Jonathan Edwards is known as one of the most passionate preachers to ever grace the American pulpit. B.B. Warfield once called him “the one figure of real greatness in the intellectual life of colonial America.” While certainly known for works such as “Religious Affections” and “Charity and its Fruits,” it is Edwards’ sermons that have most affected theologians and the Church over the centuries. He was a philosopher, revivalist, evangelist, shepherd, and apologist, and he incorporated all of these elements in his preaching. “The Blessing of God” is part of a 2-volume set of previously unpublished sermons, brought together by B&H and Michael D. McMullen.
The formatting of “The Blessing of God” follows a similar model with each sermon (22 sermons total found in this book). Each provides a sermon title, the verse being expounded by Edwards, a brief historical narrative addressing the particular sermon, some comments about the original manuscripts, and finally the sermon in full. Each of Edwards’ sermons also follow a similar pattern in themselves, beginning with an introduction, an outline of the doctrinal issues being addressed, and then ending with a portion of application, normally in outlined form, serving as “takeaways” for the reader. Folks who love organized, list-driven sermons will really benefit from such a volume of Edwards’ sermons as it helps keep points in tidy fashion.
There are a variety of topics addressed in “The Blessing of God,” such as forgiveness, redemption, the mediation of Christ, the love of Christ, the Church, and many others. There are sermons from the Old Testament and the New Testament. Some sermons are longer, some are shorter. In “The Blessing of God” we find a good sample size of Edwards’ style of preaching, and his words boldly fly off the page. This edition of Edwards’ sermon retains the prose, style, and word choice of Edwards and helps us get to the core of his message while at the same time updating some spelling and wording to provide clarity.
Overall, as the editor recognizes in the introduction, Jonathan Edwards is growing in popularity and is becoming increasingly interesting in Christian education and to readers and writers alike. His influence cannot be missed, especially with the ministry of men like John Piper who have advocated and upheld Edwards’ ministry for decades. As his popularity grows, so works like “The Blessing of God” become important, that we may continue to learn from the great Massachusetts preacher and theologian and benefit from how he pointed us to Christ. This sermon collection is a great resource for those looking to begin reading the works of Jonathan Edwards or those who want to see this long-undiscovered material.