Affected Souls

Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meat offering and the drink offering is withholden from the house of your God. Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD, Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.
~ Joel 1:13-15

A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
~ Joel 2:2-3

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
~ Joel 2:28-32

But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
~ Jonah 3:8-10

Some Letters Relating to the Revival, by Jonathan Edwards.

TO DEACON LYMAN OF GOSHEN, CONNECTICUT.

Northampton, Aug 31, 1741.

Dear Friend,

In my prodigious fullness of business, and great infirmity of body, I have time to write but very briefly concerning those things you mention. Concerning the great stir that is in the land, and those extraordinary circumstances and events that it is attended with, such as persons crying out, and being set into great agonies, with a sense of sin and wrath, and having their strength taken away, and their minds extraordinarily transported with light, love and comfort, I have been abundantly amongst such things, and have had great opportunity to observe them, here and elsewhere, in their beginning, progress, issue and consequences; and however there may be some mixtures of natural affection, and sometimes of temptation, and some imprudences and irregularities, as there always was, and always will be in this imperfect state; yet as to the work in general, and the main of what is to be observed in these extraordinary things, they have all the clear and incontestable evidences of a true divine work. If this ben’t the work of God, I have all my religion to learn over again, and know not what use to make of the Bible.

As to any absolute promises made to natural men, the matter is exceeding plain. God makes no promises of any future eternal good to fallen man in any other covenant but the covenant of grace; but how can they have any interest in the promises of the covenant of grace, that have no interest in the Mediator of that covenant, and never have performed the condition of that covenant, which is faith in the Mediator? The Scripture is ignorant of any other way of coming to a title to any promises of God, but only laying hold of the promises by faith, which surely men that have no faith don’t do.

As to the ministers that go about the country to preach, I believe most of the clamor that is made against them must needs be from some other principle than a regard to the interest of religion; because I observe now there is vastly a greater outcry against ministers riding about to preach the Gospel, than used to be heretofore when ministers rode about on the business of a physician, though that be so much more alien from their proper work and though they were gone from their own people five times as much. But I observe that nowadays no irregularities are so much cried out against as exceeding in religion. As to ministers that ride about the country, I can’t say how the case is circumstanced with all of them, but I believe they are exceedingly misrepresented. Mr. Pomeroy 1 and Mr. Wheelock 2 have been cried out as much as most, and by particular opportunity I have had to know how it has been with them, they scarcely ever are absent from their people on the Sabbath, and are very careful not to leave them destitute; and are not wont to go abroad but only where they are invited, and not to go into other ministers’ pulpits without their consent, and rarely without having (it) desired of them; and at the same time are more abundant in labors among their own people than ever.

I rejoice to hear of the flourishing of the work of God in your parts: I hope God will cause it to prevail against all opposition. Let us look to God to plead his own cause, and to get to himself the victory. Seek to him to direct you and give you wisdom, and humility, and zeal. I desire your prayers for me. I am your sincere and entire friend,
— Jonathan Edwards.

P.S. The Rev. Mr, Williams of Hatfield3 died this morning.

TO THE REV. JAMES ROBE OF KILSYTH, SCOTLAND Printed in The Christian Monthly History, ed. by James Robe, vol. 5, no. 5 (Edinburgh, Aug. 1745), pp. 126–31. (See above, p. 84.) Northampton,May 12, 1743Rev. and Dear Sir,

Last week I was surprised with the unexpected favor of your letter, with one from Mr. MacLaurin.1 It may well make me blush at the consideration of my vileness, to receive such undeserved testimonies of respect from servants of the Lord, at so great a distance, and that have been so highly favored and honored of God as you have been. Pleasant and joyful are the accounts which we have lately had from Scotland, concerning the kingdom of our God there, for which we and the world are specially indebted to you, who have honored your dear Lord, and refreshed and served his church, by the accounts you have published in your narrative and journals of the work of God in Kilsyth, and other parts in the West of Scotland, 2 Future generations will own themselves indebted to you for those accounts. I congratulate you, dear Sir, on the advantages God has put you under to favor the church of God with a narrative of his glorious works, by having made you the instrument of so much of them, and giving you such glorious success in your own congregation. The accounts which we have received from you are, on some accounts, more pleasant and agreeable than what we have had to send to you: the work of God with you has been less mixed with error and extravagance; you have taken a more wise and prudent care to prevent things of that nature, or to suppress them as soon as they have appeared; and ministers that have been the principal promoters of the work, have seemed to be more happily united in their sentiments, and so under greater advantage to assist one another, and to act as co-workers and fellow helpers.

