“How joyful is the tidings that is proclaimed to us in the gospel! The gospel proclaims those glad tidings to us that are sufficient to dispel all this melancholy darkness. We have the joyful tidings of the reparation of all this loss.
We have tidings of deliverance from this misery. But the joyfulness of the tidings that we have in the gospel may appear by the following considerations:
We have the tidings of willingness to restore us to our first state of happiness that we were wrath-driven from when we fell, of being restored to a like innocency and holiness and the image of God, to have our naked, deformed, loathsome souls covered and made to shine with the communication of God’s glory (2 Corinthians 3:18).
After we have despoiled ourselves of all our primitive excellency and loveliness and become odious and in the image of Satan, we may have God’s beauty put on us again; yea, we may be brought to perfect holiness as spotless as that which we lost.
God is willing to restore our whole man, to exalt our faculties to a like strength and vigor with that which we had before, and our bodies to the like beauty and life. This corruptible may put on incorruption and this mortal immortality.
‘Tis proclaimed in the gospel that God is willing again to receive us into His favor, to pardon all our sins, to quit all enmity, to bury all former difference and to be our friend and our father; that He is willing again to admit us to sweet communion with Him, and that He will converse with us as friendly and intimately as He did before the fall; and that God is willing to receive us to paradise again, to a like freedom from all grief and trouble; that He will wipe away all tears from our eyes, and that sorrow and sighing shall flee away; that He will make us to forget our former melancholic, forsaken, and doleful state; that we may be again admitted to as great a fullness of blessings, to as pleasant and delightful a dwelling place as the garden of Eden, as full of those things which tend the delight of life, to pleasures as refreshing and satisfying; and we shall be as free from want.
The curse shall be removed, and all frowns and tokens of displeasure. The world shall again smile upon us and congratulate us. God will be our friend and the angels shall be our friends, and all things shall be at peace with us, and we shall enjoy as great and uninterrupted a pleasure in mutual society.
The wrath of God drove us out of paradise, but the grace of God invites us to return. The Son of God in the name of His Father comes and calls to us to return from our banishment; He ceases not to call us. He beseeches us to return again.
He is come forth on purpose to make known those joyful tidings to us. Christ calls us away from this cursed ground, that brings forth briars and thorns, to a better country. Our first parents were driven away very loath and unwilling to go, but we are invited back again.”
–Jonathan Edwards, “East of Eden: A Sermon on Genesis 3:24,” in Sermons and Discourses 1730-1733, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 17, Ed. Mark Valeri (New Haven: Yale, 1999), 342-343. It may be read here in its entirety.