On the Death of the Reverend Mr. George Whitefield

Written Text

Hail, happy Saint, on thy immortal throne!

To thee complaints of grievance are unknown;

We hear no more the music of thy tongue,

Thy wonted auditories cease to throng.

Thy lessons in unequal’d accents flow’d!

While emulation in each bosom glow’d;

Thou didst, in strains of eloquence refin’d,

Inflame the soul, and captivate the mind.

Unhappy we, the setting Sun deplore!

Which once was splendid, but it shines no more;

He leaves this earth for Heav’n’s unmeasur’d height,

And worlds unknown, receive him from our sight;

There WHITEFIELD wings, with rapid course his way,

And sails to Zion, through vast seas of day.

When his AMERICANS were burden’d sore,

When streets were crimson’d with their guiltless gore!

Unrival’d friendship in his breast now strove:

The fruit thereof was charity and love.

Towards America – couldst thou do more

Than leave thy native home, the British shore,

To cross the great Atlantic’s wat’ry road,

To see America’s distress’d abode?T

hy prayers, great Saint, and thy incessant cries,

Have pierc’d the bosom of thy native skies!

Thou moon hast seen, and ye bright stars of light

Have witness been of his requests by night!

He pray’d that grace in every heart might dwell:

He long’d to see America excell;

He charg’d its youth to let the grace divine

Arise, and in their future actions shine;

He offer’d THAT he did himself receive,

A greater gift not GOD himself can give:

He urg’d the need of HIM to every one;

It was no less than GOD’s co-equal SON!

Take HIM ye wretched for your only good;

Take HIM ye starving souls to be your food.

Ye thirsty, come to his life giving stream:

Ye Preachers, take him for your joyful theme:

Take HIM, “my dear AMERICANS,” he said,

Be your complaints in his kind bosom laid:

Take HIM ye Africans, he longs for you;

Impartial SAVIOUR, is his title due;

If you will chuse to walk in grace’s road,

You shall be sons, and kings, and priests to GOD.

Great COUNTESS! we Americans revere

Thy name, and thus condole thy grief sincere:

We mourn with thee, that TOMB obscurely plac’d,

In which thy Chaplain undisturb’d doth rest.

New-England sure, doth feel the ORPHAN’s smart;

Reveals the true sensations of his heart:

Since this fair Sun, withdraws his golden rays,

No more to brighten these distressful days!

His lonely Tabernacle, sees no more

A WHITEFIELD landing on the British shore:

Then let us view him in yon azure skies:

Let every mind with this lov’d object rise.

No more can he exert his lab’ring breath,

Seiz’d by the cruel messenger of death.

What can his dear AMERICA return?

But drop a tear upon his happy urn,

Thou tomb, shalt safe retain thy sacred trust,

Till life divine re-animate his dust.