Page images
PDF
EPUB

tain the thoughts which appeared to him worth preferving. Some idea of the progrefs he had made, and the materials he had collected in this way, he gives in the foregoing letter to the truftees of Naffau-Hall, (page 81 & 82.) He has wrote much on the prophecies of the Meffiah, justification, the divinity of Christ, and the eternity of hell torments. He wrote a great deal on the Bible, in the fame way, by penning his thoughts on particular paffages of it, as they occurred to him in reading or meditation; by which he has caft much light on many parts of the Bible, which has efcaped other interpreters. And by which his great & painful attention to the Bible, and making it the only rule of his faith, are manifeft.

If the public were willing to be at the coft, and publifhing books of divinity met with as much encourage. ment now, as it has fometimes, there might be a number of volumes published from his manufcripts, which would afford a great deal of new light and entertain. ment to the church of Chrift: though they would be more imperfect than if he himself had prepared them for public view.,

As the method he took to have his mifcellaneous writings in fuch order, as to be able with eafe to turn to any thing he had wrote upon a particular fubject, when he had occafion, is perhaps as good as any, if not the beft that has been propofed to the public; fome account of it will here be given, as what may be of advantage to young ftudents, who have not yet gone into any method, and are disposed to improve their minds by writing.

He numbered all his mifcellaneous writings. The first thing he wrote is No. 1. the fecond No. 2. and fo on. And when he had occafion to write on any particular fubject, he firft fet down the number, and then wrote the fubject in capitals or large characters, that it might not escape his eye when he fhould have occafion to turn to it. As for inftance, if he was going to write on the happiness of angels, and his laft number was

148, he would begin thus-149. Angels, their happinefs. And when he had wrote what he defigned at that time on that fubject, he would turn to an alphabetical table which he kept, and under the letter A, he would write, Angels, their happiness, if this was not already in his alphabet; and then fet down the number 149, close at the right hand of it. And if he had occafion to write any new thoughts on the same subject; if the number of his mifcellanies were increased, fo that his last number was 261, he would fet 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, fet down 262. By this means he had no occafion to leave any chafms; but began his next fubject where he left off his laft.

this

The number of his mifcellaneous writings ranged in manner, amounts to above 1400. And yet by a table contained on a fheet or two of paper, any thing he wrote can be turned to at pleasure.

SECTION II.

His PUBLICATIONS.

R EDWARDS was greatly esteemed and famed as an author both in Europe and America. His publications naturally raised in the reader of taste and judgment, an opinion of his greatnefs and piety. His books met with a good reception in Scotland efpecially, and procured him great esteem and applaufe there. A gentleman of note there, for his fuperior genius and talents, has the following words concerning Mr. Edwards, in a letter to one of his correfpondents in America: "I looked on him as incomparably "the greatest divine and philofopher in Britain or her "colonies; and rejoiced that one fo eminently qualified "for teaching divinity was chofen prefident of New.. "Jerfey

68.

12

"Jerfey college." And in another letter the fame gentleman fays, "Ever fince I was acquainted with Mr "Edwards's writings, I have looked upon him as the greatest divine this age has produced." And a reverend gentleman, lately from Holland, fays, "That Mr "Edward's writings efpecially on the freedom of the "will, were had in great efteem there: that the profef"fors of the celebrated academy, prefented their com "pliments to Prefident Edwards. Several members 62' of the claffes of Amfterdam gave their thanks, by him,

[ocr errors]

66

to pious Mr Edwards, for his juft obfervations on Mr "Brainerd's life; which book was tranflated in Holland, "and was highly approved of by the univerfity of U"trecht."

A brief account of what he published is therefore here fubjoined.

Á fermon preached at Bofton, on 1 Cor. i. 29, 30, 31.; with a preface by one of the minifters of Boston.

A fermon preached at Northampton, in the year 1734, from Matth. xvi. 17. intitled, A divine and fupernatural Light immediately imparted to the Soul, by the Spirit of God.

