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in the year of our Lord, 1770, and in the eleventh year of the reign of his majesty King George the third. By his Excellency's command,
J. WRIGHT. Thomas Moodie, Deputy Secretary.
“In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three persons, but one God; I, GEORGE WHITEFIELD, clerk, at present residing at the Orphan-house academy, in the province of Georgia, in North America, being, through infinite mercy, in more than ordinary bodily health, and of a perfect, sound and composed mind, knowing the certainty of death, and yet the uncertainty of the time I shall be called by it to my long wished for home, do make this my last will and testament, in manner and form following, viz.:
“ Imprimis-In sure and certain hope of a resurrection to eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ, I commit my body to the dust, to be buried in the most plain and decent manner; and knowing in whom I have believed, and being persuaded that he will keep that which I have committed unto him, in the fullest assurance of faith I commend my soul into the hands of the ever loving, altogether lovely, never failing Jesus, on whose complete and everlasting righteousness I entirely depend, for the justification of my person, and acceptance of poor, worthless, though I trust sincere, performances, at that day when he shall come in the glory of his father, his own glory, and the glory of his holy angels, to judge both the quick and dead. In respect to my American concerns, which I have engaged in simply and solely for his great name's sake, I leave that building, commonly called the Orphan-house, at Bethesda, in the province of Georgia, together with all the other buildings lately erected thereon; and likewise all other buildings, lands, negroes, books, furniture, and every other thing whatsoever, which I now stand possessed of in the province of Georgia aforesaid, to that elect lady, that mother in Israel, that mirror of true and undefiled religion, the Right Honorable Selina, Countess Dowager of Huntingdon ; desiring, that as soon as may be after my decease, the plan of the intended Orphanhouse Bethesda college may be prosecuted ; if not practicable, or eligible, to pursue the present plan of the Orphan-house academy, on its old foundation and usual channel, but if her ladyship should be called to enter her glorious rest before my decease—I bequeath all the buildings, lands, negroes, and every thing before mentioned, which I now stand possessed of in the province of Georgia aforesaid, to my dear fellow traveler, and faithful, invariable friend, the Honorable James Habersham, president of his majesty's honorable council: and should
he survive her ladyship, I earnestly recommend him as the most proper person to succeed her ladyship, or to act for her during her ladyship's life time, in the Orphan-house academy. With regard to my outward affairs in England; whereas there is a building, commonly called the Tabernacle, set apart many years ago for divine worship; I give and bequeath the said Tabernacle, with the adjacent house in which I usually reside when in London, with the stable and coach house in the yard adjoining, together with all books, furniture, and every thing else whatsoever, that shall be found in the house and premises aforesaid; and also the building, commonly called Tottenham court chapel, together with all the other buildings, houses, stable, coach house, and every thing else whatsoever, which I stand possessed of in that part of the town, to my worthy, trusty, tried friends, Daniel West
, Esq., in Church street, Spitalfields, and Mr. Robert Keen,* woolen draper, in the Minories, or the longer survivor of the two. As to the moneys, which a kind Providence, especially of late, in a most unexpected way, and unthought of means, has vouchsafed to intrust me with-I give and bequeath the sum of 1007. sterling to the Right Honorable the Countess Dowager of Huntingdon aforesaid, humbly beseeching her ladyship's acceptance of so small a mite, as a pepper corn acknowledgment, for the undeserved, unsought for hon
* Two persons could not have been more happily associated, than Mr. West and Mr. Keen. They were always regular and exact in the discharge of the weighty duties that devolved upon them. An uninterrupted harmony characterized all their public transactions. It was ever their study to conciliate the affections of the ministers, to promote the glory of Jesus Christ, and the spiritual interests of the congregations; and they had the happiness to see the pleasure of the Lord prosper in their hands.
Mr. Keen breathed out his happy soul into the hands of his Redeemer, on the 30th of January, 1793. His name deserves to be recorded in the annals of the church, asan illustrious example of holiness and zeal in the cause of God.
Mr. West fell asleep in Jesus, on the 30th of September, 1796, in the seventieth year of his age. He was for many years a happy subject of divine grace, and a zealous and approved friend of the gospel. For thirteen years before his death, he was greatly affected with a painful malady in his bladder. His sufferings were extreme, both night and day; but he was never heard to utter a murmuring expression.
His corpse was carried to Tottenham court chapel, attended by a vast number of mourning coaches, and interred under the communion table, in a vault that contained the remains of Mrs. Whitefield, Mrs. West, and Mr. Keen. The Rev. Mr. Edwards read the burial service, and the Rev. Joel Abraham Knight delivered an oration. Two funeral sermons were preached on the following Sabbath ; that in the morning, at Tottenham couri chapel, by the Rev. Torial Joss, from Psalm cxii. 6, and that in the evening, at the Tabernacle, by the Rev. Matthew Wilks, from John xii. 26.