You have heard great things from New England of late, which, I doubt not, have refreshed and rejoiced your hearts; and indeed, great and wonderful have the things been in which God has passed before us. But now we have not such joyful news to send you; the clouds have lately thickened, and our hemisphere is now much darkened with them. There is a great decay of the work of God amongst us, especially as to the awakening and converting influence of the Spirit of God; and the prejudices there are, in a great part of the country, are riveted and inveterate. The people are divided into two parties, those that favor the work and those that are against it, and the distinction has long been growing more and more visible, and the distance greater, till there is at length raised a wall between them up to heaven; so that one party is very much out of the reach of all influence of the other.3 This is very much owing to imprudent management in the friends of the work, and a corrupt mixture which Satan has found means to introduce, and our manifold sinful errors by which we have grieved and quenched the Spirit of God.

It can scarcely be conceived of what consequence it is, to the continuance and propagation of a revival of religion, that the utmost care be used to prevent error and disorder among those that appear to be the subjects of such a work; as also, that all imaginable care be taken by ministers in conducting souls under the work; and particularly that there be the greatest caution used in comforting and establishing persons, as being safe and past danger of hell. Many among us have been ready to think that all high raptures are divine; but experience plainly shews that it is not the degree of rapture and ecstasy (though it should be to the third heavens), but the nature and kind that must determine us in their favor. It would have been better for us, if all ministers here had taken care diligently to distinguish such joys and raised affections, as were attended with deep humiliation, brokenness of heart, poverty of spirit, mourning for sin, solemnity of spirit, a trembling reverence towards God, tenderness of spirit, self-jealousy and fear, and great engagedness of heart after holiness of life, and a readiness to esteem others better than themselves; and that sort of humility that is not a noisy showy humility, but rather this which disposes to walk softly and speak trembling; and if we had encouraged no discoveries or joys but such as manifestly wrought this way, it would have been well for us.

And I am persuaded we shall generally be sensible, before long, that we run too fast when we endeavor by our positive determinations to banish all fears of damnation from the minds of men, though they may be true saints, if they are not such as are eminently humble and mortified, and (what the Apostle calls) “rooted and grounded in love” (Ephesians 3:17). It seems to be running before the Spirit of God. God by his Spirit does not give assurance any other way, than by advancing these things in the soul: he does not wholly cast out fear, the legal principle, but by advancing and filling the soul full of love, the evangelical principle. When love is low in the true saint, they need the fear of hell to deter them from sin, and engage them to exactness in their walk, and stir them up to seek heaven; but when love is high, and the soul full of it, we don’t need fear. And therefore a wise God has so ordered it that love and fear should rise and fall like the scales of a balance: when one rises, the other falls, as there is need, or as light and darkness take place of each other in a room, as light decays, darkness comes in, and as light increases and fills the room, darkness is cast out; so love, or the spirit of adoption, casts out fear, the spirit of bondage. And experience convinces me, that even in the brightest and most promising appearances of new converts, it would have been better for us to have encouraged them only as it were conditionally, after the example of the Apostle, Hebrews 3:6, “Whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end”; and vs. Hebrews 3:14, “For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.” And after the example of Christ, Revelation 2:10, “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” So Luke 21:34–36, and in many other places.

‘Tis probable that one reason why God has suffered us to err, is to teach us wisdom, by experience of the ill consequence of our errors. What you relate of the opposition of the Seceding ministers is very surprising; especially of the two Erskines, whose writings, especially Mr. Ralph Erskine’s Gospel Sonnets, have been in great repute among God’s people here: 4 but this is a day of wonders of various kinds. I have reason to admire divine condescension in making any use of anything I have written for the defense of the work of God in Scotland.

