Saturday, October 24, 2009

Are You Deceived?

“I had a variety of concerns and exercises about my soul from childhood; but I had two more remarkable seasons of awakening, before I met with that change by which I was brought to those new dispositions, and the new sense of things, that I have since had. The first time was when I was a boy, some years before I went to college, at a time of remarkable awakening in my father’s congregation. I was then very much affected for many months, and concerned about the things of religion, and my soul’s salvation; and was abundant in religious duties. I used to pray five times a day in secret, and to spend much time in religious conversation with other boys; and used to meet with them to pray together. I experienced I know not what kind of delight in religion. My mind was much engaged in it, and had much self righteous pleasure, and it was my delight to abound in religious duties. I, with some of my school-mates, joined together and built a booth in a swamp, in a very retired spot for a place of prayer. And besides, I had particular secret places of my own in the woods, where I used to retire by myself; and was from time to time much affected. My affections seemed to be lively and easily moved and I seemed to be in my element when I engaged in religious duties. And I am ready to think, many are deceived with such affections, and such kind of delight as I then had in religion, and mistake it for grace. But, in process of time, my convictions and affections wore off, and I entirely lost all those affections and delights, and left off secret prayer, at least as to any constant preference of it; and returned like a dog to his vomit and went on in the ways of sin.”
Taken from The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol 1, (Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers), p. liv (Memoirs of Jonathan Edwards)

No comments: