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Here, 'mid these hills, and glades, and shady walks,
Tho' earth, sea, heaven, their utmost fury blend :
Heview of New Publications. Review of the Life and Writings of cept when the man is himself devoted Edwards.
to what ought to be the end of his be
ing. Then all his powers will act (Concluded from Page 316.)
according to the design of their MaAfter dwelling so long on the char. ker. A machine of human contriacter of Edwards as a writer, we vance, never acts with its full effect, shall close with a few remarks on his except when it is directly adapted to character as a christian.
the end for which it was designed. We cannot but consider his writings If we can partially adapt it to a differthemselves as an enduring monument ent purpose, there will be a want of of his piety. The variety and extent harmony in its movements, and of of his labours is the result of the holy complete effect in its operations. So impulse which incited him to unre the faculties and powers of man never mitted exertions in the cause of his act harmoniously and to their full efMaster. The utility of their object, in- fect, when perverted to uses for which dicates the goodness of his heart, they were not designed. In support and the success of his investigations of that which is wrong, reasoning we regard as, in part at least, the con- becomes sophistry, and wisdom desequence of the integrity and ardor generates into cunging. It is not prewith which he sought for the truth. ended that good men are of course We believe that the human faculties great. Holiness does not bestow are never fully developed, and never powers, but, by directing them to act to the greatest possible effect, ex- the proper end, it causes them to act
with more effect, and is itself a never But in process of time, my convictions ceasing impulse to their exertion. and affections wore off; and I entirely
lost all those affections and delights and A good man, therefore, is actually left off secret prayer, at least as to any congreater than he would be if not good; stant performance of it; and returned like and a truly great man, never appears
a dog to his vomit, and went on in the so great as when employed in doing ways of sin.-Vol. I. pp. 31, 32. good. We have often seen a weak, “ From my childhood up, my mind bas vacillating character, after his con- been full of objections against the doctrine version, immediately assume an inde- be would to eternal life, and rejecting
of God's sovereignty, in choosing whom pendence of thought, a decision in ac
whom he pleased ; leaving them eternally, tion, and a dignity of character, to to perish, and be everlastingly tormented which he was before a stranger. A in bell. It used to appear like a horrible
doctrine to me. But I remember the time new spring and a new direction are
very well, when I seemed to be convinced given to his activity, and his future and fully satisfied, as to this sovereignty life exhibits efforts and effects, which of God, and his justice in thus eternally could not have been anticipated. We disposing of men, according to his sovecannot believe that President Ed- reign pleasure. But never could give an
account, how, or by what means, I was wards would have exerted his talents thus convinced, not in the least imagining in such a manner as to raise him to at the time, nor a long time after, that that eminence among authors, which there was any extraordinary influence he now holds, if they had not been of God's Spirit in it; but only that now !
saw further, and my reason apprebended sincerely, and wholly, and ardently the justice and reasonableness of it. Howdevoted to the service of his Maker. ever, my mind rested in it; and it put an
He would not have appeared equal- end to all those cavils and objections And ly great, if he had possessed a less
tbere bas been a wonderful alteration in
my mind, with respect to the doctrine of degree of holiness, and we are inter- God's sovereignty, from that day to this; ested in tracing the wonderful effects so that I scarce ever have found so much of his powers back to the spring of the most absolute sense, in God's shewing
as the rising of an objection against it, in his exertions to those active, operative mercy to whom he will shew mercy, and principles, whose unceasing energy hardening whom he will. God's absolute has raised a monument both of his sovereigoty and justice, with respect to abilities and piety, more lasting than
salvation and damnation, is what my mind
seems to rest assured of, as much as of the pyramids of Egypt, and more
any thing that I see with my eyes ; at honourable than statues of brass and least it is so at times. But I bare often, marble.
since that first conviction, bad quite anMr. Edwards' first exercises of pic than I had then. I have often since had
other kind of sense of God's sovereignty ety are thus described by himself:
not only a conviction, but a delightful " I had a variety of concerns and ex.
conviction. The doctrine has very often ercises about my soul from childhood; but appeared exceeding pleasant, bright and had two more remarkable seasons of awa
Absolute sovereignty is wbat I
love to ascribe to God. But my first conkening, before I met with that change by which I was brought to those new dispo
viction was not so.—Vol. I. p. 33. sitions, and that new sense of things, that From this time, I began to have a new I have since had. The first time was when kind of apprebensions and ideas of Cbrist, I was a boy, some years before I went to and the work of redemption, and tbe glo. college, at a time of remarkable awaken. rious way of salvation by bim. An ining in my father's congregation. I was ward, sweet sense of these things at times, then very much affected for many months, came into my heart; and my soul was and concerned about the things of religion, lead away in pleasant views and conteinand my soul's salvation; and was abund. plations of them. And my mind was ant in duties. I us
to pray five times a greatly engaged to spend my time in rea. day in secret, and to spend much time in ding and meditating on Christ, on the religious talk with other boys; and used beauty and excellency of his person, and to meet with them to pray together. I ex. the lovely way of salvation by free grace perienced I knew not what kind of delight in him. I found no books so delightful to in religion. My mind was much engaged me, as those that treated of these subjects. in it, and had much self righteous pleas. Those words Cant. ii. 1, used to be abunure; and it was my delight io abound in dantly with me, I am the Rose of Shtrron, religious duties.
and the Lilly of the valleys. The words
seemed to me, sweetly to represent the I felt a harmony between something in my loveliness and beauty of Jesus Christ. heart, and those sweet and powerful The whole book of Canticles used to be words. I seemed often to see so much pleasant to me, and I used to be much in light exhibited by every sentence, and reading it, about that time ; and found, such a refreshing food communicated, that from time to time, an inward sweetness, I could not get along in reading; often that would carry me away, in my con- dwelling long on one sentence, to see the templations. This I know not how to ex. wonders contained in it; and yet almost press otherwise, than by a calm, sweet ab every sentence seemed to be full of wonstraction of soul from all the concerns of ders.-V ol. I. pp. 38-40. tbis world; and sometimes a kind of vision, or fixed ideas and imaginations of In these early exercises of piety, being alone in the mountains, or some sol
we see some warmth of imagination, itary wilderness, far from all mankind; and of animal feeling, which might sweetly conversing with Christ, and wrapt and swallowed up in God. The sense I had raise a suspicion in those who knew of divine things, would often of a sudden nothing further of Mr. Edwards' piekindle up, as it were, a sweet burning in ty, that it principally consisted in my heari; an ardor of soul, that I know not how to express.-Vol. I. pp. 34, 35.
contemplation and joy, rather than
in active piety. But these lively eThe soul of a true Christian, as I then motions were immediately followed, wrote my meditations, appeared like such a little white lower as we see in the spring or rather accompanied by fixed deterof the year; low and humble on the minations to devote his life and all ground, opening its bosom to receive the his powers to the service of God, dopleasant beams of the sun's glory, rejoicing his will and avoiding every thing ing as it were in a calm rapture ; diffusing which he has forbidden. These fixaround a sweet fragrancy; standing peacefully and lovingly, in the midst of ed purposes, he committed to writing other flowers round about; all in like from time to time, under the title of manner opening their bosoms, to drink in
“Resolutions." They amounted, at the light of the sun. There was no parte last, to above seventy in number, and of creature holiness, that I had so great a sense of its loveliness, as humility, broken- discover to us those secret springs of ness of heart and poverty of spirit ; and holy activity, to which we before althere was nothing that I so earnesily luded. longed for. My heart panted after this, lo
It is, we hope, needless to lie low before God, as in the dust ; that I add, that no one acquainted with the might be nothing, and that God might be character of Edwards can have a ALL, that I might become nothing as a lit doubt that these “resolutions” were tle child.
On January 12, 1723. I made a solemn penned in the sincerity of his heart, dedication of myself to God, and wrote it
and were faithful representations of down; giving up myself, and all that I had his genuine purposes at the time. to God; to be for the future in no respect The ingenuousness, simplicity, and my own; to act as one that had no right godly sincerity of his whole characvowed to take God for my whole portion ter, compel us to believe it, and his and felicity; looking on nothing else as whole life shows that he actually did any part of my happiness, nor acting as if reduce them to practice, in his habitit were ; and his law for the constant role ual course of conduct. We shall of my obedience; engaging to fight with all my might against the world, the flesh, give a few of them, as an illustration and the devil, to the end of my life. of the state of our author's heart at
I bad great longings for the advance that time, and as a pleasing exhibiment of Christ's kingdom in the world ;
tion of the manner in which religious and my secret prayer
used to be, in great part, taken up in praying for it. If I heard affections become active principles the least bint of any thing that happened, of obedience. in any part of the world, that appeared, in some respect or other, to have a favoura. “ Resolved, That I will do wbatsoever ble aspect on the interest of Christ's king. I think will be for God's glory, and my dom, my soul eagerly catched at it; and own good, profit and pleasure, on the it would much animate and refresh me. whole; without consideration oi time,
I bad then and at other times the great- whether now or ever so many myriads of est delight in the holy scriptures, of any ages hence; to do whatever I think to be book whatsoever. Oftentimes in reading my duty, and most for the good and advanit, every word seemed to touch my heart, tage of mankind in general-whatever
difficulties I meet with, how many and if it were not for his mere grace, one might how great soever."
