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Quotes of Author: Jonathan-edwards

1.
Death serves all alike; as he deals with the poor, so he deals with the rich: is not awed at the appearance of a proud palace, a numerous attendance, or a majestic countenance; pulls a king out of his throne, and summons him before the judgment seat of God, with as few compliments and as little ceremony as he takes the poor man out of his cottage. Death is as rude with emperors as with beggars, and handles one with as much gentleness as the other.

Death serves all alike; as he deals with the poor, so he deals with the rich: is not awed at the appearance of a proud palace, a numerous attendance, or a majestic countenance; pulls a king out of his throne, and summons him before the judgment seat of God, with as few compliments and as little ceremony as he takes the poor man out of his cottage. Death is as rude with emperors as with beggars, and handles one with as much gentleness as the other.

Reference:   The Nakedness of Job, Works, 10:406.


2.
The only natural argument of any weight, for the immortality of the soul, takes its rise from this observation, that justice is not extended to the good, nor executed upon the bad, man in this life; and that, as the Governor of the world is just, man must live hereafter to be judged.

The only natural argument of any weight, for the immortality of the soul, takes its rise from this observation, that justice is not extended to the good, nor executed upon the bad, man in this life; and that, as the Governor of the world is just, man must live hereafter to be judged.


Topics: God-Justice
3.
When you look forward, you shall see a long forever, a boundless duration before you, which will swallow up your thoughts, and amaze your soul; and you will absolutely despair of ever having any deliverance, any end, any mitigation, any rest at all; you will know certainly that you must wear out long ages, millions and millions of ages, in wrestling and conflicting with this almighty merciless vengeance; and then you will have so done, when so many ages have actually been spent by you in this manner, you will know that all is but a point to what remains.

When you look forward, you shall see a long forever, a boundless duration before you, which will swallow up your thoughts, and amaze your soul; and you will absolutely despair of ever having any deliverance, any end, any mitigation, any rest at all; you will know certainly that you must wear out long ages, millions and millions of ages, in wrestling and conflicting with this almighty merciless vengeance; and then you will have so done, when so many ages have actually been spent by you in this manner, you will know that all is but a point to what remains.

Reference:   Secret Church 2015.


Topics: Hell-Horrors
4.
Persons need not and ought not to set any bounds to their spiritual and gracious appetites, [instead they ought] to be endeavoring by all possible ways to inflame their desires and to obtain more spiritual pleasures… Our hungerings and thirstings after God and Jesus Christ and after holiness can’t be too great for the value of these things, for they are things of infinite value…[Therefore] endeavor to promote spiritual appetites by laying yourself in the way of allurement… There is no such thing as excess in our taking of this spiritual food. There is no such virtue as temperance in spiritual feasting.  Jonathan Edwards Sermon: The Spiritual Blessings of the Gospel Represented by a Feast.

Persons need not and ought not to set any bounds to their spiritual and gracious appetites, [instead they ought] to be endeavoring by all possible ways to inflame their desires and to obtain more spiritual pleasures… Our hungerings and thirstings after God and Jesus Christ and after holiness can’t be too great for the value of these things, for they are things of infinite value… [Therefore] endeavor to promote spiritual appetites by laying yourself in the way of allurement… There is no such thing as excess in our taking of this spiritual food. There is no such virtue as temperance in spiritual feasting.

Reference:   Sermon: The Spiritual Blessings of the Gospel Represented by a Feast.


5.
Wicked men will hereafter earnestly wish to be turned to nothing and forever cease to be that they may escape the wrath of God.

Wicked men will hereafter earnestly wish to be turned to nothing and forever cease to be that they may escape the wrath of God.


6.
It is very apparent from the Word of God that He often tries the faith and patience of His people, when they are crying to Him for some great and important mercy, by withholding the mercy sought for a season; and not only so, but at first He may cause an increase of dark appearances. And yet He, without fail, at last prospers those who continue urgently in prayer with all perseverance and “will not let him go except He blesses.”

It is very apparent from the Word of God that He often tries the faith and patience of His people, when they are crying to Him for some great and important mercy, by withholding the mercy sought for a season; and not only so, but at first He may cause an increase of dark appearances. And yet He, without fail, at last prospers those who continue urgently in prayer with all perseverance and "will not let him go except He blesses."

Reference:   A Call to United Extraordinary Prayer, Works, II:312.


7.
As love to God prevails, it tends to set persons above human injuries, in this sense, that the more they love God the more they will place all their happiness in Him. They will look to God as their all and seek their happiness in portion in His favor, and thus not in the allotments of His providence alone. The more they love God, the less they set their hearts on their worldly interests, which are all that their enemies can touch.

As love to God prevails, it tends to set persons above human injuries, in this sense, that the more they love God the more they will place all their happiness in Him. They will look to God as their all and seek their happiness in portion in His favor, and thus not in the allotments of His providence alone. The more they love God, the less they set their hearts on their worldly interests, which are all that their enemies can touch.

Reference:   Charity and Its Fruits.


8.
There is a false boldness for Christ that only comes from pride. A man may rashly expose himself to the world’s dislike and even deliberately provoke its displeasure, and yet do so out of pride… True boldness for Christ transcends all; it is indifferent to the displeasure of either friends or foes. Boldness enables Christians to forsake all rather than Christ, and to prefer to offend all rather than to offend Him.

There is a false boldness for Christ that only comes from pride. A man may rashly expose himself to the world's dislike and even deliberately provoke its displeasure, and yet do so out of pride… True boldness for Christ transcends all; it is indifferent to the displeasure of either friends or foes. Boldness enables Christians to forsake all rather than Christ, and to prefer to offend all rather than to offend Him.

Reference:   Religious Affections.


Topics: Boldness
9.
It may be thus described: A true sense of the divine excellency of the things revealed in the Word of God, and a conviction of the truth and reality of them thence arising… [This spiritual light] reveals no new doctrine, it suggests no new propositions to the mind, it teaches no new thing of God, or Christ or another world not taught in the Bible, but only gives a due apprehension of those things that are taught in the Word of God.

It may be thus described: A true sense of the divine excellency of the things revealed in the Word of God, and a conviction of the truth and reality of them thence arising... [This spiritual light] reveals no new doctrine, it suggests no new propositions to the mind, it teaches no new thing of God, or Christ or another world not taught in the Bible, but only gives a due apprehension of those things that are taught in the Word of God.

Reference:   Works, Banner of Truth, 1979, 2:12-27. Used by Permission.


10.
Love to God is opposite to a disposition in men to be angry at others’ faults chiefly as they themselves are offended and injured by them: It rather disposes them to look at them chiefly as committed against God.

Love to God is opposite to a disposition in men to be angry at others’ faults chiefly as they themselves are offended and injured by them: It rather disposes them to look at them chiefly as committed against God.

Reference:   The Spirit of Love the Opposite of An Angry or Wrathful Spirit, 1 Corinthians 13:5.


11.
Pride is one chief cause of undue anger. It is because men are proud, and exalt themselves in their own hearts, that they are revengeful, and are apt to be excited, and to make great things out of little ones that may be against themselves. Yea, they even treat as vices things that are in themselves virtues, when they think their honor is touched, or when their will is crossed. And it is pride that makes men so unreasonable and rash in their anger, and raises it to such a high degree, and continues it so long, and often keeps it up in the form of habitual malice… If men sought not chiefly their own private and selfish interests, but the glory of God and the common good, then their spirit would be a great deal more stirred up in God’s cause than in their own; and they would not be prone to hasty, rash, inconsiderate, immoderate, and long-continued wrath, with any who might have injured or provoked them; but they would in a great measure forget themselves for God’s sake, and from their zeal for the honor of Christ. The end they would aim at, would be, not making themselves great, or getting their own will, but the glory of God and the good of their fellow-beings.

Pride is one chief cause of undue anger. It is because men are proud, and exalt themselves in their own hearts, that they are revengeful, and are apt to be excited, and to make great things out of little ones that may be against themselves. Yea, they even treat as vices things that are in themselves virtues, when they think their honor is touched, or when their will is crossed. And it is pride that makes men so unreasonable and rash in their anger, and raises it to such a high degree, and continues it so long, and often keeps it up in the form of habitual malice… If men sought not chiefly their own private and selfish interests, but the glory of God and the common good, then their spirit would be a great deal more stirred up in God's cause than in their own; and they would not be prone to hasty, rash, inconsiderate, immoderate, and long-continued wrath, with any who might have injured or provoked them; but they would in a great measure forget themselves for God's sake, and from their zeal for the honor of Christ. The end they would aim at, would be, not making themselves great, or getting their own will, but the glory of God and the good of their fellow-beings.

