A Sermon Delivered by Ruth Ann Stanton, 8-19-1880, at Westfield, Indiana Conservative Friends Meeting
Previously Unpublished Material Transcribed from Archival Manuscripts by Tom Roberts, Made available to the editor by Edsel Burdge.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

The question that arose in my mind as we took our seats in this meeting is, Why are we here? Can we give a better solution than to say, that it is for the purpose of worshiping Him to whom all homage and reverence is due? Who has given us our being for His glory? Where two or three are gathered together in his name, He has declared He will be in their midst and that to bless.

We have come together at this time for the purpose of divine worship, for edification and comfort. To strengthen one another as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, of His humanity, of His divinity, of His life and suffering, and of His death and resurrection. As believers in these, we have come together and sit down to wait upon Him, I trust in reverence, with our minds turned to Him from whom all blessings come. Dear Friends, seeing we have come together and sit down to wait upon Him, I trust in reverence with our minds turned to Him from whom all blessings come.

Dear Friends, seeing we have come together for one purpose, and, I trust it is for no other than for rendering unto Him that worship which is due, for the strengthening of one another - seeing we have come together, some of us from quite a distance to sit down and mingle our sympathies and prayers together, how important it is for us to endeavor to enter into one feeling from the one spirit into a sense of our condition and needs, depending upon Him, the great head of the Church.

We are poor and helpless and need a Saviour, and almost ready to cry, "A Redeemer or I perish." I believe there is not one who shall be permitted to retire from this house without being more or less benefitted by our sitting down in reverence before Him. I feel the desire that we might have our minds turned to Him who is alone able to unfold to our understanding, even the deep mysteries of His kingdom, and bring forth from his treasures things new and old.

I have believed this morning that there are those, even in this little assembly, who are desiring to know the way of life and Salvation for themselves, and not for another. I believe we should seek for ourselves, and if we seek aright, we will not be turned empty away. It is a time and age in which we live that we need each one to know the Lord for ourselves. We do not have to ask our brother or neighbor, but we shall know Him ourselves, even from the greatest to the least. It is an encouragement to us that we have the privilege of knowing Him as the great giver of every perfect gift, not only gifts temporal which so many have in this land, but spiritual gifts as well. We do not have to ask our neighbor or brother, because He is teacher of His people Himself who are teachable.

I apprehend one thing which hinders our advancement and those around us is that we are not willing to ask for that which we need, not willing to go to the fountain-head, but would rather learn of some one who has learned before us. We would rather look for their teaching than to dig deep down for ourselves and understand more perfectly, shall I say, the way of life and salvation. I have often thought of how I would be if the minds of the people could be turned away from depending upon the minister and turn to the true and living source from whence we must all receive, if we receive at all that which will profit us.

I think it is given us sometimes to understand and hand forth a little bread of Heaven through poor, frail and finite instruments, but I would indeed that we might all avail ourselves of the privilege we have of coming to the Lord Jesus Christ and in humility before Him bow our stubborn wills an He will touch us of His ways and give us ability to walk in His paths and we will be brought into a possible condition in which we shall become as a lamb owned of God.

Dear Friends, I would that this day might be hastened, that the knowledge of the Lord might cover the earth as the waters do the sea. There are those going up and down in the land proclaiming the glad tidings of the Gospel and engaged in spreading the Scriptures of truth in the heathen lands. So this work is going on while we are endeavoring to enlighten others. My dear Friends, are we as much concerned to understand the truths of the everlasting Gospel for ourselves as we ought to be? Or are we enjoying something that is of an outward character that does not satisfy the longing desire of the soul?