A missional eschatology: Jonathan Edwards, future prophecy, and the spread of the gospel.In August of 1722, after studying at Yale College
Yale College was the official name of Yale University from 1718 to 1887. , Jonathan Edwards became the pastor of a small Presbyterian church in New York City New York City: see New York, city.
New York City
City (pop., 2000: 8,008,278), southeastern New York, at the mouth of the Hudson River. The largest city in the U.S. . He served that church for a brief but spiritually rich and formative nine months. Edwards' church was small, and its members had few expectations of their young pastor. This left abundant time for him to study, pray, and participate in spiritual conversations. He began two great and lifelong pursuits during those restful rest·ful
1. Affording, marked by, or suggesting rest; tranquil. See Synonyms at comfortable.
2. Being at rest; quiet.
rest months: a fascination with the future advancement of Christ's kingdom, and a detailed study of biblical prophecy. In his Personal Narrative, Edwards wrote:
I had great longings for the advancement of Christ's kingdom in the world. My secret prayer used to be in great part taken up in praying for it.... Sometimes Mr. Smith and I walked there together, to converse of the things of God; and our conversation used much to turn on the advancement of Christ's kingdom in the world, and the glorious things that God would accomplish for his church in the latter days. (1)
Edwards was deeply invested in and concerned with the spread of Christ's kingdom to the ends of the earth To the Ends of the Earth is a trilogy of novels by William Golding, consisting of Rites of Passage (1980), Close Quarters (1987), and Fire Down Below (1989). . This became a consuming passion that lasted until the end of his life.
For Edwards, the future advancement of Christ's kingdom was not just a speculative dream. The prophecies of the Bible, particularly the book of Revelation, provided detailed description of how God's work of redemption would continue and culminate in the future. This belief in the predictive accuracy of biblical prophecy drove Edwards to begin a separate notebook on the book of Revelation in 1723, while still in New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of . (2) "Notes on the Apocalypse" was Edwards's only notebook devoted to a single book of the Bible, and it occupied his time and pen regularly throughout his life. (3)
Some scholars have examined Edwards' view of the Millennium and future prophecy, (4) and recently an increasing amount of scholarship has been produced about Edwards' practice of missions and his impact on the modern missions movement. (5) But it is important to understand that these were not separate issues for Edwards. His fascination with the Millennium and the history leading up to it were intimately connected to his interest in the advancement of the gospel through missions and the expansion of Christ's kingdom. (6) The purpose of this article is to demonstrate the manner in which Edwards' understanding of future prophecy shaped his understanding and practice of missions.
To do so, the first two sections will summarize his interpretation of future prophecy and analyze the place he gave to the eighteenth century revivals in his eschatological es·cha·tol·o·gy
1. The branch of theology that is concerned with the end of the world or of humankind.
2. A belief or a doctrine concerning the ultimate or final things, such as death, the destiny of humanity, the Second system. Comprehending how Edwards thought the last days would unfold--and where he saw himself and the events of his day in that timeline--helps to explain some of the specific means he used and advocated for the spread of the gospel and the furtherance fur·ther·ance
The act of furthering, advancing, or helping forward: "Pakistan does not aspire to any . . . role in furtherance of the strategies of other powers" Ismail Patel. of revival. Edwards believed that biblical prophecy pointed to several specific means that would be a part of a glorious work of God leading to the Millennium.
The last three sections of this paper will focus on these means: the promotion of revival, the proclamation of the truth, and united prayer. Edwards was convinced by the promises of Scripture that these means would be a part of a great work brought about by God's sovereign power. However, the sovereign promises of God did not call for ministers and church members to wait passively and watch for their fulfillment. Instead, Edwards believed that the Bible's promises should motivate action on the part of God's servants--that is, the faithful use of means with the hopeful expectation that God would bless their efforts and use them to transform the world and bring his promises to fulfillment. These deeply held convictions appear throughout the life and writings of Edwards, clearly driving his passion for, promotion of, and participation in missions. But before treating each of the means in detail, it is important to have an idea of his overall understanding of future prophecy and how it would play out in history.
Edwards' Understanding of Future Prophecy
Edwards believed the best days for the church on earth were still ahead. The Old Testament foretold fore·told
Past tense and past participle of foretell. a period of time in the latter days when the gospel would prevail in an unprecedented way. Edwards held to a simple chiliasm--what was later labeled postmillennialism post·mil·len·ni·al·ism
The doctrine that Jesus's Second Coming will follow the millennium.
post . (7) He believed that the Bible described a glorious millennial age during which Christ would rule the earth spiritually through his church (Revelation 20) before his bodily return and the consummation of history. (8) In sermon number twenty-seven of his series A History of the Work of Redemption, Edwards described this millennial age in detail. He wrote that the light and knowledge of the gospel "shall prevail everywhere" among all people, including Indians, Ethiopians, and Turks. Holiness will become general, though not universal, and "religion shall in every respect be uppermost in the world." Peace and love will characterize relations among all nations. The church will shine forth in glorious beauty as "all the world [shall then be] as one church, one orderly, regular, beautiful society, one body, all the members in beautiful proportion." Every nation and social class will enjoy the benefits of the gospel as Christ rules over all the earth. (9)
Regarding the length of the millennial age, Edwards believed that the reference to one thousand years in Revelation 20:4 represented "a long time." (10) As to its timing, Edwards wrote that God did not want his people to know the specific time his millennial kingdom would come. (11) However, as Stephen J. Stein has pointed out, in his private notebook on the Apocalypse Edwards "compiled ... examples of the biblical use of the number 'seven' as evidence that the glorious time of the church's prosperity would begin in the 'seventh thousand year' of the world, or about 2000 in the present era." (12) Edwards wrote, for example, that "[the] world shall enjoy a rest in the peaceable peace·a·ble
1. Inclined or disposed to peace; promoting calm: They met in a peaceable spirit.
2. Peaceful; undisturbed. reign of the saints.... The first 6000 years are 6 days of labor, and the seventh is a sabbath of rest.... Our laboring 6 days and resting the seventh, I believe to be a type of the world's laboring 6 days and resting the seventh." (13) Publicly, Edwards was more reserved and cautious, but in An Humble Attempt (1748) he pointed to the year 2000 as a probable time for the onset of the Millennium. (14)
For Edwards, the Millennium would come at the end of a long line of events which God guided with his hand and foretold in Scripture. The book of Revelation is a book of history, he believed, and it gives detailed, though sometimes veiled, descriptions of events from the time of Christ up through the future Millennium and final judgment. The main historical actors in Revelation are the Antichrist and the church, and the story line foretells the gradual fall of the former and progress of the latter. Edwards, along with most evangelical Protestants from the sixteenth until the nineteenth century, identified the Antichrist and spiritual Babylon with the Pope and Roman Catholicism Roman Catholicism
Largest denomination of Christianity, with more than one billion members. The Roman Catholic Church has had a profound effect on the development of Western civilization and has been responsible for introducing Christianity in many parts of the world. . (15) He labored to connect the prophecies in Revelation and the rest of the Bible with events in history, and thereby determine where he, the church, and the Antichrist were located within God's great plan of redemption. Edwards thought that most of the events prophesied in Revelation had already passed. The seven seals of Revelation 5-6 had been fulfilled during the persecutions of Christians under the Roman Empire before the time of Constantine. The sounding of the seven trumpets of Revelation 8-10 passed when the Roman Empire was attacked by Muslims and Barbarians before AD 1000.
Edwards' interpretation of the seven vials of God's wrath found in Revelation 15-16 changed over the years, but played an important role in his vision of the future. Early in his ministry he wrote that only two of the vials had been poured out, the second representing the Reformation. He wrote that the fifth vial vial
a small bottle. , which was poured out on the seat of the beast (Rev. 16:10), represented the future fall of the Antichrist. (16) However, after closely studying Moses Lowman's Paraphrase and Notes on the Revelation of St. John (1737), Edwards adopted Lowman's argument that the first five vials had already been poured out, and that the fifth vial represented the Reformation. (17) At the Reformation, the truth of the gospel had gained a major victory over the Antichrist and Roman Catholicism. Edwards explained, "In the Reformation ... the threatened destruction of Antichrist ... was begun; nor was it a small beginning, but Antichrist hath fallen, at least, halfway to the ground.... Then began the vials of God's wrath to be 'poured out on the throne of the beast' [Rev. 16:10]." He continued, "It seems to be signified in prophecy, that after the Reformation Antichrist should never prevail against the church of Christ any more, as he had done before." (18)
Edwards's optimistic op·ti·mist
1. One who usually expects a favorable outcome.
2. A believer in philosophical optimism.
op reading of Revelation also appeared in his interpretation of the two witnesses in Revelation 11. He argued that the slaying of the two witnesses (Rev. 10:7-10) represented the church at its lowest point, just before the Reformation. The resurrection of the witnesses (Rev. 10:11-12) represented the rising of the true church during the Reformation. (19) Scholars have given a lot of attention to Edwards' speculation about a great future work of God's Spirit. Emphasis on this future revival is fitting, and will be dealt with below, but it should not obscure Edwards' emphasis on the Reformation as a great revival and decisive turning point in redemptive history. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Edwards' interpretation of Revelation, since the Reformation the future of the church had looked bright. (20) Future revivals thus were not completely new works, but ongoing waves of the gospel's final victory begun during the Reformation. He believed that he was living during the time of the ongoing overthrow of the Antichrist and the progressive advance of Christ's kingdom, which would soon lead to the glorious Millennium.
