...........a short extract..
Samson, when he would pull down the Philistines temple, took hold of the two main pillars of it, and breaking them, down came the house. Christ came to destroy the works of the devil, and to destroy by converting grace, as well as by redeeming blood. Now sin swarms, and lieth by legions, and whole armies, in the souls of the biggest sinners, as in garrisons: wherefore the way, the most direct way to destroy it, is first to deal with such sinners by the word of his gospel, and by the merits of his passion.
For example, though I shall give you but a homely one: suppose a family to be troubled with vermin, and one or two of the family to be in chief the breeders, the way, the quickest way to clear that family, or at least to weaken the so swarming of those vermin, is, in the first place, to sweeten the skin, head, and clothes of the chief breeders; and then, though all the family should be apt to breed them, the number of them, and so the greatness of that plague there, will be the more impaired.
Why, there are some people that are in chief the devil`s sin-breeders in the towns and places where they live. The place, town, or family where they live, must needs be horribly verminous, as it were, eaten up with vermin. Now, let the Lord Jesus, in the first place, cleanse these great breeders, and there will be given a nip to those swarms of sins that used to be committed in such places throughout the town, house, or family, where such sin-breeding persons used to be.
I speak by experience: I was one of these verminous ones, one of these great sin-breeders; I infected all the youth of the town where I was born, with all manner of youthful vanities. The neighbours counted me so; my practice proved me so: wherefore Christ Jesus took me first, and taking me first, the contagion was much allayed all the town over. When God made me sigh, they would hearken, and enquiringly say, What is the matter with John? They also gave their various opinions of me: but, as I said, sin cooled, and failed, as to his full career. When I went out to seek the bread of life, some of them would follow, and the rest be put into a muse at home. Yea, almost the town, at first, at times would go out to hear at the place where I found good; yea, young and old for a while had some reformation on them; also some of them, perceiving that God had mercy upon me, came crying to him for mercy too.
But what need I give you an instance of poor I; I will come to Manasseh the king. So long as he was a ring-leading sinner, the great idolater, the chief for devilism, the whole land flowed with wickedness; for he "made them to sin," and do worse than the heathen that dwelt round about them, or that was cast out from before them: but when God converted him, the whole land was reformed. Down went the groves, the idols, and altars of Baal, and up went true religion in much of the power and purity of it. You will say, The king reformed by power. I answer, doubtless, and by example too; for people observe their leaders; as their fathers did, so did they; 2 Chron. xxxiii. 2.
This, therefore, is another reason why Jesus would have mercy offered in the first place to the biggest sinners, because that is the best way, if they receive it, most to weaken the kingdom of Satan, and to keep it poor and low.