Monday, February 11, 2008

Jonathan Edwards on Trials

God tries the graces of his people by their persecutions, that the truth and power of his grace in them may appear to his own glory, both before men, angels and devils. One end is that by such a discovery of the truth and strength of their faith and love, he may as it were triumph over Satan; and make him to see what a victory is obtained over him, by so rescuing those souls that were once his captives from his power; and convince him of the real success of his design of redeeming and sanctifying souls - notwithstanding all that he had done to [them], whereby he thought he had utterly ruined mankind, and put them past the possibility of cure. For this end God tried Job. God gloried in Job as a perfect and an upright man, that did good and eschewed evil [Job 1:8]. Satan don't own the truth of it, but charges that Job was a hypocrite, and his service mercenary. But God tries Job with grievous affliction for Satan's conviction. So it is in the church in general, their trials being for Satan's conviction...

Jonathan Edwards
Entry 52 in 'Notes on the Apocalypse'
Quoted from Jonathan Edwards: A New Biography by I. Murray, p. 352