George Whitefield's Sermon in Williamsburg, VA


We just got back from our third vacation to Williamsburg, VA and Colonial Williamsburg. I feel like I should write a post on Colonial Williamsburg or Williamsburg and what to do and where to stay. I'll leave that for another time.

I learned before this trip that George Whitefield preached his first sermon in America there. The picture above is right outside the church where he preached. Since he usually had to preach outdoors because of the crowds, he probably preached 50 feet in front of where I was standing to crowds on the palace green.

I found the sermon that he preached (he only had 18 individual sermons that he preached thousands of times) and read it slowly over the week in the mornings before the rest of my family got up.

Here is my favorite passage:

However lightly you may esteem your Souls, I know our Lord has set an unspeakable Value on them. He thought them worthy of his most precious Blood.—I beseech you therefore, O Sinners, be ye reconciled to God. I hope you do not fear being accepted in the Beloved.—Behold he calleth you. Behold he prevents and follows you with his Mercy, and hath sent forth his Servants into the High-ways and Hedges, to compel you to come in. Remember then, that at such an Hour, of such a Day, in such a Year, in this Place, you were all told what you ought to think concerning Jesus Christ.—If you now perish, it will not be for lack of Knowledge.—I am free from the Blood of you all.—You cannot say I have been preaching Damnation to you.—You cannot say I have, like legal Preachers, been requiring you to make Brick without Straw. I have not bid you make yourselves Saints, and then come to God.—But I have offer'd you Salvation on as cheap Terms as you can desire.—I have offered you Christ's whole Wisdom, Christ's whole Righteousness, Christ's whole Sanctification and Eternal Redemption, if you will but believe on him.—If you say you cannot believe, you say right; for Faith as well as every other Blessing is the Gift of God: But then wait upon God and who knows but he may have Mercy on thee. Why do we not entertain more loving Thoughts of CHRIST? Or do you think he will have Mercy on others, and not on you? But are you not Sinners? And did not JESUS CHRIST come into the World to save Sinners?—If you say you are the chief of Sinners; I answer, that will be no Hindrance to your Salvation, indeed it will not, if you lay hold on him by Faith.

from the University of Michigan Library 

This is Emma and I outside the palace.


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