June 3, 2009

Keep Going Strong

I have recently begun dipping into a compilation of letters written by Jonathan Edwards, a small selection of what the man wrote over his time in ministry, collected in a volume called A Sweet Flame, edited by Michael A.G. Haykin. One recently struck me for the timeliness of the advice, a letter written in 1741 to Deborah Hatheway, a young woman looking for advice from Edwards on how to live a Christian life as her church was without a pastor. Edwards makes many points, I found these most interesting (and I am paraphrasing greatly here):
  • Keep up the same state of earnestness in your faith as when you were seeking it out
  • Do not stop striving, seeking or praying for the things we exhort the unconverted to do
  • Hear a sermon for yourself, don't listen and apply it to others
  • Though God has forgotten and forgiven your sins, you should not forget
  • You have more cause to lament your sins since coming to faith than before
  • Pride is the worst viper in the heart and is most hidden, secret and deceitful
  • Counsel others earnestly, affectionately and with expressions of your own unworthiness
  • Do not let adversaries of your faith have occasion to reproach it on your account
  • Walk with God and follow Christ like a small child
There are more in the letter, these are the ones that struck me the most.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

No comments: