Monday, July 21, 2014

Fearless Courage and Unyielding Resolution

Two things that are exceeding needful in ministers, as they would do any great matters to advance the kindgom of Christ, are zeal and resolution. The influence and power of these things to bring to pass great effects is greater than can well be imagined: a man of but an ordinary capacity will do more with them, than one of ten times the parts and learning without them: more may be done with them in a few days, or at least weeks, than can be done without them in many years. Those that are possessed of these qualities commonly carry the day in almost all affairs. Most of the great things that have been done in the world of mankind, the great revolutions that have been accomplished in the kingdoms and empires of the earth, have been chiefly owing to these things. The very sight or appearance of a thoroughly engaged spirit, together with a fearless courage and unyielding resolution, in any person that has undertaken the managing any affair amongst mankind, goes a great way towards accomplishing the effect aimed at. . . . 
When the people see these things apparently in a person, and to a great degree, it awes them, and has a commanding influence upon their minds; it seems to them that they must yield; they naturally fall before them without standing to contest or dispute the matter; they are conquered as it were by surprise. But while we are cold and heartless, and only go on in a dull manner, in an old formal round, we shall never do any great matters. Our attempts, with the appearance of such coldness and irresolution, won't so much as make persons think of yielding: they will hardly be sufficient to put it into their minds; and if it be put into their minds, the appearance of such indifference and cowardice does as it were call for, and provoke opposition. 
—Jonathan Edwards, The Great Awakening (vol. 4 in the Works of Jonathan Edwards; ed. C. C. Goen; New Haven: Yale University, 1972), 508–509.

No comments:

Post a Comment