A Sermon Delivered by SARAH LYNES GRUBB, Date and place not given.
Sermons Preached by Members of the Society of Friends. London: Hamilton, Adams, & Co., 1832, pages 28-38.

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

God hath had a church upon earth in every age, and he hath cared for his church, and distinguished it by his favors and privileges which he hath bestowed upon it, and he hath made his church a light unto surrounding people, which hath said even in the loud language of example, "Come, taste and see that the Lord is good." And in this day those who are of the church of Christ upon earth, in unison with the holy Spirit of God, do invite others to come unto God by Christ the living way, "The Spirit saith come, and the bride which is the Lamb's wife saith come, and all that will come, let them come and drink of the water of life freely ;" this is the language of the spirit of God, and it is the language of the people of God too. O that we were found as a people more richly qualified thus to invite others to come and join themselves unto him who is a covenant keeping God; O that we were found more in a capacity than we are, of manifesting that God's people are united to him in the everlasting covenant of his light, his life, and his love; but if I am not mistaken we are much without this qualification and capacity, it is departed from us in no inconsiderable degree, and it seems to behoove me to confess that any soul hath been introduced renewedly at this season, into sorrow before the Lord, because I have fully believed that his anger is kindled against us; and the language that is in my mind to declare at this time is, "How hath the Lord covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger," how is the sun of righteousness withdrawn; how greatly is it obscured; what a cloud is over us in this day. O how dense it is, and how hath it spread itself; the light and the love of God that was eminently with us once, alas, where is it? where is it? We sometimes through the unmerited mercy of God in Christ Jesus, find a little glimmering thereof, and feel something of its genial warmth, but it may nevertheless be said, that the Lord hath covered us with a cloud in his anger, and that because iniquity aboundeth among us, the love of many is waxed cold.

It is my lot friends, thus to speak among you once again, because I dread disobedience to my heavenly Father. I believe that we are called to feel this time to be a time, when we can say in the presence of the all-seeing Judge, and the long~ suffering God; we are called to acknowledge that this is a day of darkness, a day of gloominess, a day of thick darkness, of perplexity, and of treading down mourners in Zion are bowed down at what they hear, and dismayed at what they see. O, that we may all lend a part to disperse the cloud that obscures the sun from us; this is what we want, my beloved brethren and sisters, to lay to heart more than we do the real state of things among us; to humble ourselves from the least to the greatest even as people formerly humbled themselves when there was a putting on sackcloth and sitting in the dust. We are called to be inwardly stricken, and to come down low, and to mourn before the Lord, and then he would compassionate us; but I believe assuredly that he will turn and overturn among us, to see whether we will as individuals, humble ourselves; yea or nay, whether we will accept his mercy mixed with judgment or not. The Lord will yet discover that he is jealous of his honor, that he will not give his glory to another, that while the affections of the heart are alienated front him, he doth withdraw his ancient glory and eternal power in a great degree, and that which hath caused him to be angry will yet show itself more and more; but well will it be for those who bow down before God; well will it be for all such who, without procrastination, will turn unto him with full purpose of heart; for yet in the turnings and overturnings which he whose name is Almighty will permit; there will assuredly be the language heard in the cars of our worldly-minded ones, and of our thoughtless sons and daughters, "Ye looked for much, and behold it came to little; and when you had brought it home, I did blow upon it saith the Lord ;" and why? "Because ye run every man to his own house, aud the house of the Lord lieth waste." This will be verified conspicuously yet within the pale of our religious community, I do believe, even notwithstanding all the precautions that may be used by some, in the wisdom of this world, to secure to themselves the riches of this world; after all their human calculations, God Almighty, who is above all, who rules in the kingdoms of the children of men, who bringeth down the lofty from their seats, and exalteth them of low degree; he will fulfil that saying among us that lie uttered unto his people formerly, "Ye put it into a bag with holes; ye put your treasures into a bag with holes." I think I see a day while I am speaking, when our own wickedness shall be seen to reprove us, when our backslidings shall be known to correct us, when the Lord will be known to arise in his jealousy, and shew himself to be a jealous God more conspicuously still. I think, I say, that he will yet, my brethren, my sisters, distinguish before the eyes of the world the difference between the wheat and the chaff, and that the chaff will be scattered before the wind of the wilderness, although not one grain of wheat shall fall to the ground.

