Revival without excess?2
During the First Great Awakening many insisted they would rather wait until a revival came in which no excesses or fanaticism or stumbling blocks were present. To which Edwards replied:
"If they wait to see a work of God without difficulties and stumbling-blocks, it will be like the fool's waiting at the river side to have the water all run by. A work of God without stumbling-blocks is never to be expected. . . . There never yet was any great manifestation that God made of himself to the world, without many difficulties attending it" (133).
Clearly, Edwards did not condone excess or difficulties or stumbling-blocks. As much as is humanly possible, with the help of divine grace, we should work to eliminate anything that might hinder or bring reproach upon the work of Christ. His point is simply that when the Spirit genuinely moves in extraordinary power, there will always be a mess, and that we cannot afford to sit idly waiting for a revival that is free of them.