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The Great Awakening: 1700-1799

Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, Moravians, Methodists, William Wilberforce, and Charles Hodge

  • 1703 b. Jonathan Edwards
  • 1706 Francis Makemie founds the first Presbytery in America in Philadelphia
  • 1714 b. Immanuel Kant, a leader of the Romantic movement. He said knowledge is not what is, but only what our minds can grasp
  • 1714 b. George Whitefield
  • 1727 "The Golden Summer." A revival broke out among Count Nikolaus Ludwig Zinzendorf and the Hussite Moravian refugees he had taken in. Many Moravian missionaries were sent overseas
  • During the 1720's, revival breaks out as Theodore Frelinghuysen preaches in New Jersey. Revival spreads through Gilbert Tennant to New Brunswick. It is the first stirrings of the First Great Awakening
  • 1734-1737 The Great Awakening continues as Jonathan Edwards preaches in Massachusettes. Revival spreads to Connecticut

Buy these books from Christian Book Distributors

30858: The Works of Jonathan Edwards, 2 Volumes The Works of Jonathan Edwards, 2 Volumes
By Jonathan Edwards / Hendrickson Publishers

Discover why the fiery sermons of Jonathan Edwards sparked the Great Awakening of 1740! This 2-volume set features Edwards's most celebrated expositions, including The Freedom of the Will and The Religious Affections, plus Henry Rogers's Essay on the Genius and Writings of Jonathan Edwards---a work you won't find in any other Edwards collection. 1958 pages total, hardcovers from Hendrickson.

9850: Jonathan Edwards: A New Biography Jonathan Edwards: A New Biography
By Iain H. Murray / Banner Of Truth

This book gives us Murray's view of both the first and second great awakenings. He was a mighty theologian and a great evangelist at the same time. No thinking person who loves theology and experience, revival and evangelism should pass over this masterful work.

For More, see: Major Works of Jonathan Edwards


  • 1739-41 George Whitefield joins Edwards. He traveled diligently, traveling between England and America 13 times, and was able to reach about 80% of the colonists with the gospel
  • 1739 The Methodists begin as a parachurch society in London
  • 1741 The conservative Old Side/ pro-revival New Side controversy in American Presbyterianism
  • 1746 Princeton founded by the Presbyterians
  • 1754 Dartmouth founded for Native Americans
  • 1758 Old Side/New Side schism healed
  • 1759 b. Charles Simeon, founder of low-church party of Church of England
  • 1759 b. William Wilberforce, an evangelical in the Church of England, who fought against slavery

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444930: Amazing Grace, DVDAmazing Grace, DVD

Amazing Grace, from acclaimed director, Michael Apted, tells the inspiring story of how one man’s passion and perseverance changed the world. Based on the true-life story of William Wilberforce (Gruffudd), a leader of the British abolition movement, the film chronicles his epic struggle to pass a law to end the slave trade in the late 18th century. Along the way, Wilberforce meets intense opposition from members of Parliament who feel the slave trade is tied to the stability of the British Empire. Several friends, including Wilberforce’s minister, John Newton (Finney), a reformed slave ship captain who penned the beloved hymn Amazing Grace, urge him to see the cause through. Rated PG. Approx. 111 Minutes.

  • 1761 b. William Carey
  • 1764 Brown founded by Baptists
  • 1766 Rutgers founded by Dutch Reformed. All these new colleges were fruit of the Great Awakening
  • 1768 Lady Huntingdon, who brought Methodism to the upper classes and founded "The Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion", opened Trevecca House as a Methodist Seminary
  • 1770 d. Whitefield.
  • 1772 b. Archibald Alexander, who would organize Princeton Theological Seminary
  • c.1773-1775 Founded, the first black Baptist church in America, Silver Bluff, South Carolina
  • 1779 Olney Hymns produced by John Newton and William Cowper. It includes "How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds" and "Amazing Grace"
  • 1783 b. Asahel Nettleton
  • 1784 John Wesley baptizes Thomas Coke, making Methodism a denomination separate from the Church of England

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For More, see: John Wesley Studies

  • 1787 Archibald Alexander at Hampton Sydney College. May be considered the first early stirrings of the Second Great Awakening
  • 1791 d. Lady Huntingdon
  • 1792 William Carey preaches "Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God."
  • 1792 Particular Baptist Society for Propagating the Gospel among the Heathen founded, later called the Baptist Missionary Society
  • 1792 b. Charles Finney, inventor of modern revivalism
  • 1795 London Missionary Society founded
  • 1797 b. Charles Hodge
  • 1799 Church Missionary Society founded
  • 1799 Friedrich Schleiermacher's On Religion: Speeches to its Cultured Despisers presented Christianity in a Romantic, subjective light. Precursor to Liberalism

For further study

Listen to Covenant Theological Seminary's Reformation and Modern Church History by Dr. David Calhoun.