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SERMON S

PREACHED ON VARIOUS

ÍMPORTANT SUBJECTS.

By GEORGE WHITEFIELD, A. B. LATE OF PEMBROKE COLLEGE, oxford.

CAREFULLY CORRECTED AND REVISED
ACCORDING TO THE BEST LONDON EDITION.

TO WHICH IS PREFIXED

A SERMON,

ON THE CHARACTER, PREACHING, U., OF
THE REV. MR. WHITEFIELD.

BY JOSEPH SMITH, V. D. M.

PAISLEY:

PRINTED BY J. NEILSON, FOR J. GILLIES, BOOKSELLER, ABOVE THE CROSS, GLASGOW.

M,DCC.XCIV.

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THE

CHARACTER, PREACHING, &c.

OF THE

REVEREND

Mr. GEORGE WHITEFIELD,

Impartially represented and fupported, in a SERMON, preached in Charlestown, South-Carolina, March 26th, Anno Domine, 1740, by JOSEPH SMITH, V. D. M. With a Preface by the Reverend Dr. COLMAN, and Mr. COOPER, of Boston, New-England.

TO THE

READER.

T

THE following Difcourfe, was inclosed to us by our dear Brother, the worthy Author of it; and we have read it with high pleasure and fatisfac tion. The defign is fufficiently intimated in the Titlepage. It is, indeed, a Sermon of an extraordinary nature. To give from the pulpit, the perfonal and minifterial character of a living Preacher, is very unufual, or, perhaps altogether new. But fo is the occafion.... And the Difcourfe muft be looked upon to be apolo getical rather than encomiaftic. The manifeft defign is, to fupport the Caufe by vindicating the man; not a private and party caufe: but that of Primitive Piety, and Catholic Chriftianity; the Caufe of Chrift and Truth, if the peculiar doctrines of the gospel, the afferting and clearing whereof, was the glory of the Reformation, may be fo called? A caufe this, in which zeal is certainly a virtue.

As to the Reverend Mr. Whitefield, the perfon refer red to, and named, he is the wonder of the age; and

no man more employs the pens, and fills up the converfation of people, than he does at this day: none more admired and applauded by fome, contemned and reproached by others. The common lot of the most excellent men the world has ever had to fhew!

While fo many others are fpeaking and publifhing their fentiments concerning him with all freedom, Mr. Smith thought himfelf not precluded. He. hath had as much opportunity as most, to inform himfelf concerning Mr. Whitefield's doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, charity, long-fuffering, patience, perfecutions, and afflictions which have come unto him and what he has seen and heard, that declares he unto us; and we receive his teftimony, becaufe we know him to be a Gentleman of good fense and ftrict veracity; and alfo free from enthufiaftic impreffions, unless ferious religion and experimental piety are fo called, as we have melancholly occaGion to obferve they often are. There appear to us plain marks of fincerity and impartiality in the following account. And the fame things have been reported to us by our Reverend Brethren, of the like character, whom we know and correfpond with, in places where Mr. Whitefield hath visited and preached in.

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And, as to his thoughts, refpecting the views of Providence, in raifing up men of this ftamp and fpirit in our day, he expreffes them with great modefty and caution, and we cannot but apprehend they are countenanced from Scripture, reason, and obferva

tion.

When God is about to carry on falvation-work with any remarkable fuccefs, he will raife up fuitable inftruments to work by. He will form and fpirit men for great and extraordinary undertakings, when he has any great and extraordinary purposes to ferve.

Thus when God's time for the great and good work of building the fecond temple was come, Jofhua and others were animated to undertake it; and though they were men wondered at, for the warmth of their zeal and the boldness of their enterprize; that in the face of fo many oppofers and difficulties, they fhould undertake to rebuild the holy city and the temple; yet they were raised above all difcouragements, and ftood firm against all oppofition, being fortified with a fpecial promife of the MESSIAH, in whofe ftrength, and by whofe influence they fhould be fuccefsfully carried on in their work. "Hear now, O "Joshua the High-prieft, Thou and thy fellows that "fit before thee; for they are men wondered at: "for I will bring forth my fervant the BRANCH. "Behold, the ftone that I have laid before Joshua: "Upon one stone fhall be feven eyes. I will engrave "the engraving thereof, faith the LORD of HOSTS; " and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one "day," Zech. ii. 8, 9.

So when the gofpel-church was to be fet up in the world, and the Gentile nations to be converted to the knowledge and faith of JESUS, a dozen, poor, illiterate fishermen, were endued with power from on high; and fent forth to open men's eyes, to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God. And in them was fulfilled that which is written, Pfalm viii. 2. "Out of the mouth of babes "and fucklings haft thou ordained ftrength, becaufe "of thine enemies; that thou mightest still the ene"my and the avenger."

And when the church was overfpread with Popish darkness, fuperftition, and idolatry, and the Romish tyranny was at its very height, it pleafed God to enlighten fome Ecclefiaftics gradually in the knowledge of his truth, and then animate and affift them to lay

* In the 16th century.

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