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Jonathan M. Yeager

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199916955

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199916955.001.0001

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Revivals as a Means of Reform

Revivals as a Means of Reform

(p.60) 9 Revivals as a Means of Reform
Early Evangelicalism

Samuel Finley

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents excerpts from Christ Triumphing, and Satan Raging (1741), a sermon delivered by Samuel Finley. A Presbyterian minister and later president of the College of New Jersey, Finley responded to some of the accusations against the Great Awakening by arguing that God has historically often acted unexpectedly when reforming the church, and usually at the darkest hour. He claimed that the bizarre emotional responses by individuals undergoing conversion did not disqualify the revivals as the work of God. Rather, he cited improvements in people's lives as evidence that the Great Awakening was a divine movement. Just as Jesus's ministry had been misinterpreted as demonic, Finley insisted that the current naysayers were just as blind to the benefits of the Awakening as a genuine spiritual renewal that was intended to benefit the church.

Keywords:   sermon, Samuel Finley, Great Awakening, God, conversion, Jesus, spiritual renewal, Satan

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