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  2. George Whitefield: Sermons & Role in the Great Awakening
  3. The Great Awakening: Spiritual Revival in Colonial America | Biographies
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Whitefield was known to give sermons outside, in fields and on streets, on a tree stump or on even while on a horse.

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What Whitefield discovered in the New World was a religious condition somewhat better than in England, but still lacking. Ministers did not have knowledge of Christ. Although the faculty at these two schools eventually opposed the revivalism sweeping through New England, the movement would eventually garner enough support to establish a school all its own in , which they called Princeton. The result of such sermons during the s brought society in the Connecticut Valley to remarkable conversion and interior reflection.

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This revivalist sentiment spread throughout New England in different degrees throughout the decade, with another resurgence or zeal occurring in Throughout the Great Awakening, a number of things started to happen within the minds of the colonists. The rural commoners, interested in social equality, began to take hold and migrated to the New Light camp. They began to question the authority of church leaders and rebel against their own church ministers. The New Lights were taught a kind of anti-intellectualism.

The New Lights — or the new ministry of evangelicals — were more apt to engage in enthusiastic groans during worship than their traditionally silent Puritan counterparts. Above all the effect of revivalism was a change in power from the hands of the clergy into the hands of the congregation.

Revivalism was not without opposition during the Awakening. After the infamous slave conspiracy of , it was Whitefield who was blamed with encouraging the incident because of his desire to see the negroes converted. The spiritual revival he ignited, the Great Awakening, became one of the most formative events in American history.

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His last sermon on this tour was given at Boston Commons before 23, people, likely the largest gathering in American history to that point. Whitefield next set his sights on Scotland, to which he would make 14 visits in his life. His most dramatic visit was his second, when he visited the small town of Cambuslang, which was already undergoing a revival. His evening service attracted thousands and continued until in the morning. All night in the fields, might be heard the voice of prayer and praise.

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  4. On Saturday, Whitefield, in concert with area pastors, preached to an estimated 20, people in services that stretched well into the night. The following morning, more than 1, communicants streamed alongside long Communion tables set up in tents. Everywhere in the town, he recalled, "you might have heard persons praying to and praising God.

    With every trip across the Atlantic, he became more popular. Indeed, much of the early controversy that surrounded Whitefield's revivals disappeared critics complained of the excess enthusiasm of both preacher and crowds , and former foes warmed to a mellowed Whitefield. Before his tours of the colonies were complete, virtually every man, woman, and child had heard the "Grand Itinerant" at least once.

    So pervasive was Whitefield's impact in America that he can justly be styled America's first cultural hero. Indeed, before Whitefield, it is doubtful any name, other than royalty, was known equally from Boston to Charleston. Whitefield's lifelong successes in the pulpit were not matched in his private family life.

    Like many itinerants of his day, Whitefield was suspicious of marriage and feared a wife would become a rival to the pulpit. When he finally married an older widow, Elizabeth James, the union never seemed to flower into a deeply intimate, sharing relationship.

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    In , the year-old continued his preaching tour in the colonies as if he were still a young itinerant, insisting, "I would rather wear out than rust out. His last sermon took place in the fields, atop a large barrel. A man gets to heaven by works! I would as soon think of climbing to the moon on a rope of sand.


    George Whitefield: Sermons & Role in the Great Awakening

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    The Great Awakening: Spiritual Revival in Colonial America | Biographies

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