[It is impossible to give the slightest idea of the impressive manner in which this sermon was spoken, especially as the preacher, at the same time that he was speaking of the poor trembling man knocking, he himself loudly, yet tremblingly, knocked with his knuckles on the side of the pulpit.]
Here is a poor ragged starving wretch, seeking for some one to relieve him; but he can find no helper. He sees nothing but starvation and death before him. He must lie down and die. Why, his very seeking for help is praying for it and a proof that he is alive. But a passer-by, seeing him, goes up to him and tells him if he can only go to such a house he will be sure to be relieved; for the owner and occupier of the house never turns any one away, if he is in real distress. “But,” the poor man says, “no one so ragged and dirty as I am ever went.” “O yes, yes,” says the visitor. “Many quite as bad as you are, or worse, have been taken in, and fed and clothed. So come. You are very weak and don’t know the way; I’ll support you and lead you.” So off they go, the poor man dragging heavily along. At last they reach the house. The poor man goes to the door; but he says, “I dare not knock. What! Such a beggar as I knock at the door of such a grand house as that?” The very thought makes him feel faint, and he has to lay hold of the knocker to keep him from falling. He trembles all over. “I dare not knock, “he says; but his hand shakes so violently that he is knocking all the time, though he does not know he is knocking—knock, knock, knock! And his wants are speedily relieved.
“The poorer the wretch, the welcomer here.”
William Gadsby (1773-1844) was a Strict and Particular Baptist preacher, writer and philanthropist.