A Sermon Delivered by JOSEPH JOHN GURNEY at Bishopsgate Street Meeting House, June 25th, 1833,
Addresses Delivered by Messrs. Allen, Bates, Gurney, Tuke, Wheeler; Mrs. Braithwaite, Grubb, Jones, and Ministers, of the Society of Friends. London: Hamilton, Adams, & Co., 1834, pages 112-118.

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

Though I feel a deep sense of my own unworthiness, yet I dare not withhold some allusion to that memorable conversation between our blessed Lord and his disciples, when he asked them, "Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?" What an all important question my beloved friends! "Some say that thou art John the Baptist,"--God forbid that any of us should confound him with John the Baptist! " Some say that thou art Elias,"--O :my friends may none of us ever confound him with any mere human prophet! " But whom say ye that I am ? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ the Son .of the living God--and the Lord, answered and said .unto him, Blessed art thou Simon Bar Jona, for flesh and blood have not revealed it unto thee but my Father .who is in heaven." O I do long that it may be deeply impressed on all our spirits, that it is not by the exertion of human intellect or any power or help of our own, but by the influence of the Lord's own Holy Spirit that we are alone enabled availingly to believe and to confess that Jesus is indeed the Christ, the Son of the living God, and the words which follow and which I believe have often been grossly misunderstood, "Thou art Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." And I trust my dear friends we are all of one mind that the church of Christ never did and never will rest upon Peter, or on Paul as individuals, or on any mere man, but on Christ himself, on the Son of the living God, the only foundation, and the only rock; far indeed be it from me to undervalue that abundant measure of divine inspiration, under which a Peter and Paul both preached and wrote; far be it from me for one moment, in this point of view, to set aside the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets; no my beloved friends, may we always stand on this foundation, remembering that Jesus Christ himself is the chief corner stone, and that he alone is the rock on which the church of the living God doth stand, and shall stand for ever and ever. Behold, saith the Lord, "I lay in Zion for a foundation, a stone, a sure corner stone, elect, precious, and whoever believeth in him shall not be confounded," now I believe it is well for us to bring home a doctrine wherewith our forefathers in the truth were well acquainted, and which they were often made to profess and to advocate even that Christ is one and cannot be divided; yes my beloved friends may we be redeemed from all errors and all party views of eternal truth; the whole truth is beyond all words and all the reach of human thought, precious, very precious; and the whole truth is centered in Christ, who is himself the way, the truth and the life. It hath arisen with me on this solemn occasion, the circumstance so memorable and singular that when the Roman soldier pierced the side of our dear Lord and Master there came forth blood and water; ah, my beloved friends, may we all know the atoning blood of our dear Redeemer to be sprinkled on our hearts by faith, nothing merely outward will avail, no work of the natural heart of man, no mere speculation, but something deeply internal, bearing with unrivaled force on all the secret springs of our words, thoughts, and actions; O may we know what it is to be washed, born again, and inwardly cleansed and sanctified by that pure water, by that living stream of which our Saviour spake, when on that last and great day of the feast he stood up amongst all the people, and said, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink, and he that believeth on me, from him, and for him, there shall flow rivers of living waters. And this spake he of the Spirit, which was not yet given in its fulness, because he was not yet glorified; though, truly, it was always given in its measure, as I am bold to express my firm conviction to all the children of men, through the mediation of that one great Mediator, who gave his life a ransom, not for a few, but for all, to be testified of in due time. But when our blessed Lord had borne on the cross the burden of all our sins, that we might all "come to know redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins;" and when he was glorified at the right hand of the Father, he shed forth in abundance on his infant church the gifts and graces of his holy Spirit; I think, we read, that there were about 120 gathered together in the name of the Lord, and their employ truly was a Christian employ, for they were in prayer unto God, men and women, and doubtless, many of the beloved children were with them, and they were baptized on that memorable day of Pentecost, with the Holy Ghost and with fire. And when the Apostle Peter, engaged as he was in building up the church on the one only and unchanging rock, was preaching, baptizingly preaching unto the multitude round about him, so that we read that as many as three thousand were converted by his ministry. O friends, herein indeed was baptism into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, for Christ was then raising up and purifying his church by the washing of water through his word, and Peter then declared, saying, the promise is unto you, and unto your children, and unto all who are afar off, even to as many as the Lord our God shall call. And who can doubt, under the feeling wherewith we are favoured, that the great Baptizer, and the Holy High Priest of his people is still willing to baptize you all, with the Holy Ghost, and with fire. I am bold to express my belief that as it was with the infant church of our dear Redeemer, so it hath been with his believing children in every age of the church, that they have been baptized by one Spirit, into one body, and when our forefathers in our religious profession were gathered together from what may be described as a Lo here, and Lo there, and were taught of the Lord, that the kingdom of Christ was within them; when they met in their religious assemblies, and when, though no words might be spoken, the threads of their hidden garments were wet with their tears, may we not believe, they were baptized of the great Baptizer even with the Holy Ghost and with fire; their hearts were indeed warm with the Saviour's love, they knew the pure flame of his love to burn up the chaff within them, and were constrained by the strongest of motives to turn their backs on a world lying in wickedness, and to take up their cross and follow Jesus; and, I believe, there were many of them, who after having undergone, like the Apostles of old, stripes and imprisonments, and perils on land, and perils by sea, and perils by false brethren, when they came to the close of their mortal career, could say with the Apostle, that "their rejoicing was in this, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, they had had their conversation in the world;" although, indeed, they had to acknowledge their often infirmities, their many transgressions, yet they were called from season to season, boldly to uphold, and openly to declare, the great and glorious doctrine, that Christ alone is the way to the kingdom, that it is only the blood of the everlasting covenant, applied to the heart by faith, and cleansing us from all ungodliness, that can, by any possibility, unlock those pearly gates which lead to the city of our God. Now, my beloved friends, may we all have our spiritual eyes opened, to behold the excellency and the glory of the only Redeemer, of Him who is man to sympathize, and God to save; who took our nature upon him, and bore our sins on the cross, and who is even now most tenderly touched with the feeling of our infirmities, because he was tempted in all points, like as we are, but without sin. O let it be observed, that the holy scriptures do not tell us that the blood is the rock, or that the water is the rock but they tell us that Christ is the rock, from whom came both the blood and the water, the ever blessed and all-glorious Son of God the Father:-and I would beseech you, my beloved friends, to come away from all the inventions and speculations of men, and, in deep humility of heart, to come and find your refuge, as a poor penitent did in days of old, at the feet of Jesus; may we, in a spiritual sense, be favoured with ability to wash his feet with our tears, and wipe them with the hair of our head. Ah, my beloved friends, it is in the humility and in the brokenness of the creature that our safety will be found; O, may the glorious day of the Lord's power be even now found to be upon all that is proud and lofty, on all that is high and lifted up, that it may be brought low--and on all the towering cedars of Lebanon, and on all the stout oaks of Bashan, and on every high hill, and on all pleasant pictures, and more especially on the ships of Tarshish: O may they all be brought low in the day of the Lord's renewed visitation, and of his own eternal love and power in Christ Jesus; and may the loftiness of man be humbled, and may all proud looks be brought low, and may our idols all be abolished, and may we find our refuge in the deep clefts of the eternal rock, and then we shall be safe indeed; and, as Christ in all his glorious offices is for ever one, may we be preserved from dividing him--and, as Christ in all his glorious offices is for ever one, so all his poor afflicted and faithful people shall be one in him for ever.