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and had traveled throughout Europe.

His family had more titles, more rank,
and more wealth than Selina’s family,
but he, like Selina, was a “homebody.”
After their marriage, Selina became
Countess of Huntingdon and moved
with her husband to Donington park,
which was his family home. Donington
park is a beautiful ancient mansion sur-
rounded by huge oak trees.

lthough Selina had to travel
to London where she mingled
with those in high society, she
felt that frivolous parties and empty
chatter were all useless time wast-
ers. She was happiest when she was
at home in the quietness of Doning-
ton park where she took great interest
in the lives of those who lived on the
estate. She was concerned about their
physical, material, and spiritual condi-
tions. Because of her compassion for
the poor and needy, they referred to her
as “Lady Bountiful.”
Selina was known for her “good
works” and although she was religious,
she knew nothing about salvation by
grace through faith. She became very
ill, and for a while, the doctors did not
know whether she would live or die.

She could no longer do her good works
so she became very despondent and
depressed. At that time, God was using
some preachers who were nicknamed
“Methodists” to start a mighty revival
in England. Their preaching was affect-
ing even the English aristocracy.

ady Margaret Hastings, the
sister-in-law to Lady Hunt-
ingdon, was converted and
became an outstanding witness for
Christ. Selina recognized that Lady
Margaret had a peace that she her-
self had never had. Her serious
illness along with Lady Margaret’s
radiant testimony caused Selina, Count-
ess of Huntingdon, to realize that she
was trusting in her good works to save
A L
14 • NATIONS
her. She finally understood that it was
only through the blood of Jesus Christ
that she could be saved. She was glo-
riously converted and became a bold
witness to everyone she met.

Soon after Selena’s conversion,
John and Charles Wesley preached near
Donington park. She sent a message to
them and told them of her determina-
tion to live for Christ.

George Whitefield and the Wesley
brothers were preaching all over Eng-
land and held the crowds spellbound.

Lord and Lady Huntingdon often at-
tended the meetings, but many of the
the bishop soon
discovered that he
was no match for
Selina’s knowledge
of the Scriptures.

aristocracy were not impressed. The
Duchess of Buckingham was insulted
that George Whitefield and John Wes-
ley preached that members of the Eng-
lish aristocracy were as sinful as com-
mon people were.

The Countess’s friends thought she
had lost her mind and called her a fanat-
ic. Many of them encouraged her hus-
band to restrain her. Although the Earl
did not approve of her zeal, he admired
her courage. At one time, he suggested
that she talk to the Bishop of Glouces-
ter. She agreed to meet with him but
the Bishop soon discovered that he was
no match for Selina’s knowledge of the
Scriptures. Before the Countess left his
office, the Bishop lamented that he had
ordained George Whitefield whom he
held responsible for her fanaticism.

Because of her position in life and
her polished manners, those of high
society sought her presence. Her home
was often filled with poets, musicians,
doctors, and lords and ladies. The
great musician Handel gave concerts
at Donington park. Selina used every
occasion to share the Gospel with her
friends. Through her efforts, many
members of the English aristocracy
heard the Gospel, and some of her dis-
tinguished guests came to Christ. As
I walked through the beautiful rooms
of Donington park, I tried to visualize
what it was like when Lady Hunting-
don hosted parties where the Gospel
was presented.

lthough she had many great
sorrows in her life, Selina re-
mained a radiant testimony
through all of her grief. Of her seven
children, only one daughter outlived
the Countess. Lord Huntingdon died an
early death and left Selina a widow at
age thirty-nine.

In 1749, Selina’s son assumed
ownership of Donington Hall, and she
moved back to Ashby where her home
was often used for evangelism. George
Whitefield preached twice a week to
those of noble birth in her drawing
room. She was not only concerned
about the spiritual condition of the
English aristocracy but also the spiri-
tual condition of common people. She
was fearless when it came to present-
ing the Gospel, and she was fearless in
confronting evil.

n one occasion, she repri-
manded the Archbishop of
Canterbury for his extravagant
lifestyle and frivolous parties. When the
Archbishop ignored her warning, she
asked for an audience with the king and
queen. The king was very impressed
with Selina and assured her that he
would take care of the problem. Within
a few days, the Archbishop received a
letter of reprimand from the king.

A O



Since many of her “Method-
ist” preacher friends were dis-
missed from their churches
for their zealous preaching
of the Gospel, Lady Hunt-
ingdon decided to build cha-
pels in different locations
where they could preach and
could teach their converts.

During her lifetime, she was
responsible for providing over
200 chapels and preaching sta-
tions throughout England. She even
sold her jewels to help defray the cost
of building the chapel in Brighton.

Oxford and Cambridge Universi-
ties were the only places where min-
isters of the Gospel could be trained.

When six students were expelled from
Oxford because of their “Methodist”
enthusiasm and because they spoke too
much about inspiration of the Bible and
personal regeneration, Lady Hunting-
don bought Trevecca House in Beacon-
shire, Wales. It became a theological
college to train evangelical preachers.

George Whitefield preached the official
dedication sermon.

Lady Huntingdon took great inter-
est in the students. She prayed for them
and with them, and after they gradu-
ated, she corresponded with them. She
gave her time and money to maintain
the college. She also had friends who
gave their financial support. Lady Gle-
norchy from Scotland was one who
contributed generously to the college.

The Countess was close friends
with George Whitefield and John Wes-
ley. While God used both of them to
awaken England from spiritual indif-
ference, they were entirely different
personalities. They were also different
in their doctrine, which eventually af-
fected their friendship and their fellow-
ship. Lady Huntingdon took White-
field’s side and her association with
John Wesley ended.

14 • NATIONS
George whitefield
Speaking to
Social elite
at Selina’s home
The Countess of Huntingdon, was
generous in her giving to missionary
endeavors. She supported a school for
American Indians that was founded by
oxford and Cambridge
Universities were the
only places where
ministers of the
Gospel could be trained.

the man who established Dartmouth
College. When Whitefield started an
orphanage in Savannah, Georgia, she
supported it, and when he died, he
deeded it to the Countess. She took
great interest in the children in the or-
phanage. She encouraged the students and
graduates of the theological college she
started to consider missionary work in
America. Several students were com-
missioned for missionary service on
October 27, 1772. preparation for their
arrival was made for them at the or-
phanage in Savannah. From there they
NATIONS • 15