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pared to appreciate it, and from their great deep breaking, his affections thenceforward flowed, impetuous and uninterrupted, in the one channel of love to that Saviour who, on his behalf, had performed all things so excellently. The Bishop of Gloucester ordained him, and on the day of his ordination he wrote to a friend, “Whether I myself shall ever have the honour of styling myself “a prisoner of the Lord' I know not; but, indeed, my dear friend, I can call heaven and earth to witness that, when the Bishop laid his hand upon me, I

gave myself up to be a martyr for Him who hung upon the Cross for me. Known unto Him are all future events and contingencies. I have thrown myself blindfold, and, I trust, without reserve, into His Almighty hands; only I would have you observe, that, till

you hear of my dying for or in my work, you will not be apprised of all the preferment that is expected by GEORGE WHITEFIELD." In this rapture of self-devotion he traversed England, Scotland, and Ireland, for four and thirty years, and crossed the Atlantic thirteen times, proclaiming the love of God and His unspeakable gift to man. A bright and exulting view of the atonement's sufficiency was his theology; delight in God and rejoicing in Christ Jesus were his piety; and a compassionate solicitude for the souls of men, often rising to a fearful agony, was his ruling passion; and strong in the oneness of his aim and the intensity of his feelings, he soon burst the regular bounds, and began to preach on commons and village greens, and even to the rabble at London fairs. He 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 sparkling beauty of single sentences; but in the power of darting the gospel direct into the conscience he eclipsed them all. With an open beaming countenance, and the frank and easy port which the English people love-for it is the symbol of honest purpose and friendly assurance- -he combined a voice of rich compass, which could equally thrill over Moorfields in musical thunder, or whisper its terrible secret in every individual ear; and to this gainly aspect and tuneful voice he added a most expressive and eloquent action. Improved by conscientious practice, and instinct with his earnest nature, this elocution was the acted sermon, and by its pantomimic portrait enabled the eye to anticipate each rapid utterance, and helped the memory to treasure up the palpable ideas. None ever used so boldly, nor with more success, the highest styles of impersonation. His “Hark! hark !" could conjure up Gethsemane with its faltering moon, and awake again the cry of horrorstricken Innocence; and an apostrophe to Peter on the holy Mount would light up another Tabor, and drown it in glory from the opening heaven. His thoughts were possessions, and His feelings were transformations; and if He spake 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 momentary sympathy and reluctant wonder. Lord Chesterfield was listening in Lady Huntingdon’s pew when Whitefield was comparing the benighted sinner to a blind beggar on a dangerous road. His little dog gets away from him when skirting the edge of a precipice, and he is left to explore the path with his iron-shod staff. On the very verge of the cliff this blind guide slips through his fingers, and skims away down the abyss. All unconscious, its owner stoops down to regain it, and, stumbling forward—“Good God! he is gone!” shouted Chesterfield, who had been watching with breathless alarm the blind man's movements, and who jumped from his seat to save the catastrophe. But the glory of Whitefield's preaching was its heartkindled, heart-melting gospel. But for this all his bold strokes and brilliant surprises might have been no better than the



