Seeking God is the heart of reformed evangelism. Seeking is what was taught by the Puritans, such men as Thomas Shepard, Anthony Burgess, Thomas Hooker, Richard Sibbes, John Flavel, Thomas Watson, on down to Solomon Stoddard, the grandfather of Jonathan Edwards, and Jonathan Edwards himself. In fact, the doctrine of seeking was the cornerstone of the evangelistic ministry of Jonathan Edwards. Seeking is true reformed evangelism.
The proper method of seeking involves man's doing all that is in his
natural power to seek God. One of the most common expressions in Puritan
writings is "use the means." Today this expression is almost unknown
in Christianity and in books on evangelism. If it were used, most people,
even Reformed people, would not know what was meant by it. It is, however,
an encouragement to seek God using the means which God had provided for
men to come to know Him. Although it is not in man's moral ability to find
God, it is in his natural ability to do certain things which might increase
the possibility of his being saved or put him in a way of salvation. The
Puritans constantly urged upon men the necessity of doing all they could.
An unregenerate man is capable of using his eyes to read. He can choose
to read the Scriptures or pornography. An unregenerate man's legs can carry
him either to the church or the tavern. Thomas Watson wrote, "When
God bids us convert and turn, this is to show us what we ought to do, not
what we can do. Yet let us do what we are able. We have the power to avoid
those rocks which will certainly ruin our souls; I mean gross sins. A man
does not need to be in bad company; he does not need to swear or tell a
lie; nor would he do it if it were by law death to swear an oath. We have
power to cast ourselves upon the use of means: prayer, reading, holy conversation.
This will condemn men at the last day that they did not act so vigorously
in their sphere as they might have; they did not use the means and try whether
God will give them grace, God will come with that soliciting question at
last, 'Why didst not thou put my money to the exchangers? Why didst thou
not improve that power which I gave thee?' Though we do not have the power
to save ourselves, yet we must pursue after salvation."1
John Gerstner writes in his work The Rational Biblical Theology of Jonathan Edwards, Volume III, (page 67) what Edwards believed the sinner was incapable of doing and what he with his natural powers was capable of:
Man is not capable of:
1. Making satisfaction for his sins.
2. Earning a righteousness that makes him acceptable before God.
3. Change his own heart.
The sinner suffers total moral inability to save himself or cooperate in his own regeneration.
However, there are certain things man can do without a principle of life in him:
1. "A man can abstain from the outward gratification of his lusts."
2. "A man can in many respects keep out of the way of temptation."
3. "Persons can perform outward duties of morality towards their neighbors."
4. "Persons can search the Scriptures."
5. "Persons can attend all ordinances."
6. "Persons can use their tongues for the purposes of religion."
7. "Persons have in a great measure the command of their thoughts."
8. "Persons can set apart a suitable proportion of their time for these things."
9. "Persons can improve divine assistance that is given."
10. "They can lay out their strength in these things as well as other things."2
There is nothing meritorious about seeking. Man cannot earn or contribute to his salvation. God may or may not save the seeker. So the question arises, 'Why seek at all?' If there is no merit before God in seeking, if men can do nothing to save themselves, if God may or may not save the seeker, then why should one seek? We will answer this question first from God's perspective and then from man's perspective.
"God has two reasons, at least, for stipulating seeking as the way of finding salvation. It is not because there is any merit in seeking, nor that it itself in any way disposes God to bestow the blessing sought, nor that it is any substitute for faith, by which alone men can be justified and are justified. Rather, it is because, first, men in their fallen condition are unable to believe, and second, the gift of faith is so great a gift that there should be some demonstration of a real desire before it is bestowed."3
1) Man's spiritual inability renders him unable to savingly believe the gospel. Men are spiritually dead in trespasses and sins and cannot exercise faith, but although they cannot believe, they are capable of seeking.
Again from John Gerstner: "For Edwards, men were able to seek though they were not able to believe. And they were to seek precisely because they could not believe without the gift of faith from God which God would not give except in a way of seeking. Thus, instead of Edwards' doctrine of seeking implying ability, as so many think, it rested on the very opposite: inability. It was because men were unable to believe that they were to seek, not because they were able. They were able to seek, of course, but they were not able to believe. The Calvinistic doctrine of inability refers not to men's inability to seek, but to their inability to believe and/or to do any good."4
2) The gift of faith is such a great treasure that, from God's perspective, there is a fitness or propriety in bestowing it in a circumstance of earnest seeking. It is unsuitable for God to give such a great gift to those who show no interest in it. Although all the actions of evil men are, in themselves, evil, including seeking, because they proceed from wrong motives, some actions are less evil than others. It is less evil for an unregenerate man to read the Bible than from him to read pornographic literature. It is less evil for men to seek God than to not seek Him at all. The earnestness of men in seeking the gift of salvation is in keeping with the greatness of the gift. It is appropriate that men should diligently seek for such a gift, even if there is no spiritual goodness involved in their seeking.
