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man; and methinks my testimony in his favor ought to have the more weight, as we had no religious connexion. He used, indeed, sometimes to pray for my conversion, but never had the satisfaction of believing that his prayers were heard. Ours was a mere civil friendship, sincere on both sides, and lasted to his death.
The following instance will show the terms on which we stood. Upon one of his arrivals from England at Boston, he wrote to me, that he should come soon to Philadelphia, but knew not where he could lodge when there, as he understood his old friend and host, Mr. Benezet, was removed to Germantown. My answer was, "You know my house; if you can make shift with its scanty accommodations, you will be most heartily welcome." He replied, that if I made that kind offer for Christ's sake, I should not miss of a reward. And I returned, "Don't let me be mistaken; it was not for Christ's sake, but for your sake." One of our common acquaintance jocosely remarked, that, knowing it to be the custom of the saints, when they received any favor, to shift the burden of the obligation from off their own shoulders, and place it in heaven, I had contrived to fix it on earth.
The last time I saw Mr. Whitefield, was in London, when he consulted me about his Orphan-House concern, and his purpose of appropriating it to the establishment of a college.
He had a loud and clear voice, and articulated his words so perfectly, that he might be heard and understood at a great distance; especially as his auditors observed the most perfect silence. He preached one evening from the top of the Court-House steps, which are in the middle of Market Street, and on the west side of Second Street, which crosses it at right angles.
Both streets were filled with his hearers to a considerable distance. Being among the hindmost in Market Street, I had the curiosity to learn how far he could be heard, by retiring backwards down the street towards the river; and I found his voice distinct till I came near Front Street, when some noise in that street obscured it. Imagining then a semicircle, of which my distance should be the radius, and that it was filled with auditors, to each of whom I allowed two square feet, I computed that he might well be heard by more than thirty thousand. This reconciled me to the newspaper accounts of his having preached to twenty-five thousand people in the fields, and to the history of generals haranguing whole armies, of which I had sometimes doubted.*
By hearing him often, I came to distinguish easily between sermons newly composed, and those which he had often preached in the course of his travels. His delivery of the latter was so improved by frequent repetition, that every accent, every emphasis, every modulation of voice, was so perfectly well turned and well placed, that, without being interested in the subject, one could not help being pleased with the discourse; a pleasure of much the same kind with that received from an excellent piece of music. This is an
In the early part of his life, Mr. Whitefield was preaching in an open field, when a drummer happened to be present, who was determined to interrupt his pious business, and rudely beat his drum in a violent manner, in order to drown the preacher's voice. Mr. Whitefield spoke very loud, but was not as powerful as the instrument. He therefore called out to the drummer in these words, "Friend, you and I serve the two greatest masters existing, but in different callings; you beat up for volunteers for King George, I for the Lord Jesus. In God's name, then, let us not interrupt each other; the world is wide enough for both; and we may get recruits in abundance." This speech had such an effect on the drummer, that he went away in great good-humor, and left the preacher in full possession of the field.
advantage itinerant preachers have over those who are stationary, as the latter cannot well improve their delivery of a sermon by so many rehearsals.
His writing and printing from time to time gave great advantage to his enemies; unguarded expressions, and even erroneous opinions, delivered in preaching, might have been afterwards explained or qualified by supposing others that might have accompanied them; or they might have been denied; but litera scripta manet. Critics attacked his writings violently, and with so much appearance of reason as to diminish the number of his votaries and prevent their increase. So that I am satisfied, that, if he had never written any thing, he would have left behind him a much more numerous and important sect; and his reputation might in that case have been still growing even after his death; as, there being nothing of his writing on which to found a censure, and give him a lower character, his proselytes would be left at liberty to attribute to him as great a variety of excellences as their enthusiastic admiration might wish him to have possessed.*
*The following notices, selected from Franklin's newspaper, the Pennsylvania Gazette, show that he was the first publisher of Whitefield's writings; and they also contain some curious facts respecting the success of that eloquent preacher, immediately after his arrival in America.
November 15th, 1739.-"The Reverend Mr. Whitefield, having given me copies of his Journals and Sermons, with leave to print the same, I propose to publish them with all expedition, if I find sufficient encouragement. The Sermons will make two volumes; and the Journals two more; which will be delivered to subscribers at two shillings for each volume bound. Those, therefore, who are inclined to encourage this work, are desired speedily to send in their names to me, that I may take measures accordingly."
November 29th.—“On Friday last, Mr. Whitefield arrived here with his friends from New York, where he preached eight times. He has preached twice every day to great crowds, except Tuesday, when he preached at Germantown, from a balcony, to about five thousand people in the street. And last night the crowd was so great to hear his farewell sermon, that the church could not contain one half, whereupon
My business was now constantly augmenting, and my circumstances growing daily easier, my newspaper having become very profitable, as being for a time almost the only one in this and the neighbouring provinces. I experienced too, the truth of the observation, "that after getting the first hundred pounds, it is more easy to get the second;" money itself being of a prolific nature.
The partnership at Carolina having succeeded, I was encouraged to engage in others, and to promote several of my workmen, who had behaved well, by establishing them in printing-houses in different colonies, on
they withdrew to Society Hill, where he preached from a balcony to a multitude, computed at not less than ten thousand people. He left this city to-day."
December 5th." On Thursday last, the Reverend Mr. Whitefield left this city, and was accompanied to Chester by about one hundred and fifty horse, and preached there to about seven thousand people. On Friday he preached twice at Willing's Town to about five thousand; on Saturday at Newcastle to about two thousand five hundred; and the same evening at Christiana Bridge to about three thousand; on Sunday at White Clay Creek he preached twice, resting about half an hour between the sermons, to about eight thousand, of whom three thousand it is computed came on horseback. It rained most of the time, and yet they stood in the open air."
May 15th, 1740.-"This evening the Reverend Mr. Whitefield went on board his sloop at Newcastle to sail for Georgia. On Sunday he preached twice at Philadelphia. The last was his farewell sermon, at which was a vast audience. On Monday he preached at Derby and Chester; on Tuesday at Wilmington and White Clay Creek; on Wednesday at Nottingham; on Thursday at Fog's Manor. The congregations were, at every place, much more numerous than when he was here last. We hear that he has collected in these parts, in goods and money, between four and five hundred pounds sterling for his Orphan House in Georgia."
May 22d, 1740.-"Monday next will be delivered to the subscribers two volumes of the Reverend Mr. Whitefield's works; viz. one of Sermons and one of Journals. The other volumes being nearly finished, will be ready in a short time. The whole number of names subscribed far exceeds the number of books printed. Those subscribers, who have paid, or who bring the money in their hands, will have the preference."EDITOR.
the same terms with that in Carolina.*
Most of them
did well, being enabled at the end of our term, six years, to purchase the types of me and go on working for themselves, by which means several families were raised. Partnerships often finish in quarrels; but I was happy in this, that mine were all carried on and ended amicably; owing, I think, a good deal to the precaution of having very explicitly settled, in our articles, every thing to be done by or expected from each partner, so that there was nothing to dispute; which precaution I would therefore recommend to all who enter into partnerships; for, whatever esteem partners may have for, and confidence in, each other at the time of the contract, little jealousies and disgusts may arise, with ideas of inequality in the care and burden, business, &c., which are attended often with breach of friendship and of the connexion; perhaps with lawsuits and other disagreeable consequences.
I had on the whole abundant reason to be satisfied with my being established in Pennsylvania. There were, however, some things that I regretted, there being no provision for defence, nor for a complete education of youth; no militia, nor any college. I therefore, in 1743, drew up a proposal for establishing an academy; † and at that time, thinking the Reverend Richard Peters,
* By the general terms of these partnerships, Franklin supplied a printing-press and a certain quantity of types at his own charge; and all other materials for carrying on the business were provided by the partner. The amount of necessary expenses for rent, paper, ink, and the like, was deducted from the gross receipts, and the remainder, including the debts, was divided into three parts, of which two belonged to the partner and one to Franklin. All accounts were settled quarterly. At the expiration of the time agreed upon, which was commonly six years, the partner was at liberty to return the press and types, or to purchase them at a fair valuation. A partnership of this description existed for many years between Franklin and James Parker, a respectable printer in New York. - EDITor.
+ See APPENDIX, No. III.