Thursday, 2 December 2010

Jonathan Edwards & Ice

The current winter weather with its snow and ice is a source of hilarity for some, loathing for others:

This was epitomised well when on Tuesday's PM programme (Radio 4) the presenter, interviewing a Northumbrian farmer, asked him if he found the snow beautiful and poetic. You could hear the farmer, clambering around trying to find a polite answer for national radio.

Whilst middle class people earn their money from the comfort of a warm office and can look out over the white wonderland with a nostalgic sense of abandon, (forgetting how difficult the commute to work was); labourers who work with the elements all day long (their hands, faces and feet stinging from the cold), having their livelihoods wiped out by such extreme weather, experience no such nostalgia.

The sudden calamities that come with snow and ice remind me of the words of Jonathan Edwards below, God has a myriad of different ways to cast suddenly the wicked-unrepentant into Hell, before they even realise it has happened. There's nothing nostalgic about the love or justice of God:
It is no security to wicked men for one moment, that there are no visible means of death at hand. It is no security to a natural man, that he is now in health, and that he does not see which way he should now immediately go out of the world by any accident, and that there is no visible danger in any respect in his circumstances. The manifold and continual experience of the world in all ages, shows this is no evidence, that a man is not on the very brink of eternity, and that the next step will not be into another world. The unseen, unthought-of ways and means of persons going suddenly out of the world are innumerable and inconceivable. Unconverted men walk over the pit of hell on a rotten covering, and there are innumerable places in this covering so weak that they will not bear their weight, and these places are not seen. The arrows of death fly unseen at noon-day; the sharpest sight cannot discern them. God has so many different unsearchable ways of taking wicked men out of the world and sending them to hell, that there is nothing to make it appear, that God had need to be at the expense of a miracle, or go out of the ordinary course of his providence, to destroy any wicked man, at any moment. All the means that there are of sinners going out of the world, are so in God's hands,
The context of his sermon (being dramatically read in the video below) was seeing hundreds, nay thousands saved in New England, he makes a fresh plea to those who inspite of hearing and seeing a mighty work of the Spirit of God remain untouched and unmoved.

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