MM #4 ~ The Great Awakening


Press forward. Do not stop, do not linger in your journey, but strive for the mark set before you.
George Whitefield

George Whitefield was the “Grand Itinerant,” the traveling preacher with no home church (a troublesome point for American clergy) who toured the colonies seven times from the 1730s to the 1760s, delivering open-air sermons that left his huge audiences spellbound, penitent, and with souls “awakened” (thus the term “Great Awakening”). ~


Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography goes on to give us more insight to Whitefield and his influence on the development of the American character.

“In 1739 arrived among us from Ireland the Reverend Mr. Whitefield, who had made himself remarkable there as an itinerant preacher. He was at first permitted to preach in some of our churches; but the clergy, taking a dislike to him, soon refus’d him their pulpits, and he was oblig’d to preach in the fields. The multitudes of all sects and denominations that attended his sermons were enormous, and it was matter of speculation to me, who was one of the number, to observe the extraordinary influence of his oratory on his hearers, and how much they admir’d and respected him, notwithstanding his common abuse of them, by assuring them that they were naturally half beasts and half devils. It was wonderful to see the change soon made in the manners of our inhabitants. From being thoughtless or indifferent about religion, it seem’d as if all the world were growing religious, so that one could not walk thro’ the town in an evening without hearing psalms sung in different families of every street.” ~



The CC Timeline
Explorers through the Second Great Awakening

Church Timeline

Benjamin Franklin on Rev. George Whitefield 1739 – pdf

O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing

John and Charles Wesley published 56 collections of hymns in 53 years.

Charles Wesley wrote 8,989 hymns (at least three times the output of poet William Wordsworth). Dr. Frank Baker calculated that Charles Wesley wrote an average of 10 lines of verse every day for 50 years! He completed an extant poem every other day.

The Golden Age of Hymns: Did You Know?
“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” was originally written as “Hark! How All the Welkin Rings” (meaning “how all the heaven rings”). Thankfully, Charles Wesley’s popular Christmas carol was changed by his friend George Whitefield, the famous evangelist who sparked America’s Great Awakening.

John Henry Newton (July 24, 1725 – December 21, 1807) was a British sailor and Anglican clergyman. Starting his career at sea, at a young age, he became involved with the slave trade for a few years, and was himself enslaved for a period. After experiencing a religious conversion, he became a minister, hymn-writer, and later a prominent supporter of the abolition of slavery. He was the author of many hymns, including “Amazing Grace” and “Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken.”

Whitefield and Newton
In June of 1755, the whole city of London
was in a stir. George Whitefield, the famous Methodist preacher, was
returning from the United States. Someone who knew John Newton offered
to introduce him to George Whitefield. He met Whitefield in London,
and the world-renowned preacher gave him a front-row ticket to his
next Sunday appearance. As Newton listened to Whitefield, his soul
caught fire and longed to serve God with his whole heart.

Newton's wife Polly had become ill with a strange condition that
doctors could not diagnose. She grew worse and John feared that she
was dying. He prayed for her health but also committed her to
God. Without any warning, someone suddenly offered him a job as a
customs officer in Liverpool. God had provided a way out of the slave
trade. John accepted the position and went to Liverpool, leaving his
wife in the care of relatives. One month later, George Whitefield came
to preach at Liverpool, and Newton met him again. They became
friends. People began to call him "Little Whitefield."


Great Awakening 1650-1800


William Wilberforce

Amazing Grace
from acclaimed director, Michael Apted, tells the inspiring story of how one man’s passion and perseverance changed the world. Based on the true-life story of William Wilberforce (Gruffudd), a leader of the British abolition movement, the film chronicles his epic struggle to pass a law to end the slave trade in the late 18th century. Along the way, Wilberforce meets intense opposition from members of Parliament who feel the slave trade is tied to the stability of the British Empire. Several friends, including Wilberforce’s minister, John Newton (Finney), a reformed slave ship captain who penned the beloved hymn Amazing Grace, urge him to see the cause through. Rated PG. Approx. 111 Minutes.


PDF book


The prominent people of the Great Awakening:

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) Northampton, MA Congregational pastor known as the Great Awakener, who preached Sinners in the hands of an Angry God.

George Whitefield (1714-1770) the greatest preacher of the Great Awakening, who made seven missionary visits to the American colonies. The Grand Itinerant.

John Wesley (1703-1791) founder of the Methodist church and leader of the Evangelical Awakening in England.

Theodore Frelinghuysen (1691-1747) A Dutch Reformed minister in New Jersey, who was one of the first revival preachers.

William Tennent (1673-1746) founded the “log college” in Neshaminy, PA and father of four famous preaching sons Gilbert, William Jr, John, and Charles.

Gilbert Tennent (1703-1764) early leader of the revival preachers, who was a Presbyterian pastor in New Jersey and Philadelphia.

Eleazer Wheelock (1711-1779) Connecticut Congregational minister, who planned to educated and evangelize Indians. First President of Dartmouth.

Solomon Stoddard (1643-1729) Puritan pastor for 60 years at Northampton, MA the cradle of the Great Awakening.

Charles Chauney (1705-1787) Boston pastor & Harvard voice for the Old Lights.

Samuel Davies (1723-1761) founder of Southern Presbyterianism in Virginia and President of the College of New Jersey 1759-61.

*DISCLAIMER:  Ads below are placed on my blog without my consent.

This entry was posted in Morning Meeting. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s