He was met with much of the Spirit of God

That line was originally from Maurice Grant’s biography of Richard Cameron.   I was reminded of it when reading Murray’s bio of Lloyd-Jones.  It was the summer of 1949 and Murray describes MLJ as going through “a complete agony of soul” (208).  MLJ even went so far to say he “was deeply conscious of the devil’s presence in his room” and felt “a sense of evil in the room.”

Then God ministered to him upon his seeing a page of [A.W.] Pink and the word “glory–instandly, ‘like a blaze of light,’ he felt the very glory of God surround him…The love of God was ‘shed abroad in his heart.’ The nearness of heaven and his own title to it became overwhelming certainties and, at once, he was brought into a state of ecstasy and joy which remained with him several days

MLJ goes on to describe similar experiences of the Puritans:

William Guthrie:  It is a thing better felt than spoke of. It is no audible voice, but it is a ray of glory filling the soul with God.”

Thomas Goodwin:  “There is light that cometh and over-powereth a man’s soul and assureth him that God is his, and he is God’s.”

Robert Bruce: “No sooner had a leapt upon my horse but the gates of heaven were cast open to me.”

Similar experiences are recorded by John Flavel and Christmas Evans.   Jack Deere asserts, though he admits he could not find documentation, that Lloyd-Jones’ The Puritans documents how Sarah Edwards was “transported across the room.”  I am currently looking for that documentation.  If it exists, it would be in Edwards’ works on revival.  It is  documented, however, that Sarah “lay prostrate for 19 days.”  The problem with the “transportation” claim is that sceptics like Perry Miller would have had a field day with it, and yet I don’t recall Miller making much of it (but then again, Edwards historiography has come a long way since Miller).

5 comments on “He was met with much of the Spirit of God

  1. Angela Wittman says:

    I’ve never heard that Sarah Edwards was “transported” across a room, but in the works of Jonathan Edwards that I’ve read he documents revivalism with changed hearts and lives of the people involved; I don’t recall reading anything sensational by Edwards regarding revival. Something that really “irks” me is when charismatics adopt sincere Christians like Amy Carmichael, a Presbyterian who was extremely imaginative, and then try to make a case that they were also “Spirit-filled” charismatics to validate their supernatural activities.

  2. I agree, Angela, which is why I am somewhat skeptical of Deere’s claim. Edwards’ revival did have some excesses, which is why he wrote against it in his Thoughts on Revival.

  3. Angela Wittman says:

    Thanks Jacob… I can’t completely dismiss revivalism, because the good Lord does revive His people and Church, but I do disagree with folks speaking in unknown tongues, being slain in the spirit, etc as evidence of revival. Revival is a greater degree of holiness and seeking God through His Word that impacts how one lives and their daily practice. I really think there is an element of mass hysteria in what some folks call revival meetings and the reports of barking, uncontrollable laughter, etc. I also think there is a lack of teaching of self-control and folks just let themselves be carried away by emotion.( I am speaking from experience and as one who had a Pentecostal grandmother and mother.)

    • Terry says:

      Very good points you make. I spent 30 years in the A of G church and have many relatives who are pastors leaders in the Foursquare church. I recognized all of what I call charismania was not biblical and even in many cases outright evil and I confronted those I had access to in leadership and the bottom line was always, “we don’t want to quench the Spirit”. Untold damage has been done to gullible Christians and I appreciate the whole movement being exposed in a biblical manner.

      • Angela Wittman says:

        Praise the Lord for your courage to confront those in leadership! I think (or at least in my case) there is also an element of pride involved and folks don’t want to admit that what they’re doing is wrong and not of the Holy Spirit.

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