"It becomes the wisdom of God so to order it that things of great value and importance should not be obtained without great labor and diligence." And this principle applies to the matter of salvation. Seeking is not necessary to merit salvation, but it is necessary to prepare men for its reception."5
Ezekiel 36:36-37 says: "I the Lord have spoken it, and I will do it. Thus saith the Lord God; I will yet be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them." (KJV)
Secondly, from the perspective of the seeker we must ask the same question: Why should I seek God?
1) God commands it in His word. If there were nothing in the word of God relating to seeking God, then it would be inappropriate to advise people to do so. But the Word of God is not at all ambiguous in regards to commanding men to seek Him.
Isaiah 55:6: "Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near."
Luke 13:23-24: "And someone said to Him, 'Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?' And He said to them, 'Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.'"
Matthew 11:12: "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force."
Matthew 6:33: "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."
Luke 16:16: "The Law and the prophets were proclaimed until John; since then the gospel of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it."
Matthew 7:14: "For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it."
2) There are certain natural benefits which result from seeking.
a) Those who are honest and diligent in doing right generally receive temporary rewards for it in this life. The diligent person generally has no trouble finding or keeping a job and often prospers economically because of his diligence. Proverbs 13:4 says: "The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the soul of the diligent is made fat."
b) Even if the seeker does not find, his punishment in hell will be greatly diminished as a result of his seeking. There are degrees of punishment in hell. The more sins a man commits, the greater will be his eternal torment. The less sins a man commits, the less will be his torment. Edwards wrote: "Tis not absolutely certain they shall go to heaven, but this is certain, that they shall escape an exceeding intolerable addition to their eternal misery and indeed any degree of that misery is intolerable" and should you go to hell "you would willingly give all the world for the least mitigation of your misery."6 The wicked in hell will forever wish they had sought, even though they had never been granted life.
3) The possibility of finding. Although there are no guarantees that the seeker will find, and seekers are to be constantly reminded of that fact, still there is a possibility that those who seek may find. Contrariwise, there is little possibility that those who do not seek will find.
Reverend Henry Scougal wrote in his work The Life of God in the Soul of Man, "To undertake vigorously, and rely confidently on the divine assistance, is more than half the conquest: 'Let us arise and be doing, and the Lord will be with us.' It is true, religion in the souls of men is the immediate work of God, and all our natural endeavors can neither produce it...nor merit those supernatural aids by which it must be wrought: the Holy Ghost must come upon us, and the power of the Highest must overshadow us, before that holy thing can be begotten, and Christ be formed in us: but yet we must not that this whole work should be done without any concurring endeavors of our own: we must not lie loitering in the ditch, and wait till Omnipotence pull us from thence; no, no! we must bestir ourselves, and actuate those powers which we have already received: we must put forth ourselves to our utmost capacities, and then we may hope that 'our labor shall not be in vain in the Lord'...It is true, that God hath been found of some who sought him not: he hath cast himself in their way, who were quite out of his...But certainly this is not God's ordinary method of dealing with men: though he hath not tied himself to means, yet he hath tied us to the use of them; and we never have reason to expect the divine assistance, than when we are doing our utmost endeavors."7
Puritan Thomas Hooker wrote of the response of the people of Ninevah when God threatened judgment upon them for their sins: "The people of Ninevah said, 'Who knows but God may repent?' This upheld their hearts, and made them seek to the Lord in the use of means, and the Lord had mercy on them...So hope provokes the soul to use the means, and say, I am a damned man, but if there be any hope, I will pray, and hear, and fast; Who knows but God may show mercy to my poor soul."8 The Soul's Preparation for Christ has recently been reprinted by International Outreach, Inc.
A possibility of obtaining mercy will go a long way in motivating the sinner to continue seeking diligently, even though the work of seeking is difficult.
1) They must first be awakened to their desperate condition. An awakened
person is one who is basically persuaded of the truths of Christianity,
but who is not converted; the first thing which usually happens to a person
who is converted is that they are awakened to the imminent danger of their
present condition: That if they died today, they would go straight to hell.
