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thought (says he) it might be doing the service of my Creator, who had a mountain for his pulpit, and the hea vens for his sounding board; and who, when his gospel was refused by the Jews, sent his servants into the highways and hedges.” After much prayer, and many struggles with himself, he one day went to Hannam Mount, and, standing upon a hill, began to preach to about a hundred colliers, upon
Matth. v. 1, 2, 3. This soon took air. At the second and third time the numbers greatly increased, till the congregation, at a moderate computation, amounted to near twenty thousand. But with what gladness and eagerness many of these despised outcasts, who had never been in a church in their lives, received the word, is above description. “ Having (as he writes) no righteousness of their own to renounce, they were glad to hear of a Jesus who was a friend to publicans, and came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. The first discovery of their being affected, was to see the white gutters made by their tears, which plentifully fell down their black cheeks, as they came out of their coal-pits. Hundreds and hundreds of them were soon brought under deep convictions, which (as the event proved) happily ended in a sound and thorough conversion. The change was visible to all, though numbers chose to impute it to any thing rather than the finger of God. As the scene was quite new, and I had just began to be an extempore preacher, it often occasioned many inward conflicts. Sometimes, when twenty thousand people were before me, I had not, in my own apprehension, a word to say, either to God or them. But I was never totally deserted, and frequently (for to deny it would be lying against God) so assisted, that I knew by happy experience what our Lord meant by saying, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. The open firmament above me, the prospect of the adjacent fields, with the sight of thousands and thousands, some in coaches, some on horseback, and some in the trees, and at times all affected and drenched in tears together, to which sometimes was added the solemnity of the approaching evening, was almost too much for, and quite overcame me.
Besides the colliers, and thousands from neighbouring villages, persons of all ranks flocked daily out of Bristol. And he was soon invited to preach, by some of the better sort, in a large bowling-green in the city itself. Many indeed sneered, to see a stripling, with a gown, mount a table upon what they called unconsecrated ground. And for once, or twice, it excited the contempt and laughter
of the higher ranks, who formerly were his admirers when he preached in the churches. But God enabled him to stand the laugh, and to preach the gospel of Christ with earnestness and constancy; and was pleased to attend it with his blessing. From all quarters people flocked, under great concern about their souls. On Friday be preached there to four or five thousand, and on Sunday to (it was supposed) ten thousand. The number continually increased all the time he staid at Bristol. And a flame of holy love was kindled, which will not easily be put out. The same was afterwards kindled in various parts of Wales, of Gloucestershire, and Worcestershire. Indeed, wherever he went, Gop abundantly confirmed the word of his messenger.
On Sunday, April 29, he preached the first time in Moorfields, andon Kennington Common. Opportunities of preaching in a more regular way being now denied him, and his preaching in the fields being attended with a remarkable blessing, he judged it his duty to go on in this practice, and ventured the following Sunday into Moorfields. Public notice having been given, and the thing being new and singular, upon coming out of the coach he found an incredible number of people assembled. Many had told him that he should never come again out of that place alive. He went in, however, between two of his friends, who, by the pressure of the crowd, were soon parted entirely from him, and were obliged to leave him to the mercy of the rabble. But these, instead of hurting him, formed a lane for him, and carried him along to the middle of the fields, (where a table had been placed, which was broken in pieces by the crowd) and afterwards back again to the wall that then parted the upper and lower Moorfields, from whence he preached without molestation, to an exceeding great multitude in the lower fields. Finding such encouragement, he went that same evening to Kennington Common, a large open place near three miles distant from London, where he preached to a vast multitude, who were all attention, and behaved with as much regularity and quiet1:ess as if they had been in a church. Being again detained in England from month to month, he made little excur. sions into several counties, and received the contributions of willing multitudes, for an Orphan-house in Georgia. The embargo, which was then laid on the shipping, gave him leisure for more journies through various parts of England. At length, on August the 14th, 1739, he embarked. But lie did not land in Pensylvania till October the 30th. Af-. terwards he went through Pensylvania, the Jerseys, New
York, and back again to Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, preaching all along to immense congregations, with full as great effect as in England; and on January the 11th, 1740, he arrived at Savannah.
January the 29th he added three desolate orphans to near twenty which he had in his house before. The next dav he laid out the ground for the house, about ten miles from Savannah. February the 11th he took in four orphans more, and set out for Frederica in order to fetch the orphans that were in the southern parts of the colony. In his return he fixed a school, both for children and grown persons, at Darien, and took four orphans thence. March the 25th he laid the first stone of the Orphan-house, to which, with great propriety, he gave the name of Bethesda. He had now about forty orphans, so that there were near an hundred mouths to be fed daily. But he was careful for nothing, casting his care on Him who feedeth the young ravens that call upon him. In April he made another tour through Pensylvania, the Jerseys, and New-York. Incredible multitudes flocked to hear, among whom were abundance of negroes. In all places the greater part of the hearers were affected to an amazing degree. Many were deeply couvinced of their lost state ; many truly converted to God. He returned to Savannah June the 5th. The next evening, during the public service, the whole congregation, young and old, were dissolved in tears: And others, who came to visit them, were deeply impressed. In August he set out again by sea, and through Rhode Island, where he preached to large congregations, he came to Boston. While he was here, and in the neighbouring places, he was extremely weak in body. Yet the multitudes of hearers were so great, and the effects wrought on them so astonishing, as the oldest men then alive in the town had never seen before. He set out next for Northampton: Having read in England an account of a remarkable work of conversion there, published by their pastor the Rev. Mr. Jonathan Edwards; and having a great desire to see him and to hear the account from his own mouth. At Concord, Sudbury, Marlborough, Worcester, Leicester, Hadley, places all lying in the way, pulpits and houses were every where opened, and a continued influence attended his preaching. At Northampton, when he came to remind them of what God had formerly done for them, it was like putting fire to tinder. Both minister and people were much moved ; as were the children of the family, at an exhortation which their father desired Mr. Whitefield to give them.
Northampton, he preached in Westfield, Springfield, Suffield, Windsor, Hertford, Weathersfield, Middleton, and Wallingford, to large and affected congregations. And October 23, reached Newhaven, where he was affectionately received by Mr. Pierpoint, brother-inlaw to Mr. Edwards, and had the pleasure of seeing his friend Mr. Noble of New York, who brought him letters from Georgia. Here also he was much refreshed with the conversation of several gospel ministers. It being assembly time, and the governor and burgesses then sitting, he staid till Lord's Day, and had the pleasure to see numbers daily impressed. The good old governor was particularly much affected; and at a private visit which Mr. Whitefield paid him, said, " Thanks be to God for such refreshings in our way to heaven.” On Monday morning he set forward, and preached with his usual success at Milford, Stratford, Fairfield, Newark, and Stanford, where he was visited by some ministers under deep concern. This was on the borders of New-York province, into which he now again entered, and preached at Rye and Kingsbridge on his way to the city of New York, where he arrived October 30. Here for three days successively, and afterwards at Staten Island, Newark, Baskenridge, his preaching appeared to be attended with more success than ever. Ai Trenton be had a long conference with some ministers about Mr. Gilbert Tennent's complying with an invitation to go and preach in New-England. After prayer, and considering the arguments both for and against this proposal, they thought it best he should go; which, however diffident of himself, he was persuaded to do. And his ministrations were attended with an extraordinary blessing to multitudes in that extensive colony.
Saturday, November 8, Mr. Whitefield came back to Philadelphia, and next day preached to several thousands in a house built for that purpose since his last departure. Here he both heard of, and saw many, who were the fruits of his former ministrations; and continued among them till November 17, preaching twice a-day. Afterwards he preached in Gloucester, Greenwich, Piles Grove, Cohansie, Salem, Newcastle, Whiteley Creek, Fog's Manor, Nottingham, in many or most of which places the
congregations were numerons and deeply affected. November 22, he got to Bohemia in Maryland, and from thence he went to Reedy Island. At both places his preaching was attended with great influence. And at the last place (their sloop being detained by contrary winds near a week) he preached frequently. All the captains and crews of the ships that were wind-bound constantly attended, and great numbers crowded out of the country, some as far as from Philadelphia: And as great concern as ever came upon their minds. December 1, he set sail from Reedy Island for Charlestown in South Carolina, and here he makes the following remark : “ It is now the seventy-fifth day since I arrived at Rhode Island. My body was then weak, but the Lord hath much renewed its strength. I have been enabled to preach, I think, an hundred and seventy-five times in public, besides exhorting frequently in private. I have travelled upwards of eight hundred miles, and gotten upwards of seven hundred pounds sterling in goods, provisions, and money, for the Georgia orphans. Never did I perform my journeys with so little fatigue, or see such a continuance of the divine presence in the congregations to whom I have preached. Praise the Lord, O my soul.” After a pleasant passage of eight or nine days, and preaching again at Charlestown and Savannah, he arrived on the 14th of December at the Orphan House, where he found his family comfortably settled. At Rhode Island he had providentially met with one Mr. Jonathan Barber, whose heart was very much knit to him, and who was willing to help him at the Orphan House, Him, therefore, he left superintendant for the spiritual, and Mr. Habersham for the temporal affairs; and having spent a very comfortable Christmas with his orphan family, he set off again for Charlestown, where he arrived January 3, 1741, and preached twice every day as usual, to most affectionate auditories, till the 16th of Jan nuary, when he went on board for England. He arrived the 11th of March at Falmouth, rode post to London, and preached at Kennington Common the Sunday following.
The new and unexpected situation in which he now found himself, will be best described in his own words: “ But what a trying scene appeared here! In my zeal, during my journey through America, I had written two well meant, though injudicious letters, against England's two great favourites, “ The Whole Duty of Man," and “ Archbishop Tillotson," who, I said, knew no more of religion than Mahomet. The Moravians had made inroads upon the societies. Mr. John Wesley, some way or other, had been prevailed on to preach and print in favour of perfection and universal redemption; and very strongly against election,-a doctrine, which I thought, and do now believe was taught me of God, therefore could not possibly recede from. Thinking it my duty so to do, I