Acts 9:3,4 – Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?
Jonathan Edwards wrote several volumes defending the Great Awakening. Actually the famous missionary book, THE DIARY OF DAVID BRAINERD, was written by Jonathan Edwards in defense of the Revival. Brainerd had been strongly influenced by the preaching of Edwards and George Whitefield. His amazing story of expulsion from Yale and his missionary work to the Native Americans were all connected to the outpouring of the Spirit. Edwards took the diary David had compiled shortly before his death and used it as a testimony to the legitimacy of the outpouring. Here is a quote from Edwards defending his wife’s response to the Spirit. He left her anonymous in this account.
“sometimes the sufficiency and faithfulness of God as the covenant God of his people, appearing in these words, “I am that I am”, in so affecting a manner as to overcome the body: a sense of the glorious, unsearchable, unerring wisdom of God in his works, both of creation and providence, so as to swallow up the soul, and overcome the strength of the body: a sweet rejoicing of soul at the thoughts of God’s being infinitely and unchangeably happy, and an exulting gladness of heart that God is self-sufficient, and infinitely above all dependence, and reigns over all, and does his will with absolute and uncontrollable power and sovereignty; a sense of the glory of the Holy Spirit, as the great Comforter, so as to overwhelm both soul and body; only mentioning the word, “the Comforter,” has immediately taken away all strength; that word, as the person expressed it, seemed great enough to fill heaven and earth: a most vehement and passionate desire of the honor and glory of God’s name”
Edwards said that he couldn’t refer to the Holy Spirit, or Comforter, after his wife Sarah had been touched. She would be incapacitated by just remembering the awesomeness of the Lord’s touch. Brainerd turned his own awakening into evangelistic fervor. His passion for God spilled over into his zeal to reach the Native Americans. Sarah and David became powerful, irrefutable examples to the reality of God’s outpouring. It becomes impossible to argue with the testimony of Jesus. Theory folds in the presence of the reality of the testimony of Jesus.