The Memoirs of
CHAPTER XVI. --- CHAPTER XXV.
Commencement Of Difficulties At Northampton.
THAT this world is not a place of rest even to the most excellent of men, is a fact proved by the history of all past ages. How few who have been in prominent situa-tions of usefulness but have experienced a variety of bitter disappointments; which though mysterious in themselves, disgraceful to those who have been the occasions of then, and most distressing to those who have felt their weight, yet have presented to the reflecting mind no unimportant lessons, and have tended to results little anticipated by any party connected with them. Nor should it seem strange to us that neither the world, nor the church of God itself, in its present imperfect state, can be considered as affording a resting-place. All the instruments employed by God in the promotion of his work, have been greatly tried; their labours have been mingled with their tears; and they have not only suffered from their own personal share of human imperfection, but have found in the igno-rance, the perverse dispositions, and the unholy practices of others, their sharpest sorrows. They have been grieved by foes, but more injured and vexed by pretended friends. Divine grace has however enabled them honourably to stand amidst these perilous conflicts, and though the storm has fiercely raged around them, they have at length found a calm which can never be endangered; and they place before those who succeed them this grand lesson, that the faithful pursuit of the path of duty, whatever may be its difficulties and trials, will end well; and that this is the only course which can be reviewed with any satisfaction amidst the solemnities of a dying scene.
If any individual might have expected freedom from painful opposition, Mr. Edwards was that person; if un-blemished holiness of character, if fervent desires of usefulness in all its varied and delightful forms, and if constant devotedness to every object connected with man's present and eternal good, could have insured uninterrupted satisfaction here, how large was the measure of enjoyment which would have fallen to the lot of this ex-cellent man! All that he was, and all he had, he was disposed to sacrifice upon the altar of God, and to dedi-cate to the service of his fellow-creatures. No disposition to spare himself, to exalt himseIf; or place burdens upon others which he was unwilling to share, could be disco-vered in him; yet afflictions of no common extent at-tended him; but still he could say, " None of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
Mr. Edwards was for many years unusually happy in the esteem and love of his people; and there was during that period the greatest prospect of his living and dying in the same state of harmony. So admirably was he quali-fied for the discharge of his official duties, and so faithful in the actual discharge of them, that he was probably the last minister in New England, who would have been thought likely to be opposed and rejected by the people of his charge. His uniform kindness, and that of Mrs. Edwards, had won their affection, and the exemplary piety of both, had secured their confidence; his very able and original exhibitions of truth on the Sabbath, had enlightened their understandings and their consciences; his published works had gained him a reputation for powerful talents, both in Europe and America, which left him without a competi-tor, either in the colonies or the mother country; his Ia-bours had been remarkably blessed, he had been the means of gathering one of the largest churches on earth; and of such of the members as had any real evidence of their own piety, the great body ascribed their conversion to his in-strumentality. But the event teaches us the instability of all earthly things, and proves how incompetent we are to calculate those consequences, which depend on a cause so uncertain and changeable as the will of man.
In the year 1744, about six years before the final sepa-ration, Mr. Edwards was informed, that some young per-sons in the town, who were members of the church, had licentious books in their possession which they employed to promote obscene conversation among the young people at home. Upon further inquiry, a number of persons tes-tified that they had heard one and another of them, from time to time, talk obscenely; as what they were led to, by reading books of this gross character which they had in circulation among them. On the evidence thus presented to him, Mr. Edwards thought, that the brethren of the church ought to look into the matter; and in order to in-troduce it to their attention, he preached a sermon from Heb. xii. 15, 16. "Looking diligently, lest any man fail of the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled: lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright." After sermon, he de-sired the brethren of the church to stop, told them what information he had received, and put the question to them in form, whether the church, on the evidence before them, thought proper to take any measures to examine into the matter? The members of the church, with one consent and with much zeal; manifested it to be their opinion that it ought to be inquired into; and proceeded to choose a number of individuals as a committee of inquiry, to assist their pastor in examining into the affair. After this Mr. Edwards appointed the time for the committee of the church to meet at his house; and then read to the church a catalogue of the names of the young persons, whom he desired to come to his house at the same time. Some of those whose names were thus read, were the persons ac-cused, and some were witnesses but through mere forget-fulness or inadvertence on his part, he did not state to the church, in which of these two classes any particular indi-vidual was included; or in what character he was re-quested to meet the committee, whether as one of the accused, or a witness.
When the names were thus published, it appeared that there were but few of the considerable families in the town, to which some of the persons named, either did not belong, or were not nearly related. Many of the church, however, having heard the names read, condemned what they had done, before they got home to their own houses; and whether this disclosure of the names, accompanied with the apprehension, that some of their own connexions were included in the list of offenders, was the occasion of the alteration or not, it is certain that, before the day ap-pointed for the meeting of the committee arrived, a great number of heads of families altered their minds, and de-clared they did not think proper to proceed as they had begun, and that their children should not be called to an account in such a way for such conduct; and the town was suddenly all in a blaze. This strengthened the hands of the accused: some refused to appear; others who did appear, behaved with a great degree of insolence, and con-tempt of the authority of the church; and little or nothing could be done further in the affair.
This was the occasion of weakening Mr. Edwards's hands in the work of the ministry, especially among the young people, with whom, by this means, he greatly lost his influence. It seemed in a great measure to put an end to his usefulness at Northampton, and doubtless laid a foundation for his removal, and will help to account for the surprising events which we are about to relate. He certainly had no great visible success after this; the influ-ences of the Holy Spirit were chiefly withheld, and stupi-dity and worldly-mindedness were greatly increased among them. That great and singular degree of good order, sound morals, and visible religion, which had for years prevailed at Northampton, soon began gradually to decay, and the young people obviously became from that time more dissolute.'
There was another difficulty of a far more serious nature. The church of Northampton, like the other early churches of New England, was formed on the plan of strict communion: in other words, none were admitted to the Lord's supper, but those who, after due examination, were re-garded as regenerate persons. Such was the uniform practice of the church from its formation during the minis-try of Mr. Mather, and for a considerable period after the settlement of Mr. Stoddard, the predecessor of Mr. Ed-wards. Mr. Stoddard publicly avowed a change in his opinions in 1704, when he had been in the ministry at Northampton thirty-two years, and endeavoured at that lime to introduce a corresponding change in the practice of the church. He then declared himself, in the language of Dr. Hopkins, to be "of the opinion, that unconverted persons, considered as such, had a right in the sight of God, or by his appointment, to the sacrament of the Lord's supper; that thereby it was their duty to come to that or-dinance, though they knew they had no true goodness or evangelical holiness. He maintained that visible Christi-anity does not consist in a profession, or appearance of that wherein true holiness, or real Christianity, consists; that therefore the profession, which persons make, in order to be received as visible members of Christ's church, ought not to be such as to express or imply a real compliance with, or consent to, the terms of this covenant of grace, or a hearty embracing of the gospel: so that they who really reject Jesus Christ, and dislike the gospel way of salvation in their hearts, and know that this is true of themselves, may make the profession without lying and hypocrisy," [on the principle that they regard the sacra-ment as a converting ordinance, and partake of it with the hope of obtaining conversion.] "He formed a short pro-fession for persons to make, in order to be admitted into the church, and to the sacrament, on these terms. Mr. Stoddard's principle at first made a great noise in the country; and he was opposed, as introducing something contrary to the principles and the practice of almost all the churches in New England, and the matter was publicly controverted between him and Dr. Increase Mather of Northampton. However, through Mr Stoddard's great influence over the people of Northampton, it was introduced there, though not without opposition: by degrees it spread very much among ministers and people in that county, and in other parts of New England."
At the settlement of Mr. Edwards, in 1727, this alter-ation in the qualifications required for admission into the church had been in operation about twenty-two or three years, a period during which the great body of the members of any church will be changed. This lax plan of admission has no where been adopted by a church, for any considerable length of time, without introducing a large proportion of membes who are destitute of piety; and although Mr. Stoddard was in other respects so faith-ful a minister, and so truly desirous of the conversion and salvation of his people, there can be no doubt that such must have been the result during so long a period in the church at Northampton.
"Mr. Edwards," observes Dr. Hopkins, "had some hesitation about this matter when he first settled at North-ampton, but did not receive such a degree of conviction, as to prevent his adopting it with a good conscience, for some years. But at length his doubts increased; which put him upon examining it thoroughly, by searching the Scriptures, and reading such books as were written on the subject. The result was, a full conviction that it was wrong, and that be could not retain the practice with a good conscience. He was fully convinced that to be a visible Christian, was to put on the visibility or appearance of a real Christian; that a profession of Christianity was a profession of that wherein real Christianity consists; and therefore that no person, who rejected Christ in his heart, could make such a profession consistently with truth. And as the ordinance of the Lord's supper was instituted for none but visible professing Christians, that none but those who are real Christians have a right, in the sight of God, to come to that ordinance: and, consequently, that none ought to be admitted thereto, who do not make a profession of real Christianity, and so can be received, in a judgment of charity, as true friends to Jesus Christ.
"When Mr. Edwards's sentiments were generally known in the spring of the year 1749, it gave great offence, and the town was put into a great ferment; and before he was heard in his own defence, or it was known by many what his principles were, the general cry was to have him dis-missed, as what would alone satisfy them. This was evident from the whole tenor of their conduct, as they neglected and opposed the most proper means of calmly considering, and so of thoroughly understanding, the matter in dispute, and persisted in a refusal to attend to what Mr. Edwards had to say, in defence of his principles. From the beginning to the end, they opposed the measures, which had the best tendency to compromise and heal the difficulty; and with much zeal pursued those, which were calculated to make a separation certain and speedy. He thought of preaching on the subject, that they might know what were his sentiments and the grounds of them, (of both which he was sensible that most of them were quite ignorant,) before they took any steps for a separation. But that he might do nothing to increase the tumult, he first proposed the thing to the standing committee of the church; supposing, that if he entered on the subject pub-licly with their consent, it would prevent the ill conse-quences, which otherwise he feared would follow. But the most of them strenuously opposed it. Upon which he gave it over for the present, as what, in such circum-stances, would rather blow up the fire to a greater height, than answer the good ends proposed."
Mr. Edwards was sensible that his principles were not understood, but misrepresented through the country; and finding that his people were too warm, calmly to attend to the matter in controversy, he proposed to print what he had to say on the point, as this seemed the only way left him to have a fair hearing. Accordingly his people con-sented to put off calling a council, till what he should write was published. With this view he began imme-diately to prepare a statement and defence of his own sentiments, and in the latter part of April, about two months from the time of its commencement, sent it to the press-an instance of rapidity of composition almost un-exampled in an individual, who was at once occupied by the duties of an extensive parish, and involved in the embarrassments of a most perplexing controversy. Notwithstanding the efforts of Mr. Edwards, the printing of the work was not completed until August. It was en-titled, "An Humble Inquiry into the Rules of the Word of God, concerning the Qualifications requisite to a Com-plete Standing and Full Communion in the Visible Chris-tian Church;" and contains a discussion of the question agitated between himself and his people, "Whether any persons ought to be admitted to full communion in the Christian church, but such as - in the eye of a reasonable judgment, are truly Christians?" - a discussion so thorough and conclusive, that it has been the standard work with evangelical divines from that time to the present.
It was a very painful consideration to Mr. Edwards, that, while the circumstances in which he was placed, constrained him to declare his sentiments from the press, the "Appeal to the Learned." the production of a man so much respected throughout New England, his own colleague too, and his own grandfather, was the work, and the only work of any respectability, on the opposite side of the question, which he should be obliged publicly to examine and refute. But his feelings on this subject he has him-self explained. "It is far from a pleasing circumstance of this publication, that it is against what my honoured grandfather strenuously maintained, both from the pulpit and the press. I can truly say, on account of this and some other considerations, it is what I engage in with the greatest reluctance that ever I undertook any public ser-vice in my life. But the state of things with me is so ordered by the sovereign disposal of the great Governor of the world, that my doing this appears to me very necessary, and altogether unavoidable. I am conscious that not only is the interest of religion concerned in this affair, but my own reputation, future usefulness, and my very subsist-ence, all seem to depend on my freely opening and defending myself as to my principles, and agreeable conduct in my pastoral charge, and on my doing it from the press: in which way alone am I able to state, and justify my opinion to any purpose, before the country, (which is full of noise, misrepresentations, and many censures concerning this affair,) or even before my own people, as all would be fully sensible, if they knew the exact state of the case.- I have been brought to this necessity in Divine Providence, by such a situation of affairs, and coincidence of circumstances and events, as I choose at present to be silent about; and which it is not needful, nor perhaps ex-pedient, for me to publish to the world."
The people of Northampton manifested great uneasiness in waiting for this publication, before it came out of the press; and when it was published, some of the leading men, afraid of its ultimate effect on the minds of the people, did their utmost to prevent its extensive perusal, and it was read by comparatively a small number. Some of those who read it, of a more cool and dispassionate temper, were led to doubt whether they had not been mistaken.
Mr. Edwards, as Dr. Hopkins observes, being sensible that his treatise had been read but by very few of the people, renewed his proposal to preach upon the subject, and at a meeting of the brethren of the church asked their consent in the following terms: "I desire that the brethren would manifest their consent, that I should de-clare the reasons of my opinion, relating to full communion in the church, in lectures appointed for that end: not as an act of authority, or as putting the power of declaring the whole counsel of God out of my hands; but for peace sake and to prevent occasion for strife." This was answered in the negative.-He then proposed that it should be left to a few of the neighbouring ministers, whether it was not, all things considered, reasonable, that he should be heard in this matter from the pulpit, before the affair should be brought to an issue. But this also passed in the negative.
However, having had the advice of the ministers and messengers of the neighbouring churches who met at Northampton, to advise them under their difficulties, he proceeded to appoint a lecture, in order to preach on the subject, proposing to do so weekly till he had finished what he had to say. On Monday there was a society meeting, in which a vote was passed to choose a commit-tee to go to Mr. Edwards, and desire him not to preach lectures on the subject in controversy, according to his declaration and appointment: in consequence of which a committee of three men , chosen for that purpose, waited upon him. However, Mr Edwards thought proper to proceed according to his proposal, and accordingly preached a number of sermons, till he had finished what he had to say on the subject. These lectures were very thin]y attended by his own people; but great numbers of strangers from the neighbouring towns attended them, so many as to make above half the congregation. This was in February and March, 1750.
The calling of a decisive council, to determine the matter of difference, was now more particularly attended to on both sides. Mr. Edwards had before this insisted, from time to time, that they were by no means ripe for such a procedure; as they had not yet given him a fair hearing, whereby perhaps the need of such a council would be superseded. He observed, "That it was ex-ceedingly unbecoming to manage religious affairs of the greatest importance in a ferment and tumult, which ought to be managed with great solemnity, deep humiliation, submission to the awful frowns of Heaven, humble depend-ence on God, with fervent prayer and supplication to him: that therefore for them to go about such an affair as they did, would be greatly to the dishonour of God and religion; a way in which a people cannot expect a blessing." Thus having used all means to bring them to a calm and charitable temper without effect, he consented that a de-cisive council should be called without any further delay.
But a difficulty attended the choice of a council, which was for some time insuperable. It was agreed, that the council should be mutually chosen, one half by the pastor, and the other half by the church, but the people insisted upon it, that he should be confined to the county for his choice. Mr. Edwards thought this an un-reasonable restraint upon him, as it was known that the ministers and churches in that county were almost univer-sally against him in the controversy, he indeed did not suppose that the business of the proposed council would be to determine whether his opinion was right or not, but whether any possible way could be devised for an accommodation between pastor and people, and to use their wisdom and endeavour in order to effect it. And if they found this impracticable, they must determine, whether what ought in justice to be done had already actually been attempted, so that there was nothing further to be demanded by either of the parties concerned, before a separation should take place. And if he was dismissed by them, it would be their business to set forth to the world in what manner, and for what cause, he was dismissed: all which were matters of great importance to him, and required upright and impartial judges. Now considering the great influence a difference in religious opinions has to prejudice men one against another, and the close con-nexion of the point, in which most of the ministers and churches in the county differed from him, with the mat-ter to be judged of, he did not think they could be reason-ably looked upon so impartial judges, as that the matter ought to be left wholly to them. Besides, he thought that the case, being so new and extraordinary, required the ablest judges in the land. For these, and some other reasons which he offered, he insisted upon liberty to go out of the county, for those members of the proposed council in which he was to have a choice. In this the people strenuously and obstinately opposed him. At length they agreed to leave the matter to a council consist-ing of the ministers and messengers of the five neighbouring churches; who after they had met twice upon it, and had the case largely debated before them, were equally divided, and therefore left the matter undetermined.
However, they were all agreed, that Mr. Edwards ought to have liberty to go out of the county far some of the council. And at the next church meeting, which was on the 26th of March, Mr. Edwards offered to join with them in calling a council, if they would consent that he should choose two or the churches out of the county, in ease the council consisted of but ten churches. The church however refused to comply with this, at one meeting after another repeatedly; and proceeded to want a church meeting and choose a moderator, in order to act without their pastor. But to pass by many particulars, at length, at a meeting of the church, warned by their pastor, May 3rd, they voted their consent to his proposal of going out of the county for two of the churches that should be ap-plied to. And they then proceeded to make choice of the ten ministers and churches of which the council should consist.
Account of Difficulties at Northampton (continued)
ON Friday afternoon, June 22nd, 1750, the result of the council, and the protest of the minority, were publicly read to the people assembled in the church. On the next Sabbath but one, July 1st, Mr. Edwards delivered to them his Farewell Sermon, which was soon afterwards published, at the request of some of the hearers. This ser-mon has been extensively and deservedly styled, "the best farewell sermon that was ever written;" and has been the source from which subsequent discourses, on occasions and in circumstances generally similar, have, to a great extent, been substantially derived. Had it been written in the case of an indifferent person, instead of his own, it could not have discovered less of passion or of irritation, or have breathed a more calm and excellent spirit. In-stead of indicating anger under a sense of multiplied inju-ries, it appears in every sentence to have been dictated by meekness and forgiveness. At the same time, it presents an exhibition of the scenes of the last judgment, singularly solemn and awful. Few, indeed, are the compositions which furnish so many or so unequivocal marks of un-common excellence in their author; and very few are so well adapted to be practically useful to churches and con-gregations.
The following postscript to the letter to Mr. Gillespie of April 2, 1750, and the letters of Mr. Erskine and Mr M'Culloch, all written immediately after the separation of Mr. Edwards from his people, exhibit also, in a very striking manner, the calm and tranquil state of his mind at the time when they were written.
"P. S. July 3,1750. Having had no leisure to finish the preparation of my letters to Scotland, before this time, by reason of the extraordinary troubles, hurries, and confusions of my unusual circumstances, I can now inform you, that the controversy between me and my people, which I mentioned in the beginning of my letter, has issued in a separation. An ecclesiastical council was called on the affair, who sat here the week before last, and by a majority of one voice determined an immediate sepa-ration to be necessary; and accordingly my pastoral rela-tion to my people was dissolved, on June 22nd. If I can procure the printed accounts from Boston of the proceed-ings of the council, I will give orders to my friend there, to enclose them with this letter, and direct them to you - I desire your prayers, that I may take a suitable notice of the frowns of Heaven on me and this people, between whom there once existed so great a union, in bringing to pass such a separation between us; that these troubles may be sanctified to me; that God would overrule the event for his own glory (in which doubtless many adversaries will rejoice and triumph); that he would open a door for my future usefulness, provide for me and my numerous family, and take a fatherly care of us in our present unsettled, uncertain circumstances, being cast on the wide worId.
"To the Rev. Mr. Erskine.
Northampton, July 5, 1750
REV. AND DEAR BROTHER,
I now acknowledge the receipt of three letters from you since I last wrote to you; one of Sept. 12, another of Sept. 20, another of Dec. 22; all of the year 1749. The two first I received in the winter, with Mr. Glass's Notes on Scripture Texts, Ridgeley on Onginal Sin, Wheatley's Schools of the Prophets, Davidson's Sermon occasioned by the death of Mr. Harrison, and Mr. M'Raile's Sermon.
Your letter written in December, I received a little while ago. I have greatly regretted the want of opportunity to answer you till now; but such have been my extraordi-nary circumstances, the multitude of distracting troubles and hurries that I have been involved in, (which I cannot easily represent to you.) that I have had no leisure I have been very uneasy in neglecting to write to my cor-respondents in Scotland; and about two months ago I set myself to the business, but was soon broken off; and have not been able to return to it again till now. And now, my dear Sir, I thank you for your letters and pre-sents. The books you sent me were entertaining to me, and same of them will be of advantage to me, if God should give me opportunity to prosecute the studies I had begun on the Arminian controversy. There were various things pleasing to me in Glass's Notes, tending to give some new light into the sense of Scripture. He seems to be a man of ability; though I cannot fall in with all his singularities.
The account you say Mr. Davidson gave of the absurdities of the Moravians, are not very surprising to me. I have seen here in America so much of the tendency and issue of such kind of notions, and such sort of religion, as are in vogue among them, and among others in many respects like them, that I expect no other than that sin, folly, absurdity, and things to the last degree reproachful to Christianity, will for ever be the consequence of such things. It seems to me, that enough and enough of this kind has lately appeared, greatly to awaken the attention of Christian divines, and make them suspect that the de-vil's devices in the various counterfeits of vital, experimen-tal religion, have not been sufficiently attended to, and the exact distinctions between the saving operations of the Spirit of God and its false appearances not sufficiently observed. There is something now in the press at Boston, largely handling the subject. I have had opportunity to read the manuscript, and, in my humble opinion, it has a tendency to give as much light in this matter, as any thing that ever I saw. U was written by Mr. Bellamy, minister of Bethlehem, in Connecticut; the minister whom Mr. Brainerd sometimes speaks of as his peculiarly dear and intimate friend (as possibly you may have observed in reading his life). He was of about Mr. Bainerd's age, and it might have been well, if he had had more years over his head. But as he is one of the most intimate friends that I have in the world, and one that I have much acquaintance with, I can say this of him, that he is one of very great experience in religion, as to what has passed between God and his own soul; one of very good natural abilities, of closeness of thought, of extraordinary diligence in his studies, and earnest care exactly to know the truth in these matters. He has long applied his mind to the subject be has wrote upon. and used all possible helps of conversation and reading. And though his style is not such as is like to please the polite world, yet if his youth, and the obscurity of his original, and the place that he lives in. &c. do not prevent his being much taken notice of, I am persuaded his book might serve to give the church of God considerable light as to the nature of true religion, and many important doctrines of Christianity. From the knowledge I have of him, I am fully satisfied that his aim in this publication is not his own fame and reputation in the world; but the glory of God, and the advancement of the kingdom of his Redeemer.
I suspect the follies of some of the Seceders, which you mention in both your letters of Sept. 20, and Dec. 22, arise, in considerable measure, from the same cause with the follies of the Moravians, and the followers of the Wesleys, and many extravagant people in America, vis. false religion, counterfeit conversions, and the want of a genuine renovation of the spirit of their minds. I say, as to many of them, not to condemn all in the gross. The spirit seems to be exactly the same with what appears in many, who apparently, by their own account, have had a false conversion. I am a great enemy to censoriousness, and have opposed it very much in my preaching and writings. But yet I think we should avoid that bastard, mischievous charity, by which Satan keeps men asleep; and hides their eyes from those snares and crafty works of his, which it is of the utmost consequence to the church of God to discern and be aware of; and by which, for want of their being discovered, the devil has often had his greatest advantages against the interest of religion.
The Scriptures often lead us to judge of true religion, and the greatest sincerity of ptofessors, by the genius, the temper, and spirit of their religion: Jas iii. 17, Eph v. 9, Gal v. 19,25, 1 Cor xii. 4, &c. Rom viii.9, I Jn 1v. 16, Jn xiii. 35, 1 John ii. 10, 1 Jn iii.14, and 18, 19, and 23, 24. chap. iv. 7. v 12, 13. and very many other places. I have been greatly grieved at a spirit of censoriousness; but yet I heartily wish that some sorts of charity were utterly abolished.
The accounts you give of Archbishop Herring, of the moderate, generous, truly catholic and Christian principles appearing in him, and some other of the dignified clergy, and other persons of distinction in the church of England, are very agreeable. It is to be hoped that these things are forerunners of something good and great to be brought to pass for the church of God.
I have seen some accounts in our public prints, published here in America, of those conversions and baptisms in the Russian empire, which you mention in your last letter; and should be glad of further information about that matter. We have had published here, an extract of a letter, written by Dr Doddridge to Mr. Pearsall of Taun-ton, in Somersetshire, and transmitted by him to Boston, in a letter to Mr. Prince; giving a surprising account of a very wonderful person, a German by nation, a preacher of the gospel to the Jews, lately in London; whom he (Dr. Doddridge) saw and conversed with, and heard preach (or rather repeat) a sermon there; who had had great success in preaching to those miserable people in Germany, Poland, Holland, Lithuania, Hungary, and other parts; God having so blessed his labours that, in the various parts through which he had travelled, he had been the instrument of the conversion of about six hundred Jews; many of whom are expressing their great concern to bring others of their brethren to the knowledge of the great and blessed Redeemer, and beseeching him to in-struct their children, that they may preach Christ also. I should be glad if you hear any thing further of the affair, to be informed of it by you. I think such things may well be improved to animate and encourage those who have engaged in the Concert for Prayer for the reviving of Religion. I rejoice to hear what you write of some ap-pearances of awakening in Mr. Gillies's church in Glas-gow, and if it continues should be glad to be informed.
I am very glad to hear of what Mr. M'Laurin in-forms me of the encouragements likely to be given from Scotland to New Jersey college; a very hopeful society, and I believe what is done for that seminary is doing good in an eminent manner. Mr. M'Laurin tells me of some prospect of your being removed to a congregation in Edinburgh, which I am pleased with, because I hope there you will act in a larger sphere, and will have more opportunity to exert the disposition that appears in you, to promote good public designs for Zion's prosperity.
I thank you for the concern you manifest for me under my difficulties and troubles, by reason of the controversy between me and my people, about the terms of Christian communion.
This controversy has now had that issue which I ex-pected; it has ended in a separation between me and my people. Many things have appeared, that have been exceedingly unhappy and uncomfortable in the course of this controversy. The great power of prejudices from education, established custom, and the traditions of an-cestors arid certain admired teachers, and the exceeding unhappy influence of bigotry, has remarkably appeared in the management of this affair. The spirit, that has actuated and engaged my people in this affair, is evidently the same that has appeared in your own people in their opposition to winter communions, but only risen to a much higher degree; and some of the arguments, that have been greatly insisted on here, have been very much of the same sort with some of those urged by your people in your affair. There have been many things said and done, during our controversy, that I shall not now declare. But would only say in the general, that there has been that prejudice, and spirit of jealousy, and in-creasing engagedness of spirit and fixedness of resolution, to gain the point in view, viz, my dismission from my pastoral office over them, upheld and cherished by a persua-sion that herein they only stood for the truth, and did their duty, that it has been an exceedingly difficult thing for me to say or do any thing at all in order to their being enlightened, or brought to a more calm and sedate con-sideration of things, without its being misinterpreted, and turned to an occasion of increasing jealousy and preju-dice, even those things wherein I have yielded most, and done most to gratify the people, and assuage their spirits and win their charity. I have often declared to the peo-ple, and gave it to them under my hand, that if, after all proper means used, and regular steps taken, they con-tinued averse to remaining under my ministry, I had no inclination to do any thing, as attempting to oblige them to it. But I looked on myself bound in conscience, be-fore I left them, (as I was afraid they were in the way to ruin,) to do my endeavour, that proper means should be used to bring them to a suitable temper, and so to a ca-pacity of proceeding considerately, and with their eyes open; properly, and calmly, and prayerfully examining the point in controversy, and also weighing the conse-quences of things. To this end I have insisted much on an impartial council, in which should be some of the elderly ministers of the land, to look fully into our state, and to view it with all its circumstances, with full liberty to give both me and them such advice as they should think requisite and proper. And therefore I insisted, that the council should not wholly consist of ministers and churches that were professedly against me in the point in controversy; and that it should not consist wholly of ministers and churches of this neighbourhood, who were almost altogether in opposition to me; but that some should be brought from abroad. This I also insisted on, as I thought it most likely an impartial council would do me justice, in the public representation they would make of our affairs, in their result. The people insisted that the council should be wholly of the neighbourhood; un-doubtedly because they supposed themselves most sure, that their judgment and advice would be favourable and agreeable to them. I stood the more against it, be-cause in this country we have no such thing as ap-peals from one council to another, from a lesser to a larger; and also, because the neighbouring ministers were all youngerly men. These things were long the subject matter of uncomfortable troubles and contests. Many were the proposals I made. At last they complied with this proposal, (after great and long-continued opposition to it,) viz. That I should nominate two churches to be of the council, who were not within the bounds of this county. And so it was agreed that a council of ten churches should be called, mutually chosen; and that two of my half should be called from abroad. I might have observed before, that there was a great and long dispute about the business of my council, or what should be left to them; and particularly, whether it should be left to them, or they should have liberty, to give us what advice they pleased for a remedy from our calamities. This I insisted on, not that I desired that we should bind ourselves beforehand to stand to their advice, let it be what it would; but I thought it absurd to tie up and limit the council, that they should not exercise their own judgment, and give us their advice, according to their own mind. The people were willing the council should make proposals for an accommodation; but that, if they did not like them, the council should be obliged immediately to separate us, and would not have them have any liberty to advise to wait longer, or use any further means for light, or to take any further or other course for a remedy from our calamities. At last a vow was passed in these words,-'That a council should be called to give us their last advice, for a remedy from the calamities arising from the present unsettled, broken state of the church, by reason of the controversy here subsisting, concerning the qualifications for full communion in the church: and if upon the whole of what they see and find in our circumstances, they judge it best that pastor and people be immediately separated, that they proceed to dis-solve the relation between them.' Accordingly a council was agreed upon, to meet here on this business, on June 19th. I nominated two out of this county; of which Mr. Foxcroft's church in Boston was one. But others were nominated provisionally, in case these should fall. Those that came, were Mr. Hall's church of Sutton, and Mr. Hobby's church in Reading. One of the churches that I nominated within the county, refused to send a delegate, viz. Mr. Billing's church of Cold Spring. However, Mr. Billing himself (though with some difficulty) was admit-ted into the council. The people, in managing this affair on their side, have made chief use of a young gentleman of liberal education and notable abilities, and a fluent speaker, of about seven or eight and twenty years of age, my grand-father Stoddard's grandson, being my mother's sister's son; a man of lax principles in religion, falling in, in some essential things, with Arminians, and is very open and bold in it. He was improved as one of the agents for the church, and was their chief spokesman before the council. He very strenuously urged before the council the necessity of an immediate separation; and I knowing the church, the most of them, to be inflexibly bent on this event, in-formed the council that I should not enter into the dis-pute, but should refer the matter wholly to the council's judgment; I signified, that I had no desire to leave my people, on any other consideration, any other than their aversion to my being their minister any longer; but, they continuing so averse, had no inclination or desire that they should be compelled, but yet should refer myself to their advice. When the church was convened, in order to the council's knowing their minds with respect to my continu-ance, about twenty-three appeared for it, others staid away, choosing not to act either way; but the generality of the church, which consists of about 230 male members, voted for my dismission.- My dismission was carried in the council by a majority of one voice. The ministers were equally divided, but of the delegates one more was for it than against it, and it so happened that all those of the council, who came from the churches of the people's choosing, voted for my dismission; but all those who came from the churches that I chose, were against it, and there happening to be one fewer of these than of the other, by the church of Cold Spring not sending a delegate, (which was through that people's prejudice against my opinion) the vote was carried that way by the voice of one dele-gate. However, on the 22d of the last month, the relation between me and this people was dissolved. I suppose that the Result of the Council, and the Protestation of some of the members, are printed in Boston by this time. I shall endeavour to procure one of the printed accounts, to be sent with this letter to you, together with one of my books on the point that has been in controversy between me and my people. Two of the members of the council, who dissented from the Result, yet did not sign the Protest-ation, viz. Mr Reynolds and his delegate, which I sup-pose was owing to Mr. Reynolds's extraordinarily cautious and timorous temper. The last Sabbath I preached my farewell sermon. Many in the congregation seemed to be much affected, and some are exceedingly grieved. Some few, I believe, have some repentings of heart, that voted me away. But there is no great probability that the lead-ing part of the church will ever change. Beside their own fixedness of resolution, there are many in the neighbour-ing towns to support their resolution, both in the ministry and civil magistracy; without whose influence I believe the people never would have been so violent as they have been.
I desire that such a time of awful changes, dark clouds, and great frowns of Heaven on me and my people, may be a time of serious consideration, thorough self-reflection and examination, and deep humiliation with me. I desire your fervent prayers for me, and for those who have here-tofore been my people. I know not what will become of them. There seems to be the utmost danger, that the younger generation will be carried away with Arminianism as with a flood. The young gentleman I spoke of, is high in their esteem, and is become the most leading man in the town; and is very bold in declaiming and disputing for his opinions; and we have none able to confront and withstand him in dispute; and some of the young people already show a disposition to fall in with his notions. And it is not likely that the people will obtain any young gentleman of Calvinistic sentiments, to settle with them in the ministry, who will have courage and ability to make head against him. And as to the older people, there never appeared so great an indifference among them, about things of this nature. They will at present be much more likely to be thorough in their care to settle a minister of principles con-trary to mine, as to terms of communion, than to settle one that is sound in the doctrines of grace. The great concern of the leading part of the town, at present, will probably be, to come off with flying colours, in the issue of the controversy they have had with me, and of what they have done in it; for which they know many condemn them.
An end is put for the present, by these troubles, to the studies I was before engaged in, and my design of writing against Arminianisn. I had made considerable preparation, and was deeply engaged in the prosecution of this design, before I was rent off from it by these difficulties, and if ever God should give me opportunity, I would again resume that affair. But I am now, as it were, thrown upon the wide ocean of the world, and know not what will become of me and my numerous and chargeable family. Nor have I any particular door in view that I depend upon to be opened for my future serviceableness. Most places in New England that want a minister would not be forward to invite one with so chargeable a family, nor one so far advanced in years - being 46 the 5th day of last October. I am fitted for no other business but study. I should make a poor hand at getting a living by any secular employment. We are in the hands of God, and I bless him, I am not anxious concerning his disposal of us. I hope I shall not distrust him, nor be unwilling to submit to his will. And I have cause of thankfulness, that there seems also to be such a disposition in my family. You are pleased, dear Sir, very kindly to ask me, whether I could sign the Westminster Confession of Faith, and submit to the Presbyterian form of church government, and to offer to use your influence to procure a call for me, to some congregation in Scotland. I should be very ungrateful, if I were not thankful for such kindness and friendship. As to my subscribing to the substance of the Westminster Confession, there would be no difficulty; and as to the Presbyterian government, I have long been perfectly out of conceit of our unsettled, independent, confused way of church government in this land; and the Presbyterian way has ever appeared to me most agreeable to the word of God, and the reason and nature of things, though I cannot say that I think, that the Presbyterian government of the church of Scotland is so perfect, that it cannot, in some respects, be mended. But as to my removing, with my numerous family, over the Atlantic, it is, I acknowledge, attended with many difficulties that I shrink at. Among other things, this is very considerable, that it would be on uncertainties, whether my gifts and administrations would suit my congregation, that should send for me without trial; and so great a thing as such a removal, had need to be on some certainty as to that matter. If the expecta-tions of a congregation were so great, and they were so confident of my qualifications, as to call me at a venture, having never seen nor heard me; their disappointment might possibly be so much the greater, and they the more uneasy after acquaintance and trial. My own country is not so dear to me, but that, if there were an evident pros-pect of being more serviceable to Zion's interests else-where, I could forsake it. And I think my wife is fully of this disposition.
I forgot to mention, that, in this evil time in Northampton, there are some of the young people under awakenings; and I hope two or three have lately been converted: two very lately, besides two or three hopefully brought home the last year.
My wife and family join with me in most respectful and cordial salutations to you, and your consort; and we desire the prayers of you both for us, under our present circumstances. My youngest child but one has long been in a very infirm, afflicted, and decaying state with the rickets, and some other disorders. I desire your prayers for it.
I am, dear Sir,
Your most affectionate and obliged
Friend and brother,
"P. S. For accounts of the state of religion in America, and some reasons of my conduct in this controversy with my people, I must refer you to my letters to Mr. Robe and Mr. M'Laurin."
Letter to Mr. M'Culloch -To Mr. Erskine- An Account of the Troubles at Northampton (concluded).
THE correspondence of Mr. Edwards with some eminent ministers in Scotland, already introduced, has probably been found among the most interesting parts of this Memoir; equally creditable to Mr. Edwards, and to the ex-cellent men, whose enlightened minds at once discerned his uncommon worth. The admirers of Mr. Edwards are under the deepest obligations to Mr. (afterwards Dr) Erskine, whose name so frequently has occurred, as the individual through whose exertions the various works which principally form these volumes were first introduced in this kingdom.-The letters which are found in this chapter will not diminish the interest already felt by the pious and intelligent reader.
"To the Rev. Mr M'Culloch.
Northampton, July 6, 1750.
REV. AND DEAR SIR, It is now long since I have received a letter from you: the last was dated March 10, 1749. However, you having heretofore manifested that our correspondence was not unacceptable to you, I would not omit to do my part towards the continuance of it. Perhaps one reason of your neglecting to write, may be the failing of such agreeable matter for correspondence, as we had some years ago, when religion was flourishing in Scotland and America, and we had joyful information to give each other, of things pertaining to the city of our God. It is indeed now a sorrowful time on this side of the ocean. Iniquity abounds, and the love of many waxes cold. Multitudes of fair and high professors, in one place and another, have sadly backslidden; sinners are desperately hardened; experimental religion is more than ever out of credit, with the far greater part, and the doctrines of grace, and those principles in religion that do chiefly con-cern the power of godliness, are far more than ever dis-carded. Arminianism and Pelagianisin have made a strange progress within a few years. The church of Eng-land, in New England, is I suppose treble of what it was seven years ago. Many professors are gone off to great lengths in the enthusiasms and extravagance, in their no-tions and practices. Great contentions, separations, and confusions, in our religious state, prevail in many parts of the land. Some of our main pillars are broken; one of which was Mr. Webb of Boston, who died in the latter part of last April. Much of the glory of the town of Boston is gone with him; and if the bereavements of that town should be added to, by the death of two or three more of their remaining ministers, that place would be in a very sorrowful state indeed, like a city whose walls are broken down, and like a large flock without a shep-herd, encompassed with wolves, and many in the midst of it.
These are the dark things that appear. But on the other hand, there are some things that have a different aspect. There have in some places appeared revivals of religion. Some little revivings have been in some places towards Boston. There has been some reformation, not long since, in one of our colleges; and by what I hear there has been much more of this nature in some other parts of the pro-vince of New York, near Bedford river; something in several parts of New Jersey, particularly through the labours of Mr Greenman, a young gentleman educated by the charitable expenses of the pious and eminent Mr David Brainerd, mentioned in his Life, which I think I sent to you the last summer. And since I last wrote to Scotland, I have had accounts of the prevailing of a reli-gious concern in some parts of Virginia.
And I must not forget to inform you, that, although I think it has of late been the darkest time in Northampton, that ever was since the town stood, yet there have been some overturnings on the minds of some of the young people here, and two or three instances of hopeful con-version the last summer, and as many very lately.
When I speak of its being a dark time here, I have a special reference to the great controversy that has subsisted here, for about a year and a half, between me and my people, about the forms of communion in the visible church; which has even at length issued in a separation between me and my people; for a more particular account of which, I must refer you to my letters to Mr Robe and Mr. Erskine.-Besides, I shall endeavour to procure the printed copies of the Result of the Council, that sat here the week before last, with the Protestation of some, of the members, that these may be sent to you with this letter, together with one of my books, published on the point in debate between me and my people; of which I crave your acceptance.
I am now separated from the people between whom and me there was once the greatest union. Remarkable is the providence of God in this matter. In this event we have a striking instance of the instability and uncertainty of all things here below. The dispensation is indeed aw-ful in many respects, calling for serious reflection and deep humiliation in me and my people. The enemy, far and near, will now triumph; but God can overrule all for his own glory. I have now nothing visible to depend upon for my future usefulness, or the subsistence of my numerous family. But I hope we have an all-sufficient, faithful, covenant God, to depend upon. I desire that I may ever submit to him, walk humbly before him, and put my trust wholly in him. I desire, dear Sir, your prayers for us, under our present circumstances.
I am, Sir, your respectful and affectionate friend and brother,
"P. S. My wife and family join with me in cordial sa-lutations to you and yours"
After Mr. Edwards was dismissed from his people, se-veral months elapsed before he received any proposals of settlement. During this interval, the committee of the church found it very difficult to procure a regular supply of the pulpit. When no other preacher could be procured, Mr. Edwards was for a time applied to by the committee, to preach for them; but always with apparent reluctance, and only for the given Sabbath. He alludes to these circumstances in the following letter; in which the reader will find, that he was a decided advocate for the celebra-tion of the Lord's supper every Lord's day.
Letter to Mr. Erskine.
"Northampton, Nov. 15, 1750.
REV. AND DEAR Sir ,
Some time in July last I wrote to you, and ordered one of my books on the Qualifications for Communion in the Church, to be sent to you from Boston, with the letter. In my letter I informed you of what had come to pass, in the issue of the late controversy between me and my people, in the dissolution of my pastoral relation to them; and ordered the printed Result of the Ecclesiastical Coun-cil, that sat upon our affairs, and the Protest against the said Result, to be put up with the letter; and also, at the same time, sent letters to my other correspondents in Scotland, with the books, &c. I have as yet had no call to any stated business elsewhere in the ministry; there has been some prospect of my having invitations to one or two places. The people of Northampton are hitherto destitute of a minister. They have exerted themselves very much, to obtain some candidate to come and preach to them on probation, and have sent to many different places; but have hitherto been disappointed, and seem to be very much nonplussed. But the major part of them seem to continue without any relenting or misgiving of heart, con-cerning what has been done; at least the major part of the leading men in the congregation. But there is a num-ber whose hearts are broken at what has come to pass; and I believe are more deeply affected than ever they were at any temporal bereavement. It is thus with one of the principal men in the parish, viz. Col. Dwight; and another of our principal men, viz. Dr. Mather, adheres very much to me; and there are more women of this sort, than men; and I doubt not but there is a number, who in their hearts are with me, who durst not appear, by reason of the great resolution, and high hand, with which things are carried in the opposition, by the prevailing part. Such is the state of things among us, that a person cannot ap-pear on my side, without greatly exposing himself to the resentments of his friends and neighbours, and being the object of much odium. The committee, that have the care of supplying the pulpit, have asked me to preach, the greater part of the time since my dismission, when I have been at home; but it has seemed to be with much reluct-ance that they have come to me, and only because they could not get the pulpit supplied otherwise; and they have asked me only from Sabbath to Sabbath. In the mean time, they have taken much pains to get somebody else to preach to them.
Since I wrote to you in July last, I received your letter, dated the 30th of April last, with your generous and ac-ceptable presents of Fraser's Treatise of Justifying Faith, Mr. Crawford's Manual against Infidelity, Mr. Randal's Letters on Frequent Communicating, Mr. Blair's Sermon before the Society for propagating Christian Knowledge, with an account of the Society, and the Bishop of London's Letters to the Cities of London and Westminster. The view the last mentioned gives of the wickedness of those cities, is very affecting; and the patience of God towards such cities, so full of wickedness, so heinous and horrid in its kinds, and attended with such aggravations, is very astonishing. That those cities and the nation, and indeed Christendom in general, are come to such a pass as they are, seems to me to argue that some very remarkable dis-pensation of Divine Providence is nigh, either of mercy or of judgment, or perhaps both; of mercy to an elect number, and great wrath and vengeance towards others; and that those very things you take notice of in Isa lix. are ap-proaching, appear; to me very probable. However, I cannot but think, that, at such a day, all such as truly love Zion, and lament the wickedness that prevails in the earth, are very loudly called upon to united and earnest prayer to God, to arise and plead his own cause, that he would make bare his arm, that that may bring salvation: that now when the enemy comes in as a flood, the Spirit of the Lord may lift up a standard against him. When the church of Christ is like the ship, wherein Christ and his disciples were, when it was tossed with a dreadful tempest, and even covered with waves, and Christ was asleep certainly at becomes Christians (though not with doubting and unbelief) to call on their Redeemer, that he would awake out of sleep, and rebuke the winds and waves. There are some things that afford a degree of comfort and hope, in this dark day, respecting the state of Zion. I cannot but rejoice at some things which I have seen, that have been lately published in England, and the reception they have met with in so corrupt a time and nation Some things of Dr. Doddndge's, (who seems to have his heart truly engaged for the interests of religion,) particularly his Rise and Progress, and Col. Gardiner's Life, and also Mr. Hervey's Meditations. And I confess it is a thing that gives me much hope, that there are so many on this side the ocean united in the Concert for Prayer, proposed from Scotland; of which I may give a more particular account in a letter to Mr. M'Laurin, which I intend shall be sent with this. I had lately a letter from Governor Belcher, and in the postscript he sent me the following extract of a letter he had lately received from Dr. Doddridge. 'Nor did I ever know a finer class of young preachers, for its number, than that which God has given me this year, to send out into the churches. Yet are not all the supplies, here as elsewhere, adequate to their ne-cessities; but I hope God will prosper the schemes we are forming for their assistance. I bless God, that in these middle parts of our island, peace and truth prevail in sweet harmony; and I think God is reviving our cause, or rather his own, sensibly, though in a gentle and almost unobserved manner.'
This which the Doctor speaks of, I hope is a revival of religion; though many things, in many places, have been boasted of as glorious revivals, which have been but counterparts of religion; so it has been with many things that were intermingled with and followed our late happy revival. There have been in New England, within these eight years past, many hundreds, if not thousands, of in-stances very much like that of the boy at Tiptry Heath, mentioned by Mr. Davidson, as you give account in your letter. We ought not only to praise God for every thing that appears favourable to the interests of religion, and to pray earnestly for a general revival, but also to use means that are proper in order to it; and one proper means must be allowed to be, a due administration of Christ's ordi-nances: one instance of which is that, which you and Mr. Randal have been striving for; viz. A restoring the primitive practice of frequent communicating. I should much wonder (had it not been for what I have myself lately seen of the force of bigotry and prejudice, arising from education and custom) how such arguments and persuasions, as Mr. Randal uses, could be withstood; but however they may be resisted for the present, yet I hope those who have begun will continue to plead the cause of Christ's institutions; and whatever opposition is made, I should think it would be best for them to plead nothing at all short of Christ's institutions, viz. the administration of the Lord's supper every Lord's day :-it must come to that at last; and why should Christ's ministers and people, by resting in a partial reformation, lay a foundation for a new struggle, an uncomfortable labour and conflict, in some future generation, in order to a full restoration of the primitive practice.
I should be greatly gratified, dear Sir, by the con-tinuance of your correspondence, and by being informed by you of the state of things, relating to the interests of religion in Europe, and especially in Great Britain; and particularly whether the affair of a comprehension is like to go on, or whether the test act is like to be taken off, or if there be any thing else done, or published, in England or Scotland, that remarkably affects the interests of re-ligion.
I have, with this letter, sent Mr. Bellamy's True Religion Delineated, with a Sermon of mine at Mr. Strong's ordination; of which I ask your acceptance, as a small testimony of gratitude for your numerous favours to me. I ask a constant remembrance in your prayers, that I may have the presence of God under my unusual trials, and that I may make a good improvement of all God's dealings with me. My wife joins with me in most cordial salutations to you and Mrs. Erskine.
I am, dear Sir,
your affectionate and obliged friend and brother,
"At length," observes Dr. Hopkins, "a great uneasi-ness was manifested, by many of the people of North-ampton, that Mr. Edwards should preach there at all. Upon which the committee for supplying the pulpit called the town together, to know their minds with respect to that matter, when they voted, That it was not agreeable to their minds that he should preach among them. Accord-ingly, while Mr. Edwards was in the town, and they had no other minister to preach to them, they carried on public worship among themselves, and without any preaching, rather than invite him. (Footnote: This vote appears to have been passed in the latter part of November, a few weeks only before Mr. Edwards received proposals of settlement, which he ultimately accepted.)
"Every one must be sensible," remarks Dr. Hopkins, who was himself an occasional eve-witness of these scenes, "that this was a great trial to Mr. Edwards. He had been nearly twenty-four years among that people; and his labours had been, to all appearance, from time to time greatly blessed among them: and a great number looked on him as their spiritual father, who had been the happy instrument of turning them from darkness to light, and plucking them as brands out of the burning. And they had from time to time professed that they looked upon it as one of their greatest privileges to have such a minister, and manifested their great love and esteem of him, to such a degree, that, (as saint Paul says of the Galatians) "if it had been possible, they would have plucked out their own eyes, and given them to him" And they had a great interest in his affection: he had borne them on his heart, and carried them in his bosom for many years; exercising a tender concern and love for them: for their good he was always writing, contriving, labouring; for them he had poured out ten thousand fervent prayers; in their good he had rejoiced as one that findeth great spoil; and they were dear to him above any other people under heaven. Now to have this people turn against him, and thrust him out from among them, stopping their ears, and running upon him with furious zeal, not allowing him to defend himself by giving him a fair hearing; and even refusing so much as to hear him preach; many of them surmising and publicly speaking many ill things as to his ends and designs! surely this must come very near to him, and try his spirit. The words of the psalmist seem applicable to this case: "It was not an enemy that reproached me, that did magnify himself against me, then I would have hid myself from him But it was thou-my guide and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company."
"Let us therefore now behold the man ! -The calm se-dateness of his mind; his meekness and humility in great and violent opposition, and injurious treatment: his reso-lution and steady conduct through all this dark and ter-rible storm; were truly wonderful, and cannot be set in so beautiful and affecting a light by any description, as they appeared in to his friends, who were eye-witnesses.
"Mr. Edwards had a numerous and chargeable family, and little or no income, exclusive of his salary; and con-sidering how far he was advanced in years; the general disposition of people, who want a minister, to prefer a young man, who has never been settled, to one who has been dismissed from his people; and what misrepresenta-tions were made of his principles through the country; it looked to him not at all probable, that he should ever have opportunity to be settled again in the work of the minis-try, if he was dismissed from Northampton: and he was not inclined, or able, to take any other course, or go into any other business to get a living: so that beggary as well as disgrace stared him full in the face, if he persisted in his principles. When he was fixed in his principles, and before they were publicly known, he told some of his friends, that if he discovered and persisted in them, it would most likely issue in his dismission and disgrace; and the ruin of himself and family, as to their temporal interests. He therefore first sat down and counted the cost, and deliberately took up the cross, when it was set before him in its full weight and magnitude; and in direct opposition to all worldly views and motives. And there-fore his conduct, in these circumstances, was a remarkable exercise and discovery of his conscientiousness; and of his readiness to deny himself, and to forsake all that he had, to follow Christ. - A man must have a considerable degree of the spirit of a martyr, to go on with the steadfastness and resolution with which he did. He ventured wherever truth and duty appeared to lead him, unmoved at the threatening dangers on every side.
"However, God did not forsake him. As he gave him those inward supports, by which he was able in patience to possess his soul, and courageously row on in the storm, in the face of boisterous winds beating hard upon him, and in the midst of gaping waves threatening to swallow him up; so he soon appeared for him in his providence, even beyond all his expectations. His correspondents, and other friends in Scotland, hearing of his dismission, and fearing it might be the means of bringing him into worldly straits, generously contributed a considerable sum, and sent it over to him.
"And God did not leave him without tender and valuable friends at Northampton. For a small number of his people, who opposed his dismission from the begin-ning, and some, who acted on neither side, but after his dismission adhered to him, under the influence of their great esteem and love of Mr. Edwards, were willing, and thought themselves able, to maintain him: and insisted upon it, that it was his duty to stay among them, as a dis-tinct and separate congregation from the body of the town who had rejected him.
