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Ethical Writings (The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 8 | WJE)

ISBN: 9780300040203

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This volume contains two major works of Jonathan Edwards: an unpublished text of a series of sermons he preached in 1738, known as Charity and Its Fruits, and his Two Dissertations: I. Concerning the End for Which God Created the World and II. On the Nature of True Virtue, published posthumously in 1765. Together these writings set out the principles of Edwards’ ethical reflections.

The text of the sermon series is drawn from three sources. The primary text is an early nineteenth-century transcription of Edwards’ sermon booklets now in the Andover-Newton Theological School’s collection. Passages published in Tyron Edwards’ 1852 edition, and partial transcriptions by Joseph Bellamy found in three fragments among his papers, have been used where the Andover copy is incomplete. The Bellamy fragments are reproduced in their entirety in a critical appendix, along with examples showing the editor’s use of the three sources in construing this definitive text for the Yale edition.

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“A speculative faith consists only in assent; but in a saving faith are assent and consent together.” (Page 139)

“Therefore to speak more strictly according to truth, we may suppose that a disposition in God, as an original property of his nature, to an emanation of his own infinite fullness, was what excited him to create the world; and so that the emanation itself was aimed at by him as a last end of the creation.” (Page 435)

“But virtue is the beauty of those qualities and acts of the mind that are of a moral nature, i.e. such as are attended with desert or worthiness of praise or blame. Things of this sort, it is generally agreed, so far as I know, are not anything belonging merely to speculation; but to the disposition and will, or (to use a general word, I suppose commonly well understood) to the ‘heart.’ Therefore I suppose, I shall not depart from the common opinion when I say that virtue is the beauty of the qualities and exercises of the heart, or those actions which proceed from them. So that when it is inquired, what is the nature of true virtue? this is the same as to inquire, what that is which renders any habit, disposition, or exercise of the heart truly beautiful?” (Page 539)

“Thus it appears reasonable to suppose that it was what God had respect to as an ultimate end of his creating the world, to communicate of his own infinite fullness of good; or rather it was his last end, that there might be a glorious and abundant emanation of his infinite fullness of good ad extra, or without himself, and the disposition to communicate himself or diffuse his own fullness,7 which we must conceive of as being originally in God as a perfection of his nature, was what moved him to create the world.” (Pages 433–434)

  • Title: Ethical Writings
  • Author: Jonathan Edwards
  • Series: The Works of Jonathan Edwards
  • Volume: 8
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Print Publication Date: 1989
  • Logos Release Date: 2014
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subject: Christian ethics › Congregationalist authors--Early works to 1800
  • ISBNs: 9780300040203, 0300040202
  • Resource ID: LLS:EDWARDS08
  • Resource Type: text.monograph.collected-work
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-09-29T23:37:10Z
Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758) is considered one of America’s greatest theologians. While attending Yale College, he encountered the same Calvinism that had influenced his own Puritan upbringing.

Three years after Edwards was ordained as a minister, the First Great Awakening began in his church, which prompted Edwards to study conversion and revival within the context of Calvinism. During the revival, Edwards preached his most famous sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” and penned many of his most popular works, including Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God, A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections, and Life and Diary of the Rev. David Brainerd.

In 1757, Edwards reluctantly became president of the College of New Jersey (Princeton University), where he hoped to complete two major works—an expansion of his treatise on the history of redemption and a study of the harmony of the Old and New Testaments. The Works of Jonathan Edwards (26 vols.) is a massive collection containing five decades’ worth of study and scholarship on and from Edwards.

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Digital list price: $102.99
Save $68.00 (66%)