Religion In The Great Awakening

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In the 1730s, a religious revival swept through the British American colonies. The Great Awakening sported two notable factions the New and Old Lights who both respectively supported and opposed the revival. The of the two factions the old lights took their views of god and being saved form old teachings, while the new lights in the reverse teachings. George Whitefield was a minister from Britain that toured the American colonies during this time. The colonists flocked in mass to hear him speak whether they were against or for his views. He converted whoever he could get his hands on. Even religious skeptic Benjamin Franklin emptied his coin purse after hearing him speak in Philadelphia. In his biography Franklin states that he “had a handful…show more content…
Most of these worshipers seemed to come from the lower echelons of society. These were a people down trodden living in the backwater areas of the state. To them religion became something of a pastime in which people would go through the motions. So the ‘New Lights’ adopted an approach that was characterized by the great fervor and emotion they put in to prayer. These Christians supported the Great Awakening with such enthusiasm that even non-believers could be swept up into the hype. Connecticut farmer Nathan Cole was one such individual, “I dropt my tool that I had in my hand and ran home and run through my house and bade my wife get ready quick to go and hear Mr. Whitefield preach at Middletown.” Nathan was a believer in Christ who was brought to realize righteousness would not save him. The ‘New Light’s’ felt that the Old ways led to a general sense of complacency among the believers of Christ. George Whitefield states that these almost Christians have two states of mind about religion “that wavers between Christ and the world”. These people are tottering on the edge of sin as Jonathan Edwards tell us in the writing entitled Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. Edwards tells us that “God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect, over the fire, abhors you; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else”. He tells preaches that those supporting the old ways, “have offended him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince: and yet ‘tis nothing but his hand that holds you from falling into the fire every
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