I am currently reading my first book by Jonathan Edwards. I hope to learn alot from such a great man of outstanding wisdom. The first volume of A Narrative of Surprising Conversions retells stories of several of the conversions in Edwards’ time. But to begin with he expounds on regeneration. You see…
Persons are first awakened with a sense of their miserable condition by nature, the danger they are in of perishing eternally, and that it is of greater importance to them that they speedily escape and get into a better state. Those who before were secure and senseless, are made sensible how much they were in the way to ruin, in their former courses.
Some are more suddenly seized with conviction – it may be, by the news of others’ conversion, or something they hear in public, or in private conference – their consciences are smitten, as if their hearts are pierced through with a dart. Others are awakened more gradually, they begin at first to be some thing more thoughtful and considerate, so as to come to a conclusion in their minds, that it is their best and wisest way to delay no longer, but to improve the present opportunity.
They have accordingly set themselves seriously to meditate on those things that have the most awakening tendency, on purpose to obtain convictions; and so their awakenings have increased, till a sense of their misery, by God’s Holy Spirit setting in therewith, has had fast hold of them.
Others who before had been somewhat religious, and concerned for their salvation, have been awakened in a new manner; and made sensible that their slack and dull way of seeking, was never like to attain that purpose.
These awakenings when they have first seized on persons have had two effects:
One was, that they have brought them immediately to quit their sinful practices; and the looser sort have been brought to forsake and dread their former vices and extravagances…
The other effect was, that it put them on earnest application to the means of salvation, reading, prayer, meditation, the ordinances of God’s house, and private conference; their cry was, WHAT SHALL WE DO TO BE SAVED?
Excerpt from A Narrative of Surprising Conversions (Vol 1) by Jonathan Edwards.