John the Baptist was a person greatly moved by the Spirit. He preached to the people in a very earnest manner, warning of their danger, calling upon 'em to fly from the wrath to come with great pathos, manifesting his great engagedness not only in words but deeds: his incessant labor and great self-denial and great boldness in his work, fearing none, reproving great and small, whereby the people, seeing and hearing, were mightily moved. Christ therefore says concerning him, Matthew 11:7 and Luke 7:24, "What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?" Which seems to imply that there is such a thing as men's being mightily moved and actuated by something that is pretended to be the Spirit of God, but yet is vain and empty as the wind, exceeding unsteady, and soon comes to nothing, though violent; and that the persons that are the subjects of this emotion do show their great weakness in yielding to it, and being governed by [it]. Such there were, many of them, in the primitive ages of the Christian church. Christ denies John the Baptist to be such a one.

By Jonathan Edwards


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