Short Pithy Gems From Jonathan Edwards!
(1703 – 1758)
He who has Christ, has all he needs—and needs no more.
A true and faithful Christian does not make holy living an accidental thing. It is his great concern. As the business of the soldier is to fight—so the business of the Christian is to be like Christ!
Lord, stamp eternity on my eyeballs!
Almost every man who hears of Hell—flatters himself that he shall escape it.
He who sees the beauty of holiness—sees the greatest and most important thing in the world.
The godly are destined for unknown and inconceivable happiness!
You contribute nothing to your salvation—but the sin which made it necessary!
There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment out of Hell—but the mere pleasure of God!
Grace is but glory begun—and glory is but grace perfected. Grace is the seed of glory, the dawning of glory in the heart—and therefore grace is the pledge of the future glorious inheritance.
The view of the misery of the damned—will double the ardor of the love and gratitude of the saints of Heaven!
Resolution One: I will live for God.
Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.
Remember that pride is the worst viper that is in the heart, and the greatest disturber of the soul’s peace and sweet communion with Christ. Pride was the first sin that ever was. Pride is the most difficult sin to root out. It is the most hidden, secret and deceitful of all lusts, and often creeps in, insensibly, into the midst of religion and sometimes under the disguise of humility!
Of all the knowledge that we can ever obtain—the knowledge of God, and the knowledge of ourselves, are the most important.
We must view humility as one of the most essential things that characterizes true Christianity. The pleasures of humility—are the most refined, inward, and exquisite delights in the world! Nothing sets a person so much out of the devil’s reach, as humility.
Resolved: Never to lose one moment of time—but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.
True believers attribute their salvation to sovereign grace alone—and give all the praise to Him who makes them to differ from others.
Resolved: When I feel pain—to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of Hell.
Unconverted men walk over the pit of Hell on a rotten covering!
The way to Heaven is ascending. We must be content to travel uphill—though it is hard and tiresome, and contrary to the natural bias of our flesh.
A true love for God must begin with a delight in His holiness, and not with a delight in any other attribute; for no other attribute is truly lovely without this.
If you long to be more like Christ—then act like Him, and walk as He walked.
Resolved: To live with all my might while I live, and as I shall wish I had done ten thousand years hence.
A truly humble man is sensible . . .
of his natural distance from God;
of his dependence on Him;
of the insufficiency of his own power and wisdom;
that it is by God’s power that he is upheld and provided for;
that he needs God’s wisdom to lead and guide him;
that he needs God’s might to enable him to do what he ought to do for Him.
God is the highest good of the reasonable creature—and the enjoyment of him 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 in this poor world. Better than fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, or children, or the company of any, or all earthly friends.
These are but shadows—the enjoyment of God is the substance.
These are but scattered beams—God is the sun.
These are but streams—God is the fountain.
These are but drops—God is the ocean.
A man who knows that he lives in sin against God—will not be inclined to come daily into the presence of God.
It is doubtlessly true, and evident from the Scriptures, that the essence of all true religion lies in holy love. In this divine affection, and a habitual disposition to it, and those things which are the fruits of it—consists the whole of religion.
I resolve to live with all my might while I live. I resolve never to lose one moment of time and to improve my use of time in the most profitable way I possibly can. I resolve never to do anything I wouldn’t do, if it were the last hour of my life.
A greater contradiction cannot be thought of—than a morose, hard-hearted, covetous, proud, malicious Christian.
The deceitfulness of the heart of man appears in no one thing, so much as his spiritual pride and self-righteousness.
Sinner! The God who holds you over the pit of Hell, much as one holds a spider—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! The bow of God’s wrath is bent, and His arrow is made ready upon the string. Justice points the arrow at your heart and strings the bow. It is nothing but the mere pleasure of God (and that of an angry God without any promise or obligation at all) that keeps the arrow one moment from being made drunk with your blood! Your wickedness makes you as it were heavy as lead, and to tend downwards with great weight and pressure towards Hell; and if God should let you go—you would immediately sink and swiftly descend and plunge into the bottomless gulf. Your healthy constitution, and your own care and prudence, and best contrivances, and all your righteousness, would have no more influence to uphold you and keep you out of Hell, than a spider’s web would have to stop a falling rock!
