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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

God will provide what you need to serve Him

My posts are going to take on an historical tone for the most part for a bit. A while ago, I mentioned that I am taking an Historical Theology class and I still am and needed to slow down my blogging (though didn't really do so). I have a number of other things on my plate right now as well. I want to keep things active here (as much as I can) but I can't be doing much in the way of eloquent waxing. So, I will impose on the candle drippings of men and women of old.

One of the wonderful men of God I learned about when I was home schooling my children was George Whitefield and one of my favorite little anecdotes I read about him is the one that follows. I recently had to track it down again, and I am glad I did, as my memory as to the exact details was faltering.

"Whitefield met another man in Philadelphia, who was not a man of God; who, in fact, remained a confirmed agnostic, despite all Whitefield's persuasion. Nevertheless, Ben Franklin became his fast friend. Then in his thirties, the well-known writer and publisher of Poor Richard's Almanac, was astonished by 'the extraordinary influence of [Whitefield's] oratory on his hearers.' And on one occasion Franklin found himself putting four gold sovereigns, all the money he had on him, in the collection plate, when he had firmly intended to part with no more than a shilling. (Wherever he spoke, Whitefield raised money for the orphanage in Georgia.) 'It was wonderful to see the change soon made in the manners of our inhabitants,' Franklin recorded. 'From being thoughtless or indifferent about religion, it seemed as if all the world were growing religious, so that one could not walk through the town in an evening without hearing psalms sung in different families of every street.' Franklin, the first truly scientific observer of lightning, listened to Christ's twenty-five-year-old lightning rod preaching from the courthouse steps, and was amazed at the carrying power of his voice. Retracing his steps backwards down Market Street until he could at last no longer hear him, the amazed Franklin computed that in an open space, Whitefield's words could be heard by thirty thousand people!"

Peter Marshall and David Manuel, The Light and the Glory, (New Jersey: Revell, 1973) 248


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