This sermon exists in two drafts, one complete, the other not. Both are held at the John Rylands University Library of Manchester. 1 The incomplete MS is quite clearly only a portion of what we may presume to have been a completed whole; it ends at the bottom of page 4, the following pages being now lost. The longer, complete, MS is here referred to as 'MS B' and the shorter, incomplete, as 'MS A'.
There is no indication on either MS as to where or when the sermon was preached. However, the journal seems to be helpful on this point. The first explicit reference to Charles's preaching on this text is on Sunday, 14 August 1743, when he preached from it in West Street Chapel, London. 2 Almost five years later (28, April 1748) he 'discoursed on the Pharisee and publican' and 'the divine power and blessing made the word effectual'. 3 We cannot of course be certain that he used this sermon on either occasion, but it must be a distinct possibility. At the very least it may be presumed that there was some considerable overlap.
It is not clear which of these two drafts is the earlier. Albin and Beckerlegge think that it is MS A, and in this they are probably right. For example, we may note that the shorthand script in MS B seems more abbreviated than its counterpart in MS A. This suggests, perhaps, that as Charles became more acquainted with the text of the sermon he was able to rely less on the script before him and more upon his memory for the words he was to preach. Thus while in MS A he felt it wise to write 'fr ts t gift f gd n jc' for 'for it is the gift of God in Jesus Christ', in MS B he could rely on the letters 'fr tsgg n cj' to provide him with the framework of the same basic phrase. 4 Such examples could easily be multiplied. 5 The form of the text presented here corresponds directly to MS B, the complete MS. Differences between this and MS A are noted in the footnotes.