Illusory Follies Andrew Flanagan's Blog

12Jan/086

Indwelling Grace

Jonathan Edward (the famous preacher) had a sister that was apparently quite a difficult woman. A potential suitor came calling one day and had apparently not heard of her nature. Edward's father attempted to talk him out of the idea. The suitor replied that he thought that she had received the grace of God so what difficulty would there be? The father's reply:

"The grace of God will dwell where you or I cannot!"

I picked this up from Rev. Rayburn's sermon on January 6, 2008. It's not in print yet but should be available on www.faithtacoma.org before too long.

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  1. I heard the same story, but with the father being Edwards ipse and the daughter being 1 of Edwards 10.

    -Peter

  2. Which, by the way, proves I heard it wrong.

    Here’s some confirmation that Rayburn had it right (link)

    Edit: This is from Jonathan Edwards: A Life by George M. Marsden (pp. 18-19)

  3. Google Books is a wonderful thing!

  4. I also had heard it was Edward’s and his daughter – but found another source that proves Rayburn got the proper connection. I found the follow-up bit about her anger and retort to her suitor to be entertaining – and shows just how difficult a person she really was.

    Martha Edwards was born on 5 January 1718.1 She was the daughter of Rev. Timothy Edwards and Esther Stoddard.1 Martha Edwards died in February 1794 at age 76.1

    Within the Edwards household Martha had a reputation as an iconoclast. When in 1746 the Rev. Moses Tuttle of Granville, Massachusetts approached Timothy for Martha’s hand, timothy hesitated, trying to approach the issue of Martha’s personality diplomatically. Moses mistakenly assumed that Martha was not converted, and asked Timothy if Martha had undergone “the great change.” “Oh, yes, yes, Martha is a good girl,” Timothy assured him. “But brother Tuttle, the grace of God will dwell where you or I cannot!” 1

    Despite fair warning, Moses pressed his suit, and a date was set for sometime during the late winter. On the wedding day, however, the ice on the Connecticut River was breaking up, making it impossible to cross. It was several days before he could get across, and when he did, an irate Martha refused to speak to him. Finally, coerced into an interview by her sisters, she made him sit in a separate room with the door closed between them, and then demanded an explanation. Moses placed in the ridiculous situation of shouting through the door, pleaded that to have attempted a crossing would have meant certain death. To Martha this seemed perfectly acceptable — she retorted that he should have been willing to die to be married to her.1

    Citations

    1. [S280] Kenneth Minkema, “Hannah and Her Sisters”.

  5. Sounds like a keeper! 😉

  6. So, hunny, you’re saying that you wouldn’t have risked dying in order to marry me? tisk tisk 😛


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