As to what you propose concerning my writing a narrative, etc., I am not conveniently situated for it, living in an extreme part of the land, and an hundred miles from the press, as well as on many other accounts unfit for it. But Mr. Prince of Boston, who is every way fit, and under good advantages for it, has already undertaken it, and, I suppose, will prosecute the undertaking, so far as it shall be thought for God’s glory.5

I hope, dear Sir, you’ll remember me in your prayers. Never was I so sensible in any measure how vain a creature man is; what a leaf driven of the wind, what dry stubble, what poor dust, a bubble, a shadow, a nothing, and more vain than nothing; and what a vain and vile helpless creature I am, and how much I need God’s help in everything, as of late. Dear Sir, don’t forget New England; and don’t forget your affectionate and obliged brother and servant, and unworthy fellow laborer,
— Jonathan Edwards.

TO THE REV. WILLIAM McCULLOCH OF CAMBUSLANG, SCOTLAND Original in Andover Collection; printed (with minor changes) in Dwight, Life of President Edwards, pp. 196–98. (See above, pp. 84–85.) Northampton, May 12, 1743

Rev. and Dear Sir,

Mr. MacLaurin 1 of Glasgow, in a letter he has lately sent me, informs me of your proposing to write a letter to me, and being prevented by the failing of the expected opportunity: I thank you, Rev. Sir, that you had such a thing in your heart. We were informed the last year, by the printed and well attested narrative of the glorious work of God in your parish, which we have since understood has spread into many other towns and parishes in that part of Scotland; especially are we informed of this by Mr. Robe’s Narrative, 2 and I perceive by some papers of the Weekly History, 3 sent me by Mr. MacLaurin of Glasgow, that the work has continued to make glorious progress at Cambuslang, even till it has prevailed to a wonderful degree indeed. God has highly favored and honored you, dear Sir, which may justly render your name precious to all that love our Lord Jesus Christ.

We live in a day wherein God is doing marvellous things; in that respect we are distinguished from former generations. God has wrought great things in New England, which, though exceeding glorious, have all along been attended with some threatening clouds; which from the beginning caused me to apprehend some great stop or check to be put to the work, before it should be begun and carried on in its genuine purity and beauty, to subdue all before it, and to prevail with an irresistible and continual progress and triumph; and it is come to pass according to my apprehensions. But yet I cannot think otherwise, than that what has now been doing, is the forerunner of something vastly greater, more pure, and more extensive. I can’t think that God has come down from heaven, and done such great things before our eyes, and gone so much beside and beyond his usual way of working, and wrought so wonderfully, and that he has gone away with a design to leave things thus. “Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things?” And will God, when he has wrought so unusually, and made the earth “to bring forth in one day, (…) bring to the birth and not cause to bring forth?” And shall he “cause to bring forth and shut the womb?” (Isaiah 66:8–9) I live upon the brink of the grave, in great infirmity of body, and nothing is more uncertain than whether I shall live to see it: but I believe God will revive his work again before long, and that it will not wholly cease till it has subdued the whole earth.

