Monday, August 18, 2008

Christ the river by which His people are planted

The Works of Jonathan Edwards (many never published before from manuscript) are now online. The Works of Jonathan Edwards Online will digitally publish manuscripts and edited versions of all of the 100,000 pages that Jonathan Edwards produced in his lifetime.

Here are some notes of a lecture on the text Psalm 1:3 that I enjoyed particularly. It was delivered in 1751 in connection with the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. I have abridged and edited it to interpret the shorthand.
Psalm 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Christ is to the Heart of a true saint like a River to the Roots of a tree that is planted by it.

In the following Respects

1. As the waters of a River run easily and freely so the love of Christ freely came into the World.

His blood was freely shed blood flowed as freely from his wounds as water from a spring.

All the Good Things that Christ bestows on his saints come to them as freely as water runs down in a River. The Chief and most excellent things that Christ bestows are the Influences of his Spirit on their hearts to Enlighten, sanctify and comfort. These all come freely from Christ like the waters of a River.

2. Christ is Like a River in the great plenty and abundance of his Love and Grace.

The Good things that are the Fruits of his Love are infinitely Great.

The Happiness that he gives worth more than all the silver and Gold in the world.

The Tree that spreads out its Roots by a River has water enough - no need of Rain or any other water, so the true saint finds enough in Christ. Great plenty of water. Enough to supply a great multitude of Persons with drink to satisfy all their Thirst. To supply the Roots of a multitude of trees.

3. The Water of a River does not fail. It flows constantly day and night.

Waters that Run upon the Ground [coming] from showers of Rain or melting of the snows soon dry up and little Brooks dry up in a very dry Time.

But the waters of a great River continue running continually and from one age to another and are never dry. The Grace of Christ in the Heart shall always Continue. Christ never will take away his Spirit from them. That inward Life and comfort that Christ gives the Hearts of his saints shall continue to all.

When the death comes that comfort and Happiness shall Continue. When the End of the World comes yet their Comforts shall still be like a River that shall not be dried up.

4. A Tree planted by a river is never dry[?]

The soul is joined to Christ and they are made one. As the water enters into the Roots, so Christ enters the Heart and soul of a Godly man and dwells there. The spirit of Christ comes into the very Heart of a saint as water to the Roots of a tree.

5. A river Refreshes. So Christ Refreshes and satisfies and makes the heart Rejoyce. Water gives Life and keeps it alive so makes it grow makes it grow beautiful and fruitful. A Tree planted is green in time of Great drought when others trees wither. So the soul of a true saint is green in time of affliction, at death, at the end of the World.


1. Examination. whether you are a true saint.

has your soul been ever like a tree planted by this River.

They that are saints have been the subjects of a great Change their souls are like a Tree digged up by the Roots out of a dry barren Ground and planted in a new Place. Hearts taken off from the this world and planted in God and Christ and heaven.

They no more trust in the world but put their Trust in God. They do not trust in themselves their own strength or Righteouesness but trust only in Christ.

If you are a saint then Christ is sweet and Refreshing to you as the water of a River to a man when He is very thirsty.

Is Christ sweeter and better than the sweetest food? Is he better than all the things of the world?
Has your mind been enlightened to see that there is enough in Christ?

Does your Religion continue Like a Tree planted or does your Religion come to nothing like a tree planted in a dry Barren ground? Is it the Religion that is like Puddles after a Rain which dry up. But the Religion of a truly Good man is like a River. Do you bring forth fruit?

2. Exhortation to sinners to seek an Interest in Jesus Christ if you are not in Christ thoough you you may be like green Trees, yet by and by you will wither. All your streams will fail you.