EDITED BY PETER SIPPEL
SECTION 3.2: THE 19TH CENTURY (GURNEYITES)
Behold, I Stand at The Door And Knock. Taken from the text in Revelation, with a special
appeal to the youth. Notice the 19th century rejection of mysticism.
Assemble Before Him in a State of Deep Humiliation of Soul. A short exhortation, to pay
more attention to God both during worship and during the rest of the week as well.
We Should Feel How Much Influence The Things Which Surround Us Have Upon Us. A
message dealing with the temptations and snares of wealth and conformity, and
encouragement to use the many disciplines available for preservation without making them
empty forms. Backhouse was one of the most important influences upon the young Eliza
Christ Our Judge And Saviour. This was Robert Barclay, the 19th Century historian and not
Robert Barclay, the 17th Century theologian. This evidently incomplete sermon of
invitation, focusing on the final judgment, was delivered at an outdoor meeting in London.
These sermons have the unusual distinction of having been prepared in advance.
The Crucifixion. An invitational sermon given at a mission hall setting. Barclay takes an
unusual homiletic approach, in following an imaginary person in the crowd through the
story and applying the events to himself and the audience.
Christ The Light of Life. A Christological summary leading up to rhetorical questions of
one's own response.
A Call to Decision. Begins with the call of Elijah to stop wavering, and decide to follow
either the Lord or Baal. The title is self explanatory.
Not Only in Words, But in Deeds Also. An exhortation on the shortness of life, and to
spend the time remaining in obedience.
The Lord Direct Your Hearts Into The Love of God. An end of the year exhortation to
greater faithfulness. Note the nineteenth century evangelical language. Elizabeth Dudley
was the daughter of Mary Dudley.
What Owest Thou unto Thy Lord? Elizabeth Fry remains well known and appreciated for
her work towards prison reform and other social interests as well as her Christian testimony
and ministry. This exhortation is the only sermon by her I have found.
Go Forward in The Name of The Lord - a Farewell Message to Eliza Paul Gurney Forster
was well known among English and American Friends at the time, though this summary is
the only message I have been able to find (so far.) This was delivered in a special meeting in
Liverpool on the ever of Eliza Paul Gurney's return to the U.S. following the death of her
husband, Joseph John Gurney.
But Now the Day of Trial Is Come. An unusual exhortation to prepare for the day of trial
ELIZA PAUL GURNEY:
We Might All Acknowledge Worshiping Gods of Silver and Gold A reconstruction by
herself of a sermon delivered in Paris. "Dear Joseph" is her husband, Joseph John Gurney;
"My sister Fry" was her sister-in-law Elizabeth Fry.
Let Us Press Forward With Redoubled Diligence Another summary by herself of a sermon,
this one delivered in Baltimore, Maryland, in the first Meeting for Worship following the
death of William Forster (above.)
JOSEPH JOHN GURNEY:
Baptized Into The Name. This is the first of three messages delivered in May of 1832 in
public meetings held in Liverpool. As one might expect from the title I have given it, this is
a sermon of exhortation and invitation.
The Lord Is My Shepherd. The second of the three Liverpool messages, based, obviously,
on the 23rd Psalm. Another message of exhortation and invitation. Also another attempt to
Gurney to balance the inspiration of the Scriptures and the continuing presence of Christ.
Prove All Things, Hold Fast to That Which Is Good. Dealing with the need to test doctrine
and life, and the need for a comprehensive (instead of one sided or partial) view of the
Gospel as revealed by the Holy Spirit.
Water for the Thirsty This appears to be directed to Christians of other professions and
denominations, and invites and encourages them to move beyond forms into a deeper life in
In Christ All Shall Be Made Alive. An invitational sermon, directed particularly to the
youth, inviting them to go beyond profession and the outward; including acknowledgments
of their various complaints they have regarding the Society at the time, and expressing hope
that they will be overcome.
Baptism in The Spirit. A fairly short message on how the baptism of the Spirit is with fire,
how it consumes the chaff, burns away impurities and sin, and expressing the hope that
Friends will submit to it.
Jesus of Nazareth / Salvation by Christ. This is the first of a series of six sermons delivered
during Gurney's visit to Philadelphia, recorded, ironically, by a Hicksite. This one stresses
Jesus of Nazareth, as opposed to some other form of more acceptable Jesus. Gurney is one
of the most frequently recorded of Quaker ministers.
Led by the Spirit/sons and Daughters of God. From the same visit, dealing with Divine
guidance and the role of the Holy Spirit.
Throw Aside Your Flimsy Web of Unbelief This one (not one of his better, in my humble
opinion) appears to be primarily a direct critique of and invitation to the Hicksites who were
present. "My friends, I beseech you to accept the word of solemn warning, given under a
feeling of unutterable love, and under a sense of religious duty, which I dare not
compromise, - let me beseech you, forever to throw aside your flimsy webs of unbelief,
your hard heart of infidelity, and to humble yourselves this night, under the sceptre of the
risen and glorified Jesus."
The Promise Is unto You. Another invitational sermon, addressed primarily to the youth.
This sermon shows that despite the regular charge against him, Gurney did balance the
authority of Scripture and the role of the Holy Spirit revealing itself to the believer. It also
touches on true spiritual worship, the need for silent waiting, baptism and communion, war,
His Name Is Still Called The Word of God Another sermon of direct invitation,
encouraging people to let themselves be brought under the sharp, double edged sword.
Once again Gurney balances the divine inspiration of scriptures with Christ being "The
Word of God."
Baptism. The last sermon in this Philadelphia series, this one seems to have an urgent tone. I
do not know what he was sensing in the congregation.
Appendix to the Philadelphia Sermons: "Might it Not Be Best to Leave Us." A letter from
Philadelphia Minister Thomas Kite addressed to Joseph John Gurney. Kite writes that the
Yearly Meeting was in unity prior to Gurney's visit, and is now in disarray and great distress
because of his visit, and suggests the Gurney turn inward, cast out the devil, and repent.
"My Kingdom Is Not of this World" Samuel Tuke (one of many Tukes in the York area)
was one of the "Gurneyites." This is a summary of a short exhortation to accept the
invitation of Christ to become part of his peaceable kingdom.
"The Kingdom of Heaven Is Within You." Delivered ca. 1848, similar to the above but
emphasizing how the Kingdom is present now.
Keep Thy Heart with All Diligence. A very short message from Proverbs by the English
And the Ransomed of the Lord Shall Return. A funeral sermon.