The Prodigal Son.

A LECTURE, Preached on FRYDAY Afternoon, September 11th 1741. IN THE High-Church-Yard OF GLASGOW, Upon LUKE XV.

By the Reverend Mr. GEORGE WHITEFIELD,

Taken from his own Mouth, and published at the earnest Desire of many of the Hearers.

Note. The Substance of the following LECTURE was delivered on the Common in Boston, Sept. 27. 1740.

BOSTON: Printed & Sold by S. Kneeland and T. Green, in Queenstreet over against the Prison. 1742.

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The Prodigal Son.

LUKE xv. from the 11th Verse to the End.

THE Apostle Paul informs us, that it is a faithful Saying, and worthy of all Accepta­tion, that Jesus Christ came into the World to save poor Sinners. Our dear Redeemer had no other End in coming from Heaven to us, but to place poor Sinners in Heaven again: He led a pain­ful persecuted Life, and died an ignominious Death, for our Sake. As this was the End of his Coming, so it was the End of his Preaching: He was conti­nually sounding the glad Tydings of Salvation to poor convinced Sinners, giving all Encouragement from their Misery, and at the same Time denounc­ing Wrath against those who trusted in themselves that they were Righteous, and would not come out of themselves, and lay hold on his Righteousness. For this Purpose the blessed JESUS put forth many instructing Parables; no less than three in the Chap­ter out of which the Words read are taken.

Methinks of all the Parables that JESUS ever put forth, that which I have now chosen as the Subject of your present Meditation, if it be lawful to com­pare spiritual Things with spiritual, excels other Pa­rables as one Star differs from another in Glory. I think it would be an Impeachment on your Judg­ment, I should think I were acting contrary to Charity, especially in your Country, where I hope you are better acquainted with your Bibles than some others are, than to think you need to be informed to what Parable the Text belongs: It belongs to that Soul-comforting, [Page 3] Soul-reviving Parable of the Prodigal Son, wherein the LORD JESUS CHRIST displays the Compassion of GOD to poor returning Sinners, in the most lively Colours. I pray GOD by his Holy SPIRIT, may write it upon the Table of all your Hearts.

I intend, then, at this Time to make some Re­marks upon the whole Parable, and then shall con­clude with an Exhortation to you all to come to the dear REDEEMER. And I pray GOD that Joy may be in Heaven this Afternoon over some of you, re­penting and coming home to GOD.

First then, To make some Remarks on the Pa­rable itself. I begin at the 11th Verse. And he said, JESUS said, A certain Man had two Sons. By two Sons you are here to understand two different Characters: The Publicans, who feeling their Misery were willing to lay hold on CHRIST; and the ca­villing carping Pharisees, who trusting in themselves that they were righteous, despised the Righteousness of JESUS CHRIST, despised others, crying out with the self-conceited Hypocrites, Come not near me, for I am holier than you. I shall first touch at the younger Son.

The younger said to his Father, Father give me the Portion of Goods that falleth to me. We may suppose his Father was a holy pious Man; one that had taken up Joshua's Resolution; Whatever others might do, as for him and his House, they would serve the LORD. We may suppose he kept up Family-Religion, took Care to breed up his Children in the Nurture and Admonition of the LORD: But his younger Son, like some of our young Gentlemen, could not bear so much Restraint upon him, by an [Page 4] old doting enthusiastick Father; he could not bear to have Religion always talk'd of in the Family; he thought his Father righteous over-much; impa­tient of religious Restraints; he desires to be left to his own Heart Lusts; and therefore said to his Father, Give me the Portion of Goods that falleth to me. My dear Friends, this is the Temper of all of us by Nature; we deal thus with our heavenly Father: Tho' God imposeth nothing upon us but what is really perfective of our Nature; tho' God bids us abstain from nothing but what would hurt us; yet we look upon God as a hard rigorous Task-Master. If we were left to our own Choice, we would de­sire God to leave us to our selves: The Language of our Hearts by Nature is, Lord, depart from us, we desire not the Knowledge of thy Law: The Lan­guage of our Hearts is, Father, Leave us to our selves. But, my dear Friends, you cannot put up a better Petition, if ye have a Mind to be happy, than this; Lord, however thou deal with us, leave us not to our own Choice. What this young Man said, we all say.

We may suppose it troubled the Father to have such a wicked Child; however, hoping that the Prodigal might yet be reclaimed, and mend his Life, the Father gave him what he desired; and so divided unto him his Living. You see what we shall do, if God Almighty leave us to our own Hearts Lusts; for we are told in the 13th Verse, That not many Days after the younger Son gathered all together, and went into a far Country, and spent his Substance with riotous living. Not many Days after, it's taken parti­cular Notice of, for he was impatient of Restraint, every Day was a Year while he was in his Father's [Page 5] House; he would have went away immediately, but he staid sometime to get a proper Equipage, suitable to the Quality of the Son of such a Father. Not ma­ny Days after he gathered all together, leaves nothing behind, that he might be out of his Father's Reach. He took his Journey into a far Country, It's remarka­ble, the way of Sin is down the Hill, when you be­gin to sin, ye know not where ye will stop, you will go into a far Country, far from God; he was afraid if he staid longer at home, he would have his Father checking him, therefore he gets out of his hearing. This represents the Heart of a Sinner, he finds Con­victions now and then coming upon him, & so would drink and whore, and go on in Sin, on purpose to stifle his Convictions. He went into a far Country, and see what follows, he wasted his Substance with riotous living. One would have thought he would have stop'd before his Goods were all wasted: But my dear Friends, there is such an Infatuation in Sin, there is such a strong Propensity to Sin in our Heart, that without the almighty Power of God give a stop to our Will, tho' we know the End of Sin will be Damnation, yet we will Sin on, tho' we should be damned. This was the Case of the young Prodigal. When his Substance was wasting, one would have thought he would have stop'd before all was gone: But see how God hedged up his Way.

In the 14th Verse we are told When he had spent all, there arose a mighty Famine in that Land, and he began to be in want. Here God was now bringing a Restraint in order to bring him home. There was not only a Famine, but an extraordinary Famine; and then the Prodigal began to be in want. One would have thought that he should have begun to [Page 6] think of coming home: But we shall never come to Christ, till we think we must be damned without Christ: Christ is beholden to none of us for coming to him. The Prodigal was in Want, but we do not hear of his beginning to think of coming Home. When People have some few Convictions floating upon the Surface of their Hearts, they begin to see the Evil of Sin; but their Goodness is like a Morn­ing Cloud that passeth away, till Convictions fasten upon their Soul, and they see themselves lost. The Prodigal sees himself in Want, but he would not come home, so long as he can shift for himself: therefore we are told,

In the 15. Ver. He went and joined himself to a Citizen, and he sent him into the Feilds to feed Swine. Are there any young Prodigals here that are spending their Patrimony in riotous Living; see what this will bring them to. A Man that lives within Bounds, he may have none of these dreadful Things to strug­gle with, that these poor Souls have, that are carried away Captive by the Devil. I know it by Experi­ence. Here a young Man finely equipped, with a fine Fortune, see what he is reduced to; was that proper Company for him? He joined himself to a Citizen of that Country, and he sent him into the Field to feed Swine: And here he would have been contented to remain, if he could have been kept from Hunger.

We are told in the 16. Ver. He would fain have filled his Belly with the Husks that the Swine did eat, but no Man gave unto him. O what will Prodigality bring People to. The wise Man says, By Means of a whorish Woman, a Man is brought to a Piece of Bread. Here, he that was used to variety of Dishes, cloathed in Purple and fine Linnen, see him now sitting with [Page 7] the Swine, envying the very Beasts the Husks on which they were feeding. He only wanted the Husks, he would be content to be kept from starving, with­out going home. But no Man gave unto him, so much as the Husks. This plainly shews, when we are coming to Jesus Christ, how GOD Almighty will make all Ways of escaping good for nothing, till we come Home to CHRIST. Now this young Man might think all these Things were against him; but all these Things were intended for him, to bring him home to CHRIST. So a poor Sinner that is hedged in on every Side, will think, all is gone; but God is hedging up his Way. Here the poor Prodi­gal is sitting with the Swine: methinks I see him. What must he do? He is brought to an Extremity; and this was God's Opportunity.

Ver. 17. When he came to himself. This is very remarkable. Pray, was the Prodigal beside himself? Before, he looked on his Father as a mad Man; as I believe Thousands now look upon the Ministers of JESUS CHRIST, as Fools, Enthusiasts, and mad Men. Thus this young Prodigal looked upon his Father. But the Father was the wise Man, and the Prodigal a Fool. You that now mock and scoff at the Ministers of the Gospel, and join with your hellish Companions, you will be made to cry out, We, not they, were Fools; how are they numbred among the Children of GOD. O may God bring you to your selves. Here the Prodigal comes to himself. The Lust of the Eye, the Lust of the Flesh, and the Pride of Pride, did overcome him. But when God brings you to Death, when God disrobes you of all you have, then you will begin to see what a damnable Condition your Souls are in.

[Page 8]Here says he, How many hired Servants of my Fa­ther have Bread enough and to spare, and I perish with Hunger, He not only wanted Bread, and began to be in Want; but I perish, if I stay here, with Hunger. You will never come to CHRIST, till you see your selves perishing without him. I perish with Hunger. Now the Prodigal begins to consider the dreadful Condition he is in; but if he stops here, he will not come home: However, he makes Resolutions; and therefore we are told

In the 18th Ver. after he had considered his wretched State, I will arise and go to my Father, and say to him, Father, I have sinned against Heaven and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son, &c. He saw himself ready to perish: O that some might give me Husks, that I may be kept from going home. Well, but he must go home. Well, says he, I will arise, and go to my Father. It's remar­kable, tho' he had used his Father so ill, he calls him his Father: He had often tried his Father; who had often born with him: It broke in upon his Soul. Who knows but my Father may bear with me yet? I am starving here. What will he say? Will he plead Merit? No, he will aggravate what he has done, I will say, Father I have sinned against Heaven and before thee. This is remarkable: He had sinned against his Neighbour; he had sinned against him­self: but what grieves him most is, that he had sin­ned against his Father, against Heaven; for whatever Harm we have done to our Neighbour or our selves, it ultimately strikes against God himself. It grieves him that he has offended his Father.

Make me as one of thy hired servants. Some sup­pose that this last Clause was the Relict of Self-Righ­teousness [Page 9] in the young Man's Heart. Thinks he, I will go home to my Father; I will ask Pardon for my Sin, but I will not be intirely beholden to him for my Living: I will Work a little for it; I will do something for my Bread. O but a Soul must be brought low, before it is brought out of Self. This Self, you cannot tell how secretly it works; how much of Self is in the best Saints. He was not willing to accept a Pardon as a free Gift: no, says he, I will Work for it. We would fain have some Hand in our Salvation. Others suppose it was the Result of Humility in him: Make me as one of thy hired Servants: Deal with me as thou wilt; only let me come home unto thee: for a poor convinced Sinner will say, What shall I do to be saved? He would rather be a Door-keeper in the House of God than dwell in Tents of Wickedness. Well, when the Prodigal's Convictions began to fasten, he said he would arise; and we shall find that he actually did arise in the 21. Verse.

