..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Jonathan Edwards on Pressing into the Kingdom of God

He that is pressing into the kingdom of God,
commonly finds many things in the way that
are against the grain; but he is not stopped
by the cross that lies before him, but takes
it up, and carries it.

Suppose there be something incumbent on him
to do, that is cross to his natural temper,
and irksome to him on that account; suppose
something that he cannot do without suffering
in his estate, or that he apprehends will look
odd and strange in the eyes of others, and
expose him to ridicule and reproach, or any
thing that will offend a neighbor, and get his
ill-will, or something that will be very cross
to his own carnal appetite-he will press
through such difficulties.

Everything that is found to be a weight that
hinders him in running this race he casts
from him, though it be a weight of gold or
pearls; ... These things are insuperable
difficulties to those who are not thoroughly
engaged in seeking their salvation; they are
stumbling-blocks that they never get over.

But it is not so with him that presses into
the kingdom of God. Those things (before he
was thoroughly roused from his security)
about which he was wont to have long
parleyings and disputings with his own
conscience-employing carnal reason to
invent arguments and pleas of excuse-he
now sticks at no longer; he has done with
this endless disputing and reasoning, and
presses violently through all difficulties.

Let what will be in the way, heaven is what
he must and will obtain, not if he can
without difficulty, but if it be possible.
He meets with temptation: the devil is
often whispering in his ear, setting
allurements before him, magnifying the
difficulties of the work he is engaged in,
telling him that they are insuperable, and
that he can never conquer them, and trying
all ways in the world to discourage him;
but still he presses forward. God has given
and maintains such an earnest spirit for
heaven, that the devil cannot stop him in
his course.