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George Whitefield

George Whitefield

George Whitefield (1714 - 1770)

Also known as George Whitfield, was an English Anglican preacher who helped spread the Great Awakening in Britain, and especially in the British North American colonies. He was one of the founders of Methodism and of the evangelical movement generally. He became perhaps the best-known preacher in Britain and America in the 18th century, and because he traveled through all of the American colonies and drew great crowds and media coverage, he was one of the most widely recognized public figures in colonial America.

Whitefield was an astounding preacher from the beginning. Though he was slender in build, he stormed in the pulpit as if he were a giant. Within a year it was said that "his voice startled England like a trumpet blast." At a time when London had a population of less than 700,000, he could hold spellbound 20,000 people at a time at Moorfields and Kennington Common. For thirty-four years his preaching resounded throughout England and America. In his preaching ministry he crossed the Atlantic thirteen times and became known as the 'apostle of the British empire.' He was a firm Calvinist in his theology yet unrivaled as an aggressive evangelist. Though a clergyman of the Church of England, he cooperated with and had a profound impact on people and churches of many traditions, including Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and Baptists. Whitefield, along with the Wesleys, inspired the movement that became known as the Methodists. Whitefield preached more than 18,000 sermons in his lifetime, an average of 500 a year or ten a week. Many of them were given over and over again. Fewer than 90 have survived in any form.

George Whitefield also known as George Whitfield, was an Anglican itinerant minister who helped spread the Great Awakening in Great Britain and, especially, in the British North American colonies.

He was a very influential figure in the establishment of Methodism. He was famous for his preaching in America which was a significant part of an 18th century movement of Christian revivals, sometimes called "The Great Awakening."

While explicitly affirming God's sole agency in salvation, Whitefield would freely offer the Gospel, saying near the end of most of his published sermons something like: "Come poor, lost, undone sinner, come just as you are to Christ"

He died in the parsonage of Old South Presbyterian Church, Newburyport, Massachusetts on September 30, 1770. He was buried, according to his wishes, in a crypt under the pulpit of this church.

      George Whitefield was born in Gloucester in 1714. At eighteen he entered Pembroke College, Oxford, and soon became a member of a religious group that included John Wesley and Charles Wesley. The group became became known as the Holy Club or the Oxford Methodists.

      In 1735 John Wesley and Charles Wesley became missionaries in Georgia, America. Whitefield followed three years later and was appointed minister at Savannah. Whitefield and Wesley returned to England and settled in Bristol and gave sermons in the open-air. However, whereas Wesley built a Methodist Chapel in Bristol Whitefield decided to go back to Georgia where he made extensive preaching tours.

      When he returned to England, the Countess of Huntington appointed him her chaplain and built and endowed many chapels for him. He made seven evangelistic visits to America and spent the rest of his life in preaching tours of Britain.

      Whitefield made the last of his seven evangelistic visits to America in 1769. George Whitefield died near Boston in 1770.

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George Whitefield

A Penitent Heart, the best New Year's Gift. (Luke 13:3)

Luke 13:3, "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." When we consider how heinous and aggravating our offenses are, in the sight of a just and holy God, that they bring down his wrath upon our heads, and occasion us to live under his indignation; how ought we thereby to be deterred from evil... Read More
George Whitefield

Abraham's offering up his Son Isaac. (Gen 22:12)

Genesis 22:12 "And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him, for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy Son, thine only Son from me." FULL TEXT: Genesis 22:1-12 The great Apostle Paul, in one of his epistles, informs us, that "whatsoev... Read More
George Whitefield

An Exhortation to the People of God not to be discouraged in their Way, by the Scoffs and Contempt of wicked Men. (Hebrews 4:9)

Hebrews 4:9, "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God." When we consider the persecutions they are exposed to, who live righteously and godly in this present world; it is amazing to consider, that the people of this generation should be so fond of a name to live, while they are in effe... Read More
George Whitefield

Blind Bartimeus. (Mark 10:52)

Mark 10:52, "And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way." When the apostle Peter was recommending Jesus of Nazareth, in one of his sermons to the Jews, he gave him a short, but withal a glorious and exalte... Read More
George Whitefield

Britain's Mercies, and Britain's Duty. Preached at Philadelphia, on Sunday, August 24, 1746. and occasioned by the Suppression of the late unnatural Rebellion. (Psalm 105:45)

Psalm 55:45 "That they might observe his statutes and keep his laws." Men, brethren, and fathers, and all ye to whom I am about to preach the kingdom of God, I suppose you need not be informed, that being indispensably obliged to be absent on your late thanksgiving day, I could not show my obedience... Read More
George Whitefield

