for Methodism. Another college arises because of it. Goes to Scotland
for the fifteenth and last time. Very affectionately received. Afraid "of
being hugged to death." "All goes on better and better.
death, August 9, 1768. He preached at her funeral. " Sweet bereavement
CONTENTS XVI 1
when God fills up the chasm." Missed her much. Labored so hard,
burst a vein. Kept silent several days. " His whole iife a continual,
Christ-like sacrifice." Zeal increased to the last. Joyful anticipations of
death. Pentecostal scenes. Dedicates another chapel. Weeping fare-
well to England. It seemed like an execution. Messrs C. Winter and
Smith sail with him. " All is well." 314
HIS LAST LABORS IN AMERICA.
Reached Charleston Nov. 30, 1769. "His reception heartier than ever."
Preached same day. Found Bethesda flourishing. The Legislature's
sympathies. The Governor's Council and Assembly heard him preach.
Orphan boy's speech. Whitefield's peace flowed like a river. Shouts of
hallelujah. Goes to Philadelphia. Explores the region about. Goes to
New York in June. Sent a bundle of invitations to England. Strikes for
"Fresh Work." Preached at a horse-thief's execution.- Stood upon his
coffin and exhorted and prayed. Goes to Boston. Preaches with unusual
power. All opposition ceases. Writes his last letter. Too sick to preach.
Prays, "O for a warm heart: O to stand fast." His last sermon:
nearly two hours long. His personal appearance. His " eloquent face."
Very neat and cheerful. His sermons. " They swept everything before
them." Specimens of. Prayed God to put him into furnaces, that he
might see him as he is 324
Greatly fatigued the day before, he retired early. Drank his water
gruel. Closed the evening, Sept. 29, with prayer. Slept till two in
the morning. Awoke, panting for breath, with asthma. Would rather
wear out than rust out." Had taken cold. Prayed for direction for
Bethesda, the Tabernacle, and all his connections across the Atlantic.
Slept again. About four, waked up almost suffocated with asthma. Flees
to the window for air. He soon said, "I am dying." Ran to the other
window. They sent for the doctor. He came. It was too late. Said
"He is a dead man." Mr. Parsons didn't believe it. He died at 6,
Sept. 30, 1770. They rubbed and bathed him, "but all in vain." He had
long prayed for death. His death was sudden, unexpected. "The bat-
tle's fought, the victory won." The word spread like fire. "He died in
the zenith of his glory." He died silent. He died triumphantly, because
he lived earnestly. He made life second to duty 334
Many thousands flock to mingle their tears of sorrow. Bemoan America's
and England's loss. Requests sent to bury his remains at Portsmouth and
Boston. Both refused. Buried under Mr. Parsons' pulpit at his own re-
quest. Buried in his gown, cassock and wig, October 2, 1770, from Mr.
Parsons'. At ten o'clock bells tolled, and all vessels in harbor gave sig-
nals of mourning. Great lamentation. Mr. Rodgers cried out, " O, my
father, MY FATHER !" Bitter weeping. The funeral sermon. The great
loss. All New England lamented him. Two continents mourn his loss.
The lamentation in England. John Wesley, at Whitefield's request,
preached his funeral in the Tabernacle. " Whitefield' 's will." Willed
the Orphan House, etc., to Lady Huntingdon and Mr. Habersham. His
affairs in England to two worthy friends. Sums of money to special
friends, servants and widows. Prizes for best orations in Orphan House
Academy. Most heartily forgave all his enemies. Willed mourning
rings to John and Charles Wesley. Whitefield' 's tomb. Under pulpit of
old S. Presbyterian church. Condition of his remains. Visited by many.
One bone taken to England and brought back. " Whitefield' 's monu-
ment.'" His cenotaph in same church. Surmounted with a golden flame.
His Epitaph 34 1
EXTRACTS FROM HIS FUNERAL SERMONS.
Rev. Mr. Parsons preached his first funeral sermon the day he died. He
read Henry's commentaries through on his knees. " He flew like a flame
of fire." "Alarmed all sorts of people." "Hell trembled before him."
He "astonished the world with his eloquence and devotion." (Wesley.)
His strong friendship. Cheerful and tender-hearted. His natural abili-
ties. Preached amid showers of stones. " He was a second Luther."
