We’ve been enjoying Sarah Edwards’ articulate descriptions of being filled with Holy Spirit during the 1741-1742 revival in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Here, she concludes her experience…
Monday morning at the Edwards’ house…
‘So strong were my feelings, I could not refrain from conversing with those around me, in a very earnest manner, for about a quarter of an hour, on the infinite riches of divine love in the work of salvation.’
Carried to the fireside entirely without strength
‘[Then], my strength entirely failing, my flesh grew very cold, and they carried me and set me by the fire.
As I sat there, I had a most affecting sense of the mighty power of Christ, which had been exerted in what he had done for my soul…and of the glorious and wonderful grace of God in causing the ark to return to Northampton.’
Mrs. Edwards leaps for joy!
‘So intense were my feelings, when speaking of these things, that I could not forbear rising up and leaping with joy and exultation.’
The Following Sunday at church…a foretaste of heavenly glory!
‘When I heard him [the preacher, William Williams] say, that those, who have assurance, have a foretaste of heavenly glory, I knew the truth of it from what I then felt: I knew that I then tasted the clusters of the heavenly Canaan: My soul was filled and overwhelmed with light, and love, and joy in the Holy Ghost, and seemed just ready to go away from the body. I could scarcely refrain from expressing my joy aloud, in the midst of the service.’
(From ‘The Narrative of Sarah Pierpont Edwards’, Jonathan Edwards , Family Writings and Related Documents (WJE Online Vol. 41)
This was not ‘mere excitement’
Over-emotional? Iain Murray, himself wary of mere emotionalism, writes, ‘her joy, it should be noted, was far from the exuberance of mere excitement.’ (Iain Murray, Jonathan Edwards, Banner of Truth, p.196)
And her loving husband Jonathan writes of his wife’s ‘season in the Spirit’, ‘It was the greatest, fullest, longest continued and most constant assurance of the favour of God and of a title to future glory that I ever saw…in any person.’ (Quoted by Murray, p.195-6)
May God the Father bless you with similar assurances of His love for you in Christ, by the influence and power of the Holy Spirit.
© 2009 Lex Loizides