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of any of my powers to any thing that is by far the lowest place in hell. When not to the glory of God, or do not make others, that have come to talk with me the glorifying of him my whole and en- about their soul concerns, bave expresstire business ; if I murmur in the least ated the sense they have had of their own afflictions; if I grieve at the prosperity of wickedness, by saying that it seemed to others; if I am any way uncharitable ; if them, that they were as bad as the devil I am angry because of injuries ; if I re- himself: I thought their expressions seemvenge my own cause ; if I do any thing ed exceeding faint and feeble, to represent purely to please myself, or avoid any thing my wickelness. for the sake of my ease, or omit any thing My wickedness, as I am in myself, has because it is great self denial; if I trust to long appeared to me perfectly ineffable, myself; if I take any of the praise of any and swallowing up all thought and imagood that I do, or rather God does by me; gination ; like an infinite deluge, or or if I am any way proud.-Vol. I. pp. 19 mountains over my head. I know not -21.
bow to express better what my sins apSaturday night, May 4th. Although I pear to me to be, than by heaping infinite have in some measure subdued a disposi- upon infinite, and multiplying infinite by tion to chide and fret, yet I find a certain infinite. Very otton for these many years, inclination which is not agreeable to chris. these expressions are in my mind, and tian sweetness of teu per and conversation in my mouth, "Infinite upon infinite.... too dogmatical, too much of egotism ; Infinite upon infinite !" When I look a disposition to be telling of my own into my beart, and take a view of my dislike and scorn ; and freedom froin wickedness, it looks like an abyss infinitethose things that are innocent, or the com- ly deeper than bell. And it appears to me mon infirmities of men; and many such that were it not for free grace, exalted and like things. O that God would help me to raised up to the infinite height of all the discern all the flaws and defects of my fulness and glory of the great Jehovab, temper and conversation, and help me in and the arm of his power and grace the difficult work of ameoding them; and stretched forth in all the majesty of his that be would fill me so full of Christiani- power, and in all the glory of his sovety, that the foundation of all these disagree reignty, I should appear sunk down in my able irregularities may be destroyed, and sins below bell itself; far beyond the the contrary beauties may follow.-p. 23. sight of every thing, but the eye of sove
reign grace, that can pierce even down to Twenty years after the foregoing such a depth. And yet it seems to me, extracts were written, while he was that my conviction of sin is exceeding a minister at Northampton, he wrote
small, and faint; it is enough to amaze a short statement of his feelings on
me, that I have no more sense of my sin.
I know certainly, that I have very little the subject of religion, and compared sense of my sinfulness. When I have had them with the early exercises of turns of weeping and crying for my sins I his youthful piety. The account is thought I knew at the time, that my repeathe more interesting as it presents us
tance was nothing to my sin.-Vol. I. pp.
44, 45. with a history of his religious exerci
Though it seems to me, that in some reses, exhibits an instance of the prog- spects, I was a far better Christian, for ress of christians in affections,-how two or three years after my first convergrowth in grace produces a greater sion, than I am now; and lived in a more sense of sinfulness, and unworthiness, years, I have had a more full and constant and the highest attainments in holi- sense of the absolute sovereignty of God, ness are accompanied with the deep- and a delight in that sovereignty ; and est humility.
have bad more of a sense of the glory
of Christ, as a Mediator revealed in the “Often, since I lived in this town, I gospel. On one Saturday night, in parhave had very affecting views of my own ticolar, I had such a discovery of the exsinfulaess and vileness: very frequently cellency of the gospel above all other docto such a degree, as to hold me in a kind of trines, ihat I could not but say to myself, loud weeping, sometimes for a considera- " This is my chosen light, my chosen docble time together; so that I have often been trine ;" and of Christ, “ This is my ehoforced to shut myself up. I have had a sen Prophet.” It appeared sweet, beyond vastly greater sense of my own wicked- all expression, to follow Christ, and to be ness, and the badness of my beart, than taught and enlightened, and instructed by ever I bad before my conversion. It has him ; to learn of him and live to him. often appeared to me, that if God should Another Saturday night, (January 1739) I mark iniquity against me, I should appear bad such a sepse, how sweet and blessed a the very worst of all mankind; of all that thing it was to walk in the way of duty; have been, since the beginning of the to do that which was right and meet to be world to tbis time, and that I should have done, and agreeable to the holy miod of
Vol. 3.-No. VI. 46
God; that it caused me to break forth into church and society, became violently a kind of loud weeping, wbich beld me
opposed to the man, who for more some time, so that I was forced to sbut myself up, and fasten the doors. I could than twenty years, had been the obnot but, as it were, cry out, “How happy ject of their love, admiration and reyare they which do that which is right in erence. They thrust him out from the sight of God! They are blessed in.
them with violence. He loved them, deed, ihey are tbe happy ones!" I bad, at the same time, a very affecting sense, bow he had placed great confidence in mect and suitable it was tbat God should them, many of them he looked on as govern the world, and order all things ac- his spiritual children, and he felt as an cording to bis own pleasure; and I rejoiced in it, that God reigoed, and that his affectionate parent would feel at the will was done.- Vol. I. pp. 46, 47.
rebellion of a child. But his feelings To this time, the christian feelings marked with singular moderation, pa
had no bitterness and his conduct was and purposes of Edwards, had met
tience and humility, under iosults and with no severe trials. One however
injuries. Even the council, that diswas approaching, which put them to
missed him, a majority of whom steathe severest test, and ended in his dismission from his church and people.
dily opposed his principles and measFrom the moment in which his mind
ures, gave the most decided testimony
to his conscientiousness, and the was fully decided that it was his duty not to admit to full communion in the discovered in the unhappy controver
“christian spirit and temper he church, such as did not make a pro sy.” A few short extracts from his session of godliness, he apprehended farewell discourse to his people, will what the consequences would be to complete our view of the christian himself, of deviating from the custom of the church, and the practice of his feelings of Mr. Edwards on this
tryvenerated predecessor; and his ima- ing occasion. gination presented them in the most
It was three and twenty years, the 15th appalling forms and colours. He day of last February, since I bare labourexpected to be dismissed. He thoughted in the work of the ministry, in the refrom his age, and the odium which lation of a pastor to this church and con
gregation. And hough my strength has would be thrown on him, his senti- been weakness, baving always laboured ments, and his practice, that he should under great infirmity of body, besides my not again be speedily and eligibly sei- insufficiency for so great a charge in othtled. His family was large and ex
er respects, yet I bave not spared my fee
ble strength, but have exerted it for the pensive, and had few or no means of good of your souls. I can appeal to you subsistence, except from his salary, as
as the apostle does to his bearers, Gal. iv. and he foresaw, as he told one of his
13. “ Ye know bow through infirmity
of the flesh, I preached the gospel unto friends, that if he discovered and per. you.” I have spent the prime of my life sisted in his sentiments, it would most and strength in labors for your eternal likely issue in his dismission and dis- welfare. You are my witnesses, that grace, and the ruin of himself and what strength 1 bave bad I have not neg. family, as to their temporal interests. ting worldly
, and managing lem
lected in idleness, nor laid out in prosecuWith these views he conscientiously poral affairs, for the advancement of my and disinterestedly resolved to follow outward estate, and aggrandizing myself what he believed to be his duty, and and family; but have given myself whol
ly to the work of the ministry, laboring in suffer all the bitter consequences. ii night and day, rising early and applying Here his self-denial and faithfulness myself to this great business to which were fully proved.
Christ appointed me. I bave found the Notwithstanding the greatest mod
work of the ministry among you to be a eration and prudent circumspection, great work indeed, a work of exceeding
care, labour and difficulty: Many have in making koown his change of sen- been the heavy burdens that I have borne timents, and intended change in prac- in it, which my strength bas been very rice to his people, the knowledge of unequal to. God called me to bear these
burdens; and I bless bis name, that be bas it caused a great excitement among
so supported me as to keep me from sinkthem. A great majority, both of the ing under them, and that his power bere
in has been manifested in my weakness ; In retirement and obscurity at so that although I have often been troub.
Stockbridge, employed in compusing led on every side, yei I have not been distressed; perplexed, but not in despair;
and preparing for publication, those cast down, but not destroyed.
writings which have gained him his But now I have reason to think my celebrity, and endeared hiin to the work is finished wbich I bad to do as your christian world, he unexpectedly reminister : You have publicly rejected me, ceived an appointment to the presiand my opportunities cease.
