"The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 12" by Jonathan Edwards

The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 12 Volume 12: Ecclesiastical Writings Jonathan Edwards, David D. Hall

The Works of Jonathan Edwards Series
Publication date:
22 Jun 1994
Yale University Press
674 pages: 235 x 156mm


This volume includes four documents by Jonathan Edwards on the nature of the church, documents that reveal his views on ecclesiology, congregational autonomy, ordination, and admission to church membership and to the sacraments. The first document, reprinted here for the first time since the eighteenth century, is Edwards' defense of his fellow Hampshire County ministers in the Robert Breck controversy of 1735-36. The other three documents relate to Edwards' efforts to restrict admission to the sacraments at Northampton in 1749-50, actions that ultimately led to his dismissal as pastor: An Humble Inquiry explicates his reasons for refuting his grandfather and predecessor Solomon Stoddard's open admission policy; Misrepresentations Corrected is Edwards' response to his cousin Solomon Williams' criticisms of the Humble Inquiry; and Edwards' untitled narrative, available before only in Sereno Dwight's 1829 edition and here newly re-edited, gives details of his final conflict with his Northampton congregation.
The general introduction by David D. Hall places these writings in their contemporary polemical contexts and locates Edwards in a historical framework that highlights his Puritan, Congregational heritage and the tensions between lay and clerical piety. It also provides an important reassessment of Edwards' relationship to Stoddard in the light of Edwards' experience during and after the Great Awakening.

David D. Hall is professor of American religious history and Bartlett Lecturer on New England Church History at Harvard University.

"A splendid contribution to the ongoing publication of what is the most important series ever to appear in print for an American religious thinker. . . . [Hall] has illuminated not only the mind of Edwards but also the lives, hopes, and expectations of the lay people to whom Edwards ministered."?Mark A. Noll, William and Mary Quarterly

"In the breadth of vision and learning in his introduction?Hall maintains the high standards that have distinguished the Yale edition of Edward's writings. This is one more commendable volume in that series."?E. Brooks Holifield, Church History

"Hall's introduction is a clear and insightful guide to one of the most puzzling episodes in American religious history: Northampton's 1750 dismissal of Edwards."?Gerald R. McDermott, Religious Studies Review