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you before; and I pray God, all you that forget Him may seriously think of what has been said, before He pluck you away, and there be none to deliver you.
The last Farewell.
Now I must come to the hardest part I have to act. I was afraid when I came out from home that I could not bear the shock, but I hope the Lord Jesus Christ will help me to bear it, and help you to give me up to the blessed God, let Him do with me what He will. This is the thirteenth time of my crossing the mighty waters. It is a little difficult at this time of life; and though my spirits are improved in some degree, yet weakness is the best of my strength. But I delight in the cause, and God fills me with a peace that is unutterable, which nobody knows, and a stranger intermeddles not with. Into His hands I commend my spirit, and I beg that this may be the language of your hearts, Lord, keep him; let nothing pluck him out of Thy hands.
I expect many a trial while I am on board. Satan always meets me there; but that God who has kept me, I believe will keep me. I thank God I have the comfort of leaving everything quite well and easy at both ends of the town; and, my dear hearers, my prayers to God shall be, that nothing may pluck you out of Christ's hands. Witness against me if I ever set up a party for myself. Did ever any minister, or could any minister in the world say, that I ever spake against any one going to any dear minister? I thank God that He has enabled me to be always strengthening the hands of all, though some have afterwards been ashamed to own me. I declare to you that I believe God will be with me, and will strengthen me; and I believe it is in answer to your prayers that God is pleased to revive my spirits : may the Lord help you to pray on. If I am drowned in the waves I will say,
Lord, take care of my London, take care of my English friends; let nothing pluck them out of Thy hands.
And as Christ has given us eternal life, O my brethren, some of you, I doubt not, will be gone to Him before my return. But, my dear brethren, my dear hearers, never mind that; we shall part, but it will be to meet again for ever. I dare not meet you now, I cannot bear your coming to me to
it cuts me to the heart and overcomes me; but by and by all parting will be over, and all tears shall be wiped away from our eyes.
God grant that none that weep now at my parting may weep at our meeting at the day of judgment; and if you never were among Christ's sheep before, may Christ Jesus bring you now.
O come, come, see what it is to have eternal life; do not refuse it; haste, sinner, haste away; may the great, the good Shepherd draw your souls. Oh! if you never heard his voice before, God grant you may hear it now, that I may have this comfort when I am gone that I had last, that some souls are awakened at the parting sermon. O that it may
be a farewell sermon to you; that it may be a means of your taking a farewell of the world, the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eye, and the pride of life. O come, come, come to the Lord Jesus Christ; to Him I leave you. And you, dear sheep, that are already in His hands, O may
O God keep you from wandering. God keep you near Christ's feet. I do not care what shepherds keep you, so as you are kept near the great Shepherd and Bishop of souls. The Lord God keep you, lift up the light of His countenance upon you, and give you peace. Amen.
On the Death of Mr Whitefield. But how shall we improve this awful providence? And the answer to this important question is easy: (may God write it
in all our hearts)! By keeping close to the grand doctrines which he delivered; and by drinking into his spirit.
1. And first, let us keep close to the grand scriptural doctrines which he everywhere delivered. There are many doctrines of a less essential nature, with regard to which, even the sincere children of God (such is the present weakness of human understanding !) are, and have been divided for many ages. In these we may think and let think; we may “ agree to disagree.” But meantime, let us hold fast the essentials of “the faith, which was once delivered to the saints;" and which this champion of God so strongly insisted on at all times and in all places.
2. His fundamental point was to give God all the glory of whatever is good in man, and, in the business of salvation, set Christ as high, and man as low as possible. With this point he, and his friends at Oxford, the original Methodists, so called, set out. Their grand principle was, there is no power by nature, and no merit in man. They insisted, all power to think, speak, or act right, is in and from the Spirit of Christ: and all merit is (not in man, how high soever in grace, but merely) in the blood of Christ. So he and they taught: There is no power in man, till it is given him from above, to do one good work, to speak one good word, or to form one good desire. For it is not enough to say, all men are sick of sin: No, we are all "
DEAD in tresspasses and sins." It follows, that all the children of men are by nature children of wrath. We are all guilty before God, liable to death, temporal and eternal.
3. And we are all helpless, both with regard to the power and to the guilt of sin. For “who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean ?” None less than the Almighty. Who can raise those that are dead, spiritually dead in sin ? None but He who raised us from the dust of the earth. But on what consideration will He do this? “ Not for works of righteousness that we have done. The dead cannot praise
Thee, O Lord !”—nor do any thing for the sake of which they should be raised to life. Whatever, therefore, God does, He does it merely for the sake of His well-beloved Son : “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities. He himself bore all our sins in His own body upon the tree. He was delivered for our offences, and rose again for our justification.” Here then is the sole meritorious cause of every blessing we do or can enjoy. In particular, of our pardon and acceptance with God, of our full and free justification. But by what mean do we become interested in what Christ has done and suffered ? “Not by works, lest any man should boast;" but by faith alone. “We conclude," says the apostle, “that a man is justified by faith, without the works of the law.” And “to as many as thus receive him, giveth he power to become the sons of God: Even to those that believe in his name, who are born, not of the will of man, but of God.”
4. And“ except a man be” thus “born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” But all who are thus “born of the Spirit,” have “the kingdom of God within them.” Christ sets up His kingdom in their heart; "Righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” That “mind is in them, which was in Christ Jesus,” enabling them “to walk as Christ also walked.” His indwelling Spirit makes them both holy in heart, and “holy in all manner of conversation.” But still, seeing all this is a free gift, through the righteousness and blood of Christ, there is eternally the same reason to remember—“He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”
5. You are not ignorant that these are the fundamental doctrines which He everywhere insisted on. And may they not be summed up, as it were, in two words : The new-birth," and “justification by faith”? These let us insist upon with all boldness, at all times, and in all places : in public (those of us who are called thereto), and, at all opportunities, in private. Keep close to these good, old, unfashionable doctrines,
Go on, my
how many soever contradict and blaspheme. brethren, in the name of the Lord, and in the power of His might. With all care and diligence, “ Keep that safe which is committed to your trust :” knowing that “Heaven and earth shall pass away; but this truth shall not pass away.”
6. But will it be sufficient to keep close to his doctrines, how pure soever they are? Is there not a point of still greater importance than this, namely, to drink into his spirit? Herein to be a follower of him, even as he was of Christ? Without this, the purity of our doctrines would only increase our condemnation. This, therefore, is the principal thing—to copy after his spirit. And allowing that in some points we must be content to admire what we cannot imitate, yet in many others we may, through the same grace, be partakers of the same blessing. Conscious, then, of your own wants, and of His bounteous love, who "giveth liberally and upbraideth not," cry to Him that worketh all in all, for a measure of the same precious faith: of the same zeal and activity, the same tender-heartedness, charitableness, bowels of mercies. Wrestle with God for some degree of the same grateful, friendly, affectionate temper, of the same openness, simplicity, and godly sincerity—“Love without dissimulation.” Wrestle on, till the Power from on high works in you the same steady courage and patience: and, above all, because it is the crown of all, the same invariable integrity.
7. Is there any other fruit of the grace of God, with which he was eminently endowed, and the want of which, among the children of God, he frequently and passionately lamented ? There is one, that is, catholic love; that sincere and tender affection, which is due to all those who, we have reason to believe, are the children of God by faith : in other words, all those, in every persuasion, who "fear God and work righteousness." He longed to see all who had “ tasted of the good word,” of a truly catholic spirit (a word little understood, and