‘A friend of publicans and sinners.’ Matthew 11:19
Suggested Further Reading: Isaiah 55:1–7
We know of a place (near Winchester) in England still existing, where there is a portion of bread served to every passer-by who chooses to ask for it. Whoever he may be he has but to knock at the door of St Cross Hospital, and there is the portion of bread for him. Jesus Christ so loves sinners that he has built a St Cross Hospital, so that, whenever a sinner is hungry, he has but to knock and have his wants supplied. No, he has done better; he has attached to this hospital of the cross a bath; and whenever a soul is black and filthy it has but to go there and be washed. The fountain is always full, always efficacious. There is no sinner who ever went into it and found it could not wash away his stains. Sins which were scarlet and crimson have all disappeared, and the sinner has been whiter than snow. As if this were not enough, there is attached to this hospital of the cross a wardrobe, and a sinner, making application simply as a sinner, with nothing in his hand, but being just empty and naked, may come and be clothed from head to foot. And if he wishes to be a soldier, he may not merely have an undergarment, but he may have armour which shall cover him from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. If he wants a sword he shall have that given him, and a shield too. There is nothing that his heart can desire that is good for him which he shall not receive. He shall have spending money so long as he lives, and he shall have an eternal heritage of glorious treasure when he enters into the joy of his Lord.
For meditation: Christ crucified draws sinners to himself (John 12:32–33). When they come to him, he is the perfect host, not turning anyone away (John 6:37), but offering them all the very best hospitality (John 6:35). He can be fully recommended by all who come to him in truth (John 6:68–69).
Sermon no. 556
29 August (Undated Sermon)