What Think Ye of Christ?

Taken and adapted from, “Sermons of the Reverend George Whitefield”
Written by George Whitefield

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–Matthew 22:42

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. As to his person, some said he was Moses; others that he was Elias, Jeremias, or one of the ancient prophets; few acknowledged him to be what he really was, God blessed for evermore. And as to his doctrine, though the common people, being free from prejudice, were persuaded of the heavenly tendency of his going about to do good, and for the generality, heard him gladly, and said he was a good man; yet the envious, worldly-minded, self-righteous governors and teachers of the Jewish church, being grieved at his success on the one hand, and unable (having never been taught of God) to understand the purity of his doctrine, on the other; notwithstanding our Lord spake as never man spake, and did such miracles which no man could possibly do, unless God was with him; yet they not only were so infatuated, as to say, that he deceived the people; but also were so blasphemous as to affirm, that he was in league with the devil himself, and cast out devils by Beeluzbul, the prince of devils. Nay, our Lord’s own brethren and kinsmen, according to the flesh, were so blinded by prejudices and unbelief, that on a certain day; when he went out to teach the multitudes in the fields, they sent to take hold of him, urging this as a reason for their conduct, “That he was besides himself.”

Thus was the King and the Lord of glory judged by man’s judgment, when manifest in flesh: far be it from any of his ministers to expect better treatment. No, if we come in the spirit and power of our Master, in this, as in every other part of his sufferings, we must follow his steps. The like reproaches which were cast on him, will be thrown on us also. Those that received our Lord and his doctrine, will receive and hear us for his name’s sake. The poor, blessed be God, as our present meeting abundantly testifies, receive the gospel, and the common people hear us gladly; whilst those who are sitting in Moses’ chair, and love to wear long robes, being ignorant of the righteousness which is of God by faith in Christ Jesus, and having never felt the power of God upon their hearts, will be continually crying our against us, as madmen, deceivers of the people, and as acting under the influence of evil spirits.

But he is unworthy the name of a minister of the gospel of peace, who is unwilling, not only to have his name cast out as evil, but also to die for the truths of the Lord Jesus.

It is the character of hirelings and false prophets, who care not for the sheep, to have all men speak well of them. “Blessed are you, (says our Lord to his first apostles, and in them to all succeeding ministers) when men speak all manner of evil against you falsely for my name’s sake.” And indeed it is impossible but such offenses must come; for men will always judge of others, according to the principles from which they act themselves. And if they care not to yield obedience to the doctrines which we deliver, they must necessarily, in self-defense, speak against the preachers, lest they should be asked that question, which the Pharisees of old feared to have retorted on them, if they confessed that John was a prophet, “Why then did you not believe on him?” In all such cases, we have nothing to do but to search our own hearts, and if we can assure our consciences, before God, that we act with a single eye to his glory, we are cheerfully to go on in our work, and not in the least to regard what men or devils can say against, or do unto us.

But to return. You have heard what various thoughts there were concerning Jesus Christ, whilst here on earth; nor is he otherwise treated, even now he is exalted to sit down at the right hand of his Father in heaven. A stranger to Christianity, were he to hear, that we all profess to hold one Lord, would naturally infer, that we all thought and spoke one and the same thing about him. But alas! to our shame be it mentioned, though Christ be not divided in himself, yet professors are sadly divided in their thoughts about him; and that not only as to the circumstances of his religion, but also of those essential truths which must necessarily be believed and received by us, if ever we hope to be heirs of eternal salvation.

Some, and I fear a multitude which no man can easily number, there are amongst us, who call themselves Christians, and yet seldom or never seriously think of Jesus Christ at all.

They can think of their shops and their farms, their plays, their balls, their assemblies, and horse-races (entertainments which directly tend to exclude religion out of the world); but as for Christ, the author and finisher of faith, the Lord who has bought poor sinners with his precious blood, and who is the only thing worth thinking of, alas! he is not in all, or at most in very few of their thoughts. But believe me, O ye earthly, sensual, carnally-minded professors, however little you may think of Christ now, or however industriously you may strive to keep him out of your thoughts, by pursuing the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, yet there is a time coming, when you will wish you had thought of Christ more, and of your profits and pleasures less. For the gay, the polite, the rich also must die as well as others, and leave their pompousness and vanities, and all their wealth behind them. And O! what thoughts will you entertain concerning Jesus Christ, in that hour?

But I must not purpose these reflections: they would carry me too far from the main design of this discourse, which is to show, what those who are truly desirous to know how to worship God in spirit and in truth, ought to think concerning Jesus Christ, whom God hath sent to be the end of the law for righteousness to all them that shall believe.

I trust, my brethren, you are more noble than to think me too strict or scrupulous, in thus attempting to regulate your thoughts about Jesus Christ: for by our thoughts, as well as our words and actions, are we to be judged at the great day. And in vain do we hope to believe in, or worship Christ aright, unless our principles, on which our faith and practice are founded, are agreeable to the form of sound words delivered to us in the scriptures of truth.

Besides, many deceivers are gone abroad into the world. Mere heathen morality, and not Jesus Christ, is preached in most of our churches. And how should people think rightly of Christ, of whom they have scarcely heard? Bear with me a little then, whilst, to inform your consciences, I ask you a few questions concerning Jesus Christ. For there is no other name given under heaven, whereby we can be saved, but his.

What think you about the person of Christ?  “Whose Son is he?”

This is the question our Lord put to the Pharisees in the words following the text; and never was it more necessary to repeat this question than in these last days. For numbers that are called after the name of Christ, and I fear, many that pretend to preach him, are so far advanced in the blasphemous chair, as openly to deny his being really, truly, and properly God. But no one that ever was partaker of his Spirit, will speak thus lightly of him. No; if they are asked, as Peter and his brethren were, “But whom say ye that I am?” they will reply without hesitation, “Thou art Christ the Son of the ever-living God.” For the confession of our Lord’s divinity, is the rock upon which he builds his church. Was it possible to take this away, the gates of hell would quickly prevail against it. My brethren, if Jesus Christ be not very God of very God, I would never preach the gospel of Christ again. For it would not be gospel; it would be only a system of moral ethics. Seneca, Cicero, or any of the Gentile philosophers, would be as good a Savior as Jesus of Nazareth. It is the divinity of our Lord that gives a sanction to his death, and makes him such a high-priest as became us, one who by the infinite mercies of his suffering could make a full, perfect sufficient sacrifice, satisfaction and oblation to infinitely offended justice.

And whatsoever is a minister and makes use of her forms, and eats of her bread, and yes holds not this doctrine (as I fear too many such are crept in amongst us) such a one belongs only to the synagogue of Satan. He is not a child or minister of God: no; he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing; he is a child and minister of that wicked one the devil.

Many will think these hard sayings; but I think it no breach of charity to affirm, that an Arian or Socinian cannot be a Christian. The one would make us believe Jesus Christ is only a created God, which is a self-contradiction: and the other would have us look on him only as a good man; and instead of owning his death to be an atonement for the sins of the world, would persuade us, that Christ died only to seal the truth of hid doctrine with his blood. But if Jesus Christ be no more than a mere man, if he be not truly God, he was the vilest sinner that ever appeared in the world. For he accepted of divine adoration from the man who had been born blind, as we read John 9:38, “And he said, Lord I believe, and he worshipped him.”

Besides, if Christ be not properly God, our faith is vain, we are yet in our sins: for no created being, though of the highest order, could possibly merit anything at God’s hands…

…it was our Lord’s divinity, that alone qualified him to take away the sins of the world; and therefore we hear St. John pronouncing so positively, that “the Word (Jesus Christ) was not only with God, but was God.” For the like reason, St. Paul says, “that he was in the form of God: That in him dwelt all the fullness of the godhead bodily.” Nay, Jesus Christ assumed the title which God gave to himself, when he sent Moses to deliver his people Israel. “Before Abraham was, I AM.” And again, “I and my father are one.” Which last words, though our modern infidels would evade and wrest, as they do other scriptures, to their own damnation, yet it is evident that the Jews understood our Lord, when he spoke thus, as making himself equal with God; otherwise, why did they stone him as a blasphemer?

And now, why should it be thought a breach of charity, to affirm, that those who deny the divinity of Jesus Christ, in the strictest sense of the word, cannot be Christians?

For they are greater infidels than the devils themselves, who confessed that they knew who he was, “even the holy one of God.” They not only believe, but, which is more than the unbelievers of this generation do, they tremble. And was it possible for arch-heretics, to be released from their chains of darkness, under which (unless they altered their principles before they died) they are now reserved to the judgment of the great day, I am persuaded they would inform us, how hell had convinced them of the divinity of Jesus Christ, and that they would advise their followers to abhor their principles, lest they should come into the same place, and thereby increase each other’s torments.

