Jonathan Edwards is one of the more famous and arguably one of the greatest preachers of the last two centuries. He is best known perhaps for his sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”; however, his collection of sermons is quite vast with many only recently being published for public consumption. Dr. Michael McMullen, in his follow on book to The Blessing of God: Previously Unpublished Sermons of Jonathan Edwards, has compiled a series of twenty more sermons by Jonathan Edwards taken from the archives of the Edwards Papers, a collection of sermons and writings of Edwards located in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University. Along with The Blessing of God, this collection of sermons titled The Glory and Honor of God: Volume 2 of the Previously Unpublished Sermons of Jonathan Edwards, provides an even deeper insight into this powerful preacher.
As with the previous volume, McMullen provides the reader with an introductory chapter into the preaching of Jonathan Edwards just in case there are those out there not familiar with this great man of God. He rightly notes that “Edwards’ sermons are full of living and rich doctrine.” Interestingly, McMullen notes that Edwards took great care in ensuring his sermons were very practical in nature. One will also find that the approach taken by Edwards is reminiscent of the Puritan style of teaching and preaching with the doctrine presented, issues discusses, and the important practical application provided to the hearer or reader of the sermon.
All twenty sermons provided by McMullen are definitely worthy of individual attention and review; however, to keep this particular review brief, I will focus on one sermon in particular that I found to be very noteworthy, a sermon titled “Even as I have Kept My Father’s Commandments.” This sermon is an exposition of John 15:10: “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” McMullen notes this sermon “is a treatment of the perseverance that is necessary for those who profess to be Christ’s disciples.” Edwards did not aver that the believer would not have a desire to persevere. Conversely, he believed perseverance in the faith to be a promise from God for those who believe, noting it is “man’s duty, and men are properly exhorted to anything that is their duty.” In a day and age where often salvation is viewed as a singular event with the overall Christian walk something of a hit or miss style of living, this sermon by Edwards reminds the reader of their duty to walk in holiness through the work of the Holy Spirit. Christ set for us the example of obedience and Edwards expertly outlines that doctrine in this sermon. In his application of this passage, Edwards rightly asks “Did Jesus Christ keep all his Father’s commands”? Since the answer is unequivocally in the affirmative, Edwards exhorts the reader – “Then let this excite us to keep them…Let our obedience be of the same kind with the obedience of Christ. Christ obeyed as a Son of a Father. Let our obedience also be the obedience of children. Let us serve God with a filial and childlike spirit.”
Again, this particular sermon is just one example of the excellent messages from Jonathan Edwards contained in this volume. The reader will grow to love the doctrinal perspicuity and sound application provided by Edwards. I highly recommend this book for all believers for use as a devotional tool, for small group study, and most certainly for pastors. Jonathan Edwards was a man used by God to declare the truth of God’s Word and contained in these sermons from days past is a collection of truth rooted in sound biblical doctrine that remains relevant for us today.
This book is available for purchase from B&H Publishing by clicking here.
I received this book for free from B&H Publishing for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”