« EelmineJätka »
sibly withdrawing from all parts of the country (though we have heard of its going on in some places of Connecticut, and that it continues to be carried on even to this day). But religion remained here, and, I believe in some other places, the main subject of conversation for several months after this. And there were some turns, wherein God's work seemed something to revive, and we were ready to hope that all was going to be renewed again; yet in the main there was a gradual decline of that general, engaged, lively spirit in religion, which had been before. Several things have happened since, that have diverted people's minds and turned their conversation more to other affairs, as particularly his Excellency the Governor's coming up, and the Committee of the General Court, on the treaty with the Indians; and afterwards the Springfield controversy, and since that, our people in this town have been engaged in the building of a new meeting-house; and some other occurrences might be mentioned, that have seemed to have this effect.
NARRATIVE OF SURPRISING CONVERSIONS.
tion among the people here, and they have paid all due respects to those who have been blest of God to be the instruments of it. Both old and young have shown a forwardness to hearken not only to my counsels, but even to my reproofs from the pulpit.
A great part of the country have not received the most favorable thoughts of this affair, and to this day many retain a jealousy concerning it, and prejudice against it; I have reason to think that the meanness and weakness of the instrument, that has been made use of in this town, has prejudiced many against it; it does not appear to me strange that it should be so: but yet the circumstance of this great work of God is analogous to other circumstances of it; God has so ordered the manner of the work in many respects, as very signally and remarkably to show it to be his own peculiar and immediate work, and to secure the glory of it wholly to his own almighty power and sovereign grace. And whatever the circumstances and means have been, and though we are so unworthy, yet so hath it pleased God to work! And we are evidently a people blessed of the Lord! And here in this corner of the world, God dwells, and manifests his glory
Thus, Reverend Sir, I have given a large and particular account of this remarkable affair, and yet considering how manifold God's works have been amongst us, that are worthy to be written, it is but a very brief one. I should have sent it much sooner, had I not been greatly hindered by illness in my family, and also in myself. It is probably much larger than you expected, and it may be than you would have chosen. I thought that the extraordinariness of the thing, and the innumerable misrepresentations which have gone abroad of it, many of which have, doubtless, reached your ears, made it necessary that I should be particular. But I would leave it entirely with your wisdom to make what use of it you think best, to send a part of it to England, or all, or none, if you think it not worthy; or otherwise to dispose of it as you may think most for God's glory, and the interest of religion. If you are pleased to send any thing to the Rev. Dr. Guyse, I should be glad to have it signified to him, as my humble desire, that since he, and the congregation to which he preached, have been pleased to take so much notice of us, as they have, that they would also think of us at the Throne of Grace, and seek there for us that God would not forsake us, but enable us to bring forth fruit answerable to our profession, and our mercies, and that our light may so shine before men, that others, seeing onr good works, may glorify our Father which is in heaven.
When first I heard of the notice the Reverend Dr. Watts and Dr. Guyse took of God's mercies to us, I took occasion to inform our congregation of it in a discourse from these words: A city that is set upon a hill cannot be hid. And having since seen a particular account of the notice of the Reverend Dr. Guyse, and the congregation he preached to, took of it, in a letter you wrote to my honored uncle Williams, I read that part of your letter to the congregation, and Tabored as much as in me lay to enforce their duty from it. The congregation were very sensibly moved and affected at both times
I humbly request of you, Reverend Sir, your prayers for this country, in its present melancholy circumstances, into which it is brought by the Springfield quarrel, which, doubtless, above all things that have happened, has tended to put a stop to the glorious work here, and to prejudice this country against it, and hinder the propagation of it. I also ask your prayers for this town, and would particularly beg an interest in them for him who is, Honored Sir, with humble respect, Your obedient son and servant, JONATHAN EDWARDS.
NORTHAMPTON, Nov. 6, 1736.
THE occasion of the following treatise, will be seen, in part, in the preceding narcative. 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 indefangable labors were crowned with the most desirable success. Zion put on her robes of salvation. Converts to Jesus were multiplied as the drops of the 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. Advan tage was taken of the errors of some of its most zealous promoters to cry it down, and render it altogether suspicious. Mr. Edwards' design 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 errors which attended it, and to excite augmented efforts for its increase.
The scene which he describes is past. Let it live however 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, the 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 in our lives. This work had a second edition in Scotland, soon after it was first published in