George Whitefield (1714-1770AD)

  Rev. George Whitefield

by John Greenwood and published July 1st 1769AD after Nathaniel Hone R.A.

Rev. George Whitefield was an outstanding evangelical preacher of the 18th century and the Lord used him to preach the Gospel to great effect both in Britain and America. He was converted in 1735AD aged 20. These are his words on that event:

 “After having undergone innumerable buffetings of Satan, and many months’ inexpressible trials by night and day under the spirit of bondage, God was pleased at length to remove the heavy load, to enable me to lay hold on His dear Son by a living faith, and, by giving me the Spirit of adoption, to seal me, as I humbly hope, even to the day of everlasting redemption. But oh! with what joy—joy unspeakable—even joy that was full of, and big with glory, was my soul filled, when the weight of sin went off, and an abiding sense of the pardoning love of God, and a full assurance of faith broke in upon my disconsolate soul! Surely it was the day of my espousals,—a day to be had in everlasting remembrance. At first my joys were like a spring tide, and, as it were, overflowed the banks. Go where I would, I could not avoid singing of psalms almost aloud; afterwards it became more settled—and, blessed be God, saving a few casual intervals, has abode and increased in my soul ever since.”

J. C. Ryle wrote of George Whitefield.
“The materials for forming a correct opinion about such a man as Whitefield are necessarily very scanty. He wrote no book for the million, of world-wide fame, like Bunyan's “Pilgrim's Progress.” He headed no crusade against an apostate Church, with a nation at his back, and princes on his side, like Martin Luther. He founded no religious denomination, which pinned its faith on his writings and carefully embalmed his best acts and words, like John Wesley. There are Lutherans and Wesleyans in the present day, but there are no Whitefieldites. No! The great evangelist of last century was a simple, guileless man, who lived for one thing only, and that was to preach Christ. If he did that, he cared for nothing else. The records of such a man are large and full in heaven I have no doubt, but they are few and scanty upon earth.”

The following quote is from the close of John Wesley's funeral oration at Whitefield's Memorial Service on Sunday 18th November 1770.
“I may close this head with observing what an honour it pleased God to put upon His faithful servant, by allowing him to declare His everlasting Gospel in so many various countries, to such numbers of people, and with so great an effect on so many of their precious souls. Have we read or heard of any person since the apostles, who testified the Gospel of the grace of God, through so widely extended a space, through so large a part of the habitable world?  Have we read or heard of any person, who called so many thousands, so many myriads of sinners to repentance? Above all, have we read or heard of any, who has been a blessed instrument in the hand of God, of bringing so many sinners from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God?” 

 George Whitefield. (152k) from "Christian Leaders . . ." by J. C. Ryle, 1878 edition. pdf (101k) docx (54k)


 Rev. George Whitefield and Mrs. Whitefield

George Whitefield from a painting by John Wollaston, about 1742AD, with a portrait of Mrs. Whitefield.



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