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fordshire ; Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge ; and chaplain to the Right Honorable, the Earl of Buchan; of whom he writes, tempted to awaken their concern, and allure them to the Son of God. In his itineracy he would take the counties of Bedford, Cambridge, Essex, Hertford and Huntingdon, making the episcopal mandate the invariable rule of his operations, “Go and seek Christ's sheep where thou canst find them.” In this circuit he preached upon an average from ten to twelve sermons a week, and frequently rode a hundred miles. Nor were these extraordinary exertions the hasty fruit of intermitting zeal, but they were regularly continued during the long succession of more than twenty years, exemplifying through the whole of his ministerial career, the motto of the late celebrated Dr. Doddridge, Drem vivimus viramus.
The first year that he began to preach the gospel, he was visited by upwards of a thousand different persons under serious impressions : and it has been computed, that under his own, and the joint ministry of Mr. Hicks, about four thousand were awakened to a concern about their souls, in the space of twelve months.
For several years before Whitefield died, Mr. Berridge preached at the Tabernacle and Tottenham court chapel, and continued to do so annually till 1793 ; he intended to have come that year, and was expected by his numerous friends in London, but instead of his presence, they received the melancholy tidings of his death. For some days previous to his decease, his strength and health had visibly decreased, and on Sunday, 20th January, he came down into his parlor as usual, but with great difficulty reached his chamber in the evening. A few hours after he was in bed, he appeared to be seized with the symptoms of immediate dissolution. His face was contracted and his speech faltered ; and in this situation he continued till about three o'clock on Tuesday afternoon, January 22, when breathing less and less, this champion of his Redeemer calmly entered into the joy of his Lord, in the 76th year of his age. On the ensuing Sabbath, his remains were interred in his own parish church yard. The Rev. Charles Simeon, Fellow of King's college, Cambridge, preached his funeral sermon, from 2 Tim. iv. 7,8. Six neighboring clergymen attended to bear his pall. The almost immense concourse of people, who assembled from all parts of the country, to be present at this solemnity, the undissembled grief which was depicted upon every countenance, the tears which trickled down every cheek, were a melancholy, but expressive eulogium on his character, and should be considered as a just panegyric on his worth.
Never man entered upon the work of his Master with more disinterested views. His purse was as open as his heart, though not so large. His ear was ever attentive to the tale of woe, his eye was keen to observe the miseries of the poor, the law of kindness was written upon his heart, and his hand was always ready to administer relief. The gains of his vicarage, of his fellowship, and of his patrimonial income, (for his father died very rich,) were appropriated to support his liberality. Houses were rented, lay preachers maintained, and his own traveling expenses disbursed by himself. Cottagers were always gainers by his company. He invariably left a half crown for the homely provisions of the day, and during his itineracy, it actually cost him fire hundred pounds in this single article of expenditure.
His mental powers were far from contemptible: he possessed a strength of understanding a quickness of perception-a depth of penetration-a brilliancy of fancy-and a fund of prompt wit, beyond most men. A vein of innocent humour ran through all his public and private discourses. This softened, what some might call the austerity of religion, and rendered his company pleasant to people of less serious habits; but, what is very singular, it never overcame his gravity.
In learning he was inferior to very few of the most celebrated sons of science and literature at the university. His masculine ability, his uniform sobriety, and long residence at college, were favorable to improvement ; and so insatiable was his thirst for knowledge, that from his entrance at Clare Hall, to his acceptance of the vicarage of Everton, he regularly studied fif
"A new instrument is raised up out of Cambridge university : he has been preaching with great fame, and like an angel of the church indeed.” After his recovery, which was very gradual, he was so extremely weak as to be unable to labor as formerly; and therefore left London, and visited Bristol, Exeter, and Plymouth.
He now found himself much better, though not able to bear the fatigue of long journeys and frequent preaching, as he used to do. Of this he complains in October, 1761: “I have not preached a single sermon for some weeks. Last Sunday I spoke a little, but I feel its effects ever since. A sea voyage seems more necessary to me now than ever. I now know what nervous disorders are. Blessed be God, that they were contracted in his service! I do not repent, though I am frequently tempted to wish that the report of my death had been true, since my disorder keeps me from my old delightful work of preaching."
