This is a sermon which Charles copied from his brother John, a fact that he indicated in shorthand on the title page of the small hard-bound booklet in which this and the three next sermons are found. The transcriptions were made in September 1736 'between Charles-town and Boston', that is, on the first leg of Charles's journey back to England. 1 The pages in the booklet are clearly numbered and on page 34 there appears, again in shorthand, a list of places where the sermons were preached. The entries are arranged in two columns. On the left hand side there appears a list of places and years for John's preaching of the texts (confirmed by John's own journal and diary). All these predate Charles's transcription of the sermons in 1736. However, in a much less neat format, there appears also on the right hand side a further list of places, and dates from 1737 and 1738. These appear to be dates upon which Charles preached the sermons.
In the case of this present sermon this can be confirmed beyond doubt, for he recorded in his journal for 13 November 1737 the detail that he 'preached at Bexley, on the love of God'. 2 In the register on page 34 of the sermon booklet the same information appears. 3 This pattern is repeated for Sermon 21, on Luke 10: 42; in this latter case Charles even wrote, in shorthand, 'by me' before the entries.
The link between the register on the right hand side of the page and Charles's own preaching schedule being clearly established, the earlier entry on the register indicating that he preached 'On the Love of God' at Duke Street 4 on 23 October 1737 can also be taken as a reference to his own preaching of this sermon even though there is no confirming external evidence. Thus it can be concluded that he preached this sermon on at least two occasions, both in 1737: 23 October and 13 November.
As was noted above, the sermon is copied from John. However, it has now been established that this is also a sermon which Charles himself preached. It was, then, in this sense 'his'. The MS itself is fairly neat and holds little clue as to the extent to which Charles may have edited his brother's sermon in the process of transcription. There is one place, however, where one might just detect Charles's editorial hand. In the third major section which answers 'the grand objection', there appears a sequence of numbers to paragraphs and major points that are being made. These are numbered 1, 2, 6, 7, 8. In the other two major sections in the sermon (Charles's heads 1-2) the paragraphs are numbered without a break.