Mike Reeves took us finally to that towering figure Jonathan Edwards. After a passing reference to Edwards History of the work of redemption he focused on two books by Edwards The Religious Affections and The End for which the world was created. This paper was again full of rich nuggets. I especially liked his reference to God's grace, which too often is thought as a thing (as when Romanists think of Mary as Full of grace in the sense that she is topped up with it and can dispense it rather than as the recipient of God's love and favour). He also recommended skipping over the first part of The End for which and going straight to the second part. The whole presentation was again marked by a mastery of the subject, infectious enthusiasm and attractive presentation.
Some sample quotations from Edwards
“The Devil once seemed to be religious from fear of torment: Luke 8:28 - "When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech Thee, torment me not." Here is external worship. The Devil is religious; he prays - he prays in a humble posture; he falls down before Christ, he lies prostrate; he prays earnestly, he cries with a loud voice; he uses humble expressions - "I beseech Thee, torment me not;" he uses respectful, honourable, adoring expressions - "Jesus, Thou Son of God most high." Nothing was wanting but LOVE.”
“True religion, in great part, consists in holy affections, love for Christ and joy in him.”
“He that is once brought to see, or rather to taste, the superlative loveliness of the Divine Being, will need no more to make him long after the enjoyment of God, to make him rejoice in the happiness of God, and to desire that this supremely excellent Being may be pleased and glorified And if this be true, then the main ground of true love to God is the excellency of His own nature, and not any benefit we have received, or hope to receive, by His goodness to us.”