Devotions:
George Whitefield Print E-mail

Abraham's Offering Up His Son Isaac

georgewhitefieldGenesis 22:12 -- "And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him, for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy Son, thine only Son from me."

The great Apostle Paul, in one of his epistles, informs us, that "whatsoever was written aforetime was written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the holy scripture might have hope."

An Exhortation to the People of God Not to Be Discouraged in Their Way, by the Scoffs and Contempt of Wicked Men

Hebrews 4:9 -- "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God." 
  
When we consider the persecutions they are exposed to, who live righteously and godly in this present world; it is amazing to consider, that the people of this generation should be so fond of a name to live, while they are in effect dead. The people of God are to expect little else but troubles and trials while they are in this world; common experience is a contradiction to my text, that there is a rest to the people of God; but the author of the Hebrews, when speaking of this rest, did not mean that they should have a rest here.

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.

A Preservative Against Unsettled Notions, and Want of Principles, in Regard to Righteousness and Christian Perfection

Ecclesiastes 7:16 -- "Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?"

The great, and indeed the only motive which prompted me to publish this sermon, was the desire of providing for your security from error, at a time when the deviators from, and false pretenders to truth, are so numerous, that the most discerning find it a matter of the greatest difficulty to avoid being led astray by one or by other into downright falsehood. There is no running divisions upon truth; like a mathematical point, it will neither admit of subtraction nor addition:  And as it is indivisible in its nature, there is no splitting the difference, where truth is concerned.

Blind Bartimeus

Mark 10:52 -- "And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way."

When the apostle Peter was recommending Jesus of Nazareth, in one of his sermons to the Jews, he gave him a short, but withal a glorious and exalted character, "That we went about doing good." He went about, he sought occasions of doing good; it was his meat and drink to do the works of him that sent him, whilst the day of his public administration lasted. Justly was he stiled by the prophet, the sun of righteousness.

Christ's Transfiguration

When the angel was sent to the Redeemer's beloved disciple John, we are told that the angel said unto him, "Come up hither." He was to be exalted, to be brought nearer heaven, that his mind might be better prepared for those great manifestations, which an infinitely great and condescending God intended to vouchsafe him. And on reading the verse that you have just now heard, when I also see such a great and serious assembly convened in the presence of God, I think I must address you, as the angel addressed John, and say unto you, "Come up hither;" leave your worldly thoughts, for a time forget the earth.


Christ, the Believer's Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification and Redemption

Of all the verses in the book of God, this which I have now read to you, is, I believe, one of the most comprehensive: what glad tidings does it bring to believers! What precious privileges are they herein invested with! How are they here led to the fountain of them all, I mean, the love, the everlasting love of God the Father! Of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.'


Christ the Believer's Husband


Isaiah 54:5 -- "For thy Maker is thy Husband."

Although believers by nature, are far from God, and children of wrath, even as others, yet it is amazing to think how nigh they are brought to him again by the blood of Jesus Christ. Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of any man living, fully to conceive, the nearness and dearness of that relation, in which they stand to their common head. He is not ashamed to call them brethren.


Christ the Best Husband: Or an Earnest Invitation to Young Women to Come and See Christ

This psalm is called the song of loves, the most pure and spiritual, the most ear and delightful loves; namely, those which are between Christ the beloved, and his church, which is his spouse; wherein is set forth, first, the Lord Jesus Christ in regard of his majesty, power, and divinity, his truth, meekness and equity: And then the spouse is set forth, in regard of her ornaments, companions, attendants and posterity; and both in regard of their comeliness and beauty.

Christ the Only Preservative Against a Reprobate Spirit

The doctrines of the gospel are doctrines of peace, and they bring comfort to all who believe in them; they are not like the law given by Moses, which consisted of troublesome and painful ceremonies; neither do they carry with them that terror which the law did; as, "cursed is every one who continueth not to do all things which are written in the book of the law:" If you were to keep the whole law, and break but in one point, you are guilty of the breach of all.

Christ the Only Rest for the Weary and Heavy-Laden

Matthew 11:28 -- "Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

Nothing is more generally known than our duties which belong to Christianity; and yet, how amazing is it, nothing is less practiced?

Christ the Support of the Tempted

Matthew 6:13 - "Lead us not into temptation."The great and important duty which is incumbent on Christians, is to guard against all appearance of evil; to watch against the first risings in the heart to evil; and to have a guard upon our actions, that they may not be sinful, or so much as seem to be so.

Directions how to hear Sermons

Luke 8:18 - "Take heed, therefore, how ye hear."
The occasion of our Lord's giving this caution, was this: Perceiving that much people were gathered together to hear him out of every city, and knowing (for he is God, and knoweth all things) that many, if not most of them, would be hearers only, and not doers of the word; he speak to them by a parable, wherein, under the similitude of a sower that went out to sow his seed, he plainly intimated, how few there were amongst them, who would receive any saving benefit from his doctrine, or bring forth fruit unto perfection.

Great Duty of Family Religion

"As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."  Joshua 24:15
These words contain the holy resolution of pious Joshua, who having in a most moving, affectionate discourse recounted to the Israelites what great things God had done for them, in the verse immediately preceding the text, comes to draw a proper inference from what he had been delivering; and acquaints them, in the most pressing terms, that since God had been so exceeding gracious unto them, they could do not less, than out of gratitude for such uncommon favors and mercies, dedicate both themselves and families to his service.

Intercession Every Christian's Duty

If we inquire, why there is so little love to be found amongst Christians, why the very characteristic, by which every one should know that we are disciples of the holy Jesus, is almost banished out of the Christian world, we shall find it, in a great measure, owing to a neglect or superficial performance of that excellent part of prayer, Intercession, or imploring the divine grace and mercy in behalf of others.


Justification by Christ

It has been objected by some, who dissent from, nay, I may add, by others also, who actually are friends to the present ecclesiastical establishment, that the ministers of the Church of England preach themselves, and not Christ Jesus the Lord; that they entertain their people with lectures of mere morality, without declaring to them the glad tidings of salvation by Jesus Christ.

Marks of a true Conversion

I suppose I may take it for granted, that all of you, among whom I am now about to preach the kingdom of God, are fully convinced, that it is appointed for all men once to die, and that ye all really believe that after death comes the judgment, and that the consequences of that judgment will be, that ye must be doomed to dwell in the blackness of darkness, or ascend to dwell with the blessed God, for ever and ever.

Marks of Having Received the Holy Ghost

Acts 19:2 -- "Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?"

 Two different significations have been given of these words. Some have supposed, that the question here put, is, Whether these disciples, whom St. Paul found at Ephesus, had received the Holy Ghost by imposition of hands at confirmation?

Persecution Every Christian's Lot

When our Lord was pleased to take upon himself the form of a servant, and to go about preaching the kingdom of God; he took all opportunities in public, and more especially in private, to caution his disciples against seeking great things for themselves, and also to forewarn them of the many distresses, afflictions and persecutions, which they must expect to endure for his name's sake.

Regeneration

The doctrine of our regeneration, or new birth in Christ Jesus, though one of the most fundamental doctrines of our holy religion; though so plainly and often pressed on us in sacred writ, "that he who runs may read;" nay though it is the very hinge on which the salvation of each of us turns, and a point too in which all sincere Christians, of every denomination, agree; yet it is so seldom considered, and so little experimentally understood by the generality of professors, that were we to judge of the truth of it, by the experience of most who call themselves Christians, we should be apt to imagine they had "not so much as heard" whether there be any such thing as regeneration or not.

Satan's Devices

The occasion of these words was as follows: In the church of Corinth there was an unhappy person, who had committed such incest, as was not so much as named among the Gentiles, in taking his father's wife; but either on account of his wealth, power, or some such reasons, like many notorious offenders now-adays, he had not been exposed to the censures of the church.

Saul's Conversion

Acts 9:22 -- "But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ."
 

It is an undoubted truth, however paradoxical it may seem to natural men, that "whosoever will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution."

Thankfulness for Mercies Received, a Necessary Duty

Numberless marks does man bear in his soul, that he is fallen and estranged from God; but nothing gives a greater proof thereof, than that backwardness, which every one finds within himself, to the duty of praise and thanksgiving.

The Almost Christian

The chapter, out of which the text is taken, contains an admirable account which the great St. Paul gave of his wonderful conversion from Judaism to Christianity, when he was called to make his defense before Festus a Gentile governor, and king Agrippa.

The Benefits of an Early Piety

The amiableness of religion in itself, and the innumerable advantages that flow from it to society in general, as well as to each sincere professor in particular, cannot but recommend it to the choice of every considerate person, and make, even wicked men, as they wish to die the death, so in their more sober intervals, to envy the life of the righteous.

The Care of the Soul Urged as the One Thing Needful

Luke 10:42 -- "But one thing is needful." 
  
It was the amiable character of our blessed Redeemer, that "he went
about doing good," this great motive, which animated all his actions, brought him to the house of his friend Lazarus, at Bethany, and directed his behavior there.

The Conversion of Zaccheus

Luke 19:9-10 -- "And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house; forasmuch as he also is the Son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."
 

