Following the Great Awakening under the leadership of such men as Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield, the close of the eighteenth century in America saw a second period of revival which was to last longer than the first. It was brought about through the labors of many preachers, less well known than their predecessors, but following faithfully in their footsteps.
One of the evangelists to emerge from this second period of revival was Asahel Nettleton. There can be little doubt that he was one of the greatest evangelists in the history of the church. Literally thousands were converted under his ministry—and spurious converts were the exception rather than the rule!
This well-written and well-documented book tells the story of Nettleton’s life. He made mistakes, and the author does not cover these up, but he was a powerful preacher who sought to glorify God, and God blessed his ministry.
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“and the spiritual qualities they are supposed to symbolise becomes blurred” (Page 202)
“There is the anxious seat, come out and avow your determination to be on the Lord’s side’, and if he is not willing to do so small a thing as that, then he is not willing to do anything, and there he is, brought out before his own conscience. It uncovers the delusion of the human heart, and prevents a great many spurious conversions, by showing those who otherwise imagine themselves willing to do anything for Christ, that in fact they are willing to do nothing.’” (Page 201)
“The Second Great Awakening’. Technically this designation is limited to the period between 1792 and 1808 when there was a tremendous surge of evangelical fervour in New England and Virginia, and in Tennessee and Kentucky as well. But the afterglow of this brilliant light shone one third of the way through the 19th century. It was not until the 1830’s that one could say that the second great awakening was over.” (Pages 21–22)
“The Methodists and Baptists had, up until this time, only employed it as a way of identifying sinners for prayer. By their coming forth and kneeling at the front, the sympathies of all were drawn out and united prayer for their specific cases could be made to God.” (Page 201)
“A revival then meant not just a series of special meetings, but a genuine spiritual upheaval in which the interests of Christians were raised to great heights and large numbers of sinners were converted.” (Page 17)