Whitefield commenced the year 1758 with an humble con-
fession. With all his learning and varied experience, he says,
"I find more and more that I am a mere Jtovice in the divine
life, and have scarce begun to begin to learn my A-B-C's in
the school of Christ." Yet he rejoiced to see "several new
flaming preachers come forth in London and elsewhere. To
Professor Francke, whose country was then engaged in a dan-
gerous war, he wrote, " Our Joshuas are in the field, and many
a Moses is gone up into the mount to pray. Nil desperandum
Christo duce, auspice Christo. The ark trembles, but under
neath are the everlasting arms of the everlasting God." With
frequent conversions at the new chapel, and with the aid of
these " flaming preachers," the Kingdom of God now moved
on with power. " Almost a whole parish was soon brought to
inquire after Jesus."
Thus with the good work all ablaze in London, he com-
menced his "summer campaign" in Gloucester about the middle
of May. After preaching three times, and administering the
sacrament the first Sabbath with a blessed beginning, he says,
" I am now writing in the room where I was born. Blessed be
God I know there is a place where I was born again." Thence
FURTHER LABORS IN ENGLAND. 301
he went and preached twice a day in Bristol to vast multitudes,
with lasting impressions.
Late in May, though very unwell, he set out for Wales.
Being unable to ride in a chaise or sulkey, a friend advanced the
money and bought him a carriage, and thus enabled him to go
on. In speaking of paying for it he said, " I would not lay out
a single farthing but for my blessed Master." After his return
he said, " Never was I brought so low as on my late Welsh
circuit. It is inconceivable what I have undergone within these
three weeks." Although unable to sit up in company, yet he
was strengthened to travel without bodily food, and preach to
many thousands every day. At Haverford-west he had near
15,000, "where the Lord Jesus seemed to ride in triumph
through the great congregation, and made tears flow like water
from the stony rock. It was one of the most prosperous cir-
cuits I ever took." And feeling deeply humbled, he said to
Lady Huntingdon, "O, I am sick! I am sick! sick in body, but
infinitely more so in mind, to see what dross yet remains in and
surrounds my soul." And longing for a purer heart, after
seeing the workman at Shields put his glass into the first,
second and third furnace to make it transparent, because the
first was not hot enough, he exclaimed, " Oh, my God, put me
into one furnace after another, that my soul may be transparent,
that I may see God as He is." (Belcher, 370.)
HE GOES TO SCOTLAND.
Late in July, 1758, Whitefield set out again for Scotland.
Preaching by the way at Everton, Saint Neots, Kayso, Bed-
ford, Oulney, Weston, Underwood, Northampton, and John
Bunyan's pulpit, he reached Edinburgh early in August. He
was now "so exceeding low" he called himself "a dying
man," and expected death every sermon. Yet he preached on,
302 LIFE OF WHITEFIELD.
and after preaching about thirty times, he says, "blessed be
God, I am a great deal better. This preaching is a strange
restorative." He wished his friend, Rev. Mr. Tennent, to take
it every day. "Multitudes of all ranks flocked rather more
than ever to hear the gospel."
Not having time to see Mr. Tennent and other friends, he
said, " most of my Christian meetings must be adjourned to
heaven." From Edinburgh he went to Glasgow, and "labored
harder than ever," preaching two or three times a day to very
large and deeply affected congregations. Here he took up a
collection for the Glasgow poor. His collection for the Orphan
Hospital in Edinburgh exceeded ^200. His love for the
Scotch, and theirs for him, was now so ardent, that he says the
partings from both places were so cutting, he called it "execu-
Besides severe afflictions, Whitefield this year suffered the
loss, by death, of four dear distinguished friends : Wm. Hervey,
President Burr, Governor Belcher, and Jonathan Edwards. He
felt this great loss very keenly. Leaving Scotland, after preach-
ing at Newcastle, Durham, Sheffield, Leeds, etc., he returned
to London late in October, shocked at the idea of being driven
into winter quarters. He prayed, " Lord, prepare me for winter
Whitefield was now very much rejoiced in being able,
through a large legacy bestowed, to pay off the Orphan House
debt. He was, therefore, very anxious to "flee to America;"
but failing to get his London chapels supplied, he labored on
there until spring, with increased interest. " God," he said, " is
doing wonders at Long Acre." With many "blessed seasons"
during the winter, in May, 1759, he opened another "spring
campaign" at Bristol, with unusually large and very deeply inter-
ested congregations. After preaching with great power, for
FURTHER LABORS IN ENGLAND. 3O3
several days, in Gloucester and York counties, to the great sur-
prise of all, he says, "I am growing fat." But he took it to be a
disease, and hoped it would shorten his life. Extending his cam-
paign to Scotland, he reached Edinburgh early in July, 1759.
"The people flocked as usual." The Word ran and was glorified.
In six weeks he preached near one hundred times in Edinburgh
and Glasgow, "stirring up a zeal for his God, his King, and his
country," and collected Â£215 for the Orphan Hospital in Edin-
burgh. He also preached a thanksgiving sermon, to a vast con-
gregation on the Spanish victory over the French. During this
visit to Scotland, Whitefield had the privilege of showing his
generosity, and the honor of declining a large legacy of seven
thousand pounds. Says Dr. Gillies, "One Miss Hunter, a lady
of fortune, made him a full offer of her estate, amounting to
about Â£7000, which he generously refused." She then offered
it to him for the benefit of his Orphan House, which he abso-
lutely refused. On returning to London in August, with all of
Bethesda's debt paid off, he was so glad, he exclaimed, " O,
what hath God wrought? Wonders, wonders. Praise the
Lord, O our souls ! Lord Jesus, continue to be Bethesda's
God !" He spent the winter in London, and with the work
increasing daily, he had the new chapel enlarged. During this
winter he wrote a preface to Mr. Samuel C. Clarke's Bible,
which, next to Henry's, " was his favorite commentary."
With only seven letters preserved, the record of White-
field's life during the year 1760 is very scanty. This is doubt-
less owing to the feeble state of his health. In the spring he
opened the "new enlargement" of the chapel, and celebrated
the event by raising ,Â£400 for the distressed Prussian Protest-
ants, for which, 'tis said, he received the thanks of the King
of Prussia. Though naturally "slender in person," he was
now, from declining strength, he says, "growing very corpu-
304 LIFE 0F WHITEFIELD.
lent." As this tended to languor, he dreaded and tried to pre-
In the summer he made a short tour into Gloucestershire
and South Wales â€” thence to Bristol, where his congregations
sometimes reached near ten thousand. The meetings were so
refreshing, "the house was a Bethel every time." His wife was
now so sick in London he thought of going to see her, but she
got better and he went on with his campaign. Anxious to
hear from Bethesda, early in August he returned to London,
and found many seeking the Saviour. In September and
October he made another tour through Yorkshire, and re-
turned to London in November, where he spent the winter as
Although Whitefield had already endured many severe
trials and bloody persecutions, he now suffers another. Failing
with mobs, stones and clubs to drive him away from Long Acre,
they now try mocking him on the public stage. "Satan is
angry," he says, "and I am now mimicked and burlesqued
upon the public stage. All hail such contempt! God forbid
that I should glory, save in the cross of Jesus Christ. It is
sweet! it is sweet!' To carry on this audacious mockery, Mr.
S. Foote, a noted mimic, composed a farce called the Minor, to
be acted in Drury Lane theatre. They went on with it for
awhile, but instead of lessening Whitefield's congregations, it
greatly increased them. Thus God gave him the victory. One
evening when Foote was ridiculing Whitefield in Drury Lane,
while he was preaching in Long Acre chapel on the joys of
heaven, towards the close of his sermon, when his soul was all
on fire with the grandeur of his theme, he cried out to his en-
raptured congregation, pointing to heaven, "there, there, an
ungodly Foote tramples on the saints no more."
The incidents of 1761 opened with a narrow escape of
FURTHER LABORS IN ENGLAND. 305
his life from a dangerous upset in a chaise. Fortunately he
"received but little hurt." A great mercy. With the work
still increasing in London, he now had so many calls and so
few assistants, that he scarce knew what to do. Yet roused by
the " German and Boston sufferers," he preached twice in his
London chapels on the general fast day in February, and raised
near ,Â£600 for these sufferers : ^400 were given to the Germans
and the balance to Boston. The Boston people thanked him
In the midst of these trials and pressing wants, the Rev.
John Berridge, a flaming preacher of Everton, came to his
assistance. Overworked in this increased awakening, White-
field now grew worse, and by May 2, he says, " I have been at
the very gates of death. O, into what a world was I launching !
But the prayers of God's people have brought me back."