But God is now going and returning to his place, till we acknowledge our offense, and I hope to humble his church in New England, and purify it, and so fit it for yet greater comfort, that he designs in due time to bestow upon it. God may deal with his church, as he deals with a particular saint; commonly after his first comfort, the clouds return, and there (is) a season of remarkable darkness, and hidings of God’s face, and buffetings of Satan; but all to fit (him) for greater mercy; and as it was with Christ himself, who presently after the heavens were opened over his head, and the Spirit was poured out upon him, and God wonderfully testified his love to him, was driven into the wilderness to be tempted of the Devil forty days (Matthew 3:16–4:1 and parallels). I hope God will show us our errors, and teach us wisdom by his present withdrawings: now in the day of adversity we have time and cause to consider, and begin now to have opportunity to see the consequences of our conduct. I wish that God’s ministers and people everywhere would take warning by our errors, and the calamities that are the issue of them. I have mentioned several things in my letters to Mr. MacLaurin and Mr. Robe; 4 another I might have mentioned, that most evidently proves of ill consequence, i.e. we have run from one extreme to another, with respect to talking of experiences; that whereas formerly there was too great a reservedness in this matter, of late many have gone to an unbounded openness, frequency and constancy in talking of their experiences, declaring almost everything that passes between God and their own souls, everywhere and before everybody. Among other ill consequences of such a practice this is one, that religion runs all into that channel; and religion is placed very much in it, so that the strength of it seems to be spent in it; that other duties that are of vastly greater importance, have been looked upon (as) light in comparison of this, so that other parts of religion have (been) really much injured thereby; as when we see a tree excessively full of leaves, we find so much less fruit; and when a cloud arises with an excessive degree of wind, we have the less rain. How much, dear Sir, does God’s church at such a day need the constant gracious care and guidance of our good Shepherd, and especially we that are ministers?

I should be glad, dear Sir, of a remembrance in your prayers, and also of your help, by information and instructions, by what you find in your experience in Scotland. I believe it to be the duty of one part of the church of God thus to help another.

I am, dear Sir, your affectionate brother and servant in Jesus Christ.
— Jonathan Edwards

TO THE CONVOCATION OF EVANGELICAL PASTORS A published testimony “From Seven Rev. Pastors in the County of Hampshire,” printed in The Christian History for August 6, 1743 (vol. I, no. 23). After the antirevival faction published its Testimony of May 25, 1743, evangelicals hastily summoned a convocation to issue a counter-testimony, and invited prorevival pastors who could not attend to submit letters of attestation and support. (See above, p. 79.) JE did not attend, presumably for reasons stated in this letter, but joined six fellow ministers of his area in sending the brief testimony printed below. County of Hampshire,June 30, 1743Rev. and Honored Sirs,

Whereas an advertisement hath lately been published, wherein it is signified, that it is the desire of a number of ministers that there should be a meeting of all such ministers in this province as are persuaded that there has of late been a happy revival of religion in the land, at Boston, the day after (Harvard’s) Commencement, to give a joint testimony to the late glorious work of God’s grace, and to consult what should be done to promote this work, and to suppress those things that bring a reproach upon it and hinder it; and in the same advertisement it is desired that if any such ministers are not able to be present at this interview, they would not fail to send their testimony and thoughts in writing: we whose names are subscribed to this, living at a great distance, and our circumstances not well allowing us to go so great a journey at the time proposed, would hereby signify; that according to what understanding we have of the nature of Christianity, and the observation we have had opportunity to make, we judge that there has been within the last two years and an half, a blessed outpouring of the Spirit of God in this county, in awakening and converting sinners, and in enlightening, quickening and building up saints in faith, holiness and comfort; which has been attended in great numbers with an abiding alteration and reformation of disposition and behavior. And particularly we would hereby declare to the glory of God’s grace, that we judge that there has been a happy revival of religion in the congregations that have been committed to our pastoral care, and that there are many in them that, by abiding manifestations of a serious, religious and humble spirit, and a conscientious care and watchfulness in their behavior towards God and man, give all grounds of charity towards them, as having been sincere in the profession they have made. And however there has been, especially in some places, a mixture of enthusiasm and false religion, and some have run into great errors in their conduct, and some have fallen away, and there is a declension in others that is to be lamented; yet we think the effect has been such, and still continues to be such, as leaves no room reasonably to doubt of God’s having been wonderfully in the midst of us, and such as has laid us under great obligations forever to admire and extol the riches of his grace in doing such great things for us.

Thus, Rev. Sirs, begging of him that he would be with you in your meeting, and guide you in your thoughts and conclusions with respect to these things, and direct you to that which may be for his glory and the prosperity of Zion, and desiring your prayers to God for us, and the flocks committed to our care, we remain, honored and dear Sirs, your brethren and fellow servants in the Gospel ministry.

