George Whitefield Sermon 27

Blind Bartimeus.

Mark 10:52, "And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee

whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the


When the apostle Peter was recommending Jesus of Nazareth, in one of

his sermons to the Jews, he gave him a short, but withal a glorious and

exalted character, "That we went about doing good." He went about, he

sought occasions of doing good; it was his meat and drink to do the works

of him that sent him, whilst the day of his public administration lasted.

Justly was he stiled by the prophet, the sun of righteousness. For, as the

sun in the natural firmament diffuses his quickening and reviving beams

through the universe, so, wherever this sun of righteousness, the blessed

Jesus arose, he arose with healing under his wings. He was indeed a prophet

like unto Moses, and proved that he was the Messiah which was to come into

the world, by the miracles which he wrought; though with this material

difference, the miracles of Moses, agreeable to the Old Testament

dispensation, were miracles of judgment; the miracles of Jesus, who came to

bear our sicknesses and heal our infirmities, were miracles of mercy, and

were wrought, not only for the cure of people's bodies, but also for the

conversion of their precious and immortal souls. Sometimes, one and the

same person was the subject of both these mercies. A glorious proof of

this, we have in the miraculous cure wrought upon a poor blind beggar,

named Bartimeus, who is to be the subject of the following discourse, and

to whom the words of the text refer. "Jesus said unto him, Go thy way, thy

faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and

followed Jesus in the way."

My design is, FIRST, to make some observations on the matter of fact,

as recorded by the evangelists. And then,

SECONDLY, To point out the improvement that may be made thereof. May

Jesus so bless this following discourse, that every spiritually blind

hearer may receive his sight, and, after the example of Bartimeus, "follow

Jesus in the way!"

If we would take a view of the whole story, we must go back to the

46th verse of this chapter, "And they (our Lord and his disciples, who, we

find by the context, had been conversing together) came to Jericho," a

place devoted by Joshua to the curse of God; and yet, even this place

yields converts to Jesus; Zaccheus had been called there formerly; and

Bartimeus, as we shall hear by-and-by, in all probability, was called now.

For some good may come even out of Nazareth. Christ himself was born there,

and his sovereign grace can reach and overcome the worst of people, in the

very worst of places. Jesus came to Jericho. Let not his ministers, if

providence points out their way, shun going to seemingly the most unlikely

places to do good, some chosen vessels may be therein. Jesus and his

disciples came to Jericho. They were itinerants; and, as I have frequently

observed, seldom stayed long in a place; not that this is any argument

against the stated settlement of particular pastors over particular

parishes. But however, our Lord's practice, in this respect, gives a kind

of a sanction to itinerant preaching, when persons are properly called to,

and qualified for, such an employ. And I believe we may venture to affirm

(though we would by no means prescribe or dictate to the Holy One of

Israel) that, whenever there shall be a general revival of religion in any

country, itinerant preaching will be more in vogue. And it is to be feared,

that those who condemn it now, merely on account of the meanness of its

appearances, would have joined with the self-righteous Scribes and

Pharisees, in condemning even the Son of God himself, for such a practice.

"And as he went out of Jericho with his disciples, and a great number

of people;" o[clou iJkanou' a great number of mob, or rabble, as the High-

priests of that generation termed them; for these were the constant

followers of Jesus of Nazareth; it was the poor that received his gospel,

the common people heard him gladly, and followed him from place to place.

Not that all who followed him, were his true disciples. No, some followed

him only for his loaves, others out of curiosity; though some undoubtedly

followed to hear, and be edified by the gracious words that proceeded out

of his mouth. Jesus knew this, and was also sensible how displeasing this

crowding after him was to some of the rulers of the Jewish church, who,

upon every occasion, were ready to say, "Have any of the Scribes and

Pharisees believed on him?" But, notwithstanding, I do not hear of our

blessed Lord's sending them home but once; and that was, after they had

been with him three days, and had nothing left to eat, he saw they were as

sheep having no shepherd, and therefore had compassion on them, and taught

them. A sufficient warrant this for gospel-ministers to preach to poor

souls that follow to hear the word, whatever principle their coming may

proceed from. At the same time, they should caution people against thinking

themselves Christians, because they follow Christ's ministers. This our

Lord frequently did, For there are many that followed Jesus, and not follow

his ministers, and hear them gladly; nay, perhaps do many things, as Herod

did, who, it is to be feared, will never follow them into the kingdom of

heaven. Much people followed Jesus out of Jericho, but how many of them

were offended in him; and afterwards, it may be, cried out, "Crucify him,

crucify him." Who would depend on popularity? It is like the morning cloud,

or early dew, that passeth away. But what a press, and seemingly continued

hurry of business did the blessed Jesus live in! He could not be hid; go

where he would, much people followed him. He had scarce time to eat bread.

