Early in his remarkable revival ministry, Charles Finney was repeatedly asked to publish authorized versions of his sermons which had been so effective in the cities where he preached. Principles of Revival contains nine sermons from Finney's first book on revival, Sermons on Important Subjects, published in 1836. Compiler and editor L.G. Parkhurst has divided the sermons into shorter chapters called "Principles."
The sermons contained in Principles of Revival are available today only in this book and are distinctively different in that they focus on the psychology of revival and conversion versus the method orientation of Finney's other books. Major themes dealt with include the necessity of preaching to the conscience, the relationship in conversion between personal initiation and the work of the Spirit, motivating the sinner to repentance, and the operation of the sinner's mind.