Anecdotes as to the Power and Persuasiveness of George Whitefield’s Preaching.

George-Whitefield

As a proof of the power of Mr. Whitefield’s preaching…

…the famed Newton mentions, that a soldier at Glasgow, who had heard him preach, laid a wager with another, that at a certain charity sermon, –though he went with prejudice, he would certainly leave be compelled to give something. The other soldier, to make sure that he would win the bet, took all the money out of his pockets before he went in. But, before he left the church, this conscience stricken soldier was glad to borrow some for the offering, and lose his bet.

In another story, Newton tells of another striking example of Mr. Whitefield’s persuasive oratory, and that is his collecting at one sermon six hundred pounds for the inhabitants of an obscure village that had been burned down in Germany. After which sermon, Mr. Whitefield said, “We shall sing a hymn, during which those who do not choose to give their mite on this awful occasion, may sneak off.” Not one person moved; he got down from the pulpit, ordered all the doors to be shut but one, at which he held the plate himself, and collected the above large sum.

At the time of Whitefield’s greatest persecution, when obliged to preach in the streets, in one week he received not fewer than a thousand letters from persons distressed in their consciences by the energy of his preaching.

An extraordinary attestation to the excellence of Mr. Whitefield, as a preacher, was furnished by Hume, the historian, well-known for his infidelity. An intimate friend asked him what he thought of Mr. Whitefield’s preaching. “He is, sir,” said Mr. Hume, “the most ingenious preacher I ever heard: it is worth-while to go twenty miles to hear him.” He then repeated the following passage, which occurred towards the close of the discourse he had been hearing:

“After a solemn pause, Mr. Whitefield thus addressed his numerous audience:–‘The attendant angel is just about to leave the threshold, and ascend to heaven. And shall he ascend, and not bear with him the news of one sinner, among alt this multitude, reclaimed from the error of his ways?’ To give the greater effect to this exclamation he stamped with his foot, lifted up his eyes and hands to heaven, and with gushing tears, cried aloud, ‘Stop, Gabriel! Stop, Gabriel! Stop, ere you enter the sacred portals, and yet carry with you the news of one sinner converted to God.’ He then, in the most simple, but energetic language, described what he called a Savior’s dying love to sinful man, so that almost the whole assembly melted into tears. This address was accompanied with such animated, yet natural action, that it surpassed any thing I ever saw or heard in any other preacher.”

Happy had it been for Mr. Hume, if, in addition to his admiration of the preacher, he had received the doctrine which he taught, and afforded an instance of that conversion to God which Mr. Whitefield so ardently longed for on behalf of his hearers.

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Taken and adapted from, “Golden Sheaves”
Written by Horace A. Cleveland

Published in 1869

The Conversion of Zaccheus, Part 1.

Written by George Whitefield (1714-1770)
Taken and adapted for space

William_Hole_Zacchaeus_In_The_Sycamore_Tree_400.
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“And Jesus said unto him,
This day is salvation come to this house,
forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham.
For the Son of man is come to seek
and to save that which was lost.”

— Luke 19:9-10
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Salvation, everywhere through the whole Scripture, is said to be a free gift of God…

…through Jesus Christ our Lord. Not only free, because God is sovereign agent, and therefore may withhold it from, or confer it on whom He pleaseth; but free, because there is nothing to be found in man that can any way induce God to be merciful to him. The righteousness of Jesus Christ is the sole cause of our finding favor in God’s sight. This righteousness apprehended by faith (which is also the gift of God – Eph 2:8) makes it our own; and this faith, if true, will work by love (Gal 5:6).

These are parts of those glad tidings which are published in the gospel; and, of the certainty of them, next to the express word of God, the experience of all such as have been saved is the best and the most undoubted proof. That God might teach us every way, He has been pleased to leave upon record many instances of the power of His grace exerted in the salvation of several persons, that we, hearing how He dealt with them, might thence infer the manner we must expect to be dealt with ourselves, and learn in what way we must look for salvation, if we truly desire to be made partakers of the inheritance with the saints in light (Col 1:12).

The conversion of the person referred to in the text, I think will be of no small service to us in this matter, if rightly improved. I would hope most of you know who the person is to whom the Lord Jesus speaks; it is the publican, Zaccheus, to whose house the blessed Jesus said salvation came, and whom He pronounces a son of Abraham.

