This month's article by William Nichols is a most intriguing study of part of a treatise written in 1757 by Jonathan Edwards entitled, "A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God in the Conversion of Many Hundred Souls in Northampton." In our article, Nichols focuses upon one part of Edwards' treatise which is the conversion of young people during the 'Great Awakening' in Northhampton, Massachusetts (1734-).
One of the first things notable about Edwards’ account of the revival is the ages of the young people who were hopefully converted. Edwards was shocked that so many young people were seemingly wrought upon: “It has heretofore been looked on as a strange thing, when any have seemed to be savingly wrought upon and remarkably changed in their childhood.” How young were these children? The majority were between the ages of 10 and 14. “I suppose, near thirty were, to appearance, savingly wrought upon between ten and fourteen years of age; two between nine and ten, and one of about four years of age.” Note that only three persons out of three hundred were below the age of 10. And of the one who was under 5, Phebe Bartlet, Edwards adds, “because I suppose this last will be with most difficulty believed, I will hereafter give a particular account of it.”
Edwards, with who I most heartily agree, believed that one is not to assume
that all who profess to believe in Christ are genuinely converted. The requirement of a credible
confession of faith, of which very few churches today even acknowledge the necessity of nor even have a biblical understanding of what it entails, is to be sought after in order to discern one's spiritual state, whether of someone else or oneself, as the Lord God gives evidence of. Thus Edwards spent much time studying this matter in the persons of his church and community regarding the conversion of both adults and children. Our article focuses upon mainly the conversion of young children who professed Christ and the change which took place in their lives.
I am confident that most who read this article will be effected, whether by bringing concern to how they presently view the conversion of souls of others or their own souls, of by producing great joy in recognizing the marks of grace evidenced in those who profess Christ and/or their own profession.
You can read this month's article now by clicking here: A Study of Revival & Conversion...tive of the Surprising Work of God"
For later reading you can find the article on The Highway website
by clicking the "Article of the Month" logo.
In his service and grace,