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The Great Awakening in the 1740 New England

The recent Asbury Revival has attracted significant Christian attention. When this phenomenon occurs, various opinions appear. Most of the debate revolves around whether this was what the Holy Spirit did. So today, we will talk about the Asbury Revival, focusing on Some thoughts concerning the Revival>. This is a book by Jonathan Edwards, who explained the Great Awakening in the 1740 New England region in the past.

In 1740, the Great Awakening took place in New England, USA. The people who saw this case were divided into two extremes. On one side, there were opponents of the Great Awakening in New England, saying it was not a ministry of the Holy Spirit. Some people were too fanatical about the revival experience. Jordan Edwards has been watching this phenomenon, and he writes books to provide a balanced perspective on the Great Awakening. It’s <Some thoughts concerning the Revival>>.

In this book, Edwards argues that the current revival in New England is the ministry of God’s glorious Holy Spirit. Edwards explains three major errors made by those who perceive the recent revival in New England negatively.

Three false claims were made by those who opposed the revival

First, Opponents of revival have made the mistake of judging beforehand. In other words, they made the mistake of judging revival not by the result but by the process that emerged from the beginning of the revival. But God does not use a human way to revive, and he also uses the weak

Second, opponents of revival made the mistake of judging something else instead of the Bible. First, they judged by philosophy instead of the Bible and put forward a wrong philosophical theory about the nature and function of the soul.

Because they tried to separate emotion from the will, they denied the state of full emotion unconditionally. However, Edwards emphasized that the feeling of faith distinct from temporary passion is the core of true faith.

Edwards says that holy feelings are better as they are uplifted, and the more intense the holy feelings, the better the faith. The Holy Spirit causes a strong feeling of faith.

And some oppose revival because of the special phenomenon of the body. The Bible shows that the special power of the Holy Spirit can cause abnormalities in the body. In addition, there are those who judge by history or previous experience instead of the Bible.

However, it is wrong to oppose it unconditionally because it is something revolutionary that has never happened before. Because there are aspects of the revelation that are moving forward. There are also those who judge by their own experience instead of the Bible.

However, Edwards says it is wrong to oppose unconditionally because he has not experienced it. Because God’s glory, repentance of sin, understanding Christ, and confidence in truth are essential experiences for salvation.

A third objection to revival was that it was not the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, but rather the negative aspects that took place during the revival as a result of the Holy Spirit’s power. Fanatics who drove revival to the extreme tried to accuse the entire revival of being wrong in particular.

Edwards, however, says it is wrong to deny the whole revival by denying some extremes during the revival. Consequently, it is not justified to reject the whole revival because it is associated with evil things. You should not criticize the entire thing by looking at one or two cases.

In times of revival, large emotional changes in human nature can lead to deviant behavior and confusion and disturbance in society or the church. After all, the errors that occur in revival are due to human weakness and universal corruption.

Consequently, Edwards emphasizes that God allows errors during revival to humble people and also to counter Satan’s attacks. However, Edwards argues that goodness and badness should be distinguished, and not judge the whole by its parts.

Features of the revival in New England

Edwards is a common feature of the New England revival. Revival has greatly awakened the spiritually insensitive, especially the young. Revival also spiritually awakens not only new conversions but also existing believers.

Therefore, Edwards stresses that if we cannot recognize the revival that has happened in New England as God’s power, we must give up the core truth of the Bible. It also stresses that we should not oppose or be indifferent to the reforms and revivals that have taken place in New England.

Therefore, Edwards argues that the revival in New England is a remarkable, amazing, and glorious ministry of God. Revival is the most glorious ministry of God in terms of redemption and new creation. Revival is a very glorious ministry of God in which God’s power is particularly visible. Revival is a very glorious ministry of God in which the saints can enjoy light, love, and joy to the fullest extent possible.

We shouldn’t be neutral about revival

So what should Christians do when revival appears?

First, We should not take a neutral stance on revival. To take a bystander position when God works is to exasperate God.

The church is called to rejoice when Christ does mighty things. It is therefore dangerous not to acknowledge the glory of God in revival.

Secondly, those who oppose revival are dangerous. Edwards stresses once again that those who oppose revival are harmful. Edwards emphasizes that it is wrong to reject the salvation of Israel in the Old Testament. However, it is more dangerous to deny the salvation of the church in the New Testament.

Third, in order to promote revival, public officials, pastors, and saints should all join forces. Edwards argues that the right attitude to revival is to try to acknowledge, accept, advocate, and promote revival.

They should be careful that God’s wrath will come due to public officials who do not recognize revival. In order for public officials to participate in the glorious day of the promised church, they must publicly recognize the work of the Holy Spirit.

Ministers, however, are of paramount importance in the revival. Because God wants to promote revival through pastors. Edwards said that pastors who doubt revival should be especially careful about their words and actions during revival because they are harmful to Christians.

But revival is not just the pastor’s responsibility. All Christians must join forces together. Christians should not act to harm revival during revival.

Answers to ten unjust accusations of revival

Edwards explains ten claims in the book denouncing revival.

First, there was criticism that the pastors sought to provoke emotions rather than the intelligence of the audience. Edwards says these accusations are due to misunderstanding. According to pastors, preaching should be as effective as possible if the audience is moved to receive the truth as an epiphany. Because the Bible supports passionate and moving sermons.

Secondly, there was criticism that the pastors created an atmosphere of fear rather than consolation. In response, Edwards replies that it is legitimate, to tell the truth about the dangerous state of unbelievers.

Third, there are accusations that an innocent young child is threatened with hell and eternal destruction. In response, Edwards emphasizes that children are sinners and need to be saved just like adults.

The fourth point is criticism that too much time is spent on religious issues. In response, Edwards replies that it is natural to be more enthusiastic about religious work when God’s remarkable works take place.

Fifth, it is a criticism that too many sermons do not benefit from them. Edwards replies that this criticism is because she does not know how sermons benefit the audience. In other words, the main benefit of a sermon is the impression engraved in the mind when listening to the sermon, not the effect of remembering it later. Therefore, the frequent teaching of significant things about faith when preaching does not diminish those impressions but rather reinforces them.

Sixth, it is criticized for causing too many physical phenomena like shouting and collapse. Edwards emphasizes that this physical phenomenon can occur through the work of the Holy Spirit. It is never wrong to condemn a physical phenomenon that realizes the truth.

Seventh, it is an accusation of imitating other people’s experiences. Edwards replies to these accusations that it is not wrong to be influenced by an example. Rather, there are many Bible texts that show the importance of being influenced by examples.

Eighthly, there is criticism that it talks too much about religious matters. Essentially, it means to be too passionate about warning, recommending, or inviting. Edwards refutes that people who accuse those who have experienced a revival of shouting as loudly as drunk people are those who do not know that this phenomenon has been recorded as one of the characteristics of Holy Spirit-filled people in the Bible. 

Therefore, we should not be like the Jews of Jesus’ time who condemned those who cried out for suffering or joy.

The ninth criticism is that they sing too much praise during meetings. In response to this criticism, Edwards answers that it is only natural that saints who have experienced the love of God give a lot of praise to those who deserve to be praised infinitely.

Tenth, it is a criticism that children have a meeting to read the Bible and pray. Answering these accusations, Edwards argued that children have enough ability to socialize and can be affected by God’s Holy Spirit because they are sociable according to human nature.

Edwards refuted the fact that this content, in which revivalists mainly criticized those who experienced a revival, cannot prove that these experiences aren’t the Holy Spirit’s history. And it proved that these experiences could be accompanied by the power of the Holy Spirit.


There’s something we can learn from Jonathan Edwards’ interpretation. God is doing this. At this time, we can’t say yes or no. All we have to do is join in what God is doing and give Him glory. Today, I talked about the recent revival at Asbury College through the eyes of Jonathan Edwards.

In the 1730s and 1740s, Jonathan Edwards played a major role in the First Great Awakening, a religious revival in the American colonies. The preaching style of Edwards was known for its power and emphasis on God’s sovereignty.

Despite not directly commenting on the Asbury Revival, Edwards’ writings on revival and spiritual awakening provide insight into his perspective. Edwards believed revivals were works of God’s grace that could lead to genuine conversions and renewals of faith. While emphasizing the importance of sound doctrine and discernment in religious gatherings, he also cautioned against excesses and emotionalism.

It is likely that Edwards would have viewed the Asbury Revival as a positive development if it led to genuine spiritual renewal and spiritual growth. In addition, he would have cautioned against any excesses or errors in doctrine or practice.

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