Christ the Best Husband
Written by: Whitefield, George Posted on: 04/03/2003
George Whitefield Sermon 5
Christ the Best Husband: Or an Earnest Invitation to Young Women to
and See Christ. Preached to a Society of Young Women, in Fetter-Lane.
Psalm 14:10-11 Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine
Forget also thine own people, and thy father's house: So shall the
greatly desire thy beauty, for he is thy Lord, and worship thou him.
This psalm is called the song of loves, the most pure and
the most ear and delightful loves; namely, those which are between
the beloved, and his church, which is his spouse; wherein is set
first, the Lord Jesus Christ in regard of his majesty, power, and
his truth, meekness and equity: And then the spouse is set forth, in
of her ornaments, companions, attendants and posterity; and both in
of their comeliness and beauty. After the description of Christ, an
invitation to his espousals, is given the children of men, called by
name of daughter; and therefore, particularly applicable unto you, my
sisters, as being the daughters of men, yet not so as excluding the
I shall now, therefore, consider the words, as spoken to you in
particular, and containing this doctrine;
That the Lord Jesus Christ doth invite the daughters of men to be
spouse; and is exceeding desirous of their beauty; who, forgetting
people and father's house, do hearken, consider and incline to his
invitation, and join themselves to him in this relation.
I shall show,
I. How Christ doth espouse himself unto the children, but, more
especially, unto the daughters of men.
The Lord Jesus Christ, doth espouse himself unto the children of
in the world, but the public solemnization of the marriage, is
until the last day; when his spouse shall be brought forth to him, in
robes, and a raiment of perfect righteousness, more rich and curious,
dear sisters, than any of your needle-work; and the marriage feast
kept in his Father's house, in heaven, when they shall be received
nearest and closest embraces of his love. The marriage knot is tied
in which are included four things:
First; Mutual Choice,
Secondly, Mutual Affection,
Thirdly, Mutual Union,
Fourthly, Mutual Obligation.
FIRST, my dear sisters, there is a MUTUAL CHOICE, which is not
Christ, as Mediator, but also by Christ as the eternal Son of God,
himself; notwithstanding all that the polite Arians and Socinians say
the contrary. The Lord Jesus Christ, my dear sisters, doth choose you
merely by his free grace; it is freely of his own mercy, that he
into the marriage covenant: You, who have so grievously offended him,
the Lord Jesus Christ hath chosen you; you did not, you would not have
chosen him; but when once, my dear sisters, he hath chosen you, then,
not till then, you make choice of him for your Lord and Husband.
The Lord Jesus Christ when he first comes to you, finds you full
sin and pollution; you are deformed, defiled, enslaved, poor,
wretched, very despicable and loathsome, by reason of sin; and he
choice of you, not because of your holiness, nor of your beauty, nor
your being qualified for them; no, the Lord Jesus Christ puts these
qualifications upon you, as may make you meet for his embrace; and you
drawn to make choice of the Lord Jesus Christ because he first chose
SECONDLY, In this espousal of yours, my dear sisters, there is a
MUTUAL AFFECTION; this doth accompany the choice. Your hearts are
after Christ; your souls pant and long for him; you cannot be at rest
you are engaged to this Jesus: You are ready to cry out continually,
but Christ, none but Christ: this is the language of your hearts, if
are truly sensible of your need of him. The more acquaintance you have
this Lord Jesus, the more pleased you are with your choice, and the
your affections are drawn towards him. And where can you place your
affections better than upon that Jesus who shed his blood for your
Surely he deserves both your loves and affections: Go on, go on, my
sisters, that your affections may grow stronger and stronger.
THIRDLY, There is not only mutual choice, and mutual affection,
likewise MUTUAL UNION: And here doth the marriage lie chiefly, in this
union; Christ and souls are contracted, and the knot is tied so fast,
neither men on earth, how great soever they be, nor devils in hell,
they should combine all their wrath and rage together, still they
dissolve, they cannot untie it; no, my dear sisters, it is
for the union is, by the spirit, on Christ's part, and by faith on
By the spirit, Christ doth lay hold on you; and by faith, you do lay
on him; and thus the match is made; Christ becomes yours, his person,
portion, and all his benefits are yours; and you become Christ's, your
persons, your hearts, and all that you have is resigned up unto him,
that they may be so more and more.