Christ the Believer's Husband. (Isaiah 44:5)

Isaiah 54:5, "For thy Maker is thy Husband." Although believers by nature, are far from God, and children of wrath, even as others, yet it is amazing to think how nigh they are brought to him again by the blood of Jesus Christ. Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart... Read More
George Whitefield

Christ the best Husband: or, an earnest Invitation to Young Women to come and see Christ. Preached to a Society of Young Women, in Fetter-Lane. (Psalm 45:10-11)

Psalm 14:10-11 Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear: Forget also thine own people, and thy father's house: So shall the King greatly desire thy beauty, for he is thy Lord, and worship thou him. This psalm is called the song of loves, the most pure and spiritual, the most ear and ... Read More
George Whitefield

Christ the only Preservative against a Reprobate Spirit. (2 Cor. 13:5)

2 Corinthians 13:5, "Know ye not your ownselves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be Reprobates." The doctrines of the gospel are doctrines of peace, and they bring comfort to all who believe in them; they are not like the law given by Moses, which consisted of troublesome and painful cere... Read More
George Whitefield

Christ the only Rest for the Weary and Heavy Laden. (Matt. 11:28)

Matthew 11:28, "Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Nothing is more generally known than our duties which belong to Christianity; and yet, how amazing is it, nothing is less practiced? There is much of it in name and show, but little of it in the heart and... Read More
George Whitefield

Christ the Support of the Tempted. (Matt. 6:13)

Matthew 6:13, "Lead us not into temptation." The great and important duty which is incumbent on Christians, is to guard against all appearance of evil; to watch against the first risings in the heart to evil; and to have a guard upon our actions, that they may not be sinful, or so much as seem to be... Read More
George Whitefield

Christ's Transfiguration. (Luke 9:28-36)

Luke 9:28-36, "And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment [was] white [and] glistering. And, behold, there talked with him two men, w... Read More
George Whitefield

Christ, the Believer's Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemption. (1 Cor. 1:30)

1 Corinthians 1:30, "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." Of all the verses in the book of God, this which I have now read to you, is, I believe, one of the most comprehensive: what glad tidings does it bring to... Read More
George Whitefield

Christians, Temples of the living God. (2 Cor. 6:16)

2 Corinthians 6:16, "Ye are the Temple of the living God." Isaiah, speaking of the glory of gospel days, said, "Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, besides thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him." Chap. 64:4. Could a world lying in the wic... Read More
George Whitefield

Directions how to hear Sermons. (Luke 8:18)

Luke 8:18, "Take heed, therefore, how ye hear." The occasion of our Lord's giving this caution, was this: Perceiving that much people were gathered together to hear him out of every city, and knowing (for he is God, and knoweth all things) that many, if not most of them, would be hearers only, and n... Read More
George Whitefield

George Whitefield Quotes

Thus was the King and the Lord of glory judged by man's judgment, when manifest in flesh: far be it from any of his ministers to expect better treatment. Too many, through want of prudence, are golden apprentices, silver journeymen, and copper masters. The reason why the Son of God took upon him our... Read More
George Whitefield

How to Listen to a Sermon

Keys for getting the most out of what the preacher says Jesus said, "Therefore consider carefully how you listen" (Luke 8:18). Here are some cautions and directions, in order to help you hear sermons with profit and advantage. 1. Come to hear them, not out of curiosity, but from a sincere desire to ... Read More
George Whitefield

Intercession, every Chritian's Duty. (1 Thess. 5:25)

1 Thessalonians 5:25, "Brethren, pray for us." If we inquire, why there is so little love to be found amongst Christians, why the very characteristic, by which every one should know that we are disciples of the holy Jesus, is almost banished out of the Christian world, we shall find it, in a great m... Read More
George Whitefield

Marks of a true Conversion

Matthew 18:3, "Verily, I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." I suppose I may take it for granted, that all of you, among whom I am now about to preach the kingdom of God, are fully convinced, that it is appointed for al... Read More
George Whitefield

Marks of having received the Holy Ghost. (Acts 19:2)

Acts 19:2, "Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?" Two different significations have been given of these words. Some have supposed, that the question here put, is, Whether these disciples, whom St. Paul found at Ephesus, had received the Holy Ghost by imposition of hands at confirmation... Read More
George Whitefield

Of Justification by Christ. (1 Cor. 6:11)

1 Corinthians 6:11, "But ye are justified" The whole verse is: "And such were some of you; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the Spirit of our God." It has been objected by some, who dissent from, nay, I may add, by others als... Read More

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