Watts Wilkinson

The Believer’s Use Of The Doctrine Of God’s Sovereignty

“And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up, and thrust Him out of the city, and led Him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast Him down headlong.”—Luke 4:28, 29.

Now of whom can these words be possibly spoken? Who was thus treated in this inhuman way and manner? It was no other but the Lord Jesus Christ; He “who went about” continually “doing good.” And what was the occasion of this opposition? It was no other than this—His advancing the sovereignty of God, asserting the doctrine of Jehovah’s sovereignty—that He, who is the Creator, Preserver, and Lord of all, has a right “to do what He will with His own.”

You have already heard this chapter read, as part of this morning’s service. You may recollect, that, on a certain sabbath, Jesus went into the synagogue in Nazareth, and stood up, as was the custom when any one intended to read a part of the Holy Scripture; He “stood up to read and the ruler of the synagogue put into His hands the book of the prophet Isaiah, and He read a certain passage, which foretold the appearance of the Messiah. And when He had read the passage, He rolled the Book up again, and delivered it back to the ruler of the synagogue, and sat down. This was a token that He intended to say something upon the passage; when they read in the Scripture in the synagogue, they were accustomed to stand; when they preached they sat down. And, therefore, those that were in the synagogue all looked towards Him; for, besides His being evidently about to speak to them, they had heard of His doctrine, and of His miracles, which had been manifested in every place, and they must have been deeply impressed, and the eyes of all those that were present were fixed upon Him. And He began expounding the Scripture. And the sum of it was this:—that that Scripture, which He had read, was that day fulfilled before their eyes; declaring that He, himself, was that Messiah of whom the prophet spake, and that, while they were looking for the Messiah, and expecting His appearance, they saw that very person now in the midst of them. And we are told, that they could not but admire and “wonder at the gracious words, which proceeded out of His mouth;” but, at the same time, the malice and enmity of the heart were stirred within them, and they began to cavil; “and they said, Is not this Joseph’s son? do we not know Him of old—his father a carpenter—and that he has laboured and worked with him—a man of no sort of liberal education, not brought up at the feet of any of our learned men? from whence has He this doctrine? and how has He wrought those miracles of which we have heard”—wishing that He would produce some miracle, in order to confirm in their sight the truth of what He had asserted, that He was the Messiah.

Now He said to them at once, you would not believe on Me if I did this. And then He brings forth a common pr­overbial saying, “Physician, heal thyself what thou hast done in Capernaum, do also here in thine own country; if thou be a physician, heal thyself.” He adds also another proverb, and says, “A prophet is not without honour save in his own country; no prophet is accepted in his own country.” And then we find Him pointing out this important truth, that Jehovah has a right to communicate His grace to Him, or any one that He pleases; He has an indubitable right to cause His Christ to be known, and the doctrine to be confirmed by miracles, in what places, and when and how He pleases. And, in order to confirm this, He illustrates it by two striking passages in the history of the children of Israel. The first was in the days of Elijah, when there was great famine in the land, and the prophet was sent to sustain a widow; now there were many widows in Israel then, in circumstances of great want, but to none of them was the prophet sent, but he was sent to one who was a Gentile, despised and rejected of them, and supposed by them to be despised and rejected of God also; now, says He, this was the will of God, to pre­fer such an outcast to the children of Abraham. And then he refers to another instance, in the days of Elisha; there were many lepers in Israel then, but none of them was cleansed, “whereas Naaman the Syrian, an outcast airain, a Gentile, and a decided enemy to Israel, this man was directed to come to the prophet, and he was healed by the prophet;—pointing out again the sovereignty of God, in the dispensation of His favour.

Now they clearly understood what He meant. And they not only termed Him a blasphemer—that He, being a man, styled Himself the Messiah, and thus made Himself the Son of God and equal with God—not only so, but they disliked that offensive doctrine, that Jehovah dispenses His mercy just as He pleases, and on whom He sees fit, without giving any other account of this matter, than that “so it seemed good in His sight.” They were offended at this, and they “were filled with wrath,” it is said, and they “rose up” immediately against Him; and without respect to the house of God, the holy place in which they were, and without any regard to the common feelings of humanity, they “thrust Him” out of the synagogue in which they were, and on to “the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast Him down headlong;” that He might be dashed to pieces, and thus they might get rid of this presumptuous blasphemer, as they wished to consider Him. But He delivered Himself out of their hands; that was not the death that He was to die, nor was His time yet come; and, therefore, He either concealed Himself in a miraculous way, or transformed His appearance; He “passed through the midst of them,” and thus escaped out of their hands.

