Jonathan Edwards’ Resolutions and Advice to Young Convertsby Various Authors
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Nichols opens with a brief introduction to Edwards’ historical context, the events of his life, and a brief note on the two texts themselves. “Resolutions” paints a picture of a young minister whose strength and trust lie in his God, not in the piece of paper documenting his graduation from seminary. He desires not just the ‘good’ in life, but the ‘best,’ which he roots in happiness found only in God.
The final document in this little booklet is the oft-printed “Advice to Young Converts,” a response to a letter from a young woman in a nearby parish. Judging from Edwards’ opening comments, she has inquired about Christian conduct, and in true form Edwards responds by speaking to her heart. He begins by warning her against her religion growing cold (this letter was written in the midst of the first Great Awakening of 1740-7142) and cautions her to seek the same grace from God that she sought during conversion. Edwards includes large swaths of Scripture in his letter, rendering the tone of the letter pastoral rather than moralistic. No wonder Miss Hatheway treasured this letter, ensuring its survival to this day.