True Excellency

By Jonathan Edwards

Jesus Christ has true excellency, and so great an excellency,
that when you come to truly see him, you look no further,
but your mind rests there.

There is a transcendent glory and an
ineffable sweetness in Christ.

You see that you had been pursuing shadows,
but now you have found the substance.

You realize that you had been seeking happiness in the stream,
but now you have found the ocean.

The excellency of Christ is an object adequate to the natural
cravings of the soul, and is sufficient to fill its capacity.

Christ has an infinite excellency, such as the mind desires,
in which it can find no bounds; and the more the mind
contemplates Him, the more excellent does He appear.

Each new discovery of Christ makes His beauty appear more
ravishing, and the mind can see no end to His excellency.
There is room enough for the mind to go deeper and deeper,
and never come to the bottom.

Christ’s excellency is always fresh and new, and will as much
delight us, after we have beheld Him a thousand, or ten thousand
years, as when we have seen him the first moment.

The soul is exceedingly ravished when
it first looks on the beauty of Christ.
It is never weary of Him.

Voices from the past

While listening to a series of biographies by John Piper, I heard this quote from David Brainerd’s journal:

When I really enjoy God, I feel my desires of him the more insatiable, and my thirstings after holiness the more unquenchable

Oh for holiness!
Oh for more of God in my soul!
Oh this pleasing pain!
It makes my soul press after God

Oh that I might not loiter on my heavenly journey!

Consider these few of the 70 resolutions of Jonathan Edwards, made by the time he was 20 years old.

  • Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.

  • Resolved, never, henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God’ s

  • Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.

  • Resolved, to strive to my utmost every week to be brought higher in religion, and to a higher exercise of grace, than I was the week before.

  • Resolved, in narrations never to speak any thing but the pure and simple verity.

  • 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 avoid it.

  • Resolved, to examine carefully, and constantly, what that one thing in me is, which causes me in the least to doubt of the love of God; and to direct all my forces against it.

We could learn much from the lives and devotion of those who have gone before us in the faith.