With his natural strength failing, he now says, " My locks are
After visiting Bristol, Exeter and Plymouth, and becoming
a little better, he tried to preach, but could not. "For some
weeks he did not preach a single sermon." He now under-
took another excursion North, and by October 24 we find him
at Leeds, riding for his health. Yet, longing for death, and
praying, " Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly," he now improved
so fast, that when he got to Newcastle " he could bear to ride
sixty miles a day quite well." Still kept from preaching, he
said, "Jesus can either restore me or enable me to drink the
bitter cup of continued silence."
Extending his journey, he went on to Edinburgh and
Glasgow, and became much worse. Getting better again, after
a long silence, he returned to London and commenced the year
1762 with a New Year's sermon. In April, he went to Bristol,
and commenced preaching four or five, times a week with great
306 LIFE OF WHITEFIELD.
success. This he continued till May. Sometimes he even
ventured to preach in the fields, which he considered "a greater
honor than to be monarch of the universe." Glad to get out
of ceiled houses and vaulted roofs, he said, " Mounts are the
best pulpits, and the heavens the best sounding-boards. O,
for power equal to my will ! I would fly from pole to pole,
publishing the everlasting gospel." He returned to London
late in May, much improved by his country excursion. But
being brought down again by London cares and London
labors, he now made a voyage to Holland, which proved so
beneficial that, by the last of July, he was able to preach once
a day. He preached four times in Rotterdam. On returning
to Norwich, he found the interest so great, he said, "All my
old times are revived again."
Multiplying excursions, he now made another to Scotland.
He reached Edinburgh, August 18, and preached alternately
there and at Glasgow every day for near four weeks, with great
success. " The kirk was a Bethel." After preaching twice at
Cambuslang, he returned to England about the middle of Sep-
tember, rejoicing with the prospect of peace and a speedy
return to America. Though very feeble, he preached once a
day during the winter in Leeds, Bristol, Plymouth and London,
"with many great awakenings."
At length the way being open, in January, 1763, he
decided to go to America, by way of Greenock, Scotland.
After arranging with some trusty friends to take care of his
London chapels and his home affairs, he sailed for Greenock
early in March. On his way thither he preached at Everton,
Leeds, Aberford, Kippax and Newcastle, with much interest,
FURTHER LABORS IN ENGLAND. 307
and wrote his reply to Bishop Warburton's attack on Method-
ism. He reached Edinburgh about the middle of March, and
for awhile was able to preach once a day, but his old disorder
returning again, he was obliged to keep silent nearly six weeks.
After a weeping farewell, he sailed for America.
HIS SIXTH VISIT TO AMERICA.
T length, after eight more years of labor and
suffering in the Old World, Whitefield again
embarks for the New. He sailed June 4,
1763, on the ship "Fanny," Captain Galbreath,
from Greenock, Scotland, for Rappahannock,
Virginia. This was his eleventh voyage
across the Atlantic Ocean. With a kind cap-
tain, the voyage, though long and tedious, was
very pleasant. Scarce an oath was heard. After they had
been out about six weeks, he says, " All hath been harmony
and love, Jesus hath made the ship a Betliel!' . The crew
gladly heard him when he was able to preach? But, owing to
his asthma, he sailed with but little hopes of much further
public usefulness. After a twelve weeks' voyage, he reached
Virginia, August 23, and was very kindly received by some
friends, whom he had never heard of before. After writing
tender letters to his London congregations, he went to Phila-
delphia, where he found " some young bright witnesses rising
up in the Church." Here, too, he had the great privilege of
meeting and "conversing with about forty new-creature min-
isters of different denominations," and of hearing of " sixteen
hopeful students who were converted at New Jersey College
last year." These bright prospects encouraged him very much.
He now longed to go to Bethesda, but, advised by his phy-
HIS SIXTH VISIT TO AMERICA. 309
sicians, he waited awhile to see what the cold weather would
do for his health. And, by November 8, he says, " I make a
shift to preach twice a week." Many were deeply impressed.
Having spent about three months in Philadelphia, he passed
over into New Jersey, and preached four times at New Jersey
College and twice at Elizabethtown, with "sweet seasons"
every time. "Some said they resembled old times." He
said, " New Jersey College is a blessed nursery ; one of the
purest, perhaps, in the world. The worthy president and
three tutors are all bent upon making the students both saints
REVIVAL IN NEW YORK.
