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so he continues to this day, living still, as I apprehend, on Wibsey Moorside, within a few miles of Leeds.*
5. And what would it profit a man to have all knowledge, even that which is infinitely preferable to all other, the knowledge of the Holy Scripture? I knew a young man about twenty years ago, who was so thoroughly acquainted with the Bible, that if he was questioned concerning any Hebrew word in the Old, or any Greek word in the New Testament, he would tell, after a little pause, not only how often the one or the other occurred in the Bible, but also what it meant in every place. His name was Thomas Walsh. Such a master of Biblical knowledge I never saw before, and never expect to see again. Yet if with all his knowledge he had been void of love, if he had been proud, passionate, or impatient, he and all his knowledge would have perished together, as sure as ever he was born.
6. And though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains.-The faith which is able to do this, cannot be the fruit of vain imagination, a mere madman's dream, a system of opinions; but must be a real work of God. Otherwise it could not have such an effect. Yet if this faith do not work by love, if it do not produce universal holiness, if it do not bring forth lowliness, meekness, and resignation, it will profit me nothing. This is as certain a truth as any that is delivered in the whole oracles of God. All faith that is, that was, or ever can be, separate from tender benevolence to every child of man, friend or foe, Christian, Jew, Heretic, or Pagan; separate from gentleness to all men; separate from resignation in all events, and contentedness in all conditions; is not the faith of a Christian, and will stand us in no stead before the face of God.
7. Hear ye this, All you that are called Methodists. You of all men living, are most concerned herein. You constantly speak of salvation by faith: and you are in the right
* At the time of writing this Sermon. He is since dead.
+ His Journal written by himself, is extant.
for so doing. You maintain, (one and all,) that a man is justified by faith, without the works of the law. And you cannot do otherwise, without giving up the Bible, and betraying your own souls. You insist upon it, that we are saved by faith and, undoubtedly, so we are. But consider, mean time, that let us have ever so much faith, and be our faith ever so strong, it will never save us from hell, unless it now save us from all unholy tempers; from pride, passion, impatience: from all arrogance of spirit, all haughtiness and over-bearing: from wrath, anger, bitterness: from discontent, murmuring, fretfulness, peevishness. We are of all men most inexcusable, if having been so frequently guarded against that strong delusion, we still, while we indulge any of these tempers, bless ourselves and dream we are in the way to heaven!
8. Fourthly, "Although I give all my goods to the poor, though I divide all my real, and all my personal estate into small portions, (so the original word properly signifies,) and diligently bestow it on those who, I have reason to believe, are the most proper objects: yet if I am proud, passionate, or discontented; if I give way to any of these tempers; whatever good I may do to others, I do none to my own soul. O how pitiable a case is this! Who would not grieve, that these beneficent men should lose all their labour! It is true, many of them have a reward in this world, if not before, yet after their death. They have costly and pompous funerals. They have marble monuments of the most exquisite workmanship. They have epitaphs, written in the most elegant strain, which extol their virtues to the skies. Perhaps they have yearly orations spoken over them, to transmit their memory to all generations. So have many founders of religious Houses, Colleges, Alms-houses, and most charitable institutions. And it is an allowed rule, that none can exceed in the praise of the Founder of his House, College, or Hospital. But still what a poor reward is this! Will it add to their comfort or to their misery, suppose, (which must be the case if they did not die in the faith,) that they are in the
hands of the devil and his angels! What insults, what cutting reproaches would these occasion, from their infernal companions! O that they were wise! that all those who are zealous of good works, would put them in their proper place! would not imagine, they can supply the want of holy tempers; but take care that they spring from them!
9. How exceedingly strange must this sound in the ears of most of those who are, by the courtesy of England, called Christians! But stranger still is that assertion of the Apostle, which comes in the last place: "Although I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing." Although rather than deny the faith, rather than commit a known sin, or omit a known duty, I voluntarily submit to a cruel death, " deliver up my body to be burned:" yet if I am under the power of pride, or anger, or fretfulness," it profiteth me nothing."
10. Perhaps this may be illustrated by an example. We have a remarkable account in the Tracts of Dr. Geddes, (a Civilian, who was Envoy from Queen Ann to the Court of Portugal, in the latter end of her reign.) He was present at one of those Auto de Fes, (Acts of Faith,) wherein the Roman Inquisitors burnt Heretics alive. One of the persons who was then brought out for execution, having been confined in the dungeons of the Inquisition, had not seen the sun for many years. It proved a bright sun-shiny day. Looking up, he cried out in surprise, "O how can any one who sees that glorious luminary, worship any but the God that made it!" A Friar standing by, ordered them to run an iron gag through his lips, that he might speak no more. Now what did that poor man feel within when this order was executed? If he said in his heart, though he could not utter it with his lips, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do," undoubtedly the angels of God were ready to carry his soul into Abraham's bosom. But if, instead of this, he cherished the resentment in his heart, which he could not express with his tongue, although his body was consumed by the flames, I will not say his soul went to Paradise.
11. The sum of all that has been observed is this, Whatever I speak, whatever I know, whatever I believe, whatever I do, whatever I suffer: if I have not the faith that worketh by love, that produces love to God and all mankind, I am not in the narrow way which leadeth to life; but in the broad road that leadeth to destruction. In other words: whatever eloquence I have: whatever natural or supernatural knowledge; whatever faith I have received from God: whatever works I do, whether of piety or mercy; whatever sufferings I undergo for conscience' sake, even though I resist unto blood: all these things put together, however applauded of men, will avail nothing before God, unless I am meek and lowly in heart, and can say, in all things, "Not as I will, but as thou wilt."
12. We conclude from the whole, (and it can never be too much inculcated, because all the world votes on the other side,) That true religion, in the very essence of it, is nothing short of holy tempers. Consequently all other religion, whatever name it bears, whether Pagan, Mahometan, Jewish, or Christian: and whether Popish or Protestant, Lutheran or Reformed, without these, is lighter than vanity itself.
13. Let every man, therefore, that has a soul to be saved, see that he secure this one point. With all his eloquence, his knowledge, his faith, works, and sufferings, let him hold fast this one thing needful. He that through the power of faith, endureth to the end in humble, gentle, patient love; he and he alone, shall, through the merits of Christ, " inherit the kingdom prepared from the foundation of the world."
GALATIANS IV. 18. "It is good to be always zealously affected in a good thing."
1. THERE are few subjects in the whole compass of religion, that are of greater importance than this. For without Zeal it is impossible, either to make any considerable progress in religion ourselves, or to do any considerable service to our neighbour, whether in temporal or spiritual things. And yet nothing has done more disservice to religion, or more mischief to mankind, than a sort of Zeal, which has for several ages prevailed, both in Pagan, Mahometan, and Christian nations. Insomuch that it may truly be said, pride, covetousness, ambition, revenge, have in all parts of the world slain their thousands: but Zeal its ten thousands. Terrible instances of this have occurred in ancient times, in the most civilized Heathen nations. To this chiefly were owing the inhuman persecutions of the primitive Christians : and in later ages, the no less inhuman persecutions of the Protestants, by the Church of Rome. It was Zeal that kindled fires in our nation, during the reign of bloody Queen Mary. It was Zeal that soon after made so many provinces of France a field of blood. It was Zeal that murdered so many thousands of unresisting Protestants, in the never-to-be-forgotten massacre of Paris. It was