The evangelist Luke introduces the account of this man’s conversion thus, verse 1: “And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.” The holy Jesus made it His business to go about doing good. As the sun in the firmament is continually spreading his benign, quickening, and cheering influences over the natural, so the Son of Righteousness arose with healing under His wings (Mal 4:2), and was daily and hourly diffusing his gracious influences over the moral world. The preceding chapter acquaints us of a notable miracle wrought by the holy Jesus on poor blind Bartimaeus; and in this, a greater presents itself to our consideration. The evangelist would have us take particular notice of it; for he introduces it with the word behold: “And behold, there was a man named Zaccheus, who was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich” (Luk 19:2).

Well might the evangelist usher in the relation of this man’s conversion with the word “behold”! For, according to human judgment, how many insurmountable obstacles lay in the way of it! Surely no one will say there was any fitness in Zaccheus for salvation; for we are told that he was a publican, and therefore in all probability a notorious sinner. The publicans were gatherers of the Roman taxes; they were infamous for their abominable extortion; their very name therefore became so odious, that we find the Pharisees often reproached our Lord as very wicked, because He was a friend unto and sat down to meet with them. Zaccheus then, being a publican, was no doubt a sinner; and, being chief among the publicans, consequently was chief among sinners. Nay, he was rich. And one inspired apostle has told us, “that not many mighty, not many noble, are called” (1Co 1:26). Another saith, “God hath chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith” (Jam 2:5). And He Who was the Maker and the Redeemer of the apostles, assures us that “it is easier for a camel [or a cable rope] to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Mat 19:24). Let not therefore the rich glory in the multitude of their riches.

But rich as he was, we are told, verse 3, that “he sought to see Jesus.” And that was a wonder indeed! The common people heard our Lord gladly, and the poor received the gospel. The multitude, the very mob, the people that knew not the Law, as the proud high priests called them, used to follow Him on foot into the country, and sometimes stayed with Him three days together to hear Him preach. But did the rich believe or attend on Him? No. Our Lord preached up the doctrine of the cross; He preached too searching for them, and therefore they counted Him their enemy, persecuted and spoke all manner of evil against Him falsely. Let not the ministers of Christ marvel, if they meet with the like treatment from the rich men of this wicked and adulterous generation. I should think it no scandal (supposing it true) to hear it affirmed, that none but the poor attended my ministry. Their souls are as precious to our Lord Jesus Christ, as the souls of the greatest men. They were the poor that attended Him in the days of His flesh: these are they whom He hath chosen to be rich in faith, and to be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Were the rich in this world’s goods generally to speak well of me, woe be unto me; I should think it a dreadful sign that I was only a wolf in sheep’s clothing (Mat 7:15)—that I spoke peace, peace, when there was no peace (Jer 6:14), and prophesied smoother things than the gospel would allow of (Isa 30:10). Hear ye this, O ye rich. Let who will dare to, do it. God forbid that I should despise the poor—in doing so, I should reproach my Maker. The poor are dear to my soul: I rejoice to see them fly to the doctrine of Christ, like the doves to their windows. I only pray that the poor who attend may be evangelized, and turned into the spirit of the gospel; if so, blessed are ye; for yours is the kingdom of heaven (Luk 6:20).

But we must return to Zaccheus. He sought to see Jesus. That is good news. I heartily wish I could say it was out of a good principle. But, without speaking contrary to that charity which hopeth and believeth all things for the best, we may say that the same principle drew him after Christ which now draws multitudes (to speak plainly, it may be multitudes of you) to hear a particular preacher, even curiosity. For we are told that he came not to hear His doctrine, but to view His person, or to use the words of the evangelist, to see Who He was. Our Lord’s fame was now spread abroad through all Jerusalem, and all the country round about. Some said He was a good man; others, nay, but He deceiveth the people (Joh 7:12). And therefore curiosity drew out this rich publican Zaccheus to see Who this person was, of Whom he had heard such various accounts.

But it seems he could not conveniently get a sight of Him for the press, and because he was little of stature. Alas! how many are kept from seeing Christ in glory by reason of the press. I mean, how many are ashamed of being singularly good, and therefore follow a multitude to do evil, because they have a press, a throng, of polite acquaintance! And, for fear of being set at naught by those with whom they used to sit at meat, they deny the Lord of glory, and are ashamed to confess Him before men. This base, this servile, fear of man, is the bane of true Christianity; it brings a dreadful snare upon the soul, and is the ruin of ten thousands. For I am fully persuaded, numbers are rationally convicted of gospel truths; but, not being able to bear contempt, they will not prosecute their convictions, nor reduce them to practice.