An "eminent divine." (Edwards). "Raised up to shine in a dark
place." " The apostle of the British Empire." His " absolute command
of the passions." "A most excellent systematic divine." (Toplady.) He
planted, Wesley watered. " Despised preferments and riches." " Proof
against reproach and invective." Manner of preaching. " He lived with-
out a stain on his reputation." He fascinated all ranks. His love was
incapable of repulse. Great bodily endurance. " He was a great and
holy man." (Sir Jas. Stephen.) " I have never seen his integrity, disin-
terestedness, and zeal equaled." (Franklin.) " He looked like a flying
angel." Hervey says, " I never saw so fair a copy of our Lord." People
ready to bathe his feet in their tears. " The prince of English preachers."
" He eclipsed all." (Hamilton.) " He spoke because he felt, his hearers
understood because they saw." Very graphic. His influence is incal-
culable. His eighteen thousand sermons. " He preached with a popularity
and success never equaled." (Dr. Alexander.) He did much for the
Methodists. He went before, Wesley followed. Whitefield planted,
Wesley watered. "He led Methodism over its first barriers." He re-
vived the Established Church of England. His influence greater in
America. Whitefield revival in America. It ";ave rise to Princeton Col-
lege and Seminary. His influence in New England. Numerous conver-
sions among Presbyterians. All denominations. The spiritual father
of a great nation. He revived, and almost saved the churches of two con-
tinents : • • 35 *
The farther we go, the cooler we get, and yet the more zealous. " Jesus
carries me in His arms." " The farther I search, the worse. I leave it to
the Spirit to make the application." " I feel myself the chief of sinners."
" What sweet company is Jesus." " I prefer Christ's reproach to all the
treasures in the world."- "Keep close to Jesus." "The more I was
blackened, the more God comforted me." "O, to be nothing, that Jesus
may be all." " The more we are cast out, the more will Jesus come into
us." "Let us follow him, though it be through a sea of blood." " Let us
be all heart." "The world wants more heat than light." " O, that I
could fly from pole to pole publishing the everlasting gospel. " I stop to
weep. Farewell." 368
SECRET OF WHITEFIELD'S SUCCESS.
He was a self-made man. Brought up in poverty, he had to hoe his own
row. He hoed it well. Rose from a "Pot Boy'' to be the best orator in
the world. His genius and eloquence wonderful. He began low, and laid
a good foundation. Deeply humbled by the pangs of regeneration. Fasted
himself almost to death. Prayed "whole days and weeks." Prayed much
for humility. His entire consecration. Deep sense of his obligation to
preach. Counted all but loss to do it. Yet slow to commence it. Gave
himself wholly to it. State of piety low when he began. Refused a pres-
ent of ^7,000. His very fun was mixed with religion. A great worker.
Always on the stretch for God. Went about doing good. He reaped,
John Wesley gathered and shocked. Labors on ship-board. Soon broke
up card-playing, swearing and gambling. A great reformation followed.
Cards and bad books thrown overboard. Many hopeful conversions. The
cabin became a Bethel, and the deck a church. Worked his own way
through college. Blacked boots and cleaned rooms. Often preached
before day, and prayed all night. Often preached when expected to die
every minute. His labors seem almost superhuman. Preeminently a man
of prayer. Prayer and his devotional spirit gave him success. His vic-
tories on the field, were won in the closet. He generally preached two
or three times a day. Worked himself to death. His strong friendship.
Would win your heart by shaking your hand. Loved his friends as his
own soul. "He made friends fast and held them long." Often "received
as an angel of God." Sometimes "in danger of being hugged to death."
His heart ready to break with sorrow, and burst with joy. His great faith
and deep convictions. He took God at his word. To him, eternity, heaven
and hell, God and the devil, and Jesus Christ, were stern realities. He
seemed to bring hell up, and heaven down upon earth. He bid Satan,
death and hell defiance. Whitefield gloried in tribulation. Sometimes he
r>eemed to walk between the very cherubims of glory. His strong faith
was a principal element in his success. By faith he shook the devil's
throne, and made hell tremble before him. Whitefield as an orator. "His
elocution was perfect." (Southey.) He held spell-bound the low, learned,
great. He shidied oratory. Gave special attention to delivery. Always
grave and solemn. He "preached like a lion and looked like an angel."
Always deeply sincere, and perfectly natural. His vivid descriptions.
