution, 1913, pages 62-63.

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

Fifth month 28. Attended Western District Meeting this evening and appeared in testimony in this wise: "As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so is the Lord round about them that fear him. Yea, the angel of his presence will encamp round about them that fear him and will deliver them." I had been led into sympathy with a state that did love the Lord Jesus in sincerity, was concerned to walk humbly with their God, having his holy fear before their eyes, but were bowed down, as it were, beyond measure; under a sense it might be of their own shortcomings, or borne under a weight of affliction; or it might be on account of the low state of the Church. There were many things on account of which we might be properly exercised, but it was not designed we should dwell upon them to our destruction. As in the outward, it was not good to dwell upon a subject to the exclusion of all else till the mind became unbalanced, so in the spiritual it was not best to dwell upon a dispensation till that holy composure and settlement, which was the portion of the righteous, should be broken up, lest we lose our confidence in that Omnipotent Arm of power which had hitherto helped us and delivered us out of all our distresses. If there is such a state, it is with me to speak comfortingly, reminding such, there are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these we might be made partakers of the divine nature, union and communion with God. And though it might please Him to feed us with the bread of adversity and with the water of affliction, and veil the glorious of his countenance from us so that every sensible evidence of divine favor be withdrawn, yet he would never leave nor forsake those whose love is chaste and pure toward Him. "I will not leave thee nor forsake thee." May we therefore cry unto Him who is able to give us the faith which the inspired writer possessed when he said: "Though the fig tree should not blossom and the labor of the olive should fail, and there be no fruit on the vine, and the flocks be cut off from the field, and there be no herd in the stall, yet will I joy in the Lord and rejoice in the God of my salvation." As we come to this we shall be enabled to rejoice in tribulation and learn in whatsoever state we are, therewith to be content. Ye that fear the Lord, hope in the Lord for everlasting joy and mercy.