Happy those, who in this respect, at least, like Zaccheus, resolve to overcome all impediments that lie in their way to a sight of Christ.

For finding he could not see Christ because of the press and the littleness of his natural stature, he did not smite upon his breast and depart, saying, “It is in vain to seek after a sight of Him any longer, I can never attain unto it.” No, finding he could not see Christ if he continued in the midst of the press, “he ran before the multitude, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way” (Luk 19:4).

There is no seeing Christ in glory, unless we run before the multitude, and are willing to be in the number of those despised few who take the kingdom of God by violence. The broad way, in which so many go, can never be that straight and narrow way which leads to life. Our Lord’s flock was, and always will be, comparatively a little one. And unless we dare to run before the multitude in a holy singularity, and can rejoice in being accounted fools for Christ’s sake, we shall never see Jesus with comfort when He appears in glory. From mentioning the sycamore tree and considering the difficulty with which Zaccheus must climb it, we may further learn that those who would see Christ must undergo other difficulties and hardships, besides contempt. Zaccheus, without doubt, went through both. Did not many, think you, laugh at him as he ran along; and in the language of Michal, Saul’s daughter (2Sa 6:20), cry out, “How glorious did the rich Zaccheus look today, when, forgetting the greatness of his station, he ran before a pitiful, giddy mob and climbed up a sycamore tree to see an enthusiastic preacher!”

But Zaccheus cares not for all that; his curiosity was strong. If he could but see Who Jesus was, he did not value what scoffers said of him. Thus, and much more will it be with all those who have an effectual desire to see Jesus in heaven. They will go on from strength to strength, break through every difficulty lying in their way, and care not what men or devils say of or do unto them. May the Lord make us all thus minded, for His dear Son’s sake!

At length, after taking much pains, and going (as we may well suppose) through much contempt, Zaccheus has climbed the tree; and there he sits, as he thinks hid in the leaves of it, and watching when he should see Jesus pass by; “for he was to pass by that way.” But sing, O heavens, and rejoice, O earth! Praise, magnify, and adore sovereign, electing, free, preventing love; Jesus the everlasting God, the Prince of peace, Who saw Nathaniel under the fig tree, and Zaccheus from eternity, now sees him in the sycamore tree, and calls him in time.

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Meet the author and part of your Christian heritage:  (1714 – 1770), also known as George Whitfield, was an English Anglican preacher who helped spread the Great Awakening in Britain, and especially in the American colonies.

Born in Gloucester, England, he attended Pembroke College, Oxford, where he met the Wesley brothers. He was one of the founders of Methodism and of the evangelical movement generally. In 1740, Whitefield travelled to America where he preached a series of revivals that came to be known as the “Great Awakening”. He became perhaps the best-known preacher in Britain and America during the 18th century, and because he traveled through all of the American colonies and drew great crowds and media coverage, he was one of the most widely recognized public figures in colonial America.

Because business at the inn had become poor, Whitefield did not have the means to pay for his tuition. He therefore entered Oxford as a servitor, the lowest rank of students at Oxford. In return for free tuition, he was assigned as a servant to a number of higher ranked students. His duties included waking them in the morning, helping them bathe, taking out their garbage, carrying their books and even assisting with required written assignments. He was a part of the ‘Holy Club‘ at Oxford University with the Wesley brothers, John and Charles. An illness, as well as Henry Scougal‘s The Life of God in the Soul of Man influenced him to cry out to the Lord for salvation. Following a religious conversion, he became very passionate for preaching his new-found faith. The Bishop of Gloucester ordained him a deacon.

In 1738 he went to Savannah, Georgia, in the American colonies, as parish priest. While there he decided that one of the great needs of the area was an orphan house. He decided this would be his life’s work. He returned to England to raise funds, as well as to receive priest’s orders. While preparing for his return he preached to large congregations. At the suggestion of friends he preached to the miners of Kingswood, outside Bristol, in the open air. Because he was returning to Georgia he invited John Wesley to take over his Bristol congregations, and to preach in the open-air for the first time at Kingswood and then Blackheath, London.

