Saturday, December 27, 2014

300 years ago: The birth of George Whitefield

On December 27, 1714, George Whitefield was born in Gloucester, England. Mr. Whitefield was an Anglican who became one of the founders of Methodism. He preached a moderate form of Calvinism, and differed with Methodist founder John Wesley on issues such as eternal election, perseverance of the saints, and sanctification.

Mr. Whitefield was cross-eyed and small of stature, but his booming voice enabled him to be heard by thousands of people at once in the open air. He arrived in America in 1738 and became one of the most popular preachers of the 18th century. He and Jonathan Edwards were the most noteworthy preachers of the "Great Awakening" in both Britain and America, during which many people were brought to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ through the proclamation of what God has done for us--in striking contrast to much of the preaching of evangelicalism in the late 20th-early 21st century, which centres on who man is and what he must do. Mr. Whitefield died in Newburyport, Massachusetts on September 30, 1770 at the age of 55. Mr. Wesley preached his funeral sermon in London.

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