In a journey this month to Leeds and Newcastle, although he was enabled to bear riding in a post chaise, he could preach but seldom; and his friends prudently refrained from pressing him. “I hope, however," says he, “I am traveling in order to preach.” Accordingly he journeyed slowly to Edinburgh and Glasgow; and was in London till the month of December; when he was much recovered, which he attributed instrumentally to his following the advice and prescriptions of several eminent physicians in Edinburgh; being convinced, as he said, “that their directions had been more blessed, than all the medicines and advice he had elsewhere."
His health being in a great measure restored, he could not refrain from his beloved work. And writes from Bristol, April, 1762: “Bristol air agrees
with I have been enabled to preach five times this last week, without being hurt. Who knows but I may yet be restored so far as to sound the gospel trumpet for my God! The quietness I enjoy here, with daily riding out, seems to be one very proper means.”
Notwithstanding his weakness and shortness of breath, he still continued preaching four or five times a week, till the middle of May; and now and then was enabled to “ take the field,” as he called it; in which exercise he much delighted. “Mounts," says he, "are the best pulpits; and the heavens the
teen hours a day. He was as familiar with the learned languages as with his mother tongue.
None who intimately knew him, will consider this as an exaggerated history, but will rather join the honest man, who told the minister at the close of his funeral sermon in London, “Sir, I have known good Mr. Berridge above forty years; and after all your commendation, I must say, as the queen of Sheba did on another occasion, the half has not been told."
best sounding boards. O for power equal to my will! I would fly from pole to pole, publishing the everlasting gospel of the Son of God!"
After his return to town, his zealous exertions, increasing cares and labors, affected his spirits, and brought him low again. He therefore resolved on a voyage to Holland ; and accordingly set out in the month of July. The sea air agreed so well with him, that finding himself much better, he writes from Norwich, July 31 : “ The expedition to Holland, was, I trust, profitable to myself and others; and, if ever my usefulness is to be continued at London, I must be prepared for it by a longer itineration both by land and water. At present, blessed be God, I can preach once a day; and it would do your heart good to see what an influence attends the word. All
my times are revived again."
August 18, he arrived at Edinburgh: from thence went to Glasgow: preached at each place alternately every day, and at Cambuslang twice, till September 13, when he returned to England ; and rejoiced at the news of an expected peace, hoping soon to embark for America.
During his stay in England, he was not able to preach more than once a day, through extreme weakness and bodily pain. At Leeds, Bristol, and Plymouth, he labored with greater ease and pleasure; but of London, he says, “as affairs are circumstanced, every thing there tends to weigh me down." Having therefore engaged some of his dearest and most intimate friends, to take upon them the whole care and management of the affairs of his chapel and Tabernacle, with all his other concerns in England, he set sail in the month of March, 1763, for Greenock, in Scotland. In this tour, he preached at Everton, Leeds, Aberford, Kippax, and Newcastle ; and also was employed in writing his observations, in answer to Bishop Warburton.
For some weeks after his arrival in Scotland, he regularly preached once a day; but was obliged, by the return of his former complaint, when at Edinburgh, to refrain, for the most part, for almost six weeks.
At length he embarked the sixth time for America, on the first of June, in the ship Fanny, Captain Archibald Galbraith, bound from Greenock to Virginia ; and arrived there in the latter end of August, after a voyage of twelve weeks. “Thanks to a never failing Redeemer," says he "I have not been laid by an hour, through sickness, since I came on board. A kind captain, and a most orderly and quiet ship's company, who gladly attended when I had breath to preach. Scarce an oath have I heard upon deck, and such a stillness has been through the whole ship, both on week days and the Lord's day, as hath
from time to time surprised me." He dated his letters in September, October, and November, from Philadelphia. Though still reduced by weakness, yet he continued to preach twice a week. “Here," says he,
are some young bright witnesses rising up in the church. Perhaps I have already conversed with forty new creature ministers of various denominations. Sixteen popular students, I am credibly informed, were converted in New Jersey college last year. What an open door if I had strength! Last Tuesday we had a remarkable season among the Lutherans; children and grown people were much impressed."
