“Once as I rode out into the woods for my health in 1737, having alighted from my horse in a retired place, as my manner commonly has been, to walk for 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, pure and sweet grace and love, and meek and gentle condescension.
This grace that appeared so calm and sweet appeared also great above the heavens. 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.” — Jonathan Edwards
“If I were to plead that the rose bud were the author of the root, well! I might indeed be laughed at. But were I to urge that any goodness in man is the ground of God’s choice, I should be foolish indeed.” Spurgeon
Scripture can only be savingly understood by the illumination of the Holy Spirit. The Gospel is a picture of God’s free grace to sinners. Now, were we in a room hung with the finest paintings, and adorned with the most exquisite statues, we could not see one of them if all light were excluded. The Spirit’s light is the same to the mind that outward light is to the bodily eyes. The most correct and lively description of the sun cannot convey either the light, the warmth, the cheerfulness, or the fruitfulness, which the actual shining of that luminary conveys; neither can the most labored and accurate dissertation on grace and spiritual things impart a true idea of them without an experience of the work of the Spirit upon the heart. The Holy Spirit must shine upon your graces, or you will not be able to see them; and your works must shine on your faith, or your neighbors will not be able to see it. — Augustus Toplady
When Mr. M’Laren of Edinburgh was dying, Mr. Gustart, his associate pastor, paid him a visit, and inquired of him, “What are you now doing, my brother?” The strong and earnest response of the dying minister was, “I’ll tell you what I am doing, brother; I am gathering together all my prayers, all my sermons, all my good deeds, all my ill deeds; and I am going to throw them all overboard, and swim to glory on the single plank of free grace.”
— from “Death-bed Scenes: Or, Dying With and Without Religion, Designed to Illustrate the Truth and Power of Christianity”, Edited by Davis Wasgatt Clark, 1851.