What was in his head notionally is now felt in the depths of his being and
he becomes alarmed and scared. He is made aware in his own experience of
the horror of his peril and of the necessity of something happening quickly.
He does not love God, but realizes that Christ is going to be his judge
unless his present condition is changed. He is awakened. John Gerstner says
in his tape on Reformed Evangelism & Seeking: "The first
stage of evangelism, genuine evangelism, of spiritual corpses is to make
them intellectually and emotionally aware that they are in great danger
and have that built into their deepest conviction."9
2) Reform your life. This may sound a little strange. I thought so at first until I examined more closely why this is consistently the advice of both Edwards and the Puritans. A person who is seeking salvation must not continue on in a way of any external sins. To profess to be seeking the Lord and to continue lying, cheating, or committing adultery is a sham. Solomon Stoddard writes in his excellent work A Guide to Christ: "Men that are seeking salvation, must not allow themselves to go on in a way of damnation: that terror is not sufficient that will suffer men to live in an unreformed life: if men be thoroughly scared, they will dread doing what wounds their consciences: fear of hell will make men afraid to sin."10 p. 3. Jonathan Edwards wrote: "Persons who are under awakenings, and would seek a true hope of salvation, should in the first place see, that they thoroughly renounce every wicked practice. They should search their ways, and consider what is wrong in them; what duties they have omitted, which ought to have been done; and what practices they have allowed, which ought to be forsaken; and should immediately reform, retaining no one way of sin, denying all ungodliness, omitting nothing which is required; and should see that they persevere in it, that it be not merely a temporary, short-lived restraint, but an everlasting renunciation."11
3) Meditate on your sins. Meditation on the sins of the heart and life will aid in bringing conviction to the heart for sin. "Persons ought to endeavor to be convinced of sin" is the doctrine of an unpublished Jonathan Edwards' sermon on Jeremiah 2:23. In this sermon Edwards exhorts men to think much on sins, ranging back to childhood for material: men should "ransack the secret corners" of their memories as they attempt to recall and feel particular sins. One should also seek to grow in such convictions. Edwards mentions the importance of mediatation on sins in many sermons: "Earnestly to seek humiliation. To that end they should labour to be convinced of sin. They should be much engaged in searching their own hearts, and keeping a watchful eye upon them. They should not rest in their own efforts, but earnestly seek to God to give them a right sight of themselves, and a right conviction of sin, and show them that they have deserved God's everlasting wrath...Seek that you may be brought to lie at God's feet in a sense of your own exceeding sinfulness. Seek earnestly that you may have such a sight of yourself; what an exceedingly sinful creature you are, what a wicked heart you have, and how dreadfully you have provoked God to anger; that you may see that God would be most just if he should never have mercy upon you. Labour, that all quarreling about God's dispensations towards sinners may be wholly subdued; that your heart may be abased and brought down to the dust before God; that you may see yourself in the hands of God; and that you can challenge nothing of God, but that God and his throne are blameless in the eternal damnation of sinners, and would be in your damnation. Seek that you may be brought off from all high opinion of your own worth, all trust in your own righteousness, and to see that all you do in religion is so polluted and defiled, that it is utterly unworthy of God's acceptance; and that you commit sin enough in your best duties to condemn you for ever."12
4) Read and study the Scriptures. The Bible is God's word to man concerning all that pertains to life and godliness. "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ" (Romans 10:17).
Read and meditate upon those verses which reveal sin to you and what you are like in your natural condition: Jeremiah 17:9; Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:10-18. They should read and study the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:1-17 and Jesus' exposition of the spiritual meaning of two of the commandments in Matthew 5:21-22 & 27-30. This may aid the sinner in seeing their guilt before God.
Read and study those verses which reveal Christ: Isaiah 53; Hebrews 9; and the gospels. We recommend that a person who is seeking read the gospel of Luke and carefully note what Christ says about following Him.
We have other specific suggestions about scriptures to read in our tract Guidance for the Seeker. Reading the Scriptures is an indespensible means of grace.
5) Pray fervently. I have given detailed instructions to the seeker for this in Guidance for the Seeker, but basically the seeker should pray that God would show him the rottenness of his heart, the wickedness of his sins, and the desperateness of his condition. He should ask the Lord to help him see sin the way God sees it and enable him to hate all sin. He should ask God to help him to see the blessedness of Christ, and to value Christ above all persons and things, and to love Christ with all his heart. He should beg God to change his heart and to enable him to repent and believe in Christ in truth. He should repeatedly beg God to have mercy on him.
