“Help each other up the hill” by Jonathan Edwards

“Labor to get a sense of the vanity of this world, on account of the little satisfaction that is to be enjoyed here, its short continuance, and unserviceableness when we most stand in need of help. All men, that live any considerable time in the world, might see enough to convince them of its vanity, if they would but consider. Be persuaded therefore to exercise consideration when you see and hear, from time to time, of the death of others. Labor to turn your thoughts this way. See the vanity of the world in such a glass.

Labor to be much acquainted with heaven. If you are not acquainted with it, you will not be likely to spend your life as a journey thither. You will not be sensible of its worth, nor will you long for it. Unless you are much conversant in your mind with a better good, it will be exceeding difficult to you to have your hearts loose from these things, to use them only in subordination to something else, and be ready to part with them for the sake of that better good. Labor therefore to obtain a realizing sense of a heavenly world, to get a firm belief of its reality, and to be very much conversant with it in your thoughts.

Seek heaven only by Jesus Christ. Christ tells us that He is the way, and the truth, and the life. (John 14:6) He tells us that He is the door of the sheep. ‘I am the door, by Me if any man enter in he shall be saved; and go in and out and find pasture.’ (John 10:9) If we therefore would improve our lives as a journey towards heaven, we must seek it by Him and not by our own righteousness, as expecting to obtain it only for His sake: looking to Him and having our dependence on Him, who has procured it for us by His merit. And expect that strength to walk in holiness, the way that leads to heaven, only from Him.

Let Christians help one another in going this journey. There are many ways whereby Christians might greatly forward one another in their way to heaven, as by religious conference, etc. Therefore let them be exhorted to go this journey as it were in company: conversing together, and assisting one another. Company is very desirable in a journey, but in none so much as this. Let them go united and not fall out by the way, which would be to hinder one another, but use all means they can to help each other up the hill. This would ensure a more successful traveling and a more joyful meeting at their Father’s house in glory.”

–Jonathan Edwards, “The Christian Pilgrim, Or, The True Christian’s Life a Journey Toward Heaven,” in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, ed. Edward Hickman, 2 vols. (1834; reprint, Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1974), vol. 2: p. 245-6.

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