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A lesson about Gilbert Tennent, a Presbyterian minister in the Middle Colonies.

This portrait is a representation of Gilbert Tennent, a Presbyterian minister who preached the Awakening in the Middle Colonies.

This portrait is a representation of the Presbyterian clergyman Gilbert Tennent. It is a detail of a larger painting, titled The History of American Evangelism.

In this sermon, Presbyterian Gilbert Tennent made a strong argument that clergymen must first have experienced the grace of salvation themselves before ministering that grace to others. Tennent's sermon helped widen the divide between ministers who opposed the Great Awakening and those who supported it, but the sermon also encouraged revival among the clergy.

Next to Jonathan Edwards, the leading American preacher of the Great Awakening was Gilbert Tennent of Pennsylvania. Tennent was a man of unusual abilities, but part of the credit for his accomplishments—humanly speaking—must go to the unusual education that he, his brothers, and several others received from Gilbert’s father, William Tennent, Sr. Their “log college” may not have been an Ivy League school, but it certainly was—as George Whitefield called it—a “school of the prophets.”

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.
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