Excerpt from Jonathan Edwards’ The Great Awakening, 1758
When there has been such a time of great and long continued deadness, and many are brought out of a state of nature into a state of grace, in so extraordinary a manner, and filled with such uncommon degrees of light, ’tis natural to form their notions of a state of grace wholly from what they experience; many of them know no other way, for they never have been taught much about a state of grace, and the different degrees of grace, and the degrees of darkness and corruption that grace is consistent with, nor concerning the manner of the influences of the Spirit in converting a soul, and the variety of the manner of his operations. . . .
Thus I think the errors and irregularities that attend this work, may be accounted for, from the consideration of the infirmity and weakness and common corruption of mankind, together with the circumstances of the work, though we should suppose it to be the work of God. And it would not be a just objection in any to say, if these powerful impressions and great affections are from the Spirit of God, why don’t the same Spirit give strength of understanding and capacity in proportion, to those persons that are the subjects of them; so that strong affections may not, through their error, drive them to an irregular and sinful conduct? For I don’t know that God has anywhere obliged himself to do it. The end of the influences of God’s Spirit is to make men spiritually knowing, wise to salvation, which is the most excellent wisdom; and he has also appointed means for our gaining such degrees of other knowledge as we need, to conduct ourselves regularly, which means should be carefully used: but the end of the influence of the Spirit of God is not to increase men’s natural capacities, nor has God obliged himself immediately to increase civil prudence in proportion to the degrees of spiritual light.
Jonathan Edwards was one of several revivalist preachers who wrote and spoke as part of the movement known as the First Great Awakening in the early to mid-1700s. Using the excerpt above, answer (A) and (B).
In 2-3 sentences, evaluate ONE way in which the religious ideas of the First Great Awakening impacted colonial society.
In 2-3 sentences, evaluate ONE way in which the religious activities of the First Great Awakening impacted colonial society.
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