Stephen Williams, pastor of a church in Springfield

Peter Reynolds, pastor of the church in Enfield

Jonathan Edwards, pastor of the church in Northampton

Samuel Allis, pastor of the church in Somers

John Woodbridge, pastor of the Second Church in Hadley

David Parsons, Jr., pastor of the Third Church in Hadley

Edward Billing, pastor of the church in Cold Spring 1

TO THE REV. THOMAS PRINCE, OF BOSTON Evidently intended for publication, this letter was entitled “The State of Religion at Northampton in the County of Hampshire, About a Hundred Miles Westward of Boston,” and published in The Christian History, 1 (Jan. 14, 21, and 28, 1743/4), 367–81. It is also in Dwight, Life of President Edwards, pp. 160–70. (See above, pp. 85–86.)

(The following contains an excerpt from his letter.)

Northampton, Dec 12, 1743.

Rev. and Dear Sir,

Ever since the great work of God that was wrought here about nine years ago, there has been a great abiding alteration in this town in many respects. There has been vastly more religion kept up in the town, among all sorts of persons, in religious exercises and in common conversation, than used to be before: there has remained a more general seriousness and decency in attending the public worship; there has been a very great alteration among the youth of the town, with respect to reveling, frolicking, profane and unclean conversation, and lewd songs; instances of fornication have been very rare; there has also been a great alteration amongst both old and young with respect to tavern-haunting. I suppose the town has been in no measure so free of vice in these respects, for any long time together, for this sixty years, as it has been this nine years past. There has also been an evident alteration with respect to a charitable spirit to the poor (though I think with regard to this, we in this town, as the land in general, come far short of Gospel rules). And though after that great work nine years ago there has been a very lamentable decay of religious affections, and the engagedness of people’s spirit in religion, yet many societies for prayer and social religion were all along kept up, and there were some few instances of awakening and deep concern about the things of another world, even in the most dead time.

In the year 1740 in the spring, before Mr. Whitefield came this town, 1 there was a visible alteration: there was more seriousness and religious conversation, especially among young people. Those things that were of ill tendency among them were more foreborne; and it was a more frequent thing for persons to visit their minister upon soul accounts, and in some particular persons there appeared a great alteration about that time. And thus it continued till Mr. Whitefield came to town, which was about the middle of October following: he preached here four sermons in the meetinghouse (besides a private lecture at my house), one on Friday, another on Saturday, and two upon the Sabbath. The congregation was extraordinarily melted by every sermon; almost the whole assembly being in tears for a great part of sermon time. Mr. Whitefield’s sermons were suitable to the circumstances of the town; containing just reproofs of our backslidings, and in a most moving and affecting manner, making use of our great profession and great mercies as arguments with us to return to God, from whom we had departed. Immediately after this the minds of the people in general appeared more engaged in religion, shewing a greater forwardness to make religion the subject of their conversation, and to meet frequently together for religious purposes, and to embrace all opportunities to hear the Word preached. The revival at first appeared chiefly among professors, and those that had entertained the hope that they were in a state of grace, to whom Mr. Whitefield chiefly addressed himself, but in a very short time there appeared an awakening and deep concern among some young persons that looked upon themselves as in a Christless state; and there were some hopeful appearances of conversion; and some professors were greatly revived. In about a month or six weeks there was a great alteration in the town, both as to the revivals of professors, and awakenings of others. By the middle of December a very considerable work of God appeared among those that were very young, and the revival of religion continued to increase; so that in the spring, an engagedness of spirit about things of religion was become very general amongst young people and children, and religious subjects almost wholly took up their conversation when they were together.

