" ... In the Fall of 1756 George Whitefield preached at St. Michael’s Anglican Church in the village of Haworth, north England. The local pastor, William Grimshaw, was a godly man and powerful in the Scripture. Whitefield stood on a platform erected outside an open window of the church where he could be heard by those crowded within the building and the several thousand standing without. He paused silently to pray and then in a loud, commanding voice, announced his text: "It is appointed unto men once to die, and after death the judgment."
Before he could speak his next words there was a loud shriek from the audience. A person had dropped dead. There was a moment of confusion as Reverend Grimshaw rushed in that direction. The dead person was carried away. After a pause, Whitefield repeated the text loudly again, "It is appointed unto men once to die, and after death the judgment."
From a different section came another shriek. A second person had dropped dead. Both had died instantly upon hearing Whitefield’s announcement about death and judgement. This one was also carried out of the crowd. From the place where the second person had fallen, Grimshaw shouted to Whitefield, "You are standing between the living and the dead!" His reference was to the time when Aaron stood with his censer between those alive and those who perished under God’s judgment. Numbers 16:48.
We know nothing about those who died that day, the condition of their souls, or why God chose to call them to judgement at the moment Whitefield proclaimed the word. But you and I do know that a holy terror gripped the people standing before him. Whitfield was no ordinary preacher. He was an anointed man of God. The congregation learned in a terrifying way that the Holy Spirit was confirming Whitfield’s word with "signs following." Mark 16 20.
The gifts and power of the Holy
Spirit are still available to the church today. Pray for the success of this
book: Sunrise of David/Sunset of Saul.