D. generosity was the key to salvation
The Great Awakening was a watershed event in the life of the American people. Before it was over, it had swept the colonies of the Eastern seaboard, transforming the social and religious life of land. Although the name is slightly misleading--the Great Awakening was not one continuous revival, rather it was several revivals in a variety of locations--it says a great deal about the state of religion in the colonies. For the simple reality is that one cannot be awakened unless you have fallen asleep.
George Whitefield asserted, was whether one had had an emotional experience of conversion. This, of course, represented a reaction to the Enlightenment. Like many of the evangelists, Whitefield stood over against a cold, rational religion that appealed only to the mind.
His emphasis on the conversion experience had a leveling effect. It served to remind everyone that the ground is level at the foot of the cross. And it made the experience of saving grace seem of greater relevance than the petty quarrels over ecclesiastical structure that seemed to divide Christians. An example of this functional ecumenism can be found in a sermon Whitefield preached in Philadelphia. looked to heaven and asked:
"Father Abraham, whom have you in heaven? Any Episcopalians? No! Any Presbyterians? No! Any Independents or Methodists? No, No No! Whom have you there? We don't know those names here. All who are here are Christians...Oh, is this the case? The God help us to forget your party names and to become Christians in deed and truth."
In essence, Whitefield reduced to Christianity to it's lowest common denominator--those sinners who love Jesus will go to heaven. Denominational distinctives were down played.