Now this subject brings to view several truths, which we will attempt further to improve.

And we may, in the first place, observe, that Jehovah has a people that are His own. We say, a people that are His own, and known to Him, known to Him individually as such, and whose names He has written as such in the Book of Life; they are called in one place, “the church of the first­ born, whose names are written in heaven.” Now these are His, in a very peculiar sense; not only in a distinct sense from all other people upon the face of the earth, but in a very peculiar sense, an endearing sense indeed. He styles them “His jewels;” He says, they are His treasure, above all people that are in the whole world. They are the people, upon whom he has set His heart and fixed His affections from all eternity past, and that in a way different from the rest of the fallen race of Adam. He has loved them from eternity, and this for no other reason (He assigns no other) than because “so it seemed good in His sight.” Now this was all beautifully typified, in the case of the children of Israel, and in His dealings with them. He took them from all other nations, to be a special people to Himself; and He declared, that He loved the people, not because they had anything in them to recommend them, but because the Lord loved them; He had mercy on them, because He would have mercy, and compassion upon them because He would have compassion. This people were a people highly typical; they represented another Israel, Jehovah’s beloved, peculiar, and covenant people. They represented them; and they are the people of whom we have just been speaking, who are His in such a peculiar way and manner. These are the true Israel of God; the others were so only in a typical, and national, and outward sense; but these are his in a spiritual sense; these are His, whom He will own as His in eternity; and if you are of the number, He will own you as such, in time, and in the great day of judgment, and for ever, in eternity.

But then we inquire, how are these persons to be known? And that is a very important inquiry to you and to me to make; a very important inquiry to a dying sinner, walking upon the verge of the eternal world. How can we know we are among the number of this peculiar people, whom He has set apart for His own, and pledged Himself never to cease to love to all eternity? Now St. Paul explains this to you, in the third chapter of the epistle to the Galatians; he says, “They that are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham,” and, therefore, the true Israel of God; he says, in another place, “They are not all Israel that are of Israel”—that is, those that descend from Abraham in a literal sense; but “they that are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham,”—the true and spiritual Israel of God. And, therefore, he adds, presently afterwards, that “they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham;” whatever blessing God pronounced upon Abraham belongs to them, and they shall reap the blessing and enjoy it here and for ever.

But then what does he mean by being “of faith?” “They that are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.” Why he tells you, in the twenty-fourth verse of the same chapter; he says, “the law,” the moral law, was our school­ master to bring us unto Christ;” this is one grand design of the moral law, that “the offence might abound as he says in another place (that is, not that men might be urged on to sin, but that they might have clearer and more correct views of sin, as exhibited by the law, which is spiritual and extensive, and reaches to the thoughts and imaginations of the heart); and now, says the apostle, “the law was our school­ master to bring us unto Christ.” When a man properly understands the spiritual character of the law, he must, in the very nature of things, despair of righteousness by the law; he cannot fulfil the law; he is a breaker of it from morning to night; then, says the apostle, “the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ,” as our only refuge, “that we might be justified by faith.” Now these are they who are “of faith,” who flee from the law as a covenant of works, who flee from themselves, and from every refuge of lies, and flee immediately and entirely to Christ, to lay hold of Him by faith, and rest on Him for salvation. Thus the apostle here does draw, we doubt not, the character of many that are now in the presence of Jehovah. You are such, who “through the law are dead to the law,”—renounce every hope of pardon, and acceptance, and justification, by our obedience to the law, in order that you might live unto God, and live unto God by faith in Jesus Christ. You have been brought to tremble at the pit of destruction, as it were, and you have fled unto Jesus as your only refuge; and, therefore, are you children of faith, resting upon Him, and appropriating His righteousness by faith. “If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

Now, we observe, from what has just been remarked, that the doctrines of grace in general, and in particular the doctrine of the sovereignty of the great Jehovah (which is a clear, and so universally acknowledged with respect to temporal affairs; men cannot deny it; God gives riches to one and not to another, acting as a sovereign, doing just as He pleases; now, I say, the doctrines of grace in general, and the doctrine of God’s sovereignty in particular) are exceedingly offensive to the natural man. “The carnal mind is enmity against God,” and, therefore, must be and is enmity against that glorious plan of great and finished salvation, which He has contrived, and which He has accomplished. The natural heart rises against it. It cannot discern these things; “they are spiritually discerned.” And, therefore, like these proud and conceited Jews upon the present occasion, so are men, in their natural, unconverted state, ready at times to rise up against those that advance these doctrines; and had they it in their power, they would act as these did; they would lead those out, and lead them to destruction, who dared to advance these doctrines.

But now is this the case with the beloved people of God, when they are brought to Him? These are the persons, with whom the everlasting covenant of rich grace was made—that covenant which was revealed to Abraham, and which is comprehended in one word as it were, when the Lord said, “I will be a God to thee,”—and so they became heirs of that eternal life, “which God that cannot lie promised before time began;” and who did He promise it to? Why, He promised it to Christ as the Covenant Head of His chosen people. Now, when a man is called by grace, when He is brought to feel His misery under the law, and to flee from the law to Christ, when the Lord the Spirit has led him to Sinai, and he has heard the dreadful curse against “every one, that continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law to do them,” and thence He has taken His flight to Calvary, do not these views correspond with his feelings, and does he not find a suitableness in them to his own experience? These persons are interested in Jehovah’s covenant; it is made with them; and it contains in­ numerable promises of different blessings. Now, God’s promises are given all together, collectively, to those to whom they are given; and this being one promise, that He “will take away the heart of stone, and give a heart of flesh,” they have a pledge of interest in every blessing that Jehovah has covenanted for, and that He has engaged to bestow. If you are brought to be “of faith,” as the apostle says—if you are brought to receive Christ, and Christ is precious to you, there is not one thing revealed in Jehovah’s covenant of grace, not one gracious promise in the enlargement of that covenant through all His blessed Word, that is not your’s, that you have not a right and a title to, that does not belong to you.

“O then,’ you say, ‘is this the case with me?’ ‘I cannot see it; I wish to be convinced that I am of faith, that I have really fled to Christ.’ When your heart is trembling under apprehensions of death—an open grave, and the prospect of the eternal world—where is it that you turn? to whom do you look? Is it something past that you have done? Is it to the ordinance of the Lord’s supper, which is so dreadfully perverted in our day,—that when you come to die you can receive that, and then all will be safe? No; you are looking only to Jesus. And if that be the case, then you are one of His people, and one whom He owns as a true child of Abraham. And if you still are fearful, O carry your case to Himself, and open all your fears in the presence of Him, who sits upon a throne of mercy, waiting to be gracious. Spread your case before Him; and pray Him, not only to grant that you may be His, and that it may be manifest to others, though not to yourself, but that He would make it manifest to yourself. And though He seem to turn a deaf ear to your supplications, give not up the point. Persevere, like Jacob of old, determined not to let Him go except He bless you. And for your encouragement, recollect a remarkable case, recorded in Scripture—that of the woman of Canaan, an out­ cast as it seemed, who came to Jesus and entreated Him for her child, and He answered her not a word; but she continued to cry, and so long and strong was her cry, that the disciples said, “Send her away;” and the Lord turns to her then, with an answer that was worse than no answer at all as to her feelings, for He says, “l am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel;” and, when she cries ‘Lord, help me,’ He replies, “It is not meet to take the children’s bread and to cast it to dogs;” ‘you are not of them;’ but then, observe her answer, “Yes, Lord, yet the dogs”— the Jews called the Gentiles dogs—“yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master’s table;” you see how she was tried, and her faith put to the test; but yet what a gracious answer she at last obtained! Jesus had no design at the first to put her off and reject her; for He never did, and never can reject any one sinner that comes to Him; No; but all this was to try her faith. And, therefore, take courage. Though the Lord may appear deaf to your supplication, it entered from the very first into His ear, and it entered into His ear as faith’s music, in which He delights; and He will assuredly, sooner or later, grant your desire.

But then there are some persons, who say, ‘Of what real benefit are these doctrines of grace,—as they are termed? If a man is just and kind to his neighbour, and attends to the duties of religion, is not one creed as good as another? Does his salvation depend upon this? Oh, we say much indeed depends upon a man’s views respecting religious matters, and upon their being clear, and scriptural, and correct. Now we are speaking to more established Christians than those we have just been addressing, and who know the truth of this, and rejoice in the truth of what we have been advancing, continually, and, it may be, every day of their lives. We are speaking to those, who were formerly cleaving to the spiritual Egypt of this world, just as the children of Israel cleaved to Egypt—who were fondly cleaving to this spiritual Sodom, where all kinds of iniquity and transgression are committed with greediness in every direction—just as Lot, when warned to come out of Sodom, lingered, and was unwilling to go, cleaving to his substance there. And while you were thus cleaving to this world, the Lord has taken you by your hand, and gently forced you out. Had you been left to yourselves, you would have staid there, and perished there; but God had purposes of love to you, and, therefore, He made you willing; for He puts no constraint upon you, but working in you, so that you become as willing to be saved (according to your degree, we may say) as He is willing to save you. And He thus brought you to receive Jesus by faith, and to rest on Him. And why did He do it? Why, He did it because He had favour to you, because He had set His heart upon you. He has placed you among His children also. Before the foundation of the world, His eye was upon you—upon thee as an individual; He knew thee as one of His own, and determined that thou shouldest be one of His own. Abel was not more indebted to the mercy and the sovereignty of Jehovah, in preference to Cain—he was not more indebted to these than you are. And it was the same preference and distinguishing mercy that made a difference between Jacob and Esau, and Joseph and his brethren, and David and his brethren. And why? Because “so it seemed good” in the sight of the Lord; not because any of these were more deserving than others, as children of Adam. And so He distinguished you, from those with whom you were brought up in childhood, not because you were different from them, or had anything more to recommend you: no; but “so it seemed good in His sight,” the sight of Him, who has an undoubted right, we say again, “to do what He will with His own.”

But where is the profit of this? Why, the profit is much. It enters deeply into the experience of the children of men, and produces such feelings in their bosoms, as not only bring them great advantage and profit, but abundantly advance the honour and glory of the great Jehovah.

Now consider, what view in the world is so likely to make a man humble, and to keep a man humble? If you did not make yourself the better, if you have nothing but what you have received, if He began with you, and you are entirely indebted to Him for everything you possess of a spiritual nature, then “where is boasting? It is excluded.” We are brought here to a disposition and temper of mind, which is of high esteem in the sight of God. The proud—God beholds them afar off; He says unto them, Depart. But what does He say to Zion? “To this man will I look, and with him will I dwell, that is humble, and of a contrite spirit, and that trembleth at My Word.” Now this is a very important point. If a man reject the doctrines of grace, he rejects the sovereignty of God, and the doctrine that Jehovah has wrought everything in him that is in him. Why, then, who has wrought it? Not Satan, of course; for he seeks nothing but the destruction of all good. And, therefore, only Himself can have wrought it; and if it be of works, then man takes the honour, he takes the glory; whereas God is determined (and He has published no determination more clearly and more fully in His Word than this) that “no flesh shall glory in His presence.”

But then, again, what so likely as this view to promote love. Love, on the part of God, creates love, and begets love. Was all this the fruit of love? Nothing but love (O if you may be led to consider your own unworthiness of it!)—nothing but love, and that distinguishing, sovereign, rich, boundless, everlasting. What, like this, is calculated to excite a spirit of love in the heart? If we ever have one spark of love in our hearts, this is the fruit of God’s love towards us. “We love Him, because He first loved us.” And were it not for the love of God to sinful men, there never would be one spark of love in them. “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us.” And love to Him creates love to His people; it creates and is connected with love to His ways, and love to His Word, and love to His ordinances. You see here are blessed fruits that follow. And look at the man, who is labouring to save himself, and to get the glory and honour to himself; you will find that his religion is all a matter of force; it goes against him; ordinances are dull and insipid; whilst others, more or less, know the truth of this, that “His service”—Jehovah’s service—“is perfect freedom”—the service of One they love, and to whom they are indebted in a way and manner that they never can possibly return.

