“The sense I had of divine things, would
often of a sudden as it were, kindle up a
sweet burning in my heart; an ardor of my
soul, that I know not how to express.
Not long after I began to experience these
things… I walked abroad alone, in a solitary
place in my father’s pasture, for contemplation.
And as I was walking there, and looked up on
the sky and clouds; there came into my mind,
a sweet sense of the glorious majesty and
grace of God, that I know not how to express.
I seemed to see them both in a sweet conjunc-
tion: majesty and meekness joined together….
After this my sense of divine things gradu-
ally increased, and became more and more
lively, and had more of that inward sweetness.
The appearance of everything was altered:
there seemed to be, as it were, a calm, sweet
cast, or appearance of divine glory, in almost
everything. God’s excellency, his wisdom, his
purity and love, seemed to appear in every-
thing; in the sun, moon and stars; in the
clouds, and blue sky; in the grass, flowers,
trees; in the water, and all nature… I often
used to sit and view the moon… and so in
the daytime, spent much time in viewing the
clouds and sky, to behold the sweet glory of
God in these things: in the meantime, singing
forth with a low voice, my contemplations of
the Creator and Redeemed”
These beautiful words were written by the same man who wrote “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”. If nothing else it shows that Edwards also had a much softer side when it came to describing God. More importantly he reveals a part of his nature that encounters God through contemplative prayer and meditation. This is surprising, in that many of his ardent followers of today seem terrified of this practice. Apparently Edwards had no such qualms. On the contrary, here is another quote of his;
“I felt God at the first appearance of a thunderstorm and used to take the opportunity at such times to fix myself to view the clouds and see the lightening’s play and hear the majesty and awful voice of God’s thunder, which led me to sweet contemplations of my great and glorious God; and while I viewed I used to spend my time singing or chanting for my mediatations, speaking my thoughts in soliloquies – speaking with a singing voice.”