"Mr. Edwards could not see it to be his duty to remain among them, as this would probably be a means of per-petuating an unhappy division in the town; and there was to him no prospect of doing the good there, which would counterbalance the evil. However, that he might do all he could to satisfy his tender and afflicted friends, he consented to ask the advice of an ecclesiastical council. Accordingly a council was called, and met at Northamp-ton on the 15th of May, 1751.-The town on this occasion was put into a great tumult. They, who were active in the dismission of Mr. Edwards, supposed, though without any good ground, that he was contriving with his friends again to introduce himself at Northampton." A meeting of the church was summoned, and a committee of the church appointed; who, in the name of the church, drew up a remonstrance against the proceedings of the council, and laid it before that body. The character of this in-strument may be learned, from the subsequent confession of one of the committee of the church that signed it, who was principally concerned in drawing it up, and very ac-tive in bringing the church to accept of it, and to vote that it should be presented to the council. To use his own language, it was "every where interlarded with unchris-tian bitterness, and sarcastical and unmannerly insinua-tions. It contained divers direct, grievous, and criminal charges and allegations against Mr Edwards, which, I have since good reason to suppose, were all founded on jealous and uncharitable mistakes, and so were really gross slanders; also many heavy and reproachful charges upon divers of Mr. Edwards's adherents, and some severe cen-sures of them all indiscriminately; all of which, if not wholly false and groundless, yet were altogether unneces-sary, and therefore highly criminal. Indeed I am fully convinced that the whole of that composure, excepting the small part of it relating to the expediency of Mr. Edwards resettlement at Northampton, was totally unchristian,-a scandalous, abusive, injurious libel against Mr. Edwards and his particular friends, especially the former, and highly provoking and detestable in the sight of God; for which I am heartily sorry and ashamed; and pray I may re-member it, with deep abasement and penitence ill my days"
After this remonstrance of the church had been read before the council, they immediately invited the committee, by whom it was signed, to come forward, and prove the numerous allegations and insinuations which it contained; but they refused to appear and support any of their charges, or so much as to give the gentlemen of their council any opportunity to confer with them, about the affair depending, though it was diligently sought; and though, by presenting the remonstrance, they had virtually given the council jurisdiction, as to the charges it contained, yet they utterly refused to acknowledge them to be an eccle-siastical council. The council then invited the church, as a body, to a friendly conference, to see if some measures could not be devised for the removal of the difficulties, in which the ecclesiastical affairs of the town were involved; but although this was earnestly and repeatedly moved for, on the part of the council, it was repeatedly and finally denied on the part of the church.
The council having heard what Mr. Edwards, and those who adhered to him, had to say, advised, agreeably to the judgment of Mr. Edwards, that he should leave Northampton, and accept of the invitations which he had re-ceived, to take charge of the Indian mission, as well as of the church and congregation, at Stockbridge; of which a more particular account will be given.
As a proper close to this melancholy story, and to con-firm and illustrate what has been related, the following letter from Joseph Hawley, Esq. to the Rev. Mr. Hall, of Sutton published in a weekly newspaper in Boston, May 9, 1760, is here inserted. This gentleman was a near kinsman of Mr. Edwards, though his active opponent; he was a lawyer of distinguished talents and eloquence.
"To the Rev. Mr. Hall, of Sutton.
Northampton, May 9, 1700.
I have often wished that every member of the two ecclesiastical councils, that formerly sat in Northampton, upon the unhappy differences, between our former most worthy and reverend pastor, Mr. Jonathan Edwards, and the church here, whereof you were a member; I say, Sir, I have often wished every one of them truly knew my real sense of my own conduct in the affair, that the one and the other of the said councils are privy to. As I have long apprehended it to be my duty, not only to humble myself before God, for what was unchristian and sinful in my conduct before the said councils, but also to confess my faults to them, and take shame to myself before them; so I have often studied with myself, in what manner it was practicable for me to do it. When I understood that you, Sir, and Mr. Eaton, were to be at Cold-Spring at the time of the late council, I resolved to improve the oppor-tunity, fully to open my mind there to you and him there-on; and thought that probably some method might be then thought of, in which my reflections on myself, touch-ing the matters above hinted at, might be communicated to most, if not all, the gentlemen aforesaid, who did not reside in this county. But you. know, Sir, how difficult it was for us to converse together by ourselves, when at Cold--Spring, without giving umbrage to that people; I there-fore proposed writing to you upon the matters, winch I had then opportunity only most summarily to suggest, which you, Sir, signified would be agreeable to you. I therefore now undertake what I then proposed, in which I humbly ask the divine aid, and that I may be made most freely willing, fully to confess my sin and guilt to you and the world, in those instances, which I have reason to suppose fell under your notice, as they were public and notorious transactions, and on account whereof, therefore, you, Sir, and all others who had knowledge thereof had just cause to be offended at me.
And in the first place, Sir, I apprehend that, with the church and people of Northampton, I sinned and erred exceedingly, in consenting and labouring, that there should be so early a dismission of Mr. Edwards from his pastoral relation to us, even upon the supposition that he was really in a mistake in the disputed point; not only because the dispute was upon matters so very disputable in them-selves, and at the greatest remove from fundamental, but because Mr. Edwards so long had approved himself a most faithful and painful pastor to the said church. He also changed his sentiments, in that point, wholly from a tender regard to what appeared to him to be truth; and had made known his sentiments with great moderation, and upon great deliberation, against all worldly motives, from mere fidelity to his great Master, and a tender regard to the souls of his flock, as he had the highest reason to judge. These considerations now seem to me sufficient; and would (if we had been of a right spirit) have greatly endeared him to his people, and made us to the last de-gree reluctant to part with him, and disposed us to the exercise of the greatest candour, gentleness, and moderation. How much of the reverse whereof appeared in us I need not tell you, Sir, who were an eye-witness of our temper and conduct.
And, although it does not become me to pronounce de-cisively, on a point so disputable, as was then in dispute; yet I beg leave to say, that I really apprehend, that it is of the highest moment to the body of this church, and to me in particular, most solicitously to inquire, whether, like the Pharisees and lawyers in John Baptist's time, we did not reject the counsel of God against ourselves, in rejecting Mr. Edwards and his doctrine, which was the ground of his dismission. And I humbly conceive, that it highly imports us all of this church, most seriously and im-partially to examine what that most worthy and able divine published, about that time, in support of the same, whereby he being dead yet speaketh. But there were three things, Sir, especially, in my own particular conduct before the first council, which have been justly matter of great grief and much trouble to me, almost ever since ; vis.
In the first place, I confess, Sir, that I acted very im-modestly and abusively to you, as well as injuriously to the church and myself, when with much zeal and unbe-coming assurance, I moved the council that they would interpose to silence and stop you, in an address you were making one morning to the people, wherein you were, if I do not forget, briefly exhorting them to a tender remem-brance of the former affection and harmony, that had long subsisted between them and their reverend pastor, and the great comfort and profit which they apprehended that they had received from his ministry; for which, Sir, I heartily ask your forgiveness; and I think, that we ought, instead of opposing an exhortation of that nature, to have received it with all thankfulness.
Another particular of my conduct before that council, which I now apprehend was criminal, and was owing to the want of that tender affection, and reverend respect and esteem for Mr. Edwards, which be had highly merited of me, was my strenuously opposing the adjournment of the matters submitted to that council for about two months; for which I declare myself unfeignedly sorry; and I with shame remember, that I did it in a peremptory, decisive, vehement. and very immodest manner.
But, Sir, the most criminal part of my conduct at that time, that I am conscious of, was my exhibiting to that council a set of arguments in writing, the drift whereof was to prove the reasonableness and necessity of Mr. Ed-wards's dismission, in case no accommodation was then effected with mutual consent; which writing, by clear implication, contained some severe, uncharitable, and, if I remember right, groundless and slanderous imputations on Mr. Edwards, expressed in bitter language And although the original draft thereof was not done by me, yet I fool-ishly and sinfully consented to copy it; and, as agent for the church, to read it, and deliver it to the council, which I could never have done, if I had not had a wicked relish for perverse things, which conduct of mine I confess was very sinful, and highly provoking to God; for which I am ashamed, confounded, and have nothing to answer.
As to the church's remonstrance, as it was called, which their committee preferred to the last of the said councils, (to all which I was consenting, and in the composing whereof I was very active, as also in bringing the church to their vote upon it;) I would, in the first place, only observe, that I do not remember any thing, in that small part of it, which was plainly discursive of the expediency of Mr. Edwards's re-settlement here, as pastor to a part of the church, which was very exceptionable. But as to all the residue, which was much the greatest part thereof, (and I am not certain that any part was wholly free,) it was every where interlarded with unchristian bitterness, sarcastical and unmannerly insinuations. It contained divers direct, grievous, and criminal charges and allegations against Mr. Edwards, which, I have since good reason to suppose, were all founded on jealous and un-charitable mistakes, and so were really gross slanders; also many heavy and reproachful charges upon divers of Mr. Edwards's adherents, and some severe censures of them all indiscriminately; all of which, if not wholly false and groundless, were altogether unnecessary, and therefore highly criminal. Indeed, I am fully convinced, that the whole of that composure, excepting the small part thereof above mentioned, was totally unchristian-a scan-dalous, abusive, injurious libel, against Mr. Edwards and his particular friends, especially the former, and highly provoking and detestable in the sight of God, for which I am heartily sorry and ashamed; and pray that I may re-member it with deep abasement and penitence all my days. Nor do I now think, that the church's conduct in refusing to appear, and attend before that council, to sup-port the charges and allegations in the said remonstrance against Mr. Edwards and the said brethren, which they demanded, was ever vindicated, by all the subtle answers that were given to the said demand; nor do I think that our conduct in that instance was capable of a defense For it appears to me, that, by making such charges against them before the said council, we necessarily so far gave that council jurisdiction; and I own with sorrow and regret, that I zealously endeavoured, that the church should perseveringly refuse to appear before the said council, for the purpose aforesaid; which I humbly pray God to for-give.
Another part of my conduct Sir, of which I have long repented, and for which I hereby declare my hearty sorrow, was my obstinate opposition to the last council's having any conference with the church; which the said council earnestly and repeatedly moved for, and which the church, as you know, finally denied. I think it discovered a great deal of pride and vain sufficiency in the church, and showed them to be a very opinionative, especially the chief sticklers, one of whom I was; and think it was running a most presumptuous risk, and acting the part of proud scorners, for us to refuse hearing, and candidly and seriously considering, what that council could say or oppose to us; among whom, there were divers justly in great reputation for grace and wisdom.
In these instances, Sir, of my conduct, and in others, (to which you were not privy,) in the course of that most melancholy contention with Mr. Edwards, I now see that I was very much influenced by vast pride, self-sufficiency, ambition, and vanity. I appear to myself vile, and doubtless much more so to others, who are more impartial; and do, in the review thereof, abhor myself, and repent sorely: and if my own heart condemns me, it be-hoves me solemnly to remember, that God is greater and knoweth all things. I hereby own, Sir, that such treat-ment of Mr. Edwards, wherein I was so deeply concerned and active, was particularly and very aggravatedly sinful and ungrateful in me, because I was not only under the common obligations of each individual of the society to him, as a most able, diligent, and faithful pastor; but I had also received many instances of his tenderness, good-ness, and generosity to me as a young kinsman, whom he was disposed to treat in a most friendly manner.
Indeed, Sir, I must own, that, by my conduct in consulting and acting against Mr. Edwards, within the time of our most unhappy disputes with him, and especially in and about that abominable 'remonstrance,' I have so far symbolized with Balaam, Ahitophel, and Judas, that I am confounded and filled with terror, oftentimes, when I attend to the most painful similitude. And I freely con-fess, that, on account of my conduct above mentioned, I have the greatest reason to tremble at those most solemn and awful words of our Saviour, Matt. xviii. 6 'Whoso shall offend one of these little ones, which believe in me, it were better for him that a mill-stone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea;' and those in Luke x. 16. ' He that despiseth you, despiseth me: and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me;' and I am most sorely sensible that nothing but that infinite grace and mercy, which saved some of the betrayers and murderers of our blessed Lord, and the persecutors of his martyrs, can pardon me; in which alone I hope for pardon, for the sake of Christ, whose blood, blessed be God, cleanseth from all sin. On the whole, Sir, I am convinced, that I have the greatest reason to say as David, 'Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving-kindness, according to the multi-tude of thy tender mercies, blot out my transgressions; wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin: for I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities; create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me; cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me, restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with thy free Spirit.' (Ps. Ii. 1-3, 9-12.)
And I humbly apprehend, that it greatly concerns the church of Northampton most seriously to examine, whether the many hard speeches, spoken by many particular members against their former pastor, some of which the church really countenanced, (and especially those spoken by the church as a body, in that most vile 'remonstrance,' are not so odious and ungodly, as to be utterly incapable of defense; whether the said church were not guilty of a great sin, in being so willing and disposed, for so slight a cause, to part with so faithful and godly a minister as Mr. Edwards was; and whether ever God will hold us guilt-less, till we cry to him for Christ's sake to pardon and save us from that judgment, which such ungodly deeds deserve. And I most heartily wish and pray, that the town and church of Northampton would seriously and carefully ex-amine, Whether they have not abundant cause to judge, that they are now lying under great guilt in the sight of God; and whether those of us, who were concerned in that most awful contention with Mr. Edwards, can ever more reasonably expect God's favour and blessing, till our eyes are opened, and we become thoroughly convinced that we have greatly provoked the Most high, and have been injurious to one of the best of men; and until we shall be thoroughly convinced, that we have dreadfully perse-cuted Christ, by persecuting and vexing that just man, and servant of Christ; until we shall be humble as in the dust on account of it, and till we openly. in full terms, and without baulking the matter, confess the same before the world, and most humbly and earnestly seek forgive-ness of God, and do what we can to honour the memory of Mr. Edwards, and clear it of all the aspersions which we unjustly cast upon him; since God has been pleased to put it beyond our power to ask his forgiveness. Such terms, I am persuaded, the great and righteous God will hold us to, and that it will be vain for us to hope to escape with impunity in any other way. This I am con-vinced of with regard to myself, and this way I most solemnly propose to take myself (if God in his mercy shall give me opportunity); that so, by making free confes-sion to God and man of my sin and guilt, and publicly taking shame to myself, I may give glory to the God of Israel, and do what in me lies to clear the memory of that venerable man from the wrongs and injuries I was so ac-tive in bringing on his reputation and character; and I thank God, that he has been pleased to spare my life to this time, and am sorry that I have delayed the affair so long.
Although I made the substance of almost all the fore-going reflections in writing, but not exactly in the same manner, to Mr. Edwards and the brethren who adhered to him, in Mr. Edwards's life, and before he removed from Stockbridge, and I have reason to believe that he, from his great candour and charity, heartily forgave me and prayed for me; yet, because that was not generally known, I look on myself obliged to take further steps; for while I kept silence my bones waxed old, &c. For all these my great sins, therefore, in the first place, I humbly and most earn-estly ask forgiveness of God; in the next place, of the relatives and near friends of Mr. Edwards I also ask the forgiveness of all those, who were called Mr Edwards's adherents; and of all the members of the ecclesiastical councils above mentioned; and lastly, of all Christian people, who have bad any knowledge of these matters.
I have no desire, Sir, that you should make any secret of this letter; but that you would communicate the same to whom you shall judge proper: and I purpose, if God shall give me opportunity, to procure it to be published in some one of the public newspapers; for I cannot devise any other way of making known my sentiments of the foregoing matters to all who ought to be acquainted therewith, and therefore I think I ought to do it, whatever remarks I may foresee will be made thereon. Probably, when it comes out, some of my acquaintance will pronounce me quite overrun with vapours; others will be furnished with matter for mirth and pleasantry; others will cursorily pass it over, as relating to matters quite stale; but some, I am persuaded, will rejoice to see me brought to a sense of my sin and duty; and I myself shall be conscious, that I have done something of what the nature of the case admits, towards undoing what is, and long has been, to my greatest remorse and trouble, that it was ever done
Sir, I desire that none would entertain a thought, from my having spoken respectfully of Mr. Edwards, that I am disaffected to our present pastor; for the very reverse is true; and I have a reverend esteem, real value, and hearty affection for him; and bless God, that he has, not-withstanding all our former unworthiness, given us one to succeed Mr. Edwards, who, as I have reason to hope, is truly faithful.
I conclude this long letter, by heartily desiring your prayers, that my repentance of my sins above mentioned may be unfeigned and genuine, and such as God in infinite mercy, for Christ's sake, will accept; and I beg leave to subscribe myself,
Sir, your real, though very unworthy friend, and obedient servant,
On the whole it is evident, that while the dismission of Mr. Edwards was, in itself considered, an event greatly to be regretted, it was at the same time, in every part of it, most honourable to himself, and proved in its ultimate consequences an essential blessing to the church of God. Probably no one event, of apparently malignant aspect, ever did so much towards reforming the churches of New England. Many difficult subjects of theology, also, need-ed at that time to be thoroughly examined and illustrated; and to this end, some individual of expanded views and profound penetration, as well as of correct faith and ele-vated piety, was to be found, who could give the strength of his talents and his time to these investigations. The providence of God had selected Mr. Edwards for this im-portant office; but so numerous and engrossing were the duties of the ministry at Northampton, that, had he re-mained there, he, could not have fulfilled it but in part. To give him abundant opportunity and advantage for the work assigned him, he was taken from that busy field at the best time of life, when his powers had gained their greatest energy, when the field of thought and inquiry had been already extensively surveyed, and when the labours of the pulpit were fully provided for and anticipated; and was transferred to the retirement and leisure of a remote frontier village. There he prepared, within a little period, four of the ablest and most valuable works which the church of Christ has in its possession.
Proposals from Stockbridge, and from the Commissioners-Visit to Stockbridge-Indian Mission-Housatonnucks-Mohawks-Dissensions of English Inhabitants-Mr. Hollis's Munificence.
EARLY in December, 1750 Mr. Edwards received proposals from the church and congregation at Stockbridge, to become their minister; and about the same time, similar proposals from the commissioners, at Boston, of the "Society in London, for Propagating the Gospel in New England, and the Parts adjacent," to become the mission-ary of the Housatonnucks, or River Indians, a tribe at that time located in Stockbridge and its immediate vicinity. Before deciding on these proposals, be went to Stockbridge, in the beginning of January, 1751, and continued there during the remainder of the winter, and the early part of the spring, preaching both to the English inhabitants, and, by the aid of an interpreter, to the Indians. Soon after his return, he accepted of the invitation both of the commis-sioners and of the people of Stockbridge.
The Indian mission at Stockbridge commenced in 1735; when the Rev. John Sergeant was ordained their missionary. He continued to reside there until his death, July 27th, 1749. His Indian congregation, originally about fifty in number, gradually increased, by accessions from the neighbouring settlements on the Housatonnuck river, to the number of two hundred and fifty-the actual number in 1751. Mr. Sergeant devoted much of his time to the study of their language; (the Moheekanneew; [Footnote: The common language of all the Indians in new England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, except the Iroquois]) yet, at the close of his life, he had not made such progress, that he could preach in it, or even pray in it, except by a form. He ultimately regretted the time and labour thus lost, and expressed the conviction, that it would be far better for his successor not to learn the language, but to preach by an interpreter, and to teach the children of the Indians the English language, by the aid of schoolmasters. Very little success appears to have attended his labours, either among the Indians or the English congregation.
A school was established, for the instruction of the In-dian children, at the commencement of the mission, and placed under the care of Timothy Woodbridge, Esq. one of the original settlers of Stockbridge, and characterized by Mr. Edwards, as "a man of very good abilities, of a man-ly, honest, and generous disposition, and as having, by his upright conduct and agreeable manners, secured the affec-tions and confidence of the Indians." He was supported by the government of the province, and devoted himself faith-fully to the business of instructing the Indian children; yet for a long period, like Mr. Sergeant, he had to lament that so little success attended his labours. This was owing to various causes. The Indians lived in a village by them-selves, at a small distance from the English settlement. Their children lived at home with their parents, and not in a boarding-school, and of course made little or no pro-gress in the English language; and they had no books in their own. The English traders sold large quantities of ardent spirits to the Indians, and in this way constantly counteracted the efforts made to do them good. There were also unfortunate dissensions among the people of Stockbridge. The settlement of the town was begun, with a direct reference to the intellectual and moral improvement of the Indians, in the immediate vicinity. The lands of the Indians, comprising a very extensive tract, were secured to them; and important privileges were granted to the families of the original settlers, by the provincial legis-lature, with reference to this very object. Unfortunately, one of the most wealthy of those settlers appears to have removed to Stockbridge, with the design of amassing a still larger fortune by his intercourse wit the Indian settlement. With this view, he formed a large trading establishment in the neighbourhood. From his wealth and his locality, affairs of some moment, relating to the Indians at Stockbridge, were on various occasions intrusted to his management; in one of which Mr. Woodbndge regarded him as doing so great and palpable an injury, both to the Indians and the province, that, taking it in connexion with the general tenor of his conduct, he felt himself bound to prevent, as far as lay in his power, all intercourse between him and the Indian settlement, as well as all influence which he might attempt to exert over the affairs of the Indians. In return, he endeavored, in the first instance, to prevent the Indians from sending their children to the school, and to render those parents who actually sent them dissatisfied with Mr. Woodbridge; and at length to procure the dismission of that gentleman from his appoint-ment. This controversy was of long continuance, and affected the whole settlement. The result was, that al-though he amassed considerable wealth, he entirely lost the confidence of the Indians; and so completely alienated the minds of the English inhabitants, that every family in the place, his own excepted, sided with his antagonist. This controversy, for a long time, had a most inauspicious effect on the school of Mr. Woodbridge and on the mission of Mr. Sergeant.
In 1739, Mr. Sergeant, despairing of any considerable success under the existing plan of instruction, attempted the establishment of an Indian boarding-school, to be kept at the expense of the English. He proposed, that the children should live in the family of their instructor, and learn the English language; and that their time should be divided between work and study, under different masters. For some time, he made but little progress in rais-ing funds for this purpose, but at length was aided in his design, by the benevolence of the Rev. Isaac HoIlis, a clergyman near London, who most generously offered to defray the expense of the board, clothing, and instruction of twelve Indian children. At this time no boarding--house was built; and for a long period, Mr. Serjeant found it impossible to procure a person duly qualified to take charge of the school. To begin the work, however, Mr. Serjeant hired as a temporary teacher, until a compe-tent one could be procured, a Capt. Martin Kellogg, an illiterate man, originally a farmer, and subsequently a soldier, about sixty years of age, very lame, and wholly unaccustomed to the business of instruction. His sister, Mrs. Ashley, the wife of Captain Ashley of Suffield, who had been taken prisoner, when a child, by the Iroquois, and perfectly understood their language, was the interpreter of the English at Stockbridge; and her brother having come to reside there, in consequence of having no regular business, was employed temporarily by Mr. Ser-geant, for the want of a better instructor, because he was on the spot. A school had just been commenced under his auspices, (not however as a boarding-school, as no house could be procured for the purpose,) when the French war of 1744 broke it up; and Capt. Kellogg, that he might continue to receive the money of Mr. Hollis, carried several of the Indian boys to Newington, in Connecticut, where he had previously resided.
After the close of the war, in 1748, Mr. Sergeant be-gan the erection of a house for a boarding-school. He also wrote a letter to the nation of the Mohawks, then residing on the Mohawk river, about forty miles west of Albany, inviting them to bring their children to Stockbridge for instruction. But he did not live to see either of these designs accomplished. At his death, in 1749, several Indian boys were left in the hands of Captain Kel-logg, who in the autumn of 1750, not having heard from Mr. Hollis for a considerable period, and supposing him to be dead, dismissed them for a time, and gave up his attempt to form a school.
In consequence of the letter of Mr. Sergeant to the Mohawk tribe, which had been accompanied by a very kind invitation from the Housatonnuck Indians, offering them a portion of their lands for a place of settlement, if they would come and reside in Stockbridge, about twenty of them, old and young, came to that place in 1750, a short time before the removal of Mr. Edwards and his family. The provincial legislature, learning this fact, made provision for the support and maintenance of the children, and Captain KeIIog, unfortunately, was employ-ed as the instructor. He never established a regular school, however, but taught the boys occasionally, and incidentally, and employed them chiefly in cultivating his own lands. He was then 65 years of age.
Near the close of Mr Sergeant's life, the school for the Housatonnuck children, under Mr. Woodbridge, be-came much more flourishing. His salary was increased, the number of his pupils augmented, and himself left to act with less restraint. The Indians also became less in-clined to intemperance. The influence of the - family was likewise extinct; the English inhabitants having to a man taken the opposite side in the controversy; and the Indians regarding Mr. Woodbridge as their best friend, and his opponent as their worst enemy. Mr. Woodbridge was also, at this period, able to avail himself of the assistance of a young Housatonnuck, educated by himself, of the name of John Wonwanonpequunuonnt, a man of uncommon talents and attainments, as well as of sin-cere piety; who appears to have been raised up by Pro-vidence, that he might become the interpreter of Mr. Edwards, in preaching to his conuntrymen.
Mr. Hollis, having heard of the arrival of the Mohawks at Stockbridge, and supposing that a regular boarding school was established under the care of Captain Kellogg, wrote to him to increase the number of the children to twenty-four, who were to be maintained and instructed at his expense. During the winter of 1750-5I, the number of Mowhawks, who came to reside at Stockbridge, was increased to about ninety; among whom were Hendrick, and Nicholas, and seven others of their chiefs.
Such was the state of things at Stockbridge, and such the state of the Indian mission, and of the Indian schools, when Mr. Edwards was invited to remove to that place. The -- family at first exerted their whole influ-ence, to prevent his receiving an invitation from the people at Stockbridge; but, finding that the church and parish (themselves excepted) were unanimous in giving the invitation, and very anxious that he should accept it, that there was no chance of producing a change in the minds of the commissioners in Boston, and that con-tinued opposition must terminate in their own utter dis-comfiture, they changed their course, and professed to be highly gratified that he was coming among them.
After his return to Northampton, in the spring of 1751, Mr. Edwards, before coming to a final decision, paid a visit to his Excellency Sir William Pepperell, at Kittery, to learn the actual views of the government, with regard to the Indian establishment at Stockbridge; and having received satisfactory assurances on this subject, he soon after announced to the people of Stockbridge, and to the commissioners in Boston, his acceptance of their respective invitations. In the third week of June, he went again to Stockbridge, and remained there during the greater part of the ensuing month.
While at Stockbridge, he addressed the following letter to the Rev. Mr Erskine.
"Stockbridge, June 28, 1751.
REV. AND DEAR BROTHER,
I have lately received the 'Treatise on the Restoration of the Jews,' and a pamphlet entitled, 'A Serious Address to the Church of Scotland,' and a 'Sermon on the Qualifications of the Teachers of Christianity,' preach-ed by you before the Synod, with Glass's Notes on Scrip-ture Texts, No. 5. These pamphlets were enclosed in a wrapper, superscribed by your hand There was also in the packet, a brief advertisement concerning one of the pamphlets, written in your hand, though without any date or name, or any letter in the packet. But yet, I conclude these pamphlets were sent by you, and accordingly I now thank God for them. Your discourse on the Qualifications of Teachers of Christianity, is a very acceptable present. Glass's Notes on Scripture Texts contain some things that are very curious, and discover close study, and a critical genius. The Treatise on the Restoration of the Jews, if written by a Christian divine, is a strange and unaccountable thing; by reason of there being nothing at all said, or hinted, about the Jews' conversion to the Christian faith, or so much as one mention of Jesus Christ, and his supporting that the prophecies of Ezekiel are to be literally fulfilled, in the building of such a temple and city as is there described, and the springing of such a river from the threshold of the temple, and its running into the east sea, and the Jews offering sacrifices, and observing other rites spoken of in Ezekiel, and that the Messiah is yet to come, and to reign in Jerusalem as a temporal prince, &c. And I am wholly at a loss, as to the author's real design, whether it was, to promote Judaism, or de-ism, or only to amuse his readers.
Since I received these pamphlets, I have received letters from all my other correspondents in Scotland; but none from you. Mr. M'Laurin speaks of your writing, or designing to write; but suggests that possibly your letter would not arrive so soon as the rest; so that I hope I shall yet, ere long, receive a letter from you. The letters I have received from my other correspondents, make men-tion of a great revival of religion in Guelderland, and Mr. M'Laurin has sent me printed accounts of it, published, as I understand, by Mr. Gillies, his son-in-law, being ex-tracts of letters from Holland. I had some notice of it before, in a letter from Mr. Davenport, who, for the most part, resides in New Jersey. The account he wrote, was brought over from Holland by a young Dutch minister, whose name is John Frielinghausen, born in New Jersey, second son to an eminent Dutch minister there. His elder brother is settled at Albany, and by all accounts, is an able and faithful minister. This second son has been in Holland two years, I suppose to perfect his education in one of their universities, where his brother at Albany had his education. He came over into America the last summer, having just been married and ordained in Holland, in order to take the pastoral charge of some of the places that had been under his father's care.
The accounts Mr. Davenport gives from him, are not so particular, as those that are published by Mr. Gillies But there is one material and important circumstance, which he mentions, not taken notice of in the accounts from Scotland, viz, that the STADTHOLDER was much pleased with the work.
At the same time, that we rejoice in that glorious work, and praise God for it. it concerns us carefully to pray, that God's ministers and people there may be directed in such a state of things, wherein wisdom and great discretion are so exceedingly needed, and great care and skill, to distinguish between true and false religion, between those inward experiences, which are from the saving influence of the Spint of God, and those that are from Satan, transforming himself into an angel of light. Without this, it may be expected, that the great deceiver will gradually insinuate himself; acting under disguise, he will pretend to be a zealous assistant in building the temple, yea, the chief architect, when his real design will be, to bring all to the ground, and to build Babel, instead of the temple of God, finally to the great reproach and grief of all true friends of religion, and the haughty triumph of its adver-saries. If I may be allowed my conjecture in this affair, there lies the greatest danger of the people in Guelderland, who are concerned in this work. I wish they had all the benefit of the late experience of this part of the church of God, here in America. Mr. M'Laurin informs me, dear Sir, that you have a correspondence in the Netherlands, and, as you know something of the calamities we have suffered from this quarter, I wish you would give them some kind admonitions. They will need all the warnings that can be given them. For the temptation to religious people, in such a state of things, to countenance the glar-ing, shining counterparts of religion, without distinguish-ing them from the reality, what is true and genuine, is so strong, that they are very hardly indeed restrained from it. They will at last find the consequences not to be good, of an abundant declaring and proclaiming their experience, on all occasions, and before all companies, if they get into that way, as they will be very likely to do, without special caution in their guides. I am not so much concerned about any danger, the interest of the revival of religion in Guelderland may be in, from violent open opposition, as from the secret, subtle, undiscerned guile of the old serpent. I perceive, pious ministers in the Netherlands are concerned to obtain attestations to the good abiding effect of the awakenings in Scotland and America. I think it is fit they should know the very truth of the case, and that things should be represented neither better nor worse than they are. If they should be represented worse, that would give encouragement to unreasonable opposers; if better, that might prevent a most necessary caution, of the true friends of the awakening. There are, undoubtedly, very many instances in New England, in the whole, of the perseverance of such, as were thought to have received the saving benefits of the late revival of religion; and of their continuing to walk in newness of life, and as becomes saints; instances, which are incontestable, and which men must be most obstinately blind not to see; but I be-lieve the proportion here is not so great as in Scotland. I cannot say, that the greater part of supposed converts give reason, by their conversation, to suppose that they are true converts. The proportion may, perhaps, be more truly represented, by the proportion of the blossoms on a tree which abide and come to mature fruit, to the whole number of blossoms in the spring.
In the forementioned letter. which I lately received from Mr. Davenport, he mentions some degrees of awaken-ing in some places of New Jersey The following are extracts from his letter. 'I returned last month from Cape May, where I had been labouring some time, with little or no success, as to the unregenerate; except somewhat encouraging, the last day of my preaching among them. Yet, blessed be God, I hear of the success of several ministers in the Jerseys, and the revival of religion in some places; though it is very dull times in most. Mr. Reed. of Boundbrook, has, I hear, some encourage-ment, by reason of a few in that place being under con-viction. Mr. Kennedy, who is likely to settle at Baskingridge, I hear, has still more encouragement; and Mr. John Frielinghausen more yet, among the Dutch. lie is the second son of the Mr. Fnelinghausen, mentioned in your narrative, who died a few years ago. This second son came over from Holland, where he had been two years, and was ordained a little before he came over, the last summer Pious ministers among the Dutch, this way, I think increase faster of late, than among other people. I was at the house of such an one, Mr. Varbryk, as I came along in this journey, who was ordained last fall, about five miles beyond Dobbs's Ferry, in New York government. Mr. William Tennent told me, that Mr. John Light, a pious young Dutch minister in New Jersey, was translating the accounts from Holland into English. Mr. Brainerd has had some special success lately, through mercy; so that nine or ten Indians appear to be under conviction, as he tells me; and about twelve of the white people near them, that used to be stupid like the very heathen; and many others more thoughtful and serious. Mr. Sacket has lately been favoured with peculiar success, in reducing a number drawn away and infected by the separatists; and some endeavours I have used since that, and with him, have, I trust, not been altogether in vain. The good Lord grant, that false religion may cease, and true religion prevail through the earth!' This letter of Mr. Davenport was dated April 26, 1751.
The Dutch people in the provinces of New York and New Jersey, have been famed for being generally exceed-ingly ignorant, stupid, and profane, little better than the savages of our American deserts. But it is remarkable, that things should now begin to appear more hopeful among them, about the same time that religion is reviving among the Dutch in their mother country; and certainly the revivals of religion which have very lately appeared, especially among the Dutch in Europe, do verify God's holy word, which not only gives such great encouragement to those who have engaged in the Concert for United Prayer, begun in Scotland, to go forward, but binds it strongly upon them so to do; and shows that it will be an aggravated fault, if, after God does such glorious things so soon after we have began in an extraordinary manner to ask them, we should grow cold and slack, and begin to faint. And I think what God has now done, may well cause those, who seemed at first, with some zeal, to en-gage in the affair, but have grown careless about it, and have left off, to reflect on themselves with blushing and confusion. What if you, dear Sir, and other ministers in Scotland, who have been engaged in this affair, should now take occasion to inform ministers in the Netherlands of it, and move them to come into it, and join with us, in our united and extraordinary prayers, for an universal revival of religion?
As to my present circumstances, I came the last week to this place, having undertaken the business of a mis-sionary to the Indians here; having been chosen the pas-tor of this church, and chosen missionary by the commis-sioners for Indian affairs in Boston. My instalment is appointed to be on the second Thursday in the next month. I don't expect to get ready to remove my family till winter. But I must refer you, dear Sir, to my letters to Mr. M'Laurin and Mr. Robe, for a more full account of my circumstances, and of the things which have passed relating to them. I have, with this, sent you the Gazette, containing the Result of the late Council at Northampton, and intend to order one of my Farewell Sermons to be put up for you. My family were in their usual state of health when I left them, excepting my youngest child, who had something like an intermitting fever.
Please to present my cordial respects and Christian love, to your dear consort, and remember me in your prayers, with regard to the trials and changes I am called to pass through, and the new important business I have under-taken.
I am, dear Sir, your most united and obliged friend and brother,
From Mr Gillespie he received, about this period, a letter most grateful to his own feelings, expressing a lively and affectionate sympathy in his afflictions, as well as surprise and astonishment at the conduct of the people of Northampton. Mr Edwards, in his reply, communicates a series of facts respecting them, which not only were adapted at the time to remove these impressions of his friend; but will be found, also, to contain a most import-ant and salutary lesson of instruction, to every minister and every church. The solemn caution of the apostle, in I Cor. iii. 10-15, to every minister, to take care how he builds up the temple of God, of which Jesus Christ is the foundation-a caution, which refers not only to the nature of the doctrines which he teaches, but also, and even more especially, (as will be obvious from verses 16 and 17) to the character of the members whom he adds to the church of Christ, which is the temple of God;-is here enforced most solemnly, by arguments derived from ex-perience.
"To the Rev. Thomas Gillespie, Carnock.
Stockbridge, July 1, 1751.
REV. AND VERY DEAR SIR,
I am very greatly obliged to you for your most kind, affectionate, comfortable, and profitable letter of Feb. 2, 1751. I thank you, dear Sir, for your sympathy with me, under my troubles, so amply testified, and the many suit-able and proper considerations you suggest me, for my comfort and improvement. May God enable me to make a right improvement of them.
It is not to be wondered at, dear Sir, that you are shocked and surprised at what has happened between me and the people of Northampton. It is surprising to all impartial and considerate persons that live near, and have the greatest advantage to know the circumstances of the affair, and the things that preceded the event, and made way for it. But no wonder if it be much more so to strangers at a distance. I doubt not, but that God intends his own glory, and time safety and prosperity of Zion, and the advancement of the interests of religion, in the issue of this event.
But it is best, that the true state of the case should be known, and that it should be viewed as it is, in order to receiving that instruction which Divine Providence holds forth in it, and in order to proper reflections and right improvement.
As there is a difference among particular persons, as to their natural temper, so there is some difference of this kind to be observed in different countries, and also in dif-ferent cities and towns The people of Northampton have, ever since I can remember, been famed for a high-spirited people, and of a difficult and turbulent temper. How-ever, though in some respects they have been a stiff-necked people, yet God has been pleased, in times past, to bestow many distinguishing favours upon them. The town has stood now near one hundred years. Their first minister, Mr. Eleazar Mather, brother to Dr. Increase Mather of Boston. and Mr. Samuel Mather of Dublin, Ireland; was a very eminent man of God. After him came Mr. Stoddard. my grandfather, a very great man, of strong powers of mind, of great grace and great authority, of a masterly countenance, speech, and behaviour. He had much success in his ministry; there being many seasons in his day, of general awakening among his people. He continued in the ministry, at Northampton, about sixty years. But God was pleased, in some respects, especially, to manifest his power in the weakness of his successor; there having been a more remarkable awakening, since his death, than ever had been till then, in that town: al-though since that, also, a greater declension, and more awful departures from God, in some respects, than ever before; and so the last minister has had more to humble him, than either of his predecessors. May the effect be answerable to God's just expectations.
The people have, from the beginning, been well in-structed, having had a name, for a long time, for a very knowing people; and many have appeared among them, persons of good abilities, and many, born in the town, have been promoted to places of public trust: they have been a people distinguished on this account. These things have been manifestly abused to nourish the pride of their natural temper, which had made them more difficult and unmanageable. There were some mighty contests and controversies among them, in Mr. Stoddards day; which were managed with great heat and violence: some great quarrels in the church, wherein Mr. Stoddard, great as his authority was, knew not what to do with them. In one ecclesiastical controversy in Mr. Stoddard's day, wherein the church was divided into two parties, the heat of spirit was raised to such a degree, that it came to hard blows. A member of one party met the head of the opposite party, and assaulted him, and beat him unmercifully. In latter times, the people have had more to feed their pride. They have grown a much greater and more wealthy people than formerly, and are become more extensively famous in the world, as a people that have excelled in gifts and grace, and had God extraordinarily among them; which has insensibly engendered and nourished spiritual pride, that grand inlet of the devil in the hearts of men, and avenue of all manner of mischief among a professing people. Spiritual pride is a most monstrous thing. If it be not discerned, and vigorously opposed, in the beginning, it very often soon raises persons above their teachers, and supposed spiritual fathers, and sets them out of the reach of all rule and instruction, as I have seen in innumerable instances. And there is this inconvenience, attending the publishing of narratives of a work of God among a people, (such is the corruption that is in the hearts of men, and even of good men,) that there is great danger of their making it an occasion of spiritual pride. There is great reason to think that the Northampton people have provoked God greatly against them, by trusting in their privileges and attainments. And the consequences may well be a warning to all God's people, far and near, that hear of them.
Another thing, which probably has contributed in some measure to the unhappiness of the people's manners, was, that Mr. Stoddard, though an eminently holy man, was naturally of a dogmatical temper, and the people being brought up under him, and with a high veneration for him, were naturally led to imitate him. Especially their officers and leading men, seemed to think it an excellency, to be like him in this respect.
It has been a very great wound to the church of Northampton, that there has been for forty or fifty years; a sort of settled division of the people into two parties, somewhat like the Court and Country party, in England (if I may compare small things with great). There have been some of the chief men in the town, of chief authority and wealth, that have been great proprietors of their lands, who have had one party with them. And the other party, which has commonly been the greatest, have been of those, who have been jealous of them, apt to envy them, and afraid of their having too much power and influence in town and church. This has been a foundation of innu-merable contentions among the people, from time to time, which have been exceedingly grievous to me, and by which doubtless God has been dreadfully provoked, and his Spirit grieved and quenched, and much confusion and many evil works have been introduced.
Another thing, that evidently has contributed to our calamities, is, that the people had got so established in certain wrong notions and ways in religion, which I found them in, and could never beat them out of. Particularly; it was too much their method to lay all the stress of their hopes in religion, on the particular shape and method of their first work; i.e. the first work of the Spirit of God on their hearts, in their conviction and con-version; and to look but little at the abiding sense and temper of their hearts, and the course of their exercises, and trials of grace, for evidences of their good estate. Nor had they learned, and many of them never could be made to learn, to distinguish between impressions on the imagination, and lively spiritual experience; and when I came among them, I found it to be too much a custom among them without discretion, or distinction of occasions, places, or companies, to declare and publish their own experiences; and oftentimes to do it in a light manner, without any air of solemnity. This custom has not a little contributed to spiritual pride and many other evils. When I first settled among the people, being young and of little experience, I was not thoroughly aware of the ill consequences of such a custom, and so allowed or at least did not testify against it, as I ought to have done.
And here I desire it may be observed, that I would be far from so laying all the blame of the sorrowful things, that have come to pass, to the people, as to suppose that I have no cause of self-reflection and humiliation before God, on this occasion. I am sensible that it be-comes me to hook on what has lately happened, as an awful frown of heaven on me, as well as on the people. God knows the sinfulness of my heart, and the great and sinful deficiencies and offence; which I have been guilty of, in the course of my ministry at Northampton. I desire that God would discover them to me more and more, and that now he would effectually humble me, and mortify my pride and self-confidence and empty me entirely of myself, and make me to know how that I deserve to be cast away, as an abominable branch, and as a vessel wherein is no pleasure; and, if it may consist with his holy will, that he would sanctify me, and make me a vessel more meet for my Master's use; and yet improve me as an instrument of his glory, and the good of the souls of man-kind.
One thing, that has contributed to bring things to such a pass at Northampton, was my youth, and want of more judgment and experience, in the time of that extraordinary awakening, about sixteen years ago. (Footnote: In 1734-35) Instead of a youth, there was want of a giant, in judgment and discretion, among a people in such an extraordinary state of things. In some respects, doubtless, my confidence in myself was a great injury to me; but in other respects my diffidence of myself injured me. It was such, that I durst not act my own judgment, and had no strength to oppose received notions, and established customs, and to testify boldly against some glaring false appearances, and counterfeits of religion, till it was too late. And by this means, as well as others, many things got footing, which have proved a dreadful source of spiritual pride, and other things that are exceedingly contrary to true Christianity. If I had had more experience, and ripeness of judgment and courage, I should have guided my people in a better manner, and should have guarded them better from Satan's de-vices, and prevented the spiritual calamity of many souls, and perhaps the eternal ruin of some of them; and have done what would have tended to lengthen out the tranquil-lity of the town.
However, doubtless at that time, there was a very glo-rious work of God wrought in Northampton, and there were numerous instances of saving conversion; though undoubtedly many were deceived, and deceived others; and the number of true converts was not so great as was then imagined. Many may be ready, from things that are lately come to pass, to determine, that all North-ampton religion is come to nothing; and that all the famed awakenings, and revivals of religion in that place, prove to be nothing but strange tides of a melancholy and whimsical humour. But they would draw no such con-clusion, if they exactly knew the true state of the case, and would judge of it with full calmness and impartiality of mind.
There are many things to be considered in the case of Northampton:
I. That many of those, who have been most violently engaged, and have chiefly led and excited others in it, though they have been leading men in the town, and have been esteemed considerable for their knowledge, estate, and age, and have been professors of religion, yet have not been the most famed for piety.
2. The leading men, who have been the most engaged in this matter, who have taken vast pains to stir up others that are inferior, have had this great advantage in their hands, that the controversy was a religious controversy; that that, which I opposed, was what they always had supposed to be a part of divine truth, a precious and im-portant doctrine of the word of God; and, that the cause of my opposers was the cause of God. This has led the more ignorant and less considerate people to look on their zeal against me as virtue, and to christen even their passions and bitterness in such a cause with sanctified names, and to let them loose, and prosecute the views of their bitterness and violence without a check of con-science.
3. They have also had the great advantage of the vast veneration the people had for Mr. Stoddard's memory; which was such, that many looked on him almost as a sort of deity. They were all, (i.e. except the young people,) born and brought up under his ministry, and had been used from their infancy to esteem his sayings all as oracles. And he, they knew, maintained that doctrine which I oppose, with great positiveness and zeal, and op-posed the contrary, which I maintain, as an exceedingly pernicious doctrine. Under these circumstances, I natu-rally appear as a dangerous opposer of the cause of God, and my teaching and insisting on the doctrine, which Mr. Stoddard opposed, appears to them a sort of horrid pro-faneness.
4. Crafty designing men have abundantly filled the ears of the more ignorant with suggestions, that my opinion tends to overthrow all religion, and to ruin the present and future generations, and to make all heathens, shutting them out of the church of Christ.
5. Not only many of the leading men of Northampton have used their utmost endeavours, to engage the minds of the common people in this controversy, but they have also been put forward, by the neighbouring ministers all round. My opposers have also been assisted and edged on by some at a great distance, persons of note; and some great men in civil authority have had a great hand in it.
6. It is to be considered, that the contrary opinion to mine, had not only long been established in Northampton without so much as one opposer to it; but it had also been fully and quietly established, for a long time, in all the neighbouring churches and congregations, and in all the country round, even to a great distance; so that my opinion when first broached, appeared to the people ex-ceedingly singular. Their views being very narrow, it appeared to them, that all the world, almost, was against me. And my most crafty opposers improved this advantage, and abundantly represented me as all alone in my opinion.
7. Many of the people, who at length came to have their spirits much raised, and were brought to join in vio-lent measures, yet came slowly into it, after being long practised with, and indefatigable endeavours used, to en-gage and influence them.
8. There are about twenty heads of families, besides others, women and young people, who ever appeared openly against the proceedings of the town, and many others have appeared friendly to me. And there is not a little reason to think, that there are many more, especially women and youths, that would appear so, if they dare. For a person, by appearing my friend at Northampton, even so much so as openly to discountenance my being turned out of the pulpit, exposes himself to the immediate persecution of his neighbours, and perhaps of his nearest friends. I mean, he faIls under their great resentment, loses all their friendship, and is every where the object of reproach.
9. It is to be considered, that these things have hap-pened when God is greatly withdrawn, and religion was very low, not only at Northampton, but all over New England.
10. I believe the devil is greatly alarmed, by the oppo-sition made to the lax doctrine of admission to the Christian church, and to the corresponding practice, which had been so long established at Northampton, and so exten-sively in the country; in which he found his account, and hoped for more important consequences, and more agree-able to him. And God, for wise ends, has suffered him to exert himself, in an extraordinary manner, in oppo-sition; as God ordinarily does, when truth is in the birth.
But I am drawn out to an unexpected length in my ob-servations on these things, and have not left myself room, nor time, for some other things, that I would willingly write, and must therefore refer you to my letters to my other correspondents in Scotland ; particularly, Mr. M'Laurin, Mr. Robe, Mr. M'Culloch, and Mr. Erskine. To some of them, I have sent a particular account of my present circumstances, and of things which have lately passed, relating to them. I would only say in general, that I have had a call to settle in Stockbridge, a place in the western borders of New England, next to the province of New York, about thirty-six miles from Albany, and about forty miles from Northampton, the place where Mr. Sergeant was minister and missionary to the Indians. I am both called by the church here, constituted partly of Indians and partly of English, and am appointed mission-ary to the Indians, by the commissioners of Indian affairs, in Boston; agreeably to what you suggest in your letter, as though you had been able to foresee future events, when you say,- "Perhaps you are to be employed whew the gospel has been little understood or attended to." I suppose this place will, for the future, be the place of my ordinary abode, though it will be some months be-fore I can remove my family. I have no leisure, at present, to write on the subject you speak of, viz. impressions and supposed immediate revelations, though I own the vast importance of the subject. I had begun to write something against the Arminians, before the late contro-versy; and now lately, Mr. Williams has written a book, in answer to mine on that subject, which I think myself obliged to answer, if God give me opportunity.
I have much to teach me to behave like a pilgrim and stranger in the earth. But in the midst of troubles and difficulties, I receive many mercies. Particularly, I have great reason, with abundant thankfulness, to take notice of the great kindness of my friends in Scotland. Blessed be God, who never forsakes those that trust in him; and never wants instruments, for the conveyance of his good-ness and liberality to those who suffer in his cause!
I shall take care, that there be conveyed, with this let-ter, to you, one of my Farewell Sermons, and the Result of the Council that sat at Northampton the last May. Remem-ber me, dear Sir, at the throne of grace, with regard to all my trials; and with regard to my new circumstances, and the important service I have undertaken in this place ;-and please, in your next, to inform me, what family you have, and of their state.
I am, dear Sir, your most affectionate friend and brother,
The following letter of Mr. Edwards to the Rev. Isaac Hollis, the patron of one of the Indian schools at Stockbridge, will explain some of the difficulties to which they were subjected.
"To Mr Hollis.
Stockbridge, July 2, 1751.
REV. AND HONOURED SIR,
Having seen your late letter to Mr. Prince of Boston, and another to Capt. Kellogg, received this summer, and having lately been appointed missionary to the Indians in this place, I thought myself obliged to take the first opportunity to write to you, who have exerted yourself, in so extraordinary a manner, to promote our interests here, to serve which I am now devoted; partly to offer you my thanks for what you have done, and have lately offered to do, with so fervent and enlarged a heart, and bountiful a hand, for the advancement and enlargement of Christ's kingdom of grace among this poor people, and the eternal welfare of their souls; which may well excite the joy and admiration of all good Christians, the thanks of all who make the interests of Zion their own, and especially of him who has the souls of the Indians committed to his own more immediate care.
I write, also, partly to inform you of what I have had opportunity to observe, of the state of things here, relating to the affair of the instruction of the Indians, which you have a right to know; it being an affair in which you have been pleased so greatly to interest yourself, and which de-pends so much on the effects of your most generous Christian beneficence. I have had considerable opportunity to observe the state of things; for though it is but about a month since I came here, after I had undertaken the work of the ministry here, as the stated missionary, yet I had been here before, two months in the winter, and then spent much time with the Indians, particularly with the Mo-hawks under the care of Captain. Kellog.
There are here two schools for the instruction of Indian children: one under the care of Mr. Timothy Woodbridge, which began soon aftre Mr. Sergeant began to preach to these Indians,-this school consists wholly of the proper Housatonnuck Indians, the other, under the care of Captain Kellogg, which he began with the Housatonnucks, on the plan which Mr. Sergeant projected; but, in the changeable unsettled state, in which things have been since Mr. Ser-geant's death, it has been altered from that form, and the Housatonnuck boys have left it, and it now consists wholly of Mohawk children, which have been brought down hither by their parents, from their own proper country, about eighty miles, to this end, that they might be taught to read, and write, and be instructed in the Christian religion.
There are some things, which give a hopeful prospect with regard to these Mohawk Indians; particularly the forward inclination of the children and their aptness to learn. But that, which has evidently been the greatest de-fect from the beginning in the method of instruction here, is, that no more proper and effectual measures have been taken, to bring the children that are here to the knowledge of the English tongue. For want of this, all the labour and cost, which have been expended in schools here, for about fourteen years, have been consequently to but little effect or benefit. When the children are taught to read, many of them, for want of the English language, know nothing of what they read; their books being all in Eng-lish They merely learn to make such and such sounds, on the sight of such and such marks, but know not the meaning of the words, and so have neither profit nor pleasure in reading, and will therefore be apt soon to lose even what they have learned, having no benefit or enter-tainment in the use of it.
It is on many other accounts of great importance, that they should be brought to know the English language. This would greatly tend to forward their instruction; their own barbarous languages being exceedingly barren, and very unfit to express moral and divine things. It would likewise open their minds, and, by means of their acquaint-ance and conversation with the English, would tend to advance them in knowledge and civilization. Some pains has been taken to teach the children the English tongue, but nothing very considerable has been accomplished. And I can think of but two ways in which it can be effect-ed :-either by introducing a number of English children into the schools, to learn with them, and be their mates; or by distributing the Indian children into English fami-lies, to live there a year or two, where they must be allowed to speak the English and nothing else, and then return into the Indian schools, to perfect them in reading and writing, and the knowledge of the principles of religion, and all other useful knowledge. The latter, if their parents can be persuaded to consent to it, as probably they may, will be much the most effectual.
I would therefore, Sir, humbly propose, that some such method should be taken with regard to the children, who have the benefit of your liberality; and that part of your benefaction should be expended in this way, under the care of prudent and faithful trustees; for, in order to the business being managed thoroughly in future, a great deal of care and activity will be necessary, vastly more than the schoolmaster can have leisure for. There are many things pertaining to the regulation of the affairs of the instruction of the Indian children, which seem greatly to require the care of a number of persons, who shall be intrusted to dispose things according to the best of their discretion; sending from time to time a particular and exact account of the manner in which they have spent your money.