And then, (at the day of judgment,] dency of a highly respectable College. it will appear whether, in declaring If adversity, as we have seen, exhibthis doctrine, and acting agreeable to it,
ited his patience, disinterestedness, aod in my general conduci in the affair i have been influenced from any regard to
and self-denial, the offer of a more my own temporal interest or bonor, or de- honourable and lucrative situation sire to appear wiser than others ; or bave
evinced his genuine humility, and a acted from any sinister, secular views
freedom both from vanity and ambiwbatsoever ; and whether what I have done bas not been from a careful, strict,
tion, rarely equalled in one who could and tender regard to the will of my Lord not but be conscious of superiour abiland Master, and because I dare not offend
ities. He declined accepting the him, being satisfied what his will was, aster a long, diligent, impartial, and prayer
invitation, on the ground of his own ful inquiry; having this constantly in view
incapacity, and of his engagements and prospect, to engage me to great soli. in two important works, which he citude not rashly to determine truth to be
greatly desired to finish. on tbis side of tbe question, where I am now persuaded it is, that such a determin- In his letter to the Trustees of the ation would not be for my temporal inter
inter- College, he says, est, but every way against it, bringing a long series of extreme difficulties, and On the whole, I am much at a loss, with plunging me into an abyss of trouble and
respect to the way of duty in this impor. sorrow. And then it will appear whether tant affair : I am in doubt, whether, if I my people have done their duty to their should engage in it, I should not do what pastor with respect to this matter; wheth- botb you and I would be sorry for afterer they have shown a right temper and wards. Nevertheless, I throk the greatspirit on this occasion; whetber they ness of the affair, and the regard due to so bave done me justice in hearing, attend worthy and venerable a body, as that of iog to apd considering what 1 bad to say the trustees of Nassau Hall, require my in evidence of what I believed and taught taking the matter into serious consideraas part of the counsel of God; whether I tion. And uoless you should appear to be have been treated with that impartiality, discouraged by the things which I have candor, and regard which the just Judge now represented, as to any further expec. esteemed due ; and whether, in the many tation from me, I shall proceed to ask adsteps, wbich bave been taken, and the vice, of such as I esteem most wise, friendmany things that bave been said and done ly and faithful: If after the mind of the in the coprse of this controversy, right. commissioners in Boston is known, it ap. eousness and charity, and Christian deco- pears that they consent to leave me at lib. rom have been maintained; or, if other. erty, with respect to the business they wise, to how great a degree these things have employed me in here." bave been violated. Then every step of In this suspense be determined to ask the tbe conduct of each of us in this affair, advice of a number of gentlemen in the from first to last, and the spirit we have ministry, on whose judgment and friend. exercised in all shall be examined and ship he could rely, and to act accordingly. manifested, and our own cousciences shall Who, upon his, and his people's desire, speak plain and loud, and each of us shall met at Stockbridge, January 4, 1758; and, bc convioced, and the world shall know; having heard Mr. Edward's representation and never sball there be any more mistake, of the matter, and what his people had to misrepresentations, or misapprehensions say by way of objection against his remo. of the affair to eternity.
val, determined it was his duty to accept This controversy is now probably of the invitation to the presidency of the brought to an issue between you and me college. When they published their judg. as to this word; it has issued in the event ment and advice to Mr. Edwards and bis of the week before last : But it must bave people, be appeared uncommonly moved another decision at that great day, which and affected with it, and fell into tears on certainly will come, when you and I shall the occasion, wbich was very unusual for meet together before the great judgment him in the presence of others : And soon seal.- Vol. I. pp, 125–128
after said to the gentlemen, who had giv
en their advice, that it was matter of won- but partially gratified in the present der to him, that they could so easily, as instance. Alter he was sensible that they appeared to do, get over the objec. tions he had made against his removal... he could not survive that sickness, be But as he thought it his duty to be direct called his daughter and addressed her ed by their advice, he should now endeav. in nearly the following words. our cheerfully to undertake it, believing he was in the way of his duty.
“ Dear Lucy, It seems to me to be the Accordingly, having had, by the ap- will of God that I must shortly leave you; plication of the trustees of the college, the therefore give my kindest love to my dear consent of the commissioners to resign wife, and tell her, that the uncommon untheir mission ; he girded up bis loins, and ion which has so long subsisted between set off from Stockbridge for Princeton in us, has been of such a nature, as I trust is January. He left bis family at Stock- spiritual, and therefore will continue for bridge, not to remove till spring. He bad ever: And I hope she will be supported two daughters at Princeton, Mrs. Burr, the under so great a trial, and submit cbeer. widow of the late President Burr, and his fully to the will of God. And as to my oldest daughter that was unmarried. His children, you are now like to be left fatbarrival at Princeton was to the great satis- erless, which I bope will be an inducefaction and joy of the college.
ment to you all to seek a Father who will The corporation met as soon as could be never fail you. And as to my funeral, I with convenience, atter his arrival at the would have it to be like Mr. Burr's; and college, wben be was by them fised in the any additional sum of money that might President's chair. while at Princeton, be expected to be laid out that way, I before his sickness, he preached in the would have it disposed of to charitable college ball, Sabbath alter Sabbath, to the uses." great acceptance of the hearers; but did He said but very little in his sickness; nothing as president, unless it was to give but was an admirable instance of patience out some questions in divinity to the sen- and resignation to the last. Just at the jor class, to be answered before him; each close of life, as some persons stood by, ope baving opportunity to study and write expecting he would brealbe his last in a what he thought proper upon them. When few minutes were lamenting his death, they came together to answer them, they not only as a great frown on the college, found so much entertainment and profit by but as having a dark aspect on the interest it, especially by the light and instruction of religion in general; to their surprise, Mr. Edwards communicated in what he not imagining that he heard, or ever would said upon tbe questions, when they had speak another word, be said, “ Trust in delivered what they had to say, that they God, and ye need not fear." These were spoke of it with the greatest satisfaction his last words — Vol. I. pp. 92, 93. and wonder.
