Agonizomai: Blasts From the Past<br>The Potter and the Clay - George Whitefield

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Blasts From the Past
The Potter and the Clay - George Whitefield

It is in the nature of men to first honor, then lionize and finally make an idol of what they regard as great men of the past. This has happened outside the church with people from Julius Caesar to Charles Darwin, though each also has his detractors.

But there is no excuse for it inside the church. We may honor men of the past because we are to render honor to whom honor is due. We may respect their devotion, for those who proved true to the heavenly calling and thereby were found to be obedient to their responsibility to their Maker. But such great men of the past would never, themselves, have brooked anything bordering on their own glorification by men. They would have pointed to Christ as the author and Perfecter of their faith - and the Savior of their souls.

Such is George Whitefield. He, like all of the heroes of the Bible who went before him in history, was a man with feet of clay; imperfect, flawed, uneven. And God always has it so - that it may be seen that the transcendent power belongs to God, and not to the men in whom He deigns to work.

I think that the sermon presented here is an indicator of this truth. By Whitefield standards it is not long (only about 56 minutes). And while it is unquestionably Biblical in content, and clearly presents both law and gospel, it is in many ways unremarkable. Even allowing for the fact that moderns like me have short attention spans it drags on at times.

Of course, I don't have Whitefield's remarkable voice which resonated so much that, in days without microphones, he could be clearly heard by crowds of as many as 30,000 people - which number regularly were drawn to his outdoor preaching during the Great Awakening. But I think that the, dare one say, "mundane nature" of this offering serves only to underscore that fact that no matter how resonant, clear and studied the speaker - absent the power of the Spirit of the Living God all is just so many words and concepts.

Thousands flocked to hear Whitefield from England to the Colonies over a period of 40 years. Untold numbers were saved through his preaching. The Great Awakening was moved forward by this man's answering of the call of God on his life. But it was all moved forward by God working in and through such men in order to accomplish His eternal purposes. Had the Spirit not been working in the preachers, the words and the hearers then there would have been no Great Awakening. That's worth remembering as we honor Whitefield today. Here then, is his sermon "The Potter and the Clay"...

The Potter and the Clay - George Whitefield


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, Tony, you read that like you just wrote it. Real good preaching. Yes, I listened to the end. ;-)

5:25 pm  
Blogger agonizomai said...


Well, me and George go way back. Difference is he was heard by 30,000 and I was heard by 30.



5:59 pm  

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