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George Whitefield on the Benefits of Early Piety

January 9, 2007

Not every Christian is awarded Christian parents who will provide sanctifying nurture that leads to early development of true piety. Some who enjoy forensic peace with God will continue to present a scarred, life-weary countenance. George Whitefield exhorted Christians to a piety that is its own reward, regardless of when in their lives God brought them to faith.

“What! Will not a desire of bringing glory to God, honour and comfort to themselves; will not the pleasure of an habitual piety and the comfortable assurance of being sincere; above all, while not the hopes of an honourable old age, a peaceful death and a glorious appearance at the tremendous day of judgment; will not these, I say, prevail with them to leave their husks and return home to eat of the fatted calf? What! Will they thus requite the Saviour’s love? That be far from them! Did He come down and shed His precious blood to deliver them from sin, and will they spend their youthful strength and vigour in the service of it, and then think to serve Christ when they can follow their lusts no longer?  Is it fit that many who are now endowed with excellent gifts and are thereby qualified to be the supports and ornaments of our sinking Church, should notwithstanding forget the God that gave them, and employ them in things that will not profit? O why will they not arise, and like so many Phineas’s, be zealous for the Lord of hosts?…May we not imagine that young Samuel now rejoices that he waited so soon at the Temple of the Lord? Or young Timothy, that from a child he knew the Holy Scriptures? And if you wish to be partakers of their joy, let me persuade you to be partakers of their piety.” (Selection from a sermon preached in London’s Bow Church in 1737.)

(Arnold Dallimore: George Whitefield, Banner of Truth, 1970.)

One Comment
  1. January 9, 2007 9:07 pm

    That is a beautiful quote. And if the church was sinking in his time, what is it doing now?

    Whitefield has a way of warmly stirring us.

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