Salvation, every where through the whole scripture, is said to be the free gift of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Duty of Searching the Scriptures

When the Sadducees came to our blessed Lord, and put to him the question, "whose wife that woman should be in the next life, who had seven husbands in this," he told them "they erred, not knowing the scriptures." And if we would know whence all the errors, that have over-spread the church of Christ, first arose, we should find that, in a great measure, they flowed from the same fountain, ignorance of the word of God.

"The Eternity of Hell-Torments"

Matthew 25:46 -- "These shall go away into everlasting punishment."

Though the following sermon has been preached elsewhere, yet as the
occasion of my preaching it among you was particular, as you seemed to give an uncommon attention to it in public, and afterwards expressed your satisfaction in it to me, when I came to visit you in your own houses, I thought proper to offer it to you.

The Extent and Reasonableness of Self-Denial

Luke 9:23 -- "And he said unto them all, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself."
 

Whoever reads the gospel with a single eye, and sincere intentions, will find, that our blessed Lord took all opportunities of reminding his disciples that his kingdom was not of this world; that his doctrine was a doctrine of the cross; and that their professing themselves to be his followers, would call them to a constant state of voluntary suffering and self-denial.

The Folly and Danger of Being Not Righteous Enough

Ecclesiastes 7:16 -- "Be not righteous overmuch, neither make thyself over- wise: why shouldst thou destroy thyself?"
 

Nothing is more frequent, than while people are living in a course of sin, and after the fashion and manner of the world, there is not notice taken of them; neither are their ways displeasing to their companions and carnal relations: but if they set their faces Zion-ward, and begin to feel the power of God on their hearts; they then are surrounded with temptations from their friends, who thus act the devil's part.

The Folly and Danger of Parting with Christ for the Pleasures and Profits of Life

If we were but sensible of the great necessity there is, in this our day, of being real Christians, sure we should not be contented with being nominal ones; but we are sunk into I know not what; we are no better than baptized heathen.

The Good Shepherd: A Farewell Sermon

John 10:27-28 -- "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they
follow me. And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand." 

It is a common, and I believe, generally speaking, my dear hearers, a true saying, that bad manners beget good laws.

The Gospel Supper

Though here is a large and solemn assembly, yet I suppose you are all convinced, that you are not to live in this world always. May I not take it for granted, that even the most profane amongst you, do in your hearts believe, what the sacred oracles have most clearly revealed, "That as it is appointed for all men once to die, so after death comes the judgment?"

The Great Duty of Charity Recommended

1 Corinthians 13:8, "Charity never faileth."

Nothing is more valuable and commendable, and yet, not one duty is less practiced, than that of charity.

The Heinous Sin of Drunkenness

The persons to whom these words were written, were the inhabitants of Ephesus, as we are told in the Acts, had been worshippers of the great goddess Diana, and, in all probability, worshipped the God Baccbus also; at the celebration of whose festivals, it was always customary, nay, part of their religion, to get drunk; as though there was no other way to please their God, but by turning themselves into brutes.

The Heinous Sin of Profane Cursing and Swearing

Matthew 5:34 -- "But I say unto you, Swear not at all." 

Among the many heinous sins for which this nation is grown infamous, perhaps there is no one more crying, but withal more common, than the abominable custom of profane swearing and cursing.

The Holy Spirit Convincing the World of Sin, Righteousness, and Judgment

John 16:8 -- "And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment." 

These words contain part of a gracious promise, which the blessed Jesus was pleased to make to his weeping and sorrowful disciples.

The indwelling of the Spirit, the common Privelege of all believers

Nothing has rendered the cross of Christ of less effect; nothing has been a greater stumbling-block and rock of offense to weak minds, that a supposition, now current among us, that most of what is contained in the gospel of Jesus Christ, was designed only for our Lord's first and immediate followers, and consequently calculated but for one or two hundred years.

The Knowledge of Jesus Christ the Best Knowledge

The persons to whom these words were written, were the members of the church of Corinth; who, as appears by the foregoing chapter, were not only divided into different sects, by one saying, "I am of Paul, and another, I am of Apollos;" but also had man amongst them, who were so full of the wisdom of this world, and so wise in their own eyes, that they set at nought the simplicity of the gospel, and accounted the Apostle's preaching foolishness.

The Lord Our Righteousness

Jeremiah 23:6 -- "The Lord our Righteousness." 

Whoever is acquainted with the nature of mankind in general, or the
propensity of his own heart in particular, must acknowledge, that self-righteousness is the last idol that is rooted out of the heart: being once born under a covenant of works, it is natural for us all to have recourse to a covenant of works, for our everlasting salvation.