I thought myself obliged to give you these intimations; you being at a great distance, and not capable of knowing the exact state of things, any otherwise, than by the information of those who are on the spot; and it being fit that you should know those circumstances, which are of so much importance to the affair, that, without a proper re-gard to them, the great expense which you incur, is liable to be in a great measure in vain.
I humbly request your prayers to the Fountain of all light and grace, for his guidance and assistance in this important service, which I have lately undertaken in this place
I am, honoured Sir,
Your most humble servant,
And affectionate brother in the gospel ministry,
A conference was appointed to be held at Albany, the last week in June, 1751, between the commissioners of the governments of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York, and the chiefs of the Iroquois, or Six Nations, for the purpose of making a treaty. The commissioners of Massachusetts were directed to pass through Stockbridge, on their way to Albany, for the purpose of conferring with the Mohawks already there, about their settlement in New England. On their arrival they found that Hendrick, and almost all the heads of families, on account of their dis-gust at the neglect of their children, on the part of Capt. Kellogg, had returned to their own country. In conse-quence of this, they requested Mr. Edwards to go to Al-bany, and be present at the conference, whither he accordingly went the first week in July. In an interview with Hendrick and Nicholas, he endeavoured to per-suade them to influence as many of the Mohawk chiefs, as possible, to go to Stockbridge, and there treat of their removal to New England. This being urged upon them afterwards, by the commissioners of Massachusetts, was agreed to by them and the other chiefs; and a conference appointed to be held at Stockbridge in August Mr. Ed-wards then returned to Stockbridge, and in the latter part of July, to his family in Northampton.
The first week in August, he removed his family and effects from Northampton to Stockbridge, and on Thurs-day, Aug 8th, was regularly installed as the minister of the congregation in that place, and inducted into the office of missionary to the Indians residing in its vicinity. His salary was derived from three sources: from the parish of Stockbridge; from the Society in London, for Propa-gating the Gospel in New England, and the Parts adja-cent, whose missionary he was, through their commis-sioners at Boston; and from the legislature of the colony, as a part of the annual fund devoted to the civilization of the Indians. This latter sum was paid, of course, to the individual, who held the office of minister and missionary at Stockbridge, although the government had no voice in his appointment.
On Tuesday, Aug. 13th, the chiefs of the Mohawks came from their two principal settlements to Stockbridge, and met the commissioners of the province. The chiefs expressed a very strong desire that their children might be instructed; but objected to the removal to Stockbridge, on the ground that the affairs of the Mohawks there were left in the umost confusion, that no regular school was established, and no thorough means taken for the education of their children. After reminding the commissioners how often the English had failed to fulfil their promises, and disappointed the hopes which they had encouraged them to entertain, they requested them to promise nothing, but what the government would certainly perform The commissioners agreed among themselves, that in consequence of the utter incompetency of Captain Kellogg, another instructor, a man of learning and skill, must be procured for the Mohawk school; and promised the chiefs that a regular school should be established for their children, and a competent instructor speedily pro-cured. After this, the chiefs declared their acceptance of the proposals made to them, of sending their children to Stockbridge for instruction, and of coming, a number of them, to reside there; and tendered a belt of wampum to the commissioners, in confirmation of the agreement, which was accepted. On Thursday, Aug. 22, the coun-cil was dissolved, and the chiefs went home.
The Mohawks at this time discovered a very strong de-sire to promote the education of their children, and an un-usual willingness to receive religious instruction; as did also a part of the tribe of the Oneiyutas, or Oneidas, re-siding at Onohohquauga, or Onohquauga, a settlement on the Susquehannah The French having been apprized of the efforts making by the English, in behalf of the Mohawks, were busily occupied in seducing them, and the other tribes of the Iroquois. to emigrate into Canada; and were actually erecting a chain of forts extending from Canada through New York, Pennsylvania, and the wil-derness beyond to the Mississippi. Mr. Edwards, be-lieving that if the utmost good faith was not kept with the Mohawks the whole plan of instructing them would be defeated, and regarding the period as a most critical one for the welfare of the British colonies, addressed a letter on the subject of the Indians, to the Hon. Thomas Hubbard, Speaker of the House of Assembly. In this letter he gave an account of the council held with the chiefs of the Mohawks, at Stockbridge, and their agree-ment to encourage the education of their children at that place; mentioned the interest felt in the subject by the Mohawks and the Oneiyutas, and by some of the Tus-caroras, stated the vast importance of the existing crisis, for securing the friendship of the Six Nations; recited the machinations of the French, to seduce them from the English interest, and their hostile movements in the west; pointed out the religious and literary instruction of the Indians as the only means of securing their attachment to the British cause; and detailed the measures necessary to be pursued at Stockbridge, to promote these great objects.
When Mr. F.dnards had removed his family to Stock-bridge, he found himself exceedingly embarrassed, from the difficulty of procuring the land necessary for his own im-mediate accommodation. When the town was first settled, it was granted to the Housatonnucks except six portions, to the late missionary, the school-master, and four other settlers. These portions were now distributed among fourteen proprietors, and could be purchased only at a very high price. He therefore presented a petition to the General Court, at their session in October, 1751, asking leave to purchase the necessary lands, for his own accommodation-a homestead in the centre of the town, and a piece of wood-land in the outskirts. The legisla-ture granted him leave to purchase the homesteads, and re-commended to the English inhabitants, to provide the necessary wood-land for their minister.
On the tract of land, which he purchased, near the centre of the town, Mr. Edwards, soon after, erected a commodious dwelling, which is still standing.
Letter to Sir W. Pepperell-Letter to Lady Pepperell-Letter to His Father-Arrival of Mr. Hawley- Increasing Importance of Indian Establishment-Schemes of its Enemies-Firm Stand Taken by Mr. Ed-wards-Letter to Mr. Oliver-Letter to Commissioners-Difficulties to The Mission-Answer to Mr. Williams-Letter to the People of Northampton-Marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Burr-Letter to Mr Erskine-Letter to Mr. Hollis-Letter to Mr. Hubbard.
THE Indian establishment at Stockbridge, being gradu-ally more and more known, excited more and more the attention, and interest, of the benevolent of England. Among these, Joshua Paine, Esq. of London, addressed a letter to Sir William Pepperell, the governor of the province; requesting the information, as to the proper plan of a school for Indian girls at that place. An extract from that letter was forwarded to Mr. Edwards from Sir William, through the secretary of the commissioners, with a request that he would write to Sir William on the subject. He accordingly addressed to him the following letter.
"Stockbridge, Nov. 28, 1151.
WHEN I had the opportunity the last spring of waiting on your Excellency at your seat at Kittery, and was there gratified and honoured by the kind and hospitable enter-tainment of your house, I was favoured with some conver-sation with you, concerning the affairs of the Indians at Stockbridge, and the business of the mission here, to which I had then been invited. And you were then pleased generously to assure me of your good offices, in affording me any assistance in this employment, which you could render me, through your acquaintance and corre-spondence in London.
I have lately been favoured with a letter from the Hon. Andrew Oliver, of Boston, wherein he was pleased to send me an extract of a letter to you from Joshua Paine, Esq. of London, concerning a proper plan of a school for Indian girls in this place, and to propose to me to write to you on the subject of the said extract. This encourages me to hope that a letter from me, on this sub-ject, to your Excellency will be kindly received.
With this hope, I would take leave to say, that I think that as the boarding-schools here are now in their com-mencement, and are yet to receive their form and character, and that among a people hitherto unaccustomed to any method of instruction whatever, it is a great pity but that the method actually adopted should be free from the gross defects of the ordinary method of teaching among the English.
One of these grand defects, as I humbly conceive, is this, that children are habituated to learning without understanding. In the common method of teaching, so far as my observation extends, children, when they are taught to read, are so much more accustomed to reading, without any kind of knowledge of the meaning of what they read, that they continue reading without understanding, even a long time after they are capable of understanding, were it not for a habit of making such and such sounds, on the sight of such and such letters, with a perfect inattentiveness to any meaning. In like manner they are taught their catechism, saying over the words by rote, which they be-gan to say, before they were capable of easily and readily comprehending them. Being long habituated to make sounds without connecting any ideas with them, they so continue, until they come to be capable of well under-standing the words, and would perhaps have the ideas, properly signified by the words, naturally excited in their minds on hearing the words, were it not for an habitual hearing and speaking them without any ideas; so that, if the question were put in phraseology somewhat new, to which they have not been accustomed, they would not know what to answer. Thus it happens to children, even with regard to the plainest printed catechisms, even those which have been contrived with great care and art, so that they might be adapted to the lowest capacities.
I should therefore think that, in these boarding-schools, the children should never read a lesson, without the master or mistress taking care, that the child be made to attend to, and understand, the meaning of the words and sen-tences which it reads; at least after the child begins to read without spelling, and perhaps in some degree before. And the child should be taught to understand things, as well as words. After it begins to read in a Psalter, Tes-tament, or Bible, not only the words and phrases should be explained, but the things which the lesson treats of should be, in a familiar manner, opened to the child's un-derstanding; and the master or mistress should enter into conversation with the child about them. Familiar ques-tions should be put to the child about the subjects of the lesson; and the child should be encouraged, and drawn on, to speak freely, and in his turn also to ask questions, for the resolution of his own doubts.
Many advantages would arise, from this method. By this means, the child's learning will be rendered pleasant, entertaining, and profitable, as his mind will gradually open and expand with knowledge, and his capacity for reasoning be improved. His lesson will cease to be a dull, wearisome task, without any suitable pleasure or benefit. This will be a rational way of teaching. Assisting the child's reason enables him to see the use, and end, and be-nefit of reading, at the same time that he takes pains from day to day to read. It is the way also to accustom the child from its infancy to think and reflect, and to beget in it an early taste for knowledge, and a regularly increasing appetite for it.
So also, with regard to the method of catechizing chil-dren, beside obliging them to give the answers in the printed catechism, or in any stated form of words, ques-tions should be asked them from time to time, in the same familiar manner, as they are asked questions commonly about their ordinary affairs, with familiar instructions, explanations, and rehearsals of things, intermixed; and if it be possible, the child should be led, by wise and skilful management, into the habit of conversation on divine things, and should gradually be divested of that shyness and backwardness, usually discovered in children, to con-verse on such topics with their superiors. And when the printed catechisms are used, as I am far from thinking they ought to be entirely neglected, care should be taken, that the child should attend to the meaning of the words, and be able to understand them; to this end, not only explain-ing the words and sentences, but also from time to time varying the phraseology, putting the question in different words of the same sense, and also intermixing with the questions and answers, whether printed or not, some im-provement or application, in counsels and warnings given to them, founded on the answers that have been given.
Beside the things already mentioned, there are other things, which, as it appears to me, ought to be done, with regard to the education of children in general, wherein the common methods of instruction in New England are grossly defective. The teacher, in familiar discourses, might, in a little time, give the children a short general scheme of the scriptural history, beginning with the creation of the world, and descending through the various periods of that history, informing them of the larger divisions, and more important events of the story, and giving them some idea of their connexion one with an-other;-first, of the history of the Old Testament, and then of the New. And when the children had in their heads this general scheme, then the teacher might, at certain times, entertain them, in like familiar discourse, with the particular stories of the Scriptures, sometimes with one story, and then with another, before they can obtain the knowledge of them themselves, by reading; for example, at one time the story of the creation, at another time the story of the flood, then the dispersion of the nations, the calling of Abraham, the story of Joseph, the bringing of the children of Israel out of Egypt: and in the New Testament, the birth of Christ, some of the chief acts of his life, his death, his resurrection, his ascension, the effusion of the Holy Spirit at the day of Pentecost, and some of the chief of the acts of the apostles; withal, pointing out to them the place which each event has in the general scheme, and the connexion it has with other main parts of it. The teacher, in a familiar manner, should apply the events of the story discoursed upon, with the design of informing the child's understanding, influencing his heart, and directing his practice. A child, who is able to read his Bible, might he set to read a particular scriptural history, sometimes one, and sometimes another, diligently observing it, and examining for himself all that is said concerning it. And when he has done, he might be called to the master or mistress, and inquired of, concerning the particulars of the history, to see that he has paid attention, and is able to give a good account of it.
And I can see no good reason, why children in general, beside the scriptural history, should not, in a like familiar manner of conversation, be taught something of the great successive changes and events, in the Jewish nation, and the world at large, which connect the history of the Old and New Testaments. Thus, they might be informed, in short, of the manner in which the four great monarchies succeeded each other, the persecutions which the Jews suffered from Antiochus Epiphanes, and the principal changes which happened to their church and state, before the coming of Christ. And they might be shown, how such and such events were a fulfillment of such and such prophecies. And when they learn the history of the New Testament, they might, with much profit and entertainment, have pointed out to them many plain prophecies of the Old Testament, which have their fulfillment in him. And I can see no good reason, why children cannot, or may not, be taught something in general of ecclesiastical history, and be informed how things, with regard to the stare of religion and the church of God, have gone on, as to some of the main events, from the time when the scriptural history ended, to the present time; and how given prophecies of the Scriptures have been fulfilled in some of these events; or why they may not be told, what may yet be expected to come to pass according to the scriptural prophecies, from this rime, to the end of the world.
It appears to me obvious, also, that, in connexion with all this, they should be taught somewhat relating to the chronology of events, which would make the story so much the more distinct and entertaining. Thus, they may be taught how long it was from the creation of the world to the coming of Christ; how long from the creation to the flood; how long from the flood to the calling of Abraham, &c; how long David lived before Christ; how long before the captivity in Babylon; how long the captivity, before Christ, &c ; how long since the birth of Christ; how old he was when he began to preach, and when he was crucified; how long after his resurrection, before he ascended; how long, also, after the destruction of Jeru-salem by Nebuchadnezzar; until Babylon was destroyed by Cyrus; how long after the Persian empire, before that empire was overthrown by Alexander; when was the great oppression of the Jews by Antiochus Epiphanes; when Judea was conquered by the Romans; how long after Christ's resurrection before the destruction of Jerusalem; and how long before the empire became Christian; how long after Christ before the popes claimed such and such powers; when the worship of images was introduced; how long before the Reformation, &c. &c. All children are capable of being informed, and having an idea of these things, and can much more easily learn them, if endeavors were used to that end, than many things which they do learn.
And with like ease, and with equal benefit, they might be taught some of the main things in geography: which way the land of Canaan lies from this; how far it is; which
way Egypt lay from Canaan: which way Babylon lay from Jerusalem, and how far; which way Padan--Aram was from Canaan; where Rome lay from Jerusa-lem; where Antioch, &c. &c.
And I cannot but think it might be a pretty easy thing, if proper means were taken, to teach children to spell well, and girls as well as boys. I should think it may be worth the while, on various accounts, to teach them to write, and also to teach them a little arithmetic, some of the first and plainest rules. Or, if it be judged, that it is needless to teach all the children all these things, some difference might be made in children of different genius, and children of the best genius might be taught more things than others. And all would serve, the more speed-ily and effectually, to change the taste of Indians, and to bring them off from their barbarism and brutality, to a relish for those things which belong to civilization and re-finement.
Another thing, which properly belongs to a Christian education, and which would be unusually popular with them, and which would in several respects have a power-ful influence, in promoting the great end in view, of lead-ing them to renounce the coarseness, and filth, and degra-dation, of savage life, for cleanliness, refinement, and good morals, is teaching them to sing. Music, especially sacred music, has a powerful efficacy to soften the heart into ten-derness, to harmonize the affections, and to give the mind a relish for objects of a superior character.
In order to promote the salvation of the children, which is the main design of the whole Indian establishment at this place, I think that, beside their attending public wor-ship on the sabbath, and the daily worship of the family, and catechizing in the school, and frequent counsels and warnings given them, when all together, by their teachers; each child should, from time to time, be dealt with singly, particularly, and closely, about the state and concerns of his soul; and particular care should be taken to teach and direct each child, concerning the duty of secret prayer, and the duty pressed and enforced on every one; and care should be taken, that all may have proper opportunity and convenience for it.
I need say nothing concerning buildings, lodgings, household stuff, cattle, servants, husbandry instruments, and utensils for the children's work; as a is agreed on all hands, that these are necessary; and the providing of them will doubtless be left to the care and discretion of the trustees that shall be appointed.
But I would beg leave to say further, with regard to methods to forward the proficiency of the children in their learning, that I cannot but think measures might be de-vised, greatly to encourage and animate them in it, and excite a laudable ambition to excel. One thing I have thought of, which, as appears to me, might have a happy tendency this way, in each of the boarding-schools: at certain periods, there should be a sort of public examina-tion in the school, on a day appointed for the purpose, which shall be attended by all the trustees, and all in the town who are in any respect connected with Indian affairs, and some of the neighbouring ministers, and gentlemen and ladies; and also that the chiefs of the Indians be in-vited to attend; at which there shall be a public trial of the proficiency which each one has made, in the various branches which have been taught, as in reading, writing, spelling, arithmetic, knowledge in the principles of re-ligion, knowledge of church history, &c.; and that a pre-mium shall be given to such as are found to excel, which may be done in something that will very much please Indian children, with but little expense. And likewise, that the works of the children be then produced, to be judged of, that it may be determined who has made the greatest proficiency in learning to sew, to spin, to knit, &c.; and that a reward be given to such as have excelled And perhaps, also, that a reward be then given to such, as, by the testimony of their teachers and governors, have excelled in virtue or diligence, in care to speak the truth in strictly observing the sabbath, in good manners, in re-spect to their superiors, &c. And that, in the day of pub-lic trial, there be somewhat of an entertainment made for the members of the school, and those who are invited to attend. This not only might tend greatly to stimulate the children in their learning, but would be very pleasing and animating to the tribes of Indians, arid would have great influence in rendering them very favourably disposed to the affairs of the schools.
But your Excellency will easily see that, in order to the practicableness of these things, in any tolerable degree and manner, it is necessary that the children should be taught the English tongue; and indeed this is of the most abso-lute necessity, on almost every account. The Indian lan-guages are extremely barbarous and barren, and very ill fitted for communicating things moral and divine, or even things speculative and abstract. In short, they are wholly unfit for a people possessed of civilization, knowledge, and refinement.
Besides, without their learning English, their learning to read will be in vain; for the Indians have not the Bible, nor any other book, in their own language. Without this, their teachers cannot converse with them, and so can have no advantage to instruct them. Hence, all possible means must be used, in the first place, to introduce the English tongue among the children. To this end, much pains should be taken to teach them the English name for every thing, and English words that signify such and such ac-tions; and an interpreter might be used for a while, to interpret their lessons to them, and to teach them to con-strue them, or turn them into Indian. And a number of English children might be put into the school with the Indian children. But the most effectual method of all would be, to put out some of the Indian children, first, into some good English families, one at a place, to live there a year or two, before they are brought into the school; which would not only be above all others the most successful method, but would be absolutely neces-sary, at least at first, but truly a great deal of care must be taken to find good places for them, and to look well to them, and to see that they are well taken care of, in the families to which they are sent. It is probable, that the parents of the children might, with proper endeavours, be persuaded to such a measure.
But it will doubtless be very easily and quickly deter-mined, by your Excellency, that, if such methods as those which have been mentioned, or any like them, or indeed any other effectual measures, are taken, it will be absolutely necessary that the school should be under the con-stant care and inspection of trustees, who live upon the spot, or very near at hand. It will be in vain for any to expect that any woman can look after such a school, and provide for and govern so large a family, and take care continually to order and regulate so many and great affairs pertaining to it, within doors and without, without much assistance of some always at hand, who are able and faithful, and are interested and duly empowered. If she has under her a second, or a kind of usher, and has ser-vants of both sexes, yet still she will be under the necessity of having some superior assistance. And as to the precise method of teaching, and regulating the discipline of the school and family, it must be left very much to their discretion: for experience alone can certainly determine the fittest methods of ordering such an establishment, so new and untried, though very probable conjectures may be made. And experience will doubtless direct to some new measures, which cannot now be thought of. Hoping that your Excellency will excuse the particularity and minuteness into which I have unintentionally been led on a subject about which I cannot but feel the deepest interest,
With very high respect,
Your most humble servant,
In the package to Sir William, Mr. Edwards, in con-sequence of her own request, forwarded to Lady Pepperell; who was then in very deep affliction, the following letter; which will probably be regarded as one of the happiest specimens of Christian sympathy and condolence, to be found in epistolary writing.
"To Lady Pepperell.
Stockbridge, Nov 28, 1751.
When I was at your house in Kittery, the last spring, among other instances of your kind and condescending treatment to me, was this, that, when I had some conver-sation with Sir William, concerning Stockbridge and the affairs of the Indians, and he generously offered me any assistance, in the business of my mission here, which his acquaintance and correspondence in London enabled him to afford me, and proposed my writing to him on our affairs; you were also pleased to invite me to write to you at the same time. If I should neglect to do as you then proposed, I should fail not only of discharging my duty, but of doing myself a great honour. But as I am well assured, even from the small acquaintance I had with you, that a letter of mere compliments would not be agreeable to a lady of your disposition and feelings, especially under your present melancholy circumstances; so the writing of such a letter is very far from my intention or inclination.
When I saw the evidences of your deep sorrow, under the awful frown of Heaven in the death of your only son, it made an impression on my mind not easily forgotten; and when you spoke of my writing to you, I soon deter-mined what should be the subject of my letter. It was that which appeared to me to be the most proper subject of contemplation for one in your circumstances; that, which I thought, above all others, would furnish you a proper and sufficient source of consolation, under your heavy affliction; and this was the Lord Jesus Christ:- particularly the amiableness of his character, which ren-ders him worthy that we should love him, and take him for our only portion, our rest, hope, and joy; and his great and unparalleled love towards us -And I have been of the same mind ever since; being determined, if God favoured me with an opportunity to write to your Ladyship, that those things should be the subject of my letter. For what other subject is so well calculated to prove a balm to the wounded spirit.
Let us then, dear Madam, contemplate the loveliness of our blessed Redeemer, which entitles him to our highest love; and, when clearly seen, leads us to find a sweet complacency and satisfaction of soul in him, of whatever else we are deprived. The Scriptures assure us that He, who came into the world in our nature, and freely laid down his life for us, was truly possessed of all the fullness of the Godhead, of his infinite greatness, majesty, and glory, his infinite wisdom, purity, and holiness, his infinite righteousness and goodness. He is called 'the brightness of God's glory, and the express image of his person.' He is, the Image, the Expression, of infinite beauty; in the contemplation of which, God the Father had all his un-speakable happiness from eternity. That eternal and unspeakable happiness of the Deity is represented as a kind of social happiness, in the society of the persons of the Trinity; Prov. viii. 30. 'Then I was by him, as one brought up with him; I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him.' This glorious Person came down from heaven to be 'the Light of the world,' that by him the beauty of the Deity might shine forth, in the brightest and fullest manner, to the children of men.
Infinite Wisdom also has contrived that we should be-hold the glory of the Deity, in the face of Jesus Christ, to the greatest advantage, in such a manner as should be best adapted to the capacity of poor feeble man; in such a manner, too, as is best fitted to engage our attention, and allure our hearts, as well as to inspire us with the most perfect complacency and delight. For Christ having, by his incarnation, come down from his infinite exaltation above us, has become one of our kinsmen and brothers. And his glory shining upon us through his human nature, the manifestation is wonderfully adapted to the strength of the human vision; so that, though it appears in all its effulgence, it is yet attempered to our sight. He is indeed possessed of infinite majesty, to inspire us with reverence and adoration; yet that majesty need not terrify us, for we behold it blended with humility, meekness, and sweet condescension. We may feel the most profound reverence and self-abasement, and yet our hearts be drawn forth sweetly and powerfully into an intimacy the most free, confidential, and delightful. The dread, so naturally in-spired by his greatness, is dispelled by the contemplation of his gentleness and humility; while the familiarity, which might otherwise arise from the view of the loveliness of his character merely, is ever prevented by the con-sciousness of his infinite majesty and glory; and the sight of all his perfections united fills us with sweet surprise and humble confidence, with reverential love and delight-ful adoration.
This glory of Christ is properly, and in the highest sense, divine. He shines in all the brightness of glory that is inherent in the Deity. Such is the exceeding brightness of this Sun of righteousness, that, in comparison of it, the light of the natural sun is as darkness; and hence, when he shall appear in his glory, the brightness of the sun shall disappear, as the brightness of the little stars do when the sun rises. So says the prophet Isaiah, 'Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun shall be ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in Mount Zion, and before his ancients gloriously.' Isa xxiv. 23. But, although his light is thus bright, and his beams go forth with infinite strength; yet, as they proceed from the Lamb of God, and shine through his meek and lowly human nature, they are supremely soft and mild, and, instead of daz-zling and overpowering our feeble sight, like a smooth ointment or a gentle eye-salve, are vivifying and heal-ing. Thus on them, who fear God's name, 'the Sun of righteousness arises, with healing in his beams,' Mal. iv. 2. It is like the light of the morning, a morning without clouds, as the dew on the grass, under whose influence the souls of his people are as the tender grass springing out of the earth, by clear shining after rain. Thus are the beams of his beauty and brightness fitted for the support and reviving of the afflicted. He heals the broken in spirit, and bindeth up their wounds. When the spirits of his people are cut down by the scythe, he comes down upon them, in a sweet and heavenly influence, like rain on the mown grass, and like showers that water the earth. (Pal. lxxii. 6)
But especially are the beams of Christ's glory infinitely softened and sweetened by his love to men, the love that passeth knowledge. The glory of his person consists, pre-eminently, in that infinite goodness and grace, of which he made so wonderful a manifestation, in his love to us. The apostle John tells us, that God is light; (1 John i. 5.) and again, that God is love; (1 John iv. 8 ) and the light of his glory is an infinitely sweet light, because it is the light of love. But especially does it appear so, in the person of our Redeemer, who was infinitely the most wonderful example of love that was ever witnessed. All the perfections of the Deity have their highest manifestation in the work of redemption, vastly more than in the work of creation. In other works, we see him indirectly; but here, we see the immediate glory of his face. (2 Cor. iii. 18.) In his other works, we behold him at a distance; but in this, we come near, and behold the infinite treasures of his heart. (Eph. iii. 8, 9, 10.) It is a work of love to us, and a work of which Christ is the author. His loveliness, and his love, have both their greatest and most affecting manifestation in those sufferings, which he en-dured for us at his death. Therein, above all, appeared his holiness, his love to God, and his hatred of sin, in that, when he desired to save sinners, rather than that a sensible testimony should not be seen against sin, and the justice of God be vindicated, he chose to become obedient unto death; even the death of the cross. Thus, in the same act, he manifests, in the highest conceivable degree, his infinite hatred of sin, and his infinite love to sinners. His holiness appeared like a fire, burning with infinite vehemence against sin; at the same time, that his love to sinners appeared like a sweet flame, burning with an in-finite fervency of benevolence It is the glory and beauty of his love to us, polluted sinners, that it is an infinitely pure love; and it is the peculiar sweetness and endear-ment of his holiness, that it has its most glorious mani-festation in such an act of love to us. All the excellencies of Christ, both divine and human, have their highest manifestation in this wonderful act of his love to men- his offering up himself a sacrifice for us, under these ex-treme sufferings. Herein have abounded toward us the riches of his grace, in all wisdom and prudence. (Eph. i. 8.) Herein appears his perfect justice. Herein, too, was the great display of his humility, in being willing to descend so low for us. In his last sufferings, appeared his obedience to God, his submission to his disposing will, his patience, and his meekness, when he went as a lamb to the slaughter, and opened not his mouth, but in a prayer that God would forgive his crucifiers. And how affecting this manifestation of his excellency and amiableness to our minds, when it chiefly shines forth in such an act of love to us.
The love of Christ to men, in another way, sweetens and endears all his excellencies and virtues; as it has brought him in to so near a relation to us, as our friend, our elder brother, and our redeemer; and has brought us into an union so strict with him, that we are his friends, yea, members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. (Eph. v. 30)
We see then, dear Madam, how rich and how adequate is the provision, which God has made for our consolation, in all our afflictions, in giving us a Redeemer of such glory, and such love; especially, when it is considered, what were the ends of this great manifestation of beauty and love in his death. He suffered, that we might be delivered. His soul was exceeding sorrowful, even unto death, to take away the sting of sorrow, and to impart everlasting consolation. He was oppressed and afflicted, that we might be supported. He was overwhelmed in the darkness of death, that we might have the light of life. He was cast into the furnace of God's wrath, that we might drink of the rivers of his pleasures. His soul was overwhelmed with a flood of sorrow, that our hearts might be overwhelmed with a flood of eternal joy.
We may also well remember, in what circumstances our Redeemer now is. He was dead; but he is alive, and he lives for evermore. Death may deprive us of our friends here, but it cannot deprive us of this our best Friend. We have this best of friends, this mighty Re-deemer, to go to, in all our afflictions; and he is not one who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities. He has suffered far greater sorrows than we have ever suffered; and if we are actually united to him, the union can never be broken, but will continue when we die, and when heaven and earth are dissolved.
Therefore, in this we may be confident, though the earth he removed, in him we shall triumph with everlasting joy. Now, when storms and tempests arise, we may resort to him, who is a hiding-place from the storm, and a covert from the tempest. When we thirst, we may come to him, who is as rivers of water in a dry place. When we are weary, we may go to him, who is as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. Having found him, who is as the apple-tree among the trees of the wood, we may sit under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit will be sweet to our taste. Christ said to his disciples, 'In the world ye shall have tribulation; but in me ye shall have peace! If we are united to him, we shall be like a tree planted by, the waters, and that spreadeth out its roots by the river, that shall not see when heat cometh, but its leaf shall ever be green, and it shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall it cease from yielding fruit. He will now be our light in darkness; our morning-star, shining as the sure harbinger of approaching day. In a little time, he will arise on our souls, as the sun in his glory; and our sun shall no more go down, and there shall be no interposing cloud-no veil on his face, or on our hearts; but the Lord shall be our everlasting light, and our Redeemer our glory.
That this glorious Redeemer would manifest his glory and love to your mind, and apply what little I have said on this subject to your consolation, in all your afflictions, and abundantly reward your kindness and generosity to me while I was at Kittery, is the fervent prayer, Madam, of
Your ladyship's most obliged and affectionate friend, and most humble servant,
The repeated afflictions of a widowed sister, in the beginning of the next year, occasioned the following letter to his father, containing some allusions to the state and cir-cumstances of his own family.
"To the Reverend Timothy Edwards, East Windsor.
Stockbridge. Jan 27. 1752.
We have lately heard the sorrowful tidings of the death of two of sister Backus's children, as we are in-formed, both at your house; which is the occasion of cou-sin Eunice returning from Stockbridge at this time; she having a desire to see her mother and surviving sisters at Windsor, on this melancholy occasion. We are much affected with sister's great and heavy afflictions, and la-ment the death of two such likely, promising children, in their early youth. It is my earnest desire, that it may be sanctified to us of this family. I desire your prayers, that it may be so; particularly to those that are young in the family; that they may be awakened by it to diligent pre-paration for death; and that we all may take notice of our distinguished mercies, with a becoming thankfulness to God. I look upon it as a great favour of Heaven, that you, my parents, are still preserved in the land of the liv-ing, to so great an age. I hope, by the leave of Divine Providence, to make you and sister Backus a visit in the spring. We are, through mercy, in our ordinary state of health, except that little Betty don't seem of late to be so well as she was in the summer. If she lives till spring, I believe we must be obliged to come again to the use of the cold bath with her. My wife and chil-dren are well pleased with our present situation. They like the place far better than they expected. Here, at present, we live in peace; which has of long time been an unusual thing with us. The Indians seem much pleased with my family, especially my wife. They are generally more sober and serious than they used to be. Beside the Stockbridge Indians, here are above sixty of the Six Nations, who live here for the sake of instruction. Twenty are lately come to dwell here, who came from about two hundred miles beyond Albany. We expect our son and daughter Parsons will remove hither in a short time. Many of their goods are already brought up.
[After alluding to the indigent circumstances of his sister Mrs Backus and her family, and mentioning that himself and Mrs. Edwards had done every thing for his niece which was in their power, he proceeds.)
I hope some of her friends will be kind to her in this respect. There are perhaps none of her uncles but are much better able to help her than I am at this time; who, by reason of lately marrying two children, and the charge of buying, building, and removing, am, I suppose, about £2000 in debt, in this province money. I should be glad if sister Mary would suggest it to brother Ellsworth to do something for her. If she don't care to do it in her own name, let her do it in mine, as doing the errand from me. Please to give my duty to my mother, and my love to sister Mary. My wife is at this moment from home. My children give their duty to their grandparents, and aunts, and love and affectionate condolence to their mourn-ful surviving cousins
I am, honoured Sir,
Your dutiful son,
The allusion to his pecuniary circumstances, made by Mr. Edwards in the preceding letter, requires explanation. What was the actual amount of his salary at Northampton, I have not been able to ascertain; but he speaks of it, in one of his letters, as "the largest salary of any country minister in New England." Soon after his settlement there, he purchased a valuable homestead, with the requi-site lands for pasturage and fuel, and erected a commodi-ous dwelling-house These, by the strictest economy, had all been paid for before his dismission. It was several years. however, after his removal to Stockbridge, before he could sell his property at Northampton. In the mean time, he was under the necessity of purchasing another homestead, and of erecting another dwelling-house at Stockbridge. The debt thus incurred, added to the ex-pense of removing his family, subjected them for a time to very serious pecuniary embarrassments: and his daugh-ters, who had received not only an enlightened, but a polished education, readily lent their aid, to relieve the family from the existing pressure. For this purpose, they occupied their leisure in making lace and embroidering, in tambouring and other ornamental work, and in making and painting fans; all of which, in the existing state of the country, found a ready market at Boston: At length, the sale of his property in Northampton relieved him from debt, and placed his family in more pleasant circum-stances.
On the 5th of February, O. S. Mr. Gideon Hawley, a young gentleman of a liberal education, and of great pru-dence, firmness, and integrity, arrived at Stockbridge. He had been appointed, by the commissioners, the school-master of the Mohawk and other Iroquois children, and entered immediately on the duties of his office. He was ordained as a minister and missionary, July 31, 1734, N. S. Mr. Edwards found him a most faithful and use-ful coadjutor. He also occasionally preached to the Iroquois, as did Mr. Edwards once every sabbath.
Soon after the removal of Mr. Edwards to Stockbridge, in consequence of the misunderstandings and jealousies, subsisting between some of the principal English inhabit-ants of the town, and the confusion in which he saw the Indian affairs involved, he was led, in a letter to the Hon. Mr. Hubbard, of Aug. 31, 1751, to recommend the ap-pointment of two or more trustees, "men perfectly impar-tial, no way interested in, related to, or engaged with, the contending parties." The absolute necessity of this step to the welfare of the mission, and of the Indian schools, soon became apparent. In consequence of the increasing importance of the Indian establishment at Stockbridge, and the increasing attention of the public to the mission and the schools; the benefactions of the legislature and of individuals, were increasing, and still likely to increase. By the augmented numbers of the Housatonnucks, and the acces-sion of a Mohawk colony, it had become the principal mission of the Society for Propagating the Gospel in New England, and appeared destined to receive the chief amount of its revenue; Mr. Hollis had increased his annual stipend to £160, stg.; Mr. Paine was proposing to support a female boarding-school; the legislature of the province had just voted £500, provincial currency, for the school-house, and would probably aid in the support of the mistress; an adequate support was now given to the instructor of the Housatonnuck school ; an annual stipend was given to the Housatonnucks, to be expended at Stock-bridge for their benefit; a similar stipend was to be paid for the Mohawks, if they removed in considerable numbers to Stockbridge; a school, to be supported by the colony, for the education of their children, was not only pledged, but actually begun; and hopes were indulged that the yearly stipend of £500, stg. granted by the king, to the Mohawks, might be expended under the direction of an agent, residing at Stockbridge, and not as before at Albany. It needed no great discernment to discover, that the amount of these numerous items must be great; and the bare possibility of engrossing the agency, through which this large aggregate must pass, and of turning it into a source of great private emolument, might easily excite the strong cupidity of individuals, and lead them to resort to every measure in their power, to secure that emolument to themselves. The opponent of Mr. Woodbridge, (whose influence in the town, and with the Indians, had been long chiefly extinct,) in consequence of the strong recom-mendation, given of him, by his nephew, while in Lon-don, to the directors of the Society for Propagating the Gospel in New England, had been appointed one of the board of commissioners of that society; as had the nephew himself, another of the same board; one of his family, through the same recommendation, had been conditionally nominated as the teacher of the female school; one of the trustees of the Indian establishment was about to con-nect himself with the family; and, if the nomination should be confirmed, it was his intention to remove to Stockbridge, in order to take a superintendence of Indian affairs, which, in the absence of his colleagues, would be sole and exclusive. So fair was the prospect at this time, in the view of these individuals, of engrossing the profit and the direction of the whole establishment in their own hands, that they threw off their wonted caution, and made known their purpose of removing every obstacle in the way of their designs.
Mr. Edwards well knew, that the influence of these in-dividuals was most formidable: two of them being now members of the board of commissioners, on which, as In-dian missionary, he was dependent; one of them being one of the trustees for the Indians at Stockbridge; one of them being personally acquainted with the directors in London; and two of them having considerable influence with the principal men in the provincial government. Yet he saw, just as dearly, that, if their plans succeeded, the funds appropriated to the literary and moral improvement of the Indians, would be perverted to the purpose of individual aggrandizement. In such a state of things, he was not at a loss as to his own duty. The question, whether the individual nominated by the board of directors in London, as the teacher of the female school, should be appointed, having been thus submitted, for final decision, to the board of commissioners in Boston; their secretary wrote to Mr. Edwards, for an explicit statement of the facts relating to ,the subject. Thus called upon, he did not hesitate to pre-sent the whole case, in a reply to the secretary, bearing date Feb. 18, 1752.
In this letter, after stating it to be absolutely necessary, that his correspondent should be let into some of the secrets of the affairs of Stockbridge, and after alluding to his having, on account of the controversy there subsisting, recommended, formerly, the appointment of two or more impartial trustees, no way interested in, or related to, the contending parties," to inspect those affairs; he states, among other things, the following particulars:- When he recommended the appointment of these trustees, he little suspected, that one of them would prove the furthest of any person whatever, from possessing the indispensable qualification of impartiality, in consequence of his being about to become the son-in-law of one of the contending parties.-The preceding year, a very formal pacification took place, between Mr. Woodbridge and his opponent, with solemn promises made by the latter, that he would thenceforward live peacefully with Mr. W, and no more speak ill of him, nor in any wise molest him. But the proposed alliance, the nomination of one of his family as teacher of the female school, and the appointment of himself and his nephew to the hoard of commissioners, had so elated him, that those promises appeared to be wholly forgotten. A sudden and strange alteration had also ap-peared, in the temper and conduct of his intended son-in-law, who, in the absence of his colleagues, claimed the sole management of all Indian affairs, so that nothing was done but he was the doer of it.-The Indians had a most unfavorable opinion of the opponent of Mr. Woodbridge, and the deepest prejudice against him, in consequence of his having often molested them, with respect to their lands, and other affairs, and, as they thought, having done very unjustly by them. This prejudice was extended to the family; and that to such a degree, that, after offering to feed and clothe such of their children, as should be sent to the school, attempted to be established, only four could be procured, three Housatonnucks and one Mohawk; and the parents of these four complained loudly of the treat-ment of their children. Whether this prejudice was well or ill founded, it was too deep to be eradicated. - Very improper use had been made of the money given by Mr. Hollis. He had made large remittances, and to no good purpose; and was kept in entire ignorance, as to the actual state of things at Stockbridge. The individual who received his money, and boarded, and professed to instruct the children, had never established a regular school, and had never kept any regular accounts of his expenditures. No government was maintained, little attention paid to the manners of the children, and all was suffered to go on in wildness, filth, and confusion, to the great offence of such as visited the place. The generous design of Mr. Hollis had been totally defeated, and the large sum of money he had given, had been wholly lost, and worse than lost. The same boys, without this additional expense, would have been far better instructed and governed at the school of Mr. Woodbridge. There, they would have been taught reading, cleanliness, good manners and good morals; all of which had been wholly neglected, on the part of their professed instructor, who had himself been absent from Stockbridge for a long period.-This irregularity, and dis-orderly management, led the Mohawks to take all their children away from him, after the arrival of Mr. Hawley, and to place them under the care of the latter. Yet the former, wishing some pretext for drawing the money of Mr. Hollis, and not being able to procure any of the In-dian boys to form a school, went regularly into the school kept by Mr. Hawley, and proceeded to treat the boys as if they were under his own care; alleging, that he was the superintendent of the male school.- No one had been more open and abundant, in speaking of his uselessness, his ex-ceeding unfitness for the business of an instructor, and the disorder and filthiness in which things were kept under his care, or in declaring, that it was high time that he was dis-missed from the employment, than the resident trustee; but, in consequence of his new connexion, he had sudden-ly changed his mind, and now declared, that he must be retained.- A similar change had taken place in his treat-ment of Mr. Edwards. For many years he had constant-ly professed the highest respect for him, far beyond what the latter could, with any modesty, expect. He had often expressed a higher esteem of him than of any minister in New England, as well as a very strong desire of living un-der his ministry. Yet, although Mr. Edwards had never had a word of difference with him, or his new connexions, his whole conduct was suddenly and entirely changed, and he had sided with them, in all their measures of opposition and violence.
Very singular management had been used, with respect to Mr. Hawley. Before his arrival, dark representations were carried to him,-misrepresentations of the actual state of things at Stockbridge.-to discourage him from accepting his appointment. Soon after his arrival, it was openly given out, that he would soon be removed. Had it not been for his firmness, prudence, and steadiness of tem-per, he would have been laid under great and permanent disadvantages. The resident trustee had warned him not to depend on Mr. Edwards, and challenged to himself the whole authority of directing the school, and the affairs of the Indians.-When the society in London recommended the proposed teacher of the female school, they could not have been aware, that her nearest kinsmen were to be the committee to examine her accounts. But the actual state of things was soon to be still more preposterous. She being the mistress, her nearest relatives were to be her council, and her husband the sole committee to examine her accounts, and make report to the legislature.
Mr. Edwards then adds, "I write these things, honour-ed Sir, because I am satisfied you have not heretofore been enlightened, in the true state of things, as you ought to have been It was my knowledge of some of these matters, though but little in comparison, which occasioned me, when last in Boston, so earnestly to press the com-missioners frequently to visit this place I have been slow to speak. My disposition has been entirely to sup-press what I knew, that would be to the disadvantage of any of the people here. But I dare not hold my peace any longer. You doubtless will own, Sir, that it is but doing you justice, for somebody or other to let you know the true state of things, in a matter of such vast import-ance, which is under your care, and which you being at so great a distance never can know, but by the information of some that live here; and I know of no one from whom you can more reasonably expect it, than from the missionary you have sent here, to have the special care of the interests of religion among the Indians. I did not in-tend to interfere with the affair of the teacher of the fe-male school, or to say any thing that should tend to hinder it; and therefore avoided every thing of that nature, in my letter to Sir William Pepperell. But being now questioned again by the honourable commissioners, and the tendency of the measure more and more appearing, I thought that this was the time when God called on me to speak, and that if I should hold my peace now, I should perhaps lay a foundation for great uneasiness to my con-science all my life after; when I might deeply lament the continued consequences of my silence, and when it would be too late to speak."
The next day Mr. Edwards addressed a letter to the commissioners in Boston, in which, after announcing the arrival of Mr. Hawley, and the high gratification of the Mohawks at the establishment of a regular school for their boys, he states the number of his scholars to be at that time thirty-six, mentions his happy qualifications as an instructor, and in compliance with their request gives, very summarily, his own views respecting a proper teacher for the female boarding-school.
During the spring of 1752, the state of affairs in Stockbridge, instead of improving, only grew worse. The in-terference of the former school-master with the school of Mr. Hawley, produced so much confusion, that, in the latter part of April, one half of the Mohawks left Stock-bridge in utter disgust with him and Ins friends, and fully resolved never to return. A few days after their depar-ture an intimate friend of the former school-master and his associates, visiting the male Mohawk school, under the care of Mr. Hawley, struck a child of the chief sachem at the Onohquaugas on the head with his cane, without any manner of provocation. The mother of this child was a woman of remarkable piety. This un-happy occurrence excited the universal indignation of the remaining Iroquois; and they appeared resolved, all of them, to pack up their effects immediately, and be gone Mr. Hawley and the interpreter, finding it impossible to calm them, came to Mr. Edwards for advice, but he, having been often blamed for, inter-fering with the affairs of the Iroquois, and told that, in doing so, he meddled with that which was none of his business, referred them to the resident trustee; advising them to represent the whole affair to him, that he might use proper means to prevent the fatal consequences which were feared. Their doing so was, however, regarded as the result of a disposition to find fault with him and his friends. The chiefs of the Onohquaugas, finding no redress, went to Mr. Edwards to make their complaint for this violent assault. There they found the aggressor; who, in order to pacify them, was persuaded to pay them a sum of money. The resi-dent trustee, angry at what had occurred, went to the boarding-school, and proceeded to abuse Mr. Hawley in the presence of the whole school, in a very fervid manner; telling him that he was a man of no judgment, and of no prudence, and that he was unfit for the business he was in; and continued this abuse for three hours together As his conversation was very loud, the Iroquois heard it, and came to the spot, expressing their fears for the personal safety ot Mr. Hawley, to whom they had become much attached. Apprehending that, in consequence of this violence, he might be induced to leave Stockbridge, they declared, in a body, that, if he went away, they would go also. By these occurrences, the Indian were as effec-tually alienated from the resident trustee, as they had pre-viously been from his new fnends.
In consequence of these unhappy measures, and of a settled determination, on his part, to take, in the absence of his colleagues, the whole management of Indian affairs on himself; they also were disgusted. One of them re-linquished all connexion with the business, and ceased to visit Stockbridge altogether. The other openly announced his entire discouragement, and declared that he would do his utmost to induce the government to withdraw their support from the establishment of the Iroquois. This led to an attempt to procure the dismission of the latter, and the appointment of a connexion of the resident trustee; which however proved unsuccessful. At the same time, it was publicly and repeatedly announced, that Mr Ed-wards himself would be removed from his mission; and, as soon after appeared, a vigorous attempt was actually made to accomplish this object.
Having stated these facts in a letter to the secretary of the commissioners, of May, 1752, Mr. Edwards proceeds,-
" But still I think there is no necessity of the Iroquois establishment being broken up, unless its enemies are re-solved to have it so. The dependence of the establish-ment, as to continuance and prosperity, is chiefly on the Onohquaugas, who are much the best disposed of any of the Iroquois, and most likely to come in considerable numbers. They have not been here so long as the others, to see so much to discourage them, and they alone are willing to settle at the Hop-lands. The affair is not at all desperate as to them, nor as to some of the Mohawks, if there be a speedy alteration. But if the two individuals, who challenge to themselves the whole direction of the affairs of the Iroquois, continue here, there is no hope of the continuance of Mr. Hawley, or of Mr. Ashley and his wife. They will not continue under one whom they re-gard as so despotic an inspector. And there will be no way to retain any of the Indians, unless it be some who are entirely mercenary, who may be persuaded to stay for the sake of the presents that are made them, and to be maintained and live here in mere idleness. This, it is now very apparent, is all that moves many of the Conneenchees, in being and continuing here"
"The resident trustee has plainly discovered many designs, tending to bring money into his own pocket: viz. a design of taking care of Mr. Hollis's boys himself; a design of being steward of both boarding-schools, by which he will have the opportunity of supplying the Indians out of his own shop, and of getting his pay from the British funds; a design of introducing his son, as the master of the boarding-school, under the idea of a present supply, another proper person not appearing; and an expectation of diverting the king's bounty, of £500 sterling, to the Six Nations, from New York. The former school-master has given hints of an agreement, between himself and him, to resign the care of Mr. Hollis's scholars to him, when things are ripe for it, he providing for their maintenance, and taking care of their instruction by his son. Beside these things, his wife is to be mistress of the female school; and two of their sons to be maintained and educated at the public expense, and two of their girls, in like manner, to be maintained in the female school; and one of his family to be his wife's usher; and his servants to be paid for, under the character of servants employed in the affairs of the female school; and the house for the boarding-school set on his wife's land; and then the farm to be bought by the country for the school, with the advantage of selling it at a high rate; and yet the family in a great measure to be maintained on the produce of it; beside the advantage of carrying on a trade, both with the Stockbridge Indians and the Mohawks. A man had need to have a great stock of assuredness, to urge a public affair, under so manifold temptations of private interest."
The time of Mr. Edwards had been so much occupied by his removal from Northampton, the comfortable establishment of his family at Stockbridge, the ordinary duties of his parish and his mission, the claims of the Mohawks, the concerns of the vanous Indian schools, and the un-happy contentions of the whites; that he had, at first, no leisure to attend to the Reply of Mr. Williams. In the latter part of the spring, however, he began an answer to that gentleman, which he sent to the press the beginning of July, with the following title "Misrepresentations Corrected, and Truth Vindicated, in a Reply to the Rev Mr. Solomon Williams's Book, entitled, The True State of the Question, concerning the Qualifications necessary to Lawful Communion in the Christian Sacraments." It was read with deep interest by both parties, was admitted by both to be a triumphant answer to the "True State of the Question," and, taken in connexion with the" Hum-ble Attempt," was regarded by the friends of strict com-munion, at that time, as it has ever since been, as an unanswerable defense of their system. If the opposers of that system have not so regarded it, they have not publicly avowed the opposite opinion; as no attempt to answer it has hitherto appeared. Mr. Williams is said to have asked the advice of some of his friends, among the clergy, whether he had better commence a reply; but, finding that no one would encourage him to an attempt, which must end in reiterated defeat, he is reported to have sat down in mortified silence.
Appended to this publication was a letter from Mr. Edwards to his late flock at Northampton. They had published Mr. Williams's pamphlet at their own expense, and distributed it to every family in the town. That pamphlet, though so unsuccessful an attempt to answer Mr. Edwards, was yet filled with many lax and sceptical notions, derived from the writings of Dr. Taylor of Nor-wich, and apparently adopted by Mr. Williams, in the existing emergency, though in direct opposition, not only to Mr. Stoddard, whom he professed at once to venerate and defend, but to his own former publications. Though Mr. Edwards knew that the work of Mr. W. must soon go to its proper place, yet he also knew the state of fervid excitement in which his former congregation had long been; that they had printed and dispersed the pamphlet of Mr. W., (even without knowing its contents,) as an an-swer to his own treatise, and thus, in a sense, had adopted it before the world as their own work. These circumstances led him to fear, that the fatal errors abounding in the work of Mr. Williams might, at a period when the principles of Dr. Taylor of Norwich were gaining many con-verts in the colonies, mislead many, especially of the young, among his former people. To save them from this danger, he addressed to them an affectionate and truly pastoral letter, which will be found at the close of the Answer to Mr. Williams.
On the 29th of June, 1752, Mr. Edwards married his third daughter, ESTHER, to the Rev AARON BURR, of Newark, president of the college of New Jersey, then established in that town, and a few years afterwards re-moved to Princeton.
In the following letter to Mr. Erskine, which is rich in intelligence, as well as thought, the reader will find one fact not generally known,-that Mr. Edwards, in the latter part of the summer of 1751, was applied to, with much earnestness, by some parish in Virginia, to go and settle with them in the ministry. They offered him a handsome support, and sent a messenger with the offer, but his instalment at Stockbndge had taken place before his arrival.
"To the Rev. John Erskine.
Stockbridge, July 7, 1752
REV. AND DEAR BROTHER,
The last spring I received a letter from you, dated, at the beginning, July 17, and at the end, Sept. 5,1751 and the week before last I received another letter, dated Feb 11, 1752, with a packet, containing Arnauld de Ia fréquente Communion, Goodwin's Sermon at the Ordination of Mr. Pickering; Mr. Jarvis's Sermon on Methods for reviving Religion; Reasons of Dissent from the Sen-tence of the General Assembly; Edwards on Christ, God-man; Mr. Hartley's Sermon, Parish on the Assembly's Catechism; and Dr Gill's Sermon on Isaiah xi. 12. I heartily thank you for these letters and pamphlets. Ar-nauld on frequent Communion will not be very profitable to me, by reason of my not understanding the French. But several of the rest have been very agreeable to me. That letter which you mention in your last, dated Feb.11, as sent about a twelve-month before, containing some Remarks on the Decay of the Power of the Papal Clergy, and an Abstract of Venema's Reasonings to prove that Judas was not present at the Lord's Supper, I never received, and regret it much that I missed it, and request that you would still send me those Remarks on the Decay of the Papal Clergy.
I am obliged to you for the particular information you have given me, concerning Mr. Adam of Falkirk's affair. Though it is a pity so deserving a person should suffer at all from his brethren, only for not acting contrary to his conscience; yet it is a matter of thankfulness, that the Assembly of the year 51 showed so much better temper than that of the preceding year. I shall be glad to hear concerning the temper and conduct of the Assembly of this present year,--1752.
I am sorry to learn, that there is so much reason to fear, that the revival of religion in the Netherlands will be hindered, and brought under a cloud, through the pre-vailing of imprudences. It is what I was afraid I should hear. I should be glad to see the Pastoral Letter you mention against Fanaticism, though written by one disaffected to the revival. I wish I could see a History, of Enthusiasm through all ages written by some good hand, a hearty friend of vital religion, a person of accurate judg-ment, and large acquaintance with ecclesiastical history. Such a history, well written, might doubtless be exceed-ingly useful and instructive, and of great benefit to the church of God; especially, if there were united with it a proper account and history of true religion. I should therefore choose, that the work should be a history of true, vital, and experimental religion, and enthusiasm: bring-ing down the history from age to age, judiciously and clearly making the distinction between one and the other; observing the difference of source, progress, and issue; properly pointing out the limits, and doing justice to each, in every age, and at each remarkable period. I don't know that there is any such thing extant, or any thing that would, in any good measure, answer the same pur-pose. If there be, I should be glad to hear of it.
I thank you for the account you give me of Mr. Taylor's writings, and of the things which he is doing to propagate his opinions. It now appears to be a remarkable time in the Christian world; perhaps such an one, as never has been before: things are going down-hill so fast, and truth and religion, both of heart and practice, are departing by such swift steps, that I think it must needs be, that a crisis is not very far off, and what will then appear, I will not pretend to determine.
The last week I sent away my answer to Mr. Williams. If I live till it is published, I will endeavour to send one to you, and some other friends in Scotland. I hope now, in a short time, to be at leisure to resume my design, of writing something on the Arminian controversy. I have no thought of going through with all parts of the controversy at once, but the subject which I intended, God willing, first to write something upon, was Free-will and Moral Agency; endeavouring, with as much exactness as I am able, to consider the nature of that freedom of moral agents, which makes them the proper subjects of moral government, moral precepts, councils, calls, motives, persuasions, promises and threatenings, praise and blame, rewards and punishments: strictly examining the modern notions of these things, endeavouring to demonstrate their most palpable inconsistency and absurdity; endeavouring also to bring the late great objections and outcries against Calvinistic divinity, from these topics, to the test of the strictest reasoning; and particularly that great objection, in which the modem writers have so much gloried, so long triumphed, with so great a degree of insult towards the most excellent divines, and in effect against the gos-pel of Jesus Christ :-viz. That the Calvinistic notions of God's moral government are contrary to the common sense of mankind. In this Essay, I propose to take par-ticular notice of the writings of Dr. Whitby, and Mr. Chubb, and the writings of some others, who, though not properly Pelagians, nor Arminians, yet in their notions of the freedom of the will, have, in the main, gone into the same scheme. But, if I live to prosecute my design, I shall send you a more particular account of my plan after it is perfected.
I suppose there has been a trial before now, whether a national collection can be obtained in Scotland, for New Jersey college: unless it has been thought prudent, by such as are friends of the affair, to put it off a year longer; as some things I have seen seem to argue. There was a design of Mr. Pemberton's going to England and Scotland. He was desired by the trustees, and it was his settled purpose, to have gone the last year; but his people, and his colleague, Mr. Cummings, hindered it. His intention of going occasioned great uneasiness among his people, and created some dissatisfaction towards him, in the minds of some of them. Since that President Burr has been desired to go, by the unanimous voice of the trustees. Nevertheless. I believe there is little pro-bability of his consenting to it; partly, on the account of his having lately entered into a married state. On the 29th of last month, he was married to my third daughter.
What you write of the appointment of a gentleman, to the office of lieut. governour, of Virginia, who is a friend of religion, is an event that the friends of religion in America have great reason to rejoice in; by reason of the late revival of religion in that province, and the opposition that has been made against it, and the great endeavours to crush it, by many of the chief men of the province. Mr. Davies, in a letter I lately received from him, dated March 2, 1752, mentions the same thing. His words are, 'we have a new governor; who is a candid, condescending gentleman. And, as he has been educated in the church of Scotland, he has a respect for the Presbyterians; which I hope is a happy omen.' I was in the latter part of the last summer applied to, with much earnestness and importunity, by some of the people of Virginia, to come and settle among them, in the work of the ministry; who subscribed handsomely for my encouragement and support, and sent a messenger to me with their request and sub-scriptions; but I was installed at Stockbridge before the messenger came I have written some account of the state of things at Stockbridge to Mr. M'Laurin; which you doubtless will have opportunity to see.
July 24. The people of Northampton are still destitute of a minister, and in broken, sorrowful circumstances They had the last winter Mr. Farrand, a young gentleman from New Jersey college, but contended much about him, so that he has left them They are now in a state of contention; my warmest opposers are quarrelling among themselves. I hear they have lately sent for a young preacher, a Mr. Green of Barnstable, who is soon expect-ed; but I know nothing of his character.
Another minister has lately been dismissed from his people, on the same account that I was dismissed from Northampton: viz. Mr. Billings of Cold Spring. Many of the Cold Spring people were originally of Northampton, were educated in the principles, and have followed the ex-ample, of the people there.
I heartily thank you for the accounts you have from time to time sent me of new books, that are published in Great Britain. I desire you would continue such a favour. I am fond of knowing how things are going on in the literary world.
Mr. John Wright, a member of New Jersey college; who is to take the degree of Bachelor or Arts, the next September; is now at my house. He was born in Scot-land; has lived in Virginia; is a friend and acquaintance of Mr. Davies; has a great interest in the esteem of the religious people of Virginia, and is peculiarly esteemed by President Burr, has been admitted to special intimacy with him; and is a person of very good character for his understanding, prudence, and piety. He has a desire to have a correspondence with some divine of his native country, and has chosen you for his correspondent, if he may be admitted to such a favour. He intends to send you a letter with this; of which I would ask a favourable reception, as he has laid me under some special obliga-tions.
My wife joins with me in affectionate salutations to you, and Mrs. Erskine. Hoping that we shall continue to re-member each other at the throne of grace, I am,
Your affectionate and obliged
Brother and servant,
Soon after he had entered on the mission at Stoekbridge, Mr. Edwards addressed the Rev. Mr. Hollis, by letter, concerning the Indian schools, and the state of the mission at large. The observations of a year had now brought him far more intimately acquainted with the actual state of things, and particularly, with the manner in which the annual benefactions of that gentleman had been expended; and he felt himself bound, at whatever hazard, to make the facts known. In doing this, he presented him, in a letter bearing date July 17,1752, with a succinct and well drawn history of the mission, and stated, in general terms, the unhappy disagreement subsisting among the English inhabitants of Stockbridge, as well as various other circumstances of malignant aspect, which threatened ruin to the mission, and to the Indian schools. Want of room forbids its insertion. With this letter, he forwarded to Mr. Hollis a certificate, from a large number of the most re-spectable people of the town, stating the actual conduct of his agent, or instructor, the condition of the Indian boys, and the manner in which his benefactions had been per-verted.
The firm and undeviating course of conduct pursued by Mr. Edwards, with regard to the Indian schools, and the general concerns of the mission, at length convinced the resident trustee, and his new friends, that they had nothing to hope from any compliances on his part. They resolved, therefore, if possible, to effect his removal from Stockbridge. With this view, that gentleman repaired to Boston, and endeavoured, in conversation, not only with the com-missioners, but with some of the principal men in the government, (and among others, with the secretary of the province,) to produce in their minds very unfavourable impressions concerning him particularly, that he was a man of an unyielding character, and unwilling to be reconciled to those from whom he had differed; and that, by this course, he was likely to ruin the Indian mission. The friends of Mr. Edwards, in Boston, giving him timely notice of this attempt; he addressed a letter to the Hon. Mr. Willard, in his own defense, bearing date July 17, 1752; in which he so effectually refuted these represent-ations, that the influence of that gentleman was perma-nently secured, in favour of the mission, and its real friends.
Vote of Thanks of Commissioners-Sermon at Newark-Measures of the Enemies of the Mission Defeated-Letter to Mr. Oliver-Freedom of the Will-Letter to Mr. Erskine-Deposition of Mr. Gillespie-Letter to do-Letter to Mr. M'Culloch-Report of Indian Agent-Reply of Mr. Edwards-Further De-feat of the Enemies of the Mission.
ON the 29th of June, the secretary of the commission-ers in Boston forwarded, by their direction, to Mr. Ed-wards and Mr. Hawley, an official expression of the approbation, entertained by that board, of the firmness and integrity manifested by them, in their conduct relative to the Stockbridge mission. The commissioners knew of the attempt made, to shake their own confidence, and that of the public, in their agents in that mission; and doubt-less intended, by this prompt and unequivocal act of justice, at once to sustain the hearts of these gentlemen, under their severe trials, and to make it manifest to all men, that, notwithstanding that attempt, they continued to re-pose in them an undiminished confidence. In his reply, bearing date Aug. 27, 1752, Mr. Edwards, after returning his thanks to those gentlemen, for this very decisive ex-pression of their favourable opinion, made to their secretary his regular report of the state of the mission.
After observing, that the people of the town, both English and lndians, notwithstanding repeated and vigorous efforts to break up their union, and, particularly, to excite a disaffection in them towards their ministers, were all happily united in opinion and affection, except one indi-vidual and his family; he mentions the alliance of the resident trustee with his family, which took place soon after the arrival at Stockbridge of his nephew from Con-necticut. The latter gentleman soon called on Mr. Ed-wards, and, after alluding to the fact, that he was opposed to the appointment of his cousin, as superintendent of the female boarding-school, insisted, as a member of the society in London, and of the board of commissioners, on knowing his reasons, and, at the same time, offered to be the instrument of settling the differences subsisting at Stockbridge. Mr. Edwards, preferring to answer this demand by letter, declined to make a representation of the case before him, but offered to join with him, in an earnest representation to the board of commissioners, that they would appoint a committee, to come on the spot, to inquire into the existing difficulties; on the ground, that it was more proper to have such a committee, as judges or medi-ators, than an individual, who was very nearly related to the family chiefly interested in these contentions; and proposed, that the commissioners, by their committee, should be desired to look into the management of the affairs at Stockbridge, from the beginning, by all the living inhabitants and residents of the town, who had had any hand in them, in any respect; declaring himself ready to open himself with freedom before such a committee. - His correspondent, in reply, declined this proposal, re-asserted his right to know the objections to the proposed teacher of the boarding-school, and intimated the regret which be should feel, if obliged to inform the society in London of the existing state of things at Stockbridge. -Mr. Edwards, in his answer, insisted anew on his former proposal, of referring the case to the commissioners, declared himself not satisfied, that his correspondent, acting singly, had authority to demand the reasons of his judgment, as to the teacher of the female school, whatever the society in London, or their commissioners in Boston, acting as a body, might have; and concluded, by referring him-self again to the commissioners, who were his constituents, and who had, a little before, informed him, that they look-ed upon their agents as accountable to them only.
The arrival of this gentleman, and the assurances be gave them or his influence with the society in London, revived for a time the drooping courage of his friends, particularly of the resident trustee, and of the agent of Mr. Hollis, who had, just before that event, resolved on removing from Stockbridge.-Having thus alluded to the mischievous consequences growing out of this unhappy state of things, Mr Edwards proceeds,- "Thus things go on, in a state of confusion, of which those at a distance can scarcely have any idea. In the mean time, the affair of the Six Nations is languishing to death. The affair of the Mohawks is, I fear, past recovery, and in a manner dead. They seem to be discouraged, are most of them gone, and I do not expect will come up again; unless it be to get presents, and satisfy their hunger, in the present time of great scarcity in their own country. They have apparently very much given up the idea of coming hither for instruction. The Onohquangas have not been here so long, to be discouraged by our management. But if things go on in this manner, it may be expected that they will be discouraged also. The management of things has a great while been in wrong hands. They ought to be conducted exclusively by the commissioners, who have had the care of Stockbridge affairs; but here are others, who seem to aim to engross all to themselves, to be indefatigably active in prosecuting their particular designs, and impatient of every thing that stands in their way.
"Very much depends on the appointment or a teacher of the female school. If that affair is settled to their minds, their influence here is well established. They are sensible that affairs depend very much on this simple point, and therefore this is the point they drive at with all their might. The wisdom of the commissioners will easily discover, that this is the juncture, in which the foundation is to be laid of the future state of things in Stockbridge; of their prosperity or adversity; and per-haps with no opportunity of future redress. I look upon myself as called upon to speak somewhat freely at such a juncture; and therefore I hope my so doing will be candidly interpreted by the commissioners. I do not think that our affairs will ever prosper, if they must be under the bands of the resident trustee and his friends."
In the month of September, Mr. Edwards went into New Jersey, and, on the 28th of that month, preached a sermon from James ii. 19. before the synod at Newark, entitled, "True Grace distinguished from the Experience of Devils," which was published at their request. It is a clear, condensed, and powerful exhibition of the differ-ences between real religion and its counterfeits, and will be found eminently useful, as a criterion of Christian character.
In the unhappy controversy, between Mr. Woodbridge and his opponent, perhaps no one circumstance had been more mortifying to the latter, or had had a more direct tendency to defeat all ins measures, than the fact, that the white inhabitants of the town, (his own immediate family connexions excepted,) as well as the Indians of both nations, were, to a man, opposed to himself, and friendly to his antagonist. This rendered his daily life uncomfort-able; it discouraged every attempt to forward his plans at the public meetings of the town; and when any point in controversy was to be decided, or any measure attempted, at Boston, he found that Mr. Woodbridge had a host of substantial witnesses on the spot, who gave in their testi-mony without fear. In this way, hitherto, every important design had been frustrated.
The winter, that was approaching, was regarded by both parties as a most important and interesting period; during which, in all probability, the affairs of the mission, and of the town, would be brought to a crisis. Those opposed to Mr. Woodbridge, were not ignorant, that, if Mr. Edwards were continued as the missionary at Stockbridge, such was his influence at Boston, and his general weight of character, there was too much probability, that Mr. Woodbridge would be continued the school-master of the Housatonnucks, and Mr. Hawley of the Iroquois. In that case, there was but little chance of the female school being placed in the desired hands; if that faded, the stewardship of all the schools would fail; and then the whole system of measures, apparently so happily con-ceived, would be defeated. But if Mr. Edwards could be removed from Stockbridge, the removal of Mr. Wood-bridge would be attended with less difficulty; that of Mr. Hawley, a young man, would follow of course, which would make way for the son of the resident trustee: these changes would almost necessarily insure the female school, as well as the stewardship and agency, in the family; and then the other objects in view could scarcely fail to be accomplished. As so much depended on the fact, whether Mr. Edwards was continued at Stockbridge, or not; there seemed to be held out, to minds capable of being influenced by them, very strong inducements to make one vigorous effort to effect his removal. This was accordingly resolved on, and, by some of the persons concerned, incautiously proclaimed.
One of the steps taken to accomplish this so desired object, is mentioned in the following letter. Whether it was one of the measures concerted, or was the self-suggested plan of the individual, who attempted to execute it, does not certainly appear. Could he have succeeded, could the English inhabitants of the town have been changed, and a new set of inhabitants have been introduced, all of them his adherents; no event probably would have so much furthered the objects in view. The almost utter impossibility of its success, connected with its total and immediate discomfiture, rendered the attempt supremely ridiculous, and covered the individual making it, and his party, with confusion.
"To Andrew Oliver, Esquire.
Stock bridge, Oct. 1752.
Since my letter of Aug. 27, various things have oc-curred among us, of which it may not be improper to inform you. It seems as though there was a resolution, in the people on the hill, to carry their schemes into effect, though the earth should be removed for it. The opponent of Mr. Woodbridge has lately made a vigorous and vehement attempt, suddenly to change the English inhabitants of the town, by buying out, at once, the old inhabitants in general. To thus end, he arose very early in the morning, and went out before day, and called some of them out of their beds, offering to buy their farms. In this manner, he went from one to another, until he had been to almost all the inhabitants in that forenoon; offering very high prices, and cash in hand; vehemently pressing that the bargain should be immediately closed, and the writings drawn, and the affair completed, without delay; urging it most pressingly on each one. One of the inhabitants completed and finished the affair with him. Some others came to a verbal agreement, on conditions. But, not-withstanding the great and extraordinary vigour, with which this matter was carried on, yet the design was dis-covered, before it could be completed, and so disappointed; and then his friends, and he himself too, were glad to lay this conduct to distraction.
A scheme is plainly laid, entirely to thrust Mr. Hawley out of the schools; let his friends and constituents do what they will to prevent it. The resident trustee has told Mr. Hawley, that it is the design of Mr. Hollis's for-mer school-master, to set up a distinct independent school, under another teacher, whom he shall provide to keep the school on Mr. Hollis's behalf, and that he intends to take up all boys who come, to board them and clothe them well, bet-ter than heretofore. Probably he presumes, that the cloth-ing and presents that will be offered, will tempt them all to subject themselves to himself, rather than to Mr. Hawley.
I have lately been a journey to Newark, in New Jersey, where I saw Mr. Hazzard, a merchant in New York, who told me that he, the last June, received and answered two bills from him, drawn on Mr. Hollis, of £80 sterling apiece. By this, it appears, that he has drawn full pay from Mr. Hollis, for the two years past, as much as he had in the preceding years, without clothing the boys in the least, imposing on Mr. Hollis, in an almost unprece-dented manner, considering the greatness of the injury, the plainness of the case, and the obstinacy with which he has proceeded to such a step, after this part of the coun-try had been, so long a time, so full of objections to his being here at Mr. Hollis's expense, without being engaged in the business to which Mr. Hollis appointed him, and for which he agreed to send him his money. In the beginning of the year before last, he professedly threw up Mr. Hollis's school, and dismissed all his boys, supposing that Mr. Hollis was dead; it having been long since he heard any thing from him. In what he did afterwards, in teaching the Mohawks, he did not pretend to proceed on Mr Hollis's plan, or with any expectation of any pay from him. And he never pretended to take up any boys on Mr. Hollis's account, till about a year afterwards, viz. The last autumn after he had received a letter from Mr. Hollis; and it is but little he has done since. The charge he has been at, in clothing the boys, is but a trifle. He has never really kept any school at all, though sometimes he has pretended to teach some children to read, in a most confused manner. But, through a great part of the last year, he has not done even that. He has been absent, at least one third of the year, and the greater part of the time that he has been here, he has not had so much as the shadow of a school, nor been in any business whatsoever.
I some time ago wrote a letter to Mr Hollis, giving him some account of the state of his affairs here, accom-panied with letters from some of the inhabitants of Stockbridge. I desired Mr. Prince to show those letter to some of the commissioners.
One of the trustees has lately been here, but staid only two or three days. While he was here, there was little else but altercation, and warm contest, between his colleague and him, concerning the mode of managing affairs, and concerning the female school. And he is gone away en-tirely discouraged, with a resolution to have no more to do with the affairs of Stockbridge, which, he says, are blown up already. If it he not altogether so, yet I think it is high time the honourable commissioners had full informa-tion of the state of things among us. We have long waited for an opportunity to send, but none has presented. Mr. Hawley meets with many things to discourage him; his circumstances here are very difficult and precarious; he greatly needs the advice of the commissioners; he has a strong inclination to see the commissioners himself, and to confer with them, freely and fully, about the affairs in which he is concerned, and it appears to me necessary that he should do this, both for the public interest, and on his own account. He is kept out of business, and probably very good business, in which he might settle elsewhere, and I do not wonder that he is uneasy, and thinks it ne-cessary to talk with the commissioners. We have had thoughts of his staying, until Mr. Woodbridge went to the general court, the necessity of whose going appears more and more apparent; but the court being prorogued, and we not knowing for how long a time and the important matters of intelligence to the commissioners, and to Mr. Hollis, having been so long delayed for want of opportu-nity, which so much require their speedy notice; our ca-lamities also continuing, and growing worse and worse; and it being now a time, wherein most of the Mohawks are gone, and so a time in which Mr. Hawley can be ab-sent, with far less inconvenience than some time hence, when many of the Mohawks are expected down, in con-sequence of the want of provisions in their own country; and considering that probably the commissioners might have a more free opportunity to hear and consider Mr Hawley's representations now, than in the time of the sitting of the court, and likewise, that it might be some convenience to the commissioners, to have notice of the state of our affairs, so as to ripen their thoughts with re-gard to them, before the sitting of the court;-I say, con-sidering these things, it was thought advisable for Mr. Hawley not to delay his journey. That the Most High would give wisdom, and counsel, and success to the com-missioners, in their consultations on our affairs, and direct and aid those who are here employed, in so important a service, is the humble and earnest prayer of
Their most obedient servant,
Fron these scenes of unsuccessful intrigue, and disappointed avarice, all notice of which, could the life of Mr. Edwards, as a missionary at Stockbridge, have been fairly exhibited without thus detailing them, would have been most gladly dispensed with; the reader will turn with pleasure, even for a short interval, to communications prompted by friendship, and relating to the more general interests of the church.
Some years before this, through the kindness of Mr. Erskine, he had received the writings of some of the more considerable Arminian writers, particularly of Dr. Taylor of Norwich, and Dr. Turnbull; which, with of Dr. Whitby and those of Chubb and Tindal, already in his possession, furnished him with the means of examining their whole system. This examination he commenced, in form, a considerable time before he left Northampton; and in the summer of 1747, as we have already seen, he announced, in his first letter to Mr. Erskine, the general plan of a Discourse on the Freedom of the Will, and Moral Agency. This subject drew his attention, even while he was a member of college; and, from an investigation of the nature of Power, to which he was led by reading the article, in the Essay on the Human Under-standing, relating to that subject, he derived the all-import-ant principle, THAT MEN, IN A PROPER SENSE, MAY BE SAID TO HAVE POWER TO ABSTAIN FROM SIN, AND TO REPENT, TO DO GOOD WORKS, AND TO LIVE HOLILY; BECAUSE IT DEPENDS ON THEIR WILL-After Mr. Ed-wards had thus announced his plan, his attention was necessarily diverted from its execution, during his residence in Northampton, by the controversy respecting the Quali-fications for Communion, his Treatise on that subject, and the many perplexities and embarrassments, which termi-nated in his dismission. His removal from Northampton. the establishment of his family at Stockbridge, the Answer to Mr. Williams and his ordinary duties as minister and missionary, and the unhappy controversy subsisting respect-ing the mission, engrossed his whole time, until July, 1752. In August following, he entered upon the work, and pur-sued it a short time; but the violence of that controversy, and the attempts of the party hostile to Mr. Woodbridge, to force him from Stockbridge, compelled him to intermit his labours. Some of these circumstances are alluded to, in the following letter to Mr Erskine, in which the reader will also find some interesting details, relative to the Dutch church, and to the state of religion in New Jersey.
Stockbridge, November 23, N. S. 1752.
REV. AND DEAR BROTHER,
In August last I wrote to you, and sent away the letter, (with letters to some of my other correspondents,) to Boston, to be conveyed to Scotland. Therein I acknowledged the receipt of two letters from you, one of July 17,1751: another of Feb. 11,1752; with the pamphlets, put with the last letter, and now acknowledge the receipt of another letter from you of May 14, 1752; and the pamphlets you sent with the last. The letter I received the latter end of September: the pamphlets I did not receive till very lately: they were forgotten by Mr. Prince. The Treatise against Fanaticism I shall have no benefit from, because I am not acquainted with the French lan-guage. What the Jewish convert has published of his conversion, &c is very agreeable. And I now heartily thank you for this letter and packet. I am very glad to see what you write concerning the state of religion in the Netherlands. But I believe there is more of a mixture of what is bad with the good, that appears in that land, than Mr. Kennedy, and many other ministers there, are aware of, and that they will find, that the consequences of their not carefully and critically distinguishing between the good and bad, and guarding with the utmost caution and dili-gence against the latter, will prove worse than they now conceive of. By your account, it is now exactly with Mr. Kennedy, as it was with many pious ministers in America, in the time of the great religious moving here. They looked upon critical inquiries, into the difference between true grace and its counterfeits, or at least a being very busy in such inquiries, and spending time in them, to be impertinent and unseasonable; tending rather to damp the work of the Spirit of God, than promote it; diverting their own minds, and the minds of others, as they sup-posed, from that to which God, at such an extraordinary time, did loudly call them more especially to attend. The cry was, O, there is no danger, if we are but lively in religion, and full of God's Spirit, and live by faith, of being misted! If we do but follow God, there is no danger if being led wrong! 'Tis the cold, carnal and lifeless, that are most likely to be blind, and walk in darkness. Let us press forward, and not stay and hinder, the good work, by stand-ing and spending time in these criticisms and carnal reason-ing! &c. &c. This was the language of many, till they ran on deep into the wilderness, and were taught by the briers and thorns of the wilderness. However, 'tis no wonder that divines in Europe will not lay very much weight on the admonitions they receive from so obscure a part of the world. Other parts of the church of God must be taught as we have been; and when they see and feel, then they will believe. Not that I apprehend there is in any mea-sure so much enthusiasm and disorder, mixed with the work in Holland, as was in many parts of America, in the time of the last revival of religion here. But yet I believe the work must be more pure, and the people more thoroughly guarded from his wiles, who beguiled Eve through his subtlety, and who corrupts the minds of zealous people from the simpicity that is in Christ, before the work goes on to a general conquest, and is maintained in its power and glory for a great length of time. But God will have his own way -'Who, being his counsellor, hath taught Him?' We must expect confusion and uproar, before we have that abundance of peace and truth, which the Scriptures speak of: many must run to and fro, and knowledge will be increased.
The Dutch ministers in America, whom you mention, whom I have acquaintance with, are some of the younger ministers, and such as were born in America, though several of them have had part of their education in Holland. I have not acquaintance enough with them, to know their sentiments, particularly, about those corrupt mixtures above mentioned, and the care which is to be used in guarding against them. However, 'tis not very likely, if some of them should write to their brethren in Holland, that their letters would have more influence upon them than letters from you, and some others of the ministers of Scotland. Nevertheless, there is a prospect, that there will in time be very happy effects of the growing acquaintance and union, there is between a very considerable number of very hopeful and pious Dutch ministers, in the province of New York and New Jersey, and many English and Scotch ministers in America. The number of well disposed Dutch ministers in these provinces, has of late re-markably increased; so that I think when they meet together in their Cœtus, they make the major part. Some of the elder ministers seem to be of quite contrary senti-ment and disposition, not appearing friendly, as the others, to what they esteem the power of religion, nor approving of awakening, searching, strict, and experimental preach-ing; which has occasioned various contests among them. However, the stricter sort being the prevailing part, are like to carry the day.
The Dutch churches in these provinces have hitherto been so dependent on the Classis in Holland, that, when-ever any among them have been educated for the minis-try, and any churches have been desirous of their ad-ministrations, they could not receive their orders on this side of the water, hut have been obliged to go to Holland for ordination; which has been a great encumbrance, that has attended the settlement of ministers among them, and has undoubtedly been one occasion of such multitudes of the Dutch being wholly without ministers. Application was made not long since, through the influence of the forementioned serious young ministers, (as I take it,) by the Cœtus here, to the Classis in Holland, for their con-sent, that they might unite themselves to the Presbyterian synod of New York, which now consists of English and Scotch. But the success of their application was pre-vented, by a letter written by one of the elder ministers, remonstrating against it, very falsely representing the New York synod, as no proper Presbyterian synod, but rather a company of independents. On which, the Classis of Hol-land advised them, by no means, to unite themselves with that synod.
The last September I went a journey into New Jersey, and had opportunity, in my journey, of seeing some of these young ministers, and conversing with them on the subject They seem resolved, by some means or other, to disengage themselves and their churches from the foremen-tioned great encumbrance, of being obliged to cross the ocean for the ordination of every minister. I was much gratified, during the little opportunity I had, to observe the agreeable disposition of these ministers.
There were, also, many other things I had opportunity to observe in those parts, which were very agreeable. I was there, at the time of the public commencement in the college, and the time of the meeting of the trustees of the college, the time of the meeting of the correspondents of the society for propagating Christian knowledge, and the time of the meeting of the New York synod; so that I had opportunity to converse with ministers from Long Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia The college is in flourishing circumstances; increases apace; and is happily regulated. The trustees seem engaged to their utmost to promote learning, virtue, and true religion, in it; and none more so than Governor Belcher; who is the president of the trustees, and was at the commencement, and at the trustees' meeting. But they very much want further supplies, for the convenient support of the college. I had considerable opportunity to converse with Governor Belcher, and was several times at his house at Elizabeth-town. He labours under many of the infirmities of age, but savours much of a spirit of reli-gion, and seems very desirous of doing all the good he can, while he lives. The New York synod is in flourish-ing circumstances: much more so than the Philadelphia synod. They have the greatest body of ministers now, and increase much faster than the other. They are in higher credit with the people in almost all parts, and are chiefly sought to for supplies by distant congregations.
With respect to the proceedings of the correspondents, they have dismissed Mr. Horton from his mission on Long-Island, and he is about to settle in a congregation in New Jersey. He was dismissed by reason of his very much failing of employment: many of the clans of Indians, he used to preach to, having dwindled away, by death or dispersion, and there being but little prospect of success among others that remain, and some being so situated, that they may conveniently be taken care of by other ministers. The correspondents have it in their view to employ the money, by which he used to be supported, to support a mission among the Six Nations; after they have found a suitable person to undertake the business of such a mission, and he is fitted for it by learning the language. They used endeavours to obtain a suitable person for the business, in New Jersey; but, meeting with no success, they voted to empower Mr. Bellamy, Mr. Hopkins of Sheffield, and myself; to procure a suitable person, if we can find such an one, in New England, for the present, to come and live at Stockbridge, to be here learning the Mohawk language with Mr. Hawley, our school-master for the Mohawk; to fit him for the mission. Persons proper to be employed, and such as may be ob-tained, are very scarce; and 'tis doubtful whether we shall be able to obtain one.
There is a very dark cloud, that at present attends the affair, relating to the Indians at Stockbridge, occasioned very much by one of the agents of the province, (who lives at Stockbridge,) pursuing measures very contrary to the measures of the commissioners of the society in London. The opposition is maintained, not with a small degree of stiffness and resolution; and the contest is become so great that it has brought things into very great confusion. This gentleman is a man of some role; and his wife's re-lations earnestly engage with him, and many of them are persons of considerable figure in the country. The com-missioners all very much dislike his conduct. This con-test occasions no misunderstandings among the people in Stockbridge, in general: all, excepting those nearly related to the family, both English and Indians, are happily united to me and my family. It would be very tedious for me to write, and for you to read, all the particulars of this uncomfortable affair. The commissioners are exerting themselves to relieve us of this calamity; and it is probable they will be successful.
I thank you for the account you give of some valuable books published: I desire you would continue to favour me in this manner. I began the last August to write a little on the Arminian controversy. but was soon broke off: and such have been my extraordinary avocations and hinderances, that I have not had time to set pen to paper about this matter since. But I hope that God, in his pro-vidence, will favour me with opportunity to prosecute the design. And I desire your prayers, that God would as-sist me in it, and in all the work I am called to, and enable me to conduct my life to his glory and acceptance, under all difficulties and trials.
My wife joins with me in most hearty and affectionate salutation to you, and Mrs. Erskine.
I am, dear Sir,
Your affectionate and obliged
Brother and servant.
"P. S. I propose with this, to send you Mr. Hobart's second address to the members of the episcopal church in New England, and my answer to Mr. Williams, which I would desire you to give your neighbours, my corre-spondents, opportunity to read, if they desire it."
The correspondence of Mr. Edwards and the Rev. Thomas Gillespie of Carnock, in Scotland, has already interested the attention of the reader. This gentleman was born in 1708, pursued his theological studies under Dr. Doddridge, and was ordained and settled in the parish of Carnock, in 1741. He was a faithful and inde-fatigable minister.- "I never (says Dr. Erskine, who was several months his stated hearer at Carnock, and often heard his occasional efforts in other places) sat under a minister better calculated to awaken the thoughtless and secure, to caution convinced sinners against what would stifle their convictions and prevent their issuing in conver-sion, and to point out the differences between vital Christianity and specious, counterfeit appearances of it."-His popularity and usefulness were very great, not only in his own parish, but in Edinburgh and the west of Scotland. In 1752 an event occurred, which forms an era in the ecclesi-astical history of that country. The Rev. Andrew Richardson of Broughton was presented to the charge of the town of Inverkeithing, by the lay patron of the parish-the individual who had that living in his gift.-The inhabitants re-fused to receive him as their minister. The case was appealed from court to court, until the General Assembly, in Mar, 1752, directed the presbytery of Dunfermline to admit Mr. R. to the charge of Inverkeithing, and appointed Mr. Gillespie to preside on the occasion. Mr. Gillespie, and several others in the presbytery, had conscientious scruples on the subject of lay patronage, and fully believed that no one, on the principles of the gospel, could have any right to place a clergyman over a parish but the people themselves. He therefore, and those who thought with him, declined obedience to the mandate: and while they were subjected to various ecclesiastical censures, he was deposed from the ministry, and removed from the parish of Carnock. When called to the bar to receive his sentence, he replied," Moderator, I receive this sentence of the General Assembly with reverence and awe. But I rejoice that it is given to me, on the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on his name, but to suffer for his sake"
For about a year he preached to his people out of doors, hoping that the sentence would be reversed; at the close of which, a church having been purchased for him in Dunfermline, a short distance from Carnock, he preached there, as an independent, about six years, unconnected with any associate in the ministry. In 1758 he united with the Rev. Thomas Boston, Jr., and formed a new establishment, called, The Presbytery of Relief; to which some dissenting ministers of England soon acceded. The congregations at present connected with them, and known, as an ecclesiastical body, by the name of THE RELIEF, are 65 in number, are found in all the principal towns, and many of the country parishes, of Scotland, and are com-puted to consist of towards 60,000 individuals. They provide ministers for the inhabitants of those parishes, which do not submit to ministers introduced by lay pa-tranage; and readily admit to ministerial and church communion, evangelical ministers of the church of Scot-land, and of the church of England.
The correspondents of Mr. Edwards had forwarded to him various publications relative to the deposition of Mr. Gillespie; and the views which he formed with regard to it, as expressed in the following letter, while they must, at the time, have been consoling and supporting to the excellent man to whom they were sent, will also probably harmonize with those of every reader of these pages.
"To the Rev. Thomas Gillespie, Carnock.
Stockbridge, Nov. 24, 1752.
REV. AND DEAR BROTHER,
In letters and pamphlets lately forwarded to me, by some of my correspondents in Scotland, I have received the affecting and surprising account of your deposition, for not assisting in the settlement of Mr. Richardson, at Inverkeithing. The circumstances of which affair seem to be such, as abundantly manifest your cause to be good; at the same time that they plainly show the persecuting spirit with which you have been proceeded against. It is strange, that a protestant church should condemn and depose one of her ministers, for conscientiously declining to act in a forced settlement of a minister, over a congre-gation that have not chosen him as their pastor, but are utterly averse to his administrations, at least as to a stated attendance upon them. It is to be wondered at, that such a church, at this time of day, after the cause of liberty in matters of conscience has been so abundantly defended, should arrogate to herself such a kind of authority over the consciences of both ministers and people, and use it in such a manner, by such severity, to establish that, which is not only contrary to the liberty of Christians, wherewith Christ has made them free; but so directly contrary to her own professed principles, acts, and resolutions, entered on public record The several steps of this proceeding, and some singular measures taken, and the hastiness and vehemence of the proceeding, are such, as savour very strongly of the very spirit of persecution, and must be greatly to the dishonour of the church of Scotland; and are such, as will naturally engage the friends of God's people, abroad in the world, in your favour, as suffering very injuriously. It is wonderful, that a church, which has itself suffered so much by persecution, should be guilty of so much persecution. This proceeding gives reason to suspect, that the church of Scotland, which was once so famous, is not what it once was. It appears pro-bable to me, at this distance, that there is something else at the bottom, besides a zeal to uphold the authority of the church. Perhaps many of the clergy of the church of Scotland have their minds secretly infected with those lax principles of the new divinity, and have imbibed the liberal doctrines, as they are accounted, which are so much in vogue at the present day, and so contrary to the strict, mysterious; spiritual, soul-humbling principles of our forefathers. I have observed, that these modern fashion-able opinions, however called noble and liberal, are com-monly attended, not only with a haughty contempt, but an inward malignant bitterness of heart, towards all the zealous professors and defenders of the contrary spiritual principles, that do so nearly concern the vitals of religion, and the power of experimental godliness. This, be sure, has been the case in this land. I have known many gentlemen, (especially in the ministry,) tainted with these liberal principles; who, though none seem to be such warm advocates as they, for liberty and freedom of thought, or condemn a narrow and persecuting spirit so much as they; yet, in the course of things, have made it manifest, that they themselves had no small share of a persecuting spirit. They were, indeed, against any body's restraining their liberties, and pretending to control them in their thinking and professing as they please; and that is what they mean, truly, when they plead for liberty. But they have that inward enmity of spirit towards those others mentioned, that, if they see an opportunity to per-secute them under some good cloak, and with some false pretext, they will eagerly embrace it, and proceed with great severity and vehemence. Thus far, perhaps, if the truth were known, it would appear, that some of your most strenuous persecutors hate you much more for some-thing else, than they do for your not obeying the orders of the general assembly. I do not pretend to know how the case is. I only speak from what I have seen and found, here in America, in cases somewhat similar. However, it is beyond doubt, that this proceeding will stand on the records of future time, for the lasting reproach of your persecutors; and your conduct, for which you have suf-fered, will be to your lasting honour in the church of God. And what is much more, that, which has been condemned in you by man, and for which you have suffered from him, is doubtless approved by God, and I trust you will have a glorious reward from him. For the cause you suffer in, is the cause of God; and if God be for us, who can be against us? If he justifies, what need we care who condemns? Not only is the mercy of God, dear brother, manifested, in its being granted you to suffer for his sake, but his mercy is to be taken notice of, in many of the cir-cumstances of this suffering. Particularly, that he has excited so many to appear for you: that you had the ma-jor part of the presbytery, which you belong to, with you in the affair, though God has honoured you above all the rest, in calling you to suffer fix his name: that the major part of the commission of the General Assembly did in effect approve of the conduct of the presbytery, judging it no censurable fault: that no greater part of the Assembly had a hand in your deposition: that so many of Gods , people have, on this occasion, very boldly appeared to befriend you, as suffering in a righteous cause, openly condemning the conduct of your most bitter prosecutors, and testifying an abhorrence of their conduct: and that many have appeared, liberally to contribute to your out-ward support; so that, by what I understand, you are likely to be no loser in that respect; by which, your ene-mies will, perhaps, be entirely disappointed. And, above all, that you have been enabled, through the whole of this affair, to conduct yourself with so much Christian meekness, decency, humility, proper deference to authority, and composure and fortitude of mind; which is an evident token that God will appear for you, and also, that he will appear against your enemies. When I received your kind letter, soon after my dismission from Northampton, so full of expressions of sympathy towards me under what I suffered, I little thought of your being brought so soon under sufferings so similar. But, seeing God has so or-dered it in his providence, my prayer and hope is, that he would abundantly reward your sympathy in my case. 'Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.'
As to myself, I still meet with difficulties in my new station, which arrive partly from private views (as it is to be feared) of some particular persons of some note and distinction, who are concerned with the affair of the Mohawks here, and partly from the same spirit and the same persons, and others nearly related to them, who fomented the contention with me at Northampton. However, all the people, both Indians and English, except the very few of the above-mentioned connexion, are firmly united to me: and the commissioners in Boston, who are my con-stituents, and from whom I have my support, are altoge-ther on my side; and are endeavouring to the utmost to remove the difficulties that attend our affairs, by which the cause of religion here, especially among the Mohawks, suffers much more than I do, or am like to do, in my per-sonal and temporal interests. These difficulties which have arisen, have, indeed, almost brought the Mohawk affair to ruin, which the last year was attended with so glorious a prospect It would be very tedious to relate the particulars of this unhappy affair. I think that God, by these sufferings, calls me to expect no other than to meet with difficulties and trials while in this world. And what am I better than my fathers, that I should expect to fare better in the world, than the generality of Christ's fol-lowers in all past generations. May all our trials be for our justification, and our being more and more meet for our Master's use, and prepared to enter into the joy of our Lord, in a world where all tears shall be wiped from the eyes of God's people. Let us, dear Sir, earnestly pray one for another, that it may be thus with us; and that, however we may be called to labour and to suffer, we may see peace on God's Israel, and hereafter eternally glory and triumph with his inheritance. God has of late mer-cifully preserved my wife and youngest daughter, in time of very sore and dangerous sickness, and restored them again. My eldest daughter has also been sick, and is restored in a considerable degree.
The Northampton people remain in sorrowful circum-stances, destitute of a settled minister, and without any prospect of a settlement; having met with many disappointments. But all don't as yet seem to be effectual, to bring them to a suitable temper of mind. I much desire to hear from you, and to be informed of your present cir-cumstances.
I am, dear Sir,
Your affectionate brother in the gospel,
With the preceding letter was sent the following to Mr. M'Culloch.
"Stockbridge, Nov 24, 1752.
REV. AND DEAR SIR,
I thank you for your letter of March 3, 1752, which I received this fall. I thank you for your friendly and in-structive observations, on God's dealings with me and my family. Though God's dispensations towards me, have been attended with some distinguishing trials, yet the end of the Lord has been very gracious. He has ever mani-fested himself very pitiful and of tender mercy, in the midst of difficulties we have met with, in merciful circum-stances with which they have been attended, and also in the event of them. Our circumstances, here at Stockbridge, are in many respects comfortable. We here live in peace and friendship, with the generality of the people. But we are not without our difficulties and troubles here.
The Indian affair, which the last year was attended with so pleasing and glorious a prospect, has since been unspeakably embarrassed, through the particular schemes of certain individuals, who are opposed, in their counsels and measures, to the commissioners of the Society in London, and are, to their utmost, striving to accomplish their de-signs in opposition to them; and in this great contest I am looked on as a person not a little obnoxious. They belong to a family of some note, who vigorously abetted and set forward my opposers at Northampton, and were a chief occasion of my removal from that town; to whom my settlement at Stockbridge was very grievous; who now take occasion to exert themselves to the utmost to weaken my interest and influence: and I have all reason to think, would, if it were possible, undermine me, and procure my removal far hence. Many endeavours have been used to disaffect my people towards me, but all in vain. They are all firmly united to me, excepting the forementioned family. Endeavours have been used, also, to disaffect some of the commissioners; but wholly in vain. They seem to have their eyes very wide open, as to their par-ticular designs and schemes, and the true spring of their opposition. We hope for an end of this lamentable con-test before long. But its effects hitherto have been very sorrowful, especially with regard to the Mohawks. Some other things have happened, which have much prejudiced the cause of religion among the Indians; and among other things, the discovery of the famous Tartarian root, described in Chambers's dictionary, called Ginseng, which was found in our woods the last summer, and is since found in the woods in many of these western parts of New England, and in the country of the Six Nations. The traders in Albany have been eager to purchase all that they could, of this root, to send to England; where they make great profit by it. This has occasioned our Indians of all sorts, young and old, to spend abundance of time in wandering about the woods, and sometimes to a great distance, in the neglect of public worship, and of their husbandry; and also in going much to Albany, to sell their roots, (which proves worse to them than their going into the woods,) where they are always much in the way of temptation and drunkenness; especially when they have money in their pockets. The consequence has been that many of them have laid out their money, which they have got for their roots of Ginseng, for rum; where-with they have intoxicated themselves.
God has been very gracious to my family of late, when some of them have been visited with sore sickness. My wife has lately been very dangerously sick, so as to be brought to the very brink of the grave. She had very little expectation of life, but seemed to be assisted to an unweaned resignation to the Divine will, and an unshaken peace and joy in God, in the expectation of a speedy de-parture. But God was pleased to preserve her, and mer-cifully to restore her to a pretty good state of health. My youngest daughter also, who has been a very infirm child, was brought nigh unto death by a sore fit of sickness, and is now also restored to her former state. My daughter Parsons, my eldest daughter, who with her husband has removed from Northampton, and dwells in Stockbridge, has also very lately been very sick, but is in a considerable measure restored. My daughter Esther's marriage with President Burr, of Newark, seems to be very much to the satisfaction of ministers and people in those parts, and also of our friends in Boston, and other parts of New England.
As to the state of religion in America, I have but little to write that is comfortable; but there seems to be better appearances in some other colonies than in New England. When I was lately in New Jersey, in the time of the synod there, I was informed of some small mov-ings and revivals in some places on Long-Island and New Jersey. I there had the comfort of a short interview with Mr. Davies of Virginia, and was much pleased with him and his conversation. He appears to be a man of very solid understanding, discreet in his behaviour, and polish-ed and gentlemanly in his manners, as well as fervent and zealous in religion. He gave an account of the probability of the settlement of a Mr. Todd, a young man of good learning and of a pious disposition, in a part of Virginia near to him. Mr. Davies represented before the synod, the great necessities of the people in the back parts of Virginia, where multitudes were remarkably awakened and reformed several years ago, and ever since have been thirsting after the ordinances of God. The people are chiefly from Ireland, of Scotch extraction. The synod appointed two men to go down and preach among these people; viz. Mr. Henry, a Scotchman, who has lately taken a degree at New Jersey college, and Mr. Greenman, the young man who was educated at the charge of Mr. David Brainerd.
The people of Northampton are in sorrowful circum-stances, are still destitute of a minister, and have met with a long series of disappointments in their attempts for a resettlement of the ministry among them. My opposers have had warm contentions among themselves, Of late, they have been wholly destitute of anybody to preach steadily among them. They sometimes meet to read and pray among themselves, and at other times set travellers or transient persons to preach, that are hardly fit to be employed.
My wife joins with me in most respectful salutations to you and yours. Desiring your prayers, that God would be with us in all our wanderings through the wilderness of this world,
I am, dear Sir,
Your most affectionate brother,
In the labours of the gospel,
The chagrin and mortification, and entire loss of influ-ence and respect, consequent upon the indiscreet attempt to force Mr. Edwards from Stockbridge, by buying out all the English inhabitants, and upon its utter discomfiture, had, in its connexion with the infirmities of age, such an effect upon the individual who made it, that he was soon after induced to part with his property in that town, and remove to a distance. His children, though somewhat disheartened by so untoward an event, and now assured that if help came to them, it could not come from Stock-bridge, appear however to have resolved, that they would pot lose all their labour, and all their hope; without a struggle. The commissioners in Boston, of the Society in London, were now to a man firmly opposed to them, and resolved to resist them to the utmost. But their kinsman who was a member of the Society in London, was well acquainted with its board of directors, and had written to them in behalf of his cousin. He had also applied to Mr Hollis, to secure to her husband the management of his benefactions. The latter gentleman also, and the brother of the former, had considerable influence at Boston, and this influence had now been exerted for a considerable period, to procure the removal of Mr. Ed-wards. At the opening of the general court, in the autumn, all the influence and all the efforts of the family, and its friends, were brought to bear on this one point; and representations most unfavourable to the character and qualifications of Mr. E. were made to many of the principal men of the province. The Annual Report of the resident trustee was drawn up with a direct and imme-diate reference to this subject, and was read to the legisla-ture, when Mr. Edwards knew nothing of its contents, and when, being at the distance of one hundred and fifty miles, he of course could not at once answer it. Mr. Woodbridge, however, was on the spot, as were the honourable commissioners of the Society in London, and they made such counteracting statements, as the circum-stances rendered proper. Of this Report we shall take notice further on.
While Mr. Woodbridge was at Boston, he was inform-ed, and that too most incautiously, by the son of his oppo-nent, who went thither in company with his brother-in-law, the author of the Report, that the latter had solicited his Excellency, Sir Wiltiam Pepperell, governor of the pro-vince, to write to England, and to use his influence, with the corporation in London, that Mr. Edwards might be removed from the office of missionary; and that Sir Wil-liam had engaged to do it. On this information, coming so directly, Mr. Edwards felt himself bound, from a re-gard to his own reputation, and to the welfare of his family, to address Sir William on the subject; which he did in a letter, bearing date January 30, 1758. In this letter, after reciting the preceding facts, as his apology for writing it, and mentioning the great disadvantage under which he lay, in attempting to defend himself, at such a distance, when he did not know what had been said to his preju-dice, he states, among other things, the following: That, since the revival of religion in 1734, the family, with which the writer of the Report was now connected, had discovered an unceasing hostility towards himself, and his own family, notwithstanding the best endeavours he could use to remove it; that they deeply engaged themselves in the controversy at Northampton, on the side of his opposers, upholding, directing, and animating them, in all their measures; that two of them, especially, had been the confidential advisers of the opposition, in procuring his dis-mission; that when his removal to Stockbridge was pro-posed, the whole family, there and elsewhere, opposed it, with great vehemence, though, when they saw an entire union and universal engagedness in all the rest of the in-habitants, both English and Indians, for his settlement there, and that there was no hope of preventing it, they ap-peared as though their minds were changed ;-that the author of the Report, during the whole controversy at Northampton, in direct opposition to the family, with which he was now connected, had remained his zealous friend and advocate; that he warmly advocated his re-moval to Stockbridge, and expressed a strong desire of living under his ministry; (for the evidence of which facts, he refers Sir William to two of the most respectable gentlemen in the province;) that this confidential friend-ship lasted until his connexion with that family, and then was suddenly changed, first into secret, and afterwards into open opposition; that he had personally blamed him for preaching to the Mohawks, as intermeddling with what was none of his business, although Mr. E. produced the note of the commissioners, expressly desiring him to preach to the Mohawks, until a distinct missionary was appointed over them; that the reason, openly assigned for the very great resentment of the author of the Report, and that of his friends, against Mr. Edwards, was, his having opposed the appointment of the wife of that gentleman, as teacher of the female school, although he neither said nor did any thing respecting it, until his opinion was expressly desired in writing by the commissioners, and then, that he oppos-ed it on the ground, that it was impossible for an individual, who had the care of two numerous families of chil-dren, to instruct and govern the children of an Indian school;-and that, as to his qualifications for the business of a missionary, his communicative faculty , &c which were now denied, he could only appeal to those, who had the best opportunity of judging, from their own experience,- particularly, to every man, woman, and child, in Stock-bridge, that had any understanding, both English and In-dians, except the families of the opponent of Mr. Woodbridge, and of the author of the Report. Mr. Edwards then adds, "Now, Sir, I humbly request, that, if you had resolved on endeavouring to have me removed from my present employment here, you would once more take the matter into your impartial consideration. And I would pray you to consider, Sir, what disadvantages I am under; not knowing what has been said of me in conversation; not knowing, therefore, the accusation, or what to answer to. The ruin of my usefulness, and the ruin of my family, which has greatly suffered in years past, for righteous-ness sake, are not indeed things of equal consideration with the public good. Yet, certainly, I should first have an equal, impartial, and candid hearing, before I am executed for the public good. I must leave the matter, dear Sir, to your justice and Christian prudence; committing the affair to Him, who knows all the injuries I have suffered, and how wrongfully I now suffer, and who is the Great Pro-tector of the innocent and oppressed; beseeching him to guide you in your determination, and mercifully to order the end."
In the month of February, 1753, the building erected for the instruction of the Mohawk boys, usually denomi-nated the boarding-school, took fire in a way unknown, and, with considerable furniture in it, was reduced to ashes Mr. Hawley had furnished a chamber in the building, and resided in it. By this calamity, he lost his clothing, books, and furniture. It was supposed, with some grounds, to have been set on fire by design; and its destruction was, for the time, a very serious interruption to the labours of Mr Hawley.
The Report of the Indian agent was read early in the session. It contained various insinuations and charges, of a general nature, against Mr. Edwards. Other charges were busily circulated among the members, with the hope of procuring his removal. But it was well understood, that Mr. Edwards was at a great distance, and had had no notice of these charges. He had likewise a character for integrity, too well established, to be shaken by general in-sinuations, or covert attacks. Mr. Woodbridge, and the commissioners, were also on the spot, and took care that the real state of things should be made known, and the con-duct of Mr. Edwards adequately defended. So effectually and satisfactorily was this done, that, when Mr. Edwards received a copy of the Report by Mr. Woodbridge, he appears also to have been apprized, by his friends in Boston, that the design of his enemies, in this attack, had been completely frustrated. What these insinuations and charges were, we learn from his letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, written for the purpose of being communicated, if he thought necessary, to the legislature. It deserves here to be mentioned, as a singular and very kind dispensation of Providence, that the author of the Re-port had, some time before, addressed a letter to Mr. Ed-wards, while he was his friend, and when he hoped for his co-operation; particularly, in the appointment of his son as school-master to the Mohawks; in which he had either furnished the means of contradicting the statements made in the Report, or had expressly requested Mr. Edwards to do the very things, which he now complained of, and made the ground of complaint. Of this letter Mr. Edwards enclosed a copy; offering to forward the original, if desired, and, at the same time, to substantiate every part of his own statement, by numerous witnesses, of the most unexceptionable character.