All of the sinner's prayers arise out of self-love. It may be necessary to tell him of this so that the seeker does not think he is doing anything to merit his salvation and he does not grow proud of his seeking. Usually for one who is seeking in the right way, this is not a problem, but self-righteousness is a powerful force in the heart of the unconverted. Jonathan Edwards states that it is better for the sinner to "pray out of self-love than to neglect prayer out of self-love." A person's prayers may be good even though the person is evil. It is better to perform a spiritual duty from an evil motive (ie. self-love) than to not perform it from an evil motive.
The Pharisees prayed in self-righteousness and hypocritically and thought that God loved them for it. The awakened seeker knows that even his prayers are sin, and realizes that God may not listen to or answer his prayers and may damn him in the end. There is a vast difference between the two. (God hears King Ahab in I Kings 21 even though he is counted among the most wicked of men) God many times uses this means to show the sinner his depravity, heard-heartedness, and makes him more and more sensible of his lost condition.
6) Go to hear the Word of God preached. The seeker should go to the best church he can find. He should be present at morning and evening worship services. He should pray to God before he goes that God would use what is said to speak to his heart. He should ask the Lord to use the word preached to reveal his sins and the wickedness of his heart to him, to reprove and rebuke him, and to instruct him that the word might be profitable to his soul.
7) Striving has to do with the degree of fervency and diligence with which one pursues the kingdom of God. A person may seek God diligently or in a lazy and slothful manner. Christ said to "Strive to enter by the narrow door" and that "the violent take it (the kingdom of heaven) by force." Jonathan Edwards deals with this in his revival sermon Pressing into the Kingdom of God. Edwards uses the following terms to describe this violence: "This expression denotes strength of desire"; "firmness of resolution"; greatness of endeavor"; "Pressing into the kingdom of God denotes an engagedness and earnestness, that is directly about that business of getting into the kingdom of God."13 We highly recommend that seekers read Pressing into the Kingdom of God to motivate and instruct them in their seeking. The following quotes are taken from Pressing into the Kingdom of God:
"Besides desires after salvation, there should be an earnest resolution in persons to pursue this good as much as lies in their power;...Those who are pressing into the kingdom of God, have a disposition of heart to do everything that is required, and that lies in their power to do, and to continue in it. They have not only earnestness, but steadiness of resolution: they do not seek with a wavering unsteady heart, by turns or fits, being off and on; but it is the constant bent of the soul, if possible, to obtain the kingdom of God."
"Such a manner of seeking is needful to prepare persons for the kingdom of God. Such earnestness and thoroughness of endeavors, is the ordinary means that God makes use of to bring persons to an acquaintance with themselves, to a sight of their own hearts, to a sense of their own helplessness, and to a despair in their own strength and righteousness. And such engagedness and constancy in seeking the kingdom of heaven, prepare the soul to receive it the more joyfully and thankfully, and the more highly to prize and value it when obtained. So that it is in mercy to us, as well as for the glory of his own name, that God has appointed such earnest seeking, to be the way in which he will bestow the kingdom of heaven."
"Be directed to sacrifice every thing to your soul's eternal interest. Let seeking this be so much your bent, and what you are so resolved in, that you will make every thing give place to it. Let nothing stand before your resolution of seeking the kingdom of God. Whatever it be that you used to look upon as a convenience, or comfort, or ease, or thing desirable on any account, if it stands in the way of this great concern, let it be dismissed without hesitation; and if it be of that nature that it is likely always to be a hinderance, then wholly have done with it, and never entertain any expectation from it more. If in time past you have, for the sake of worldly gain, involved yourself in more care and business than you find to be consistent with your being so thorough in the business of religion as you ought to be, then get into some other way, though you suffer in your worldly interest by it. Or if you have heretofore been conversant with company that you have reason to think have been and will be a snare to you, and a hinderance to this great design in any wise, break off from their society, however it may expose you to reproach from your old companions, or let what will be the effect of it. Whatever it be that stands in the way of your most advantageously seeking salvation-whether it be some dear sinful pleasure, or strong carnal appetite, or credit and honour, or the good-will of some persons whose friendship you desire, and whose esteem and liking you have highly valued-and though there be danger, if you do as you ought, that you shall looked upon by them as odd and ridiculous, and become contemptible in their eyes-or if it be your ease and indolence and aversion to continual labour; or your outward convenience in any respect, whereby you might avoid difficulties of one kind or other-let all go; offer up all such things together, as it were, in one sacrifice, to the interest of your soul."14
We begin by recommending that people spend at least one hour per day seeking God. As the situation allows, I then encourage the students that I work with to increase their time in seeking to a minimum of two hours per day (at least one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening) and more if possible. I encourage them at regular intervals to increase the fervency of their prayers and the violence of their seeking, reminding them that this is the most important thing they can do in life. We recommend isolation to them: that they seek in a place where they are alone with God. It may be necessary to recommend that they cut off associations which may hinder their right seeking of God. Please read the testimony of one who sought God in this manner and found life.
