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Works of Jonathan Edwards. 2 Volume Set (v. 1 & 2) Hardcover – March 5, 1979
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'For Edwards, the greatness of the gospel is visible only when viewed against the backdrop of the greatness of the ruin into which the fall has plunged us. The greatness of the disease requires the greatness of the remedy.' --<strong<R.C. Sproul
About the Author
Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) began his education at Yale College when he was thirteen years old. He served as pastor of the Congregational Church in Northampton, Massachusetts for over twenty years. His published sermons were widely circulated in America and England. He also served as a missionary to native Americans, and he was called to be president of the College of New Jersey (Princeton) just prior to his untimely death.
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Top Customer Reviews
In my opinion, the greatest addition to this set is the Memoirs of Jonathan Edwards. This is the closest you'll get to receiving a personal look at his life of faith. They greatly enhance the intellectually-weighty theological works and the inspiring (and likewise brilliant) sermons.
Jonathan Edward's title as "America's greatest theologian" (or simply "America's theologian") is well-deserved. Don't let the "fire and brimstone" caricature dissuade you.
The Works of Jonathan Edwards is not the complete works of Jonathan Edwards. A couple of the other reviewers must have accidentally overlooked this fact, but it's understandable given the already immense size of the anthology. Nevertheless, all of Jonathan Edwards' most well-known religious works are indeed included: "Resolutions"; "Freedom of the Will"; "The End For Which God Created the World"; "The Nature of True Virtue"; "Religious Affections"; "Narrative of Surprising Conversions"; "Thoughts on the Revival of Religion in New England"; "A History of the Work of Redemption"; "The Life and Diary of David Brainerd"; and of course "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God."
In addition, there are plenty of lesser known religious works from Edwards' youth to shortly before his death to occupy the interested reader in godly thought and reflection.
Regarding the various sermons and other writings that would complete the Edwards collection, but which are unfortunately not contained herein, for the most part these can be found online via a quick Google search (i.e., only Edwards' more obscure works are not to be found online, as far as I can tell).
Speaking of which, you can view the table of contents as well as the entire work itself online for free too at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library, for instance, if you want to see for yourself what's specifically included in this collection before purchasing it. That said, although The Works of Jonathan Edwards is available for free online, in my opinion it is far more convenient to have the printed version, as I'm personally more comfortable reading with a book (whatever its size) in my lap than in front of a computer screen.
Of course, if you want the definitive edition, which would include all twenty-three volumes of Edwards' works published to date (including his non-religious works on varied topics such as John Locke, science, etc.), you will have to purchase Yale University's edition of the same name. But that will cost you an arm and a leg, plus there's a considerable amount of secular academic criticism, which you may or may not find helpful. For example, the Yale volume on "The Life and Diary of David Brainerd" compares Brainerd's original diary with Edwards' edited version of the diary, claiming in the process that Edwards edited it in such a way as to make Brainerd conform to a preconceived notion of "saintliness." However, if you're keen on purchasing the Yale edition, the best available price I've been able to find is at Solid Ground Christian Books, which by the way is an excellent bookstore.
So although the Hendrickson publication is not substantively a complete Edwards collection, it is more than "close enough." Edwards was primarily a pastor and a theologian, and this is what is reflected in these volumes. In my view, then, given the price and content, this compilation of The Works of Jonathan Edwards is the best available edition for those primarily interested in Edwards as humble, faithful servant of Jesus Christ.
Also, about the text and binding. A single page is divided into two columns, so that when you open a volume, there will be a total of four columns facing you (since there are of course two pages to look at when a book is opened). I'm not sure what the font size is, but it can't be more than 10 point. Actually, I'd venture to guess it's even slightly smaller.
Regarding the binding, it is sturdy, but I have a feeling that it may not hold up well with constant reading. The binding is quite similar to other Hendrickson publications, if you're familiar with them (e.g., The Works of Josephus, ISBN 0-913573-86-8).
Finally, I highly suggest looking at The Works of Jonathan Edwards on the Hendrickson Publishers' website before purchasing it. In addition to the photo of the two volumes, you can download an Adobe Acrobat Reader (.pdf) file of a sample chapter to view (at least at the time of this review). Thus you can get an actual image of what I'm only feebly able to describe with words.
I sincerely hope this helps. And in reading these works, may you be led to study and understand the Bible more fully, since it is the Bible which Edwards himself wholly leaned on in his writings: for the believer, to know and love Him more deeply, and for the one with ears to hear, to come to know and love Him because He first loved you.
Update: The above comments were based upon the Hendrickson edition, but now that I've seen both the Hendrickson edition as well as the Banner of Truth edition I can likewise recommend purchasing the Banner of Truth edition. Although the content is identical, in my opinion the Banner of Truth edition's binding is more sturdy and of a higher quality. However, if you prefer the works with slightly bigger font (eh, then again, the font size is probably negligible), as well as perhaps a more colorful and attractive cover, then the Hendrickson edition might be better. You can find both the Hendrickson as well as the Banner of Truth editions (ISBNs 0-85151-216-X and 0-85151-217-8) at Monergism Books, another fine bookstore. (Personally, I prefer the Banner of Truth edition.)
Also, the following by Dr. David Martyn Lloyd-Jones in his lecture "Jonathan Edwards and the Crucial Importance of Revival" might prove useful to some:
The two volumes recently republished by the Banner of Truth Trust have often been regarded as the Complete Works, but they are not. A man published a book in the 1860's consisting of numerous other things which are not in these two volumes, and there are still more-sermons, letters, occasional remarks, miscellanies and so on. They are all going to be reprinted in the definitive [Yale] edition.
It is great to read from a man so dedicated to God's word and wanting to see his cold puritan peers come to Christ.
Do not buy these volumes if you are a casual reader, these works are very deep on great theological issues but if you want to be challenged these would be a great addition to your library.
The only issue I do have is that it is hard to navigate through the sermons, they could have done a better job with an appendix to make it easier to find the info for reference. That shouldn't take away from the content though as you will be greatly encouraged in your study with Edwards.
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