"SATAN SEEMED TO BE MORE LET LOOSE, AND RAGED IN A DREADFUL MANNER": JONATHAN EDWARDS' FAITHFUL NARRATIVE, DESCRIBING THE BEGINNINGS OF THE RENOWNED "GREAT AWAKENING" RELIGIOUS REVIVAL IN AMERICA, 1738 FIRST AMERICAN EDITION, PRINTED IN BOSTON
EDWARDS, (Jonathan) Revd. A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God in the Conversion of Many Hundred Souls in Northampton and in the Neighbouring Towns and Villages of Hampshire, in the Province of the Massachusetts-Bay of New-England… BOUND WITH: [Discourses on Various Important Subjects]. Boston: S. Kneeland, T. Green, 1738. Small octavo (4-1/2 by 7-3/4 inches), contemporary full brown sheep rebacked with original spine laid down, original red morocco spine label; pp.(2) (i)-viii, (i) ii-v (vi), (1)-79 (80), (i) ii-vi, 1-286 . $15,000.
First American edition of this important account of the beginning of "The Great Awakening" by one of the most famous American religious figures, creator of "the first great religious revival of modern times" (ANB). Bound with Edwards' Discourses on Various Important Subjects, a collection of five sermons.
Edwards' Faithful Narrative describes Christian conversion in his congregations in Northampton, Massachusetts, during the Great Awakening. "Edwards was apparently a stranger to Northampton in 1726, and his Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God (1737) describes both the utopian community he had heard attributed to Stoddard's dominion and the less happy reality he found for himself: from the pulpit he saw only 'dullness' of spirit, 'licentious' behavior, and 'a spirit of contention' between two long-standing political factions. After another physical and emotional collapse in the summer after his grandfather's death in February 1729, Edwards began the attack on the complacency of sinners that would distinguish his entire career… The Faithful Narrative describes how in the winter of 1734–1735, first the young people, and then their elders, responded to Edwards's preaching with a renewed spiritual energy and a newly virtuous repertoire of public and private behavior. Visitors observed the work of the Spirit in Northampton and took the spark home to their own congregations, thereby promoting an unprecedentedly broad regional revival. But dangers were mixed with the satisfactions: jealousies among church members, young people becoming fervent followers of their pastor without resuming deferential behavior to their parents, and scrutiny of souls leading to despair. Edwards's own uncle committed suicide" (ANB). First published in Britain in 1737, and in Boston in 1738, Dutch and German editions would soon follow, as the work brought him international recognition. The prominent British minister George Whitefield, for example, voyaged to Northampton after the book's publication in order to meet with Edwards. "Third Edition" stated on title page, though this is the first edition published in the American colonies; preceded by the 1737 first English edition, and possibly by the 1738 Edinburgh edition. The second work in this volume, Edwards' Discourses on Various Important Subjects, has been bound in without the title page; the Faithful Narrative is complete. Evans 4239, 4240. Bookplate.
Short closed tear to a3 and I3 in Faithful Narrative; some foxing and faint dampstaining throughout volume. A very good copy in nicely restored contemporary calf.