The narrative which has been mentioned, wrote Nov. 6. 1736, which was first printed in London, and recommended by Dr Watts and Dr Guyse, and had two editions there. And then it had another edition in Boston, in the year 1738, recommended by four of the fenior minifters in Bofton; to which were prefixed five difcourfes on the following fubjects.

I. Juftification by faith alone. II. Preffing into the kingdom of God. III. Ruth's refolution. IV. The justice of God in the damnation of finners. V. The excellency of Jefus Chrift; delivered at Nothampton, chiefly at the time of the wonderful pouring out of the Spirit of God there.

The difcourfe on juftification by faith alone, may be recommended as one of the beft things that has been wrote on that fubject; fetting this truth in a moft plain, fcriptural, and convincing light; and as well worthy

the

the careful perusal of all Christians, especially candidates for the miniftry. The other difcourfes are ex.. cellent, having much divinity in them, and tending, above most that are published, to awaken the confcience of the finner, and inftruct and quicken the chriftian.

A fermon preached at Enfield, July 8. 1741, intitled, Sinners in the hands of an angry God, preach. ed at a time of great awakenings there; and attended with remarkable impreffions on many of the hearers.

A fermon on the diftinguishing marks of a work of the Spirit of God, preached at New-Haven, Sept. 10. 1741, from 1 John iv. 1. ; publifhed with great enlargements. This was re-printed in Scotland.

3

Some thoughts concerning the present revival of religion in New-England, and the way in which it ought to be acknowledged and promoted; humbly offered to the public, in a treatife on that fubject, in five parts; published in the year 1742. This had a fecond edition in Scotland.

A treatife concerning religious affections, published in the year 1746. These three laft have been mention-ed before, with the particular occafion and design of their publication, page 57:

A treatife intitled, An humble attempt to promote explicit agreement, and visible union of God's people in extraordinary prayer, for the revival of religion, &c.; recommended by five of the principal minifters in Bofton; published in 1747. In which he fhows his great acquaintance with fcripture, and his attention to, and good understanding of the prophetic part of it.

An account of the life of the Rev. Mr David Brainerd, minister of the gospel, and miffionary to the Indians, &c. with reflections and obfervations thereon published in the year 1749.

;

An inquiry into the qualifications for full communion in the vifible church; published in the year 1749; intended as an explanation and vindication of his principles in the matter which occafioned his difmiffion from Northampton.

A

A reply to the Rev. Mr Williams's answer to the forementioned inquiry; published in the year 1752.

A fermon preached at Newark, before the Synod, Sept. 28, 1752, from James ii. 19. intitled, True Grace diftinguifhed, from the experience of Devils.

A careful and ftrict inquiry into the modern prevailing notion of that freedom of will, which is fuppofed to be effential to moral agency, &c.; publifhed in the year 1754

This is jufly thought, by good judges, to be one of the greatest efforts of the human mind, that has appears ed, at least, in this century. In which the author fhows that force and ftrength of mind, that judgment, penetration, and accuracy of thought, that juftly intitles him to the character of one of the greateft geniufes of this age. This treatise doubtlefs goes. further towards fettling the main points in controverfy between Calvinifts and Arminians, than any thing that has been wrote: he having herein abundantly demonftrated the chief principles on which Arminians build their whole fcheme, to be falfe and most abfurd. Whenever, therefore, this book comes to be generally attended to, it wil doubtless prove fatal to Arminian and Pelagian principles. This was re-printed in London, Anno 1762, and has been introduced by the Rev. T. Clap, Prefident of Yale College, to be recited there by the students.

[ocr errors]

The great Chriftian doctrine of original fin defended; evidences of its truth produced, and arguments to the contrary answered. Containing, in particular, a reply to the objections and arguings of Dr John Taylor, &c.; publifhed in the year 1758. This was in the prefs when he died.

Befides thefe, he published feveral ordination fermons, and fome others, preached upon particular occafions.

APPENDIX...

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »