“If someone were to ask me, for example, who I thought was the godliest person that God ever gave to America, the godliest person who ever lived in North America, I would not hesitate to answer that question by saying; Jonathan Edwards.” — Dr. R. C. Sproul
Edwards returned from Yale to his parent’s home in the summer of 1721. Upon his return home, and of his recent conversion to Christ, Edwards fondly recalled those memorable days.
“Not long after I first began to experience these things, I gave an account to my father of some things that had passed in my mind. I was pretty much affected by the discourse we had together, and when the discourse was ended, I walked abroad alone, in a solitary place in my father’s pasture, for contemplation. And as I was walking there, and looking up to the sky and clouds, there came into my mind so sweet a sense of the glorious majesty and grace of God, that I know not how to express. I seemed to see them both in a sweet, and gentle, and holy majesty; and also, a majestic meekness; and awful sweetness; a high and great and holy gentleness.”
Edwards’ joy as a new believer in Christ continued during those initial days. It reminds me of my own conversion and the immediate aftermath of God-enabled insight into life, living and creation.
“After this my sense of divine things gradually increased, and became more and morel lively, and had more of that inward sweetness. The appearance of everything altered. There seemed to be, as it were, a calm, sweet, cast, or appearance of divine glory, in almost everything.”
“I felt then great satisfaction, as to my good state; but that did not content me. I had vehement longings of soul after God and Christ, and after more holiness, wherewith my heart seemed to be full, and ready to break; which often brought to my mind the words of the psalmist in Psalm 119:20: ‘My soul is crushed with longing after Your ordinances at all times.’ I often felt a mourning and lamenting in my heart that I had not turned to God sooner, that I might have had more time to grow in grace.”
“I spent most of my time in thinking of divine things, year after year; often walking alone in the woods and solitary places for meditation, soliloquy, and prayer, and conversing with God. It was always my manner, at such times, to sing forth my contemplations.”
How wonderful it is to remember when the Lord first broke into our dead souls and raised us into new life in Christ. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for your ministry of regeneration (John 3:1-8). Soli deo Gloria!