Sometimes he seemed to reenact Gethsemane and Calvary. Lord Chester-
field took his description for the transaction. Very graphic. His deep
pathos. He was very pathetic. He wept nearly every sermon he preached.
He was a heart preacher. Aimed at the heart. His eloquent flights were
bursts of passion. " His bursts of eloquence were perfectly overwhelming."
He excelled the world in darting the word of God into the sinner's heart.
When he preached at Cambuslang Communion, the effect was so over-
whelming he had to stop. The motion fled quick as lightning. The effect
was tremendous. He won the purse as well as the heart. A most suc-
cessful beggar. Preached money out of the people — even from Benjamin
Franklin. Whitefield was bold. Buoyant with courage, he broke over the
rules and preached out-doors at Hannam Mount. It was a great victory.
"The Rubicon is passed." Gagged in the city, he fled to the country. He
was not born to be muzzled. Preach he must, and preach he would. Noth-
ing but death could stop him. Commands the recording angel to stop.
Very direct and pointed. The spirit of " Thou art the man" flashes on
every page. His great field victory . Turned lions into lambs. One thou-
sand convictions — three hundred and fifty conversions under one ser-
mon. The mob roared — the people prayed. What a grand victory ! As
an orator he eclipsed the world, and completely out-generaled the devil.
He was terribly in earnest. He preached with all his might. Awed by
no threats, opposition quailed before him. Always insatiable, no success
satisfied, no danger alarmed him. His zeal consumed him. Invincible in
his plans, nothing daunted, nothing moved him. " His ideas came red-hot
from his heart." " Everything melted before him." His whole life was
a continual sacrifice for God. A "flaming seraph," he burnt out in the
blaze of his own fire • 372
THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
" For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink ; but righteousness, and peace,
and joy in the Holy Ghost." — Rom. xiv. 17.
GOD, A BELIEVER'S GLORY.
"And thy God thy glory." — Isa. lx. 19.
'O SEE more clearly the effect of Whitefield's in-
fluence, we here give a brief sketch of the con-
dition of the church when he commenced his
labors. When Whitefield entered the pulpit,
the state of piety in the Established Church
of England was very low. Filled with uncon-
verted ministers and formal professors, lifeless
forms, instead of earnest devotions, marked
nearly the entire church. Intemperance, profligacy and infi-
delity were so prevalent, that the Rev. Augustus W. Toplady,
a contemporary of Whitefield and of the same church,
says, " I believe no denomination of professing Christians,
the church of Rome excepted, were so generally void of
the light and life of godliness, and so generally destitute of the
doctrine and of the grace of the Gospel, as was the Church of
England. At that period a converted minister in the estab-
lishment was as great* a wonder as a comet ; but now, since
that great apostle of the British Empire, the late Mr. White-
field, was raised up in the spirit and power of Elias, the word of
God has run and been glorified." And, said Bishop Butler
about the same time, " It is come, I know not how, to be taken
for granted by many persons, that Christianity is not so much
as a subject of inquiry; but that it is now at length discovered
to be fictitious. And accordingly they treat it as if in the
present age this were an agreed point among all people of
discernment ; and nothing remained but to set it up as a princi-
pal subject of mirth and ridicule, as it were, by way of reprisals
for its having so long interrupted the pleasures of the world."
So great was the ignorance of these times that Rev. Dr. R.
Watson says that a great majority of the lower classes were not
only unable to read, but " in many places were semi-barbarous
in their habits." In some districts the parents knew so little
about God, that they taught their children to pray to men.
He says a clergyman has recently published, "that in many
villages in Devonshire the only form of prayer still taught to
their children by the peasantry, is the following goodly verses
handed down from their popish ancestry :
" Matthew, Mark, Luke and John,
Bless the bed that I lie on," etc.
Dr. Watson also says, "A great portion of the clergy were
grossly ignorant of theology, and contented themselves with
reading short, uryneaning sermons, purchased or pilfered, and
formed upon the lifeless theological system of the day."
The English heart had now become so corrupt, that John
Wesley exclaimed about that time, " What is the present char-
acter of the English nation? It is ungodliness. Ungodliness
is our universal, our constant, our peculiar character." Yet
amidst all this darkness, there were a few bright stars, such as
Drs. Watts, Doddridge, Guyse, and Bishops Butler, Home and
Lowth, etc., besides the mighty genius, light and power then
slumbering in Whitefield and the Wesleys.