Reference:   The Spirit of Love the Opposite of An Angry or Wrathful Spirit, 1 Corinthians 13:5.


12.
The heart if man is exceedingly prone to undue and sinful anger, being naturally full of pride and selfishness.

The heart if man is exceedingly prone to undue and sinful anger, being naturally full of pride and selfishness.


13.
Never did God so manifest His hatred of sin as in the death and suffering of His only begotten Son. Hereby He showed Himself unappeasable to sin, and that it was impossible for Him to be at peace with it.

Never did God so manifest His hatred of sin as in the death and suffering of His only begotten Son. Hereby He showed Himself unappeasable to sin, and that it was impossible for Him to be at peace with it.

Reference:   The Wisdom of God Displayed in Salvation.


14.
There would be no manifestation of God’s grace or true goodness, if there was no sin to be pardoned, no misery to be saved from.

There would be no manifestation of God’s grace or true goodness, if there was no sin to be pardoned, no misery to be saved from.


15.
Words are cheap. It is by costly, self-denying Christian practice that we show the reality of our faith.

Words are cheap. It is by costly, self-denying Christian practice that we show the reality of our faith.


Topics: Self-Denial
16.
He that has doctrinal knowledge and speculation only, without affection, never is engaged in the business of religion.

He that has doctrinal knowledge and speculation only, without affection, never is engaged in the business of religion.


17.
Men that have their spirits heated and enraged and rising in bitter resentment when they are injured act as if they thought some strange thing had happened to them. Whereas they are very foolish in so thinking for it is no strange thing at all but only what was to be expected in a world like this. They therefore do not act wisely that allow their spirits to be ruffled by the injuries they suffer.

Men that have their spirits heated and enraged and rising in bitter resentment when they are injured act as if they thought some strange thing had happened to them. Whereas they are very foolish in so thinking for it is no strange thing at all but only what was to be expected in a world like this. They therefore do not act wisely that allow their spirits to be ruffled by the injuries they suffer.

Reference:   Charity and Its Fruits


18.
As love to God prevails, it tends to set persons above human injuries, in this sense, that the more they love God the more they will place all their happiness in Him. They will look to God as their all and seek their happiness in portion in His favor, and thus not in the allotments of His providence alone. The more they love God, the less they set their hearts on their worldly interests, which are all that their enemies can touch.

As love to God prevails, it tends to set persons above human injuries, in this sense, that the more they love God the more they will place all their happiness in Him. They will look to God as their all and seek their happiness in portion in His favor, and thus not in the allotments of His providence alone. The more they love God, the less they set their hearts on their worldly interests, which are all that their enemies can touch.

Reference:   Charity and Its Fruits


19.
There were earnest longings that all God’s people might be clothed with humility and meekness, like the Lamb of God, and feel nothing in their hearts but love and compassion to all mankind; and great grief when anything to the contrary appeared in any of the children of God, as bitterness, fierceness of zeal, censoriousness, or reflecting uncharitably on others, or disputing with any appearance of heat of spirit.

There were earnest longings that all God’s people might be clothed with humility and meekness, like the Lamb of God, and feel nothing in their hearts but love and compassion to all mankind; and great grief when anything to the contrary appeared in any of the children of God, as bitterness, fierceness of zeal, censoriousness, or reflecting uncharitably on others, or disputing with any appearance of heat of spirit.

Reference:   Works,I:377.


20.
More especially is the uniting of a faithful minister with a particular Christian people, as their pastor, when done in a due manner, like a young man marrying a virgin… It is so with respect to mutual regard and affection. A faithful minister, that is in a Christian manner united to a Christian people as their pastor, has his heart united to them in the most ardent and tender affection. And they, on the other hand, have their hearts united to him, esteeming him very highly in love for his work’s sake, and receiving him with honor and reverence, and willingly subjecting themselves to him, and committing themselves to his care, as being, under Christ, their head and guide…. When such a minister and such a people are thus united, it is attended with great joy. The minister joyfully devoting himself to the service of his Lord in the work of the ministry, as a work that he delights in; and also joyfully uniting himself to the society of the saints that he is set over, as having complacence in them, for his dear Lord’s sake, whose people they are; and willingly and joyfully, on Christ’s call, undertaking the labors and difficulties of the service of their souls. And they, on the other hand; joyfully receiving him as a precious gift of their ascended Redeemer.

More especially is the uniting of a faithful minister with a particular Christian people, as their pastor, when done in a due manner, like a young man marrying a virgin... It is so with respect to mutual regard and affection. A faithful minister, that is in a Christian manner united to a Christian people as their pastor, has his heart united to them in the most ardent and tender affection. And they, on the other hand, have their hearts united to him, esteeming him very highly in love for his work’s sake, and receiving him with honor and reverence, and willingly subjecting themselves to him, and committing themselves to his care, as being, under Christ, their head and guide.... When such a minister and such a people are thus united, it is attended with great joy. The minister joyfully devoting himself to the service of his Lord in the work of the ministry, as a work that he delights in; and also joyfully uniting himself to the society of the saints that he is set over, as having complacence in them, for his dear Lord’s sake, whose people they are; and willingly and joyfully, on Christ’s call, undertaking the labors and difficulties of the service of their souls. And they, on the other hand; joyfully receiving him as a precious gift of their ascended Redeemer.

Reference:   Works, 2:19-20.


21.
There, in heaven, this infinite fountain of love — this eternal Three in One — is set open without any obstacle to hinder access to it, as it flows forever. There this glorious God is manifested and shines forth in full glory, in beams of love. And there this glorious fountain forever flows forth in streams, yea, in rivers of love and delight, and these rivers swell, as it were, to an ocean of love, in which the souls of the ransomed may bathe with the sweetest enjoyment, and their hearts, as it were, be deluged with love!

There, in heaven, this infinite fountain of love — this eternal Three in One — is set open without any obstacle to hinder access to it, as it flows forever. There this glorious God is manifested and shines forth in full glory, in beams of love. And there this glorious fountain forever flows forth in streams, yea, in rivers of love and delight, and these rivers swell, as it were, to an ocean of love, in which the souls of the ransomed may bathe with the sweetest enjoyment, and their hearts, as it were, be deluged with love!


22.
All gracious affections that are a sweet odor to Christ, and that fill the soul of a Christian with a heavenly sweetness and fragrancy, are broken-hearted affections.

All gracious affections that are a sweet odor to Christ, and that fill the soul of a Christian with a heavenly sweetness and fragrancy, are broken-hearted affections.

Reference:   The Religious Affections, Part III, Section 6.


Topics: Brokenness
23.
Then the church shall be brought to the full enjoyment of her bridegroom, having all tears wiped away from her eyes, and there shall be no more distance or absence. She shall then be brought to the entertainments of an eternal wedding feast, and to dwell forever with her bridegroom, yea, to dwell eternally in His embraces. Then Christ will give her His loves, and she shall drink her fill, yea, she shall swim in the ocean of His love.

Then the church shall be brought to the full enjoyment of her bridegroom, having all tears wiped away from her eyes, and there shall be no more distance or absence. She shall then be brought to the entertainments of an eternal wedding feast, and to dwell forever with her bridegroom, yea, to dwell eternally in His embraces. Then Christ will give her His loves, and she shall drink her fill, yea, she shall swim in the ocean of His love.

Reference:   The Church’s Marriage to her Sons and to her God, in Works, II:22.


24.
How great an honor will it be to a person to have God at the day of judgment owning a person, declaring before all men, angels and devils that that person is before His all-seeing eyes and that he stands innocent and perfect in His sight, clothed with perfect righteousness and entitled to everlasting glory and blessedness. How honorable will this render them in the eyes of all that vast assembly that will be together at the day of judgment. That will be an infinitely greater honor than any man or any angel declaring that they judge him upright and sincere and that eternal life belongs to him. What can be a greater honor than this — to be owned by the great King and Lord of all things?

How great an honor will it be to a person to have God at the day of judgment owning a person, declaring before all men, angels and devils that that person is before His all-seeing eyes and that he stands innocent and perfect in His sight, clothed with perfect righteousness and entitled to everlasting glory and blessedness. How honorable will this render them in the eyes of all that vast assembly that will be together at the day of judgment. That will be an infinitely greater honor than any man or any angel declaring that they judge him upright and sincere and that eternal life belongs to him. What can be a greater honor than this — to be owned by the great King and Lord of all things?