And he arose and came to his Father. But who can tell how many bitter Throws this poor Man felt? What Convictions, what Convulsions his Soul un­derwent, during his returning home. Sinners, you are going away from God, you are wandering into a far Country; but you will have many bitter Con­victions before you come again to JESUS CHRIST. He arose▪ it is said, he was gone into a far Country; and we may suppose was sometime a coming home. Methinks, I see the poor Creature quite destitute, quite helpless; without Cloaths on his Back, with­out Shoes, stinking, filthy all over. Methinks, I see him walking slowly on: for Sin takes off our Chariot Wheels, and makes us drive heavily. Me­thinks, [Page 10] I see the poor Creature in great Perplexity before he came to his Father's House. Sometimes Unbelief works; it can never be that my Father will forgive such a Wretch as I am. His old Sins stare him in the Face; his Ingratitude stares him: My Father hath forgiven me often, but he will ne­ver forgive me again. Methinks, I see him stepping back, and weeping. When we look upon God as our Enemy, that very Look makes us fly from him. We shall never come to God, till we look upon him as our Friend. But then, thinks he, if I do not go, I shall certainly perish: But who knows but my Father will receive me. Then, methinks, I see him step up again; but then Pride of Heart arises; What, shall I stoop before my Father's Servants? Can I humble my self before my Father's Gate; it's better to perish here. As many a Sinner when under Convictions, and has not got a Sense of Pardon, would rather be damned than come to JESUS CHRIST. But at last, well thinks he, I will go, it is better to do the meanest thing with Shame; than to perish here: at last he gets up, and has many a weary Look, many a Fear, many a Lash of a self-condemned Conscience: At last he comes to the Gate of his Father's House, He arose and came to his Fa­ther, fearing and trembling lest his Father would not look upon him. But see the Heart of God to poor dejected self-condemned Sinners; see the Love of God to poor repenting Sinners; we are told, When he was yet a great Way off, his Father saw him & had Compassion on him, and ran, & fell on his Neck & kissed him. I believe never was so much Affection expressed in so few Words. When he was yet a great Way off: Perhaps the Father was praying in the Field, or me­ditating [Page 11] as Isaac, that his Prodigal might come home, putting up a Prayer to God, O that Ishmael might live before thee. And perhaps when he was praying, he turns his Head, and sees his young Prodigal com­ing home. The Prodigal does not advance any fur­ther; Unbelief kept him back; I dare not approach him any more: Like a poor Sinner convinced of Sin, he dares not lay hold on Christ, tho' God bids him. Here the Father turning his Head, sees a poor Creature quite disfigured, without Cloaths or Shoes: He won­ders who it is: He looks again, & at last says, There are some Features of my Child. God can see all his Elect, tho' they are weltring in their Blood. One would have thought, when he saw him, he would immediately go to the House, and bid the Dogs bark at him, and command the filthy Wretch to be gone to his Whores, and where he had spent his Substance in riotous Living. No, instead of that, when he saw him he had Compassion on him; his Bowels yearned to­wards him; his Heart was ready to dissolve within him, like Joseph, when we are told his Bowels yern­ed toward his Brethren. Old as he was, he ran, he saw his Prodigal unwilling to come; O thinks he, I will run and meet him. And when a poor Sinner is made willing to come, when he is about to come, God will send his Spirit to fetch him home. He ran to him:One would have thought he would say, Go wash thy self, and then I will kiss thee: No, the Fa­ther ran, and in an Extasy of Love fell on his Neck; he threw himself on his Neck, filthy as it was; he speaks not one Word, but shews his Love; his Actions speaks for him; with open Arms he embra­ced his filthy Son: Welcome, my Child, welcome home! There is not one Word of Reflection. No, [Page 12] when you come to God, he will blot out all your Transgressions, he will freely forgive your Sins, and your Iniquities he will remember no more. Well, one would think the Prodigal should have forgot his Purpose, My Father hath forgiven me, I need say no more. But where-ever God comes in a saving Way to a poor Sinner, he is filled with such a sense of his Sin, that tho' God forgive him, he cannot forgive himself.

