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On revival

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  • Deejay
    Since this discussion on Revival started with J. Edwards, I thought to post what he said are marks of a true revival: I shall confine myself wholly to those
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 18, 2007

      Since this discussion on Revival started with J. Edwards,  I thought to post what he said are marks of a true revival:


      I shall confine myself wholly to those marks which are given us by the apostle in the chapter wherein is my text, where this matter is particularly handled, and more plainly and fully than anywhere else in the Bible. And in speaking to these marks, I shall take them in the order in which I find them in the chapter.

      1. When the operation is such as to raise their esteem of that Jesus who was born of the Virgin, and was crucified without the gates of Jerusalem; and seems more to confirm and establish their minds in the truth of what the gospel declares to us of his being the Son of God, and the Saviour of men; it is a sure sign that it is from the Spirit of God. This sign the apostle gives us in the 2d. and 3d. verses … [which speak of] a confessing not only that there was such a person who appeared in Palestine, and did and suffered those things that are recorded of him, but that he was Christ, i.e. the Son of God, anointed to be the Lord and Saviour, as the name Jesus Christ implies.…

      The devil has the most bitter and implacable enmity against that person, especially in his character of the Saviour of men; he mortally hates the story and doctrine of his redemption; he would never go about to beget in men more honourable thoughts of him.…

      2. When the Spirit that is at work operates against the interests of Satan’s kingdom, which lies in encouraging and establishing sin, and cherishing men’s worldly lusts; this is a sure sign that it is a true, and not a false, spirit. This sign we have given us in the 4th and 5th verses.… by the world … the apostle evidently means everything that appertains to the interest of sin, and comprehends all the corruptions and lusts of men, and all those acts and objects by which they are gratified.

      So that we may safely determine, from what the apostle says, that the spirit that is at work among a people, after such a manner, as to lessen men’s esteem of the pleasure, profits, and honours of the world, and to take off their hearts from an eager pursuit after these things; and to engage them in a deep concern about a future state and eternal happiness … and the spirit that convinces them of the dreadfulness of sin, the guilt it brings, and the misery to which it exposes; must needs be the Spirit of God.

      It is not to be supposed that Satan would convince men of sin, and awaken the conscience.…

      3. The spirit that operates in such a manner, as to cause in men a greater regard to the Holy Scriptures, and establishes them more in their truth and divinity, is certainly the Spirit of God. This rule the apostle gives us in the 6th verse.… We are of God; that is, ‘We the apostles are sent forth of God, and appointed by him to teach the world, and to deliver those doctrines and instructions, which are to be their rule; he that knoweth God, heareth us,’ etc. The apostle’s argument here equally reaches all that in the same sense are of God; that is, all those that God has appointed and inspired to deliver to his church its rule of faith and practice; all the prophets and apostles … in a word, all the penmen of the Holy Scriptures. The devil never would attempt to beget in persons a regard to that divine word.… A spirit of delusion will not incline persons to seek direction at the mouth of God.… Would the spirit of error, in order to deceive men, beget in them a high opinion of the infallible rule, and incline them to think much of it, and be very conversant with it? Would the prince of darkness, in order to promote his kingdom of darkness, lead men to the sun?

      4. Another rule to judge of spirits may be drawn from … the 6th verse … if by observing the manner of operation of a spirit that is at work among a people, we see that it operates as a spirit of truth, leading persons to truth, convincing them of those things that are true … for instance if we observe that the spirit at work makes men more sensible than they used to be, that there is a God, and that he is a great and sin-hating God; that life is short, and very uncertain; and that there is another world; that they have immortal souls, and must give account of themselves to God; that they are exceeding sinful by nature and practice; that they are helpless in themselves; and confirms them in other things that are agreeable to some sound doctrine; the spirit that works thus, operates as a spirit of truth; he represents things as they truly are.… And therefore we may conclude, that it is not the spirit of darkness that doth thus discover and make manifest the truth.…

      5. If the spirit that is at work among a people operates as a spirit of love to God and man, it is a sure sign that it is the Spirit of God. This sign the apostle insists upon from the 6th verse to the end of the chapter … and speak expressly of both love to God and men; of love to men in the 7th, 11th, and 12th verses; and of love to God in the 17th, 18th, and 19th verses; and of both together, in the last two verses.… The spirit that … works in them an admiring, delightful sense of the excellency of Jesus Christ … winning and drawing the heart with those motives and incitements to love, of which the apostle speaks … viz. the wonderful free love of God in giving his only-begotten Son to die for us, and the wonderful dying love of Christ to us, who had no love to him, but were his enemies; must needs be the Spirit of God.… The spirit that … makes the attributes of God as revealed in the gospel, and manifested in Christ, delightful objects of contemplation; and makes the soul to long after God and Christ—after Their presence and communion, acquaintance with Them, and conformity to Them—and to live so as to please and honour Them; the spirit that quells contentions among men, and gives a spirit of peace and good will, excites to acts of outward kindness, and earnest desires of the salvation of souls … there is the highest kind of evidence of the influence of a true and divine spirit. [Johnathan Edwards]


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