Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) began his education at Yale College when he was thirteen years old. He served as pastor of the Congregational Church in Northampton, Massachusetts for over twenty years. His published sermons were widely circulated in America and England. He also served as a missionary to native Americans, and he was called to be president of the College of New Jersey (Princeton) just prior to his death.
“Let what has been said be improved to induce you to love the Lord Jesus Christ, and choose him for your friend and portion. As there is such an admirable meeting of diverse excellencies in Christ, so there is every thing in him to render him worthy of your love and choice, and to win and engage it. Whatsoever there is or can be desirable in a friend, is in Christ, and that to the highest degree that can be desired. Would you choose for a friend a person of great dignity? It is a thing taking with men to have those for their friends who are much above them; because they look upon themselves honored by the friendship of such. Thus, how taking would it be with an inferior maid to be the object of the dear love of some great and excellent prince. But Christ is infinitely above you, and above all the princes of the earth; for he is the King of kings. So honorable a person as this offers himself to you, in the nearest and dearest friendship.
And would you choose to have a friend not only great but good? In Christ infinite greatness and infinite goodness meet together, and receive lustre and glory one from another. His greatness is rendered lovely by his goodness. The greater any one is without goodness, so much the greater evil; but when infinite goodness is joined with greatness, it renders it a glorious and adorable greatness. So, on the other hand, his infinite goodness receives lustre from his greatness.”
– Short excerpt from a sermon by Jonathan Edwards, The Excellency of Christ
“In my early days in the ministry there were no books which helped me more, both personally and in respect of my preaching, than this two-volume edition of The Works of Jonathan Edwards . . . If I had the power I would make these two volumes compulsory reading for all ministers.” —D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones