Tennent’s Nature of Religious Zeal Explained

Publication Year: 1760


A transcript of the Gilbert Tennent sermon may be found at the Evans Early American Imprint Collection through the Text Creation Partnership. 

Tennent, Gilbert. A Persuasive to the Right Use of the Passions in Religion, or, the  Nature of Religious Zeal Explained. Philadelphia: W. Dunlap, 1760.
PHS Call number: CR Amer 1760 E8745

Reading suggestions

See especially pages 5-13 and 41-43. This document was printed using the "long s."

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Source note

Tennent delivered this sermon 18 years after his fiery sermon, The  Danger of an Unconverted Ministry. At this time, the Old Side and New  Side factions had been reunited two years earlier to form a single Presbyterian church.

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Reading questions
  1. Who is the author of this source? When was it written, and what was the  historical context?  
  2. What are some of the different kinds of “bad zeal” that Tennent describes (pages  7-11)?  
  3. What actions should those without true zeal take (page 42)? What actions should those who do have true Christian zeal take (page 43)?  
  4. How does this sermon differ from Tennent’s 1742 sermon, The Danger of an Unconverted Ministry? How  are the two sermons similar? 
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Source type
History Topics
American Religious History
Presbyterian History
Time Period
Colonial Settlement (1600s-1763)