Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pray That I May Have Wisdom

A selection from a letter by Jonathan Edwards to Rev. Thomas Foxcroft, pastor of the 1st Congregational Church in Boston. Foxcroft was a supporter of Edwards, who was going through a difficult time in his church over baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Edwards took a position, contrary to that of his esteemed grandfather, Solomon Stoddard, that only those who made a good profession of faith in Christ could come to the Lord’s Table. Edwards told his friend that he might be removed from the pastorate by the congregation, a fear that was later realized. Though he had no other way of supporting his family, he was resolved to be steadfast in the faith. The letter was written May 24, 1749.

If I should be wholly cast out of the ministry, I should be in many respects in a poor case. I shall not be likely to be serviceable to my generation, or get a subsistence in a business of a different nature. I am by nature very unfit for secular business; and especially am not unfit, after I have been so long in the work of the ministry. I am now comfortably settled, have as large a salary settled upon me as most have out of Boston, and have the largest and most chargeable family of any minister, perhaps without an hundred miles of me.

I have many enemies abroad in the country, who hate me for my stingy principles, enthusiasm, rigid proceedings and that now are expecting full triumph over me. I need the prayers of my fathers and brethren who are friendly to me, that I may have wisdom given me by my great master, and that I may be enabled to conduct with a steady faithfulness to him, under all trials and whatever may be the issue of this affair. I seem as it were to be casting myself off from a precipice; and have no other way, but to go on, as it were blindfold, i.e. shutting my eyes to everything else but the evidences of the mind and will of God, and the path of duty; which I would observe with the utmost care.

Jonathan Edwards: Letters and Personal Writings, edited by George S. Claghorn, vol. 16 in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Yale University Press, 1998, p. 284.

1 comment:

William Wilson said...

Yes Dean a very good artcle on Jonathan Edwards who was a great preacher in the USA and what he prayed for that he would have wisdom.And we all need to have some wisdom in our christian lifes today in the wicked world we live in.But thank God that we will be going to a better place soon when our Lord returns.May i wish you and your wife Linda and family also the church a very Happy Christmas and New Year2010.I will be leaving on Monday for Ireland for three weeks for Christmas to spend it with family and friends.So keep up the Lord's good work and serveing his kingdom to the Glory of our God and saviour.Amen