George Whitefield

Who knew that a preacher from England and a printer from Philadelphia would become good friends, and two of the most influential men of the eighteenth century? Both George Whitefield, the revivalist preacher, and Benjamin Franklin, the printer and politician, knew the Bible well, but they came from different perspectives.

Franklin was skeptical of traditional theology, while Whitefield preached from the Bible. Yet Franklin became Whitefield’s main American publisher. Whitefield preached thousands of sermons to millions of listeners in his lifetime. Newspapers of the day called him the “marvel of the age!”

A key verse from the Bible in Whitefield’s dynamic presentations, one he urged Franklin to consider, was John 3:3: “Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God" (ESV). His last sermon on the Boston Commons drew a reported 23,000 people, to that point, one of the largest gatherings in America.

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