In the month of May 1741, a sermon was preached to a company at a private house. Near the conclusion of the exercise one or two Persons that were professors were so greatly affected with a sense of the greatness and glory of divine things, and the infinite importance of the things of eternity, that they were not able to conceal it; the affection of their minds overcoming their strength, and having a very visible effect on their bodies. When the exercise was over, the young people that were present removed into the other room for religious conference; and particularly that they might have opportunity to inquire of those that were thus affected what apprehensions they had; and what things they were that thus deeply impressed their minds: and there soon appeared a very great effect of their conversation; the affection was quickly propagated through the room: many of the young people and children that were professors appeared to be overcome with a sense of the greatness and glory of divine things, and with admiration, love, joy and praise, and compassion to others that looked upon themselves as in a state of nature; and many others at the same time were overcome with distress about their sinful and miserable state and condition; so that the whole room was full of nothing but outcries, faintings and such like. Others soon heard of it, in several parts of the town, and came to them; and what they saw and heard there was greatly affecting to them; so that many of them were overpowered in like manner: and it continued thus for some hours; the time being spent in prayer, singing, counseling and conferring. There seemed to be a consequent happy effect of that meeting to several particular persons, and in the state of religion in the town in general.

After this were meetings from time to time attended with like appearances. But a little after it, at the conclusion of the public exercise on the Sabbath, I appointed the children that were under sixteen years of age to go from the meetinghouse to a neighbor house; that I there might further enforce what they had heard in public, and might give in some counsels proper for their age. The children were there very generally and greatly affected with the warnings and counsels that were given them, and many exceedingly overcome; and the room was filled with cries: and when they were dismissed, they, almost all of them, went home crying aloud through the streets, to all parts of the town. The like appearances attended several such meetings of children that were appointed. But their affections appeared by what followed to be of a very different nature: in many they appeared to be indeed but childish affections; and in a day or two would leave them as they were before: others were deeply impressed; their convictions took fast hold of them, and abode by them: and there were some that from one meeting to another seemed extraordinarily affected for some time, to but little purpose, their affections presently vanishing from time to time, but yet afterwards were seized with abiding convictions, and their affections became durable.

About the middle of the summer, I called together the young people that were communicants, from sixteen to twenty-six years of age to my house; which proved to be a most happy meeting: many seemed to be very greatly and most agreeably affected with those views which excited humility, self-condemnation, self-abhorrence, love and joy: many fainted under these affections. We had several meetings that summer of young people attended with like appearances. It was about that time that there first began to be cryings out in the meetinghouse; which several times occasioned many of the congregation to stay in the house after the public exercise was over, to confer with those who seemed to be overcome with religious convictions and affections; which was found to tend much to the propagation of their impressions, with lasting effect upon many; conference being at these times commonly joined with prayer and singing. In the summer and fall the children in various parts of the town had religious meetings by themselves for prayer, sometimes joined with fasting; wherein many of them seemed to be greatly and properly affected, and I hope some of them (were) savingly wrought upon.

The months of August and September (1741) were the most remarkable of any this year, for appearances of conviction and conversion of sinners, and great revivings, quickenings, and comforts of professors, and for extraordinary external effects of these things. It was a very frequent thing to see an house full of outcries, faintings, convulsions and such like, both with distress, and also with admiration and joy. It was not the manner here to hold meetings all night, as in some places, nor was it common to continue them till very late in the night: but it was pretty often so that there were some that were so affected, and their bodies so overcome, that they could not go home, but were obliged to stay all night at the house where they were. There was no difference that I know of here, With regard to these extraordinary effects, in meetings in the night and in the daytime: the meetings in which these effects appeared in the evening, being commonly begun, and their extraordinary effects, in the day, and continued in the evening; and some meetings have been very remarkable for such extraordinary effects that were both begun and finished in the daytime.