Here the Prodigal says in the 21st Verse, Father I have sinned against Heaven and in thy Sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy Son. This shows us that we must confess Sin, even after we know that our Sins are forgiven: That is sweet Humility, that results from a Sense of God's Love. I appeal to you that know CHRIST, if it is not the sweetest Hours with you, after ye have received Manifestations from God, a breathing of God in your Soul; you feel your Souls melting, dissolving in Love, and throwing your selves at the Foot of sovereign Grace, Why me Lord, why me? And the more God pours in upon you, the more lowly ye are in your own Eyes. O that is a sweet Time, when the Soul is laid low, and dissolved with a Sense of God's Love. Methinks, I see the Prodigal amazed that the Father should have thus embraced him. Says he, I have sinned against Heaven, and in thy Sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy Son: How is it that thou dost kiss me? O what sweet Expressions, what sweet Fellowship is there between Jesus Christ, and a precious Soul, when Christ is visiting that Soul with his Love! He would have went on, and said, Make me as one of thy hired Servants; but the Father would not let him go on with his Confession, and therefore we are told,

[Page 13]In the 22d. Verse. Then he said to his Servants, in the plural Number, not to one Servant, but to all of them, to show the haste he was in to help his poor Son, make haste to welcome my dear Child home. The Father said to his Servants.—One would have thought he should have said, Go make this Prodigal be gone, no, but bring forth the best Robe, and put it on him, and put a Ring on his Hand and Shoes on his Feet.—Bring forth the best Robe.The Prodigal was willing to be like a hired Servant, any Thing would be good enough for him. No, he must have a Robe, not only a Robe, but the best Robe, the Robe which his Father wore on high Days, the best Robe in all the House was not too good for him tho' such an un­grateful Child. The Father might have told him, see what thou hast lost by thy Prodigality; no, but says he, Fetch the best Robe: and it must not only be fetcht out, but put upon him. Not only so, but he must put a Ring on his Hand, to distinguish his Qua­lity. It appears he had no Shoes on his Feet, and the Father cannot bear that, then says he, Fetch out Shoes, and put them on his Feet,to show how glad he was, and that nothing was too dear for him, says he, Bring hither the fatted Calf and kill it, and let us eat and be merry.

But what are you to understand by this best Robe? It is the Robe of Christ's Righteousness, it is a Robe weaved by the Hand of Christ, a Robe that could not be purchased without Christ shed his precious Heart-Blood. If you see that you are naked, that you are undone, poor, miserable, blind, helpless Sin­ners, God will put his Robe upon your naked Soul, God will apply Christ's Righteousness to your Heart, so that you shall be made to say, The Lord is my Righ­teousness. [Page 14] Did the Father put a Ring upon this young Man's Hand? So God shall Seal you for his, by his Spirit, till the Day of Redemption; God shall put his Spirit into your Heart, and by this shall all Men know that you are God's Children, Sons and Daughters of the Lord Almighty. Did the Father put Shoes upon this young Man's Feet? So shall your Feet be shod with the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace. Did the Father kill the fatted Calf? Did the Prodigal feed upon this fatted Calf? So shall God feed your Soul with a hidden Life, a divine Life, a Joy that Strangers intermeddle not with. You shall feel God in your Heart, you shall feel Christ in your Soul. Did the Servants make merry? were they glad? So shall God the Father communicate the News of your Conversion to the Angels above, and there will be Joy in Heaven over your repenting and coming to Jesus Christ. O methinks I see these blessed Spirits flying round the Congregation, tuning their Harps, and longing as the Hart panteth after the Water Brooks, to sing an Anthem at your Conversion. Methinks I see them longing to ascend the heavenly Ladder, and join the heavenly Quire, saying, some precious Souls were dead, but God hath made them alive; they were lost to God, lost to Jesus Christ; but God hath breathed into them the Breath of Life, and they are now become living Souls. O may God grant that this may be the Angels Song this Afternoon concerning some of you. I believe God intends to come among you this Day; I believe Jesus Christ intends to bring some of you home. O that there may be a whole Congregation coming together. There is enough in Christ for you all.

[Page 15]I must touch a little upon the elder Brother, and return to the younger Brother, for I do not love his Character.

