was often in tumults, and more than once in danger of his
life by the rage of the people; he wore himself away in the
service of souls; when he died, he died quite exhausted by
much speaking ; but in his death he received an immediate
answer to his own prayer, that if it were consistent with the
divine will, he might finish that day his Master's work."
The Rev. John Newton, of London, in preaching White-
field's funeral sermon from the text, " He was a burning and a
shining light," said : "I am not backward to say, that I have not
read or heard of any person since the apostles' days, of whom
it may be more emphatically said, he was a burning and shining
EXTRACTS FROM HIS FUNERAL SERMONS. $57
light, than the late Mr. Whitefield; whether we consider the
warmth of his zeal, the greatness of his ministerial talents, or
the extensive usefulness with which the Lord honored him.
I do not mean to praise the man, but the Lord who furnished
him, and made him what he was. He was raised up to shine
in a dark place. The state of religion, when he first appeared
in public, was very low in our established Church. I speak
the truth, though to some it may be an offensive truth. What
a change has taken place throughout the land, within a little
more than thirty years ! And how much of this change has
been owing to God's blessing on Mr. Whitefield's labors, is
well known to many who have lived through this period. He
had an ardent zeal for God, an inflamed desire for the salva-
tion of sinners ; so that no labors could weary him, no diffi-
culties or opposition discourage him, and hardly any limits
could confine him. I bless God that I lived in his time:
many were the winter mornings I arose at four o'clock to
attend his Tabernacle discourses at five ; and I have seen
Moorfields as full of lanterns at these times, as I suppose the
Haymarket is full of flambeaux on an opera night. His zeal
was not like wild-fire, but directed by sound principles and a
sound judgment. His steadiness and perseverance in the
truth was the more remarkable, considering the difficulties and
snares he was sometimes beset with. But the Lord kept him
steady, so that neither the example, nor friendship, nor impor-
tunity of those he dearly beloved, were capable of moving
him. Wherever he came, if he preached but a single dis-
course, he usually brought a season of refreshing and revival
The Rev. Augustus M. Toplady, in speaking of Whitefield,
said: "It will not be saying too much, if I term him the Apostle
of the British Empire â€” in point of zeal for God, a long course
358 LIFE OF WHITEF1ELD.
of indefatigable and incessant labors, unparalleled disinterest-
edness, and astonishingly extensive usefulness. If the abso-
lute command over the passions of immense auditories be the
mark of a consummate orator, he was the greatest of the age.
If the strongest good sense, the most generous expansions of
heart, the most artless but captivating affability, the most lib-
eral exemption from bigotry, the purest and most transpicu-
ous integrity, the brightest cheerfulness, and the promptest
wit, enter into the composition of social excellence, he was one
of the best companions in the world. He was a true and faith-
ful son of the Church of England, and invincibly asserted
her doctrines to the last ; and that, not in a merely doctrinal
way, though he was a most excellent systematic divine, but
with an unction of power from God unequaled in the present
day. If to be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the
work of the Lord ; if a union of the most brilliant with the
most solid ministerial gifts, ballasted by a deep and humbling
experience of grace, and crowned with the most extended
success in the conversion of sinners, and edification of saints,
" be signatures of a commission from heaven, George White-
field cannot but stand highest on the modern list of Christian
ministers. It appears from a passage in one of Mr. White-
field's own letters, published since his decease, that he was
- the person whom the gracious spirit and providence of God
raised up and sent forth to begin that great work of spiritual
revival in the Church of England, which has continued ever
since, and still continues with increasing spread, to replenish
and enrich the evangelical vineyard by law established. To
Rev. John Wesley, Mr. Whitefield wrote: 'As God was
pleased to send me out first, and to enlighten me first, so I
think He still continues to do it ; my business seems to be
chiefly in planting. If God sends you to water, I bless His
EXTRACTS FROM HIS FUNERAL SERMONS. 359
name.' On the whole, he was the least imperfect character I
These spontaneous, heart-gushing expressions of respect
and grief for Whitefield, and these strong testimonies of
his cJiaracter, zeal and success, speak volumes for the man,
and for the grace of God in him.