Whitefield reached New York, December 1, 1763, and
commenced preaching immediately. At the beginning he
prayed, " Lord Jesus, convert us all more and more, and make
us all like little children." With improved " spirits," he was
able to preach three times a week, and says, " Such a flocking
of all ranks I never before saw at New York. Every day the
thirst for hearing the Word increases, and the better sort come
home with me to hear more of it." With old prejudices sub-
siding and the interest increasing, the higher, as well as "the
common people heard him gladly."
While here he preached two charity sermons, and raised at
one of them ^120 for Mr. Wheelock's Indian school â€” "the
most promising nursery of future missionaries" in New
England. The other collection â€” for the poor â€” was double the
usual amount on similar occasions.
Continuing his labors here for several weeks, the interest
increased more than ever. But being very unwell, he preached
only twice a week. One man prayed, " May God restore this
great and good man to a perfect state of health."
After making an excursion of some six months in New
3IO LIFE OF WHITEFIELD.
England, he returned to New York in June, and found the
work spreading. The interest was now so great that he ven-
tured to. preach" twice in the fields, and says, " We sat under
the blessed Redeemer's shadow with great delight." " It
would surprise you to see a hundred carriages at every sermon
in this New World." While here, he also made frequent
excursions on Long Island, with blessed effects. It is no
wonder he exclaimed, " Let everything that hath breath praise
the Lord !" These things, together with the numerous
conversions under his sermons, and "a most solemn and heart-
breaking parting" when he left, made New York seem to him
like " a new New York indeed." To see a hundred carriages
at every sermon in New York now, with its million of inhabi-
tants, would show a very deep interest, but much more to have
seen them one hundred and ten years ago, when the population
was only about fifteen thousand. While here, he consented to
sit for his portrait, which was sent to Mr. Keen, London, which
he, if judged proper, was to hang up in the Tabernacle parlor.
" Braced up" with the cold, and encouraged with his great
success in New York, Whitefield again struck for New
England. After preaching at East Hampton, South-Hold,
Shelter Island, New London, Norwich and Providence, he
reached Boston, February, 1764, and was received with "the
usual warmth of affection." " Having seen the Redeemer's
stately steppings in the great congregation in Boston," with
" invitations coming in so thick and fast from every quarter
that he knew not what to do," he says, " a wider door than ever
is opened all along the continent." The small-pox prevailing
at Boston, he now branched out and preached at Newburyport
and Portsmouth, with a most blessed influence, and many have
been made to cry out, " What shall we do to be saved ?"
HIS SIXTH VISIT TO AMERICA. 3II
Although he returned to Boston with " his wings clipped,"
yet his preaching was so attractive and powerful, he says,
" words cannot well express the eagerness of the people to
hear." " I was meditating an escape southward, but last week '
the Boston people sent a gospel cry after me, and really
brought me back. They have constrained me to stay, and
now, May 19, beg earnestly for a six o'clock morning lecture."
Awakenings occurred daily. The affection for him in Boston
was now so strong that, when he came away, he said, "The
parting here hath been heart-breaking. I cannot stand it."
When he got to New York, June 25, 1764, with his winter
campaign over, Mr. Smith, his faithful host, wrote him thus :
" Your departure hence never before so deeply wounded us,"
and the number of conversions after his farewell sermon was
found to be so great, that his friends proposed sending him a
book full of their names, calling him back. But the crowning
act of the expedition was, he says, " after preaching at New
Haven College, the president came to me, as I was going off
in the chaise, and informed me that the students were so
"deeply impressed by the sermon that they were gone into the
chapel, and earnestly entreated me to give them one more
quarter of an hour's exhortation." He complied, and the effect
Having labored near three months more in New York,
"after a most solemn and heart-breaking parting there," he
went to Philadelphia, with his health better than it had been
for three years. After preaching here with a very deep effect,
he went up and preached at the Annual Commencement at
New Jersey College, which he said, " is one of the best regu-
lated institutions in the world." Here every mark of respect
was shown him by the Governor and ex-Governor of the State,
and many other distinguished gentlemen. For his deep inter-
312 LIFE OF WHITEFIELD.
est in the College the trustees sent him a vote of thanks.
Crowned with great success, he now received "most importu-
nate calls from every quarter;" and with a range so large,
although he had been laboring in America over a year, he
says, " I have scarce begun to begin." Rejoicing in the Lord,
he left Philadelphia, exclaiming, " O what blessings have we
received in this place !" " Hallelujah, the Lord reigneth !"
