Sunday, September 18, 2011

George Whitefield on Essentials

Reading through the first half of Arnold Dallimore's biography on Whitefield this past summer has been a treat. I enjoy Dallimore's exhaustiveness on Whitefield's life. I've come to be quite empathetic of Whitefield as I read through; especially after Elizabeth Delamotte's denial of marriage to him - ouch! In around 1740, Whitefield is just about to head back to England from one of his preaching tours from New England to Georgia. While in Philadelphia he writes this God-glorifying, yet tactful comment:

"Whatever men's reasoning may suggest, if the children of God fairly examine their own experiences - if they do God justice, they must acknowledge that they did not choose God, but that God chose them. And if He chose them at all, it must be from eternity, and that too without anything foreseen in them. Unless they acknowledge this, man's salvation must be in part owing to the free-will of man; and if so,... Christ Jesus might have died, and never have seen the travail of His soul in the salvation of one of His creatures. But I would be tender on this point, and leave persons to be taught it of God. I am of the martyr Bradford's mind. Let a man go to the grammar school of faith and repentance, before he goes to the university of election and predestination."

*Arnold Dallimore, "George Whitefield: The Life and Times of the Great Evangelist of the Eighteenth-Century Revival" Vol 1. (Edinburgh, Scotland, Banner of Truth Trust, 1970), 570. 
**Also located in "Whitefield's Journals", p. 490 (Banner of Truth Trust). 

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