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The following recommendations have been politely furnished by gentlemen, whose opinions, we doubt not, are in unison with the body of evangelical clergy in the United States.
From the President and Professors at Princeton, N.J. We know of no works on the subject of Revivals of Religion, at once so scriptural, discriminating, and instructive, as those of the late illustrious President EDWARDS. At the present day, when this subject so justly engages a large share of the attention of the religious public, we should be glad if a copy of the volume proposed to be republished by Dunning and Spalding, could be placed in every dwelling in the United States. It exhibits the nature of genuine revivals of religion, the best means of promoting them, the abuses and dangers to which they are liable, and the duty of guarding against these abuses and dangers, with a degree of spiritual discernment and practical wisdom, which have commanded the approbation of the friends of Zion for the greater part of a century.
From the President and Professors at New Brunswick, N.J. Much conversation is had at the present day on the subject of revivals of religion in our country.
That there is a difference of opinion among professing Christians, as to their reality, their nature, and the modes of action to be adopted in promoting and conducting them, is also very apparent.
If by a revival of religion we understand that operation of the Spirit of God, which, through the instrumentality of his word, produces conviction, agitation, and conversion, in hitherto careless and impenitent sinners--or excitement, connected with increase of faith, love, zeal, and holy action, in the people of God, whether it be exhibited on a smaller or larger scale-in the case of individuals, families, churches, districts of country, or whole nations-it is strange that the possibility or reality of such a work should be called in question by those who are familiar with their Bibles, are acquainted with church history, or have any correct knowledge whatever either of the ordinary or extraordinary operations of the Holy Spirit upon the souls of men. In such revivals it is true that there is in some instances only a temporary excitement of the passions, without a renewal of the heart, and in others a human co-operation which will neither bear the test of enlightened reason or of the word of God. These circumstances, however, are precisely what (from human weakness, and the artifice of Satan to bring the whole work into disrepute) we have a right to expect. Any judicious publication on revivals, and especially that written many years ago by the pious and discriini
nating Edwards, cannot fail, and especially at the present time, to be read with more than ordinary interest. Considering President Edwards as handling this subject with great propriety and discretion, I do hereby express my desire to see his work more extensively circulated through the churches.
PHILIP MILLEDOLER. College, New Brunswick, Sept. 17th, 1831.
The Works of President Edwards have acquired no ordinary reputation. His “Narrative of Surprising Conversions and Thoughts on Revivals of Religion,” written after much research and close observation of the various effects produced on the minds of gospel-hearers, in a time of general awakening, cannot fail to profit those who read it in a serious temper. I ani pleased to hear that this Narrative is soon to be published in a form that will render it accessible by all, and hope that it may have an extensive circulation.
JAMES S. CANNON. Theological Seminary, New Brunswick.
My own views of the “Narrative,” &c., of President Edwards, are expressed in the above favorable notice of Dr. Cannon.
JOSEPH H. JONES.
I cannot but hope that the work, will receive an extensive and liberal patronage. It is the best body of practical theology within the compass of my knowledge. It is searching, instructive, edifying, scriptural. Let it be carefully read by every professor of religion, and studied and digested by every student of theology, and every young minister of the gospel. Let me just mention another desideratum : the republication of the same unrivaled author's work on Original Sin. The diffusion of these treatises in separate forms, would, with the divine blessing, greatly conduce to the increase of sound godliness, and check the progress of pernicious errors.
JOHN DE WITT. New Brunswick, Sept. 1831.
From Ministers in Nero York. To those who are acquainted with the writings of President Edwards, the highest recommendation of the present work is, that it is the best of them all. It is more than ten years since I first read it, and I well recollect my surprise that I had not read it before. I then thought it one of the richest volumes I ever perused. One impression I distinctly remember ; and that is, that great injustice might be done the venerable and devout author, by viewing the work in detached parts. As a whole, it cannot be too highly valued, nor too extensively read, especially at the present time.
GARDINER SPRING. New York, September 6, 1831.
The importance of revivals of religio is literally infinite : because conversions are infinitely important; and the spread and jurisdiction of the gospel of God over the minds of men everywhere is properly the grand desideratum and the destined prospect of the world. The discrimination of theological parties (if these must be and have a name) in the Christian world, will soon be made extensively by this criterion of PRINCIPLES AND PERSONS—THEIR KNOWN RELATION TO REVIVALS OF RELIGION!
At the present time, all denominations considered, there are many whose ignorance of the whole matter is their only prominent characteristic in regard to it; many, as much
distinguished by enmity and an affected intellectual superiority to their theory and their fruits ; many, by a latent ill-concealed antipathy, that affects to dislike only their excrescences and occasionally spurious accompaniments ; and many, I bless God for it, who more and more love them, because they love Him, see in his light their incomparable worth, and desire them, prayerfully, practically, zealously, and yet soberly, in their destined universal prevalence.
The age ought not perhaps to be yet dignified as the age of revivals ; because the dawn ought not to anticipate, or perfectly to characterize, the perfect day. But it is such an age exactly as will more and more demand, and now also does, revival principles, revival ministers, revival Christians, and revival scenes and glories multiplied : of course, I think revival publications, are as appositely needed ; of the right kind, and calculated to enlighten, and guide, and assist the operations of the church of God, in aiming directly at the conquest of the world to Jesus Christ and his glorious sceptre.
With these views, I think the publication of Edwards on Revivals is very timely, judicious, and of excellent promise: I therefore cordially desire and recommend the extensive circulation and full perusal of that valuable and singular treatise.
SAMUEL H. COX. New York, August 3, 1831.
I am very glad that we are to have a new edition of “Edwards on Revivals,” &c. Nothing could be more seasonable at the present day. I have read the work again and again, and always with new advantage.
J. M. MATHEWS. Nero York, September 24, 1831.
We would cordially recommend to the Christian public the works of PRESIDENT EDWARDS ON REvivals. These works were written in A. D.1736 and 1742, and contain a faithful narrative of the glorious revival in New England by the outpouring of the Holy Ghost in those blessed days, when clear, pure, and scriptural views of the doctrines of the gospel, and true practical godliness, sincerely characterized the children of the puritans. We could sincerely wish that this work, now about to be published by Dunning and Spalding, were in the hands of all our Christian brethren.
W. C. BROWNLEE,
CHARLES G. SOMMERS. New York, August 5, 1831.
At the present time, there is no subject of such deep and increasing interest to the American churches, as the subject of revivals of religion. It is a subject too on which no uninspired man was ever better qualified to speak or write than President Edwards—not only on account of his eminently discriminating and sanctified mind, but also on account of his opportunities of observation resulting from the extensive work of God which occurred under his own eye. I know of nothing so well calculated to exhibit the blessedness of such "times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord,” and at the same time to guard against the self-deception and other evils which are then likely to occur, as his “Narrative,” and “ Thoughts on the Revival of Religion in New England, in 1742.” On this account, I rejoice in another attempt to give this work a more extended circulation. W. D. SNODGRASS.
New York, September 22, 1831.
The “Narrative of Surprising Conversions,” and “Thoughts on the Revival of Religion in New England,” from the pen of President Edwards, and originally published, one in 1736, the other in 1742, are works which well de