Emerson And Edwards Essay

1327 words - 6 pages

Edward, one of the greatest American wises, has left a great number of influential works about religions. In his the divine and supernatural light, he explains the two way to gain knowledge, one is from worldly things, and the other is the divine and supernatural light. He indicates the divine and supernatural light is spiritual light that immediately let into the mind by god, can make people feel the excellency of divine.
Drew on Edward’s the divine and super natural light, Emerson’s essay self-reliance give a specific define of genius. The most important characteristic of genius is self-reliance, he points out that "To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men—— that is genius.(1)"
In the divine and supernatural light, Edward begins with introduction to supernatural light, he explains what supernatural light isn’t. Firstly, ordinary people’s feeling of guilty and misery is not supernatural light, it can be from the spirit of god, but it’s not supernatural light, it’s just nature. Supernatural light acts different in unregenerate people and regenerate people, if unregenerate people get supernatural light, it cannot unite to them. But if it act on generate people, the result will be totally different, he “unites himself with the mind of a saint, takes him for his temple, actuates and influences him as a new supernatural principle of life and action.” He also mentions “It is no imagination or idea of an outward light or glory, or any beauty of form or countenance, or a visible luster or brightness of any object”, which differentiate the supernatural light and imagination or visible light. Thirdly, inspiration, which reveals new doctrine and suggests new proposition, is not supernatural light either. Lastly, Edward suggests that affecting view that men have of religious things.
So what is the divine and supernatural light, according to Edward, from positive side, it can be define as: “A true sense of the divine excellency of the things revealed in the Word of God, and a conviction of the truth and reality of them thence arising.” He then indicates the divine light contains first” A true sense of the divine and superlative excellency of the things of religion: a real sense of the excellency of God and Jesus Christ, and of the work of redemption, and the ways and works of God revealed in the gospel”, means the divine supernatural light has a excellency that differ from all worldly things, that is a truly appreciation for god, and it’s really felt deep in heart. In this case, he mentions a” twofold knowledge of good of which God has made the mind of man capable”. The first one is merely facial, you only understand or judge, but the other is consists in the sense of the heart. To illustrate that, Edward uses honey as a simile, honey represents the excellency of divine light. A man may know honey is sweet, but he can never know how sweet it is without tasting it. If you know honey is sweet,...

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