It was his earnest wish to go immediately to Georgia, but he was absolutely dissuaded by his physicians, till he recovered his strength. In the latter end of November, he left Philadelphia and went to New York, preaching several times by the way; at the college of New Jersey, and also at Edinburgh town, with much approbation and success. His spirits now revived, so that he was enabled to preach three times a week. During his stay in New York, in the winter, he writes, “prejudices in this place have most strongly subsided. The better sort flock, as eagerly as the common people, and are fond of coming for private gospel conversation. Congregations continue very large, and, I trust, saving impressions are made upon many.” This appears by the following account taken from the Boston Gazette.
“New York, January 23, 1754. The Rev. George Whitefield has spent seven weeks with us, preaching twice a week, with more general approbation than ever; and has been treated with great respect, by many of the gentlemen and merchants of this place. During his stay, he preached two charity sermons, the one on the occasion of the annual collection for the poor, in which double the sum was collected that ever was upon the like occasion ; the other was for the benefit of Mr. Wheelock's Indian school at Lebanon, in New England, for which he collected, notwithstanding the present prejudices of many people against the Indians, the sum of one hundred and twenty pounds. In his last sermon, he took a very affectionate leave of the people of this city, who expressed great concern at his departure. May God restore this great and good man, in whom the gentleman, the christian, and accomplished orator, shine forth with such peculiar lustre, to a perfect state of health, and continue him long a blessing to the world, and the church of Christ !"
Having left New York, he preached at East Hamptonbridge, Hampton, and South Hold, on Long Island, at Shelter Island, and at New London, Norwich, and Providence, on the main
land, in his way to Boston, where he arrived in the latter end of February, 1764, and was welcomed by many, with great affection. But as the small pox was spreading through the town, he preached for some time in the parts adjacent. At Newbury, in particular, a divine power attended the word preached. From Concord, he writes, to his friend Mr. S “ How would you have been delighted to have seen Mr. Wheelock's Indians ! Such a promising nursery of future missionaries, I believe, was never seen in New England before. Pray encourage it with all your might. I also wish you would give some useful puritanical books to Harvard college library, lately burnt down." The estimation in which he was held by the gentlemen of Harvard college, will be seen by the following ::
" At a meeting of the president and fellows of Harvard college, August 22, 1768, the Rev. G. Whitefield, having, in addition to his former kindness to Harvard college, lately presented to the library a new edition of his journals, and having procured large benefactions from several benevolent and respectable gentlemen, voted, that the thanks of the corporation be given to the Rev. Mr. Whitefield, for these instances of candor and generosity."
PRESENT. THE PRESIDENT,
DR. ELLIOT, MR. APPLETON,
Dr. COOPER, MR. PROFESSOR WINTHROP, TREASURER HUBBARD. (A true Copy)
Per E. HOLYOKE, President.
In the month of April his disorder returned; but not so violently as to prevent him long from preaching, and the Bostonians flocked with great eagerness to hear him. He left Boston, in order to proceed immediately southward, but messengers were sent after him to persuade him to return.
June 1, 1764, he writes, “Friends have even constrained me to stay here, for fear of running into the summer's heat. Hitherto I find the benefit of it. Whatever it is owing to, through mercy, I am much better in health than I was this time twelve months, and can preach thrice a week to very large auditories, without hurt; and every day I hear of some brought under concern. This is all of grace !"
He again left Boston, to the great grief of his friends, after a sorrowful parting, and came back to New York; and from thence his letters are dated from June till the end of August. “ At present," says he, “my health is better than usual, and as yet I have felt no inconvenience from the summer's heat. I have preached twice lately in the fields, and we sat under the blessed Redeemer's shadow with great delight. My late ex