rhetorical triumphs of Kirwan and other pulpit dramatists. He was an orator, but he only sought to be an evangelist. Like a volcano where gold and gems may be darted forth as well as common things, but where gold and molten granite flow all alike in fiery fusion, bright thoughts and splendid images might be projected from his flaming pulpit, but all were merged in the stream which bore along the gospel and himself in blended fervour. Indeed, so simple was his nature, that glory to God and goodwill to man having filled it, there was room for little more. Having no church to found, no family to enrich, and no memory to immortalise, he was the mere ambassador of God; and, inspired with its genial piteous spirit—so full of Heaven Reconciled and Humanity Restored -he soon himself became a living gospel. Radiant with its benignity, and trembling with its tenderness, by a sort of spiritual induction a vast audience would speedily be brought into a frame of mind—the transfusion of his own; and the white furrows on their sooty faces told that Kingswood colliers were weeping, or the quivering of an ostrich plume bespoke the deep emotion in which its fashionable wearer bowed her head. And coming to his work direct from communion with his Master, and in all the strength of believing prayer, there was an elevation in his mien which often paralysed hostility, a self-possession which only made him, amid uproar and fury, the more sublime. With an electric bolt he would bring the jester in his fool's cap from his perch on the tree, or galvanise the brick-bat from the skulking miscreant's grasp, or sweep down in crouching submission and shame-faced silence the whole of Bartholomew Fair; whilst a revealing flash of sententious doctrine or vivified Scripture would disclose to awestruck hundreds the forgotten verities of another world, or the unsuspected arcana of their inner man. “I came to break your head, but, through you, God has broken my heart,” was a sort of confession with which he was familiar; and to see the deaf old gentlewoman, who used to mutter imprecations at him as he passed along the street, clambering up the pulpit-stairs to catch his angelic words, was a sort of spectacle which the triumphant gospel often witnessed in his day. And when it is known that his voice could be heard by twenty thousand, and that ranging all the empire, as well as America, he would often preach thrice on a working-day, and that he has received in one week as many as a thousand letters from persons awakened by his sermons; if no estimate can be formed of the results of his ministry, some idea may be suggested of its vast extent and singular effectiveness.


The following codicil was added to Whitefield's will : “N.B. -I also leave a mourning ring to my honoured and dear friends, the Rev. John and Charles Wesley, in token of my

indissoluble union with them, in heart and Christian affection, notwithstanding our difference in judgment about some particular points of doctrine."

The points of doctrine” were chiefly the extent of the atonement and the perseverance of the saints; the “indissoluble union” was occasioned by their all-absorbing love to the same Saviour, and untiring efforts to make known His glory and His grace. They disagreed a little, but they loved a great deal more.

Few characters could be more completely the converse, and, in the Church's exigencies, more happily the supplement of one another, than were those of George Whitefield and JOHN WESLEY ; * and had their views been identical, and their labours all along coincident, their large services to the gospel might have repeated Paul and Barnabas. Whitefield was soul, and Wesley was system. Whitefield was a summer-cloud which burst at morning or noon in fragrant exhilaration over an ample tract, and took the rest of the day to gather again ; Wesley was the polished conduit in the midst

* Born 1703. Died 1791.

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of the garden, through which the living water glided in pearly brightness and perennial music, the same vivid stream from day to day. After a preaching paroxysm, Whitefield lay panting on his couch, spent, breathless, and death-like; after his morning sermon in the Foundry, Wesley would mount his pony, and trot and chat and gather simples, till he reached some country hamlet, where he would bait his charger, and talk through a little sermon with the villagers, and remount his pony and trot away again. In his aërial poise, Whitefield's eagle eye drank lustre from the source of light, and loved to look down on men in assembled myriads ; Wesley's falcon glance did not sweep so far, but it searched more keenly and marked more minutely where it pierced. A master of assemblies, Whitefield was no match for the isolated man ;-seldom coping with the multitude, but strong in astute sagacity and personal ascendancy, Wesley could conquer any number one by one. All force and impetus, Whitefield was the powderblast in the quarry, and by one explosive sermon would shake a district, and detach materials for other men's long work ; deft, neat, and painstaking, Wesley loved to split and trim each fragment into uniform plinths and polished stones. Or, taken otherwise, Whitefield was the bargeman or the waggoner who brought the timber of the house, and Wesley was the architect who set it up. Whitefield had no patience for ecclesiastical polity, no aptitude for pastoral details ; with a beaverlike propensity for building, Wesley was always constructing societies, and, with a king-like craft for ruling, was most at home when presiding over a class or a conference. It was their own infelicity that they did not always work together; it was the happiness of the age and the furtherance of the gospel that they lived alongside of one another. Ten years older than his pupil, Wesley was a year or two later of attaining the joy and freedom of gospel-forgiveness. It was whilst listening to Luther's Preface to the Romans, where he describes the change



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