Tuesdays with Edwards!
Today’s selection is from Some Thoughts Concerning the Revival (1743), which Edwards wrote following the Great Awakening. I think what he said then is just as applicable to the church today. What do you think? I would love to hear from you.
You can read his book in its entirety at www.edwards.yale.edu. This selection is from The Great Awakening, ed. C. C. Goen, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol. 4 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1972) Pages 387-388.
Though as I said before, clearness of distinction and illustration, and strength of reason, and a good method, in the doctrinal handling of the truths of religion, is many ways needful and profitable, and not to be neglected, yet an increase in speculative knowledge in divinity is not what is so much needed by our people, as something else. Men may abound in this sort of light and have no heat: how much has there been of this sort of knowledge, in the Christian world, in this age? Was there ever an age wherein strength and penetration of reason, extent of learning, exactness of distinction, correctness of style, and clearness of expression, did so abound? And yet was there ever an age wherein there has been so little sense of the evil of sin, so little love to God, heavenly-mindedness, and holiness of life, among the professors of the true religion? Our people don’t so much need to have their heads stored, as to have their hearts touched; and they stand in the greatest need of that sort of preaching that has the greatest tendency to do this.