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England; when he was invited by Mr. Edwards to take up his abode in his own house. He came there on the 28th of May, apparently very much improved in health, cheerful in his spirits, and free from melancholy, yet at that time probably in a confirmed consumption. Mr. Edwards had now an opportunity of becoming most intimately acquainted with him, and regarded his residence under his roof, as a peculiar blessing to himself and his family. “We enjoyed,” he observes, “not only the benefit of his conversation, but had the comfort and advantage of having him pray in the family from time to time." He was at this time very feeble in health ; but in consequence of the advice of his physician, he left Northampton for Boston, on the 9th of June, in company with the second daughter of Mr. Edwards. They arrived on the evening of the 12th, among the family relatives of Mr. Edwards in Boston, and for a few days the health of Brainerd appeared much amended; but a relapse on the 18th, convinced his friends that his recovery was hopeless. Contrary to their expectations however, he so far revived, that on the 20th of July they were able to leave Boston, in company with his brother, Mr. Israel Brainerd, and on the 25th they reached Northampton. Here his health continued gradually to decline, until early in October it was obvious that he would not long survive. “On the morning of Lord's day, Oct. 4,” says Mr. Edwards, “as my daughter Jerusha, who chiefly attended him, came into the room, he looked on her very pleasantly, and said, “Dear Jerusha, are you willing to part with me?-I am quite willing to part with you: I am willing to part with all my friends: though if I thought I should not see you and be happy with you in another world, I could not bear to part with you. But we shall spend a happy eternity together.” He died on Friday, Oct. 9, 1749, and on the Monday following, Mr. Edwards preached the Sermon at his Funeral, from 2 Cor. v. 8, entitled, “True Saints when absent from the body are present with the Lord;" which was published in the December following.
Brainerd, after destroying the early part of his Diary, left the residue in the hands of Mr. Edwards, to dispose of as he thought best. Mr. Edwards concluded to publish it, in connexion with a brief Memoir of his life.
In the ensuing February, Jerusha, the second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edwards, was removed by death. Her father, in a Note to the Memoirs of Brainerd, thus alludes to this distressing event. “Since this, it has pleased a holy and sovereign God, to take away this my dear child by death, on the 14th of February, next following, after a short illness of five days, in the 18th year of her age. She was a person of much the same spirit with Brainerd. She had constantly taken care of, and attended him in his sickness, for nineteen weeks before his death ; devoting herself to it with great delight, because she looked on him as an eminent servant of Jesus Christ. In this time, he had much conversation with her on the things of religion ; and, in his dying state, often expressed to us, her parents, his great satisfaction concerning her true piety, and his confidence that he should meet her in heaven, and his high opinion of her not only as a real christian, but as a very eminent saint: one whose soul was uncommonly fed and entertained with things which pertain to the most spiritual, experimental and distinguishing parts of religion: and one, who, by the temper of her mind, was fitted to deny herself for God, and to do good, beyond any young woman whatsoever whom he knew. She had manifested a heart uncommonly devoted to God in the course of her life,
many years before her death ; and said on her death-bed, that she had not seen one minute, for several years, wherein she desired to live one minute longer, for the sake of any other good in life, but doing good, living to God, and doing what might be for his glory."
In the course of the year 1747, an epistolary correspondence was commenced between Mr. Edwards and the Rev. John Erskine of Kirkintilloch, afterwards the Rev. Dr. Erskine of Edinburgh, which was continued to the close of Mr. Edwards' life. This gentleman, possessing superior talents, and having every advantage of birth, fortune and education, made choice of the clerical profession, in opposition to the prevailing wishes of his family ; and, in May 1744, took charge of the parish of Kirkintilloch near Glasgow. In 1753, he was translated to a parish in the borough of Culross, and, in the autumn of 1758, to one of the parishes in Edinburgh. Distinguished alike for his learning and piety, for his honourable and munificent spirit and for his firm attachment to evangelical religion, he adorned every station which he filled by a faithful and conscientious discharge of its various duties—private, social and public ;-enjoyed the high respect of the wise and good, not only in Great Britain, but extensively in both continents; and died in 1803 in his 82d year, having been the correspondent, successively, of President Edwards, of his Son Dr. Edwards, President of Union College, and of his grand-son President Dwight, for the period of fifty-six years.
Mr. Erskine began the correspondence with Mr. Edwards early in 1747, through the intervention of Mr. M’Laurin of Glasgow, by sending him the “Remains of Mr. Hall”—a memoir, written by himself, of a most respectable and beloved fellow-student in Theology, a young gentleman of uncommon promise. I have none of the letters of Mr. Erskine to Mr. Edwards, and not having been able to procure the first letter of Mr. Edwards to Mr. Erskine, written in the summer of 1747, must be indebted, for the following account of it, to the “ Life of Dr. Erskine,” by the Hon. and Rev. Sir H. M. Wallwood—“ On this occasion, Mr. Edwards expressed, with great tenderness and delicacy, his sympathy with one, who had lost his most intimate and estimable friend in the prime of life, the Vol. I.
companion of his youth, and, for a considerable time before his death, the delightful and affectionate associate of his studies and of his piety.
“In a postscript to this letter, he mentioned his book on Religious Affections, then just published, and at the same time sent his correspondent a copy of it in a book of which it is not too much to say, that it is not only worthy of the talents and sincerity of its author ; but that while it shows, that he was neither forward nor rash, in estimating striking or sudden impressions of religion, it contains more sound instruction on its particular subject, and lays down more intelligible and definite rules to distinguish true from false religion, and to ascertain by distinct characters, the genuine spirit of vital piety, separated from all fanatical delusions, than any other book which has yet been given to the world.
“ In the same postscript to Mr. Edwards' first letter to Dr. Erskine, he gave him a general sketch of a plan which he had then formed, and which he afterwards executed, with so much ability, in his book on the Freedom of the Will;a book which, whether his
-a opinions be questioned or adopted, has certainly given him an eminent station both among philosophers and divines. “I have thought,"
says, “ of writing something particularly and largely on the Arminian controversy, in distinct discourses on the various points in dispute, to be published successively, beginning first with a discourse concerning the Freedom of the Will, and Moral Agency; endeavouring fully and thoroughly to state and discuss those points of Liberty and Necessity, Moral and Physical Inability, Efficacious Grace, and the ground of virtue and vice, reward and punishment, blame and praise, with regard to the dispositions and actions of reasonable creatures."
“ Such was the first idea of a work, from which Mr. Edwards afterwards derived his chief celebrity as an author; but a considerable time intervened, before he found it possible to make any progress in his design."
The death of Col. Stoddard, which occurred at Boston, on the 19th of June, this year, was a loss severely felt, not only by Mr. Edwards and the people of Northampton, but by the County and the Province at large. lle was eminently distinguished for his strength of understanding and energy of character, and had for a long period, unrivalled influence in the council of the Province. He was also a man of decided piety, and a uniform friend and supporter of sound morals and evangelical religion. Mr. Edwards preached a Sermon on his death from Ezek. xix. 12; which was immediately published.”
Early in the next year Mr. Edwards received from Mr. Erskine a number of books, which he valued very highly, as containing the ablest exhibition and deience of the system of doctrines usually styled Arminianism, which bad at that time appeared before the pub
lic. In the following letter he acknowledges the kindness of his correspondent, and at the same time alludes to the decease of his daughter.
“ To the Rev. John Erskine.
Northampton, Aug. 31, 1748. * Rev. AND DEAR SIR,
“I this summer received your kind letter of Feb. 9, 1748, with your most acceptable present of Taylor on Original Sin, and his Key to the Apostolic Writings, with his Paraphrase on the Epistle to the Romans; together with your Sermons and Answer to Doct. Campbell. I had your Sermons before, sent either by you or Mr. M'Laurin. I am exceedingly glad of those two books of Taylor's. I had before borrowed and read Taylor on Original Sin ; but am very glad to have one of my own; if you had not sent it, I intended to have sought opportunity to buy it
. The other book, his Paraphrase, etc. I had not heard of; if I had, I should not have been easy till I had seen it, and been possessed of it. These books, if I should live, may probably be of great use to me. Such kindness from you was unexpected. I hoped to receive a letter from you,
I , which, alone, I should have received as a special favour.
“I have for the present, been diverted from the design I hinted to you, of publishing something against some of the Arminian Tenets, by something else that Divine Providence unexpectedly laid in my way, and seemed to render unavoidable, viz. publishing Mr. Brainerd's Life, of which the inclosed paper of proposals gives some account.
“It might be of particular advantage to me, here in this remote part of the world, to be better informed what books there are, that are published on the other side of the Atlantic; and especially if there be any thing that comes out, that is very remarkable. I have seen many notable things, that have been written in this country against the truth, but nothing very notable on our side of the controversies of the present day, at least of the Arminian controversy, You would much oblige me, if you would inform me what are the best books that have lately been written, in defence of Calvinism.
“I have herewith sent the two books of Mr. Stoddard's you desired. The lesser of the two was my own; and though I have no other, yet you have laid me under such obligations, that I am glad I have it to send to you. The other I procured of one of my neighbours.
“I have lately heard some things, that have excited hope in me, that God was about to cause there to be a turn in England, with regard to the state of religion there, for the better; particularly what we have heard, that one Mr. West, a Clerk of the Privy Council, has written in defence of christianity, though once a notorious Deist; and also what Mr. Littleton, a member of the House of Commons, has written. I should be glad if you wouid inform me more particularly in your next, concerning this affair, and wbat the present state of Infidelity in Great Britain is.
“ It has pleased God, since I wrote my last to you, sorely to afflict this family, by taking away by death, the last February, my second daughter, in the eighteenth year of her age; a very pleasant and useful member of this family, and one that was esteemed the flower of the family. Herein we have a great loss; but the remembrance of the remarkable appearances of piety in her, from her childhood, in life, and also at her death, are very comfortable to us, and give us great reason to mingle thanksgiving with our mourning. I desire your prayers, dear Sir, that God would make up our great loss to us in himself.
“ Please to accept of one of my Sermons on Mr. Bramerd's death, and also one of my Sermons on Mr. Buell's instalment. 1 desire that for the future, your letters to me may be directed to be left with Mr. Edward Bromfield, merchant in Boston. My wife joins with me, in respectful and affectionate salutations to you and Mrs. Erskine. Desiring that we may meet often at the throne of
“I am, dear brother, your obliged friend,
- JONATHAN EDWARDS. “P, S. I desired Mr. Prince to send to you one of my books on the subject of the Concert for Prayer for a general Revival of religion, the last year; and he engaged to do it; but I perceive he forgot it, and it was long neglected. But I have since taken some further care to have the book conveyed; so that I hope that ere this time you have received it.
“In the conclusion of your letter of Feb. 9, you mention a design of writing to me again, by a ship that was to sail the next month for Boston. That letter I have not received."
Mr. Gillespie, imagining that the difficulties, which he had stated in his former letter, were not satisfactorily cleared up in the answer of Mr. Edwards, addressed to him the following reply. Letter from Mr. Gillespie.
Sept. 19, 1748. “Rev. AND VERY DEAR Sir,
"I had the favour of yours in spring last, for which I heartlı thank you. I did not want inclination to make you a return long ago, as I prize your correspondence, but some things concurred that effectually prevented me, which has given me concern.
" It was my desire to be informed, and my inclination to make you