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God's Generals The Revivalists Pdf 53 |TOP|

In the 1720s and 1730s, an evangelical party took shape in the Presbyterian churches of the Middle Colonies led by William Tennent, Sr. He established a seminary called the Log College where he trained nearly 20 Presbyterian revivalists for the ministry, including his three sons and Samuel Blair.[43] While pastoring a church in New Jersey, Gilbert Tennent became acquainted with Dutch Reformed minister Theodorus Jacobus Frelinghuysen. Historian Sydney Ahlstrom described Frelinghuysen as "an important herald, if not the father of the Great Awakening".[43] A pietist, Frelinghuysen believed in the necessity of personal conversion and living a holy life. The revivals he led in the Raritan Valley were "forerunners" of the Great Awakening in the Middle Colonies. Under Frelinghuysen's influence, Tennent came to believe that a definite conversion experience followed by assurance of salvation was the key mark of a Christian. By 1729, Tennent was seeing signs of revival in the Presbyterian churches of New Brunswick and Staten Island. At the same time, Gilbert's brothers, William and John, oversaw a revival at Freehold, New Jersey.[44]

god's generals the revivalists pdf 53


Whitefield met Gilbert Tennent on Staten Island and asked him to preach in Boston to continue the revival there. Tennent accepted and in December began a three-month long preaching tour throughout New England. Besides Boston, Tennent preached in towns throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. Like Whitefield's, Tennent's preaching produced large crowds, many conversions and much controversy. While antirevivalists such as Timothy Cutler heavily criticized Tennent's preaching, most of Boston's ministers were supportive.[55]

The Great Awakening aggravated existing conflicts within the Protestant churches, often leading to schisms between supporters of revival, known as "New Lights", and opponents of revival, known as "Old Lights". Old Lights saw the religious enthusiasm and itinerant preaching unleashed by the Awakening as disruptive to church order, preferring formal worship and a settled, university-educated ministry. They mocked revivalists as being ignorant, heterodox or con artists. New Lights accused Old Lights of being more concerned with social status than with saving souls and even questioned whether some Old Light ministers were even converted. They also supported itinerant ministers who disregarded parish boundaries.[57]