During this time, Mr. Edwards seemed The following is a short descripto enjoy an uncommon degree of the pres. tion of his sickness, by his attending ence of God. He told bis daughters he physician, in a letter to Mrs. Edrelative to his engaging in that business; wards :but since it now appeared, so far as he “ Never did any mortal man more fully could see, that be was called of God to
and clearly evidence the sincerity of all that place and work, he did cheerfully de. his professions, by one continued, univer vote himself to it, leaving himself and the sal, calm, cheerful resignation and patient event with God; to order what seemed to snbmission to the divine will, through erhim good.-Vol. I. pp. 90, 91.
ery stage of his disease, than be. Not so Within about two months after his much as one discontented expression, nor arrival at Princeton, his useful life the least appearance of murmuring was unexpectedly terminated. He through the whole! And never did any
person expire with more perfect freedom was inoculated with the small-pox; from pain'; not so much as one distortion the disease seemed not severe, but but in the most proper sense of the words, several pustules in his throat made it fell asleep."-Vol. I. p. 93. impossible for him to swallow the Following this great man in our medicine, which might have allayed minds, through the progress of his the fever, and occasioned his death, useful life, admiring the productions March 22, 1758, in the 55th year of of his pen which he had already pub
Jished, and anticipating still greater, There is a universal desire to know and more interesting results of his futhe views and feelings of persons em- ture efforts, when we come to stand inent for piety, in the immediate pros- by his bed of death, we are ready to pect of death. This desire can be regret that he was induced to leave
his retirement and studies .at Stock- tion of these Letters, the author tenbridge, and look upon it as a mysteri- ders bis acknowledgments to those ous providence, that God should take journalists who have contributed to from the world in the prime of his aid the favourable reception of the life, and in apparently the commence- former; one of whom has favoured ment of his usefulness a man whom the work with a “courteous notice," he had so eminently qualified by the and another bas given “ an extended. gifts of nature and grace, to advance account of it, and exercised towards it his glory in the world. The dispen- one of the offices of criticism in the sation looked dark to the children of most lenient manner.” However God, and brought with it, a severe much our vanity might tempt us to disappointment of their hopes. It is court a similar distinction in the prea part of those ways which are as face to the next edition, we shall not much above ours, as the heavens are seek it at the expense of honesty; but higher thau the earth.
shall be contented to deserve the If any are inclined to accuse us of gratitude which is due to plain dealpartiality to Edwards, and to remarking, and shall presume on the magnathat in this revie of his writings and nimity of our author, so far as to becharacter, we have given no place to lieve he will thank us for standing censure, we answer, that we have no equally ready to acknowledge his great desire to refute the accusation. merits and to expose his faults. Who, that feels in his bosom any ad- While it was uncertain whether these miration of excellence, or has any letters would meet with any higher sympathy with the great and the fate than the majority of our attempts good in their desires and efforts to at popular writing that of being glorify God, and promote the happi- read and talked of for a month by ness of his creatures, can fail to be those who have nothing else to do, wrought into partiality by contempla- and then forgotten, --we deemed it ting the character of Edwards? We scarcely necessary to make their conknow that he was not perfect as a tents the subject of particular animadchristian, or a man. He had not all version. But the call for a new edithe versatility of talent, possessed by tion indicates that this work has had, Voltaire, nor have his writings all the and promises to continue to it in futaste, elegance and conciseness, which ture, a degree of influence on the oare now seen in the productions of pinions of the reading community, far inferior authors. We do not call somewhat higher than is attained by bim Master, or subscribe to every publications of the ordinary stamp. sentiment he has advanced on reli- There are also some adventitious cirgion, or moral philosophy, but who, cumstances which co-operate in the when admiring the glorious luminary present instance with the simple fact of Heaven, wishes always to recollect just mentioned, to give it a claim on that there are spots on his surface, our critical labours. It has ceased or to take his glass that he may in- to be an anonymous publication, and spect them? We fully confess we do has been promoted from the humble not envy those who can never be so rank of a duodecimo in a moderate warmed with generous admiration of style of execution to that of an impoexcellence, as willingly to forget that sing octavo. The erroneous views it the object of their love is marked with may contain, have now not only the imperfections.
advantage of a highly respectable
name to aid their implicit reception at Letters on the Eastern States: by home, but of a fair type and broad William Tudor. Second Edition. margin to push them into circulation
abroad. Boston, 1821.
We would advise such of our readIn the preface to the present edi. ers as may hereafter take up these