In this house, the great evangelist, George Whitefield breathed his last.
Even up till the day of his death, Whitfield never tired, nor retired from preaching the Gospel. Before Whitefield preached to a large crowd in Exeter, a bystander said to him, “Sir, you are more fit to go to bed than to preach.” Whitefield answered, “True, sir;” and looking up he said, “Lord Jesus, I am weary in thy work, but not of thy work. If I have not yet finished my course, let me go and speak for thee one more time in the fields, seal thy truth, and come home and die.” After preaching, he made his way to Old South Presbyterian Church in Newberryport, MA in need of rest. When he arrived at the home of Jonathan Parsons, the pastor, he told him that he was tired and needed to go to bed. By that time, the street in front of the house had filled with many people begging to hear him preach. Even though he was physically spent, he couldn’t resist an opportunity to preach the Gospel once more. As he wearily made his way up the stairs, people crowded into the house eagerly waiting to hear him again. He stood on the landing halfway up the stairs, candle in hand, heedless of time, and preached until the candle flickered, and finally went out. Retiring to his bed, finding it hard breathe as a result of his asthma, he continued to struggle through the night. At about two-o’clock in the morning, Richard Smith, brought him some cider and said to him that he shouldn’t preach so often. Whitefield replied, “I had rather wear out, than rust out.” By morning he had breathed his last.
Whitefield shows us the importance of playing our part to the very end and fulfilling the calling that God has given us.
“Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them.” Romans 12:6
(From, Gillies Life of George Whitefield, page 270.)