Sarah Edward’s Testimony
In an oft quoted passage in the American Puritan, Jonathan Edward’s Published memoires he records his wife Sarah’s description of a deep experience of Christ which she had in the time of revival in 1742:
‘That night.. was the sweetest night I ever had in my life….All night I continued in a constant, clear, and lively sense of the heavenly sweetness of Christ’s excellent and transcendent love, of his nearness to me, and my dearness to him….So far as I am capable of making a comparison, I think that what I felt each minute, during the continuance of the whole time was worth more than all the comfort and pleasure which I had enjoyed in my whole life put together. It seemed to be more than my feeble frame could sustain, of that fullness of joy which is felt by those who behold the face of Christ, and share his love in the heavenly world.’(From the ‘Select Works of Jonathan Edwards’ Volume 1)
Such experiences were common to many believers in the 18th century revival. But can I expect such things in my life today?
A Doctor’s Advice
“When I get discouraged and over tired and weary, I invariably go to the 18th Century. I have never found George Whitfield to fail me.Go to the 18th Century! In other words, read the stories of the great tides and movements of the Spirit experienced in that century. It is the most exhilarating experience, the finest tonic you will ever know”Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Quoted in the first volume of his biography
“The First 40 years” By Iaian Murray (Banner of Truth Trust)
Speaking of such times Dr Lloyd-Jones later says:
‘Such men (and women) seemed to be on the borders of glory…the tide of glory seems to be coming up the river of grace in their souls.’
Re-kindling the Fire
As I read about such Christians in past ages who seem to have known Christ more closely than I do, it challenges me of my need to catch something of their ‘fire’ so that my own dying embers of love for Christ may be rekindled.
When Jesus, the Stranger’ on the road to Emmaus, talked with the two disciples, this was their reaction:
“When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognised him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”Luke 24 verse 20
‘O Lord take my mind and think through it.
Take my lips and speak through them
Take my life and live out your life
and set my heart on fire with a love to yo