To view this page ensure that Adobe Flash Player version 11.1.0 or greater is installed.
Jonathan Edwards launched the Great Awakening with his sermon at Enfield, Connecticut, in July 1741. EYE WITNESSES DESCRIBED HIM His Appearance Whitefield was an astounding preacher from the be- ginning. His appearance was always impeccable. In his preaching ministry he crossed the Atlantic thirteen times in the rugged, dangerous ships of the era. His Voice Benjamin Franklin, an eyewitness at the meetings, described his voice in these words: “He had a loud voice and articulated his words and sentences so perfectly that he might be heard at a great distance.” Benjamin Franklin attended one of the meetings in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was fascinated by the speaker's ability whose voice could be heard by such a large assembly. Benjamin Franklin said, “White- field can control and keep hold of a crowd of 30,000 to 40,000 people.” 6 • NATIONS As George Whitefield preached to the large crowd on the courthouse porch, Franklin…walked away to- wards his shop in Market Street until he could no longer hear the preacher's voice clearly. Calculating the distance, allowing two square feet per person, he calculated that Whitefield's voice could indeed be heard—by over thirty thou- sand people. Once Whitefield started speaking, however, the great crowd became spellbound and grew silent. We have to remember that in that day there would not have existed the loud traffic and other noises as today. One minister commented, “Such a power and presence of God with a preacher I never saw before.” Another said, “Every eye fixed upon him and every ear chained to his lips.” He preached in scores of cities in- cluding New York, Hartford, Savannah, and Philadelphia. In Boston he preached to the greatest crowds ever assembled there to hear the Gospel. Some 8,000 assembled in the morning and 15,000 returned to the famous Common in the evening. Benjamin Franklin Picture above: George Whitefield Whitefield's farewell sermon on Boston Common drew 23,000 people— more than Boston's entire population. Whitefield's passion and fervor moved thousands on two continents to- ward God. The man was so sincere, so intense, and so convinced of God that