This edition presents the first text of Jonathan Edwards’ private commentary on the book of Revelation. Written over a period of thirty-five years, Edwards’ notebook reveals his lifelong fascination with apocalyptic speculation—including its bizarre aspects—and his persistent conviction concerning the usefulness of the visions in the life of the Christian church.
In this volume is also published the first complete edition (since the eighteenth century) of the Humble Attempt (1748)—the call for united prayer that was Edwards’ response to the decline in religious fervor after the Great Awakening. In his introduction and commentary, Stephen J. Stein examines the development of Edwards’ apocalyptic interests in light of the situation in the eighteenth century, showing also how Edwards’ private judgments on the book of Revelation affected his personal and theological activity. Together the texts and the introduction illuminate a hitherto inadequately explored facet of Edwards’ religious thought.
Stephen J. Stein is Chancellors’ Professor of Religious Studies and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at Indiana University.