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desired leave to go into the ship with Mr. Whitefield, which was readily allowed them.
Before the embarkation of the soldiers, by the general's consent, he gave them a parting discourse in the church: and afterwards, from time to time, as the weather permitted, he preached to them on board their respective ships. Colonel Cochran who commanded, was extremely civil; and soon after setting sail, there was such a change in Captain Mackay, that he desired' Mr. Whitefield would not give himself the trouble of expounding and praying in the cabin, and between decks, for he would order a drum to beat morning and evening, and he himself would attend with the soldiers on the deck. This produced a very agreeable alteration---they were now as regular as in the church. Mr. Whitefield preached with a captain on each side of him, and soldiers all around ; and the two other ships' companies, being now in the trade winds, drew near and joined in the worship of God. The great cabin now became a Bethel—both captains were daily more and more affected—a crucified Savior, and the things pertaining to the kingdom of God, were the usual topics of their conversation. Once, after sermon, Captain Mackay desired the soldiers to stop, whilst he informed them, that to his great shame, he had been a notorious swearer, but by the instrumentality of Mr. Whitefield's preaching he had now left it off--and exhorted them, for Christ's sake, to go and do likewise. The children were catechised, and there was a reformation throughout the whole soldiery. The women cried, “what a change in our captain!” The bad books and packs of cards, which Mr. Whitefield exchanged for bibles and other religious books, (abundance of which were given him to disperse by the society for promoting Christian Knowledge,) were now thrown overboard; and a fever, that prevailed in general through the whole ship, helped to make the impressions sink deeper. For many days and nights he visited between twenty and thirty sick persons, crawling between decks upon his knees, administering medicines or cordials to them, and such advice as seemed suitable to their circumstances. The sailors did not escape the fever; and Captain Whiting gladly went with him to visit them. One of them, in particular, who had been a notorious scoffer, sent for him in a bitter agony, crying out upon and lamenting his wicked life. The cadet, who was a cabin passenger, being also seized, was wounded deeply-told Mr. Whitefield the history of his life, and informed Captain Mackay of his desire to leave the army, and return to his original intention (having had a university education of devoting himself to the service of God. Mr. Whitefield was also himself seized, but through the divine
blessing recovered, and was soon able to perform the burial service over the ship's cook who had lately said, “ he would be wicked till two years before he died, and then he would be good.” But, alas ! this boaster was cut off in about six hours. They landed the beginning of May, 1738. After preaching his farewell sermon, he arrived at Savannah on the seventh of that month.
Upon this voyage (many years after) he made the following reflection :-"A long, and I trust, not altogether unprofitable voyage. What shall I render to the Lord for all his mercies? Besides being strengthened to go through my public work, I was enabled to write letters, and compose sermons, as though I had been on land. Even at this distance of time, the remembrance of the happy hours I enjoyed in religious exercise on the deck, is refreshing to my soul, and though nature sometimes relented at being taken from my friends, and little accustomed to the inconvenience of a sea life; yet, a conciousness that I had in view the glory of God, and the good of souls, from time to time, afforded me unspeakable satisfaction.”
One Mr. Delamot, whom Mr. John Wesley* had left as a
The Rev. John Wesley was of inferior size, his visage marked with intelligence, singularly neat and plain in his dress, a liule cast in his eye, observable on particular occasions; upright, graceful, and remarkably active. His understanding, naturally excellent and acute, was highly stored with the attainments of literature; and he possessed a fund of anecdote and history, that rendered his company as entertaining as instructive. His mode of address in public was chaste and solemn, ihough not illuminated with those coruscations of eloquence, which marked, if we may use that expression, the discourses of his rival George Whitefield; but there was a divine simplicity, a zeal, a venerableness in his manner, which commanded attention, and never forsook him in his latest years; when at fourscore he retained still all the liveliness of vigorous old age. His health was remarkably preserved amidst a scene of labor and perpetual exertions of mind and body, to which few men would have been equal. Never man possessed greater personal influence over the people connected with him. Nor was it an easy task to direct so vast a machine, where, amidst so many hundred wheels in motion, some moved eccentrically, and hardly yielded to the impulse of the main spring. We need not speak of the exemplariness of his life: too many eyes were upon him to admit of his halting; nor could his weight have been maintained a moment longer, than the fullest conviction impressed his people, that he was an eminently favored saint of God, and as distinguished for his holy walk, as for his vast abilities, indefatigable labor, and singular usefulness.
