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Selected Sermons of Jonathan Edwards   By:

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SELECTED SERMONS OF JONATHAN EDWARDS

[Illustration: Jonathan Edwards.]

SELECTED SERMONS OF JONATHAN EDWARDS

EDITED WITH INTRODUCTION AND NOTES BY H. NORMAN GARDINER PROFESSOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN SMITH COLLEGE

New York THE MACMILLAN COMPANY LONDON: MACMILLAN & CO., LTD. 1904

All rights reserved

COPYRIGHT, 1904, BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.

Set up and electrotyped. Published June, 1904.

Norwood Press J. S. Cushing & Co. Berwick & Smith Co. Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.

CONTENTS

PAGE

INTRODUCTION vii

SERMONS:

I. GOD GLORIFIED IN MAN'S DEPENDENCE (1731) 1

II. THE REALITY OF SPIRITUAL LIGHT (1733) 21

III. RUTH'S RESOLUTION (1735) 45

IV. THE MANY MANSIONS (1737) 64

V. SINNERS IN THE HANDS OF AN ANGRY GOD (1741) 78

VI. A STRONG ROD BROKEN AND WITHERED (1748) 98

VII. FAREWELL SERMON (1750) 118

NOTES 155

INTRODUCTION

Jonathan Edwards was born October 5, 1703, in what is now South Windsor, Conn., a part of the parish then known as "Windsor Farmes." His father, the Rev. Timothy Edwards, the minister of the parish, a Harvard graduate, was reputed a man of superior ability and polished manners, a lover of learning as well as of religion; in addition to his pastoral duties, he fitted young men for college, and his liberal views of education appear in the fact that he made his daughters pursue the same studies these youths did. His mother, a daughter of the Rev. Solomon Stoddard, the minister of Northampton, is said to have resembled her distinguished father in strength of character and to have surpassed her husband in the native vigor of her mind. As regards remoter ancestry and their intellectual and moral qualities, Edwards seems also to have been well born; an exception, however, must be made of the eccentric and possibly insane grandmother on his father's side, whose outrageous conduct led to her divorce.[1]

Brought up the only son in a family of ten daughters, apart from all distracting influences, in an atmosphere of religion and serious study in the home, amid natural surroundings of meadows, woods, and low lying distant hills singularly conducive to a life of contemplation, the boy early developed that absorbing interest in the things of the spirit, and that astonishing acuteness of intellect which are the most prominent characteristics of his genius. While a mere child he spent much of his time in religious exercises and in conversation on religious matters with other boys, with some of whom he joined to build a booth in a retired spot in a swamp for secret prayer; he had besides several other such places for prayer in the woods to which he was wont to retire. His mind also dwelt much on the doctrines he was taught, especially on the doctrine of God's sovereignty in election, against which he at that time violently rebelled. When only ten years of age he wrote a short, quaint, somewhat humorous little tract on the immortality of the soul; at about twelve he composed a remarkably accurate and ingenious paper on the habits of the "flying spider."

He entered the Collegiate School of Connecticut at Saybrook afterwards Yale College at thirteen, and in 1720, shortly before his seventeenth birthday, graduated at New Haven with the valedictory. In his Sophomore year he made the acquaintance of Locke's Essay on the Human Understanding a work which left a permanent impress on his thinking. He read it, he says, with a far higher pleasure "than the most greedy miser finds when gathering up handfuls of silver and gold from some newly discovered treasure." Under its influence he began a series of Notes on the Mind, with a view to a comprehensive treatise on mental philosophy... Continue reading book >>




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