Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wounded and Healed

A letter from George Whitefield to an acquaintance in Philadelphia who was an overseer of a Society of “negro women and children.” Whitefield had a great interest in the slaves and often preached the gospel to them. Arnold Dallimore shows in a chapter of his two-volume work on the life of Whitefield entitled, “Whitefield and the American Negro,” how he loved the slaves and how they loved him. Many of them responded to the gospel message as preached by Whitefield. Dallimore even argues that Negro Spirituals originated from the slaves that found Christ as Savior and Lord through Whitefield’s preaching.

May 2, 1740

Dear R______,

Let nothing said to you in my absence affect you. God has lately delivered you out of one snare; take heed how you fall into another. If you watch unto prayer, who knows but God may bless your endeavours amongst the poor negro women and children? I could not wish you more happily situated.—My love to all the society.—Exhort them not to rest in good desires. Shew them, O shew them the necessity of being deeply wounded, before they can be capable of healing by Jesus Christ. Bid them to beware of a light behaviour, and light company. Both do grieve the blessed Spirit of God. Take heed, take heed of those accursed snares. I could say more, but time will not permit. My love to the Negro Peggy, and all her black sisters. Bid them to pray for me. May the blood of Jesus wash away all the pollutions of their sin-sick souls! What if they were put into a society by themselves, and you, or some white woman, met with them? The good Lord direct and bless you in all things.—This is the hearty prayer of

Your sincere friend and servant in Christ,

Letters of George Whitefield: For the Period 1734-1742, The Banner of Truth Trust, 1976, reprinted from The Works of George Whitefield, 1771, pp. 476-77.

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