Excerpt from The Revival of Religion: A Narrative of the State of Religion at Wycliffe Chapel, London, During the Year 1839
In giving this account to the press, the writer is reminded of his pledge, at the opening of the year, to prepare a different work for publication. He trusts the account itself will form his apology for delay; since it will show that it became impracticable to redeem his pledge without neglecting, in a measure, the voice of Providence and the supreme claims of pastoral duty. He entertains the hope of fulfilling his intention during the ensuing Spring.
It is now a century since the Revivals of America first excited the attention of the wise and pious in our own land. Happily we have preserved to us a record of what occurred, and of the impression it produced, in the Correspondence of watt and Gruyse, of Coleman and Edwards. The most remarkable circumstance in the review, is, that while the interest created was so considerable, the practical results in our churches, were so few and unimportant. This may be accounted for, in some measure, on the general admission that the subject was not then understood.
This led to a two-fold evil. Revivals, on the one hand, ran into fearful extravagance, and the prudent were disgusted. On the other hand, they were contemplated as spectacles to inspire wonder and admiration, rather than as examples to be imitated.
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