The Spiritual Blessings of the Gospel Represented by a Feast because it Represents the Joy of Christianity.


Tuesdays with Edwards!

Sometime between August 1728 and February 1729 Edwards preached The Spiritual Blessings of the Gospel Represented by a Feast based on Luke 14:16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper and bade many. My Tuesdays with Edwards posts have been looking at the ways which show “how gospel provision is well represented by a feast.”

Edwards showed how he saw this:

in the expensiveness of gospel blessings,

in the free offer of it,

as it nourishes the soul as food does the body,

because of the excellency of it,

by the abundance and variety of it,

by the friendship of those that feast together,

and by the communion of the saints.

Today’s post looks at a eighth and final parallel.

You can read this sermon in its entirety at www.edwards.yale.edu. This selection is from Sermons and Discourses, 1723-1729, ed. Kenneth P. Minkema, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol. 14 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997) Pages 287-288.

***

VIII. And lastly, this well represents the joy of Christianity. Feasts are made upon joyful occasions and for the manifestations of joy. Ecclesiastes 10:19, “A feast is made for laughter.” Christians, in the participation and communion of gospel benefits, have joy unspeakable and full of glory, a sweeter delight than any this world affords. We are invited in that forecited place, Isaiah 55:1–2, to come, that our souls may delight themselves in fatness. When the prodigal son returned, they killed the fatted calf and made a feast, and sang and danced and made merry; which represents the joy there [is] in a sinner, and concerning him, when he comes to Christ.

This spiritual feast is compared to a wedding feast. So was the feast spoken of in our text a wedding feast, as appears by the same parable as it is in Matthew 22, [at the] beginning: “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, and sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding.” And so it is, Revelation 19:9, “Blessed are they which shall be called to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”

Because of the joyfulness of gospel blessings, they are compared to a banquet as well as a feast. Canticles 2:4, “He brought me into the banqueting house.” Thus we have shown how gospel benefits of the gospel are fitly compared {to a feast}. Indeed, all representations are but shadows {of the true feast}.

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