It is a singular circumstance, that Mr. Whitefield, Mr. Keen, and Mr. West, all died on the 30th day of the month, and the iwo latter, on the 30th of September,
Mr. West, by his last will, bequeathed the management of the places to Samuel Foyster, Esq. and John Wilson, Esq., gentlemen well known in the christian world.
or her ladyship conferred upon me, in appointing me, less than the least of all, to be one of her ladyship's domestic chaplains,
"Item.--I give and bequeath to my dearly beloved friend, the Honorable James Habersham aforesaid, my late wife's gold watch, and 101. for mourning; to my dear old friend, Gabriel Harris, Esq. of the city of Gloucester, who received and boarded me in his house, when I was helpless and destitute, above thirty-five years ago, I give and bequeath the sum of 501.; to my humble, faithful servant and friend, Mr. Ambrose Wright, if in my service and employ, either in England or America, or elsewhere, at the time of my decease, I give and bequeath the sum of 5001.; to my brother, Mr. Thomas Whitefield, I give and bequeath the sum of 501.
, to be given him at the discretion of Mr. Robert Keen; to my brother-in-law, Mr. James Smith, hosier, in the city of Bristol, I give and bequeath the sum of 501. and 301. also for family mourning; to my niece, Mrs. Frances Hartford, of Bath, I give and bequeath the sum of 501. and 201. for family mourning; to Mr. J. Crane, now a faithful steward at the Orphan-house academy, I give and bequeath the sum of 401.; to Mr. Benjamin Stirk, as an acknowledgment of his past services at Bethesda, I give and bequeath the sum of 101. for mourning; to Peter Edwards, now at the Orphan-house academy, I give and bequeath the sum of 501.; to William Trigg, at the same place, I give and bequeath the sum of 501.; both the sums aforesaid to be laid out, or laid up for them, at the discretion of Mr. Ambrose Wright; to Mr. Thomas Adams, of Rodborough, in Gloucestershire, my only surviving first fellow laborer, and beloved much in the Lord, Í give and bequeath the sum of 501.; to the Rev. Mr. Howel Davies, of Pembrokeshire, in South Wales, that good soldier of Jesus Christ; to Mr. Torial Joss, Mr. Cornelius Winter, and all my other deariy beloved present stated assistant preachers at the Tabernacle and Tottenham court chapel, I give and bequeath 101. each for mourning; to the three brothers of Mr. Ambrose Wright, Ann, the wife of his brother, Mr. Robert Wright, now faithfully and skillfully laboring and serving at the Orphan-house academy, I give and bequeath the sum of 101. each for mourning; to Mr. Richard Smith, now a diligent attendant on me, 1 give and bequeath the sum of 501. and all my wearing apparel, which I shall have with me in my journey through America, or on my voyage to England, if it should please an all wise God to shorten my days in either of those situations. Finally, I give and bequeath the sum of 1001., to be distributed at the discretion of my executors, herein after mentioned, for mourning among my old London servants, the poor widows at Tottenham court chapel, and the Tabernacle poor; especially my old
trusty, disinterested friend and servant, Mrs. Elizabeth Wood. All the other residue, if there be any other residues of moneys, goods, and chattels, or whatsoever profits may arise from the sale of any books, or any manuscripts that I may leave behind, I give and bequeath to the Right Honorable the Countess Dowager of Huntingdon ; or in case of her ladyship being deceased at the time of my departure, to the Honorable James Habersham, Esq. before mentioned, after my funeral expenses and just debts are discharged, towards paying off any arrears that may be due on the account of the Orphan-house academy, or for annual prizes as a reward for the best three orations that shall be made in English, on the subjects mentioned in a paper annexed to this my will. And I hereby appoint the Honorable James Habersham, Esq. aforesaid, to be my executor in respect to my affairs in the province of Georgia, and my trusty, tried, dearly beloved friends, Charles Hardy, Esq., Daniel West, Esq., and Mr. Robert Keen, to be executors of this my last will and testament, in respect of my affairs in England, begging each to accept of a mourning ring.
“ To all my other christian benefactors, and more intimate acquaintance, I leave my most hearty thanks and blessing, assuring them that I am more and more convinced of the undoubted reality and infinite importance of the grand gospel truths, which I have from time to time delivered ;
and am so far from repenting my delivering them in an itinerant way, that had I strength equal to my inclination, I would preach them from pole to pole; not only because I have found them to be the power of God to the salvation of my own soul, but because I am as much assured that the great Head of the church has called me by his word, providence, and spirit, to act in this way, as that the sun shines at noon day. As for my enemies and misjudging friends, I most freely and heartily forgive them, and can only add, that the last tremendous day will only discover what I have been, what I am, and what I shall be, when time itself shall be no more; and therefore from my inmost soul, I close all by crying, come, Lord Jesus, come quickly ; even so, Lord Jesus. Amen and Amen!
“GEORGE WHITEFIELD." “ This was written with the testator's own hand, and at his
desire, and in his presence, sealed, signed, and delivered,
“N. B. I also leave a mourning ring, to my honored and dear friends, and disinterested fellow laborers, the Rev. John and Charles Wesley, in token of my indissoluble union with them, in heart and christian affection, notwithstanding our difference in judgment about some particular points of doctrine. Grace be with all them, of whatever denomination, that love our Lord Jesus, our common Lord, in sincerity.”
“GEORGIA, Secretary's Office. “A true copy, taken from the original in this office, examined and certified : and I do further certify, that the same was duly proved; and the Honorable James Habersham, one of the executors therein named, was duly qualified as executor, before his Excellency, James Wright, Esq., Governor and Ordinary of the said province, this 10th day of December, 1770.
"Thomas MOODIE, Deputy Secretary."