At the behest of her husband Jonathan Edwards, his wife Sarah wrote out the narrative of her experiences in the manifest presence of God, from a two week period of time when revival came to Northampton. However, such experiences for her were not confined to this particular time alone. Jonathan believed that reading her testimony of these things would be of benefit to the saints. Below is a one beautiful excerpt…
In Sarah’s own words: “I never before felt so far from a disposition to judge and censure others, with respect to the state of their hearts, their sincerity, or their attainments in holiness, as I did that morning. To do this, seemed abhorrent to every feeling of my heart. I realized also, in an unusual and very lively manner, how great a part of christianity lies in the performance of our social and relative duties to one another. The same lively and joyful sense of spiritual and divine things continued throughout the day – a sweet love to God and all mankind, and such an entire rest of soul in God, that it seemed as if nothing that could be said of me, or done to me, could touch my heart, or disturb my enjoyment.
The road between heaven and my soul seemed open and wide, all the day long; and the consciousness I had of the reality and excellence of heavenly things was so clear, and the affections they excited so intense, that it overcame my strength, and kept my body weak and faint, the great part of the day, so that I could not stand or go without help. The night also was comforting and refreshing.
This delightful frame of mind was continued on Monday. About noon, one of the neighbours, who was conversing with me, expressed himself thus, “One smile from Christ is worth a thousand million pounds,” and the words affected me exceedingly, and in a manner in which I cannot express. I had a strong sense of the infinite worth of Christ’s approbation and love, and at the same time of the grossness of the comparison; and it only astonished me, that any one could compare a smile of Christ to any earthly treasure.
Towards night, I had a deep sense of the awful greatness of God, and felt with what humility and reverence we ought to behave ourselves before him. Just then Mr. W — came in, and spoke with a somewhat light, smiling air, of the flourishing state of religion in the town; which I could scarcely bear to see. It seemed to me, that we ought greatly to revere the presence of God, and to behave ourselves with the utmost solemnity and humility, when so great and holy a God was so remarkably present, and to rejoice before him with trembling.
In the evening, these words, in the Penitential Cries, – “THE COMFORTER IS COME!” – were accompanied to my soul with such conscious certainty, and such intense joy, that immediately it took away my strength, and I was falling to the floor; when some of those who were near me caught me and held me up. And when I repeated the words to the by-standers, the strength of my feelings was increased. The name – “THE COMFORTER” – seemed to denote that the Holy Spirit was the only and infinite Fountain of comfort and joy, and this seemed real and certain to my mind. These words – “THE COMFORTER” – seemed as it were immensely great, enough to fill heaven and earth.”