Isa.64:1 – Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down, That the mountains might quake at Your presence —
Recently I have been reading again about the revival in Northampton, Massachusetts in 1734 -1735 that proved to be the early stages of what became known as the Great Awakening. The Lord visited this small town and apparently effected just about every family in Northampton as well as many in the surrounding Connecticut River Valley. Jonathan Edwards was the pastor and seemed to be, for those two years, in the middle of every preacher’s dream. The crowds would come early and stay late. The singing apparently had the taste of heaven on it and the preaching was from another world. The town had fallen in love with Jesus and His church, joy was spilling over into every part of the community’s life. Here is a short description of their public worship from the pastor, Jonathan Edwards.
“In the spring and summer following, anno 1735, the town seemed to be full of the presence of God, full of love and joy so as never before, and yet full of distress. This was almost in every house, on the account of salvation being brought into them. Parents rejoiced over their children as newborn, and husbands and wives in each other; God’s day was a delight, and his tabernacles amiable; our public assemblies indeed beautiful, and the congregation alive in God’s service; everyone earnestly intent on the public worship, and eager to drink in the Word from the mouth of the minister; generally in tears while the Word was preached, some weeping with sorrow, others with joy and love, others with pity and concern for the souls of their neighbors. Our public praises were greatly enlivened, and God was served in our psalmody as in the beauties of holiness. There was scarce any part of divine worship wherein God’s saints among us had grace so drawn forth, and their hearts so lifted up, as in singing the praises of God.”
Like I said, this was every pastor’s dream. To see true passion in worship, people hanging on every word being preached, and a sincere desire to see the lost brought in; this is what pastors live for. This environment doesn’t come from a preacher’s presentation or wit, it doesn’t spin out from the great talent of worship leaders or choirs; this atmosphere can only be attributed to one thing. This is the fire of God enflaming the hearts of His people. Do it again Lord !!!.