Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Resolutions Of Jonathan Edwards - Part 1

If there has ever been a saint that I wanted to emulate and imitate it is Jonathan Edwards. Not only was Edwards one of the most intelligent and thought-provoking theologians to ever grace Christ's Church, he was also one of the most God-centered and intentional people I have ever had the privilege of getting to know.

He ate and drank very sparingly, he studied upwards of 13 hours per day; he prayed for several generations ahead of his family every day; he set aside at least an hour a day to play with his children; he met regularly with the people in his church to pray and minister to them; he lived on a meager salary; he spent a long stint of time ministering to Native Americans under terrible conditions; he displayed an uncanny humility; he hated small talk (at least I think he did); and when his congregation fired him he preached a loving and gentle farewell sermon to his people.

One of the things that really stands out about Edwards is that he penned a rather long list of "Resolutions" by which he tried to live his life. I will be writing out for you all of the "Resolutions" of Jonathan Edwards in ten parts. There are a total of 70 that he penned during his short life, so I will be posting ten of them every week for 7 weeks. My hope is that you will get a glimpse of a man who took his commitment to God and to godliness so seriously that it permeated every area of his life. The most convicting thing for me in trying to emulate Edwards is that I fall miserably short of following my own list of resolutions which only contains 12 points. I encourage you to read these carefully and I hope you enjoy them.

Being sensible that I am unable to do any thing without God's help, I do humbly entreat him, by his grace, to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ's sake.

Remember to read over these Resolutions once a week

1. Resolved, That I will do whatsoever I think to be most to the glory of God, and my own good, profit, and pleasure, in the whole of my duration; without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriad of ages hence. Resolved, to do whatever I think to be my duty, and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved, so to do, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many soever, and how great soever.

2. Resolved, To be continually endeavoring to find out some new contrivance and invention to promote the forementioned things.

3. Resolved, If ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.

4. Resolved, Never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God, nor be, nor suffer it, if I can possibly avoid it.

5. Resolved, Never to lose one moment of time, but to improve it in the most profitable way I possibly can.

6. Resolved, To live with all my might, while I do live.

7. Resolved, Never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life.

8. Resolved, To act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody has been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings, as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God.

9. Resolved, To think much, on all occasions, of my dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.

10. Resolved, When I feel pain, to think of the pain of martyrdom, and of hell.

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