The following things have been gleaned by studying the sermons of Jonathan Edwards and from reading and re-reading his Narrative of the Surprising Work of God.
1) The doctrine of hell is the best doctrine we can use to awaken sinners and to maintain their fears and convictions while they seek.
2) Man's sin and depravity and the law of God should be preached for conviction of sins. Joseph Alleine wrote in An Alarm to the Unconverted: "The heart is never soundly broken till thoroughly convinced of the heinousness of its original and deep-rooted depravity."15 The sinner needs to repeatedly hear that their heart is rotten and of the necessity of God changing their heart.
3) It is critical that they understand God's sovereignty in the bestowal of mercy and His just right to refuse the giving of mercy to anyone. "God has a liberty to bestow His grace upon whom He will. Mercy is God's own, and He will make choice who shall be the subjects of it. God is master of His own gifts, will bestow them on one, and deny them to others. It is just for God to deny sinners saving mercy, but if he pleases to have mercy upon some, none may prescribe who they shall be; but He may choose one, and refuse another." 16
4) God's absolute justice in the damnation of men and in their own damnation needs to be stressed. For this we have used Guidance for the Seeker and Edwards' sermon The Justice of God in the Damnation of Sinners.
5) They should be told that they are both unable and unwilling to believe rightly and this necessitates them seeking God for a changed heart and his saving mercy.
6) Seeking with diligence. This we have covered previously.
"I have found that no discourses have been more remarkably blessed, than those in which the doctrine of God's absolute sovereignty, with regard to the salvation of sinners, and his just liberty, with regard to answering prayers, or succeeding the pains of natural men, continuing such, have been insisted on. I have never found so much immediate saving fruit, in any measure, of any discourses I have offered to my congregation, as some from the words, Romans 3:19: "That every mouth may be stopped;" endeavouring to show from thence, that it would be just with God for ever to reject and cast off mere natural men.
As to those in whom awakenings seem to have a saving issue, commonly, the first thing that appears after their legal troubles, is a conviction of the justice of God in their condemnation, appearing in a sense of their own exceeding sinfulness, and the vileness of all their performances. In giving an account of this, they expressed themselves very variously; some, that they saw God was sovereign, and might receive others and reject them; some, that they were convinced, God might justly bestow mercy on every person in the town, in the world, and damn themselves to all eternity; some, that they see God may justly have no regard to all the pains they have taken, and all the prayers they have made; some, that if they should seek, and take utmost pains all their lives, God might justly cast them into hell at last, because all their labours, prayers, and tears cannot make an atonement for the least sin, nor merit any blessing at the hands of God, that he may dispose of them just as he pleases; some, that God may glorify himself in their damnation, and they wonder that God has suffered them to live so long, and has not cast them into hell long ago."
"Whatever minister has a like occasion to deal with souls, in a flock under such circumstances, as this was in the last year, I cannot but think he will soon find himself under a necessity, greatly to insist upon it with them, that God is under no obligation to show mercy to any natural man, whose heart is not turned to God; and that a man can challenge nothing either in absolute justice, or by free promise, from any thing he does before he has believed on Jesus Christ, or has true repentance begun in him. It appears to me, that if I had taught those who came to me under trouble, any other doctrine, I should have taken a most direct course utterly to undo them. I should have directly crossed what was plainly the drift of the Spirit of God in his influences upon them; for if they had believed what I said, it would either have promoted self-flattery and carelessness, and so put an end to their awakenings."
"The awful apprehensions persons have had of their misery, have for the most part been increasing, the nearer they have approached to deliverance...Persons are sometimes brought to the borders of despair, and it looks as black as midnight to them a little before the day dawns in their souls. Some few instances there have been, of persons who have had such a sense of God's wrath for sin, that they have been overborne; and made to cry out under an astonishing sense of their guilt, wondering that God suffers such guilty wretches to live upon the earth, and that he doth not immediately send them to hell."