Before the Millennium began, however, several things had to take place. Like Puritan interpreters before him, Edwards believed that the Antichrist, along with the rest of Satan's kingdom, had to be completely overthrown, the Jews had to be converted, and the gospel had to spread to all nations. (21) By 1747, Edwards believed these events were coming soon: "There are, as I apprehend, good reasons to hope, that that work of God's Spirit will begin in a little time, which in the progress of it will overthrow the kingdom of Antichrist, and in its issue destroy Satan's visible kingdom on earth." (22) The prophecy of the sixth vial in Revelation 6:12 gave such hope: "And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared." (23)
Edwards thought this prophecy would be fulfilled in two ways. First, "the temporal supplies, wealth, revenues, and incomes of the Romish Church" would dry up. (24) As Rome's financial power and military support declined, its ability to deceive and spread antichristian lies would weaken. Second, the prophecy of the sixth vial would be fulfilled by the removal of obstacles to the gospel's spread, accompanied by an outpouring of God's Spirit and resulting in an extraordinary awakening. This awakening would be far greater than any before it, resulting in the general conversion of the so-called civilized world and the Ottoman Empire Ottoman Empire (ŏt`əmən), vast state founded in the late 13th cent. by Turkish tribes in Anatolia and ruled by the descendants of Osman I until its dissolution in 1918. . (25) By 1747, Edwards was sure that the sixth vial had already begun and saw its fulfillment in the military and economic losses of Catholic powers, the decline of the Ottoman Empire The Decline of the Ottoman Empire covers the military and political events between 1828 to 1908. The name of the period is based on loss/gain comparison. The empire was directly affected by Russian expansion during this time. , as well as the revivals occurring in New England New England, name applied to the region comprising six states of the NE United States—Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. The region is thought to have been so named by Capt. , Scotland, Germany, India, and Russia. The sixth vial played such a prominent role in Edwards' eschatology eschatology
Theological doctrine of the “last things,” or the end of the world. Mythological eschatologies depict an eternal struggle between order and chaos and celebrate the eternity of order and the repeatability of the origin of the world. that beginning in 1747, Edwards set aside two sections of his "Notes on the Apocalypse" to record current events that he thought fulfilled the prophecy of the vial. (26) The fulfillment of the sixth vial was exciting to Edwards because it would be followed closely by the seventh, the destruction of the Antichrist around 1866. Edwards did not think that the Millennium would begin immediately after the fall of the Antichrist. (27) Instead, the fall of the Antichrist would be followed by a one hundred fifty year period in which the Jews would be converted along with the "Mahometan world," and finally "the whole heathen world [would] be enlightened and converted to the Christian faith, throughout all parts of Africa, Asia, America and Terra Australis Terra Australis (also: Terra Australis Incognita (with "incognita" stressed on the second syllable), Latin for "the unknown land of the South"), was a theorised continent appearing on European maps from the 15th to the 18th century. ." (28) Then the Millennium would begin.
The Role of Revival in the Last Days
If the Antichrist was going to fall and the Jews and all nations were to be converted by the year 2000, then something drastic had to occur. Most of the world still lived outside the reach of the gospel, and Roman Catholicism still had great influence. Edwards looked to a great and unprecedented revival as the means God would use to bring about this glorious work. The belief that revival would be the means of bringing the nations to Christ was not a new idea that originated with Edwards or a conclusion he came to only after witnessing the revivals in Northampton and New England. His belief was part of the "heritage" which they "left to posterity POSTERITY, descents. All the descendants of a person in a direct line. ... that the kingdom of Christ would spread and triumph through the powerful operations of the Holy Spirit poured out upon the Church in revivals." (29) Michael Crawford Michael Crawford, OBE (born as Michael Patrick Dumbell-Smith, 19 January 1942, Salisbury, Wiltshire), is an English actor and singer. He has won critical acclaim and numerous awards during his career, which includes radio, television and stage (including appearing on stage and Thomas Kidd have noted how New England leaders such as Solomon Stoddard Reverend Solomon Stoddard (September 27, 1643, baptized October 1, 1643 – February 11, 1728 or 1729) was the American colonial minister who succeeded Rev. Eleazer Mather as pastor at Northampton, Massachusetts, where he died, after Mather’s death. made increasing reference to the eschatological significance of revival in the 1720s. (30) As a prominent leader and apologist Apologist
Any of the Christian writers, primarily in the 2nd century, who attempted to provide a defense of Christianity against Greco-Roman culture. Many of their writings were addressed to Roman emperors and were submitted to government secretaries in order to defend of revivals in the 1730s and 1740s, Edwards built on this connection, explaining how the New England revivals fit into God's eschatological promises. He was encouraged by the promises of God and by current events to think that the great outpouring of God's Spirit would come soon, if it had not already begun.
Edwards' first experience of revival occurred in Northampton from 1734 to 1735. In May 1735 he wrote an eight page letter to Dr. Benjamin Colman, the pastor of Brattle brat·tle Scots
1. A rattling or clattering sound.
2. A movement that produces such a sound.
intr.v. Street Church in Boston, describing the revival. Colman encouraged him to write a more full account, which was finally published in November 1737 under the title A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God in the Conversion of Many Hundred Souls in Northampton. (31) J. A. De Jong De Jong is the most common Dutch surname. Many people bear this name, including many important historical figures. Some of these people are mentioned below.
De Jong may mean:
It is possible that by 1737 Edwards was not yet sure enough of his end times interpretations to go public with his views, but it is more likely that he did not think that the Connecticut Valley Revivals of 1734-1735 matched up with his understanding of the glorious work of God that would precede the Millennium. Revivals were new to neither New England nor the Connecticut Valley. Edwards' grandfather, Solomon Stoddard, had shepherded five "harvests of souls" from the 1670s to the 1710s. While the 1734-1735 revival was more remarkable than any of its predecessors, Edwards, along with other Protestants in New England, was looking forward to a more general, widespread revival than the more localized version he reported in A Faithful Narrative. (34) In 1739, after closely studying Lowman's commentary on Revelation, Edwards preached a lengthy sermon series on the history of the work of redemption. In this series he stated that the entire history of redemption "has mainly been carried on by remarkable pourings out of the Spirit of God ... at special seasons of mercy." Throughout the sermons he identified many seasons of mercy in the history of Christianity
1. In a mighty manner; powerfully.
2. To a great degree; greatly.
Adv. 1. mightily - powerfully or vigorously; "he strove mightily to achieve a better position in life"
2. at work in those revivals, he did not identify any of them with the final, great revival that would bring about the universal spread of the gospel. In fact, he expressed doubt that the sixth vial had been poured out yet. With regard to the vial, he wrote, "whatever this be, it don't appear this 'tis anything that shall be accomplished before the work of God's Spirit is begun, by which ... Satan's visible kingdom on earth shall be utterly overthrown." Before the vial is poured out and the work of God's Spirit begins, Edwards expected, "a very dark time with respect to the interests of religion in the world." He referred hopefully to his own day as a dark time that may be on the verge On the Verge (or The Geography of Yearning) is a play written by Eric Overmyer. It makes extensive use of esoteric language and pop culture references from the late nineteenth century to 1955. of the glorious work of God and the pouring out of the sixth vial. (35)
Beginning in 1740, revival was stirring in New England again. In 1743 Edwards published Some Thoughts Concerning the Revival in New England to answer the revival's critics and encourage its continuance. Edwards now argued that this larger, more widespread revival was most likely a part of the glorious work of God that would lead to the Millennium. (36) In a much cited passage he wrote, "'Tis not unlikely that this work of God's Spirit, that is so extraordinary and wonderful, is the dawning, or at least a prelude, of that glorious work of God, so often foretold in Scripture, which in the progress and issue of it, shall renew the world of mankind." (37) In the Yale edition of Some Thoughts, C. C. Goen inserted a heading before this passage which reads, "The Millennium Probably To Dawn in America." Goen argued in his influential article "Jonathan Edwards: A New Departure in Eschatology," and subsequently in his introduction to the Great Awakening Great Awakening, series of religious revivals that swept over the American colonies about the middle of the 18th cent. It resulted in doctrinal changes and influenced social and political thought. volume of the Yale's Works, that Edwards was claiming the Millennium would begin, or had already begun, in America. (38) Goen and others have also argued that as the revivals declined, Edwards moved away from his focus on America and his expectation that the Millennium would soon begin there.
In 1992 in his book One Holy and Happy Society: The Public Theology of Jonathan Edwards, Gerald McDermott made a convincing case against this consensus opinion. (39) As McDermott argued, "It makes much more sense to understand Edwards in the Some Thoughts passage as he himself interpreted the passage two years later--that he was referring to the long process preceding the onset of the Millennium, not the Millennium itself." McDermott appealed to Edwards' language of progress, which does not fit with his regular descriptions of the Millennium as a static time of rest and peace. Instead, McDermott showed that Edwards' language is more consistent with his frequent descriptions of a time of intermittent revival leading up to the Millennium. He demonstrated how a distinction between the time leading up to Millennium and the Millennium itself was common among Edwards' Puritan predecessors, such as Thomas Brightman, John Cotton, Moses Lowman, and Petrus Van Mastricht. Edwards' contemporaries continued this distinction, "but it was Edwards who most clearly developed the two-stage chronology." (40) McDermott is likely correct. By the time of the writing of Some Thoughts, Edwards understood the revivals to be likely forerunners or the beginning of the glorious outpouring of God's Spirit that would progressively lead to the overthrow of the Antichrist, the conversion all nations, and finally the Millennium.
