“The gospel of Christ contains joyful tidings to men of deliverance from evil.
It is a proclamation of deliverance to the children of men from evils that are by far the greatest that ever mankind are exposed to: evils that are truly infinitely dreadful, such as the guilt of sin, captivity and bondage to Satan, the wrath of God and perfect and everlasting ruin and misery.
If we compare these things with things that are infinitely less in degree, it may serve to give us some idea of the joyfulness of these tidings.
We may conceive something of the joy that would arise in the heart of one that had wandered deep into a desolate wilderness, and who should hear the voice of a dear friend that is come to seek him, calling to him.
Or if a company were shipwrecked in the midst of the wide ocean, and suddenly saw a ship approaching them.
Or if one had been taken captive and was in the hands of most cruel savages at a great distance from all his friends, and saw himself devoted by them as a sacrifice to their cruelty and then a valiant and victorious deliverer should appear for his rescue.
But the deliverance which we have by Christ is infinitely greater.”
–Jonathan Edwards, “Of Those Who Walk In The Light Of God’s Countenance” in Sermons and Discourses, 1743-1758, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 25. Ed. Wilson H. Kimnach (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006), 702, 703-704.