The Salvation of Souls
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Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) was a pastor and theologian in colonial America who preached with zeal and theological insight, placing great emphasis on the impact that preaching could have on its listeners.
Widely recognized as one of America’s foremost thinkers, he is probably best known for his sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” which demonstrates his central concern for the salvation of souls.
Indeed, Edwards believed that all ministers were on a “divine errand” to offer the Gospel to sinners.
Gregory Wills and Richard Bailey gathered nine sermons (all but one previously unpublished) that Edwards delivered, in which he charges new ministers to exert a faithful ministry, delineates the tasks involved in preaching, and also challenges preachers and deacons to take up the work to which the Lord calls them.
Gregory Wills and Richard Bailey establish the historical context for Edwards’s own ministry and describe the setting in which he preached each sermon. George Marsden, professor of history at Notre Dame, has written a penetrating and helpful historical introduction to this important study of Jonathan Edwards.
Veteran pastors and new ordinands alike will be challenged to remain faithful in working for the salvation of the souls through gospel preaching.
These sermons define the nature and task of such service, both then and now. Pastors today will find Edwards’s words to be a challenge to return to the basic call of saving sinners by preaching the Word.