George Whitefield Sermon 32

A Penitent Heart, the best New Year's Gift.

Luke 13:3, "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."

When we consider how heinous and aggravating our offenses are, in the

sight of a just and holy God, that they bring down his wrath upon our

heads, and occasion us to live under his indignation; how ought we thereby

to be deterred from evil, or at least engaged to study to repent thereof,

and not commit the same again; but man is so thoughtless of an eternal

state, and has so little consideration of the welfare of his immortal soul,

that he can sin without any thought that he must give an account of his

actions at the day of judgment; or if he, at times, has any reflections on

his behavior, they do not drive him to true repentance: he may, for a short

time, refrain from falling into some gross sins which he had lately

committed; but then, when the temptation comes again with power, he is

carried away with the lust; and thus he goes on promising and resolving,

and in breaking both his resolutions and his promises, as fast almost as he

has made them. This is highly offensive to God, it is mocking of him. My

brethren, when grace is given us to repent truly, we shall turn wholly unto

God; and let me beseech you to repent of your sins, for the time is

hastening when you will have neither time nor call to repent; there is none

in the grave, whither we are going; but do not be afraid, for God often

receives the greatest sinner to mercy through the merits of Christ Jesus;

this magnifies the riches of his free grace; and should be an encouragement

for you, who are great and notorious sinners, to repent, for he shall have

mercy upon you, if you through Christ return unto him.

St. Paul was an eminent instance of this; he speaks of himself as "the

chief of sinners," and he declareth how God showed mercy unto him. Christ

loves to show mercy unto sinners, and if you repent, he will have mercy

upon you. But as no word is more mistaken than that of repentance, I shall

I. Show you what the nature of repentance is.

II. Consider the several parts and causes of repentance.

III. I shall give you some reasons, why repentance is necessary to

salvation. And

IV. Exhort all of you, high and low, rich and poor, one with another,

to endeavor after repentance.

I. Repentance, my brethren, in the first place, as to its nature, is

the carnal and corrupt disposition of men being changed into a renewed and

sanctified disposition. A man that has truly repented, is truly

regenerated: it is a different word for one and the same thing; the motley

mixture of the beast and devil is gone; there is, as it were, a new

creation wrought in your hearts. If your repentance is true, you are

renewed throughout, both in soul and body; your understandings are

enlightened with the knowledge of God, and of the Lord Jesus Christ; and

your wills, which were stubborn, obstinate, and hated all good, are

obedient and comformable to the will of God. Indeed, our deists tell us,

that man now has a free will to do good, to love God, and to repent when he

will; but indeed, there is no free will an any of you, but to sin; nay,

your free-will leads you so far, that you would, if possible, pull God from

is throne. This may, perhaps, offend the Pharisees; but (it is the truth in

Christ which I speak, I lie not) every man by his own natural will hates

God; but when he is turned unto the Lord, by evangelical repentance, then

his will is changed; then your consciences, nor hardened and benumbed,

shall be quickened and awakened; then your had hearts shall be melted, and

your unruly affections shall be crucified. Thus, by that repentance, the

whole soul will be changed, you will have new inclinations, new desires,

and new habits.

You may see how vile we are by nature, that it requires so great a

change to be made upon us, to recover us from this state of sin, and

therefore the consideration of our dreadful state should make us earnest

with God to change our condition, and that change, true repentance implies;

therefore, my brethren, consider how hateful your ways are to God, while

you continue in sin; how abominable you are unto him, while you run into

evil: you cannot be said to be Christians while you are hating Christ, and

his people; true repentance will entirely change you, the bias of your

souls will be changed, then you will delight in God, in Christ, in his law,

and in his people; you will then believe that there is such a thing as

inward feeling, though now you may esteem it madness and enthusiasm; you

will not then be ashamed of becoming fools for Christ's sake; you will not

regard being scoffed at; it is not then their pointing after you and

crying, "Here comes another troop of his followers," will dismay you; no,

your soul will abhor such proceedings, the ways of Christ and his people

will be your whole delight.

It is the nature of such repentance to make a change, and the greatest

change as can be made here in the soul. Thus you see what repentance

implies in its own nature; it denotes an abhorrence of all evil, and a

forsaking of it. I shall now proceed

SECONDLY, To show you the parts of it, and the causes concurring


The parts are, sorrow, hatred, and an entire forsaking of sin.

Our sorrow and grief for sin, must not spring merely from a fear of

wrath; for if we have no other ground but that, it proceeds from self-love,

and not from any love to God; and if love to God is not the chief motive of

your repentance, your repentance is in vain, and not to be esteemed true.

Many, in our days, think their crying, God forgive me! or, Lord have

mercy upon me! or, I am sorry for it! Is repentance, and that God will

esteem it as such; but, indeed, they are mistaken; it is not the drawing

near to God with our lips, while our hearts are far from him, which he

regards. Repentance does not come by fits and starts; no, it is one

continued act of our lives; for as we daily commit sin, so we need a daily

repentance before God, to obtain forgiveness for those sins we commit.

It is not your confessing yourselves to be sinners, it is not knowing

your condition to be sad and deplorable, so long as you continue in your

sins; your care and endeavors should be, to get the heart thoroughly

affected therewith, that you may feel yourselves to be lost and undone

creatures, for Christ came to save such as are lost; and if you are enabled

to groan under the weight and burden of your sins, then Christ will ease

you and give you rest.

And till you are thus sensible of your misery and lost condition, you

are a servant to sin and to your lusts, under the bondage and command of

Satan, doing his drudgery: thou are under the curse of God, and liable to

his judgment. Consider how dreadful thy state will be at death, and after

the day of judgment, when thou wilt be exposed to such miseries which the

ear hath not heard, neither can the heart conceive, and that to all

eternity, if you die impenitent.

But I hope better things of you, my brethren, though I thus speak, and

things which accompany salvation; go to God in prayer, and be earnest with

him, that by his Spirit he would convince you of your miserable condition

by nature, and make you truly sensible thereof. O be humbled, be humbled, I

beseech you, for your sins. Having spent so many years in sinning, what

canst thou do less, than be concerned to spend some hours in mourning and

sorrowing for the same, and be humbled before God.

Look back into your lives, call to mind thy sins, as many as possible

thou canst, the sins of thy youth, as well as of thy riper years; see how

you have departed from a gracious Father, and wandered in the way of

wickedness, in which you have lost yourselves, the favor of God, the

comforts of his Spirit, and the peace of your own consciences; then go and

beg pardon of the Lord, through the blood of the Lamb, for the evil thou

hast committed, and for the good thou hast omitted. Consider, likewise, the

heinousness of thy sins; see what very aggravating circumstances thy sins

are attended with, how you have abused the patience of God, which should

have led you to repentance; and when thou findest thy heart hard, beg of

God to soften it, cry mightily unto him, and he will take away thy stony

heart, and give thee a heart of flesh.

Resolve to leave all thy sinful lusts and pleasures; renounce,

forsake, and abhor thy old sinful course of life, and serve God in holiness

and righteousness all the remaining part of life. If you lament and bewail

past sins, and do not forsake them, your repentance is in vain, you are

mocking of God, and deceiving your own soul; you must put off the old man

with his deeds, before you can put on the new man, Christ Jesus.

You, therefore, who have been swearers and cursers, you, who have been

harlots and drunkards, you, who have been thieves and robbers, you, who

have hitherto followed the sinful pleasures and diversions of life, let me

beseech you, by the mercies of God in Christ Jesus, that you would no

longer continue therein, but that you would forsake your evil ways, and

turn unto the Lord, for he waiteth to be gracious unto you, he is ready, he

is willing to pardon you of all your sins; but do not expect Christ to

pardon you of sin, when you run into it, and will not abstain from

complying with the temptations; but if you will be persuaded to abstain

from evil and choose the good, to return unto the Lord, and repent of your

wickedness, he hath promised he will abundantly pardon you, he will heal

your back-slidings, and will love you freely. Resolve now this day to have

done with your sins for ever; let your old ways and you be separated; you

must resolve against it, for there can be no true repentance without a

resolution to forsake it. Resolve for Christ, resolve against the devil and

his works, and go on fighting the Lord's battles against the devil and his

emissaries; attack him in the strongest holds he has, fight him as men, as

Christians, and you will soon find him to be a coward; resist him and he

will fly from you. Resolve, through grace, to do this, and your repentance

is half done; but then take care that you do not ground your resolutions on

your own strength, but in the strength of the Lord Jesus Christ; he is the

way, he is the truth, and he is the life; without his assistance you can do

nothing, but through his grace strengthening thee, thou wilt be enabled to

do all things; and the more ready Christ will be to help thee; and what can

all the men of the world do to thee when Christ is for thee? Thou wilt not

regard what they say against thee, for you will have the testimony of a

good conscience.

Resolve to cast thyself at the feet of Christ in subjection to him,

and throw thyself into the arms of Christ for salvation by him. Consider,

my dear brethren, the many invitations he has given you to come unto him,

to be saved by him; "God has laid on him the iniquity of us all." O let me

prevail with you, above all things, to make choice of the Lord Jesus

Christ; resign yourselves unto him, take him, O take him, upon his own

terms, and whosoever thou art, how great a sinner soever you have been,

this evening, in the name of the great God, do I offer Jesus Christ unto

thee; as thou valuest thy life and soul refuse him not, but stir up thyself

to accept of the Lord Jesus, take him wholly as he is, for he will be

applied wholly unto you, or else not at all. Jesus Christ must be your

whole wisdom, Jesus Christ must be your whole righteousness, Jesus Christ

must be your whole sanctification, or he will never be your eternal


What though you have been ever so wicked and profligate, yet, if you

will not abandon your sins, and turn unto the Lord Jesus Christ, thou shalt

have him given to thee, and all thy sins shall be freely forgiven. O why

will you neglect the great work of your repentance? Do not defer the doing

of it one day longer, but today, even now, take that Christ who is freely

offered to you.

Now as to the causes hereof, the first cause is God; he is the author,

"we are born of God," God hath begotten us, even God, the Father of our

Lord Jesus Christ; it is he that stirs us up to will and to do of his own

good pleasure: and another cause is, God's free grace; it is owing to the

"riches of his free grace," my brethren, that we have been prevented from

going down to hell long ago; it is because the compassions of the Lord fail

not, they are new every morning, and fresh every evening.

Sometimes the instruments are very unlikely: a poor despised minister,

or member of Jesus Christ, may, by the power of God, be made an instrument

in the hands of God, of bringing you to true evangelical repentance; and

this may be done to show, that the power is not in men, but that it is

entirely owing to the good pleasure of God; and if there has been any good

done among many of you, by preaching the word, as I trust there has, though

it was preached in a field, if God has met and owned us, and blessed his

word, though preached by an enthusiastic babbler, a boy, a madman; I do

rejoice, yea, and will rejoice, let foes say what they will. I shall now

THIRDLY, Show the reasons why repentance is necessary to salvation.

And this, my brethren, is plainly revealed to us in the word of God,

"The soul that does not repent and turn unto the Lord, shall die in its

sins, and their blood shall be required at their own heads." It is

necessary, as we have sinned, we should repent; for a holy God could not,

nor ever can, or will, admit any thing that is unholy into his presence:

this is the beginning of grace in the soul; there must be a change in heart

and life, before there can be a dwelling with a holy God. You cannot love

sin and God too, you cannot love God and mammon; no unclean person can

stand in the presence of God, it is contrary to the holiness of his nature;

there is a contrariety between the holy nature of God, and the unholy

nature of carnal and unregenerate men.

What communication can there be between a sinless God, and creatures

full of sin, between a pure God and impure creatures? If you were to be

admitted into heaven with your present tempers, in your impenitent

condition, heaven itself would be a hell to you; the songs of angels would

be as enthusiasm, and would be intolerable to you; therefore you must have

these tempers changed, you must be holy, as God is: he must be your God

here, and you must be his people, or you will never dwell together to all

eternity. If you hate the ways of God, and cannot spend an hour in his

service, how will you think to be easy, to all eternity, in singing praises

to him that sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb for ever.

And this is to be the employment, my brethren, of all those who are

admitted into this glorious place, where neither sin nor sinner is

admitted, where no scoffer ever can come, without repentance from his evil

ways, a turning unto God, and a cleaving unto him: this must be done,

before any can be admitted into the glorious mansions of God, which are

prepared for all that love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity and truth:

repent ye then of all your sins. O my dear brethren, it makes my blood run

cold, in thinking that any of you should not be admitted into the glorious

mansions above. O that it was in my power, I would place all of you, yea,

you my scoffing brethren, and the greatest enemy I have on earth, at the

right hand of Jesus; but this I cannot do: however, I advise and exhort

you, with all love and tenderness, to make Jesus your refuge; fly to him

for relief; Jesus died to save such as you; he is full of compassion; and

if you go to him, as poor, lost, undone sinners, Jesus will give you his

spirit; you shall live and reign, and reign and live, you shall love and

live, and live and love with this Jesus to all eternity.

I am, FORTHLY, to exhort all of you, high and low, rich and poor, one

with another, to repent of all your sins, and turn unto the Lord.

And I shall speak to each of you; for you have either repented, or you

have not, you are believers in Christ Jesus, or unbelievers.

And first, you who never have truly repented of your sins, and never

have truly forsaken your lusts, be not offended if I speak plain to you;

for it is love, love to your souls, that constrains me to speak: I shall

lay before you your danger, and the misery to which you are exposed, while

you remain impenitent in sin. And O that this may be a means of making you

fly to Christ for pardon and forgiveness.

While thy sins are not repented of, thou art in danger of death, and

if you should die, you would perish for ever. There is no hope of any who

live and die in their sins, but that they will dwell with devils and damned

spirits to all eternity. And how do we know we shall live much longer: we

are not sure of seeing our own habitations this night in safety. What mean

ye then being at ease and pleasure while your sins are not pardoned. As

sure as ever the word of God is true, if you die in that condition, you are

shut out of all hope and mercy for ever, and shall pass into ceaseless and

endless misery.

What is all thy pleasures and diversions worth? They last but for a

moment, they are of no worth, and but of short continuance. And sure it

must be gross folly, eagerly to pursue those sinful lusts and pleasures,

which war against the soul, which tend to harden the heart, and keep us

from closing with the Lord Jesus; indeed, these are destructive o four

peace here, and without repentance, will be of our peace hereafter.

O the folly and madness of this sensual world; sure if there were

nothing in sin but present slavery, it would keep an ingenuous spirit from

it. But to do the devils drudgery! And if we do that, we shall have his

wages, which is eternal death and condemnation; O consider this, my guilty

brethren, you that think it no crime to swear, whore, drink, or scoff and

jeer at the people of God; consider how your voices will then be changed,

and you that counted their lives madness, and their end without honor,

shall howl and lament at your own madness and filly, that should bring you

to so much woe and distress. Then you will lament and bemoan your own

dreadful condition; but it will be of no signification: for he that is not

your merciful Savior, will then become your inexorable Judge. Now he is

easy to be entreated; but then, all your tears and prayers will be in vain:

for God hath allotted to every man a day of grace, a time of repentance,

which if he doth not improve, nut neglects and despises the means which are

offered to him, he cannot be saved.

Consider, therefore, while you are going on in a course of sin and

unrighteousness, I beseech you, my brethren, to think of the consequence

that will attend your thus mispending your precious time; your souls are

worth being concerned about: for if you can enjoy all the pleasures and

diversions of life, at death you must leave them; that will put an end to

all your worldly concerns. And will it not be very deplorable, to have your

good things here, all your earthly, sensual, devilish pleasures, which you

have been so much taken up with, all over: and the thought for how trifling

a concern thou hast lost eternal welfare, will gnaw thy very soul.

Thy wealth and grandeur will stand in no stead; thou canst carry

nothing of it into the other world: then the consideration of thy

uncharitableness to the poor, and the ways thou didst take to obtain thy

wealth, will be a very hell unto thee.

Now you enjoy the means of grace, as the preaching of his word,

prayer, and sacraments; and God has sent his ministers out into the fields

and highways, to invite, to woo you to come in; but they are tiresome to

thee, thou hadst rather be at thy pleasures: ere long, my brethren, they

will be over, and you will be no more troubled with them; but then thou

wouldst give ten thousand worlds for one moment of that merciful time of

grace which thou hast abused; then you will cry for a drop of that precious

blood which now you trample under your feet; then you will wish for one

more offer of mercy, for Christ and his free grace to be offered to you

again; but your crying will be in vain: for as you would not repent here,

God will not give you an opportunity to repent hereafter: if you would not

in Christ's time, you shall not in your own. In what a dreadful condition

will you then be? What horror and astonishment will possess your souls?

Then all thy lies and oaths, thy scoffs and jeers at the people of God, all

thy filthy and unclean thoughts and actions, thy mispent time in balls,

plays, and assemblies, thy spending whole evenings at cards, dice, and

masquerades, thy frequenting of taverns and alehouses, thy worldliness,

covetousness, and thy uncharitableness, will be brought at once to thy

remembrance, and at once charged upon thy guilty soul. And how can you bear

the thoughts of these things? Indeed I am full of compassion towards you,

to think that this should be the portion of any who now hear me. These are

truths, though awful ones; my brethren, these are the truths of the gospel;

and if there was not a necessity for thus speaking, I would willingly

forbear: for it is no pleasing subject to me, any more than it is to you;

but it is my duty to show you the dreadful consequences of continuing in

sin. I am only now acting the part of a skillful surgeon, that searches a

wound before he heals it: I would show you your danger first, that

deliverance may be the more readily accepted by you.

Consider, that however you may be for putting the evil day away from

you, and are now striving to hide your sins, at the day of judgment there

shall be a full discovery of all; hidden things on that day shall be

brought to light; and after all thy sins have been revealed to the whole

world, then you must depart into everlasting fire in hell, which will not

be quenched night and day; it will be without intermission, without end. O

then, what stupidity and senselessness hath possessed your hearts, that you

are not frighted from your sins. The fear of Nebuchadnezzar's fiery

furnace, made men do any thing to avoid it; and shall not an everlasting

fire make men, make you, do any thing to avoid it?

O that this would awaken and cause you to humble yourselves for your

sins, and to beg pardon for them, that you might find mercy in the Lord.

Do not go away, let not the devil hurry you away before the sermon is

over; but stay, and you shall have a Jesus offered to you, who has made

full satisfaction for all your sins.

Let me beseech you to cast away your transgressions, to strive against

sin, to watch against it, and to beg power and strength from Christ, to

keep down the power of those lusts that hurry you on in your sinful ways.

But if you will not do any of these things, if you are resolved to sin

on, you must expect eternal death to be the consequence; you must expect to

be seized with horror and trembling, with horror and amazement, to hear the

dreadful sentence of condemnation pronounced against you: and then you will

run and call upon the mountains to fall on you, to hide you from the Lord,

and from the fierce anger of his wrath.

Had you now a heart to turn from your sins unto the living God, by

true and unfeigned repentance, and to pray unto him for mercy, in and

through the merits of Jesus Christ, there were hope; but at the day of

judgment, thy prayers and tears will be of no signification; they will be

of no service to thee, the Judge will not be entreated by thee: as you

would not hearken to him when he called unto thee, but despised both him

and his ministers, and would not leave your iniquities; therefore, on that

day he will not be entreated, notwithstanding all thy cries and tears; for

God himself hath said, "Because I have called, and you refused; I have

stretched out my hand, and no man regarded, but ye have set at nought all

my counsel, and would have one of my reproof; I will also laugh at your

calamity, and mock when your fear cometh as desolation, and your

destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon

you, then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer, they shall seek

me early, but they shall not find me."

Now you may call this enthusiasm and madness; but at that great day,

if you repent not of your sins here, you will find, by woeful experience,

that your own ways were madness indeed; but God forbid it should be left

undone till then: seek after the Lord while he is to be found; call upon

him while he is near, and you shall find mercy: repent this hour, and

Christ will joyfully receive you.

What say you? Must I go to my Master, and tell him you will not come

unto him, and will have none of his counsels? No; do not send me on so

unhappy an errand: I cannot, I will not tell him any such thing. Shall not

I rather tell him, you are willing to repent and to be converted, to become

new men, and take up a new course of life: this is the only wise resolution

you can make. Let me tell my Master, that you will come unto, and will wait

upon him: for if you do not, it will be your ruin in time, and to eternity.

You will at death wish you had lived the life of the righteous, that

you might have died his death. Be advised then; consider what is before

you, Christ and the world, holiness and sin, life and death: choose now for

yourselves; let your choice be made immediately, and let that choice be

your dying choice.

If you would not choose to die in your sins, to die drunkards, to die

adulterers, to die swearers and scoffers, &c. live not out this night in

the dreadful condition you are in. Some of you, it may be, may say, You

have not power, you have no strength: but have not you been wanting to

yourselves in such things that were within your power? Have you not as much

power to go to hear a sermon, as to go into a playhouse, or to a ball, or

masquerade? You have as much power to read the Bible, as to read plays,

novels, and romances; and you can associate as well with the godly, as with

the wicked and profane: this is but an idle excuse, my brethren, to go on

in your sins: and if you will be found in the means of grace, Christ hath

promised he will give you strength. While Peter was preaching, the Holy

Ghost fell on all that heard the word: how then should you be found in the

way of your duty? Jesus Christ will then give thee strength; he will put

his Spirit within thee; thou shalt find he will be thy wisdom, thy

righteousness, thy sanctification, and thy redemption. Do but try what a

gracious, a kind, and loving Master he is; he will be a help to thee in all

thy burdens: and if the burden of sin is on thy soul, go to him as weary

and heavy laden, and thou shalt find rest.

Do not say, that your sins are too many and too great to expect to

find mercy! No, be they ever so many, or ever so great, the blood of the

Lord Jesus Christ will cleanse you from all sins. God's grace, my brethren,

is free, rich, and sovereign. Manassah was a great sinner, and yet he was

pardoned; Zaccheus was gone far from God, and went out to see Christ, with

no other view but to satisfy his curiosity; and yet Jesus met him, and

brought salvation to his house. Manassah was an idolater and murderer, yet

her received mercy; the other was an oppressor and extortioner, who had

gotten riches by fraud and deceit, and by grinding the faces of the poor:

so did Matthew too, and yet they found mercy.

Have you been blasphemers and persecutors of the saints and servants

of God? So was St. Paul, yet her received mercy: Have you been common

harlots, filthy and unclean persons? So was Mary Magdalene, and yet she

received mercy. Hast thou been a thief? The thief upon the cross found

mercy. I despair of none of you, however vile and profligate you have been;

I say, I despair of none of you, especially when God has had mercy on such

a wretch as I am.

Remember the poor Publican, how he found favor with God, when the

proud, self-conceited Pharisee, who, puffed up with his own righteousness,

was rejected. And if you will go to Jesus, as the poor Publican did, under

a sense of your own unworthiness, you shall find favor as he did: there is

virtue enough in the blood of Jesus, to pardon greater sinners than he has

yet pardoned. Then be not discouraged, but come unto Jesus, and you will

find him ready to help in all thy distresses, to lead thee into all truth,

to bring thee from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God.

Do not let the devil deceive you, by telling you, that then all your

delights and pleasures will be over: No; this is so far from depriving you

of all pleasure, that it is an inlet unto unspeakable delights, peculiar to

all who are truly regenerated. The new birth is the very beginning of a

life of peace and comfort; and the greatest pleasantness is to be found in

the ways of holiness.

Solomon, who had experience of all other pleasures, yet saith of the

ways of godliness, "That all her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her

paths are paths of peace." Then sure you will not let the devil deceive

you; it is all he wants, it is that he aims at, to make religion appear to

be melancholy, miserable, and enthusiastic: but let him say what he will,

give not ear to him, regard him not, for he always was and will be a liar.

What words, what entreaties shall I use, to make you come unto the

Lord Jesus Christ? The little love I have experienced since I have been

brought from sin to God, is so great, that I would not be in a natural

state for ten thousand worlds; and what I have felt is but little to what I

hope to feel; but that little love which I have experienced, is a

sufficient buoy against all the storms and tempests of this boisterous

world: and let men and devils do their worst, I rejoice in the Lord Jesus,

yea, and I will rejoice.

And O if you repent and come to Jesus, I would rejoice on your

accounts too; and we should rejoice together to all eternity, when once

passed on the other side of the grave. O come to Jesus. The arms of Jesus

Christ will embrace you; he will sash away all your sins in his blood, and

will love you freely.

Come, I beseech you to come unto Jesus Christ. O that my words would

pierce to the very soul! O that Jesus Christ was formed in you! O that you

would turn to the Lord Jesus Christ, that he might have mercy upon you! I

would speak till midnight, yea, I would speak till I could speak no more,

so it might be a means to bring you to Jesus; let the Lord Jesus but enter

your souls, and you shall find peace which the world can neither give nor

take away. There is mercy for the greatest sinner amongst you; go unto the

Lord as sinners, helpless and undone without it, and then you shall find

comfort in your souls, and be admitted at last amongst those who sing

praises unto the Lord to all eternity.

Now, my brethren, let me speak a word of exhortation to those of you,

who are already brought to the Lord Jesus, who are born again, who do

belong to God, to whom it has been given to repent of your sins, and are

cleansed from their guilt; and that is, be thankful to God for his mercies

towards you. O admire the grace of God, and bless his name forever! Are you

made alive in Christ Jesus? Is the life of God begun in your souls, and

have you the evidence thereof? Be thankful for this unspeakable mercy to

you: never forget to speak of his mercy. And as your life was formerly

devoted to sin, and to the pleasures of the world, let it now be spent

wholly in the ways of God; and O embrace every opportunity of doing and of

receiving good. Whatsoever opportunity you have, do it vigorously, do it

speedily, do not defer it. If thou seest one hurrying on to destruction,

use the utmost of thy endeavor to stop him in his course; show him the need

he has of repentance, and that without it he is lost for ever; do not

regard his despising of you; still go on to show him his danger: and if thy

friends mock and despise, do not let that discourage you; hold on, hold out

to the end, so you shall have a crown which is immutable, and that fadeth

not away.

Let the love of Jesus to you, keep you also humble; do not be high-

minded, keep close unto the Lord, observe the rules which the Lord Jesus

Christ has given in his word, and let not the instructions be lost which

you which you are capable of giving. O consider what reason you have to be

thankful to the Lord Jesus Christ for giving you that repentance you

yourselves had need of: a repentance which worketh by love. Now you find

more pleasure in walking with God one hour, than in all your former carnal

delights, and all the pleasures of sin. O! the joy you feel in your own

souls, which all the men of the world, and all the devils in hell, though

they were to combine together, could not destroy. Then fear not their wrath

or malice, for through many tribulations we must enter into glory.

A few days, or weeks, or years more, and then you will be beyond their

reach, you will be in the heavenly Jerusalem; their is all harmony and

love, there is all joy and delight; there the weary soul is at rest.

Now we have many enemies, but at death they are all lost; they cannot

follow us beyond the grave: and this is a great encouragement to us not to

regard the scoffs and jeers of the men of this world.

O let the love of Jesus be in your thoughts continually. It was his

dying that brought you life; it was his crucifixion that paid the

satisfaction for your sins; his death, burial, and resurrection that

completed the work; and he is now in heaven, interceding for you at the

right hand of his Father. And can you do too much for the Lord Jesus

Christ, who has done so much for you? His love to you is unfathomable. O

the height, the depth, the length and breadth of this love, that brought

the King of glory from his throne, to die for such rebels as we are, when

we had acted so unkindly against him, and deserved nothing but eternal

damnation. He came down and took our nature upon him; he was made of flesh

and dwelt among us; he was put to death on our account; he paid our ransom:

surely this should make us rejoice in him, and not do as too many do, and

as we ourselves have too often, crucify this Jesus afresh. Let us do all we

can, my dear brethren, to honor him.

Come, all of you, come, and behold him stretched out for you; see his

hands and feet nailed to the cross. O come, come, my brethren, and nail

your sins thereto; come, come and see his side pierced; there is a fountain

open for sin, and for uncleanness: O wash, wash and be clean: come and see

his head crowned with thorns, and all for you. Can you think of a panting,

bleeding, dying Jesus, and not be filled with pity towards him? He

underwent all this for you. Come unto him by faith; lay hold on him: there

is mercy for every soul of you that will come unto him. Then do not delay;

fly unto the arms of this Jesus, and you shall be made clean in his blood.

O what shall I say unto you to make you come to Jesus: I have showed

you the dreadful consequence of not repenting of your sins: and if after

all I have said, you are resolved to persist, your blood will be required

at your own heads; but I hope better things of you, and things that

accompany salvation. Let me beg of you to pray in good earnest for the

grace of repentance. I may never see your faces again; but at the day of

judgment I will meet you: there you will either bless God that ever you

were moved to repentance; or else this sermon, though in a field, will be

as a swift witness against you. Repent, repent therefore, my dear brethren,

as John the Baptist, and as our blessed Redeemer himself earnestly

exhorted, and turn from your evil ways, and the Lord will have mercy on


Show them, O Father, wherein they have offended thee; make them to see

their own vileness, and that they are lost and undone without true

repentance; and O give them that repentance, we beseech of thee, that they

may turn from sin unto thee the living and true God. These things, and

whatever else thou seest needful for us, we entreat that thou wouldst

bestow upon us, on account of what the dear Jesus Christ has done and

suffered; to whom, with Thyself, and holy Spirit, three persons, and one

God, be ascribed, as is most due, all power, glory, might, majesty, and

dominion, now, henceforth, and for evermore. Amen.