We give the following extracts on his character and man-
ner of preaching, from a sermon preached by Rev, "Josiali
Smith, of Charleston, S. C, in 1740. He says of him: "How
rich has he been in all good works ! What an eminent pat-
tern of piety towards God! How holy and unblamable in all
conversation and godliness ! He appears to me a man full of
the Holy Ghost and of faith. He lives much by faith, and
above the world, and despises preferments and riches. His
heart seems set upon doing good. He is proof against re-
proach and invective. When he is reviled, he revileth not
again, but prays heartily for his enemies. He professes him-
self to lay down his life for Christ, and to spend and be spent
in the service of souls. Such a man has all imaginable claim
to our highest love and honor. I freely own he has taken my
heart, and I feel his reproaches. God seems to be with him
of a truth ; his rod has budded, and he has many to whom he
can say, Ye are my epistle. Wherever he has preached, he has
been thronged, and many have come to him pricked in their
hearts, saying, What shall we do to be saved ? He has put a
new face upon religion, and put a damp upon polite diversions,
which always dwindle as Christianity revives."
Touching his manner, Mr. Smith said, " He was certainly a
finished preacher, and a great master of pulpit oratory and
elocution, while a noble negligence ran through his style.
Yet his discourses were very extraordinary. He appeared to
me, in all his discourses, very deeply affected and impressed
360 LIFE OF WHITEFIELD.
in his own heart. How did that burn and boil within him,
when he spoke of the" things he had made concerning the
King? How was his tongue like the pen of a ready writer,
touched as with a coal from the altar! With what a flow of
words, what a ready profusion of language, did he speak to us
upon the great concerns of our souls! In what a flaming
light did he set our eternity before us ! How earnestly did
he press Christ upon us ! How did he move our passions
with the constraining love of such a Redeemer ! The awe,
the silence, the attention which sat upon the face of so great
an audience, was an argument how he could reign over all
their powers. Many thought he spake as never man spake
before him. So charmed were the people with his manner of
address, that they shut their shops, forgot their secular busi-
ness, and laid aside their schemes for the world; and the
oftener he preached, the keener edge he put upon their desires
of hearing him again. How awfully, with what thunder and
sound, did he discharge the artillery of heaven upon us! And
yet, how could he soften and melt even a soldier of Ulysses,
with the love and mercy of God! How close, strong and
pungent were his applications to the conscience ; mingling
light and heat, pointing the arrows of the Almighty at the
hearts of sinners, while he poured in the balm upon wounds
of the contrite, and made broken bones rejoice! Eternal
themes, the tremendous solemnities of our religion, were all
alive upon his tongue."
The distinguished critic, Sir James Stephen, of Cambridge
University, England, says : " From his seventeenth year to his
dying day, Whitefield lived amongst embittered enemies and
jealous friends, without a stain on his reputation. His whole
life may be said to have been consumed in the delivery of one
continuous, or scarcely uninterrupted, sermon. Strange as is
EXTRACTS FROM HIS FUNERAL SERMONS. 36 1
such an example of bodily and mental energy, still stranger
is the power he possessed of fascinating the attention of hear-
ers of every rank of life and of every variety of understanding.
Not only were the loom, the forge, the plow, the collieries
and the workshops deserted at his approach, but the spell was
acknowledged by Hume and Franklin â€” by Pulteney, Balling-
broke and Chesterfield. ' He loved the world that hated him.'
He had no preferences but in favor of the ignorant, the mis-
erable and the poor. In their cause he shrunk from no pri-
vation, and declined neither insult nor hostility. To such
wrongs he opposed the weapons of an all-enduring meekness,
and a love incapable of repulse. The springs of his benevo-
lence were inexhaustible, and could not choose but flow.
Never was mortal man gifted with such an incapacity of fa-
tiguing or of being fatigued. A large proportion of the Amer-
ican and English churches may trace back their spiritual gen-
ealogy by, regular descent from him. Estimated by those
whose religious opinions are derived from him, he is nothing
less than an apostle inspired in the latter ages of the Church,
to purify her faith and to reform her morals. Whitefield was
a great and a holy man; among the foremost of the heroes
of philanthropy, and as a preacher without a superior or a
Dr. Franklin said to a gentleman of Georgia : " I cannot
forbear expressing the pleasure it gives me to see an account
of the respect paid to his memory by your Assembly. I
knew him intimately upwards of thirty years; his integrity,
disinterestedness, and indefatigable zeal 'in prosecuting every
good work, I have never seen equaled, I shall never see ex-
Years ago an aged citizen of Old lpswick, Mass., who had
heard Whitefield, said to a London correspondent, " I suppose,
362 LIFE OF WHITEFIELD.
sir, you've heard of Whitefield?" "Of Whitefield! to be
sure I have." "Well, I've seen Whitefield. George White-
field stood on this very stone" (dropping his stick feebly from
his hand), "and I heard him preach here." "And do you re-
member anything about him?" I asked. "Well, I guess I
do. I was but a bit of a boy then; but here he stood on this
stone, looking like a flying angel, and we call this Whitefield's
pulpit to this day. There was folks here from all parts to
hear him; so he was obliged to preach outside, for the church
wasn't half big enough for 'em, and no two ways about it.
I've heard many persons since that time, but none of them
could come nigh him, any how they could fix it." "Do you
remember anything of his sermon ?" " Oh, I was too young
to notice aught, sir, but the preacher hisself and the crowds
of people; but I know he had a very sweet voice, and as I
said, when he spread his arms out, with a little Bible in his
hand, he looked like a flying angel. I suppose, sir, you'll be
going to see his bones? He was buried in Newburyport, and
you can see 'em if you like."
The Rev. James Hervey said of him : " I never beheld so
fair a copy of our Lord ; such a living image of the Saviour ;
such exalted delight in God; such unbounded benevolence
to man; such steady faith in the divine promises; such fer-
vent zeal for the divine glory; and all this without the least
moroseness of humor, or extravagance of behavior; but
sweetened with the most engaging cheerfulness of temper, and
regulated by all the sobriety of reason and wisdom of scrip-
ture: insomuch that I cannot forbear applying the wise man's
encomium on an illustrious woman, to this eminent minister
of the everlasting gospel : ' Many sons have done virtuously,
but thou excellest them all.'" And says Dr. Gillies: "That
devout and affectionate veneration, which would have led
EXTRACTS FROM HIS FUNERAL SERMONS. 363
throngs to bathe Whitefield's feet in their tears, never ex-
isted for any merely earthly hero. So effectual was the im-
pression made by him wherever he went, that formal com-
mendatory discourses were often pronounced upon him, in
his younger days, the tone of which precisely accords with
the eulogies after his death."
Rev. Dr. James Hamilton, of London, says: "Whitefield
was the prince of English preachers. Many have surpassed
him as sermon makers, but none have approached him as a
pulpit orator. Many have outshone him in the clearness of
their logic, the grandeur of their conceptions, and the spark-
ling beauty of single sentences ; but in the power of darting
the gospel direct into the conscience, he eclipsed them all.
With a full and beaming countenance, he combined a voice of
rich compass, which could easily thrill over Moorfields in
musical thunder, or whisper its terrible secret in every private
ear. None ever used so boldly, nor with more success, the
highest style of impersonation: as when he described to his
sailor auditors a storm at sea, and compelled them to shout,
'Take to the long boat, sir!' His 'hark, hark!' could con-
jure up Gethsemane with its faltering moon, and awaken the
cry of horror-stricken innocence. His thoughts were posses-
sions ; and his feelings were transformations ; and he spoke
because he felt, his hearers understood because they saw.
They were not only enthusiastic amateurs, like Garrick, who
ran to weep and tremble at his bursts of passion, but even the
colder critics of the Walpole school were surprised into mo-
mentary sympathy and reluctant wonder. But the glory of
Whitefield's preaching was his heart-kindled and heart-melting
gospel. But for this, all his bold strokes and brilliant sur-
prises might have been no better than the rhetorical triumphs
of Kirwan and other pulpit dramatists. He was an orator,
364 LIFE OF WHITEFIELD.
but only sought to be an evangelist. Indeed, so simple was
his nature, that glory to God and good will to man had filled
it ; there was room for little more. So full of heaven recon-
ciled and humanity restored, he soon himself became a living
In summing up the fruits of his labors, when we look at
his grand, successful career, the mighty impulse he gave the
religious world, and the great revivals he brought about, his
influence is incalculable. Eternity alone will reveal it. When
we count up his 18,000 sermons in thirty-four years, his thir-
teen voyages across the ocean, and his almost superhuman
labors ; and look at the great sacrifices he made, and the
severe persecutions he endured, as a Christian worker and
a Christian hero, he deservedly stands next to Paul. He
preached the gospel to more people than any other man.
