Coming to Christ in Your Own Utter Unworthiness, as With Ropes About Your Neck

Taken and adapted from, “Practical Sermons, Never Before Published”
Written by, Jonathan Edwards, Published 1787
Sourced from the “Dead Puritan Society” Website


For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  

–Hebrews 4:15-16 (ESV)

They that come to God for mercy in a right manner, come not with a frame of mind disposed to quarrel with God, and find fault with his severity…

…but they come in a sense of their own utter unworthiness, as with ropes about their necks, and lying in the dust at the foot of mercy.  They must come to God for mercy in and through Jesus Christ alone.  All their hope of mercy must be from him, from the consideration of what he is, what he hath done, and what he hath suffered.  They must be sensible that there is no other name given under heaven, among men, whereby we can be saved, but that of Christ.  They must believe what the gospel tells us of Christ, the Mediator, that he is the Son of God, and the Saviour of the world, having died to make propitiation for our sins.  They must have a spiritual discovery of Christ; and their souls must have an understanding of the way of salvation in him.  They must see his sufficiency; see that there is enough in him, that his blood cleanses from all sin, and that he is so worthy, that all sinners who are in him may well be pardoned and accepted; and from him they must take their encouragement.

It is impossible that any should come to God for mercy, and at the same time have no hope of mercy. Their coming to God for it implies that they have some hope of obtaining it, otherwise they would not think it worth the while to come.  But they that come in a right manner have all their hope through Christ, or from the consideration of his redemption, and the sufficiency of it.  If persons thus come to God for mercy, the greatness of their sins will be no impediment to pardon.  Let their sin be ever so many, and great, and aggravated, it will not make God in the least degree more backward to pardon them.

The mercy of God is as sufficient for the pardon of the greatest sins, as for the least; and that because his mercy is infinite.  That which is infinite, is as much above what is great, as it is above what is small.  That which is great comes no nearer to the bounds of that which is infinite, than that which is the least; because there are no bounds to it.  Thus God being infinitely great, he is as much above kings as he is above beggars; he is as much above the highest angel as he is above the meanest worm.  One’s finite measure doth not come any nearer to the extent of what is infinite, than another. So it is with respect to the mercy of God.  The mercy of God being infinite, it must be as sufficient for the pardon of all sin, as for one. 

If one of the least sins be not beyond the mercy of God, so neither are the greatest, or ten thousand of them.