These Quarterly Meetings and other places where our religious Society hath been convened and gathered together as a general assembly, hath heard, over and over again, that God would sift the house of Israel, that he would sift the house of Israel as wheat is-sifted in a sieve; and yet that not one grain should fall to the ground. Now he has been sifting us for years past, and he is still sifting us, and he will yet sift us; but he will preserve those that in his sight he accepteth, and he will cause them to be distinguished. O, friends, shall we not humble ourselves before the mighty Jehovah, the Majesty on high? As individuals, and in a collective sense, shall we not, as it were, kneel before the Lord our Maker, that he would look upon us with all eye of heavenly, fatherly pity? Then ho would be pleased to infuse his love into the hearts of individuals, and into the hearts of the people, and he would promise the return of his ancient glory, which was our light and our life; on condition that we would return unto him, he would thus return unto us. But it does not signify, my friends, any of us reasoning against conviction, or seeking to reconcile that to ourselves which is irreconcilable with the truth as it is in Jesus; for then all our strong holds will be broken up, and the prospects of those who are determined that if the bricks, as it were, fall, which they have been putting together, and by which they were erecting to themselves that in which they can say, "Soul, take thine ease;" who are ready to say, "If the bricks fall, we will nevertheless build with hewn stones; if the sycamores are cut down, we will change them into cedars." Is not God more powerful than man? and willeth he not that man should know his imagination to be cast down, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, unto the bringing into captivity every thought unto the will of Christ? This is the will of God concerning us; and nothing short of this will prove acceptable in his sight, and occasion the light of his countenance to shine upon us.

Friends, the day must be coming that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, and all that do wickedly shall become as stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. The Lord alone will be exalted--the Lord alone will be exalted; mind it, ye young people, as well as the middle aged, and we who are aged; the haughtiness of man must be bowed down, and the loftiness of man must be laid low, and the Lord alone be exalted.

Now, though I have had to speak after this manner, renewedly, I may say, in these Quarterly Meetings, yet all the while I have stood among you, my friends, glad tidings have laid low in my heart for those who fear the Lord. O, ye dear young people that live in the fear of God, you never can do better--you never can be so happy ally other way; and I beseech you that ye be not high-minded, but fear. But how floating you are; I see many of you even as on Babylon's streams; you are in the gallant ships, you are in the galleys with oars, that have never found that place of broad rivers and streams, which is the peculiar privilege of God's people. The glorious Lord is a place of broad rivers and streams in the experience of his little ones, where goeth no galley with oars, neither doth any gallant ship pass that way; no, verily no. There are glad tidings for us all, if we will be nothing that God may be all in all. If we suffer our wills to be captivated by his love, and by his power, and if all of ours is lost in the world of our great, aud faithful, and compassionate Creator, then there are good things in store for us. Humility is the ground-work of all true and vital religion. O, how humble was this people once; how lowly was their walking among men; they sought not the splendor of the world, nor its honors, nor its fading pleasures; and we are called into the same state; and it will yet be seen, that upon them that fear the Lord among us, that walk before him in humility of heart, upon them that are baptized with the baptism which burns up the chaff with unquenchable fire, but gathers the wheat into the garner of safety; it will be seen that those who thus fear the Lord, shall experience the Sun of righteousness, that is now so much under a cloud, to break forth; and I believe it will break forth by and by, even among this people. "They that fear the Lord shall know the Sun of righteousness to arise with healing in his wings, and they shall go forth and grow up as calves of the stall." Here are good tidings, glad tidings of great joy, by which we may be encouraged to surrender ourselves fully to God, to be, to do, and to suffer what he pleases; for he will hide his little ones in the hollow of his hand, and keep them in the secret of his pavilion;" that whenever the blast of the terrible ones may be as a storm against the wall, Jesus Christ the Saviour will be the "covert from the storm, and from the heat, a hiding place in the day of trouble, and the shadow of a great rock in a weary land, and as rivers of water in a dry place." O, his blessed sufficiency to all that love him! Come, dear children, come now to God, and prostrate yourselves at the feet of your Redeemer, your Saviour, who for you and all of us was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. O, draw near to him, and commit yourselves to him, and it will be well with you. O, all ye that labor under the weight of transgressions, and are beholding yourselves in the light of truth of whatever age, and under whatever circumstances; O come to Christ, who said, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest; take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart, and you shall find rest unto your souls; for my yoke is easy and my burden is light." A rest is thus offered to us, if we will accept of it, in a world of much conflict and of weariness. May we accept it from the bounteous hand that is held out to us, even renewedly held out unto us, my beloved friends; and may we even one seek to draw near to God, now that we may yet experience his divine blessing upon us, who is graciously disposed, and who, I assuredly believe, will one day say to his church, "Arise, O Zion, and shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee."