Mr. Whitefield's SERMON▪ On Acts xxvi. 28. Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian


The Almost Christian

A SERMON Preach'd to a numerous Audience in England.

By George Whitefield, A. B. Of Pembroke-College, OXFORD.

To which is added, A POEM on his Design for GEORGIA.

London Printed: printed at Boston, by T. Fleet, for CHARLES HARRISON, Over-against the Brazen Head in Cornhill. 1739.

[Page 5]

The Almost Christian.

ACTS xxvi. 28.Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.

THESE Words contain the ingenious Con­fession of King Agrippa; which having some reference to what went before, it may not be improper to relate to You the Substance of the pre­ceding Verses, to which these Words are so closely connected.

THE Chapter then, out of which this Text is taken, contains an admirable Account the Great Saint Paul gave of his wonderful Conversion from Judaism to Christianity, when he was called to make his Defence before Festus and another Gentile Governor. Our Blessed Lord had long since foretold, that, When the Son of Man should be lifted up, his Disciples should be brought before Kings for his Name's sake, for a Testimony unto them. And very good was the Design of Infinite Wisdom in thus ordaining it: For Christianity being from the very Beginning a Doctrine of the Cross, the Princes and Rulers of the Earth thought themselves too high to be instructed by such mean Teachers, or too happy to be disturbed by such unwelcome Truths: [Page 6] and therefore would have always continued Strangers to JESUS CHRIST and him Crucified, had not [...] Apostles, by being arraigned as Criminals before them, gained Opportunities of Preaching to them JESUS and the Resurrection. Saint Paul Knew full well that this was the main Reason, why his blessed Master per­mitted his Enemies at this Time to arraign him at a publick Bar: And therefore, in compliance with the Divine Will, thinks it not sufficient barely to make his Defence, but endeavours at the same Time to convert, his Judges. And this He did with such Demonstra­tion of the Spirit, and of Power, that Festus, unwilling to be convinced by the strongest Evidence, cries out with a loud Voice, Paul, much Learning doth make thee mad. To which the brave Apostle (like a true Fol­lower of the Holy JESUS) meekly replies, I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak forth the Words [...] Truth and Soberness. But in all Probability seeing King Agrippa more affected with his Discourse, [...] observing in him an Inclination to know the Truth [...] he applies himself more particularly to Him: The King, says he, knoweth of these Things; before whom also I speak freely; for I am persuaded that none of these Things are hidden from him. And then, that if possible he might compleat his wished-for Conversion, he, with an inimitable Strain of Oratory, addresses himself still more closely,—King Agrippa, Believest thou the Prophets? I know that thou believest them. At which the Passions of the King began to work so strongly, that he was obliged in open Court to own himself affected by the Prisoner's preaching, and inge­niously to cry out, Paul, almost thou persuadest Me to be a Christian.

[Page 7] WHICH Words, taken with the Context, afford us a lively Representation of the different Reception the Doctrine of CHRIST's Ministers, who come in the Power and Spirit of Saint Paul, meets with now-a-days in the Minds of Men. For notwithstanding They like the Great Apostle, speak forth the Words of Truth and Soberness; and with such Energy and Power, that all their Adversaries cannot gainsay or resist: yet too many, with the most Noble Festus before mentioned, being, like him, either too proud to be taught, or too sensual, too careless, or too worldly-minded to live up to their Doctrine,—in order to excuse themselves cry out, that much Learning, much Study, or what is more un­accountable, much Piety, hath made them Mad. And [...], Blessed be GOD! all do not thus disbelieve our Report; yet amongst those many others, who [...] receive the Word, and confess that we speak the Words of Truth and Soberness, there are so Few, who arrive at any higher Degree of Piety than that of Agrippa, or are any farther persuaded than to be Almost Christians,—that I cannot but think it highly necessary to warn my dear Hearers of the Danger of such a State. And therefore from the Words of the Text shall endeavour to consider these three Things:

  • I. First, WHAT is meant by an Almost Christian.
  • II. Secondly, WHAT are the chief Reasons why so few arrive no higher than to be Almost Christians.
  • III. Thirdly, I shall consider the Ineffectualness, Dange [...] ▪ Absurdity, and Uneasiness that attend those [...] but Almost Christians.
  • [Page 8] IV. Fourthly, I shall conclude with a general Ex­hortation, to set all upon striving not only to be Almost but Altogether Christians.

I. AND First, I am to consider What is meant by an Almost Christian.

AN Almost Christian then, if we consider him in re­spect to his Duty to GOD, is one that ha [...]s between two Opinions, that wavers between CHRIST and the World; that would reconcile GOD and Mammom, that is, Light and Darkness, CHRIST and Belial. It is true, He has an Inclination to Religion, but then he is very cautious how he goes too far in it: His false Heart is always crying out Spare thyself, Do thyself, no Harm. He prays indeed, that GOD's Will may be done on Earth as it is in Heaven: but then, notwith­standing He is very partial in his Obedience, and fondly hopes that GOD will not be extreme to mark every Thing that He wilfully does amiss? though an in­spired Apostle has told him, that He that wilfully offends in one Point is guilty of all. Above all He in one that depends much o [...] outward Ordinances, and upon that Account looks upon himself as Righteous, and despises Others, though at the same Time he may be as great a Stranger to the Divine Life as any other Person whatsoever. In short, he is fond of the Form but never experiences the Power of Godliness in his Heart: He goes on Year after Year, feeling and attending on the Means of Grace; but then, like Ph [...] ­roah's Lean Kine, is never the better, but rather the worse for them.

IF you consider Him in respect to his Neighbour. He is one that is justly strict to all, but then this [Page 9] does not proceed from any Love to GOD or Regard [...]o Man, but only out of a Principle of Self-Love▪ because he knows Dishonesty will spoil his Reputa­tion, and consequently hinder his Thriving in the World.

HE is one that depends much on being Negatively Good, and contents himself with the Consciousness of having done no one any Harm; though he reads in the Gospel, that the Unprofitable Servant was cast into [...]uter Darkness, and the Barren Fig-Tree cursed and dried up from the Roots, not for bearing bad, but no Fruit.

HE is no Enemy to Charitable Contributions, if not [...]oo frequently recommended: But then he is quite un­acquainted with the kind Offices of Visiting the Sick and imprisoned, Clothing the Naked, and Relieving the Hun­gry. He thinks that these Things belong only to the Clergy, though his own false Heart tells him, that nothing but Pride keeps him from exercising these Acts of Humility, and that JESUS CHRIST, in the 15th Chapter of Saint Matthew, condemns Persons to everlasting Punishment, not for being Fornicators, Drunkards, or Extortioners, but merely for neglecting these Charitable Offices. When the Son of Man, says our Blessed Lord himself, shall come in his Glory, He shall set the Sheep on his Right Hand, and the Goats on [...]is Left. And then shall He say unto them on his Left hand, Depart from me ye Cursed, into everlasting Fire prepared for the Devil and his Angels! For I was an [...]ngred, and Ye gave me no Meat; I was thirsty, and [...]e gave me no Drink; I was a Stranger, and Ye took [...]e not in; Naked and Ye Cloathed me not; Sick and in [...]rison, and Ye visited me not. Then shall They also say, [Page 10] Lord, When saw we Thee an hungred, or a thirst, or a Stranger, or naked, or sick, or in Prison, and did not minister unto Thee? Then shall be answer them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as Ye have not done it unto one of the least of these my Brethren, ye did it not unto me: And these shall go away into Everlasting Punishment. I thought proper to give You this whole Passage of Scripture at large, because our Saviour lays such a par­ticualar Stress upon it; and yet notwithstanding it is so little regarded, that, were we to judge by the Prac­tice of Christians, one should be tempted to think there were no such Verses in the BIBLE.

BUT, to proceed in our Character of an Almost Christian: If we consider him in respect to Himself; as before we said he was strictly honest to his Neigh­bour, so he is likewise strictly sober in himself: But then both his Honesty and Sobriety proceed from the same Principle of a false Self-love. It is true, He runs not into the same Excess of Riot with other Men; but then it is not out of Obedience to the Laws of GOD, but either because his Constitution will not away with Intemperance; or rather because he is cautious of for­feiting his Reputation, or unfitting himself for temporal Business. But though he is so Prudent as to avoid In­temperance and Excess, for the Reasons before men­tioned; yet he always goes to the Extremity of what is lawful. It is true, He is no Drunkard; but then he has no Christian Self-denial to plead for him. He cannot think our Saviour to be so austere a Master, as to deny us to indulge ourselves in some Particulars: And so by this Means he is kept out of a Sense of true Religion, as much as if he had lived in Debauchery, or any other Crime whatever. As to settling his [Page 11] Principles as well as Practice, He is guided more by the World than by the Word of GOD. As for his Part, he cannot think the Way to Heaven so narrow as some would make it; and therefore considers not so much what the Scripture requires, as what such and such a Man does, or what will best suit his own cor­rupt Inclinations. Upon this account, he is not only very Cautious himself, but likewise very careful of young Converts, whose Faces are set Heavenward; and therefore is always acting the Devil's Part, and bidding them spare themselves, though they are doing no more than what the Scripture strictly requires of them to do: The Consequence of which is, that He suffers not Himself to enter into the Kingdom of GOD, and They that are entering in he hinders.

THUS lives the Almost Christian: Not that I can say, I have fully described him to you; but from these Out-lines and Sketches of his Character, if your Con­sciences have done their proper Offices, and made a particular Application of what has been said to your own Hearts, I cannot but fear that some of you may observe some Features in his Picture, obious as it is, too near resembling your own; and therefore cannot but hope, at the same Time, that you join with the Apostle in the Words immediately following the Text, and wish yourselves not only Almost, but Altogether Christians.

But it is Time for me to proceed to the Second Ge­neral Thing Proposed; namely, to Consider the Reasons why so many are no more than Almost Christians.

AND the first Reason I shall mention is, because so many set out with false Notions of Religion; and tho' [Page 12] they live in a Christian Country, yet know not what Christianity is. This perhaps may be esteemed a hard Saying, but Experience sadly evinces the Truth of it: For some place Religion in being of this or that Com­munion; more in Morality; most in a round of Duties and a Model of Performances; and few, very few, acknowledge it to be, what is really is, a thorough, inward Change of Nature, a Divine Life, a Vital Par­ticipation of JESUS CHRIST, an Union of the Soul with GOD; which the Apostle expresses by saying, He that is joined to the Lord is One Spirit. Hence it happens that so many, even of the most knowing Pro­fessors, when you come to converse with them con­cerning the Essence, the Life, the Soul of Religion, I mean our New Birth in JESUS CHRIST, confess them­selves quite ignorant of the Matter, and cry out with Nicodemus, How can this Thing be! And no wonder then, that so many are only Almost Christians, when so many know not what Christianity is: No marvel so many take up with the Form, when they are quite Strangers to the Power of Godliness; or content them­selves with the Shadow, when they know so little about the Substance of it. And this is one Cause why so many are Almost, why so few are Altogether Christians.

A SECOND Reason that may be assigned why so many are no more than Almost Christians, is a servile Fear of Man: Multitudes there are, and have been, who though awakened to a Sense of the Divine Life, and have tasted and felt the Powers of the World to come; yet, out of a base sinful Fear of being counted singular, or contemned by Men, have suffered all those good Impressions to wear off again. It is true they [Page 13] have some Esteem for JESUS CHRIST; but then, like Nicodemus, they would come to him only by Night: They are willing to serve him; but then they would do it secretly for fear of the Jews: They have a mind to see JESUS, but then they cannot come to him because of the Press, for fear of being laugh'd at, and ridiculed by those with whom they used to sit at Meat. But well did our Saviour prophesy of such Persons, How can ye love me which receive Honour one of another? Alas! have they never read, that the Friendship of this World is Enmity with GOD; and that our Lord him­self has threatned, Whosoever shall be ashamed of me or of my Words, in this wicked and adulterous Generation, of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when He cometh in the Glory of his Father and of his Holy Angels? But no wonder that so many are no more than Almost Christians, since so many love the Praise of Men more than the Honour which cometh of GOD.

A THIRD Reason why so many are no more than Almost Christians, is a reigning Love of Money. This was the pitiable Case of that forward young Man in the Gospel, who came running to our Blessed Lord, and kneeling before him, enquired what He must do to inherit Eternal Life; to which our Blessed Master re­plied, Thou knowest the Commandments, Do not Kill, Do not commit Adultery, Do not Steal: To which the Young Man replied (Oh that every Young Man here present could do so too!) All these have I kept from my Youth. But when our Lord proceeded to tell him, Yet lackest thou One Thing, Go sell all that thou hast and give to the Poor,—he was grieved at that Say­ing, and went away sorrowful, for he had great Possessi­ons! Poor Youth! He had a good Mind to be a [Page 14] Christian, and to inherit Eternal Life, but thought it too dear, if it could be purchased at no less an Ex­pence than of his whole Estate! And thus many, both Young and Old, now-a-days come running to worship our Blessed Lord in publick, and kneel before him in private, and enquire at his Gospel, What they must do to inherit Eternal Life: but when they find they must renounce the Self-Enjoyment of Riches, and forsake All in Affection, to follow Him, They cry, The LORD pardon us in this Thing!—We pray Thee, have us excused.—

BUT is Heaven so small a Trifle in such Men's Esteem, as not to be worth a little gilded Earth? Is Eternal Life so mean a Purchase, as not to deserve the temporary Renunciation of a few transitory Riches? Surely it is? But however inconsistent such a Beha­viour may be, this inordinate Love of Money is too evidently the common and fatal Cause why so many are no more than Almost Christians.

NOR is the reigning Love of Pleasure a less un­common, or a less fatal Cause why so many are no more than Almost Christians. Thousands and Thou­sands there are, who despise Riches, and would wil­lingly be True Disciples of JESUS CHRIST, would parting with their Money make them so; but when they are told that our Blessed Lord has laid it down as an indispensable Condition, that Whosoever will come after him must deny himself;—like the pitiable Young Man before mentioned, they go away sorrowful: For they have too great a Love for sensual Pleasures: They will, like Herod, perhaps send for the Ministers of CHRIST, as He did for John, and hear them glad­ly: But touch them in their Herodias, tell them they [Page 15] must part with such or such a darling Pleasure; and with Wicked Ahab they cry out, Hast thou found us, O our Enemy?—

TELL them of the Necessity of Mortification, Fast­ing, and Self-Denial, and it is as difficult to them to hear, as if you was to bid them cut off a Right Hand or pluck out a Right Eye: They cannot think our Blessed Lord requires so much at their Hands, though an inspired Apostle has commanded us to mortify our Members which are upon the Earth: And He himself, even after he had converted Millions, and was very near arrived to the End of his Race, yet professed that it was his daily Practice to Keep under his Body, and bring it into Subjection, lest after he had preached to Others, He himself should be a Cast-away!

BUT some Men would be wiser than this Great Apostle, and chalk out to us what they falsely imagine an easier Way to Happiness. They would flatter us we may go to Heaven without offering Violence to our sensual Appetites; and enter into the Strait Gate without striving against our carnal Inclinations. And this is another Reason why so many are only Almost, and not Altogether Christians.

THE Fifth and last Reason I shall assign why so many are only Almost Christians, is a Fickleness and Instability of Temper.

IT has been, no doubt, the Misfortune that many a Minister and sincere Christian has met with to weep and wail over Numbers of promising Converts, who seemingly began in the Spirit, but after a while have fell away, and basely ended in the Flesh; and this not for want of right Notions in Religion, nor out of a servile Fear of Man, nor out of a Love of Money or [Page 16] sensual Pleasure, but out of an Instability and Fickle­ness of Temper.

THEY look'd upon Religion merely for Novelty; as something which pleased them for a while, but after their Curiosity was satisfied, they have laid it aside again; Like the Young Man that came to see JESUS with a Linnen Cloth about his naked Body, they have followed him for a Season, but when Temp­tations have come to take hold on them, for want of a little more Resolution, they have been stripped of all their good Intentions, and fled away naked. They at first, like a Tree planted by the Water-side, grew up and flourished for a while; but having no Root in them­selves, no inward Principle of Holiness and Piety, like Jonah's Gourd, were soon dried up, cut down, and withered. Their good Intentions are but too like the violent Motions of the Animal Spirits of a Body newly beheaded, which though impetuous, are not lasting. In short, they set out well in their Journey to Hea­ven, but finding the Way either narrower or longer than they expected,—through an Unsteadiness of Temper, They have made an Eternal Halt, and so returned like the Dog to his Vomit, or like the Sow that was washed to her wallowing in the Mire!

BUT I tremble to pronounce the Fate of such un­stable Professors, who having put their Hands to the Plow, for want of a little more Resolution, shamefully look back. How shall I repeat to them that dreadful Threatning, If any Man draw back, my Soul shall have no Pleasure in him! And again, It is impossible, that is, exceeding difficult at least, for those that have been once enlightned, and have tasted the Good Gift of GOD's Holy Spirit, and the Powers of the World to come, if [Page 17] They should fall away, to be renewed again unto Repen­tance. But notwithstanding the Gospel is so severe against Apostates, yet many that begun well, through a Fickleness of Temper, (Oh that none of us here pre­sent may ever be such) have been by this Means of the Number of those that turn back unto Perdition. And this is the Fifth and last Reason I shall give why so many are only Almost and not Altogether Christians.

BUT you, Brethren, have not so learned CHRIST, GOD forbid that a Fear of a little Contempt, a Love of a little worldly Gain, or a Fondness for a little sen­sual Pleasure, or Want of a steady Resolution, should hinder you from entering into Eternal Life, or make you so sottish as to think you may compound Matters between GOD and your Souls.

III. PROCEED we therefore now to the Third Ge­neral Thing proposed, namely, To consider the Folly of being no more than an Almost Christian.

AND the first Proof I shall give of the Folly of such a Proceeding is,—that it is ineffectual to Salva­tion. It is true, such Men are Almost Good, but almost to hit the Mark is really to miss it. GOD re­quires us to love him with all our Hearts, with all our Souls, and with all our Strength: He loves us too well to admit any Rival; because so far as our Hearts are empty of GOD, so far must they be unhappy. The Devil indeed, like the false Mother that came before Solomon, would have our Hearts divided, as she would have had the Child; but GOD, like the true Mother, will have all or none. My Son, give me thy Heart, thy whole Heart, is the general Call to all: And if we [Page 18] do not perform this Condition, we never can expect the Divine Mercy.

PERSONS may indeed flatter themselves that a par­tial Obedience will serve their Turn▪ but GOD at the Great Day will strike them dead, as he did Anna­nias and Sapphira by the Mouth of his Servant Peter, for pretending to offer him all their Hearts, when they kept back from him the greatest Part. They may perhaps impose upon their fellow Creatures for a while, but He that enabled Ahijah to cry out, Come in, thou Wife of Jeroboam, when she came disguised to enquire about her sick Son, will also discover Them through their most artful Dissimulations, and if their Hearts are not whole with him,—appoint them their Portion with Hypocrites and Unbelievers.