Happy is it for such who are called to act in a public station in the

church, and to be more abundant in labors, that their Jesus has trodden in

this dangerous path before them. Popularity is a fiery furnace, and no one,

but he who kept the three children amidst Nebuchadnezzar's flames, can

preserve popular ministers from being hurt by it. But we can do all things

through Christ strengthening us. And I have often thought, that there is

one consideration sufficient to extinguish, or moderate at least, any

excess of joy and self-complacence, which the most popular preacher may

feel, when followed even by the greatest multitudes; and that is this, "How

many of these hearers will go "away, without receiving any saving benefit

by my preaching; nay, how many, it may be, will only have their damnation

increased by it!" As we find many will say at the great day, "hast thou not

taught in our streets;" to whom Jesus shall answer, "Verily, I know you


But to proceed, "As our Lord went out of Jericho with his disciples,

and a great number of people, blind Bartimeus, (the son of Timeus) sat by

the highway-side begging." It should seem that he was a noted, though by no

means what we commonly call, a sturdy beggar; having no other way, as he

had lost his sight, to get his bread; his case was still the more pitiable,

if he was, as some think the name imports, the blind son of a blind father.

It may be, her begged for his father and himself too; and if so, then this

may give us light into that passage of Matthew 20:22 where we are told,

that "two men spake to Jesus." It might be father and son, though only one

is mentioned here, because he only followed Jesus in the way. Thus that

holy, judicious, and practical expositor of holy writ, Mr. Henry. But

however this be, he is not blamed for begging, neither should we discommend

others for so doing, when providence calls to it. It was the unjust steward

that said, "To beg I am ashamed." It is our pride that often makes us

unwilling to be beholden; Jesus was not thus minded, he lived, as it were,

upon alms; the women that followed him, ministered to him of their

substance. Bartimeus, not being able to dig, begs for his living; and, in

order to make a better trade of it, sat by the highway-side, in all

probability, without, or near the gate of the city, where people must

necessarily pass in and out. But though he had lost his sight, he had his

hearing perfect; and it should comfort us, if we have lost one sense, that

we have the use of another, and that we are not deprived of the benefit of

all. Happy was it for Bartimeus that he could hear, though not see. For in

all probability, upon hearing the noise and clamor of the much people that

followed after our Lord, his curiosity set him upon inquiring into the

cause of it, and some one or another told him, "that Jesus of Nazareth was

passing by;" Jesus of Nazareth, called so, because he was bred there, or

out of contempt; Nazareth being either a very mean, or very wicked place,

or both, which made guileless Nathaniel say, "Can any good come out of

Nazareth?" And what does Bartimeus do when he hears of Jesus? We are told,

ver. 47: "And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry

out." This plainly denotes, that though the eyes of his body were shut, yet

the eyes of his mind were, in some degree, opened, so that he saw, perhaps,

more than most of the multitude that followed after Jesus; for, as soon as

he heard of him, he began to cry out; which he would not have done, had he

not heard of him before, and believed also, that he was both able and

willing to restore sight to the blind. "He began to cry out." This implies,

that he had a deep sense of his own misery, and the need which he had of a

cure; his prayers did not freeze as they went out of his lips; he began to

cry out, that Jesus might hear him, notwithstanding the noise of the

throng; and he began to cry out, as soon as he heard he was passing by, not

knowing whether he might ever enjoy such an opportunity any more. "He began

to cry out, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy upon me." The people

called him Jesus of Nazareth. Bartimeus stiles him, "Jesus, thou Son of

David." Thereby evidencing, that he believed him to be the Messiah who was

to come into the world, unto whom the Lord God was to give the throne of

his father David, and of whose kingdom there was to be no end. "Jesus, thou

Son of David;" or, as it is in the parallel place of St. Matthew 20:30, "O

Lord, thou son of David;" of whom it had been long foretold, Isaiah 35,

that when he should come, "the eyes of the blind should be opened." "Have

mercy upon me," the natural language of a soul brought to lie down at the

feet of a sovereign God. Here is no laying claim to a cure by way of merit;

no proud, self-righteous, God I thank thee that I am not as other men are:

not bringing in a reckoning of performances, nor any doubting of Jesus'

power or willingness to heal him, but out of the abundance of the heart,

his mouth speaketh, and, in the language of the poor, broken-hearted

publican, he cries out, "Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me."

