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'In the conduct of life, he was remarkably gentle toward* all men, vastly prudent and cautious, and always behaved with the meekness of wisdom.—He preached not himself, but Christ Jesus his Lord. In this view, his eye was single, and he regarded no other object. He knew in whose place her stood, and seared no man. He dared to slash the terrors of the law in the face of the stoutest transgressor, with the fame freedom as he displayed the amiable beauties and glories of the gospel for the comfort and refreshment of the penitent believer.
* As he highly honored his divine Master, he washighly favored by him, of which take one instance.
* In a former illness, from which it was thought he could not recover, which happened some months before he died,. he was greatly distressed by a deep concern for his widow and his great family, on the event of his death. But GOD was pleased, in a time of great extremity, to grant him a glorious and astonishing view of his power, wisdom, and goodness, and the riches of his grace-, with a particular appropriation to himself unA his.—Such as dispelled every sear, and at that time rendered him impatient (or averse) to live; hut at length, on his recovery, which commenced immediately on the removal of this distress, his mind settled into a divine calm: He seemed.equally willing to live or die, as GOD pleased. In this temper he continued to his last moment, when placidly he resigned his foul and all his mortal interests, into the hands of His Saviour and His GOD! Such intercourse sometimes passes between the Father of Spirits and the human spirit; and such honor have they that fear GOD 1'
GEORGE WHITEFIELD, A. B.
SCARCE any man since the apostolic age, has more fully met with at least the treatment of the apostles, mentioned by St. Paul, than the subject of the present Memoir: For the exercise of their ministry, was indeed, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yd true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and beheld, we live; as chajlened, and not killed; as sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. 2 Cat. vi. o, &c. They, who can justly solve this paradox,
«lox, may be able to understand at the same time the real character and conduct of the late Mr. Pfhitcfield.
This pious and extraordinary Minister was born at Gloucester, Dec. 16, 1714. His father, who was bred to the wine-trade at Brijtol, removed from thence to Gloucester, and kept an inn. He had fix sons and one daughter. Of the sons George was the youngest, who was only two years old when his father died; and he was brought up with great tenderness by his mother.
The world is indebted for a well-drawn life of this excellent Man to the reverend Dr. Gillies of Scotland. We cannot enter into all the particulars so minutely or exactly as that candid and valuable Biographer; and yet we wish. to give as much of so important and remarkable a life, as can consist with a plan of so much generality as that of our volumes. We shall be excused then if we extract or abridge those parts of that excellent performance, which comport the most with our design, or which may most edify and inform our pious Readers.
It appears, that Mr. fVhitcfieldvizs very early under serious impressions; but he acknowledged with compunction, what every body must feel whether they acknowledge it or not, that the bent of our carnal nature is turned directly from GOD, and inclined only to nothing but evil.
When he was between twelve and fifteen, he had made fome progress in classical learning; and, we are told, that even then his eloquence began to appear in some puerile compositions written for the amusement of his school-fellows. But his rising genius was deprived of the usual means of improvement, through the decrease of his mother's trade; and he was obliged to assist her in carrying on the business of the inn. His turn of mind, however, though depressed could not be extinguished; and in this very unfavourable situation, we are told, that he composed several sermons, and that the impressions of religion were very strong upon him. When he was about seventeen, he received the sacrament, and employed as much of his time as he could in prayer and reading, in fasting and meditation, and in all those devout exercises, which are the food and the delight at once of every religious mind.
About eighteen, he entered at Pembroke-College in Oxford, and soon became acquainted with some serious young men, who, from certain rules and methods of life which they prescribed themselves, received in ridicule the name of methodists—an appellation, once honorably bestowed upon some antient physicians who acted also in their way E e a upon upon a methodical plan of procuring and establishing health. These serious young men had no apprehension, however, ot erecting a new sect under this or any other name; but, according to the practice of some of the first reformers in the church of England, they meant only to revive such usages ot private devotion, as the indifference of the times to all religion, and the growing licentiousness among churchmen especially, bad rendered not only obsolete, but (with concern it mult be spoken) prodigious, ridiculous, or extravagant. He knows but little of the persons who brought in and supported the Reformation, who does not know, that no strictness of life nor rules of devotion exercised by these young men, could be more methodical and precise than those of the persons who either planted our Engli/b church, supported it against Popery, or watered it with their blood. These youths appeared indeed in a very unfavorable time; for, at that time, serious and practical christianity in England was in a very low condition ; scriptural, experimental religion, (which in the last century used to be the subject of the sermons and writings of the clergy) was become quite unfashionable ; and the only thing insisted on was a defence of the out-works of Christianity against the objections of infidels. What was the consequence? The writings of infidels multiplied everv day, and infidelity made a rapid progress among persons of every rank, not because they were reasoned into it by the force of argument, but because they were kept strangers to Christ and the power of the gospel. We have a most affecting description of this, by bishop Butler, whom none will suspect of exaggerating the fact: 'It is come, I know not how, to be taken for granted, by many persons, that Christianity is not so much as a subject of inquiry; but that it is, now at length, discovered to be fictitious; and accordingly they treat it, as if, in the present age, this were an agreeil point afnong all people of discernment; and nothing remained but to set it up as a principal subject of mirth and ridicule; as it were by way of reprisals, for its having so long interrupted the pleasures of the world.* Such was the state of religion in England.
Mr. IVhhcfield soon fell in with the pious views and manners of these young men, among whom were the brothers Messrs. John and Charles IVcJlcy, and whom, from this early intercourse of heart, he continued to regard all his life, notwithstanding their tuture differences in opinion from himself, and departure in principle from the doctrines of the church of England. He even carried his method of life to such severity ot abstinence, as to endanger his