Gadsby’s Fragments

“What!” say you. “Do you think that a child of God, really called by grace, has anything about him that loves sin?” I am beyond thinking, I know it; and it plagues and tortures his poor mind sometimes till he hardly knows where to look. But when God opens to him a little of Solomon’s prayer, he gets into it: “What prayer and supplication soever be made by any man, or by all thy people Israel, which shall know every man the plague of his own heart, then hear thou in heaven.” There are some people that do not appear to know the meaning of it; they do not feel any heart-plague within them. Well, then, they are not…

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Sunday Schools

19 Nov 2021, by

Just, before this volume was completed, it was suggested to me that my father’s views on Sunday Schools ought not to be omitted. I have, therefore, copied the following from the first number of the Sunday School Visitor, a little magazine published by mc in 1844, and to which my lather was a contributor.—J. G.

A Few Thoughts Upon The Utility Of Sunday Schools

My Fellow-Mortals,—Allow me to observe that I really do consider that, next to tho preaching of tho glorious gospel of the Messed God, and a spiritual attendance to the order and ordinances of God’s house, Sunday Schools are one of the best institutions in the kingdom; and I am sorry to see such a want of zeal for the promoting of them among some who profess to maintain the discriminating truths of God’s grace. Because some abuse them, and make them into what they call nurseries for the Church, are we to discard them, or stand aloof from them, and say that because others make an improper use of them, we will not use them in a proper, becoming, and useful way? To me this appears highly wrong. I have heard some persons remark that too much…

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If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. But before we can so confess our sins, the Holy Spirit must impart life into our souls; for the dead know not anything.

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Being A Few Poetical Remarks, Occasioned By A Visit To The Breakwater, In Plymouth Sound, On The 30th Of January, 1822.

“The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid; the depths also were troubled.”—Psalm 77:16

On Wednesday last, a pleasant day.
When winds did not their force display,
The sea assumed a gentle form,
Nor did the sky denote a storm,
The Breakwater I went to view,
A bulwark great and useful too.
The day began and finish’d bright,
And truly ’twas a pleasant sight.
Amidst the ocean I could stand,
And view the deep on either hand.
With friends I spent six hours or more…

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The New Law

27 Oct 2021, by

In the Gospel Standard for 1839, amongst the “Gleanings” was one, attributed to Mr. Gadsby: “The old covenant they broke, and the old law they broke, and break; but they cannot break the new covenant, neither can they break the new law.”

In reply to this, the next month, Mr. Gadsby wrote:

“Messrs. Editors,—In your number for this month (January), page 24, amongst your gleanings, is a remark to which the signature ‘W. G.’ is put, which I altogether deny as ever falling from my lips, It is that the believer ‘cannot break the new law.’ I believe that the blessed Lord writes the glorious substance of every divine law in the…

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A Dream

21 Oct 2021, by

“And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.”—Genesis 37:12

Reader, I’ll not take up much time
To apologise, in prose or rhyme;
My dream, such as it is, you see;
Whate’er’s amiss belongs to me.
No doubt some men will say, “‘Tis naught,
And with enthusiasm fraught;”
While others will it much esteem,
And nay that I the truth, did dream.
Perhaps ’twill find a welcome place,
In such as live on sovereign grace;
If so, then am I quite content,
Nor shall I count my time ill spent;
But such as live on wit and self,
Will hardly have it on their shelf,
But with a cheerful mind attempt
To hold it up to vain contempt.
Well, be it so; I rest secure…

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If the gospel is no rule of obedience (as numbers declare), I am at a loss to know what the apostle means when he says, “The mystery which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest, and by the Scriptures of the prophets; according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known unto all nations for the obedience of faith.” (Rom 16:25) It is by faith “we wait for the hope of righteousness.” (Gal 5:5) We are “saved by grace, through faith.” (Eph 2:8) The word does not profit, if not “mixed with faith.” (Heb 4:2) “Faith is the substance of things hoped for.” (Heb 11:1) “The righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith.” (Rom 1:17) God purifies our hearts by…

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I recollect once asking an Arminian how a soul must be saved; to which he replied, “By the blood of Jesus Christ.” I said, “Do you believe in that Scripture passage, “The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin?“ He replied, “I do.” “Do you believe that the blood and righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ is sufficient alone of itself to save a soul from hell?” He said, “I do.” “Then what are sinners sent to hell for?” To which he replied…