One would have thought, all should have rejoyced at the Prodigal's coming home: But what can please a self-righteous Person? God himself cannot please him. We are told his elder Brother was in the Field, and as he came and drew nigh to the House, he heard Musick and Dancing. Before I go forward, give me Leave to tell you who (because Musick and Dancing is mentioned) may think it lawful to dance and have Balls.— But my dear Friends, such Things are as much contrary to the Gospel of Christ, as Light is to Darkness. And whatever you may think, if God ever touch your Heart, and make you new Creatures, you will be sick of these Things; you will no more be present at a Ball or Assembly, than you will thrust your Head into the Fire. I speak this by Experience. No one hath been a greater Sinner that Way, than that poor Creature that is now preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to you. Many a precious Hour and Night have I spent this Way, and thought it no Harm, as you may do: I went to the Sacrament, I kept Fasts before the Sacrament; I thought it no Harm to go to dancing for all that. But my dear Friends, take Warning, it hath cost me many a Tear, many a gloomy Hour to reflect upon the many precious Hours I have spent this Way, and I am amazed that God did not send me to Hell. Take Warning by me, it cost me many a bitter Hour, as it will cost you if ever you come to God. You may put off Convictions now; but when Death takes hold of your Soul, you will see Things in another Light; you will be amazed to think that you should [Page 16] be deceiving your own Souls. Take Heed of these Things, they will eat out the Vitals of Religion, and if these Things be encouraged in Scotland, they will eat out Religion.

He called one of his Father's Servants, and asked what these Things meant. And he said unto him, Thy Brother is come, and thy Father hath killed the fatted Calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. It's remarkable what the Servant said, Thy Father hath received him safe and sound. Why, was the Prodigal safe and sound? He was naked, no Cloaths upon his Back, no Shoes upon his Feet. It is because when we come to God, when he views us in the Holiness of Jesus Christ, he looks upon us as tho' we had never sinned at all; we are safe and sound, having on the Righteousness of Christ. One would have thought he would have gone in and rejoyced over his Brother. No, he was angry and would not go in. So the Pharisees were angry with Jesus Christ for conversing with Sinners. Therefore, we are told, his Father went out, and intreated him. How does God bear with the Perverseness of self-righteous Sin­ners! But he answering, said to his Father, Lo! He introduces what he had to say with a Lo! for we love to magnify every Thing we do. Lo, these many Years do I serve thee: We love to make the most of what we do; these many Years; he aggravates every Thing he did, and lessens every Thing God did. Observe how often he brings in the little Word, I; neither transgressed I at any Time thy Commandments; and yet thou never gavest me a Kid to make merry with my Friends. See how he finds Fault with his Father! A self-righteous Person finds Fault with every Thing that God does. Neither transgressed I at any Time [Page 17] thy Commandments. This shews the Foolishness of those that boast of their own Righteousness. He was just doing now like the Pharisee, I thank God, I am no unjust Person. When he was boasting that he was not unjust, he was committing the most un­just Action in the World; to judge a poor Publican, was not that unjust? See how he reflects upon his Father and his Brother, But as soon as this thy Son; he would not own him to be his Brother; thy Son; I will not call him my Brother; which hath devoured thy Living with Harlots: See how he magnifies it; he casts Reflections on the young Man who was casting Reflections enough upon himself; but he magnifies them all. Thou hast killed for him, an ungrateful, wicked, wanton Prodigal, the fatted Calf. But see the Forbearance of God, He said unto him, Son, all I have is thine; — for even self-righteous Persons shall have a Share. Whatever Difference there may be between us and others, there is no Difference by Na­ture; we have all sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. We should never see a poor Drunkard, but we should say, there is my Picture, if God leave me to my self. This is therefore thy Brother that is come.

