A young couples’ morning is turned upside down when they hear news that George Whitefield, the famous English Evangelist, will be preaching in a nearby town.
It’s October 23 1740, and farmer Nathan Cole throws down his tools, runs to the house, unties the horse and he and his wife begin the fervent race towards the field where Whitefield is about to preach.
They had to cover 12 miles in a short time. But as they discovered, thousands of others were eagerly running, riding, racing towards the great event.
If you are picking up the story here then you might like to read Part One.
A low rumbling thunder
Nathan continues the story:
‘Then I saw before me a great cloud or fog.
‘I first thought it was from the great river but as I came nearer the road I heard a noise something like a low rumbling thunder and I presently found out it was the rumbling of horses feet coming down the road and this cloud was a cloud of dust made by the running of horses feet.
‘It rose high into the air above the tops of the hills and trees.
‘And when I came closer into the cloud I could see men and horses slipping along – it was like a steady stream of horses and their riders, scarcely a horse more than his length behind another all of a lather and foam with sweat, their breath rolling out of their nostrils.
‘I found a [gap] between two horses to slip in my horse. No one spoke a word but everyone pressing forward with great haste.
‘When we got down to the old meeting house there was a great multitude. It was said to be three or four thousand and when I looked towards the great river I could see ferry boats running swift forwards and backwards bringing over loads of people, and the oars rowed nimble and quick.
‘Everything, men, horses and boats seemed to be struggling for life.’
(Sources: Arnold Dallimore, George Whitefield Vol.1, Banner of Truth, p541 and John Pollock, George Whitefield, Hodder, p164f)
To be continued…
Read Part Three here
© Lex Loizides