Wesleyan Methodist Magazine,  3rd ser. 2 (1823), 7–19.

The Substance of a Sermon Preached in the City-Road Chapel, London, Before the Wesleyan-Methodist Missionary Society, on Friday, April 26, 1822: By the Rev. Henry Moore



Sermon, Abstract

Publications abstracted:

Henry Moore


Reason, Christianity, Error, Natural Theology, Biblical Authority, Scientific Practitioners, Infidelity, Miracles, Ancient Authorities

People mentioned:

Benjamin Franklin

    The sermon, which expounds the text of 1 Cor. 1. 21, asserts that the Corinthians were proud, idle, and rich, and were easy prey to '[p]hilosophy, falsely so called'. Observes that such philosophy 'always begins with the rich' and leisured, only later passing to the poor. Considers that the Corinthians might have gloried in knowing God by philosophy, had the 'ancient pretension' been true that 'we may "look through nature up to nature's God"'. Suggests, however, that 'there is much of atheism in that popular sentiment.' (7) Avers that God can only be known by his self-revelation. Explains that the biblical epistle was written to 'bring the Corinthians to that poverty of spirit' which is essential to Christian faith. Expounds the three parts of the text: first, the 'great Fact' that 'The world by wisdom knew not God', secondly, 'that the Wisdom of God was concerned in the demonstration of this Fact', and thirdly, that God's saving self-revelation came through 'the foolishness of preaching'. In support of the first of these, advances evidence from the degenerate state of 'the heathen world' as revealed by missionary endeavours. (8) Points out that the people of ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, with all their scientific learning, did not know God. Argues that modern infidels, such as François M A de Voltaire, Henry Saint-John (Viscount Bolinbroke), David Hume, and Edward Gibbon, owed their 'deistical wisdom' not to the ancient Greeks, but to the Bible (10). Observes that the ancient Romans eschewed the inherited knowledge of the one true God, and, from reasoning about God, became corrupt polytheists. Argues that this corruption of true religion was part of the inscrutable design of God, to make manifest that he can only be known by self-revelation. Considers the 'celebrated infidel' Hume's argument against miracles an instance of this, pointing out that 'the inflated worm' saw his argument 'crushed to pieces under the foot of Dr. Campbell' (12). Discusses God's forbearance in allowing the ancient Greeks to enjoy their idolatrous successes, noting that he 'gave them a soaring intellect, a deep-searching spirit of science'. Concludes by discussing the 'foolishness of preaching' and the relationship between the Christian gospel, learning, and salvation. (13)

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