DIFFERENT STREAMS . . . INTO THE SAME GREAT OCEAN”: JONATHAN EDWARDS, ROBERT MILLAR, AND TRANSATLANTIC INFLUENCE ON A HISTORY OF THE WORK OF REDEMPTION

Darren Schmidt

Abstract


This study examines the influence of religious historical writings by Church of Scotland clergyman Robert Millar on Jonathan Edwards’s History of the Work of Redemption. In the relative absence of sources elucidating this avenue of influence, the approach taken here is largely one of comparing Work of Redemption’s content against corresponding sections of Millar's History of the Propagation of Christianity (3rd ed., 1731), which Edwards owned, and his History of the Church Under the Old Testament (1730), for which no prior knowledge of Edwards’s familiarity exists. A sampling of evident correlations points to the plausibility that Edwards made use of Millar’s writings for their historical data, but also for more substantive material: interpretive positions on details, theological perspectives, uses of Scripture in reference to history, even authorial purposes and designs. Findings, in turn, raise a number of broader considerations regarding modern-day understandings of Work of Redemption and of Edwards’s place within transatlantic intellectual and religious currents.


Keywords


History, Religion, Transatlantic, A History of the Work of Redemption

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