heavenly. A bachelor, he was much rejoiced to see me, and
prayed most earnestly for my success."
He preached twice the next day to a very large and deeply-
impressed congregation, and staid all night with old Mr. Clapp.
WHITEFIELD IN NEW ENGLAND. 1 63
He was much pleased with him. After an interview with the
governor, he preached again the next day to an increased con-
gregation with a very deep effect. Many wept freely. The
legislature adjourned to hear him. On returning to his lodg-
ings, the landlady saluted him with, " Blessed art thou of the
Lord," because he had shot an arrow from God's quiver into a
young woman's heart, and her soul was bleeding for salvation.
She said, " the Word came with such power that I was obliged
to go out of the church." Having to leave Newport the next
day, she exclaimed, " Oh, the goodness of God in sending
Whitefield just now!" The people were so eager after the
Word, that over 1,000 crowded around his lodgings to hear
more of it after preaching was out. He spoke to them nearly
an hour with deep feeling.
GOES TO BOSTON.
Requested by the Court, on his way he preached at Bristol,
and reached Boston on the eighteenth. He was met four
miles out by the governor's son and others, who conducted
him to Mr. Stamford's, where several ministers and others
soon came to see him. " His heart was low and body weak"
when he entered Boston. Yet, at the friend's request, he led
them in a prayer of thanksgiving for his safe arrival, and
besought God's blessing upon his labors. After a good night's
sleep, and perceiving some fresh rays of light and comfort
breaking in upon his soul, accompanied by Secretary Willard,
he called upon Governor Belcher the next day, who received
him most courteously and requested frequent visits. At
eleven he attended worship at the Episcopal church, inter-
viewed five Episcopal clergymen, and went home with the
commissary, who received him very kindly. In the afternoon
he preached in Dr. Coleman's church to about 4000, and to a
I64 LIFE OF WHITEFIELD.
large crowd at his lodgings in the evening, with very encour-
Encouraged by hearing of the "great work going on at
Charleston," he preached the next morning in the " Old South
Church" (Dr. Sewall's), to about 6000, "and afterwards to
about 8000 on the Common, and again at night to a thronged
company at his lodgings." On Sabbath morning he heard Dr.
Coleman and preached in the afternoon to a very thronged
audience with great effect, in Mr. Foxcroft's church, and
almost immediately after again on the Common, to about
15,000 deeply-affected hearers, and again at his lodgings to an
unusually large crowd. Thirsting for more, they even followed
him to his bedroom.
Going around, he preached the next morning at Mr. Webb's
church to over 6000 attentive hearers, " most of whom wept for
a considerable time." There was so much of the presence of
God that some said "it was the gate of heaven." "The Lord
Jesus seemed to be visibly walking in their midst." " In the
afternoon I went to preach at Mr. Checkley's church, but God
was pleased to humble us by an awful Providence. Just before
commencing the service, some one broke a board to make a
seat. Alarmed by the noise, some imprudently called out:
"The galleries arc giving way!" when the densely crowded
house was thrown into such an alarm and confusion, that in
trying to escape five persons were killed and others danger-
ously wounded. Grasping the situation, upon reaching the
church in the midst of the uproar, with his characteristic pres-
ence of mind, Mr. Whitefield gave out notice that he would
preach immediately on the Common. The weather was wet,
yet 8,000 followed to hear him preach a stirring sermon from
the text, "Go out and compel them to come in."
WHITEFIELD IN NEW ENGLAND. 1 65
The next morning he preached at Roxbury, and the Rev.
Mr. Walter, a good old Puritan, was so much refreshed, he
said, "this is Puritanism revived." After preaching in " The
Old South," in the afternoon to a very full house, the next day
he " went to see and preach at Cambridge, the chief college for
training the sons of the prophets in all New England." " It
has one president, I think four tutors, and about 100 students.
The tutors neglect to pray with and examine the hearts of their
pupils. Discipline is at a low ebb. Bad books are become
fashionable." Many ministers attended, and in concluding his
sermon he made a close application to tutors and students. He
preached again the afternoon in the court, to about 7,000 atten-
tive hearers. " The Holy Spirit melted many hearts." One
was hopefully converted.
When about to preach the next day, he had such a deep
sense of his own " base ingratitude," that he was tempted not
to preach and invite sinners to the Saviour, " because he was
such a great sinner himself." But resisting the devil, God en-
abled him to preach with great tenderness.
