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the light which is in him is manifestly darkness: and O how great is that darkness! The mistake which he is in, is not a little one, but inexpressibly great. What! do not you prefer his being a cobbler on earth, and a glorious saint in heaven, before his being a lord on earth, and a damned spirit in hell? If not, how great, unutterably great, is the darkness that covers your soul! What a fool, what a dolt, what a madman is he, how stupid beyond all expression, who judges a palace upon earth to be preferable to a throne in heaven! How unspeakably is his understanding darkened, who to gain for his child the honour that cometh of men, will entail upon him everlasting shame in the company of the devil and his angels!

3. I cannot dismiss this subject yet, as it is of the utmost importance. How great is the darkness of that execrable wretch, (I can give him no better title, be he rich or poor,) who will sell his own child to the devil! Who will barter her own eternal happiness, for any quantity of gold or silver! What a monster would any man bé accounted, who devoured the flesh of his own offspring! And is not he as great a monster, who by his own act and deed, gives her to be devoured by that roaring lion? As he certainly does, (so far as is in his power,) who marries her to an ungodly man. "But he is rich: but he has ten thousand pounds!" What if it were a hundred thousand? The more the worse, the less probability will she have of escaping the damnation of hell. With what face wilt thou look upon her, when she tells thee in the realms below, "Thou hast plunged me into this place of torment. Hadst thou given me to a good man, however poor, I might have now been in Abraham's bosom. But, O! what have riches profited me! They have sunk both me and them into hell!"

4. Are any of you that are called Methodists, thus merciful to your children? Seeking to marry them well, (as the cant phrase is,) that is, to sell them to some purchaser that has much money, but little or no religion? Is then the light that is in you also become darkness? Are ye too, regarding God less than mammon? Are ye also without under

standing? Have ye profited no more by all ye have heard? Man, woman, think what ye are about! Dare you also sell your child to the devil? You undoubtedly do this, (as far as in you lies,) when you marry a son or a daughter, to a child of the devil, though it be one that wallows in gold and silver. O take warning in time! Beware of the gilded bait! Death and hell are hid beneath. Prefer grace before gold and precious stones; glory in heaven, to riches on earth. If you do not, you are worse than the very Canaanites. They only made their children pass through the fire to Moloch. You make yours pass into the fire that never shall be quenched, and to stay in it for ever! O how great is the darkness that causes you, after you have done this, to "wipe your mouth and say you have done no evil!"

5. Let us consider another case, not far distant from this. Suppose a young man, having finished his studies at the University, is desirous to minister in holy things, and accordingly enters into orders. What is his intention in this? What is the end he proposes to himself? If his eye be single, his one design is to save his own soul, and them that hear him; to bring as many sinners as he possibly can, out of darkness into marvellous light. If, on the other hand, his eye be not single, if he aim at ease, honour, money, or preferment, the world may account him a wise man; but God says unto him, "Thou fool!" And while the light that is in him, is thus darkness, how great is that darkness! What folly is comparable to his folly! One peculiarly dedicated to the God of heaven, to mind earthly things! A worldly clergyman is a fool above fools, a madman above all madmen. Such vile, infamous wretches as these, are the real "ground of the contempt of the clergy.” Indolent clergymen, pleasure-taking clergymen, moneyloving clergymen, praise-loving clergymen, prefermentseeking clergymen; these are the wretches that cause the order in general to be contemned. These are the pests of the Christian world, the grand nuisance of mankind, a stink in the nostrils of God. Such as these were they, who made


St. Chrysostom to say, "Hell is paved with the souls of Christian priests."

6. Take another case: Suppose a young woman of an independent fortune, to be addressed at the same time by a man of wealth, without religion, and a man of religion, without wealth; in other words, by a rich child of the devil, or a poor child of God: What shall we say, if other circumstances being equal, she prefer the rich man to the good man? It is plain, her eye is not single; therefore her foolish heart is darkened, and how great is that darkness, which makes her judge gold and silver a greater recommendation than holiness! Which makes a child of the devil, with money, appear more amiable to her than a child of God without it! What words can sufficiently express the inexcusable folly of such a choice! What a laughingstock, (unless she severely repent,) will she be to all the devils in hell, when her wealthy companion has dragged her down to his own place of torment!

7. Are there any of you that are present before God, who are concerned in any of these matters? Give me leave, with " great plainness of speech," to apply to your consciences" in the sight of God." You, whom God hath intrusted with sons or daughters, is your eye single in choosing partners for them? What qualifications do you seek in your sons and daughters-in-law? Religion or riches? Which is your first consideration? Are you not of the old Heathen's mind,

Quærenda pecunia primum,

Virtus post nummos?

"Seek money first: Let virtue then be sought." Bring the matter to a point. Which will you prefer? A rich Heathen, or a pious Christian? A child of the devil with an estate, or the child of God without it? A lord or gentleman, with the devil in his heart? (He does not hide it: his speech bewrayeth him,) or a tradesman, who, you have reason to believe, has Christ dwelling in his heart? O how great is that darkness which makes you prefer a child of the devil to a child of God! Which causes you to

prefer the poor trash of worldly wealth, which flies as a shadow, to the riches of eternal glory!

8. I call upon you more especially, who are called Methodists. In the sight of the great God, upwards of fifty years I have administered unto you, I have been your servant for Christ's sake. During this time I have given you many solemn warnings on this head. I now give you one more, perhaps the last. Dare any of you, in choosing your calling or situation, eye the things on earth, rather than the things above? In choosing a profession, or a companion for life for your child, do you look at earth or heaven? And can you deliberately prefer, either for yourself or your offspring, a child of the devil with money, to a child of God without it? Why the very heathens cry out, O curvæ in terras animæ, et celestium inanes!

O souls bowed down to earth, strangers to heaven! Repent, repent of your vile earthly-mindedness! Renounce the title of Christians, or prefer, both in your own case, and the case of your children, grace to money, and heaven to earth. For the time to come, at least, let your eye be single, that your whole body may be full of light!

BRISTOL, Sept. 25, 1789.

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