BUT Secondly, What renders an half-way Piety more inexcusable is, that it is not only insufficient to our own Salvation, but also most prejudical to that of Others.

AN Almost Christian is one of the most hurtful Crea­tures in the World: He is a Wolf in Sheep's Cloath­ing; He is one of those false Prophets our Blessed Lord bids us beware of, in his Sermon on the Mount, who would perswade Men, that the Way to Heaven is broader than it really is; and thereby, as it was observed before, enter not into the Kingdom of GOD themselves, and those that are entering in, they hinder. These, these are the Men that turn the World into a lukewarm Laodicean Spirit; that hang out false Lights, and so shipwreck unthinking benighted Souls in their Voyage to the Heaven where they would be. These are they that are greater Enemies to the Cross [Page 19] of CHRIST, than Infidels themselves: For of an Un­believer every one will be aware; but an Almost Christian, through his subtle Hyp [...]oci [...]y, draws away many after him; and therefore must expect to receive the greater Damnation.

BUT Thirdly, As it is most prejudicial to ourselves and hurtful to others, so it is the greatest Piece of Ingratitude we can express towards our Lord and Master JESUS CHRIST. For did He come down from Heaven, and shed his precious Blood, to pur­chase those Hearts of ours, and shall we only give him half of them? Oh how can we say we love Him, when our Hearts are not wholly with him? How can we call Him our Saviour, when we will not endea­vour sincerely to approve ourselves to Him, and so let him see of the Travail of his Soul, and be satisfied!

HAD any of us purchased a Slave at a most expen­sive Rate, that was before involved in the utmost Miseries and Torments, and so must have continued for ever,—had we shut up our Bowels of Com­passion from him; and was this Slave afterwards to grow rebellious, or deny giving us but half his Ser­vice: How, how should we exclaim against his base Ingratitude! And yet this base ungrateful Slave thou art, O Man, who acknowledgest thyself to be re­deemed from infinite unavoidable Misery and Punish­ment, by the Death of JESUS CHRIST, and yet wil [...] not give thyself wholly to Him. But shall we deal with GOD our Maker in a Manner we would not be dealt with by a Man like ourselves? Shall we mete but a [...]ess Measure of Love to our Saviour, than we would have dealt to ourselves? GOD forbid!

[Page 20] IV. No, (that I may come to the last Thing pro­posed, namely, to add a Word or two of Exhortation to be not only Almost, but Altogether Christians) Let us scorn all such base and treacherous Treatment of our King and Saviour, nay our GOD. Let us not take some Pains all our Lives to go to Heaven, and yet plunge ourselves into Hell at last. Let us give GOD our whole Hearts, and no longer halt between two Opinions: If the World be GOD, let us serve That; If Pleasure be a GOD, let us serve That; but if the LORD He be GOD, let us, Oh let us serve Him alone. Alas! Why, why should we stand out any longer? Why should we be so in Love with Slavery, as not wholly to renounce the World, the Flesh, and the Devil, which, like so many spiritual Chains, bind down our Souls, and hinder them from flying up to GOD. Alas! What are we afraid of? Is not GOD able to reward our entire Obedience? If He is, as the Almost Christian's lame Way of serving Him seems to grant,—Why then will we not serve Him entirely? For the same Reason we do so much, why do we not do more? Or do you think that being only half Religious will make you happy, but that going farther will render you mise­rable and uneasy? Alas! this, my Brethren, is De­lusion all over! For what is it but this half Piety, this wavering between GOD and the World, that makes so many that are seemingly well disposed, such utter Strangers to the Comforts of Religion? They chuse just so much of Religion as will disturb them in their Lusts, and follow their Lusts so far as to deprive themselves of the Comforts of Reli­gion. Whereas, on the contrary, would they sincerely [Page 21] leave all in Affection, and give their Hearts wholly to GOD; They would then (and they cannot 'till then) experience the unspeakable Pleasure of having a Mind at Unity with itself, and enjoy such a Peace of GOD, which even in this Life passes all Under­standing, and which they were entire Strangers to before. It is true, if we will devote ourselves en­tirely to GOD, we must meet with Contempt; but then it is because Contempt is necessary to heal our Pride. We must renounce some sensual Pleasure; but then it is because those unfit us for Spiritual ones, which are infinitely better. We must renounce the Love of th [...] World; but then it is that we may be filled with [...]he Love of GOD: And when that has once enlarg [...]d our Hearts, we shall, like Jacob when he served for his beloved Rachael, think nothing too difficult to undergo, no Hardships too tedious to en­dure, because of the Love we shall then have for our dear Redeemer. Thus easy, thus delightful will be the Ways of GOD even in this Life: But when once we throw off these Bodies, and our Souls are filled with all the Fulness of GOD, Oh! What Heart can conceive, What Tongue can express, with what unspeakable Joy and Consolation we shall then look back on our past sincere and hearty Services, which have procured us so invaluable a Reward! Think you then, my dear Hearers, we shall repent we had done too much; or rather think you not we shall be ashamed that we did no more; and blush we were so backward to give up All to GOD, when he in­tended hereafter to give us Himself?—Let me therefore, to conclude, exhort you, my Brethren, to have always the Unspeakable Reward of an entire [Page 22] Obedience set before you; and think withal, that [...] Degree of Holiness you neglect, every Instance of Piety you pass by, is a Jewel taken out of your Crown, a Degree of Blessedness lost in the Vision of GOD. Oh! do but always think and act thus, and you will no longer be labouring to compound Mat­ters between GOD and the World; but on the con­trary, be daily endeavouring to give up your selves more and more unto Him; you will be always Watching, always Praying, always aspiring after far­ther Degrees of Purity, and Love, and so consequent­ly always preparing yourselves for a fuller Light and Enjoyment of that GOD, in whose Presence there is Fulness of Joy, and at whose Right Hand there are Pleasures for evermore! Amen! Amen!

[Page 23]

To the Rev. Mr. WHITEFIELD, On his Design for GEORGIA.

HOW great, How just thy Zeal, advent'rous Youth!
To spread in Heathen Climes, the Light of Truth!
Go lov'd of Heaven! with every Grace refin'd,
Inform, enrapture each dark Indian's Mind;
Grateful, as when to Realms long hid from Day,
The chearful Dawn fore-shews the solar Ray.
How great thy Charity! whose large Embrace
(Intends th'eternal Weal of all thy Race)
Prompts thee, the Rage of Winds and Seas to scorn,
[...]'effect the Work for which thy Soul was born.
What Multitudes, whom Pagan Dreams deceive,
shall, when they hear thy pow'rful Voice, believe?
Oh Georgia's Shore thy WESTLEY shall attend,
To hail the wish'd Arrival of his Friend.
With Joy, the promis'd Harvest he surveys,
And to his Lord for faithful Lab'rers prays:
Tho' crowded Temples here would plead thy stay,
Yet haste, bless'd Prophet on thy destin'd Way.
Be gentle, Winds! and breathe an easy Breeze!
Be clear, ye Skies! and smooth, ye flowing Seas!
From Heaven, ye guardian Angels! swift descend,
Delighted, his blest Mission to attend;
Which shall from Satan's Pow'r whole Nations free,
While half the World to JESUS bow the Knee.
Long as Savannah, peaceful Stream! shall glide,
Your Worth renown'd shall be extended wide:
Children, as yet unborn, shall bless your Lore,
Who thus, to save them, left your Native Shore▪
Th' Apostles thus, with ardent Zeal inspir'd,
To gain all Nations for their LORD desir'd:
They measur'd Seas, a Life laborious knew,
And num'rous Converts to their MASTER drew;
Whose Halleluja's on the aetherial Plains,
Rise scarce beneath the bright Seraphic Straing▪

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.