This chapter discusses GW’s second trip to the Colonies. His mission: work throughout the land because during his initial trip he stayed in Savannah. While at the time the widest part of the Colonies was 50 miles yet the trip from top to bottom was 1300 miles (pg 451).
Two major results from the trip: he was able to preach from New York to Charleston and he established his theological position as Bible first over tradition or sect (432).
Apparently GW’s fame in England was being heard in the Colonies. When he arrived in Lewis Town, Delaware the Mayor invited him to preach a sermon to them. (pg 451). He then departed for Philadelphia because it was the center geographically of the Colonies and the base from which he would get to know the land (451).
To show his popularity and reception immediately after he arrived in Philadelphia (Nov. 2, 1739) he ‘read prayers’ and assisted at the Church of England’s Sunday service, he met the Presbyterian and Baptist minister and even Thomas Penn son of William Penn founder of Pennsylvania. He was invited to preach by the people so much he preached in the open air at the Court House stairs to about 6,000 people. People began to come to him to received ministry. His popularity was exploding (432)
During his nine days in Philadelphia he met Mr. William Tennent and joined with him to take a stand against formality and deadness (435). This act put him at odds with the clergy who had so warmly received him.
Thomas Noble, a wealthy supporter, invited GW to New York City where he ultimately preached in the open air. Page 434-436 contains a first hand account of GW’s preaching. The account ultimately says this:
He prays earnestly that God would destroy all that bigotry and party zeal that has divided Christians. He supposes some of Christ’s flock are to be found under every denomination…He declares that his whole view in preaching is to bring men to Christ, to deliver them from their false confidences, to raise them from their dead formalities, to revive primitive Christianity among them; and if he can obtain this end he will leave them to their liberty, and they may go to what church, and worship God in what form they like best.
This view put him into relationships with Pastors and people of all types; and led him to preach in any church that invited him and the open fields. It appeared also to open doors in other realms like elected officials and eventually unconverted and influential men like. Ben Franklin