An Experience of Jonathan Edwards

Once, as I rid out into the woods for my health, anno[year] 1737; and having it [dismounted] from my horse in a retired place, as my manner commonly has been, to walk for divine contemplation and prayer, I had a view that for me was extraordinary, of the glory of the Son of God, as Mediator between God and man, and his wonderful, great, full, pure and sweet grace and love, and meek and gentle condescension.  This grace appeared so calm and sweet, appeared also great above the heavens.  The person of Christ appeared ineffable excellent, with an excellency great enough to swallow up all thought and conception – which continued, as near as I can judge, about an hour; which kept me the greater part in a flood of tears and weeping aloud.  I felt an ardency of soul to be, what I know not otherwise how to express, emptied and annihilated’ to lie in the dust, and to 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 perfectly sanctified and made pure, with a divine and heavenly purity.  I have several other times had views very much of the same nature, and which have had the same effects.

– Jonathan Edwards

as quoted by Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; Crossway; Wheaton, Ill.; copyright  2004; p. 133-134

The Cross Needs to be the Object of Our Affections

As to the object of your affections, in an especial manner, let it be the cross of Christ, which has exceeding efficacy towards the disappointment of the whole work of indwelling sin: “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, whereby the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Galatians 6:14).  The cross of Christ he [Paul] glorified and rejoiced in’ this his heart was set upon; and these were the effects of it – it crucified the world unto him, made it a dead and undesirable thing.  The baits and pleasures of sin are taken all of them out of the world…If the heart be filled with the cross of Christ, it casts death and undesirableness upon them all; it leaves no seeming beauty, no appearing pleasure or comeliness, in them.  Again, says he, “It crucifies me to the world; makes my heart, my affections, my desires, dead unto any of these things.”  It roots up corrupt lusts and affections, leaves no principle to go forth and make provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof.  Labor, therefore, to fill your hearts with the cross of Christ…that there may be no room for sin.

– Jonathan Edwards

as quoted byPiper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; Crossway; Wheaton, Ill.; copyright  2004; p. 106

The Pursuit is Not for that Which is Profitable, but that Which is Pleasureable

We come with double forces against the wicked, to persuade them to a godly life…The common argument is the profitableness of religion, but alas, the wicked man is not in pursuit of profit; ’tis pleasure he seeks.  Now, then, we will fight with them with their own weapons.

Jonathan Edwards

as quoted byPiper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; Crossway; Wheaton, Ill.; copyright  2004; p. 103

The Difference Between Rational Judgment and Senses

There is a difference between having a rational judgment that honey is sweet, and having a sense of its sweetness…So there is a difference between believing that a person is beautiful, and having a sense of his beauty.  The former may be obtained by hearsay, but the latter only by seeing the countenance….When the heart is sensible of the beauty and amiableness of a thing, it necessarily feels pleasure in the apprehension.  It is implied in a person’s being heartily sensible of the loveliness of a thing, that the idea of it is sweet and pleasant to the soul.

– Jonathan Edwards

as quoted by Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; copyright 2004; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il.; p. 68-69

God Glorifies Himself To Us In Two Ways

God glorifies Himself toward the creatures also in two ways: 1. By appealing to…their understanding.  2. In communicating Himself to their hearts, and in their rejoicing and delighting in, and enjoying, the manifestations which He makes of Himself…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.

– Jonathan Edwards

as quoted by Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; copyright 2004; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il.; p. 59

Man’s Proper Happiness

Man’s proper happiness consists in the enjoyment of God; but it is not possible that man should enjoy God with only those things in him which he receives by the first birth.  So that there is this necessity of man’s being born again.

– Jonathan Edwards

as quoted by Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; copyright 2004; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il.; p. 56

There Is No Virtue in Temperance In Spiritual Feasting

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 your self 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

as quoted by Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; copyright 2004; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il.; p. 17

Jonathan Edwards’ Source for Pursuing Spiritual Disciplines

Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat Him, by His grace, to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to His will, for Christ’s sake.

– Jonathan Edwards

as quoted by Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 137

God Is Infinite In So Many Ways

But God is a being infinitely lovely, because he hath infinite excellency and beauty.  To have infinite excellence and beauty, is the same thing as to have infinite loveliness.  He is a being of infinite greatness, majesty, and glory; and therefore he is infinitely honorable.  He is infinitely exalted above the greatest potentates of the earth and highest angels in heaven; and therefore he is infinitely more honorable than they.  His authority over us is infinite; and the ground of his right to our obedience is infinitely strong; for he is infinitely worthy to be obeyed himself, and we have an absolute, universal and infinite dependence on him.

– Jonathan Edwards, On Knowing Christ, The Banner of Truth Trust, copyright 1990, page 118

The Greatness of Your Sins is no Impediment

If you had as much guilt lying on each of your souls as all the wicked men in the world, and all the damned souls in hell; yet if you come to God for mercy, sensible of your own vileness, and seeking pardon only through the free mercy of God in Christ, you would not need to be afraid; the greatness of your sins would be no impediment to your pardon.

– Jonathan Edwards, On Knowing Christ, The Banner of Truth Trust, copyright 1990, page 272