Jesus, thou friend of sinners, thou Savior, who, though thou be the true

God, wast pleased to become the Son of David, and to be made man, that thou

mightest seek and save those that were lost, have mercy upon me; let thy

bowels yearn towards a poor, miserable, blind beggar?

One would have thought that such a moving petition as this would have

melted the whole multitude, that heard his piteous cry, into compassion,

and induced some at least to turn suitors in his behalf, or help to carry

him to the blessed Jesus. But instead of that, we are told, ver. 48, that

"many charged him." The word in the original seems to imply a charge,

attended with threatening, and spoken in an angry manner. They charged him

"to hold his peace;" and it may be, threatened to beat him if he did not.

They looked upon him beneath the notice of Jesus of Nazareth, and were

ready enough to ask, whether he thought Jesus Christ had nothing else to do

but to wait upon him. This was, no doubt, very discouraging to blind

Bartimeus. For opposition comes closest when it proceeds from those who are

esteemed followers of the Lamb. The spouse complains as of something

peculiarly afflicting, that her own mother's children were angry with her.

But opposition only serves to whet the edge of true devotion, and therefore

Bartimeus, instead of being silenced by their charges and threatenings,

"cried out the more a great deal, thou Son of David, have mercy on me."

Still he breaks out into the same humble language, and, if Jesus, the Son

of David, will have mercy on him, he cares not much what some of his

peevish followers said of, or did unto him. This was not a vain repetition,

but a devout reiteration of his request. We may sometimes repeat the same

words, and yet not be guilty of that battalogia, or vain speaking , which

our Lord condemns. For our Lord himself prayed in his agony, and said twice

the same words; "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me."

Thus Bartimeus, "Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy upon me." And how

does the Son of David treat him? Does he join issue with the multitude, and

charge him to hold his peace? Or does he go on, thinking him beneath his

notice? no; for, says St. Mark, ver 49, "And Jesus stood still," though he

was on a journey, and it may be in haste (for it is not losing time to stop

now and then on a journey to do a good office by the way) "and commanded

him to be called:" why so? To teach us to be condescending and kind even to

poor, if real beggars, and tacitly to reprove the blind, misguided zeal of

those who had charged him to hold his peace. By this also our Lord prepares

the multitude the better to take the more notice of the blind man's faith,

and of his own mercy and power exerted in the healing of him. For there are

times and seasons when we are called to perform acts of charity in the most

public manner, and that too very consistently with the injunction of our

Savior, "not to let our right hand know what our left hand doeth." For

there is a great deal of difference between giving alms, and exercising

acts of charity, that are seen of men, and doing them, that they may be

seen; the one is always sinful, the other often becomes our duty. Jesus

commanded Bartimeus to be called, "and they called him." Who called him? It

may be, those who a little before charged him t hold his peace. For it

often happens, that our opposers and discouragers, afterwards become our

friends, "When a man's ways please the Lord, he makes his enemies be at

peace with him." And it is to be wished, that all who have charged poor

souls, that are crying after Jesus, to hold their peace, and to spare

themselves, and not be righteous over-much, would imitate the people here,

and encourage those they once persecuted and maligned. "They call the blind

man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, ruse, he calleth thee." The

words, and manner of speaking them, implies haste, and a kind of solicitude

for the blind man's relief. O! that we might hereby learn to be patient and

long-suffering, towards opposers. For it may be, that many may oppose

awakened souls, not out of enmity, but through prejudice and

misinformation, through ignorance and unbelief, and a real, though perhaps

false, persuasion, that their relations are going in a wrong way. By and by

they may be convinced, that Christ is indeed calling them, and then they

may become real and open friends to the cause and work of God; if not, it

is our duty to behave with meekness towards all, and not to render railing

for railing, but contrary-wise blessing, knowing that we are thereunto

called, that we may inherit a blessing; Jesus did not break out into harsh

language against these opposers, neither did Bartimeus. "Our Lord stood

still, and commanded him to be called; and they call the blind man; saying

unto him, Be of good comfort, rise, he calleth thee; and he, casting away

his garment, rose and came to Jesus." Had Bartimeus not been in earnest

when he cried, "Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy upon me," he might

have said, why do you mock me? why bid ye me arise; rise indeed I can, but

after I am risen, how can I, being blind, find my way unto him? If he will

come to me, it is well; if not, all you r calling availeth nothing, it

being impossible for me to find my way. Thus thousands now-a-days object to

evangelical preachers, saying, Why do you bid us come to, and believe on

Jesus Christ, when you tell us it is impossible of ourselves to turn to

God, or to do good works; and that no one can come unto him, unless the

Father draw him. Is not this like the people's calling upon Bartimeus, to

arise and come to Jesus, when he could not possibly see his way before him?

true, it is so; and would to God that all who make this objection, would

imitate Bartimeus, and put forth the strength they have! What if we do call

you to come, and to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, that you may be

saved? Does this imply, that you have a power in yourselves to do so? No,

in no wise, no more than Jesus saying unto Lazarus' dead and stinking

carcass, "Come forth," implied, that Lazarus had a power to raise himself

from the grave. We call to you, being commanded to preach the gospel to

every creature, hoping and praying, that Christ's power may accompany the

word, and make it effectual to the quickening and raising of your dead

souls. We also call to you to believe, upon the same account as Jesus said

unto the lawyer, "do this, and thou shalt live;" that you seeing your utter

inability to come, might thereby be convinced of your unbelief, and be led

to ask for faith of him, whose gift it is, and who is therefore in

scripture emphatically stiled the Author, as well as Finisher, of our

faith. Add to this, that it is your duty to wait at the pool, or to make us

of the strength you have, in the earnest and steady performance of all

commanded duty. For though you cannot do what is spiritually good, because

you want spiritual principles of action, yet ye may do what is morally and

materially good, inasmuch as ye are reasonable creatures; and though doing

your duty as you can, no ways deserves mercy, or entitles you to it, yet it

is the way in which you are required to walk, and the way in which God us

usually found. While you are attempting to stretch out your withered arm,

peradventure it may be restored; and who knows but Jesus may work faith in

you, by his almighty power?

Bartimeus has set before such objectors an example; O that they would

once submit to be taught by a poor blind beggar! For he, casting away his

garment, rose, and blind as he was, came to Jesus; "casting away his

garment." This seems to be a large coat or cloak, that he wore to screen

himself from the rain and cold; undoubtedly, it was the most necessary and

valuable vestment he had, and one would have thought, that he should have

taken this along with him; but he knew very well, that if he did so, it

might hang about his heels, and thereby his reaching Jesus be retarded at

least, if not prevented entirely. Valuable therefore as it was to him, he

cast it away. The word implies, that he threw it from off his shoulders,

with great precipitancy and resolution, knowing that if he got a cure,

which he now hoped for, by Christ's calling him, he should never want his

garment again. And thus will all do that are in earnest about coming to

Jesus here, or seeing and enjoying him in his kingdom eternally hereafter.

They will cut off a right hand, they will pluck out a right eye, they will

leave father and mother, husband and wife, yes, and their own lives also,

rather than not be his disciples. The apostle Paul, therefore, exhorts

Christians, to "lay aside every weight, and the sin that doth most easily

beset them," or hand about their heels, as the word in the original

imports; alluding to the custom of the Romans, who wore long garments. Such

a one was this, which Bartimeus had wrapped round him. But he, to show that

he sincerely desired to recover his sight, casting it away, arose and came

to Jesus. And what treatment did Jesus give him? did he say, come not nigh

me, thou impudent noisy beggar? No, "he answered and said unto him, What

wilt thou, that I should do unto thee?" an odd question this, seemingly.

For did not our Lord know what he wanted? Yes, he did; but the Lord Jesus

dealt with him, as he deals with us. He will make us acknowledge our wants

ourselves, that we thereby may confess our dependence upon him, and be made

more sensible of the need we stand in, of his divine assistance. The blind

man immediately replies, "Lord, (thereby intimating his belief of Christ's

divinity) that I might receive my sight." Methinks, I see the poor creature

listening to the voice of our Savior, and with looks and gestures

bespeaking the inward earnestness of his soul, he cries out, "Lord, that I

may receive my sight." As though he had said, I believe thou are that

Messiah who was to come into the world. I have heard of thy fame, O Jesus!

And hearing the long-wished-for glad tidings of thy coming this way, I cry

unto thee, asking not for silver and gold, but what thou, thou alone canst

give me, Lord, that I might receive my sight. No sooner does he ask, but he

receives. For, verse 52, "Jesus said unto him, Go thy way, thy faith hath

made thee whole; and immediately he received his sight." With the word

there went a power; and he that spake light out of darkness, saying, "Let

there be light, and there was light," commanded light into this poor blind

beggar's eyes, and behold there was light. The miracle was instantaneous;

immediately he received his sight. And next to a miracle it was, that by

breaking into open light all at once, he was not struck blind again: but he

that gave the sight, preserved it when given. O! happy Bartimeus! Thy eyes

are now opened, and the very first object thou dost behold, is the ever-

loving, altogether-lovely Jesus. Methinks I see thee transported with

wonder and admiration, and all the disciples, and the multitude, gazing

around thee! And now, having received thy sight, why dost thou not obey the

Lord's command, and go thy way? Why doest thou not haste to fetch thy

garment, that thou just now in a hurry didst cast away? No, no! with his

bodily eyes, I believe he received also a fresh addition of spiritual

sight, and though others saw no form or comeliness in the blessed Jesus,

that they should desire him; yet he by an eye of faith discovered such

transcendent excellencies in his royal person, and felt at the same time

such a divine attraction towards his all-bountiful benefactor, that instead

of going his way to fetch his garment, "he followed Jesus in the way;" and

by his actions, says with faithful, honest-hearted Ruth, "entreat me not to

leave thee; for whither thou goest, I will go; where thou lodgest, I will

lodge; thy people shall be my people; and thy God, my God." He followed

Jesus in the way; the narrow way, the way of the cross; and I doubt not but

long since he has followed him to his crown, and is at this time sitting

with him at the right hand of his Father.

And now, my dear hearers, how find you your hearts affected at the

relation of this notable miracle which Jesus wrought? Are you not ready to

break out into the language of the song of Moses, and to say, "Who is like

unto thee O Lord, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, continually

doing wonders!" Marvelous are thy works, O Jesus, and that our souls know

right well! But we must not stop here, in admiring what the Lord did for

Bartimeus; this, no doubt, as well as other parts of Scripture, was written

for our learning, upon whom the ends of the world are come; consequently,

as was proposed in the

SECOND place, we should see what spiritual improvement can be made of

this history, upon which we have already been making some remarks.

A natural man, indeed, goes no further than the outward court of the

Scripture, and reads this, and the other miracles of our blessed Savior,

just in the same manner as he reads Homer's battles, or the exploits of

Alexander. But God forbid, that we should rest in only hearing this matter

of fact. For I tell thee, O man, I tell thee, O woman, whoever thou art,

that sittest this day under a preached gospel, that if thou art in a

natural state, thou art as blind in thy soul, as Bartimeus was in his body;

a blind child of a blind father, even of thy father Adam, who lost his

sight when he lost his innocence, and entailed his blindness, justly

inflicted, upon thee, and me, and his whole posterity. Some think indeed,

that thy see; but alas! such talk only like men in their sleep, like

persons beside themselves; the scriptures every where represent fallen man,

not only as spiritually blind, but dead also; and we no more know, by

nature, savingly the way of salvation by Jesus Christ, than Bartimeus, when

he was blind, knew the colors of the rainbow. This, I trust, some of you

begin to feel, I see you concerned, I see you weeping, and, was I to ask

some of you, what you want to have done unto you? I know your answer would

be, that we may receive our sight. And God forbid, that I should charge you

to hold your peace, as though Jesus would not regard you! No, your being

made sensible of your natural blindness, and crying thus earnestly after

Jesus, is a sign at least, that you are awakened by his holy Spirit (though

it is possible, that you may cry with an exceeding bitter cry, as Esau did,

and be lost at last); however, Christian charity induces me to believe and

hope the best; I will therefore, in the language of those who afterwards

encouraged Bartimeus, say unto you, Arise, take comfort for, I trust, Jesus

is calling you; follow therefore the example of Bartimeus; cast away your

garment; lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth most easily beset

you, arise, and come to Jesus. He commands me, by his written word, to call

to you, and say, "Come unto him, all ye that are weary, and heavy laden,

and he will refresh you, he will give you rest." Be not afraid, ye seek

Jesus of Nazareth; behold, he comes forth to meet you; ye are now on the

highway side, and Jesus, I trust, is passing by; I feel his presence, I

hope many of you feel it too; O then, cry mightily to him, who is mighty

and willing to save you; lay yourselves at the feet of sovereign grace, say

unto him, "Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me," in the same frame

