“Let those who have been made partakers of this free and glorious grace of God, spend their lives much in praises and hallelujahs to God, for the wonders of His mercy in their redemption.
To you, O redeemed of the Lord, doth this doctrine most directly apply itself: you are those who have been made partakers of all this glorious grace of which you have now heard.
’Tis you that God entertained thoughts of restoring after your miserable fall into dreadful depravity and corruption, and into danger of the dreadful misery that unavoidably follows upon it.
’Tis for you in particular that God gave His Son, yea, His only Son, and sent Him into the world.
’Tis for you that the Son of God so freely gave Himself.
’Tis for you that He was born, died, rose again and ascended, and intercedes.
’Tis to you that there the free application of the fruit of these things is made: all this is done perfectly and altogether freely, without any of your desert, without any of your righteousness or strength.
Therefore, let your life be spent in praises to God.
When you praise Him in prayer, let it not be with coldness and indifferency.
When you praise Him in your closet, let your whole soul be active therein.
When you praise Him in singing, don’t barely make a noise, without any stirring of affection in the heart, without any internal melody. Surely, you have reason to shout and cry, ‘Grace, grace, be the topstone of the temple!’
Certainly, you don’t lack mercy and bounty to praise God; you only lack a heart and lively affections to praise Him with.
Surely, if the angels are so astonished at God’s mercy to you, and do even shout with joy and admiration at the sight of God’s grace to you, you yourself, on whom this grace is bestowed, have much more reason to shout.
Consider that great part of your happiness in heaven, to all eternity, will consist in this: in praising of God, for His free and glorious grace in redeeming you.
And if you would spend more time about it on earth, you would find this world would be much more of a heaven to you than it is. Wherefore, do nothing while you are alive, but speak and think and live God’s praises.”
–Jonathan Edwards, “Glorious Grace,” in Sermons and Discourses, 1720–1723 (ed. Wilson H. Kimnach and Harry S. Stout; vol. 10; The Works of Jonathan Edwards; New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 1992), 10: 399. Edwards preached this sermon on Zechariah 4:7 when he was 19 years old.