George Whitefield was perhaps the best-known minister in early American history and his influence upon the generation of the Founding Fathers is nearly unparalleled. During the seven trips to the American colonies he made over 34 years, Whitefield preached some 18,000 times and attracted unimaginable crowds who came to hear his message of repentance and Godly living.[i] His work largely contributed to the national revival known as the First Great Awakening, and many notable Americans journeyed to learn from his sermons including Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams.
This sermon which called people to turn to Jesus as the source of their salvation, was delivered only a few months after returning from his first trip to America.
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[i] Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, eds. James Grant Wilson and John Fiske (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1889), 6:478, s.v. “Whitefield, George.”