Near the end of 1742 and at the beginning of 1743, the revival fires were dying down in New England. Nathan Hatch has made much of the revival's decline and the impact it had on Edwards' millennial expectations. Hatch claims that the seeming "decline of piety" made it so that "Edwards could no longer find signs of the coming Millennium exclusively in America." This forced Edwards to look "beyond the Atlantic to see God at work," led to his "increasing involvement in transatlantic affairs after 1745," and moved him beyond his "provincial commitment to New England or America." (41) Hatch's observation of Edwards' increased international correspondence is accurate, but his assertion that the cause of this increase was the decline of American religion and Edwards' subsequent doubts about America's central role in the Millennium is doubtful. First, Hatch's argument is based on the false premise A false premise is an incorrect proposition that forms the basis of a logical syllogism. Since the premise (proposition, or assumption) is not correct, the conclusion drawn may be in error. that Edwards was talking about the Millennium in the famous Some Thoughts passage, which has been effectively refuted by McDermott. Edwards never believed America would be the center of the Millennium. Edwards did think it likely that the final, Millennium-bringing, worldwide revival would begin in America. For instance, in his entry on Numbers 24:17 in "The Blank Bible," Edwards speculated that "in the great gospel day religion will begin in the western part of the world, that the light will first rise in America and make progress backwards towards the east, contrary to the course of the sun and stars." (42) But while the international revival that would usher in Verb 1. usher in - be a precursor of; "The fall of the Berlin Wall ushered in the post-Cold War period"
commence, lead off, start, begin - set in motion, cause to start; "The U.S. the Millennium might start in America, Edwards always believed that the millennial kingdom itself would be centered in the Middle East. Early in the "Notes on the Apocalypse," Edwards identified the land of Canaan as the center of millennial activity, a conviction he maintained throughout the notebook. (43) Second, Edwards had demonstrated an interest in international revivals as early as his sermons on the history of the work of redemption in 1739. (44) Edwards never had a provincial commitment that narrowed his eschatological sights on America alone. His interest in international revivals in the 1740s was not a new thing brought on by the decline of American religion, but an activity consistent with his long-held belief in a massive future revival that would be international in its scope. Third, there is good evidence that Edwards remained hopeful that the American revivals of the 1740s were a forerunner of the glorious work of God's Spirit. He looked overseas in the 1740s to find a continuance and furtherance of American revivals, not a replacement for them. In a letter to William McCulloch of Scotland on 5 March 1744, after lamenting the decline of religion in New England, Edwards wrote, "Yet I cannot but steadfastly maintain the hope and persuasion that God will revive his work, and that what has been so great and very extraordinary is a forerunner of a yet more glorious work." (45) Edwards also pointed to the awakenings among Native Americans under the preaching of David Brainerd David Brainerd, (April 20, 1718 – October 9, 1747) was an American missionary to the Native Americans.
Brainerd was born in Haddam, Connecticut. He was orphaned at fourteen and had an experience that intensified his dedication to Christianity at age 21 in 1739. as "a forerunner of something much more glorious and extensive of that kind." (46)
In 1747, Edwards wrote that the American revivals of the 1740s, and even the earlier revival of 1734-35, "may justly encourage us in prayer for the promised glorious and universal outpouring of the Spirit of God." He continued to see the revivals in New England and Europe as the first fruits of this outpouring of God's Spirit. He even changed his earlier position that the sixth vial had not begun to be poured out, writing, "an extraordinary outpouring of the Spirit of God is to accompany this sixth vial; so the beginning of a work of extraordinary awakening has already attended the probable beginning of this vial; and has been continued in one place or other, for many years past." However, for Edwards these revivals were at best the beginnings of that great work prophesied in Scripture. A much greater work was coming. "It is evident from the Scripture, that there is yet remaining a great advancement of the interest of religion and the kingdom of Christ in this world, by an abundant outpouring of the Spirit of God, far greater and more extensive than ever yet has been." (47)
Encouraging and Reporting Revivals
Edwards' extensive chronology building and complicated exegesis exegesis
Scholarly interpretation of religious texts, using linguistic, historical, and other methods. In Judaism and Christianity, it has been used extensively in the study of the Bible. Textual criticism tries to establish the accuracy of biblical texts. and interpretation were not for merely speculative purposes. His aim was to use this information to encourage and stir up others to promote further revival and encourage other means to bring about the glorious work of God that he thought was imminent. Edwards steadfastly believed that an international revival must be a work of God. "There is very much to convince us, that God alone can bestow be·stow
tr.v. be·stowed, be·stow·ing, be·stows
1. To present as a gift or an honor; confer: bestowed high praise on the winners.
2. it, and show our entire and absolute dependence on him for it. The insufficiency INSUFFICIENCY. What is not competent; not enough. of human abilities to bring to pass any such happy change in the world ... does now remarkably appear." (48) Nevertheless, he insisted, God also had ordained or·dain
tr.v. or·dained, or·dain·ing, or·dains
a. To invest with ministerial or priestly authority; confer holy orders on.
b. To authorize as a rabbi.
2. that his people use the means he had given to them to bring this great work about. The longed for revival would not be a cataclysmic event, but instead a gradual work which "will be accomplished by means, by the preaching of the gospel, and the use of ordinary means ordinary means Medical ethics The measures that a person, as the 'steward' of his/her own life, is required to use to ensure health and self-preservation. See Reasonable person. Cf Extraordinary means. of grace." (49) Edwards's belief in the efficacy of public means followed in the tradition of seventeenth century Puritanism. Charles Hambrick-Stowe has demonstrated that Puritans commonly designated preaching, the sacraments, and prayer as "public means through which God was expected to act." (50) For Edwards, like those before him, preaching and prayer were the most crucial means by which the Millennium would be brought about. But he also pointed to other means, notably the public encouragement and reporting of revivals.
In Part II of Some Thoughts, Edwards made extensive arguments from the Bible and history that the revival taking place in New England "may prove the dawn of that glorious day" that would usher in the Millennium. After making his case, Edwards tells the reader how all of this prophetic knowledge should be applied. "I have thus long insisted on this point, because if these things are so, it greatly manifests how much it behooves us to encourage and promote this work, and how dangerous it will be to forbear for·bear 1
v. for·bore , for·borne , for·bear·ing, for·bears
1. To refrain from; resist: forbear replying. See Synonyms at refrain1. so to do." According to Edwards, it was always wrong, indeed dangerous, for God's people not to "come to the help of the Lord" when he poured out his Spirit to further the work of redemption. But it was especially dangerous "when he comes forth in that last and greatest outpouring of his Spirit, to introduce that happy day of God's power and salvation, so often spoken of." (51) If pastors failed to speak up in favor of the revival, they would do great damage to their people, invite God's judgment on themselves, and impede an even more glorious revival. The failure to acknowledge the revivals as God's work would even negate ne·gate
tr.v. ne·gat·ed, ne·gat·ing, ne·gates
1. To make ineffective or invalid; nullify.
2. To rule out; deny. See Synonyms at deny.
3. the effect of good preaching:
If ministers preach never so good doctrine, and are never so painful and laborious in their work, yet if at such a day as this, they shew to their people that they are not well affected to this work, but are very doubtful and suspicious of it, they will be very likely to do their people a great deal more hurt than good. For the very fame of such a great and extraordinary work of God, if their people were suffered to believe it to be his work, and the example of other towns, together with what preaching they might hear occasionally, would be likely to have a much greater influence upon the minds of their people, to awaken them and animate them in religion, than all their labors with them. (52)
In Part V of Some Thoughts, Edwards proposed three things that should be done to further worldwide revival: a season of worldwide prayer, a renewing of the people's covenant with God, and the publishing of a history of the awakening. Regarding the third, Edwards proposed that if God wanted to carry on the work of revival, "an history should be published once a month, or once a fortnight, of the progress of it, by one of the ministers of Boston, who are near the press and are most conveniently situated to receive accounts from all parts." (53) Edwards explained the logic of such a publication, "It has been found by experience that the tidings of remarkable effects of the power and grace of God in any place, tend greatly to awaken and engage the minds of persons in other places." He also explained that the ultimate goal of these publications, along with other means, was to speed the coming of Christ's millennial kingdom by stirring others to pursue and promote more extensive revival.
If it should please God to bless any means for the convincing the country of his hand in this work, and bringing them fully and freely to acknowledge his glorious power and grace in it ... and by due methods, to endeavor to promote it, it would be a dispensation of divine providence that would have a most glorious aspect, happily signifying the approach of great and glorious things to the church of God, and justly causing us to hope that Christ would speedily come to set up his kingdom of light, holiness, peace and joy on earth, as is foretold in his Word. "Amen: even so, come, Lord Jesus!" (54)
Edwards' desire for the publication of a history of awakenings was fulfilled in March 1743, when the first edition of The Christian History, Containing Accounts of the Revival and Propagation of Religion in Great Britain Great Britain, officially United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, constitutional monarchy (2005 est. pop. 60,441,000), 94,226 sq mi (244,044 sq km), on the British Isles, off W Europe. The country is often referred to simply as Britain. and America was published in Boston by Thomas Prince, Jr. Many of the narratives published in The Christian History included passages that connected local revivals to a "larger millennial vision" and to a hopeful expectation of the worldwide spread of the gospel. (55) A few months after the Boston paper began, The Christian Monthly History was started by James Robe--a Scottish correspondent of Edwards.
