(By Eddie Hyatt) There have been great revivals without great preaching. There have been great revivals without great singing. But there has never been a great revival without great praying. Jonathan Edwards, the pastor and theologian of the Great Awakening in New England, was not a great preacher. In fact, most people reading this essay would not cross the street to hear him preach.
The Key to the Great Awakening
Edwards would write out his sermons word for word and then stand stationary behind the pulpit and read them without moving or making any physical gestures. Being nearsighted, he held the manuscript close to his face and read in a monotone voice, never raising or lowering his voice. When he read his sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” at the Congregational Church in Enfield, Connecticut, there was no praise band, gospel choir or worship team to stir the crowd. Yet, as he began reading his sermon, the Holy Spirit was poured out in great power. Hell was made so real that Edwards’ voice was drowned out as the people cried out to God for mercy and salvation (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 82-83). READ MORE