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of that holy Faith, which he was fo firmly attached to, and so ftrenuous a Defender of. He exhibited much of Spirituality, and a heavenly Bent of Soul. In him one saw the loveliest Appearance,--a rare Assemblage of Christian Graces, united with the richest Gifts, and mutually subserving and recommending one another,
As a Scholar, his intellectual Furniture exceeded what is common, considering the Disadvantages we labour under in this remote Corner of the World. He very early discovered a Genius, above the ordinary Size : which gradually ripened and expanded, by daily Exertment and Application. He was remarkable for the Penetration and Extent of his Understanding, for his Powers of Criticism and accurate Distinction, Quickness of Thought, Solidity of Judgment, and Force of Reasoning; which made him an acute and strong Disputant. By Nature he was formed for a Logician, and a Metaphysician; but by Speculation, Observation, and Converse, greatly iniproved. He had a good Infight into the whole Circle of liberal Arts and Sciences; possessed a very valuable Stock of Claifick Learning, Philosophy, Mathematicks, History, Chronology, &c. By the Blessing of God on his indefatigable Studiousness, to the last, he was conftantly treasuring up useful Knowledge, both human and divine,
Thus he appears uncommonly accomplished for the arduous and momentous Province, to which he was finally called. And had Heaven indulged us with the Continuance of his precious Life, we have Reason to think, he would have graced his new Station, and been a signal Blessing to the College,
and therein extensively ferved his Generation, according to the Will of God.
After all, it must be owned, Divinity was his Fa. vourite Study; and the Ministry, his most delightful Employment. Among the Luminaries of the Church, in these American Regions, he was justly reputed a Star of the first Magnitude : Thoroughly versed in all the Branches of Theology, didactic, polemic, casuistic, experimental, and practical: In Point of divine Knowledge and skill
, had few Equals, and perhaps no Superiour, at least in these foreign Parts. On the maturest Examination of the different Schemes of Principles, obtaining in the World, and on comparing them with the sacred Scriptures, the Oracles of God and the great Standard of Truth, he was a Protestant and a Calvinist in Judgment; adhering to the main Articles of the Reformed Religion with an unshaken Firmness, and with a fervent Zeal, but tempered with Charity and Candour, and governed by Discretion. He seemed as little as most Men under the Bias of Education, or the Poffeffion of Bigotry. As to practical and vital Christianity, no Man appeared to have a better Acquaintance with its Nature and Importance ; or to understand true Religion, and feel its Power, more than he: which made him an excellently fit Guide to inquiring Souls, and qualified him to guard them against all false Religion. His internal Sense of the Intercourse between God and Souls, being brought by him to the severe Test of Reason and Revelation, preserved him, both in Sentiment and Conduct, from the least Tincture of Enthusiasm. The accomplished Divine enters deep into his Character,
As a Preacher, he was judicious, folid, and in: structive. Seldom was he known to bring Cons' troversy into the Pulpit; or to handle any Subject in the nicer Modes and Forms of scholastic Differtation. His Sermons, in general, seemed exceedingly to vary from his controversial Compositions. In his Preaching, usually all was plain, familiar, sententious, practical; and very distant from any Affectation of appearing the great Man, or displaying his extraordinary Abilities as a Scholar. But still he ever preserved the Character of a skilful and thorough Divine. The common Themes of his Ministry were the most weighty and profitable; and in special, the great Truths of the Gospel of Christ, on which he himself lived by Faith. His Method in preaching was, first to apply to the Understanding and Judgment, labouring to enlighten and convince them; and then to persuade the Will, engage the Affections, and excite the active Powers of the Soul. His Language was with Propriety and Purity, but with a noble Negligence; nothing ornamented. Florid Diction was not the Beauty he preferred. His Talents were of a superiour Kind. He regarded Thoughts, rather than Words. Precision of Sentiment and Clearness of Expression are the principal Characteristicks of his Pulpit-Stile. Neither quick nor flow of Speech, there was a certain Pathos in his Utterance, and such Skill of Address, as seldom failed to draw the Attention, warm the Hearts, and stimulate the Consciences of the Auditory. He studied to shew himself approved unto God, a Workman that needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. And he was one that gave himself to Prayer, as well as to the Ministry of the Word. Agreeably it pleased God to put great Honour upon him, by crowning his Labours with surprising Successes,
in the Conversion of Sinners, and the Edification of Saints, to the Advancement of the Kingdom and Glory of God our Saviour Jesus Chrift,
Mr. EDWARDS distinguished himself as a Writer, especially in Controversy, which he was called to on a Variety of Occasions. Here the Superiority of his Genius eminently appeared. He knew to arrange his Ideas in an exact Method : and close Application of Mind, with the uncommon Strength of his intellectual Powers, enabled him in a Manner to exhaust every Subject he took under Confideration. He diligently employed the latter Part of his Life in defending Christianity, both in its doctrinal and practical Views, against the Errors of the Times. Besides his excellent Writings in Behalf of the Power of Godliness, which fome Years ago happily prevailed in many Parts of the British America ; he also made a noble Stand against Enthusiasm and false Religion, when it threatened to spread, by his incomparable Treatise upon religious Affections. And more lately in Opposition to Pelagian, Arminian, and other false Principles, he published a very elaborate Treatise upon the Liberty of the human Will. A Volume, that has procured him the Elogy of eminent Divines abroad. Several Professors of Divinity in the Dutch Universities very lately sent him their Thanks, for the . AMiftance he had given them in their Inquiry into some controverted Points; having carried his own further than any Author they had ever seen. And now this Volume of his, on the great Christian Doctrine of Original Sin, is presented to publick View. Which, though studioully adapted to lower Capacities, yet carries in it the evident Traces of his great Genius, and seems with superiour Force of Argument to have entirely baffled the Opponent.
Besides numerous other fair Manuscripts, he has a Volume on the NATURE OF VIRTUE; which he designed should follow the present one into the publick Light. It is hoped, that we shall yet see it; and that they who have the Care of his Papers, will consult the common Benefit, by publishing more of the valuable Remains of this great Man: by which, he being dead, may still speak, for the Instruction of Survivor's *.
His Writings will perpetuate his Memory, and make his Name bloffoin in the Duft. And the Blessing of Heaven attending the Perufal of them, will make them effectually conducive to the Glory of God; and the Good of Souls; which will brighten the Author's Crown, and add to his Joy, in the Day of future Retribution.
* It is imagined that the above-mentioned Piece, with other of his Works, were printed the last Year at Boston, though not yet received