Edwards had long believed that stories of revival were a means God would use to bring about the final, international revival, leading to the Millennium. In 1736, Edwards said in a sermon, "The conversion of numbers can be a greater means to awaken greater numbers of souls to enlarge Christ's church as a greater and finally irresistible force IRRESISTIBLE FORCE. This term is applied to such an interposition of human agency, as is, from its nature and power, absolutely uncontrollable; as the inroads of a hostile army. Story on Bailm. Sec. 25; Lois des Batim. pt. 2. c. 2, Sec. 1. It differs from inevitable accident; (q. v. in the world." (56) This idea was probably fresh on his mind as A Faithful Narrative headed to wider publication to share with the world what God had recently done in Northampton. Crawford claims that Edwards' Faithful Narrative "established a new religious genre." Twenty-five revival narratives were printed in America between 1741 and 1745. Most of them were clearly modeled after Edwards' work, and all but one were published in The Christian History. Edwards' narrative and those it inspired were by design instrumental in spreading similar revivals throughout the British provinces. (57)
Edwards' desire to bring about more revival by the reporting of revival was a motivating factor in the publication of his other revival writings as well. For example, in An Humble Attempt, Edwards looked forward to a movement of prayer which would lead to a "revival of religion ... amongst [God's] professing people; that this being observed, will be the means of awakening others." (58) In the preface to The Life of David Brainerd, Edwards wrote that God uses two "ways of representing and recommending true Religion and Virtue to the World.... The one is by Doctrine and Precept; the other is by Instance and Example." (59) One of the purposes of publishing Brainerd's diary was to encourage others to seek a similar religious experience to that of Brainerd and the Native Americans awakened a·wak·en
tr. & intr.v. a·wak·ened, a·wak·en·ing, a·wak·ens
To awake; waken. See Usage Note at wake1.
[Middle English awakenen, from Old English under his ministry.
Edwards especially wanted to commend as a spiritual example Brainerd's passion for the worldwide spread of the gospel. (60) He made this intention explicit, writing: "There is much in the preceding account to excite and encourage God's people to earnest prayers and endeavors for the advancement and enlargement of the kingdom of Christ in the world. Mr. Brainerd sat [sic] us an excellent example in this respect." (61) Brainerd often recorded his prayers for the advancement of Christ's kingdom. Sometimes he referred specifically to the expansion of Christ's kingdom among the Indians, but he wrote more often that his heart was enlarged to pray for the coming of Christ's kingdom in the world, and among the heathen, more generally. (62) Brainerd's passion for the worldwide spread of Christ's kingdom became especially intense as he lay dying in Edwards's home. Edwards reported, "He also was much in expressing his longings that the Church of Christ on earth might flourish, and Christ's kingdom here might be advanced, notwithstanding he was about to leave the earth and should not with his eyes behold the desirable event, nor be instrumental in promoting it.... He expressed much hope that a glorious advancement of Christ's kingdom was near at hand." (63)
Edwards interpreted Brainerd's extraordinary spirit of prayer for the advancement of Christ's kingdom as yet another sign that "God has a design of accomplishing something very glorious for the interest of his Church before long." Edwards wanted Brainerd's example and hope to move others to action for the advance of the gospel. To this end, Edwards called on his readers to make financial contributions to support missionaries, since there was reason to hope that the success Brainerd saw was "but a forerunner of something yet much more glorious and extensive of that kind." (64) He also reported that Brainerd sent as his "dying advice" to his own congregation that they should participate in the concert of prayer for the coming of Christ's kingdom, recently proposed by ministers in Scotland. (65) Edwards used Brainerd's example to call his readers, again, to join together in "extraordinary prayer for the general revival of religion"--something he had urged in An Humble Attempt, published soon after Brainerd died. (66)
The Life of David Brainerd was unique among Edwards' revival writings. As in A Faithful Narrative, he reported extraordinary cases of conversion and revival that could inspire readers to pursue the expansion of such revival. As in Some Thoughts, he made connections between the revivals he described and biblical prophecies of eschatological revival. But unlike in his earlier works, the main character himself was driven by a passion to see God's eschatological promises fulfilled. Brainerd's piety and global vision were useful in encouraging Edwards' readers to pursue the promised, worldwide revival of religion. Brainerd, like Edwards, longed to see God's "declarative de·clar·a·tive
1. Serving to declare or state.
2. Of, relating to, or being an element or construction used to make a statement: a declarative sentence.
n. glory" spread to all nations through "a general outpouring of the Spirit of God and extensive revival of religion." (67) Edwards published Brainerd's journals with the hope that their passion would spread, and along with it the gospel. Revivals would reinvigorate re·in·vig·o·rate
tr.v. re·in·vig·o·rat·ed, re·in·vig·o·rat·ing, re·in·vig·o·rates
To give new life or energy to.
re piety where the church existed already, and they would inspire missions to spread the gospel to new peoples and lands around the world, and together help prepare the Millennium.
In summary, Edwards agreed with Protestant evangelicals before him that God had promised to use revival as the means to bring about the conversion of the world before the Millennium. This understanding of future prophecy contributed to his belief that the revivals of his day were a part of a bigger story, one that would lead to the fall of the Antichrist, the spread of the gospel to all nations, and the millennial reign of the church. Since revival would be the main means by which the gospel would spread, Christians should be careful not to hinder the revivals that were occurring in their midst. Indeed, it was each minister's duty to encourage and spread good news about revival. By promoting the revivals and defending their reality, they could help bring about that great and final revival that would spread the gospel to all nations.
Preaching the Truth
A second means that Edwards emphasized to advance Christ's kingdom to all nations was the proclamation and spread of the truth. In his "Notes on the Apocalypse," Edwards was convinced that the great enemy of true religion was Roman Catholicism, with all of its lies and deceptions. Stein has observed that according to Edwards' notebook, "The antidote to [Roman Catholic] chicanery and imposture im·pos·ture
The act or instance of engaging in deception under an assumed name or identity.
[French, from Old French, from Late Latin impost ... is the manifestation of truth that will dash to pieces the false doctrines and practices of the antichristian kingdom." (68) The plagues and battles of Revelation were, for the most part, not intended to foretell fore·tell
tr.v. fore·told , fore·tell·ing, fore·tells
To tell of or indicate beforehand; predict.
fore·tell literal plagues and armed conflict. Instead, they represented a future battle between evangelical truth and the Devil's lies and deception, mainly propagated through Roman Catholicism. A major battle between light and darkness was coming, and the truth of the gospel, represented in the book of Revelation by things such as pestilence pestilence /pes·ti·lence/ (pes´ti-lins) a virulent contagious epidemic or infectious epidemic disease.pestilen´tial
1. and hail, would prevail. Revelation 16:21 describes the pouring out of the seventh vial of God's wrath on the Beast: "And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great." Edwards interpreted the hail not as a physical judgment, but as the victory of the truth through the preaching of the gospel.
By this hail seems chiefly to be meant such strong reasons and forcible arguments and demonstrations, that nothing will be able to withstand them.... For we know that Antichrist is to be destroyed by clear light, by the breath of Christ's mouth, [by the] brightness of his coming, that is, by plain reason and demonstration, deduced from the Word of God. We know likewise, that he is to be destroyed by the sword that comes out of the mouth of him that sits on the horse (ch. 19:15). And what is this but the Word of God, and the clear light of the gospel? What is meant by the overthrow of Antichrist, but the overthrow of falsehood, the abolishing their false doctrine and worship? And what can those hailstones be which dash falsehood to pieces, but clear proofs and plain manifestations of truth? (69)
This kind of language, found throughout Edwards' private notebook, appears in his public works public works
Construction projects, such as highways or dams, financed by public funds and constructed by a government for the benefit or use of the general public.
Noun 1. as well. In A History of the Work of Redemption, Edwards predicted that there would be a "reviving [of] those holy doctrines of religion that are now chiefly ridiculed in the world, and turning multitudes from heresy, and from popery pop·er·y
The doctrines, practices, and rituals of the Roman Catholic Church.
Offensive Roman Catholicism
, and from other false religion."70 In An Humble Attempt, he explained that the sixth vial would result not only in the downfall of Roman Catholic error, but also in overcoming "the corrupt doctrines and practices that have prevailed in Protestant countries, and the doubts and difficulties that attend many doctrines of the true religion, and the many divisions and contentions that subsist sub·sist
v. sub·sist·ed, sub·sist·ing, sub·sists
a. To exist; be.
b. To remain or continue in existence.
2. among Protestants." (71) Truth would advance on all sides--Catholic and Protestant--and against all error until the millennial age when "the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea" (Habakkuk 2:14).
According to Edwards, God's plan was to spread the truth and overcome error through the public preaching of biblical truth. He agreed with Puritans such as Thomas Brightman, John Owen John Owen may refer to:
v. re·dou·bled, re·dou·bling, re·dou·bles
1. To double.
2. To repeat.
3. Games To double the doubling bid of (an opponent) in bridge.
v. their efforts in preparing and preaching, in hopes that God would use their preaching as a means to advance the gospel to the ends of the earth. They did not have to depend on their own strength, however; for as the Bible promised, "there shall be a glorious pouring out of the Spirit with this clear and powerful preaching of the gospel, to make it successful." (74)
Edwards found indications and predictions of this great increase and success of preaching all over the Bible. Prophecies throughout the book of Revelation foretold the rise of successful preaching. For example, the angel in Revelation 14:6, flying through heaven with the gospel for "every nation, and kindred KINDRED. Relations by blood.