Whitefield accepted the Church of England’s doctrine of predestination but disagreed with the Wesley brothers’ views on the doctrine of the Atonement, Arminianism. As a result Whitefield did what his friends hoped he would not do—hand over the entire ministry to John Wesley. Whitefield formed and was the president of the first Methodist conference. But he soon relinquished the position to concentrate on evangelical work. 

In terms of theology, Whitefield, unlike John Wesley, was a supporter of Calvinism. The two differed on eternal election, final perseverance, and sanctification, but were reconciled as friends and co-workers, each going his own way. It is a prevailing misconception that Whitefield was not primarily an organizer like Wesley. However, as Wesleyan historian Rev. Luke Tyerman states, “It is notable that the first Calvinistic Methodist Association was held eighteen months before Wesley held his first Methodist Conference.” He was a man of profound experience, which he communicated to audiences with clarity and passion. His patronization by the Countess of Huntingdon reflected this emphasis on practice.

Whitefield died in the parsonage of Old South Presbyterian ChurchNewburyport, Massachusetts, on September 30, 1770, and was buried, according to his wishes, in a crypt under the pulpit of this church. A bust of Whitefield is in the collection of Gloucester City Museum & Art Gallery.

It was John Wesley who preached his funeral sermon in London, at Whitefield’s request. (Wesley’s Journal entry for Nov. 10, 1770)

Revival! A story of conversions and the “fencing of the tables”

More than two hundred and seventy years ago…

…in the year 1742, there was an extraordinary religious awakening in the West of Scotland. It began in Cambuslang, a parish on the Clyde, near Glasgow, There were not over nine hundred souls in the parish, yet out of that number about five hundred were, it was believed, converted.

(c) National Galleries of Scotland; Supplied by The Public Catalogue FoundationThe awakening in Cambuslang was preceded by a year’s faithful preaching of regeneration and the atonement by the pastor, Rev. John M’Culloch. Who then for twelve weeks came daily preaching –generally out-door or in tents. Whitefield (then in the zenith of his power and popularity) came to Cambuslang, and delivered a dozen discourses. This “Son of Thunder” never stayed long in one spot; as he used to say, ” More than two weeks in one place kills me as dead as a door-nail.” But his two visits to the rural parish near Glasgow were inundations of blessings to the thirsting multitudes. Mighty audiences from Glasgow and Western Scotland thronged to hear him.

Whitefield frequently addressed 20,000 souls in a day!

At the first communion season after his visit, no less than seventeen hundred persons sat down to the tables, which were spread under tents. A few weeks after, the Lord’s Supper was dispensed again; and probably it was the most extraordinary communion service ever witnessed on earth. No less than forty thousand people gathered to witness the solemnities. Preaching went on for several days previous under Whitefield and others; but on the second Sabbath in August, the Pentecostal scene culminated.

The day was mild and genial, the air fragrant with the breath of new mowed hay, and the fields yellow with the wheat-harvest. At half-past eight on that memorable Sabbath morning, the “action sermon” was preached. Then came the “fencing the tables;” *  then, immediately after this, the table was spread, and the first company passed into the Lord’s Supper. During the whole day the sacred service went forward; no less than twenty-four companies of over one hundred, each sitting down in rotation! The whole number who partook of the sacred emblems was about three thousand.

The soft twilight was stealing over the “braes” when the last group left the communion tent, and there was only light enough left to read four lines of a psalm as a doxology. A grey haired pastor turning homeward from the hallowed place, exclaimed, in the fulness of his grateful heart,” Lord! now let Thou, Thy servant, depart in peace; for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation.”

Such a revival could not be without abiding fruits. Accordingly, we are told that after the close of the extraordinary meetings, the morals of the whole neighborhood were changed. Profanity became almost unknown. God’s day was honoured in every dwelling. Nearly every house became a house of prayer. Evil speaking ceased. Old enmities and family feuds were forgotten. Every father was a kinder parent; every child more dutiful. Religion went into men’s daily business as a controlling principle; skeptics owned its power, and scoffers were silenced before the beauty and majesty of daily godliness. May He who holds the seven stars in His right hand renew such a period!

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*  “fencing the tables” means the special address in the ministration of the Lord’s Supper. This was a term often used among the Scotch Presbyterians. It is a lecture from the minister just before the distribution of the elements, pointing out the character of those who have and of those who have not a right to come to the Lord’s table. It was formerly called “debarrings,” because in it the ministry debarred from the sacrament those who were not supposed to be worthy.

Taken from “The Religious Anecdotes of Scotland.”