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Whispers of the Divine Wind

Sound Bites from Those the Holy Spirit Used Over the Centuries (Session 6)

Report of George Whitefields 1740 Meetings in Northampton, Mass.,

Church (Jonathan Edwards, pastor): The people were exceedingly moved, crying out in great numbers in the meetinghouse. There were some instances of persons lying in a trance, remaining for perhaps a whole 24 hours motionless. A great deal of caution and pains were found necessary to keep the people, many of them, from running wild.

Jonathan Edwards, colonial pastor/theologian (1746):

True religion, in great part, consists in holy affections. I am bold to assert that there never was any considerable change wrought in the mind or conversation [lifestyle] that had not his affections moved. He that has doctrinal knowledge and speculation only, without affection, never is engaged in the business of religion.

David Brainerd, young missionary to the Indians:

Sept. 2, 1744: Was enabled to speak to my poor Indians with much concern and fervency. I perceived that some of them were afraid to hearken to and embrace Christianity, lest they should be enchanted and poisoned by some of the Powwows [conjurers]. But I was enabled to plead with them not to fear these; and I bid a challenge to all these powers of darkness to do their worst upon me first. I told my people I was a Christian, and asked them why the Powwows did not bewitch and poison me. Dec. 18, 1744: Went to the Indians, and discoursed to them near an hour, but without any power to come close to their hearts. At last I felt some fervency, and God helped me to speak with warmth. My interpreter was also amazingly assisted; and I doubt not but the Spirit of God was upon him, though I had no reason to think he had any true and saving grace. Presently most of the grown persons were much affected, and the tears ran down their cheeks. Next day, Dec. 19, 1744: Spent a great part of the day in prayer for the outpouring of His Spirit on my people, also to bless His name for awakening my interpreter and some others, and giving us tokens of His presence yesterday. I had much freedom in prayer and praise, and felt a weighty concern for the salvation of those precious souls. August 8, 1745: In the afternoon I preached to the Indians upon Luke 15:16-23. There was much visible concern among them, while I was discoursing publicly. The power of God seemed to descend upon the assembly like a mighty rushing wind, and with an astonishing energy bore down all before it. I stood amazed at the influence, which seized the audience almost universally. Almost all persons of all ages were bowed down with concern together, and scarcely one was able to withstand the shock of this surprising operation. Old men and women, who had been drunken wretches for many years, and some little children, not more than six
Student Handout, Session 6 page 1 of 2

Whispers of the Divine Wind

Sound Bites from Those the Holy Spirit Used Over the Centuries (Session 6) or seven years of age, appeared in distress for their souls, as well as persons of middle age.

Capt. Thomas Webb, first Methodist preacher in America (1766):

The words of the text [??] were written by the Apostles after the act of justification has passed on them. But you see, my friends, this was not enough for them. They must receive the Holy Ghost after this. So must you. You must be sanctified. But you are not. You are only Christians in part. You have not received the Holy Ghost. I know it. I can feel your spirits hanging about me like so much dead flesh.

Student Handout, Session 6 page 2 of 2