A few months ago I heard some stories from the 18th century revivals. In particular the ministry of George Whitefield who wrote in his journals of one occasion where he preached to miners in England:
“Having no righteousness of their own to renounce they were glad to hear of Jesus who was a friend to publicans and came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. The first discovery of their being affected was the sight of the white gutters made by their tears which fell plentifully down their black cheeks as they came out of the coal-pits.”
I’d been meaning to read Whitefield’s biography written by Dallimore Arnold, but this pushed me over the edge. Providentially I was able to get a copy before I went on holidays in July and it was a great read, providing encouragement and renewed vision.
Whitfield is a great mix of Reformed Evangelical theology and Social Concern (he was preaching to the group of miners above partly with the aim of raising money for an orphanage in America). Yet what stood out for me reading through the biography was his understanding and experience of God’s love for him. This personal knowledge fuels Whitfield in his ministry.
I pray that God would give women and particularly men in Australia and Mackay an ever-increasing knowledge of this great love, the love of our God who gave his Son for us!!! Who knows what might happen if this were to come about…