In 1735 there was a sudden outpouring of grace on the town of Northampton. Many came to Christ under great conviction of sin and revelation of the sovereignty and justice of God.
Having described some of the struggles that some converts went through in terms of a realisation of their sin and guilt before God, Edwards describes the longed-for breakthrough of personal salvation.
‘Conversion is a great and glorious work of God’s power, at once changing the heart, and infusing life into the dead soul; though the grace then implanted more gradually displays itself in some than in others.’
In some, converting light is like a glorious brightness suddenly shining upon a person, and all around him: they are in a remarkable manner brought out of darkness into marvellous light.
In many others it has been like the dawning of the day, when at first but a little light appears…and gradually increases.’ (Jonathan Edwards, A Narrative of Surprising Conversions, from Jonathan Edwards On Revival, Banner of Truth, p.40, 41)
The Newness of things
‘Persons after their conversion often speak of religious things as seeming new to them; that preaching is a new thing; that it seems to them they never heard preaching before; that the Bible is a new book: they find there new chapters, new psalms, new histories, because they see them in a new light.’ (ibid p.44)
‘While God was so remarkably present amongst us by His Spirit, there was no book so delightful as the Bible.’ (ibid p.47)
A love for God
‘Many have spoken much of their hearts being drawn out in love to God and Christ; and of their minds being wrapt up in delightful contemplation of the glory and wonderful grace of God, the excellency and dying love of Jesus Christ; and of their souls going forth in longing desires after God and Christ.’ (ibid p.44-45)
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© 2009 Lex Loizides