William White Sermon, Of Anticipation of Heaven [18th-19th century]
William White was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Colonel Thomas White and Esther Hewlings on April 4, 1748. After graduating from the College of Philadelphia (now the University of Pennsylvania) in 1765, he studied religion with Episcopal minister William Smith, and was ordained in England on April 25, 1772. He served as rector of Philadelphia's Christ Church from 1779 to 1836, and eventually became a figurehead within the North American Episcopal community. A strong advocate for the consecration of bishops in American constituencies, he was consecrated as the bishop for the Pennsylvania diocese in 1786, and he served as the Protestant Episcopal Church's presiding bishop from 1795 until his death. He and his wife, Mary Harrison, married in 1773 and had eight children. Bishop William White died in Philadelphia on July 17, 1836.