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One of the most famous sermons of Jonathan Edwards, a Christian preacher and theologian, is “A Divine and Supernatural Light”, read at Northampton and published at the wish of some of hearers in 1734. It gives a clear definition of what a divine light is, and why believers need it. The author supports his ideas with spiritual and rational proofs. A plain structure of the sermon and precise explanations make it pleasant and coherent for reading and comprehension.
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The sermon has three main parts: an introduction, doctrine and conclusion. The sermon starts with a story about Peter. It shows that every person, independently of origin and education, may have a divine light, the truth placed by God and indicating verity. After that, the author explains the notion. The divine light is not natural and cannot be obtained through knowledge and experience; it is not an imagination or impression, a revelation or affecting view of God and Christ. Edwards defines a divine light as “A true sense of the divine excellency of the things revealed in the Word of God, and a conviction of the truth and the reality of them thence arising” (Edwards, 1734, p. 5). It helps not to see or believe, but to sense the essence of things. The light is immediately imparted by God. The preacher supports his idea scripturally by citing the Scripture and rationally. The conclusion summarizes the sermon with several clear statements. This light comes from God and is granted to every person, we should examine ourselves to know whether we have this light in our souls, and finally, we should seek this good as it brings an immense joy.
The sermon impresses with its clarity. It helps to understand the notion of a “divine spark” and gives a plain explanation how to actually see the truth. This knowledge helps to love God, teaches to obey and serve Him for reaching blessing. Though for modern people it may be challenging to believe in something, to perceive things as they are without any analysis or evidences.
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