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cannot be uttered. There is a new kind of inward labor and struggle of soul towards heaven and holiness.“
Some that before were very rough in their temper and manners seem to be remarkably softened and sweetened. And some have had their souls exceedingly filled and overwhelmed with light, love, and comfort, long since the work of God has ceased to be so remarkably carried on in a general way; and some have had much greater experiences of this nature than they had before. And there is still a great deal of religious conversationi continued in the town, amongst young and old; a religious disposition appears to be still maintained amongst our people, by their upholding frequent private religious meetings, and all sorts are generally worshipping God at such meetings, on sabbath nights, and in the evening after our public lecture. Many children in the town do still keep up such meetings among themselves. I know of no one young person in the town that has returned to former ways of looseness and extravagancy in any respect, but we still remain a reformed people, and God has evidently made us a new people.
I cannot say there has been no instance of any one person that has carried himself so, that others should justly be stumbled concerning his profession; nor am I so yain as to imagine that we have not been mistaken concerning any that we have entertained a good opinion of, or that there are none that pass amongst us for sheep, that are indeed wolves in sheep's cloathing, who probably may, some time, or other, discover themselves by their fruits. We are not so pure but that we have great cause to be humbled and ashamed, that we are so impure; nor so religious but that those that watch for our halting may see things in us, whence they may take occasion to reproach us and religion; but in the main there has been a great and marvellous work of conversion and sanctification among the people here, and they have paid all due respects to those who have been blest of God to be the instruments of it. Both old and young have shewn a forwardness to hearken not only to my counsels, but even to my reproofs from the pulpit.
A great part of the country have not received the
most favorable thoughts of this affair, and to this day many retain a jealousy concerning it, and prejudice against it; I have reason to think that the meanness and weakness of the instrument, that has been made use of in this town, has prejudiced many against it; it does not appear to me strange that it should be so. But yet the circumstance of this great work of God is analogous to other circumstances of it; God has so ordered the manner of the work in many respects, as very signally and remarkably to shew it to be his own peculiar and immediate work, and to secure the glory of it wholly to his own almighty power and sovereign grace. And whatever the circumstances and means have been, and though we are so unworthy, yet so hath it pleased God to work! And we are evidently a people blessed of the Lord! And here in this corner of the world, God dwells, and manifests his glory.
Thus, Reverend Sir, I have given a large and particular account of this remarkable affair, and yet considering how manifold God's works have been amongst us, that are worthy to be written, it is but a very brief one. I should have sent it much sooner, had I not been greatly hindered by illness in my family, and also in myself. It is propably' much larger than you expected, and it may be than you would have chosen. I thought that the extraordinariness of the thing, and the innumerable misrepresentations which have gone abroad of it, many of which have, doubtless, reached your ears, made it necessary that I should be particular. But I would leave it entirely with your wisdom to make wliat use of it you think best, to send a part of it to England, or all, or none, if you think it not worthy; or otherwise to dispose of it. as you may think most for God's glory, and the interest of religion. If you are pleased to send any thing to the Rev. Dr. Guyse, I should be glad to have it signified to him, as my humble désire, that since he, and the congregation to which he preached, have been pleased to take so much notice of us, as they have, that they would also think of us at the Throne of Grace, and seek there for us that God would not forsake us, but enable us to bring forth fruit answerable to our profession, and our
mercies, and that our light may so shine before men, that others, seeing our good works, may glorify our futher which is in heaven.
When first I heard of the notice the Reverend Dr. Watts and Dr. Guyse took of God's mercies to us, I took occasion to inform our congregation of it in a discourse from these words; A city that is set upon a hill cannot be hid. And having since seen a particular account of the notice of the Reverend Dr. Guyse, and the congregation he preached to, took of it, in a letter you wrote to my honored uncle Williams, I read that part of your letter to the congregation, and labored as much as in me lay to enforce their duty from it. The congregation were very sensibly moved and affected at both times.
I humbly request of you, Reverend Sir, your prayers for this country, in its present melancholy circumstances, into which it is brought by the Springfield quarrel, which, doubtless, above all things that have happened, has tended to put a stop to the glorious work here, and to prejudice this country against it, and hinder the propagation of it. I also ask your prayers for this town, and would particularly beg an interest in them for him who is,
Your obedient son and servant,
JONATHAN EDWARDS. NORTHAMPTON, Nov. 6, 1736.