Days Of Fasting And Nights Of Prayer

By J. Wilbur Chapman

    I have been in that old church in New England where Jonathan Edwards preached his great sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." He had a little manuscript which he held up so close to his face that they couldn't see his countenance. He went on and on. The people in the crowded church were tremendously moved. One man sprang to his feet, rushed down the center aisle and cried, "Mr. Edwards, have mercy!"

    Other men caught hold of the backs of the pews lest they should slip into perdition. I have seen the old pillars around which they threw their arms around when they thought the day of judgment had dawned upon them. The power of that sermon is still felt in the United States today. But there is a bit of history behind it.

    For three days Edwards had not eaten a mouthful of food; for three nights, he had not closed his eyes in sleep. Over and over again he had been saying to God, "Give me New England! Give me New England!" and when he arose from his knees and made his way into the pulpit, they say he looked as if he had been gazing straight into the face of God. They say that before he opened his lips to speak, conviction fell upon his audience.