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dred miles, during which he traversed the worst roads, and paths dangerous from their condition, left him at leisure, within two months and a half, to preach 175 public sermons, besides holding numberless private exhortations and conversations.
These labours completed, he returned to England, and after a short stay, passed onward to Scotland. In Edinburgh he was welcomed by the ministers of the Established Church to their pulpits. For weeks he preached twice or thrice daily; on one day, seven times. In hospitals, in the Orphan-house park, on the picturesque and then unoccupied heights of the Calton hill ; to the wise and the simple; to the sick and the strong; to the aged and the child. On all, his eloquence wrought the same effects, and fell with equal power. Aged men have recorded, in our lives, the scenes which they remember. Every morning, crowds gathered at his house, awakened by the sermons of the day before ; every evening, when he was not preaching, he expounded Scripture in private to anxious enquirers. All the boldness of his doctrine,—all the prejudice, felt by a Presbyterian people against an Episcopalian minister, melted away before him; and hardy Scotchmen owned his influence as readily as his southern countrymen. One hundred ministers of the Scotch Church attended his sermons on one visit; and thirty, with the Lord Commissioner in the chair, welcomed him to a public dinner.
Ireland did not escape the contagion. In Cork, full of Romish bigotry, thousands of Roman Catholics crowded to hear him, and offered, if he would only remain with them, to abandon their priests. The authorities of his own Church admired him. The Primate welcomed him to his table. The Bishop of Derry treated him with kindness; the Bishop of Limerick received him in his house, and threw open
the Cathedral to his preaching.
It was vain indeed, for any religious body, to try to draw him into their views, or to narrow,
within the circle of a party, the influence of that genial spirit. This the seceders found ; and by this the worthy Erskines were scandalized. They, good men, presented to him the defects of the State Church, its Erastianism and other sins. They pressed upon him their free Church, as the model of what was good. He, indifferent to forms, careless of order, swept, like a meteor, across the sky, lighting up one sphere, bursting into another, and passing on, burning with heavenly ardour, to traverse, with utter unconcern, the rules and limits of sects. Try to hold him in party bonds,-chain him to Presbyterian covenants ! he burst them, as the horse in the desert snaps the cords, or as the eagle, perched on his mountain eyrie, looks down and loathes the aviary below.
WHITEFIELD-THE SOURCES OF HIS INFLUENCE.
THIS seems the moment when we should examine the secret of Whitefield's success. Ingenious writers, in tracing the progress of Methodism, have marvelled at the effects which attended his ministry. They read his sermons, take up passages which his admirers have preserved, and find no evidence of intellectual power.
But the fact of his success is indubitable. The man who, by his preaching, could produce in all parts of England, Scotland, Ireland, and America, the emotions which I have described, was no orator. We might as well question the eloquence of some of the great orators of ancient or modern times. It is not upon the speeches of these men (great as a few of these are) that their fame rests, but on history and tradition. The first Pitt has left almost as few traces of his eloquence, as Whitefield. The speeches, which remain of his, are not remarkable.
There are twenty second-rate speakers, now in Parliament, whose speeches
read better than those of Chatham. And yet these gentlemen send their audience to sleep: while Pitt held the House of Commons in his hand, during a period of twenty years, and ruled them with a mastery as absolute, as a teacher rules his pupils. This living power is the true test of eloquence, and this test may be applied in the case of Whitefield, and is all in his favour.
We must however remember the foundation on which the power of an orator is built. Demosthenes, after an experience of success more remarkable than any man, said that manner was the secret of oratorical strength. His rival, paying to him his famous tribute, has given us the same testimony. In our own day, every one may cite passages of Dr. Chalmers' Sermons, which do not bear the analysis of the critic; yet none of us ever heard a sermon delivered by him, which did not carry the audience along with it with a force, irresistible as that of a torrent. Wherein lay this force? To some extent, of course, in the thoughts and words employed: but let an ordinary man read or deliver one of these famous sermons to an audience, and we predict, that the result will be a failure. The force of eloquence is in the eye, the look, the gesture, and the voice, as much as in the words. No man therefore can judge of a speech, unless he has heard it. You might as well judge, through a newspaper report, of the power of a singer. The vocalist and the orator address the senses; through these, they master the mind.
out the senses, the instrument is broken. Often the best speeches read badly, while a dull discourse appears good in print. To us now, the speeches of Dr. Duigenan appear better than those of Grattan, and the words of Pelham seem as weighty as those of Pitt; but the flashing eye, the kindling look, the swelling voice, the varied tone, the impassioned gesture, these are gone, and these were the instruments and symbols of the orator's power.
Now these belonged to Whitefield, as perhaps they belonged to no other man. He was by nature an orator. His voice was extraordinary in its compass, and of singular flexibility. He could pass, without an effort, from notes, which would fill an area occupied by twenty thousand persons, to tones, soft and plaintive as the whispers of a child. While a boy, the music of his voice, and the beauty of his gesture were remarked by his master. When he became a lad, the bent of his genius led to his practising for the pulpit. When he was a stripling of twenty, his first sermon, delivered the town where he was known and despised, bowed the heart of his audience, as by a charm. From that moment, every effort was a triumph. It did not matter what audience he addressed; the rabble of Marylebone, the colliers of Kingswood, the learned men of Edinburgh, the merchants of New York, the sceptics of Boston; all yielded themselves to his influence. The fire of the Celt, and the coolness of the Scotchman