Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758): The subject matter of theology is inexhaustible – Series on why all Christians must endeavour to become proficient in theology (part 9 of 12)



This is the ninth part of a 12-post series from Jonathan Edwards’ (1703-1758) sermon on Hebrews 5:12, titled The Importance and Advantage of a Thorough Knowledge of Divine Truth.  The first part covered Edwards’ definition of divinity (theology), the second focused on what kind of knowledge is included in divinity, the third considered the usefulness and necessity of knowing divinity, the fourth discussed knowledge in divinity as the chief end of man’s faculty of understanding, the fifth asserted that there is nothing more worthy to be studied than divinity, the sixth declared why divinity is of infinite importance to all people, the seventh argued for the infinite worth of divinity based on God’s great works of revelation, and the eighth asserted that God gave us the Bible to be studied. Now we turn to his discussion of the inexhaustibility of the subject matter of divinity:


The inexhaustibility of the subject matter of divinity.

However diligently we apply ourselves, there is room enough to increase our knowledge in divine truth, without coming to an end. None have this excuse to make for not diligently applying themselves to gain knowledge in divinity, that they know all already; nor can they make this excuse, that they have no need diligently to apply themselves, in order to know all that is to be known. None can excuse themselves for want of business in which to employ themselves. There is room enough to employ ourselves forever in this divine science, with the utmost application. Those who have applied themselves most closely, have studied the longest, and have made the greatest attainments in this knowledge, know but little of what is to be known. The subject is inexhaustible. That Divine Being, who is the main subject of this science, is infinite, and there is no end to the glory of his perfections. His works at the same time are wonderful, and cannot be found out to perfection; especially the work of redemption, which is that work of God about which the science of divinity is chiefly conversant, is full of unsearchable wonders.

The Word of God, which is given for our instruction in divinity, contains enough in it to employ us to the end of our lives, and then we shall leave enough uninvestigated to employ the heads of the ablest divines to the end of the world. The Psalmist found an end to the things that are human; but he could never find an end to what is contained in the Word of God. Psalms 119:96, “I have seen an end to all perfection: but thy command is exceeding broad.” There is enough in this divine science to employ the understandings of saints and angels to all eternity.

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