His enemies reviled him, and would, if possible, rob him of the meed of well deserved honor, by imputing to him objects below the prize he had in view. Never was there a more disinterested character; but he was a man, and he must have been more than man, if, with the consciousness of his own devotedness, the divine blessing on his labors, and the high admiration, in which he was held by his followers, he had not sometimes thought of himself more highly than he ought to think. We exhibit no faultless monsters. Elias was a man of like passions as ourselves. Mr. Wesley is gone to give an account of himself to his proper Judge, by whom doubtless all his iniquity is pardoned, and his infirmities covered. And now that envy and enmity have been some time laid asleep in his grave, his character rises in general estimation, and is most highly respected by those who knew him: and, it will now
schoolmaster at Savannah, received Mr. Whitefield at the parsonage-house, which he found much better than he expected. Having met some of Mr. Wesley's converts here, he on the morrow read prayers, expounded in the court-house, and waited on the magistrates; but being taken ill of an ague and fever, he was confined for a week.
When he recovered, he found every part bore the aspect of an infant colony; and, what was more discouraging still, it appeared likely to continue so, by the nature of its constitution. “The people,” he says, “were denied the use of both rum and slaves. The lands were allotted them according to a particular plan, whether good or bad; and the female heirs prohibited from inheriting. So that in reality, to place people there on such a footing, was little better than to tie their legs and bid them walk. The scheme was well meant at home; but, as too many years experience evidently proved, was absolutely impracticable in so hot a country abroad. However, that rendered what I had brought over from my friends, more acceptable to the poor inhabitants; and gave me an ocular demonstration, which was what I wanted, when the hint was given* of the great necessity and promising utility of a future Orphan-house, which I now determined by the divine assistance, to get about in earnest. The Saltzburghers, at Ebenezer, I found had one and having heared and read of what Professor Franck had done in that way in Germany, I confidently hoped that something of the like nature might be owned, and succeed in Georgia. Many poor orphans were there already, and the number was likely soon to be increased. As opportunity offered, I visited Frederica, and the adjacent villages, and often admired, considering the circumstances and disposition of the first settlers, that so much was really done. The settlers were chiefly broken and decayed tradesmen from London and other hardly be a question with any man, whether he would not rather have been John Wesley, who died worth ten pounds, than Lavington, bishop of Exeter, who so bitterly reviled him.
" As a man, as a christian, as a minister, we shall not, it is to be feared, look upon his like again speedily. After passing through evil report and good report, during more than sixty years of incessant labor, he entered into his rest in the 87th year of his age. Whatever ignorance of his real character, the fatuity of prejudice, or the insolence of pride may have suggested, the day is coming, when his great and adorable Master will condemn every tongue that hath risen up in judgment against him, and say in the presence of men and angels,' Well done good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord !'” See an impartial and succinct History of the Church of Christ, f.c. Vol. III. page 274. By the Rev. T. Haweis, LL.D. and M.D. Rector of all Saints, Aldwinckle, Northamptonshire ; Chaplain to the lote Countess Dowager of Huntingdon ; ond Chaplain to the Right Hon. the Earl of Peterborough.