FOURTHLY, There is a MUTUAL OBLIGATION between Christ and his
Christ obliges himself to love you here, he will not, indeed he never
leave you, he will protect you from the malice of the Pharisees of
generation, he will provide for you in all difficulties; he will live
you here, and at last he will take you to himself, to live with him
forever. And you are engaged to him to be loving, loyal, faithful,
obedient; and you are to stick close to him as long as you live; and
you will find yourselves to be married to the best advantage, both for
and body, for time and for eternity.
II. Christ doth invite all of you to be his spouse.
And it on this account that he sends forth his ministers to
is this, that makes me thus come among you; that you would accept of
invitation, to which, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I do call
entreat you to take him, on his own terms. He calls all of you, my
whether elder or younger, whether married or unmarried, of higher
or of the meanest quality, the poorest servants, yea, the rabble of
world, as the world calls you, who are willing to be espoused unto the
Jesus Christ. I say, the poor are as welcome to be Christ's spouse as
that are rich. He regardeth not the rich more than the poor; he chose
mean virgin, espoused to a carpenter, to be his mother; and he
calleth all such to be his spouse; then be not discouraged at your
despised in the world; for if you are but loved by Christ, and
him, it will be an over-sufficiency for all the trouble that you have
III. Those who would be espoused unto Christ, must hearken,
and incline to his invitation, and forget even their father's house.
Such as would be espoused unto Christ must hearken. "Hearken, O
daughter." Many amongst you, my sisters, stop their ears against the
of the gospel; they shut their ears like the deaf adder, which will
hearken unto the voice of the charmer, though he charm never so
will not hearken unto the invitations of Christ; you can hearken unto
vanities of the world, and be delighted with the espousals of the
but never think or are delighted with the espousals of Christ.
It was by the ear, that the temptation of sin was received by the
first man, when he departed from God; and by the ear, the invitation
Christ's spouse must be received, before the heart will be opened to
receive Jesus Christ in this conjugal relation.
If you would, my dear sisters, be espoused to Christ, you must
consider Christ's invitation. It is not a slight or bare hearing of
Christ's invitation, which will be of any service to you, or make up
match between Christ and your souls; no, you must receive Christ in
heart; you must consider the thing itself, the advantages of it, the
difference between Christ's invitations and the devil's temptations,
of the world's proffers.
Those who would be espoused to Christ, must be inclined to accept
Christ's invitation. "Hearken, O daughter, consider and incline thine
This is to incline your hearts: You must consent with your wills;
must be a compliance to the motion of Christ, and you must have
after Christ, and then your hearts will say, "Lord, let us be thy
and be thou our beloved."
You must likewise forget your father's house. "Hearken, O
and consider, and forget thy father's house." You are not here to cast
all affections unto natural relations; but you must forget all
so as to be ready to forgo all their favor, when it standeth in
with that of the Lord Jesus Christ: and do not let your carnal friends
relations hinder you from closing with, and espousing the Lord Jesus.
earnestly beseech you to suffer the loss of any thing, rather than to
his favors; you must indeed forget your own people, that is, you must
forget all your evil customs which you have learned in your father's
and forsake all your vain conversation, your reading of plays, novels,
romances; and you must keep from learning to sing the songs of the
drunkard; for Christ, if you are his spouse, hath redeem you.
Such of you, my dear sisters, as are espoused to the Lord Jesus
are very beautiful. I do not mean in respect of your bodies; you may
less of external comeliness than others, in respect of your bodies,
to your souls you will exceed in beauty, not so much in the eyes of
n the eyes of God; such have the most beautiful image of God stamped
them; none n the world beside them, have the least spark of spiritual
beauty. Such as are not married to Christ, are unregenerated, they are
born again, nor brought from sin unto God, which must be done before
espoused to Christ.
