A Sermon Delivered by THOMAS SHILLITO, Date and Place Not Given.
Sermons Preached by Members of the Society of Friends. London: Hamilton, Adams, &. Co., 1832, pages 113-117.

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

"You have I known, among all the families of the earth," these words, we may remember are the declaration of the almighty to one of his servants of old, "You have I known, among all the families of the earth;" how convincingly was this declaration verified respecting our religious society in the beginning, so much so, that their opposers, their persecutors, some of their bitterest enemies were constrained to acknowledge, that the work of reformation which they were called unto, was of the Lord; and they found that those who opposed them, would be found fighting against God. What was this work of reformation which they were called unto? why that of endeavouring to win the love and the affection of mankind from the world and sin, in order that they might come to experience them to be set on heaven and heavenly things; turned from the world unto Christ: and how strikingly were they made examples of the all-sufficiency, of the never-failing arm of Omnipotence, to effect this great, this necessary work; this great, this necessary change of heart; but alas, my friends, how sorrowfully is it manifest, to beholders, that we have departed; and we are more and more from their footsteps, from that path of true denial, and the daily cross which the feet of minds trod, and in which the feet of our minds the present day would have been preserved, had we cleaved unto the God of our worthy a perfect heart, with a willing mind; and of that sorrowful departure in heart from the and from his great and glorious cause, how are we wandering into the bye ways, and into the paths of the enemy, and the adversary of our souls; how are we as a society in the general way suffering the world, and the things of the world to have preference in our love and affections, how the desire increase and manifest itself amongst all; that accumulation of wealth for the sake of accumulation, or from a desire to enable us and our children to make a splendid appearance in the world; in that same proportion we shall depart from the true fear of God; we shall violate his holy commands in our souls, this must be the case with us my friends, and spiritual death will be found to progress in us; and therefore it behooves us well to see, and well to consider that high and holy profession we are making, and to see how far our example is corresponding with that profession we are making. O my friends, I feel sorrow in observing that disposition so increasingly prevalent for accumulation, that desire to be conformed unto this world instead of being willing to submit to that transforming power which would make us what we ought to be in the divine sight, and would produce a uniformity of conduct with our profession. I say, I lament for the earnest desire that many manifest to make a splendid appearance among men; the desire that is manifest to obtain worldly respectability. And I feel, often feel, the need there is for me to acquire, and to abide in, a state of watchfulness unto prayer; lest I myself should be caught in this snare, which our spiritual adversary has been laying for the feet of the minds of the members of our religious society. But, my friends, I hope I can in truth say, the watch-word has been, especially so of later times, powerfully proclaimed in the ear of my soul, when looking at the life of ease, indulgence, and creature gratification, which many, who in profession think like myself, are living in;--the watch-word continues to be, "Desire none of their dainties, desire none of their dainties, for there is death in the pot in which they are all mixed up." This, I am persuaded of it my friends, is the case, and will be found to be the case, that death will be more and more experienced in the soul; there will be, and increasingly so too, experienced, a departure from the pure "fear of the Lord, which is a fountain of life, preserving from the snares of death." Desire none of their dainties. O, may it prove a watch-word to individuals present, who may be in a strait betwixt the two, who may be struggling with a temptation to venture after that accumulation, and at the same time with desired to be preserved from it. O that those that are inclined to seek this world's goods may take warning; may those remember, there will be death found in the pot, if they yield to dispositions, inclination, thoughts, desires, that are opposed to the divine mind and will concerning them; and if any present be putting those things which have been proclaimed in their ears this morning far away from them, sooner or later, most assuredly, they will be verified in their view; and if this should be the case, and it may be so, in a day not looked for, and an hour unexpected, their sorrows will begin. But there is safety for us, my friends; and I more and more find it to be a truth, that there is no safety for us short of our being concerned, from day to day, to sit low, as at the feet of our holy Redeemer, waiting to hear the gracious words that proceed from his divine lips, and manifest an unreserved willingness for obedience thereunto; and them as this becomes the case, however the spirit of the world may tempt us; however our unwearied enemy and adversary may tempt us, this will never fail us; but from time to time it will become our merciful experience, "The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters; yea, than the might waves of the sea;" and from season to season, under all our trials, or temptations, or exercises, or discouragements, the Lord will not fail us; but as patience has its perfect work in us, as we are willing to abide every trying dispensation of his unerring wisdom, in his due and appointed time, he will make a sure, a certain, and an effectual way for our escape.