09 July 2010

Jonathan Edwards' Preaching

J. I. Packer on Edwards in the pulpit--
Humanly speaking, he had a unique gift for making ideas live by the luminous precision with which he expounded them. He uncoils a length of reasoning with a slow, smooth exactness that is almost hypnotic in its power to rivet attention on the successive folds of truth sliding out into view. Had Edwards been no more than a pagan don teaching economics, he would without doubt have been a performer of 'Ancient Mariner' quality in the lecture-room.

To this compelling expository power was added in the pulpit a terrible solemnity, expressive of the awe of God that was constantly on his spirit; and the result was preaching that congregations could neither resist nor forget. Edwards could make two hours seem like twenty minutes as he bore down on his listeners' consciences with the plain old truths of sin and salvation, and the calm majesty of his inexorable analysis was no less used of God to make men feel the force of truth than was the rhapsodic vehemence of George Whitefield.
--J. I. Packer, A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life (Crossway 1990), 314

Crossway is about to release this classic again with a new cover. Details here.

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