Monday, January 24, 2011

Message for the Rich, another for Ministers

Mon 24 Jan 1743. I preached at Bath. Some of the rich and great were present, to whom, as to the rest, I declared with all plainness of speech, (1) that by nature, they were all children of wrath; (2) that all their natural tempers were corrupt and abominable; and (3) all their words and works, which could never be any better but by faith; and that (4) a natural man has no more faith than a devil, if so much. One of them, my Lord ----, stayed very patiently till I came to the middle of the fourth head. Then starting up he said, ‘’Tis hot! ’Tis very hot,’ and got downstairs as fast as he could.
Several of the gentry desired to stay at the meeting of the society; to whom I explained the nature of inward religion, words flowing upon me faster than I could speak. One of them (a noted infidel) hung over the next seat in an attitude not to be described; and when he went left half a guinea with Mary Naylor for the use of the poor.
On the following days I spoke with each member of the society in Kingswood. I can’t understand how any minister can hope ever to give up his account with joy unless (as Ignatius advised) he ‘know all his flock by name, not overlooking the men-servants and maid-servants’.

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