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In Their Own Words

March 30, 1740

George Whitefield Diary Entry on Leaving Georgia

Evangelist George Whitefield would go on to a distinguished career, but he found it difficult leaving Georgia:

“Found myself very sick and weak in Body; but was strengthened notwithstanding, to go through most of the Duties of the Day, and to take an affectionate Leave of my dear Parishioners, because it appeared that Providence called me at this Time towards the Northward. An unspeakable Trouble and Agony of Soul did I feel most part of the Day, and was enabled to wrestle with my Lord in behalf of the People in general, and those belonging to the Orphan-House in particular… . All Things belonging to the Orphan-House succeed beyond Expectation, and some of my little Flock have lately (as far as I can judge) been effectually called of God… . Some others also there are who have received the Love of God in the Truth of it. So that I hope, if ten Saints could preserve Sodom, the few righteous Souls left behind, will prevent the utter Desolation of declining Savannah.”

Source: [no author or editor cited], Our First Visit in America: Early Reports from the Colony of Georgia, 1732-1740 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1974), p. 303.

William Stephens noted in his journal the farewell sermon preached by Whitfield:

“…Mr. Whitfield, this Day, declared his Intention of leaving us for awhile, preaching a farewel Sermon, in the same Manner as St. Paul exhorted the Elders of the Church in Acts xx. taking for his Text the 26th and 27th Verses of that Chapter, and carrying the Parallel betwixt the Apostle and himself as far as it would go; signified, that he expected Persecution wheresoever he went; therefore knew not, whether ever those among whom he had preached the Gospel here, should see his Face any more, or not…”

Source: Allen D. Candler, ed. The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, Vol. IV, Stephens’ Journal 1737-1740, Atlanta, GA, 1906, p. 544.