Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic][graphic]

the riotous proceedings of his enemies. “Last Tuesday night,” says he, “all was hushed, and in order to throw off all popular odium, I gave it as my opinion, that it was owing to your lordship's kind interposition. One Mr. C , and one Mr. M—, I am informed are greatly concerned. I know them not; and I pray the Lord of all lords, never to lay this ill and unmerited treatment to their charge. If no more noise is made on their part, I assure your lordship, no further resentment shall be made on mine. But, if they persist, I have the authority of the apostle, on a like occasion, to appeal unto Caesar; and thanks be to God, we have a Caesar to appeal to, whose laws will not suffer any of his loyal subjects to be treated in such an inhuman manner. I have only one favor to beg of your lordship, that you would send, as they are your lordship's parishioners, to the above gentlemen, and desire them, henceforward to desist from such unchristian, and, especially at this critical juncture, such riotous and dangerous proceedings. Whether as a chaplain to a most worthy peeress, and a presbyter of the Church of England, and a steady disinterested friend to our present happy constitution, I have not a right to ask such a favor, I leave to your lordship's mature deliberation.” In the mean time his preaching was blessed by God, particularly to one, who had been a subscriber to hire rioters to make a noise. In the beginning of February, 1756, he sent eighty pounds of the collection which he had made at the Tabernacle, on the day of the public fast, to the society for relieving the poor persecuted French Protestants.” The riots at Long Acre chapel still continuing with increasing violence, his friends persuaded him to prosecute those notorious offenders against all law and decency; which being known, his life was threatened. At the Tabernacle, a man came up to him in the pulpit: and three anonymous letters were sent him, denouncing certain and sudden death, unless he desisted from preaching and pursuing the offenders. As the matter concerned not only himself, but the public also, and struck at the welfare of civil government, he sent a copy of one of the letters to the Honorable Hume C–ll, begging the favor of his advice; who advised him, by all means, to put all concerned into the court of king's bench. The Earl of Holderness, one of the secretaries of state, to whom he was introduced on this occasion, received him very courteously, seeming inclined to offer a reward for the discovery of the letter writer. “I find,” says Whitefield, in a letter to Lady Huntingdon, May 2, 1756, “that all things happen for the furtherance of the gospel. I suppose your indyship has seen his majesty's promise of a pardon, to any that will discover the writer: and this brings the further news of my having taken a piece of ground, very commodious to build on, not far from the foundling hospital. I have opened the subscription, and through God's blessing, it has already amounted to near six hundred pounds. I hope, in a few months, to have, what has long been wanted, a place for the gospel at the other end of the town. This even#. God willing, I venture once more to preach at Long Acre.” The place he here speaks of, is the chapel in Tottenham court road, which he began to build, May 10, 1756. Soon after this, he again made his favorite tour, successfull preaching about three weeks at the following places; at Bristol, and in Gloucestershire; at Bradford, Fromer, Warminster, and at Portsmouth ; and returned to London in the beginning of June. In a letter, dated July 27, he says, “The gospel flourishes in London. I am just returned from preaching at Sherness, Chatham, and in the camp.” The next day he set off for Scotland. On his journey he writes thus: “Sunderland, August 14, 1756. How swiftly doth my precious time fly away! It is now a fortnight since I came to Leeds; in and about which, I preached eight days, thrice almost every day, to thronged and affected auditories. On Sunday last, at Bradford, in the morning, the auditory consisted of about ten thousand; at noon, and in the evening, at Birstall, to near double the number. Though hoarse, I was helped to speak so that all heard. Next morning, I took a sorrowful leave of Leeds; preached at Doncaster at noon and at York the same night. On Wednesday, at Warstall, about fifty miles off; on Thursday, twice at Yaran; and last night and this morning here. Wherever, he came, he heard of the good effects of his preaching in those parts last year. Upon receiving pressing invitations, by letter, from friends in Scotland, he again set out and arrived at Edinburgh, on the 20th of August; where, and at Glasgow, he continued to preach with much acceptance, and peculiar success. The Glasgow Courant has the following accounts:

* This year, 1756, he published, “A short Address to Persons of all Denominations, occasioned by the alarm of an intended invasion,” which will be found near the end of this volume.

“EDINBURGH, Sept. 9, 1756. “For near these three weeks the Rev. Mr. Whitefield has been preaching in the Orphan-hospital park, to very crowded auditories, twice every day. As he was frequently very ex. plicit in opening the miseries of popish tyranny and arbitrary

power, and very warm in exhorting his hearers to loyalty and courage at home, and in stirring them up to pray for the success of his majesty's forces, both by sea and land abroad, we have reason to believe, that his visit at this juncture hath been particularly useful. “EDINBURGH, Sept. 23.

“On Sunday evening, the Rev. Mr. Whitefield, after sermon, made a collection for the poor highlanders, when upwards of sixty pounds sterling was collected.”

September 22, he received a message from the new governor of Georgia in London, desiring to see and converse with him, concerning the affairs of the colony, before he embarked.

In his way to London, he stopped at Leeds, and went some days into good Mr. G and J–’s round, preaching to great multitudes on the mountains; but the appearance of a return of his last year's disorder, obliged him to hasten to town. On the 7th of November, he opened his new chapel in Tottenham court road, preaching from 1 Cor. iii. 11. For other foundation can no man lay, than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

CHAPTER XVII.

From opening the chapel in Tottenham court road, to his arrival in Edinburgh, in the year 1759.

His constant work was now preaching about fifteen times a week, which, with a weak appetite, want of rest, and much care lying upon his mind, reduced him to a state of great bodily weakness. “But yet,” says he, “the joy of the Lord is my strength; and my greatest grief is, that I can do no more for him, who has done and suffered so much for me.”

His new chapel succeeded according to his wish. On Sunday mornings, hundreds went away, not being able to get in. Several people of rank were desirous of obtaining constant seats; and a very affecting letter was received from one under convictions, who acknowledged that curiosity alone brought him first to see what sort of a place it was.” It is said that Hume was a hearer of Mr. Whitefield, and was much taken with his eloquence. Such testimonies as the latter, are recorded merely for their singularity.f

** A neighboring doctor calls the place WhitFFIELD's Soul TRAP. I pray the friend of sinners, to make it a soul trap indeed, to many wandering creatures. , Shuter, the player, always makes one of the auditory; and, as I hear, is much impressed, and brings others with him.”

*An intimate friend of the infidel Hume, asked him what he thought of Mr. Whitefield's preaching; for he had listened to the latter part of one of his sermons at Edinburgh. “He is sir,” said Mr. Hume, “the most ingepious preacher I ever heard. It is worth while to go twenty miles to hear him.” He then repeated the following passage which he hord towards the close of that discourse. “After a solemn pause, Mr. Whitefield thus addressed his numerous auditory:— The attendant angel is just about to leave the threshold, and ascend to heaven. And shall he ascend and not bear with him the news of one sinner, among all this multitude, reclaimed from the error of his ways?' To give the greater effect to this exclamation, he stamped with his foot, listed up his hands and eyes to heaven, and with gushing tears cried aloud, “Stop, §§ Stop, Gabriell Stop, ere you enter the sacred rtals, and yet carry with you the news of one sinner converted to God.” e then in the most simple, but energetic language, described what he called a Savior's dying love to sinful man; so that almost the whole assembly melted into tears. This address was accompanied with such animated, yet natural action that it surpassed anything I ever saw or heard in any other preacher.” Happy had it been for poor Hume, had he received what he then heard, “as the word of God, and not as the word of man!”

In 1757, he again took his circuit northward, and came to Edinburgh some time in the month of May, and at the time of the annual meeting of the general assembly, a circumstance which afforded him much satisfaction. His preaching was attended by many ministers; it is said, a hundred at a time. Many of them appeared to be deeply affected; and thus their prejudices were removed. About thirty of them, as a proof of their regard, invited him to a public entertainment. His majesty's commissioner, Lord Cathcart, also invited him to his table. And his lordship's predecessor, the Earl of L , showed particular attention to Whitefield, as indeed he had constantly done from the time of his first coming to Scotland. Multitudes, and a great many of them of the highest rank, daily flocked to hear him. The congregations still increased more and more.

Leaving Edinburgh, he arrived at Glasgow on the 8th of June, having preached twice by the way, and continued preaching as usual, till the 14th, in the High Church yard, to large congregations, twice a day; and both forenoon and afternoon, in a church in the city.

Seeing the pitiable condition the poor of Glasgow were in at this time, notwithstanding the bounty of the affluent and humane, he, with the concurrence of the magistrates, at his sermon on Monday evening, made a collection for them, amounting to near sixty pounds. Next day he preached at Paisley; and immediately set out for Ireland.

His reception in Dublin was as promising as formerly; the congregations were very large, and a blessing appeared to attend his preaching, many being much affected. A certain prelate told a noble lord, that he was glad Whitefield had come to rouse the people. Persons of all ranks attended, and all seemed, in some measure, affected with the solemn truths which he delivered.

« AnteriorContinuar »