And Dr. A. Alexander, says, "he preached with a popularity
and success which have never been equaled." (Log College,
p. 11.) And in the day of final retribution, we believe he
will have more stars in his crown than any other man except
Although Wesley is the founder of Methodism, yet in its
early spread, Whitefield often went before, and Wesley fol-
lowed. Whitefield planted â€” Wesley watered. Whitefield often
went before and reaped the' harvest â€” Wesley followed, gath-
ered and shocked it. Hence Wesley says, "I must go round
and glean after Mr. Whitefield."* (Wesley's Works, V. 6, p.
* Whitefield says in a letter to John Wesley, Aug. 25, 1740, "As God was
pleased to send me out first, and to enlighten me first, so I think He still continues
to do it. My business seems to be chiefly in planting ; if God sends you to
water, I praise His name. I wish you a thousand-fold increase." â€” Letter 214.
EXTRACTS FROM HIS FUNERAL SERMONS. 365
A. Stevens says : " Whitefield led the Methodist move-
ment over its first barriers, and sounded the trumpet before
its march in both hemispheres."* In the introduction of
Field Preaching, upon which the spread of Christianity and
the success of Methodism so much depended, Whitefield led
and Wesley followed. And when Whitefield preached his
first field sermon, he kindled such a fire in England that soon
flashed all over Great Britain and America, and is still burning
on. It will never go out. He infused such life, and gave
such a mighty impulse to Christianity in England, that his
influence is deeply felt to this day. At the sound of his
voice, the old Established Church awoke and put on its
strength. Yet his influence, no doubt, was much greater
among the Nonconformity churches. They owe their salva-
tion very much to him. And in Scotland, Ireland and Wales,
his power was almost as great. Some of his grandest vic-
tories were achieved in Scotland. So that taking it altogether,
his influence has been so great, he has been called "The
Morning Star of England's Second Reformation," and by Mr.
Toplady, " The Apostle of the British Empire."
But his influence was greater, no doubt, in America than
in Europe. "The Great Awakening of 1740," had com-
menced and abated before Whitefield came to America.
Locally it had been very powerful. But when Whitefield
came and preached, it soon spread all over the country; it
has since given tone and character to the Protestantism of
the United States. And Dr. Abel Stevens, says, "it gave rise
to Princeton College with its distinguished Theological Sem-
inary," from which have sprung several other colleges whose
light to-day shines around the world. Under Whitefield's
* Ills Methodism, V. 1, pp. 468, 475.
366 LIFE OF WHITEFIELD.
labors this revival spread with such great power, it has been
estimated one 7 fortieth of the Colonial inhabitants were brought
to Christ in a few years. Among these were a great many
ministers. In 1763, forty preachers of different denomina-
tions, converted in this revival, met to congratulate him on
his arrival at Philadelphia. At another time, twenty ministers
in and about Boston, acknowledged Whitefield as their spir-
itual father. In New England, in less than twenty years, about
one-hundred and fifty Congregational churches were organ-
ized, with over 50,000 members.
Whitefield's influence was scarcely less among the Pres-
byterians. Before this revival, says Dr. A. Alexander, "the
Presbyterian Church in America, was in a most deplorable
state of deadness and formality." But when Whitefield came
and preached, the revival spread with great power, and soon
became general in the Presbyterian Church. Even the read-
ing of a few of his sermons in Virginia, resulted in establish-
ing Presbyterianism in that State. So that the Presbyterian
strength was more than doubled in a few years. His influ-
ence was very deeply felt in all denominations. Randall, one
of his converts, founded the Free-Will Baptists, now 75,000
strong in this country. And besides his great work among
the poor, there is no telling what influence he exerted in
bringing about the Declaration of American Independence.
His new measures in the Church might naturally lead to new
measures in the State. So that when he came to lie down in
death, as Rev. Dr. Warren, of Boston, says, "he was uncon-
sciously, but in reality, the spiritual father of a great Chris-
tian nation." Review his life. Look up his vivid thoughts,
brilliant words, mighty deeds and bloody persecutions. Look
at the sermons he preached, the prayers he prayed, and the
tears he shed. O what zeal, what self-denial, what earnest-
EXTRACTS FROM HIS FUNERAL SERMONS. 367
ness, what holiness, what vehemence, what mighty power and
success, marked his life ! He not only revived, but we might
almost say, saved the churches of two continents. Look at
the countries he visited, the tours he made, the souls he won,
the victories he achieved, and his whole life is one grand
scene of success and victory !
WHITEFIELD S SAYINGS.
'HE farther we go in the spiritual life, the more
cool and rational shall we be, and yet more truly
zealous. I speak this by experience." â€” 260, V. I.
2. "All persons are alike to me."
3. " My soul is kept in peace and sweetness."
4. " I pray God to make you a flaming fire."
5. "Jesus carries me in His arms, He fights
all my battles."
" I am a poor unworthy wretch."
" I make no purse ; what I have, I give away."
" I own myself to be but a novice."
"The Christian world is in a deep sleep."
" I long to be dissolved, to be with Christ."
"All the devils in hell shall not hurt us, till we have
finished our testimony."
12. "My heart is like Ezekiel's temple, the farther I search
into it the greater abominations I discover."
13. "I preach the truth, and then leave it to the Spirit of
God to make the application."
14. "O, that I could lie down! then should I rise higher!"
15. "My heart is desperately wicked."
16. "I find all uneasiness arises from having a will of my
own ; therefore I would desire to will only what God wills."
17. "I am the chief of sinners: I feel myself such."
1 8. " We often think we do not please God, because we do
not please ourselves."
whitefield's sayings. 369
19. "As for assurance, I cannot but think all who are
truly converted must know there was a time in which they
closed with Christ." â€” V. I, p. 260.
20. " Poor, yet making many rich, shall be my motto still."
21. "O, that I was a flaming fire."
22. "What sweet company is Jesus Christ?"
23. "The love of Jesus now swallows up my soul."
24. " I sleep and eat but little, and am constantly employed
from morning till midnight."
25. "I was enabled to trample death under my feet; and
blessed be God, through rich grace I can do that daily."
26. "I am exceedingly strengthened, and cannot now do
well without preaching three times a day."
27. "Keep close to jFestis!''
28. "I laid upon my face this day, and pleaded with
groans unutterable for direction."
29. "O, for a passive, tender, broken, child-like heart!"
30. " O, that God should ever dwell with such an ill and
hell-deserving wretch as I am!"
31. "My soul glows with love while I am writing."
32. "God is on my side, I will not fear what men nor
devils can say of, or do unto me."
33. "I care not if the name of George Whitefield be ban-
ished out of the world, so that Jesus be exalted in it."
34. " I prefer Christ's reproach to all the treasures in the
world." â€” V. 1, p. 448.
35. "I walk in light and liberty continually. Like the
ark, I am surrounded on all sides, but enabled to swim tri-
umphantly over all."
36. "My soul is on fire.'"
37. "I am the vilest wretch living." â€” 476.
37Â° LIFE OF WHITEFIELD.
$S. "In every trying time, we shall find but few, very few,
true followers of the Lamb of God."
39. "But why talk of wife and little one? Let all be ab-
sorbed in the thoughts of the love of the glorious Emmanuel."
40. " Stolen sweets prepare for bitter tears."
41. " Tis hard work to be silent."
42. " I would fain die blazing, not with human glory, but
the love of Jesus."
43. "O, for assurance! It is indeed the anchor of the
44. "I fear prosperity more than affliction."
45. "The more I was blackened, the more the Redeemer
46. "Lady Huntingdon is all in a flame for Jesus." â€” V. 2,
47. "A necessity is laid upon me, and woe is me if I do
not preach the gospel."
48. "What is, is best. This comforts me." â€” Letter 766.
49. "O, to be nothing, that Jesus may be all !"
50. "The more we are cast out, the more will Jesus come
51. "O, let us follow Him, though it be through a sea of
52. "Let us be all heart."
53. "I am a sink of sin and corruption."
54. "I want to see my own faults more, and others' less."
55. "The best preparation for preaching on Sunday, is to
preach every day in the week."
56. "The world wants more heat than. light."
57. "As the love of God comes in, the fear of man goes
58. "O, the blessedness of leaving all for Jesus!"
WHITEFIELDS SAYINGS., 37 1
59. "Having nothing, yet possessing all things, must be
my motto still."
60. " O, what a blessed thing is it to follow Jesus blind-
61. "I must have something of Christ in all my letters."
62. "Prayer, reading, meditation and temptation make a
63. "My Master walked, I ride to preach the glorious gos-
64. " O; that I could fly from pole to pole publishing the
everlasting gospel." â–
65. "I find Christ's service to be perfect freedom."
66. "The very writing or hearing the word Eternity, is