New Volume of Jonathan Edwards Sermons
May 24, 2012 Leave a comment
The Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale notes that Wipf and Stock has published a new volume of Edwards sermons:
This first volume of Sermons by Jonathan Edwards on the Matthean Parables contains a previously unpublished series by Edwards on Jesus’ Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins, as found in Matthew 25. Edwards preached these sermons in 1737-38, in the lull between the Connecticut Valley Revival of 1734-35 and the Great Awakening, which started in Massachusetts in late 1740. Not only does this series have significance for its place in the Protestant evangelical awakening of the eighteenth century, but it is also an important index of Edwards’ developing thought on the nature of sainthood and related topics of theoretical and practical Christianity, particularly in the context of widespread spiritual renewal. To assist the reader, preceding the series are two introductions that describe Edwards’ preaching style and method and provide an historical context for the series itself. Prepared from the original manuscripts by the staff of the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University, this series represents a significant addition to the available Edwards corpus that will be of interest to scholars, religious leaders, and general readers.
Edwards, despite his being onboard with revivalism, never could get along “without book.” The closest he came to that was notes written in small script. The merits of not having a script were often the dividing issue between the rationalist and nonrationalist, but it was also true that rationalists sometimes valued the extemporaneous sermon. Cardinal Newman: “a very inferior sermon, delivered without book, answers the purposes for which all sermons are delivered more perfectly than one of great merit, if it be written and read.”
If you’re interested in seeing Edwards in context, perhaps the best thing out there is still Henry Stouts’s New England Soul. I believe it’s still available on Amazon. Get in the sermon groove people!