William Gadsby's Fragments (Complete)

Odd Sayings

My dear Friend,—You request me to send you some of Mr. Gadsby’s odd sayings. If they are, odd, they are striking, when we consider their spiritual signification. I wish I could send the beautiful truths he conveys in them. He is continually lashing Arminianism. Free-will, he terms a filthy dirty lane, and the poor creatures in it go hobbling along besludged all over. He warns us not to stir a step to hear an Arminian minister, as we each of us carry one in our own bosom. He tells us he has one that gets up with him, and has the assurance to breakfast, dine, drink tea, and sup with him. Our hearts are full of lumber and rubbish, which he earnestly prays for the Holy Spirit to consume. He says we all squint so terribly when we look at Christ that, instead of looking full at our Jesus, we are looking first on this side and then on that, at some supposed merit of our own. He compares the devil to a quack doctor, going about with sleeping-draughts, and says God’s children are often too ready to take his opium. But, bad as he describes Satan to be, he says there is not one among us but is guilty of unbelief; yet the devil believes at all times, while there are seasons when the natural vileness of our hearts leads us almost to question the truth of all that God has said and all he is. He says that some one had told him he spoke worse of mankind than they deserved; but that he says he cannot do. He has not been able yet to describe human nature half so bad as it is. After he has proved there is no such thing as creature- merit in matters of salvation, he sweetly speaks of what Christ is to his people, and holds forth Jesus as the Mighty to save, the Righteousness of the self-abased, sin-sick mourner. Speaking of the doubts and fears that harass the children of God, who are deploring that they cannot believe, or pray, or confess, or do any thing but love sin, he says, “Why, poor souls, you are all the time believing, praying, and confessing. The fire of God’s Holy Spirit is at work in you, and leading you to hate and forsake sin, although sin will not forsake you. You are set about taking fresh lodgings. I had almost said if it were possible for a poor creature in your state to get into hell, they would not know what to do with you when they had you there.” After he has drawn the state of those who have been brought to a knowledge of the plague of their own hearts, he tells us not to try to hide it, for he has trod every step of the road himself, and knows it well. He calls on us to adore with him a Triune God, who, in the aboundings of his grace towards us, has from eternity made ample provision in Christ to meet all our abominations. Blessed with the divine influences of the Lord the Spirit, we shall adore now and in eternity. But O! How impossible for mortals to comprehend such amazing matchless grace!