我们这几个星期都在思考卫斯理约翰的讲章第廿七篇，有关禁食。我们已分享过第二部份，今晚我们要看第三部份，反对禁食（Objections Against Fasting），共有八项。
Let a Christian fast from sin and not from food, this is what God requires at his hands. Does he require the other also?
That a Christian ought to abstain from sin, then he ought not to abstain from food. If it is so, let him do both the one and the other.
But it is not better to abstain from pride and vanity, from foolish and hurtful desires, from perishes and anger and discontent than from food? Through this outward meals, in conjunction with all the other channels of his grace which he hath appointed, we may be enabled to abstain from every passion and temper which is not pleasing in his sight, then we ought thus to abstain from food, since these little mistakes of self denial are the ways God hath chose, wherein to bestow that great salvation.
But we do not find it so in fact: “We have fasted much and often; but what did it avail? We were not a whit better; we found no blessing therein. Nay, we have found it a hindrance rather than a help. Instead of preventing anger, for instance, or fretfulness, it has been a means of increasing them to such a height,that we could neither bear others nor ourselves. ” This may very possibly be the case. It is possible, either to fast or pray in such a manner, as to make you much worse than before; more unhappy, and more unholy. Yet the fault does not lie in the means itself, but in the manner of using it. Use it still, but use it in a different manner. Do what God commands, as he commands it; and then, doubtless, his promise shall not fail: his blessing shall be withheld no longer; but, when thou fastest in secret, “He that seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”
But is it not mere superstition, to imagine that God regards such little things as these? If you say it is you condemn all the generations of God’s children. Can you be so hardly as to affirm this both of Moses and Joshua, of Samuel and David, Ezra, Nehemiah and all the prophets? All these His servants, did imagine that fasting is not a little thing.
The apostles did fast and chose the deacons to help them.