From his letter to the Speaker, it appears, that the writer of the Report charged him-with introducing Mr. Hawley into the school;-with introducing a master, in his absence, and when there was reason to expect his return;-with doing this, when he had been at the expense of a journey of his son of 260 miles, to procure Mr. Hawley as master of the boys;-with introducing Mr. Ashley, the inter-preter, as assistant instructor;-and with opposing the ap-pointment of his wife, as teacher of the female school;-and that he also alleged, that the school was in very de-sirable circumstances, until Mr. Hawley took it, and that it then declined ;-that the Mohawks had been dis-couraged, through the conduct of the agents of the mis-sion ;-and that Mr. Edwards was not qualified for his office, because, on account of his age, he could not learn the language of the Indians.
To these charges Mr. Edwards replied,-that he introduced Mr. Hawley, because he was directed so to do, by the letter of the commissioners, of Dec. 31, 1751 ,-that he introduced a master, in the absence of the author of the Report, for two reasons, 1. Because he knew not when he was to return; and, 2. Because the author of the Report, himself, in a letter sent him by his son, requested him, at that very time, to introduce a master into the school; of which letter he enclosed a copy, with the offer of forward-ing the original, if desired;-that, when the author of the Report sent his son on the specified journey, it was not to procure Mr. Hawley to be a master for the boys, but it was, that the son himself might be the master; for evidence of which, appeal is also made to the copy of the same letter;-that, as to the appointment of teacher of the female school, he said nothing about it, until expressly requested to give his opinion by the commissioners;-that so far was the school from being in desirable circumstances, be-fore the introduction of Mr. Hawley, that the author of the Report had, himself, represented it as having been, until that time, in most lamentable circumstances, in the very letter of which he enclosed a copy, in which he re-quested Mr. Edwards to introduce his son into the school, in the room of the former master;-that the school continued to flourish under Mr. Hawley, until his opposers used their utmost endeavours to destroy it; for evidence of which, be offers the testimony of the substantial inhabitants of the town; - that Hendrick, and the other chiefs, and the Mohawks generally, had expressly assigned their dissatisfaction with the conduct of these individuals, as the reason of their leaving Stockbridge, for evidence of which, he offers the same testimony;-and, as to his learning the Housatonnuck language, that the author of the Report knew how the case would be, before he re-commended him to the office of missionary; and that Mr. Sergeant, after fourteen years study, had never been able to preach in it, nor even to pray in it except by a form, and had often expressed the opinion, previous to his death, that his successor ought not to trouble himself in learning the language. He then requests, that the Speaker would communicate his letter to the Assembly, and prays that honourable body, if they proposed to take any order on the case, first to give him opportunity to meet his accuser face to face.
I have no means of ascertaining whether the preceding letter was, or was not, read to the legislature. If not, it was because the honourable Speaker, who was a personal friend of Mr. Edwards, found it to be wholly unnecessary. And it can scarcely be necessary to inform the reader, that the attack, made thus directly upon Mr. Edwards, and indirectly upon all his associates in the mission, not only failed altogether of its intended effect; but, by lead-ing to a development of the mercenary scheme, devised to divert, to the purposes of private emolument, the con-secrated charities of the province and of individuals, re-coiled with increased violence upon its authors.
Thus far the individuals, opposed to the Stockbridge missionaries, had met with little success to encourage their efforts. They had looked for help to various sources; to the Indians and to the people of Stockbridge, to the commissioners and to the provincial legislature, to Mr. Hollis and to the Society in London; and in every instance, so far as the result was known, they had looked in vain. The Housatonnucks had refused all intercourse with them. From disgust at their management, a part of the Mohawks had actually retired, and the rest were threatening to retire, to their own country. The people of Stockbridge had, to a man, united against them. The commissioners were equally unanimous, in sustaining the individuals whose overthrow they had attempted. And now, before the provincial legislature, they had made their great and united effort, and had failed. In the mean time, Mr. Edwards was even more firmly established as the Indian missionary, and Mr. Woodbridge as the school-master of the Housatonnucks; Mr. Hawley had not been compelled to resign his place to the son of the resident trustee; the female school had not as yet been secured to his wife, and obviously could not now be, unless secured to her in London; and the stewardship of the three schools was not likely to be conferred on himself. Such was the state of things in the spring of 1753. It looked as though the great struggle was over; and that the party, which had hitherto acted on the offensive, would thence-forward be quiet, from a conviction, that every hostile movement must issue in defeat. The result justified this conclusion.
To Mr. Edwards, and his associates in the mission, as well as to their friends, this result must have been in a high degree satisfactory. On his arrival in Stockbridge, he found this controversy waging, and soon discovered that it was a controversy between the friends and enemies of the mission; between those who aimed at the real wel-fare of the Indians, and those who endeavoured to use them as instruments of their own private emolument; that one party relied on wealth, and office, and influence, to carry its measures; and the other, on personal integrity, a conscientious discharge of duty, and the protection of God. For a time he avoided taking any part in it; and his own temporal comfort, and the welfare of his family, seemed to require, that he should persevere in the same course. But his conscience forbade it. He must either sit quietly by, and see the charities of the province, of the Society in London, and of Mr. Hollis, diverted from their appointed course, to fill the coffers of private avarice; or he must unite with those who were exerting their whole influence to prevent it. In such a state of things, he could not de-liberate, and, through the divine blessing, he and his associates were now permitted to see, that they had not toiled and suffered in vain.
Letter to His Eldest Son-Return of Greater Part of The Mohawks- Letter to Commissioners-Mission of Mr Hawley to Onohquauga-Remainder of Mohawks Directed to Return-"Freedom of The Will"-Letter to Mr. Erskine-Proposal of Society in London-Letter to Mr. Gillespie-Design and Character of the "Freedom Of The Will"-Letters from Mr. Hollis-Surrender of Mohawk School to Mr. Edwards-Entire Defeat of Enemies of Mission-Return of Remaining Mohawks.
EARLY IN the ensuing spring, the eldest son of Mr. Edwards, then a lad of fourteen, went to New York, and thence to New Jersey; and on his way was much exposed to the small-pox. On his return to New York, he was seized with a violent fever His father hearing this, and not knowing whether it an ordinary fever, or the small-pox, addressed to him the following letter; which, like all his letters to his children, indicates that his chief anxiety was for their salvation.
"To Master Timothy Edwards, at New York.
Stockbridge, April, 1753.
MY DEAR CHILD,
Before you will receive this letter, the matter will doubt-less be determined, as to your having the small-pox. You will either be sick with that distemper, or will be past danger of having it, from any infection taken in your voyage. But whether you are sick or well, like to die or like to live, I hope you are earnestly seeking your salvation. I am sure there is a great deal of reason it should be so, considering the warnings you have had in word and in providence. That which you met with, in your passage from New York to Newark, which was the occasion of your fever, was indeed a remarkable warning, a dispensa-tion full of instruction, and a very loud call of God to you, to make haste, and not to delay in the great business of religion. If you now have that distemper, which you have been threatened with, you are separated from your earthly friends, as none of them can come to see you; and if you should die of it, you have already taken a final and everlasting leave of them while you are yet alive, so as not to have the comfort of their presence and immediate care, and never to see them again in the land of the living. And if you have escaped that distemper, it is by a remark-able providence that you are preserved. And your having been so exposed to it, must certainly be a loud call of God, not to trust in earthly friends or any thing here be-low. Young persons are very apt to trust in parents and friends when they think of being on a death-bed. But this providence remarkably teaches you the need of a better Friend, and a better Parent, than earthly parents are; one who is every where present, and all sufficient, that cannot be kept off by infectious distempers, who is able to save from death, or to make happy in death, to save from eternal misery, and to bestow eternal life. It is indeed comfortable, when one is in great pain, and Ian-guishing under sore sickness, to have the presence, and kind care, of near and dear earthly friends; but this is a very small thing, in comparison of what it is, to have the presence of a heavenly Father, and a compassionate and almighty Redeemer. In God's favour is life, and his loving-kindness is better than life. Whether you are in sickness or health, you infinitely need this. But you must know, however great need you stand in of it, you do not deserve it: neither is God the more obliged to bestow it upon you, for your standing in need of it, your earnest desiring of it, your crying to him constantly for it from fear of misery, and taking much pains. Till you have savingly believed in Christ, all your desires, and pains, and prayers lay God under no obligation; and, if they were ten thou-sand times as great as they are, you must still know, that you would be in the hands of a sovereign God, who hath mercy on whom he will have mercy. Indeed, God often hears the poor miserable cries of sinful vile creatures, who have no manner of true regard to Him in their hearts; for he is a God of infinite mercy, and he delights to show mercy for his Son's sake, who is worthy, though you are unworthy, who came to save the sinful and the miserable, yea, some of the chief of sinners. Therefore, there is your only hope, and in him must be your refuge, who invites you to come to him, and says, 'Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.' Whatever your circumstances are, it is your duty not to despair, but to hope in infinite mercy, through a Redeemer. For God makes it your duty to pray to him for mercy; which would not be your duty, if it was allowable for you to despair. We are ex-pressly commanded to call upon God in the day of trouble, and when we are afflicted, then to pray. But, if I hear that you have escaped,-either that you have not been sick, or are restored,-though I shall rejoice, and have great cause of thankfulness, yet I shall be concerned for you. If your escape should be followed with carelessness and security, and forgetting the remarkable warning you have had, and God's great mercy in your deliverance, it would in some respects be more awful than sore sick-ness It would be very provoking to God, and would probably issue in an increasing hardness of heart; and, it may be, divine vengeance may soon overtake you. I have known various instances of persons being remarkably warned, in providence, by being brought into very dangerous circumstances, and escaping, and afterwards death has soon followed in another way. I earnestly desire, that God would make you wise to salvation, and that he would be merciful and gracious to you in every respect, accord-ing as he knows your circumstances require. And this is the daily prayer of
Your affectionate and tender father,
"P.S. Your mother and all the family send their love to you, as being tenderly concerned for you."
At length the event, so long predicted by Mr. Edwards, actually took place. The Mohawks, who had manifested exemplary patience under the vexatious and embarrass-ments to which they had been subjected by the whites, were at last wearied out; and, in the month of April, the greater part of them relinquished their lands and settlements at Stockbridge, and returned finally to their own country. After a brief allusion to this fact, in a letter to the commissioners, Mr. Edwards communicated to them a variety of interesting intelligence relative to the Iroquois, and to the mission proposed to be established among them
"To the Commissioners in Boston.
Stockbridge, April 12, 1753.
The last Tuesday, about two-thirds of the Mohawks, young and old, went away from Stockbridge, and are never likely to return again. They have long manifested a great uneasiness at the management of affairs here, and at the conduct of those persons on whom their affairs have al-most wholly fallen; and have shown themselves very much grieved, that others, who used to be concerned, have been excluded. They have, once and again, represented the grounds of their uneasiness to the provincial agent, but without redress. They hare been dissatisfied with his answers, and there has appeared in them a growing dislike of the family, who have lately left their own house, and taken up their constant abode among them, in the female boarding-school.
The correspondents, in New York and New Jersey, of the Society in Scotland for propagating Christian Know-ledge, have determined, if Providence favours, to settle a mission among the Six Nations. To that end, they have chosen Mr. Gordon, a pious young gentleman, who has lately been a tutor at New Jersey college, to come to Stockbridge, and remain here with Mr. Hawley, to learn the Mohawk language with him, in order to his being fit-ted for the business. Mr. Gordon is expected here to prosecute this design in the beginning of May.
In addition to this, Mr. Brainerd, the pastor of the In-dian congregation at Bethel in New Jersey, who is sup-ported by the correspondents, having met with much trouble from the enemies of religion in those parts; and his Indians being greatly disturbed, with regard to the possession and improvement of their lands; the corre-spondents have of late had a disposition, that he, with his school-master and whole congregation, should remove, if a door might be opened, and take up a new settlement, somewhere in the country of the Six Nations. Mr. Hawley has seen Mr. Brainerd, and conversed with him on the subject, this spring. He manifests an inclination to such a removal, and says his Indians will be ready for it. If such a thing as this could be brought to pass, it would probably tend greatly to the introduction of the gospel, and the promotion of the interests of religion, among the Six Nations; as his congregation are, I suppose, the most virtuous and religious collection of Indians in America, and some of them have now been long established in reli-gion and virtue.
According to the best information I can get, of the country of the Six Nations, the most convenient place, to be chosen as the chief seat of missionary operations, is the country about Onohquouga, near the head of the Susque-hannah river.
I apprehend, from some things of which Mr. Woodbridge informed me, that the commissioners have had very wrong information concerning the Onohquauga Indians, as though they were a very despicable company, a kind of renegadoes, scarcely to be reckoned as of the Six Na-tions, living out of the country of those nations. There are, indeed, some here, who have sometimes spoken very contemptuously of them; which seems to have been, not from any manner of ground in fact, or so much as any colour of reason, but merely because these Indians appeared peculiarly attached to Mr. Ashley and his wife, and under their influence. But there are other persons in Stockbridge, who have had as much opportunity to know what is the true state of these people, as they. The Onohquouga Indians, who have been here, are properly, not only of the Six Nations, but of the FIVE NATIONS, who are the original united tribes of the Iroquois. All, but one or two of them, are of the nation of the Oneiutas; and they appear not to be looked upon as contemptible, by the rest of the Five Nations, from what was once openly said of them, at a public council, by the sachems of the Conneenchees, or proper Mohawks, who advised us to treat the Onohquaugas with peculiar care and kindness, as excelling their own tribe in religion and virtue; giving at the same time many instances of their virtue. We have found the testimony which they gave of them to be true. They appear to be far the best disposed Indians with which we have bad any connexion. They would be inclined to the utmost, to assist, encourage, and strengthen, the hands of missionaries and instructors, should any be sent among them, and to do all they could to forward their success, among themselves, and the other Indians round about.
There seems to be no room for a missionary, in the country of the Conneenchees The Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts, have long since taken them under their care, and pretended to support a mission among them. A mission from the commissioners in Boston would not be borne by them, nor by the Dutch, who are always among them. And as to the country of the Quinquas, and the original seat of the Oneiutas, they seem not to be convenient places for settling a mission, on two accounts. They are on the road to Oswego, where the Dutch are incessantly passing and repassing with their rum; with which they are continually making them drunk, and would be, in many other respects, a continual hindrance and affliction to a missionary; for they are exceedingly opposed to the New England people having any thing to do with the Iroquois. The nation of the Quinquas, also, are mostly in the French interest, as well as many of the Oneiutas; so that a missionary would there be afflicted, and perhaps in danger, by the French. And it is very evident, that the country of the Onoontaugas, is no country for our missionaries to attempt to establish a mission in. It would be like establishing a mission in Canada; for that nation have entirely gone over to the French interest. They are on the road of the French, as they go up a trad-ing to Mississippi, and their distant settlements, and the nations on the great lakes; and the French have of late built a fort in their country, and have in effect annexed it to Canada. And the country of the Senecas will not be much more convenient for the purpose, both by reason of its very good distance, and also because most of the nation are firmly united to the French, who constantly maintain their missionaries among them.
Onohquauga is within the territory of the Five Nations, and not so far from the other settlements, but that it may be convenient for making excursions to the several tribes; as convenient perhaps as any place that can be found. It is, I suppose, as near to the heart of the country as any place, unless Oneiuta and Quinquah. They are also much out of the way of the French, and considerably out of the way of the Dutch, are in a pleasant fruitful coun-try, surrounded by many settlements of Indians on every side, and where the way is open by an easy passage down the river, which runs through one of the most pleasant and fruitful parts of America, for four or five hundred miles, exceedingly well peopled on both sides, and on its several branches, by Indians. Onohquauga is the road, by which several of the nations pass, as they go to war with the southern nations. And there will be this advantage, which missionaries will have, that the Onohquauga Indians are fast friends to the English; and though some of the Dutch have tried much to disaffect them to the English, their attempts have been in vain. They are very desirous of instruction, and to have the gospel established in their country.
There are several towns of the Onohquaugas; and several missionaries might probably find sufficient em-ployment in those parts. If Mr. Brainerd should settle somewhere in that country, with his Christian Indians, and one or two more missionaries, not at a great distance, they might be under advantage to assist one another; as they will greatly need one another's company and assist-ance, in so difficult a work, in such a strange distant land. They might be under advantage to consult one another, and to act in concert, and to help one another, in any case of peculiar difficulty. Many English people would be found to go from New England, and settle there; and the greatest difficulty would be, that there would be danger of too many English settlers, and of such as are not fit for the place.
But, in order to accomplish this; especially in order to such a body of new Indians coming from the Jerseys, and settling in the country of the Six Nations; the con-sent of those nations, or at least of several of them, must be obtained. The method which Mr. Woodbridge, Mr. Hawley, and I, have thought of, which we submit to the wisdom of the commissioners, is this,-that Mr. Woodbridge, and Mr. Ashley and his wife, should go, as speedily as possible, into the country of the Conneenchees;-they being the first tribe in honour, though not in numbers;- and there spend some weeks, perhaps a month, among them, to get acquainted with them, and endeavour to gain their approbation of a mission, for settling the gospel in the country of the Six Nations.-Mr Hawley, in the mean time, to keep Mr. Woodbridge's school. Then, that Mr. Hawley and Mr. Gordon should join them there, and go with them from thence to Onohquauga, and when they have acquainted themselves well with the people, and the state of the country, and find things agreeable, and see a hopeful prospect, then for Mr. Woodbridge to return, and leave Mr. Hawley and Mr. Gordon there, and forthwith send word to Mr. Brainerd, and propose to him to come up, with some of his chief Indians, to see the country. And if, on the observations they make, and the acquaintance they get with the people and country, they think there is an encouraging prospect, then to en-deavour to gain a conference with some of the chiefs of the Five Nations, at an appointed time, to know whether they will consent to their coming to settle in their territories. All this will occupy some considerable time; so that, if they can obtain their consent, Mr. Brainerd must return home: and he and his chief Indians must come again to the treaty, at the time and place appointed.
You will easily perceive, Gentlemen, that these things will require time, and that, in order to carry these various measures into effect this year, there will be need of expe-dition, which may show the reason why we think it necessary, that Mr. Hawley should come to Boston; for, if these things are to be done this year, we had need speedily to know the minds of the commissioners, and therefore that the case would not allow of waiting for, and depending on, uncertain accidental opportunities, of sending to them, and hearing from them. It is also proper, that the commissioners should have opportunity to agree with Mr. Hawley, concerning the reward of his services.
Mr. Brainerd told Mr. Hawley, that, if he removed with his Indians, he should choose to do it speedily; and that, the longer it was delayed, the more difficult it would he, by reason of his building, and the Indians increasing their buildings and improvements at Bethel. Probably, if the removal cannot be brought about the next year, it never will be. And if his Indians remove the next year, it will be necessary that they remove as early as the spring, in order to plant there that year. And if so much needs to be done this summer, it is as much as it will be possible to find time for.
Though we project the measures mentioned above, we are sensible they will be attended with much uncertainty. Man's heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his steps. Many are the desires of men's hearts, but the coun-sel of the Lord, that shall stand. Unthought of difficulties may arise, to confound all our projects; as unforeseen difficulties have dashed all the pleasing hopes we enter-tained, and the fair prospects we had, concerning the affairs of the Mohawks at Stockbridge. the year before last. And I would humbly propose it for consideration, whether it will not be necessary, to leave these affairs, in some measure at discretion, to be determined as the com-plicated, uncertain, changing state of things shall require; to save the trouble and expense of frequently going or sending to Boston, for new instructions; and to prevent the disadvantages, under which our affairs may be laid, through the lengthy, uncertain way of sending for and re-ceiving new orders, by occasional opportunities.
There will be a necessity of Mrs. Ashley's going as an interpreter, and of her husband going with her. He will be qualified to instruct the Indians in their husbandry:
having been well instructed in it himself. I believe he will not be very difficult as to his wages, though probably he expects to know what they will be.
I have the honour to be,
Your obliged and obedient servant,
During the month of April, Mr. Hawley received a letter from the commissioners, directing him to go to Onohquauga, for the purpose of commencing a new mis-sion at that place. He left Stockbridge May 22d, in company with Mr. Woodbridge, and Mr. and Mrs. Ash-ley, travelling through the wilderness, and on the 4th or June arrived at the place of their destination. The In-dians received the intelligence of their proposed mission with strong expressions of satisfaction. Mr. Woodbridge returned soon after to Stockbridge. Mr. Hawley appears to have remained, with his interpreter; and his labours, as a missionary, were attended with considerable success.
In the course of the summer, not long after the return of the larger part of the Mohawks, from Stockbridge to their own country, a general council of the nation was held, at their principal settlement on the Mohawk; in which, after due examination of the facts, it was decided, that the rest of the Mohawks at Stockbridge, should return early in the spring, as soon as the hunting season was over. Instructions, to this effect, were immediately transmitted, from the chief sachem of the tribe, to the residue of the little colony, and made known to the people of Stockbridge.
About this time, the agent of Mr. Hollis, discouraged, doubtless, by the state of things, as far as it was known, and probably auguring no very favourable result to himself, or his friends, from the application to Mr. Hollis, quitted Stockbridge, and went back to Newington; leaving the few boys, whom, by offering to board and clothe them gratuitously, he had persuaded to live with him, in the hands of the resident trustee.
This unhappy controversy, now drawing to its close, which, during its continuance, had threatened to subvert the whole Indian mission, and to destroy the prosperity of the village, and the temporal welfare of Mr. Edwards and his family, must have occupied so much of his atten-tion, that when our readers remember, that he preached two discourses a week to the whites, as well as one, by an interpreter, to the Housatonnuckes, and one to the Mohawks; and also catechised the children of the whites, the Housatonnucks, and the Mohawks; they will be ready to be-lieve, that he found no time for any additional labours. And when they also recollect, that, on the 23d of November, 1752, he says, in his letter to Mr. Erskine,- "I began, the last August, to write a little on the Arminian controversy, but was soon broken off: and such have been my extra-ordinary avocations and hindrances, that I have not had time to set pen to paper, about this matter, since. But I hope God, in his providence, will favour me with oppor-tunity to prosecute the deign, and I desire your prayers that God would assist me in it;" - and that this proposed work, on the Arminian controversy, was none other, than the TREATISE ON THE FREEDOM OF THE WILL; they will conclude, of course, that the execution of it must have been deferred to some happier period, when, amid the lei-sure and tranquillity of retirement, he could give his uninterrupted attention, and his individual strength, to its accomplishment. What then will be their surprise, when they find him opening his next letter to Mr. Erskine, un-der the date of April 14th, 1753, with the following annun-ciation.-"After many hindrances, delays, and interrup-tions, Divine Providence has so far favoured me, and smiled on my design of writing on the Arminian controversy, that I have almost finished the first draught of what I first intended; and am now sending the proposals for subscription, to Boston, to be printed." Let it be remem-bered, that the Essay on the Freedom of the Will, which, in the opinion of Dugald Stewart, raises its author to the same rank as a metaphysician with Locke and Leibnitz, was written within the space of four months and a half; and those, not months of leisure, but demanding the ad-ditional duties of a parish, and of two distinct Indian missions; and presenting, also, all the cares, perplexities, and embarrassments of a furious controversy, the design of which was to deprive the author, and his family, of their daily bread. So far as I am aware, no similar example, of power and rapidity united, is to be found on the annals of mental effort."
"Stockbridge, April 14, 1753.
REV. AND DEAR Sir,
After many hinderances, delays, and interruptions, Divine Providence has so far favoured me, and smiled on my design of writing on the Arminian controversy, that I have almost finished the first draught of what I first intend-ed and am now sending the proposals for subscription to Boston to be printed; with a letter of Mr. Foxcroft, to send thirty of those proposals to Mr M'Laurin, with a letter to him; in which I have desired him to deliver half of them to you, as you have manifested yourself ready to use endeavours to get subscriptions in Scotland. The printing will be delayed to wait for subscriptions from thence. I therefore request that you endeavour to pro-mote and expedite the affair.
Stockbridge affairs, relating to the Indians, are, in many respects, under a very dark cloud The affair of the Iroquois, or Six Nations, here is almost at an end, as I have given a more particular account to Mr. M'Laurin. The commissioners in Boston, I believe, are discouraged about it, and have thoughts of sending and settling a missionary in their own country. The correspondents of the Society in Scotland, have also determined to send a missionary there, and have chosen Mr. Gordon a tutor of the college at Newark, for that end. Mr. Gordon is expected here at the beginning of May, to live at my house with Mr. Hawley, in order to learn the Iroquois language with him. It is probable that he and Mr. Hawley will go up, and spend the summer, in the Iroquois country.
The correspondents have also a disposition, that Mr. Brainerd should remove, with the whole congregation of Indians, to settle somewhere in the country of the Six Nations; and he himself and his Indians, are ready for it. 'Tis probable that something will be done to prepare the way for it; and at least to see, whether the way can be prepared, or any door opened for it, this summer. Some of these Indians have a great desire, that the gospel should be introduced and settled in their country.
Some of the Stockbridge Indians have of late been un-der considerable awakenings,-two or three elderly men, that used to be vicious persons. My family is now in usual health. My daughter Burr, in New Jersey. has been very ill all the winter past. We last heard from her about five weeks ago; when it was hoped there was some amendment.
My wife joins with me, in respectful and affectionate salutations to you and Mrs. Erskine. Desiring a remem-brance in your prayers,
I am, dear Sir,
Your affectionate brother,
and obliged friend and servant,
The representations of the nephew of the opponent of Mr. Woodbridge, and those of the commissioners of Boston, to the Society in London, the former hostile, and the latter friendly, to Mr. Edwards and his associates, were sent forward, and arrived at their place of destination, in due season. That gentleman had entertained an overweening estimate of his own influence with the board of directors of the Society in London. They gave full credit to the statements of their own commissioners, and sus-tained them in upholding their missionaries and instructers. Perceiving, however, that an unhappy controversy subsist-ed at Stockbridge, relative to the mission, and knowing that their commissioners at Boston were 150 miles distant; they endeavoured to devise a plan, by which the existing evils might be remedied. Mr. Edwards, in his letter to Mr. Mauduit, one of their number, had observed, "What renders it the more necessary, that things here should he under the immediate care of trustees on the spot, is, the misunderstanding and jealousy here subsisting, between some of the chief of the present English inhabitants of the town, which is one of our greatest calamities. Things, on this account, do much need careful inspection; and therefore, the gentlemen intrusted ought to be such, as are perfectly impartial, and no way interested in, or related to, these contending parties." The plan suggested by the directors was this, That eleven persons,-two in New York, two in Albany, one in Wethersfield, two in Hart-ford, one in Windsor, one in Suffield, one in Hadley, and one in Stockbridge,-should be a board of consultation, to advise their agents at Stockbridge, and to act, by corre-spondence, with the commissioners; and they counted upon the preceding extract, as what had confirmed them in the measure. At the request of the Hon Mr. Brom-field, one of the commissioners, Mr. Edwards, in a letter, dated Oct. 19, 1753, expressed his own views of the plan, and pointed out its inconvenience, if not utter impractica-bility. The commissioners having expressed similar views to the directors; the plan was relinquished. This was the result of the application to the Society in London.
The General Assembly of the church of Scotland, for the year 1753, having refused, by a very small majority, to restore Mr. Gillespie to the ministry in the kirk, and to his parish of Carnock;-an act of plain justice, which he would not ask them to render him,-Mr. Edwards ad-dressed to him the following letter; a part of which must have been sweet and consoling to the feelings of suffering piety.
"Stockbridge, October 18, 1753.
REV. AND DEAR Sir,
The last November I wrote you a letter, and desired Mr. Foxcroft to put up with it, for you, one of my Answers to Mr. Williams. After that, in the latter part of the winter, I received a letter from you, dated June 15th, 1752, with Milton on Hirelings; and duplicates of a Letter from a Gentleman in Town, &c ; and Answers to the Reasons of Dissent, &c. I now return you my hearty thanks for these things. Since that, I have received letters from Mr. M'Laurin and Mr. Erskine, with various pamphlets and prints relative to your extraordinary affair I think, dear Sir, although your sufferings are like to continue, the General Assembly having refused to restore you to your former station and employments in the church of Scotland; yet they are attended with many manifestations of the goodness, and fatherly kindness, and favour of the great Governor of the world, in the many alleviations and supporting circumstances of your persecutions; in that so many of God's ministers and people have appeared to be so much concerned for you; and have so zealously, and yet so properly, exerted themselves in your behalf; and have so many ways given their testimony to the goodness of the cause in which you suffer, and the unrighteousness of the hardships which you have been subjected to; and that even so great a part of the General Assembly, them-selves, have, in effect, given this testimony for you, there being but a very small majority, but what openly appeared for the taking off of the censure of the former Assembly, without any recantation on your part, or so much as an application from you, desiring them so to do. You have some peculiar reasons to rejoice in your sufferings, and to glorify God on account of them. They having been so greatly taken notice of by so many of the people of God, and there being so much written concerning them, tends to render them, with their circumstances, and particularly the patience and meekness with which you have suffered, so much the more extensively and durably to the glory of the name of your blessed lord, for whom you suffer. God is rewarding-you for laying a foundation, in what has been said and done and written concerning your sufferings, for glory to his own name, and honour to you, in his church, in future generations. Your name will doubtless be mentioned hereafter with peculiar respect, on the ac-count of these sufferings, in ecclesiastical history; as they are now the occasion of a peculiar notice, which saints and angels in heaven take of you, and of their praises to God on your account; and will be the occasion of a peculiar reward, which God will bestow upon you, when you shall be united to their assembly.
As to my own circumstances, I still meet with trouble, and expect no other, as long as I live in this world. Some men of influence have much opposed my continuing a missionary at Stockbridge, and have taken occasion abun-dantly to reproach me, and endeavour my removal. But I desire to bless God, he seems in some respects to set me out of their reach. He raises me up friends, who are ex-erting themselves to counteract the designs of my opposers; particularly the commissioners for Indian affairs in Boston; with whom innumerable artifices have been used, to disaffect them towards me; but altogether in vain. Governor Belcher, also, has seen cause much to exert himself, in my behalf, on occasion of the opposition made to me. My people, both English and Indians, stedfastly adhere to me; excepting the family with whom the opposition began, and those related to them; which family greatly opposed me while at Northampton. Most numerous, continued, and indefatigable endeavours have been used, to undermine me, by attempting to alienate my people from me; innumerable mean artifices have been used with one another, with young and old, men and women, Indians and English: but hitherto they have been greatly disappointed. But yet they are not weary.
As we, dear Sir, have great reason to sympathize, one with another, with peculiar tenderness; our circum-stances being in many respects similar; so I hope I shall partake of the benefit of your fervent prayers for me. Let us then endeavour to help one another, though at a great distance, in travelling through this wide wil-derness; that we may have the more joyful meeting in the land of rest, when we have finished our weary pil-grimage.
I am, dear Sir,
Your most affectionate brother,
"P. S. My wife joins in most affectionate regards to you and yours."
The proposals for publishing the Essay on the Freedom of the Will, were issued in Massachusetts, in 1753; but in consequence of the kind offer of Mr. Erskine and Mr. M'Laurin, to circulate the papers, and procure sub-scribers for it in Scotland, the printing was postponed until the success of their efforts was known. What that success was, probably cannot now be ascertained. The work was published early in the year 1754, under the title of "A careful and strict Inquiry into the modern prevailing Notions of that Freedom of the Will, which is supposed to be essential to Moral Agency, Virtue and Vice, Reward and Punishment, Praise and Blame." This work is justly considered as the most laboured and im-portant of the metaphysical investigations undertaken by the author. The subject, as will be obvious from the preceding title, lies at the very foundation of all religion and of all morality. That it was also a subject of no ordinary difficulty, appears generally to have been felt, and in effect acknowledged; for until the time of Mr. Edwards, it had never been thoroughly investigated either by philosophers or theologians, though it was constantly recurring in their reasonings on thew great principles connected with the moral government of God, and the character of man. Calvin, in his chapter on the Slavery of the Will, may be taken as an example of the most that had been done to settle the opinions of the orthodox, and refute their op-posers on this subject before this period. His defect, and that of his followers, until the time of Mr. Edwards, is seen in this one thing; that they insisted on the great fact, merely that the will of man was not in a state of indifference, but so strongly fixed in its choice as to re-quire supernatural grace for conversion, overlooking in a great measure the nature of moral agency, and what is essential to its nature. Their opposers, on the contrary, were constantly affirming, that freedom of will was neces-sary to moral agency, and carried their views to the ex-tent that the will determined itself, and could not be enslaved. In this state of ethical and theological science, Mr. Edwards set himself to the task of examining the great subject of moral agency, as connected with the human will; and by the precision of his definitions and statements, the cogency of his reasonings, the fulness of his illustrations, the thorough handling of all objections, and the application of his views to many scriptural truths, he placed the grand points of his subject in a light so over-whelmingly convincing, as to leave little room for any doubt or dispute afterwards.
In this treatise it is contended, that the power of choosing, or willing, does itself constitute freedom of agency; and that particular acts of will are determined, i.e. are rendered certain, or become such as they are, rather than otherwise, by some sufficient cause or reason, in perfect consistency with their being acts of will, or in perfect con-sistency with that power of willing which constitutes free-dom of agency. On the ground that the power of will-ing pertains to man, the author asserts a natural ability, which is the just occasion of precept, invitation, &c. or of the will of God being addressed to him, and on the ground that his acts of will are rendered certain, by a sufficient cause, the author asserts a moral inability. The principal point contended for, and which is most essential to the defence of the Calvinistic scheme of faith, in dis-tinction from the Arminian, is the latter one, that the acts of the will are rendered certain by some other cause than the mere power of willing. What the particular cause or causes may be, is not particularly considered, but this question is dismissed with a few brief remarks. The fact, that there is and must be, some such cause, is the great subject argued, and most powerfully demonstrated. This cause he asserts is the foundation of necessity, in the sense merely of certainty of action, and does not therefore destroy natural ability or the power of choice, nor imply that man acts otherwise than electively, or by choice; so that it is a necessity consistent with accounta-bility, demerit, or the contrary and so with rewards and punishments. He asserts that all such terms as must, cannot, impossible, tenable, irresistible, unavoidable, invincible, &c. when applied here, are not applied in their pro-per signification, and are either used nonsensically, and with perfect insignificance, or in a sense quite diverse from their proper and original meaning, and their use in common speech; and that such a necessity as attends the acts of men's wills, is more properly called certainty than necessity.
Rightly to understand this controversy, it must be observed, that he and his opponents, alike, considered sin to consist in acts of will. Had this not been the case, it would have been idle for Mr. Edwards to have confined himself, in his whole treatise, to acts of choice, and the manner in which they are determined, i.e. rendered certain. He must, in that case, have agitated the previous question, respecting acts of choice themselves; and have asserted and maintained, that something else of specifically a different nature, enters into moral character, and forms the ground of praise and blame, or retribution. But the question which he considered to be at issue, is this:
Does the mind will, in any given manner, without a motive, cause or ground, which renders the given choice, rather than a different choice, certain. Whitby, the writer whom he especially has in view, in his remarks on the freedom of man, asserts, that man, by his own activity alone, decides the choice. Mr. Edwards acknowledges that man chooses; but asserts, in opposition to the opinion of Whitby, and those who side with him, that there must be some other ground or cause, beside the mere activity of man, or his power of choosing, which occasions his choosing in one manner, rather than another. He asserts, that "doubtless common sense requires men's being the authors of their own acts of will, in order to their being esteemed worthy of praise or dispraise, on account of them." The very act of volition itself, is, doubtless, a determination; i.e. it is the mind's drawing up a conclusion, or coming to a choice, between two things or more, proposed to it. But determin-ing among external objects of choice, is not the same as determining the act of choice itself, among various possible acts of choice. The question is, What influences, directs, or determines, the mind or will, to such a conclusion or choice as it does form? Or what is the cause, ground, or reason, why it concludes thus, and not otherwise? This is the question, on his own statement.
In the latter part of February, 1754,a letter was receiv-ed from Mr. Hollis, by Mr. Edwards, containing his ex-plicit directions as to the school, for which he had expended so much money, to so little purpose. By this letter, Mr. Hollis withdrew the care of the school, and the expen-diture of his benefactions, from the hands of those who had had the charge of them, and placed them in the hands of Mr. Edwards. On the 25th, Mr. Edwards enclosed a copy of this letter, in a note to the provincial agent, requesting, from him, an account of the existing state of the school, and of the furniture and books belonging to it. On the 27th, he went to the school, to examine into its actual condition, and found in it six Indian boys. The following day, he mentioned this fact, in a second note to the agent, and informed him, that, as the Mohawks had long had the resolution to leave Stockbridge, early in the spring, he had appointed a conference with them, on the 1st of March, to learn whether they still persisted in that resolution; to the end, that, if they did so, he might sus-pend any further expense upon them, on Mr. Hollis's ac-count. At this conference, which was held with all the Mohawks, men, women, and children, in the presence of many of the people of the town, they informed him, that they had all agreed in the autumn, that they would return, in the spring, to their own country; and that this agree-ment was owing to the determination of the council of their nation, the sachems of the Conneenchees, and could not be altered, unless by a new determination of their sachems. Of this he gave the agent due notice the day following, as well as of his purpose to expend none of Mr. Hollis's money upon them, so long as they persisted in that resolution.
As the general court had interested themselves in the affairs of Mr. Hollis, and had waited to know his mind concerning them, that they might order their own measures accordingly; Mr. Edwards, in a letter to the secretary of the province, dated March 8th, enclosed an extract from the letter of Mr. Hollis, and informed him of the actual state of the school, of the determination of the council of the Mohawks, and the consequent resolution of the little colony to return to their own country, and of the notice he had given the agent, that he should withhold any subse-quent expense of Mr. Hollis's money upon them. He like-wise informed him, that some of the Mohawks had, since the conference, brought their children to him, and earnestly requested that they might be instructed; offering to take the charge of their maintenance themselves; and that he had consented to receive them. He also asks the advice of the secretary, whether be might still occupy the school-house, which had been built on the lands of the Indians, at the expense of the province, for the benefit of Mr. Hollis's school.
The individuals opposed to Mr. Edwards and Mr. Woodbridge, thus found every plan, which they had formed of connecting themselves with the Stockbridge mission, defeated, and their last hope extinguished. In 1750, the prospects of the mission, in consequence of the arrival of the two detachments of the Mohawks and Onohquaugas, which seemed to be mere harbingers of still larger colo-nies of their countrymen, were uncommonly bright and promising. And could the benevolent intentions of Mr. Hollis, of the Society in London, and of the provincial legislature, in behalf of the Iroquois, have been carried forward to their full completion, with no obstructions thrown in their way, by greedy avarice or unhallowed am-bition; it is difficult to conceive of the amount of good which might have been accomplished. A large and flou-rishing colony of the Iroquois would soon have been established at Stockbridge, drawn thither for the education of their children, and brought directly within the reach of the means of salvation. What would have been the ultimate effect of such a colony on their countrymen at home, and on the more remote Indian tribes, can only be conjectured. By the steadfast resolution of those per-sons to oppose these plans of benevolence, unless the management of the funds by which they were to be ac-complished could be placed in their own hands, this whole system of beneficence towards the Iroquois, which would only have enlarged with the opportunity of exert-ing it, was frustrated finally and for ever. We will not cherish the belief, that the disappointed individuals found any thing in this melancholy result, to console them under the shame and mortification of their own defeat; although they thus effectually prevented the benevolent efforts of their opponents, by driving the intended objects of them beyond their reach. A short time after the letter of Mr. Hollis was received, the individual, in whose hands the Mohawk school had been left by the former teacher, removed with his family to his former place of re-sidence; leaving behind him only one of his associates at Stockbridge.
Sickness of Mr. Edwards- "Gods Last End in Creation"-"Nature of Virtue"-Mr. Edwards Second Son Resides at Onohquauga-Dangers of The War-Letter to Mr. Erskine-Letter to Col. Williams-Lord Kaimes-Letter to Mr. Erskine-Letter to Mr. M'Culloch-Letter of Dr. Bellamy-"Treatise on Original Sin"-Letter to His Father-Letter to Mr. Erskine.
In July, 1754, Mr. Edwards had a most severe attack of the ague and fever, which lasted until January. It wholly disqualified him from writing even to his correspondents, and greatly enfeebled his constitution. In the course of the spring following, he began the preparation of two other treatises, which were entitled, "A Disser-tation concerning the End for which God created the World;" and "A Dissertation concerning the Nature of True Virtue." These two subjects are fundamental in a system of theology. On the first, many writers had ha-zarded occasional remarks; yet it has rarely occupied the space even of a chapter or a section in theological sys-tems; and I know not whether any writer before Mr. Edwards had made it the subject of a formal and separate treatise. From the purest principles of reason, as well as from the fountain of revealed truth, he demonstrates that the chief and ultimate end of the Supreme Being, in the works of creation and providence, was the manifesta-tion of his own glory, in the highest happiness of his creatures. The treatise was left by the author, as at first written, without being prepared for the press; yet it exhi-bits the subject in a manner so clear and convincing, that it has been the manual of theologians from the time of its publication to the present.
The nature of virtue has been a frequent subject of dis-cussion among ethical writers of almost every class, heathen, infidel, and Christian. Aristotle, and other an-cient moralists, supposed virtue to consist in avoiding extremes, and in following the mean in everything. Others of the ancients defined virtue to be living according to nature. Balguy and Doddridge represent it as consisting in acting agreeably to the moral fitness of things. Wollaston places it in regard to truth. Hutcheson defines it to be "a quality apprehended in some actions which pro-duces approbation and love towards the actor, from those who receive no benefit from the action. Many writers, ancient and modern, have placed virtue in imitation of God; and many others in obedience to the will of God. Waterland, Rutherforth, and (John) Brown, have placed it in a wise regard to our own interest. Bishop Butler says, that "a due concern about our own interest or happiness, and a reasonable endeavour to promote it, is vir-tue;" and that "benevolence, singly considered, is in no sort the whole of virtue." Hume, who appears to have read several of the works or Edwards, and to have made use of them in accommodation to his own views, includes in his description of virtue, whatever is agreeable and useful to ourselves and others. Adam Smith refers it to the principal of sympathy. Paley, who read Edwards with care, defines virtue to be "The doing good to mankind in Obedience to the will of God, and for the sake of everlasting happiness." Cumberland, in his Laws of Nature, justly regards it as consisting in the love of God, and of our fellow-creatures, and explains himself thus, "The foundation of all natural law is the greatest benevolence of every rational agent towards all.
Mr. Edwards represents virtue as founded in HAPPINESS; and as being love to the greatest happiness, or love to the happiness of universal being. He describes it, as leading its possessor to desire, and to promote, as far as in him lies, the happiness of all beings, and a greater degree of happi-ness in preference to a less. His account of the subject is in exact accordance with the decision of reason. Happi-ness is the end, for which intelligent beings were made, the perfection of their existence; and therefore virtue, or moral excellence, must be love to that happiness. It is also in exact accordance with the Scriptures. The sum of our duty is unquestionably virtue. But Moses sums up our duty in two commands, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart" and "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself:" in other words, Thou shalt love the hap-piness of universal being.
When the Scriptures had so plainly pointed out the na-ture of virtue, as consisting in love; and its foundation, as being happiness; it is not a little remarkable, that so many acute writers, with the Scriptures in their hands, should have formed views either so obscure, or so errone-ous, of these subjects; and, perhaps not less remarkable, that Mr. Edwards should have been able to discover its true nature, and its real foundation, at a very early age, as clearly as he did in after-life. That this was the case, no one will want evidence, who reads the various articles un-der the head of Excellency, particularly the last, in the Notes on the Mind.
These two treatises were first published together in a pamphlet, in Boston, in 1788, without alteration from the rough draught of the author. He designed them both for publication, but never prepared either of them for the press. Though conceived and expressed with great perspicuity, they treat of subjects, which demand close thought in the reader, as well as the writer; and, on this account, have often been imperfectly comprehended, even by divines.
But wherever they have been read and understood, they have to such a degree formed and regulated the views of theologians, with regard to the subjects of which they treat, that other treatises are consulted, rather as objects of curiosity, or history, than as guides of opinions and principles.
In February, or early in March, this year, Mr. Ed-wards sent his second son, Jonathan then a lad of nine years of age, to Onohquauga, to reside with Mr. Hawley, that he might learn more perfectly the language of the Iro-quois. He continued there about a twelvemonth; when, in consequence of the war with France, the danger of at-tack from the Indians became so imminent, that Mr. Haw-ley returned with him to his father's house.
The war of 1754 was most disastrous to the colonies; and the frontier settlements of New England, of which Stockbridge was one, were exposed to unceasing anxiety and alarm, from their constant liability to attack from the French savages. In the autumn, several of the inhabitants of Stockbridge were killed by these marauders; in conse-quence of which it became a garrisoned town; and every family had quartered upon it its own quota of the solders, necessary for the defence of the place. The state of things, in this respect, may be learned from the following letter of Mr. Edwards, to the officer who had the command of the troops in that part of the county.
"Stockbridge, Feb. 26, 1755.
We have not lodgings and provisions, so as to board and lodge more than four soldiers; and being in a low state as to my health, and not able to go much abroad, and upon that and other accounts, under much greater disadvantages than others to get provisions, it is far this reason, and not because I have a disposition to make difficulty, that I told the soldiers of this province, who had hitherto been pro-vided for here, that we could not board them any longer. I have often been told that you had intimated, that you have other business for them in a short time. Captain Hosmer has sent three of his men to lodge at my house, whom I am willing to entertain, as I choose to board such as are likely to be continued for our defence in times of danger. Stebbins has manifested to us a desire to continue here. Him, therefore, I am willing to entertain, with your consent. Requesting your candid construction of that, which is not intended in any inconsistence with my having all proper honour and respect, I am
Your humble servant,
The subsequent letter to Mr. Erskine will show, still more fully, the state of alarm and terror then existing at Stockbridge.
"Stockbridge, April 15, 1755.
REV. AND DEAR SIR,
The last year, in the spring, I received, without a letter, a packet containing the following books: Casaubon on Enthusiasm; Warburton's Principles of Natural and Re-vealed Religion; Merrick on Christ the True Vine; Campbell's Apostles no Enthusiasts; Discourse on the Prevailing Evils of the Present Time; Remarks on Apostles no Enthusiasts; Moncrieff's Review and Ex-amination of some Principles in Campbell's Apostles no Enthusiasts; Gilbert on the Guilt and Pardon of Sin; Hervey on the Cross of Christ; An Account of the Or-phan School, &c. at Edinburgh; Memorial Concerning the Surgeon's Hospital, Gairdner's Account of the Old People's Hospital; State of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge; Abridgment of the Rules of said Society; Regulations of the Town's Hospital at Glasgow; and Annals of the Persecution of the Protestants in France.
In the beginning of last December, I received another packet without a letter; the wrapper superscribed with your hand. In this were the following pamphlets: A Sermon by a Lay Elder, before the Commission; A Let-ter to a Gentleman at Edinburgh; Resolutions of the General Assembly, of May 22d, 1736 ; Rutherford's Power of Faith and Prayer; Inquiry into the Method of Settling Parishes; The Nature of the Covenant and Constitution of the Church of Scotland; Essay on Gos-pel and Legal Preaching; Necessity of Zeal for the Truth; A Vindication of the Protestant Doctrine of Jus-tification, against the Charge of Antinomianism. The last week I received a letter from you, dated 11th July, 1754; which was found at Mr. Prince's by one that went to Boston from hence, and had Iain there Mr. Prince could not tell how long. In this letter you make mention of these last-mentioned pamphlets, received last December. I now return you my hearty thanks for this letter, and these generous presents. I should have written to you long ago, had I not been prevented by the longest and most tedious sickness that ever I had in my life: It being followed with fits of ague which came upon me about the middle of last July, and were for a long time very se-vere, and exceedingly wasted my flesh and strength, so that I became like a skeleton. I had several intermis-sions of the fits by the use of the Peruvian bark; but they never wholly left me till the middle of last January. In the mean time, I several times attempted to write let-ters to some of my friends about affairs of importance, but found that I could bear but little of such writing. Once, in attempting to write a letter to Mr. Burr, a fit of the ague came upon me while I was writing, so that I was obliged to lay by my pen. When my fits left me they left me in a poor weak state, so that I feared whe-ther I was not going into a dropsy. Nevertheless, I have of late gradually gained strength.
I lately received a letter from Mr. M'Laurin, dated Aug. 13, 1754; which Mr. Prince sent me, with a letter from himself, wherein he informed me that a captain of a ship from Glasgow, then lately arrived, brought an ac-count of Mr. M'Laurin's death; that he died very sud-denly, with an apoplexy, a little before he left Glasgow. Since I received that letter, I sent to Mr. Prince, desiring to know more of the certainty of the account. This is an affecting piece of news. It is an instance of death which I have much cause to lament. He has long shown him-self to be a very worthy, kind, and obliging friend and correspondent of mine. And doubtless, the church of Scotland has much cause to lament his death. There is reason to think that he was one of them that stood in the gap to make up the hedge in these evil times. He was a wise, steady, and most faithful friend of gospel truth and vital piety, in these days of great corruption I wish that I may take warning by it, as well as by my own late sickness, to prepare for my own departure hence.
I have nothing very comfortable to write respecting my own success in this place. The business of the Indian mission, since I have been here, has been attended with strange embarrassments, such as I never could have expect-ed, or so much as once dreamed of; of such a nature, and coming from such a quarter, that I take no de-light in being very particular and explicit upon it. But, beside what I especially refer to, some things have lately happened that have occasioned great disturbance among the Indians, and have tended to alienate them from the English. As particularly, the killing of one of them in the woods, by a couple of travellers, white men, who met him, and contended with him. And though the men were apprehended and imprisoned; yet on their trial they escaped the sentence of death: one of them only receiving a lighter punishment, as guilty of manslaughter by which these Indians, and also the Indians of some other tribes, were greatly displeased, and disaffected towards the English. Since the last fall, some Indians from Canada, doubtless instigated by the French, broke in upon us, on the sabbath, between meetings, and fell upon an English family, and killed three of them; and about an hour after killed another man, coming into the town from some dis-tant houses; which occasioned a great alarm in the town, and in the country. Multitudes came from various parts, for our defence, that night, and the next day; and many of these conducted very foolishly towards our Indians on this occasion, suspecting them to be guilty of doing the mischief, charging them with it, and threatening to kill them, and the like. After this, a reward being offered by some private gentlemen, to some that came this way as soldiers, if they would bring them the scalp of a Canada Indian; two men were so extremely foolish and wicked, that they, in the night, dug up one of our Indians, that had then lately died, out of his grave, to take off his scalp; that, by pretending that to be a scalp of a Canada Indian, whom they had met and killed in the woods, they might get the promised reward. When this was discovered, the men were punished. But this did not hinder, but that such an act greatly increased the jealousy and disaffection or the Indians, towards the English. Added to these things, we have many white people, that will, at all times, without any restraint, give them ardent spirits, which is a constant temptation to their most predominant lust.
Though I have but little success, and many discouragement, here at Stockbridge, yet Mr. Hawley, now a missionary among the Six Nations, who went from New England to Onohquauga, a place more than 200 miles distant from hence, has, of late, had much encouragement. Religion seems to be a growing, spreading thing, among the savages in that part of America, by his means. And there is a hopeful prospect, of way being made for another missionary in those parts, which may have happy consequences, unless the Six Nations should go over to the French; which there is the greatest reason to expect, un-less the English should exert themselves, vigorously and successfully, against the French, in America, this year. They seem to be waiting to see whether this will be so or no, in order to determine, whether they will entirely desert the English, and cleave to the French. And if the Six Nations should forsake the English, it may be expected, that the Stockbridge Indians, and almost all the nations of Indians in North America, will follow them. It seems to be the most critical season, with the British dominions in America, that ever was seen, since the first settlement of these colonies; and all, probably, will depend on the warlike transactions of the present year. What will be done I cannot tell. We are all in commotion, from one end of British America to the other; and various expe-ditions are projected, and preparing for; one to Ohio, an-other to the French Forts in Nova Scotia, another to Crown Point. But these affairs are not free from embar-rassments: great difficulties arise, in our present most important affairs, through the dispirited state of the several governments. It is hard for them to agree upon means and measures. And we have no reason to think that the French are behind us in their activity and preparations. A dark cloud seems to bang over us: we need the prayers of all our friends, and all friends to the protestant interest. Stockbridge is a place much exposed; and what will be-come of us, in the struggles that are coming on, God only knows. I have heard that Messrs. Tennent and Davies are arrived in America, having had good success in the errand they went upon. Mr. Bellamy is not likely to go to New York, principally by reason of the opposition of some of the congregation, and also of some of the neigh-bouring ministers. I have heard, they have lately unani-mously agreed to apply themselves to Mr. M'Gregor, of New Londonderry, alias Nutfield, in New England, to be their minister; who is a gentleman that, I think, if they can obtain him, will be likely to suit them, and competent to fill the place. And I have heard, that there has been some difference in his own congregation, that has lately made his situation there uneasy. If so, he will be more likely to consent to the motion from New York.
