“Was Jonathan Edwards an eloquent preacher?” by Sereno Dwight

“If you mean by eloquence, what is usually intended by it in our cities, he had no pretensions to it. He had no studied varieties of voice, and no strong emphasis. He scarcely gestured or even moved, and he made no attempt, by the eloquence of his style, or the beauty of his pictures, to gratify the taste, and fascinate the imagination.

But, if you mean by eloquence the power of presenting an important truth before an audience, with overwhelming weight of argument, and with such intenseness of feeling that the whole soul of the speaker is thrown into every part of the conception and delivery, so that the solemn attention of the whole audience is riveted, from the beginning to the close, and impressions are left that cannot be effaced, Mr. Edwards was the most eloquent man I ever heard speak.”

–As quoted in Sereno Dwight’s Memoir of Edwards, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, vol. 1, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1834/1974), cxc.

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Filed under Christian Theology, Earnestness, Jonathan Edwards, Preaching, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes

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