I told you I would return to the younger Brother again. I fear there are too many of us angry at Mi­nisters for preaching free Grace, and inviting Souls to Jesus Christ. But my Friends, my Prayer to God is, that this Parable may be fulfilled in your Heart. I hope God intends to do Good to your Souls this Afternoon. Are there none of you that feel your selves damned? We are all lost, estranged from God by Nature, legally dead, and have no more Power to come to God of our selves, than the Bones you are sitting over have Power to come out [Page 18] of the Grave. The great Question is, which of you feel your Inability to save your selves? We have all been Prodigals; God put a Stock into our first Parents Hand, who spent that; we are all Bankrupts, and shall be undone without the Lord Jesus Christ. Which of you, or how many of you can say, I will arise and go to my Father; I will arise and go to my offended God; and I will say to him, Father I have sinned against Heaven and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy Son. Do you find powerful Convictions fasten upon you? Do you find your own Blindness and Darkness? Are you bewailing And weeping over the Miseries of a corrupt Nature? Come then, do not fear. The Devil will strike in, and will tell you, God will not accept of you, the Day of Grace is over. But behold how God's Bow­els yern over you. God sees you when you are yet a great Way off: he saw you from Eternity; he had Compassion on you; he sent the Lord Jesus Christ to work out a Righteousness for you. Be you what you will, be you who you will, as many of you that fear you are damned; as many as are willing to accept of Salvation by a crucified Jesus; God is un­speakably more willing to receive you than you are to receive him. For Jesus Christ's Sake do not stay, come in your Filth, damned as you are; God will give you Kisses of Love, God will embrace you in the Arms of his Mercy. This Robe of Christ's Righteousness that was purchased by the Blood of Je­sus [...], by the Death and Obedience of a bleeding God, [...] be applied to your Souls. You shall have Peace with God, Joy in the Holy Ghost, you shall feast upon the fatted Calf, the invisible Realities of [Page 19] another World. Thus shall it be done to all that come to Jesus Christ. O come to the Waters of Life, drink freely, be you what you will; if you have Legions of Devils, if you have Mil­lions of Devils in your Heart, come away; the Blood of Jesus Christ is of Virtue infinitely great, it will wash you white as Snow. O think on the Love of God. God the Father so loved the World that he gave his only begotten Son. O then, I pray you be reconciled to God. Jesus Christ saves the chief of Sinners. The Lord Jesus Christ has had Mercy upon me. Are you Sinners? so am I. Are you the chief of Sinners? so am I. Are you backsliding Sinners? so am I, the worst of Sinners: if left to my self I should have outdone you all; and yet Jesus Christ had Mercy upon me.

O my dear Friends, O my guilty Brethren, come away to Jesus Christ, be espoused to Jesus Christ. I know what it is to be a Prodigal, I know what it is to live in Sin, but Sin hath left a Damp upon my Soul; and tho' God hath forgiven me, I can never forgive my self; and I cannot go away without some of you coming to Jesus Christ▪ and let me not go and tell God, Lord, I have [...] them to thee, but they would not come. O [...] Friends, come to Jesus Christ, were you as black as Hell, you are welcome. Will you crucify the Son of God? Will you rather perish in your Sins and be damned? Christ is the only Way, the Truth, and the Life, no Man cometh to the Father but by him. O my dear Friends, methinks I would go, if God should enable me, to Death for preaching the everlasting Gospel. But I do not care to go to Heaven without some of you: There is Love enough in Christ's Heart, there [Page] is Vertue enough in the Blood of Christ, there is a Fountain opened for all Uncleanness. Did you once know what it is to be cloathed with the Righ­teousness of the Son of God, you would be sick of Sin, and of every Thing but Christ. O then shall I prevail with some of you to come to him. God has sent a poor Stranger to call you home. You poor abandoned Prodigals, you are welcome to Jesus Christ▪ you are welcome to the Redeemer, if you will [...] him. What do you say? Will you give [...]? Let there be Joy in Heaven over your repentance? I know you cannot come of yourselves. Are you willing to come? O then, God shall send his Spirit to bring you home, and meet you in the Way. O my dear Friends, I believe God is working upon some of your Hearts; I feel his Power, I hope you feel it▪ This is an accepted Time, and a Day of Salvation. May the Lord bring home your Souls! May Jesus give a Blessing to what is said! Tho' this be the Foolishness of preaching, do not cry out against me for preaching Christ, that hath forgiven me all my Sins. I cannot help in­viting poor Sinn [...] to come to Christ. May he sanctify you by [...], fill you with his Grace, and after Death bring [...] to his Glory.


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