The MS of this sermon is held at the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, 1 and, with the exception of the brief sermon register, is written entirely in shorthand. The MS comprises sixteen leaves, eight folded sheets, and it is upon the recto of leaves 3-13 that the bulk of the sermon is found. On the verso of leaf 12 Charles has written a passage intended for insertion into material written on the recto of leaf 13. The sermon register is written on the verso of leaf 1, which forms the front cover.
The shorthand is reasonably neat, though a number of changes, additions, and deletions are evident, and it is hence unlikely to be a transcription of a previous text. The text was first published by Albin and Beckerlegge, and their transcription has been invaluable in the preparation of the text printed here. However, the shorthand MS has been examined again, and a number of changes have been made to the Albin-Beckerlegge text. The more significant of these are indicated in the notes. The critical notes provided by Albin and Beckerlegge have mostly been kept, though a small number which seem either irrelevant or inaccurate 2 have been discarded or edited.
Charles first preached his sermon on 'Faith and good works' on 21 December 1738 at 'S. Anthony's, Islington' 3 , and at least twice thereafter (Kensington, 14 January 1739; St Katherine's (Islington), 4 March 1739). 4 The content suggests also that the sermon on 'Love and good works' which Charles preached on 23 June 1743 at Epworth ('my native place'), 5 if it was not this very one, may at least have overlapped significantly with it. 6 This, however, cannot be proved.
The preaching of this particular sermon at 'St Anthony's' (St Antholin's) is worthy of further brief note. The rector of St Antholin's at the time was Dr Richard Venn (1691-1740),