… What other nation, O God, have you redeemed from slavery to be your own people? I Chronicles 17:21
The American Colonists were a diverse assortment of ethnic groups in a strange land. There was no central government. Unity was localized. A wild and adventurous spirit prevailed. Morals had declined and religious devotion had deteriorated. Drunkenness, profanity, depravity and corruption flourished. The godly aspirations of the Puritan fathers for a Christian Utopia seemed forgotten.
The ‘Half Way Covenant’ had allowed the unconverted to become members of the church. Soon the unconverted were not only in the pews, but also in the pulpits. Apostasy became abundant. Flagrant sins were overlooked. Young people were addicted to ‘night walking, tavern drinking, lewd practices and frolics among the sexes for the greater part of the night. Family government did too much fail in the town.’
The church began to pray. One young woman, described as ‘one of the greatest company-keepers in the whole town,’ was radically changed and became the talk of the town. In the next six months, 300 of the entire population of 1,100 were converted – almost 30 percent. Jonathan Edwards would say, “The town seemed to be full of the presence of God…it never was so full of love and full of joy. It was a time for joy in families … our public assemblies were beautiful; the congregation was alive in God’s service, everyone earnestly intent on the public worship …”
The wave of revival and prayer spread through New England touching ten-percent of the population. These new converts had fervent hearts. They were from house-to-house exhorting everyone to turn to the Lord. Preachers were renewed.
- Lord, let it happen again. Stir me. Stir us. Stir another Jonathan Edwards among us! Send a revival – that changes the nation.
P. Douglas Small is a conference speaker and author. He is an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God (Cleveland, TN).