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William Buell Sprague, in his Lectures on Revivals of Religion, relates the following anecdote:

“I remember to have heard of an individual, who was afterwards greatly distinguished for piety, going to the elder Jonathan Edwards, to whose congregation he belonged, to tell him what God had done for his soul; and after that great and good man had listened to the account of his supposed conversion, and had heard him speak with rapture of the new and delightful views which he had of spiritual objects, and when the individual was expecting that he would do nothing less than congratulate him upon having become a child of God, he was disappointed beyond measure by simply hearing him say that what he had experienced was an encouragement to him to persevere; though the man himself, in relating the circumstance many years after, when he had come much nearer the fulness of the stature of a perfect person in Christ, cordially approved the course which his minister had adopted.”*

To which Sprague adds this comment:

“It is not always easy to satisfy persons in these circumstances, even of the possibility that the hope and joy which they experience may be spurious; but it is much to be desired, both as it respects their safety and their usefulness, that this should be effected; that while they acknowledge with devout gratitude to God the least evidence that he has extended to them a gracious forgiveness, they should fear lest a promise being left of entering into rest, they should seem to come short of it.”**

——–

*Lectures on the Revival of Religion (1832), 189-90.

**Ibid., 190.

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