The Spirit of God is the giver of revival substance. We know from various Old Testament Scripture that the Spirit of the Lord is manifested purposefully. In 1 Samuel there is a plethora of instances of the giving and removal of God’s Spirit. More so, we know that the Holy Spirit is present for those in Christ since the day of Pentecost. With that reality, many, including myself, have been praying for decades, that the living God of the whole Bible would regenerate and reform His Church as well as reach those who have not recognized complete salvation is Jesus the Christ.
We have seen over the course of this last week that there is a ‘declared’ revival at Asbury University in Kentucky. Thousands of Students and others are descending on Ashbury to see and even participate in what God is doing. It is being reported that many who have participated are returning to their campuses and beginning prayer and worship meetings similar to Ashbury. Make a note that there is a History of Revival at Ashbury as noted on their web site.
What is most significant, as reported by the Ashbury Student Body President, there is a hunger for God in this generation. (see Tucker Carlson reports on Asbury University) This is a wonder that is remarkable in that it is extending beyond the Asbury campus.
My prayer is that this brings reformation to the pulpits and historical, Biblical Reformation to the church such that the full extensibility of the Living God will affect every aspect of lives as was seen during ‘The First Great Awakening.’
Revival Substance – Edwards
Not withstanding that God will do as He pleases and directs, my prayer is that there will be revival substance that follows up from the great spiritual, mindful, physical and emotionalism of the event. I discuss this from the view of Jonathan Edwards.
Jonathan Edwards was in the full mix of what we not call ‘the First Great Awakening.’ Edwards details in his writings how we recognize the true movement of God as well as why revival wanes. I cover this in discussion as well as reference it from Volume I of Edwards writings. My Edwards Notes is not an exhaustive discussion. It is important to note since I have participated in a number of large events only to see that the emotionalism does wane and often the substance of the Spirit is not anchored. Edwards speaks to this better than I ever could.
As seen from the History of Revival at Ashbury, the emotionalism runs it course. The substance will be in how those attending become the deep dwellers in God’s Word such that they live it out in every aspect of life. That is in personal living, family, church, social, economic and yes…political.
Revival Substance – Stiles and Liberty
Once again I will not be able to delve into the meat of Ezra Stiles’ sermon. The reference to the sermon is below. I mention it again in the spirit of revival and that American Liberty was affected by ‘The First Great Awakening.’ This sermon is deep in our founding history in the richest context that is ignored by modern day pastors and the Christians in these United States.
All I can say is read the sermon for yourself in The Pulpit of the American Revolution.
Romans 13: A Short Primer
To keep it short, I introduce you to this Primer written by Gerald Thompson because he takes us back to Genesis where we discover that before the flood there was no human government. And then, when government was instituted by God with Noah, you will be surprised to understand the facts of its extensibility. Find the Primer in the References.
Deferring to writings about Sam Adams and his Father-in-law Samuel Checkley.
From Volume I of the Life and Public Service of Samuel Adams, page 40:
‘Samuel Adams frequently recurred to the gentle influence of his sister, who was five years his elder. She was of a winning and amiable disposition, and, like himself, a strict observer of the requirements of religion. A memorandum-book kept partly in 1735-36, and filled with texts of sermons in her neat handwriting, is still preserved, and indicates the religious bent of her mind. This was during the revival which under the ministry of the learned and devout Jonathan Edwards extended through Massachusetts, and afterwards to some of the other Colonies. In the journal occur the names of some twenty clergymen whose discourses she had attended, — among them Doctors Lowell, Cooper, Checkley, Byles, Chauncy, Edwards, Thacher. Prince, and Mather. There are also letters written to some friend during the revival attending Whitefield’s visit to Boston, in which she freely expresses her opinions on religious subjects. These writings are the fervent outpourings of a heart tinctured with, but not chilled by, the stern doctrines then prevailing in New England,’
Several quotes from the Diary of Samuel Checkley:
Pages 279 – 300
‘…and here he gives more than a brief line and speaks of the preaching and praying both morning and afternoon, showing that the people evidently gave up a whole day to these fasts. The other two were those at the Rev. Mr. Welsteed’s New Brick Church on August 26, and at Charlestown on September 23. In each case Checkley gives as the object of these fasts “the Revival of religion.” Late in the previous year. Jonathan Edwards’s sermon entitled ‘A Divine and Supernatural Light,’ Immediately imparted to the Soul by the Spirit of God, had started a revival in the Connecticut valley which was the forerunner of “the Great Awakening” that came when George Whitefield visited New England in 1740. It has generally been supposed that the influence of the earlier revival did not reach as far as Boston. “The excitement,” writes Palfrey, “which in Massachusetts had been, confined to towns on or near Connecticut River, ceased after about six months.” And the Rev. Alexander McKenzie says, “But Boston was yet to feel its power.” The term “revival of religion” had been in use for a generation or so in New England, and church fasts were common at that period; but perhaps the fasts mentioned by Mr. Checkley indicate the influence in Boston of the movement begun by Edwards.’
Entry for June 24, 1735:
‘Fast at our Ch: for Revival of religion, vid: overleaf.’ This day was kept by our Church in their turn as Day of fasting and prayer for the Revival of Religion &c Mr Abbot pray’d & Dr Sewall preach’d A.M. Mr Cooper pray’d and I preach’d p.m.’
2. FIRST-PERSON: Asbury, Revival and Christian Cynicism by David Prince
3. KBC Leader Had Delayed Experience of Joy at Asbury Revival By Mark Maynard
5. Romans 13: A Short Primer By Gerald R. Thompson