be a very good man one day, and a very " Resolved, Never to lose one moment wicked one the next.-p. 18. of time, but improve it in the most profita Thursday, Jan 10.-1 think I find my. ble way I possibly can."
self much more sprightly and healthy, both Resolved, to live with all my might in body and mind, for my self-denial in while I do live.
eatiog, drinking and sleeping. I think it Resolved, when I think of any theorem would be advantageous every morning to in divinity to be solved, immediately to consider my business and temptations; do what I can towards solving it if circum- and wbat sins I shall be exposed to that stances do not hinder.
day: and to make a resolution bere to inResolved, to live so at all times, as I prove the day and to avoid those sios. think is best in my devout frames, and And so at the beginning of every week, when I have clearest notions of the gospel mooth and year. I never knew' before and of another world.
what was meant by not setting our bearts Resolved, to maintain the strictest tem- upon these things, afflict ourselves much perance in eating and drinking.
with fears of losing them, and please ourResolved, whenever I do an evil act, selves with expectation of obtaining them, to trace it back, till I come to the origioal or hope of their continuance. cause; and then both carefully endeavour Saturday, Jan. 12.-In the morning. I to do so no more, and to fight and pray have this day solemnly renewed my bapwith all my might against the original of tismal covenant and selfdedication, which it.
I renewed when I was received into the Resolved, to strive to my utmost every communion of the church. I have been week to be brought higher in religion, and before God; and have given myself, all to a higber exercise of grace, than I was that I am and have to God, so that I am the week before.
not in any respect my own : I can claim Resolved, never to speak in narrations, no right in myself, no right in this underany thing but the pure and simple verity. standing, this will, these affections that
Resolved, frequently to renew the ded are in me ; neither have I any right to ication of myself to God, which was made this body, or any of its members : No at my baptism ; which I solemnly renew. right to this tongue, these hands, nor feet: ed, when I was received into the church; No right to these senses, these eyes, these and which I have solemnly ratified this ears, this smell or taste. I have given twelfth day of January, 1723.
myself clear away, and have not retained Resolved, never to act as if I were in any thing as my own. I have been to any respect my owo, but entirely and alto God this morning, and told bim that I geiber God's.
gave myself wholly to him. I have givea I frequently hear persons in old age say every, power to him ; so that for the fuhow they would live, if they were to live ture, I will challenge or claim no right in their lives over again : Resolved, that I myself, in any respect. I bave expressly will live just as I can think I shall wish I promised him, and do now promise Alhad done, supposing I should live to old mighty God, that by his grace I will not. age.-Vol. I. pp. 14–17.
I have this morning told him, that I did
take him for my whole portion and felici. These resolutions he determined iy, looking od nothing else as any part to “ read over once a week” that he of my happiness, nor acting as if it were ; might incorporate them with his ha
and his law for the constant rule of my
obedience; and would fight with all my bitual course of thought, and reduce might against the world, tive flesb, and tbe them to practice in his life. The devil, to the end of my life. And did be. faithfulness and effect with which he lieve in Jesus Christ, and receive him as did this, may be seen from his “ dia
a prince and a saviour ; and would adhere
to the faith and obedience of the gospel, ry," a few extracts from which will how hazardous and difficult soever the pro be given.
fession and practice of it may be. Thai I
did receive the blessed Spirit as my teachWednesday, Jan. 2, 1723.-Dull. I find er, sanctifier and only comforter ; and by experience, that let me make resolu. cherish all his motions to enlighten, purilions, and do what I will, it is all nothing, fy, confirm, comfort, and assist me. This and to no purpose at all, without the mo- I have done. And I pray God, for the sake tions of the Spirit of God; for if the Spirit of Christ, to look upon it as a selfdedica. of God, should be as much withdrawn tion; and to receive me now as entirely from me always, as for the week past, not his own, and deal with me in all respects withstanding all I do, I should not grow; as such ; whether he aflicts me or prosbut should languish and miserably fade pers me, or whatever be pleases to do away. There is no dependance upon my with me, who am his. Now, benceforth self.' It is to no purpose to resolve, ex. I am not to act in any respect as my own. cept we depend on the grace of God, for I stall act as my owó, if I ever make use