although the jumble of the Epicureans be allowed; although it be in fact, impossible.

"10. To find out a thousand things, by due observation of the Spheroid of the Universe.

"14. To show how the Motion, Rest and Direction, of the least Atom has an influence on the motion, rest and direction of every body in the Universe; and to show how, by that means, every thing which happens with respect to motes or straws, and such little things, may be for some great uses in the whole course of things, throughout Eternity; and to show how the least wrong step in a mote, may, in Eternity, subvert the order of the Universe; and to take notice, of the great wisdom that is necessary, in order to dispose every Atom at first, so as that they should go for the best throughout all Eternity, and in the adjusting by an exact computation, and a nice allowance to be made for the miracles which should be needful, and other ways, whereby the course of bodies should be diverted. And then, to show how God, who does this, must necessarily be Omniscient, and know every the least thing, that must happen through Eternity.

"36. To show, if I think fit, how Sir Isaac Newton was very sensible, that all spontaneous enkindling, was from a certain attraction.


37. To show that it is not only highly probable, but absolutely certain, that the Fixed Stars are so many Suns. For it is certain, in the first place that they do shine by their own light, and not by the Sun's; for, although we don't exactly know how far distant they are, yet we know that they are so far distant at least, that the annual revolution of the Earth makes no sensible alteration in their position. And we know certainly that the light of the Sun, at such a distance, will be no more than about as much, as the light of a Fixed Star is here. (Let any body calculate and see.) And now I ask, Whether or no it be not certain, that no body will reflect the light of another body, which does not shine upon it brighter, than a single Fixed Star does upon the Earth, so much as to cause it to shine, with its reflected light, so brightly as the Fixed Stars do, at such a distance.-And then, in the second place, it is certain that they must be pretty near about so big. And thirdly, it is certain that they must shine with as bright a light; or else they would never appear so bright, at such a distance. This we may also be certain of by calculation. Which three things are all, that are

needed to make a Sun.

"Corol. 1. From the foregoing: That our Sun is a Fixed Star, is as certain, as that any one particular Star in the heavens is one. "Corol. 2. It is as probable that the other Fixed Stars, or Suns, have Systems of planets about them, as it would be that ours had, to one who had seen a Fixed Star or Sun, every way like it, have them.

38. To bring in, if there happens a good place for it, that it is equally probable in itself, that all or the greatest part of the Universe was created, at the time of the Mosaic Creation, as that all, or the greatest part of the Universe was created at once, at any other time."

From the whole collection* it is obvious, that at this early age he had conceived the design of writing a large work, which was to be a complete Treatise on Natural Philosophy and Natural History, including Chemistry and Geology, as far as they were then known, on a plan entirely his own. The Philosophical part of the work, instead of taking for granted what had hitherto been received, was to rest on certain fundamental principles, which he proceeded to establish. The Historical, was to be the result, as far as possible, of his own observations.

The Philosophical reader, on perusing the 13th article of the first series of "THINGS TO BE CONSIDERED," will regard it as a singular fact, that a Youth at college, more than a century ago, from observing several unaccountable phenomena, attending the refraction and reflexion of light, should have foretold, that the discovery of these would let us into a New World of Philosophy; that he should have been led to suggest, (as in 57 of 2d series,) that there is in the atmosphere some other ethereal matter, considerably rarer than atmospheric air; that he should (as in No. 71) have discovered water to be a compressible fluid, a fact not communicated to the world until the year 1763; that he should have observed the fact, and attempted to account for it, (No. 77,) that water in freezing loses its specific gravity; and that he should have expressed doubts of the existence of frigorific particles. In his attempt to explain the phenomena of Thunder and Lightning, the reader will also perceive that, without any knowledge of the electric fluid, and long before the invention of the Leyden jar,† he rejected the then prevalent theory on the subject, and was led to conclude that Lightning was an almost infinitely fine, combustible, fluid matter, that floats in the air, and that takes fire by a sudden and mighty fermentation, that is some way promoted by the cool, and moisture, and perhaps attraction, of the clouds: a nearer approximation to the theory of Franklin, than the human mind had ever reached. His Theory of Atoms will be read with deep interest, as will his demonstration that the Fixed Stars are Suns, (No. 77,) his explanation of the Channels of rivers and their branches, (No. 45,) of the different Refrangibility of the rays of light, (No. 46,) of the growth of Trees, (No. 48,) of the Process of Evaporation, (No. 57,) of the Lever, (No. 65,) his observations on Sound, (No. 66,)


*See Appendix, I.

t The Leyden jar was invented in 1745.

on Elasticity, (No. 70,) on the tendency of winds from the coast. to bring rain, (No. 75,) and on the cause of Colours, (No. 81.)

Every part of the work will be found to evince a mind, wholly original and inventive in its observations, and discoveries, in all the kingdoms of Nature; and will lead to the conviction that, had his life been devoted to these pursuits, in a country where he could at once have availed himself of the discoveries of others, and, the necessary instruments, he would have met with no ordinary success, in extending the bounds of human knowledge, in the most important and interesting fields of Physical Science. But higher objects of contemplation, and investigations of a more elevated nature, now demanded his attention; and, in devoting to these his whole intellectual and moral strength, he found a pleasure, which he would not have derived from the proudest triumphs of Philosophical dis



Early Religious Productions." Miscellanies."-"Notes on the Scriptures."-Early Religious Impressions.-His Personal Narrative.

We have already had occasion to intimate, that, although while a member of College, Edwards paid a most assiduous and successful attention to his assigned duties; and particularly, as we have just seen, to the study of Mental, and of Physical, Philosophy; yet he still found time for pursuits of a more elevated and spiritual character. His whole education from early infancy, and the counsels of his parents, as well as his own feelings, prompted him to these pursuits. To read the Bible daily, and to read it, in connexion with other religious books, diligently and attentively on the Sabbath, was made, in the earlier days of New England, the regular and habitual duty of every child; and his father's family, though not inattentive to the due cultivation of mind and manners, had lost none of the strictness or conscientiousness, which characterized the Pilgrims. The books, which he found in his father's library, the conversation of clergymen often resorting to the house. the custom of the times, as well as the more immediate influence of parental instruction and example, naturally prompted a mind, like his, to the early contemplation, and investigation, of many of the principles and truths of Theology. He had also witnessed in his father's congregation, before his admission to College, several extensive Revivals of Religion; and in two of them, the impressions made on his own mind had been unusually deep and solemn. The Name, familiarly given by the plain people of this country to these events, "A Religious Attention," and "A General Attention to Religion," indicates their nature; and those personally acquainted with them need not to be informed, that during their progress, the great truths of Religion, as taught in the Scriptures, and as explained in the writings of Theologians, become the objects of general and intense interest, and of close practical study; or that the knowledge, acquired by a whole people at such a time, in a comparatively little period, often exceeds the acquisitions of many previous years. With all these things in view, it is not surprizing therefore, that, to these two kinds of reading, he devoted himself early, with great diligence and with great success.


Two of his early "Resolutions" relate to this subject:

"Resolved, When I think of any Theorem in Divinity to be solved, immediately to do what I can towards solving it, if circumstances do not hinder."

Resolved, To study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same."

On the 8th of June, 1723, he also proposes, whenever he finds himself in a dull listless frame, to read over his own Remarks and Reflections of a Religious nature, in order to quicken him in his duty.

These Resolutions plainly evince what must have been, for a considerable period, the habit of his mind, with regard to both subjects; and the manner, in which he speaks of his "Remarks and Reflexions" on the subject of Religion, indicates that, at that time, they were considerably numerous.

They were so in fact. The first manuscript of his "Miscellanies" is in folio, and consists of forty-four sheets of foolscap, written separately, and stitched together like the leaves of a folio book that is bound. When he began the work, he had obviously no suspicion of the size to which it was to grow, nor had he formed his ultimate plan of arrangement. He headed his first article, "Of holiness;" and having finished it, and drawn a line of separation across the page, he commenced the second, "Of Christ's mediation and satisfaction." The same is done with the third and fourth. The fifth he writes, without a line of separation, in larger letters, "Spiritual Happiness." After that, the subject of each new article is printed, or written, in larger letters. His first article was written on the second page of a loose sheet of paper; and having written over the second, third, and fourth pages, he went back to the first. He began to number his articles by the letters of the Alphabet, a, b, c; and having gone through, he commenced with a double Alphabet, aa, bb, cc; when this was finished, finding his work enlarge, he took the regular numbers, 1, 2, 3, &c. and this plan, both as to subjects and numbers, is afterwards continued.

The beginning of the. work is written in a remarkably small* round hand, nearly the same with that in which his earliest productions are written. This extends through about the first 150 articles, and is soon after perceptibly changed, into a hand somewhat more formed and flowing. These appear, obviously, to have been written during the last years of his College life, and the two years of his residence at College, as Bachelor of Arts. Large Extracts from this work will be found in the ensuing volumes, and a num

*The first five sheets contain from 105 to 115 lines on a page; each line averaging 30 words. As his hand changed, he gradually diminished the number of lines on a page to about 60.

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