by Jonathan Edwards
Formatted, corrected, modernized, and annotated by William H. Gross
The occasion of the following treatise will be seen, in part, in the preceding narrative.1 The gracious influences of the Holy Spirit, with which Northampton was so abundantly enriched, and which spread through many towns in its vicinity, were soon followed with a very extensive revival over the land. An extraordinary zeal was excited in many gospel ministers. Itinerants travelled the country and preached daily. They addressed their crowded audiences, not in the dull monotony of a mere moral lecture, but in the demonstration of the Spirit, and with power. Their indefatigable labors were crowned with the most desirable success. Zion put on her robes of salvation. Converts to Jesus were multiplied like the drops of morning dew. Religion became almost the only subject of concern. Many indulged the hope that the millennial glory was commencing.
This glorious work had its opposers. Advantage was taken of the errors of some of its most zealous promoters to decry it, and render it altogether suspicious. Mr. Edwards’ desire was to vindicate it as undoubtedly a work of God, and among the most admirable of His triumphs over the hearts of his enemies; to correct the errors which attended it; and to excite augmented efforts for its increase.
The scene which he describes is past. However, let it live in our memories. Let it excite our fervent gratitude, and call forth the devout aspirations of our souls for the spread of the victories of our glorious King in these days. Let the pertinent and instructive sentiments wrought into the treatise — most of which are adapted to every condition in which the church and the individual believer can be placed — take deep hold of our hearts, and be carried out in their proper effects on our lives.
This work had a second edition in Scotland, soon after it was first published in this country.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE AUTHOR’S PREFACE.
PART I. Showing that the extraordinary work that has of late been going on in the land, is a glorious work of God.
PART II. Showing the obligations that all are under, to acknowledge, rejoice in, and promote this work, and the great danger of the contrary.
PART III. Showing the many instances in which the subjects, or zealous promoters of this Work, have been injuriously blamed.
PART IV. Showing what things are to be corrected or avoided in promoting this Work, or in our behavior under it.
PART V. Showing positively, what ought to be done to promote this Work.