Here’s a good section on revival from my recent Jonathan Edwards reading. The Devil likes to get us to swing from one extreme to the other. This is how JE ends part 4 of The Great Awakening.
I don’t know but we shall be in danger by and by, after our eyes are fully opened to see our errors, to go to contrary extremes. The Devil has driven the pendulum far beyond its proper point of rest; and when he has carried it to the utmost length that he can, and it begins by its own weight to swing back, he probably will set in, and drive it with the utmost fury the other way; and so give us no rest; and if possible prevent our settling in a proper medium. What a poor, blind, weak and miserable creature is man, at his best estate! We are like poor helpless sheep; the Devil is too subtle for us. What is our strength? What is our wisdom? How ready are we to go astray! How easily are we drawn aside into unnumerable snares, while we in the meantime are bold and confident, and doubt not but that we are right and safe! We are foolish sheep in the midst of subtle serpents and cruel wolves, and don’t know it. Oh, how unfit are we to be left to ourselves! And how much do we stand in need of the wisdom, the power, the condescension, patience, forgiveness and gentleness of our good Shepherd!1
- Jonathan Edwards, The Great Awakening, ed. Harry S. Stout and C. C. Goen, Revised Edition., vol. 4, The Works of Jonathan Edwards (New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 2009), 495. ↩