The year was 1812. America had just declared war on Great Britain in June and lost its first battle in October. In the midst of that climate, a young, unimpressive minister on his way to an assignment in New York stopped at a church in the community of South Britain, Connecticut. When he was invited to preach, no one could have anticipated the impact his ministry would have, not only on this small church, but also on all the East Coast over the next three decades.
remarked that I must be seen with him.” According to Thornbury, “The uneasiness which Nettleton may have felt at this time would have been based upon the fact that a public appearance of the two men together would have been used to advantage by the new measures advocates.”
bench, praying openly for sinners in the meeting by name, appointing new converts to lead revivals, and denouncing ministers who did not use their methods. Nettleton was especially concerned about the unwillingness of Finney and his co-laborers to have any of their methods examined. Futhermore, anyone who questioned the new measures was denounced as being “enemies of revival.”
distinction between true and false zeal, calling all zeal a mark of religious affection.
you with meekness and fear.”
means necessary to bring the church to a state of revival. Finney himself said of revival: “A revival is not a miracle, nor dependent on a miracle, in any sense. It is a purely philosophical result of the right use of the constituted means — as much so as any other effect produced by the application of means.”
“[He] was held in respect by all in college; but peculiarly loved and esteemed by Christian professors.
His spirit was excellent, and his example unexceptionable.” Tyler and Bonar, 39-41.