Without refering to Paradise Lost's importance to Reformation and literary history, which is well-known, I personally found greater spiritual treasure in listening to this work than any other audible Christian fiction. The vivid images of the angels' and man's fall, so beautifully and poignantly related, are harrowing. The terrible betrayal by these creatures, contrasted with the Father's loyalty and truthfulness, is tragic enough - but the further consequence of the Son's willingness to atone for man is told in such a way as to make one cry for His holiness and love!
The narrator is adept at reading this Stuart-era English, and emotes very well, without overacting. If you haven't read this work, be warned that it is in "Shakespeare" speak. There are classical Greek references galore, too. It would be a tough "read" for someone unaccustomed to such literature, but this recording will help, especially if you truly read it concurrently. And who wants to read within your comfort zone? That's like eating pablum.
If you already know and love the work, this is another dimension from which to approach it, and a good one. If you don't know it, this fine production will help immensely. Soli Deo Gloria.
The images in Edwards?s sermon send some part of us fleeing. This work hardly presents the gospel that the modern church has fashioned for itself; it is stark, pure, unyielding. This accurate portrayal of the Lord's righteousness shows the light into which our darkness, sin, will not come. It offers the message of John the Baptist and Our Lord - Repent! It does not deny man's total depravity, but offers a looking glass, into which we peer and tremble, and from which we hide.
Edwards mentions that man flatters himself with the good things he has done. The apostle Paul states that he could boast before men of his good life, but not before God. God, from scripture's perspective, and certainly Edwards?s, is utterly Holy. That's why men fall before mere angels, and why Moses was warned not to look upon the face of the Lord, lest he die. These men knew their sin, and had become "undone" in the presence of Holiness.
The good pastor shows us the true nature of man, and his extremely precarious state (hanging by a mere thread). So does God, "...He that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."(John 3:36) If we deny Christ, the wrath "stays" on us. If it stays, was it not always upon us? If we die, being sinful as Adam, and Jesus comes to bear our sin as the second and blameless Adam, are we not by nature bound to sin and death? Can the Holy God tolerate sin? Edwards resounds: "no". He rightly says that we will be vessels full of God's wrath ? unless we accept Christ, who serves as our sinlessness.
The great mercy that Edwards shows is that God gives the self-righteous, by His restraining hand, a time in which to claim Christ-righteousness by faith. We?re shown the Holy Son, not a winking, nodding, false savior.
Edwards shows the light of the Holy God. We can react in two ways: flee and mock from afar, or fall down and confess Him, ?my Lord and my God?. Soli Deo Gloria!
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