Excerpt from Jonathan Edward’s “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”

Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards

The following is an excerpt from one of the most powerful sermons on record from Jonathan Edwards. It is said that Edwards had to call for the congregation to be quiet so that he could preach in his normal, subdued tone of voice, and that when Edwards was done, men were crying out and grasping on to the pews frames for support because they had come under such strong conviction of guilt.

Friends, there is no need to fret when evil people do well or attack you without cause. When they lie to you or about you, when they try to crush you out of jealousy and grasp for power. Don’t worry when they try to use you for your good reputation only to destroy it in the eyes of man. The Lord God sees what they’ve done to you – just trust that he will take up your defense, and that he will make short work of even those who call themselves righteous and yet are more of a son of the devil than the ones they preach against so eloquently.

Even though we know evil people will be punished for their misdeeds, we should not be joyous about this. It is a fearful thing to know that a fellow human is working so diligently to fill up his cup of wrath… very fearful indeed. I would not stand anywhere near him if I were you.

Sincerely, The Reformed Faith Administrator.

Almost every natural man that hears of hell, flatters himself that he shall escape it; he depends upon himself for his own security; he flatters himself in what he has done, in what he is now doing, or what he intends to do. Every one lays out matters in his own mind how he shall avoid damnation, and flatters himself that he contrives well for himself, and that his schemes will not fail. They hear indeed that there are but few saved, and that the greater part of men that have died heretofore are gone to hell; but each one imagines that he lays out matters better for his own escape than others have done. He does not intend to come to that place of torment; he says within himself, that he intends to take effectual care, and to order matters so for himself as not to fail.

But the foolish children of men miserably delude themselves in their own schemes, and in confidence in their own strength and wisdom; they trust to nothing but a shadow. The greater part of those who heretofore have lived under the same means of grace, and are now dead, are undoubtedly gone to hell; and it was not because they were not as wise as those who are now alive: it was not because they did not lay out matters as well for themselves to secure their own escape. If we could speak with them, and inquire of them, one by one, whether they expected, when alive, and when they used to hear about hell, ever to be the subjects of misery: we doubtless, should hear one and another reply, “No, I never intended to come here: I had laid out matters otherwise in my mind; I thought I should contrive well for myself — I thought my scheme good. I intended to take effectual care; but it came upon me unexpected; I did not look for it at that time, and in that manner; it came as a thief — Death outwitted me: God’s wrath was too quick for me. Oh, my cursed foolishness! I was flattering myself, and pleasing myself with vain dreams of what I would do hereafter; and when I was saying, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction came upon me.”

– Jonathan Edwards, “Sinners In the Hands of an Angry God”

You can find the text of the entire sermon and other classic works of Christian theology and literature HERE.

A Spurgeon’s Devotional – The Sin of Presumptuousness

Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotional

Psalm 19:13
Keep back Thy servant also from presumptuous sins.

Such was the prayer of the “man after God’s own heart.” Did holy David need to pray thus? How needful, then, must such a prayer be for us babes in grace! It is as if he said, “Keep me back, or I shall rush headlong over the precipice of sin.” Our evil nature, like an ill-tempered horse, is apt to run away. May the grace of God put the bridle upon it, and hold it in, that it rush not into mischief. What might not the best of us do if it were not for the checks which the Lord sets upon us both in providence and in grace! The psalmist’s prayer is directed against the worst form of sin-that which is done with deliberation and wilfulness. Even the holiest need to be “kept back” from the vilest transgressions. It is a solemn thing to find the apostle Paul warning saints against the most loathsome sins. “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” What! do saints want warning against such sins as these? Yes, they do. The whitest robes, unless their purity be preserved by divine grace, will be defiled by the blackest spots. Experienced Christian, boast not in your experience; you will trip yet if you look away from Him who is able to keep you from falling. Ye whose love is fervent, whose faith is constant, whose hopes are bright, say not, “We shall never sin,” but rather cry, “Lead us not into temptation.” There is enough tinder in the heart of the best of men to light a fire that shall burn to the lowest hell, unless God shall quench the sparks as they fall. Who would have dreamed that righteous Lot could be found drunken, and committing uncleanness? Hazael said, “Is Thy servant a dog, that he should do this thing?” and we are very apt to use the same self-righteous question. May infinite wisdom cure us of the madness of self-confidence.

You can get Spurgeon’s “Morning and Evening” Devotional at