“Though it be God’s work to give it, yet it is as truly your work to obtain it; though it be God’s work to purify the heart, yet the actual, or rather the active, procuring of it is your act. All pure and holy exercises are man’s acts, and they are his duty. Therefore we are commanded to make us a new heart, and a right spirit.
Ezekiel 18:31, ‘Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby he have transgressed, and make you a new heart and a new spirit; for why will ye die?’
We must not think to excuse ourselves by saying that it is God’s work, that we cannot purify our own hearts; for though it be God’s work in one sense, yet it is equally our work in another.
James 4:8, ‘Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners, and purify your hearts, ye double-minded.’
If you do not engage in this work yourselves, and purify your own hearts, they never will be pure. If you do not get a pure heart, the blame of it will be laid to your own backwardness.
The unclean soul hates to be purified. It is opposite to its nature; there is a great deal of self-denial in it. But be content to contradict the nature and bent of your own heart, that it may be purified; however grating it may be to you at first, yet consider how blessed the issue will be.
Though the road be a little rough in the beginning, yet it will grow pleasanter and pleasanter, till after last it will infallibly lead yo that lightsome and glorious country, the inhabitants of which do see and converse with God.
Proverbs 4:18, ‘But the path of the just is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.’”
-Jonathan Edwards, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. II-VI, Revised, 221.