Edwards now saw that the universe was essentially personal, an emanation of the love and beauty of God, so that everything, even inanimate matter, was a personal communication from God. So in contrast to many contemporaries, such as Franklin, who saw Newton’s laws of motion as providing the model for understanding an essentially impersonal universe, Edwards started with a personal and sovereign God who expressed himself even in the ever-changing relationships of every atom to each other. This dramatic insight would be the key to every other aspect of his thought. Like a mathematician who had discovered an elegant solution to an immense problem, Edwards was captivated by the beauty of the insight. He now found the doctrine of God’s sovereignty “a delightful conviction.”
—George M. Marsden, A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards, 21-22
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