Chapter 7 discusses Whitefield’s initial voyage from England to the colony of Georgia.
Here is a description of his situation on the ship Whitaker as they journey began:
“The captains, both of the soldiers and sailors, with the surgeon an a young cadet, gave him soon to understand that they looked on him as an impostor, for a while treated him as such. The first Lord’s Day one of them played on the hautboy and nothing was to be seen but cards, and little heard but cursing and swearing. I could do no more for a season [writes Whitfield], than whilst I was writing, now and then turn my head by way of reproof to a lieutenant who swore as though he was born of a swearing constitution. Now and then he would take the hint, return my nod with a ‘Doctor, I ask your pardon’, and then to his swearing and cards again.'” [pg=152]
Now read about the transition on the Whitaker:
“The next step was taken by Captain Whiting. Affected by the work of the Gospel in his own heart, and concerned now for the spiritual welfare of his men, he ordered that chairs be set out on the deck and planks placed across them for the soldiers and passengers to sit during the services. Thus the deck of the Whitaker became a sort of floating chapel and, since Whitfield says that he ‘arranged to meet with any soldiers who could sing by note, to join divine Psalmody every day’, we can wonder whether he intended to supply it with a male choir.” [pg=154]
This account describes Whitefield’s arrival to Gibraltar the headquarters of the British Fleet on the way to Georgia:
“Whitfield found he was already known at the Rock and was treated as something of a celebrity. He was provided with goodly accommodation on shore, the ministers of the Church of England asked him to conduct daily prayers and to preach on Sundays,and the Governor invited him to dine daily at his mansion.” [pg=155]
Chapter 7 recounts Whitefield’s relentless efforts to minister to the soldiers and travelers on board the Whitaker. The fruit was a complete turn around amongst the people. You should read it for your self to gain insight into how Whitfield was so able to bring a transformation during the voyage.