Quotations from the Documentary

About This Collection

The documentary DVD quotes numerous primary sources. This collection offers the context of many of those quotations by providing you with the primary source. The portions used in the DVD are marked in bold.

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The minister Samuel Danforth preached this election sermon in Boston on May 11, 1670. Election sermons were preached one a year on the day that the freeman of Massachusetts elected their governor and magistrates. The election sermons dealt with public themes, especially with the covenant relationship between the Puritan colony and its God.

In this most famous of election sermons, Danforth reminds his audience that they are on an "errand into the wilderness"—a mission to establish pure Chrisitanity in the new world. In the part of the sermon excepted below, Danforth argues that the colony has deviated from its original purpose.

In 1711 a group of ministers published a collection of sermons titled Early Piety. Increase Mather wrote the preface, which was later quoted in The Christian History, by the minister and historian Thomas Prince. In his preface, Mather answers the question, "What did our forefathers come into this wilderness for?"

After serving as pastor in the frontier town of Groton, Massachusetts, Samuel Willard became the minister of the important Old South Church in Boston and later the vice president of Harvard College. In this excerpt from one of his sermons, Willard discusses how religion declines from one generation to another.

Horatius Bonar, a Scottish clergyman and songwriter of the nineteenth century, wrote the preface to John Gillies's Historical Collections of Accounts of Revival. In this excerpt, Bonar described the phenomenon of revival from the perspective of a later century.

In this sermon preached during the Great Awakening, Presbyterian minister Gilbert Tennent pleads with his hearers to be awakened. Tennent's fervent, impassioned language and the directness of his call to conversion illustrate how the preaching of the Awakening changed from earlier preaching.

While he was preaching in Georgia, George Whitefield wrote this letter to a certain Mr. Noble, his host during his stay in New York. In this letter Whitefield expresses his desire to preach the gospel.

George Whitefield preached his sermon "The Marriage of Cana" in Philadelphia, among other places. Notice the Whitefield's call to repentance at the end of this excerpt.

Benjamin Franklin became acquainted with the evangelist George Whitefield when Whitefield was preaching in Philadelphia. Franklin mentions Whitefield in this excerpt from his Autobiography.

This article in The New England Weekly Journal, a newspaper, describes how George Whitefield preached while he was in New York.

This letter from Samuel Davies, a minister in Virigina, describes the religious meetings that Samuel Morris held in his house.

In this document, the Presbyterian minister Samuel Davies describes the congregations that he preached to in Virginia. Davies tells how he traveled to widely scattered congregations of believers in the back country of the Southern Colonies.
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