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preached from Exodus xx. 24. In all places where I record my name, I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.
“ August 25. Gave an exhortation to the students in the college chapel, from Luke i. 15. He shall be great in the sight of the Lord.
“Sunday, August 28. Preached in the court before the college, the congregation consisting of some thousands, from 1 Cor. iii. 11. Other foundation can no man lay, than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Thus we see him incessantly doing the work of an evangelist. Well would it be for the church of Christ, if there were more of his brethren inclined to follow his steps, even as he followed Christ!
Concerning his dear departed friend and fellow laborer, Mr. Middleton, he writes, September 26: “He is now made perfectly whole. He was carried from the Tabernacle last Wednesday evening, and a subscription opened for his four orphans. In the midst of his torturing pains, being asked by his daughter how he was, answered, a heaven upon earth.' Soon afterwards he fell asleep in Jesus.”
The latter end of this year, we find his health very much impaired; yet, though in much weakness, he continued to preach as often as he was able.
Bristol, November 12. “Last night, I hope, the Redeemer manifested forth his glory. Friday evening, and the following Sunday, I shall preach at Bath. In three weeks I expect to reach London, unless called before that period to reside at the New Jerusalem; the pleasing prospect lies day and night before me.”
Thus this good and great man, found increasing pleasure in laboring in his Master's vineyard, while pains and infirmities brought his body low, his soul was exulting in the expectation of speedily entering into everlasting rest!
It pleased the Lord, in the ensuing spring, 1769, to restore him a little ; so that he was enabled to preach oftener than he had done for some time past. His joy was now much increased, by the addition of some noble members, joined to Lady Huntingdon's society. “Some more coronets, I hear are likely to be laid at the Redeemer's feet. They glitter gloriously when set in and surrounded with a crown of thorns."
ladyship's death, the lease being just expired, and no endowment being left, her income dying with her; but a new college, on a plan more promising for literature, has been established at Cheshunt in Herifordshire near London; and under the superintending care of trustees appointed for that purpose. A number of students have been already educated there, and many are gone forth, now preaching the gospel with much acceptance, from this seminary.
About midsummer, he preached at Kingswood, Bristol, Bradford, Frome, Chippenham, Rodborough, Castlecomb, and Dursley. But, intending to open Lady Huntingdon's chapel at Tunbridge, he did not go his western circuit at this time.
July 23, 1769, he opened Lady Huntingdon's new chapel at Tunbridge Wells, and preached from Genesis xxviii. 17. This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of Heaven. The congregation being too large to be accommodated in the chapel, he preached out of doors, from a mount in the court before the chapel; after which he gave a general exhortation ; and next day administered the Lord's supper, and preached from Thess. ii. 11, 12.
He now began seriously to prepare for another voyage across the Atlantic, to visit once more his beloved orphans and friends at Georgia. Accordingly, at the beginning of September, he embarked the seventh and last time, in the Friendship, Captain Ball, for America. From on board he writes : “I am comforted on every side--a civil captain and passengers; all willing to attend on divine worship, and to hear of religious things."
From his last embarking for America, to his death, September 30,
The vessel was detained a month in the Downs, by contrary winds; one ship was lost, but the passengers escaped in a boat. Whitefield, as usual, ever careful to redeem the time, employed himself in writing many excellent consolatory epistles to his numerous friends; he often preached on board, and sometimes also on shore, both at Deal and Ramsgate. During the violence of the storms, they sung the following hymns, written by the Rev. Charles Wesley.
Lord of the wide extended main,
Whose power the winds and waves controls;
Whose spirit leads believing souls.
(We, whom thy love delights to keep,)
And see thy wonders in the deep.
"T is here thy unknown paths we trace,
While through the mighty waves we pass,
Faith only sees that God is here ! Throughout the deep thy footsteps shine,
We own thy way is in the sea :
And lost in thy immensity !
Thy everlasting truth we prove;
Unfathomable depths of love! Infinite God! thy greatness span'd
These heav'ns, and meted out the skies; Lo! in the hollow of thy hand,
The measur'd waters sink and rise!
Thee to perfection, who can tell?
Earth and her sons beneath thee lie, Lighter than dust within thy scale,
And less than nothing in thine eye. Yet in thy Son divinely great,
We claim thy providential care; Boldly we stand before thy seat,
Our advocate hath plac'd us there. With him we're going up on high,
Since he is our's, and we are his; With him we reign above the sky,
Yet walk upon our subject seas. We boast of our recover'd powers,
Lords, are we of the lands and floods; And earth, and heaven, and all is our's,
And we are Christ's, and Christ is God's.
Glory to Thee, whose powerful word,
Bids the tempestuous winds arise; Glory to Thee, the sov'reign Lord
Of air, and earth, and seas, and skies!
