Who loves Jonathan Edwards and the first Great Awakening? This essay analyzes both him and and his movement

Essay by Trojan24High School, 11th gradeA+, December 2002

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The Great Awakening

Venturing through history and time, you will with out a doubt find many events that relate to the topic of religion. From the dawning of man, all the way to the second millennium, you will come upon wars, reforms and conflicts all having to do with religion. One of the most influential religious revivals of all time, and especially in our nation's history, was the Great Awakening. The Great Awakening revived the recognition of religious importance that had once been present in the seventeenth century.

The Great Awakening began in 1730s and continued onward into the 1740s. Jonathan Edwards was the first to start this inspiring revival in Northampton, Massachusetts. A theological genius, Edwards declared with virtue the idiocy of believing in salvation through good works. Also, he called for the need of complete dependence on God's mercifulness. He depicted to his listeners the lake of fire that is hell.

He believed hell was "paved with the skulls of unbaptized children", as stated in his famous "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" sermon.

The Great Awakening continued on. In 1738, a man named George Whitefield began his trek that would eventually revolutionize the spiritual life of the colonies. Whitefield ventured through the colonies proclaiming his message of human helplessness and divine supremacy. He used his incredible talent for speaking and oration to eloquently promote religion into America. He inspired others to take up this new energetic and stimulating style of preaching, a style that included emotional appeals and dumping abuse on sinners.

The Great Awakening single-handedly revitalized religion in the colonies, and left many lasting effects. Its emphasis on emotive and sensitive spirituality undermined the older clergy whose authority had derived from their education and sophistication. This schism along with many others led...