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Miscellanies by Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)

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Edwards talks about various facets of creation.


192. Wisdom of the Creation. The contrivance of the organs of speech are peculiarly wonderful. In the first place, no other way in the world can be thought of so convenient for the communicating our minds as by sounds. But one would think that it would be impossible that it should be done by sounds, or that organs should be contrived that should quickly and easily give so many clearly distinguishable sounds and yet short ones, as there are innumerable different sentiments of mind to be expressed. For we see nothing else in the world by which such a distinction can be made, or anything like. We can make but few distinct sounds by anything else we can find or make — but with the organs of speech an infinite number, by the various ordering of the throat and tongue. And these distinctions are very clear and plain, and yet all reducible to a very few simple ones, so that almost every sound may be, by rule, easily reduced to four and twenty letters, [See The Mind, No. 45] and at the same time these organs shall be excellently adapted to innumerable other uses.

1039. We are wont to make a distinction between the work of creation and the work of providence, but indeed the creation of the world, or the manner of creation, is one thing, and one main thing that appertains to God’s providence, or the provision that God makes, in the disposal of things for the bringing to pass the events and designs he had in view to be accomplished and attained in and by the world. The creation of the world, in strictness, cannot be distinguished from his government and disposal of all things. God’s making the creatures such as he did, and in constituting the world as he did at first, and disposing of them as he did in their first creation is a part, and a very great and main part, of what he did as the great and sovereign and all-wise disposer of all things, in order to attain the purposes and designs and indeed the general course of all things in the natural world from the creation of the world to the end of it. It was in effect mainly disposed ordered and governed and provided for in the manner in which things were made constituted and ordered at their first creation.

1336. Creation. There are these things which seem to show that there was no creation before the Mosaic creation.
1. Those who suppose that there was a creation before the Mosaic creation generally suppose the Mosaic creation to respect only this globe of the earth, and that the heavenly bodies in general were created before, concerning which I would observe,
First. That this does not well agree with the account Moses gives of the fourth day’s work of the creation, of which he gives an account.

The accounts we have of the creation of the heavenly bodies from time to time, particularly of the sun, moon and stars, here and elsewhere in the Old Testament, with reference to Moses’s account, are so expressed that it would be almost impossible to understand them any other way than as a proper making, creation and formation, and not merely of a scattering away of fogs and mists which hung over the face of the earth, so that they might have been seen here on the face of the earth, had there existed any inhabitants to see them.

Second. Nor does it well agree with his account of the creation of the light on the first day, for if the Mosaic creation was only of this earth, then we must suppose the sun was created before, and so the light would have existed before.

Third. If any should suppose that the Mosaic creation, though it extended beyond this earth, yet that it respected only the solar system, I think there is no manner of reason to suppose any other, than that as the whole visible universe, the many suns or fixed stars that belong to it, are all one frame. So they were created together, not first one and then two, or first ten and then ten more, thus gradually increasing the number till they came gradually to be so many millions. As if we find a stately building erected, it would be reasonable to suppose any other than that it was built together, and not first one stick of timber, and then after a long time another.

2. They who suppose there was any creation before the Mosaic creation suppose the angels to have been created before. In opposition to which, I would observe,

First. That place in Neh. 9:6, “Thou, even Thou, art Lord alone. Thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host; the earth, and all things that are therein; the seas, and all that is therein: and Thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth Thee.” Here I think it is most reasonable to suppose that Nehemiah has reference to the very same creation that God speaks of in Exo. 20:11, “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is.” The descriptions are the same, and the things spoken of as created are plainly the same. But the creation Nehemiah speaks of includes angels. They are included in the host of heaven that he mentions, as part of the creation of which he speaks, as is plain by what he says further of the host of heaven at the end of the verse, “And the host of heaven worshippeth Thee.” The angels are evidently the host of heaven that worship God.

Second. Christ’s eternity is largely set forth by his existing before the creation of this lower world, and all the parts of it, Pro. 8:22-30, “The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his world of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth: when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth. While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depths.” Which would not be proper and significant, if many created beings had existed long before these things, as well as he.

Third. God expresses his own eternity by this, that he was before the day, and that he then existed alone, existing before any other being that men erroneously worship as God. From whence we may conclude that no created angels, who of old, and in most ages of the world, have been worshipped as gods, had any existence before the day, Isa. 43:10-14,”Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen, that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am He: before me there was no god formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the Lord; and besides me there is no Saviour. I have declared, and have saved, and I have showed when there was no strange god among you; therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God. Yea, before the day was, I am He, and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it me?”

From this place, it is probable, that the angels were created the first day with the light.

Consider the following two works by Edwards that have been updated and republished for easy reading:

Ripe for Damnation: Sermons on the Book of Revelation – by Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758). Are you hungry for more of Edwards’ sermons? On the book of Revelation? These new works are not found anywhere on A Puritan’s Mind, and there are new ones not found in his large 2 volume works. 4 deal with the plight of the wicked, and 2 deal with the bliss of saints in heaven. These sermons are powerful, practical, and biblical, glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ, and contain 2 never before published sermons.

Justification by Faith Alone – by Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758). In this classic work, Edwards covers the intricacies of how believers are made righteous only through Christ’s merits, and that this justifying righteousness is equally imputed to all elect believers. This is accomplished by the condition of faith as an instrument.

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