Baptists and Separates (that is, Congregationalists who broke away from the establishment to form their own churches), awakened women in the first years of revival were allowed unprecedented opportunities of exhorting and participating fully in deliberations of the congregation.
Even more significant for the world history of Christianity were efforts inspired by the revival to communicate the gospel to African Americans. Protests against slavery appeared sporadically during the colonial period, from Mennonites and Quakers in Pennsylvania late in the seventeenth century, from the Puritan judge Samuel Sewall in 1700, and from the Quaker John Woolman (1720-72) throughout his adult life. But evangelism of slaves and freed blacks had almost never succeeded. In the 1740s revival preaching and practices, which paid less attention to church order than to experiential religion, began to break through. Whitefield and Davies, who, as it happens, both owned slaves, were the most effective preachers to African Americans, but they were joined by many others. Phillis Wheatley, an African-born slave who had been manumitted by her Boston owners, memorialized this evangelistic activity in a tribute published at Whitefield's death in 1770. Wheatley, who had herself heard Whitefield preach, recorded especially his address to the slaves:
Take him, ye Africans, he longs for you,
Impartial Saviour is his title due:
If you will chuse to walk in grace's road,
You shall be sons, and kings, and Priests to God.14
Such a message, applied with a minimum ofmanipulation, represented one of the most unexpected, and yet most important, innovations occasioned by the expansion of Europe. In outreach to African Americans, Christianity tookroot in a group with no social standing, no inherited tradition of Christian faith, no stock in church establishments, and no history of European Christendom. In a way that none could foresee in that century, it was a prescription for the future.
What people could see clearly in the wake of revival was a renewal of imperial warfare and the beginning of cataclysmic change for the colonies. Britain's victory over France, which was finalized by the Treaty of Paris in 1763, seemed at first to simplify colonial life. In many sermons of thanksgiving it was proclaimed that Protestant British liberty had been vindicated in a struggle against French Catholic despotism. But when Britain tried to regularize its newly expanded empire with taxes, soldiers, and tighter administration, it was not long before colonials were blasting George III and his parliament as the despots. In that unexpected development the churches would be fully engaged,
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