“‘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;
- 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;
- that we shall be as free from want, and 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,” in Sermons and Discourses, 1730–1733, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume 17, Ed. Mark Valeri and Harry S. Stout (New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 1999), 17: 342–343.