Hurrah for more Jonathan Edwards sermons! Hendrickson Publishers already graced us with Revival Sermons of Jonathan Edwards a few months ago and now they have unearthed some other jewels for us. I’m a pastor who believes in having a healthy dose of sermons in my library, and have could we have a real sermonic library without some Edwards?
There’s no doubt that his sermons are uniquely his own. I can’t think of anyone who would organize a sermon quite like he would. He sees no problem in being long. His style usually involves beginning with some doctrine on the subject and then branching out into pointed, applicable material to take the Scripture home to the hearer’s hearts. I wouldn’t recommend that any of us preach a sermon put together as his are, but his logical mind and scriptural acumen are helpful to us all. Read him more for personal, theological, and doctrinal reflection rather than a prototype for preaching today.
These sermons, as the title implies, exalt Jesus Christ. The first sermon tackles a fine text most likely only rarely preached–Isaiah 32:2. If the title “Safety, Fullness, and Sweet Refreshment in Christ” sounds odd, I assure you he found all three in Christ for us. I love his preaching on one of my favorite texts in Revelation 5:5-6 and drawing out the excellency of Christ. He brings alive so much of Christ’s character in it. In the sermon “Jesus Christ the Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever” he not only exposes how Christ transcends time, but lays out how that fact should impact our lives.
The next sermon “Christ Exalted” explains how He is exalted in His work of redemption. It’s a treat to have the sermon he preached at David Brainerd’s funeral from 2 Corinthians 5:8. He makes clear our assurance of going directly into the presence of Christ at death. There are some post-sermon comments added as well. Preachers will find encouragement from his “Christ, the Example of Ministers” from John 13:15-16. The last sermon, “Christ’s Agony” takes us to Gethsemane in Luke 22:44. I disagree on a few points, but there is much to ponder.
Edwards’ sermon had the hand of God on them when he preached them and it’s a privilege for us to revel in these proven sermons. This book is a nice, durable, attractive paperback and I recommend it.
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