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And sometimes I have thought, and I still think,—and more than think, I believe,—that the methods God takes in the dispensations of grace are such that he will put it put of the power of the devil to be able to say that there is any circumstance whatever that is a match for grace. If the whole church of God were to be taken to heaven, like the dying thief and some others, as soon as God is pleased to quicken their dead souls, the enemy might have it to say, “Ah! The Lord knows very well that if they were to live long I should get them after all. I should upset their confidence and bring them back into my power; and, therefore, he is obliged to take them to heaven.” Now the Lord says, “No, Satan. They shall go through a variety of…

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The Hedge

23 Sep 2021, by

Job complained that he was hedged in (Job 3:23), that he could not get out, and Satan complained that he could not get in. Jeremiah also complained that he was hedged in and could not get out. (Lam 3:7) Both he and Job, in their fretfulness, overlooked the fact that the same hedge which kept them in, free from danger, kept Satan out.

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Manchester, 1841

Messrs. Editors,—I am concerned to know how we may assure ourselves that a passage of Scripture, when applied to the mind, is by God the Holy Spirit, and not by the evil one who lieth in wait to deceive. If you or some of your correspondents will endeavour, through the medium of the Standard, to bring me to a satisfactory conclusion upon that matter, it will be greatly esteemed by your constant reader,—ELIZABETH.


“Elizabeth” says she is “concerned to know how we are to assure ourselves that a passage of Scripture, when applied to the mind, is by God the Holy Spirit, and not by the evil one who lieth in wait to deceive.”

Now to me it appears that what comes from the Lord is sure to lead to the Lord, and what comes from Satan leads to Satan. Therefore, whatever portion of the Word of God is applied to the mind by the power of God the Holy Ghost, it will invariably lead the mind, in some good degree, to act in conformity to the nature of that very truth which is applied. The Word of God is designed for the real benefit of his people. Now if any branch of this blessed word is applied to the conscience by the Holy Ghost, it is to answer some of the above purposes. If it is a passage of reproof or rebuke, it will lead them to feel a solemn check, and they will fall under it before the Lord and confess their sins with deep humility and prayer; and if it be a passage of admonition, of exhortation, or caution, it will lead them to self-examination, and to…

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According to some people, Christ died to give all a chance of being saved!

I do not know that I hate anything more in my soul than to hear that. It makes Jesus Christ so little that He should do so much, and after all only to get us a chance of being saved. Why, if a man is set up in business, you see how often it happens that he fails in it; and if man cannot manage the…

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We maintain that it is the right for a minister of Jesus Christ to preach the gospel in the hearing of all that hear him; and what we find fault with is not preaching the gospel to all that hear but men pretending that they are authorised to offer the gospel to all that hear them. We consider that to preach the gospel is one thing, and to offer the gospel is quite another thing. Hence when a man gets up into a pulpit, and says, “In God’s name I offer Christ, and pardon, and salvation, to every soul of you present; if you reject this offer, you may never have another; therefore come now and take Christ and salvation, while you have the opportunity; today is the time, tomorrow may be too late, and recollect that it is your own fault that you are not saved for I have this day offered you Christ.” Now, we consider that this is no more like preaching the gospel than a poor deluded Papist, counting his beads, is like the true worship of God. To preach or proclaim God’s will is one thing; but to offer…

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To all Young People, of both sexes, into whose hands this may fall.

Let me address you as one who fears the Lord, and who wishes you well.

Beware of deceivers! Remember, you are in a world of woe, beset with gins, and traps, and snares, and, as you grow to years of maturity, an evil heart, the which you all possess, will naturally incline to evil; and as some of the most destructive sins appear the most flattering and pleasing to a carnal heart, therefore the danger is the greater. When youth have once been left to the dishonourable practice of fornication or uncleanness, and thus deprived themselves of that common virtue which it becomes them, as the creatures of God and for their own well-being in this world, to maintain, it is a rare thing for them ever to retract, unless constrained by the grace of God; and very often the first fall into the sin of uncleanness is the beginning of their ruin, laying a foundation for their…

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The Lord loves his children too well either to let them sin at ease or live at ease; and though free-willers say that the discriminating grace of God leads to licentiousness, God’s quickened family know better; and no others are capable of judging or being witnesses, for they know nothing about it. It is to the glory of grace that the Lord will chasten his people for their sins; not in vindictive wrath, but in…

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