A Tower Is a Lively Picture of the Things of the Gospel

A Tower Is a Lively Picture of the Things of the Gospel

Jonathan Edwards had a God-entranced vision of the world. He writes in Miscellanies #119:

The things of the ceremonial law are not the only things whereby God designedly shadowed forth spiritual things, but with an eye to such a representation were all the transactions of the life of Christ ordered. And very much of the wisdom of God in the creation appears in his so ordering things natural, that they livelily represent things divine and spiritual, [such as] sun, fountain, vine; as also, much of the wisdom of God in his providence, in that the state of mankind is so ordered, that there are innumerable things in human affairs that are lively pictures of the things of the gospel, such as shield, tower, and marriage, family.

Edwards is advocating a way of seeing the world that grasps the divine and spiritual realities represented in common things. He calls these "types" and lists some examples. One of the "lively pictures of the things of the gospel" that he mentions is a tower. A tower is a common thing, but Edwards calls it a lively picture of the gospel! He sees the tower as a shadow designed by God to represent the refuge that Christ is for those who believe.

We could make connections like this all day. So let's do it—today and everyday. May the Father give us a God-entranced vision of the world.

Jonathan Parnell (@jonathanparnell) is a writer and content strategist at Desiring God, and is the lead planter of Cities Church in Minneapolis–Saint Paul, where he lives with his wife, Melissa, and their four children. He is also the co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary.