who stood with Edwards in promoting heart-felt Calvinism but against all forms of religious establishment as violating the rights of conscience. Anglicans also benefited because they seemed to offer a calm refuge from revival enthusiasms.
The mid-century awakenings operated as a great stimulus to theology. Clerics like Ebenezer Gay of Hingham, Massachusetts, who opposed the revivals, took the first steps towards Unitarianism by subjecting inherited belief to the eighteenth century's new standards of rationality and common sense. But the great theological monument of the awakenings came in the work of Jonathan Edwards, who strove to baptize the era's new moral philosophy for the revival of Calvinistic piety. In a series of works of ever more painstaking discrimination, culminating in the Treatise Concerning Religious Affections (1746), he laboured to spell out what were and what were not reliable signs of God's true working. In The Freedom of the Will (1754) he deployed up-to-date casuistry to argue against rapidly rising notions of human freedom understood as self-determination. In the posthumously published Two treatises: Concerning the End for which God Created the World (and) The Nature of True Virtue (1765) he argued that biblical reasoning and contemporary affectional psychology both defined genuine goodness as love of God for God's own perfectly holy sake. Edwards's own attitude towards the church (as made up essentially of the redeemed) and salvation (as dependent wholly upon the grace of God) had the ironic effect of weakening the commitment of his theological heirs to careful thought. His own labours, by contrast, are increasingly recognized as the intellectual, as well as theological, highpoint of the age.
The awakenings also gave an unusual voice to women. Susanna Anthony of Newport, Rhode Island, for example, joined her local congregation in 1742 after a sermon on Hebrews 7:25 ('Wherefore, he is able to save them to the uttermost, that come unto God by him') led her to experience 'the Spirit of God . . . powerfully . . . Thus, thus, infinitely lovely did Christ appear to me'.12 Anthony went on, as did many women touched by the revival, to lead a women's 'society' that met weekly for many decades. Less typically, she also played a significant role in the call of Samuel Hopkins, a student of Edwards, to the pulpit of her Newport church. Esther Edwards Burr (1732-58), daughter of the distinguished theologian and husband of Princeton College president Aaron Burr, gained a considerable measure of self-confidence by undergoing the same gracious experiences that the awakeners preached so forcefully. When a college tutor once spoke disparagingly in her presence of female capacities for friendship and rational personal development, she responded with a full flight of argument and 'talked him quite silent'.13 Among
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