Can the believing husband in Heaven be happy with his unbelieving wife in Hell? Yes—such will be their sense of God’s justice, that it will increase rather than diminish their bliss.
When I look into my heart and take a view of my wickedness—it looks like an abyss infinitely deeper than Hell. “The heart is deceitful above all things—and desperately wicked! Who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9
He who lives a prayerless life—lives without God in the world.
Spiritual delight in God, arises chiefly from His beauty and perfections—not from the blessings which He gives us.
A Christian’s love must be universal!
The view of the misery of the damned will double the ardor of the love and gratitude of the saints of Heaven. The sight of hell torments will exalt the happiness of the saints forever. Can the believing father in Heaven be happy with his unbelieving children in Hell? I tell you, yes! Such will be his sense of God’s justice, that it will increase rather than diminish his bliss.
A fountain is continually flowing, there are fresh supplies of water coming from the fountain-head continually, so that a man may live by it, and be supplied with water all his life.
In the same way, Christ is an ever-flowing fountain. He is continually supplying His people, and the fountain is not spent. Those who live upon Christ, may have fresh supplies from Him to all eternity. They have an increase of blessedness that is ever new, and which never will come to an end.
Resolved: Never henceforward, until I die, to act as if I were any way my own—but entirely and altogether God’s.
Those who truly come to God for mercy, come as beggars, and not as creditors. They come for mere mercy, for sovereign grace, and not for anything that is due unto them.
Resolved: Never to do anything which I would be afraid to do—if it were the last hour of my life.
Holiness appears to me to be of a sweet, pleasant, charming, serene, calm nature—bringing an inexpressible purity, brightness, peacefulness and ravishment to my soul.
The door of God’s mercy is thrown wide open—and Christ stands in the door and says to sinners ‘Come!’
You have reason to wonder that you are not already in Hell.
In all your course, follow Christ as a little, poor, helpless child, taking hold of His hand, keeping your eye on the mark of the wounds on His hands and side, whence came the blood that cleanses you from sin, and hiding your nakedness under the skirt of the white shining robe of His righteousness.
The deceitfulness of the heart of man appears in no one thing so much as this—of spiritual pride and self-righteousness.
The happiness of the creature consists in rejoicing in God—by which also God is magnified and exalted.
It is only by costly, self-denying Christian practice—that we show the reality of our faith.
Truth is the agreement of our ideas with the ideas of God.
Prayer is as natural an expression of faith—as breathing is of life.
How can you expect to dwell with God forever—if you so neglect Him here?
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!
Seek not to grow in knowledge chiefly for the sake of applause, and to enable you to dispute with others; but seek it for the benefit of your souls.
The seeking of the kingdom of God is the chief business of the Christian life.
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.
I frequently hear people 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.
Godliness is more easily pretended in words, than in actions.
Who will deny that true religion consists, in a great measure, in vigorous and lively actings of the inclination and will of the soul—or the fervent exercises of the heart? That religion which God requires, and will accept—does not consist in weak, dull, and lifeless, wishes, raising us but a little above a state of indifference.
Resolved: That I will live so, as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.
Here on earth, all judges have a mixture of mercy—but the wrath of God will be poured out upon the wicked without mixture.
Imagine yourself to be cast into a fiery oven—and imagine also that your body were to lie there for a quarter of an hour, full of fire, as full within and without as a bright coal fire, all the while full of quick sense; what horror would you feel at the entrance of such a furnace? Oh! Then how would your heart sink if you knew that after millions and millions of ages your torment would be no nearer to an end than ever it was. But your torment in Hell will be immensely greater than this illustration represents.
The pit is prepared, the fire is made ready, the furnace is now hot, ready to receive the wicked—the flames do now rage and glow. The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much in the same way as one holds a spider or some loathsome insect, abhors you and is dreadfully provoked! He will trample them beneath His feet with inexpressible fierceness. He will crush their blood out, and will make it fly, so that it will sprinkle His garment and stain all His raiment.
You cannot stand before an infuriated tiger—what then will you do when God rushes against you in all His wrath?