Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) is early Americas greatest theologian and philosopher, yet six decades have passed since an authoritative anthology of his writings has appeared to guide the reader through his voluminous works. This book is a new and comprehensive collection of selected compositions by Edwards. Providing excerpts not only from many of his most famous published writings but also from previously unpublished works, it will be essential reading for scholars, students, and all those interested in early American history and religion.The selections are divided into two major categories. The first deals with the "public" Edwards and traces the development of his thinking from his earliest days as a Yale student to the end of his life and ministry. These writings consist of treatises and sermons he published, including Faithful Narrative, Religious Affections, and Freedom of the Will, as well as the notes that remained in manuscript until after his death, most importantly the "Miscellanies," Edwardss main series of theological entries. The second category provides details of the "personal" Edwards as revealed in autobiographical writings and in correspondence and family papers.
Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) is recognized today as a great theologian and philosopher. The historian Perry Miller has called him "one of America's five or six major artists," a writer possessed of "an intelligence which, as much as Emerson's, Melville's, or Mark Twain's, is both an index of American society and a comment upon it." But in his own day Edwards was best known as a leader of what is now known as the Great Awakening: a series of small-town revivals that mushroomed into a movement credited with giving birth to American evangelicalism and laying the groundwork for the American Revolution. In authoritative texts drawn from first editions and manuscript sources, this volume brings together all of Edwards's essential writings from and about the revivals, including the famous sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" and his vivid Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God in the Conversion of Many Hundreds of Souls, the work that first publicized the awakenings. Characterized by precise logic and powerful imagery, his writing continues to inspire students and spiritual seekers alike.
This volume contains Edwards' most analytical treatises on reviva: Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God; his famous Narrative of Surprising Conversions, and a detailed account of the famous revival of religion at Northampton, Massachusetts, in 1735.
Holiness is something to be pursued, though never in our own strength. Here Jonathan Edwards explores the believer's essential role in God's work of sanctification. The three sermons made accessible in this volume--"The Character of Paul an Example to the Christians," "Hope and Comfort Usually Follow Genuine Humiliation and Repentance," and "The Preciousness of Time"--guide us past the rival pitfalls of lawlessness and works-righteousness.
A sermon preached by Jonathan Edwards to his Enfield, Connecticut, congregation in July 1741, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" is particularly noted for its vivid descriptions of the torments of Hell and mankind's natural depravity. At the same time, it was also an appeal to man's need for salvation and a reminder of the agonies that awaited the unreformed. Coming during the height of the Great Awakening -- a period of religious fervor in the first half of the eighteenth century -- the homily was at once regarded by many as the greatest ever given on American soil and vehemently attacked by others as puritanical "fire and brimstone." One thing seems certain: it made a lasting impact on American Christianity.Accompanying this landmark document are sermons by nine other influential Puritans of the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, among them Thomas Shepard's "The Parable of the Ten Virgins," Cotton Mather's "An Hortatory and Necessary Address," John Cotton's "The Way of Life," as well as sermons by John Winthrop, Increase Mather, Jonathan Mayhew, Thomas Hooker, Peter Bulkeley, and Samuel Willard.Enlightening and thought-provoking, the volume will serve as primary source material in many American history and literature courses.
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