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for any other end than to please and glorify God. Having
17. Permit me to come a little closer still. Perhaps I
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
̈ ̈ ̈ ̈ ̈ ̈ ̈ ̈ ̈ ̈ ̈ ̈ ̈ ̈ ̈ana
in writing the sermon, and probably in translating it into Latin, and to have
* 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
66 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