*" It was first proposed to me by my dear friend, Mr. Charles Wesley, who, with General Oglethorpe, had concerted a scheme for carrying on such a dosign, before I had any thought of going abroad myself.”
parts of England, and several Scotch adventurers, (highlanders) who had a worthy minister, named Macleod; a few Moravians, and the Saltzburgers, who were by far the most industrious of the whole. With the worthy ministers of Ebenezer, Messrs. Grenaw and Bolkius, I contracted an intimacy. Many praying people were in the congregation, which, with the consideration that so many charitable people in England had been stirred up to contribute to Georgia, and such faithful laborers as Messrs. Wesleys and Ingham had been sent, gave me hopes, that, unpromising as the aspect might be, the colony might emerge in time out of its infant state. Some small advances Mr. Ingham had made towards converting the Indians, who were at a small settlement about four miles from Savannah. He went and lived among them for a few months, and began to compose an Indian grammar; but he was soon called away to England; and the Indians, (who were only some run-away Creeks) were in a few years scattered or dead. Mr. Charles Wesley had chiefly acted as secretary to General Oglethorpe; but he went to England to engage more laborers; and not long after, his brother, Mr. John Wesley, having met with unworthy treatment, both at Frederica and Georgia, soon followed. All this I was apprised of; but think it most prudent not to repeat grievances. Through divine mercy, I met with respectful treatment from magistrates, officers, and people. The first I visited now and then ; the others, besides preaching twice a day and four times on the Lord's day, I visited from house to house. I was in general most cordially received; but from time to time found, that cælum non animum mutant, qui trans mare currunt, though lowered in their circumstances, a sense of what they formerly were in their native country, remained. It was plain to be seen, that coming over was not so much out of choice, as constraint; choosing rather to be poor in an unknown country abroad, than beholden to relations, or live among those who knew them in more affluent circumstances at home. Among some of these, the event, however, proved, that the word took effectual root. I was really happy in my little foreign cure, and could have cheerfully remained among them, had I not been obliged to return to England, to receive priest's orders, and make a beginning towards laying a foundation to the Orphan-house. And thus the place I intended to hide myself in, became, through my being obliged to return for these purposes, a means of increasing that popularity which was already begun; but which by me, was absolutely unforeseen, and as absolutely undesigned.*
*" During my stay here, the weather was most intensely hot, sometimes burning me almost through my shoes. Seeing others do it who were as unable,
In August, he settled a schoolmaster in an adjacent village; leaving Mr. Habersham at Savannah, and parting affectionately with his flock, he went to South Carolina. At Charleston, he paid a visit to Commissary Garden, and at his entreaty preached the next Sabbath morning and evening, in a grand church resembling one of the new churches in London. The people at first despised his youth; but his engaging address soon gained their general esteem. Mr. Garden thanked him most cordially, and apprised him of the ill treatment Mr. Wesley had met with in Georgia, and assured him, that were the same arbitrary proceedings to commence against him, he would defend him with his life and fortune. He also said something about the colony of Georgia, that much encouraged him, as if he thought its flourishing was not very far off; and that Charleston was fifteen times larger now, than when he (Mr. Garden) first came there.
It had been his practice in Georgia, especially at Savannah, to read prayers and expound, and visit the sick, twice a day. On Sunday he expounded at five in the morning; at ten read prayers and preached, and at three in the afternoon: and at seven in the evening expounded the church catechism. much easier was it for the clergy in England, Scotland, or America, to find fault with such a faithful brother in the ministry, than to follow his example!
From his embarking at Charleston for London, to his preaching first
at Moor fields, 1739. SEPTEMBER 6, 1738, Mr. Whitefield embarked in a ship bound from Charleston to London. They had a very uncomfortable passage. For almost a fortnight they were beat about not far from the bar; they were soon reduced to an allowance of water; and the ship itself was quite out of repair. They were also very poorly off for provisions. When they had advanced about a third part of their passage, they met with a Jamaica-man, who had plenty of every thing. He sent for Mr. Whitefield on board, and offered him a most commodious birth; but he did not think it right to leave his shipmates in distress, and therefore returned to his own ship, with such things as they were pleased to give him. The remaining part I determined to inure myself to hardships, by lying constantly on the ground, which, by use, I found to be so far from being a hardship, that afterwards it became so to lie in a bed.” MS.