The first volume of Sermons contains a previously unpublished series by Edwards on Jesus’ parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins from Matthew 25. It presents an important look into Edwards’ developing thought on the nature of sainthood and related topics of theoretical and practical Christianity, particularly in the context of widespread spiritual renewal. Edwards preached these sermons in the lull between the Connecticut Valley Revival of 1734–35 and the Great Awakening, which started in Massachusetts in late 1740. Two introductions describe Edwards’ preaching style and method, providing a historical context.
For the entire set of sermons, see Sermons by Jonathan Edwards on the Matthean Parables (3 vols.)
Any writings of Jonathan Edwards, one of the greatest and most influential of Evangelical theologians, are worthy of careful attention, but these sermons engage with the crucial question of distinguishing a true experience of grace from a hypocritical profession of conversion. They are therefore of central importance for understanding an enduring issue in Evangelical faith and practice.
—David W. Bebbington, professor of history, University of Stirling, Scotland
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