In 1739 the Reverend Whitefield arrived in Philadelphia to preach, but the clergy refused him the use of their churches. He therefore preached in the fields, where huge crowds gathered to hear him. Franklin used Whitefield's outdoor sermons to estimate that thirty thousand might possibly hear him simultaneously, and to verify for himself the possible truth of historical accounts that generals had harangued whole armies. Franklin observed that Whitefield's older sermons were so well-practiced and modulated that they resembled "an excellent Piece of Music" and concluded that an itinerant preacher had some definite advantages over one who could not rehearse his sermons. Soon money was collected for a meetinghouse where Whitefield and any other preacher of any persuasion might
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