LIFE OF GEORGE WHITEFIELD.
whitefield's birth and boyhood.
■VERY age and every nation has its great
leading spirits. The old dispensation had a
Moses, and the new had a Paul. Greece
had a Demosthenes, and Rome a Cicero.
America had an Edwards and England a
Whitefield. Yet, great men, great orators,
and especially great preachers, are rare ;
hence when one does arise, it is important to
mark his career and sift well the secret of his power and
George Whitefield was born in the Old Bell Inn, in the
city of Gloucester, England, December 16, 17 14. With our
present data we can trace back his ancestry only through
three generations. The Rev. Samuel Whitefield, his great-
grandfather, was an Episcopal minister, and was born in
Wantage, England. He was for a while Rector of the
churches of North Ledyard and Rockhampton. Of his seven
children, only two were sons, Samuel and Andrew. Samuel
was also an Episcopal minister, but Andrew, George's grand-
father, was an English gentleman. He lived a private life on
his own estate.
Of his large family of fourteen children, Thomas, the eldest,
20 LIFE OF WHITEFIELD.
and father of George, was brought up as a wine-merchant in
Bristol. But having abandoned the wine business, he took
charge of the " Old Bell Inn," in the city of Gloucester, where-
upon he married Mrs. Elizabeth Edwards, of Bristol, by whom
he had six sons and one daughter, of whom George was the
Here within the crumbling walls of th'is old tavern, which is
still standing, much improved and surrounded with scenes of
historic interest, the immortal Whitefield first drew the breath
of life. " Venerable city," though thou hast produced no kings
nor queens, yet distinguished for being the birth-place of
Whitefield, and the burial place of Robert Raikes, the founder
of Sunday-schools, and as the noted place where the heroic
Bishop Hooper triumphantly died in flames at the stake, under
the cruel reign of bloody Mary, thy name is immortal and
deserves to be had in everlasting remembrance. Well may the
world rejoice, that although one bright Herald of the Gospel
has perished within thy walls, another has been raised up to
publish it to two hemispheres.
Although " his advent augured no brilliant future," yet if
Virgil was the son of a potter, Demosthenes of a smith,
Columbus of a cloth-weaver, Ben Jonson of a brick-layer,
Shakespeare of a wool-trader, Burns of a poor peasant, and
Luther of a miner, it is not surprising " that the world's
greatest preacher should have sprung from an inn-keeper."
Made an orphan by the death of his father when but two
years old, little George was the object of much tender care by
his affectionate mother. Although given to some vicious
habits, George was always a promising boy. His early devel-
opments induced his anxious mother to expect great things
of him ; and being in moderate circumstances, she was much
troubled and perplexed about his education. In speaking of
WHITEFIELDS BIRTH AND BOYHOOD. 21
her, George says, " She has often told me how she endured
fourteen weeks' sickness after she brought me into the world ;
but was used to say, even when I was an infant, that she
expected more comfort from me than from any of the other
children. This, with the circumstance of my being born in an
inn, has often been of service to me, in exciting my endeavors
to make good my mother's expectations, and so follow the
example of my dear Saviour, who was laid in a manger belong-
ing to an inn." Although he seems to have been of a serious
turn of mind from his youth, yet in the terrible scrutiny of his
own judgment in after life, he was exceedingly depraved. He
describes himself as "being so brutish as to hate instruction,
and used purposely to shun all opportunities of receiving it ;"
even " stealing," as Dr. Gillies says, " from his mother's pocket,
and frequently appropriating the money he received in the
hotel, for cards, plays and romances," which, he says, " were
my heart's delight." Again he says, " If I trace myself from
my cradle to my manhood, I can see nothing in me but a
fitness to be damned : and if the Almighty had not prevented
me by His grace, I had now either been sitting and in the
shadow of death, or condemned, as the due reward of my
crimes, to be forever lifting up my eyes in torments." Yet
withal, he possessed a tender heart, and being full of fun and
mischief, he says, " Often have I joined with others in playing
roguish tricks, but was generally, if not always, happily
detected : for this I have often since, and do now, bless and
praise God." His full confessions of these pernicious habits
are very touching and humiliating, and should induce the
young to " shun all appearance of evil." Reader, if tempted
to play " roguish tricks," remember, " Thou God seest we."
