The Peace Which Christ Gives His True Followers by Jonathan Edwards is a short treatment of John 14:27 which is filled with encouragement for believers and warnings for unbelievers.
Edwards sets forth the doctrine: “That peace which Christ, when he died, left as a legacy to all his true saints, is very different from all those things which the men of this world bequeath to their children when they die.” The peace that Christ gives is compared to a will or testament. The blessings that Christ bestows in the testament are overflowing with peace for everyone who believes the gospel. The Puritan divine describes this peace in vivid terms:
1. Christ’s peace is a reasonable peace and rest of soul; it is what has its foundation in light and knowledge, in the proper exercises of reason, and a right view of things; wheareas the peace of the world is founded in blindness and delusion.
2. Christ’s peace is a virtuous and holy peace.
3. This peace greatly differs from that which is enjoyed by the men of the world, with regard to its exquisite sweetness.
4. The peace of the Christian infinitely differs from that of the worldling, in that it is unfailing and eternal.
Edwards application is straightforward: “The use that I would make of this doctrine, is to improve it as an inducement unto all to forsake the world, no longer seeking peace and rest in its vanities, and to cleave to Christ and follow him … Christ invites you to come to him, and offers you this peace, which he gives his true followers and that so much excels all that the world can afford.”
One short sermon reminds readers of the vivid contrast between the peace of God and the lure of the world. For all who reject the peace that Christ offers, Edwards offers a serious warning: “You hang over the infernal pit, with the sword of divine vengeance hanging over your head, having no security one moment from utter remediless destruction.”