And the Lord Jesus Christ desireth to see this beauty in his
for he cries out, "O my dove, thou are in the clefts of the rock, in
secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear
voice, for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely." He
his spouse his love, being the dear object of his love; and he
loveliness; he repeats it twice in one verse, "Behold thou art fair,
love, behold thou art fair." Thus you see he describes their beauty.
then, my sisters, we have wonderful expression of Christ to his
"Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse, thou hast ravished
heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck." Thus you
pleased the Lord Jesus Christ is with his spouse; and will not you,
therefore, be espoused unto the Lord Jesus? I offer Jesus Christ to
you; if you have been never so notorious for sin, if you have been as
a harlot as Mary Magdalen was, when once you are espoused to Christ,
shall be forgiven. Therefore be not discouraged, at whatever slights
contempts the world may pass upon you, but come and join yourselves to
Lord Jesus Christ, and all your sins shall be washed away in his
when once you are espoused to Jesus, you are disjoined from sin, you
born again. You are now, as it were, espoused unto sin; sin is your
husband, and you are too fond of it, but when once you are married to
Christ, when you are born again, then you may be said to die unto sin;
till then, sin liveth in your affections; therefore, my sisters, give
its death-wound in your hearts; you have been called by the word time
time, and it has had no effect upon you; but when you are espoused
Lord Jesus Christ, then you will be brought to him by his Spirit: You
then lay hold on him by faith, his Spirit will draw you unto himself;
will make you to be willing in the day of his power; he will give you
in him. Faith is the hand of the soul which layeth hold on Christ;
therefore do not rest contented till you have this grace of faith
in you with power; do not be contented till you have received the Lord
Embrace Christ in the arms of your dearest love; then you love
Lord Jesus Christ with sincerity, when you love and esteem him before
father, mother, or all the delights and pleasures of this life, but if
do delight in any thing that this world can produce, more than in the
Jesus Christ, you have not true love to him.
If you are espoused to Christ, you have acquaintance and converse
him; you will endeavor to promote his interest, and advance his name
world; when others are going to the polite and fashionable diversions
life, you will be laboring to bring honor to the Lord Jesus Christ;
will commend your beloved above all other beloveds, and endeavor to
others into love to him. Can you, my dear sisters, who are now
worship God, show such evidence of your espousals unto the Lord Jesus
Christ? O! how joyful, how comfortable an estate is this! Surely this
marriage worth seeking after; this is the only desirable marriage, and
Lord Jesus Christ is the only lover that is worth seeking after.
Now, my dear sisters, I shall speak a few words to those of you
have not yet espoused yourselves to the Lord Jesus. It is a great sin,
surely you highly affront the Lord that bought you. It is likewise
folly to refuse and neglect the gracious proffers of being the spouse
Christ; hereby you forfeit all that love which he would bestow upon
hereby you choose rags before robes, dross before gold, pebbles before
jewels, built before a pardon, wounds before healing, defilement
cleansing, deformity before comeliness, trouble before peace, slavery
before liberty, the service of the devil before the service of Christ.
Hereby you choose dishonor before a crown, death before life, hell
heaven, eternal misery and torment before everlasting joy and glory.
need there a further evidence of your folly and madness, in refusing
neglecting Christ to be your spouse.
