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his pulpit, apparently lost in inward and intense prayer. The stor passed rapidly away, and the sun, bursting forth in his might, thre across the heavens a magnificent arch of peace. Rising, and pointii to the beautiful object, he exclaimed, “Look upon the rainbow, ar praise him that made it. Very beautiful it is in the brightness thered It compasseth the heavens about with glory; and the hands of the Mo High have bended it.” 1

pp. 277, 278. • An intimate friend of the infidel Hume, asked him what he thoug of Mr. Whitefield's preaching ; for he had listened to the latter part one of his sermons at Edinburgh. “ He is sir,” said Mr. Hume, “ tb most ingenious preacher I ever heard. It is worth while to go twent miles to hear him.” He then repeated the following passage which h heard towards the close of that discourse. “After a solemn pause, M: Whitefield thus addressed his numerous auditory : • The attendant an gel is just about to leave the threshold, and ascend to heaven. An 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, lifted up hi hands and eyes to heaven, and with gushing tears, cried aloud, Stop, Gabriel! Stop, ere you enter the sacred portals, and yet carry with you the news of one sinner converted to God." He 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 any thing I ever saw or heard in any other preacher.">

p. 175.

The christian character of Whitefield was a rare combination of virtues. He was temperate, chaste, and self-denying. Patient under rebuke, and thankful for kindness, he was manly and independent in his adherence to what he believed to be right, and his censures on that which he was convinced was wrong. The following portraiture is drawn by his intimate acquaintance, the Rev. Mr. Hervey :

Surely people do not know that amiable and exemplary man, or else, I cannot but think, instead of depreciating, they would applaud and love him. For my part, I never beheld so fair a copy of our Lord —such a living image of the Savior-such exalted delight in Godsuch enlarged benevolence to man—such a steady faith in the divine promises—and such a fervent zeal for the divine glory—and all this without the least moroseness of humor, or extravagances of behavior, sweetened with the most engaging cheerfulness of temper, and regulated by all the sobriety of reason, and wisdom of scripture ; insomuch, that I cannot forbear applying the wise man's encomium of an illustrious woman, to this eminent minister of the everlasting gospel ; many sons have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.” p. 219.

No man was under greater temptations from unbounded pop

Warity. Caressed as he was by many of the great, the wise, and good; the delight of thousands; conscious of the extent of bis influence, and his mighty power over the feelings of others; i would bave been strange, indeed, if he did not experience at times the mingling emotions of self-complacency and triumph. But if thus led aside for a moment from his more glorious aim, he was deeply humbled at this weakness of our common nature. As be advances in life, we may perceive how his character as a christian continually improves and brightens; the quickness of youth gives place to the more steady and calm action of mature

and while the same spirit of devotedness to his divine Master actuates him, ever prompting to incessant toils, self-denial, and suffering, a deeper founded experience, too, tempers and strengtheos every effort ; thus rendering the whole subservient to the great object to which his life was devoted. With admirable ingenuousness, and a lovely humility, he is ready to acknowledge pest errors; and with equal boldness, to adhere to what he feels to be right, although he may thereby subject himself to reproach and contempt. He did not needlessly court persecution ; nor did he relinquish the path of duty because he feared it. When it came, be welcomed it as the lot of a christian ; and endured it manfully as a part of the cross which he must expect to bear. He led a life of constant nearness to God; and habitually referred all his circumstances to his Master's will. He seems to have been much accustomed to ejaculatory prayer; and even

ben in company, was often lifting up his heart to Christ, for continued grace and strength. The perpetual production of serious thought for others, doubtless kept him always in a state of lively spiritual feeling; and he was so constantly engaged in meditating, or declaring the truth, that he seems to have been free from any thing like distressing fears or doubts respecting his own soul. Yet be bad a deep sense, which he ever cherished, of his own utter insufficiency without Christ, and this made him truly grateful for the mercy which had been exercised in turning him from his ways of guilt and ruin; and having caught a spark of that holy flame of love which burned in the bosom of his Redeemer, he felt its purifying and enlivening influence. He preached much from his own heart; and drew forth from thence the truths he had treasured


and the value of which he knew by a practical trial of their efficacy in

This made him an energetic preacher. He knew whereof he affirmed. Sincerity marks all his discourses ; and to this characteristic, among others, springing from its proper source, we are inclined to think he probably owed no small portion of his power over an audience. It was a sincerity which had its foundation in an overwhelming conviction of the importance of those truths which he was delivering; and exhibited by an indescri

his own case.

bable earnestness; longing that others, too, might receive the benefits with which his own soul had been blessed. It thrilled through his whole frame; and made him pour out his words of warning and persuasion, as if eternity hung trembling on their immediate acceptance or rejection. His whole soul seems to yearn over perisbing sinners around him ; his heart is well-nigh breaking at times, at the thought of their danger and folly; he begs, pleads, and urges, and heaps up motives, and entreaties, and expostulations, as if he could not bear to leave a single heart unaffected. His expressions of love for their souls are often wonderfully touching; and he seemed to feel as though the burden of their destiny rested on him, and that his faithfulness only could enable him to hope that they might be saved.

The effect of these feelings on his preaching is manifest. It threw over all his discourses an air of the deepest tenderness. He pointed out to his hearers their danger of impending ruin, as if the reality was actually spread out before his view; and while with all the vividness of truth he spoke of the terrors of coming wrath, there breathed through all the melting, inexpressible love, that longed, and prayed, and wept, for their deliverance. In this respect the sermons of Whitefield deserve attentive study. Even in the imperfect state in which they appear, deprived of course of those nicer and more delicate touches of expressiveness which no reporter could catch, they bear marks of the constant overflowing of bis soul for the dying sinners to whom he proclaimed the messages of grace. There is a continual blending with whatever may seem harsh, of a spirit ready to be poured out, and broken, and to endure almost any thing short of being lost, if he might only succeed in bringing others to Christ. We have sometimes heard the most awful denunciations of divine wrath pronounced in tones, which if not unfeeling, showed at least that the person who uttered them scarcely realized the possibility that they ever might sound in his own ears, or reach friends endeared to him by all the tenderest relations of life. Whitefield's manner, we believe, was entirely different. He never withheld the truth, nor kept back the darkest view of the sinner's danger. But he seems conscious that there is a meaning of unutterable anguish in the denunciations of God's wrath; and if we have any proper conception of the sentences which follow each other, he utters them like one who, while he knows they must be spoken, is ready to exclaim with bursting heart, O that sinners would not have it so!' Our readers will recollect the anecdote above given, where he is described as repeating Oh, the wrath's to come! Oh, the wrath's to come! There was, therefore, no affectation in his display of emotion, though it may be censured by some as a departure from strict propriety, when he wept, and stamped his feet, and used the most passionate expressions of his feelings. He might be called an enthusiast; and the more deeply one has tasted the bitterness of the anticipated terrors of the second death, or the more clearly he has caught a glimpse of heaven, with its brightening glories, the more liable will he be to meet the same charge from an ungodly world. But his emotion was in no degree at variance with what the case demanded. It was nothing but the perfectly natural result of the deep interest which he felt in their salvation, and the lively views of their danger which absorbed his whole soul, and made him act as if on the present exertion depended the decision of the question, whether they were to be saved or lost. No wonder that men trembled and sunk down overpowered by such a sense of their danger as they witnessed in him. They could not remain unmoved, for they saw that he felt bis responsibility, and with all the crushing weight of this burden upon him, he, by the faithful discharge of his duty, was rolling off from himself upon them that dreadful load which was ready to sink them to perdition. But with all this deep emotion, the blessing which followed bis labors was obtained by a continued wrestling in prayer with a covenant God. To the intervention of sovereign grace Whitefield ever felt all the glory to be due; and his constant recognition of the divine agency in conversion, is one of the most striking traits in his character. The great

doctrines of grace were prominent in all his preaching. He was decidedly a Calvinist, in opposition to the low Arminianism of that day. In judging of his preaching, we must take into view the state of the christian world at the time he flourished. A long period of declension and coldness had preeeded that time. Religion had lost its vitality, a dead stagnation and a night of darkness reigned, when he began to wake the slumbering energies of piety, and to pour light upon the churches. Men were disposed to trust to a mere lifeless morality; and the general feeling seemed to be that persons gradually grew up into christians, without any renewing power of the Spirit of God; and that no radical change of heart was needed to fit them for heaven. At such a time it is necessary to give a peculiar prominence to the doctrines of entire depravity, regeneration, dependence and divine sovereignty, and the justifying righteousness of Christ. Upon these, therefore, Whitefield dwelt much. To rouse men from their death-like slumbers of false security, he aimed to sweep away every “refuge of lies," and impress upon their minds the dreadful conviction that without the interposition of sovereign grace their souls would be inevitably lost. At the same time he says nothing to excuse men in remaining inactive, or “ waiting God's time;" he calls upon them to come immediately to Christ, to repent and believe in Christ ; he charges them with guilt for their neglect of this duty, and labors to make them feel its necessity. It was in this particVol. VI.


ular form, rather than by directly asserting and proving the sinner's ability, that he exhibits his views of their character as moral agents. We have no hesitation in saying, that if he had lived at the present day, he would have been most strenuous in enforcing that doctrine with the utmost energy. We ground our belief not only on the fact that we find passages in his sermons which indicate his complete conviction of the ability of men to obey the commands of God, but also from the well known intimacy which subsisted between him and Davies, Tennent, Edwards, and others, whose views on these subjects need no vouchers. He had no dread of pressing duty upon the consciences of his hearers, nor was he a partaker in that over-scrupulous distrust of all excitement, which is the Shibboleth of so many at the present day. An admirable judg. ment tempered his zeal ; but he knew and felt that men must be roused and alarmed. Hence, in his own peculiar manner, he dwelt much on their sinful condition, the necessity of regeneration, their dependence on the sovereign mercy and grace of the God whom they were provoking to anger. He felt that all were so perfectly conscious of ability,—so disposed at that day to rely on their own power, that it was more important to show them the dreadful certainty, from the desperate extent of their aversion to God, that they never would submit until made willing in the day of His power. He preached the doctrine of dependence, therefore, in the most broad and unqualified manner; for he had no fear of the objection, at other times so common, that there is nothing for the sinner to do. It is accordingly true,—and this is a decisive proof of the correctness of the view we have just taken,—that no where in his sermons is there any allusion intimating or implymg such an objection on the sinner's part, or the least attempt towards refuting it. Had it existed we may be sure that he would not have suffered it to pass unnoticed. It would be impossible to do so at the present day. It did not then exist. The error of the times was all on the side of the exclusive agency of man in his own salyation. But we will make a few extracts from the volume under review, in relation to this subject. The first is a short passage from a funeral sermon, by Dr. Pemberton of Boston.

““ To convince sinners that they were by nature children of wrath by practice, transgressors of the divine law; and in consequence of this, exposed to the vengeance of offended heaven; to display the transcendent excellency of a Savior, and persuade awakened minds to confide in his merits and righteousness, as the only hopes of a guilty world ; to impress upon the professors of the gospel the necessity, not only of an outward reformation, but an internal change, by the powerful influences of the Spirit ; to lead the faithful to a zealous practice of the various duties of the christian life, that they may evidence the sincerity of their faithand adorn the doctrine of God their Savior ;-these were the reigning subjects of his pulpit discourses."' p. 236.

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