Part Two (see Part One)
Whitefield preaches in Edwards’ home
George Whitefield continues his account of meeting the Edwards family in Northampton in 1740:
‘In the Evening, I gave a Word of Exhortation to several that came to Mr. Edward’s House. My Body was somewhat weak; my Appetite almost gone; But my Lord gave me Meat, which the World knows nothing of.
‘Lord, evermore give me this Bread! Amen and Amen.
Saturday, October 18
‘At Mr Edwards’s Request, I spoke to his little Children, who were much affected.
Preached at Hadfield 5 Miles from Northampton, but found myself not much strengthened.
Conversed profitably on the Way about the Things of God with dear Mr. Edwards and preached about 4 in the Afternoon to his Congregation.’ (George Whitefield Journals, unedited version, Quinta Press – but see here for Banner of Truth edition)
Sarah Edwards – ‘Workers throw down their tools and go to hear him!’
Sarah Edwards, in a letter to her brother, recorded the general feeling that Whitefield’s visit produced on the town:
‘It is wonderful to see what a spell he casts over an audience by proclaiming the simplest truths of the Bible. I have seen upwards of a thousand people hang on his words with breathless silence, broken only by an occasional half-suppressed sob.
He impresses the ignorant, and not less the educated and refined. It is reported that while the miners of England listened to him, the tears made white furrows down their smutty cheeks.
So here, our mechanics shut up their shops, and the day-labourers throw down their tools, to go and hear him preach, and few return unaffected…
He speaks from a heart all aglow with love, and pours out a torrent of eloquence which is almost irresistible.
Many, very many persons in Northampton date the beginning of new thoughts, new desires, new purposes, and a new life, from the day on which they heard him preach of Christ and this salvation.’
(from Arnold Dallimore, George Whitefield Vol 1, Banner of Truth, p.162)
Go to Part 3 of this story
For more resources on Jonathan Edwards visit the excellent Jonathan Edwards Centre at Yale University
© 2009 Lex Loizides