2. Nature has divided the kindred of every one into three principal classes. 1. His children, and their descendants. 2. His father, mother, and other ascendants. 3. , and tongue, and people," represented the preaching of the gospel by ministers throughout the earth in the last days. (75) Edwards also saw types of extraordinary gospel preaching throughout the Old Testament. The priests blowing trumpets to bring down the walls of Jericho represented ministers preaching the gospel to bring down Satan's kingdom. The trumpets at the beginning of Jubilee (Leviticus 25:8-10), the reading of the law before the year of release (Deuteronomy 31:10-11) and at the feast of tabernacles (Nehemiah 8), and the rooster's crow that brought Peter to repentance were all "intended to signify the awakening of God's church ... by the extraordinary preaching of the Gospel, that shall be at the dawning of the day of the church's light and glory." (76)
The central role Edwards gave to preaching in his vision of the future conversion of the heathen combined with his belief that he was living on the precipice of the glorious work to come, helps explain his decision to move to Stockbridge as a missionary in 1750. Andrew Walls has described Edwards' years as a missionary this way: "[Edwards] can, like John Wesley, be held to have been personally a participant in missions, even if largely by default, through his Stockbridge exile." (77) Walls's claim is misleading in two ways. First, Edwards' move to Stockbridge was not "by default." He had other opportunities. Friends in Scotland urged him to take a Presbyterian pastorate pas·tor·ate
1. The office, rank, or jurisdiction of a pastor.
2. A pastor's term of office with one congregation.
3. A body of pastors.
Noun 1. there, and friends in Northampton agitated ag·i·tate
v. ag·i·tat·ed, ag·i·tat·ing, ag·i·tates
1. To cause to move with violence or sudden force.
2. for a new church to split off and call Edwards as their pastor. (78) Stockbridge was not the default choice. He could have probably secured a pastorate at a large church somewhere in the colonies or Scotland. Second, Walls's description of Edwards' ministry in Stockbridge as "exile" is far different than Edwards' own assessment.
For Edwards, Indians were part of the main event in the next stage of God's plan of redemption, not a side show. In 1739, years before his removal to Stockbridge, Edwards had expressed his expectation that the North American North American
named after North America.
North American blastomycosis
see North American blastomycosis.
North American cattle tick
see boophilusannulatus. Indians would soon experience a massive revival. He saw this coming revival as part of the future, international, glorious work of God prophesied in Scripture:
I think we may well look upon the discovery of so great a part of the world as America and bringing the gospel into it, is one thing by which divine providence is preparing the way for the future glorious times of the church.... When those times come, then doubtless the gospel which is already brought over into America shall have glorious success, and all the inhabitants of this new-discovered world shall be brought over into the kingdom of Christ, as well as all the other ends of the earth. (79)
Edwards maintained this expectation during his time in Stockbridge. In a letter to Thomas Hubbard in 1751, he expressed hope that "God in his providence seems now to be opening the door for the introducing the light of the gospel among these nations, more than ever [he] has done before." (80) Likewise in a sermon to the Indians, Edwards preached, "Christ commanded that his word contained in the Bible should be opened to all nations, and that all should be instructed out of it." (81) That is why Edwards was in Stockbridge, to take part in Christ's plan to open the Bible and instruct all nations in the truth. The evidence shows that Edwards' removal to Stockbridge was not an exile by default. Instead it was a choice based in part on his interpretation of prophecy and current events. This interpretation gave him hope that his preaching would be a means God would use to convert the Indians as Christ's kingdom continued its inevitable advance to the Millennium.
United Prayer for Revival
As mentioned above, in Part V of Some Thoughts Edwards proposed three things that could be done to promote revival. The third was an organized season of worldwide prayer. He suggested that some ministers get together and draw up a proposal for such a day and urged that the proposal be printed and distributed by a Boston pastor. Edwards' plan to advance Christ's kingdom through united prayer was, again, motivated by his interpretation of biblical prophecy: "In such a way, perhaps, might be fulfilled in some measure such a general mourning and supplication of God's people as is spoken of, Zech. 12, at the latter end, with which the church's glorious day is to be introduced." (82)
Edwards' proposal bore fruit in October 1744, when a group of Scottish pastors met to plan a quarterly concert of prayer for worldwide revival. Edwards heard about the concert of prayer from his Scottish friends at the end of 1745 and was immediately excited. He led his congregation to participate in the concert of prayer, and in 1747 he published An Humble Attempt to Promote Explicit Agreement and Visible Union of God's People in Extraordinary Prayer For the Revival of Religion and the Advancement of Christ's Kingdom on Earth, pursuant to Scripture-promises and Prophecies concerning the Last Time. The purpose of An Humble Attempt was to publicize the Scottish concert of prayer and urge readers to participate in it. (83)
An Humble Attempt was Edwards' most detailed publication dealing with eschatological matters. He set his call to prayer within a biblical prophetic framework, quoting Zechariah 8:20-22: "Thus saith saith
A third person singular present tense of say. the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD." Using this passage as his text in Part I, Edwards explained the role that prayer would play in the last days. He wrote, "In the text we have an account how this future glorious advancement of the church of God should be brought on, or introduced; viz., by great multitudes in different towns and countries taking up a joint resolution, and coming into an express and visible agreement, that they will, by united and extraordinary prayer, seek to God that he would come and manifest himself, and grant the tokens and fruits of his gracious presence." (84) While revival would be the means God used to advance his kingdom to the ends of the earth, and preaching the truth would be the immediate cause of that revival, the means of united and fervent prayer would precede both. Therefore, Edwards labored to promote a widespread movement of prayer as a means for advancing the missionary cause of the church.
Scholars have often missed the inseparable connection between prayer and missions in Edwards' thought. Andrew Walls has written that An Humble Attempt "is not a book about missions; it is a book about prayer." He claims that it only became a book about missions in the late nineteenth century when English Baptists read it, "who already had the germ of the idea of an overseas missionary enterprise." (85) Walls seems to miss Edwards' larger purpose in publishing An Humble Attempt. It was certainly a book about prayer, but it was also about missions and the Millennium. Edwards labored to promote a widespread movement of prayer not as an end in itself, but in order to advance the missionary cause of the church. The second half of the title itself, which Walls left out of both his text and footnotes, makes Edwards' purpose clear: Edwards was promoting the concert of prayer, "for the revival of religion and the millennial advancement of Christ's kingdom on earth."
Scholars have also misunderstood the relationship between human efforts and God's Providential prov·i·den·tial
1. Of or resulting from divine providence.
2. Happening as if through divine intervention; opportune. See Synonyms at happy. work in Edwards' writings. Alan Heimert interprets Edwards as a catalytic millennialist who believed the last days would be the result of human effort. Heimert claims that Some Thoughts "contained within itself the premise that mankind could create within itself the very desires that were to accomplish and constitute the earthly kingdom." (86) This statement is a bit misleading. For Edwards, prayer was a means to revival. God would send revival as an answer to the prayers of his people. However, God had not left it in human hands to work up the desire to pray. Edwards explained, "From the representation made in the prophecy ... it will be fulfilled something after this manner; first, that there shall be given much of a spirit of prayer to God's people, in many places disposing them to come into an express agreement, unitedly to pray to God in an extraordinary manner." People were not first in the process, God was. He would give the desire to pray first, or the people would never possess it. In addition, Edwards' confidence in the fruitfulness of united prayer was not based on the power of human will, but on the promises of God. The only reason they had any reason to believe their prayers would be effectual ef·fec·tu·al
Producing or sufficient to produce a desired effect; fully adequate. See Synonyms at effective.
[Middle English effectuel, from Old French, from Late Latin in bringing about the worldwide revival was that God had made clear promises that this would be the case. Edwards claimed, "The prophets, in their prophecies of the restoration and advancement of the church, very often speak of it as what shall be done in answer to the prayers of God's people." (87) In Parts I and II of Some Thoughts, Edwards cited numerous prophecies that indicated God would send a great revival to convert all nations only after a mighty movement of prayer. So Edwards' understanding of prophecy and the chronology of the latter days caused him to advocate prayer as a means for advancing the church's missionary cause and through it the Millennium.
