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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 48

The Sword of His Eternal Wrath

The Sword of His Eternal Wrath,

waiting to strike them down to the lowest hell. (Laughter and applause.) So that Church has done some good.

After a while, in England, a couple of gentlemen by the name of Wesley and Whitfield said, "If everybody is going to Hell, somebody ought to mention it." (Laughter.) The Episcopal clergy said: "Keep still, don't tear your gown." (Laughter.) Wesley and Whitfield said: "This frightful truth ought to be proclaimed from the housetop on every opportunity, and from the highway on every occasion." They were good, honest men; they believed their doctrine, and they said: "If there is a Hell, and there is a Niagara of souls pouring over the eternal precipice of ignorance, somebody ought to say something." They were right, somebody ought if such a thing is true. Wesley was a believer in the Bible. He believed in the actual presence of the Almighty. God used to do miracles for him. (Laughter.) He used to put off a rain several days to give his meeting a chance. He used to cure his horse of lameness. He used to cure Mr. Wesley's headaches. Mr. Wesley also believed in the actual existence of the Devil. He believed that Devils had possession of people. He talked to the Devil when he was in folks, and the Devil told him that he was going to leave, and that he was going into another person, and that he would be there at a certain time (laughter); page 14 and Wesley went to that other person, and there the Devil was prompt to the minute. (Laughter and applause.) He regarded every conversion as an absolute warfare between God and the Devil for the possession of that man's soul. Honest, no doubt, Mr. Wesley did not believe in human liberty; honest, no doubt, he was opposed to the liberty of the colonies,—Honestly so. Mr. Wesley preached a sermon entitled, "The Cause and Cure of Earthquakes" (laughter), in which he took the ground that earthquakes were caused by sin, and the only way to stop them was to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. (Great laughter.) No doubt an honest man. Wesley and Whitfield fell out on the question of predestination. Wesley insisted that God invited everybody to the feast. Whitfield said He didn't invite those whom He knew wouldn't come. (Laughter.) Wesley said he did. Whitfield said, Well, he didn't put plates for them, anyway. (Great laughter.) Wesley said he did, so that when they were in Hell he could show them that there was a seat left for them. And that Church that they founded is still active. Probably no Church in the world has done as much preaching for as little money as the Methodist. (Great laughter.) Whitfield believed in slavery, and advocated the slave trade. And it was of Whitfield that Whittier made the two lines:—

He bade the slaveships speed from coast to coast,
Fanned by the wings of the Holy Ghost.

We had a meeting of the Methodists, and I find by their statistics that they believe that they have converted 130.000 folks in a year. And in order to do this they have 26,000 preachers, 226,000 Sunday-school scholars, and about $100,000,000 invested in church property. I find, in looking over the history of the world, that there are forty or fifty million people born a year, and if they are saved at the rate of 130,000 a year,