Ten Shekels and a Shirt
by Paris Reidhead

What About You?

What about you? Why did you repent? I'd like to see some people repent on Biblical terms again. George Whitefield knew it. He stood on Boston Commons speaking to twenty thousand people, and he said, "Listen sinners, you're monsters, MONSTERS OF INIQUITY! You deserve Hell! And the worst of your crimes is in that criminals though you've been, you haven't had the good grace to see it! If you will not weep for your SINS and your crimes against a Holy God, George Whitefield will weep for you!"

That man would put his head back and sob like a baby. Why? Because they were in danger of Hell? No! But because they were MONSTERS OF INIQUITY, who didn't even see their sin or care about their crimes. You see the difference? The difference is, here's somebody trembling because he is going to be hurt in Hell. AND HE HAS NO SENSE OF THE ENORMITY OF HIS GUILT AND NO SENSE OF THE ENORMITY OF HIS CRIME AND NO SENSE OF HIS INSULT AGAINST DEITY! He's only trembling because his skin is about to be singed. He's afraid.

I submit to you that whereas fear is good office work in preparing us for grace, it's no place to stop. The Holy Ghost doesn't stop there. That's the reason why people cannot savingly receive Christ until they've repented. And a person can repent only if that person has been convicted. And conviction is the work of the Holy Ghost that helps a sinner to see THAT HE IS A CRIMINAL BEFORE GOD AND DESERVES ALL GOD'S WRATH. AND IF GOD WERE TO SEND HIM TO THE LOWEST CORNER OF A DEVIL'S HELL FOREVER AND TEN ETERNITIES, THAT HE DESERVED IT ALL! And a hundred fold more. Because HE'S SEEN HIS CRIMES!

There was a difference in the time of John Wesley in the 18th century England. Wesley was a preacher of righteousness who exalted the holiness of God in his two to three hour open air sermons. He dwelt on the law of God, the justice of God, and the wisdom of His requirements. He would depict to sinners the enormity of their crimes and their open rebellion and treason and anarchy. The power of God would so descend on the congregation that people were smitten to the ground, utterly unconscious. They had had a revelation of the holiness of God and had seen the enormity of their sins. The Spirit of God had penetrated their minds and hearts.

This phenomenon also happened in America in the 18th century at Yale University during the time of John Wesley Redfield. Outdoor evangelistic meetings were held in the amphitheater at Yale University. Policeman controlling the crowds were cautioned to delineate between the common drunk, whose alcohol breath betrayed him and who was to be locked up for drunken behavior, and those who had been smitten by God and were diagnosed as having "Redfield's disease." They were to be removed to a quiet place until they returned to consciousness. Lives were transformed. If men had been drunkards, they stopped drinking; cruel persons changed; immoral people gave up immorality. Thieves repented and returned what had been stolen. Men and women had seen the holiness of God and the enormity of their sin. The Spirit of God had driven them down into unconsciousness because of the weight of their guilt. Somehow in the overspreading of the power of God, sinners repented of their sin and came savingly to Christ.

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