“The divine nature being immortal, and infinitely out of our reach, there is no other trial possible, whether the enmity that is naturally in the heart against God, be mortal or no, but only for God to take on him the human nature, and become man; so as to come within man’s reach. There can be no other experiment. And what has been the event? Why, when once God became man, and came down to dwell here, among such vipers as fallen men, they hated and persecuted him; and never desisted till they had imbrued their hands in his blood. There was a multitude of them that appeared combined in this design. Nothing would do, but he must be put to death. All cry out, Crucify him, crucify him. Away with him. They had rather Barabbas, who greatly deserved death, should live, than he should not die. Nothing would restrain them from it; even all his preaching, and all his miracles: but they would kill him. And it was not the ordinary kind of execution that would satisfy them; but it must be the most cruel and most ignominious they possibly could invent. And they aggravated it as much as they could, by mocking him, and spitting on him, and scourging him. This shows what the nature and tendency of man’s enmity against God is; here it appeared in its true colours.”
–Jonathan Edwards, “Men Naturally God’s Enemies,” The Complete Works of Jonathan Edwards (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth), Vol. 2: p. 132.
One response to “Fallen man is God’s mortal enemy by Jonathan Edwards”
Edward’s description of our enmity makes Christ’s forgiving words all the sweeter. It seems he is being a bit of a reverser at this point. The satisfying mode of execution wished on an assumed heretic by a rabid pharisee or his peer is actually undefined– any death will do, if you please. But on the back of Edward’s sentence is God’s satisfaction (justice) and that death must needs be on a tree with its cursedness (because _he_ willed it) … the hands that compressed molded _nothingness_ to a heat far more profound than white and flung resultant creation with such might that the stars in most of the known universe produce too much light to be appraised but from far more than afar– those hands tied and nailed to mere wood? It cannot have been, unless _he_ willed it so. (apologies to Jack)