“O Lord, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.” Habakkuk 3:2
“For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring…” Isaiah 44:3
What would it be like if around a quarter of the people in your town were suddenly overwhelmed with conviction and converted? That is what happened in the spring and summer of 1735 in Northampton, Massachusetts. In a town of around 1600 people, over 300 were saved. Jonathan Edwards was a Congregational preacher in that town and gives a narrative of the events of what many consider the beginnings of the First Great Awakening in America.
I would like to give you a few excerpts from his narrative concerning the awakening 277 years ago.
“There was scarcely a single person in the town, old or young, left unconcerned about the great things of the eternal world.”
“This work of God, as it was carried on, and the number of true saints multiplied, soon made a glorious alteration in the town: so that in the spring and summer following, anno 1735, the town seemed to be full of the presence of God: it never was so full of love, nor of joy, and yet so full of distress, as it was then. There were remarkable tokens of God’s presence in almost every house.”
“I am far from pretending to be able to determine how many have lately been the subjects of such mercy; but if I may be allowed to declare any thing that appears to me probable in a thing of thin nature, I hope that more than 300 souls were savingly brought home to Christ, in this town, in the space of half a year, and about the same number of males as females.”
Out of a town of around 1600 people, over 300 people were saved in a space of about 6 months!
How did this Great Awakening affect the Baptist denomination in America? “In 1740, when the Awakening was just getting underway, there were only 60 Baptist congregations in the American colonies. By 1790, the new republic could claim 67,000 baptized believers worshiping in nearly 1,000 Baptist churches.”
O Lord, revive thy work!
Recommended Listening: Jonathan Edwards: The Great Awakening