A Sermon Delivered by DANIEL WHEELER, at Devonshire-Street Meetinghouse, Friday, December 25th, 1832.
Addresses Delivered by Messrs. Allen, Bates, Gurney, Tuke, Wheeler; Mrs. Braithwaite, Grubb, Jones, and Other Ministers, of the Society of Friends. London: Hamilton Adams, & Co.; E. Fry; Bristol: J. Wright, 1834, pages 42-46.

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

It was only when the great Master was pleased to break unto them the bread, that the disciples of old were enabled to fill the hungry multitude; and so it is in the present day, it is only when he is pleased to qualify any of his servants or handmaids to proclaim his truth, that the people can be filled, as we have mercifully seen this morning. They have revived in our hearing, some of those expressions, which passed between Martha, and the Saviour of the world, when on earth, shortly after the death of Lazarus, when she said, "Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died, but I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, he will give it thee;" to which our Lord replied, "thy brother shall rise again." "I know,'' said Martha, "my brother shall rise again, in the resurrection at the last day," when our Lord declared himself to be the resurrection and the life; "I am the resurre6tion and the life," said he, "he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die; believest thou this?" He that believeth in Christ, though he were dead in sins and trespasses, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth in the hope of his mercy, and in the belief of his inward and spiritual appearances in their hearts, and in obedience to his holy will, as therein manifested, shall never die, believest thou this? these will pass from death unto life, and they will know it, because they love the brethren; they will have part in the first resurrection, and the Second death Will not hurt them, they must experience the common lot of mortals, the separation of the soul from the body, but they will never be separated from their God.' "Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, shall be able to separate them from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Now a profession of that ever blessed truth will do but little for any of us, my beloved friends, unless we are seeking after the possession of this inestimable Pearl; knowledge will not profit us, unless obedience keeps pace with it; if we know these things, happy are we if we do them; then let us seek to know the love of God, and the will of God, and to do it; it will be found a noble employment, and turn to everlasting~ :account, but let us remember that that servant, who knew his Lord's will, and prepared not himself, was to be beaten with many stripes, and he that did not know, was also to be beaten, doubtless, because he did not seek to know his Lord's will. Now the church of Christ consists of many members, :and though it has many members, yet it is but one body, of which he is the only head; and though we are all called to glory, and to virtue, yet we are not all called to the same place in this mystical body; each member has its proper place therein, and we are told by the great Apostle, that "there are diversities of gifts, but the same spirit, and there are differences of administration, but the same Lord, and there are diversities of operation, but it is the same God which worketh all in all; and that the manifestation of that Spirit is given to every man, to profit withal," and well will it be for us, if we have profited thereby, and faithfully occupied therewith. Let us look at the situation of the unprofitable servant, who hid his Lord's talent in the earth, his was the woeful sentence,--"Cast him into outer darkness, where shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth," but very different was the situation of the faithful occupier, his was the blessed sentence, of--''well done good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." But there are many gifts, and there are many callings in the church; some may be called to proclaim the glad tidings of the everlasting gospel; necessity is laid upon these, and woe is unto them, if they preach not the gospel, but if they are faithful to this call, their reward is sure in his presence, where there is life, and at whose right hand, there are pleasures sure, sublime, and durable, as that rock on which his church is built; and he that reapeth, receiveth wages unto life eternal, but he that soweth sparingly, shall reap also sparingly. It may be the lot of some to be baptized for the dead, for those who are dead in sins and trespasses; but if these are willing to be baptized into Christ's death and burial, they will rise with him in life everlasting. It may be the lot of some, to suffer with the suffering, to be pressed down as a cart with sheaves laden in our hearts, in this spiritual Sodom, wherein our Lord was crucified, but if we are willing to suffer with him, we shall rise with him, and be with him in glory. Others may be called to mourn over the desolations in our Zion, over those who, instead of bearing always about in the body, the dying of the Lord Jesus, are bearing the marks of the God of this world, but even these have their reward. "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted," and there are none of us but what have the opportunity, by purity of conduct and conversation, to show forth the truth, by purity of heart and life, and "blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God," how beautiful is the order in the church of Christ, when each member knoweth his proper place in that body, when all are coming forward in their respective ranks in life, and as the wondrous magnet pointeth to the north, they have their minds pointed to Him, the great and only head of his church, in whom the whole body, fitly framed together, groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord. Now, if this were the principal concern of each of us, thus to become acquainted with the will of the Lord, we should "count all things but as loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord," we should be "a peculiar people, a chosen generation, a royal priesthood," having received the heavenly kingdom in our hearts, we should offer acceptable sacrifice continually to God, of a sweet smelling savour, and thus show forth our office. .Then "let us not labour for the meat that perisherh, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life," for it is written, "man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God," and verily the words proceeding from him, they are spirit, and they are life.