There are many features of one of the greatest lives of Christian history—that of George Whitefield (1714–1770)—which posterity has largely overlooked. That he was a matchless orator and soul-winner is known to all, but such matters as his leadership of the vast international revival movement, his twelve years in evangelism in America, the degree of his learning, the lasting effect of his work on all the great denominations, and most especially, the consideration that the American Revolution and Constitution were mainly moulded in the fires of “The Great Awakening”—these significant achievements have received but scant attention. But important as are these aspects of a colossal career, still more valuable to us will be to make acquaintance with him as a man of God and see him afresh as, in an age of cruelty and religious bitterness, he maintained unflinchingly his own strong convictions, yet lived among men always in gracious kindness. He was ever the peacemaker among the controversialists and the Mr. Great Heart with tender care for all; a reacquaintance with this Whitefield, the Apostle of Love, will serve us well.

Humble Amid Popularity

If ever a man triumphed over temptations that attend popularity, it was Whitefield. When a youth of only twenty-two he preached every day, and often twice a day, in the largest churches of London to crowds no church could hold. When a year later he launched out into the open air he could draw thousands any hour of the day, any day in the week, anywhere in England! In the London parks he needed but to take his stand on a table or a stone wall, and people flocked around—ten thousand, twenty thousand, and sometimes even forty, sixty or eighty thousand. There were times when he lost all attempt ...

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