Since the promises of Scripture were a significant impetus to united prayer, then the way believers understood biblical prophecy was crucial. Therefore, Edwards devoted a large portion of An Humble Attempt to answering what he thought were false and discouraging interpretations of prophecy. First, he answered the interpretation that before the glorious work of God in the last days, there would be a time of extreme suffering, darkness, and persecution upon the church. The second wrong interpretation was Moses Lowman's dating system A dating system is any systemic means of improving matchmaking via rules or technology. It is a specialized meeting system where the objective of the meeting, be it live or phone or chat based, is to go on a live date with someone, with usually romantic implications. that placed the fall of the Antichrist after the year 2000. (88) Edwards countered both of these interpretations with extensive exegetical ex·e·get·ic also ex·e·get·i·cal
Of or relating to exegesis; critically explanatory.
ex argument, but he also argued against these views based on their likelihood to discourage and dampen the united and fervent prayer for which he was calling. Regarding the view that things would get much worse before they got better, Edwards wrote:
If persons expect no other, than that the more the glorious times of Christ's kingdom are hastened, the sooner will come this dreadful time, wherein the generality of God's people must suffer so extremely ... how can it be otherwise, than a great damp to their hope, courage and activity, in praying for, and reaching after the speedy introduction of those glorious promised times? (89)
Regarding Lowman's placing the fall of the Antichrist so far in the future, Edwards argued that Christ did not want his church to know the exact timing of his coming. Daniel had called the exact time of the kingdom's come a secret, and Jesus had said it was not for his disciples to know. If the date of the coming of the Millennium was revealed in an inalterable way, then the church would have less motivation to pray for its coming. But, Edwards argued, "God makes it the duty of his church to be importunately im·por·tu·nate
Troublesomely urgent or persistent in requesting; pressingly entreating: an importunate job seeker.
im·por praying for it, and praying that it may come speedily; and not only to be praying for it, but to be seeking of it, in the use of proper means; endeavoring that religion may now revive everywhere, and Satan's kingdom be overthrown." And even if Lowman were right about the Millennium beginning around 2000, there was still much to be done before that time. Edwards demonstrated that even if the Holy Spirit were poured out right then, it would take 250 years for the gospel to overthrow the Antichrist and convert all nations. And since the exact dates were not revealed, it was possible their fervent prayer could bring the glorious promises to reality earlier than if they chose not to pray. (90)
To summarize, Edwards thought Christians should come together and use the means of prayer in order to bring about the fulfillment of God's promises to expand his kingdom to the ends of the earth. Using the means of prayer was, in fact, a part of God's promises and would happen when God's people were motivated by a proper understanding of prophecy and when God chose to bless his church with such a season of prayer. These convictions about future prophecy were a factor in Edwards' attempts to encourage and organize concerts of prayer throughout the 1740s with the goal that revival would come and the gospel would spread through missions to all nations, leading to the millennial reign of Christ.
Edwards' life and ministry took him from a small church in New York City, to a prominent town in the Connecticut River valley The Connecticut River Valley stretches from the New Hampshire and Quebec border to Long Island Sound on the Connecticut coast. Orographically, the Connecticut River Valley stretches beyond the floodplain to encompass some towns. , to a mission station on the outskirts of the English empire, and finally to a sick bed in Princeton, New Jersey
Princeton, New Jersey is located in Mercer County, New Jersey, United States. Princeton University has been sited in the town since 1756. . But while his entire ministry was spent within a small geographical region, he had a global vision. His diligent study of biblical prophecy, much more than just an intellectual fascination, taught him that the gospel would soon spread rapidly to all nations. Edwards also found within prophecy the means that God had ordained to bring about the gospel's advance. The means of revival, preaching, and prayer, and the expansion of the revived church to new lands and peoples through missions, were integrally intertwined with his global and millennial vision for the future.
Edwards' interpretation and obsession with eschatology seems strange to most historians, and his post-millennial convictions are foreign and out of step with most contemporary eschatology. These factors make it tempting to ignore his interpretation of prophecy, or treat it as an eccentric curiosity of his overactive o·ver·ac·tive
Active to an excessive or abnormal degree: an overactive child.
o mind. This paper has shown that Edwards' interpretations of millennial prophecy were integrated with his practice of and advocacy for revival and missions. More attention needs to be given to these connections. For instance, in what ways did he utilize the "Notes on the Apocalypse" in his sermons? Treatments of his eschatology have largely ignored his use of future prophecy in his sermons (other than A History of the Work of Redemption). Did the changes in Edwards' eschatology have an influence on, or were they influenced by, his involvement in the Great Awakening? In what ways did Edwards' vision for an increasingly unified Protestantism during the great revival and the Millennium encourage his involvement in the burgeoning transatlantic, cross-confessional evangelical movement? A better comprehension of Edwards' eschatology, in turn, may lead to a fuller understanding of his revival polemics, theology, preaching, ecclesiastical networking, and mission to the Mahican Indians. Things that usually are distinct topics for historians--missions, revivals, and millennial prophecy--were inextricably in·ex·tri·ca·ble
a. So intricate or entangled as to make escape impossible: an inextricable maze; an inextricable web of deceit.
b. wrapped together in Edwards' faith and work.
Mark C. Rogers, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) is an evangelical Christian seminary located in Deerfield, Illinois. TEDS is a part of Trinity International University, and is operated by the Evangelical Free Church of America. , Illinois
(1) Jonathan Edwards, "Personal Narrative," in Letters and Personal Writings, ed. George S. Claghorn, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol. 16, 790-806 (New Haven New Haven, city (1990 pop. 130,474), New Haven co., S Conn., a port of entry where the Quinnipiac and other small rivers enter Long Island Sound; inc. 1784. Firearms and ammunition, clocks and watches, tools, rubber and paper products, and textiles are among the many and London: Yale University Yale University, at New Haven, Conn.; coeducational. Chartered as a collegiate school for men in 1701 largely as a result of the efforts of James Pierpont, it opened at Killingworth (now Clinton) in 1702, moved (1707) to Saybrook (now Old Saybrook), and in 1716 was Press, 1998), 797. (Hereafter I will cite The Works of Jonathan Edwards as WJE WJE Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. and omit the city and publisher, but will include the year.)
(2) Jonathan Edwards, "Notes on the Apocalypse," in Apocalyptic Writings, ed. Stephen J. Stein, WJE, vol. 5 (1977), 95-306.
(3) Stephen J. Stein writes that Edwards "never set aside his notebook for more than limited periods of time." "Editor's Introduction," in Apocalyptic Writings, ed. Stein, WJE, vol. 5 (1977), 15.
(4) See Stein, "Editor's Introduction," 1-94; Stein, "Eschatology," in The Princeton Companion to Jonathan Edwards, ed. Sang Hyun Lee (Princeton: Princeton University Princeton University, at Princeton, N.J.; coeducational; chartered 1746, opened 1747, rechartered 1748, called the College of New Jersey until 1896. Schools and Research Facilities
Press, 2005), 226-42; C. C. Goen, "Jonathan Edwards: A New Departure in Eschatology," Church History, 28 (1959), 25-40; Alan Heimert, Religion and the American Mind: From the Great Awakening to the Revolution (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press The Harvard University Press is a publishing house, a division of Harvard University, that is highly respected in academic publishing. It was established on January 13, 1913. In 2005, it published 220 new titles. , 1966), 59-68, 96-103; John F. Wilson, "History, Redemption, and the Millennium," in Jonathan Edwards and the American Experience, ed. Nathan O. Hatch Nathan O. Hatch is president of Wake Forest University, USA, having been officially installed on 2005-10-20.
Born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina, Hatch graduated summa cum laude graduate of Wheaton College (1968), Hatch earned his master's (1972) and doctoral (1974) and Harry S. Stout (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), 131-41; Gerald R. McDermott, One Holy and Happy Society: The Public Theology of Jonathan Edwards (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Pennsylvania State University, main campus at University Park, State College; land-grant and state supported; coeducational; chartered 1855, opened 1859 as Farmers' High School. Press, 1992), 37-92; James West Each of the following persons may be referred to as James West and/or Jim West:
(5) See Andrew F. Walls, "Missions and Historical Memory: Jonathan Edwards and David Brainerd," and Stuart Piggin, "The Expanding Knowledge of God: Jonathan Edwards's Influence on Missionary Thinking and Promotion," in Jonathan Edwards at Home and Abroad: Historical Memories, Cultural Movements, Global Horizons, ed. David W. Kling and Douglas A. Sweeney, (Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press The University of South Carolina Press (or USC Press), founded in 1944, is a university press that is part of the University of South Carolina. External link
• , 2003), 248-65, 266-96; Rachel M. Wheeler, "Edwards as a Missionary," in The Cambridge Companion to Jonathan Edwards, ed. Stephen J. Stein (New York: Cambridge University Press Cambridge University Press (known colloquially as CUP) is a publisher given a Royal Charter by Henry VIII in 1534, and one of the two privileged presses (the other being Oxford University Press). , 2007), 196-216. See also older studies: Ronald E. Davies, Jonathan Edwards and His Influence on the Development of the Missionary Movement from Britain (Cambridge: Currents in World Christianity Project, 1996); Davies, "Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord: The Missiological Thought and Practice of Jonathan Edwards, 1703-1758" (PhD Diss., Fuller Theological Seminary Through its three schools, Theology, Psychology, Intercultural Studies, and the Horner Center for Lifelong Learning, the seminary offers university-style education leading to 13 different degrees accredited by the Association of Theological Schools and the Western , 1989).
(6) The two who have made this connection most clearly, though briefly, are J. A. De Jong, As the Waters Cover the Sea: Millennial Expectations in the Rise of Anglo-American Missions, 1640-1810 (Kampen, Netherlands: Kok Publishing, 1970); and Iain Murray Iain Hamish Murray (b. 1931; Lancashire, England) was educated in the Isle of Man and at the University of Durham. He entered the Christian ministry in 1955. He served as assistant to Dr. , The Puritan Hope: A Study in Revival and the Interpretation of Prophecy (London: Banner of Truth, 1971). See also, Michael J. Crawford, Seasons of Grace: Colonial New England's Revival Tradition in Its British Context (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991), 124-38; and Timothy C. Tennent, Theology in the Context of World Christianity: How the Global Church is Influencing the Way We Think About and Discuss Theology (Grand Rapids Grand Rapids, city (1990 pop. 189,126), seat of Kent co., SW central Mich., on the Grand River; inc. 1850. The second largest city in the state, it is a distribution, wholesale, and industrial center for an area that yields fruit, dairy products, farm produce, , MI: Zondervan, 2007), 221-48.
(7) Michael Crawford summarizes the rise of postmillennial post·mil·len·ni·al also post·mil·len·ni·an
Happening or existing after the millennium.
Adj. 1. postmillennial - of or relating to the period following the millennium eschatology in sixteenth and seventeenth century Protestantism well: "In the years between the Glorious Revolution Glorious Revolution, in English history, the events of 1688–89 that resulted in the deposition of James II and the accession of William III and Mary II to the English throne. It is also called the Bloodless Revolution. and the Great Awakening the notion of a promised postmillennial, non-catastrophic, future period of peace and prosperity for the church on earth gained wider and wider currency. This version of the Millennium, known as simple chiliasm chiliasm: see millennium. and Whitbianism in the eighteenth century, became influential principally through the biblical commentaries This is an outline of exegesis. Discussed are the salient points of Jewish, patristic, medieval, and modern commentaries, starting with the Jewish writers. The topic starts with the Targums, Mishna, and Talmuds. of Daniel Whitby Daniel Whitby (1638–1726) was an English theologian. An Arminian minister in the Church of England, Whitby was known for being strongly anti-Calvinistic and later gave evidence of strong Arian and Unitarian tendencies. (1638-1728), a moderate Anglican; William Lowth (1660-1732), also an Anglican divine; and Moses Lowman (1680-1752), Dissenter and occasional conformist con·form·ist
A person who uncritically or habitually conforms to the customs, rules, or styles of a group.
Marked by conformity or convention: ." (Crawford, Seasons of Grace, 131). See footnote 18, below, for how Edwards was directly influenced by Moses Lowman's interpretation of Revelation. On New England millennial views before and during Edwards' time, see James West Davidson, The Logic of Millennial Thought: Eighteenth-Century New England (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977). On British/American Protestant eschatology in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, see Murray, The Puritan Hope, 37-82; De Jong, As the Waters Cover the Sea, 36-43; Peter Toon, Puritans, the Millennium and the Future of Israel: Puritan Eschatology 1600 to 1660 (Cambridge: James Clarke James Clarke is the name of:
Protestant movement that stresses conversion experiences, the Bible as the only basis for faith, and evangelism at home and abroad. The religious revival that occurred in Europe and America during the 18th century was generally referred to as the evangelical : Exploring Historical Continuities, ed. Michael A. G. Haykin and Kenneth J. Stewart (Nottingham, UK: InterVarsity Press, 2008), 375-93.
(8) C. C. Goen argued that Edwards' optimistic postmillennial speculations were an innovative departure from previous Protestant eschatology, in Goen, "Jonathan Edwards: A New Departure in Eschatology," 25-40. Alan Heimert followed Goen's interpretation in Religion and the American Mind, 59-94. John F. Wilson has argued that Edwards' millennial eschatology grew out of New England Puritan eschatology, and was much less innovative than Goen and Heimert suggest; Wilson, "History, Redemption, and the Millennium," 136-8. Crawford also counters Goen and Heimert, writing, "Moving the Second Coming and the cataclysmic interruption of history from the beginning of the Millennium to the end did not transform a pessimistic into an optimistic eschatology. Christian millennialism was intrinsically optimistic." (Crawford, Seasons of Grace, 132).
(9) Edwards, A History of the Work of Redemption, ed. John F. Wilson, WJE, vol. 9 (1989), 481, 482, 484. On Edwards' vision of the Millennium, see Gerald R. McDermott, One Holy and Happy Society, 37-92.
(10) Edwards, 485.
(11) Edwards, An Humble Attempt To promote Explicit Agreement and Visible Union of God's People in Extraordinary Prayer For the Revival of Religion ..., in Apocalyptic Writings, ed. Stephen J. Stein, WJE, vol. 5 (1977), 395.
(12) Stein, "Editor's Introduction," (18).
(13) Edwards, "Notes on the Apocalypse," 129-30.
(14) Edwards, An Humble Attempt, 411.
(15) On New England anti-Catholicism in the early 1700s, see Thomas Kidd, The Protestant Interest: New England after Puritanism (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004), 74-90, 138-48; Mary Augustina Ray, American Opinion of Roman Catholicism in the Eighteenth Century (New York: Columbia University Press Columbia University Press is an academic press based in New York City and affiliated with Columbia University. It is currently directed by James D. Jordan (2004-present) and publishes titles in the humanities and sciences, including the fields of literary and cultural studies, , 1936).
(16) Edwards, "Notes on the Apocalypse," 116.
(17) Moses Lowman, A Paraphrase and Notes on the Revelation of St. John (London: printed for John Noon, 1737); Edwards, An Humble Attempt, 383. For an example of Edwards' extended interaction with Lowman's thought, see Edwards, Notes on the Apocalypse, 219-53. On Lowman's impact on Edwards, see Stein, "Editor's Introduction," 55-9.
(18) Edwards, An Humble Attempt, 381, 383.
(19) For a good discussion of how Edwards' interpretation of the two witnesses developed after 1740 and why it differed from Lowman's interpretation, see Davidson, The Logic of Millennial Thought, 150-8. Davidson demonstrates that Edwards, after 1740, believed the darkest, lowest, and most general time of suffering for the church had occurred before the Reformation, but that the church would still experience significant suffering and persecutions before the onset of the Millennium. See also Tennent, Theology in the Context of World Christianity, 243-4.
(20) Before the revivals of 1740, Edwards thought a dark time for the church may immediately precede the last great work of God, and that he may be living in that dark time. He also thought the sixth vial had not yet been poured out. Edwards, A History of the Work of Redemption, 456-8. However, in Some Thoughts (1743) and An Humble Attempt (1747), Edwards had a much more positive view and thought the sixth vial was already in the process of being poured out. See below for more on this transition.
(21) New England pastors in the early 1700s--including Cotton and Increase Mather The Reverend Increase Mather (June 21 1639 – August 23 1723) was a major figure in the early history of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and Province of Massachusetts Bay (now the Federal state of Massachusetts). , Ebenezer Parkman, Samuel Willard Samuel Willard (1640-1707) was a Colonial clergyman. He was born in Concord, Massachusetts; graduated at Harvard in 1659; and was minister at Groton from 1663 to 1676, whence he was driven by the Indians during King Philip's War. , Benjamin Coleman, Eliphalet Adams Eliphalet Adams (b. March 26 1677, Dedham, Massachusetts — April 1753) was an eminent minister of New London, Connecticut. He graduated from Harvard University in 1694. He was ordained February 9 1709, and died in April 1753, aged 76. Dr. , and Solomon Stoddard--looked forward to these same events. Kidd, The Protestant Interest, 138-66. On earlier Puritans'--like Thomas Brightman, John Cotton, and John Owen--belief in the conversion of the Jews and the fall of the Antichrist, see Toon, Puritan Eschatology, 23-41; Murray, The Puritan Hope, 37-55.
(22) Edwards, An Humble Attempt, 412.
(23) This and all subsequent quotations from the Bible will use the KJV KJV
King James Version translation, which Edwards used throughout his life.
(24) Edwards, "Notes on the Apocalypse," 185.
(25) Edwards, An Humble Attempt, 418, 427; and "Notes on the Apocalypse," 196-7.
(26) Edwards, "Notes on the Apocalypse," 253-97.
(27) "The forty-two months began in the year 606, when the pope was first seated in his chair, and was made universal bishop. They will, therefore, end about 1866, although I do not deny what by many is thought to be true, viz., that Satan's kingdom in the world will not be totally overthrown, his ruin will not receive its finishing stroke till the year two thousand." Edwards, "Notes on Apocalypse," 129. This basic timeline remained the same; even after he read Lowman's A Paraphrase and Notes and changed his chronology of the vials. Davidson, The Logic of Millennial Thought, 153.
(28) Edwards, An Humble Attempt, 411. It seems that Edwards never called for missionaries to go to the "heathen world" (Africa and Asia). It is possible his belief that the heathen would not be converted until after the fall of the Antichrist contributed to his silence regarding missions to those areas.
(29) Murray, The Blessed Hope, 51.
(30) Crawford, Seasons of Grace, 127-33; Kidd, The Protestant Interest, 157-66.
(31) Jonathan Edwards, A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God in the Conversion of Many Hundred Souls in Northampton, in The Great Awakening, ed. C. C. Goen, WJE (1972), 97-212. On the Northampton revival, see C. C. Goen, "Editor's Introduction," in The Great Awakening, WJE, vol. 4 (1972), 19-25; George Marsden, Jonathan Edwards: A Life (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003), 150-69. On the writing and reception of "A Faithful Narrative," see Marsden, 170-3; Thomas S. Kidd, The Great Awakening: The Roots of Evangelical Christianity in Colonial America (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007), 13-23; Crawford, Seasons of Grace, 124-7, 182-90.
(32) De Jong, As the Waters Cover the Sea, 124.