The Marriage of Cana

John 2:11 -- "This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him." 

I have more than once had occasion to observe, that the chief end St.
John had in view, when he wrote his gospel, was to prove the divinity of Jesus Christ, [that Word, who not only was from everlasting with God, but also was really God blessed for evermore] against those arch-heretics Ebion and Cerinthus, whose pernicious principles too many follow in these last days.

The Method of Grace

Jeremiah 6:14 -- "They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace. 
  
As God can send a nation or people no greater blessing than to give
them faithful, sincere, and upright ministers, so the greatest curse that God can possibly send upon a people in this world, is to give them over to blind, unregenerate, carnal, lukewarm, and unskilled guides.

The Necessity and Benefits of Religious Society

Among the many reasons assignable for the sad decay of true Christianity, perhaps the neglecting to assemble ourselves together, in religious societies, may not be one of the least.

The Pharisee and Publican

Luke 18:14 -- "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: For every one that exalteth himself, shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted."

Though there be some who dare to deny the Lord Jesus, and disbelieve the revelation he has been pleased to give us, and thereby bring upon themselves swift destruction; yet I would charitably hope there are but few if any such among you, to whom I am now to preach the kingdom of God.

The Potter and the Clay

At sundry times, and in diverse manners, God was pleased to speak to our fathers by the prophets, before he spoke to us in these last days by his Son. To Elijah, he revealed himself by a small still voice. To Jacob, by a dream. To Moses, he spoke face to face.

The Power of Christ's Resurrection

Philippians 3:10 -- "That I may know Him, and the power of his resurrection."
 

The apostle, in the verses before the text, had been cautioning the Philippians to "beware of the concision," Judaizing teachers, who endeavored to subvert them from the simplicity of the gospel, by telling them, they still ought to be subject to circumcision, and all the other ordinances of Moses.

The Resurrection of Lazarus

When Jesus Christ, the eternal Word, was pleased to make all things by the word of his power, his last works were the best. When he looked back upon, and beheld the first products of his almighty power, he pronounced them "good;" but when that last, that lovely creature man, was formed, he pronounced them "very good."

The Righteousness of Christ, an Everlasting Righteousness

Daniel 9:24 -- "And to bring everlasting Righteousness." 

On reading these words, I cannot help addressing you in the language of
the angels to the poor shepherds, who kept watch over their flocks by night, "Behold, I bring you glad tidings of great joy," such tidings, that if we have ears to hear, if we have eyes to see, and if our hearts have indeed experienced the grace of God, must cause us to cry out with the Virgin Mary, "My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit doth rejoice in God my Savior."

The Seed of the Woman, and the Seed of the Serpent

Genesis 3:15 -- "And I will put Enmity between thee and the Woman, and between thy Seed and her Seed, it shall bruise thy Head, and thou shalt
bruise his Heel." 

On reading to you these words, I may address you in the language of the
holy angels to the shepherds, that were watching their flocks by night: "Behold, I bring you glad tidings of great joy."

The Temptation of Christ

Dearly beloved, today you are invited to take a walk into the wilderness, to behold, sympathize with, and get instruction and comfort from a Savior tempted.

The Wise and Foolish Virgins

Matthew 25:13 -- "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of man cometh." (Text is actually Matt. 25:1-13) 
  
The apostle Paul, in his epistle to the Hebrews, informs us, "That it
is appointed for all men once to die; after that is the judgment."

Walking with God

Various are the pleas and arguments which men of corrupt minds frequently urge against yielding obedience to the just and holy commands of God.

What Think Ye of Christ?

Matthew 22:42 -- "What think ye of Christ?"

When it pleased the eternal Son of God to tabernacle among us, and preach the glad tidings of salvation to a fallen world, different opinions were entertained by different parties concerning him.

Worldly Business No Plea for the Neglect of Religion

Matthew 8:22 -- "Let the dead bury their dead." 

St. Paul preaching at Athens, tells them, that as he passed by and
beheld their devotions, he perceived they were in all things too superstitious. But was this apostle to rise, can come publishing the glad tidings of salvation in any of our populous cities, he would see no reason why he should charge the inhabitants with this; but rather as he passed by and observed the tenor of their life, say, I perceive in all things ye are two worldly-minded; ye are too eagerly bent on pursuing your lawful business; so eagerly, as either wholly to neglect, or at least too heedlessly to attend on the one thing needful.

Worldliness

If we were but sensible of the great necessity there is, in this our day, of being real Christians, sure we should not be contented with being nominal ones; but we are sunk into I know not what; we are no better than baptized heathen.

 
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