By request, that day, he and most of the Boston pastors
dined with Governor Belcher. And says he, " Before dinner,
the Governor called me into his chamber. He wept, wished
me good success, and recommended himself, ministers and
people, to my prayers." " Immediately after dinner I prayed
explicitly for them all ;" and in returning in the governor's
coach, " I had such a sense of my vileness, that I wondered the
people did not stone me." He preached the next morning with
a deep effect at Roxbury to many thousands, and in the after-
noon to many more at Mr. Byles' church.
Sermon after sermon, with the interest still increasing, he
preached again on Saturday morning at Mr. Welsteed's
church, and in the afternoon on the Common to about 15,000
1 66 LIFE OF WHITEFIELD.
people with great power. The effect was so great that he ex-
claimed, " Oh, how did the word run ! I was so rejoiced that I
could scarce abstain from crying out, ' This is none other than
the House of God and the Gate of Heaven.' " At his lodg-
ings "many wept bitterly and cried out like persons really
hungering and thirsting after righteousness." "So many come
to me under convictions and for advice that I have scarce time
to eat. Wonderful things are doing here. The word runs like
lightning. Dagon daily falls before the ark." On Sabbath
morning, September 28, he preached again at " The Old
South" with a very deep impression, and collected .£555 for
the Orphan House. Exhausted with "these herculean labors,"
he was taken very ill after dinner, but with his buoyant soul,
was enabled to preach at Dr. Coleman's in the afternoon and
collected ^470 more for the orphans. $5,000 given by two
churches in a day in Boston, 130 years ago, was a very big
collection. Feeling deeply, the people gave very liberally.
Let their liberal example provoke us to give more. s Dr.
Coleman said, " This was the happiest day I ever saw in my
After dinner he received a private visit from Governor
Belcher, preached to a large congregation of negroes, at their
request, on the conversion of the Ethiopian, Acts viii., and they,
as well as many whites, were "much affected." Enjoying the
high respect and warm friendship of the Boston ministers, they
flocked to hear him. "Almost exhausted," he says, " my legs
were almost ready to sink under me; but the Lord visited my
soul, and I went to bed greatly refreshed."
Honored with a brilliant career and a glorious success in
Boston, Whitefield now goes to blow the gospel trumpet in
the surrounding towns and villages. Starting early Monday
he preached at Marblehead in the forenoon, and at Salem in
WHITEFIELD IN NEW ENGLAND. 1 67
the afternoon to about 7,000 hearers with a very deep effect.
He preached the next day at Ipswich with " a great melting in
the congregation,"and was much interested to know that his
host, Mr. Rodgers, was a descendant of John Rodgers, the cel-
ebrated martyr. At Salem one brother " seemed to be almost
in heaven." After giving them a sermon at Hampton, he
preached to a polite auditory at Portsmouth, but with little
effect. One young man cried out, " What shall I do to be
saved ?" He now went on to York, in Maine, to see Rev. Mr.
Moody, and after preaching twice in his church to weeping
congregations, on his return to Boston, he preached again in
the same places with increased interest and liberal contribu-
tions for -his orphans. At Portsmouth, " soon after he began to
preach, the people began to melt," and " the word seemed to
pierce through and through." " Great numbers were under
October 6, he returned to Boston with improved health, and
preached twice the next day at Dr. Coleman's with much
power. He now received many letters from the awakened and
many calls from the newly converted. Having been reported
dead or poisoned, the people rejoiced greatly to see him again
A CHILD "GOING TO WHITEFIELD's GOD."
Accompanied by the Governor in his coach, he went and
preached twice the next day at Mr. Webb's church to immense
congregations. He scarcely ever saw so much of the presence
of God before. " Both times many hearts were melted down,
and I think I never was so drawn out to pray for and invite
little children to Jesus Christ as in the morning. A little
before, I had heard of a child who was taken sick just after.it
had heard me preach, and said, 'He wants to go to Mr. White-
1 68 LIFE OF WHITEFIELD.
field's God] and died in a short time after." "This encouraged
me to speak to little ones. But oh, how were the' old people
affected when I said, ' Little children, if your parents will not
come to Christ, do you come and go to heaven without them.'
There seemed to be but few dry eyes." And with a shout of
" Glory be to God," he said, " I have not seen a greater com-
motion since my preaching in Boston."
