“All the Graces of Christianity Connected”

Jonathan Edwards on Romans 5:3-5, which says, “Tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope; and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts.”

He says: “The graces of Christianity depend upon one another. There is not only a connection, whereby they are always joined together, but there is also a mutual dependence between them, so that one cannot be without the others. To deny one would in effect be to deny another, and so all; just as to deny the cause would be to deny the effect, or to deny the effect would be to deny the cause. Faith promotes love, and love is the most effectual ingredient in a living faith. Love is dependent on faith; for a being cannot be truly loved, and especially loved above all other beings, who is not looked upon as a real being. And then love, again, enlarges and promotes faith; we are more apt to believe and give credit to, and more disposed to trust in, those we love than in those we do not. So faith begets hope; for faith sees and trusts in God’s sufficiency to bestow blessings and in His faithfulness to His promises that He will do what He has said. All gracious hope is hope resting on faith; and hope encourages and draws for acts of faith. And so love tends to hope; for the spirit of love is the spirit of a child, and the more anyone feels in himself this spirit toward God, the more natural it will be to him to look to God and go to God as his father. This childlike spirit casts out the spirit of bondage and fear and gives the Spirit of adoption, which is the spirit of confidence and hope: ‘Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father” (Rom. 8:15); and the apostle John tells us, ‘There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth our fear’ (1 John 4:18).”

See also 2 Peter 1:5-8


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