Dissertation Concerning the Nature of True Virtue
By: Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)
Disproportionately remembered as a hellfire-and-brimstone Puritan preacher on the basis of the excessively-anthologized "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," Jonathan Edwards was a noted philosopher in the field of Aesthetics, or the metaphysics of Beauty. An examination even of his sermons reveals constant references to this philosophical preoccupation, his favorite word in many passages seeming to be "Sweetness," by which term he intended to convey a rich sense of Beauty. In "A Dissertation Concerning the Nature of True Virtue," he explores the inseparable connection between Beauty and Truth, basing his deepest conviction of the Truth of Christianity on its inherent Beauty, Harmony, and Sweetness.