"When awakenings first begin, their consciences are commonly most exercised about their outward vicious course, or other acts of sin; but afterwards, are much more burdened with a sense of heart sins, the dreadful corruption of their nature, their enmity against God, the pride of their hearts, their unbelief, their rejection of Christ, the stubborness and obstinacy of their wills...Often they have come to a conclusion within themselves, that they will lie at God's feet, and wait his time; amd they rest in that, not being sensible that the Spirit of God has now brought them to a frame whereby they are prepared for mercy."
"Frequently, when persons have first had the gospel-ground of relief discovered to them, and have been entertaining their minds with the sweet prospect, they have thought nothing at that time of their being converted...In this town there has always been a great deal of talk about conversion and spiritual experiences; and therefore people in general had formed a notion in their own minds what these things were. But when they come to be the subjects of them, they find themselves much confounded in their notions, and overthrown in many of their former conceits...Many continue a long time in a course of gracious exercises and experiences, and do not think themselves to be converted, but conclude otherwise; and none knows how long they would continue so, were they not helped by particular instructions...They generally have had an awful apprehension of the dreadful nature of a false hope; and there has been observable in most a great caution, lest in giving an account of their experiences, they should say too much, and use too strong terms."17
John Gerstner devotes over 50 pages to seeking God in his work The Rational Biblical Theology of Jonathan Edwards, Volume III. We would like to close with a quote from that work:
"Finally, it is not good for the church in general to neglect preparation. If it has been shown that this is the teaching of the Word of God, it cannot be good for the church to disregard it. If the church is ignorant of it, she must be ignorant of the Word of God. Where there is no vision the people perish-and surely they are perishing today almost as rapidly in the church as out of it. The church is commanded to teach whatever Christ has commanded as the condition of his being with her until the end of the age. If Edwards was right,-and no one has shown him wrong-Christ not only taught the duty of striving to enter in at the strait gate but promoted it preeminently in his own ministry. Unless the church today presumes to be a better evangelist than our Lord it will follow His example."18
The above discourse was written and copyrighted by William C. Nichols ©1993 and may be not be reproduced in any form except for personal use.
What materials we have used and recommend include:
Undeceiving the sinner: True Godliness; Hypocrites Deficient in the Duty of Prayer by Jonathan Edwards; The Gospel & Martyrdom.
Awakening the sinner: The Terrors of Hell; Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God
Conviction of sin: Enormity by A.W. Pink; Prescribing some Means to Repentance from Repentance by Thomas Watson, pp. 106-113; Guidance for the Seeker; The Justice of God in the Damnation of Sinners by Jonathan Edwards.
Seeking: Guidance for the Seeker; Pressing into the Kingdom of God by Jonathan Edwards.
John Gerstner, Jonathan Edwards, Evangelist (Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria, 1995).
1 Thomas Watson, Heaven Taken by Storm, (Ligonier, PA: Soli Deo Gloria, 1992), p. 65.
2 John Gerstner, The Rational Biblical Theology of Jonathan Edwards, Volume III, (Powhatan, VA: Berea Publications, 1993), p. 67.
3 John Gerstner, Jonathan Edwards, Evangelist, (Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria, 1995), p. 72-73.
4 Ibid, p. 73.
5 Ibid, p. 75.
7 Henry Scougal, The Life of God in the Soul of Man, (Harrisonburg, VA: Sprinkle Publications, 1986), pp. 92-94.
8 Thomas Hooker, The Soul's Preparation for Christ, (London: M. F., 1640), pp. 311 & 316.
9 John Gerstner, Reformed Evangelsim and Seeking, (Sterling, KS: The Sterling Pulpit, 1989), audio cassette tape #4.
10 Solomon Stoddard, A Guide to Christ, (Boston: J. Allen, 1714), p. 3.
11 Jonathan Edwards, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume II, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1974), p. 848.
12 Ibid, p. 829.
13 Jonathan Edwards, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume I, (London: Ball, Arnold, & Co., 1840), p. 655.
14 Ibid, pp. 655, 656, 657, 658.
15 Joseph Alleine, An Alarm to the Unconverted, (London: Banner of Truth, 1964), p. 104.
16 Solomon Stoddard, A Guide to Christ, (Boston: J. Allen, 1714), p. 66.
17 Jonathan Edwards, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume 1, (London: Ball, Arnold & Co., 1840), pp. 353, 352, 351, 354, 357-358.
18 John Gerstner, The Rational Biblical Theology of Jonathan Edwards, Volume III, (Powhatan, VA: Berea Publications, 1993), p. 106-107.