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The History of Presbyterianism in the United States Part 2: Centuries of Change B - The 2 nd Great Awakening (1790-1840)

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Presentation on theme: "The History of Presbyterianism in the United States Part 2: Centuries of Change B - The 2 nd Great Awakening (1790-1840)"— Presentation transcript:

1 The History of Presbyterianism in the United States Part 2: Centuries of Change B - The 2 nd Great Awakening ( )

2 The (First) Great Awakening, John Wesley George Whitefield Jonathan Edwards

3 Jonathan Edwards “[T]he most ambitious attempt ever to justify Calvinism in the midst of the moral and intellectual Enlightenment of the 1700s.” (A. Guelzo) But … he rejected the imputation of Christ’s righteousness and replaced it with a governmental stance. (God never forgave sinners unless they actually deserved it.) Men had the natural will to stop sinning but were not willing to do so. Original sin was merely an identification with Adam and not a curse unto death. (This dealt with the depth of total depravity.)

4 The (First) Great Awakening Focused on Christian revitalization Not focused on worship (liturgy) but only preaching. The preaching called for deep, individual inspection, conviction of sin, and of the need to revitalize one’s relationship to Jesus Christ. It challenged church authority (“a sleepy status quo”) and invited division between traditionalists and new revivalists. It reached out to the churched, calling for change in their personal piety and practice.

5 The (First) Great Awakening “[A] new Age of Faith rose to counter the currents of the Age of Enlightenment, to reaffirm the view that being truly religious meant trusting the heart rather than the head, prizing feeling more than thinking, and relying on biblical revelation rather than human reason.” Emphasis was on ▫personal faith rather than conformity to doctrine, ▫religious experience at the moment vs. continuing discipleship, ▫a response of repentance for sin and a new birth, ▫emotional enthusiasm of its participants (e.g. weeping, fainting), in contrast to the more staid and formal worship of traditional Anglican and Congregational services.

6 The (First) Great Awakening Put extra pressure on the questions of subscription and adequate theological preparation for the ministry. Gilbert Tennent The Log College,

7 Strategic Theological Compromises Within Conservative Presbyterianism Adopting Act of 1729

8 The Adopting Act of 1729 Scots-Irish ministers preferred strict subscription to confessional standards in order to maintain orthodoxy. Do you sincerely own and believe the whole doctrine contained in the Confession of Faith … to be founded upon the Word of God; and do you acknowledge the same as the confession of your faith; and will you firmly and constantly adhere thereto, and to the utmost of your power assert, maintain, and defend the same, and the purity of worship, as presently practiced in this National Church … ?” (Ministerial vow of 1711)

9 The Adopting Act of 1729 Scots-Irish ministers preferred strict subscription to confessional standards in order to maintain orthodoxy The New Englanders preferred less hierarchical church government and believed the individual conscience could not be bound by others but only by the Bible.

10 The Adopting Act of 1729 And in case any minister of this Synod, or any candidate for the ministry shall have any scruple with respect to any article or articles of said Confession or Catechisms, he shall, at the time of his making the said declaration, declare his sentiments to the Presbytery or Synod; who shall, notwithstanding, admit him to the exercise of the ministry within our bounds, and to ministerial communion, if the Synod or Presbytery shall judge his scruple or mistake to be only about articles not essential and necessary in doctrine, worship, or govt. …

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12 Old Side/New Side, Old SideNew Side Wanted prohibition against rogue itinerant preaching. Wanted college diploma as minimum credentials for ordination. Reserved judgment on the truth of the Great Awakening phenomenon. Tended to dismiss rash conversions as not of the Spirit of God. Encouraged itinerant preaching as “not the enemy”. Higher education not always required or necessary. Embraced the emotional conversion experience entirely. Tended to criticize other side as “unconverted” themselves.

