Sermon Illustrations

You perhaps may have heard the story of Mr. Whitefield, who made it his wish wherever he stayed to talk to the members of the household about their souls—with each one personally. But stopping at a certain house of a Colonel, who was all that could be wished for except a Christian, Whitefield was so pleased with the hospitality he received and so charmed with the general character of the good Colonel and his wife and daughters, that he did not like to speak to them about a decision as he would have done if they had been less likable characters.

He had stopped with them for a week and during the last night, the Spirit of God visited him so that he could not

sleep. “These people,” he said, “have been very kind to me and I have not been faithful to them. I must do it before I go. I must tell them that whatever good thing they have, if they do not believe in Jesus they are lost.” He arose and prayed.

After praying he still felt contention in his spirit. His old nature said, “I cannot do it,” but the Holy Spirit seemed to say,

“Leave them not without warning.” At last he thought of a device and prayed God to accept it. He wrote upon a

diamond-shaped pane of glass in the window with his ring these words:—“One thing you lack.”

He could not bring himself to speak to them, but went his way with many a prayer for their conversion. He had no

sooner gone than the good woman of the house, who was a great admirer of Whitefield, said, “I will go up to his room—I want to look at the very place where the man of God has been.” She went up and noticed on the window pane those words, “One thing you lack.” It struck her with conviction in a moment. “Ah,” she said, “I thought he did not care much about us, for I knew he always pleaded with those with whom he stopped and when I found that he did not do so with us, I thought we had vexed him, but I see how it was—he was too tender in mind to speak to us.”

She called her daughters up. “Look there, s,” she said, “see what Mr. Whitefield has written on the window,

‘One thing you lack.’ Call up your father.” And the father came up and read that, too, “One thing you lack,” and around

the bed where the man of God had slept they all knelt down and sought that God would give them the one thing they lacked. And before they left that chamber they had found that one thing, and the whole household rejoiced in Jesus!