21 January 2008

The Freeness of Justification

Read this today at the very end of Edwards' multiple-part sermon series of 1734, "Justification by Faith Alone." This series was instrumental in the local revival God sent to Northampton in 1734-35. This quote comes from the fifth and final section of JBFA, concerning "the importance of the doctrine," in which Edwards is explaining how a works + faith = justification view of the gospel "derogates much from the honor of God."

[S]eeing we are such infinitely sinful and abominable creatures in God's sight, and by our infinite guilt have brought ourselves into such wretched and deplorable circumstances, and all our righteousnesses are nothing, and ten thousand times worse than nothing (if God looks upon them as they are in themselves) is it not immensely more worthy of the infinite majesty and glory of God, to deliver and make happy such poor filthy worms, such wretched vagabonds and captives, without any money or price of theirs, or any manner of expectation of any excellency or virtue in them, in any wise to recommend them? Will it not betray a foolish exalting opinion of ourselves, and a mean one of God, to have a thought of offering anything of ours, to recommend us to the favor of being brought from wallowing like filthy swine in the mire of our sins, and from the enmity and misery of devils in the lowest hell, to the state of God's dear children, in the everlasting arms of his love, in heavenly glory?

--Works of JE, Yale ed., 19:241

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