The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 21

The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 21: Volume 21: Writings on the Trinity, Grace, and Fait

JONATHAN EDWARDS
EDITED BY SANG HYUN LEE
Copyright Date: 2003
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 592
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt5vm7rb
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  • Book Info
    The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 21
    Book Description:

    In this collection of writings drawn from Jonathan Edwards's essays and topical notebooks, the great American theologian deals with key Christian doctrines including the Trinity, grace, and faith. The volume includes long-established pieces in the Edwards canon, newly reedited from the original manuscripts, as well as documents that have never before been published and that in some cases reveal new aspects of his theology.

    eISBN: 978-0-300-13360-8
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. EDITORIAL COMMITTEE FOR THE WORKS OF JONATHAN EDWARDS
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-vii)
  4. List of Illustrations
    (pp. viii-viii)
  5. NOTE TO THE READER
    (pp. ix-xii)
  6. EDITOR’S INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-108)

    This volume offers an unprecedented collection of essays and topical notebooks on some of the key Christian doctrines by America’s premier theologian, Jonathan Edwards. The writings range over such topics as the triune being of God, grace, justification, and the signs of true holiness—all integral components, it turns out, of a theological vision in which creation, by God’s grace, participates in God’s own life of self-communication. Though Edwards never produced a systematic theology, these writings help demonstrate the remarkable coherence and creativity of his thinking.

    Given the wide range of the pieces in this volume, the introduction, while it...

  7. DISCOURSE ON THE TRINITY
    (pp. 109-144)

    According to Thomas A. Schafer, Edwards began the manuscript of what he called the “Discourse on the Trinity” (otherwise known as “Essay on the Trinity”) in early 1730, when he wrote eight folio pages in a short time. He was able to write at such a pace because he could draw upon numerous “Miscellanies” entries on the topic written up to that time.¹ He later went back over these eight pages, making some changes, soon after their original composition, struggling to improve the language and clarify the thought. Edwards’ intention for the composition is unclear; he put it aside for...

  8. ON THE EQUALITY OF THE PERSONS OF THE TRINITY
    (pp. 145-148)

    This untitled fragment, in the collections of the Boston Public Library and written on a salvaged letter cover, addresses the equality of the persons of the Trinity. In the manner of the “Discourse on the Trinity,” Edwards asserts that each person has his own “distinct glory” but not a “distinct essence.” Also, each person has his own “personal dignity” or responsibility that the others have not, and the combination of these dignities makes them equal. For example, the Father and Son “principally stand in the place of lords,” but the Holy Ghost is the only person against whom the unpardonable...

  9. TREATISE ON GRACE
    (pp. 149-197)

    We owe the existence of the text of “Treatise on Grace,” as well as the disappearance of the original manuscript, to Alexander B. Grosart, a minister in Kinross, Scotland, during the mid-nineteenth century. Grosart had proposed in 1854 to produce a new edition of Edwards’ writings that was to include previously unpublished items. Toward that end, he negotiated with the guardian of the manuscripts, Tryon Edwards, and succeeded in carrying away to Scotland an unspecified number of texts, including the “Treatise on Grace.”

    In 1865 Grosart publishedSelections from the Unpublished Writings of Jonathan Edwards, a small volume meant to...

  10. Effacious Grace
    • EFFICACIOUS GRACE, BOOK I
      (pp. 198-222)

      This is the first of three extant notebooks on the subject of efficacious grace, originally labeled “Moral Agency” by Edwards and renamed after he had used and deleted entries from it while writingFreedom of the Will. In the manuscript notebook called the “Controversies,” in the section on efficacious grace, Edwards directs himself to consult “what is left of papers on free will, No. 8, p. 13,” indicating that there were at least eight books in the series at one time.¹ In the conclusion toFreedom of the Will, Edwards briefly discusses efficacious grace as a related doctrine. It seems...

    • EFFICACIOUS GRACE, BOOK II
      (pp. 223-238)

      This manuscript, probably started after 1746, is long octavo in size. It is composed of fan paper and a salvaged prayer bid stitched into a rectangular cover of coarse brown paper. Edwards himself inscribed the cover “N. II,” with the title “Moral Agency,” and then, as with the first book, changed it to “Efficacious Grace” after he had used entries to writeFreedom of the Will. Vertical lines drawn through some entries indicate parts of the notebook that were used when composing the treatise. Edwards also removed some pages that had been wholly used. The present pagination is as follows:...

    • EFFICACIOUS GRACE, BOOK III
      (pp. 239-290)

      As with the other two notebooks on efficacious grace, Edwards originally titled this “Moral Agency.” Having used whatever materials he needed from them forFreedom of the Will, Edwards thereafter shifted to a discussion of efficacious grace, which he decided would be featured in a larger work on the divine decrees.