HE GOES SOUTH.
Having spent about a month in Philadelphia, Whitefield
set out for "his beloved Bethesda." After "cross-plowing"
Virginia again, he crossed over into North Carolina and spent
a Sabbath "with good impressions" at Newbern. Here he
frequently met with a sect called New-Lights, who proposed to
unite with him, but the way was not clear. They were so
hungry for the Gospel, he felt like coming back to preach to
them. At Savannah he was received with "great favor," and
found "the colony rising very fast," with "nothing but peace
and plenty at Bethesda." In January, 1765, he says, "God has
given me great favor in the sight of the Governor, Council and
Assembly." At his request they made him another grant of
2000 acres of land for Bethesda. The interest in the intended
College was now so great, Whitefield says, " Every heart seems
to leap for joy at its future prospects. Hitherto the bush has
been burning, but not consumed." With daily love-feasts, the
chapel was now a daily Bethel. "With all deeply interested
in Bethesda, and elated with the bright prospects, Lord G n
and the Governor breakfasted with Whitefield at Bethesda,
and he went and dined with them at Savannah."
Having spent "a blessed winter" of "peace and love at
Bethesda," with " all the arrears paid off, cash, stock, and
plenty of all kinds of provision on hand," he comes now, Feb-
HIS SIXTH VISIT TO AMERICA. 313
ruary 13, with all his melting tenderness, to bid them good-bye,
and says, " Farewell my beloved Bethesda ! surely thou art
the most delightfully situated place in all the southern col-
onies." May " peace, love, harmony and plenty reign here."
On returning to Charleston he says, " The people of all
ranks fly to the Gospel like doves to the windows. Every
day the Word of God runs and is glorified more and more.
All are importunate for my longer stay." And with a mutual
attachment so strong, he says, " The parting has been most
cutting and awful." With an interest so deep, a work so great,
and a parting so solemn, he says, " Words cannot well express
what a scene of action I leave behind. Alas ! my American
work seems as yet scarce begun." He now had so many
calls, he scarcely had time to dispatch his private business.
After these melting parting scenes, he started on his " wilder-
ness range," preaching as he went, and reached Wilmington,
N. C., March 29th. At the mayor's request he here spent a
Sabbath, and says, " This pilgrimage kind of life is the very
joy of my heart. Ceiled houses and crowded tables I leave to
others. A morsel of bread, and a little bit of cold meat in a
wood, is a most luxurious repast. Jesus' presence is all in all,
whether in the city or in the wilderness."
Both old and New England were now clamorous for his
services. But with the foundation of a college laid at Beth-
esda, and " all his outward affairs settled," he decides to return
to England. When he got to Newcastle, Del., he says "All
along from Charleston to this place, the piercing cry is, for
Christ 's sake, stay and preach to us." And with a heart gush-
ing with gratitude, and a soul longing to win souls, he ex-
claimed, " O for a thousand lives to spend for Jesus!"
HIS LAST LABORS IN ENGLAND.
EJOICING in the Lord, and crying " Grace !
grace !" Whitefield again bids farewell to Amer-
ica for the last time. Embarking on the " Hali-
fax," at New York, early in June, after a voyage
of twenty-eight days he reached Falmouth,
England, July 5, 1765. He was now so unwell
he could neither preach nor travel but little.
QJ ' Yet like Paul, desiring " to finish his course with
joy," he exclaimed, " O, to end life well ! Methinks I have
now but one more river to pass over. And we know of One
that can carry us over without being ankle deep." Though
very feeble, he reached London late in July, and found his
congregations in a prosperous condition. But his health im-
proved. By September 20, he says, "I have been better in
health for a week past, than I have been for four years."
Later in September Lady Huntingdon invited her minis-
ters, Messrs. Whitefield, Shirley, Romaine, Venn, Madan and
Townsend, to the opening of her new chapel in Bath. At her
request, Whitefield preached the dedicatory sermon, October
6, 1765, to an immense crowd, among whom were a great
many of the nobility by special invitation. Although slighted
and persecuted by many others, here Whitefield enjoyed the
friendship, love and hearty co-operation of the distinguished
Rev. Mr. Romaine.
HIS LAST LABORS IN ENGLAND. 315
In April he returned to London and was able to preach
three or four times a week with glorious results. During the