A Sermon Delivered by JOHN YEARDLEY, Place Unspecified, 8th Month 1850.
Taylor, Charles, ed. Memoir and Diary of John Yeardley, Minister of the Gospel. London: A.W. Bennett, 1859.

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

Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23.

We often are made to feel the force of this truth, when we have been unwatchful, and some cross occurrence has tried our tempers. How often we are made to see, and to show before others, what manner of spirit is in us....(1)

Sometimes we are favoured with such clear convictions of the worthlessness of mere worldly possessions and pursuits, and such delightful realizations of the happiness of seeking to do the Lord's work, that we are ready to express our astonishment that any human beings can be found so foolish as to devote their energies to the pursuit of things which never can give satisfaction, and which must needs perish. And then, perhaps, we are brought into a state of darkness and despondency, to show us our utter helplessness and unworthiness, and the need there is for every one of us to "keep the heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life."

Every individual, no doubt, has his own particular path of duty, which is designed to promote his own best happiness and the well-being of all mankind. How important for each to follow that path in watchfulness and obedience, that the work may not be marred! How important to keep the heart with all diligence, that the issues of life may be in accordance with the divine will!

1. Ellipses in original printed text. The editor is unclear whether they represent a long pause or deleted material.