There was an appearance of a glorious progress of the work of God upon the hearts of sinners in conviction and conversion this summer and fall; and great numbers, I think we have reason to hope, were brought savingly home to Christ. But this was remarkable: the work of God in his influences of this nature seemed to be almost wholly upon a new generation; those that were not come to years of discretion in that wonderful season nine years ago, children, or those that were then children: others that had enjoyed that former glorious opportunity without any appearance of saving benefit, seemed now to be almost wholly passed over and let alone. But now we had the most wonderful work among children that ever was in Northampton. The former great outpouring of the Spirit was remarkable for influences upon the minds of children, beyond all that had ever been before; but this far exceeded that. Indeed, as to influences on the minds of professors, this work was by no means confined to a new generation: many of all ages partook of it; but yet, in this respect it was more general on those that were of the younger sort. Many that had formerly been wrought upon, that in the times of our declension had fallen into decays, and had in a great measure left God, and gone after the world, now passed under a very remarkable new work of the Spirit of God, as if they had been the subjects of a second conversion. They were first led into the wilderness, and had a work of conviction, having much greater convictions of the sin of both nature and practice than ever before (though with some new circumstances, and something new in the kind of conviction); in some with great distress, beyond what they had felt before their first conversion. Under these convictions they were excited to strive for salvation, and the kingdom of heaven suffered violence from some of them in a far more remarkable manner than before: and after great convictions and humblings, and agonizings with God, they had Christ discovered to them anew as an all-sufficient Saviour; and in the glories of his grace, and in a far more clear manner than before, and with greater humility, self-emptiness and brokenness of heart, and a purer and higher joy, and greater desires after holiness of life, but with greater self-diffidence, and distrust of their treacherous hearts.

—————
Footnotes:
1. (Benjamin Pomeroy, pastor at Hebron, Conn.; see above, p. 108 n. 4.)
2. (Eleazar Wheelock, pastor at Lebanon Crank (now Columbia), Conn.; see above, p. 120 n. 4.)
3. (William Williams, JE’s uncle; see above, p. 8 n. 6.)

1. (John MacLaurin (1693–1754) was a prominent Scottish Presbyterian minister, pastor in the Ramshorn parish of northwest Glasgow 1723–54.)
2. (James Robe, A Faithful Narrative of the Extraordinary Work of the Spirit of God at Kilsyth, and Other Congregations in the Neighborhood near Glasgow (Glasgow, 1742). Robe continued the story of the Scottish revivals by adding sporadic installments serially to his account, and it became known popularly as “The Kilsyth Narrative.” Some were published occasionally in his Christian Monthly History (Edinburgh, 1743–46), and the final one (Part 8) was printed in 1751 as a separate pamphlet which also incorporated a letter of attestation from William McCulloch of nearby Cambuslang (see below, p. 539). All the pieces were collected later and published as A Narrative of the Extraordinary Work of the Spirit of God at Cambuslang, Kilsyth, etc., Begun 1742. Written by James Robe and Others. With Attestations by Ministers, Preachers, etc. (Glasgow, 1790). JE probably read “The Kilsyth Narrative” in Thomas Prince’s Christian History, which began publication in March 1743 with reprints of Robe’s early installments (1, 3–56, 87–93, 300–36, 341–52; 2, 173–215).)
3. (Cf. above, p. 65.)
4. (Ebenezer Erskine (1680–1754) and others withdrew from the Church of Scotland in 1733 to form the Secession Church. His brother Ralph (1658–1752), who also seceded, was of a poetic turn, although his enormously popular Gospel Sonnets (Edinburgh, 1720; 25th ed., 1798), contained no sonnets but the outlines of a theological system in verse.)
5. (JE refers to The Christian History, which began publication in March 1743; see above, p. 59.)

1. (See above, p. 535 n. 1.)
2. (See above, p. 535 n. 2.)
3. (The Glasgow Weekly History Relating to the Late Progress of the Gospel at Home and Abroad; Being a Collection of Letters, Partly Reprinted from The London Weekly History and Partly Printed First Here at Glasgow. For the Year 1742 (Glasgow, 1743). Published during 1742 only, this periodical “seems to have been chiefly under Mr. McCulloch’s management” (D. MacFarlan, The Revivals of the Eighteenth Century, Particularly at Cambuslang {Edinburgh, ca. 1845}, p. 122). A copy is at the Massachusetts Historical Society, and is described in PMHS, 53 (1920), 192–217.)
4. (Above, pp. 536–38.)

1. (The Revs. Timothy Woodbridge of Hatfield and Chester Williams of Hadley First Church sent a separate letter, dated June 29, 1743, concurring with the sentiments of their Hampshire colleagues. See The Christian History, 1, 180.)

1. (Whitefield visited Northampton October 17–20, 1740; see above, pp. 48–49.)

https://takeupcross.com
takeupcross