      The manuscript consists of scraps of fan paper with some pieces of foolscap interspersed, bound in a cover of coarse brown paper, cut in a semicircle (the only notebook in the Edwards Collection to be so shaped).¹ The pages are numbered 1–23, 38–71, 76–83, 88–105,...

  11. “Controversies” Notebook
    • “CONTROVERSIES” NOTEBOOK: EFFICACIOUS GRACE
      (pp. 291-311)

      From the initial entry in this section of the “Controversies” notebook,¹ we know that its contents were written after the three notebooks on “Moral Agency,” later entitled “Efficacious Grace” by Edwards after he had used the notebooks to composeFreedom of the Will. In addition, Edwards makes an internal reference to William Warburton’sPrinciples of Natural and Revealed Religion, published in 1753. It is safe, therefore, to assign this portion of the “Controversies” to the period after the spring of 1753, when Edwards completed his treatise on the will.² Much of it is sketchy and is interspersed with Edwards’ directions...

    • “CONTROVERSIES” NOTEBOOK: THE NATURE OF TRUE VIRTUE
      (pp. 312-327)

      Along with “Miscellanies” no. 1208, this section in the “Controversies” notebook on True Virtue provided essential materials for the dissertationThe Nature of True Virtue. The section appears on pages 180–89 of the notebook. All of the entries, with the exception of the last four paragraphs, are written in a gray ink that matches that which Edwards used to write “Miscellanies” no. 1208, which dates from late 1753 or early 1754.¹ The concluding paragraphs are in the same dark brown ink as the later entries in the section on “Justification” dating from the period after 1754.

      After some preliminary...

    • “CONTROVERSIES” NOTEBOOK: JUSTIFICATION
      (pp. 328-413)

      As a central tenet of Reformed theology, the doctrine of justification concerned Edwards from his earliest years as a writer. His first public effort as a scholar was his Master’sQuæstioof 1723, in which he defended the thesis that sinners are justified only through faith in Christ’s righteousness. In 1734, at the beginning of an awakening, he delivered a discourse that was later published under the titleJustification by Faith Alone. This discourse, really Edwards’ first published treatise, is assumed to be his greatest and definitive statement on the topic. Important as it is, though, it is not the...

  12. FAITH
    (pp. 414-468)

    The notebook on “Faith” is surely one of the most challenging of Edwards’ manuscripts, not only for intellectual considerations because of its shifting and highly nuanced definitions and discussions but also from an editorial point of view because of Edwards’ close writing in the first few pages and his many revisions, additions, and relocation of passages. Compounding the latter difficulty is the later editing of Jonathan Edwards, Jr., which often obscures the original reading.

    “Faith,” with entries spanning nearly Edwards’ entire career, is a fascinating example of how he approached a project and reflects, writ small, the development of his...

  13. SIGNS OF GODLINESS
    (pp. 469-510)

    The folio notebook entitled “Signs of Godliness,” published here for the first time, is an early effort on the part of Northampton’s young assistant preacher to isolate the Scripture signs of true sainthood. From Edwards’ own remarks in the notebook, it is clear that even at this early date, well before the awakening period, he envisioned a larger work on the subject. The notebook generally consists of statements of particular signs, for example, “Bringing forth fruit” or “Keeping Christ’s commandments,” followed by proof-texts from Scripture, though in several places Edwards includes what amount to short essays on the signs, their...

  14. CHRIST’S EXAMPLE
    (pp. 511-519)

    The manuscript “Christ’s Example” was begun in the period from August 1728 to February 1729, probably as part of a complex of manuscripts on marks of grace that included “Signs of Godliness” and “Notes on Conversion from Various Authors.” Owing to its scriptural nature, “Christ’s Example” may bear some possible relation to “Notes on Scripture.” Thomas A. Schafer has established that the four-page manuscript is one folio signature with a London/PvL watermark, which first appears in sermons dating from the spring of 1728. Initially, Edwards filled in to the middle of page one, through the comment on Mark 10:21. From...

  15. DIRECTIONS FOR JUDGING OF PERSONS’ EXPERIENCES
    (pp. 520-524)

    The only text we have for this document is the one published by Alexander Grosart in hisSelections from the Unpublished Writings of Jonathan Edwards. In his introduction, Grosart writes, “I have come upon this searching and very precious MS. since the issuing of my Proposals. It evidently formed the author’s guide in his test-conversations with enquirers during the great Awakenings or Revivals.”¹ Beyond this, nothing is known of its nature or provenance. The title may be Grosart’s own.

    The deliberate division of the document into two parts is based on Grosart’s transcription. In the absence of the original manuscript,...

  16. GENERAL INDEX
    (pp. 525-544)
  17. INDEX OF BIBLICAL PASSAGES
    (pp. 545-566)