Edwards recorded in “Image” no. 27 that the tempests of the ocean and the dangerous white waters of rivers are shadows of the omnipotent God’s wrath and judgment. “The waves and billows of the sea in a storm and the dire cataracts there are of rivers have a representation of the terrible wrath of God, and amazing misery of [them] that endure it.”


The Bible is full of water. Within its pages we find the deep, floods, storms, rivers, brooks, waves, seas, fountains, springs, wells, droughts, baptisms, washings, rain, cups, drinking, gardens, growth, and many other instances laden with meaning. In the Scriptures, water represents people and their posterity, blessings and curses, cleansing and deliverance, violence and judgment, and much more.

The Heavens

An early entry in Edwards’s “Images” notebook serves as a concise summary of his reinscripturated reading of the heavens: “The heaven’s being filled with glorious, luminous bodies, is to signify the glory and happiness of the heavenly inhabitants; and amongst these, the sun signifies Christ and the moon, the church (“Image” no. 4).”

Darkness and Light in the Bible

Light is good and dark is bad. White is virtuous and black is evil. These metaphorical concepts are basic to human understanding and communication. Edwards notes that the sum of all beautiful colors is white, which is emblematic of,

Light to Come

Christ is the true Light, the true Vine, and the true Bread (John 1:9; 15:1; 6:32). The temple and its rites were also “copies of the true things” in heaven (Heb 8:5; 9:24). The repeated sacrifices were types that were fulfilled in the perfect and final sacrifice of Christ which “put away sin” (Heb 9:26).

Darkness, then Light

In “Image” nos. 54, 58, 72, 188, and 211, Edwards meditates on light following darkness—the sun breaks forth each day to dispel the night, often with a rich profusion of color refracting through the clouds and sky. Dangerous beasts of the nocturne hours retreat into their dens.

Light, Darkness, and Eternity

In “Image” nos. 1, 21, 61, 64, 204, Edwards contemplates the spiritual significance of darkness and light: “The purity, beauty, sublimity and glory of the visible heavens … denotes the exaltedness and purity of …

Edwardsean Natural Theology

Alister McGrath notes Edwards as an example of a theologian who employs “affective imagination” in a correlation of doctrine and natural theology: “… Edwards … perhaps America’s greatest Christian …

Regions of Creation

Edwards’ theological meditations on the created order included all regions: Heavens, Earth and Waters, Plant Life, Birds, Animals, Insects, Humanity, and Man-made Objects and Activities …

Earth and Waters

Edwards frequently expounded the analogous relationship between nature and spiritual reality and in “Image” no. 82 he highlighted the three-storied structure of the created order: 82. There are three sorts of inhabitants of this world …

Image no. 78, TREES

In “Image” no. 78, Edwards finds “wonderful” analogies between TREES and the mysterious workings of Divine Providence. Trees have many hidden roots and crooked branches which twist and turn unpredictably, typifying the vicissitudes …

Up and Down

Above is a visualization of ASCENT, DESCENT, HEAVEN, & HELL in the matrix of biblical images. In “Image” no. 21, Edwards notes the revelation contained in the Creator’s up/down ordering of the world: 21. The purity, beauty, sublimity and glory of the visible …

Core Emphases

This visualization reveals the core theological emphases in Edwards’ “Images of Divine Things” notebook. The visualization can be animated by clicking or tapping on the legend or the image itself. The image also responds to …

Image no. 204, the OWL

Owls and certain other creatures of the night belong to the theological category of Supernatural Beings—they typify demons with their haunting voices. Their noise points to the wailing of demons and lost souls …