(33) Stein, "Editor's Introduction," 20-2. Stein's study of Edwards's pre-1734 millennial views counters those who argue that the 1734-35 revival caused Edwards to consider, for the first time, the advancement of Christ's corporate kingdom in the world, rather than mere individual salvation. Heimert, Religion and the American Mind, 61; Zakai, Jonathan Edwards's Philosophy of History, 208-9.
(34) Crawford, Seasons of Grace, 124-7.
(35) Edwards, A History of the Work of Redemption, 143, 435-6, 457-8.
(36) Davidson explains regarding the 1740-42 revival, "It was [its] magnitude that prompted participants to draw parallels between the revival and the biblical promises of 'the spirit poured out on all flesh' in the latter days of the world." Davidson, The Logic of Millennial Thought, 122.
(37) Edwards, Some Thoughts Concerning the Present Revival of Religion in New-England, in The Great Awakening, ed. C. C. Goen, WJE, vol. 4 (1972), 353.
(38) C. C. Goen, "Jonathan Edwards: A New Departure in Eschatology," Church History 28 (March 1959): 29-30; Goen, "Editor's Introduction," 71-2. Goen's interpretation has been followed by most scholars after him. See Alan Heimert, Religion and the American Mind, 62; Ernest Lee Ernest Page Lee (1862 - 1932) was a New Zealand politician of the Reform Party.
He was the Member of Parliament for Oamaru from 1911 to 1922, when he was defeated in the 1922 General Election. Tuveson, Redeemer Nation: The Idea of America's Millennial Role (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1968); Stein, "Editor's Introduction," 26-9; Harry Stout, The New England Soul: Preaching and Religious Culture in Colonial New England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), 204; Hatch, Sacred Cause of Liberty, 32-3. John F. Wilson corrected Goen's argument that Edwards' millenarian mil·le·nar·i·an
1. Of or relating to a thousand, especially to a thousand years.
2. Of, relating to, or believing in the doctrine of the millennium.
One who believes the millennium will occur. speculations represented a significant departure from his Puritan predecessors (see footnote 8), but accepted Goen's interpretation of Edwards regarding the timing and location of the Millennium. Wilson, "History, Redemption, and the Millennium," 131-33; Wilson, "Editor's Introduction," in A History of the Work of Redemption, ed. John F. Wilson, WJE, vol. 9 (1989), 82.
(39) McDermott, One Holy and Happy Society, 50-60; Zakai has adopted McDermott's revisionist re·vi·sion·ism
1. Advocacy of the revision of an accepted, usually long-standing view, theory, or doctrine, especially a revision of historical events and movements.
2. interpretation in "Jonathan Edwards's Philosophy of History," 294-301.
(40) McDermott, One Holy and Happy Society, 53, 55-7.
(41) Hatch, Sacred Cause of Liberty, 32-3.
(42) Edwards, "The Blank Bible," ed. Stephen J. Stein, WJE, vol. 24 (2006), 274-5.
(43) For example, Edwards wrote about how the land of Canaan was in the perfect location to serve as the center of the kingdom of Christ: "As the land of Canaan is the most advantageously posited of any spot of ground on the face [of the earth], to be the place from whence whence
1. From where; from what place: Whence came this traveler?
2. From what origin or source: Whence comes this splendid feast?
conj. the truth should shine forth, and true religion spread around into all parts of the world. There are three continents of the earth: the old continent, America and Terra Australis. This land is right in the center of the old and principal continent.... And [it is] lying at the end of the Mediterranean Sea Mediterranean Sea [Lat.,=in the midst of lands], the world's largest inland sea, c.965,000 sq mi (2,499,350 sq km), surrounded by Europe, Asia, and Africa. Geography
The Mediterranean is c.2,400 mi (3,900 km) long with a maximum width of c. , which opens the way from Canaan directly to America ... and other places, opening the way straight to Terra Australis, the third continent." Edwards, "Notes on the Apocalypse," 133.
(44) Edwards, A History of the Work of Redemption, 434-6.
(45) Jonathan Edwards to the Reverend William McCulloch, 5 March 1734/35, in Letters and Personal Writings, ed. George S. Claghorn, WJE, v. 16 (1998), 135.
(46) Jonathan Edwards, The Life of David Brainerd, ed. Norman Pettit, vol. 7, WJE (1985), 533.
(47) Edwards, An Humble Attempt, 363, 427, 329.
(48) Edwards, A History, 359.
(49) Edwards, A History, 458-9. Crawford explains that although complex chiliasts like the Mathers believed in a premillennial pre·mil·len·ni·al
Of or happening in the time before the millennium.
premil·len second coming, "they described the kingdom of Christ as spreading across the globe by the preaching of the Gospel and the outpouring of the Spirit in the same way as described by the simple chiliasts." Crawford, Seasons of Grace, 131.
(50) Charles E. Hambrick-Stowe, The Practice of Piety: Puritan Devotional de·vo·tion·al
Of, relating to, expressive of, or used in devotion, especially of a religious nature.
A short religious service.
de·vo Disciplines in Seventeenth-Century New England (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press The University of North Carolina Press (or UNC Press), founded in 1922, is a university press that is part of the University of North Carolina. External link
(51) Edwards, Some Thoughts, 357-8. Edwards cites multiple Bible passages to demonstrate that those who oppose the revivals of "that glorious day" would incur the judgment of God, 358-70.
(52) Edwards, Some Thoughts, 375.
(53) Edwards, Some Thoughts, 529. The idea for such a publication was first suggested by William Cooper There are several people called William Cooper:
(54) Cooper, WJE, vol. 4, 530.
(55) Davidson, The Logic of Millennial Thought, 122-9. He also notes the lack of specific speculation regarding things like the vials or the timing of the two witnesses.
(56) Jonathan Edwards, from a sermon preached in 1736 on Matthew 5:14. Quoted in Helen P. Westra, "Divinity's Design: Edwards and the History of the Work of Redemption," in Edwards in Our Time: Jonathan Edwards and the Shaping of American Religion, ed. Sang Hyun Lee and Allen C. Guelzo Allen Carl Guelzo (born February 2, 1953 in Yokohama, Japan) is the Henry R. Luce III Professor of the Civil War Era at Gettysburg College, where he serves as Director of the Civil War Era Studies Program and The Gettysburg Semester. Biography
Guelzo was the son of Lt. , (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1999), 138.
(57) Crawford, Seasons of Grace, 164-6, 124-7; Diane Susan Durden, "Transatlantic Communications and Literature in the Religious Revivals, 1735-1745" (PhD diss., University of Hull, 1978).
(58) Edwards, An Humble Attempt, 317-8.
(59) Edwards, The Life, 89.
(60) Some have downplayed, I think wrongly, Edwards' missional purposes in publishing Brainerd's diary. For examples, see Walls, "Missions and Historical Memory," 255-56; Norman Pettit, "Editor's Introduction," in The Life, ed. Norman Pettit, vol. 7, WJE (1985), 13.
(61) Edwards, The Life, 531-2.
(62) For example, see Edwards, The Life, 158-62, 165, 173, 187, 203, 216, 228, 255, 265, 324, 326, 332, 353, 382-3, 398, 401, 407, 446, 459-61, 470-1, 474, 510, 520, 532, 551.
(63) Edwards, The Life, 470-1. See also, 459, 551.
(64) Edwards, The Life, 532, 533.
(65) Edwards, The Life, 459, 551.
(66) Edwards, The Life, 532. It is likely that Edwards was "pushing forward" on An Humble Attempt in the days leading up to Brainerd's death. Stein, "Editor's Introduction," 84. For more on An Humble Attempt, see below.
(67) Edwards, The Life, 332, 404, 531.
(68) Stein, "Editor's Introduction," 13.
(69) Edwards, "Notes on Apocalypse," 117-8.
(70) Edwards, A History, 461.
(71) Edwards, An Humble Attempt, 418.
(72) Crawford, Seasons of Grace, 26-8; Toon, Puritan Eschatology, 36.
(73) Edwards, Some Thoughts, 374.
(74) Edwards, A History, 398.
(75) Edwards, A History, 461.
(76) Edwards, Some Thoughts, 398. See also Edwards, "Notes on the Apocalypse," 130, 146.
(77) Andrew Walls, "Missions and Historical Memory," 250.
(78) Marsden, Jonathan Edwards: A Life 362-5.
(79) Edwards, A History, 434-5.
(80) Jonathan Edwards to Speaker Thomas Hubbard, in Letters and Personal Writings, ed. George S. Claghorn, WJE, vol. 16 (1999), 399.
(81) Edwards, "To the Mohawks at the Treaty," in The Sermons of Jonathan Edwards: A Reader, ed. Wilson H. Kimnach, Kenneth P. Minkema, and Douglas A. Sweeney (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1999), 106.
(82) Edwards, Some Thoughts, 521.
(83) On the Scottish pastors' proposal for a concert of prayer, and Edwards' connection with it, see Stein, "Editor's Introduction," 36-9.
(84) Edwards, An Humble Attempt, 314.
(85) Walls, "Missions and Historical Memory," 252.
(86) Heimert, Religion and the American Mind, 80.
(87) Edwards, An Humble Attempt, 317, 350.
(88) Edwards, An Humble Attempt, 378-427.
(89) Edwards, An Humble Attempt, 378. Edwards still believed that the church would face significant persecution and suffering in the future. For more on Edwards' view on what persecution had passed and what was still to come, see footnote 20.
(90) Edwards, An Humble Attempt, 395-6, 411.