Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Pure in Heart Blessed - Altogether Lovely

We continue with blogging through the sermons compiled in Altogether Lovely (Jonathan, Edwards. Altogether Lovely Jonathan Edwards on the glory and excellency of Jesus Christ. Morgan, PA: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1997). So far, we have looked at God the Best Portion of the Christian; The Excellency of Christ; Christ Exalted; Safety, Fullness, and Sweet Refreshment in Christ; and Jesus Christ, the Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever. Today we begin looking at The Pure in Heart Blessed.

The Pure in Heart Blessed

Edwards builds his sermon from the obvious; Matthew 5:8.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Edwards comments on this verse of Scripture stating, "We may observe concerning the words of the text,that Christ pronounces the pure in heart, blessed. Christ here accommodates his instructions to the human nature. He knew that all mankind were in the pursuit of happiness, he has directed them in the true way to it, and he tells them what they must become in order to be blessed and happy ... He gives the reason why such are blessed, or wherein the blessedness of such consists, that they shall see God." (145) In this passage we see the two main points of the sermon, namely that:
I. That Christ pronounces the pure in heart, blessed.
II. He gives the reason why such are blessed, or wherein the blessedness of such consists, that they shall see God.
From the ideas above, Edwards states two more points on which he builds his sermon:

From these words I shall derive two propositions.

First, it is a truly blessed thing to the soul of man to see God.
Second, to be pure in heart, is the certain and only way to attain to this blessedness.

His first main point, in typical Edwardsian fashion, is followed by a multitude of sub and sub-sub-points. We will do our best to blog them plainly.

Here is the structure of the first main point:

First, it is a truly blessed thing to the soul of man to see God.

1. What is meant by seeing God.
(1.) It is not any sight with the bodily eyes.
(2.) It is an intellectual view by which God is seen.

2. The reasons why the thus seeing God is that which will make the soul truly happy.
(1.) It yields a delight suitable to the nature of an intelligent creature.
(2.) The pleasure which the soul has in seeing God is not only its delight, but it is at the same time its highest perfection and excellency.
(3.) The happiness of seeing God is a blessing without any mixture.
(4.) This joy of seeing God is the true blessedness of man because the fountain that supplies it is equal to man’s desire and capacity.
(5.) This delight in the vision of God hath an unfailing foundation.

The first and second sub-points are followed by a few reflections:
  1. Here we may see one instance wherein the revelation of Jesus Christ excels all human wisdom.
  2. Hence we learn the great privilege we have, who possess such advantages to come to the blessedness of seeing God.
  3. This doctrine may lead us to a sense of the blessedness of the heavenly state, and justly cause us to long after it.
  4. Hence we learn that a life of holiness is the pleasantest life in this world, because in such a life we have the imperfect beginnings of a blessed and endless sight of God.

The above skeleton gives you an idea of the form this sermon takes through the first main point. Our next post on this sermon will take a look at the section of the sermon described above.

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