13 Master Timeline United StatesEurope 1620 – Mayflower lands 1730s-1743 – 1 st Great Awakening – American Rev – 2 nd Great Awakening 1830 – Book of Mormon – 3 rd Great Awakening – American Civil War 1870 – Scottish Common Sense 1889 – Moody Bible Institute 1891 – Briggs’ address 1910 – Pres. G.A.: 5 Fundamentals – World War I 1922 – “Shall Fund.s Win?” 1923 – The Auburn Affirmation 1925 – The Scopes Trial 1929 – Westminster Theo. Seminary 1936 – Orthodox Presbyterian Ch – John Mackay, Princeton Sem – Westminster Confession of Faith – Age of European Enlightenment & of Scottish Common Sense Philosophy 1770s-1900 – Rise of German Higher Criticism – French Revolution 1827 – Plymouth Brethren begin meeting 1833 – Slavery Abolition Act of England Charles Darwin – Origin of Species – Darby travels to the United States 1919 – Rise of Neo-Orthodoxy United States (cont.) 1937 – Death of J. Gresham Machen - Bible Presbyterian Ch. (McIntyre) 1966 – RTS, Jackson, MI 1967 – Confession of ‘67, Book of Confessions 1973 – PCA 1983 – Union of UPCUSA & PCUS

14 After the American Revolution, Christianity was being transformed. Christian faith had been on the decline since the Revolution, especially on the frontier. Universalism and Deism were popular, self- excusing faiths. Alcoholism, greed, abuse of slaves, and sexual immorality were rampant. Only small, local signs of revival could be found.

15 After the American Revolution, Christianity was being transformed. Presbyterians suffered a shortage of educated clergy to push west with the expansion. But Methodists and Baptists were the fasting growing churches from Circuit-riding ministers, such as Francis Asbury, transformed the frontier.

16 Cumberland Presbytery, Kentucky began ordaining men without approved theological training. allowed ministers a qualified assent to the Westminster Confession, requiring them to swear to the Confession "so far as they deemed it agreeable to the Word of God". Particular doctrinal issues involved pre destination.

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18 After the American Revolution, Christianity was being transformed James McGready, a Presbyterian minister from the Cumberland Presbyterian denomination came to Logan County, Kentucky.

19 After the American Revolution, Christianity was being transformed James McGready, a Presbyterian minister from the Cumberland Presbyterian denomination came to Logan County, Kentucky. He took charge of 3 congregations in the immediate vacinity. To awaken their spiritual sleepiness he set before them a covenant.

20 When we consider the word and promises of a compassionate God to the poor lost family of Adam, we find the strongest encouragement for Christians to pray in faith--to ask in the name of Jesus for the conversion of their fellow-men. None ever went to Christ when on earth, with the case of their friends, that were denied, and, although the days of his humiliation are ended, yet, for the encouragement of his people, he has left it on record, that where two or three agree upon earth to ask in prayer, believing, it shall be done.

21 Again, whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. With these promises before us, we feel encouraged to unite our supplications to a prayer- hearing God for the outpouring of his Spirit, that his people may be quickened and comforted, and that our children, and sinners generally, may be converted.

22 Therefore, we bind ourselves to observe the third Saturday of each month, for one year, as a day of fasting and prayer for the conversion of sinners in Logan county, and throughout the world. We also engage to spend one half hour every Saturday evening, beginning at the setting of the sun, and one half hour every Sabbath morning, from the rising of the sun, pleading with God to revive his work.

23 After the American Revolution, Christianity was being transformed James McGready, a Presbyterian minister from the Cumberland Presbyterian denomination came to Logan County, Kentucky. He took charge of 3 congregations in the immediate vicinity. To awaken their spiritual sleepiness he set before them a covenant. During their combined Communion seasons revival broke out.

24 After the American Revolution, Christianity was being transformed. A woman who had long sought assurance began shouting and singing. … the congregation was weeping, people began to cry and shout. A Methodist minister went through the house shouting and exhorting with all possible ecstasy and energy, and the floor was soon covered with the “slain”. CH

25 After the American Revolution, Christianity was being transformed. People flocked to Logan County by the hundreds, then thousands. Most came prepared to provide for themselves overnight with tents. The first “Camp Meeting” was born.

26 After the American Revolution, Christianity was being transformed. “Whatever their particular doctrinal stance, most nineteenth-century evangelicals preached a kind of practical Arminianism which emphasized the duty and ability of sinners to repent and desist from sin. [T]hey preached hellfire and damnation … [holding to] an unshakable practical belief in the capacity of humans for moral action, in the ability of humans to turn away from sinful behavior and embrace moral [responsibility].”

27 After the American Revolution, Christianity was being transformed. At nearby Cane Ridge, the phenomenon grew wilder: Preaching more dramatic Fainting, Shouting, Wild genuflections called “exercises” Ecstatic utterances Eventually, confusion reigned.

