Friday, November 26, 2010

Early Whitefield

I stumbled on this book called The Great Awakening by Joseph Tracey. It was first published in 1842. What has been intriguing has been reading the passionate Whitefield as he fought his way to salvation. These obsessed men and women are the world changers. There are truly so many ways that men and women seek to castrate a Jesus lover to conform to their image and comfort. To step outside their boundaries, requires their immediate and instant denunciation. Another's passion simply exposes their mediocrity.

Here are some quotes:

George Whitefield was born at Gloucester, England on the 16th day of December in 1714. His father, Thomas Whitefield had been a wine merchant, but was now an inn keeper, died two years after his birth. ... [George] distinguished himself among the boys at the public school by his progress in Latin and by his speeches and dramatic performances... his mother kept the inn; as the decrease of business enforced more economical arrangements, George was obliged to leave his Latin... and assist in the drudgery of the house. He put on his blue apron-"washed mops, cleaned rooms, and in a word, became a professed and common drawer for nigh a year and an half".

[Whilst at Oxford] he spent much of his time in reading the Greek Testament and in prayer. He gained more clear, rational and affecting views of his own sinfulness and saw how hopeless was the effort to remove the sense of guilt by a series of observances. He remained in this condition till as he informs us: "One day, perceiving an uncommon drought and the noisome clamminess in my mouth, and using things to allay my thirst, but in vain, it was suggested to me that when Jesus Christ cried 'I thirst' his sufferings were near over. Upon this, I threw myself upon the bed and cried out. 'I thirst, I thirst'. Soon after, I perceived my load to go off; a spirit of mourning was taken from me and I knew what was truly to rejoice in the Lord. At first after this, I could not avoid singing psalms, wherever I was; but my joy gradually more settled and blessed be God, has abode and increased in my soul, saving a few casual intermissions, ever since."

Some years afterwards, in reply to objections, he said: "My crying, "I thirst, I thirst' was not to put myself upon the level with Jesus Christ. But when I said these words, "I thirst, " thirst', my soul was in agony; I thirsted for God's salvation and a sense of divine love. I thirsted for a clear discovery of my pardon through Jesus Christ and the seal of the Spirit. I was at the same time enabled to look up to and act upon faith in the glorious Lord Jesus as dying for sinners and felt the blessed effects of it".

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