Wednesday, January 14, 2009
A preternatural and invisible hand
Morgan Edwards in his work on Baptists in 1771 declared "I believe a preternatural and invisible hand operates in the assemblies of the Separate-Baptists bearing down the human mind, as was the case in primitive churches. I Cor.14:25." In the Ketocton Baptist Association in 1816 a writer commenting on what had occurred in the past 50 years remarked that while it was not miraculous, it was something remarkably like it. There are descriptions of the power of Heaven coming down in those early assemblies. Some times the power convicted of sin and filled hearts with the fear of the judgment to come. At other times, there was a sense of such love and joy, the persons experiencing the visitation could scarcely contain themselves. Now all of this was in conjunction with faithful preaching of the doctrines of grace. Two things are noted in the case of the First and Second Great Awakenings, namely, the theology preached and the visitation of the Divine presence. The two in conjunction seem to utterly transform neighborhoods, people, conduct, etc. This is the source of why the South became such a church going part of the nation.