Reference:   The Glory and Honor of God.


25.
How astonishing is it that a Person who is blessed forever and is infinitely and essentially happy should endure the greatest sufferings that ever were endured on earth! That a Person who is the supreme Lord and Judge of the world should be arraigned and should stand at the judgment seat of mortal worms and then be condemned. That a Person who is the living God and the fountain of life should be put to death. That a Person who created the world and gives life to all His creatures should be put to death by His own creatures. That a Person of infinite majesty and glory, and so the object of the love, praises and adoration of angels, should be mocked and spit upon by the vilest of men. That a Person infinitely good and who is love itself should suffer the greatest cruelty. That Person who is infinitely beloved of the Father should be put to inexpressible anguish under His own Father’s wrath. That He who is the King of heaven, who has heaven for His throne and earth for His footstool, should be buried in the prison of the grave. How wonderful is this! And yet this is the way that God’s wisdom has fixed upon as the way of sinners’ salvation, as neither unsuitable nor dishonorable to Christ.

How astonishing is it that a Person who is blessed forever and is infinitely and essentially happy should endure the greatest sufferings that ever were endured on earth! That a Person who is the supreme Lord and Judge of the world should be arraigned and should stand at the judgment seat of mortal worms and then be condemned. That a Person who is the living God and the fountain of life should be put to death. That a Person who created the world and gives life to all His creatures should be put to death by His own creatures. That a Person of infinite majesty and glory, and so the object of the love, praises and adoration of angels, should be mocked and spit upon by the vilest of men. That a Person infinitely good and who is love itself should suffer the greatest cruelty. That Person who is infinitely beloved of the Father should be put to inexpressible anguish under His own Father’s wrath. That He who is the King of heaven, who has heaven for His throne and earth for His footstool, should be buried in the prison of the grave. How wonderful is this! And yet this is the way that God’s wisdom has fixed upon as the way of sinners’ salvation, as neither unsuitable nor dishonorable to Christ.

Reference:   The Wisdom of God Displayed in the Way of Salvation, Works, II:144.


26.
There is nothing that belongs to Christian experience more liable to a corrupt mixture than zeal.

There is nothing that belongs to Christian experience more liable to a corrupt mixture than zeal.


Topics: Zeal
27.
Spiritual pride is very apt to suspect others, but a humble saint is most jealous of himself. He is as suspicious of nothing in the world as he is of his own heart. The spiritually proud person is apt to find fault with other saints…and to be quick to notice their deficiencies. But the eminently humble Christian has so much to do at home, and sees so much evil in his own heart, and is so concerned about it, that he is not apt to be very busy with other hearts… Pure Christian humility disposes a person to take notice of everything that is good in others, and to make the most of it, and to diminish their failings, but to give his eye chiefly on those things that are bad in himself.

Spiritual pride is very apt to suspect others, but a humble saint is most jealous of himself. He is as suspicious of nothing in the world as he is of his own heart. The spiritually proud person is apt to find fault with other saints...and to be quick to notice their deficiencies. But the eminently humble Christian has so much to do at home, and sees so much evil in his own heart, and is so concerned about it, that he is not apt to be very busy with other hearts... Pure Christian humility disposes a person to take notice of everything that is good in others, and to make the most of it, and to diminish their failings, but to give his eye chiefly on those things that are bad in himself.

Reference:   Thoughts on the Revival, Works, I:399-400.


28.
A work is not to be judged by any effects on the bodies of men; such as tears, trembling, groans, loud outcries, agonies of body, or the failing of bodily strength. The influence persons are under is not to be judged of one way or other by such effects on the body. Scripture nowhere gives us any such rule. We cannot conclude that persons are under the influence of the true Spirit because we see such effects upon their bodies. This is not given as a mark of the true Spirit; nor on the other hand, have we any reason to conclude from any such outward appearances that persons are not under the influence of the Spirit of God. There is no rule of Scripture given us by which to judge spirits that either expressly or indirectly excludes such effects on the body, nor does reason exclude them.

A work is not to be judged by any effects on the bodies of men; such as tears, trembling, groans, loud outcries, agonies of body, or the failing of bodily strength. The influence persons are under is not to be judged of one way or other by such effects on the body. Scripture nowhere gives us any such rule. We cannot conclude that persons are under the influence of the true Spirit because we see such effects upon their bodies. This is not given as a mark of the true Spirit; nor on the other hand, have we any reason to conclude from any such outward appearances that persons are not under the influence of the Spirit of God. There is no rule of Scripture given us by which to judge spirits that either expressly or indirectly excludes such effects on the body, nor does reason exclude them.

Reference:   Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God, 1741. Modern language courtesy of Archie Parrish, The Spirit of Revival, Crossway Books, 2000, p. 59-60.


29.
It is remarkable how forward men are to appear, as if they were zealous for God and righteousness, in cases wherein their honor, or will, or interest has been touched, and to make pretense of this in injuring others or complaining of them.

It is remarkable how forward men are to appear, as if they were zealous for God and righteousness, in cases wherein their honor, or will, or interest has been touched, and to make pretense of this in injuring others or complaining of them.

Reference:   The Spirit of Love the Opposite of An Angry or Wrathful Spirit, 1 Corinthians 13:5.


30.
There is no way that Christians in a private capacity can do so much to promote the work of God and advance the kingdom of Christ, as by prayer.

There is no way that Christians in a private capacity can do so much to promote the work of God and advance the kingdom of Christ, as by prayer.

Reference:   Quoted in:  Erroll Hulse, A Call to Extraordinary Prayer for Revival.


Topics: Prayer-Power
31.
Now where is Jesus of Nazareth, my true and never-failing Friend?

Now where is Jesus of Nazareth, my true and never-failing Friend?


32.
O sinner!  The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked. His wrath towards you burns like fire.  He looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire. He is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight.  You are ten thousand times more abominable in His eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours.  O sinner!  You have offended Him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince; and yet it is nothing but His hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment.  O sinner!  It is to be ascribed to nothing else, that you did not go to hell the last night; that you were allowed to awake again in this world, after you closed your eyes to sleep. And there is no other reason to be given, why you have not dropped into hell since you arose in the morning, but that God’s hand has held you up.  O sinner!  There is no other reason to be given why you have not gone to hell, since you have sat here in the house of God, provoking His pure eyes by your sinful wicked manner of attending His solemn worship.  O sinner!  Yes, there is nothing else that is to be given as a reason why you do not this very moment drop down into hell.  O sinner!  Consider the fearful danger you are in!   O sinner! It is a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath, that you are held over, in the hand of that God whose wrath is provoked and incensed as much against you, as against many of the damned in hell.   O sinner!  You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it, and ready every moment to singe it, and burn it asunder. And you have no interest in any Mediator, and nothing to lay hold of to save yourself, nothing to keep off the flames of wrath, nothing of your own, nothing that you ever have done, nothing that you can do, to induce God to spare you one moment!

O sinner! The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked. His wrath towards you burns like fire.  He looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire. He is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight.  You are ten thousand times more abominable in His eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours.  O sinner! You have offended Him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince; and yet it is nothing but His hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment.  O sinner! It is to be ascribed to nothing else, that you did not go to hell the last night; that you were allowed to awake again in this world, after you closed your eyes to sleep. And there is no other reason to be given, why you have not dropped into hell since you arose in the morning, but that God's hand has held you up.  O sinner! There is no other reason to be given why you have not gone to hell, since you have sat here in the house of God, provoking His pure eyes by your sinful wicked manner of attending His solemn worship.  O sinner! Yes, there is nothing else that is to be given as a reason why you do not this very moment drop down into hell.  O sinner! Consider the fearful danger you are in!   O sinner! It is a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath, that you are held over, in the hand of that God whose wrath is provoked and incensed as much against you, as against many of the damned in hell.   O sinner! You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it, and ready every moment to singe it, and burn it asunder. And you have no interest in any Mediator, and nothing to lay hold of to save yourself, nothing to keep off the flames of wrath, nothing of your own, nothing that you ever have done, nothing that you can do, to induce God to spare you one moment!

Reference:   Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God (edited).


Topics: God-Wrath
33.
A person may be full of talk about his own [religious] experiences. But often it is more a bad than a good sign. It is like a tree that is full of leaves that seldom bears much fruit. Or it is like a cloud which, although it appears to promise much fullness of rain, is only wind to a dry and thirsty earth… Strong, false affections are much more likely to declare themselves than true ones. It is the nature of false religion to be showy and visible as it was with the Pharisees.

A person may be full of talk about his own [religious] experiences. But often it is more a bad than a good sign. It is like a tree that is full of leaves that seldom bears much fruit. Or it is like a cloud which, although it appears to promise much fullness of rain, is only wind to a dry and thirsty earth… Strong, false affections are much more likely to declare themselves than true ones. It is the nature of false religion to be showy and visible as it was with the Pharisees.

Reference:   Religious Affections.


34.
That we should say, that God has decreed every action of men, yea, every action that is sinful…and yet that God does not decree the actions that are sinful, as sin, but decrees them as good, is really consistent… By decreeing an action as sinful, I mean decreeing it for the sake of the sinfulness of the action. God decrees that they shall be sinful, for the sake of the good that He causes to arise from the sinfulness thereof; whereas man decrees them for the sake of the evil that is in them.

That we should say, that God has decreed every action of men, yea, every action that is sinful…and yet that God does not decree the actions that are sinful, as sin, but decrees them as good, is really consistent… By decreeing an action as sinful, I mean decreeing it for the sake of the sinfulness of the action. God decrees that they shall be sinful, for the sake of the good that He causes to arise from the sinfulness thereof; whereas man decrees them for the sake of the evil that is in them.

Reference:   The Works of Jonathan Edwards, 2:527.


Topics: Evil-Problem
35.
Make God the peculiar object of your praises. The doctrine [of election] shows what great reason you have so to do. If God so values you, sets so much by you, has bestowed greater mercies upon you than on all the ungodly in the world, is it too little a requital for you to make God the peculiar object of your praise and thankfulness? If God so distinguishes you with His mercies, you ought to distinguish yourself in His praises. You should make it your great care and study how to glorify that God who has been so peculiarly merciful to you. And this, rather, because there was nothing peculiar in you differing from any other person that moved God thus to deal thus peculiarly by you: you were as unworthy to be set by as thousands of others that are not regarded of God, and are cast away by Him forever.

Make God the peculiar object of your praises. The doctrine [of election] shows what great reason you have so to do. If God so values you, sets so much by you, has bestowed greater mercies upon you than on all the ungodly in the world, is it too little a requital for you to make God the peculiar object of your praise and thankfulness? If God so distinguishes you with His mercies, you ought to distinguish yourself in His praises. You should make it your great care and study how to glorify that God who has been so peculiarly merciful to you. And this, rather, because there was nothing peculiar in you differing from any other person that moved God thus to deal thus peculiarly by you: you were as unworthy to be set by as thousands of others that are not regarded of God, and are cast away by Him forever.


36.
From my childhood up, my mind had been full of objections against the doctrine of God’s sovereignty in choosing whom He would to eternal life, and rejecting him whom He pleased; leaving them eternally to perish, and be everlastingly tormented in Hell. It used to appear like a horrible doctrine to me. But I have often, since that first conviction, had quite another kind of sense of God’s sovereignty than I had then. I have often since had not only a conviction, but a delightful conviction. The doctrine has very often appeared exceeding pleasant, bright, and sweet. Absolute sovereignty is what I love to ascribe to God. But my first conviction was not so.

From my childhood up, my mind had been full of objections against the doctrine of God's sovereignty in choosing whom He would to eternal life, and rejecting him whom He pleased; leaving them eternally to perish, and be everlastingly tormented in Hell. It used to appear like a horrible doctrine to me. But I have often, since that first conviction, had quite another kind of sense of God's sovereignty than I had then. I have often since had not only a conviction, but a delightful conviction. The doctrine has very often appeared exceeding pleasant, bright, and sweet. Absolute sovereignty is what I love to ascribe to God. But my first conviction was not so.


37.
The conversion of a sinner being not owing to a man’s self determination, but to God’s determination, and eternal election, which is absolute, and depending on the sovereign Will of God, and not on the free will of man; as is evident from what has been said: and it being very evident from the Scriptures, that the eternal election of saints to the faith and holiness, is also an election of them to eternal salvation; hence their appointment to salvation must also be absolute, and not depending on their contingent, self-determining Will

The conversion of a sinner being not owing to a man's self determination, but to God's determination, and eternal election, which is absolute, and depending on the sovereign Will of God, and not on the free will of man; as is evident from what has been said: and it being very evident from the Scriptures, that the eternal election of saints to the faith and holiness, is also an election of them to eternal salvation; hence their appointment to salvation must also be absolute, and not depending on their contingent, self-determining Will


38.
The change that takes place in a man when he is converted and sanctified, is not that his love for happiness is diminished but only that it is regulated with respect to its exercises and influences, and the course and objects it leads to when God brings a soul out of a miserable state and condition into a happy state of conversion, He gives him happiness that before he had not (namely in God), but He does not at the same time take away any of his love of happiness.

The change that takes place in a man when he is converted and sanctified, is not that his love for happiness is diminished but only that it is regulated with respect to its exercises and influences, and the course and objects it leads to when God brings a soul out of a miserable state and condition into a happy state of conversion, He gives him happiness that before he had not (namely in God), but He does not at the same time take away any of his love of happiness.


Topics: Joy-God
39.
The pleasures of loving and obeying, loving and adoring, blessing and praising the Infinite Being, the Best of Beings, the Eternal Jehovah; the pleasures of trusting in Jesus Christ, in contemplating His beauties, excellencies, and glories; in contemplating His love to mankind and to us, in contemplating His infinite goodness and astonishing loving-kindness; the pleasures of [the] communion of the Holy Ghost in conversing with God, the maker and governor of the world; the pleasure that results from the doing of our duty, in acting worthily and excellently;…these are the pleasures that are worthy of so noble a creature as a man is.

The pleasures of loving and obeying, loving and adoring, blessing and praising the Infinite Being, the Best of Beings, the Eternal Jehovah; the pleasures of trusting in Jesus Christ, in contemplating His beauties, excellencies, and glories; in contemplating His love to mankind and to us, in contemplating His infinite goodness and astonishing loving-kindness; the pleasures of [the] communion of the Holy Ghost in conversing with God, the maker and governor of the world; the pleasure that results from the doing of our duty, in acting worthily and excellently;…these are the pleasures that are worthy of so noble a creature as a man is.

Reference:   Christian Happiness, Sermons and Discourses 1720-1723.


Topics: Joy-God
40.
God is glorified not only by His glory’s being seen, but by its being rejoiced in. When those that see it delight in it, God is more glorified than if they only see it. God made the world that He might communicate, and the creature receive, His glory…both [with] the mind and the heart. He that testifies his having an idea of God’s glory [doesn’t] glorify God so much as he that testifies also his approbation [i.e., his heartfelt commendation or praise] of it and his delight in it.

God is glorified not only by His glory’s being seen, but by its being rejoiced in. When those that see it delight in it, God is more glorified than if they only see it. God made the world that He might communicate, and the creature receive, His glory…both [with] the mind and the heart. He that testifies his having an idea of God’s glory [doesn’t] glorify God so much as he that testifies also his approbation [i.e., his heartfelt commendation or praise] of it and his delight in it.


41.
Now what is glorifying God, but a rejoicing at that glory He has displayed? An understanding of the perfections of God, merely, cannot be the end of the creation; for he had as good not understand it, as see it and not be at all moved with joy at the sight. Neither can the highest end of creation be the declaring God’s glory to others; for the declaring God’s glory is good for nothing otherwise than to raise joy in ourselves and others at what is declared.

Now what is glorifying God, but a rejoicing at that glory He has displayed? An understanding of the perfections of God, merely, cannot be the end of the creation; for he had as good not understand it, as see it and not be at all moved with joy at the sight. Neither can the highest end of creation be the declaring God’s glory to others; for the declaring God’s glory is good for nothing otherwise than to raise joy in ourselves and others at what is declared.

Reference:   Miscellanies 3; Yale 13:200.


42.
The first and the great work of a Christian is about his heart. Do not be content with seeming to do good in “outward acts” while your heart is bad, and you are a stranger to the greater internal heart duties.

The first and the great work of a Christian is about his heart. Do not be content with seeming to do good in “outward acts” while your heart is bad, and you are a stranger to the greater internal heart duties.


Topics: Heart
43.
What is there that you can desire should be in a Savior that is not in Christ? Or, in what way would you desire a Savior to be otherwise than Christ is? What excellency is there lacking? What is there that is great or good; what is there that is venerable or winning; what is there that is adorable or endearing; or what can you think of that would be encouraging, which is not to be found in the person of Christ?

What is there that you can desire should be in a Savior that is not in Christ? Or, in what way would you desire a Savior to be otherwise than Christ is? What excellency is there lacking? What is there that is great or good; what is there that is venerable or winning; what is there that is adorable or endearing; or what can you think of that would be encouraging, which is not to be found in the person of Christ?

Reference:   The Excellency of Christ, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, v. 1, 1979, p. 686, by permission Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA.


44.
The person of Christ appeared ineffably excellent, with an excellency great enough to swallow up all thought and conception…which kept me, the bigger part of the time, in a flood of tears and weeping aloud. I felt an ardency of soul to be…emptied and annihilated, to lie in the dust and be full of Christ alone; to love Him with a holy and pure love; to trust in Him; to live upon Him; to serve and follow Him, and to be totally wrapped up in the fullness of Christ, and to be perfectly sanctified and made pure, with a divine and heavenly purity.

The person of Christ appeared ineffably excellent, with an excellency great enough to swallow up all thought and conception…which kept me, the bigger part of the time, in a flood of tears and weeping aloud. I felt an ardency of soul to be…emptied and annihilated, to lie in the dust and be full of Christ alone; to love Him with a holy and pure love; to trust in Him; to live upon Him; to serve and follow Him, and to be totally wrapped up in the fullness of Christ, and to be perfectly sanctified and made pure, with a divine and heavenly purity.

Reference:   Extractions for His Private Diary.


45.
Spiritual delight in God arises chiefly from his beauty and perfection, not from the blessings he gives us. 

Spiritual delight in God arises chiefly from his beauty and perfection, not from the blessings he gives us. 


46.
There is very great delight the Christian enjoys in the sight he has of the glory and excellency of God. How many arts and contrivances have men to delight the eye of the body. Men take delight in the beholding of great cities, splendid buildings and stately palaces. And what delight is often taken in the beholding of a beautiful face. May we not well conclude that great delights may also be taken in pleasing the eye of the mind in seeing the most beautiful, the most glorious, the most wonderful Being in the world.

There is very great delight the Christian enjoys in the sight he has of the glory and excellency of God. How many arts and contrivances have men to delight the eye of the body. Men take delight in the beholding of great cities, splendid buildings and stately palaces. And what delight is often taken in the beholding of a beautiful face. May we not well conclude that great delights may also be taken in pleasing the eye of the mind in seeing the most beautiful, the most glorious, the most wonderful Being in the world.

Reference:   The Pleasantness of Religion in The Works of Jonathan Edwards: Sermons and Discourses, 1723-1729.


47.
Real Christians do not first see that God loves them, and later on find out that He is lovely.  They first see that God is lovely, that Christ is excellent and glorious.  Their hearts are captivated by this view of God, and their love for God arises chiefly from this view.  True love begins with God and loves Him for His own sake.  Self-love begins with self, and loves God in the interests of self.

Real Christians do not first see that God loves them, and later on find out that He is lovely. They first see that God is lovely, that Christ is excellent and glorious. Their hearts are captivated by this view of God, and their love for God arises chiefly from this view. True love begins with God and loves Him for His own sake. Self-love begins with self, and loves God in the interests of self.


48.
Again, self-love can produce a love for God through a lack of conviction of sin. Some people have no sense of the vileness of sin, and no sense of God’s infinite and holy opposition to it. They think God has no higher standards than they have! So they get on well with him and feel a sort of love for him, but they are loving an imaginary God, not the real God. Then there are others whose self-love produces a sort of love for God simply because of the material blessings they have received from His providence. There is nothing spiritual in this either!

Again, self-love can produce a love for God through a lack of conviction of sin. Some people have no sense of the vileness of sin, and no sense of God’s infinite and holy opposition to it. They think God has no higher standards than they have! So they get on well with him and feel a sort of love for him, but they are loving an imaginary God, not the real God. Then there are others whose self-love produces a sort of love for God simply because of the material blessings they have received from His providence. There is nothing spiritual in this either!


Topics: Self-Love
49.
Self-love can produce a merely natural gratitude to God. This can happen through wrong ideas about God, as if He were all love and mercy, and no avenging justice, or as if God were bound to love a person because of the person’s worthiness. On these grounds men may love a God of their own imaginations, when they have no love at all for the true God. 

Self-love can produce a merely natural gratitude to God. This can happen through wrong ideas about God, as if He were all love and mercy, and no avenging justice, or as if God were bound to love a person because of the person’s worthiness. On these grounds men may love a God of their own imaginations, when they have no love at all for the true God. 


Topics: Self-Love
50.
It is not by telling people about ourselves that we demonstrate our Christianity. Words are cheap. It is by costly, self-denying Christian practice that we show the reality of our faith. 

It is not by telling people about ourselves that we demonstrate our Christianity. Words are cheap. It is by costly, self-denying Christian practice that we show the reality of our faith. 


51.
Resolved, never henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God’s.

Resolved, never henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God's.

Reference:   Resolutions Number 43.


Topics: Self-Denial
52.
However great a spiritual influence may be, it is not to be expected that the Spirit of God should be given now in the same manner as it was to the apostles.

However great a spiritual influence may be, it is not to be expected that the Spirit of God should be given now in the same manner as it was to the apostles.

Reference:   Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God, 1741. Modern language courtesy of Archie Parrish, The Spirit of Revival, Crossway Books, 2000, p. 77.


53.
Thus [in heaven] they shall eat and drink abundantly, and swim in the ocean of love, and be eternally swallowed up in the infinitely bright, and infinitely mild and sweet, beams of divine love; eternally receiving that light, eternally full of it, and eternally compassed round with it, and everlasting reflecting it back again to its foundations.

Thus [in heaven] they shall eat and drink abundantly, and swim in the ocean of love, and be eternally swallowed up in the infinitely bright, and infinitely mild and sweet, beams of divine love; eternally receiving that light, eternally full of it, and eternally compassed round with it, and everlasting reflecting it back again to its foundations.

Reference:   Quoted in The Rational Biblical Theology of Jonathan Edwards by John Gerstner, Berea Publication, 1993, p. 543.


54.
To pretend to describe the excellence, the greatness or duration of the happiness of heaven by the most artful composition of words would be but to darken and cloud it; to talk of raptures and ecstasies, joy and singing, is but to set forth very low shadows of the reality.

To pretend to describe the excellence, the greatness or duration of the happiness of heaven by the most artful composition of words would be but to darken and cloud it; to talk of raptures and ecstasies, joy and singing, is but to set forth very low shadows of the reality.


55.
What tranquility will there be in heaven! Who can express the fullness and blessedness of this peace! What a calm is this! How sweet and holy and joyous! What a haven of rest to enter, after having passed through the storms and tempests of this world, in which pride and selfishness and envy and malice and scorn and contempt and contention and vice are as waves of a restless ocean, always rolling, and often dashed about in violence and fury! What a Canaan of rest to come to, after going through this waste and howling wilderness, full of snares and pitfalls and poisonous serpents, where no rest could be found.

What tranquility will there be in heaven! Who can express the fullness and blessedness of this peace! What a calm is this! How sweet and holy and joyous! What a haven of rest to enter, after having passed through the storms and tempests of this world, in which pride and selfishness and envy and malice and scorn and contempt and contention and vice are as waves of a restless ocean, always rolling, and often dashed about in violence and fury! What a Canaan of rest to come to, after going through this waste and howling wilderness, full of snares and pitfalls and poisonous serpents, where no rest could be found.


56.
The enjoyment of God is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, or children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows, but God is the substance. These are but scattered beams, but God is the sun. These are but streams. But God is the ocean.

The enjoyment of God is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, or children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows, but God is the substance. These are but scattered beams, but God is the sun. These are but streams. But God is the ocean.

Reference:   The Christian Pilgrim, Works of Jonathan Edwards, by permission of Banner of Truth, Carlisle, PA. 1974, 2:244.


57.
I go out to preach with two propositions in mind. First, everyone ought to give his life to Christ. Second, whether or not anyone gives Him his life, I will give Him mine.

I go out to preach with two propositions in mind. First, everyone ought to give his life to Christ. Second, whether or not anyone gives Him his life, I will give Him mine.


58.
I frequently hear persons in old age, say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, that I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age. July 8, 1723.

I frequently hear persons in old age, say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, that I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age. July 8, 1723.

Reference:   Resolution Number 52.


59.
I resolve to endeavor to my utmost to act and think as if I had already seen the happiness of heaven and the torments of hell.

I resolve to endeavor to my utmost to act and think as if I had already seen the happiness of heaven and the torments of hell.


60.
The first and the great work of a Christian is about his heart.  Do not be content with seeming to do good in “outward acts” while your heart is bad, and you are a stranger to the greater internal heart duties.  See that your chief study be about your heart– that there God’s image may be planted; that there His interests be advanced; that there the world and flesh are subdued; that there the love of every sin is cast out; that there the love of holiness grows.

The first and the great work of a Christian is about his heart.  Do not be content with seeming to do good in “outward acts” while your heart is bad, and you are a stranger to the greater internal heart duties.  See that your chief study be about your heart-- that there God's image may be planted; that there His interests be advanced; that there the world and flesh are subdued; that there the love of every sin is cast out; that there the love of holiness grows.


61.
Resolved, to endeavor, to my utmost, to deny whatever is not most agreeable to a good, and universally sweet and benevolent, quiet, peaceable, contented and easy, compassionate and generous, humble and meek, submissive and obliging, diligent and industrious, charitable and even, patient, moderate, forgiving and sincere temper; and to do at all times, what such a temper would lead me to; and to examine strictly, at the end of every week, whether I have done so. Sabbath morning. May 5, 1723.

Resolved, to endeavor, to my utmost, to deny whatever is not most agreeable to a good, and universally sweet and benevolent, quiet, peaceable, contented and easy, compassionate and generous, humble and meek, submissive and obliging, diligent and industrious, charitable and even, patient, moderate, forgiving and sincere temper; and to do at all times, what such a temper would lead me to; and to examine strictly, at the end of every week, whether I have done so. Sabbath morning. May 5, 1723.

Reference:   Resolution Number 47.


62.
Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.

Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.

Reference:   Resolution Number 7.


63.
Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.

Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.


64.
Oftentimes in reading [the Bible], every word seemed to touch my heart. I felt a harmony between something in my heart, and those sweet and powerful words. I seemed often to see so much light exhibited in every sentence, and such refreshing food communicated, that I could not get along in reading; often dwelling long on one sentence, to see the wonders contained in it; yet almost every sentence seemed to be full of wonders.

Oftentimes in reading [the Bible], every word seemed to touch my heart. I felt a harmony between something in my heart, and those sweet and powerful words. I seemed often to see so much light exhibited in every sentence, and such refreshing food communicated, that I could not get along in reading; often dwelling long on one sentence, to see the wonders contained in it; yet almost every sentence seemed to be full of wonders.

Reference:   Personal Narrative, Selections.


65.
Holiness appeared to me to be of a sweet, pleasant, charming, serene, calm nature; which brought an inexpressible purity, brightness, peacefulness, and ravishment to the soul.  In other words, that it made the soul like a field or garden of God, with all manner of pleasant flowers.

Holiness appeared to me to be of a sweet, pleasant, charming, serene, calm nature; which brought an inexpressible purity, brightness, peacefulness, and ravishment to the soul.  In other words, that it made the soul like a field or garden of God, with all manner of pleasant flowers.


66.
And at the end of the world, when the church of Christ shall be settled in its last, and most complete, and its eternal state, and all common gifts, such as convictions and illuminations, and all miraculous gifts, shall be eternally at an end, yet then divine love shall not fail, but shall be brought to its most glorious perfection in every individual member of the ransomed church above. Then, in every heart, that love which now seems as but a spark, shall be kindled to a bright and glowing flame, and every ransomed soul shall be as it were in a blaze of divine and holy love, and shall remain and grow in this glorious perfection and blessedness through all eternity!

And at the end of the world, when the church of Christ shall be settled in its last, and most complete, and its eternal state, and all common gifts, such as convictions and illuminations, and all miraculous gifts, shall be eternally at an end, yet then divine love shall not fail, but shall be brought to its most glorious perfection in every individual member of the ransomed church above. Then, in every heart, that love which now seems as but a spark, shall be kindled to a bright and glowing flame, and every ransomed soul shall be as it were in a blaze of divine and holy love, and shall remain and grow in this glorious perfection and blessedness through all eternity!


67.
But it is doubtless true, and evident from these Scriptures, that the essence of all true religion lies in holy love; and that in this divine affection, and an habitual disposition to it, and that light which is the foundation of it, and those things which are the fruits of it, consists the whole of religion.

But it is doubtless true, and evident from these Scriptures, that the essence of all true religion lies in holy love; and that in this divine affection, and an habitual disposition to it, and that light which is the foundation of it, and those things which are the fruits of it, consists the whole of religion.


68.
What is the surest character of true, divine, supernatural love that distinguishes it from counterfeits that arise from a natural self-love? It is the Christian virtue of humility that shines in it. Divine love above all others renounces and abases what we term “self.” Christian love or true love is a humble love… In that person we see a sense of his own smallness, vileness, weakness, and utter insufficiency. We see a lack of self-confidence. We see self-emptiness, self-denial, and poverty of spirit. These are the manifest tokens of the Spirit of God.

What is the surest character of true, divine, supernatural love that distinguishes it from counterfeits that arise from a natural self-love? It is the Christian virtue of humility that shines in it. Divine love above all others renounces and abases what we term “self.” Christian love or true love is a humble love… In that person we see a sense of his own smallness, vileness, weakness, and utter insufficiency. We see a lack of self-confidence. We see self-emptiness, self-denial, and poverty of spirit. These are the manifest tokens of the Spirit of God.

Reference:   Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God, 1741. Modern language courtesy of Archie Parrish, The Spirit of Revival, Crossway Books, 2000, p. 99.


69.
There are people who love those who agree with them and admire them, but have no time for those who oppose and dislike them. A Christian’s love must be universal!

There are people who love those who agree with them and admire them, but have no time for those who oppose and dislike them. A Christian’s love must be universal!


70.
Let a man have what he will, and do what he will, it signifies nothing without charity; which surely implies that charity is the great thing, and that everything which has not charity in some way contained or implied in it is nothing, and that this charity is the life and soul of all religion, without which all things that wear the name of virtues are empty and vain.

Let a man have what he will, and do what he will, it signifies nothing without charity; which surely implies that charity is the great thing, and that everything which has not charity in some way contained or implied in it is nothing, and that this charity is the life and soul of all religion, without which all things that wear the name of virtues are empty and vain.


71.
This commitment to total obedience does not mean a mere negative avoidance of evil practices. It also means positively obeying God’s commands. We cannot say that someone is a true Christian just because he is not a thief, liar, blasphemer, drunkard, sexually immoral, arrogant, cruel or fierce. He also has to be positively God-fearing, humble, respectful, gentle, peaceful, forgiving, merciful and loving. Without these positive qualities, he is not obeying the laws of Christ.

This commitment to total obedience does not mean a mere negative avoidance of evil practices. It also means positively obeying God’s commands. We cannot say that someone is a true Christian just because he is not a thief, liar, blasphemer, drunkard, sexually immoral, arrogant, cruel or fierce. He also has to be positively God-fearing, humble, respectful, gentle, peaceful, forgiving, merciful and loving. Without these positive qualities, he is not obeying the laws of Christ.


72.
God has appointed this whole life to be all as a race or a battle; the state of rest, wherein we shall be so out of danger as to have no need of watching and fighting, is for another world.

God has appointed this whole life to be all as a race or a battle; the state of rest, wherein we shall be so out of danger as to have no need of watching and fighting, is for another world.


73.
There is a language in actions. And in some cases the language of action is much more clear and convincing than words.

There is a language in actions. And in some cases the language of action is much more clear and convincing than words.

Reference:   Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God, 1741. Modern language courtesy of Archie Parrish, The Spirit of Revival, 2000, p. 70.


Topics: Testimony
74.
Whenever I hear anything spoken in conversation of any person, if I think it would be praiseworthy in me, Resolved to endeavor to imitate it. July 8, 1723.

Whenever I hear anything spoken in conversation of any person, if I think it would be praiseworthy in me, Resolved to endeavor to imitate it. July 8, 1723.

Reference:   Resolution Number 54.


Topics: Testimony
75.
The Word of God is the principle means by which other means operate and are made effectual… For all that is visible to the eye is vague and vain without the Word of God to instruct and guide the mind. It is the Word of God that is indeed held forth and applied by example, just as the word of the Lord sounded forth to other towns of Macedonia and Achaia by the example of those who believed in Thessalonica.

The Word of God is the principle means by which other means operate and are made effectual… For all that is visible to the eye is vague and vain without the Word of God to instruct and guide the mind. It is the Word of God that is indeed held forth and applied by example, just as the word of the Lord sounded forth to other towns of Macedonia and Achaia by the example of those who believed in Thessalonica.

Reference:   Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God, 1741. Modern language courtesy of Archie Parrish, The Spirit of Revival, Crossway Books, 2000, p. 71.


Topics: Testimony
76.
‘Tis not God’s design that men should obtain assurance in any other way, than by mortifying corruption, and increasing in grace, and obtaining the lively exercises of it. And although self-examination be a duty of great use and importance, and by no means to be neglected; yet it is not the principal means, by which the saints do get satisfaction of their good estate. Assurance is not to be obtained so much by self-examination, as by action.

‘Tis not God’s design that men should obtain assurance in any other way, than by mortifying corruption, and increasing in grace, and obtaining the lively exercises of it. And although self-examination be a duty of great use and importance, and by no means to be neglected; yet it is not the principal means, by which the saints do get satisfaction of their good estate. Assurance is not to be obtained so much by self-examination, as by action.

Reference:   The Religious Affections.


77.
Though true grace has various degrees, and there are some that are but babes in Christ, in whom the exercise of the inclination and will, towards divine and heavenly things, is comparatively weak; yet everyone that has the power of godliness in his heart, has his inclinations and heart exercised towards God and divine things, with such strength and vigor that these holy exercises do prevail in him above all carnal or natural affections, and are effectual to overcome them: for every true disciple of Christ "loves Him above father or mother, wife and children, brethren and sisters, houses and lands: yea, than his own life."

Though true grace has various degrees, and there are some that are but babes in Christ, in whom the exercise of the inclination and will, towards divine and heavenly things, is comparatively weak; yet everyone that has the power of godliness in his heart, has his inclinations and heart exercised towards God and divine things, with such strength and vigor that these holy exercises do prevail in him above all carnal or natural affections, and are effectual to overcome them: for every true disciple of Christ "loves Him above father or mother, wife and children, brethren and sisters, houses and lands: yea, than his own life."


78.
Not that I think only the law should be preached. The Gospel is to be preached as well as the law. The law is to be preached only to make way for the Gospel, and in order that it may be preached more powerfully. The main work of a minister is to preach the Gospel.

Not that I think only the law should be preached. The Gospel is to be preached as well as the law. The law is to be preached only to make way for the Gospel, and in order that it may be preached more powerfully. The main work of a minister is to preach the Gospel.

Reference:   Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God, 1741. Modern language courtesy of Archie Parrish, The Spirit of Revival, Crossway Books, 2000, p. 77.


79.
There is a way in which the Spirit leads the sons of God, a way that others do not know; and that is by inclining them to do the will of God, to go in the path of truth and Christian holiness from a holy, heavenly disposition which the Spirit of God gives them. The Spirit inclines and leads them to those things that are excellent and agreeable to God. He enlightens them with respect to their duty, by making their eye single and pure, whereby the whole body is full of light. The purifying influence of the Spirit corrects the taste of the soul; thereby He savors those things that are holy and agreeable to God. Like one with a discriminating taste, He chooses those things that are good and wholesome, and rejects those that are evil. And thus the Spirit of God leads and guides; He enables men to understand the commands and counsels of God’s Word, and rightly to apply them.

There is a way in which the Spirit leads the sons of God, a way that others do not know; and that is by inclining them to do the will of God, to go in the path of truth and Christian holiness from a holy, heavenly disposition which the Spirit of God gives them. The Spirit inclines and leads them to those things that are excellent and agreeable to God. He enlightens them with respect to their duty, by making their eye single and pure, whereby the whole body is full of light. The purifying influence of the Spirit corrects the taste of the soul; thereby He savors those things that are holy and agreeable to God. Like one with a discriminating taste, He chooses those things that are good and wholesome, and rejects those that are evil. And thus the Spirit of God leads and guides; He enables men to understand the commands and counsels of God's Word, and rightly to apply them.


80.
Pride is the worst viper in the human heart! Pride is the greatest disturber of the soul’s peace, and of sweet communion with Christ. Pride is with the greatest difficulty rooted out. Pride is the most hidden, secret, and deceitful of all lusts! Pride often creeps insensibly into the midst of religion, even, sometimes, under the disguise of humility itself!

Pride is the worst viper in the human heart! Pride is the greatest disturber of the soul's peace, and of sweet communion with Christ. Pride is with the greatest difficulty rooted out. Pride is the most hidden, secret, and deceitful of all lusts! Pride often creeps insensibly into the midst of religion, even, sometimes, under the disguise of humility itself!


81.
In efficacious grace we are not merely passive, nor yet does God do some and we do the rest. But God does all, and we do all. God produces all, we act all. For that is what produces, viz. our own acts. God is the only proper author and fountain; we only are the proper actors. We are in different respects, wholly passive and wholly active.

In efficacious grace we are not merely passive, nor yet does God do some and we do the rest. But God does all, and we do all. God produces all, we act all. For that is what produces, viz. our own acts. God is the only proper author and fountain; we only are the proper actors. We are in different respects, wholly passive and wholly active.


82.
Grace is but glory begun, and glory is but grace perfected.

Grace is but glory begun, and glory is but grace perfected.


83.
Our obligation to love, honor and obey any being is in direct proportion to that being’s loveliness, honorableness and authority.  Since God is of infinite loveliness, infinite honor and infinite authority our obligation to Him is infinite.

Our obligation to love, honor and obey any being is in direct proportion to that being's loveliness, honorableness and authority.  Since God is of infinite loveliness, infinite honor and infinite authority our obligation to Him is infinite.

Reference:   The Justice of God and the Damnation of Sinners, Sermon.


84.
I have this day solemnly renewed my baptismal covenant and self-dedication, which I renewed when I was received into the communion of the church. I have been before God; and have given myself, all that I am and have to God, so that I am not in any respect my own: I can challenge no right in myself, I can challenge no right in this understanding, this will, these affections that are in me; neither have I any right to this body, or any of its members: no right to this tongue, these hands, nor feet: no right to these senses, these eyes, these ears, this smell or taste. I have given myself clear away, and have not retained anything as my own. I have been to God this morning, and told Him that I gave myself wholly to Him. I have given every power to Him; so that for the future I will challenge no right in myself, in any respect.

I have this day solemnly renewed my baptismal covenant and self-dedication, which I renewed when I was received into the communion of the church. I have been before God; and have given myself, all that I am and have to God, so that I am not in any respect my own: I can challenge no right in myself, I can challenge no right in this understanding, this will, these affections that are in me; neither have I any right to this body, or any of its members: no right to this tongue, these hands, nor feet: no right to these senses, these eyes, these ears, this smell or taste. I have given myself clear away, and have not retained anything as my own. I have been to God this morning, and told Him that I gave myself wholly to Him. I have given every power to Him; so that for the future I will challenge no right in myself, in any respect.

Reference:   “Extractions from his Private Diary,” Jonathan Edwards: A Profile, Hill and Wang, 1969, p. 12-13.


85.
All the virtues which appeared in Christ shone brightest in the close of His life, under the trials He then met. Eminent virtue always shows brightest in the fire. Pure gold shows its purity chiefly in the furnace. It was chiefly under those trials which Christ endured in the close of His life that His love to God, His honor of God’s majesty, His regard to the honor of His law, His spirit of obedience, His humility, contempt of the world, His patience, meekness, and spirit of forgiveness towards men, appeared. Indeed, everything that Christ did to work out redemption for us appears mainly in the close of His life. Here mainly is His satisfaction for sin, and here chiefly is His merit of eternal life for sinners, and here chiefly appears the brightness of His example which He has set us for imitation.

All the virtues which appeared in Christ shone brightest in the close of His life, under the trials He then met. Eminent virtue always shows brightest in the fire. Pure gold shows its purity chiefly in the furnace. It was chiefly under those trials which Christ endured in the close of His life that His love to God, His honor of God's majesty, His regard to the honor of His law, His spirit of obedience, His humility, contempt of the world, His patience, meekness, and spirit of forgiveness towards men, appeared. Indeed, everything that Christ did to work out redemption for us appears mainly in the close of His life. Here mainly is His satisfaction for sin, and here chiefly is His merit of eternal life for sinners, and here chiefly appears the brightness of His example which He has set us for imitation.


86.
God can answer prayer, though He bestow not the very thing for which we pray.  He can sometimes better answer the lawful desires and good end we have in prayer another way.  If our end be our own good and happiness, God can perhaps better answer that end in bestowing something else than in the bestowment of the very thing which we ask.  And if the main good we aim at in our prayers be attained, our prayer in answered.

God can answer prayer, though He bestow not the very thing for which we pray.  He can sometimes better answer the lawful desires and good end we have in prayer another way.  If our end be our own good and happiness, God can perhaps better answer that end in bestowing something else than in the bestowment of the very thing which we ask.  And if the main good we aim at in our prayers be attained, our prayer in answered.

Reference:   The Works of Jonathan Edwards, p. 117.


87.
There is no inconsistency or contrariety between the decretive and preceptive will of God. It is very consistent to suppose that God may hate the thing itself, and yet will that it should come to pass. Yea, I do not fear to assert that the thing itself may be contrary to God’s will, and yet that it may be agreeable to His will that it should come to pass, because His will, in the one case, has not the same object with His will in the other case. To suppose God to have contrary wills towards the same object, is a contradiction; but it is not so, to suppose Him to have contrary wills about different objects. The thing itself, and that the thing should come to pass, are different, as is evident; because it is possible that the one may be good and the other may be evil. The thing itself may be evil, and yet it may be a good thing that it should come to pass. It may be a good thing that an evil thing should come to pass; and oftentimes it most certainly and undeniably is so, and proves so.

There is no inconsistency or contrariety between the decretive and preceptive will of God. It is very consistent to suppose that God may hate the thing itself, and yet will that it should come to pass. Yea, I do not fear to assert that the thing itself may be contrary to God’s will, and yet that it may be agreeable to His will that it should come to pass, because His will, in the one case, has not the same object with His will in the other case. To suppose God to have contrary wills towards the same object, is a contradiction; but it is not so, to suppose Him to have contrary wills about different objects. The thing itself, and that the thing should come to pass, are different, as is evident; because it is possible that the one may be good and the other may be evil. The thing itself may be evil, and yet it may be a good thing that it should come to pass. It may be a good thing that an evil thing should come to pass; and oftentimes it most certainly and undeniably is so, and proves so.


88.
Resolved, never to do anything out of revenge.

Resolved, never to do anything out of revenge.

Reference:   Resolution Number 14.


Topics: Revenge
89.
The blessedness of Heaven is so glorious that when the saints arrive there they will look back upon their earthly pilgrimage, however wonderful their life in Christ was then, as a veritable Hell. Just as truly, on the other hand, will those who perish in Hell look back on the life in this world, however miserable it may have been, as veritable Heaven.

The blessedness of Heaven is so glorious that when the saints arrive there they will look back upon their earthly pilgrimage, however wonderful their life in Christ was then, as a veritable Hell. Just as truly, on the other hand, will those who perish in Hell look back on the life in this world, however miserable it may have been, as veritable Heaven.


90.
When God is about to bestow some great blessing on His church, it is often His manner, in the first place, so to order things in His providence as to show His church their great need of it, and to bring them into distress for want of it, and so put them upon crying earnestly to Him for it.

When God is about to bestow some great blessing on His church, it is often His manner, in the first place, so to order things in His providence as to show His church their great need of it, and to bring them into distress for want of it, and so put them upon crying earnestly to Him for it.


91.
Let me now therefore, once more, before I finally cease to speak to this congregation, repeat, and earnestly press the counsel which I have often urged on the heads of families, while I was their pastor, to great painfulness in teaching, warning, and directing their children; bringing them up in the training and admonition of the Lord; beginning early, where there is yet opportunity, and maintaining constant diligence in labours of this kind.

Let me now therefore, once more, before I finally cease to speak to this congregation, repeat, and earnestly press the counsel which I have often urged on the heads of families, while I was their pastor, to great painfulness in teaching, warning, and directing their children; bringing them up in the training and admonition of the Lord; beginning early, where there is yet opportunity, and maintaining constant diligence in labours of this kind.

Reference:   Farewell Sermon by Jonathan Edwards, Quoted by Jerry Marcellino in Family Worship, Audubon Press, 2002, iv.


92.
Resolved, after afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them, and what I might have got by them.

Resolved, after afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them, and what I might have got by them.

Reference:   Resolution Number 67.


Topics: Affliction
93.
We should never be angry but at sin, and this should always be that which we oppose in our anger.  And when our spirits are stirred to oppose this evil, it should be as sin, or chiefly as it is against God.  If there be no sin and no fault, then we have no cause to be angry; and if there be a fault or sin, then it is infinitely worse as against God than it is as against us, and therefore it requires the most opposition on that account.  Persons sin in their anger when they are selfish in it; for we are not to act as if we were our own, or for ourselves simply, since we belong to God, and not to ourselves. When a fault is committed wherein God is sinned against, and persons are injured by it, they should be chiefly concerned, and their spirits chiefly moved against it, because it is against God; for they should be more solicitous for God’s honor than for their own temporal interests.

We should never be angry but at sin, and this should always be that which we oppose in our anger. And when our spirits are stirred to oppose this evil, it should be as sin, or chiefly as it is against God. If there be no sin and no fault, then we have no cause to be angry; and if there be a fault or sin, then it is infinitely worse as against God than it is as against us, and therefore it requires the most opposition on that account. Persons sin in their anger when they are selfish in it; for we are not to act as if we were our own, or for ourselves simply, since we belong to God, and not to ourselves. When a fault is committed wherein God is sinned against, and persons are injured by it, they should be chiefly concerned, and their spirits chiefly moved against it, because it is against God; for they should be more solicitous for God's honor than for their own temporal interests.

Reference:   The Spirit of Love the Opposite of An Angry or Wrathful Spirit, 1 Corinthians 13:5.


94.
Our obligation to love, honor, and obey any being is in proportion to his loveliness, honorableness, and authority… But God is a being infinitely lovely, because He hath infinite excellence and beauty… So that sin against God, being a violation of infinite obligations, must be a crime infinitely heinous, and so deserving infinite punishment… The eternity of the punishment of ungodly men renders it infinite…and therefore renders [it] no more that proportionable to the heinousness of what they are guilty of.

Our obligation to love, honor, and obey any being is in proportion to his loveliness, honorableness, and authority… But God is a being infinitely lovely, because He hath infinite excellence and beauty… So that sin against God, being a violation of infinite obligations, must be a crime infinitely heinous, and so deserving infinite punishment… The eternity of the punishment of ungodly men renders it infinite…and therefore renders [it] no more that proportionable to the heinousness of what they are guilty of.

Reference:   The Justice of God in the Damnation of Sinners, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, v. 1, Banner of Truth, Used by Permission, 1974, p. 669.


95.
Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.

Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.

Reference:   Resolution Number 9.


96.
The true spirit of prayer is no other than God’s own Spirit dwelling in the hearts of the saints. And as this spirit comes from God, so doth it naturally tend to God in holy breathings and pantings. It naturally leads to God, to converse with him by prayer.

The true spirit of prayer is no other than God's own Spirit dwelling in the hearts of the saints. And as this spirit comes from God, so doth it naturally tend to God in holy breathings and pantings. It naturally leads to God, to converse with him by prayer.

Reference:   The Works of Jonathan Edwards.


97.
As God delights in His own beauty, He must necessarily delight in the creature’s holiness which is a conformity to and participation of it.

As God delights in His own beauty, He must necessarily delight in the creature’s holiness which is a conformity to and participation of it.


98.
I was almost constantly in ejaculatory prayer, wherever I was. Prayer seemed to be natural to me, as the breath by which the inward burnings of my heart had vent.

I was almost constantly in ejaculatory prayer, wherever I was. Prayer seemed to be natural to me, as the breath by which the inward burnings of my heart had vent.

Reference:   The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Selections, pg. 61, Published by the Banner of Truth Trust, Carlisle, PA 17013.


99.
Resolved: To endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness in the other world as I possibly can, with all the power, might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of."

Resolved: To endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness in the other world as I possibly can, with all the power, might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of."


100.
Jesus knew that all mankind were in the pursuit of happiness. He has directed them in the true way to it, and He tells them what they must become in order to be blessed and happy.

Jesus knew that all mankind were in the pursuit of happiness. He has directed them in the true way to it, and He tells them what they must become in order to be blessed and happy.

Reference:   The Works of Jonathan Edwards, v. 2, Used by Permission, Banner of Truth, p. 905.