Let air, and earth, and skies obey,
And seas thy awful will perform: From them we learn to own thy sway,
And shout to meet the gathering storm. What tho' the floods lift up their voice,
Thou hearest, Lord, our louder cry; They cannot damp thy children's joys,
Or shake the soul, when God is nigh. Headlong we cleave the yawning deep,
And back to highest heaven are borne ; Unmov'd tho' rapid whirlwinds sweep,
And all the watery world upturn.
Roar on, ye waves! our souls defy
Your roaring to disturb our rest.
The calm in a believer's breast.
Rage, while our faith the Savior tries,
Thou sea, the servant of his will :
But fall, when he shall say, BE STILL !"
It is presumed, the following extract from Whitefield's MS. Journal, relative to this period, will be read with interest.
"Saturday, September 2. Had a most awful parting season at Tottenham court chapel sacrament, last Sunday morning ; the sermon from Gen. xxviii. 12. 'And he dreamed, and behold, a ladder set upon the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven ; and, behold, the angels of God ascended and descended on it. Preached from the same text at the Tabernacle, which was more than full, on Wednesday morning at seven o'clock. This day dined with my worthy, fast, and tried friend, Mr. Keen; and having comfortably settled, and left all my outward concerns in his hands, I took an affectionate leave, and in company with some dear friends, this evening reached Gravesend; where others met us. We supped and conversed together in some degree, I trust, like persons who hoped, ere long, to sit down together at the marriage feast of the supper of the Lamb. Hasten, O Lord, that wished for time!
“Sunday, September 3. Preached this morning at the Methodist's Tabernacle, from John xii. 32. “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. The congregation was not very large ; but God gave me great freedom of speech, and made it indeed a house of God, and gate of heaven. In the afternoon, I preached in the marketplace, from Gen. iii
. 13. 'And the Lord God said unto the woman,
what is this that thou hast done ? and the woman said, the serpent beguiled me, and I did eat'—to a much larger, but not more devout auditory. In the out-skirts, as might naturally be expected, some were a little noisy; but a great body were very attentive, and I was enabled to lift up my voice like a trumpet. The remainder of the evening was spent as the night before, with my London christian friends, who, with me, less than the least of all, exceedingly rejoiced at the opportunity of a parting street market-place preaching ; where, I trust, some pennyless bankrupt sinners, were made willing to buy gospel wine and milk, without money, and without price. May the great day show, that this hope was not altogether ill grounded !
“Monday, September 4. Had my dear christian friends on board to breakfast with me this morning. Conversation was
sweet, but parting bitter. What mean you, said the apostle, to weep and break my heart? However, through infinite mercy, I was helped to bear up; and after their departure, the divine presence
up the loss of all, even with new creature comforts. Lord, if thy divine presence go not with, and accompany me all the way, for thine infinite mercy's sake, suffer me not to go one step further !
But I believe thy promise Lord,
Oh! help my unbelief! “Tuesday, September 5. The captain not coming down as was expected, we did not weigh anchor till this morning's ebb.
“ The winds being contrary, and the weather hazy, we did not arrive in the Downs till the Friday following. In the interim, I had the opportunity of conversing a little with the pilot, and strange passengers. All attended divine worship very orderly, and thanked me for my offer of lending them books, and giving them what assistance lay in my power, towards making their voyage comfortable. All seemed thankful, and the pilot parted with tears in his eyes. May the great and never failing pilot, the Almighty Jesus, renew us, and take us all into his holy protection, and then all must necessarily end in our safe arrival in the haven of eternal rest!
“ Tuesday, September 12. Preached last Sunday morning to my little flock on board, and was most agreeably surprised to-day, with a kind unexpected visit from the Rev. Dr. Gibbons. His discourse was very friendly and devout.
“ Wednesday, September 13. I went on shore, and attended an ordination solemnity, at the dissenting meeting. Several ministers officiated. Several very important questions were asked and answered before, and a solemn charge given after imposition of hands. But the prayer put up in the very act of laying on of hands, by Dr. Gibbons, was so affecting, and the looks and behavior of those that joined, so serious and solemn, that I hardly know when I was more struck under any one's ministration. The ordination being over, at the desire of the ministers and other gentlemen, I went and dined with them; our conversation was edifying; and being informed, that many were desirous to hear me preach, I willingly complied ; and I trust some seed was sown the same evening at Deal; which, by God's heavenly blessing, will spring up to life eternal. The people of Deal seemed very civil, and some came to me who had not forgotten my preaching to them, and their deceased friends and parents, thirty-two years ago.
“ Friday, September 15. I had received most pressing invitations to visit Ramsgate, many weeks ago. These were now