My wife joins with me in respectful and affectionate salutations to you and Mrs. Erskine.
I am, dear Sir, your affectionate and obliged brother,
"P.S. In a journey I went to Northampton, the last April, I carried the foregoing letter, with others for Scot-land, so far, seeking an opportunity to send them from thence to Boston; and there I met another letter from Mr. Prince, with a joyful contradiction of his former ac-count of Mr. M'Laurin's death; which occasioned my bringing my packet home again. Nevertheless, after I had broken open and perused this letter, I thought best to send it along, enclosed in a wrapper to Mr. M'Laurin; who, I hope, is yet living, and will convey it to you.
Stockbridge, June 2, 1753."
In the beginning of September, the danger became so imminent, that Mr. Edwards, at the request of the people of the town, addressed the following urgent letter to the colonel of the county.
"To Col. Israel Williams.
Stockbridge, Sept. 5, 1755.
Yesterday the English inhabitants of the town sent away a letter, directed to you, to be conveyed to Hatfield, respecting the state of the town, stating that it was left very greatly exposed, by the drawing off of all the Con-necticut soldiers; that Governor Shirley, by his urgency, had persuaded away almost all the Indian inhabitants fit for war, who objected much against going, on that ac-count, that the departure of so many would leave the town, and their wives and children too, defenceless; that the governor removed their objection, by promising that a sufficient number of English soldiers should be maintained here, during their absence, for the defence of the town; and also, that we had just now information sent in writing, from Mr. Vanschaak, that two large parties of Indians are lately gone out of Crown Point, against our frontiers; and so entreating that soldiers may be speedily sent. But being informed today, that you are gone from Hatfield, and not knowing whether you will seasonably receive the aforementioned letter, I now, at the desire of the people, give you this brief information of what was therein writ-ten; earnestly desiring, that we may not be left so easy and open a prey to our enemies, who, we have reason to think, have the means of learning our situation, and are certainly preparing to attack some of the most defenceless of the frontier villages. We hope that the troops may be forwarded immediately; for, having no adequate means of repelling an attack, we have no security for a single day.
I am respecfully,
Your obedient servant,
In 1751, an anonymous work was published in Edinburgh, entitled "Essays on the Principles of Mo-rality and Natural Religion," of which Henry Home, Esq. soon avowed himself the author. These essays, though written by a member of the church of Scotland, were regarded as decidedly sceptical in their tendency, and brought the author into some difficulties with the particular church with which he was connected. This led to a public discussion of the character of the work at large-particularly of the Essay on Liberty and Neces-sity. When this discussion was commencing, the Essay on the Freedom of the Will arrived in Scotland. It was extensively read by men of speculative minds; and, though presenting a view of the subject wholly new, gave great satisfaction to men of all classes. Lord Kaimes and his friends, having read the work of Mr. Edwards, en-deavoured to show that the view of liberty and necessity, in the Freedom of the Will, was substantially the same with that given by his lordship. Mr. Erskine ap-prized Mr. Edwards of this fact. In the following letter, the latter barely alludes to the work of Lord Kaimes, as a work of corrupt tendency. In a subsequent letter to his friends, written in the summer of the following year, and now appended to the Treatise on the Freedom of the Will, he examines the views of liberty and necessity by his lordship, shows their entire discordance with his own views, as exhibited in the Freedom of the Will, and ex-poses their inconsistency, not only with reason but with each other. This letter, from a sense of justice to its author, was immediately published, in the form of a pamphlet, by Mr. Erskine, and produced a universal conviction, that Lord Kaimes had wholly misunderstood the view taken of liberty and necessity by Mr. Edwards; and that his own views of it were at war, alike with reason and revela-tion. Indeed, his lordship himself appears to have been of the same opinion; for, in a subsequent edition, the Essay on Liberty and Necessity is said to have been much changed, as to present essentially different views of those important subjects.
"To the Rev. John Erskine, Minister of the Gospel, at Culross, Scotland.
Stockbridge, Dec. 11, 1755.
REV. AND DEAR SIR,
I last wrote to you July 24th, 1755. Since that I re-ceived a letter from you, dated June 23, 1755, together with the Essays on the Principles of Morality and Natural Religion, (note; by Lord Kaine) from Mr. Hogg, and the Analysis of the Moral and Religious Sentiments of Sopho, from yourself. I thank you for your letter and present, and shall write a letter of thanks to Mr. Hogg, for his present by your band, added to former instances of his generosity. I had before read that book of Essays, having borrowed Mr. Bellamy's, and also that book of Mr. David Hume's, which you speak of. I am glad of an opportunity to read such cor-rupt books, especially when written by men of consider-able genius; that I may have an idea of the notions that prevail in our nation. You say that some people say, that Lord Kaimes's being made a Lord of Session would have been prevented, if Chancellor Hardwick and Archbishop Herring had seasonably seen his book. I should be glad to know who this Chancellor Hardwick is, and what is his character. By your mentioning him in such a manner, I am ready to suppose he may be, in some respects, of good character; and it is a matter of thankfulness, if a man of good character, and a friend to religion, be Lord Chancellor.
As to our warlike concerns, I have not heretofore been very particular in writing about them, in my letters to Scotland, supposing it highly probable that you would have earlier accounts from Boston, New York, and Phi-ladelphia, than any I can send you, living at so great a distance from any of the sea-ports. Nevertheless, seeing you propose my sending you some account of the present posture of affairs, I would say, that it appears to me that notwithstanding some remarkable favours of Heaven, of which we are very unworthy, it has in the general been a year of great frowns of Providence on British America. Notwithstanding our success at Nova Scotia, and in hav-ing the better in the battle near Lake George, and taking the French general prisoner; yet, considering the advan-tages the enemy hath obtained against us, by General Braddock's defeat, especially in gaining over and con-firming the Indians on their side, and disheartening and wakening our friends, and what we have suffered from our enemies, and how greatly we are weakened and almost sunk with our vast expenses, especially in New England, and the blood as well as money we have expended; I say, considering these things, and how little we have gained by our loss and trouble, our case is no better, but far worse than it was in the beginning of the year. At least I think it certain, that we have attained no advan-tage, in any wise, to balance our trouble and expense of blood and treasure. The expedition to the eastward has been remarkably successful; but the other three expe-ditions, that against the French forts on the Ohio, that against Niagara, and that against Crown Point, have all been unsuccessful, as to their main designs. And though the army under General Johnson had a kind of victory over the French, and took the Baron Dieskau, their general, prisoner; yet we suffered very greatly in the battle, and the taking of the French general probably, was the saving of his army. For, by telling a lie to our army, viz. that the French were in constant expec-tation of being greatly enforced by a large body, that marched another way, and had appointed to meet them near that place, our army was prevented from pursuing the enemy, after they had repelled them; which, if they had done, the French might have been under great advan-tages to have cut them off, and prevented the return of almost all of them to Crown Point, which could be no otherwise than through the water in their batteaux. Our army never proceeded any farther than the place of their engagement; but, having built a fort there, near Lake George, alias Lake St. Sacrament, after they had built another near Hudson's river, about fourteen miles on this side, and left garrisons, has lately returned. As also has the army under General Shirley, (who went with designs against Niagara,) after having built some vessels of force in the lake Ontario, and strengthened the fortifications at Oswego, and sent for the remains of General Braddock's army to Albany, there to go into winter quarters. The governors of the several provinces, in the latter part of the last month, had a meeting to confer together, concerning our warlike affairs, and to agree on a plan of operations to be recommended to the government at home for the next year. But I have heard nothing of their determinations. The Indians have not done much mischief on the frontiers of New England, since our army have been about us; but have been dreadful in their ravages, on the back set-tlements of Virginia and Pennsylvania.
It is apparent that the ministry at home miss it very much, in sending over British forces to fight with Indians in America, and in sending over British officers, to have the command of our American forces. Let them send us arms, ammunition, money, and shipping; and let New England men manage the business in their own way, who alone understand it. To appoint British officers over them, is nothing but a hindrance and discouragement to them. Let them be well supplied, and supported, and defended by sea, and then let them go forth under their own officers and manage in their own way, as they did in the expedition against Cape Breton. All the provinces in America seem to be fully sensible, that New England men are the only men to be employed against Canada; as I had opportunity abundantly to observe, in my late journey to New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. However, we ought to remember that neither New Eng-land men, nor any other, are any thing unless God be with us; and when we have done all, at finding fault with men and instruments employed, we cannot expect prosperity, unless the accursed thing be removed from our camp.
God has lately frowned on my family, in taking away a faithful servant, who was a great help to us; and one of my children has been under threatening infirmities, but is somewhat better. I desire your prayers for us all.
My wife joins with me in affectionate and respectful salutations to you and Mrs. Erskine.
I am, Rev, and dear Sir.
Your obliged brother,
And affectionate friend.
JONATHAN EDWARDS. "
The effect of the war on the Indian mission will be seen from the following letter to Mr. M'Culloch.
"Stockbridge, April 10, 1756.
REV. AND DEAR SIR,
I thank you for your favour of August, 1755, with Mr Imries's letter, which came to hand in the latter part of the last month. It recommends a man, especially a minister of the gospel, to me, to see in him evidences of a disposi-tion to be searching into the prophecies of Scripture, relat-ing to the future advancement of Christ's kingdom on earth. It looks as though he was a man, who felt concern for Christ's kingdom and interests in the world; as though lie were one of those, who took pleasure in the stones, and favoured the dust of Zion. But it has proved by events, that many divines, who have been of this character, have been over-forward to fix the times and the seasons, which the Father bath put in his own power. However, I will not positively charge Mr. Imries with this, before I see what he has to offer, in proof of those things which he has advanced. I think that neither I nor any other person, that knows no more than what s contained in his letter, of the reasons that he builds his opinions upon, have any opportunity to judge of those opinions. And therefore I should think it a pity that his private letter to Mr. Hogg was published to the world, before his reasons were pre-pared for the press. This letter has been reprinted in Bos-ton; but coming abroad, with so little mention of the grounds of his opinion, it gives occasion to the profane to reproach and ridicule it, and its author.
With respect to Mr. Hawley, and Mr Brainerd, and their Indians, concerning which you desire to be informed; the correspondents have altered their determination, from time to time, with respect to Mr. Brainerd and his Indians. They seemed inclined at first to their removal to Waw-woming, alias Wyoming, and then to Onohquauga, and then to Wyoming again; and finally, about a twelve-month ago, they wholly dismissed him from employ as a missionary to the Indians, and pastor to the Indian church at Bethel. I cannot say I am fully satisfied with their conduct in doing this so hastily; nor do I pretend to know so much, concerning the reasons of their conduct, as to have sufficient grounds positively to condemn their proceedings. However, the congregation is, not wholly left as sheep without a shepherd, and are in part committed to the care of Mr. William Tennent, who lives not far off, and is a faithful, zealous minister, who visits them, and preaches to them, once a week ; but I think not often upon the sabbath. The last fall, I was in New Jersey and Philadelphia, and was present at a meeting of the correspondents; when Mr. Tennent gave an agreeable account of the then present state of these Indians, with respect to religion, and also of their being in better circumstances, as to their lands, than they had been. Mr Brainerd was then at Newark with his family, where he had been preaching, as a probationer for settlement, ever since Mr. Burr's dismission from that place, on account of his business as president of the college. But whether Mr. Brainerd is settled, or like to settle there, I have not heard. At the forementioned meeting of the correspondents, I used some arguments, to induce them to re-establish Mr. Brainerd, in his former employ with his Indians, and to send them to Onohquauga. But I soon found it would be fruitless to urge the matter. What was chiefly insisted on, as an insuperable obstacle to Mr. Brainerd's going, with his family, so far into the wilderness, was Mrs. Brainerd's very infirm state. Whether there was indeed any sufficient objection to such a removal, at that time, or no; Divine Providence has, since that, so ordered the state and consequences of the war, sub-sisting here in America, that insuperable obstacles are laid in the way of their removal, either to Onohquauga, Wawwoming, or any other parts of America, that way. The French, by their indefatigable endeavours with the nation of the Delawares, so called, from their ancient seat about Delaware river, though now chiefly residing on the Susquehannah and its branches, have stirred them up to make war on the English; and dreadful have been the ravages and desolations, which they have made of late, on the back parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. They are the principal nation inhabiting the parts about Susquehannah river, on which both Wyoming and Onoh-quauga stand. The latter indeed is above the bounds of their country, but yet not very far from them; and the Delaware Indians are frequently there, as they go to and fro; on which account there is great danger, that Mr. Hawley's mission and ministry there will be entirely broken up. Mr. Hawley came from there about two months ago, with one of my sons, about ten years old; who had been there with him near a twelvemonth, to learn the Mohawk language. He has since been to Boston, to consult the commissioners for Indian affairs, that have employed him, and returned: and yesterday went from my house, to meet some of his Indians, at an appointed time and place in the Mohawk country; to determine with them, whether it will be safe for him to return to abide with them. If not, yet will he be under the pay of the commissioners till next fall, and the issue be seen of the two expeditions now in prosecution, one against Crown Point, the other against the French forts at Frontenac and Niagara, near Lake Ontario; which may possibly make a great alteration, as to the state of the war with the In-diana. If Mr. Hawley determines not to return to Onoh-quauga this spring, he will probably go as chaplain to the Indians, in General Shirley's army, in the expedition to Lake Ontario.
You speak of the vast superiority of the numbers, the English, in America, to those of the French; and that some therefore think, the settlements of the former are in no great danger from the latter. Though it be true, that the French are twenty times less than we are in number, yet it may be a question, whether other things, in which they exceed us, when all jointly considered, will not more than counterbalance all our excess of numbers. They vastly exceed us in subtilty and intrigue, in vigilance and activity, in speed and secrecy; in acquaintance with the continent of North America, in all parts west of the British settlements, for many hundred leagues, the rivers, lakes, and mountains, the avenues and passes; and also in the influence they have among the various tribes and nations of Indians, and in their constant skill and indefatigable diligence in managing them, to alienate them from the English, attach them firmly to themselves, and employ them as their tools. Beside the vast advantage they have, in time of war, in having all united under the absolute command of one man, the governor of Canada; while we are divided into a great many distinct governments, independent of one another, and, in some respects, of clashing interests; interests which unspeakably clog and embarrass our affairs, and make us, though a great yet an unwieldy, unmanageable body, and an easy prey to our vigilant, secret, subtle, swift and active, though comparatively small, enemy.
As to a description of the situation of those parts you mention, I can give you no better than you have, in many that abound in Great Britain. With respect to the situation of Stockbridge, it is not in the province of New York, as you have been informed, but in the utmost border of the province of Massachusetts, on the west, next to the province of New York; about 40 miles west of Connecticut river, about 25 miles east of Hudson's river, and about 35 miles south east from Albany; a place exposed in this time of war. Four persons were killed here, in the beginning of September, 1754, by Canada Indians; which occasioned a great alarm to us, and to a great part of New England. Since then we have had many alarms; but God has preserved us.
I desire your prayers that we may still be preserved, and that God would be with me and my family, and people, and bless us in all respects. My wife and family join with me, in their respects to you and yours.
I am, dear Sir,
Your affectionate brother and servant,
In consequence of the ill success attending the British arms, during the campaign of 1756, the danger of the frontiers became extreme, and the friends of Mr. Edwards were, for a time, exceedingly anxious for his personal safety. Mr. Bellamy, at this period, sent him the follow-ing kind invitation, to look to Bethlem, as the place of retreat, for himself and his family.
"Bethlem, May 31, 1756
I am in pain, fearing our army against Crown Point will be defeated. God only knows how it will be. Your own discretion will make you sufficiently speedy, to secure yourself and family. We stand as ready to receive you, and any of your family, to all the comforts our house af-fords, as if you were our children. I am greatly interested in your safety.-I am concerned for Mr. Hawley. I fear he will be too venturesome, and fling away his life for nothing-I wish, if you know how to get one along, you would send him a letter.-Our youngest child still remains somewhat unwell The Indian boys grow more and more easy and content, but they love play too well-are very ignorant-and very stupid, as to the things of religion- and in arithmetic, when I would teach them any thing that is a little difficult, they are soon discouraged, and don't love to try. So I take them off, and put them to writing again-designing, by little and little, to get them along. They will not endure hardship, and bend their minds to business, like English boys. It seems they were never taught their catechism. Shall I teach it? I have got three Bibles: but have not yet given them to the boys, they are so ignorant. I expect you will give me any in-structions you think proper: and remain. Rev. Sir,
Your unworthy friend and servant,
It is probable that Mr. Edwards began his Treatise on Original Sin about this period. and that he devoted the leisure hours of the summer, autumn, and winter, to the preparation of that work. The date of the author's preface, May 26, 1757, shows the time when it was finished for the press.
The views of Mr. Edwards, in this treatise, are these: that there is a tendency in human nature, prevailing and effectual, to that sin, which implies the utter ruin of all; that this tendency originates in the sin of Adam, of which the whole race are imputed the partakers; and that this tendency consists, in their being left of God, at their original, in the possession of merely human appetites and passions, in themselves "innocent," and without the influx of those superior principles, which come from divine in-fluences. The only guilt, attributed by him to mankind, before they come to the exercise of moral agency them-selves, is that of participating in the apostasy of Adam, in consequence of the original constitution of God, which made him and his race "one."
He supposes this tendency to sin, pertaining to men, at their original, to constitute the subject of it a sinner, only, because he regards him as a participator in that sin, by which Adam apostatized, with his whole race. This tendency he calls "sinful," "corrupt," "odious," &c., because it is a tendency "to that moral evil, by which the subject of it becomes odious in the sight of God." (Part 1. Chap. II. Sect. III.) He supposes that infants, who have this tendency in their nature, are, as yet, "sinners, only by the one act or offence of Adam; " and, that "they have not renewed the act of sin themselves." (Part I. Chap. IV.) He utterly denies any positive agency of God, in produc-ing sin; and resolves the tendency to sin, into the "inno-cent principles" of human nature; (which God might create, without sin;) and the withholding of that positive influence, from which spring superior and divine prin-ciples:-which act of withholding, is not infusing, or positively creating, any thing. These "innocent principles"-such as hunger and thirst, love and hatred, desire and fear, joy and sorrow, and self-love, as distinguished from selfishness,-which are necessary to the nature of man, and belong to him, whether holy or sinful, are not, in his view, sin. They barely constitute the growth of certainty, that the being, who has them, will sin, as soon as he is capable of sinning, if that positive influence, from which spring superior and divine principles, is withheld; and, in this relation, they are spoken of, under the general designation, "a tendency," "a propensity," &c. to sin.
The views of Imputation, contained in this work, are such, as had been long and extensively entertained; yet some of them, certainly, are not generally received, at present. With this exception, the Treatise on Original Sin is regarded as the standard work, on the subject of which it treats; and is doubtless the ablest defence of the doctrine of human depravity, and of the doctrine that that depravity is the consequence of the sin of Adam, which has hitherto appeared.
The father of Mr. Edwards, as the reader may remem-ber, on account of the increasing infirmities of age, had requested his people to settle a colleague in the ministry in 1752, but continued to preach to them regularly until the summer of 1755, when he was in his eighty-seventh year. The following letter, probably the last ever written to him by his son, shows the gradual decline of his health and strength, during the two following years.
"To the Rev Timothy Edwards, East Windsor.
Stockbridge, March 24, 1757.
I take this opportunity just to inform you, that, through the goodness of God, we are all in a comfortable state of health, and that we have heard, not long since, of the wel-fare of our children in New Jersey and Northampton. I intend, God willing, to be at Windsor some time near the beginning of June; proposing then to go a journey to Boston. I intended to have gone sooner; but I foresee such hindrances, as will probably prevent my going till that time. We rejoice much to hear, by Mr. Andrewson, of your being so well as to he able to baptize a child at your own house the sabbath before last. We all unite in duty to you and my honoured mother, and in respectful and affectionate salutations to sisters and cousins; and in a request of a constant remembrance in your prayers.
I am, honoured Sir,
Your dutiful son,
Not long after Mr. Edwards had forwarded to Mr. Erskine his vindication of himself, against the charge of having advanced, in the Freedom of the Will, the same views of liberty and necessity, with those exhibited by Lord Kaimes; he received from his friend a pamphlet, entitled "Objections to the Essays on the Principles of Morality and Natural Religion examined;" in which the opinion was directly advanced, that, if it were really true, (as Mr. Edwards had insisted and demonstrated in the Freedom of the Will,) that there is no liberty of contin-gence, nor self-determining power in the will, as opposed to moral necessity, or the certain connexion between motives and volitions; yet it was best for mankind, that the truth, in this respect, should not be known, because, in that case, they would not regard either themselves, or others, as de-serving of praise or blame for their conduct. In the following letter, Mr. Edwards exposes the folly and absurdity of this opinion; and explains, in a remarkably clear and convincing manner, the practical bearing of the great principles advanced in the Freedom of the Will, on the subject of salvation. This letter might well have been published at the time, and circulated through the church at large. And we recommend it to the frequent and prayerful perusal both of those ministers, who cannot clearly comprehend the distinction between physical and moral inability, and of those who do not perceive the importance of explaining and enforcing this distinction from the pulpit; as exhibiting the consequences of repre-senting impenitent sinners, to be possessed of any other inability to repent and believe, than mere unwillingness, in a manner too awful to be resisted, by a conscientious mind.
"To Mr. Erskine.
Stockbridge, August 3, 1757.
REV. AND DEAR SIR,
In June last, I received a letter from you, dated January 22, 1757, with 'Mr. Anderson's Complaint veri-fied,' and 'Objections to the Essays examined.' For these things, I now return my hearty thanks.
The conduct of the vindicator of the 'Essays,' from objections made against them, seems to be very odd. Many things are produced from Calvin, and several Cal-vinistic writers, to defend what is not objected against. His book is almost wholly taken up about that which is nothing to the purpose; perhaps only to amuse and blind the common people. According to your proposal, I have drawn up something, stating the difference between my hypothesis, and that of the Essays; which I have sent to you, to be printed in Scotland, if it be thought best; or to be disposed of as you think proper. I have written it in a letter to you; and if it be published, it may be as 'A letter from me to a minister in Scotland.' Lord Kaimes's notion of God's deceiving mankind, by a kind of invinci-ble or natural instinct or feeling, leading them to suppose, that they have a liberty of contingence and self-determination of will, in order to make them believe themselves and others worthy to be blamed or praised for what they do, is a strange notion indeed; and it is hard for me to con-jecture, what his views could be, in publishing such things to the world.
However, by what I have heard, some others seem to be so far of the same mind, that they think, that if it be really true, that there is no self-determining power in the will, as opposed to any such moral necessity, as I speak of, consisting in a certain connexion between motives and volitions, it is of a mischievous tendency to say any thing of it; and that it is best that the truth in this matter should not be known by any means. I cannot but be of an extremely different mind. On the contrary, I think that the notion of liberty, consisting in a contingent self-determination of the will, as necessary to the morality of men's dispositions and actions, is almost inconceivably pernicious; and that the contrary truth is one of the most important truths of moral philosophy, that ever was dis-cussed, and most necessary to be known; and that for want of it, those schemes of morality and religion, which are a kind of infidel schemes, entirely diverse from the virtue and religion of the Bible, and wholly inconsistent with, and subversive of, the main things belonging to the gospel scheme, have so vastly and so long prevailed, and have stood in such strength. And I think, whoever imagines that he, or any body else, shall ever see the doctrines of grace effectually maintained against these adversaries, till the truth in this matter be settled, imagines a vain thing. For, allow these adversaries what they maintain in this point, and I think they have strict demonstration against us. And not only have these errors a most per-nicious influence, in the public religious controversies that are maintained in the world; but such sort of notions have a more fatal influence many ways, on the minds of all ranks, in all transactions between God and their souls. The longer I live, and the more I have to do with the souls of men, in the work of the ministry, the more I see of this. Notions of this sort are one of the main hinderances of the success of the preaching of the word, and other means of grace, in the conversion of sinners. This especially ap-pears, when the minds of sinners are affected with some concern for their souls, and they are stirred up to seek their salvation. Nothing is more necessary for men, in such circumstances, than thorough conviction and humiliation; than that their consciences should be properly convinced of their real guilt and sinfulness in the sight of God, and their deserving of his wrath. But who is there, that has had experience of the work of a minister, in dealing with souls in such circumstances, that does not find that the thing, that mainly prevents this, is men's excusing them-selves with their own inability, and the moral necessity of those things, wherein their exceeding guilt and sinfulness in the sight of God most fundamentally and mainly con-sist: such as, living from day to day without one spark of true love to the God of infinite glory, and the fountain of all good; their having greater complacency in the little vile things of this world, than in him; their living in a rejection of Christ, with all his glorious benefits and dying love; and after all the exhibition of his glory and grace, having their hearts still as cold as a stone towards him; and their living in such ingratitude, for that infinite mercy of his laying down his life for sinners They, it may be, think of some instances of lewd behaviour, lying, dis-honesty, intemperance, profaneness, &c. But the grand principles of iniquity, constantly abiding and reigning, from whence all proceeds, are all overlooked. Conscience does not condemn them for those things, because they cannot love God of themselves, they cannot believe of them-selves, and the like. They rather lay the blame of these things, and their other reigning wicked dispositions of heart, to God, and secretly charge him with all the blame. These things are very much for want of being thoroughly in-structed in that great and important truth, that a bad will, or an evil disposition of heart, itself, is wickedness. It is wickedness, in its very being, nature, and essence, and not merely the occasion of it, or the determining influence, that it was at first owing to. Some, it may be, will say, 'they own it is their fault that they have so bad a heart, that they have no love to God, no true faith in Christ, no gratitude to him, because they have been careless and slothful in times past, and have not used means to obtain a better heart, as they should have done.' And it may be, they are taught, 'that they are to blame for their wicked-ness of heart, because they, as it were, brought it on them-selves, in Adam, by the sin which he voluntarily commit-ted, which sin is justly charged to their account;' which perhaps they do not deny. But how far are these things from being a proper conviction of their wickedness, in their enmity to God and Christ. To be convinced of the sin of something that, long ago, was the occasion of their enmity to God; and to be convinced of the wickedness of the enmity itself; are quite two things. And if sinners, under some awakening, find the exercise of corruption of heart, as it appears in a great many ways; in their medi-tations, prayers, and other religious duties, and on occa-sion of their fears of hell, &c. &c.; still, this notion of their inability to help it, excusing them, will keep them from proper conviction of sin herein. Fears of hell tend to convince men of the hardness of their hearts. But then, when they find how hard their hearts are, and how far from a proper sensibility and affection in things of religion; they are kept from properly condemning themselves for it, from the moral necessity, or inability, which attends it. For the very notion of hardness of heart implies moral inability. The harder the heart is, the more dead is it in sin, and the more unable to exert good affections and acts Thus the strength of sin is made the excuse for sin. And thus I have known many under fears of hell, justifying, or excusing, themselves, at least implicitly in horrid workings of enmity against God, in blasphemous thoughts, &c.
It is of great importance, that they that are seeking their own salvation, should be brought off from all dependence on their own righteousness; but these notions above all things prevent it. They justify themselves in the sincerity of their endeavours. They say to themselves, that they do what they can; they take great pains; and though there be great imperfection in what they do, and many evil workings of heart arise, let these they-cannot help: here moral necessity, or inability, comes in as an excuse. Things of this kind have visibly been the main hinderance of the true humiliation and conversion of sinners, in the times of awakening that have been in this land, every where, in all parts, as I have had opportunity to observe, in very many places. When the gospel is preached, and its offers and invitations and motives most powerfully urged, and some hearts stand out, here is their strong hold, their sheet-anchor. Were it not for this, they would either comply, or their hearts would condemn them for their horrid guilt in not complying. And if the law of God be preached in its strictness and spirituality, yet conscience is not properly convinced by it. They justify themselves with their inability; and the design and end of the law, as a school-master to fit them for Christ, is defeated. Thus both the law and the gospel are prevented from having their proper effect.
The doctrine of a self-determining will, as the ground of all moral good and evil, tends to prevent any proper exercises of faith in God and Christ, in the affair of our salvation, as it tends to prevent all dependence upon them. For, instead of this, it teaches a kind of absolute independ-ence on all those things, that are of chief importance in this affair; our righteousness depending originally on our own acts, as self-determined. Thus our own holiness is from ourselves, as its determining cause, and its original and highest source. And as for imputed righteousness, that should have any merit at all in it, to be sure there can be no such thing. For self-determination is necessary to praise and merit. But what is imputed from another is not from our self-determination or action. And truly, in this scheme, man is not dependent on God; but God is rather dependent on man in this affair: for he only operates consequentially in acts, in which he depends on what he sees we determine and do first.
The nature of true faith implies a disposition to give all the glory of our salvation to God and Christ But this notion is inconsistent with it, for it in effect gives the glory wholly to man. For that is the very doctrine that is taught, that the merit and praise is his, whose is the original and effectual determination of the praiseworthy deed. So that, on the whole, I think it must be a mi-racle, if ever men are converted that have imbibed such notions as these, and are under their influence in their religious concerns
Yea, these notions tend effectually to prevent men's ever seeking after conversion, with any earnestness. It is manifest that men never will be in earnest in this matter, till their consciences are awakened, and they are made sen-sible of God's anger, and their danger of suffering the terrible effects of it. But that stupidity, which is opposed to this awakening, is upheld chiefly by these two things: their insensibility of their guilt, in what is past and pre-sent, and their flattering themselves, as to what is future. These notions of liberty of indifference, contingence, and self-determination, as essential to guilt or merit, tend to preclude all sense of any great guilt for past of present wickedness. As has been observed already, all wickedness of heart is excused, as what, in itself considered, brings no guilt. And all that the conscience has to recur to, to find any guilt, is the first wrong determination of the will, in some bad conduct, before that wickedness of heart existed, that was the occasion of introducing or con-firming it. Which determination arose contingently from a state of indifference. And how small a matter does this at once bring men's guilt to, when all the main things, wherein their wickedness consists, are passed over. And indeed the more these principles are pursued, the more and more must guilt vanish, till at last it comes to nothing, as may easily be shown.
And with respect to self-flattery and presumption, as to what is future, nothing can possibly be conceived more directly tending to it, than a notion of liberty, at all times possessed, consisting in a power to determine one's own will to good or evil; which implies a power men have, at all times, to determine them to repent and turn to God. And what can more effectually encourage the sinner, in present delays and neglects, and imbolden him to go on in sin, in a presumption of having his own salvation at all times at his command? And this notion of self-deter-mination and self-dependence, tends to prevent, or ener-vate, all prayer to God for converting grace, for why should men earnestly cry to God for his grace, to deter-mine their hearts to that which they must he determined to of themselves. And indeed it destroys the very notion of conversion itself. There can properly be no such thing, or any thing akin to what the Scripture speaks of conver-sion, renovation of the heart, regeneration, &c. if growing good, by a number of self-determined acts, are all that is required, or to be expected.
Excuse me, Sir, for troubling you with so much on this head. I speak from the fulness of my heart. What I have long seen of the dreadful consequences of these pre-valent notions every where, and what I am convinced will still be their consequences so long as they continue to pre-vail, fills me with concern. I therefore wish that the affair were more thoroughly looked into, and searched to the very bottom.
I have reserved a copy of this letter, and also of my other to you, dated July 25, intending to send them to Mr. Burr, to be by him conveyed, by the way of New York or Philadelphia. Looking on these letters as of special importance, I send duplicates, lest one copy should fail. The packet, in which I enclose this, I cover to Mr. Gillies, and send to Boston, to the care of Mr. Hyslop, to be conveyed to Mr. Gillies. But yet have desired him, if he has a more direct opportunity, to convey the packet to Edinburgh, by the way of London, then to put a wrapper over the whole, inscribed to you; and to write to you, desiring you to break open the packet, and take out the letters which belong to you.
You will see, Sir, something of our sorrowful state, on this side of the water, by my letter to Mr. M'Culloch. O, Sir, pray for us; and pray in particular, for
Your affectionate and obliged
Friend and brother,
Death of President Burr - His Character - Mr. Edwards Chosen his Successor - Letters of Mrs. Burr - To a Gentleman in Scotland - To a Gentleman in Boston - To her Mother - Letter of Mr. Edwards, To the Trustees of the College - Letter of Mrs. Burr, To her Father - Letter to Dr. Bellamy - Council Dis-miss Mr. Edwards - Inauguration as President - First Sermon at Princeton - Sickness - Death - Letter of Dr Shippen - Letters of Mrs. Edwards, And of Her Daughter, To Mrs. Burr - Death of Mrs. Burr - Death of Mrs. Edwards.
THE Rev. Aaron Burr, president of the college at Princeton, and the son-in-law of Mr. Edwards, died, on the 24th of September, 1757, two days before the public commencement. He was a native of Fairfield, Connec-ticut, was born in 1716, and was graduated at Yale col-lege in 1735. In 1738, be was ordained, as pastor of the Presbyterian church at Newark. In 1748, he was unanimously elected president of the college, as successor to Mr. Dickinson. Though possessed of a slender and delicate constitution, he joined, to uncommon talents for the despatch of business, a constancy of mind, that commonly secured to him success. The flourishing state of the college, at the time of has death, was chiefly owing to his great and assiduous exertions. Until the autumn of 1755, he discharged the duties, both of president and pastor of the church Mr. Burr was greatly respected, in every station and relation of life. He was a man of acknowledged talents of sound, practical good sense, of unimpeachable integrity, and of ardent piety. Polished in his manners, he had uncommon powers in conversation, and possessed the happy art of inspiring all around him with cheerfulness As a reasoner, he was clear and solid, and as a preacher, animated, judicious, fervent, and suc-cessful. He had warm affections, was greatly endeared to his family and friends, and was open, fair, and honourabie in all his intercourse with mankind. During the period of his presidency, he secured the high esteem and confidence of all who were interested in the college.- In the latter part of July, or the beginning of August, being in a low state of health, he made a rapid and exhausting visit to Stockbridge, in a very hot, sultry season. He soon returned to Princeton, and went immediately to Elizabeth-town; where, on the 19th of August, he made an attempt, before the legislature, to procure the legal exemption of the students from military duty. On the 21st, at Newark, being much indisposed, he preached an extemporaneous funeral sermon, in consequence of a death in the family of his successor. He then returned to Princeton, and, in a few days, went to Philadelphia, on the business of the college. On the way, his disorder took the form of an intermittent fever. On his return, he learned that his friend, Governor Belcher, died at Elizabeth-town, on the 31st of August, and that he had been designated to preach the funeral sermon. His wife, perceiving his increasing illness, besought him to spare himself, and decline the undertaking; but he felt himself bound, if possible, to perform it. Having devoted the afternoon of Sept 2nd, to the task of preparing the sermon, in the midst of a high fever, which was succeeded by delirium in the night, he rode the next day to Elizabeth-town, about forty miles, and, on the 4th, in a state of extreme languor and exhaus-tion, when it was obvious to every one, that he ought to have been confined to a sick bed, he with great difficulty preached the sermon. He returned to Princeton the fol-lowing day; and his disorder immediately assumed the character of a fixed and violent fever, seated on the nerves. At the approach of death, that gospel, which he had preached to others, gave him unfailing support He was patient and resigned, and cheered with the liveliest hope at a happy immortality.
The Corporation of the college met, two days after his death, and on the saint day made choice or Mr. Edwards as his successor.
Some of the circumstances, connected with the sickness and death of her husband, are alluded to in the following letter from Mrs. Burr, to a gentleman in Scotland, written soon after Mr. Burr's decease.
I flatter myself I shall not be thought intrusive, if I ac-knowledge, in a few lines, the receipt of your letter, dated in August, to my late dear husband, which reached me after he was beyond the reach of all mortal things The affectionate regard that you express for one, who was dearer to me than my own life, was extremely affecting to me; nor can I forgive myself, if I neglect to acknowledge it, in terms of lively gratitude. You, Sir, had a large share, with me, in that dear good man's heart, which he often expressed, with the warmest affection. I thought it might not be improper, to lay your letter before the trustees, as they were then convened, and it chiefly con-cerned the college; and then I sent it to my honoured father, the Rev. Mr. Edwards, who is chosen to succeed my dear husband; which, I hope, will be grateful to the friends of the college, in Scotland. I here enclose you, Sir, the last attempt my dear husband made to serve God in public, and to do good to his fellow-creatures-a Ser-mon, that he preached at the funeral of our late excellent governor. You will not think it strange, if it has imper-fections; when I tell you, that all he wrote on the sub-ject, was done in a part of one afternoon and evening, when he had a violent fever on him, and the whole night after, he was irrational.
Give me leave to beg an interest in your prayers, at the throne of grace, for a poor, disconsolate widow, and two fatherless orphans. Please to present, with great respect, my kindest regard to your lady and daughters.
I am, honoured Sir,
Your most obliged and humble servant,
The two following extracts from letters, written soon after the death of Mr. Burr, will show the strength of her own feelings, as well as her religious sentiments, and the exercises of her heart. The first is from a letter to a near friend of the family, in Boston.
"Your most kind letter of condolence gave me inex-pressible delight, and at the same time set open afresh all the avenues of grief, and again probed the deep wound death has given me. My loss-Shall I attempt to say how great my loss is-God only can know-And to him alone would I carry my complaint.-Indeed, Sir, I have lost all that was or could be desirable in a creature.-I have lost all that ever I set my heart on in this world.-I need not enlarge on the innumerable amiable qualities of my late dear husband, to one that was so well acquainted with him, as you were; however pleasing it is to me to dwell on them.-Had not God supported me by these two considerations; first, by showing the right he has to his own creatures, to dispose of them when and in what manner he pleases; and secondly, by enabling me to follow him beyond the grave, into the eternal world, and there to view him in unspeakable glory and happiness, freed from all sin and sorrow; I should, long before this, have been sunk among the dead, and been covered with the clods of the valley.-God has wise ends in all that he doth. This thing did not come upon me by chance; and I rejoice that I am in the hands of such a God."
The other is from a letter to her mother, dated at Princeton, Oct. 7, 1757 After giving some account of Mr. Burr's death, and representing the, sense she had of the greatness of the loss, which she and her children had sustained, she writes in the following words:
"No doubt, dear Madam, it will be some comfort to you to hear, that God has not utterly forsaken, although he has cast down I would speak it to the glory of God's name, that I think he has, in an uncommon degree, dis-covered himself to be an all-sufficient God, a full fountain of all good. Although all streams were cut off, yet the fountain is left full.-I think I have been enabled to cast my care upon him, and have found great peace and calmness in my mind, such as this world cannot give nor take.-l have had uncommon freedom and nearness to the I throne of grace. God has seemed sensibly near in such a supporting and comfortable manner, that I think I have never experienced the like. God has helped me to review my past and present mercies, with some heart-affecting de-gree of thankfulness.
I think God has given me such a sense of the vanity of the world, and uncertainty of all sublunary enjoy-ments, as I never had before. The world vanishes out at my sight! Heavenly and eternal things appear much more real and important than ever before. I feel myself to be under much greater obligations to be the Lord's, than before this sore affliction.-The way of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ, has appeared more clear and excel-lent, and I have been constrained to venture my all upon him, and have found great peace of soul in what I hope have been the actings of faith. Some parts of the Psalms have been very comforting and refreshing to my soul.-I hope God has helped me to eye his hand, in this awful dispensation; and to see the infinite right he has to his own, and to dispose of them as he pleases.
Thus, dear Madam, I have given you some broken hints of the exercises and supports of my mind, since the death of him, whose memory and example will ever be precious to me as my own life. O, dear Madam! I doubt not but I have your and my honoured father's prayers daily for me; but give me leave to entreat you both, to request earnestly of the Lord, that I may never despise his chastenings, nor faint under this his severe stroke; of which I am sensible there is great danger, if God should only deny me the supports that he has hitherto graciously granted.
O, I am afraid I shall conduct myself so, as to bring dishonour on my God, and the religion which I pro-fess! No, rather let me die this moment, than be left to bring dishonour on God's holy name.-I am over-come-I must conclude, with once more begging, that, as my dear parents remember themselves, they would not forget their greatly afflicted daughter, (now a lonely widow,) nor her fatherless children -My duty to my ever dear and honoured parents, and love to my brothers and sisters.
From, dear madam,
Your dutiful and affectionate daughter,
"The news of his appointment to the presidency," says Dr. Hopkins, "was quite unexpected, and not a little surprising, to Mr. Edwards. He looked on himself in many respects, so unqualified for that business, that he wondered that gentlemen of so good judgment, and so well acquainted with him, as he knew some of the trus-tees were, should think of him for that place. He had many objections in his own mind, against undertaking the business, both from his unfitness and his particular circumstances; yet could not certainly determine that it was not his duty to accept it. The following extract of a let-ter which he wrote to the trustees, will give the reader a view of his sentiments and exercises on this occasion, as well as of the great designs he was deeply engaged in and zealously prosecuting"
Stockbridge, Oct 19, 1757.
SIR. AND HON. GENTLEMEN,
I was not a little surprised on receiving the unexpected notice of your having made choice of me to succeed the late President Burr, as the Head of Nassau Hall -I am much in doubt, whether I am called to undertake the business which you have done me the unmerited honour to choose me for.-If some regard may be had to my outward comfort, I might mention the many inconveniences and great detriment, which may be sustained by my re-moving with my numerous family, so far from all the estate I have in the world, (without any prospect of dis-posing of it, under present circumstances, but with great loss,) now when we have scarcely got over the trouble and damage sustained by our removal from Northamp-ton, and have but just begun to have our affairs in a comfortable situation, for a subsistence in this place, and the expense I must immediately be at to put myself into circumstances tolerably comporting with the needful sup-port of the honours of the office I am invited to; which will not well consist with my ability.
But this is not my main objection. The chief difficul-ties in my mind, in the way of accepting this important and arduous office, are these two: First, my own defects unfitting me for such an undertaking, many of which are generally known; beside others of which my own heart is conscious; I have a constitution, in many respects, peculiarly unhappy, attended with flaccid solids, vapid, sizy, and scarce fluids, and a low tide of spirits; often occa-sioning a kind of childish weakness and contemptibleness of speech, presence, and demeanour, with a disagreeable dulness and stiffness, much unfitting me for conversation, but more especially for the government of a college.- This makes me shrink at the thoughts of taking upon me, in the decline of life, such a new and great business, at-tended with such a multiplicity of cares, and requiring such a degree of activity, alertness, and spirit of govern-ment; especially as succeeding one so remarkably well qualified in these respects, giving occasion to every one to remark the wide difference. I am also deficient in some parts of learning, particularly in algebra, and the higher parts of mathematics, and the Greek classics; my Greek leaning having been chiefly in the New Testament.-The other thing is this; that my engaging in this business will not well consist with those views, and that course of employ in my study, which have long engaged and swal-lowed up my mind, and been the chief entertainment and delight of my life.
And here, honoured Sirs, (imboldened by the testimony I have now received of your unmerited esteem, to rely on your candour,) I will with freedom open myself to you.
My method of study, I from my first beginning the work of the ministry, has been very much by writing; applying myself, in this way, to improve every important hint, pursuing the clue to my utmost, when any thing in reading, meditation, or conversation, has been suggested to my mind, that seemed to promise light in any weighty point; thus penning what appeared to me my best thoughts, on innumerable subjects, for my own benefit. -The longer I prosecuted my studies in this method, the more habitual it became, and the more pleasant and profitable I found it.-The farther I travelled in this way, the more and wider the field opened, which has occasioned my laying out many things in my mind, to do this in manner, if God should spare my life, which my heart hath been much upon; particularly many things against most of the pre-vailing errors of the present day, which I cannot with any patience see maintained, (to the utter subverting of the gospel of Christ,) with so high a hand, and so long continued a triumph, with so little control, when it appears so evident to me, that there is truly no foundation for any of this glorying and insult. I have already published some-thing on one of the main points in dispute between the Arminians and Calvinists; and have it in view, God will-ing, (as I have already signified to the public,) in like man-ner to consider all the other controverted points, and have done much towards a preparation for it.-But beside these, I have had on my mind and heart (which I long ago be-gan, not with any view to publication) a great work, which I call a History of the Work of Redemption, a body of divinity in an entire new method, being thrown into the form of a history; considering the affair of Christian theology, as the whole of it, in each part, stands in reference to the great work of redemption by Jesus Christ; which I suppose to be, of all others, the grand design of God, and the summun and ultimum of all the divine opera-tions and decrees; particularly considering all parts of the grand scheme, in their historical order -The order of their existence, or their being brought forth to view, in the course of divine dispensations, or the wonderful series of successive acts and events; beginning from eternity, and descending from thence to the great work and successive dispensations of the infinitely wise God, in time; considering the chief events coming to pass in the church of God, and revolutions in the world of mankind, affecting the state of the church and the affair of redemption, which we have an account of in history or prophecy; till, at last, we come to the general resurrection, last judgment, and consummation of all things; when it shall be said, It as done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end-Con-cluding my work, with the consideration of that perfect state of things, which shall be finally settled, to last for eternity.-This history will be carried on with regard to all three worlds, heaven, earth, and hell; considering the con-nected, successive events and alterations in each, so far as the Scriptures give any light; introducing all parts of divinity in that order which is most scriptural and most natural; a method which appears to me the most beauti-ful and entertaining, wherein every divine doctrine will appear to the greatest advantage, in the brightest light, in the most striking manner, showing the admirable contex-ture and harmony of the whole.
I have also, for my own profit and entertainment, done much towards another great work, which I call the Har-mony of the Old and New Testament, in three parts. The first, considering the prophecies of the Messiah, his re-demption and kingdom; the evidences of their references to the Messiah, &c. comparing them all one with another, demonstrating their agreement, true scope, and sense; also considering all the various particulars wherein those prophecies have their exact fulfilment; showing the uni-versal, precise, and admirable correspondence between predictions and events. The second part, considering the types of the Old Testament, showing the evidence of their being intended as representations of the great things or the gospel of Christ; and the agreement of the type with the antitype. The third and great part, considering the har-mony of the Old and New Testament, as to doctrine and precept. In the course of this work, I find there will be occasion for an explanation of a very great part of the Holy Scriptures; which may, in such a view, be explained in a method, which to me seems the most entertaining and profitable, best tending to lead the mind to a view of the true spirit, design, life, and soul of the Scriptures, as well as their proper use and improvement.-I have also many other things in hand, in some of which I have made great progress, which I will not trouble you with an account of. Some of these things, if Divine Providence favour, I should be willing to attempt a publication of. So far as I myself am able to judge of what talents I have, for benefiting my fellow-creatures by word, I think I can write better than I can speak.
My heart is so much in these studies, that I cannot find it in my heart to be willing to put myself into an incapa-city to pursue them any more in the future part of my life, to such a degree as I must, if I undertake to go through the same coarse of employ, in the office of president, that Mr. Burr did, instructing in all the languages, and taking the whole care of the instruction of one of the classes, in all parts of learning, besides his other labours. If I should see light to determine me to accept the place offer-ed me, I should be willing to take upon me the work of a president, so far as it consists in the general inspection of the whole society, and to be subservient to the school, as to their order and methods or study and instruction, assisting, myself, in the immediate instruction in the arts and sciences, (as discretion should direct, and occasion serve, and the state of things require,) especially of the senior class; and added to all, should be willing to do the whole work of a professor of divinity, in public and private lec-tures, proposing questions to be answered, and some to be discussed in writing and free conversation, in meetings of graduates, and others, appointed in proper seasons, for these ends. It would be now out of my way, to spend time in a constant teaching of the languages; unless it be the Hebrew tongue, which I should be willing to improve myself in, by instructing others.
On the whole, I am much at a loss, with respect to the way of duty, in this important affair: I am in doubt, whether, if I should engage in it, I should not do what both you and I would be sorry for afterwards. Neverthe-less, I think the greatness of the affair, and the regard due to so worthy and venerable a body, as that of the trustees of Nassau Hall, requires my taking the matter into serious consideration, And unless you should appear to be dis-couraged, by the things which I have now represented, as to any further expectation from me, I shall proceed to ask advice, of such as I esteem most wise, friendly, and faith-ful; if, after the mind of the commissioners in Boston is known, it appears that they consent to leave me at liberty, with respect to the business they have employed me in here."
Soon after the death of President Burr, Mr. Edwards addressed a letter to his greatly afflicted daughter, fraught with all the affectionate instruction and consolation which such a father could impart. To this she returned the following answer:
"To the Rev. Jonathan Edwards, Stockbridge
Princeton, Nov 2,1757.
To my ever honoured father.
Your most affectionate, comforting letter, by my brother Parsons, was exceeding refreshing to me; al-though I was somewhat damped by hearing, that I should not see you until spring. But it is my comfort in this disappointment, as well us under all my affliction, that God knows what is best for me, and for his own glory. Perhaps I counted too much on the company, and conversation, of such a near and dear affectionate father and guide. I cannot doubt but all is for the best; and I am satisfied that God should order the affair of your removal, as shall be for his glory, whatever becomes of me.
Since I wrote my mother a letter, God has carried me through new trials, and given me new supports. My little son has been sick with a slow fever, ever since my brother left us, and has been brought to the brink of the grave; but, I hope in mercy, God is bringing him back again. I was enabled after a severe struggle with nature, to resign the child with the greatest freedom. God showed me that the children were not my own, but his, and that he had a right to recall what he had lent, whenever he thought fit; and that I had no reason to complain, or say that God was hard with me. This silenced me. But O how good is God. He not only kept me from complaining, but comforted me, by enabling me to offer up my child by faith, if ever I acted faith. I saw the fulness there was in Christ for little infants, and his willingness to accept of such as were offered to him. 'Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not,' were comforting words. God also showed me, in such a lively manner, the fulness there was in himself of all spiritual blessings, that I said, 'Although all streams were cut off, yet so long as my God lives, I have enough' He enabled me to say, 'Although thou slay me, yet will I trust in thee.' In this time of trial, I was led to enter into a renewed and explicit covenant with God, in a more solemn manner than ever before; and with the greatest freedom and de-light, after much self-examination and prayer, I did give myself and my children to God, with my whole heart. Never, until then, had I an adequate sense of the privi-lege we are allowed in covenanting with God. This act of soul left my mind in a great calm, and steady trust in God. A few days after this, one evening, in talking of the glorious state my dear departed husband must be in, my soul was carried out in such large desires after that glorious state, that I was forced to retire from the family to conceal my joy. When alone I was so transported, and my soul carried out in such eager desires after perfection and the full enjoyment of God, and to serve him uninterruptedly, that I think my nature would not have borne much more. I think, dear Sir, I had that night a fore-taste of heaven. This frame continued, in some good de-gree, the whole night I slept but little, and when I did, my dreams were all of heavenly and divine things. Fre-quently since, I have felt the same in kind, though not in degree. This was about the time that God called me to give up my child. Thus a kind and gracious God has been with me, in six troubles and in seven.
But O, Sir, what cause of deep humiliation and abase-ment of soul have I, on account of remaining corruption, which I see working continually in me, especially pride. O, how many shapes does pride cloak itself in Satan is also busy, shooting his darts. But blessed be God, those temptations of his, that used to overthrow me, as yet have not touched me. I will just hint at one or two, if I am not tedious as to length.-When I was about to renew my covenant with God, the suggestion seemed to arise in my mind, 'It is better you should not renew it, than break it when you have: what a dreadful thing it will be, if you do not keep it!' My reply was, 'I did not do it in my own strength.' Then the suggestion would return, 'How do you know that God will help you to keep it' But it did not shake me in the least.-Oh, to be delivered from the power of Satan, as well as sin! I cannot help hoping the time is near. God is certainly fitting me for himself; and when I think that it will be soon that I shall be called hence, the thought is transporting.
I am afraid I have tired out your patience, and will beg leave only to add my need of the earnest prayers of my dear and honoured parents, and all good people, that I may not at last be a castaway; but that God would con-stantly grant me new supplies of divine grace. I am tenderly concerned for my dear brother Timothy, but I hope his sickness will not be unto death, but for the glory of God.-Please to give my duty to my honoured mother, and my love to all my brothers and sisters
I am, honoured and dear Sir,
With the greatest respect,
Your affectionate and dutiful daughter,
While Mr. Edwards was in a state of suspense alluded to in his letter to the trustees of the college, he de-termined to ask the advice of a number of gentlemen in the ministry, on whose judgment and friendship he could rely, and to act accordingly. One of those invited, on this occasion, was his old and faithful friend, and former pupil, Mr. Bellamy, of Bethlem; to whom, having re-ceived from him, on the last day of November, two letters, dated on the 12th and 17th of that month, he returned, on the next day, the following answer, which, while it refers to the subject of the council, shows also, in a very striking manner, with what ease and readiness he could throw a clear and certain light on any dark and difficult passage of the word of God.
