Thursday, June 22, 2006

Just Back from Vacation with Jonathan Edwards

I've been out of the blogosphere for a few days since we were on vacation. I had a incredibly relaxing and edifying time with my wife, son, parents and Jonathan Edwards.

We spent a few days in the Stockbridge area, nestled in the Berkshire mountains of Western Mass. After being dismissed from his Northampton church, Jonathan Edwards spent ten years in Stockbridge, where he wrote Freedom of the Will, Original Sin, and the Nature of Virtue, prior to his short-lived presidency at Princeton.

We also made our way to Northampton, where Edwards preached for twenty-one years. The town has changed significantly, very little evidence of Edwards or his legacy remain (though Edwards scholar, Richard Lovelace lives there). We did have the privilege of standing on a step preserved from Edwards' church, but apart from that the church is no longer standing.

Perhaps it is fitting to wrap up with a quote from Edwards. Commenting on the centrality of Christ to all things, in creation and consummation, he writes:

"God had a design before the foundation of the world of gathering all things to himself. Since all things are of him and through him, so he intended they should be to him and also of uniting all chosen creatures one to another in one society in perfect union, one unto another. When he made the world, it was with this purpose. When he made heaven and made the angels in it, it was with this design. When he made this lower world and made man in it, it was with this design. His Son was the person pitched upon and chosen of God, by whom and in whom this great event should be brought about. He was to be the head of the union, that all might be united in him and by him to himself. Therefore, God created all things by Jesus Christ (Eph 3.9-11)."

Taken from his sermon, Jesus Christ is the Great Mediator and Head of Union in Whom All Elect Creatures in Heaven and Earth Are United to God and to One Another