But then we may go on to say, what comfort arises from hence, through the whole course of a man’s religious life and conversation! Do you find that your works are not perfect? You love God; you long to please Him; but you “find a law in your members, warring against the law of your mind,” opposing it constantly; there is imperfection, there is sin, cleaving to, contaminating, and spoiling every thing. And then, again, does your love at times grow chill and cool? O how many are sensible of that awful sin, and acknowledging it in His presence now! Do you find your heart treacherous and deceitful? Do you find, in your own experience, that it is correctly described in Scripture, that it is “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” so that the older you grow, the more you are convinced you know so little of nothing hardly as you know of yourself? There is such a mixture, that you are often perplexed to know whose you are; and you are sensible that, if the Lord were to cast you off for ever, no one could say of Him, that He deals with you worse than you deserve. But now, He who is a Sovereign, and who sees the end from the beginning, He has promised, that all, whom He has chosen from eternity, shall be glorified with Him hereafter in eternity in His kingdom. He is faithful. Whatever uncertainty and inconsistency there may be in you, He is always the same. He has made up His mind, that, if He has called you by grace, He will also bring you to glory.

Not only so; besides the warfare which arises from the old nature still remaining, the body of sin and death, you are assaulted by innumerable enemies. Satan comes in upon you, and he is tempting you according to your circumstances and situations in life, and according to the natural temper and dispositions of mind that you have. Though he cannot penetrate the heart, yet he can judge from our actions what is in our hearts, and what is that “sin that easily besets us;” and here he will attack us most frequently, because here he will attach, as he thinks, with the great hopes of success, and not without some hope that he shall eventually pluck some jewel out of the crown that Jesus will wear. But observe, “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will, with the temptation, also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it,” and in order that His own sovereign rich purposes of love and mercy may be accomplished towards you. And so, again, the apostle Paul has these remarkable words: “God is faithful,” he says again, “and will preserve you, and keep you from evil.” Now the evil here intended is the grand evil in which all others issue, and that is the evil of total and final apostasy. “The Lord is faithful:” He has pledged Himself, given His own covenant engagement, that He will never turn away from you to do you good, and that you shall never depart totally and finally, but He will plant you in His heavenly land; now, therefore, he says, “The Lord is faithful, and will preserve you, and keep you from” this “evil.” You may be tempted; you may be tossed about; you may be cast down: but destroyed and left to perish you never possibly can be. And we may with reverence say, that if Jehovah did not remember and stand by His own covenant engagement, He would be unfaithful Himself; and this is impossible; and, therefore, the other is equally impossible. Whosoever is a child of God, one who be partaker of the grace of God, is as secure of eternal glory, as though he were at this moment actually in the possession and enjoyment of it. Nothing can ever turn up, if you have, in simplicity and truth—this may be done in appearance, when it is not done in reality—but if, in simplicity and truth, you have put your soul into the hands of Jesus, no one can pluck you out of them; you can never perish; the Father who gave you is greater than all, and no one can ever pluck you out of the Father’s hands. Remember what was asserted in the synagogue at Nazareth—“I and the Father are one, I am the Messiah, the Son of God, and equal with Him.” 

Now under every fear—for those most established are not beyond the experience of fear—apprehensions at times, more or less, will be the Christian’s lot; here are some who have known and loved the Lord many, many years, yet they are not beyond the reach of fear, and darkness, and apprehension; while on this side the grave, they are still in an enemy’s land; Satan is for ever watching them, and seeking to destroy their peace, to rob them of it, and to make them wretched here, if he despairs of being able to make them wretched hereafter;—now if ever anything of that kind arises, proceeding from a view of your own mutability, changeableness, and fickleness, which are natural in the heart of man, set God immediately before you. Set His covenant plan, set the plan of sovereign covenant grace, planned by Himself, with the express design to advance His glory, and with precious promises that He will perform what He has contrived and what He has begun—set this in opposition to all your own fears and apprehensions. Oh, “His counsel shall stand, and He will do all His pleasure;” and His pleasure is that not one that belongs to Him, not one of His people, be they who they may, Jew or Gentile, rich or poor, whoever they may be (for in this matter Jehovah is no respecter of persons) not one of them shall be lost. No; “this is the will of Him that sent Me,” and Jesus and the Father are of the same mind—“this is the will of Him that sent Me, that of all whom He hath given Me l should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.”

Surely, we may say, for the few following minutes of our time, prize this precious Word, that reveals to you a scheme so certain; a scheme, we say, without any uncertainty. There has been, of late years, a great outcry in the religious world, or in part of it, at least, against schemes of religion, as though everything was loose and unconnected. But I say we have this grand scheme, which God himself has revealed, and which He has laid down; and well may you be thankful to Him for that Word which reveals it. Here is in God’s Holy Book a consistency. Inconsistency does not accord with the nature of such an One as the infinitely wise and great Jehovah. Here is a clear, connected, consistent scheme of salvation, and this precious Book reveals it. Oh,! search it, and study it, in order that you may enter into it, in order that you may have sweet experience and enjoyment of it.

And then, we may say again, ought you not to be ready to come out from the world and be separate? The Lord has chosen you as a distinct and separate people; now, says He, “come out from among them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing.” You must mix with the world and men of the world, though it is an ungodly world; or else you must needs leave the world altogether; we cannot but, while here, mix with the men of the world. But the meaning surely is, make not these your favourite companions; do not form your close connections with these men; avoid them; come out from them, and make your companions those that fear God’s name. Thus come out from the world. And then, again, you may well be bold and open to make confession of God and His salvation, however offensive it maybe to the natural heart. The glorious plan of free, covenant, rich, and sovereign grace. Oh, acknowledge it; acknowledge it while you live, and when you come to die may you be enabled to acknowledge it.

And this brings to my mind a divine of some note—Mr. Jones, one of the ministers of the church of St. Saviour, Southwark, about eighty years ago. What were His words, when he came to die, and had the near view of death? We know not whether they were not the last that he spoke. Said he, “I am one separated from my brethren”—he there referred to his clerical brethren, to the clergy; there were very few at that time, that had those views that Mr. Jones had, or that success in their work;—now said he, “I am one separated from my brethren,” (implying, this is God’s work, it is His sovereign work, for he would not have said that he deserved it,) and then he added, having said “I am one separated from by brethren,” “I am a sinner saved by grace.” It is a sweet word to be found upon the lips of a dying sinner, “I am a sinner saved by grace.” And the time is coming, if you are now saved by grace, when you shall be found sinners saved to everlasting glory.

But we are not to forget that what has been advanced does not at all preclude the use of means—devotion, exhortation, and so on. These things are connected in Scripture. God works by means; the work of is His, but then He works by means. And there is a remarkable passage, of St. Paul I think, to this effect: “Let us pot on the breast-plate of faith and love,” and so on,—why? In order that we may fight our way, and win the kingdom, and wear the crown? No; let us do this, says he, “for God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” The doctrines of grace are the strongest motives to the use of all God’s suited and appointed means.

And then I will just add, what encouragement arises hence to those who begin to feel on account of their souls, who begin to think of the worth and importance of their souls—what encouragement to come to Jesus! The first real beginning is the dawn of eternal life. If God has given you real convictions, if you have been only convinced of your misery,—Oh, that this may be the case with some poor sinner here, convinced of your misery since you came to this church this morning!—it is the dawn of eternal mercy. What encouragement, therefore, have you to go to Him, to seek of Him that He will carry on and fulfil His good pleasure, and the work of faith with power! And, especially, when you recollect this clause, that He “keepeth mercy for thousands;” He “pardoneth iniquity, transgression, and sin,” and so on, “and keepeth mercy for thousands.” It is a beautiful representation, and perfectly corresponds with what we have been advancing; it represents the treasury of mercy flowing from the great Jehovah—a treasury of mercy laid up in heaven, and there kept in store for the thousands and thousands, who shall hereafter believe in Jesus Christ. There is mercy kept in store, and this mercy is a boundless stream; millions have partaken of it, and yet there is no diminution. There is mercy there kept in store, and it is waiting for you to apply, and to receive in your own experience, in order to have enjoyment of it here upon earth, and in heaven hereafter. And to that kingdom may He, in His grace, condescend to bring every one of you!



Watts Wilkinson (1755-1840) was a High-Calvinist Anglican preacher. He is best known as the “Golden Lecturer” at St. Bartholomew's, by the Royal Exchange, where, on Tuesday mornings, crowds would gather including a number of notable men such as Joseph Irons and the Earl of Roden.