Known to be expert in talking to children, a little girl of
seven years on her death-bed sent for him. He came and
thus they conversed :
Whitefield. " For what purpose, my dear child, have you
sent for me ?"
Girl. " I think I am dying, and I wished very much to see
Whitefield. " What can I do for you ?"
Girl. " You can tell me about Christ, and pray for me."
Whitefield. "My dear girl, what do you know about
Girl. " I know he is the Saviour of the world."
Whitefield. " My dear child, He is so."
Girl. " I hope He will be my Saviour also."
Whitefield. " I hope, my dear, that this is the language of
faith out of the mouth of a babe ; but tell me what ground you
have for saying this ?"
Girl. " Oh, sir, He bids little children, such as I, to come
unto Him, and says, 'Of such is the kingdom of heaven ;' and
besides, I love Christ, and am always glad when I think of
Whitefield. " My dear child, you make my very heart to
rejoice ; but are you not a sinner ?"
Girl. "Yes, I am a sinner, but my blessed Redeemer takes
away sin, and I long to be with Him."
WHITEFIELD IN NEW ENGLAND. 1 69
Whitefield. "My dear girl, I trust that the desire of your
heart will be granted ; but when do you think you will find
Girl. " O, sir, I think I shall find Him in heaven."
Whitefield. "Do you think you will get to heaven?"
Girl. " Yes, I do."
Whitefield. "But what if you do not find Christ there?"
Girl. " If I do not find Christ there, I am sure it is not
heaven ; for where He dwells must be heaven, for there also
dwells God, and holy angels, and all that Christ saves."
While Whitefield was preaching in New England a lady
was converted, whose " spirit was peculiarly drawn out in
prayer for others." " But in her Christian exercises she was
alone ; she could persuade no one to pray with her but her
little daughter about ten years of age. She took this dear
child into her closet from day to day, as a witness of her cries
and tears." At length the little girl was converted, and, " in a
transport of joy she exclaimed, 'O, mother, if all the world
knew this ! I wish I could tell everybody. Pray, mother, let
me run to some of the neighbors and tell them, that they may
be happy, and love my Saviour too.' 'Ah, my dear child, that
would be of no use, for they would not believe you.' ' Oh,
mother, I think they would believe me. I must go over to
the shoemaker, and tell him; he will believe me.' She ran
over and found him at work in his shop. She began by telling
him that he must die, and that he was a sinner, and that she
was a sinner, but that her blessed Saviour had heard her
mother's prayers, and had forgiyen her all her sins; and that
now she was so happy that she did not know how to tell it.
The shoemaker was struck with surprise; his tears flowed
down like rain ; he threw aside his work, and by prayer and
supplication sought for mercy. The neighborhood was awak-
170 LIFE OF WHITEFIELD.
ened, and within a few months more than fifty persons were
hopefully converted." — Belcher, p. 168-9.
Although thronged with the awakened and deep-distressed
souls since his return to Boston, he preached the next morn-
ing at Mr. Sewell's, on the Nature and Necessity of Regener-
ation, and cautioned tutors to watch their pupils, and ministers
to examine well their candidates for ordination. " For," says
he, " I am verily persuaded that the generality of preachers
talk of an unknown and unfelt Christ ; and the reason why
congregations have been so dead is, because they have had
dead men preaching to them. O that the Lord may quicken
and revive them, for His own name's sake. For how can dead
men beget living children ? . It is true, indeed, Gobi may con-
vert men by the devil, if He pleases, and so He may by un-
converted ministers; but I believe He seldom makes use of
either for this purpose. I would not lay hands on an uncon-
verted man for ten thousand worlds."
He preached again in the afternoon on the Common to
about 15,000 people, and collected over ,£200 for the orphans.
Here he received a request to pray for a young unconverted
minister. He prayed for him with all his heart. He says,
if unconverted men preach, " they offer God strange fire." He
spoke afterwards at the poor house, the work house, and his
lodgings. Fearing he would injure his health, his friends cried,
"Spare thyself" but he labored on as usual. After the throng
of anxious inquirers was over, next morning, accompanied by
Rev. Mr. Cooper, he went and preached at Charlestown and
Reading with much demonstration of the Spirit, and collected
,£257 for the orphans.
