EDWARDS, Jonathan Quotes
(1708-1758), American theologian
Resolved to live with all my might while I do live, and as I shall wish I had done ten thousand ages hence.
I make it my rule, to lay hold of light and embrace it, wherever I see it, though held forth by a child or an enemy.
Prophecy and miracles argue the imperfection of the state of the church, rather than its perfection. For they are means designed by God as a stay or support, or as a leading string to the church in its infancy, rather than as means adapted to it in its full growth.
Family education and order are some of the chief means of grace; if these are duly maintained, all the means of grace are likely to prosper and become effectual.
The weakness of human nature has always appeared in times of great revivals of religion, by a disposition to run into extremes, especially in these three things: enthusiasm, superstition, and intemperate zeal.
Grace is but glory begun, and glory is but grace perfected.
As grace is first from God, so it is continually from him, as much as light is all day long from the sun, as well as at first dawn or at sun-rising.
Every saint in heaven is as a flower in the garden of God, and holy love is the fragrance and sweet odor that they all send forth, and with which they fill the bowers of that paradise above. Every soul there is as a note in some concert of delightful music, that sweetly harmonizes with every other note, and all together blend in the most rapturous strains in praising God and the Lamb forever.
Nothing sets a person so much out of the devil's reach as humility.
Temples have their images; and we see what influence they have always had over a great part of mankind.—But, in truth, the ideas and images in men's minds are the invisible powers that constantly govern them; and to these they all pay universally a ready submission.
Some persons are always ready to level those above them down to themselves, while they are never willing to level those below them up to their own position. But he that is under the influence of true humility will avoid both these extremes. On the one hand, he will be willing that all should rise just so far as their diligence and worth of character entitle them to; and on the other hand, he will be willing that his superiors should be known and acknowledged in their place, and have rendered to them all the honors that are their due.
True liberty consists only in the power of doing what we ought to will, and in not being constrained to do what we ought not to will.
We have no strict demonstration of anything, except mathematical truths, but by metaphysics. We can have no proof that is properly demonstrative, of any one position relating to the being and nature of God, his creation of the world, the dependence of all things on him, the nature of bodies and spirits, the nature of our own souls, or any of the great truths of morality and natural religion, but what is metaphysical.
Surely there is something in the unruffled calm of nature that overawes our little anxieties and doubts: the sight of the deep-blue sky, and the clustering stars above seem to impart a quiet to the mind.
We cannot believe that the church of God is already possessed of all that light which God intends to give it; nor that all Satan's lurking places have already been found out.
By Christ's purchasing redemption, two things are intended: his satisfaction and his merit; the one pays our debt, and so satisfies; the other procures our title, and so merits. The satisfaction of Christ is to free us from misery; the merit of Christ is to purchase happiness for us.
If there be ground for you to trust in your own righteousness, then, all that Christ did to purchase salvation, and all that God did to prepare the way for it is in vain.
A man of a right spirit is not a man of narrow and private views, but is greatly interested and concerned for the good of the community to which he belongs, and particularly of the city or village in which he resides, and for the true welfare of the society of which he is a member.
Temples have their sacred images; and we see what influence they have always had over a great part of mankind; but, in truth, the ideas and images in men's minds are the invisible powers that constantly govern them; and to these they all pay universally a ready submission.
The surest way to know our gold is to look upon it and examine it in God's furnace, where he tries it that we may see what it is. If we have a mind to know whether a building stands strong or no, we must look upon it when the wind blows. If we would know whether a staff be strong, or a rotten, broken reed, we must observe it when it is leaned on and weight is borne upon it. If we would weigh ourselves justly we must weigh ourselves in God's scales that he makes use of to weigh us.