The Dark Cellar
Go into a close, dark, damp cellar; you can see nothing. But open the shutters. How frightened you are! Toads, spiders, and reptiles of various sorts are there. So with your hearts. You don’t see them as they really are until God lets in his light. In our country there is a weed called cadlock; but it never appears on the surface until the land is ploughed up. So with your hearts. When God puts his plough and turns up the fallow ground, O what weeds appear to your sight!
William Gadsby (1773-1844) was a Strict and Particular Baptist preacher, writer and philanthropist. John Hazelton wrote of him—
“[Gadsby’s] labours extended to well-nigh every part of the country, and who by his sermons, hymns, and other writings, exerted a wide spiritual influence, and his interest in the poor and needy in Lancashire and elsewhere rendered his public advocacy of their cause of great value. In him we have a man of eminent public spirit, as well as of originality and spiritual force…The first time he preached was in 1798, in an upper room in a yard at Bedworth, from the words, "Unto you therefore which believe, He is precious." His Hymn Book, now so widely known, was first published in 1814, his desire being "to have a selection of hymns free from Arminianism and sound in the faith, that the Church might be edified and God glorified.” He removed to Manchester in 1805, and while over the Church there he travelled over 60,000 miles and preached nearly 12,000 sermons.”