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in itself, respectable, and the town unusually pleasant. He therefore resigned his tutorship, in Sept. 1726, and accepted of the in


Those, who are conversant with the instruction and government of a College, will readily be aware, that the period, of which we have now been speaking, was a very busy portion of Mr. Edwards's life; and, if they call to mind the circumstances of the institution, and the habits of the students, when he entered on his office, they will not need to be informed, that the discharge of his official duties, must have been accompanied with constant care, and distressing anxiety. It is a rare event in Providence, that so heavy a responsibility is thrown, publicly, on three individuals so young, and so destitute of experience, and of the knowledge of mankind; and the business of instruction and government, must have occupied their whole time, and exhausted their whole strength.

In such a state of things, it was not possible, that he should find the same leisure, for christian conversation, for retirement and spiritual contemplation, as he had found in New-York. There, his business was, chiefly, to enjoy here, it was to act. There, the persons, with whom he came in contact, continually, even as members of Christ's family, were possessed of uncommon excellence: here, they were a very perverse part of a very different family. There, his attention was drawn, by the objects around him, to heavenly things: here, it was necessarily confined, almost all the time, to this world. There, when retiring for prayer, and heavenly contemplation, his mind sought communion with God, in all its energy and freshness: here, when it was worn out by toil, and exhausted by perplexities. The change in the current of thought and feeling, must, therefore, have been great; and, (so much is the mind prone to measure its religious state, by the amount of daily enjoyment, and so little, by the readiness to encounter trials, and to perform laborious and self-denying duties,) it is not surprizing, that he should have regarded this change, as evidence of perceptible and lamentable declension in religion. Such, he in fact regarded it; as we shall find, both from his Narrative and Diary; yet, it is by no means certain, that his views of the subject were altogether correct.

The young Christian has usually a season of leisure, given him in the Providence of God, in which to become acquainted with the members of that family, into which he has lately been introduced, and with those objects, with which, as a spiritual being, he is thenceforward to be conversant. His time and his strength are given chiefly to the Scriptures, to prayer, to meditation, and to religious conversation; and he is delightfully conscious, that his communion is with the Father, and the Son Jesus Christ, through the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, as well as with "the whole famVOL. I.


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ily, both on earth and in heaven.' The design of this is, to open to him his new state of existence, to enable him to understand its relations and duties, and to give him an earnest of better things in reversion. It is a most refreshing and happy period of his life; and, were he designed for contemplation merely, might well be protracted to its close. But, as we are taught most explicitly, in the word and providence of God, his great worth lies in Action-in imitating Him, whose rule it was "I must do the work of him that sent me, while it is day;" and whose practice it was-that "he went about doing good." The Scriptures are given by the inspiration of God, and are profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness,-Wherefore? that the man of God may be perfected, being thoroughly furnished unto every good work. Probably no year in the life of Mr. Edwards, was spent more usefully, than that in which he was occupied, with his associates, in laying the foundation of sober habits, and sound morals, in the seminary now entrusted to their care. Probably in no equal period, did he more effectually serve God, and his generation. And if, in its progress, he found less of that enjoyment, which grows out of spiritual contemplation; he must have had the more delightful consciousness, that, in the midst of great difficulties and crosses, he had honestly endeavoured to serve God, and to perform his duty.

There may therefore be reason for doubt, whether the change in his feelings, of which he speaks, in the succeeding parts of his Narrative and Diary, was not a declension in this particular species of religious enjoyment, necessarily growing out of the circumstances in which he was placed; rather than a declension in the life and power of religion.

"I continued," he observes, "much in the same frame, in the general, as when at New-York, till I went to New-Haven, as Tutor of the College: particularly, once at Bolton, on a journey from Boston, while walking out alone in the fields. After I went to New-Haven, I sunk in religion; my mind being diverted from my eager pursuits after holiness, by some affairs, that greatly perplexed and distracted my thoughts.

"In September, 1725, I was taken ill at New-Haven, and while endeavouring to go home to Windsor, was so ill at the North Village, that I could go no farther; where I lay sick, for about a quarter of a year. In this sickness, God was pleased to visit me again, with the sweet influences of his Spirit. My mind was greatly engaged there, on divine and pleasant contemplations, and longings of soul. I observed, that those who watched with me, would often be locking out wishfully for the morning; which brought to my mind those words of the Psalmist, and which my soul with delight made its own language, My soul waiteth for the Lord, more than they that watch for the morning; I say, more than they that

watch for the morning; and when the light of day came in at the window, it refreshed my soul, from one morning to another. It seemed to be some image of the light of God's glory.

"I remember, about that time, I used greatly to long for the conversion of some, that I was concerned with; I could gladly honour them, and with delight be a servant to them, and lie at their feet, if they were but truly holy. But some time after this, I was again greatly diverted with some temporal concerns, that exceedingly took up my thoughts, greatly to the wounding of my soul; and went on, through various exercises, that it would be tedious to relate, which gave me much more experience of my own heart, than I ever had before."

While reading the above, we can scarcely fail to remark, that when his mind was freed from the cares and anxieties, necessarily attendant on the discharge of his official duties, and left amid the calm and retirement of sickness, to its own spontaneous movements; it returned instinctively to meditation, and prayer and heavenly contemplation, as its greatest privileges, and found in them, as the means of immediate communion with God, the same spiritual enjoyment which it had before experienced. This could scarcely have been the fact, if, in consequence of official cares and perplexities, he had been, as he supposes, the subject of a marked declension in his religious state and character.

