May 19, 2017

On Original Sin in Vol I of the Works - Edwards - I - Chapter 1 of Part I commenced

Required reading
The great Christian doctrine of original sin defended in Volume I of the Works by Jonathan Edwards (Available from Amazon or free here)Read Sections I and II from Chapter 1 of Part I.

My summary.
Today we begin a new work on original sin.  

After preliminaries from the editor and author commending the work to the reader, Edwards makes a case in Section I of Chapter 1 'that mankind are all naturally in such a state, as is attended, without fail, with this consequence or issue; that they universally run themselves into that which is, in effect, their own utter eternal perdition, as being finally accursed of God, and the subjects of his remediless wrath through sin.'

Then in Section II, Edwards teaches us that 'there can be no room for evading the evidences from fact, of the universal infallible tendency of man's nature to sin and eternal perdition; since, on the supposition, the tendency to this issue does not lie in the general constitution and frame of this world, which God hath made to be the habitation of mankind.'

What grabbed me
I know it isn't technically part of the work, but I did like the mini biography at the beginning.  

I was particularly interested in the way Edwards' health declined due to intense study: 'There was something extremely delicate in his constitution; which always obliged him to observe the exactest rules of temperance, and every method of cautious and prudent living. By such means he was helped to go through incessant labours, and to bear up under much study, which, Solomon observes, is a weariness to the flesh. Perhaps, never was a man more constantly retired from the world; giving himself to reading, and contemplation. And a wonder it was, that his feeble frame could subsist under such fatigues, daily repeated and so long continued. Yet upon occasion of some remark upon it by a friend, which was only a few months before his death, he told him, "He did not find but he was then as well able to bear the closest study, as he was thirty years before; and could go through the exercises of the pulpit with as little weariness of difficulty." In his youth he appeared healthy, and with a good degree of vivacity; but was never robust. In middle life, he appeared very much emaciated (I had almost said, mortified) by severe studies, and intense applications of thought. Hence his voice was a little languid, and too low for a large assembly; though much relieved and advantaged by a proper emphasis, just cadence, well-placed pauses, and great distinctness in pronunciation.'

Finding the right balance of study and physical health is an ongoing dilemma!

Next week's reading
Read Sections III to VII from Chapter 1 of Part I.

Now it's your turn
Please post your own notes and thoughts in the comments section below.

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