There is always a sense of limitation and frustration in trying to pen a life admired by so many people. The task itself is a noble one and inspiring.
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'Treasures from the grave' is about exploring the lives of citizens of the kingdom of God that have expressed patriotism in their generation through faith in Jesus Christ.
There is always a sense of limitation and frustration in trying to pen a life admired by so many people. The task itself is a noble one and inspiring. 'Treasures from the grave' is about exploring the lives of citizens of the kingdom of God that have expressed patriotism in their generation through faith in Jesus Christ.
Jonathan Edwards was a revivalist preacher, puritan and theologian. He received his education from a seminary just starting its existence. Edward was a logician and a distinguished theologian, rooted in the Reformed theology. His scholarly and theological works were heavily influenced by the Age of Enlightenment (intellectual and philosophical movement). Edwards played a critical role in the great awakening of the 1700s and even supervised some of the early revival meetings at his church.
From an early age, Edward was interested in science. In his later years, science became a source of practical evidence of God as the creator and designer of all things. So throughout his life, he often went into the woods as a favourite place to pray and worship in the beauty and comfort of nature.
Reading his works and researching his life there is one quote that stood out for me “stamp eternity on my eyeballs.” These words were prayed by him because he wanted to be conscious of eternity. Sometimes we are heavily aware of earthly matters and duties, in turn, we neglect the eternal aspects that govern our faith. I’m not going to go into details of how to live for eternity because Esther has written an excellent article on the subject called “Occupy till He comes”.
After many successes and failures, Jonathan Edwards gave a farewell Sermon to the church he pastored for many years due to the congregation disagreeing with his disciplinary process and his idea of the qualifications for Full Communion (membership). The relationship between the minister and the people became so terrible that a council was called to judge between them. A ministerial council chose to dissolve the relationship between Jonathan Edwards and his congregation.
In his farewell the sermon, we find glimpses of the prayer “stamp eternity on my eyeballs”. Edwards stated to his hearer the importance of the relationship between the minister and the congregation, the accountability of the pastor to his flock and of the flock to the pastor.
The core of his sermon was the accountability of both the minister and the congregation to God. His emphasis was that the congregation must be conscious of the judgement seat of Christ. For Edwards, it was important for the people to know that ultimately both pastor and the flock will stand and give an account of the relationship they have stewardship over.
The picture Jonathan Edwards painted is one that left his hearer assured of judgement, and the eternal impact of their actions on earth which they will have to give details of at the judgement seat. He showed how they would have to give an account of their behaviour towards one another and towards the minister.
He stated that Christ would judge between the minister and the people as to settle any controversies that may have occurred between them. He also pointed out that the two will meet together before the King, to receive an eternal sentence and retribution from the Lord, in keeping with their behaviour in this world.
The scripture mirrors Edwards view of recounting our deed before the Judgement seat of Christ. Ecclesiastes 12:14 states that “...God will bring every deed into judgement, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil”.
There is a sense of recounting, settlement and sentencing that takes place whenever the scriptures speak about judgement. The way we view judgement is not with a consciousness of recounting, settlement and sentencing which is in keeping with a law court.
The scriptures is not practical to us as it should, we do not practice judging in our assemblies, so many of us might be unaware of the ultimate judgement that awaits us before the throne of our king. I think we lack the consciousness of the government of God in our midst. Our government is fully equipped with wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to settle any matter in the assembly.
Do we not know that we will judge the heavenly ministers (angels) of God. Why do we not have within our assemblies tribunals that will judge between citizens and ministers when it is required, so that we are fully aware of the impending judgement to come.
Stamp eternity on our eyeballs Lord!