I knew that George Whitfield and John Wesley started out as good friends. I was under the impression that they had had a irreversible falling out on theological differences – I am glad to report, I was wrong.
John Wesley was asked to preach at George Whitfield’s funeral. Awesome honour and daunting task! One of his best friends in the world and fellow preacher, whom together helped changed the face of England and America by leading what historians now all THE GREAT AWAKENING!
From John’s Journal:
Sat. 10 Nov 1770. — I returned to London, and had the melancholy news of Mr. Whitefield’s death confirmed by his executors, who desired me to preach his funeral sermon on Sunday, the 18th. In order to write this, I retired to Lewisham on Monday; and on Sunday following, went to the chapel in Tottenham-Court-Road. An immense multitude was gathered together from all corners of the town. I was at first afraid that a great part of the congregation would not be able to hear; but it pleased God so to strengthen my voice, that even those at the door heard distinctly. It was an awful season: All were still as night: Most appeared to be deeply affected; and an impression was made on many, which one would hope will not speedily be effaced.
The time appointed for my beginning at the Tabernacle was half-hour after five: But it was quite filled at three; so I began at four. At first the noise was exceeding great; but it ceased when I began to speak; and my voice was again so strengthened that all who were within could hear, unless an accidental noise hindered here or there for a few moments. O that all may hear the voice of Him with whom are the issues of life and death; and who so loudly, by this unexpected stroke, calls all his children to love one another! Pg 432 v3