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Edwards, Whitefield, the True Nature of Revival and the "Old Time" Charismatics, A Review of the Preface to a Narrative of the Extraordinary Work at Kilsyth... (1742) by James Fisher

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Resource Details

Full Title:
Edwards, Whitefield, the True Nature of Revival and the "Old Time" Charismatics, A Review of the Preface to a Narrative of the Extraordinary Work at Kilsyth... (1742)
Author:
James Fisher
Media:
Digital Download (Adobe PDF)
Searchable:
No
PDF Index:
None
Pages:
72
File Size:
6.51 MB
Publisher:
Still Waters Revival Books

Resource Description

Originally titled "A Review of the Preface to a Narrative of the Extraordinary Work at Kilsyth...," this book exposes the deficiencies of shallow revivalism and warns against what today would be called charismatic excesses.

It contrasts these weaknesses with the true nature and fruit of salvation (from a Reformed perspective), and specifically deals with some of the less than Scriptural antics of George Whitefield ("a Priest of the Church of England, who refuses to be reformed," Fisher notes) and those Presbyterians that would hear him (occasional hearing).

Some of Jonathan Edwards' revival methods also warrant rebuke in this piece. At one point Fisher writes that Edwards' defense of these works uses "exactly the language of Quakers, a branch of that hellish scheme, calculated for enervating and overthrowing the divine authority of the Word, as it is the only foundation of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ" (p. 19). He also notes "that Edwards wants to set aside the Word, as the only rule, at least, in judging and trying this work" (i.e. the "revivals" at Kilsyth and Cambuslang).

The work also exposes the defective nature of "revivals" that deal with only personal reformation, leaving off any thought of (or actively burying) the more public concerns that have been prominent in past reformations. Fisher writes, "But can any of the promoters of this work allege for themselves, that they are making the least essay towards public Reformation, as it has been owned and professed in these lands? Nay, as shall afterwards be made appear, they are doing what they can to obliterate the memory of Scotland's covenanted Reformation, and to raze all concern there anent out of the minds of the people"(p. 26).

In short, the defective nature of these past "revivals," are shown to "overthrow the very foundation of faith, and all practical godliness and to establish mere enthusiasm and strong delusion, in the room of true religion, revealed and required in the Word." This work is also useful in evaluating the "laughing revival" (or "Toronto blessing") of our day. 


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