"Stockbridge, Dec. 1, 1757.
REV. AND DEAR SIR,
Yesterday I received your two letters, of the 12th and 17th of Nov.; but I saw and heard nothing of Mr. Hill. I thank you for your concern, that I may be useful in the world.-I lately wrote you a letter, informing you of our choice of a council, to sit here on the 21st of this month; and enclosed in it a letter missive to Mr. Brinsmade, who as one of the council. I hope, before this time, you have received it. Don't fail of letting me see you here; for I never wanted to see you more.
As to the question you ask, about Christ's argument, in John x. 34-36. I observe,
First, That it is not all princes of the earth, who are called gods, in the Old Testament; but only the princes of Israel, who ruled over God's people. The princes, who are called gods, in Psalm lxxxii. here referred to, are, in the same sentence, distinguished from the princes of the nations of the world. 'I have said, Ye are gods; but ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.'
Secondly, That the reason why these princes of Is-rael were called gods, was, that they, as the rulers and judges of God's Israel, were types and figures of Him, who is the true King of the Jews, and the Prince of God's people, who is to rule over the house of Jacob for ever, the Prince and Saviour of God's church, or spirit-ual Israel, gathered from all nations of the earth; who is God indeed. The throne of Israel, or of God's people; properly belonged to Christ. He only was the proper Heir to that throne; and therefore, the princes of Israel are said to sit upon the throne of the Lord, I Chron. xxix. 23.; and the kingdom of Israel, under the kings of the house of David, is called the kingdom of the Lord, 2 Chron. xiii. 8. And because Christ took the throne, as the Antitype of those kings, therefore he is said, Luke i. 32. to sit upon their throne.-Thus, the princes of Israel, in the 82nd Psalm, are called gods, and sons of God, or 'all of them children of the Most High;' being appointed types and remarkable representations of the true Son of God, and in him of the true God. They were called gods, and sons of God, in the same manner as the Levitical sacrifices were called an atonement for sin, and in the same manner as the manna was called the bread of heaven, and angels' food. These things represented, and, by spe-cial divine designation, were figures of, the true Atone-ment, and of Him who was the true Bread of heaven, and the true angels food; in the same sense as Saul, the person especially pointed out in the 82nd Psalm, is called 'the Lord's anointed,' or (as in the original) Messiah, or Christ, which are the same. And it is to be observed, that these typical gods, and judges of Israel are particularly distinguished from the true God, and true Judge, in the next sentence. Psal. lxxxii. 8. 'Arise, O GOD, thou JUDGE of the earth, for thou shalt inherit all nations.'-This is a wish for the coming of that King, that should reign in righteousness, and judge righteously, who was to inherit the Gentiles, as well as the Jews; and the words, as they stand in connexion with the two preceding verses, import thus much-'As to you, the temporal princes and judges of Israel, you are called gods, and sons of God, being exalted to the place of kings, judges, and saviours of God's people, the kingdom and heritage of Christ; but you shall die like men, and fall like other princes; whereby it appears that you are truly no gods, nor any one of you the true Son of God, which your in-justice and oppression also shows. But oh, that He who is truly God, the Judge of the earth, the true and just Judge and Saviour, who is to be King over Gentiles as well as Jews, would come and reign! '-It is to be ob-served, that when it is said in this verse-'Arise, O God'-the word rendered God, is Elohim-the same used in verse 6. 'I have said, Ye are gods,'-I have said, Ye are elohim.
Thirdly, As to the words of Christ, in John x. 35 'If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came,' I suppose that, by the word of God coming to these princes of Israel, is meant, their being set forth by special and express divine designation, to be types or figurative significations of God's mind. Those things which God had appointed to be types, to signify the mind of God, were a visible word. Types are called the word of the Lord-as in Zech. xi. 10, 11 and in Zech. iv. 4-6.- The word of God came to the princes of Israel, both as they, by God's ordering, became subjects of a typical re-presentation of a divine thing, which was a visible word of God; and also, as this was done by express divine designation, as they were marked out to this end, by an express, audible, and legible word, as in Exod. xxii. 28. and Psal. lxxxii 1.; and besides, the thing, of which they were appointed types, was Christ, who is called 'the word of God'--Thus, the word of God came to Jacob, as a type of Christ, 1 Kings xviii. 31 'And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of Jacob, UNTO WHOM THE WORD OF THE LORD CAME, saying, Israel shall be thy name'-The word Israel is PRINCE OF GOD:-Jacob being, by that express divine designation, ap-pointed as a type of Christ, the true Prince of God, (who is called, in Isa. xlix 3 by the name of Israel,) in his prevailing in his wrestling with God, to save himself and his family from destruction by Esau, who was then com-ing against him, and obtaining the blessing for himself and his seed.-Now,
Fourthly, Christ's argument lies in these words, The Scripture cannot be broken That word of God, by which they are called gods, as types of Him who is truly God, must be verified, which they cannot be, unless the Antitype be truly God.-They are so called, as types of the Messiah, or of the Anointed One, (which is the same,) or the Sanctified or Holy One, or Him that was to be sent; which were all known names among the Jews for the Messiah. (See Dan. Ix. 24, 5. Psal.lxxxix. 19, 20, Psal. xvi. 10. John ix. 7.) But it was on this account, that those types or images of the Messiah were called gods, because He, whom they represented, was God in-deed. If he were not God, the word by which they were called gods could not be verified, and must be broken. As the word, by which the legal sacrifices were called an atonement, and are said to atone for sin, was true in no other sense, than as they had relation to the sacrifice of Christ the true atonement. If Christ's sacrifice had not truly atoned for sin; the word, which called the types or representations of it an atonement, could not be verified. So, if Jesus Christ had not been the true Bread from heaven, and angels' food indeed; the scripture which called the type of him, the bread from heaven, and angels' food, would not have been verified, but would have been broken.
These, Sir, are my thoughts on John x 34, &c.
I am yours, most affectionately,
"P. S. Dec. 5.-The opportunity for the conveyance of my letters to the ministers chosen to be of the council, your way, not being very good, I here send other letters, desiring you to take the charge of conveying them with all possible care and speed."
The gentlemen invited to the council, at his desire, and that of his people, met at Stockbridge, January 4, 1758, and, having heard the application of the agents of the col-lege, and their reasons in support of it; Mr. Edwards's own representation of the matter; and what his people had to say, by way of objection, against his removal; determined that it was his duty to accept of the invitation to the presidency of the college. When they published their judgment and advice to Mr. Edwards and his people, he appeared uncommonly moved and affected with it, and fell into tears on the occasion, which was very unusual for him, in the presence of others; and soon after, he said to the gentlemen who had given their advice, that it was matter of wonder to him, that they could so easily, as they appeared to do, get over the objections he had made against his removal: But, as he thought it his duty to be directed by their advice, he should now endeavour cheer-fully to undertake it, believing he was in the way of his duty.
"Accordingly, having had, by the application of the trustees of the college, the consent of the commissioners of the 'Society in London, for Propagating the Gospel, in New England and the Parts adjacent,' to resign their mis-sion; he girded up his loins, and set off from Stockbridge for Princeton, in January. He left his family at Stockbridge, not to be removed till the spring. He had two daughters at Princeton; Mrs. Burr, and Lucy, his eldest daughter that was unmarried. His arrival at Princeton was to the great satisfaction and joy of the college. And indeed all the greatest friends of the college, and to the interests of religion, were highly satisfied and pleased with the appointment."
It was a singular fact, that, soon after his arrival at Princeton, he heard the melancholy tidings of the death of his father. It occurred on the 27th of January, 1758, in the 89th year of his age.
"The corporation met as soon as could be with conveni-ence, after his arrival at the college, when he was by them fixed in the president's chair. While at Princeton, before his sickness, he preached in the college-hall, sabbath after sabbath, to the great acceptance of the hearers; but did nothing as president, unless it was to give out some questions in divinity to the senior class, to be answered before him; each one having opportunity to study and write what he thought proper upon them. When they came together to answer them, they found so much entertainment and profit by it, especially by the light and instruction Mr. Edwards communicated, in what he said upon the questions, when they had delivered what they had to say, that they spoke of it with the greatest satisfac-tion and wonder.
"During this time, Mr. Edwards seemed to enjoy an un-common degree of the presence of God. He told his daughters he once had great exercise, concern, and fear, relative to his engaging in that business; but since it now appeared, so far as he could see, that he was called of God to that place and work, he did cheerfully devote himself to it, leaving himself and the event with God to order what seemed to him good.
"The small-pox had now become very common in the country, and was then at Princeton, and likely to spread. And as Mr. Edwards had never had it, and inoculation was then practised with great success in those parts, he pro-posed to be inoculated, if the physician should advise to it, and the corporation would give their consent. Accord-ingly, by the advice of the physician, and the consent of the corporation, he was inoculated February 13th. He had it favourably, and it was thought all danger was over; but a secondary fever set in. and, by reason of a number of pustules in his throat, the obstruction was such, that the medicines necessary to check the fever could not be ad-ministered. It therefore raged till it put an end to his life, on the 22d of March, 1758, in the 55th year of his age.
"After he was sensible that he could not survive that sickness, a little before his death, he called his daughter to turn, who attended him in his sickness, and addressed her in a few words, which were immediately taken down in writing, as near as could be recollected, and are as follows:-
'Dear Lucy, It seems to me to be the will of God, that I must shortly leave you; therefore give my kindest love to my dear wife, and tell her, that the uncommon union, which has so long subsisted between us, has been of such a nature, as I trust is spiritual, and therefore will con-tinue for ever: and I hope she will be supported under so great a trial, and submit cheerfully to the will of God. And as to my children, you are now like to be left father-less; which I hope will be an inducement to you all, to seek a Father who will never fail you. And as to my funeral, I would have it to be like Mr. Burr's; and any additional sum of money, that might be expected to be laid out that way, I would have it disposed of to charitable uses.
"He said but very little in his sickness; but was an ad-mirable instance of patience and resignation, to the last. Just at the close of his life, as some persons, who stood by, expecting he would breathe his last in a few minutes, were lamenting his death, not only as a great frown on the college, but as having a dark aspect on the interest of re-ligion in general; to their surprise, not imagining that he heard, or ever would speak another word, he said, 'Trust in God, and ye need not fear.' These were his last words. What could have been more suitable to the occasion? And what need of more? in these there is as much mat-ter of instruction and support, as if he had written a volume. This was the only consolation to his bereaved friends, deeply sensible as they were of the loss which they and the church of Christ had sustained in his death: GOD IS ALL SUFFICIENT, AND STILL HAS THE CARE OF HIS CHURCH.
"He appeared to have the uninterrupted use of his reason to the last, and died with as much calmness and com-posure, to all appearance, as that with which one goes to sleep."
The physician, who inoculated and constantly attended him, in his sickness, addressed the following letter to Mrs. Edwards, on this occasion:
"To Mrs. Sarah Edwards, Stockbridge.
Princeton, March 22, 1758.
MOST DEAR AND VERY WORTHY MADAM,
I am heartily sorry for the occasion of writing to you, by this express, but I know you have been informed, by a line from your excellent, lovely, and pious husband, that I was brought here to inoculate him, and your dear daughter Esther, and her children, for the small-pox, which was then spreading fast in Princeton; and that, after the most deliberate and serious consultation, with his nearest and most religious friends, he was accordingly inoculated with them, the 23rd of last month; and although he had the small-pox favourably, yet, having a number of them in the roof of his mouth and throat, he could not possibly swallow a sufficient quantity of drink, to keep off a secondary fever, which has proved too strong for his feeble frame; and this afternoon, between two and three o'clock, it pleased God to let him sleep in that dear Lord Jesus, whose kingdom and interest he has been faithfully and painfully serving all his life. And never did any mortal man more fully and clearly evidence the sincerity of all his professions, by one continued, universal, calm, cheerful resignation, and patient submission to the Divine will, through every stage of his disease, than he; not so much as one discontented expression, nor the least appearance of murmuring, through the whole. And never did any person expire with more perfect freedom from pain;-not so much as one distorted hair-but in the most proper sense of the word; he fell asleep. Death had certainly lost us sting, as to him.
Your daughter, Mrs. Burr, and her children, through the mercy of God, are safely over the disease, and she desires me to send her duty to you, the best of mothers. She has had the small-pox the heaviest of all whom I have inoculated, and little Sally far the lightest; she has but three in her face. I am sure it will prove serviceable to her future health.
I conclude, with my hearty prayer, dear Madam, that you may be enabled to look to that God, whose love and goodness you have experienced a thousand times, for direc-tion and help, under this most afflictive dispensation of his providence, and under every other difficulty, you may meet with here, in order to your being more perfectly fitted for the joys of heaven hereafter.
I am, dear Madam,
Your most sympathizing
And affectionate friend,
And very humble servant,
This letter reached Mrs. Edwards while in a feeble state of health, when she was preparing to pay a visit, first to her sister, Mrs. Hopkins, at West Springfield, and then to her mother, Mrs. Edwards, of Windsor, in consequence of the death of Mr. Edwards's father. What her feelings were, and those of her family, under this unexpected and overwhelming dispensation, can be more easily conceived than described.
She had long told her intimate friends, that she had, after long struggles and exercises, obtained, by God's grace, an habitual willingness to die herself, or part with any of her most near relatives. That she was willing to bring forth children for death; and to resign up him, whom she esteemed so great a blessing to her and her family, her nearest partner, to the stroke of death, when-ever God should see fit to take him. And when she had the greatest trial, in the death of Mr. Edwards, she found the help and comfort of such a disposition. Her conduct on this occasion was such as to excite the admiration of her friends; it discovered that she was sensible of the great loss, which she and her children had sustained in his death; and, at the same time, showed that she was quiet and resigned, and had those invisible supports, which enabled her to trust in God with quietness, hope, and humble joy."
A few days afterwards, she addressed the following letter to Mrs. Burr.
"Stockbridge, April 3, 1758.
MY VERY DEAR CHILD,
What shall I say? A holy and good God has covered us with a dark cloud. O that we may kiss the rod, and lay our hands on our mouths! The Lord has done it. He has made me adore his goodness, that we had him so long. But my God lives: and he has my heart. O what a legacy my husband, and your father, has left us! We are all given to God; and there I am, and love to be.
Your ever affectionate mother,
On the same sheet was the following letter from one of her daughters.
"MY DEAR SISTER,
My mother wrote this with a geat deal of pain in her neck, which disabled her from writing any more. She thought you would be glad of these few lines from her own hand.
O, sister, how many calls have we, one upon the back of another. O, I beg your prayers, that we, who are young in this family, may be awakened and excited to call more earnestly on God, that he would be our Father, and Friend for ever.
My father took leave of all his people and family as affectionately as if he knew he should not come again. On the sabbath afternoon he preached from these words,- We have no continuing city, therefore let us seek one to come. The chapter that he read was Acts the 20th. O, how proper; what could he have done more? When he had got out of doors he turned about,- 'I commit you to God,'-said he.-I doubt not but God will take a fatherly care of us, if we do not forget him.
I am your affectionate sister,
Stockbridge, April 3, 1758."
"Mrs. Burr and her children were inoculated at the same time that her father was, and had recovered when he died. But after she was perfectly recovered, to all appearance, she was suddenly seized with a violent disorder, which carried her off in a few days; and which, the phy-sician said, he could call by no name, but that of a mes-senger, sent suddenly, to call her out of the world. She died April 7, 1758, sixteen days after her father, in the 27th year of her age. She was married to Mr. Burr June 29, 1752. They had two children, a son and a datighter.
"Mrs. Burr exceeded most of her sex in the beauty of her person, as well as in her behaviour and conversation. She discovered an unaffected, natural freedom, towards persons of all ranks, with whom she convened. Her genius was much more than common. She had a lively, sprightly imagination, a quick and penetrating discernment, and a good judgment. She possessed an uncommon degree of wit and vivacity; which yet was consistent with pleasantness and good nature; and she knew how to be facetious and sportive, without trespassing on the bounds of decorum, or of strict and serious religion. In short, she seemed formed to please, and specially to please one of Mr. Burr's taste and character, in whom he was ex-ceedingly happy. "But what crowned all her excellencies, and was her chief glory, was RELIGION. She appeared to be the subject of divine impressions, when seven or eight years old; and she made a public profession of religion, when about fifteen. Her conversation, until her death, was exemplary, as becometh godliness"-She was, in every respect, an ornament to her sex, being equally distinguish-ed for the suavity of her manners, her literary accom-plishments, and her unfeigned regard to religion. Her religion did not cast a gloom over her mind, but made her cheerful and happy, and rendered the thought of death transporting. She left a number of manuscripts, on in-teresting subjects, and it was hoped they would have been made public; but they are now lost.
Mrs. Edwards did not long survive her husband. In September she set out, in good health, on a journey to Philadelphia, to take care of her two orphan grand-chil-dren, which were now in that city; and had been, since the death of Mrs. Burr. As they had no relations in those parts. Mrs. Edwards proposed to take them into her own family. She arrived there, by the way of Princeton, Sept 21, in good health, having had a comfortable journey.
But, in a few days, she was seized with a violent dysentery, which, on the fifth day, put an end to her life, October 24 1758, in the 49th year of her age. She said not much in her sickness; being exercised, most of the time, with vio-lent pain. On the morning of the day she died, she appre-hended her death was near, when she expressed her entire resignation to God, and her desire that he might be glorified in all things; and that she might be enabled to glorify him to the last: and continued in such a temper, calm and resigned, till she died.
Her remains were carried to Princeton, and deposited with those of Mr. Edwards. Thus they who were in their lives remarkably lovely and pleasant, in their death were not much divided. Here, the father and mother, the son and daughter, were laid together in the grave, within the space of a little more than a year; though a few months before their dwelling was more than 150 miles apart:-two presidents of the same college, and their con-sorts, than whom it will doubtless be hard to find four persons more valuable and useful!
By these repeated strokes, following in quick succession, the American church, within a few months, sustained a loss, which probably, in so short a space of time, will never be equalled.
Mr. and Mrs. Edwards lived together, in the married state, above thirty years; in which time they had eleven children, three sons and eight daughters. The second daughter died Feb. 14, 1748. The third daughter was Mrs. Burr. The youngest daughter, Elizabeth, died soon after her parents.'
The trustees of the college erected a marble monument over the grave of Mr. Edwards, which has the following inscription:
Reverendi admodum Viri,
JONATHAN EDWARDS, A. M.
Collegii Novæ Cæsariæ Præsidis.
Natus apud Windsor Connecticutensium V Octobris
A. D. MDCCIII, S. V.
Patre Reverendo Timotheo Edwards oriundus,
Collegio Yalensi educatus;
Apud Northampton Sacris initiatus, xv Februarii,
Illinc dimissus XXII Junii, MDCCL
Et Munus Barbaros instituendi accepit.
PRæses Aulæ Nassovicæ creatus xvi Februarii.
Defunctus in hoc Vico xxii Martii sequentis, S.N.
£tatis LV, heu minis brevis!
Hic jacet mortalis pars.
Qualis Persona quæris, Viator?
Vir Corpore procero, sed gracili,
Studiis intensissimus, Abstinentia, et Sedulitate,
Ingenii acumine, Judicio acri, et Prudentiá,
Secundus Nemini Mortalium.
Artium liberalium et Scientiarum peritia insgnis,
Critacorum sacrorum optimus, Theologus eximius,
Ut vix alter æqualis; Disputator candidus;
Fidei Christianæ Propugnator validus et invictus;
Conconiator gravis, serius, discriminans;
Et, Deo ferente, Successu
Pietate præclarus, Moribus suis severus,
Ast aliis æquus et benignus.
Vixit dilectus, veneratus-
Sed, ah! lugendus
Quantos Gemitus discedens ciebat!
Heu Sapientia tanta! heu Doctrina et Religio!
Amissum plorat Collegium, plorat et Ecclesia:
At, eo recepto, gaudet
Abi, Viator, et pia sequere Vestigia.
THE writer of the preceding pages regrets, at least as sincerely as any of his readers, that the collection of facts, which they contain, is not more full and complete; yet, in consequence of the long interval which has elapsed since the death of President Edwards, they are all, which after much time, and labour, and travel, he has been able to discover. Such as they are, they constitute, with his writings body of materials from which we are to form our estimate of his character, as an intelligent and moral being.
In reviewing them, it is delightful to remember, in the outset, that so far as the human eye could judge, the in-dividuals of both the families from which he derived his descent, were, as far back as we can trace them, distin-guished for their piety. Each married pair, in both lines, with that care and conscientiousness which so generally marked the pilgrims of New England, and their puritan ancestors, trained up their children in the fear of God, and continued through life to supplicate daily the divine favour on them and their descendants, in all succeeding generations. Their prayers, ascending se-parately and successively indeed, were yet embodied in their influence, and from Him, who "showeth mercy to thousands of generations of them that love him, and keep his commandments," called down concentrated blessings on their common offspring. So full, so rich were these blessings, as bestowed on the subject of this Memoir, that, perhaps, no one example on record furnishes a stronger encouragement to parents, to wrestle with God for the holiness and the salvation of their posterity.
It was owing to the moral influence thus exerted, and to the divine favour thus secured, that when we review the childhood and youth of Mr. Edwards, we find them not only passing without a stain upon his memory, but marked by a purity and excellence rarely witnessed at so early a period of life. The religious impressions made upon his mind in childhood, were certainly frequent, deep, and of long continuance, and had a powerful effect upon his ultimate character; yet the estimate formed of their real nature by different persons will probably be dif-ferent. His own estimate of them was, unquestionably, that they were not the result of real religion.
The circumstances which led him to this conclusion, were these two:-First, That, after he had cherished the hope of his own conversion, for a considerable period, and had experienced a high degree of joy, in what he regarded as communion with God, he lost imperceptibly this spirituality of mind, relinquished for a season the "constant performance" of the practice of secret prayer, and cherished many affections of a worldly and sinful character:-Secondly, That when he recovered from this state of declension, his views of divine truth, particu-larly those connected with the sovereignty of God, were in many respects new, and far more clear and delightful than any which he had previously formed.
Without calling in question the fact, that a given indi-vidual has, on some accounts, decidedly superior advantages for judging of his own Christian character, than others enjoy; and without presuming to decide on the correctness of the estimate, thus formed by Mr. Edwards; it may not be improper to state various circumstances, which lead me to suspect, that it may perhaps have been erroneous 1. The declension, of which he complains, appears to have been chiefly, or wholly, a declension in the state of the affec-tions. 2. Those impressions began when he was seven or eight years of age, and were so powerful and lasting, as to render religion the great object of attention, for a number of years. As made on the mind of such a child, they were very remarkable, even if we suppose them to have resulted in piety. 3. The season of his declension commenced soon after his admission to college, when be was twelve years or age. That a truly pious child, in consequence of leaving his early religious connexions and associations, and especially the altar and the incense of the parental sanc-tuary; of removing to a new place of residence, of entering on a new course of life, of forming new acquaintances and attachments, of feeling the strong attractions of study, and the powerful incentives of ambition, and of being exposed to the new and untried temptations of a public seminary; should, for a season, so far decline from his previous spirituality, as to lose all hope of his own conversion, is so far from being a surprising event, that, in ordinary cases, it is perhaps to be expected. Piety, at its commencement in the mind, is usually feeble: and especially is it so, in the mind of a child. How often are similar declensions witnessed, even at a later age. Yet the subject of such backsliding, though, during its continuance, he may well renounce the hope of his conversion, does not usually regard the period of his recovery as the commencement of his Christian life.-4. He had not, at this period, made a public profession of religion; and, of course, was not re-strained from such declension by his own covenant, by communion with Christians, or by the consciousness, that, as a visible Christian, his faults were subjected to the inspection and the censure of the surrounding world. 5. Though charitable in judging others, he was at least equally severe in judging himself 6. He appears, at a very early period, to have formed news of the purity of the Christian character-of the degree of freedom from sin, and of the degree of actual holiness, requisite to justify the hope of conversion-altogether more elevated in their na-ture, than the truth will warrant. 7. That his views of divine truth-particularly of the sovereignty of God.- should have opened, after the age of twelve, with so much greater clearness and beauty, as to appear wholly new, was to have been expected from the nature of the case. 8. At a subsequent period, when his mind was incessantly occupied by the unusual perplexities of his tutorship, he complained of a similar declension. 9. The purity, strength, and comprehensiveness of his piety, as exhibited immediately after his public profession of Christianity, was so much superior to what is frequently witnessed, in Christians of an advanced standing, as almost to force upon us the conviction that it commenced-not a few months be-fore, at the time of his supposed conversion, but-at a much earlier period of life. Rare indeed is the fact, that holiness is not, at its commencement in the soul, "as a grain of mustard-seed, which is the least of all seeds;" and though in the rapidity of its growth, it differs widely in different soils, yet time is indispensably necessary, be-fore its fruits can cover the full-grown plant, like the clusters on the vine.-These considerations, and particu-larly the last, have led me to believe, that the early religious impressions of Mr. Edwards are to be regarded, as having been the result of a gracious operation of the Spirit of God upon his heart.
Under this happy influence, exerted in childhood, his character was formed. It prompted him then to study the Scriptures, to love payer, to sanctify the sabbath, and to pay an unusual attention to the duties or religion. It in-spired him with reverence towards God, and made him afraid to sin. It rendered him conscientious in the per-formance of every relative duty, in manifesting love and gratitude, honour and obedience, towards his parents, kindness and courteousness towards his sisters, and the other companions of his childhood, respect and deference to his superiors, and good will to all around him. It led him also, at a very early period, to overcome that aversion to mental labour, which is so natural to man, and to devote himself with exemplary assiduity to the great duty, daily assigned him, of storing his mind with useful knowledge. Some of our readers, we are aware, may perhaps regard the recollections of his earlier years, as of little importance; but those, who cherish common sympathies, with the whole body of evangelical Christians, in the deep interest which they feel in his character and efforts, and who re-flect, that the foundation of that character and of those efforts was then laid, will requite of us no apology for thus exhibiting the comparative innocence and purity, the docility and amiableness, the tenderness of conscience, the exemplary industry, and the ardent thirst for knowledge, which characterized this vernal season of his life.
The development of mental superiority, in the child-hood and youth of Mr. Edwards, was certainly uncommon, if not singular. Boys of the age of eleven and twelve, even when receiving every aid from their parents and instruc-tors, and when feeling the influence of all the motives, which they can present, are usually unwilling, in any branch of natural science, to examine, so as thoroughly to comprehend, the discoveries and investigations of others. Still ore unwilling are they to make this examination, when no such aid is furnished, and no such inducements are presented. But rare indeed is the instance, in which the attention of such a boy has been so far arrested, by any of the interesting phenomena, in either of the king-doms of nature, that he has been led, without prompting, and without aid, to pursue a series of exact observations and discoveries, as to the facts themselves; to search out their causes; and, as the result of the whole, to draw up and present a lucid, systematic, and well digested report of his investigations.
After the lapse of a little more than a year, just as he attained the age of fourteen, we find him entering on pur-suits of a still higher character. Few boys of that age have sufficient strength of intellect to comprehend the Essay on the Human Understanding. Of those who have, but a small proportion can be persuaded to read it; and a much smaller, still, are found to read it voluntarily, and of choice. We find Edwards, however, at this period of life, not only entering on this work of his own accord, and with deep interest, but at once relinquishing every other pursuit, that he may devote himself wholly to the philo-sophy of the mind; and, to use his own language, "en-joying a far higher pleasure in the perusal of its pages, than the most greedy miser finds, when gathering up handfuls of silver and gold, from some newly discovered treasure." Nor is this all. While reading the work of Locke, he presents himself before us, not as a pupil, nor simply as a critic; but in the higher character of an investigator, exploring for himself the universe of minds, and making new and interesting discoveries. For-tunately his investigations are preserved, and may be com-pared with the efforts of other distinguished men, at the same period of life, in other countries and in other ages. And if any one of all those efforts discovers greater perspicacity and mental energy, than the "Notes on the Mind;" particularly, the articles entitled, Being, Space, Motion, Genus, the Will, and Excellency we are yet to learn where it is to be found, and who was its author. The discussion of the very important and difficult question, in the last of these articles, What is the foundation of ex-cellency,-of excellency in its most enlarged acceptation, in things material and spiritual, in things intellectual, imaginative, and moral-is not only original, as to its youthful author, and profound, but is even now, we believe, in various respects, new to the investigations of philoso-phy." The Notes on Natural Science, furnish similar proof of high mental superiority; and, by their variety of topics, their general accuracy, and their originality, evince a power and comprehension, discovered by only here and there an individual, when possessed of the full maturity of his faculties. His habits of thinking and reasoning, at this time of life, appear to have been as severe, as exact, and as successful, as those of the most accomplished scholars usually are, in the vigour of manhood. The plan of study, itself, which he then formed,-of studying with his pen; and of immediately, and of course, employing the principles of the science he was examining, which had been already detailed and demonstrated by others, in the discovery of new principles,-is at least equal evidence of the same superiority. So vigorous was the mental soil, that the seeds of thought could not be implanted therein, without being quickened at once, and made to grow into a rich and abundant harvest. Looking at these two series of notes in connection with the plan of study under which they grew,
and then comparing them, by the aid of recollection, with the efforts of other children and youths of uncommon promise; we instinctively ask, When, and where, has the individual lived, who has left behind him substantial proofs, that he has possessed, at the same age, a mind more powerful, comprehensive, or creative?
These conclusions are only confirmed by the survey of his succeeding years. Though drawn away from the entire devotion of his mind to his collegiate studies, by (what were to him) the alluring blandishments of mental philosophy, he yet sustained in his class the first standing as a scholar; and, though leaving college when sixteen, be was not too young to receive its highest honours. Having entered the pulpit at eighteen, he was, after a few trials, designated by a number of gentlemen of a superior character, for a very important and difficult station, to which, as well as to various other interesting fields of labour, he received most pressing invitations.
The extraordinary difficulties and perplexities of the college, while he was one of its officers, sufficient as they were to have overwhelmed a common mind, only served to furnish him and his colleagues a fairer opportunity, to show forth the superiority of their own character. By their wisdom and fidelity, the college was preserved and enlarged, when in imminent danger of ruin; and the period of their administration will ever be regarded as one of the most important eras in its history.
While the review of the childhood and youth of Mr. Edwards thus forces upon us the conviction, that, in the early development of extraordinary mental powers, he has had few equals; and enables us to reflect, with pleasure, that these powers were never prostituted to folly, or to vice, but from the beginning were faithfully devoted to the great end for which they were given; it also leads us to remark, that his character, as a moral being, was thoroughly formed and established, at a very early period of life. Like a dutiful child, he listened, indeed, to the counsels of his parents, as to the principles by which his conduct should be regulated; but he also examined for himself the foundations of those principles, and, having discovered that they were firm and immovable, formed out of them a series of rules, for the systematic regulation of his own conduct. These rules, particularly as exemplified in the journal of his daily life, evince not only a pure and transparent sincerity, and the greatest openness of soul towards God; as well as an inspection, metaphysically accurate, of his own mind, and a thorough acquaintance with his own heart; but a knowledge of his duty,-to God, his fellow-men, and himself,-and a conscientiousness in performing it, which are usually the result of great wisdom and piety, combined with long experience. They grew, obviously, out of a disposition to turn every occurrence of life to a religious use, and thus to grow wiser and better, continually, under the course of discipline to which the providence of God subjected him. They appear to have been made under the immediate inspection of the Om-niscient eye, with a solemn conviction that he was an immortal being, formed to act on the same theatre with God, and angels, and the just made perfect, in carrying forward the kingdom of holiness and joy, in its ever en-larging progress. Viewing himself as just entering on this career of glory, he adopted, for the permanent direc-tion of his course, the best and noblest resolution, that an intelligent being can form:- "Resolved, That I will do whatsoever I think to be most to the glory of God, and my own good, profit, and pleasure, in the whole of my dura-tion; without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence: resolved, to do whatsoever I think to be my duty, and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general: resolved, so to do, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many soever, and how great soever." In the spirit of this resolution, we find him, with all the earnestness of which he was capable, giving up himself to God,-all that he was, and all that he possessed,-so as habitually to feel that he was in no respect his own, and could challenge no right to the facul-ties of his body, to the powers of his mind, or the affec-tions of his heart; receiving Christ as a Prince and a Saviour, under a solemn covenant to adhere to the faith and obedience of the gospel, however hazardous and diffi-cult the profession and practice of it might be; and taking the Holy Spirit as his Teacher, Sanctifier, and only Com-forter. And, in accordance with both, we find him, at this time, regularly making the glory of God the great end for which he lived; habitually trusting in God, to such a degree, as to feel no uneasiness about his worldly con-dition; maintaining the most open and confidential inter-course with his Maker; cherishing exalted thoughts of Christ and his salvation; feeling himself to be a part of Christ, and to have no separate interest from his; exercis-ing a filial and delightful sense of dependence on the Holy Spirit, for the daily communication of his grace; regard-ing communion with God as the very life and sustenance of the soul; delighting in praising God, and in singing his praises, and as much when alone, as in the company of others; often observing days of secret fasting, that he might discover, and repent of, and renounce every sin; maintaining a constant warfare against sin and temptation; frequently renewing his dedication of himself to God; conversing daily and familiarly with his own death and his own final trial; rejoicing habitually in the divine per-fections and the divine government; reverentially acknow-ledging the divine band in all the works of nature, and in all the events of providence; exhibiting a calm and sweet submission to the divine will under all the afflictions of life, so that he could regard afflictions as real and great blessings; and enabled so to live with God, from day to day, and from hour to hour, as to be delightfully conscious of his presence, to refer his inmost mind to the inspection of his eye, to value his approbation above all things else, to cherish a joyful sense of union to him, to converse with him, as a father, concerning his wants, infirmities, and sins, his dangers, duties, and trials, his joys and sorrows. his fears and desires, his hopes and prospects, and to commune with him in all his works and dispensations, in his perfections and his glory. And, as the result of this, we find the Spirit of God unfolding to him the wonders of divine truth; vouchsafing to him joyful and glorious discoveries of the perfections of God, as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; enabling him to live, as in the immediate presence and vision of the things that are un-seen and eternal; and communicating to him a joyful assurance of the favour of God, and of a title to future glory.
This state of his heart towards God, prepared him for a just estimate of his own character, for the formation of the best habits, and for a conscientious and faithful government over himself. The daily and careful survey of. his sins, by the light of the divine holiness, enabled him to discover the deceitfulness of his own heart, and led him habitually to abhor himself, to form none but humbling and abasing views of his own attainments in piety, and to esteem others better than himself. There was something extremely delicate in his constitution; which always obliged him to the exactest rules of temperance, and every method of cautious and prudent living. His temperance was the result of principle. It was not the mere ordinary care and watchfulness of temperate people, but such a degree of self-denial, both as to the quantity and quality of his food, as left his mind, in even part of the day, alike unclouded in its views, and unembarrassed in its movements. We have seen, from his diary, that he rose at a very early hour, throughout the year; that, in the morning, he con-sidered well the business and studies of the day, resolved to pursue that which was the most important; that his habits of punctuality were exact and thorough; that he husbanded his time, as the miser guards his choicest treasures; not losing it even in his walks, his rides, or his journeys; and not allowing himself to leave his study for the table, if his mind would thereby lose its brighter moments, and its happier sequences of thought and dis-covery; and that, in consequence of this regularity of life, and an exact and punctilious regard to bodily exercise, he was enabled to spend an unusual portion of every day, in severe and laborious mental application. Let it also be remembered, by every minister, that notwithstanding the exact discipline to which his mind had been subjected, by the course of his education, and by his long devotion to metaphysical pursuits, he continued his attention to mathematical studies, as a source, alike, of recreation and improvement, throughout the whole of his ministerial life.
The habits of his religious life, which he formed in his youth, were not less thorough and exact. His observation of the sabbath was such as to make it, throughout, a day of real religion; so that not only were his conversation and reading conformed to the great design of the day, but he allowed himself in no thoughts or meditations, which were not decidedly of a religious character. It was his rule, not only to search the Scriptures daily, but to study them so steadily, constantly, and frequently, as that he might perceive a regular and obvious growth in his knowledge of them. By prayer and self-application, he took constant care to render them the means of progressive sancti-fication. He made a secret of his private devotions, ob-serves Dr. Hopkins, and therefore they cannot be par-ticularly known; though there is much evidence that he was punctual, constant, and frequent in secret prayer, and often kept days of fasting and prayer in secret, and set apart time for serious, devout meditations on spiritual and eternal things, as part of his religious exercises in secret. It appears from his diary, that his stated seasons of secret prayer were, from his youth, three times a day,- in his journeys, as well as at home. He was, so far as can be known, much on his knees in secret, and in devout reading of God's word, and meditation upon it. And his constant, solemn converse with God, in these exercises of secret religion, made his face, as it were, to shine be-fore others. His appearance, his countenance, his words, and whole demeanour, were attended with a seriousness, gravity and solemnity, which was the natural, genuine, in-dication and expression, of a deep abiding sense of divine things on his mind, and of his living constantly in the fear of God. His watchfulness over himself-over his external conduct and over his secret thoughts and purposes-was most thorough and exemplary. The fear of God, and a consciousness of his own weakness, made him habitually apprehensive of sin, and led him most carefully to avoid every temptation. His self-examination was regular, universal, and in a sense constant. Every morning he endeavoured to foresee, and to guard against, the dangers of the day. Every night he carefully reviewed the conduct of his mind, during its progress, and inquired, wherein he had been negligent; what sin he had committed; wherein he had denied himself, and regularly kept an account of every thing which he found to be wrong This record he reviewed at the close of the week, of the month, and of the year, and on the occurrence of every important change in life; that he might know his own condition, and that he might carry his sins in humble confession be-fore God. Whenever he so much questioned whether he had done his duty, as that the quiet of his mind was there-by disturbed, he regularly set it down, that he might examine its real nature; and, if found in any respect to be wrong, might put it away. Every course of conduct, which led him in the least to doubt of the love of God; every action of his mind, the review of which would give him uneasi-ness in the hour of death, and on his final trial; he endea-voured, with all his strength, to avoid. Every obvious sin he traced back to its original, that he might afterward know where his danger lay. Every desire, which might prove the occasion of sin,-the desire of wealth, of ease, of pleasure, of influence, of fame, of popularity,-as well as every bodily appetite, he strove not only to watch against, but habitually and unceasingly to mortify; regarding occasions of great self-denial as glorious opportunities of destroying sin, and of confirming himself in holiness; and uniformly finding that his greatest mortifications were succeeded by the greatest comforts. On the approach of affliction he searched out the sin, which he ought especially to regard, as calling for such a testimony of the divine displeasure, that he might receive the chastisement with en-tire submission, and be concerned about nothing but his duty and his sin. The virtues and sins of others led him to examine himself, whether he possessed the former, and whether he did not practise the latter. Thus his whole life was a continued course of self-examination; and in the duty of secret fasting, and humiliation, which he very frequently observed,-a duty enjoined by Christ, on his followers, as explicitly, and in the same terms, as the duty of secret prayer; enjoined too, for the very purpose of discovery, confession, and purification,-he was accustomed, with due greatest unreservedness of which he was capable, to declare his ways to God, and to lay open his soul before him, all his sins, temptations, difficulties, sor-rows, and fears, as well as his desires and hopes; that the light of God's countenance might shine upon him without obstruction.
The fear of God had a controlling influence, also, in regulating his intercourse with mankind. The basis of that intercourse, in all the relations of life, and indeed of his whole character, was evangelical integrity,-a settled unbending resolution to do what he thought right, whatever self-denial or sacrifices it might cost him. This trait of character he early discovered, in the unfavourable estimate, which he formed, of his youthful attainments in religion; and in the severe judgment, which he passed upon the period of his official connexion with college, as a pe-riod of marked declension in his Christian life. He dis-covered it, during that connexion, in his most conscientious and honourable efforts to promote the welfare of that in-stitution, under uncommon difficulties and trials, he discovered it during his ministry at Northampton, in the very laborious performance of every ministerial duty, and in his firm and fearless defence of the truth, in opposition to numbers, power, and influence. He discovered it eminently in the affair of his dismission. His conscience at first hesitated, as to the lawfulness of the prevailing mode of admission to the church. Still, he regarded the ques-tion as altogether doubtful. It had been once publicly discussed; his own colleague and grandfather, who had introduced it at Northampton, being one of the combat-ants; and the victory had been supposed to be on has side, and in favour of the existing mode. The churches of the county had adopted it; and the whole current of public opinion,-the united voice of wealth, fashion, num-bers, learning, and influence,-was in its favour. If he decided against continuing the practice, all these would certainly be combined against him, his people would demand his dismission, before a tribunal which had pre-judged the case; his only means of supporting a young and numerous family would be taken away, at a time of life, when an adequate provision for their wants would probably involve him in extreme embarrassment. Yet none of these things moved him; and his only anxiety was, to ascertain and to perform his duty. He discovered it, in the same manner, in the controversy at Stockbridge. There, the same influence, which, in the former case, had effected his dismission, he knew would be combined against him, with increased hostility, and in all probabi-lity would deprive his family a second time of their sup-port; unless he sat quietly, and saw the charities of Christian philanthropy perverted to sources of private emo-lument. But in such a crisis he could not deliberate for a moment.
"He had a strict and inviolable regard to justice, in all his dealings with his neighbors, and was very careful to provide things honest in the sight of all men; so that scarcely a man had any dealings with him, who was not conscious of his uprightness.
"His great benevolence to mankind discovered itself, among other ways, by the uncommon regard he showed to liberality, and charity to the poor and distressed. He was much in recommending this, both in his public dis-courses, and in private conversation. He often declared it to be his opinion, that professed Christians were greatly deficient in this duty, and much more so than in most other parts of external Christianity. He often observed how much this is spoken of, recommended, and encouraged, in the Holy Scriptures, especially in the New Testament. And it was his opinion, that every particular church ought, by frequent and liberal contributions, to maintain a public stock, that might be ready for the poor and necessitous members of that church; and that the principal business of deacons is, to take care of the poor, in the faithful and judicious improvement and distribution of the church's contributions, lodged in their hands. And he did not content himself with merely recommending charity to others, but practised it much himself; though, according to his Master's advice, he took great care to conceal his acts of charity; by which means, doubtless, most of his alms-deeds will be unknown till the resurrection, but which, if known, would prove him to have been as ho-nourable an example of charity, as almost any that can be produced. This is not mere conjecture, but is evident many ways. He was forward to give, on all public occa-sions of charity; though, when it could properly be done, he always concealed the sum given. And some instances of his giving more privately have accidentally come to the knowledge of others, in which his liberality appeared in a very extraordinary degree. One of the instances was this: upon his hearing that a poor obscure man, whom he never saw, or any of his kindred, was, by an extraordinary bo-dily disorder, brought to great straits; he, unasked, gave a considerable sum to a friend, to be delivered to the distressed person; having first required a promise of him, that he would let neither the person, who was the object of his charity, nor any one else, know by whom at was given. This may serve both as an instance of his extraordinary charity, and of his great care to conceal it."
Not less exemplary was his practice of the kindred vir-tue of hospitality, so much enjoined on all Christians, in the sacred Scriptures. As his acquaintance was very ex-tensive, his house was the frequent resort of gentlemen from all parts of the colonies; and the friend, and the stranger of worth, ever found a kind and cordial welcome at his table, and in the midst of his family.
"He was thought by some to be distant and unsociable in his manners, but this was owing to the want of a bet-ter acquaintance. He was not, indeed, a man of many words, and was somewhat reserved in the company of strangers, and of those, on whose candour and friendship he did not know that he could rely. And this was probably owing to two causes. First, the strict guard he set over his tongue, from his youth. From experience and obser-vation he early discovered, that the sins of the tongue make up a very formidable proportion of all the sins committed by men, and lead to a very large proportion of their remaining sins. He therefore resolved to take the utmost care, never to sin with his tongue; to avoid not only uttering reproaches himself, but receiving them, and listening to them from others; to say nothing for the sake of giving pain, or wounding the feelings or reputation of others; to say nothing evil concerning them, except when an obvious duty required him to do it, and then to speak, as if nobody had been as vile as himself, and as if he had committed the same sins. or had the same infirmities or failings, as others; never to employ himself in idle, trivial, and impertinent talk, which generally makes up a great part of the conversation of those, who are full of words, in all companies: and to make sure of that mark of a perfect man, given by James, 'if any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able, also, to bridle the whole body.' He was sensible, that 'in the multitude of words there wanteth not sin,' and there-fore refrained his lips, and habituated himself to thank before he spoke, and to propose some good end in all his words; which led him, conformably to an apostolic pre-cept, to be, above many others, slow to speak -Secondly, this was in part the effect of his bodily constitution. He possessed but a comparatively small stock of animal life: his spirits were low, and he had neither the vivacity nor strength of lungs to spare, that would have been requisite in order to render him what might be called an affable, sprightly companion, in all circles. They who have a great flow of animal spirits, and so can speak with more ease, and less expense and exhaustion, than others, may doubtless lawfully engage in free conversation, in all companies, for a lower end than that which he proposed: e. g. to please, or to render themselves agreeable to others. But not so he who has not such an abundant supply: it becomes him to reserve what he has for higher and more important service. Besides, the want of animal spirit lays a man under a nataral inability of exercising that freedom of conversation, at all times, and in whatever company he is, which those possessed of more vivacity naturally and easily glide into; and the greatest degree of humility and benevolence, of good sense and social feel-ing, will not remove this obstacle.
"He was not forward to enter into any dispute before strangers, and in companies where there might be persons of different sentiments; being sensible that such disputes are generally unprofitable, and often sinful, and of bad consequence. He thought he could dispute to the best advantage with his pen; yet he was always free to give his sentiments, on any subject proposed to him, and to remove any difficulties or objections offered by way of inquiry, as lying in the way of what he looked upon to be the truth. But how groundless, with regard to him, the imputation of being distant and unsociable was, his known and tried friends best knew. They always found him easy of access, kind and condescending: and though not talkative, yet affable and free. Among those, whose candour and friendship he had experienced, he threw off all that, which to others had the appearance of reserve, and was most open and communicative: and was always patient of contradiction, while the utmost opposition was made to his sentiments, that could be made by any arguments or objections, whether plausible or solid, And indeed he was, on all occasions, quite sociable and free with all who had any special business with him.
"His conversation with his friends was always savoury and profitable: in this he was remarkable, and almost singular. He was not accustomed to spend his time with them in evil speaking, or foolish jesting, idle chit-chat, and telling stories; but his mouth was that of the just, which bringeth forth wisdom, and whose lips dispense know-ledge. His tongue was as the pen of a ready writer, while he conversed about important heavenly and divine things, of which his heart was so fall, in a manner so new and original, so natural and familiar, as to be most enter-taining and instructive; so that none of his friends could enjoy his company without instruction and profit unless it was by their own fault.
"He was cautious in choosing his intimate friends, and therefore had not many that might properly he ailed such; but to them he showed himself friendly in a pecu-liar manner. He was, indeed, a faithful friend, and able above most others to keep a secret. To them he discovered himself, more than to others, and led them into his views and ends in his conduct in particular instances: by which they had abundant evidence that he well understood human nature, and that his general reservedness, and many par-ticular instances of his conduct, which a stranger might impute to ignorance of men, were really owing to his un-common knowledge of mankind.
"In his family, he practised that conscientious exactness, which was conspicuous in all his ways. He maintained a great esteem and regard for his amiable and excellent consort. Much of the tender and affectionate was ex-pressed in his conversation with her, and in all his conduct towards her. He was often visited by her in his study, and conversed freely with her on matters of religion; and he used commonly to pray with her in his study, at least once a day, unless something extraordinary prevented. The season for this, commonly, was in the evening, after prayers in the family, just before going to bed. As he rose very early himself, he was wont to have his family up betimes in the morning; after which, before they entered on the business of the day, he attended on family prayers; when a chapter in the Bible was read, commonly by candle-light in the winter; upon which he asked his children questions, according to their age and capacity; and took occasion to explain some passages in it, or en-force any duty recommended, as he thought most proper.
He was careful and thorough in the government of his children; and, as a consequence of this, they reverenced, esteemed, and loved him. He took the utmost care to begin his government of them, when they were very young. When they first discovered any degree of self-will and stubbornness, he would attend to them, until he had thoroughly subdued them, and brought them to sub-mit. Such prudent discipline, exercised with the greatest calmness, being repeated once or twice, was generally sufficient for that child; and effectually established his parental authority, and produced a cheerful obedience ever after.
"He kept a watchful eye over his children, that he might admonish them of the first wrong step, and direct them in the right way. He took opportunities to converse with them singly and closely, about the concerns of their souls, and to give them warnings, exhortations, and directions, as he saw them severally need." The salvation of his children was his chief and constant desire, and aim, and effort concerning them. In the evening, after tea, he cus-tomarily sat in the parlour, with his family, for an hour, unbending from the severity of study, entering freely into the feelings and concerns of his children, and relaxing into cheerful and animated conversation, accompanied fre-quently with sprightly remarks, and sallies of wit and humour. But, before retiring to his study, he usually gave the conversation, by degrees, a more serious turn, addressing his children, with great tenderness and earnest-ness, on the subject of their salvation; when the thought that they were still strangers to religion would often affect him so powerfully, as to oblige him to withdraw, in order to conceal his emotions.- "He took much pains to in-struct his children in the principles and duties of religion, in which he made use of the Assembly's Shorter Cate-chism: not merely by taking care that they learned it by heart, but by leading them into an understanding of the doctrines therein taught, by asking them questions on each answer, and explaining it to them. His usual time to attend to this was on the evening before the sabbath. And, as he believed that the sabbath, or holy time, began at sunset, on the evening preceding the first day of the week, he ordered his family to finish all their secular business by that time, or before; when all were called together, a psalm was sung, and prayer offered, as an introduction to the sanctification of the sabbath. This care and exactness effectually prevented that intruding on holy time, by attending to secular business, which is too com-mon even in families where the evening before the sab-bath is professedly observed.
"He was utterly opposed to every thing like unseason-able hours, on the part of young people, in their visiting and amusements; which he regarded as a dangerous step towards corrupting them, and bringing them to ruin. And he thought the excuse offered by many parents, for tole-rating this practice in their children,-that it is the custom, and that the children of other people are allowed thus to practise, and therefore it is difficult, and even impossible, to restrain theirs,-was insufficient and frivolous, and mani-fested a great degree of stupidity, on the supposition that the practice was hurtful and pernicious to their souls. And when his children grew up, he found no difficulty in restraining them from this improper and mischievous practice; but they cheerfully complied with the will of their parents. He allowed none of his children to be ab-sent from home after nine o'clock at night, when they went abroad to see their friends and companions; neither were they allowed to sit up much after that time, in his own house, when any of their friends came to visit them. If any gentleman desired to address either of his daughters, after the requisite introduction and preliminaries, he was allowed all proper opportunities of becoming thoroughly acquainted with the manners and disposition of the young lady, but must not intrude on the customary hours of rest and sleep, nor on the religion and order of the family."
Perhaps there never was a man more constantly retired from the world, giving himself to reading and contempla-tion; and it was a wonder that his feeble frame could subsist under such fatigues, daily repeated, and so long continued. Yet, upon this being alluded to by one of his friends, only a few months before his death, he said to him," I do not find but that I now am as well able to bear the closest study, as I was thirty years ago; and can go through the exercises of the pulpit with as little uneasiness or difficulty."-In his youth he appeared healthy, and with a good degree of vivacity, but was never robust. In middle life he appeared very much emaciated, by se-vere study, and intense mental application. In his per-son he was tall of stature, and of a slender form. (Footnote: His height was about six feet one inch) He had a high, broad, bold forehead, and an eye unusually piercing and luminous; and on his whole countenance the features of his mind-perspicacity, sincerity, and benevolence-were so strongly impressed, that no one could behold it without at once discovering the clearest indica-tions of great intellectual and moral elevation. His man-ners were those of the Christian gentleman, easy, tranquil, modest, and dignified; yet they were the manners of the student, grave, sedate, and contemplative; and evinced an exact sense of propriety, and an undeviating attention to the rules of decorum. "He had," observes one of his contemporaries, "a natural steadiness of temper, and for-titude of mind; which, being sanctified by the Spirit of God, was ever of vast advantage to him, to carry him through difficult services, and to support him under trying afflictions in the course of his life.-Personal injuries he bore with a becoming meekness and patience, and a disposition to forgiveness." According to Dr. Hopkins himself an eye-witness, these traits of character were eminently discovered, throughout the whole of his long-continued trials at Northampton his own narrative of that trans-action, his remarks before the council, his letters relating to it, and his farewell sermon, all written in the midst of the passing occurrences, bespeak as calm, and meek, and unperturbed a state of mind, as they would have done, had they been written by a third person, long after the events took place -"The humility, modesty, and serenity of his behaviour, much endeared him to his acquaintance, and made him appear amiable in the eyes of such as had the privilege of conversing with them.-The several rela-tions sustained by him, he adorned with exemplary fide-lity; and was solicitous to fill every station with its proper duty .-In his private walk as a Christian, he ap-peared an example of truly rational, consistent, uniform religion and virtue; a shining instance of the power and efficacy of that holy faith, to which he was so firmly attached, and of which he was so zealous a defender. He exhibited much of spirituality, and a heavenly bent of soul. In him one saw the loveliest appearance-a rare assemblage of Christian graces, united with the richest gifts, and mutually subserving and recommending one another."
