In his book, The Works of Jonathan Edwards: Letters and Personal Writings, George S. Claghorn gives us a glimpse of a taste Jonathan Edward’s once had in prayer:
Once . . . in divine contemplation and prayer, I had a view that for me was extraordinary, of the glory of the Son of God, as Mediator between God and man, and his wonderful, great, full, pure, and sweet grace and love, and meek and gentle condescension . . . The person of Christ appeared ineffably excellent with an excellency great enough to swallow up all thought and conception . . . which continued as near as I can judge, about an hour; which kept me the greater part of the time in a flood of tears, and weeping aloud. I felt an ardency of soul to be, what I know not otherwise how to express, emptied and annihilated; to lie in the dust, and to be full of Christ alone; to love him with a holy and pure love; to trust in him; to live upon him; to serve and follow him; and to be perfectly sanctified, and made pure, with a divine and heavenly purity.
Let’s not make experience an idol, but let us long for such experiences.
*(It is interesting that I found a very similar sort of experience as I recorded in a Posting entitled “The God Kind of Love” )
I dare say there are very few to have walked this earth that know the God kind of Love. This man only recently had that love revealed to him through experiencing an onslaught of His love and it broke him down to ashes. God’s kind of love breaks all defense mechanisms and you now see that your heretofore concept of love is very small and lives in a restrictive channel that is mostly selfish and defensive in manner. God’s love as I experienced it, breaks all barriers and is not limited but expansive in scope and is unassuming with a board influence and without boundary. It renders the flesh inoperative and you cannot adequately put such a thing as mundane word to adequately describe it even though I am attempting to do so now. The physical aspect of this man was brought to involuntary shudders permeating my entire body and I was rendered helpless. My flesh struck back at it as though a viper (A snake if you will) to cause a hurt in recompense. You cannot come to ease and you find an unpleasant energy within that causes agitation and you realize that all of weapons of physical weapons have been rendered moot. Perhaps a ship without a rudder is an apt description because you have no directional control and drift aimlessly. What can I do when I have been revealed as a helpless rag apart from Love, what can I do to repair damage caused by a self-centered man who has hurt another. Can he go back and rectify a lifetime of error, a short or harsh word? Can he repair damage done to another soul who may have hurt but unnoticed by the self possessed man? For can anyone say they have not at one time or another, hurt someone by word or deed?
This man is rendered invisible and he becomes a part of something exceedingly greater than himself and now knows he has absolutely nothing that meet the equivalency of the Love of God. Then, when I look back upon my destruction and lost opportunity is a restoration possible? God calls it Forgiveness and it said that I bring my shipwrecked life to him and ask Forgive me Father for I have sinned, he is faithful to forgive me but the scars of the crucifixion remain.