Friday, June 09, 2006

Still a dark place

Several people have commented that Edwards' spirituality is 'oppressive' - that he expects too much of believers. Here is an interesting comment from JE for that discussion:

'This light, in continuing to shine into the heart after conversion, shines in that which is still in a great measure a dark place, as long as the saints live in the world. Though there be a great change, and it be far otherwise with the heart than it was before, and it be a lightsome heart in comparison of what it has been; yet there is so little light in comparison of what is needed, and in comparison of what will be hereafter, and so much remaining darkness, and [the] heart may still be said to be a dark place. Though the light be of a divine, glorious, and joyful nature, yet [it] is not great enough to scatter away all darkness; bit it is so small, that it is a light in a dark place. Because of its smallness, therefore 'tis in the text compared to a star, though a bright star, even the morning star. The light of the morning star, though it be a beautiful, pleasant, and bright light, yet is often a light in a darkness. Though it be the forerunner of the day, yet it is not sufficient to put an end to the darkness of the night, and is but a very small light in comparison of the light of the risen sun that follows. The light of the dawning of the day, though it be a sweet light after total darkness, yet is but a dim sort of light; and is kind of a mixture of night and day together, and a great deal more darkness than light. ...

There is yet a great deal of blindness and ignorance. The heart is yet a very dark heart, and the heart is still liable to the darkness of spiritual trouble.'

Light in a Dark World, a Dark Heart, Works, 19, 729.



Blogger Johnnie Burgess Jr said...

A lot of people want things to be easy. They dont want to have to work hard for things. They want things handed to them.

1:15 am  
Blogger Ian Hamilton said...

Dear Michael,
Good to read the quote from JE. I have been re-reading Marsden's biog.- it is excellent; a three dimensional Edwards! I hope your studies are going well.

Best wishes

Ian Hamilton

4:15 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is interesting that JE would certainly call this transformation hard active work, and "easy" passive work, at the same time.
The light that shines in the believer happens by God's power, by christ's work, not be the individual's striving for righteousness. (Much like I could never give myself a tan.) So in this way, righteousness is "handed to the individual."
Yet there is certainly a component of our participation with God's work as well, and this involved focus, diligent work.

Great things to think on.

5:30 pm  

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