My dear sisters, I should exceed the limits of your time, should
particularize all the advantages which you would obtain by being
to the Lord Jesus. This is your wisdom; they are foolish virgins who
refuse; but you are the wise virgins who have accepted of the Lord
Christ, and have disposed of yourselves to him; you have made the
choice; and however the blind world may deem you fools, and despise
being methodically mad, yet you are wise in the esteem of God, and
one day, appear so in the esteem of them that now despise you. It is
glory that you are espoused unto the Lord Jesus; and therefore glory
your espousal; glory not in yourselves, but in the Lord who hath thus
freely and graciously bestowed these favors upon you. It is your
be espoused unto the Lord Jesus Christ, he will protect and defend you
from sin and Satan, and eternal ruin; and therefore thus far you are
he hath a regard for you in times of danger from men, and these times
danger seem to be hastening; it is now arising as a black cloud no
than a man's hand, and by and by it will overspread the heavens, and
it is full it will burst; but if you are espoused to Christ, you are
Now, my dear sisters, I shall conclude with an earnest
high and low, rich and poor, one with another, to be espoused unto
Let me speak unto you, young women, who are not yet espoused unto
Christ, in an especial manner. It may be to satisfy your curiosity,
brought many of you here; though, perhaps, this may be the time when
shall be brought home to embrace the Lord Jesus, and be espoused to
And O, that I may persuade you, by his Spirit, to espouse yourselves
the Lord of life.
And if you are but brought to close with the Lord Jesus Christ, I
shall attain my end, and then both you and I shall rejoice that I
this sermon to you.
Come virgins, will you give me leave to be a suitor unto you, not
my own name, but in the name of the Lord? O! that I may prevail with
for your affections, and persuade you to give them unto Christ! May I
instrumental of bringing your souls unto Christ! May I be instrumental
join you and Christ together this day!
Be not coy (bashful, shy; showing reluctance to make a definite
commitment), as some of you possibly are in other loves: modesty and
virgin blush may very well come you, when proposals of another kind
made unto you; but here coyness is filly, and backwardness to accept
this motion, is shame: you have ten thousand times more reason to
the refusal of Christ for your beloved, than at the acceptance; when
otherwise the devil and sin would ravish your virgin affections. Never
you a better motion made to you; never was such a match proffered to
this, of being matched and espoused unto the Lord Jesus Christ.
Consider who the Lord Jesus is, whom you are invited to espouse
yourselves unto; he is the best husband; there is none comparable to
Do you desire one that is great? He is of the highest dignity, he
the glory of heaven, the darling of eternity, admired by angels,
devils, and adored by saints. For you to be espoused to so great a
what honor will you have by this espousal?
Do you desire one that is rich? None is comparable to Christ, the
fullness of the earth belongs to him. If you be espoused to Christ,
shall share in his unsearchable riches; you shall receive of his
even grace for grace here, and you shall hereafter be admitted to
and shall live with this Jesus to all eternity.
Do you desire one that is wise? There is none comparable to
wisdom. His knowledge is infinite, and his wisdom is correspondent
And if you are espoused to Christ, he will guide and counsel you, and
you wise unto salvation.
Do you desire one that is potent, who may defend you against your
enemies, and all the insults and reproaches of the Pharisees of this
generation? There is none that can equal Christ in power; for the Lord
Jesus Christ hath all power.
Do you desire one that is good? There is none like unto Christ in
regard; others may have some goodness, but it is imperfect; Christ's
goodness is complete and perfect, he is full of goodness and in him
dwelleth no evil.
Do you desire one that is beautiful? His eyes are most sparkling,
looks and glances of love are ravishing, his smiles are most
refreshing unto the soul: Christ is the most lovely person of all
in the world.
Do you desire one that can love you? None can love you like
His love, my dear sisters, is incomprehensible; his love passeth all
loves: The love of the Lord Jesus is first, without beginning; his
free without any motive; his love is great without any measure; his
constant without any change, and his love is everlasting.
It was the love of the Lord Jesus Christ, my dear sisters, which
brought him down from heaven; and which veiled his divinity in a human
and body; for he is God over all blessed for ever: It was love that
him subject to hunger, thirst and sorrow; he was humbled, even unto
for you; for you who are espoused to him, he underwent the painful,
shameful and ignominious death of the cross: and can you, my sisters,
this, and not be concerned to think that the blessed Jesus underwent
this for such sinful creatures as you and I are? And when out of love
had finished the redemption on earth, as to what was needful for
satisfaction; it was his love that carried him back to heaven, where
before, that he might make application of what he had purchased, that
he might make intercession for those whom he had redeemed, and prepare
place for them, even glorious mansions with himself, in the house not
with hands, which is eternal in the heavens. It is out of love that he
sendeth such tokens to his people from heaven to earth, which he
through his ordinances, by his Spirit unto them. Surely then none is
deserving as the Lord Jesus Christ for you to espouse yourselves unto:
you be espoused unto Christ he is yours, all that he is, all that he
you shall have his heart, and share in the choicest expressions of his
The Lord Jesus Christ, my dear sisters, doth beseech you to be
spouse. We ministers have a commission from the Lord Jesus Christ to
you, in his name, unto this very thing; and Christ's invitations are
general; frequent; earnest; free.
Christ's invitations of you, to be his spouse, are REAL: and as
thing is real, so you, my dear sisters, are really invited unto it.
Lord doth not mock and dissemble with you, as some pretending lovers,
dissemble love unto virgins, until they have gained their affections,
then falsely and basely relinquish them, never really intending either
espouse, or marry them: but the Lord doth really intend the thing, in
invitations of you; he never cast off any whose consent and affections
had gained. Again,
Christ's invitations of you, my dear sisters, are GENERAL. All of
are invited, none of you are excluded; all sorts of sinners are
the most vile and abominable sinners, the most notorious transgressors
invited to be Christ's spouse, and shall be as welcome as any unto the
embraces of his love.
Christ's invitations of you are FREQUENT: Jesus Christ calls on
frequently; he hath waited on you time after time, one year after
and he doth now invite you, by me this day, to come unto Him. Do not
this invitation, but receive it with joy and thankfulness. Come, I
you, to this Jesus, who thus, invites you to be his spouse. Again,
Christ's invitations to be his spouse are EARNEST: he doth call
you, and not only call, but call earnestly too; yea, he useth many
arguments with you; he will press you to come unto him; he is loth
to take any denial from you: he knocks, and knocks hard at the door of
hearts for entertainment; and surely you will not deny the Lord of
glory who died for you, and gave himself for you: O my dear sisters,
this be the evening of your espousals to the Lord Jesus Christ.
He invites you FREELY to be his spouse, for all his invitations
free; he doth not expect a portion with you, as worldly lovers do; He
nothing of you: nay, you must have nothing, if you be espoused unto
Lord Jesus Christ. If you be poor, miserable, blind, naked, Jesus
will supply all these defects of his own free mercy; he will fill and
supply you with all things out of his treasury; he will make you meet
himself; he will prepare you to live with him for ever.
Consider, if you be once espoused unto Christ, if once joined in
relation, you shall never be separated from him; neither men nor
shall be able to separate you: none, none, shall disjoin you; and when
death doth break all other bonds, it shall not break the conjugal bond
between you and Christ, but bring you unto the most full and
possession of your beloved.
And what do you now say, young women? Shall I have a grant for my
master, or be sent away with a repulse and refusal; no, I cannot carry
a message to my master; I hope better things of you, my sisters, and
which accompany salvation: methinks by this time ye should begin to
mind unto Jesus Christ; you look as if you did desire; you hearken as
you would consent. What do you say? Shall the match be made up this
between Christ and your souls? O that I may be instrumental in joining
hands, or rather your hearts together: O that I may be instrumental to
that knot, which never can be unloosed.
Some marry in haste, and repent at leisure; but if you were once
espoused unto Jesus Christ, you would never repent; nothing would
you, but that you were not joined to him sooner; and you would not be
disjoined again for all the world.
Shall this be the day of your espousals? Some of you have stayed
long time; and will you defer any longer? If you will not now, perhaps
may never have another opportunity; this may be the last time of
and therefore it is dangerous to refuse; some of you are very young,
young for other espousals; but none of you, by dear sisters, are too
to be espoused unto the Lord Jesus Christ: in other espousals, you
have the consent of your parents; but in this you are at your own
you may give, and ought to match yourselves to Christ, whether parents
consent or not.
