LETTERS BY GEORGE WHITFIELD
To the Reverend Mr H-Â—-
My dear brother H-Â—
London, Dec 23,1742
I thank you for your kind and very agreeable letter. It was refreshing to my soul, and stirred me to give thanks on your behalf. I am surprised that you are not turned off, since you now so clearly preach the everlasting gospel. But our Saviour has the hearts of all men in His hands, and He turneth them when and wheresoever He pleaseth. O my dear brother, I hope nothing will deter you from preaching the glad tidings of salvation to a world lying in the wicked one. I would not be but a poor despised minister of Jesus Christ for ten thousand worlds. This I am persuaded is the language of my dear friend’s heart:
For this let men revile my name,
No cross I shun, I fear no shame:
All hail reproach, and welcome pain;
Only thy terrors. Lord, restrain.
The love of Christ doth him constrain
To seek the wandering souls of men;
With cries, entreaties, tears to save,
And snatch them from the gaping grave.
Go on, thou man of God; and may the Lord cause thy bow to abide in strength! Glad should I be to come and shoot some gospel arrows in Devonshire; but the cloud seems now to point toward America. My dear family calls loudly for me. Our Lord has wonderfully of late interposed on their behalf. God willing, I intend shortly to send you an account of the Orphan-
house, and my last volume of sermons, with some other things. Blessed be God for making any of my poor writings of use to your dear soul. Surely I had need proclaim free-grace on the house-top; if I did not, the stones would cry out against me. O my dear brother, what a mystery of love is the mystery of godliness? Whilst I am writing the fire kindles. This fire has also of late kindled in many hearts. Our large society goes on well. We have many that walk in the comforts of the Holy Ghost. I hear of glorious things from various parts. I hope ere long we shall hear of persons going from post to post, and crying, “Babylon is fallen, Babylon is fallen.” I trust you, my dear Sir, will be made a happy instrument in the Mediator’s kingdom, of pulling down Satan’s strongholds. Pray write me word, how the war is going on between Michael and the dragon. For the present, adieu. My tender love to all the lovers of Jesus Christ. Accept the same from, my dear brother,
Yours most affectionatley in Christ,
(Whitefield’s WORKS v.2 p.3)
To Mr RÂ—Â—, in Edinburgh.
Dear Mr RÂ—Â—
London, Dec. 24 1742
It has given me some concern that I could not answer your kind and acceptable letter before. As our Saviour will give me freedom, I shall send you a few lines now. I think I may say to you, as Luther said to Melanchthon, Too much is nothing at all’. You are kept in bondage by a false humility. It is good to see ourselves poor, and exceeding vile; but if that sight and feeling prevent our looking up to, and exerting ourselves for our dear Saviour, it becomes criminal, and robs the soul of much comfort. I can speak this by dear-bought experience. How often have I been kept from speaking and acting for God, by a sight of my own unworthiness; but now I see that the more unworthy I am, the more fit to work for Jesus, because He will get much glory in working by such instruments; and the more He has forgiven me, the more I ought to love and serve Him. Fired with a sense of His unspeakable lovingkindness, I dare to go out and tell poor sinners that a lamb was slain for them; and that He will have mercy on sinners as such, of whom indeed I am chief. I wish my dear friend was in this respect not almost, but altogether such as I am. Well would it be with him, and happy would he then be. Upon the receipt of yours I prayed the Lord to open your mouth. The language of my heart for you, myself, and all the Redeemer’s witnesses, is this:
Ah! Lord, enlarge the scanty thought,
To see the wonders thou hast wrought;
Unloose the stammering tongue to tell
The love immense, unsearchable.
I bless your Lord for giving you such freedom with Himself, though you cannot speak so freely to others. Prayers wrought by His own Spirit, He will hear and answer. It is most god-like to be frequent in intercession. It is the constant employment of the Son of God in heaven. I rejoice to hear the work of God goes on among you in Scotland. Blessed be God, it prospers in our lands here, in Wales, and in various places. That it may prosper more and more, and be daily carried on in your precious soul, is the hearty prayer of, dear Mr RÂ—Â—,
Your most affectionately in Christ Jesus,
(Whitefield’s WORKS v.2 p.4)