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Summary

The Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God by Jonathan Edwards is one of the great classics of revival literature. A key figure of the Great Awakening, Edwards wrote this important discourse in 1741 just after the revival had reached its peak. In it you will discover a thorough examination of the true and false signs of revival based on the exhortations found in 1 John 4. Edwards concludes that while many a Spirit-led movement is accompanied by excesses and actions of a questionable nature, these negative signs do not necessarily disqualify it as authentic. You may be surprised at Edwards’s remarkable balance in embracing the genuine enthusiasm in these elements while disavowing that there is definitely no supernatural origin for them. His critique is kind and gentle as he points to the true marks of revival: love and humility.

In The Spirit of Revival, editor Dr. Archie Parrish makes Edwards’s entire work accessible by modernizing the text and adding explanatory footnotes. R.C. Sproul’s extended Introduction effectively compares Edwards’s nineteenth century to our society, and the Preface by Edwards’s contemporary, William Cooper, also rings resoundingly to today’s church. Edwards’s work therefore provides more than just insight into the Great Awakening of his day. It is a map to follow for all revivals in all times and is of abiding value for us today.

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