Volume four contains further correspondences of Whitefield, including an answer to the bishop of London regarding the difference between desiring to live a godly life and actually living it, a letter to the religious societies of England regarding worldliness and temptation, and a letter to the inhabitants of Maryland, Virginia, North, and South Carolina regarding the treatment of slaves. A selection of prayers is also in this volume.
Reading the life of such a great saint—this Christ-loving, gospel-centered minister—has served to rekindle my passion for the gospel and rejuvenate the love of God in my soul more than once.
George Whitefield (1714–1770) was born in Gloucester, England. The son of a poor widow, he went on to study at Oxford, where he met Charles and John Wesley. The Wesley brothers were a part of what was referred to as the "Holy Club" on campus, which Whitefield joined and by which he was quite influenced, later becoming the president. His passion for theater and public speaking made him quite popular quickly as he became a traveling evangelist, and his projective voice allowed him to speak outdoors rather than in a church setting. He believed in preaching his sermons without notes in order to allow room for the Holy Spirit to guide his speaking, and was known for his theatrical delivery. In 1738, he came to America for the first of seven trips he would make across the ocean. During this first trip, he founded the orphanage Bethseda, just outside of Savannah, GA. Throughout his life, he toured all over New England, as well as England, Scotland, and Wales, preaching to crowds of up to tens of thousands at a time, greatly influencing the Great Awakening and the early Methodist Church.