I Run For My Horse With All My Might

Nathan Cole, a farmer and carpenter of Kensington Parish (now Berlin, Connecticut), lived about 12 miles from Middletown, where George Whitefield was to preach on October 23, 1740.

I was in my field at work; I dropped my tool that I had in my hand and ran home to my wife, telling her to make ready quickly to go and hear Mr. Whitfield [sic] preach at Middletown, then run to my pasture for my horse with all my might, fearing that I should be too late. . . .

As I came nearer the road, I heard a noise something like a low rumbling thunder and presently found it was the noise of horses’ feet coming down the road. . . . Every horse seemed to go with all his might to carry his rider to hear news from heaven for the saving of souls. It made me tremble. . . .

I turned and looked towards the Great River [Connecticut Riverl and saw the ferry boats running swift backward and forward bringing over loads of people. . . .

The land and banks over the river looked black with people and horses. All along the 12 miles I saw no man at work in his field, but all seemed to be gone.

When I saw Mr. Whitfield come upon the scaffold, he looked almost angelical—a young, slim, slender youth before some thousands of people with a bold, undaunted countenance. And my hearing how God was with him everywhere as he came along, it solemnized my mind and put me into a trembling fear before he began to preach. For he looked as if he was clothed with authority from the Great God, and a sweet solemn solemnity sat upon his brow, and my hearing him preach gave me a heart wound. By God’s blessing my old foundation was broken up, and I saw that my righteousness would not save me.

By Nathan Cole

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #38 in 1993]

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