Though very weak in body, he was much refreshed in
spirit, at the sight of a poor little girl sitting at his gate, who
had followed him from Roxbury for instruction. Being under
WHITEFIELD IN NEW ENGLAND. I7I
very deep convictions, she said, "She wanted nothing but Christ,
and Christ she would have." After preaching in the rain, the
next day., to a very large, attentive congregation at Cambridge,
he gave them
HIS FAREWELL TO BOSTON.
Rising early Sabbath morning, October 12, with soul and
body much refreshed, after spending the morning hours with
the anxious, " he preached with great power and affection at
' the Old $outh,' which was so densely crowded that he had
to go in at one of the windows." " He dined with the gover-
nor, who came to him after dinner weeping and desired his
prayers." After hearing Dr. Sewell in the afternoon, although
unwell, he went with the governor in his coach, to the com-
mon, and preached his farewell sermon to about 20,000. Tracy
says to near 30,000 people. " Great numbers were melted into
tears." The governor accompanied him to his lodgings, where
he spoke to a vast crowd " who were so deeply affected, that
they cried out so loud while he was praying, that he had to
leave off." He spent the evening mainly in conversing with
those " under very great distress of soul." Encouraged with
these precious revivings, he exclaimed, " Blessed be God for
what He has done in Boston." In speaking of the Bostonians,
he said, " The ministers and magistrates seem to be more
united than in any other place I have been. Both were ex-
ceedingly kind to me. I never saw so little scoffing, never
had so little opposition. Boston people are dear to my soul.
Dear Bostdn, farewell"
The next day, October 13, he left Boston for Northampton.
The cultured Governor Belcher took him to the ferry in his
coach, kissed him, and with tears bid him an affectionate fare-
\J2 LIFE OF WHITEFIELD.
About noon the next day he reached Concord, and
preached in the open air to a large, melting congregation, with
considerable interest. After giving them impressive sermons
at Sudbury and Marlborough, he preached again at Worcester
to several thousands with a very deep effect. "The Word fell
with great power and carried all before it." Here he met Gov-
ernor Belcher, "who exhorted him to go on stirring up the
ministers ; and do not spare rulers any more than ministers —
no, not the chief of them." Requesting an interest in his
prayers, the governor, with tears in his eyes, kissed him again,
and bid him a final farewell.
Says Dr. Philip, " Princeton College owes much to Belcher,
and Belcher was much indebted to Whitefield for the impulse
which made him its chief patron and benefactor." Passing
on, he preached at . Leicester, Brookfield and Cold-Spring, on
his way to Hadley, where he spoke with such tenderness and
power, that "// was like putting fire to tindery Speaking to
them of their former revival, " quickened and caused many of
them to weep sorely."
WHITEFIELD AT NORTHAMPTON.
After a long journey he reached Northampton, October
17th, and enjoyed the great privilege of seeing President Ed-
wards, and of hearing through him about the great revival
they had there in 1735. With over 300 hopeful conversions,
reaching all classes, this was one of the greatest revivals since
the day of Pentecost. The conversions averaged near 30 a
week for some six weeks. Commencing with the sudden and
unexpected conversion of one of the gay young ladies, " The
news of which," says Edwards, " seemed to be almost like a
flash of lightning upon the hearts of young people all over the
WHITEFIELD IN NEW ENGLAND. 1/3
town," the work spread so rapidly that the whole town soon
seemed to be full of the presence of God.
" It was never so full of love, and yet so full of distress as it
was then. It was a time of joy in families ; parents rejoicing
over their children as new-born, and husbands over their
wives, and wives over their husbands. Alive in God's service
the congregations were from time to time in tears, while the
Word was preached ; some weeping with sorrow and distress,
others with joy and love, others with pity and concern for
their neighbors." (Edwards.)
After interviewing Mr. Edwards, Whitefield said, " He is a
solid, excellent Christian. I think I may say I have not seen
his equal in all New England. When I came into his pulpit,
I found my heart drawn out to talk of scarce anything but the
consolations and privileges of saints, and the plentiful effusions
of the Holy Ghost in the hearts of believers." And when he
came to speak of their precious revival, " both minister and
people wept profusely." Though weak in body, he spoke with
great power, and exhorted at Mr. Edwards's house that even-
ing. Next morning, at Mr. Edwards's request, he spoke to his
little children, who were much affected.
In the morning he preached at Hadfield, five miles out, and
in the afternoon again to a 'weeping congregation in Mr.
Edwards's church. " Few eyes were dry, and it seemed as if a
time of refreshing had come from the presence of the Lord."
On Sabbath morning " he felt a wonderful satisfaction in being
at Mr. Edwards's house. He was so much pleased with Mr.
and Mrs. Edwards that he said, "A sweeter couple I never
saw. The children were dressed, not in silks and satins, but
plain, as becometh the children of examples of Christian sim-
plicity." " She is a woman adorned with a meek and quiet
spirit, and talked so feelingly and solidly of the things of God,
174 LIFE OF WHITEFIELD.
and seemed to be such a helpmeet to her husband, that it put
him in the notion of marrying, and to pray God to send him a
good wife." Leaving it all to God, he said, " Lord, I desire to
have 110 choice of my own." " Thou knowest my circum-
In preaching this morning, the melting began sooner, and
spread wider than before. " Dear Mr. Edwards wept during
the whole time of service." " The people were equally if not
more affected ; and my own soul was much lifted up towards
God. In the afternoon the power increased more and more.
I have not seen such a gracious melting since my arrival.
My soul was much knit to these dear people of God; and
though their former fire might be greatly abated, yet it imme-
diately appeared when stirred up." "Oh, that Northampton
people may recover their first love, and return and do their first
Accompanied by Mr. Edwards and several other gentle-
men, Mr. Whitefield left Northampton the same evening, and
preached three times the next day, October 20, at Westfield
and Springfield. Here he says, " A little after I left Spring-
field, my horse, coming over a broken bridge, threw me over
his head, directly upon my nose. I was stunned for a while,
my mouth was full of dust, I bled a little, but falling upon soft
sand, received but little damage." After interviewing a min-
ister, " who said it was not absolutely necessary for a gospel
minister to be converted," in preaching at Springfield the next
day, he insisted much on the necessity of regeneration, and a
converted ministry, " and made a great impression upon the
people. Many ministers were present. I did not spare them.
Most of them thanked me for my plain dealings. One was
offended. Unconverted ministers are the bane of the Christian
WHITEFIELD IN NEW ENGLAND. 175
He preached that afternoon with great freedom at East
Windsor, Connecticut, and spent the night very agreeably with
Mr. Edwards's parents. Here young Mr. Edwards took occa-
sion privately to caution Mr. Whitefield about his attaching
too much importance to impulses. Whitefield took it kindly
but remained of the same opinion. Mr. Edwards also cautioned
him against his common practice of "judging other persons to
■ Mr. Edwards says, " Mr. Whitefield preached four sermons
at t Northampton, and the congregation was extraordinarily
melted by every sermon ; almost the whole assembly being in
tears for a greater part of the sermon time. Mr. Whitefield's
sermons were suitable to the circumstances of the town ; con-
taining a just reproof of our backslidings, and in a most mov-
ing and affecting manner, making use of our great professions,
and great mercies as arguments with us to return to God, from
whom we had departed. Immediately after this, the minds of
the people in general appeared more engaged in religion," and
the revival that followed appeared at first chiefly among pro-
fessors, but it soon spread with great power among the young
people, insomuch that by the following spring there was such
an engagedness about the things of religion, " that it was
almost the only subject of their conversation. Sometimes in
their conference meetings Christians were so " overcome with a
sense of the greatness and glory of divine things ;" and sinners
were so overcome with distress about their sinful and miserable
condition, " that the whole room was full of nothing but out-
cries, faintinj^s and the like." Others hearing of this, came and
" were overpowered in like manner." They sung, prayed, and
conferred with one another. At a meeting Mr. Edwards held
with the children, he says, " They were so greatly affected that
the room was filled with cries ; and when they were dismissed,
I76 LIFE OF WHITEFIELD.
they almost all went home crying- aloud through the streets
to all parts of the town."* Here, at Windsor, the two great
preachers parted, but they "both soon rejoiced equally in a
glorious progress of the work of God " at Northampton that
The Rev. Gilbert Tennent says, " For months together my
soul has been so ravished with divine objects, that my animal
spirits have been wasted, and my sleep much broken. I have
been made to loathe my food because of the superior sweetness
*While some may regard these outward demonstrations as " strangejirc" s 2x±&
disorder, we find in reading President Edwards on revivals that such have been
quite common centuries ago. He gives " an instance in Mr. Bolton, a noted
minister of the Church of England, who being awakened by the preaching of the
famous Mr. Perkins, was subject to such terrors as threw him to the ground and