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Miscellanies by Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)

Today, many Christians are turning back to the puritans to, “walk in the old paths,” of God’s word, and to continue to proclaim old truth that glorifies Jesus Christ. There is no new theology. In our electronic age, more and more people are looking to add electronic books (ePubs, mobi and PDF formats) to their library – books from the Reformers and Puritans – in order to become a “digital puritan” themselves. Take a moment to visit Puritan Publications (click the banner below) to find the biggest selection of rare puritan works updated in modern English in both print form and in multiple electronic forms. There are new books published every month. All proceeds go to support A Puritan’s Mind.

Edwards talks about the manner of the sacraments and especially about baptism.

207. Confirmation is undoubtedly a gospel institution and sacrament too, and it is the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, that is the confirmation that Christ has instituted. Children, as soon as ever they are capable of it, should come and publicly make what was done in their baptism — their own act. And he is confirmed by him who has the care of his soul, when he admits him to that ordinance and administers it to him. Christ Jesus likewise hereby confirms him and seals over again the same covenant, and to a worthy partaker gives the seal of the Spirit. Christ appointed it for that very end, to confirm and renew the covenant sealed in baptism, his covenant with them and theirs with him, and to confirm their union with the church (signified in baptism) by this holy communion with them in the bonds of love and peace. And what is there that is pretended to be done in episcopal confirmation that Christ did not design the Lord’s Supper for. And what need of any new invented confirmation? Is Christ’s institution less conducing to the end of it then theirs?

595. Baptism. If an adult person does sincerely and believingly dedicate the infant to God, baptism seals salvation to it… so if a parent did sincerely and with his whole heart dedicate his child to God, he will afterwards take thorough and effectual care in bringing up his children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, continuing in prayer and dependent on God for them… ordinarily they shall obtain success. A parent that has believingly and earnestly given up his child to God, yet may not be absolutely certain of the salvation of his child, if it die in infancy. As an adult person that has truly given up himself to God may not be certain whether he was sincere in it. Though the promise of the salvation of a baptized child that died in infancy to a parent that thoroughly dedicates it to God be absolute, yet there is reason why the parent should earnestly pray for its salvation, as an adult believer may have reason earnestly to pray for his salvation and when dying to commend his spirit into Christ’s hands as Stephen did…

Note. A parent may himself be a true believer and yet not entirely give up his child to God. A person may be a true believer that yet has not acted that faith for his child that he has for himself (those things about baptism doubtful).

694. Mode of Baptism. That the pouring of water on the person to be baptized is properly called baptism in the Scripture use of the phrase, and is also a more lively representation of the thing signified by baptism than dipping or plunging are both evident by the words of John the Baptist, who said to the Pharisees and Sadducees, “I indeed baptize you with water: but he that cometh after me, shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” Here John’s baptizing, and the baptizing with the Holy Ghost, are both called “baptizing,” and the one is the anti-type and end of the other. But what is here called the baptizing with the Holy Ghost is the pouring out of the Holy Ghost upon them, which was also typified by the pouring of oil on the heads of those that were anointed. And it was especially fulfilled on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Ghost was so remarkably poured out on the Christian Church. Because that baptizing with water was designed as a shadow of baptizing with the Holy Ghost, therefore both were conjoined (?) when Christ was baptized. When John baptized him with water, God remarkably poured out the Spirit from Heaven upon him. And it seems to me much the most probable therefore, that John baptized by affusion and not by dipping or by plunging, and that so there was a greater agreement between the type and the anti-type that were then conjoined, than there would have been, if John had baptized by dipping.

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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