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A very young Jonathan Edwards on holiness:

Signature of theologian Jonathan EdwardsHoliness is a most beautiful and lovely thing. We drink in strange notions of holiness from our childhood, as if it were a melancholy, morose, sour, and unpleasant thing; but there is nothing in it but what is sweet and ravishingly lovely.

‘Tis the highest beauty and amiableness, vastly above all other beauties. ‘Tis a divine beauty, makes the soul heavenly and far purer than anything here on earth; this world is like mire and filth and defilement to that soul which is sanctified. ‘Tis of a sweet, pleasant, charming, lovely, amiable, delightful, serene, calm and still nature. ‘Tis almost too high a beauty for any creatures to be adorned with; it makes a soul a little, sweet and delightful image of the blessed Jehovah. . . .

Little White Flowers

Oh, of what a sweet, humble nature is holiness! . . . It makes the soul like a delightful field or garden planted by God, with all manner of pleasant flowers growing in the order in which nature has planted them, that is all pleasant and delightful, undisturbed, free from all the noise of man and beast, enjoying a sweet calm and bright, calm, and gently vivifying beams of the sun forevermore: where the sun is Jesus Christ; the blessed beams and calm breeze, the Holy Spirit; the sweet and delightful flowers, and the pleasant shrill music of the little birds, are the Christian graces. Or like the little while flower: pure, unspotted, and undefiled, low and humble, pleasing and harmless; receiving the beams, the pleasant beams of the serene sun, gently moved and a little shaken by a sweet breeze, rejoicing as it were in a calm rapture, diffusing around a most delightful fragrancy, standing most peacefully and loving in the midst of the other like flowers round about. How calm and serene is the heaven overhead! How free is the world from noise and disturbance! How, if one were but holy enough, would they of themselves and as it were naturally ascend from the earth in delight, to enjoy God as Enoch did!

“Misc. a,” in The “Miscellanies” (Entry Nos. a-z, aa-zz, 1-500), vol. 13 of the Works of Jonathan Edwardsed. Thomas A. Schafer (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1994), 163-64.

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