THE remainder of his DIARY, is chiefly confined to the period of his life which we have now reviewed, and is, therefore, inserted here. It is only to be regretted, that, through the multiplicity of his affairs, he should have found it necessary to discontinue it.


Thursday forenoon, Oct. 4, 1723. Have this day fixed and established it, that Christ Jesus has promised me faithfully, that, if I will do what is my duty, and according to the best of my prudence in the matter, that my condition in this world, shall be better for me than any other condition whatever, and more to my welfare, to all eternity. And, therefore, whatever my condition shall be, I will esteem it to be such; and if I find need of faith in the matter, that I will confess it as impiety before God. Vid. Resolution 57, and June 9.

Sabbath night, Oct. 7. Have lately erred, in not allowing time enough for conversation.

Friday night, Oct. 12. I see there are some things quite contrary to the soundness and perfection of christianity, in which almost all good men do allow themselves, and where innate corruption has an unrestrained secret vent, which they never take notice of, or think to be no hurt, or cloke under the name of virtue; which

things exceedingly darken the brightness, and hide the loveliness, of christianity. Who can understand his errors? O that I might

be kept from secret faults!

Sabbath morning, Oct. 14. Narrowly to observe after what manner I act, when I am in a hurry, and to act as much so, at other times, as I can, without prejudice to the business.

Monday morning, Oct. 15. I seem to be afraid, after errors and decays, to give myself the full exercise of spiritual meditation: -Not to give way to such fears.

Thursday, Oct. 18. To follow the example of Mr. B. who, though he meets with great difficulties, yet undertakes them with a smiling countenance, as though he thought them but little; and speaks of them, as if they were very small.

Friday night, Nov. 1. When I am unfit for other business, to perfect myself in writing characters.*

Friday afternoon, Nov. 22. For the time to come, when I am in a lifeless frame in secret prayer, to force myself to expatiate, as if I were praying before others more than I used to do.

Tuesday forenoon, Nov. 26. It is a most evil and pernicious practice, in meditations on afflictions, to sit ruminating on the aggravations of the affliction, and reckoning up the evil, dark circumstances thereof, and dwelling long on the dark side: it doubles and trebles the affliction. And so, when speaking of them to others, to make them as bad as we can, and use our eloquence to set forth our own troubles, is to be all the while making new trouble, and feeding and pampering the old; whereas, the contrary practice, would starve our affliction. If we dwelt on the bright side of things in our thoughts, and extenuated them all that we possibly could, when speaking of them, we should think little of them ourselves, and the affliction would, really, in a great measure, vanish away. Friday night, Nov. 29. As a help to attention in social prayer, to take special care to make a particular remark, at the beginning of every petition, confession, &c.

Monday morning, Dec. 9. To observe, whether I express any kind of fretting emotion, for the next three weeks.

Thursday night, Dec. 12. If, at any time, I am forced to tell others wherein I think they are somewhat to blame; in order to avoid the important evil that would otherwise ensue, not to tell it to them so, that there shall be a probability of their taking it as the effect of little, fretting, angry emotions of mind.-Vid. Aug. 28. When I do want, or am likely to want, good books, to spend time in studying Mathematics, and in reviewing other kinds of old learning; to spend more time in visiting friends, in the more private duties of a pastor, in taking care of worldly business, in going abroad and other things that I may contrive.

*He probably refers to short-hand characters.

Friday morning, Dec. 27. At the end of every month, to examine my behaviour, strictly, by some chapter in the New Testament, more especially made up of rules of life.-At the end of the year, to examine my behaviour by the rules of the New Testament in general, reading many chapters. It would also be convenient, some time at the end of the year, to read, for this purpose, in the book of Proverbs.

Tuesday night, Dec. 31. Concluded never to suffer, nor express, any angry emotions of mind, more or less, except the honour of God calls for it in zeal for him, or to preserve myself from being trampled on.

1724. Wednesday, Jan. 1. Not to spend too much time in thinking, even of important and necessary worldly business, and to allow every thing its proportion of thought, according to its urgency and importance.

Thursday night, Jan. 2. These things established-That time gained in things of lesser importance, is as much gained in things of greater; that a minute, gained in times of confusion, conversation, or in a journey, is as good as a minute gained in my study, at my most retired times; and so in general that a minute gained at one time, is as good as at another.

Friday night, Jan. 3. The time and pains laid out in seeking the world, is to be proportioned to the necessity, usefulness, and importance of it, with respect to another world, together with the uncertainty of succeeding, the uncertainty of living, and of retaining; provided, that nothing that our duty enjoins, or that is amiable, be omitted, and nothing sinful or unbecoming be done for the sake of it.

Friday, Jan. 10. [After having written to a considerable ex tent, in short-hand, which he used, when he wished what he wrote to be effectually concealed from every one but himself, he adds the following.] Remember to act according to Prov. xii. 23A prudent man concealeth knowledge.

Monday, Jan. 20. I have been very much to blame, in that I have not been as full, and plain and downright, in my standing up for virtue and religion, when I have had fair occasion, before those who seemed to take no delight in such things. If such conversation would not be agreeable to them, I have in some degree minced the matter, that I might not displease, and might not speak right against the grain, more than I should have loved to have done with others, to whom it would be agreeable to speak directly for religion. ought to be exceedingly bold with such persons, not talking in a melancholy strain, but in one confident and fearless, assured of the truth and excellence of the cause.



Monday, Feb. 3. Let every thing have the value now which it will have on a sick bed: and frequently, in my pursuits of whatever

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