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225 Years Ago

Journals can tell us much about the day to day activities of people long ago. August 19, 1781, exactly 225 years ago, was a Sunday. On that day, Hezekiah Smith, the pastor of Haverhill Baptist Church in Massachusetts, recorded that he preached two sermons at his home church on Malachi 3:2. They were the completion of two sermons that he preached on the same text the Sunday before. We do not have these sermons in print, but it would have been interesting to hear four sermons preached on the text: "But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap." At this same time, the American Revolutionary is not yet over. However, the British General Cornwallis has already retreated to Yorktown and is building his defenses there. He will surrender to the American Forces under General George Washington on October 19, 1781.

On that same day, John Wesley was in London. He records that in the evening he took a coach to Bath where he preached on Monday evening. His fellow traveller on the coach trip was George Whitfield. However, this could not be the famous evangelist, George Whitefield, since he had died in America in 1770. The famous Whitefield had a nephew named George and this could have been John Wesley's companion.