"He had an uncommon thirst for knowledge, in the pursuit of which he spared no cost nor pains, he read all the books, especially books treating of theology, that he could procure, from which he could hope to derive any assistance in the discovery of truth. And in this, he did not confine himself to authors of any particular sect or denomination; but even took much pains to procure the works of the most distinguished writers, who advanced views of religion or morals most contrary to his own principles; particularly the ablest Arminian, Socinian, and infidel writers. But he studied the Bible more than all other books, and more than most other divines do" He studied the Bible, to receive implicitly what it teaches; but he read other books to examine their soundness, and to employ them as helps in the investigation of principles, and the discovery of truth. His uncommon acquaintance with the Bible, appears in his sermons, in his treatises,- particularly in the treatises on the Affections, on the His-tory of Redemption, on United and Extraordinary Prayer, on the Types of the Messiah, on the Qualifications for Communion, and on God's Last End in the Creation,-in his Notes on the Scriptures, and in his Miscellaneous Observations and Remarks. Any person who will read his works with close attention, and then will compare them with those of other theological writers, since the days of the apostles, will easily be satisfied that no other divine has as yet appeared, who has studied the Scriptures more thoroughly, or who has been more successful in discover-ing the mind of the Holy Spirit. He took his religious principles from the Bible, and not from treatises, or systems of theology, or any work of man On the maturest examination of the different schemes of faith, prevailing in the world, and on comparing them with the sacred Scrip-tures, he adhered to the main articles of the reformed religion, with an unshaken firmness and with a fervent zeal, yet tempered with charity and candour, and governed by discretion. Few men are less under the bias of edu-cation, or the influence of bigotry: few receive the articles of their creed so little upon trust, or discover so much liberality or thoroughness in examining their foundation. His principles have been extensively styled Calvinistic, yet they differ widely from what has usually been de-nominated Calvinism, in various important points; par-ticularly, in all immediately connected with moral agen-cy; and he followed implicitly, if any man ever followed, the apostolic injunction, to call no man, Father, by receiv-ing nothing on human authority, and examining scrupu-lously every principle which he adopted. He thought, and investigated, and judged for himself; and from the strength of his reasoning powers, as well as from his very plan of study, he became truly an original writer. As we have already sufficiently seen, reading was not the only, nor the chief, method which he took of improving his mind; but he devoted the strength of his time and of his faculties to writing, without which no student, and, be it remembered, no minister, can make improvements to the best advantage. He preached extensively on subjects, continued through a series of discourses;-many of his treatises having been a course of sermons actually de-livered from the desk In this practice, every minister who has a mind fitted for investigation, would do well to follow him. "Agreeably to the 11th Resolution, he ap-plied himself, with all his might, to find out truth: he searched for it as for silver, and digged for it as for hidden treasures. Every thought, on any subject, which appeared to him worth pursuing and preserving, he pursued as far as he then could, with a pen in his hand. Thus he was, all his days, like the industrious bee, collecting honey from every opening flower, and storing up a stock of knowledge, which was indeed sweet to him, as honey and the honey-comb."
As a scholar, his intellectual furniture exceeded what was common, under the disadvantages experienced at that time, in these remote colonies, lie had an extensive ac-quaintance with the arts and sciences-with classical and Hebrew literature, with physics, mathematics, history, chronology, ethics, and mental philosophy. By the bless-ing of God on his indefatigable labours, to the last, he was constantly treasuring up useful knowledge, both human and divine.
"Thus he appears to have been uncommonly accom-plished for the arduous and momentous province to which he was finally called. And had his precious life been spared, there is every reason to believe, that he would have graced the station on which he had but entered, and proved a signal blessing to the college of New Jersey, and therein extensively served his generation according to the will of God"
His inattention to his style is certainly to be regretted. In earlier life, he appears to have thought neatness and correctness in writing of little consequence, and to have sent his works to the press very much in the state in which they were first written. Let it here be remembered, that the cultivation of style was not then attended to in the colonies; that the people at large were accustomed to discourses written in the plainest manner; and that it is extremely doubtful, whether, in the then existing state of the country, it would have been possible for him to have devoted much attention to the style of his sermons, with-out greatly diminishing their amount of impression. About the time of his leaving Northampton, he received one of the works of Richardson, which he read with deep interest, and regarded as wholly favourable to good morals and purity of character. The perusal of it led him to attempt the formation of a more correct style, his previous inattention to which he then deeply regretted, and in this attempt he had much success. The style of the Freedom of the Will, though obviously that of a student, and not of a man of the world, is otherwise as correct as that of most of the metaphysical treatises to be found in the lan-guage. The same is true, generally, of the Treatise on Original Sin; although it was in the press when he died, and never received his last corrections. In the two high-est excellences of style, perspicuity and precision, he was probably never excelled.
Of the powers of his mind, enough, perhaps, has been said already. They were certainly very varied, and fitted him for high distinction in any of the pursuits of learning or science.-His memory was strong, exact, uniform, and comprehensive -His imagination was rich and powerful. I know that the contrary opinion has extensively prevailed, and that for three reasons. First, he paid little or no attention to his style of writing. Secondly, he never culti-vated his imagination, and never indulged it but sparingly, and probably in no instance, for mere ornament. Thirdly, his great works are treatises on metaphysical subjects. A writer without imagination, always thinks and writes in a dry manner; and, if his powers are great, like those of Aristotle, he writes like a pure intelligence. Those who are conversant with the writings of Edwards, need not be informed that all his works, even the most metaphy-sical, are rich in illustration, or that his sermons abound with imagery of every kind, adapted to make a powerful and lasting impression. In his earlier writings, this fa-culty of his mind was suffered to act with less restraint. The first production of his pen, on the materiality of the soul, is a constant play of imagination and wit. The boy who could speak of the spiders of the forest, as "those wondrous animals, from whose glistening web so much of the wisdom of the Creator shines,"-who, in describing their operations, could say, "I have seen a vast multitude of little shining webs, and glistening strings, brightly reflecting the sun-beams, and some of them of great length, and of such a height, that one would think they were tacked to the vault of the hea-vens, and would be burnt like tow in the sun;"-and who, in exposing the absurdity of the supposition, that there can be absolutely nothing, observes, "When we go to form an idea of perfect nothing, we must not suffer our thoughts to take sanctuary in a mathematical point, but we must think of the same, that the sleeping rocks do dream of."-possessed an imagination at once rich, bril-liant, and creative.-His taste, if we do not refer to style of writing, but merely to the judgment of the mind, con-cerning all the varieties of sublimity and beauty, was at once delicate and correct.-Few of mankind, hitherto, have possessed either invention, ratiocination, or judg-ment in so high a degree: and it is difficult to say for which of these he is most distinguished. In comparing him with the metaphysicians of the old world, we must not forget his and their respective advantages for the culture of the mind, he was born in an obscure village, in which the ancient reign of barbarism was only beginning to yield to the inroads of culture and civilization; in a colony comprising but here and there a settlement; and in a country literally in its infancy, constituting with the exception of now and then a white plantation, one vast continuous forest, and distant three thousand miles from Europe, the seat of arts, refinement, and knowledge. He was educated at a seminary but three years older than himself; which had as yet no domical, and which furnished advantages totally inferior to those now enjoy-ed at the respectable academies of New England. The rest of his life was passed amid the cares of a most labo-rious profession, and on the very frontiers (and the latter part of it in the very midst) of savage life; with no libraries to explore, and with no men of eminence with whose minds his could come into daily contact. His greatest work was written in four months and a half while each sabbath he delivered two sermons to his English flock, and two others by interpreters, to two distinct auditories of Indians, and catechised the children of both tribes, and earned on all the correspondence of the mis-sion, and was forced to guard against the measures of a powerful combination, busily occupied in endeavouring to drive him from his office, and thus to deprive his family of their daily bread.-With these things in view, instead of drawing any such comparison myself, I will refer my readers to the opinion of a writer of no light authority on such a subject,-I mean Dugald Stewart;-who, after having detailed tie systems of Locke, and Leibnitz, and Berkeley, and Condillac, speaks thus of the subject of this Memoir:-"There is, however, one metaphysician, of whom America has to boast, who, in logical acuteness and subtilty, does not yield to any disputant bred in the universities of Europe I need not say that I allude to Jonathan Edwards."
Mr. Edwards acquired a very high character, as a di-vine and as a preacher, during his life. "Among the luminaries of the church, in these American regions," says one of his contemporaries, "he was justly reputed a star of the first magnitude; thoroughly versed in all the branches of theology, didactic, polemic, casuistic, experi-mental, and practical. In point of divine knowledge and skill, he had few equals, and perhaps no superior; at least in those foreign parts."- "Mr. Edwards," says Dr. Hopkins, "had the most universal character of a good preacher, of almost any minister in America. There were but few that heard him, who did not call him a good preacher, however they might dislike his religious princi-pIes, and be much offended at the same truths when de-livered by others; and most people admired him above all the preachers that ever they heard." His character as a laborious and faithful minister, and especially as a powerful and successful preacher, if we may judge from the history of his life, and of the time in which he lived, was such for many years before his death, as to leave him here without a competitor. This was owing chiefly to his preaching and pastoral labours; for most of his Ia-boured productions were published either a little before, or after, his death; yet, long ere this, his fame as a preacher and minister of Christ, had pervaded the colonies, and was extensively known in Great Britain. Until within these few years, there were many living witnesses, who had heard him in their youth, and who distinctly remembered the powerful impressions left on their minds by his preaching, and particularly described his appear-ance in the pulpit, the still, unmoved solemnity of his manner, the weight of his sentiments first fixing the at-tention, and then overwhelming the feelings, of his au-dience. One of his youthful auditors, afterwards a gen-tleman of great respectability, informed my father that he was present, when he delivered the sermon in the History of Redemption, in which he describes the day of judgment; and that so vivid and solemn was the impres-sion made on his own mind, that he fully supposed, that as soon as Mr. Edwards should close his discourse, the Judge would descend, and the final separation take place. The late Dr. West, of Stockbridge, who heard him in his childhood, in that village, gave me an account generally similar of the effects of his preaching. On one occasion, when the sermon exceeded two hours in its length, he told me that from the time that Mr. Edwards had fairly unfolded his subject, the attention of the audience was fixed and motionless, until its close; when they seemed disappointed that it should terminate so soon. There was such a bearing down of truth upon the mind, he observed, that there was no resisting it.-ln his own congregation, the visible effects of his preaching were such as were never paralleled an New England. Often, also, he was invited to great distances to preach; and these occasional sermons sometimes produced a wonderful effect. One of these instances, which occurred at Enfield, at a time of great religious indifference there, is thus mentioned by the Rev. Dr. Trumbull. "When they went into the meeting-house, the appearance of the as-sembly was thoughtless and vain. The people hardly conducted themselves with common decency. The Rev Mr. Edwards, of Northampton, preached; and before the sermon was ended, the assembly appeared deeply im-pressed, and bowed down with an awful conviction of their sin and danger. There was such a breathing of dis-tress and weeping, that the preacher was obliged to speak to the people and desire silence, that he might be heard." This was the commencement of a general and powerful revival of religion.
To what, it may not improperly be asked, are this repu-tation and this success to be ascribed? It was not to his style of writing: that had no claims to elegance, or even to neatness.-It was not to his voice; that, far from being strong and full, was, in consequence of his feeble health, a little languid, and too low for a large assembly; though relieved and aided by a proper emphasis, just cadence, well placed pauses, and great clearness, distinctness, and precision of enunciation.-It was not owing to attitude or gesture, to his appearance in the pulpit, or to any of the customary arts of eloquence. His appearance in the pulpit was with a good grace, and his delivery easy, per-fectly natural, and very solemn. He wrote his sermons; and in so fine and so illegible a hand, that they could be read only by being brought near to the eye "He carried his notes with him into the pulpit, and read most that he wrote: still, he was not confined to them; and if some thoughts were suggested to him while he was preaching, which did not occur to him when writing, and appeared pertinent, he would deliver them with as great propriety and fluency, and often with greater pathos, and attended with a more sensibly good effect on his hearers, than what he had written." While preaching, he customarily stood, holding his small manuscript volume in his left hand, the elbow resting on the cushion or the Bible, his right hand rarely raised but to turn the leaves, and his person almost motionless -It was not owing to the pictures of fancy, or to any ostentation of learning, or of talents. In his preaching, usually all was plain, familiar, sententious, and practical.
One of the positive causes of his high character, and great success, as a preacher, was the deep and pervading solemnity of his mind, he had, at all times, a solemn conscious-ness of the presence of God. This was visible in his looks arid general demeanour. It obviously had a controlling influence over all his preparations for the pulpit; and was most manifest in all his public services. Its effect on an audience is immediate, and not to be resisted. "He ap-peared," says Dr. Hopkins, "with such gravity and solemnity, and his words were so full of ideas, that few speakers have been able to command the attention of an audience as he did."-His knowledge of the Bible, evinced in his sermons-in the number of relevant passages which he brings to enforce every position, in his exact dis-cernment of the true scope of each, in his familiar acquaint-ance with the drift of the whole Scriptures on the subject, and in the logical precision with which he derives his principles from them-is probably unrivalled.-His know-ledge of the human heart, and its operations, has scarcely been equalled by that of any uninspired preacher. He de-rived this knowledge from his familiarity with the testimony of God concerning it in the Bible; from his tho-rough acquaintance with his own heart; and from his profound knowledge of mental philosophy. The effect of it was, to enable him to speak to the consciousness of every one who heard him; so that each one was compelled to reflect, in language like that of the woman of Sychar, "Here is a man, who is revealing to me the secrets of my own heart and life: is not this man from God?"-His knowledge of theology was so exact and universal, and the extensiveness of his views arid of his information was so great, that while he could shed unusual variety and richness of thought over every discourse, he could also bring the most striking and impressive truths, facts, and circumstances, to bear upon the point, which he was en-deavouring to illustrate or enforce.-His aim, in preparing and delivering his sermons, was single This is so ob-vious, that no man probably ever suspected him of writing or delivering a sermon, for the sake of display, or reputa-tion. From the first step to the last, he aimed at nothing but the salvation of his hearers, and at the glory of God as revealed in it. This enabled him to bring all his powers of mind and heart to bear on this one object,- His feelings on this subject were most intense. The love of Christ constrained him; and the strong desire of his soul was, that they for whom Christ died might live for Him who died for them. "His words," says Dr. Hopkins, "often discovered a great degree of inward fervour, without much noise or external emotion, and fell with great weight on the minds of his hearers; and he spake so as to reveal the strong emotions of his own heart, which tend-ed, in the most natural and effectual manner, to move and affect others"-The plan of his sermons is most excellent. In his introduction, which is always an explanation of the passage, he exhibits uncommon skill, and the sagacity with which he discovers, and the power with which he seizes at once, the whole drift and weaning of the passage in all its bearings, has rarely if ever been equalled. In the body of the discourse, he never attempts an elabo-rate proof of his doctrine, from revelation and reason; but rather gives an explanation of the doctrine, or places the truth on which he is discoursing directly before the mind, as a fact, and paints it to the imagination of his hearers. In the application, where he usually lays out his strength, he addresses himself with peculiar plainness to the consciences of his hearers, takes up and applies to them minutely all the important ideas contained in the body of the discourse, and appropriates them to persons of dif-ferent characters and situations in life, by a particular ex-planation of their duties and their dangers: and lastly, by a solemn, earnest, and impressive appeal to every feeling and active principle of our nature, he counsels, exhorts, warns, expostulates, as if he were determined not to suffer his hearers to depart, until they were convinced of their duty, and persuaded to choose and to perform it.-His graphic manner of exhibiting truth, is, perhaps, his peculiar excellence. The doctrines of the gospel, in his hands, are not mere abstract propositions, but living realities, distinctly seen by the author's faith, and painted with so much truth and life, and warmth of colouring, as cannot fail to give his hearers the same strong impression of them, which already exists in his own mind. With all this, he preached the real truth of God, in its simplicity and purity, keeping nothing back, with so much weight of thought and argu-ment, so much strength of feeling, and such sincerity of purpose, as must enlighten every understanding, convince every conscience, and almost convert every heart.-I in-quired of Dr West, Whether Mr. Edwards was an eloquent preacher. He replied, "If you mean, by eloquence, what is usually intended by it in our cities; he had no pretensions to it. He had no studied varieties of the voice, and no strong emphasis. He scarcely gestured, or even moved; and he made no attempt, by the elegance of his style, or the beauty of his pictures, to gratify the taste, and fascinate the imagination. But, if you mean by eloquence, the power of presenting an important truth be-fore an audience, with overwhelming weight of argument, and with such intenseness of feeling, that the whole soul of the speaker is thrown into every part of the conception and delivery; so that the solemn attention of the whole audience is rivetted, from the beginning to the close, and impressions are left that cannot be effaced; Mr. Edwards was the most eloquent man I ever heard speak."-As the result of the whole, we are led to regard him as, beyond most others, an instructive preacher, a solemn and faithful preacher, an animated and earnest preacher, a most power-ful and impressive preacher. in the sense explained, and the only true sense, a singularly eloquent preacher, and, through the blessing of God, one of the most successful preachers since the days of the apostles. It ought here to be added, that the sermons of Mr. Edwards have been, to his immediate pupils, and to his followers, the models of a style of preaching, which has been most signally blessed by God to the conversion of sinners, and which should be looked to as a standard, by those who wish, like him, to turn many to righteousness, that with him they may shine, as the stars, for ever and ever.
His prayers," says Dr. Hopkins, "were indeed extempore. He was the farthest from any appearance of a form, as to his words and manner of expression, of almost any man. He was quite singular and inimitable in this, by any, who have not a spirit of real and undissembled devotion; yet he always expressed himself with decency and propriety. He appeared to have much of the grace and spirit of prayer; to pray with the spirit and with the understanding; and he performed this part of duty much to the acceptance and edification of those who joined with him. He was not wont, in ordinary cases, to be long in his prayers: an error which, he observed, was often hurtful to public and social prayer, as it tends rather to damp, than to promote, true devotion."
His practice, not to visit his people in their own houses, except in cases of sickness or affliction, is an example, not of course to be imitated by all. That, on this subject, ministers ought to consult their own talents and circum-stances, and visit more or less, according to the degree in which they can thereby promote the great ends of their ministry, cannot be doubted. That his time was too precious to the church at large, to have been devoted, in any considerable degree, to visiting, all will admit. Yet it is highly probable, that, if he had been somewhat less in his study, and seen his people occasionally in the midst of their families, and known more of their circumstances and wants, and entered more into their feelings, his hold on their affections would have been stronger, and more permanent. Certainly this will be true with ministers at large. In other pastoral duties, in preaching public and private lectures, in extraordinary labours during seasons of attention to religion, and in conversing with the anxious and inquiring, he was an uncommon example of faithfulness and success. "At such seasons, his study was thronged with persons, who came to lay open their spiritual concerns to him, and seek his advice and direction. He was a peculiarly skilful guide to those who were under spiritual difficulties; and was therefore sought unto, not only by his own people, but by many at a great distance." For this duty he was eminently fitted, from his own deep personal experience of religion, from his unwearied study of the word of Cod, from his having had so much intercourse with those who were in spiritual troubles, from his un-common acquaintance with the human heart, with the nature of conversion, and with revivals of religion, and from his skill in detecting and exposing every thing like enthusiasm and counterfeit religion How great a blessing was it to a church, to a people, and to every anxious inquirer, to enjoy the counsels and the prayers of such a minister!
But it is the theological treatises of Mr. Edwards, especially, by which he is most extensively known, to which he owes his commanding influence, and on which his highest reputation will ultimately depend. It is proper, therefore, before we conclude, to sketch his character as a theologian and controversialist, and to state the actual ef-fects of his writings.
As a theologian, he is distinguished for his scriptural views of divine truth. Even the casual reader of his works can scarcely fail to perceive that, with great labour, patience, and skill, he derived his principles from an exten-sive and most accurate observation of the word of God. The number of passages which he adduces from the Scriptures, on every important doctrine, the critical attention he has evidently given them, the labour in arranging them, and the skill and integrity with which he derives his general conclusions from them, is truly astonishing. We see no intermixture of his own hypotheses; no confidence in his own reason, except as applied to the interpretation of the oracles of God; nor even that disposition to make ex-tended and momentous inferences, which characterizes some of his successors and admirers.
Another characteristic of his theology, is the extensiveness of his views In his theology, as in his mind, there was nothing narrow, no partial, contracted views of a subject: all was simple, great, and sublime. His mind was too expanded to regard the distinctions of sects and churches. He belonged, in his feelings, to no church but the church of Christ, he contended for nothing but the truth; he aimed at nothing but to promote holiness and salvation. The effect of his labours so exactly coincides with the effects of the gospel, that no denomination can ever appropriate his name to itself, or claim him as its own.
Viewing Mr. Edwards as a controversialist, the most excellent, if not the most striking, trait in his character, is his integrity. Those who have been most opposed to his conclusions, and have most powerfully felt the force of his arguments, have acknowledged that he is a perfectly fair disputant. He saw so certainly the truth of his positions, and had such confidence in his ability to defend them by fair means, that the thought of employing sophistry in their defence never occurred to him. But, if he had felt the want of sound arguments, he would not have employed it. His conscience was too enlightened, and his mind too sincere. His aim, in all his investiga-tions, was the discovery and the defence of truth. He valued his positions, only because they were true; and he gave them up at once, when he found that they were not supported by argument and evidence.
Another trait in his character, as a reasoner, is originality, or invention. Before his time, the theological writers of each given class or party, had, with scarcely an exception, followed on, one after another, in the same beaten path, and, whenever any one had deviated from it, he had soon lost himself in the mazes of error. Mr. Edwards had a mind too creative to be thus dependent on others. If the reader will examine carefully his controversial and other theological works, and compare them with those of his predecessors on the same subjects; he will find that his positions are new, that his definitions are new, that his plans are new, that his arguments are new, that his conclusions are new, that his mode of reasoning and his methods of discovering truth are perfectly his own; and that he has done more to render theology a new science, than, with perhaps one or two exceptions, all the writers who have lived since the days of the fathers.
Another characteristic of his controversial writings, is the excellent spirit which every where pervades them. So strikingly is this true, that we cannot but urge every one, who peruses them, to examine for himself, whether he can discover, in them all, a solitary deviation from Christian kindness and sincerity. By such an examination he will discover in them, if I mistake not, a fairness in proposing the real point in dispute, a candour in examining the argu-ments of his opponents, in stating their objections, and in suggesting others in which had escaped them, and a care in avoiding every thing like personality, and the imputation of unworthy motives, rarely paralleled in the annals of contro-versy It should here be remembered, that he wrote his treatise on the Affections, and his several works on revivals of religion, in the very heat of a violent contest, which divided and agitated this whole country; that in his treatises on the Freedom of the Will, on Original Sin, and on Justification, he handles subjects, which unavoidably awaken the most bitter opposition in the human heart, and opposes those, who had boasted of their victories over what he believed to be the cause of truth," with no little glorying and insult;" that his treatise on the Qualifica-tions for Communion, was written amid all the violence, and abuse, and injury of a furious parochial controversy; and that, in the Answer to Williams, he was called to reply to the most gross personalities, and to the most palpable misrepresentations of his arguments, his principles, and his motives.
He has, I know, been charged sometimes with handling his antagonists with needless severity. But let it be re-membered, that his severity is never directed against their personal character, but merely against their principles and arguments; that his wit is only an irresistible exposition of the absurdity which he is opposing; that he stood forth as the champion of truth, and the opponent of error; and that, in this character, it was his duty not merely to prostrate error, but to give it a death-blow, that it might never rise again.
But the characteristic of his controversial, and indeed of all his theological, writings, which gives them their chief value and effect, is the unanswerableness of his arguments. He not only drives his enemy from the field, but he erects a rampart, so strong and impregnable, that no one after-wards has any courage to assail it; and his companions in arms find the great work of defending the positions, which he has occupied, already done to their hands.
This impossibility of answering his arguments, arises, in the first place, from the strength and conclusiveness of his reasoning. By first fixing in his own mind, and then ex-actly defining, the meaning of his terms, by stating his propositions with logical precision, and by clearly discern-ing and stating the connexion between his premises aid conclusions, he has given to metaphysical reasoning very much of the exactness and certainty of mathematical demonstration.
Another cause of the unanswerable character of his reasonings, is, that he usually follows several distinct trains of argument, which all terminate in the same conclusion. Each of them is satisfactory; but the union of all, commencing at different points, and arriving at the same identical result, cannot fail to convince the mind, that that result is not to he shaken.
A third cause of this is, that he himself anticipates, and effectually answers, not only all the objections that have been made, but all that apparently can be made, to the points for which he contends. These he places in the strongest light and examines under every shape which they can assume in the hands of an evasive antagonist, and shows that, in every possible form, they are wholly inconclusive.
A fourth cause is his method of treating the opinions of his opponents. It is the identical method of Euclid. Assuming them as premises, he with great ingenuity shows, that they lead to palpable absurdity. He demonstrates that his opponents are inconsistent with themselves, as well as with truth and common sense;-and rarely stops, until he has exposed their error to contempt and ridicule.
This unanswerableness of Mr. Edwards's reasonings, in his controversial works, has been most publicly confessed. The Essay on the Will treats of subjects the most contested within the limits of theology; and, unless it can be answered, prostrates in the dust the scheme of doctrines, for which his antagonists so earnestly contend. Yet, hi-therto, it stands unmoved and unassailed; and the waves of controversy break harmless at its base. The treatise on Original Sin, though written chiefly to overthrow the hypothesis of an individual, is perhaps not less conclusive in its reasonings. That he succeeded in that design, as well as in establishing the great principles for which he contends will not be doubted by any one who examines the controversy; and is said to have been virtually con-fessed, in a melancholy manner, by Taylor himself. He had indiscreetly boasted, in his larger work, that it never would be answered. The answer was so complete, that it admitted of no reply. His consequent mortification is said to have shortened his days. Whether it was true, or not, that the grasp of his antagonist was literally death, it was at least death to the controversy. The treatise on the Qualifications for Communion, attacked the most favourite scheme of all the lax religionists of this country, the only plausible scheme, ever yet devised, of establish-ing a communion between light and darkness, between Christ and Belial. They regarded this attack with indig-nation, from one end of the country to the other. One solitary combatant appeared in the field; and, being left in a state of irrecoverable prostration, he has hitherto found no one adventurous enough to come to his aid. The Treatise, and Reply, of Mr. Edwards, by the conclusive-ness of their reasonings, have so changed the opinion and practice of the ministers, and the churches, of New England, that a mode of admission, once almost universal, now scarcely finds a solitary advocate.
But it may not unnaturally be asked, What are the changes in theology, which have been affected by the writ-ings of President Edwards. It gives me peculiar pleasure that I can answer this question, in the words of his son, the late Dr. Edwards, President of Union College, Sche-nectady.
CLEARER STATEMENTS OF THEOLOGICAL TRUTH, MADE BY PRESIDENT EDWARDS, AND THOSE WHO HAVE FOLLOWED HIS COURSE OF THOUGHT.
"I. The important question, concerning the ultimate end of the creation, is a question, upon which Mr. Edwards has shed much light. For ages it had been disputed, whether the end of creation was the happiness of creatures themselves, or the declarative glory of the Creator. Nor did it appear that the dispute was likely to be brought to an issue. On the one hand, it was urged, that reason de-clared in favour of the former hypothesis. It was said that, as God is a benevolent being, be doubtless acted under the influence of his own infinite benevolence in the creation; and that he could not but form creatures for the purpose of making them happy. Many passages of Scrip-ture also were quoted in support of this opinion. On the other hand, numerous and very explicit declarations of Scripture were produced to prove that God made all things for his own glory. Mr. Edwards was the first, who clearly showed, that both these were the ultimate end of the cre-ation, that they are only one end, and that they are really one and the same thing. According to him, the declarative glory of God is the creation, taken, not distributively, but collectively, as a system raised to a high degree of happiness. The creation, thus raised and preserved, is the declarative glory of God. In other words, it is the exhi-bition of his essential glory.
"2. On the great subject of Liberty and Necessity, Mr. Edwards made very important improvements. Before him, the Calvinists were nearly driven out of the field, by the Arminians, Pelagians and Socinians. The Calvinists, it is true, appealed to Scripture, the best of all authority, in support of their peculiar tenets. But how was the Scripture to be understood. They were pressed and embarrassed by the objection,- That the sense, in which they interpreted the sacred writings, was inconsistent with hu-man liberty, moral agency, accountableness, praise and blame.
It was consequently inconsistent with all command and exhortation, with all reward and punishment. Their in-terpretation must of course be erroneous, and an entire perversion of Scripture. How absurd, it was urged, that a man totally dead, should be called upon to arise and perform the duties of the living and sound-that we should need a divine influence to give us a new heart, and yet be commanded to make us a new heart, and a right spirit- that a man has no power to come to Christ, and yet be commanded to come to him on pain of damnation! The Calvinists themselves began to be ashamed of their own cause and to give it up, so thy at least as relates to liberty and necessity. This was true especially of Dr. Watts and Doddridge, who, in their day, were accounted leaders of the Calvinists. They must needs bow in the house of Rimmon, and admit the self-determining power, which, once admitted and pursued to its ultimate results, entirely overthrows the doctrines of regeneration, of our depend-ence for renewing and sanctifying grace, of absolute de-crees, of the saints perseverance, and the whole system of doctrines, usually denominated the doctrines of grace.- But Mr. Edwards put an end to this seeming triumph of those, who were thus hostile to that system of doctrines. This he accomplished, by pointing out the difference be-tween natural and moral, necessity and inability, by show-ing the absurdity, the manifold contradictions, the incon-ceivableness, and the impossibility, of a self-determining power, and by proving that the essence of the virtue and vice, existing in the disposition of the heart and the acts of the will, lies not in their cause, but in their nature. Therefore, though we are not the efficient causes of our own acts of will, yet they may be either virtuous or vicious; and also that liberty of contingence, as it is an ex-emption from all previous certainty, implies that free ac-tions have no cause, and come into existence by mere chance. But if we admit that any event may come into existence by chance, and without a cause, the existence of the world may be accounted for in this same way; and atheism is established.-Mr. Edwards and his followers have further illustrated this subject by showing, that free action consists in volition itself, and that liberty consists in spontaneity. Wherever, therefore, there is volition, there is free action; wherever there is spontaneity there is liberty; however and by whomsoever that liberty and spontaneity are caused. Beasts, therefore, according to their measure of intelligence, are as free as men. Intelligence, therefore, and not liberty, is the only thing wanting, to constitute them moral agents.-The power of self-de-termination, alone, cannot answer the purpose of them who undertake its defence; for self-determination must be free from all control and previous certainty, as to its ope-rations, otherwise it must be subject to what its advocates denominate a fatal necessity, and therefore must act by contingence and mere chance. But even the defenders of self-determination themselves, are not willing to allow the principle, that our actions, in order to be free, must happen by chance.-Thus Mr. Edwards and his followers under-stand, that the whole controversy concerning liberty and necessity, depends on the explanation of the word liberty, or the sense in which that word is used. They find that all the senses in which the word has been used, with respect to the mind and its acts, may be reduced to these two: 1. Either an entire exemption from previous certainty, or the certain futurity of the acts which it will perform or, 2. Spontaneity -Those, who use it in the former sense, cannot avoid the consequence, that, in order to act freely, we must act by chance, which is absurd, and what no man will dare to avow. If then liberty means an exemption from an influence, to which the will is or can be opposed, every volition is free, whatever may be the manner of its coming into existence. If, furthermore, God, by his grace, create in man a clean heart and holy volitions, such volitions being, by the very signification of the term itself, voluntary, and in no sense opposed to the divine influence which causes them, they are evidently as free as they could have been, if they had come into exist-ence by were chance and without cause. We have, of no need course, of being the efficient causes of those acts, which our wills perform, to render them either virtuous or vicious As to the liberty, then, of self-determination or contingence. it implies, as already observed, that actions, in order to be free, must have no cause; but are brought into existence by chance. Thus have they illustrated the real and wide difference between natural and moral necessity. They have proved that this difference consists, not in the degree of previous certainty that an action will be performed-but in the fact, that natural necessity admits an entire opposition of the will, while moral necessity im-plies, and, in all cases, secures, the consent of the will. It follows that all necessity of the will, and of its acts, is of the moral kind; and That natural necessity cannot possibly affect the will or any of its exercises. It likewise follows, that if liberty, as applied to a moral agent, mean an exemption from all previous certainty that an action will be performed, then no action of man or any other creature can be free; for on this supposition, every action must come to pass without divine prescience, by mere chance, and consequently without a cause.-Now, there-fore, the Calvinists find themselves placed upon firm and high ground. They fear not the attacks of their opponents. They face them on the ground of reason, as well as of Scripture. They act not merely on the defensive. Rather they have earned the war into Italy, and to the very gates of Rome.-But all this is peculiar to America; except that a few European writers have adopted, from American authors, the sentiments here stated. Even the famous Assembly of Divines had very imperfect views of this subject. This they prove, when they say, "Our first parents, being left to the freedom of their own will, fell from the state wherein they were created;"-and "God foreordained whatsoever comes to pass, so as the contingency of second causes is not taken away, but rather established."-These divines unquestionably meant, that our first parents, in the instance, at least, of their fall, acted from self-determination, and by mere contingence or chance. But there is no more reason to believe or even suppose this, than there is to suppose it true of every sinner, in every sin which he commits.
"3. Mr. Edwards very happily illustrated and explained The nature of True Virtue, or Holiness.-What is the nature of true virtue, or holiness?-In what does it consist?-and, Whence arises our obligation to be truly vir-tuous or holy?-are questions which moral writers have agitated in all past ages. Some have placed virtue in self-love;-some in acting agreeable to the fitness of things;-some in following conscience, or moral sense;-some in following truth;-and some in acting agreeably to the will of God. Those who place or found virtue in fitness, and those who found it in truth, do but use one sy-nonymous word for another. For they doubtless mean moral fitness, and word truth; these are no other than virtuous fitness, and virtuous truth. No one would pretend that it is a virtuous action to give a man poison, because it is fit or direct mode of destroying his life. No person will pretend that the crucifying of Christ was virtuous, because it was true, compared with the ancient prophecies. -To found virtue in acting agreeably to conscience, or moral sense, Justifies the persecutions of Christians by Saul of Tarsus, as well as a great proportion of heathenish idolatry.-If we found virtue in the will of God, the question arises, Whether the will of God be our rule, because it is in fact what it is, wise, good and benevolent: or whether it be our rule, merely because it is his will, without any consideration of its nature and tendency; and whether it would be a rule equally binding, as to observance, if it were foolish and malicious ?.....Mr. Ed-wards teaches, that virtue consists in benevolence. He proves that every voluntary action, which, in its general tendency and ultimate consequences, leads to happiness, is virtuous, and that every such action, which has not this tendency, and does not lead to this consequence, is vicious. By happiness, in this case, he does not mean the happiness of the agent only, or principally, but happi-ness in general, happiness on the large scale. Virtuous or holy benevolence embraces both the agent himself and others-all intelligences, wherever found, who are capable of a rational and moral blessedness. All actions, pro-ceeding from such a principle, he holds to be fit, or agree-able to the fitness of things-agreeable equally to reason, and, to a well-informed conscience, or moral sense, and to moral truth,-and agreeable especially to the will of God, who "is love," or benevolence.-In this scheme of virtue or holiness, Mr. Edwards appears to have been original. Much indeed has been said, by most moral writers, in favour of benevolence. Many things they had published, which imply, in their consequences, Mr. Edward's scheme of virtue. But no one before him had traced these conse-quences to their proper issue. No one had formed a system of virtue, and of morals, built on that foundation.
"4 Mr. Edwards has thrown much light on the in-quiry concerning The Origin of Moral Evil. This question, comprehending the influence which the Deity had in the event of moral evil, has always been esteemed most difficult and intricate. That God is the author of sin, has been constantly objected to the Calvinists, as the consequence of their principles, by their opponents. To avoid this objection, some have holden that God is the author of the sinful act, which the sinner commits, but that the sin-ner himself is the author of its sinfulness. But how we shall abstract the sinfulness of a malicious act from the malicious act itself; and how God can be the author of a malicious act, and not be the author of the malice, which is the sinfulness of that act, is hard to be conceived. Mr. Edwards rejects, with abhorrence, the idea that God either is, or can be, the agent, or actor, of sin. He illustrates and explains this difficult subject, by showing that God may dispose things in such a manner, that sin will certainly take place in consequence of such a disposal. In maintaining this, he only adheres to his own important doctrine of moral necessity. The divine disposal, by which sin certainly comes into existence, is only establishing a certainty of its future existence. If that certainty. which is no other than moral necessity, be not inconsistent with human liberty; then surely the cause of that certainty, which is no other than the divine disposal, cannot be in-consistent with such liberty.
"5. The followers of Mr. Edwards have thrown new and important light upon 'The Doctrine of Atonement. It has been commonly represented, that the atonement which
Christ made was the payment of a debt, due from his people. By this payment, they were purchased from slavery and condemnation. Hence arose this question,- If the sinner's debt be paid, how does it appear that there is any pardon or grace in his deliverance-The followers of Mr. Edwards have proved, that the atonement does not consist in the payment of a debt, properly so called. It consists rather in doing that, which, for the purpose of establishing the authority of the divine law, and of supporting in due tone the divine government, is equivalent to the punishment of the sinner according to the letter of the law. Now, therefore, God, without the prostration of his authority and government, can pardon and save those who believe. As what was done to support the divine government, was not done by the sinner, so it does not at all diminish the free grace of his pardon and salvation.'
"6. With respect to The Imputation of Adam's Sin, and The Imputation of Christ's Righteousness, their state-ments also have been more accurate. The common doctrine had been, that Adam's sin is so transferred to his posterity, that it properly becomes their sin. The right-eousness of Christ, likewise, is so transferred or made over to the believer, that it properly becomes his righteousness. To the believer it is reckoned in the divine account-On this the question arises, How can the righteousness or good conduct of one person be the righteousness or good conduct of another? If, in truth, it cannot be the conduct of that other; how can God, who is omniscient, and cannot mistake, reckon, judge, or think it to be the conduct of that other?-The followers of Mr. Edwards find relief from this difficulty, by proving that to impute righteous-ness, is, in the language of Scripture, to justify; and that, to impute the righteousness of Christ, is to justify on ac-count of Christ's righteousness. The imputation of right-eousness can, therefore, be no transfer of righteousness. They are the beneficial consequences of righteousness, which are transferred. Not therefore the righteousness of Christ itself, but its beneficial consequences and advantages. are transferred to the believer.-In the same manner they reason with respect to the imputation of Adam's sin. The baneful consequences of Adam's sin, which came upon himself, came also upon his posterity. These consequences were, that, after his first transgression, God left him to an habitual disposition to sin, to a series of actual transgres-sions, and to a liableness to the curse of the law, denounced against such transgression.-The same consequences took place with regard to Adam's posterity. By divine consti-tution, they, as descending from Adam, become, like himself, the subjects of an habitual disposition to sin. This disposition is commonly called original depravity. Under its influence they sin, as soon as, in a moral point of view, they act at all. This depravity, this disposition to sin, leads them naturally to a series of actual transgressions, and exposes them to the whole curse of the law.-On this subject two questions have been much agitated in the Christian world :-1. Do the posterity of Adam, unless saved by Christ, suffer final damnation on account of Adam's sin?-and, if this be asserted, how can it be re-conciled with justice?-2. How shall we reconcile it with justice, that Adam's posterity should be doomed, in con-sequence of his sin, to come into the world, with an ha-bitual disposition themselves to sin?-.On the former of these questions, the common doctrine has been, that Adam's posterity, unless saved by Christ, are damned on account of Adam's sin, and that this is just, because his sin is imputed or transferred to them. By imputation, his sin becomes their sin. When the justice of such a transfer -is demanded, it is said that the constitution, which God has established, makes the transfer just.-To this it may be replied, that in the same way it may be proved to be just, to damn a man without any sin at all, either personal or imputed. We need only to resolve it into a sovereign constitution of God. From this difficulty the followers of Mr. Edwards relieve themselves, by holding that, though Adam was so constituted the federal head of his posterity, that in consequence of his sin they all sin or become sin-ners, yet they are damned on account of their own personal sin merely, and not on account of Adam's sin, as though they were individually guilty of his identical transgression. This leads us to the second question stated above :--viz. How shall we reconcile it with perfect justice, that Adam's posterity should, by a divine constitution, be depraved and sinfuI, or become sinners, in consequence of Adam's apostacy?-But this question involves no difficulty, beside that, which attends the doctrine of divine decrees. And this is satisfactory; because for God to decree that an event shall take place, is, in other words, the same thing as if he make a constitution, under the operation of which that event shall take place. If God has decreed whatever comes to pass, he decreed the fall of Adam. It is obvious that, in equal consistency with justice, he may decree any other sin. Consequently he may decree that every man shall sin; and this too, as soon as he shall become capable of moral action. Now if God could, consistently with justice, establish, decree, or make a constitution, according to which this depravity, this sinfulness of disposition, should exist, without any respect to Adam's sin, he might evidently, with the same justice, decree that it should take place in consequence of Adam's sin. If God might consistently with justice decree, that the Jews should crucify Christ, without the treachery of Judas preceding, he might with the same justice decree, that they should do the same evil deed, in consequence of that treachery.-Thus the whole difficulty, attending the connexion between Adam and his posterity, is resolved into the doctrine of the divine decrees; and the followers of Mr. Edwards feel them-selves placed upon strong ground-ground upon which they are willing, at any time, to meet their opponents. -They conceive, furthermore, that, by resolving several complicated difficulties into one simple vindicable prin-ciple, a very considerable improvement is made in the re-presentations of theological truth. Since the discovery and elucidation of the distinction, between natural and moral necessity, and inability; and since the effectual confuta-tion of that doctrine, which founds moral liberty on self-determination; they do not feel themselves pressed with the objections, which are made to divine and absolute de-crees.
"7. With respect to The State of the Unregenerate, The Use of Means, and The Exhortations, which might to be addressed to the Impenitent, the disciples of Mr. Edwards, founding themselves on the great principles of moral agency, established in the Freedom of the Will, have since his day made considerable improvement upon former views.-This improvement was chiefly occasioned by the writings of Robert Sandeman, a Scotchman, which were published after the death of Mr. Edwards. Sande-man, in the most striking colours, pointed out the incon-sistency of the popular preachers, as he called them; by whom he meant Calvinistic divines in general. He proved them inconsistent, in teaching that the unregenerate are, by total depravity, 'dead in trespasses and sins,'-and yet supposing that such sinners do often attain those sin-cere desires, make those sincere resolutions, and offer those sincere prayers, which are well pleasing in the sight of God, and which are the sure presages of renewing grace and salvation. He argued, that, if the unregenerate be dead in sin, then all that they do must be sin; and that sin can never be pleasing and acceptable to God. Hence he taught, not only that all the exercises and strivings of the unregenerate are abominable in the Divine view, but that there is no more likelihood, in consequence of their strictest attendance on the means of grace, that they will become partakers of salvation, than there would be in the total neglect of those means. These sentiments were en-tirely new. As soon as they were published, they gave a prodigious shock to all serious men, both ministers and others. The addresses to the unregenerate, which had hitherto consisted chiefly in exhortations to attend on the outward means of grace, and to form such resolutions, and put forth such desires, as all supposed consistent with unregeneracy, were examined. It appearing that such exhortations were addresses to no real spiritual good; many ministers refrained from all exhortations to the un-regenerate. The perplexing inquiry with such sinners consequently was-'What then have we to do? All we do is sin. To sin is certainly wrong. We ought therefore to remain still, doing nothing, until God bestow upon us renewing grace.' In this state of things, Dr. Hopkins took up the subject. He inquired particularly into the exhor-tations delivered by the inspired writers. He published several pieces on The character of the Unregenerate; on Using the Means of Grace; and on The Exhortations, which ought to be addressed to the Unregenerate. He clearly showed that, although they are dead in depravity and sin, yet, as this lays them under a mere moral inability to the exercise and practice of true holiness,-and as such exercise and practice are their unquestionable duty,-to this duty they are to be exhorted. To this duty only, and to those things which imply it, the inspired writers con-stantly exhort the unregenerate. Every thing short of this duty is sin. Nevertheless, 'as faith cometh by hearing,' those who 'hear,' and attend on the means of grace, even in their unregeneracy, and from natural principles, are more likely than others to become the subjects of di-vine grace. The Scriptures sufficiently prove, that this is the constitution which Christ has established. It likewise accords perfectly with experience and observation, both in apostolic and subsequent ages.
"8. Mr. Edwards greatly illustrated The Nature of Experimental Religion. He pointed out, more clearly than had been done before, the distinguishing marks of genuine Christian experience, and those religious affections and exercises, which are peculiar to the true Christian. The accounts of Christian affection and experience, which had before been given, both by American and European writers, were general, indiscriminate, and confused. They seldom, if ever, distinguished the exercises of self-love, natural conscience, and other natural principles of the human mind under conviction of divine truth, from those of the new nature, given in regeneration. In other words, they seldom distinguished the exercises of the sinner un-der the law work, and the joys afterwards often derived from a groundless persuasion of his forgiveness, from those sincere and evangelical affections, which are peculiar to the real convert. They did not show how far the un-regenerate sinner can proceed in religious exercises, and yet fall short of saving grace. But this whole subject, and the necessary distinction, with respect to it, are set in a striking light by Mr. Edwards, in his treatise concerning Religious Affections.
"9. Mr. Edwards has thrown much light upon the sub-ject of affection as disinterested. The word disinterested, is, indeed, capable of such a sense, as affords a ground of argument against disinterested affections; and scarcely perhaps is an instance of its use to be found, in which it does not admit of an equivocation. It seems to be a mere equivocation to say, that disinterested affection is an impossibility; and that, if we are not interested in favour of religion, we are indifferent with respect to it, and do not love it at all. But who ever thought that, when a person professes a disinterested regard for another, he has no regard for him at all? The plain meaning is, that his regard for him is direct and benevolent, not selfish, nor arising from selfish motives. In this sense, Mr. Edwards maintained that our religious affections, if genuine, are disinterested; that our love to God arises chiefly-not from the motive that God has bestowed, or is about to bestow, on us favours, whether temporal or eternal, but-from his own infinite excellence and glory. The same explanation applies to the love which every truly pious person feels for the Lord Jesus Christ, for every truth of divine reve-lation, and for the whole scheme of the gospel. Very different from this is the representation given by most theological writers before Mr. Edwards. The motives presented by them, to persuade men to love and serve God, to come unto Christ, to repent of their sin; and to embrace and practise religion, are chiefly of the selfish kind. There is, in their works, no careful and exact discrimination upon this subject.
"10. He has thrown great light on the important doctrine of Regeneration. Most writers before him treat this subject very loosely. They do indeed describe a variety of awakenings and convictions, fears and distresses, com-forts and joys, as implied in it; and they call the whole, regeneration. They represent the man before regeneration as dead, and no more capable of spiritual action, than a man naturally dead is capable of performing those deeds, which require natural life and strength. From their description, a person is led to conceive, that the former is as excusable, in his omission of those holy exercises, which constitute the christian character and life, as the latter is, in the neglect of those labours, which cannot be performed without natural life. From their account, no one can de-termine in what the change, effected by regeneration, consists. They do not show the inquirer, whether every awakened and convinced sinner, who afterwards has lively gratitude and joy, is regenerated; or whether a gracious change of heart implies joys of a peculiar kind: neither, if the renewed have joys peculiar to themselves, do the teachers, now referred to, describe that peculiarity; nor do they tell from what motives the joys, that are evidence of regeneration, arise. They represent the whole man, his understanding, and his sensitive faculties, as renewed, no less than his heart and affections. According to them generally, this change is effected by light. As to this indeed they are not perfectly agreed. Some of them hold, that the change is produced by the bare light and motives exhibited in the gospel. Others pretend, that a man is persuaded to become a Christian, as be is persuaded to be-come a friend to republican government. Yet others there are, who hold that regeneration is caused by a supernatural and divine light immediately communicat-ed. Their representation of this seems to imply, and their readers understand it as implying, an immediate and new revelation. But, according to Mr. Edwards, and those who adopt his views of the subject, regene-ration consists in the communication of a new spiritual sense or taste. In other words, a new heart is given. This communication is made, this work is accomplished, by the Spirit of God. It is their opinion, that the intellect, and the sensitive faculties, are not the immediate subject of any change in regeneration. They believe, however, that, in consequence of the change which the renewed heart experiences, and of its reconciliation to God, light breaks in upon the understanding. The subject of regeneration sees, therefore, the glory of God's character, and the glory of all divine truth. This may be an illustration. A man becomes cordially reconciled to his neighbour, against whom he had previously felt a strong enmity. He now sees the real excellencies of his neighbour's character, to which he was blinded before by enmity and prejudice. These new views of his neighbour, and these different feelings towards him, are the consequence of the change; its evidence, but not the change itself.-At the same time, Mr. Edwards and others believe, that in saving experience, the sensitive faculties are brought under the due regulation by the new heart or holy temper. None of the awakenings, fears, and convic-tions, which precede the new heart, are, according to this scheme, any part of regeneration; though they are, in some sense, a preparation for it, as all doctrinal know-ledge is. The sinner, before regeneration, is allowed to be totally dead to the exercises and duties of the spi-ritual life. He is nevertheless accounted a moral agent. He is therefore entirely blamable in his impenitence, his unbelief, and his alienation from God. He is therefore, with perfect propriety, exhorted to repent, to become re-conciled to God in Christ, and to arise from his spiritual death, that "Christ may give him light"-According to this system, regeneration is produced, neither by moral suasion, i.e. by the arguments and motives of the gospel, nor by any supernatural, spiritual light; but by the im-mediate agency of the Holy Spirit. Yet the light and knowledge of the gospel are, by divine constitution, usually necessary to regeneration, as the blowing of the rams' horns was necessary to the filling of the walls of Jericho; and the moving of the stone from the moth of the sepulchre, was necessary to the raising of La-zarus."
THUS it appears, that Mr. Edwards taught us in his writings, in a manner so clear, that mankind have hitherto been satisfied with the instruction, Why God created this material and spiritual universe;-What is the nature of that government which he exercises over minds, and how it is consistent with their perfect freedom;-What is the nature of that virtue, which they must possess, if they are to secure his approbation;-What is the nature, the source, the extent, and the evidences of that depravity,. which characterizes man, as a fallen being;-What is the series of events by which his redemption is accomplish-ed;-What are the qualifications for that church, to which the redeemed belong;-What are the grounds of which they are justified ;-What are the nature and evi-dences of that religion, which is imparted to them by the Spirit of grace;-What are the nature and effects of that revival of eligion which accompanies an effusion of his divine influences on a people;-And what are the inducements to united and extraordinary prayer, that such effusions may be abundantly enjoyed by the church of God -By what is thus said, we do not intend, that all his reasonings are solid, or all his opinions sound and scriptural; but we know of no writer, since the days of the apostles, who has better comprehended the word of God; who has more fully unfolded the nature and design of the revelation of his mind, which it contains; who has more ably explained and defended the great doc-trines which it teaches; who has more clearly illustrated the religion which it requires; who has done more for the purification and enlargement of that church which it establishes; or who, in consequence of his unfoldings of divine truth, will find, when the work of every man is weighed in the balances of eternity, a larger number to be "his hope, and joy, and crown of rejoicing in that day."- And when we remember, in addition to all this, that we can probably select no individual, of all who have lived in that long period, who has manifested a more ardent or elevated piety towards God, a warmer or more expanded benevolence towards man, or greater purity, or disinterestedness, or integrity of character-one, who gave the concentrated strength of all his powers, more absolutely, to the one end of glorifying God in the salvation of man;-and then reflect that at the age of fifty-four, in the highest vigour of all his faculties, in the fulness of his usefulness, when he was just entering on the most im-portant station of his life, he yielded to the stroke of death; we look towards his grave, in mute astonishment, unable to penetrate those clouds and darkness, which hover around it. One of his weeping friends thus ex-plained this most surprising dispensation :-"He was pouring in a flood of light upon mankind, which their eyes, as yet, were too feeble to bear."-If this was not the reason; we can only say-" Even so, Father! for so it seemed good in thy sight."