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30 The Second Great Awakening Emphasized the imminent return of Christ and judgment of all. Appealed to the less educated, rougher lives of the American mid-west. Women and slaves were most affected. Spawned the Restoration Movement (a rejection of present denominations) A rise in Adventism  Millerites  7 th Day Adventism

31 The Second Great Awakening Churches of Christ Shakers Church of Latter Day Saints American Bible Society Temperance Movement

32 After the American Revolution, Christianity was being transformed. The Cane Ridge Communion quickly became one of the best-reported events in American history, and according to Vanderbilt historian Paul Conkin, ‘arguably … the most important religious gathering in all of American history.’ It ignited the explosion of evangelical religion, which soon reached into nearly every corner of American life. For decades the prayer of camp meetings and revivals across the land was ‘Lord, make it like Cane Ridge.’” CH

33 New Covenant Presbyterian Church Preaching God’s Sovereign Grace to a World of Need 128 St. Mary’s Church Rd., Abingdon, MD

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35 Between the United Presbyterian Church saw: 50,000 members added. a jump from 43 to 86 presbyteries. and a jump in number of pastors: from 543 to 1,140.

36 “Father of Modern Revivalism” 9 yr.s old at the time of Cane Ridge 1821 – Licensed in Presbyterian Church ▫had not read the WCF ▫opposed Old School theology ▫came to advocate Christian Perfectionism Began revivalism as a ministry in upstate New York 1832 – Minister of 2 nd Free Presbyterian Church (Broadway Tabernacle) 1835 – President of Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH Charles Finney

37 Finney’s Controversial New Measures 1.Praying for people by name. 2.Visiting towns without invitations/cooperation of local ministers 3.immediate admission of converts into church membership 4.protracted nightly meetings 5.utilization of female preachers 6.the “anxious bench” Charles Finney

38 “Father of Modern Revivalism” 9 yr.s old at the time of Cane Ridge 1821 – Licensed in Presbyterian Church ▫had not read the WCF ▫opposed Old School theology ▫came to advocate Christian Perfectionism Began Revivalism as a ministry in upstate New York 1832 – Minister of 2 nd Free Presbyterian Church (Broadway Tabernacle) 1835 – President of Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH Charles Finney

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40 “Father of Modern Revivalism” 9 yr.s old at the time of Cane Ridge 1821 – Licensed in Presbyterian Church ▫had not read the WCF ▫opposed Old School theology ▫came to advocate Christian Perfectionism Began Revivalism as a ministry in upstate New York 1832 – Minister of 2 nd Free Presbyterian Church (Broadway Tabernacle) 1835 – President of Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH Charles Finney

41 Finney’s rejection of Calvinism He denied that man was morally depraved. He affirmed a universal atonement. He said that salvation is not a miracle from God but the logical, compelling choice of a reasonable human being. He held to Christian perfectionism.

42 Finney’s advocacy of social reforms: He tied choosing Christ to denying alcohol. He preached the abolition of slavery. He advocated for prison reform and voluntary societies for the improvement of society.

43 “The Burned-Over District” Finney’s own term to refer to the area so heavily evangelized as to have no “fuel” (unconverted) left to burn (convert). The area from which came: ▫Latter day Saint movement – late 1820s ▫Millerites (Adventism), 1833 (influence for JWs) ▫Spiritism (Communion with the dead), 1840s ▫Oneida Society (Polygamist communal living), 1848

44 A Survey of 19 th c. Presbyterianism Francis Makemie arrived in MD st Presbytery organized, Philadelphia 1730s-43 – 1 st Great Awakening American Revolutionary War st General Assembly, PCUSA s – 2 nd Great Awakening Old School/New School Controversy – War Between the States 1861 – Presbyterians split north to south

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46 Old School/New School Old SchoolNew School Call to return to traditional Calvinism of the WCF. Suspicious of Revivalism. Call to maintain a Presbyterian form of Church government. United in the north as war approached. Passed the “exscinding act” removing entire synods Embraced “New Divinity” which was Arminian and universal. Desired and practiced revivalism. Was being led away from Presbytrianism and into Congregationalism. Divided in the south as war approached. Drew up the “Auburn Declaration” defending their views. Charles HodgeLyman Beecher

47 Lyman Beecher’s Vision for Revivals and Moral Crusades “[I]ndividual conversions were insufficient to prevent the United States from apostasy and ruin. … Beecher believed that Sabbath observance was essential to the protection of American liberty. [T]he United States would soon retrogress ‘after the influence of her Sabbaths has passed away.’” Lyman Beecher

48 Lyman Beecher’s Vision for Revivals and Moral Crusades “Intemperance is the sin of our land … and if anything shall defeat the hopes of the world, which hang upon our experiment with civil liberty, it is that river of fire ….” 1830s – New School Presbyterians initiated an effort to have congregations switch from wine to grape juice in the observance of the Lord’s Supper. Lyman Beecher

49 Charles Hodge His efforts in the defense of doctrinal integrity kept Princeton Seminary in the Old School party. Published Systematic Theology (3 vol.) in Argued for Presbyterianism as the government prescribed in Scripture. Openly critiqued Finney’s Pelagianism: Finney’s idea of moral ability “has not been adopted in the confession of any one denominational church in Christendom, but is expressly repudiated by them all.”

50 A Survey of 19 th c. Presbyterianism Francis Makemie arrived in MD st Presbytery organized, Philadelphia 1730s-43 – 1 st Great Awakening American Revolutionary War st General Assembly, PCUSA s – 2 nd Great Awakening Old School/New School Controversy 1850s-1900s – Third Great Awakening

51 Third Great Awakening – 1850s-1900s Protestant Denominations grew quickly. Many Christian colleges started. ▫1848 – Geneva College, Northwood, OH ▫1876 – Grove City College, Grove City, PA Rise of the Republican Party Revivalism of Dwight Moody ▫1886 – Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, IL

52 Third Great Awakening – 1850s-1900s Issues: A Postmillennium vision of culture Temperance => Prohibition Women’s Sufferage Child Labor laws Rise in the Social Gospel, esp. in missions “All purpose” Church facilities/services

53 Third Great Awakening – 1850s-1900s Other Creations: Holiness/Pentecostal Movements Young Men’s Christian Association Salvation Army, Catherine & William Booth The Society for Ethical Culture (Jewish) Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy Jehovah’s Witnesses – Charles Taze Russell

54 A Survey of 19 th c. Presbyterianism Francis Makemie arrived in MD st Presbytery organized, Philadelphia 1730s-43 – 1 st Great Awakening American Revolutionary War st General Assembly, PCUSA s – 2 nd Great Awakening Old School/New School Controversy 1850s-1900s – Third Great Awakening – War Between the States 1861 – Presbyterians split north to south

55 The Approaching Storm 1818 – First firm stand by Presbyterians against slavery. “voluntary enslaving of one part of the human race by another” was a gross violation of the most precious and sacred rights of human nature, … utterly inconsistent with the law of God, which requires us to love our neighbor as ourselves, … totally irreconcilable with the spirit and principles of the gospel of Christ.”

56 The Approaching Storm 1818 – First firm stand by Presbyterians against slavery – General Assembly ▫New School: slavery was the decisive issue – a moral crusade ▫Old School: preserving the nation was decisive issue.  On one hand, slavery not absolutely condemned in Scr.  On the other hand, the “evil connected with slavery” must not be countenanced.

57 The Approaching Storm 1818 – First firm stand by Presbyterians against slavery – General Assembly 1857 – New School churches divided from the north to form the United Synod of the Presbyterian Church. 12/4/1861 – Old School churches in the south hold their first G.A. with 45 presbyteries, 840 ministers, 72,000 communicant members.

58 PCUSA – Old School PCUS – New School PCUSA – New School PCUS – Old School

59 The Approaching Storm For the southern church, the hardening of political opinions meant a shift on slavery. ‘the institution of slavery is divinely recognized and sanctioned. … We are upholding and defending a sacred trust, committed to us by the providence of God.’ a North Carolina Presbyterian newspaper H&M

60 The Approaching Storm At the same time, many southern ministers continued to oppose and seek reform. In addition to seeking a reform of slaves’ domestic relations, [James A. Lyon of Mississippi] advocated that blacks and white gather together for worship, … that African-Americans be catechized, and that there be a repeal of laws prohibiting slaves from learning to read and write. H&M

61 After the War The Old and New Schools in the North reunited in But the division between North and South would be hardest for Presbyterians to overcome. The northern and southern Presbyterians could not accept each other until H&M

62 New Covenant Presbyterian Church Preaching God’s Sovereign Grace to a World of Need 128 St. Mary’s Church Rd., Abingdon, MD


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