« 이전계속 »
for any other end than to please and glorify God. Having avoided this rock on the right hand, beware of that on the left. Secondly, hoard nothing. Lay up no treasure on earth, but give all you can, that is, all you have. I defy all the men upon earth, yea all the angels in heaven, to find any other way of extracting the poison from riches.
16. Let me add one word more. After having served you between sixty and seventy years; with dim eyes, shaking hands, and tottering feet, I give you one more advice before I sink into the dust. Mark those words of St. Paul, "Those that desire (or endeavour) to be rich, (that moment) fall into temptation," yea a deep gulf of temptation, out of which nothing less than Almighty Power can deliver them. 66 They fall into a snare:" the word properly means a steel trap, which instantly crushes the animal taken to pieces!" and into divers foolish and hurtful desires, which plunge men into destruction and perdition." You, above all men, who now prosper in the world, never forget these awful words! How unspeakably slippery is your path! How dangerous every step! The Lord God enable you to see your danger, and make you deeply sensible of it. O may you "awake up after his likeness, and be satisfied with it!"
17. Permit me to come a little closer still. Perhaps I may not trouble you any more on this head. I am pained for you that are "rich in this world." Do you give all you can? You who receive five hundred pounds a year, and spend only two hundred, do you give three hundred back to God? If not, you certainly rob God of that three hundred. You that receive two hundred, and spend but one, do you give God the other hundred? If not, you rob him of just so much. "Nay, may I not do what I will with my own 2" Here lies the ground of your mistake. It is not your own. It cannot be, unless you are Lord of heaven and earth. "However I must provide for my children." Certainly. But how? By making them rich? Then you will probably make them heathens, as some of you have done already. "What shall I do then?" Lord,
speak to their hearts! Else the Preacher speaks in vain. Leave them enough to live on, not in idleness and luxury, but by honest industry. And if you have not children, upon what scriptural or rational principle, can you leave a groat behind you more than will bury you? I pray consider, what are you the better for what you leave behind you? What does it signify; whether you leave behind you ten thousand pounds, or ten thousand shoes and boots? O! leave nothing behind you! Send all you have before you into a better world! Lend it, lend it all unto the Lord, and it shall be paid you again! Is there any danger that his truth should fail? It is fixed as the pillars of heaven. Haste, haste, my Brethren, haste! lest you be called away, before you have settled what you have on this security! When this is done, you may boldly say, "Now I have nothing to do but to die! Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit! Come, Lord Jesus! Come quickly." BRISTOL, Sept. 21, 1790.
TRUE CHRISTIANITY DEFENDED.
THE following SERMON was found in a mutilated Manuscript among Mr. WESLEY's papers. It is dated June 24, 1741. A Latin Copy of the same Discourse has also been discovered. Mr. Pawson, with great care, copied the former, and I have supplied the deficiencies out of the latter. On collating both Sermons, I find several variations, and though not of any great importance, yet sufficient, in my judgment, to vindicate the propriety of translating and publishing the Latin one, not merely as a matter of curiosity, but of utility. The Sermon, no doubt, was written with the design of being preached before the University of Oxford: but whether it ever were preached there, cannot be determined.*
ISAIAH I. 21.
"How is the faithful City become an Harlot!"
1. "WHEN I bring the sword upon a land, saith the Lord, if the watchman blow the trumpet, and warn the people; then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet,
* It appears, I think, very probable, not to say certain, from Mr. Wesley's Journal, for that year, that he did preach this Sermon at Oxford before the University. For he went thither on Wednesday, June 17, and on Thursday 18, observes, “I advised with Mr. Gambold concerning the subject of my sermon before the University. But he seemed to think it of no moment : 'For,' said he, 'all here are so prejudiced against you, that they will mind nothing you say.' I know not that," replies Mr. Wesley, “However, I am to deliver my own soul, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear." A part of some of the following days he seems to have employed
and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.” Ezek. xxxiii. 2-6.
2. It cannot be doubted, but that word of the Lord is come unto every Minister of Christ also. "So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a Watchman unto the house of Israel: Therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die: if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand."
3. Nor ought any man therefore to be counted our enemy because he telleth us the truth: The doing of which is indeed an instance of love to our neighbour, as well as of obedience to God. Otherwise few would undertake so thankless a task: For the return they will find, they know already. The Scripture must be fulfilled. "Me the world hateth," saith our Lord, "because I testify of it that the deeds thereof are evil.”
4. It is from a full, settled conviction, that I owe this labour of love to my Brethren, and to my tender Parent,* by whom I have been nourished for now more than twenty
in writing the sermon, and probably in translating it into Latin, and to have finished it on Wednesday 24, the day it is dated. On which day he says, "I read over and partly transcribed, Bishop Bull's Harmonica Apostolica. The position with which he sets out is this; That all good works, and not faith alone, are the necessarily previous condition of Justification, or the forgiveness of our sins. But in the middle of the treatise he asserts, That faith alone is the condition of Justification;'' For faith,' says he, 'referred to Justification, means all inward and outward good works. In the latter end he affirms, “That there are two justifications: and that only inward good works necessarily precede the former, but both inward and outward the latter.' The reader will find these sentiments of Bishop Bull stated more at large in the sermon. Mr. Wesley returned to London, on Saturday 27, but went back to Oxford on the 30th, and continued there about a fortnight, during which time he probably preached the sermon. J. BENSON.
* The University of OXFORD.
years, and from whom, under God, I have received those advantages, of which, I trust, I shall retain a grateful sense, till my spirit returns to God who gave it. It is, I say, from a full conviction, that love and gratitude, as well as that dispensation of the Gospel wherewith I am entrusted, require it of me, that even I have undertaken to speak on a needful, though unwelcome subject. I would indeed have wished that some more acceptable person would have done this. But should all hold their peace, the very stones would cry out, "How is the faithful city become an harlot!"
5. How faithful she once was to her Lord, to whom she had been betrothed as a chaste virgin, let not only the writings of her sons, which shall be had in honour throughout all generations, but also the blood of her martyrs speak; a stronger testimony of her faithfulness than could be given by words, even
"By all the speeches of the babbling earth.' But how is she now become an harlot? How hath she departed from her Lord! How hath she denied him, and listened to the voice of strangers, both
I. In respect of Doctrine. 1. It cannot be said, that all our Writers are setters forth of strange Doctrines. There are those who expound the Oracles of God, by the same Spirit wherewith they were written: and who faithfully cleave to the solid foundation which our Church hath laid agreeable thereto; touching which we have his word who cannot lie, "That the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." There are those also, (blessed be the Author of every good gift,) who as wise master-builders, build thereon not hay or stubble, but gold and precious stones; but that charity which never faileth.
2. We have likewise cause to give thanks to the Father of Lights, for that he hath not left himself without witness, but that there are those who now preach the Gospel of Peace, the truth as it is in Jesus. But how few are these in