“The chief end of creation” by Jonathan Edwards

“The creation of the world seems to have been especially for this end: that the eternal Son of God might obtain a spouse, towards whom He might fully exercise the infinite benevolence of His nature and to whom He might, as it were, open and pour forth all that immense fountain of condescension, love and grace that was in His heart, and that in this way God might be glorified.”

–Jonathan Edwards, “The Church’s Marriage To Her Sons, And To Her God,” in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 25, Sermons and Discourses 1743-1758. Ed. Wilson H. Kimnach (WJE Online Vol. 25), 187.

“He gave Himself for her” by Jonathan Edwards

“For the Creator to make the creature was a great thing. But for Him to become a creature was a greater thing. And He did a much greater thing still to obtain this joy in that for this He laid down His life and suffered even the death of the cross.

For this He poured out His soul unto death, and He that is the Lord of the universe, God over all, blessed for evermore, offered Himself a sacrifice, in both body and soul, in the flames of divine wrath.

Christ obtains His elect spouse by conquest: for she was a captive in the hands of dreadful enemies and her Redeemer came into the world to conquer these enemies and rescue her out of their hands that she might be His bride.

And He came and encountered these enemies in the greatest battle that ever was beheld by men or angels. He fought with principalities and powers. He fought alone with the powers of darkness and all the armies of hell. Yea He conflicted with the infinitely more dreadful wrath of God and overcame in this great battle.

And thus He obtained His spouse. Let us consider at how great a price Christ purchased this spouse: He did not redeem her with corruptible things as silver and gold, but with His own precious blood. Yea He gave Himself for her.

When He offered up Himself to God in those extreme labors and sufferings this was the joy that was set before Him that made him cheerfully to endure the cross and despise the pain and shame.”

–Jonathan Edwards, “The Church’s Marriage To Her Sons, And To Her God,” in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 25, Sermons and Discourses 1743-1758. Ed. Wilson H. Kimnach (WJE Online Vol. 25), 187-188.

“The joyful day is coming” by Jonathan Edwards

“We trust, dear sir, that you will esteem it a most blessed employment to spend your time and skill in adorning Christ’s bride for her marriage with the Lamb, and that it is work that you will do with delight.

And that you will take heed that the ornaments you put upon her are of the right sort, what shall be indeed beautiful and precious in the eyes of the Bridegroom, that she may be all glorious within, and her clothing of wrought gold that on the wedding day she may stand on the King’s right hand in gold of Ophir.

The joyful day is coming when the spouse of Christ shall be led in unto the King with raiment of linen. And angels and faithful ministers will be the servants that shall lead her in.

And you, sir, if you are faithful in the charge that is now to be committed to you, shall be joined with glorious angels in that honorable and joyful service.

But with this difference: that you shall have the higher privilege. Angels and faithful ministers shall be together in bringing in Christ’s bride into His palace and presenting her to Him. But faithful ministers shall have a much higher participation of the joy of that occasion.

They shall have a greater and more immediate participation with the bride in her joy. For they shall not only be ministers to the church as the angels are, but parts of the church, principal members of the bride…

So great, dear sir, is the honor and joy that is set before you, to engage you to faithfulness in your pastoral care of this people; so glorious the prize that Christ has set up to engage you to run the race that is set before you.”

–Jonathan Edwards, “The Church’s Marriage To Her Sons, And To Her God,” in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 25, Sermons and Discourses 1743-1758. Ed. Wilson H. Kimnach (WJE Online Vol. 25), 193-194.

“The church has but one husband” by Jonathan Edwards

“There are many ministers in the church of Christ, and there may be several pastors of one particular church: but the church has but one husband. All others are rejected and despised in comparison of Him.

He is among the sons as the apple tree among the trees of the wood. They all are barren and worthless. He only is the fruitful tree and therefore leaving all others, the church betakes herself to Him alone, and sits under His shadow with great delight, and His fruit is sweet to her taste.

She takes up her full and entire rest in Him, desiring no other. The relation between a minister and people shall be dissolved, and may be dissolved before death: but the union between Christ and His church shall never be dissolved, neither before death, nor by death, but shall endure through all eternity.

‘The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed’ but Christ’s conjugal love and ‘kindness shall not depart’ from His church ‘neither shall the covenant of his peace,’ the marriage covenant, ‘be removed’ (Isaiah 54:10).”

–Jonathan Edwards, “The Church’s Marriage To Her Sons, And To Her God,” in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 25, Sermons and Discourses 1743-1758. Ed. Wilson H. Kimnach (WJE Online Vol. 25), 177-178.