But if any of you should ask, what you must do that you may be
espoused unto Christ? You must be sensible of your need of being
to him, and until you are sensible of your need of the Lord Jesus
you cannot be espoused to him: You must have desires after this Jesus,
seek unto him for an interest in him, you must cry nightly unto him to
espouse you to himself; put off the filthiness of sin and all its
defilements; and then, my sisters, put on the white raiment, and clean
garments, which Christ hath provided for you, the robes of his
righteousness; in these garments you shall be beautiful; and in these
garments you shall be accepted: you must have the wedding garment on;
must put off all your own good works, for they will be but a means to
you from Christ; no, you must come as not having your own
which is of the law, but you must have the righteousness of Christ.
Therefore, come unto the Lord Jesus Christ, and he will give it to
will not send you away without it. Receive him upon his own terms, and
is yours forever: O devote yourselves to him, soul and body, and all,
his for ever; and Christ will be yours and then happy, happy you, that
you were born! But if any of you die before this espousal unto the
Jesus Christ, then woe, woe, unto you, that ever you had a being in
but if you go to Christ you shall be espoused unto the Lord Jesus:
your sins have been never so great, yea, the blood of Christ will
you from them; the marriage covenant between Christ and your souls
dissolve all your sins; you will then be weary of your old ways, for
things will become new in your souls.
Now, my dear sisters, I shall conclude by just speaking a word or
to those of you, who are already espoused unto the Lord Jesus Christ.
O admire, admire the rich and free grace, which hath brought you
this relation: Is not this an instance of the greatest of love, that
should be the spouse of the Lord Jesus Christ? You that had no beauty,
that had no comeliness, that was full of sin, that He should embrace
as you and I are; that we should be taken into the embrace of this
Jesus. O infinite condescending kindness! O amazing love! Reverence,
reverence, I beseech you, this Lord Jesus Christ.
He is you Lord, and you must reverence him, love and be faithful
him, be subject to him, and careful to please him in every thing;
to keep up a daily communion with him; look, long and prepare for
second appearance, when the nuptials between you shall be solemnized,
you live with him in mansions of everlasting joys, where you shall
live with this king of glory for ever and ever.
I know not how to conclude; methinks I could speak to you till
midnight, if it would bring you unto the Lord Jesus Christ, and make
espoused to him, for indeed, that will be the espousal which will turn
the greatest advantage, as you will find by experience, if you will
make the trial; and that you may do so, my prayers and my constant
shall be used.
I will, my dear sisters, spend and be spent for you, and by the
assistance of God, will persevere in this that I have begun; and as
you may have opportunity some evening in the week, without breaking
the business of life; I shall therefore, my sisters, either be here,
where you shall be publicly acquainted with: I will not mind being
reproached or despised: the men of this world may use what language
please; they may say I am a Methodist. Indeed, my sisters, I am
by the grace of God, to use all methods I can, to pluck you from
that you may be as brands plucked from the burning fire: this shall be
method, which I hope will be the means of effectually having your
and immortal souls.
And if I am the instrument of this, I shall rejoice, yea, and I
rejoice in spite of what men, or devils, can say or do to the
may the Lord Jesus Christ direct, and assist me at all times, to act
will be most for is glory, and the welfare of your souls: and may you
say a hearty Amen thereto.
"Now the Lord Jesus Christ, who is God over all, blessed for
assist and watch over you, keep you from all evil and sin here, and
you before his Father faultless at the great day of account! To this
Jesus Christ, the Father , and the blessed Spirit, three persons and
one eternal and invisible God, be ascribed all honor, power, glory,
majesty and dominion, now, henceforth, and for ever more. Amen, Amen."
"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the
fellowship of the Holy Ghost be with you all, to comfort under, and
you from tribulation; to preserve you to your respective place of
and when there, to keep you in his fear, that you may live to his
that to live may be Christ's, and to die by your eternal gain; so that
may live with him through eternal ages, and sing Hallelujahs to him
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