Surprise Awakening, God Comes Upon Us (an excerpt from The Sermons of John Wesley – Sermon 16 The Means of Grace)

Interesting Commentary on the Growth of a New Believer, Awakened by God

” A stupid, senseless wretch is going on in his own way, not having God in all his thoughts, when God comes upon him unawares, perhaps by an awakening sermon or conversation, perhaps by some awful providence, or, it may be, an immediate stroke of his convincing Spirit, without any outward means at all. Having now a desire to flee from the wrath to come, he purposely goes to hear how it may be done. If he finds a preacher who speaks to the heart, he is amazed, and begins searching the Scriptures, whether these things are so The more he hears and reads, the more convinced he is; and the more he meditates thereon day and night. Perhaps he finds some other book which explains and enforces what he has heard and read in Scripture. And by all these means, the arrows of conviction sink deeper into his soul. He begins also to talk of the things of God, which are ever uppermost in his thoughts; yea, and to talk with God; to pray to him; although, through fear and shame, he scarce knows what to say. But whether he can speak or no, he cannot but pray, were it only in “groans which cannot be uttered.” Yet, being in doubt, whether “the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity” will regard such a sinner as him, he wants to pray with those who know God, with the faithful, in the great congregation. But here he observes others go up to the table of the Lord. He considers, “Christ has said, `Do this!’ How is it that I do not I am too great a sinner. I am not fit. I am not worthy.” After struggling with these scruples a while, he breaks through. And thus he continues in God’s way, in hearing, reading, meditating, praying, and partaking of the Lord’s Supper, till God, in the manner that pleases him, speaks to his heart, “Thy faith hath saved thee. Go in peace.”


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