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REV. GEORGE WHITEFIELD: ,
BY JOHN GILLIES, D. D.
REVISED AND CORRECTED
LARGE ADDITIONS AND IMPROVEMENTS.
TO WHICH IS APPENDED
AN EXTENSIVE COLLECTION
SERMONS AND OTHER WRITINGS.
And then that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that time manny to
righteousness, as the stars, for ever and ever.-DANIKL ZÜ. &
Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1834, by
WAITMORE & BUCKINGHAM AND H. MANSFIELD, in the Clerk's office of the District Court of Connecticut.
ANDOVER - HARVARD
For most men, the worth and influence of a book, other things being equal, is greatly modified by their estimation of its author. The circumstance of a personal acquaintance with, or knowledge of a man, especially when it combines itself with our most venerable and holy remembrances, imparts a lifelike freshness and reality to his recorded doings and sayings, the effect of which, when contrasted with the same things done and said by a person alien and unknown to us, may be fairly illustrated by the comparative power of oral and written discourse. No individual, in these latter days, has so identified himself with the growth and spread of practical religion, in England and America, as Whitefield. Divines and theologians there have been, and still are, not a few of far greater depth, acuteness and comprehension. They are burning and shining lights, and revolve with no rival or secondary glory in their appointed spheres. They have done well, and to them be awarded all due honor and praise. Whitefield cannot and would not measure strength with them here. It was appointed to him to PREACH ; and before a crowd of drowsy worldlings, be to him the honor of having no equal or rival in the service of his Master. To compare Whitefield with Edwards is impossible and absurd. It is like comparing Sir Isaac Newton with Milton, as intellectual giants, or the air with the earth, as the conditions of animal existence. Like nis Master," who had a mountain for his pulpit, and the heavens for his sounding-board ; and who when his gospel was refused by the Jews, sent his servants into the high-ways and hedges ;" he imprisoned not his voice within the bounds of ecclesiastical limitation, but going forth into a temple not made with hands, he bore the glad tidings of the gospel as far as the air would reverberate them, to as many of those speaking his vernacular tongue as the measure of his health, strength, and years would allow. Probably no one since Luther and Calvin has been such a chosen vessel for bearing the errands of mercy to the multitude ; no one has been so gifted with an almost inherent aptitude for converting his very adversities and afflictions into instruments, without which the very end which they were intended to frustrate would have been far less successfully accomplished. In this country especially, his name will be affectionately and reverently reverted to, as having struck an almost miraculous