Page images

érs. In his treatise intitled “ An humble attempt to promote explicit agreement, and visible union of God's people in extraordinary prayer for the revival of religion," he shews great acquaintance with scripture, and a remarkable attention to the prophetic part of it,

Mr. Edwards left a great number of volumes in manuscript which he wrote in a miscellaneous way on almost all subjects in divinity. This he did, pot with any design that they should ever be published in that form, but for the satisfaction and improvement of his own mind, and that he might retain the thoughts, which appeared to him worth preserving. Some idea of the progress he had made, and the materials he had collected in this way, he gives in his letter to the trustees of the college, when assigning his reasons against accepting the Presidentship. He had written much on the prophecies concerning the Messiah, on justification, the divinity of Christ, and the eternity of hell torments. He wrote much on the Bible, in the same way ; penning his thoughts on particular passages, as they occurred to him in reading or meditation.

As the method he took to have his miscellaneous writings in good order, so as to be able with ease to turn to any particular subject, is perhaps as good as any, if not the best that has been proposed to the public ; some account of it is here given, for the use of young students who have not yet adopted any method, and are disposed to improve their minds by writing. He numbered all his miscellaneous writings. The first thing he wrote is No. 1, the second No. 2, and so on. And when he had occasion to write on any particular subject, he first set down the number, and then wrote the subject in large character, that it might not escape his eye, when he should have occasion to turn to it. For instance, if he was going to write on the happiness of angels, and his last No. was 148, he would begin thus.... 149. ANGELS, their happiness. When he wrote what he designed, he would turn to his alphabetical table, and under the letter A, he would write, Angels, their happiness, if this was not there already, and then set down the number 149, close at the right hand of it. And if he had occasion to write any new thoughts on the same sub-VOL. I.


ject; if the number of his miscellanies were increased, se that his last number was 261, he would set the number 262, and then the subject as before. And when he had done writing for that time, he turned to his table, to the word angels; and at the right hand of the number 149, set down 262. By this means he had no occasion to leave any chasms ; but began his next subject where he left off his last. The number of his miscellaneous writings ranged in this manner, amounts to above 1400. And yet by a table contained in a sheet or two of paper, any thing he wrote can be turned to at pleasure.

A just picture of this eminent servant of God, is given in the following expressive lines, taken from The Triumph of Infie delity, an ingenious, satirical poem ascribed to Dr. Dwight, President of Yale College.

“ But, my chief bane, my apostolic foe,
In life, in labors, source of every woe,
From scenes obscure did heav'n his Edwards call,
That moral Newion, and that second Paul.
He, in clear view, saw sacred systems roll,
Of reasoning worlds, around their central soul;
Saw love attractive every system bind,
The parent linking to each filial mind;
The end of heaven's high works resistless shew'd,
Creating glory, and created good,
And in one little life, the gospel more
Disclos'd, than all earth's myriads kenn'd before.*
Beneath his standard, lo! what uumbers rise,
To care for truth, and combat for the skies !
Arm'd at all points, they try the battling field,
With reason's sword, and faith's etherial shield."

* The reader will consider this proposition as poctically strong, but not as literally accurate.

The Inscription upon the stone which is over the grave of Mr. Edwards in Princeton, composed originally by President Finley, has been very obligingly sent on by a particular friend, and is here gratefully inserted as the close of these Memoirs.


Reverendi admodum viri,
JONATHAN EDWARDS, A. M. Collegii novæ Cæsariæ

Natus apud Windsor, Connecticutensium, V Octobris,

Patre Reverendo Timotheo Edwards oriundus,

Collegio Yalensi educatus,
Apud Northampton Sacris initiatus XV Februarii,

Illinc dimissus XXII Junii MDCCL,

Et munus Barbares instituendi accepit,
Præses Aulæ Nassovicæ creatus XVI Februarii MDCCLVIII.
Defunctus in hoc vico XXII Martii sequentis, S. N.

Ætatis LV, heu nimis brevis !

Hic jacit mortalis Pars.
Qualis Persona quæris, Viator ?

Vir, Corpore procero, sed gracili,
Studiis intensissimis, Abstinentia, et Sedulitate

Ingenii Acumine, judicio acri, et Prudentia,

Secundus nemini Mortalium,
Artium liberalium et scientiarum Peritia insignis,
Criticorum sacrorum optimus, Theologus eximius,

Ut vix alter æqualis; disputator candidus.

Fidei Christianæ Propugnator invictus,
Concionator Gravis, Solennis, Discriminans ;

Et, Deo favente, 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 Vestigią.

[ocr errors]






JUNE 22, 1750.

« PreviousContinue »