When George was about ten years old, his mother got mar-
ried again ; but the match proved an unhappy one, however,
22 LIFE OF WHITEFIELD.
and gave rise to much unhappiness. He was, however, kept at
school, and when about twelve years of age he was sent to the
Grammar School of St. Mary de Crypt, in Gloucester, where
he went about three years, and made great progress in the
classics. Although it is said that Whitefield was born an
orator, and that the first mental manifestations of his childhood
were pertaining to the orator, yet it was not until he appeared
on the rostrum at the Grammar School, that his native powers
of eloquence began to be developed. Here he spoke with such
grace and power before the city corporation at the annual
school exhibitions, that he not only received much applause,
but handsome compensations for his performances. And
George, with the other scholars, being fond of acting plays,
their teacher, to encourage them in it, composed a dramatic
piece for them which they performed before the city corpora-
tion, in which George, dressed in girl's clothes, acted a
woman's part, the remembrance of which, he says, " has often
covered me with shame and confusion of face."
About this time George became deeply interested in " Bishop
Kerr's Manual for Winchester Scholars," which having proved
a source of comfort to his mother in her afflictions, he saved
money enough out of what he received for his stage perform-
ances and bought it, carefully read it through, and found it
afterwards, he says, " of great benefit to his soul." In speaking
of the evil tendencies and corrupt influences of these exhibi-
tions and dramatic performances upon the boys at school, he
says, " I cannot but observe here, with much Concern of mind,
how this way of training up youth has a natural tendency to
debauch the mind, to raise ill passions, and to stuff the memory
with things as contrary to the gospel of Christ as darkness to
light, hell to heaven."
WHITEFIELDS BIRTH AND BOYHOOD. 2$
THE " POT-BOY."
When George was about fifteen, he thought he had learning
enough for any ordinary business in life ; and as his mother's
business was declining, and she not being able to give him a
collegiate education, he persuaded her to let him quit school,
come home and assist her in the hotel. Taking the position of
a common "pot-boy" he says, " I began to assist her occasion-
ally in the public-house, till at length I put on my blue apron
and my snuffers, washed mops, cleaned rooms, and in a w6rd,
became a professed and common drawer for nearly a year and a
half." During all these ups and downs in George's early life,
he was entirely unconscious of his great latent genius and
forthcoming power. When washing mops and cleaning rooms
in the inn, he knew nothing of the melting pathos and match-
less eloquence that then slumbered in his noble soul. Little
did he think, when wielding the mop at home, that he would
soon so wield the sword of the Spirit that he would astonish
the world with his zeal and eloquence. Yet from childhood,
George says, " I was always fond of being a clergyman, and
used frequently to imitate the ministers' reading prayers."
And this desire seemed to have increased as he grew older:
for says he, " Notwithstanding I was employed in a large inn,
and had sometimes the care of the whole house upon my
hands, yet I composed two or three sermons, and dedicated
one of them to my elder brother."
From George's example of success, let poor, laboring boys
take courage, and "be of good cheer." Toil on, boys ! toil on!
God alone knows to what eminence you may attain. " Labor
conquers all things" — no excellence without it.
whitefield's education and conversion.
T THE close of chapter first, we left young
Whitefield in the inn, washing mops and
composing sermons, with a strong desire to
go to Oxford.
Although in early life, George "was so
brutish as to hate instruction, and used pur-
posely to shun all opportunities to get it;" yet
convinced of his natural talents and outcome,
his mother was now very anxious to have him go to school.
Her poverty and inability to educate him as she wished gave
her much trouble. " From his youth," says Brown's Religious
Encyclopaedia, "George was endowed with extraordinary
talents." At what age and what school he first attended,
history does not inform us. We first find him going to a
school in Gloucester when about ten years old, from which he
was transferred, when about twelve, to the Grammar School
of St. Mary de Crypt, where he continued about three years
and received his academic education. Here "he made great
progress in the Latin classics." When about fifteen, owing
to his mother's pecuniary embarrassments, his education was
for a time arrested. His mother now gave up the hotel and
rented it to one of her older sons, with whom George
remained (a while) until he finally left the hotel and went
and spent a few weeks with his eldest brother in Bristol.
While George was thus unemployed, with no definite object
or plan before him, waiting the indications of Providence, a
whitefield's education and conversion. 25
servitor student of Pembroke College, Oxford, visited his
mother. In the course of his conversation about college
affairs, he remarked that after all his expenses for the quarter
were paid, he had one penny left ; upon which she exclaimed