Analysis of Whitfield Essays

Submitted By Jdhaydon
Words: 1165
Pages: 5

Whitefield starts out stress the importance of Love, and quoting Paul, saying that obedience of God comes from a love of God and that without that love of God, there is no obedience. That it is an obedience that is caused by loving God, and relatedly, country, and that if you have a love of God(country as well,) then you most definitely will also obey God(country as well.) He refers to the Israelites, and says that the psalm he begins with is key to the whole of their history, “to observe his statutes and keep his laws.” If laws and statutes come from God, then country must be loved, and obeyed as well as God. He also states that to write a psalm or psalms to trace the mercies of God on Great Britain in parallel to that of the Israelites, while easily could be done, would be an unseasonable undertaking. The reason for this is not stated, however, since most of that time (1066- the reign of Henry VII, part of the reign of Henry VIII, and the reign of Mary I) saw England as a Catholic country, and since Whitefield is specifically preaching against the rule of Catholicism, and the Stuart Catholic pretenders to the thrown, it would therefore seem to be antithetical to his purpose to praise the mercies of God on England while it was held sway under the Holy See. Under the reign of George II, no persecution of religion was allowed, is Whitefield’s claim, and so therefore, he is to be considered to have helped to nurture and foster not only the sense of right of the Church of England, but others as well, by allowing people to worship without public persecution. James II (VII of Scotland), brother of Charles II, Duke of York, and heir presumptive to the throne of England, Scotland and Ireland, caused a succession crisis because he was Catholic. Charles had been restored to the throne, in the wake of political upheaval following the death of Oliver Cromwell. Charles had multiple illegitimate children, but no children with his wife, and so the Duke of York was his heir, in the order of succession. In 1688, during the “Glorious Revolution” William of Orange, James II’s son-in-law, was persuaded to invade England from the Netherlands. James II fled, and was said to have abdicated, and thereby set up court in France. His son, James III was called the “old pretender” His son, Charles, called by some Bonnie Prince Charlie, was the young pretender. Not only would parliament been dissolved, most likely, but the church would have sent bishops to oversee everything, and the throne would have been a puppet for Rome, if the young pretender would have succeeded in his fight for the throne during the Jacobite wars. Schools would have been closed or torn down, and a return to the superstitious beliefs of the Catholic Church would have been the order of the day, so claims Whitefield. Dominicans, monks and friars would have been in the country like a plague is what he implies, comparing them to swarms of locust. Preston Pats allowed him to make vain boast and say that God allowed his victory, only then to face defeat at the hands of Duke William, the youngest son of George II. Some were asking in Scotland for him not to prevail because while Scotland was the key location on the aisle for his support, others were protestant or loyalist, or both, and did not want him to succeed. The free thinkers he despises are the natural philosophers, as they were called. Those who have abandoned religion for reason, he calls them those who seek reason without guidance, and refers to reason as Diana, the Roman goddess. By saying that the head is sick, he is saying that by seeking knowledge and understanding in the absence of God, the free thinkers, the learned who are part of the “enlightenment” are harming the whole of the country over all, because they are leading others to turn away from God, and to turn to science instead. By stating that Noah, Daniel, and Job would deliver only their own souls, he is saying that those men would