as Bartimeus did, and Jesus will answer you, he will not cast out your

prayer; according to your faith, so shall it be done unto you. Blind as you

are, you shall notwithstanding, receive your sight; Satan, indeed, and

unbelief, will suggest many objections to you, your carnal relations will

also join issue with them, and charge you to hold your peace; one will tell

you, that your blindness is too inveterate to be cured; another, that it is

too late; a third, that though Jesus can, yet he will not have mercy upon

such poor, blind, despicable beggars, as ye are; but, the more they charge

you to hold your peace, do you cry out so much the more a great deal,

"Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on us." Jesus, thou Savior, thou

friend of sinners, thou Son of David, and therefore a Son of man! Gracious

words! Endearing appellations! Be encouraged by them, to draw nigh unto

him. Though David's Lord, yet he is become David's Son, after the flesh,

that ye through him may be made the sons of God: no matter what thou art, O

woman, what thou art, O man; though thou art literally a poor beggar, think

not thy condition too mean for Jesus to take notice of; he came into the

highways and hedges, to call such poor beggars in; or, if you are rich,

think not yourselves too high to stoop to Jesus; for his is the King of

kings; and you never will be truly rich, until you are made rich in Jesus;

fear not being despised, or losing a little worldly honor: one sight of

Jesus will make amends for all: you will find something so inviting, so

attracting, so satisfying, in the altogether lovely Lamb of God, that every

sublunary enjoyment will sicken, and die, and vanish before you; and you

will o more desire your former vain and trifling amusements, than

Bartimeus, after he had received his sight, desired to go back again and

fetch his garment. O that there may be many such blind beggars among you

this day!

Here is a great multitude of people following me, a poor worm, this

day. I rejoice to see the fields thus white, ready unto harvest, and to

spread the gospel-net amidst so many; but alas! I shall return home with a

heavy heart, unless some of you will arise and come to my Jesus; I desire

to preach Him, and not myself; rest not in hearing and following me.

Behold, believe on, and follow the Lamb of God, who came to take away the

sins of the world. Indeed, I do not despair of any of you, neither am I

discouraged, on account of my preaching in the highways and hedges; Jesus

called Zaccheus; Jesus called Bartimeus, as he passed through Jericho; that

cursed, that devoted place; and why may he not call some of you, out of

these despised fields? Is his arm shortened, that he cannot save? Is he not

as mighty now, and as willing to save, even to the uttermost, all that come

to the father through him, as he was seventeen hundred years ago? Assuredly

he is; he hath said, and he also will do it, "Whosoever cometh to me, I

will in no wise cast out." In no wise, or by no means. O encouraging words!

Sinners, believe ye this? arise then, be of good comfort, for Jesus is

indeed calling you. Some of you, I trust, have obeyed this invitation, and

have had a sight of him long ago; I know then, you will bless and love him;

and if he should say unto you, as he did unto Bartimeus, go you your way;

your answer would be, we love our master, and will not go from him. But

suffer ye the word of exhortation:

Suffer me to stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance, show that

you have indeed seen him, and that you do indeed love him, by following him

in the way; I mean, in the way of the cross, the way of his ordinances, and

in the way of his holy commandments; for alas! the love of many waxeth

cold, and few there are that follow Jesus rightly in the way; few there are

that cast away their garments so heartily as they should; some idol or

another hangs about us, and hinders us in running the race that is set

before us. Awake therefore, ye sleepy, though, it may be, wise virgins.

Awake, awake, put on strength; shake yourselves from the dust; arise and

follow Jesus more closely in the way, than ever you did yet. Lift up the

hands that hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees. Provide right paths

for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way, but rather

be ye healed. For though the way be narrow, yet it is not long; "though the

gate be straight, (to use the words of pious bishop Beveridge) yet it opens

into everlasting life." O that ye may get a fresh sight of him again this

day! That would be like oil to the wheels of your graces, and make your

souls like the chariots of Aminadab. It is only owing to your losing sight

of him, that you go so heavily from day to day. A sight of Jesus, like the

sun rising in the morning, dispels the darkness and gloominess that lies

upon the soul. Take therefore a fresh view of him, O believers, and never

rest until you are translated to see him as he is, and to live with him for

evermore, in the kingdom of heaven. Even so, Lord Jesus, Amen and Amen!