Sunday, December 13, 2015

A letter by George Whitefield

Plymouth, July 4, 1744

     Since my last, I have had some particular information about the late odd adventure.  It seems, that four gentlemen came to the house of one of my particular friends, kindly enquiring after me, and desired to know where I lodged that they might come and pay their respects.  He directed them.  Soon afterwards I received a letter, informing me that the writer was a nephew to Mr. S., an eminent attorney at New York, that he had the pleasure of supping with me at his uncle's house, and desired my company to sup with him and a few more friends at a tavern.  I sent him word, that it was not customary for me to sup out at taverns, but should be glad of his company, out of respect to his uncle, to eat a morsel with him at my lodgings.  He came; we supped; and I observed that he frequently looked around him, and seemed very absent; but having no suspicion, I continued in conversation with him and my other friends, 'til we parted.  This, I now find, was to have been the assassin; and being interrogated by his other companions on his return to the tavern about what he had done, he answered, that being used so civilly, he had not the heart to touch me.  Upon which, as I am informed, the person who assaulted me laid a wager of ten guineas that he would do my business for me.  Some say, that they took his sword from him, which I suppose they did, for I only saw and felt the weight of his cane.  The next morning, I was to expound at a private house, and then to set out for Biddeford.  Some urged me to stay and prosecute; but being better employed, I went on my intended journey, was greatly blessed in preaching the everlasting gospel, and upon my return was well paid for what I had suffered:  curiosity having led perhaps two thousand more than ordinary to see and hear a man, that had like to have been murdered in his bed.  Thus all things tend to the furtherance of the gospel, and work together for good to those that love God.....

                                                                 Leaving you to add an Hallelujah, I subscribe myself.
                                                                                                    Ever, ever yours,
                                                                                                             G. W.

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