Selected Sermons of George Whitefield

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9781611042795: Selected Sermons of George Whitefield

George Whitefield (1714–1770) was an Anglican Protestant minister who helped spread the Great Awakening in Britain and, especially, in the British North American colonies. He was one of the founders of Methodism and of the evangelical movement generally. He became perhaps the best-known preacher in Britain and America in the 18th century, and because he traveled through all of the American colonies and drew great crowds and media coverage, he was one of the most widely recognized public figures in colonial America. Whitefield preached his first sermon in the Crypt Church in his home town of Gloucester a week after his ordination. He had earlier become the leader of the Holy Club at Oxford when the Wesley brothers departed for Georgia. He adopted the practice of Howell Harris of preaching in the open-air at Hanham Mount, near Kingswood, Bristol. In 1738, before going to America, where he became parish priest of Savannah, Georgia he invited John Wesley to preach in the open-air for the first time at Kingswood and then Blackheath, London. After a short stay in Georgia he returned home in the following year to receive priest's orders, resuming his open-air evangelistic activities. In 1739 Whitefield began raising funds in England for the establishment of the Bethesda Orphanage, which is the oldest extant charity in North America. On returning to North America he preached a series of revivals that came to be known as the Great Awakening of 1740. He preached nearly every day for months to large crowds of sometimes several thousand people as he traveled throughout the colonies, especially New England. His journey on horseback from New York City to Charleston was the longest then undertaken in North America by a white man. Like his contemporary and acquaintance, Jonathan Edwards, Whitefield preached with a staunchly Calvinist theology that was in line with the "moderate Calvinism" of the Thirty-nine Articles. While explicitly affirming God's sole agency in salvation, Whitefield would freely offer the Gospel, saying near the end of most of his published sermons something like: "Come poor, lost, undone sinner, come just as you are to Christ."

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George Whitefield
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Whitefield, George
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