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as unfolded by time and experience. In a word, religious enthusiasm has produced such extraordinary consequences in society, it has been thought that a brief example of the manner in which the two most eminent of modern English leaders, * have recorded the spirit and effect of their respective labours, would be altogether within the scope of this undertaking, in which, as already observed, the leading purpose is to combine the most comprehensive illustration of general character, with as much entertainment as can be rendered compatible with a due fulfilment of it. Happily that is a great deal Upon the whole, however, difference of taste may vary as to the extent of the assumed licence in particular instances; a due allowance for diversity of liking will be very readily made by all who duly appreciate the variety of characteristic exhibition which the plan necessarily embraces.

* John Wesley's Journal will be given after a duc juterval.


In the present instance, it is not intended to give any thing beyond the very briefest summary of the life of the once celebrated author of the following journals ; and that simply to convey such a notion of his general career, as will serve for those who, in perusing them, may not be disposed to the labour of a reference to more ample sources.

George Whitefield, one of the founders of the sect at one time generally called methodists, although that name is now nearly restricted to the followers of John Wesley, was born on the 6th of December, 1714, at the Bell-inn, at Gloucester, which was kept by his father. In his own account of himself, he confesses that his childhood was marked with every petty crime of which early years are susceptible; but divested of the peculiar language adopted by the votaries of his class of religious feeling, it is probable that they went not beyond the usual failings of a lad, brought up in a situation not over favourable to extreme purity of morals. This is the more likely, as he notices many occasional gleams of grace indicative of his future experience. He was sent for education to the

grammarschool at Gloucester, where he distinguished himself by a ready memory and good elocution, which enabled him to figure to advantage in his speeches made before the corporation, at their annual visitation. He had also made some progress in Latin, when in consequence of the early death of his father, and the pecuniary difficulties of a sensible and indulgent mother, he was taken bome, and obliged to take a share in the homely toils of business at the Bell-inn. Notwithstanding the evil propensities with which he charges himself, he mentions the composition of sermons, even at this time, as well as of his experience of many devotional impulses, and of his diligent perusal of the Bible.

About the age of eighteen he embraced the offer made him of being entered as a servitor at Pembrokecollege, Oxford, and here joining himself to Charles Wesley, and several other young men, under the influence of religious impressions, his enthusiastic disposition was rapidly kindled. He describes himself as w lying whole days and nights on the ground in silent or vocal prayer; leaving off the fruits of the earth; choosing the worst sort of food ; thinking it unbecoming a penitent to have his hair powdered, and wearing woollen gloves, a patched gown, and dirty shoes, to acquire a habit of humility." In other words he acted pretty much in the ascetic spirit of that devotion which in catholics have led men to the desert and the cloister; so identical are the general tendencies of poor human nature, however occasionally varied by the circumstances and accidents which attend their exhibition.

These indications of a spiritual turn of mind being reported to Dr. Benson, bishop of Gloucester, that prelate made Mr Whitefield, then in his twenty-first year, an offer of ordination, which he accepted, and after much prayer and study of the thirty-nine articles, he was made a deacon in 1736. Such was the fervency of his manner, that at his first sermon in Gloucester, “ On the necessity and benefit of religious society;" a complaint was made to the bishop that he had driven fifteen persons mad, on which the latter calmly observed that he hoped the madness would not be forgotten before the next Sunday. Whitefield then returned to Oxford, took the degree of B. A., and diligently exercised himself in the instruction of the poor and the prisoners. For the two succeeding years, by his preaching in London, Bath, Bristol, and other places, his fame became widely diffused ; large auditories every where attended upon him, and of his powers of gaining and fixing attention in the pulpit, the most ample and disinterested testimonies are afforded. He had the advantage of a strong and musical voice, over which he possessed an extraordinary command, a clear and distinct pronunciation, and a vein of natural eloquence springing from an active imagination and ardent feel. ings. His topics were of the kind best adapted to work upon spontaneous and undisciplined minds. He roused them by appalling pictures of the terrors of the Lord; and when thereby awakened, consoled them by the doctrines of regeneration and justification by faith. His first sermon in London was delivered in 1736, at St Botolph, Bishopsgate, and he also preached alternately at the chapel of the Tower, at Wapping chapel, and in the prison at Ludgate.

In the same year, 1736, he received an invitation to officiate as minister at Dummer, in Hampshire, and about this time began to feel anxious to join the Wesleys and Ingham, who had gone out as missionaries to a new colony at Georgia, and whose letters inspired him with a warm inclination to join them. Being soon after expressly invited to repair to them, towards the close of 1737 he undertook the voyage of which the following journal forms a record. It is deemed proper to usher it in with the original preface, showing the cause of its publication, which appears to have origin. ated in the fact of a copy having reached the press aganst his wishes.



He following journal would never have been published, had not a surreptitious copy of part of it been printed without the author's knowledge or consent. He knows himself too well to obtrude his little private concerns upon the world, especially when intermixed with such passages relating to others, as none but an unthinking person could judge proper to divulge.

Had I (to whom alone Mr W. gave authority to print what his friends should think proper) been advised to publish this journal, all names would certainly have been left out, with those less material circumstances which manifest the persons. And it was at the earnest solicitation of several of Mr W.'s friends that I determined to print the whole, lest something should be trumped up for a voyage from London to Gibraltar.

Those who are mentioned in the surreptitious copy, will, we doubt not, wholly acquit Mr W. and his friends of it;

and several of them we hope by this time think it no scandal to be convicted Christians.

Mr Cooper, it seems, is offended with my calling his edition of Mr W.'s journal a surreptitious one; but, as it crept into the world by stealth, without any just warrant or authority, I know not how to give it a softer epithet.

Mr W. and every author has an undoubted right to suppress any work of his so long as he pleases; and if he think fit to have it printed, he is to determine who shall print it. He likewise has a power to submit his work to the judgment and correction of friends chosen by himself, either entirely to suppress it, if they think that proper; or, if they think more proper to publish it, then to prepare it for the press.

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